Being a horse owner means sooner or later you will need to become acquainted with tending to major and minor wounds. That’s because a horse is more susceptible to cuts, bruises, and lacerations than any other domesticated animal.
They are constantly roaming the pastures, getting stuck between the fences, hurting their neck on a sharp thorny branch – basically, they are almost always getting wounds that need tending.
Horses are fine, thinking animals and they should have the opportunity to use that mind for learning through fun and play. Horses can be very loyal animals that have learned to please us and work up their best abilities. Horses just want to be cared for and understood. Through understanding and patience, it will take little to no time to learn them anything as soon as they start catching on.
Your horse’s hoof is like a much larger nail, and like your toenails and fingernails, it too needs to be trimmed. And if you don’t, it just becomes uncomfortable for your horse – and can even lead to splitting or chipping!
Therefore, if your horse’s health and comfort are foremost for you, then make horse hoof and tail trimming an integral part of hoof care.
So when trimming your horse’s hooves, here are the things you should keep in mind:
Keep them clean.
Trim once in every 4-8 weeks.
Check for hoof injuries or problems – cracks, splits, thrush – and treat them immediately.
If you are not sure of yourself, get a farrier to show you the first time around.
But, if the D-I-Y attitude has worked for you and your horse so far, then rest assured – because hoof trimming isn’t all that difficult, so long as you know how…
Trail riding is enjoyable and safe for you and your horse only when you’ve considered all factors and eventualities and are using the right tack and equipment that you need on the trail.
The right tack ensures that your horse is comfortable and you are also safe while you ride! But right about now you are probably asking, “What tack do I need for trail riding?”
So, here’s what we promised – The Handy List of Trail Riding Tack& Equipment
1. A trail riding saddle fitted to your horse
The saddle is very important for both you as well as your horse. It is one of the things that the horse will have to carry, and if not fitted properly can cause soreness and injury. On the other hand, you will be sitting on it, so it will determine your comfort, and if not properly fitted, can also jeopardize your safety!
For the trail, it is usually advised that you get a Western saddle. And before you invest, you should look out for a good Western saddle that fits the bill.
Trail rides can be quite tricky, even if your little boy or girl has already been broken in. What can make matters that much worse is if all the horse tack and equipment you are using isn’t just right, and is, therefore, causing discomfort to your horse. Because if that happens, your horse is bound to be more frisky, and may not take to trail riding quite as much as you would’ve liked…
But you can make the ride easier for your horse as well as for yourself, just by being a little careful about the tack and equipment you get and use when going out on the trail. So to make things easier for you, here’s a list of essential trail equipment that you should keep handy.
Horse Trail Equipment
As you know, a tack is essential because, without a halter and lead rope, you have no control over your animal. As for riding, you will need a bridle with a hack more or a bit. And if you have a miniature horse or a pony, don’t burden them down with a normal size tack – because it won’t work. In that case, a miniature tack is your alternative.
More important point to note however is that all these equipment are restraints, and if they are not a comfortable fit, they will leave your horse bruised and sore, or even more seriously injured.
West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease of increasing concern in many areas of the United States. According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the virus has been identified in all U.S. states as well as Canada and Mexico. It primarily affects birds, but mosquitoes can transfer the disease to other animals.
The virus is of particular concern for horse owners as it can lead to arbovirus encephalitis and meningitis. The mortality rate in horses is estimated to be around 30% once symptoms appear and early treatment is important. It’s important to know the signs of infection and prevent future infections.
Signs and symptoms: Symptoms usually begin to appear within two weeks after exposure. Though these symptoms don’t necessarily indicate a West Nile virus infection, they should be checked out by a veterinarian. This is not a comprehensive list:
Like the world they evolved in, horses are not static. They’re dynamic, always changing, attempting to adapt to their environment. From our human perspective, domesticated to meet our needs and evaluated by our set of standards, horses are always getting “better”, or getting “worse”.
Once you recognize the fact that if you are a rider you’re a trainer and every time you touch your horse you teach your horse, every time you rein your horse you train your horse, your goal should be to always have the horse getting better with each human contact, not worse.
But, before you can even begin to ride, you must successfully get the saddle and tack on the horse. And there, as with everything else you do, the way you handle each and every aspect, of every individual operation, will affect the final outcome and your chance of reaching your goal – a safe and satisfying ride.
Horses are thinking animals that should be offered the ability to use its mind, through play and fun learning methods. A loyal horse is the one that has learned to try to please us by doing what we ask to the best of its ability. Every horse just wants to be understood, and through patience, and understanding it takes little time to teach them once they start to catch on.
I feel horses should be offered the right start, and as long as in the matter of a horses learning life, and as long as progress, and the difficulty is always on the forward movement, that a horse should be taught by different trainers. I find this has a wonderful effect on their overall temperament. A horse that is only taught by one person is a horse who only knows one person’s ways.. what about yours, what is you sell, a horse should be able to have the knowledge to adapt.
I also feel that much as we have had many different, and exciting educational sources in our lives, I feel horses should have the same opportunity.
For the first time, there has been a scientific paper on trailer loading of difficult horses using positive reinforcement.
The paper describes the thesis research done by Dawnery Ferguson for a master’s degree in behavior analysis from the University of North Texas. The authors are Ferguson and her supervising professor, Jesus Rosales-Ruiz. The title is “Loading the problem loader: the effects of target training and shaping on trailer loading behavior of horses,” and it was published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.
Anybody who’s watched people trying to load a frightened and unwilling horse into a trailer can testify that it can be quite a scene. To quote the authors, “The combination of a horse that fights loading and an owner who uses physical force can produce a very dangerous situation. Read More …
Ah, Spring!! Bet everyone, including me, is eager to hit the trail. Along with spring cleaning and putting away those winter blankets, don’t forget to take time to check and clean tack.
There is nothing worse than starting to tack up and having something fail like a loose Chicago screw on your bridle or worse a thinning piece of latigo. You know, the one you keep saying you ’re going to replace! Or tighten! Take also some time to check the Read More …
I have lost count of the number of horses I have worked with. I started riding at 9 yrs old and training at 16. The number is in the hundreds. One thing I have learned is that you are never done learning. Each horse has taught me something new. Some are so unique that I have totally had to go in a different direction to teach them something.
Here is one example: I had an Arabian mare come in for training. I had to go pick her up because she would not load unless tranquilized. No matter what kind of trailer it was. Now, when I go to pick a horse up, I don’t just force them in the trailer. I take time and coax them and have patience. I don’t start right in with a big training lesson. I have time for that once I get them to my farm. Most horses I get in have never even been loaded and all they need is just a little patience.
This Arab mare was petrified, so after some time and patience, she still wasn’t loaded. I then took the owner suggestion and we tranquilized her and assisted her in. We gave her the vets dose that was prescribed. It didn’t knock her out, just calmed her down a lot.