Rescue Horses

8:55 pm
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“Why would anyone buy a horse,” you often hear, “When there are so many for free?”

It’s true, free and almost-free horses abound in our economy, and anyone with a Facebook account and a couple of horsey friends is probably inundated with a dozen requests a day to volunteer, donate, adopt, foster, or at the very least share the image of a horse in need. And articles about adopted horses and auction “finds” who are transformed into show-ring stars are becoming cover material for major equestrian magazines. In the face of all this peer pressure […]

Foal Proofing the Farm

Baby-Proofing the Barn

It’s January, and 2014 foals are coming any day now. (Unless you already have a 2014 foal, in which case, wow — that’s some impressive timing!) Are you ready for your four-legged bundle of joy? Make sure you’ve done your baby-proofing. With a human baby, you get a few months in which to remember to buy those foam strips and put covers on the electric outlets. But foals begin a path of banging, bumping, and general destruction within hours of birth — so the time to check out your barn and […]

Basic First Aid Kit Essentials

7:00 am
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Horse owners are traditionally the most DIY of animal-lovers.

Hands up if your vet has ever looked at you and said “You know how to take stitches out, right?” or if you see them more for a scheduled drop-off of prescription medicines than for emergencies.

But even if you prefer to let the professionals take care of the messy business of treating wounds and checking vitals, there are certain first aid must-haves that no stable can be without. Unless you have a veterinarian on staff, at some point you will find yourself with an emergency […]

Christmas Guide

9:47 pm
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Christmas time is here,

and that means holiday cheer and lots and lots of shopping. (Which all horsemen and horsewomen have plenty of spare time for, of course.) The Black Friday jingles were catchy, I suppose, but let’s face it, there was very little on sale this past weekend that would positively warm the cockles of your trainer’s heart, or let your groom know how much you care.

Horse people want horse things!

Luckily, the Internet is here to help. We’ve found several comprehensive lists of the best equestrian gifts of 2013, with everything from […]

Earth-Friendly Horse Bedding Alternatives

12:02 am
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Horse bedding: for many horse-owners, it’s pretty straightforward.

Wood shavings tend to be the most popular bedding used for show and pleasure horses; straw tends to be the most popular bedding used for race and breeding horses. In an industry where tradition is king, we’ve been experimenting with different types of bedding for years, but never straying too far from the beaten path.

But are straw and shavings as good as we can do for our horses and our farms? Increasingly, curious scientists, horsemen, and entrepreneurs are seeking out new alternative (and sometimes ancient) forms […]

Cold Weather and Your Horse’s Drinking Water

4:30 pm
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Cold water — ah, so refreshing on a hot summer’s day.

You slip out of the saddle and grab the water bottle out of the tack room fridge, letting the iciness slide down your throat and freeze your brain. You grab a sponge and squeeze it over your sweaty horse’s head, neck, and chest, offer him a drink from the hose while you get busy cooling him down. He wants more water than you’ll let him have, grabbing the hose with his teeth, pulling on it while you laugh and tug back.

(Later you’ll regret […]

Winter Horseshoe Options

10:54 pm
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Ah, it’s time for winter shoes.

Bring out the boots: waterproof, shearling-lined, insulated, bulky boots. The ones for stomping through mud and slush and snow for another season. Put away your flip-flops; hide them somewhere, you don’t want to be reminded of them mid-winter, or you’ll find yourself on a plane to the Caribbean before you’ve sorted out a barn-sitter.

But what about your horse? His winter boots need consideration, too. From occasional ice to heavy snows, no matter where you live, if the seasons are affecting your choice in […]

Winter Leather Care

5:36 pm
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Winter is nothing but trouble.

Horses are determined to grow into wooly teddy bears, blankets get muddy and ripped, buckets and water troughs freeze. And of course, winter comes with its own set of problems for our leather saddles and bridles, to say nothing of our boots.

It’s not just the constant temperature dives and climbs that can damage tack. Indoor arenas keep tack dry, but often dust seems to accompany every ride, no matter how well-watered the footing is kept. And riding outdoors through a medley of rain, ice, and snow (not to mention road […]

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