Archive for the ‘Horses’ Category

Natural Horse Products

When you’re looking after someone, it is only natural to want to provide them with the best care possible. This need is further magnified when you are charged with the well being of something as sensitive as a horse.

Despite their large bulk, horses are particularly sensitive to the chemicals and other ingredients in manufactured products that can bring about ill effects in them, often resulting in devastating deaths which could have been easily avoided.

With increasing awareness towards the needs of animals, everyone has started going back to their original roots and utilizing nature to get the perfect products for their four hoofed friends. If you’re also in search of the natural products for your horse, you should definitely try the following four products.

All Natural Horse Hoof Sprays and Salves

Oftentimes, horses are subjected to conditions where they might have to spend some time standing in mud or dirty bedding. Prolonged exposure to such conditions can cause a fungal hoof infection to develop. However, in some rare cases, hoof conditions can occur even in the most pristine of living conditions. In such scenarios, natural made horse hoof sprays and salves are your best friends.

Using sprays with manufactured or synthetic ingredients can often backfire and cause deterioration in the hoof by also eating away healthy tissue. Instead of permanently laming the horse, try to opt for something which is made from all natural ingredients like White Willow, Oregano Oil, Calendula and other herbs. These herbs are effective in controlling and eliminating the problem without causing the horse to suffer from any other side effects.

hoof spray

 

All Natural Horse Manes and Hair Shampoos

Everyone needs baths to stay clean and the same is true for horses, particularly when said horse is being groomed and prepped for a horse show. Unfortunately, it is possible for a horse to get an allergic reaction of some kind to the ingredients used in shampoos and coast manufactured with synthetic ingredients.

In severe cases, this can even result in the horse going bald in some areas of their coat or experience such severe irritation that it could cause them to rub off most of their manes or tails. Investing in a shampoo that has tea tree, aloe vera, rosemary, lavender, and other soothing herbal oils and essences can ensure that your horse’s coat remains shiny, glossy, and healthy.

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All Natural Pest Sprays

Pests such as flies, fleas, and ticks are extremely troublesome for horses since being stabled turns the horses into perfect targets for them. Flies in particular are known to annoy horses and sting them occasionally too. Although most owners prefer to spray heir horses coats or surroundings, it can also make the horse suffer from an allergic reaction, get a skin irritation, or require more than one dose for it to be effective.

With the help of products that have natural extracts like Comfrey, Calendula, Plantain and other soothing extracts, you’ll find that your four-hoofed friend not only stays safe from the flies but also stays safe of any skin irritations and allergic reactions.

pest spray

If you have any suggestions regarding all natural products that are horse friendly, feel free to share your opinion about them in the comments section below.

 

 

Horse Health – How to Properly Care For Your Horse

Horses are sensitive and gentle animals that need your constant attention and care to stay happy and healthy. Taking proper care of your stallion is extremely important to ensure its health and well being for many years to come. A daily regime of care, grooming, and exercise will not only keep your horse healthy, but it will also keep any harmful diseases and ailments at bay. Read on to find out what you can do to give your horse the care and love it deserves.

Regular Grooming

Daily grooming is an absolute must to keep your horse healthy, and it will also help you forge a deep bond of friendship with your horse in no time! It takes approximately 30 minutes to groom your horse, and the practice includes brushing and combing the coat, checking the body for any cuts or bruises, and inspection of the teeth, hooves, and eyes. Give them a bath at least every week, and after riding or training, make sure that you brush and tend to them.

horse-grooming

Exercising

Lack of exercise can not only make your horse lazy and lethargic, but it can also make it’s hooves dried and flaky. If you can, take your horse for rides daily. However, don’t over train your horse, as it may result in soreness. Horses like to roam around in an open space; therefore, don’t keep them confined in the stable all the time. Let them roam around the pasture as they please in order to keep them refreshed and healthy.

