Thwart Horse Theft: Three Ways to Identify Your Horses

3:59 am
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Horse theft seems to be as popular these days as it was back in the Wild West. We may not call them rustlers any more, but we still have to be on high alert to protect our horses from thieves who might appear on foot or with a trailer, ready to open our gates, break into our barns, and take our horses from us. In a recent article, we talked about simple strategies to improve security around the barn. Now, let’s look at a few simple ways to mark your horses as your property.

Microchips: Microchipping horses […]

Hay, Vitamins, and Winter Needs for Horses

3:46 am
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Feeding horses in the winter: it can be a joyless activity for the humans in the barn, depending on where those humans live! Rising before the sun to tramp through the snow, wrestle open the barn doors, and coax water through the pipes is hardly anyone’s idea of fun, but we do it year after year, because we love our horses.
Horses are generally happy to eat no matter what the season, although their menus may change quite a bit between July and January. Even if work levels remain the same throughout the year, their dietary needs adjust as […]

Home Hoofcare Essentials

3:43 am
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No hoof, no horse. We all know the saying, and we all know how maddeningly true it is. You walk into the barn, midway through a great training week, and your horse greets you with a naked hoof where there ought to be a shoe. Or worse, a half-naked hoof, with a shoe hanging on by a few loose nails.

Every equestrian needs a home hoofcare kit, something that can help you sort out minor hoof problems until your farrier can visit your farm. Whether it’s pulling off a loose shoe, or smoothing down a rough clinch, you […]

Destress with Grooming

7:54 am
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To continue from my last post on grooming, www.equinefacilitydesign.com/equine-care/tips-winter-horse-grooming, are you looking for a way to de-stress in 2016? Go to the barn and get out your grooming kit.

Scientific studies have shown that humans enjoy reduced levels of cortisol — that’s the stress hormone — after spending time working with horses. Of course, if horses become your job, or your horse has done something to cause you stress (injury, breaking fences, destroying expensive blankets in the dead of winter), you’re probably not enjoying quite the same mental health benefits as […]

Three New Time-Saving Barn Tips

6:46 am
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Looking for a few ways to save time on barn chores and grooming? With the myriad of daily tasks barn life requires, every second counts. We’ve showcased a few tips before, and here are three new time-saving barn tips to streamline your equestrian life.

Cross-picking: Picking hooves daily is a must-do chore. Shave some time off your grooming by cross-picking. Usually any racehorses or ex-police horses in your barn will already know this trick. Just try picking up all four hooves from the left side, swinging the far hooves just a little […]

Choosing Saddle Pads

8:03 am
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In an ideal world, the only thing between your horse and your saddle would be a simple cotton cloth — the better to keep your saddle from getting too sweaty and dirty.
In the real world, no horse is built the same, and no saddle can fit every horse, which makes the vast universe of gel pads, half pads, therapeutic pads, keyhole pads, and every other sort of saddle pad imaginable such a profitable enterprise. It’s a rare tack room that isn’t stocked with at least a dozen different saddle pads. So what’s the best way to choose […]

Stable Relationships: Dogs and Horses

8:58 pm
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Dogs and horses just go together — at least, it seems like they should. Art over the centuries has certainly romanticized the dog/horse/human companionship as the epitome of the sporting or outdoor life. But do dogs really belong in the barn (or in the pastures, or on the trails, or in your arena?)

The answer depends, of course, on the dog and on the horse. If you’re considering introducing your dog to your horse, here are a few steps to help ensure the meeting goes well.

Obedience: Before you take your newest pound puppy to the […]

Tips for Winter Horse Grooming

11:30 am
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Do you have a fuzzy horse in your barn this winter? Will you be blanketing as covered in my earlier post, http://equinefacilitydesign.com/equine-care/horse-winter-blanket.htm? Long coats call for special grooming strategies. A long winter coat is perfect for beating the winter wind and snow off your horse’s back, but it calls for extra attention when you’re exercising and training during the cold months. Long coats can hide dander, dried sweat, and dirt — which can make your horse itchy and uncomfortable. You’ll need the right tools for the job if you want […]

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