Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hooker Hoebag #2

What a day! Apparently I own TWO hooker hoebags. My friend Anne is doing a breeding lease on my donkey, Cookie, and so I hauled her up to stay with new friend Amy for a matchmaking vacation early this morning. She managed to "date" her new boyfriend, Rowdy, about half a dozen times before I even left to come home! I do believe Anne will have her companion animal for her mare about 12 months from now :) It was a lovely visit that included donkeys, some sweet ponies, and a passel of puppies! I'm in love with a beautiful brindle Great Dane female pup now, so friends of the husband should drop hints to him that my birthday is coming up and that she'd be perfect.

Flash forward to this evening, and had a good mental schooling session with my giant yearling, Queen, after she finished her dinner. I didn't have my measuring tape, but I stood her next to her mother, and she MIGHT be her mother's height already! Ridiculous, particularly since she's not even two and her mother is a hair shy of 15.3, sticking at 15.2 1/2 hh on concrete. I'm going to have to measure Queen on concrete and get an update soon!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Researchers Develop Subjective Equine Personality Test |

This quote from the article is EXACTLY why I prefer hot horses :)

Researchers Develop Subjective Equine Personality Test | ""For example, a neurotic horse will be more prone to stress and will be more likely to spook, which may be difficult to work with. On the other hand, their sensitivity means that they are incredibly responsive and can thus appear 'in tune' with their handler. If you're a good, calm handler, you can get amazing results by putting this to good use.”"

'via Blog this'

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pippa is a Ninnyhead and NEEDS Bubble Wrap

Pippa makes me want to do this to her sometimes. *sigh* Ninnyhead...

The Training Scale of Learning Dressage

Broken into six levels, this illustrates what you must first accomplish WELL with your horse before you begin to focus on the next level.

The Pony Learned How To Be Ponied

Well, small hiccup in our training day. ThePone and I had a frank exchange of ideas this afternoon because she attempted to unhorse me off of Classy Lady about 4 or 5 different times while she informed me she didn't know how to be ponied and didn't quite care to learn. A few choice names and whacks to the hiney later, she decided it was easier to cooperate. After that she was relatively good, and we racked/she trotted about 60% of our 5 mile trail ride. We had another hiccup when I asked her to shoot the gap in the gate back by the lodge trail, and we had another frank exchange of ideas, after which we patiently negotiated a deal that ended up with her on the same side of the gate with Classy Lady and myself. Overall she was pretty good, so she still got a cookie at the end of the lesson.

*Note to self: Don't wear jeans when using the bareback pad. Like ever. RAWR chafing.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Great Tack Locker Idea!

I love tack lockers! A great MDBarnmaster option is to take a small corner out of each stall, and make a locker that opens into the aisle right next to your cross ties - brilliant!! This was in a private barn on small acreage (so needed a small barn where every inch counted) but it's a super option for de-cluttering boarding barns too. "If your stuff fits in this locker you can keep it here!"

Monday, June 17, 2013

UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine - News & Events

UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine - News & Events:

'via Blog this'

Heat Advisory for Horses

What's New Image
Spraying off your horse can be effective at lowering body temperature.
This Friday, Saturday and Sunday (June 7-9) will produce record hot temperatures throughout northern California.  Many horse events are scheduled during this time.  Here are ten important tips to prevent heat related problems in horses.
1. Heat can kill: High environmental temperatures and related heat issues of dehydration, exhaustion, and heat stroke can occur in horses and can produce illness and death. This is serious business and you must take steps to ensure your horse is protected when traveling in a trailer, being ridden on trail rides, or in competition events. 
2. Drink water: Maintain hydration in your horse by allowing free access to water at all times during hot weather. It is a myth that a hot horse drinking water will experience colic or other medical problems. Never let your horse pass up a chance to drink water. Only horses that have been deprived of water for a significant time (many hours or days) need to have water provided in smaller amounts over time. Let your horse drink on the trail or after a class at a show. Hint- You can lead a horse to water .  . .  . this is true, so offer some hay and your horse will often drink after eating the hay. Soup-consistency bran or pellet mashes are another means of getting extra water into your horse
3. Shade: Provide shade as much as possible. 
4. Limit what you do with your horse during peak heat:
  • Ride or compete with your horse in the early mornings when it is cooler.
  • Have the ride or event management consider a change in the program schedule to limit afternoon activities during peak heat.
  • Shorten your ride.
  • Go slower and provide frequent breaks for your horse, in shade.
  • Encourage your horse to drink whenever they want water.
5. Ventilation: Provide open vents and windows in trailers which can open for cross ventilation (however, don't let your horse stick its head out while on the road). 
6. Know signs of fatigue and overheating in your horse and stop before more severe signs of heat exhaustion begin: Persistent high respiratory rate that does not come down with rest over 10-30 minutes (normal is 20-40 breaths per min). Change in mentation, decreased energy level and reluctance to keep going. Dry mucous membranes in the mouth (they should feel “slimy”). Prolonged capillary refill time—Push on your horse’s gum. They should be pink to start, then it will blanch to white after pressure, and return to pink in approximately one second.  Check this at the start of your day and frequently throughout the day. If it is prolonged, your horse is trying to tell you to stop, rest, provide water and if other signs of colic or muscle pain occur, you need to stay put and seek veterinary attention. Gut sounds—Listen at the start of your day (if you don't have a stethoscope put your ear on your horse’s flank- behind the ribs). You should hear gurgling sounds on both sides of the belly– that is normal and good. Quiet gut sounds are a warning that your horse may be heading for dehydration or exhaustion. 
7. Fans: If in a barn with limited ventilation, try to arrange more air circulation by careful placement of a fan in front of the stall or in the aisle way. Keep electric cords out of reach of horses. 
8. Hose (spray) off your horse or pour water from a bucket over your horse. Cool water is fine, normal temperature (not hot) water is good too. Evaporation produces cooling and continuous hosing is one of the most effective means of lowering body temperature.
9. Water source: Keep a supply of water available for your horse to drink.  Obtain some clean 5 gallon cans and fill them up with water before you travel.

