Tips for Choosing Stall Accessories

December 18th, 2014

horse in stall drinking water

If a barn renovation or upgrade is in your plans for 2015, then choosing stall accessories will be on your to-do list. When choosing stall accessories, there are particular factors that you will want to look for. Here are some tips to ensure that you get the most out of the stall accessories that you select.

Safety

The safety of stall accessories should be at the top of your list. You should only use stall accessories manufactured specifically for use with horses. Look for potential safety issues like sharp edges or protruding hooks, nails, or screws.

If you are looking at a product made of plastic, like a corner feeder, make sure that it is made from a durable, heavy-duty plastic to avoid splintering and cracking. This is especially important if the product will be exposed to a harsh winter climate.

If you are looking at barn lighting for a stall, then make sure that the light is fully enclosed by a cage or other protection to avoid it breaking or being struck by a horse. You will also want to invest in electrical outlets that have heavy-duty cover plates to protect them from being accessed by a curious horse.

Durability

When you purchase stall accessories, you want them to last. One aspect of purchasing durable stall accessories is to buy stall accessories that are top quality. Classic Equine Equipment’s values include providing only quality products that we can stand behind.

When purchasing a significant product, like a waterer, you may want to consider the warranty that is offered with each product. For instance, the EquiFount Horse Waterer comes with a 5-year unconditional warranty. Having a strong warranty can save you another potential purchase if your product were to break or malfunction.

Feeder Height

If you are purchasing a stall feeder, consider the safety and height of that feeder. Classic Equine Equipment’s Extra-Large Corner Feeder allows you to feed your horse from the ground, a more natural position which can help to keep his respiratory system healthy. Feeders are available in a variety of sizes and styles, so choose the feeder that is the best match for your horse.

Price

The price of stall accessories will certainly affect your buying decisions. However, never let an item’s price outweigh its safety, or you may be spending what money you saved in vet bills instead.

When choosing stall accessories, doing your homework can definitely pay off. Make sure that the stall accessories that you purchase are just right for what you want for you barn.

Original Source: Tips for Choosing Stall Accessories

Gifts for the Horse Lover in Your Life: Level 3

December 17th, 2014

Gifts for the Horse Lover in Your Life

If you’ve been following our gift-giving series, you’ll know that our first two posts covered stocking stuffers and larger gifts for a horse lover. Are you ready for the big gifts? These are the dream-come-true gifts; the ones that would truly stun and surprise.

Equine Portrait

Commission a portrait of a horse lover’s favorite horse for a gift that will be treasured forever. Commissioned portraits generally take months to complete, so it might be too late to have the portrait ready by Christmas day this year, but you can always tell the recipient that a portrait is in the works.

Paid Horse Show Entry

Horse shows can get really expensive, so treat a rider to an all-expenses-paid show opportunity. Cover the show’s entry fees, stabling, lodging, and training fees to give the rider an awesome chance to win some ribbons without having to worry about the financial side of things.

Tack Trunk

A high-quality tack trunk can make a wonderful Christmas gift for any equestrian. If you’re handy with woodworking, consider making the trunk yourself for an extra-special touch.

Barn Renovation

If the horse lover in your life is a barn owner, too, then a barn renovation might make the perfect gift. With time, wash stalls get old, aisle footing deteriorates, and even the horse stalls may need to be replaced. Giving a barn a facelift with a renovation can leave the it looking new, beautiful, and revitalized.

New Horse

Has they been horse shopping lately? Maybe they’ve found the perfect horse that’s just out of their price range, or maybe they’ve never owned a horse before. Receiving a horse as a gift can be a dream come true for a horse lover. If you’re not comfortable buying the actual horse, then give money towards the purchase of a new horse, instead.

Horseback Vacation

A horseback vacation can be that once in a lifetime gift for any horse lover. Thinking about taking a horseback vacation? Be sure to schedule it with a reputable venue, and consider using a travel agent to help keep things simplified. Remember to investigate how much vacation time is spent on horseback, and whether the rides are available to accommodate riders of different experience levels.

Well, that’s about it for our gift giving ideas for this year. Do you have something special in mind for the horse lover in your life? What’s the best horsey gift that you’ve ever received?

 

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Original Source: Gifts for the Horse Lover in Your Life: Level 3

2014 National Cutting Horse Association Futurity

December 15th, 2014

national cutting horse association futurity

From November 20th through December 13th this year, cutting horse enthusiasts will descend on Fort Worth, Texas. The National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) World Championship Futurity brings together the very best 3-year-old cutting horses under the roof of the Will Rogers Memorial Center. The event, offering $4 million in prize money, spans 25 days and attracts crowds of thousands of spectators every year.