Checking the Hooves

Foot and hoof care is an essential part of grooming your horse and taking care of its health. Inspect the hooves regularly, and take your horse to a farrier every now and then for a professional opinion on shoes, etc. The hooves also need trimming every six weeks or so, but make sure you get professional help to do so!

Keeping the Stall Clean

The stalls need to be clean and comfortable at all times to avoid breeding of pests and mosquitoes. Regularly check the shavings and straws and clean up any wet areas immediately to keep the area odor free and fresh. Also, make sure that the feed and water bucket is clean and full at all times.

Vaccination and Pest Control

After every few months, book an appointment with the veterinarian to ensure that your horse is healthy and in top shape. Get your horse vaccinated for common diseases, and in order to prevent any ailments and contagious diseases by checking for symptoms regularly. Runny eyes, discharge from the nose or coughing and weakness are common symptoms that indicate that your horse is not feeling well. In case you notice any unusual pattern in their behavior, take them to the vet for a proper and detailed check up. Contagious diseases can spread from one horse to another, therefore, in case there is a sick horse in the stable, keep it separated from the rest of the herd.

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Choosing the Right Vet – Small Animal Vet vs Large Animal Vet

Caring for your horse’s well being and health requires choosing the right vet for the job. A veterinarian can best assess your horse’s health, prescribe medication and vaccinations to keep any ailments and diseases at bay, and address small problems in the initial stages so that they do not grow into any larger complications.

Typically, there are two kinds of vets. Small animal vets are more accustomed to grooming and taking care of smaller animals like cats, dogs, guinea pigs, etc. On the other hand, large animal vets are specialized in working with larger farm animals like horses and cows. Therefore, it is normally more feasible to get the services of a large animal vet in order to keep your horse happy, healthy, and fit at all times.

If you are facing any sort of trouble choosing the right vet for your horse, go through the following tips and guidelines to make the best choice!

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Do you research! Before selecting the services of a veterinarian, it is important that you conduct a background check to be sure that your vet is not only good at their job, but also loving and caring when tending to your animals. Ask other horse owners in your area about their behavior and treatment plan, you can also check the Internet for feedback and references about a particular vet in your locality.

-Experience is the key to making the right choice. Choose a vet who holds both experience and expertise in dealing with horses. Also, it is a good idea to select a vet who specializes in the particular breed of your horse. He/ she can be better assess the care and attention that your horse needs. A small animal vet will not specialize in dealing with farm animals particularly horses, and this may result in a misdiagnosis. Therefore, in order to ensure that your horse gets the best at all times, choose a large animal vet.

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-Assess their availability. When choosing a vet, it is important that you pay attention to their accessibility. It if often difficult to transport a horse to a veterinary hospital, especially if the horse is sick. Therefore, a vet who can come to you in an emergency is a must to cater to any unfortunate situations and circumstances. Large animal vets are normally available for duty most of the time and can tend to animals even at odd hours. On the other hand, small animal vets usually practice at fixed timings and schedules.

-Ask for their qualifications and the medical equipment they possess. Make sure that your vet is qualified and registered, and the vaccination he/she uses are also registered and up-to-date. Vets with portable medical equipments such as x-ray machines are preferable, as they are especially useful when your horse has experienced a particularly severe injury or fracture

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At the end of the day, communication is the key! A vet who is warm, friendly, gently, and open in their approach, communication, and attitude, and has the ability to make quick house calls in case of an urgent need, is a vet that you need to ensure the well being of your horse for years to come!

 

Famous Horses Throughout History

The history between man and his loyal horse stretches back to centuries. Horses have played a major role in carving the human history, be it in terms of bravery, honor, or companionship. From wars and battalions, to famous racing and sporting events, and from mythological characters to Hollywood movies-horses have always occupied the center stage because of their loyalty and courage.