10. Electrolytes: These may be useful if the horse has been sweating excessively. Only use if they can be followed by access to water to drink. Have a plan outlined by your veterinarian if you have not used electrolytes before. Only use electrolytes specifically made for horses.
Trailering Tips in the Heat
If you need to trailer your horse, do so in the cool early morning or late evening hours when it is cooler. Don’t leave your horse in a parked trailer, especially if there is no shade. Just as with a parked car, temperatures inside a trailer can rapidly reach 140 degrees and the horse can quickly develop heat stroke.Provide as much ventilation and airflow as safely as possible on the road.Be very careful with hauling foals – they appear to be even more susceptible to heat than adult horses.
Tips provided by:
John Madigan, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM, ACAW*
Gary Magdesian, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM, ACVECC**
W. David Wilson, BVMS, MS, MRCVS***
*International Animal Welfare Training Institute
**Head- Equine Critical Care- VMTH
***Director- Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH)
School of Veterinary Medicine University of California-Davis

Feel free to print and redistribute this advisory with credit to the authors and UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fodder/Forage/Hay/Grass is important!


Horses are biologically designed to eat 20 hours per day. Unlike deer, they are not browsers, they are grazers. Chewing produces saliva, which helps buffer stomach acids. On a pasture/hay diet a horse normally produces up to 10 gallons of saliva per day. When there is less for the horse to eat all day, less saliva is produced which translates into less buffering of the stomach acids. This can result in an increased imbalance of the bacteria in the stomach, and increased production of stomach acid, and thus the potential increase in gastric ulcers. If the stomach becomes more acidic than it should be, gas is produced by bacterial fermentation, and the result can be pain, colic, or even stomach wall rupture.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Rider Fitness Tip of the Month: Improve Core Strength

Rider Fitness Tip of the Month: Improve Core Strength

Start with one set of 20 repetitions of each exercise. Work your way up to being able to cycle through up to four sets of each exercise in one workout. All begin with you lying on your back on the floor.

  1. Full Body Curl: This is a nice warm-up abdominal exercise that gets you in touch with your upper, middle and lower abdominals all at once. Start with your knees bent up and feet flat on the floor like you are about to do a sit-up. Then, as you lift your head and shoulders off the floor, bring your knees in. Put your feet back on the floor as you lower your head to the floor again. For a tougher variation, keep your legs straighter or straighten them out as you lower them to the ground. The straighter your legs are, the more you will be engaging your lower abdominal muscles. Ideally, you should be able to perform at least 30.
  2. Bicycle Crunch: Raise your legs to about 45 degrees from the floor. Bend one knee while keeping the other straight. At the same time, lift your shoulders and head off the ground while twisting to touch your opposite elbow to your knee. I consider one rep to be one of each side--or a pair. You should be able to do 20 pairs. (For a harder variation, lower your legs to just above the floor.)
  3. V-sit: By now, your whole abdominal area should be feeling it. Finish yourself off with a static or isometric exercise. (An effective abdominal workout includes both isometric and dynamic exercises.) Hold your legs at about 45 degrees to the floor--or lower--and lift your arms and upper body off the floor. The more directly above your shoulders you place your arms, the heavier they will be and the harder the exercise will be. In this posture, pulse your hands up and down rapidly for about 30 counts.