If I’ve owned a horse that was eligible for registration I’ve always registered it. Though I know many people who don’t, I’ve never understood why. Yes, it costs money but the benefits have always seemed to well outweigh any disadvantages. With the number of registered horses declining for most breed registries, let’s look at why I consider registration to be advantageous for you and your horse. Continue reading
Thankfully, a loose shoe hasn’t happened to me in a very long time but when it has happened it has always been at the most inconvenient time. Here are some tips for dealing with a loose shoe before the farrier arrives.
Helpful tools: Nail clincher, small hammer, duct tape or boot, rasp, and clinch cutter
Perhaps you noticed it as you were cleaning out your horse’s hooves just before your ride, which is when I always seem to discover mine, or maybe you heard it during your warm up at the beginning of your ride. Regardless, for a shoe that is only somewhat loose often times all that is needed for a band aid approach is a pair of clinches and a small hammer. Just as you have likely seen you farrier do hundreds of times, tighten each of the nails with your clinch. For any nails that were slightly looser than the others, lightly tapping them down with your small hammer can do just the trick. Of course each situation is different but in most cases you won’t have to completely postpone your ride for a shoe in this condition. Instead, keep close to home, monitor the shoe often, and dial back your ride to something light on good footing.
Shoes that are moderately loose will cause your ride to be postponed. In this case the hoof and shoe will need to be wrapped. I’ve used duct tape with good success but it does have its limitations and will require frequent changes if it will come in contact with damp or wet surfaces or corrosive surfaces such as rock or gravel. Boots can be a good option of you have one that can be worn over shoes.
Shoes that are extremely loose will need to be pulled altogether. If you’re unsure how to do it correctly, have your farrier demonstrate the method for you the next time he or she is out for a regularly scheduled visit. Wrapping or booting the shoe may be necessary to protect the hoof until your horse can be reshod. It should go without saying that your horse should also not be ridden until your farrier has visited and reattached the shoe.
Even if your horse’s regularly scheduled visit with the farrier is weeks away, place a call to him or her alerting them of the situation and arrange for them to come out early before the loose shoe causes any damage.
Two friends recently lost treasured horses. I don’t envy what they are going through right now. It’s never easy. I love all horses and have wept for the loss of even those that I have not had quite the connection with that I have shared with others. But then there are those who somehow touch your heart. Those horses are the ones who become a part of your family. It’s easy to recognize that they changed your life for the better. Continue reading
Lately, I have seen many social media posts about how many calories are burned for the many different aspects of owning and riding a horse. Reading those posts can be deceptive, especially if you are trying to lose weight or stay fit. While not completely untruthful, mucking stalls and thirty minutes of horseback riding spent walking, trotting, and cantering does burn a considerable number of calories, the truth, at least for me anyway, is that farm work and riding alone aren’t always enough to keep you riding fit. Continue reading
Following a great training session, I bent down to remove the splint boots from my horse’s legs. As I loosened the fasteners I thought to myself, “I need to call Joanne. She would really love to hear about this.” Thirty years of doing something becomes a habit. I had forgotten for a brief moment, as I sometimes do, that back in May I had lost my longtime friend and mentor. I stopped when the realization hit me. Oh. Grief is sneaky like that. Even if you are well past the initial shock and feel as if you have made peace with it, it can come upon you at the most unexpected of moments.
You arrive at the show grounds the evening before the show begins. It’s late and you’re tired. You just want to get everything unloaded. But could you be putting your horse at risk just by putting him in a stall? The answer is yes.
By now you know that ringworm (tinea) in horses is not actually caused by a worm. Instead, it’s a fungal infection whose symptoms may include scaly, crusty areas of your horse’s skin or raised, hairless patches usually seen along the sides of the neck or on areas where your saddle and/or girth come in contact with your horse’s skin. The fungus responsible is of the Microsporum and Trichophyton species. But did you also know that discovering a case of ringworm doesn’t always mean that you have to rush to purchase the latest and greatest over the counter treatment? Continue reading