History is full of the names of stallions that have contributed to mankind in one way or other, and following are some of the most noteworthy names that come to mind when it comes to the famous horses in history. Each one of these horses is a class apart when it comes to bravery and courage in face of epic challenges. Take a look:

Bucephalus

Synonymous to perfection, glory, and power, Bucephalus was the horse of Alexander The Great. Known for his power, nobody could train and tame the fearless horse other than the brave Alexander. The city Bucephala was founded by Alexander and his loyal horse, thus cementing the name of this faithful and brave stallion in the realms of history. To this date, Bucephalus is considered to be the king of all horses and is one of the most prominent names amongst famous horses throughout history.

Bucephalus

Man O’ War

Man O’ War is considered to be one of the finest thoroughbred race horses that the world has seen in the last few centuries. The stallion with his glorifying physique and powerful stature, managed to win 20 out of the 21 races he competed in. Proudly ranked amongst the top 100 Thoroughbred Champions in the United States for the 20th century, Man O’ War was definitely distinguished in a class of his own. The name Man O’ War has been present in the National Museum of Racing Hall Fame since 1956.

man o war

Comanche

Giving courage and bravery an entirely new image, Comanche emerged as the sole survivor the epic and bloody battle of the Little Bighorn. Comanche survived severe injuries in the war but still managed to survive for two days before he was rescued and nursed back to health. The horse is monument-ed in the University of Kansas’s Museum to pay homage to his undying spirit and bravery.

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Dan Patch

Racing horses are in a different and unique league of their own, and the name of Dan Patch requires no introduction the regard. Throughout his lifetime he broke over 14 different world records, and his zeal and speed always attracted thousands of spectators to catch a glimpse of him on the race course.

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Mr. Ed

One of the most popular figures on television; a lot of us have grown up watching and revering the famous talking horse, Mr. Ed on television. A fictional character of the 1960’s, Mr. Ed was a horse that was shown talking to his master throughout the series. The popularity of this horse stretched around the globe, making it one of the most -loved horses in the history of Hollywood.

mr. ed

Horse Breeding – How to Choose the Right Breeder

Breeding your horse, especially your mare, needs thorough attention and research on the horse owners part. Not only do you have to consider the breed of the horse, but also other factors like it’s genes, behavior, color, conformation, etc. to make the right choice for your mare. Before choosing the horse itself, selecting the breeding farm is a very important matter that requires your utmost attention to ensure healthy breeding.

The following tips can help you select the right breeder for your horse and make way for a strong and healthy foal. Remember, it’s not always about the looks- You need to select a breeding farm where you can be assured of a good match for your horse on all accounts.

1. Ask around or research in magazines, equine publications, or the Internet for quality breeding farms near your area. Visit the farm in person and take a look at all the horses there. Do not go for a stallion just because it is beautiful or it’s color attracts you- the temperament, behavior, and manner of the horse are also very important factors that need to be kept in mind.

2. Make sure that you inquire about the complete history of the horse that you select for breeding. This includes its medical and health information, vaccination schedule, any previous breeding history, etc. You can also look at any past foals of your selected horse to get a more practical idea of what you should expect.

3. The health and well-being of your horse should be your first priority. Get the selected breeder checked for any physical defects or health problems. Also check for any birth defects or behavioral disorders. You should also make sure that your selected horse is vaccinated by a registered veterinarian and does not possess any contagious ailments or transmittable diseases.

4. First think of what you are looking for in a foal and then choose a breeder keeping in mind requirements and needs. For example, if you are looking for specific breeds like Arabian or Palomino, or wish for a foal that can compete in racing tournaments etc, search for a stallion that fulfills these requirements and can transfer the genes.

5. Ask for advice and guidance regarding the breeding procedure and bloodlines if you do not have any prior experience. Certain bloodlines cross breed more easily and better than others, and there is always the compatibility factors that you need to have in mind.

6. Last but not least, make sure your horse is ready for breeding and is in perfectly good health and age. You can take your mare for a physical examination with a vet, who can better assess whether she is ready for breeding. At the end of the day, it is all about he love and care that you put in to select the right breeder for your horse. If you pay proper attention, you can ensure the health and well being of both your horse and new-born foal. Best of luck!