The NCHA World Championship Futurity is an action-packed event that is sure to have something for every horse lover. Its competitions bring together top, serious competitors, and you’re sure to see some incredible talent in both the horses and the riders. In addition to the Futurity competition itself, on Friday, December 5th, the Careity Foundation will present a Celebrity Cutting Event to benefit the Careity Foundation and the NCHA charities. You will be able to rub elbows with some of the top names in the cutting world while supporting great causes.

You can also rest assured that there will be plenty of shopping opportunities at the NCHA World Championship Futurity. The Best of the West Trade Show showcases a wide variety of vendors in the Amon G. Carter Exhibit Hall. From tack to clothing to home décor, the Futurity presents the perfect shopping opportunity right before Christmas.

If buying a new horse is on your to-do list, the NCHA Futurity may be the perfect place to do just that. From Monday, December 8th, through Saturday, December 13th, a wide variety of horses are available through sales at the Futurity. From yearlings to 2-year-olds to proven cutting horses, you may very well find your next equine partner.

Best of all, attending the event is wonderfully inexpensive – except for the last four competition days, tickets are free. Of course, you will want to make sure that you attend at least a few of the competition days, which showcase the Non-Pro Semi-Finals, the Non-Pro Finals, the Open Semi-Finals, and the Open Finals.

If you are a fan of cutting, or of Western riding, then you will want to make a point of attending the NCHA World Championship Futurity at some point in your life. The NCHA Futurity is the culmination of years of hard work on the part of riders, trainers, and horses, and it gives you the chance to see some of the top up-and-coming horses in competition.

To learn more about the NCHA World Championship Futurity, visit the NCHA’s website.

 

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Original Source: 2014 National Cutting Horse Association Futurity

Winter Horse Sitting Tips

December 12th, 2014

horse in pasture of snow

As the holidays approach, you may find yourself horse sitting for friends or even for horse owners you don’t know. Caring for horses during winter is very different than caring for them in the summer, especially when you are the sole caretaker for a barn. When you’re horse sitting in the winter, there is some very important information that you should make sure you know before the owner leaves.

Colic History

Ask the owner if any of the horses in your care have a history of colic, especially during winter weather. If a horse has colicked before, ask about the specific symptoms that he displayed, as well as the owner’s treatment procedure. Make sure you know what he or she would like you to do if a case of colic arises, and at what point you should call the vet.

Location of Snow Shovels and Sand

If you will be in charge of the barn while the owners are away, make sure that you know where important tools like snow shovels and sand are located. If there is a snow blower, make sure that you know how to use it.

Methods for Keeping Water from Freezing

There are various ways to keep unfrozen water in front of horses during the winter, including trough heaters, heated water buckets, and simply bringing heated water to the barn. Familiarize yourself with the methods for preventing water from freezing, and be sure that you know where extra heaters or extension cords are located in the case of a malfunction.

Turnout Procedure in Inclement Weather

Ask the horse owner when they want their horses to be turned out and when the horses should stay in their stalls due to inclement weather. Be sure that you know which blankets should be used and when. Additionally, ask the owner to specify if there are footing conditions, such as the presence of heavy ice, where they are not comfortable having their horses turned out.

Who Is Responsible for Plowing the Property

You will need to access the property regularly, and if a storm occurs it’s important to know who will be plowing the property. Ask the horse owner to provide you with the contact information for the person plowing in case you need to contact them directly.

Nearest Accessible Horse Trailer

When winter weather strikes, many horse trailers may be snowed in. Ask the horse owner where you can find the nearest accessible horse trailer during an emergency if you should need to transport their horse.

Horse sitting in the winter is full of unique challenges. If you get the information you need to know ahead of time, the experience will go more smoothly.

 

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Original Source: Winter Horse Sitting Tips

Catching a Loose Horse After a Fall

December 11th, 2014

horse running in field

Falls happen, unfortunately, and sometimes horses get loose as a result. If you fall off, or if you witness someone else falling off, you may have to catch a horse who is worked up or evasive. These tips will help you to handle the situation.

Check on the Fallen Rider First

If a horse gets loose as the result of a rider fall, check on the rider to make sure he or she is okay before you try to catch the horse. If the rider is seriously injured, call for help. Check out our post on recognizing the signs of concussion in a rider so that you’re well-prepared to evaluate someone after a fall. If you are the fallen rider, then take time to make sure that you are physically unharmed before you set about catching your horse.

