Tips to Make Your Horse Trailer More Visible

May 22nd, 2015

man, horses and trailer

When you’re hitting the road with your horses, the more visible your horse trailer is the better chance you have of standing out to other drivers and potentially avoiding an accident. There are a number of ways you can help to make your horse trailer more visible. These tips will get you started.

Choose a Light-Colored Trailer

When you first start shopping for a horse trailer, try to purchase a trailer in a lighter color, such as a white or light silver. Darker colored trailers do not stand out as easily in the early morning, late afternoon, and night, meaning that other drivers have to rely more on your horse trailer’s lights to tell where it is on the road. Another advantage of buying a light colored trailer is that it won’t absorb the sun’s rays as readily as a dark trailer will, keeping it a few degrees cooler in the summer.

Add Reflective Strips and Patches

While many horse trailers come with some reflective material on them, adding more will only improve your visibility. You can purchase large reflective strips and patches from auto supply stores or from online retailers. These strips are generally self-adhesive; just make sure that you clean and dry the areas of application before you apply the reflective material. Adding reflective material to the back and sides of your trailer can make a big difference in nighttime visibility.

Drive with the Headlights On

Whenever you’re hauling your horses, always drive with your truck headlights on. You should also make sure that all of your trailer lights are working properly – this is something you want to check before every trip. Your horses’ safety depends on it.

Install Your Own Trailer Lights

Many horse trailers fall short when it comes to significant lighting. Older trailer models in particular may have small or dim brake lights. You can improve your trailer’s visibility by installing new or additional trailer lights. Additionally, LED lights are significantly brighter than many of the standard lights used on trailers. Investing in quality lights will help your trailer to better stand out to other drivers, especially during the vital times when you’re braking or turning.

There are a number of ways to improve your trailer’s visibility. It’s a great idea to have a friend hitch up and drive your trailer around in different conditions, such as when it’s dark or rainy out. Follow your friend in your car to see how visible your trailer is and what changes you might make to improve its visibility.

The next time you give your trailer a tune-up, check out its visibility and see what you can do to improve it.

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How To Consign a Sale Horse

May 21st, 2015

portrait of beautiful woman feeding brown horse from hand

Selling a horse can be a bit of a headache. Between marketing the horse and dealing with no-show potential buyers, selling a horse takes some serious time. But have you ever thought about consigning your sale horse? Consigning a horse removes much of the responsibility for the sale, and consigning can even potentially lead to a faster sale for higher prices. Here’s how.

How Consigning a Horse Works

When you consign a horse, you are putting that horse in the care of a trainer or a consignment barn to market and ultimately sell the horse. Most trainers take a commission of 10 – 15% of the horse’s sale price when the horse is successfully sold. Generally you are responsible for paying for the horse’s care until he is sold. Consignments should always be based on a contract signed by both parties.

Why Consign a Horse?

Consigning a horse removes the time demands of marketing a horse for sale. More than that, though, consigning a horse to a reputable trainer means that the trainer’s connections and networking can help to sell your horse. Since knowing the right people can be so important in finding a horse his next home, consigning a horse can be an effective way to increase the horse’s marketing. If a trainer is marketing the horse to the right audience, they may be able to get top dollar for the horse.

What Horses Should Be Consigned?

In truth, any horse can be consigned if you have a trainer willing to take on the task. However, remember that if your horse is sold, the trainer will take a percentage of the sale price as commission. Some trainers may not want to bother taking on consignment horses with lower asking prices, because it simply isn’t worth their time.

Generally, show horses are suitable for consignment. When marketing an upper-level horse there is a refined market, and a trainer may have existing connections to potential buyers. However, consignment barns also exist, and typically accept horses which will fetch a range of prices. When finding a suitable consignment opportunity for your horse, you will want to make sure that the trainer or barn’s goals for a suitable sale home match up with yours.

Before You Consign Your Horse

When you consign a horse, you are entrusting its care and marketing to a trainer. You should be familiar with the trainer and the other types of horses that they consign. Ask yourself what that particular trainer can do for you, and how well oriented they are to find your horse a new home. You will also want to be sure to thoroughly read the consignment contract before signing it. And if any changes take part that would alter the contract, then make sure that both you and the trainer sign a contract alteration.

Consigning a horse can save you valuable time and can even lead to a faster sale. But whether or not consigning your horse is the right option is a choice that only you can make.