 

Therapeutic Horse Riding

Horses are not only a loyal friend you can count upon, but they also prove to be amazing therapist’s! Loving and understanding, horse riding has been considered to be a therapeutic treatment for years now and handicapped individuals can find great solace and benefit in the companionship of a horse.

Therapeutic riding can benefit disabled individuals, especially children, both emotionally and psychologically. Over the years there have been thousands of cases in which bonding with a horse brought about positive psychological and behavioral changes in disabled persons. Several federations and organizations are also working actively throughout the world to aid handicapped individuals through therapeutic riding.

Benefits of Therapeutic Riding

Gentle and loving, horses are clearly the best companions that anybody can have. The effects of their company are most beneficial for those who are physically or mentally handicapped. Horses are naturally loving and amazing creatures, and their compassion and non-judgemental attitude helps disabled people come out of their shell and a enjoy a calm and relaxing environment.

Furthermore, horse riding as a therapy is particularly beneficial for those who cannot walk themselves. Riding on the horse can help them enjoy the smooth sensation of movement, and the rising experience also aids in the exercise of different muscles in the body.

Riding horses has resulted in a large numbers of miracles over the years, as many handicapped individuals start talking and expressing themselves more easily after spending time in the soothing company of a horse. horses help individuals connect and express their feeling in a language of their own; thereby easing any emotional complications and social barriers that are keeping them confined on their own. This also brings an improvement in their social interaction and behavior down the road.

Horses are great companions for people who are suffering from autism. Their gentle attitude and companionship immediately draws a person towards them, and stroking, riding, and caring for the horse can prove to be an extremely healthy and beneficial activity for the disabled. Horse riding therapy is a quiet yet relaxing way to help disabled people find a delightful hobby and strike a beautiful friendship.

Aside from the emotional advantages of therapeutic riding, the feeling of being outdoors and enjoying the relaxing environment, cool wind and grass, and the bounties of nature is also a peaceful and beautiful experience. Different from the depressing indoor setting of a therapist’s office, being outdoors in the sun with a loving horse by your side can be an instant mood lifter. Young children benefit most from this therapy, as being with a gentle and loving animal and caring for it on their own is an emotionally easing and interesting activity for them.

Spending time riding and tending to a horse is a joyous and miraculous activity that will let hours go by without you noticing it. You can be sure of a loving and soothing presence that will satisfy your heart and soul when you are out riding a horse!

Technology and Horses – Apps to Assist with Your Horse

The boom in technology has also given rise to a large number of smart phone applications that help you keep your stallion’s health and wellness in check. Check out the following popular apps to bond with your horse and keep all the essential information related to your stable close to you 24/7. These apps have successfully helped horse owners around the world with just a tap and a touch.

1. The Horse Box

Keep an updated portfolio of your horse safe with you while you are on the go. Keep track of your horses weight, height, breed, vitals, veterinarian contact details, and all other equine related information. You can also take and store pictures of your horse and upload them to popular social media websites through just a single touch! This is a perfect resource to store and share memories with your friends and family.

Horse Box

2. The horseRATION

For those horse owners who are looking for a perfect companion to keep track of the nutritional needs of their horse, horseRATION is the answer! Specifically designed to keep equine nutrition in check, this app keeps record of your horse’s body condition, behavior, and health status. Based on this information, it guides you in deciding the right diet and nutritional choices for your horse. This is a perfect app for new horse owners!

3. Horse Rider SOS

Riding for long hours and going on lengthy trips is one benefit of owning a horse, and for all of those riding enthusiasts out there, the Horse Rider SOS app is an absolute essential! It is especially useful for beginners. This app works like magic if you get stranded or find yourself in trouble when going on long trail rides.

Horses can be unpredictable at times, and in case you get injured or lost while you are miles away from home, this app will alert a list of your predefined emergency contacts. This app will continuously monitor your activity during your ride, and in case you fall off your horse or lose consciousness, this apps safety mechanics will be triggered and your emergency contacts will be alerted.

