Horseback Riding in the Winter

Horseback riding in the winter can be pleasurable for you and your horse assuming you take a few extra precautions.

Begin by preparing yourself properly. Dress in layers to keep warm. Avoid 100 percent cotton clothing, which doesn’t insulate well; and wool, which can be itchy. Instead stick with silk or polyester blends for the best moisture-wicking and insulation properties. Top off the thin inner layers with North Face jackets that have Gore-Tex or Cordura nylon; both are waterproof, lightweight and breathable, but will keep you warm. Insulated breeches are available, or wear a pair of silk or polyester long johns under your jeans.

Keep your feet warm in winter riding boots that aren’t so tight they cut off circulation and cause your toes to get cold. Polyester-filled gloves will suffice if precision contact with the reins isn’t necessary; otherwise, opt for leather riding gloves with liners. An insulated helmet or hat is a must; and a gaiter will keep your neck and ears warm. For sunny winter days, sunglasses with at least 98 percent UV ray protection are recommended.

Once you’re dressed properly, prepare your horse for winter riding. Have your farrier put shoes with pads on your horse for better traction. And apply petroleum jelly to his hooves before riding so snowballs don’t form and freeze. Horses can get chilled too, so keep a quarter sheet on your horse while riding if he’s usually blanketed. And, if you’re using a metal bit, warm it between your hands before putting it in the horse’s mouth.

While riding, go slow and stick to terrain you’re familiar with. Just like you, your horse expends more energy moving in the snow, so a short, leisurely walk or trot may be all that you both need. Also, don’t jump your horse outdoors during winter. He can injure his legs landing on hard, frozen ground, or he can slip and fall on slushy snow.

Finally, when it’s time to put your horse away, take extra time to cool down and to groom him. A hot, sweaty horse can get chilled, so give him a half hour to cool off before putting him back in his stall. If he’s usually blanketed, put on a lighter covering during this time. Before returning him to his stall, do a thorough brushing to remove dirt that can clog his pores and interfere with his ability to keep warm.

How Much do Horses Cost to Buy and Maintain?

Owning a horse can be a very rewarding experience. It’s definitely a large investment which needs to be taken seriously. A horse is a dream for most, seeing as the costs of getting a horse in the first place are not practical for most. Others see horses as a way to make money by buying racehorses in order to create a team.

Regardless of the purpose, buying a horse can be costly.

If you’re looking at buying a horse, it’s important to look into not only the initial cost of the horse but also its maintenance costs. Below are some of the costs to take note of when buying a horse.

The price of a horse itself can be staggering and the number can greatly vary depending on what breed, age and a horse’s lineage. On average a horse can fetch from anywhere between $1,000 to as high as $16 million. The huge price range is due to the fact that no horse is the same. The higher prices are typically reserved for the prize winners or the pure breed race horses that are worth a lot because of their ability to win championships.

Assuming you’re not looking to buy the champion pedigrees, a decent horse will still set you back at least a couple thousand dollars just to get the horse. It’s important to take note, however, that the costs of maintaining a horse can be just as expensive, if not more.

One of the first things to consider is boarding. If you have a large property where a stable can be built that shaves off a large cost of boarding your horse at a professional stable. Keeping your horse at a stable can run you anywhere between $200-$600 monthly.

If you won’t be keeping your horse in a professional stable, then all of the day to day maintenance needs to be done in-house which might prompt you to either do it yourself or hire a stable boy. This includes taking care of the bedding, food, salt and minerals.

Insurance is something that is optional but if you are grooming a racehorse it might benefit you to take insurance in order to greatly reduce your medical bills.

The cost of a farrier, vaccinations, dental care, a saddle & tack and other care items can add up, causing your maintenance costs to be anywhere from $2000 to $11000 yearly.

Saving Money on Horse Products

All horse owners know just how expensive horses can be. Between the feed and hay alone you can easily spend over one hundred dollars a week. But with a little research you will find there are some great ways to save money while still keeping your horses healthy and happy.

The most important thing for your horse is of course the high quality hay , never buy cattle hay for horses. Cattle hay doesn’t have the nutrients that horses require to stay healthy, especially if you have older horses that are harder to keep weight on. One option is to buy hay during the summer when it is cheapest and have it delivered and stored until the winter, just make sure it is covered and doesn‘t get wet. Hay can get quite expensive in the winter because its harder to find. You can sometimes purchase the feed at your local co-op and get discounts by buying generic brands, just make sure that if you need a mare and foal feed or senior feed for horses that need extra care that you really pay attention to the ingredients.