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4 Tips for Buying a Saddle Online

May 20th, 2015

Saddle Center Path Horse Paddack Equestrian Stable

When it comes to saddle shopping, many of the great deals on used saddles seem to be online. While you can successfully buy a saddle online, there is some important information that you need to know. Before you start saddle shopping, think about the following if you’re going to go the online route.

Ask for a Photo of the Saddle Being Measured

Before you do anything else, ask the buyer to measure the saddle and photograph exactly how they do so. Buying a saddle that’s the wrong size will do you no good, and you would be surprised by the number of buyers who measure saddles in a non-standard way. An error in measuring could lead to a surprise when the saddle arrives; requesting a photo of how the measurement was taken can help to avoid this issue.

Request Specific and Detailed Photos

Once you’re satisfied that the saddle is the right size for you, ask for additional photos of specific areas of the saddle. You need to look for potential issues when buying a used saddle. You should always ask of photos of:

  • The seat, taken looking down from above
  • The underside of the saddle, showing the entire panels
  • The billets on both sides
  • The saddle from both sides

These specific photos can help you to spot potential issues or damage. Look to make sure that the billets are not damaged, and check the seat for warping or signs of uneven wear. Look at the undersides of the panels to make sure that the channel between them is straight and even – variation in this channel can signify a broken or warped tree. If evaluating a Western saddle, make sure that the fleece on the underside is even and not missing in patches.

Specifically Ask About Tree Soundness and Size

Asking direct and specific questions is key in knowing just what you’ll be getting in a saddle. Even if a seller has advertised the saddle as having a specific tree size, this factor is so important that it’s justifiable to ask the seller to recheck and verify the tree size, just in case. Additionally, ask the seller to check the saddle for tree soundness. Issues like flex in the tree or squeaking as the saddle is flexed may mean that the tree has been compromised.

It is best to ask as many specific questions as you can. The more detailed information that you can get about the saddle, the better you will be able to judge if the saddle is the right one for you.

Use a Reputable Payment System

When buying a saddle online, never send a check or a money order. Instead, use a reputable payment system, such as Paypal. Paypal offers buyer protection, and in the event that the seller does not ship the saddle, or the saddle arrives not as described, you have a chance of getting your money back if you have used a system such as Paypal.

Since you can’t see the saddle in person, buying a saddle online takes careful vigilance to make sure that you will be happy with the purchase. As always, listen to your gut – if you sense that something is a little off with a saddle or a seller, then stay away.

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How to Maximize Ventilation When Planning Your Barn

May 18th, 2015



Good ventilation in your barn is so important for your horses’ health. With poor ventilation, mold, dust, and even manure bits can accumulate in the air that your horses breathe in. Good ventilation can help to minimize respiratory issues, keeping your horses healthier and able to improve at their full athletic capacity.

When you’re planning your barn, maximizing ventilation should be one of your top priorities. These below suggestions can make planning for excellent ventilation in your barn a snap.

Use an Open Stall Plan

Housing your horses in stalls which are fully wood paneled on all sides greatly cuts down on the ventilation that reaches your horses. Instead of opting for traditional all-wood stalls, go for an open stall plan, such as that offered by the European Stall Series. The grilled design of the upper portion of the stall fronts allows air to flow into and out of each stall freely.

If you’re not ready for the open stall plan but still want to maximize ventilation, then consider having grillwork installed on the upper and lower portions of the stall door. Mesh partitions can also help to increase airflow without allowing the horses to reach their heads out into the aisle.

Incorporate Stall Windows

In addition to choosing your stall design carefully, plan the stalls so that an outside-looking window can be incorporated into each. In addition to providing excellent ventilation, stall windows also maximize natural light, leading to a healthier environment for your horse.

Orient the Barn for Natural Breezes

Before you build your barn, pay attention to the natural airflow in the area where you will be building. By orienting your barn so that natural breezes can sweep down through the main aisle, you are establishing a great natural ventilation system.

Plan for Large Aisles

When planning your barn, aim to include wide aisles. These aisles should end in large barn doors that can be pulled fully open to take advantage of the wind and breezes. Being able to really open up your barn during warm weather can make a huge difference when it comes to the overall ventilation.

Use High Efficiency Ceiling Fans

In the heat of summer, there’s no better way to get the hot air moving than to turn on your barn’s ceiling fans. Installing high efficiency ceiling fans allows you to keep air moving without seeing a substantial increase in your electrical bill.