This app is powered by GPS, and is a handy addition for all those horse owners who are always up for some adventure and thrill.

4. Stable Mate

Update your schedule and manage all the grooming and healthy care needs of your horses through a single tap on your smart phone. Stable Mate not only lets you manage your day-to-day horse health care regime, but also keeps you acquainted and updated with the latest equine related news from around the globe. You can update your horse records on this app with just a tap, and also stay abreast with all the information that you need to know about the care of wellness of horses.

From pest control, health tips, dietary suggestions and riding advice, stable mate keeps you connected with thousands of horse owners and experts around the clock.

 

 

Pests That Can Invade a Barn and How to Avoid Them

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Pests and insects in a barn can not only be frustrating, but also very hazardous for your horses health and well being. Proper sanitation and maintaining cleanliness is the main consideration that you should have in mind in order to minimize the breeding of these pests and ensure a clean and healthy environment for your horses.

Read through the following list to learn about the common pests that can invade your barn, and the safety measures that you can take to avoid them:

Stable Flies

Stable Flies

Stable flies breed in fermenting matter, manure, moisture, and decaying straw inside of the barn. They are vicious biters, and mostly bite the legs of the horse. Stable flies can cause blood loss, swamp fever, and summer sores in horses. Their bites often result in wounds that prove to be difficult to heal. Cleanliness is the main key to eradicate the problem of stable flies in the barn, and the occasional spraying of insecticides, preferably natural or organic, also help a great deal in this regard.

Biting Gnats and Buffalo Gnats

Gnats, with their small size are often very hard to pick, but they are the most painful and dangerous pests to attack horses. They suck on their blood and their painful bite can cause wounds and impending pain to the horse. You can use insecticides to avoid the occurrence of gnats, and direct application of pesticides to the horses’ bodies through sprays or wipes is also helpful.

Horse Flies and Deer Flies

Horse flies and deer flies are another species of biting flies that result in painful wounds and blood loss in horses. Horses tend to get restless and irritated after the bite, and as the flies continue to suck on the wound, infections may also occur which make the horse lose weight, become weak and face fatigue in the long run. Insecticides and fly repellents can be used on the horses bodies’ to keep these pests away. Also, regularly clean the barns and stalls, and keep an eye out for their eggs in order to reduce the breeding of these pests in the first place.

House Flies and Face Flies

House flies are common carriers of germs and bacteria that can cause contagious diseases to spread and result in infections amongst horses. House flies are most commonly attracted towards dirt and rotting manure, so cleanliness is key to keep these pests away from your barn.

Face flies and house flies are classified under the category of nuisance flies- they don’t bite or directly harm the horses, but are carriers of bacteria and also make the horse restless and irritated by buzzing near their eyelids or any open wounds. House flies breed in fresh and rotting manure.

Common Diseases in Horses and How to Prevent Them

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Caring for your horses requires a thorough knowledge of how to prevent any disease and ailment , as well as keeping their health and wellness in check at all times. The following list will help you in getting information about the most common diseases that affect horses and what measures can you take to avoid them in the first place. Remember, if left ignored, some of these diseases can be fatal.

Continue reading to find out how you can ensure a safe and healthy environment for your horses.

Lockjaw

Lockjaw, or tetanus, is a bacterial disease that enters the horses body through an open wound. If left untreated, it causes the horse to get spasms in muscles, followed by flared nostrils, stiffness, and contracted jaws that make the horse unable to open his mouth. In the final stages of the disease, the horse can die of respiratory paralysis. Treatment of tetanus involves wide opening and thorough cleaning of the wound to remove all signs of infection. After that, penicillin is injected into the wound to treat the virus.

In order to avoid the condition, make sure that you tend to all wounds or scratches on your horses body as soon as possible to keep them free from bacteria. Tetanus shots and vaccinations are also a must for newborn foals.