If you’re on the internet quite a bit you can search to buy your products in bulk including their vitamins and wormer and other supplements such as cosequin, bute or psyllium if you have a horse that really needs extra care. Another thing to keep in mind is that a farm call is very expensive and worming a horse is very simple. So if you worm them yourself your going to save a large amount of money because the wormer is usually only twelve to fifteen dollars and many vets will sell you a bottle of exactly what they use if you call and ask them. This also includes bute that you use to keep pain and swelling down.

There is also discount and clearance sales online where you can purchase your bridals, saddles and blankets, bits and reins. Using a coupon like a Home Depot coupon code can result in added savings online. Also , check with your local tack shops because most of them take in consignments from other people and they also sale used items that they have taken in on trade. Which is another great way to save you money if you have products you no longer use. You should buy buckets or large items to feed them in from other stores other than a tack shop because you will probably find them cheaper.

If your horses stay in a barn at night then check with your local lumber mill, because they offer the shavings for extremely cheap and this is a great way to save money. You also don’t have to have horses that are in the pasture shod unless they have an issue with an injury that requires it.

There are so many ways to save money as a horse owner, you just have to take the time to get online and research and don’t be afraid to call the vet and ask if they sale the medicines you need by the tube or bottle. Just because you own horses doesn’t mean you have to overspend.

How to Effectively Run Your Horse Business

Knowing how to effectively run your horse business can achieve great results. Successful business owners plan wisely before they begin, taking many things into consideration. Lack of an adequate business plan can mean losing great amounts of money, while putting a great business plan to use can result in great profits. With proper planning, hard work and excellent management skills, your horse business can be successful and offer great rewards.

Employing a reliable attorney is one of the first things a business owner should do. Is your business going to be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation? Take this into serious consideration because of liability issues. A sole proprietorship means the business owner could lose everything if they are sued. It involves carrying enough insurance to cover major losses if there is a fire, if someone sues you or if a horse dies. A partnership is when two or more people own the business. Each partner shares in the profits and the losses, and the liability falls on each of them. The third way to structure a horse business is to have a corporation. This is the best way to run a business. All liability falls on the business itself, not on the business owner.

It is wise to know how to effectively run your horse business in order to be successful. Become acquainted with your market, especially if your business is new. Who are your customers and what do they expect of you? Become familiar with contracts and agreements between your employees and also your clients. Each parties responsibilities must be clearly stated in the agreement before the business has even opened. Include clauses such as a hold-harmless agreement. Boarders, students, and employees must be made aware that there are risks involved in working with horses. An agreement with this clause will be needed when purchasing insurance.

What types of insurance does a horse business need? The most important types of insurance are property insurance, liability insurance, equine mortality insurance, equine major medical insurance. workman’s compensation and horse trainer professional insurance. All aspects of a horse business should be insured to keep from losing money.

Know how to effectively run your horse business by creating a viable business plan to present to the lender. This entails having a good idea of how much your expenses and profits are going to be. Learn all you can about managing a stable, research the market, and become knowledgeable about hiring employees and paying them. Shop around for insurance, food for the horses and other expenses to ensure that your business is going to be successful.

How to Care for a Horse

Taking care of a horse involves a lot of work, dedication, commitment, time and money. However, horses make excellent companions and are one of the most magnificent pets to own. To keep your horse healthy and happy, you must learn how to take care of it properly. The following are several simple tips on how to care for your horse.

Shelter:
The first step in taking excellent care of your horse is to provide them with a secure place to live. Horses need to be provided with shade during the summer months and to be kept warm and protected from winter’s wrath. This can be a barn or horse stall, depending on the particular climate. You will also want to make the stall area comfortable for your horse with hay or sawdust for their bedding. Make sure to avoid installing barb wired fences because horses can get caught in them and injured. Gates should be securely latched to prevent horses from escaping their surroundings. It’s also important to check the pasture and surrounding barn areas every month for poisonous plants and vegetation.