Include Plenty of Electrical Outlets

Your barn’s plans should include plenty of electrical outlets located in close proximity to the stalls. Not only are electrical outlets a convenience, they mean that you can easily power stall fans during the summer. When choosing stall fans, remember to only buy a fan built specifically for barn use; house fans feature motors which aren’t fully enclosed, meaning they could burn out and fall down into the bedding, creating a serious fire hazard.

As you maximize the ventilation in your barn, you are creating an environment that is healthier for both humans and horses, and ultimately a better barn!

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The 6 Best Horse Racing Movies

May 15th, 2015

Jockey Leads Number Eight Horse to Start Gate at Racetrack

Triple Crown season has begun, and horse racing is in the air. Whether you’re planning to watch this year’s Triple Crown races or not, you can still get in on the action in some of the greatest horse racing movies.


There’s simply no beating the 2003 movie which chronicles underdog Seabiscuit’s rise to racing fame during the Great Depression. Stars Jeff Bridges, Tobey Maguire, and Chris Cooper portray Seabiscuit’s unlikely team of owner, jockey, and trainer, all down on their luck and about to be taken on the ride of their lives.


Whether you can remember watching Secretariat’s Belmont run or have simply watched the replay on YouTube, you still know the thrill that Big Red brought to America. The 2010 film starring Diane Lane as Penny Chenery chronicles Penny’s efforts to establish herself in the world of horse racing after her father’s death. Relive the excitement of this infamous Triple Crown winner in this beautiful film!

The Black Stallion

Who hasn’t watched The Black Stallion as a kid? This 1979 film quickly became a household favorite thanks to its thrilling story of Alec’s magical bond with the stunning black stallion. The famous beach scene in which Alec plays with The Black and gallops him bareback is sure to stir the hearts of even adult riders. And, of course, watching Alec train The Black to race and utterly defeating the competition adds a fun touch, too.


A different sort of horse racing, Hidalgo takes on the long-distance Middle Eastern race, the Ocean of Fire. Frank Hopkins, depicted by Viggo Mortensen, pairs with his Paint, Hidalgo, in accepting a challenge to enter the treacherous race. Stunning footage and moments of comedy make this movie an entertaining watch – and it helps that Mortensen is a horseman, too!

Phar Lap

This 1983 film chronicles one of racing’s greatest mysteries: That of the suspicious death of Australian racehorse, Phar Lap. In this movie, stable boy Tommy bonds closely with the stunning race horse and accompanies him during his rise to greatness.

Racing Stripes

Okay, so maybe it’s not quite the same type of movie as the others, but we had to include zebras! Racing Stripes finally gives zebras some time on the big screen, and who can’t help but adore the sweet baby zebra in the beginning? This movie has plenty of laughs as Channing trains Stripes to race, and Stripes’ own commentary is sure to bring a smile.

The next time that you’re kept inside due to a rainy day, pop one of these movies in for a fun dose of horse racing action!

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Preparing to Build Your Horse Barn

May 14th, 2015


Building the horse barn of your dreams is a big project, and to do it right, you want to make sure that you’ve planned properly. Barn building isn’t a project that you want to get deep into, only to discover new challenges or obstacles. Before you start building your barn, make sure that you’ve done the following preparation.

Check Zoning Laws

It can’t be stressed enough – check and double-check your local zoning laws before planning your barn. You don’t want to invest the time and effort that planning a barn requires, only to discover that the barn you’re planning is too large to meet your local zoning laws.

Additionally, if your property isn’t yet zoned for horses, you will have to go through the zoning approval process, which can be lengthy. If you’re thinking about building a horse barn on your property, it is best to start investigating zoning first before beginning your planning.

Work with an Experienced Contractor

When you’re building a horse barn, you want to do it right. Working with an experienced barn contractor can help ensure that the project goes well and that the end result is safe, functional, and in line with your dream barn.

It’s so important that when you choose a contractor, you look for someone who is not only experienced in building barns, but who is experienced in building horse barns. The specifications for and inner workings of a horse barn are very different from an average barn, and simple mistakes such as making stalls too small or aisles too narrow can have major implications on the barn’s functionality and safety.

Additionally, you may want to work with an equine architect who can help you to plan and envision your entire facility’s layout. A good equine architect can look at the entire facility’s functionality, ensuring that other buildings and pastures are located in a way that will keep your facility running smoothly.

Develop Detailed Plans

Good, detailed planning is key to your barn building project’s success. In addition to having a master plan for your property, you will want more detailed plans of the barn itself. When planning your barn, think about which amenities and features you want, and be sure to plan for them accordingly.