Sleeping Sickness

This condition is characterized by three diseases that are transmitted by mosquitoes- Eastern, Western, and Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis. They affect the nervous system of the horses and are extremely dangerous. Early symptoms of this condition include a high fever, lack of coordination, lethargy, and staggering. In the final stages, the horses develops seizures and paralysis, which can result in an untimely death.

Basic measures to avoid this disease include keeping your horses in a clean environment and conducting proper and regular vaccinations.

Equine Influenza

Equine Influenza is a respiratory condition that involves fever, dry cough, watery nasal discharge, irritation, weakness, depression, and a lack of appetite. It spreads by inhaling infectious material and can progress on to more critical conditions like bronchitis or pneumonia if left untreated.

If you notice the symptoms of Equine Influenza in any of the horses, keep them away from the rest of the herd and provide them with ample rest and medication to treat the fever and stiffness.

Heaves

Scientifically termed as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, it is a condition that is similar to asthma in humans. Symptoms include coughing, loss of weight, lethargy and weakness, and mostly effects horses that are stalled in winter.

To avoid this condition, horses should be kept in barns that are free from dust and mold. Avoid exposure to extreme cold temperatures for long amounts of time, and make sure that the barn does not contain moldy hay. Replace shavings and straw in stalls with rubber mats.

Strangles

Strangles is a dangerous and extremely contagious condition that usually affects young horses and foals. It causes the lymph nodes in the throats to swell in size which gives rise to difficulty in breathing. Other symptoms include poor appetite, weakness, and high fever.

Vaccination is the main preventive measure that you can take in order to avoid strangles.

Saving Lives – Major Horse Rescues in the U.S.

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Horses are loving companions that have been used for centuries for travel, to plow fields, and even for war. Over the years, they have been neglected and abused by people because of a lack of time to take care of them, or an unawareness on how to properly care for this magnificent creature. Many equine welfare organizations have been established to protect horses from neglect and provide them with new homes where they can be loved and cared for.

Below are a few major horse rescue organizations in the United States that have taken significant measures to protect these animals.

  • National Equine Resource Network (NERN)

National Equine Resource Network was founded from Shirley Puga’s passion for animal welfare. Having volunteered for three years at a rescue facility in Southern California and later on for several years with equine welfare organizations saving more than 800 horses, Shirley created NERN to make a big impact on equine welfare. It provides comprehensive support to other horse welfare organizations to save the struggling industry. NERN has initiated the low cost gelding clinic program throughout California to help economically challenged horse owners castrate their colts and stallions to decrease equine breeding. They are currently planning expansions into Colorado, Oregon, Arizona, Texas, and Nevada

  • United States Equine Rescue League, Inc. (USERL)

United States Equine Rescue League is equine welfare organizations that operates in North Carolina, Virginia, and Iowa and is soon planning to begin operations in Kentucky, Indiana, and Colorado. USERL works for the protection of and rehabilitation of equines. They have taken steps to rescue abused and neglected horses and provide them with a loving home. They also aim to educate horse-owners and the public about proper equine care. Since 1997, USERL saves an average of 200 equines per year with the help of its volunteers.

  • Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

The Humane Society of the United States is the country’s largest animal protection organization. It’s Equine Protection Department works to end the cruelty and safeguards the welfare of horses, burros, and donkeys. The HSUS actively supports the new policies by the Bureau of Land Management to ensure the humane treatment of animals. It is also planning to form a Responsible Horse Breeders Council composed of horse breeders around the country to promote responsible horse ownership and nationwide horse rescue efforts.

  • Saddlebred Rescue (SBR)

A different kind of rescue, Saddlebred Rescue understands the plight of unwanted horses; it purchases horses that are put up for auction and sales for slaughter. With the help of professional and caring horse trainers, these horses are then cared for and later put up for adoption through American Horse Adoption. Up until today, SBR has successfully managed to find homes for 600 horses through an effective adoption process with high success rates. The facility has a four stall wood barns and green pastures for the quick recovery of the horses.

Please take the next step and donate either your time or money to one of these amazing organizations.