Feeding:
Horses should have a continuous supply of fresh water. It’s important to have their water supply checked several times throughout the day in case they drank it all or it’s been tipped over. Horses are grazing animals and used to eating all day long. The main ingredient in a horse’s diet is hay and consumption depends on the level of activity and size of the horse. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations about which hay is best suited for your horse. Manufactured products can also provide your horse with their daily nutritional needs and won’t be as rich as some other supplements. Never feed a horse before or after exercising because it can lead to digestive problems and discomfort.

Grooming:
Exercise your horse on a regular basis and provide them with plenty of love and adoration. You can make grooming their coat part of this special rewarding time. Grooming not only keeps their coats in excellent condition, but it also is a good time to check them for ticks, cuts and assess their overall health. Horse’s hooves should be checked and picked regularly for pebbles and fungus.

One of the most important things needed in caring for a horse is time. This ensures that you can take care of it properly and train it to be your companion and best friend.

Must Buy Items for Horse Care

Horses make a great pet and help with many of the day to day tasks of running a farm. Keep in mind, however, that they do require a lot of care and the upkeep can be quite expensive. If you are planning on purchasing your first horse there are some items that you must have on hand first. In addition to the items listed below it is important that you have a proper area to keep your horse. There must be enough space and a shelter. Also, you need to have a horse veterinarian picked out and a farrier in case an emergency where to arise. After taking care of those responsibilities it is time to purchase these must have essentials.

1. First Aid Kit: It is important to have a first aid kit handy when caring for a horse. There are many things that could happen quickly. The kit should include vet wrap, bandages, bandage scissors, and iodine. It is a good idea to keep your veterinarian’s phone number in the kit so that you have it handy in an emergency case.

2. Grooming essentials: Horses need to be groomed often. Make sure that you have a variety of combs and brushes on hand to detangle the hair and remove any debris that accumulates in the mane or tail. Also, don’t forget to add in a hoof pick for cleaning out the horses hooves.

3. Comfort items for the horse: A horse needs to be kept comfortable no matter what the weather is doing outside. Have a few winter blankets for warmth. Also, in the warm months you will need fly repellent to keep them from creating open sores on the horses’ face, legs, and ears.

4. Leading or Riding supplies: If you plan you ride your horse you will need a saddle and stirrups. Even if your horse is not able to be ridden you will still need a bridle, bit, and lead rope in order to transfer the horse from one area to another. Make sure to properly size these items to ensure comfort for the horse and safety for you.

5. A knowledge book: If you are new to horse ownership you should purchase a book with all the needed information about raising a horse. This will be a good way to find answers to questions that arise and to learn new things.

Take your time to select the best items for your horse. Owning a horse is a big responsibility and is not something that should be rushed into to. If you have the must have items for horses available when you bring your horse home you will be able to provide the best care possible.

Everything You Need To Know About Horses

Horses are beautiful social animals that enjoy interacting with humans and other horses. They are herd animals and usually the herd is led by a mare, which is a female horse over the age of four years. Horses are mammals that have single hooves.

They are both beautiful and fascinating. They are able to sleep either standing up or laying down, something that not many other animals can do. Their legs lock allowing them to sleep standing up. When they need to go into a deep REM sleep, they sleep laying down, and they need to do that for several hours a day.

Female horses carry their young for eleven months, and shortly after a baby horse, called a foal is born, it can stand up and run. A horses lifespan is usually between 25 and 30 years of age, although some have lived longer.

A horse is not mature until it reaches age four, and saddles are put on horses sometime between age two and four. If a horse is being trained for racing, he’ll have a saddle put on around age two. For most horses, though, people wait until between age three and four to saddle them.

Horses and humans have been interacting for centuries. Horses are social and will form attachments to either humans or other horses. This interaction can take place in the form of sporting competitions, or even in some occupations such as police work and therapy functions. Horses are sometimes used by people with limited mobility to help them to get around without the aid of devices.

Horses have highly developed senses, and their best sense is sight. They have the largest eyes of any land mammal, with extraordinary vision. They have good hearing and smell, and their sense of touch is very well developed. A horse can feel if a tiny insect lands anywhere on their body. Their sense of taste is extraordinarily developed as well and they can find and pick up even the tiniest of grains to eat. In addition, they are very alert animals with a highly developed flight or fight response in reaction to danger.

Beautiful, sleek, social and athletic animals, horses are considered to be one of the top four favorite animals when people are asked to list their favorites. Horses were crucial in early times to help developing societies, and continue to be fascinating and loved today.