Barricade Routes off the Property

If you’re lucky, the horse will be contained to an enclosed riding arena. However, if you were riding in a field or other open area, the horse may be loose on the property. Before you attempt to catch him, enlist other riders to block the routes off of the property. If the property has a perimeter fence, make sure that the entrance gates are shut. Otherwise, have riders stand in the roads to deter the horse from leaving the property.

Approach the Horse Slowly

If a horse is anxious and pacing, it is best to give him a few moments to calm down before you approach him. When you approach the horse, do so slowly and from a direction that he can clearly see you. Don’t make direct eye contact or face the horse directly – doing so puts pressure on him to move away. Instead, progress slowly, and walk a winding path towards the horse until you are close enough to grasp his bridle.

Tempt with Grain or Treats

Some horses can be easily caught when tempted with grain or treats. It is best to put grain or treats in a bucket so that you can shake it as you approach the horse. Enticed by the familiar sound of food, many horses will readily approach you or at least stand still as you approach them.

Bring Another Horse With You

If the loose horse is social, bringing another horse with you as you catch him can work in your favor, especially if the two horses are friends. Walk casually with your horse and don’t directly approach the loose horse – instead, walk past the loose horse. Many times you will turn around to find the loose horse following your horse.

When catching a loose horse, it is important for you to stay calm and relaxed. The more anxious you become the more the loose horse is likely to react and continue to evade you. Go slowly, be confident and reassuring, and take your time in catching a loose horse.

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Original Source: Catching a Loose Horse After a Fall

Gifts for the Horse Lover in Your Life: Level 2

December 10th, 2014

christmas gifts

Christmas shopping for a horse lover can be a challenge – what makes a practical gift, and what is unneeded? Our first post in this series had suggestions for great stocking stuffer ideas. Today we have ideas for gifts ranging between $20 and $300.

Customized Horse Equipment

You can put a personalized touch on a gift by giving a horse person a piece of customized horse equipment. Almost everything is available with customization these days, from monogrammed blankets, coolers, and jackets, to custom-painted brushes and grooming kits. Also think about customized tack, polo wraps, halters, saddle pads, and luggage bags. Custom stall nameplates can make a great gift as well.

Warm Winter Riding Boots

Any rider will love a warm and cozy pair of riding boots to make winter rides more tolerable. Winter riding boots are available in a wide range of styles, so make sure that you have a good understanding of the rider’s style preference when choosing this gift.

Horseshoe Art

Horseshoes can be repurposed in a number of ways. Horseshoe hooks, hoof picks, coat racks, and art are all popular options. Looking for a way to make this gift extra special? Collect shoes from your friend’s horse and have them made into one of these gift options.

Horsehair Bracelet

Many jewelry artists now offer horsehair bracelets made out of your horse’s hair. Giving a horse lover a horsehair bracelet made from their horse’s hair can make a very special gift. Tip: Rather than removing the horse’s tail hair and sending it to the jeweler yourself, purchase a gift certificate for the creation of a bracelet and let the horse owner gather the hair themselves.

Photography Session

A photography session with a professional equine photographer can make a memorable gift for any horse lover. Treat a rider to a photography shoot featuring them and their horse so that they can get some great photos to immortalize their bond with that special horse.

Barn Supplies

If your friend owns a barn, they may be able to use barn accessories. Tack storage systems, stable  accessories, and first-aid kit components all make practical gifts.

Gift Certificates

If you’re still stumped, then give a horse lover a gift certificate to a tack shop. You can also give a gift certificate for a farrier session, or for an equine massage or chiropractic visit. Consider giving gift certificates for lessons, too.

Looking for something a little more extravagant? Then check out our upcoming post which will feature top gifts that any equestrian would love to receive.

 

Photo Source: http://www.ingimage.com/imagedetails/42141644_extInt0/02E95586-Ingimage-A-lot-of-christmas-presents.html

Original Source: Gifts for the Horse Lover in Your Life: Level 2

The Welsh Pony and Cob

December 8th, 2014

Girl Feeding her Horse

The Welsh Pony and Cob are actually closely related Welsh breeds. Welsh breeds are divided into four different types, including the Welsh Mountain Pony, the Welsh Pony, the Welsh Pony of Cob Type, and the Welsh Cob. These similar breeds all share the same heritage, while their modern uses and characteristics have distinguished them into separate types.