As you plan, start with more general plans outlining the location of stalls, doors, and aisles. Then, get detailed – calculate measurements and identify where smaller features, such as tack systems, feed storage bins, stall corner feeders, electrical outlets, and other elements will be found.

Thanks to our firsthand experience with and knowledge of a wide range of barn equipment, we at Classic Equine Equipment are happy to provide you with advice and help during your barn building process. We can create a 3-D rendering of your barn’s layout, allowing you to see what the interior of your barn will look like before you ever start to build. Let us help you bring the barn of your dreams to life.

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Tips for Marketing Your Sale Horse

May 13th, 2015

horse nature

Selling a horse can take time, but the more effectively you market your sale horse, the better your chance of finding your horse a new home quickly. These techniques can help you to market your sale horse more effectively.

Take Quality Sale Photos and Videos

Sale photos and videos of your horse are a necessity for marketing him well. If you don’t have good sale photos posted with your horse’s ad, you can be guaranteed that they will be the first thing that any interested buyer asks for. Before you begin marketing your horse, take the time to get quality sale photos and videos. Thanks to the power of DSLR cameras, getting good footage is something just about anyone can do, but if you doubt whether you’ll be able to get great materials, then consider hiring a professional photographer or videographer.

Enter Local Competitions

If you are marketing a show horse, then entering him in local competitions can be a good way to get him noticed and spread the word of his availability for sale. Of course, you want to be sure that the horse is well-prepared for the competitions so that there’s a good chance he will put in a positive performance. In some cases you may be lucky enough to head home from the competition with the phone numbers of interested potential buyers.

Take Advantage of Online Classified Ads

The internet has revolutionized marketing sale horses, and there are countless online classified ad sites which allow you to market your horse for a low cost. Research a few of the top horse classified sites and take a look at the types of horses advertised on them. When you find a site that you think your horse will fit in nicely on, consider taking out an ad.

Use the Power of Facebook

While there are plenty of paid online horse sale classified sites, there’s also Facebook. Countless groups have cropped up over the years which are dedicated solely to advertising – for free – horses for sale. These groups often have a geographic focus, so you can tailor your approach to target horse buyers who are most likely to be interested in your horse, rather than advertising to the entire internet.

The power of social networking is also evident in the number of horse owners who simply post a for-sale ad on their own Facebook wall. If you are well-connected with other horse friends on Facebook, your friends may share your post or tag people who they feel might be interested in your horse. You might be surprised at how powerful a networking and marketing tool Facebook has come to be.

When marketing your horse for sale, the more marketing strategies that you can put to use, the better. Hopefully your horse will sell quickly, freeing up an open horse stall in your barn.

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4 Barn Purchases Worth the Splurge

May 11th, 2015

4 Barn Purchases Worth the Splurge

When building your barn, it can be tempting to splurge in your purchases. We’d all love a luxurious barn filled with energy-saving efficient designs and accessories, but that’s not always an affordable option. When deciding where to splurge on your barn versus where to save your money, think about which investments will pay off in the long run. Let’s take a look at a few splurges that can pay off later.

StableComfort System

The StableComfort System can pay off big-time in terms of the ease of cleaning stalls and a reduced bedding bill. This stall mattress system provides a rubber crumb-filled mattress base, which is covered by a ¼” thick rubber impregnated top cover. This revolutionary system provides excellent cushion to your horses, meaning that you only have to use bedding as absorption. With less bedding use, you slash your bedding bill and reduce your stall cleaning time as well.

Ultimate Tack System

Space is valuable in any barn, and no matter how large you build your tack room, it always seems to get crowded and unorganized. The Ultimate Tack System is an innovative way to keep your tack organized while conserving space. This system can pay off by allowing you to store more equipment in your tack room, rather than having to initially build a larger tack room or invest in additional storage space.

Quality Horse Stalls

When you build your barn, you want it to last. There’s no area in your barn that takes as much wear and tear as your horse stalls do, so this is one area where you should absolutely splurge for top quality. Investing in stalls made from quality materials, such as those from Classic Equine Equipment, means greater durability and a longer lifespan. Stalls are a major investment; by buying quality stalls, you prolong their life and avoid having to replace them unnecessarily.

