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 […]
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 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 […]
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 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 […]
The bad news: winter is coming. The good news: winter is coming!
And this is a great opportunity to work on all those little exercises you haven’t had time for during the warmer months. Some are more work, some are more play, but they’re all great activities that will strengthen your horse, yourself, and your teamwork.
Gymnastic poles. Most suitable for those with an indoor arena, setting up gymnastic poles, whether they are on the ground or in jump standards, are useful for every horse and rider team. Not a jumper? No problem. Use […]
Your horse is made to chew.
Over millions of years of evolution, your delicate equine has perfected many things: galloping, jumping, spooking at plastic bags. But above all else, horses are champion chewers. They have 36 to 44 teeth (interestingly, this number is a moving target) that grow by several millimeters each year, all positioned in precise locations to bite, chew, and grind food — specifically, grasses. The average healthy horse has enough tooth in reserve to get him through about thirty years of life.
And if he was spending thirty years grazing his way through a pasture, that […]
We all have the muscles to prove that we’re horsepeople.
Biceps are part of the job description, whether we’re mucking stalls, stacking hay, or just grooming our horses. But every now and then, even the most stalwart horseman can get faced with a horse so indescribably a dirt-ball, not even our own considerable elbow grease is up to the challenge.
In warm weather, high pressure from a hose might do the trick to remove those layers of grime. But if you don’t have time for a bath, or if the temperature has dropped past […]