History

The Welsh Pony and Cob originated in Wales as early as the Middle Ages. Semi-wild ponies roamed the mountainous territory, surviving harsh winters with limited shelter. These ponies were influenced by Arabian blood, and may also carry Thoroughbred and Hackney blood. According to the Welsh Pony & Cob Society of America, the breed’s origin in such a harsh area led to the development of a pony with incredible soundness, endurance, and intelligence.

Domesticated Welsh Ponies and Cobs were used on Wales farms for plowing and driving, and the first stud book was created in 1901 in the United Kingdom. The United States registry was formed in 1907 to monitor and oversee this quickly growing breed. Welsh Ponies were used as pit ponies, for farm work, and even as cavalry horses.

Though the Welsh Pony’s popularity in America grew steadily beginning in the 1880s, the Great Depression lessened demand for the ponies. However, breeding continued and the pony’s numbers recovered by the 1950s. According to the Welsh Pony & Cob Society of America, after the 1950s, Welsh breeds became the fastest growing horse breed in America. Today, over 45,000 Welsh Ponies and Cobs have been registered.

Breed Characteristics

Welsh breeds range in height from 11 to 16 hands. They are accepted with any solid color coat, but greys, blacks, chestnuts, and bays are the most common coat colors. Welsh breeds have a free and fast movement, and their temperaments are even, agreeable, and friendly. These breeds are known for their stamina and great intelligence.

Welsh Ponies are more refined than Welsh Cobs, and, while smaller, still have good bone substance. They make popular riding and driving mounts and offer an elegant appearance.

Welsh Cobs are larger than Welsh Ponies. They are popular for both riding and driving, and their height means that they are capable of carrying adults as well as children.

The Breed Today

Welsh Ponies and Welsh Cobs make ideal mounts for children. They are competitive in a wide variety of disciplines including jumping, driving, English and Western pleasure, dressage, trail riding, and combined training.

To learn more about these fascinating Welsh breeds, visit the Welsh Pony & Cob Society of America’s website.

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Original Source: The Welsh Pony and Cob

Caring for Your Barn in the Winter

December 5th, 2014

barn with winter snow

Winter brings with it unique challenges when it comes to horse and barn ownership. When caring for your barn during the winter, it’s important to stay ahead of the game to avoid larger issues. Do you have a handle on winter barn care?

Insulate and Drain Pipes

Before temperatures dip below freezing, take the time to insulate any exposed water pipes in your barn. If you have a watering system that runs directly to each stall, then make sure that those pipes are all insulated as well. You will also want to make sure that any automatic stall waterers have heating systems installed to keep the water from freezing.

If you opt not to insulate particular pipes, then drain the pipes and shut off the water to those pipes for the winter. Dealing with frozen and cracked pipes is a major headache, so put this task at the top of your to-do list.

Perform Snow Removal Promptly

When the snow starts flying, it’s important to stay on top of the matter. Remove snow promptly to help avoid it melting, compacting, and becoming icy. Try to remove all of the snow right down to the road so that you have a clean surface. It’s also a good idea to plan out where you will put the plowed snow, especially if your area receives heavy annual snowfall.

Keep Salt and Sand on Hand

Stock up on salt and sand ahead of time to make sure that you have plenty ready for when things do get icy. If you have dogs or cats around the barn, then opt for a salt that is non-toxic and safe for them. Place buckets of salt or sand at each barn door. You might also consider putting a bucket out by each paddock entrance to keep paddock gate areas safe for both humans and horses.

Drag Your Indoor Arena Frequently

With the inclement weather of winter, your indoor arena will be used more heavily. The increased use, combined with the cold temperatures, means that your arena will need frequent and attentive maintenance to keep it in good condition. Drag your indoor arena regularly, and make sure that there is proper drainage around the arena to direct melting snow away from the ring.

Remove Snow from the Barn and Arena Roof

Every year there are tragic stories about barn and arena roofs collapsing under the weight of heavy snow. Don’t allow snow to build up on the roofs of your buildings – remove it promptly. Roof rakes may be an option for smaller buildings, but for larger buildings it is generally wise to bring in a professional to remove snow.

During the winter, the types of maintenance that you need to perform around the barn change. Be sure to actively maintain your barn to avoid potential larger problems.