Rubber Aisle Pavers

Both you and your horses spend a lot of time traveling over and standing in your barn aisle, so it’s important to make the footing of the aisle as safe as possible. Investing in rubber aisle pavers for the aisle’s surface provides traction, cushion, and excellent durability, keeping your barn aisle looking great. Additionally, rubber aisle pavers can be perfect for other areas of your barn, including in your wash stall. When it comes to footing, never cut corners – your horse’s safety depends on it.

Splurging a little bit in key areas of your barn can pay off in the long run. Which areas do you plan to splurge on as you build your dream barn?

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How Many Acres Do You Need for Your Barn?

May 8th, 2015


Before you start planning out your horse barn, it’s important to make sure that the property you will be building on has enough acreage to successfully support the barn’s daily operations. When housing horses, how much land is too little, and how much is just enough? Consider these points before building your barn.

Look into Zoning Laws

Before starting your planning, look into the restrictions of your local zoning laws. Zoning laws differ greatly, so it’s important to fully understand the laws governing your area. For instance, some zoning laws specify a minimum amount of acreage per horse, while others designate that the property must have 10 acres for the first horse, than an additional acre for each subsequent horse. There may be additional stipulations regarding minimum distance between horse pastures or manure piles and your property line, too.

Even if your property meets the specifications of your zoning laws, carefully consider how much space your horses will need to be healthy and comfortable. The general rule of thumb for minimum acreage per horse is 1 acre of pasture per horse. Remember, too, that the space your barn is on will be in addition to that pasture acreage. If you want to keep your pastures in good condition by rotating their use, then additional acreage will be necessary.

Calculate Additional Space Needs

The barn and pastures are not the only space that you’ll need for your facilities. If you plan on installing a riding arena, you will need significant space. Standard arenas begin at 100 x 200 feet, while competition jumping arenas can be as large as 660 x 660 feet.

Think carefully about the other features that a functioning horse facility needs. At the very minimum you will need a manure management system, access roads, space for vehicle storage, and a parking area by your barn. These all add up to significant space demands.

Think About Usable Space

Lastly, remember that just because your property consists of a certain number of acres doesn’t mean that you will be able to use all of that space. Geographical issues like low-lying land, rocky land, hills, streams, and other issues can pose a problem to construction and may limit the land’s practical use.

When deciding whether a particular property is large enough to support a barn and horses, it is best to create a map of the property. Factor in which areas of the property will be unusable, and diagram out how you can use the resulting space.

Building a barn on small acreage can absolutely be done, but detailed planning is key to your project’s success.

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Tips to Help the Ring Sour Horse

May 7th, 2015

Young girl riding horse

Riding a ring sour horse doesn’t make for the most enjoyable time. Unfortunately, being ring sour is a problem that affects many horses, especially those in serious training. Want to improve your horse’s ring sour behavior? Here’s how.

Understanding Why a Horse is Ring Sour

Most horses become ring sour out of boredom. If you have been riding your horse in the same indoor arena all winter, working hard on preparing for the upcoming show season, then it could be that your horse is bored with both the scenery and the training techniques. Lesson horses also often become ring sour, generally because of the physical and mental demands of teaching and tolerating inexperienced riders.

Physical pain can also manifest in symptoms that may lead you to guess that a horse is ring sour at first. A ring sour horse generally displays an unpleasant attitude when put to work, a reluctance to cooperate and move forward, and a general misbehavior under saddle. These can also be symptoms of a horse who is in pain, though, so before you decide that a horse is ring sour, have him checked out for overall comfort.

Changing Up the Ring

One of the best ways to overcome ring sour behavior is to ride your horse somewhere else. Getting out of the ring for a trail ride can give both you and your horse a much-needed mental break. If you’ve been schooling in a particular ring for months, then try to ride in a different arena for a while to see if the change of scenery helps.

Changing Activities

In addition to getting out of the ring, changing up your activities can help to break the boredom that causes a horse to be ring sour. If you have to keep riding in the same ring, try to introduce new aspects to your rides. Rather than focusing on your daily training, change things up by incorporating things like trot poles or road cones.

Alternating your riding days with groundwork sessions can help to introduce the variety that your horse needs. Additionally, you can break things up a bit by doing activities that you wouldn’t otherwise do with your horse. For instance, if you’re schooling dressage, introduce a few low jumps on occasion. If you ride Western pleasure, think about setting up some equine agility obstacles to add some variety.

When it comes to helping the ring sour horse, changing up your riding routing and surroundings is key. Be patient and do your best to keep as much variety in your routine as possible.


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