I spent weeks trying to find affordable individual grain storage solutions for our stable feed room, which suffered from several problems.
We were plagued with spilled grain and other supplements luring mice, which in turn left their disgusting poop “signatures”.
Our horse owners loved, almost more than anything else, I think, to tinker with their horse’s grain ration, and constantly changed plans, resulting in confusion.
Various buckets of supplements lined our feed room shelves, labeled with faded felt-tip ink horse names, and cryptic feed instructions decorated a dry-erase board above the shelves. It was hard for me to figure out, and find, who got what at feeding time, let alone other people. My gut said horses were not actually getting what was intended.
I knew other stables did this, and I wanted everybody to start providing their own pre-
Showing horses takes a lot of energy and fluids, and a big ice chest full of food and drinks from home keeps us going while we’re on the run. Nobody has time the day before the show to cook up a gourmet picnic, but we do have time to make a quick run to the grocery store for this simple list. (Click on photo to enlarge.) We buy a bag of ice or dump the bin from our freezer into the chest and then put everything on top of the ice, starting with drinks, and leaving the lighter, crushable foods at the top. Things that you don’t want to get damp should go in heavy-duty zipper bags for protection. We like to put everything, even non-refrigerated items, in the chest so they are easy to find. For us, this menu works better than typical concession food -- donuts, pastries, hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, potato chips, candy, and carbonated sugar drinks -- which leave us feeling tired. We still love the junk so we bring petty cash to
The awards committee at our saddle club came up with a neat party favor one year, the pocket halter. A finely braided strand of rope, about eight feet long, attached to a metal ring, and boasting a leather “tail”, the pocket halter will be part of my “going out the door” gear from now on. It fits in the large pocket of your barn jacket, and serves many purposes. As the name implies, it becomes an instant halter, ready in seconds to catch the wayward horse or other critter. You would not want to tie a horse in this arrangement because you could squeeze its head off. On th
The Thoroughbred gelding had been jumping the green and white, two-foot flower jump for days. This was just another routine schooling. As the horse cantered the line, his rider balanced over the balls of her feet in a classic two-point. She shortened the reins for better contact, looked ahead, and prepared herself for liftoff. The horse pricked his ears toward the jump, boldly cantered forward, then skidded to a halt, swerved right, then left, then right and, feeling his rider come unbalanced, scrambled away from the jump. She hauled on the reins, but the gelding continued his mad scramble. The rider slammed to the ground, head first. She didn’t move. Others in the arena ran to help, but seconds later, she stood up on her own. She was shaken and covered in the mud of the puddle her body hit.
For a true story about heroism and hope, read Molly the Pony. This little gray mare survived Hurricane Katrina only to be abandoned and later attacked by a pit bull. Infection set into the wound and her front leg was amputated below the knee. Molly is a living gift to us all -- and a reminder that we must never give up hope.
Sometimes you just need to play. Horses, especially the well-schooled veterans, get sick and tired of the drill. Turning these ground poles into a serpentine backthrough caught my gelding's attention, and made him a lot brighter for the rest of the ride. Going bareback put us in better touch with each other, too. Note: A lot of people ask me about the tail-in-a-sock. This is an inexpensive version of the tail bag used to protect horse's tails. Get an extra-tall, knee-high athletic sock, snip the top four ways for ties, and you have a tail bag. At last check, this horse's tail dragged ten inches on the ground. Be very careful of tail bags -- at least once a week you must check, clean, comb the tail with your fingers and rebraid. A neglected tail can be an injured or dead tail. (Click on the photo to see a larger version.) Want that beautiful tail? It takes a long time to grow, so start now!
If you ever had an idea on how to improve the USDA, this is your chance to get it out there. The American Farm Bureau Federation is conducting a survey to determine how well USDA programs serve farmers and ranchers. You don't have to be a Farm Bureau member to participate. The survey is open to all farmers, ranchers, and producers nationwide.
According to the Farm Bureau, your feedback and comments will remain anonymous.
These 10 horse health questions come from the Colorado 4-H Horse Project Manual. The one about horses drinking water even beginner 4-H'ers can answer, because hey, no water equals one sick or dead horse. Answer all 10 of these with the right answer, and you earn the coveted All Star 10 badge at our sister site, Mane-U! Answer 20 horse health questions correctly, and get the Mane-U horse health badge! Share badges online with friends (and people you really want to impress).
Which is a nutrient important to horses?
How much water does a horse drink daily?
How long is the horse's small intestine?
What is one function of the horse's mouth?
How can sharp points on horse teeth be fixed?
What is the pipeline from the mouth to the stomach?
A choking horse requires what?
A choking horse will not what?
The cecum, large colon, small colon and rectum make up what of the horse?
What do horses require in their diet for the gut to function?
Here is another sneak peak at questions that can earn you a free badge on our sister site, Mane-U.
General Robert E. Lee's closest companion and devoted horse was who? Cisco Kid television sidekick Pancho had a horse named what? Black Beauty's pony friend was named? Who was the talking palomino horse and television star? The 2013 Guinness Book of Records lists who as the tallest horse in the world? In The Black Stallion, what was the name of the old gray cart horse who was a friend to The Black? What was the name of the television character Cisco Kid's horse? Which of these was a 1978 Triple Crown winner? In the books by C.W. Anderson, who was Billy's horse friend? Which racehorse beat an all-male field to become the first filly ever to win the Breeder's Cup Classic in 2009, and was immortalized as a Breyer model horse?