 

Photo Source: http://www.ingimage.com/imagedetails/27132651_extInt0/02A144AT-Ingimage-Farm-with-a-barn-and-horses-in-winter-at-sunset.html

Original Source: Caring for Your Barn in the Winter

Great Barn Christmas Party Ideas

December 4th, 2014

Barn Christmas PartyThere’s no better way to celebrate the holidays than with a barn Christmas party. Whether you hold the party in a house or in your barn itself, you might want to put one of these great barn Christmas party ideas to use.

Stall Decorating Contest

Announce a stall decorating contest a few weeks before the date of your barn Christmas party. Each horse owner can decorate their horse’s stall door with whatever Christmas theme they choose. During the Christmas party, guests can take a tour of the barn and see all of the creative stall doors. Give out a small award for categories such as the most colorful stall door, the most creative stall door, and any other categories that you’d like.

Horse Cookie Exchange

Instead of a traditional Christmas cookie exchange, do a horse cookie exchange during your barn Christmas party. Riders can bring in their favorite horse treats and can swap treats with other riders. While store-bought horse treats are always great, a horse cookie exchange can also be done cheaply by using homemade treat recipes or by bringing in treats like candy canes or carrots.

Make Horse Stockings

Consider decorating stockings for each of the horses during your barn Christmas party. Decorating stockings is a fun and affordable activity that riders both young and old will enjoy. Stockings can be purchased cheaply through a discount or dollar store. Supply glue, glitter, and paint and let the decorating begin.

Make Horse-Themed Christmas Ornaments

There are many ways to make a horse-themed Christmas ornament. One of the easiest ways is to purchase a collection of clear glass bulbs. Riders can fill the bulbs with shavings, bits of hay, or even strands of mane from their favorite horse. Alternatively, consider painting or decorating horse shoes with Christmas-themed materials.

Go Caroling on Horseback

Get into the Christmas spirit with your horse alongside – if you have a group of riders and trusted horses, then head out for some caroling on horseback. If you do opt to take your horses caroling, then make sure that you have a safe neighborhood to travel in. It’s also safest to make your trip before it gets dark out.

Yankee Swap

There’s no beating a Yankee Swap – with horse-themed gifts, of course. Set a price limit and have each attendee bring a gift for the swap.

When planning your barn’s Christmas party, there are some great ways to have a good time. What activities have you enjoyed at your barn Christmas party?

 

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Original Source: Great Barn Christmas Party Ideas

Gifts for the Horse Lover in Your Life: Level 1

December 3rd, 2014

Christmas horse

Stumped on that perfect gift for the horse lover in your life? Well then you’ll want to keep an eye out for our upcoming blog posts, because we have three posts dedicated to great gift-giving ideas for riders. We’ve even sorted the gifts by cost, so you can get great ideas no matter what your budget. Today’s post features stocking stuffer ideas that you can buy for under $20.

Warm Riding Gloves

Nothing is better in the winter than a good, quality pair of warm riding gloves. Even if a rider already has a pair of gloves, they will probably welcome a second pair, since gloves get worn out, torn, or wet.

Horse Treats

Horse treats are always a welcome gift. Be sure to consider whether the horse has any dietary restrictions, such as needing to minimize the amount of sugar ingested with Cushing’s. There are many recipes for homemade horse treats available which allow you to put your own personal touch on the gift.

Hand Lotion

Dry, chapped hands plague many riders in winter. Hand lotion makes a great gift. Opt for a quality lotion that doesn’t leave behind a greasy residue. While it can be fun to splurge on scented lotions, make sure that the recipient isn’t sensitive to scents if you choose to go this route.

Hand Warmers

Hand warmers, reusable or disposable, can make great stocking stuffers. You can find them cheaply at discount stores, or can go for a slightly more expensive gift by purchasing reusable hand warmers. If you buy hand warmers, consider getting foot warmers to complete the gift.

Warm Socks

When riders spend long hours in the barn during the winter, frozen toes become a problem. Any rider will be grateful for super warm socks, whether for use with tall boots or just for general wear in the barn.

Liniment

If a rider uses liniment on their horse, they can always use more. It gets pricey to buy liniment repeatedly, so a bottle of liniment as a stocking stuffer makes a great gift.

Human Muscle Rub

Riders get sore muscles, too – human muscle rub will likely be appreciated, especially if paired with liniment for equine use.

Pocket Knife

It might seem like an odd gift, but a pocket knife or Swiss Army knife can be a perfect stocking stuffer for an equestrian. Knives are handy to have around a barn for many purposes, including cutting baling twine and duct tape.

Still need more ideas? Our next post will include gifts in the $20 to $300 range.

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Original Source: Gifts for the Horse Lover in Your Life: Level 1