Stall Door Types: Pros and Cons

When you’re designing your stable, seemingly hundreds of tiny details become very large decisions. Stall doors are one of those decisions that can affect your daily life at the barn, whether it’s your business or your hobby. Sliding, Dutch, grills, yokes — what’s the best stall door for you?

Sliding doors (as shown in the French Hill Farm project) are popular in barns and often come in prefab stall kits. They take up less space because they don’t intrude on the barn aisle, making it easier to lead or cross-tie horses in the aisle. Because you […]

Where Should I Feed My Horse Hay?

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Hay nets, hay racks, hay feeders, hay bags, hay on the ground… it seems like the only thing we can agree on as equestrians is that horses need hay. The science of actually feeding that hay can get pretty complicated and pretty opinionated, pretty quickly! Some horsemen swear by hay nets, but others never really master the art of stuffing the flimsy things. Others prefer a trough feeder or a mat on the ground, saying that horses shouldn’t reach up for hay. And busy boarding stables often swear by hay racks, which allow for quick, efficient feeding by grooms […]

Time-Saving Tips for the Barn

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The equestrian lifestyle is not for those afraid of work. Whether you have a staff of grooms or you’re mucking out after work every day, there’s going to be a certain level of physical labor in your life as long as horses are involved. Sometimes, it seems like there’s too much horsekeeping being done to get any horse-enjoyment in! That’s when a few minutes saved on daily tasks can start to add up very quickly.

Strap Down the Scissors: Yes, you can break open a hay bale by using a piece of baling […]

Cool Tips for Summer Riding

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As the dog days of summer roll in, nothing seems less appealing than putting on leather boots and a hard hat before a nice broiling ride in the sun. But training schedules wait for no one, and if you’re prepping for the fall show season, you know you can’t give up riding just because of a little sweat. (Okay, a lot of sweat.) Luckily, there are plenty of options these days to make summer riding, if not a breeze, then a lot more comfortable.

Go techie: Technical fabrics are made to wick away moisture or allow […]

Getting Gray Horses Gray Again

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Gray horses do not want to be gray. They make this clear to us every time we turn around, seemingly — gray horses want to be brown, green, or black. They let us know their preference by rolling in whatever camouflage they can find, whether it’s fresh spring grass, an alluring pool of mud, or sadly, manure.

Since spring grass, brown mud, and manure are not accepted colors by any breed organization that I can think of, it falls upon we horse owners to get our horses cleaned up and back to their original colors before anyone else sees them […]

Deterring Tail-Chewing in Horses

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One thing most horse-people have in common, whether we rein or race, trail-ride or team pen — our horse’s tails must be long, flowing, and beautiful. We go to a lot of trouble to keep up our horse’s tails. Some people keep them braided and safe inside tail bags. Some people never brush a tail without spraying on detangler. Some people knot a tail up on a rainy day so that it doesn’t get muddy.

Which is what makes tail-chewing such an agonizing problem for the horseman. All of sudden, your horse’s flowing tail […]

Choosing Your Riding Arena’s Footing

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The footing we provide our horses is one of the most important aspects of a riding arena. The amount of concussion the footing absorbs from the horse’s legs, the quality of its drainage, even its life as the particles are tramped down through daily use, are all variables to consider and all you should evaluate. How do you choose your riding arena’s footing? Here are a few initial items to consider when looking at footing options.

Weather:
The climate will play a big role in choosing your ideal footing. Naturally in wet climates you’ll need […]

Bitless Bridles

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Exploring a bitless bridle option for your horse? It’s become more and more common, with technical bridles hitting the market that are a step away from the traditional hackamores that once dominated the shelves. A horse might benefit from a bitless bridle for any number of behavioral or physical problems. These include head-shaking, bolting, tooth grinding, or bone spurs in the mouth. If a bit is causing your horse any sort of pain, you definitely have options.

So what’s out there? Let’s look at a few bitless bridles and how they work.

The Dr. Cook […]