The Wright MassageMassage Service in Saint Johnsbury, Vermont
Quite the pair! 😍😍😍🐎
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Old man winter is in full swing!
I have had several calls on how to keep horses warm and comfortable during this cold snap! I hope this offers some insight to ...some of your questions!
There are several ways in which you can keep your horses happy and warm during this unpleasant weather. Horses usually have an uncanny ability to survive in the cold. Their hair coat is actually designed to insulate them in cold weather. However, if their coat gets wet they lose this insulating ability. It is important to make sure that they have ample shelter to get out of the elements. (The picture is meant to show how you can provide shelter but they don't always use it! Yes, these are my personal horses) The shelter is accessible for them to keep dry on wet snowy days, which in turn helps them to stay warm.
The NUMBER 1 way to keep your horses warm is to feed them good quality hay! Timothy, alfalfa, orchard grass, or a mix of these are all great options.
Why is hay the key? When horses digest hay, heat is produced and it helps to keep them warm. Those little microbes that live in their gut digest high fiber feeds such as hay which generates heat. So yes, horses are quite the poop factory! But in this case its good! The microbes live in their cecum and large colon so this is where a horses furnace is.
High fiber feeds, such as hay, produce more heat during digestion than low fiber feeds such as grain. Oats even though are a low fiber grain, will also produce more heat during digestion compared to commercial grains due to the fiber found in their hull.
It is important to remember energy needs to be increased during cold weather,and grain can be fed, but if you want them to produce more heat you need to feed them good quality hay.
For each 10 degrees below 30 degrees F, horses require an additional two pounds of feed with an energy density of 1 mega calorie per pound which is about the average of most hay.
In very extreme conditions it may be impossible to meet their caloric needs with just hay especially if they do not have shelter.
Blanketing is also a good option for horses that do not winter well. Remember, a blanket only works if your horse is dry. Always check that your blanket fits properly so they do not get rubs or sores. A dirty or wet blanket can lead to skin conditions such as a fungal infection.
It is better to use a heavier blanket also because if you use too light of a blanket, because even though it is light, it doesn’t allow the hair to stand up and insulate. A blanket that is too light insulation wise can cause your horse to actually become chilled. For subzero weather a heavy weight blanket such as one that is 400 grams or more insulation should be used to take over for what the natural hair coat isn’t able to provide while being blanketed.
Yes, both blankets will not allow the hair to stand up and insulate which is why it is better to use a heavier blanket if you choose to blanket your horse during frigid weather.
Being able to move around also helps keep them warm. When they are in a stall, they are not able to generate heat from their muscles. Moving around also helps them to digest their food better and keeps the gut moving. They are usually more content also.
Make sure they also have access to water that is not frozen! Adding an alfalfa mash, hay pellet mash, or a senior complete feed mash, also increases their water intake. Make sure they have access to a salt or mineral block (this will encourage more water intake).
Make sure your heated troughs and buckets are properly grounded. If the water isn't going down in the buckets or troughs its time to investigate if there is a problem with the water source. If you don't have heated buckets or ability to have them, rubber buckets can be thrown on the ground and the ice can be busted out easily. Add warm/hot water back in the bucket (drinkable temp). Horses have been shown to drink more water if it is heated to above freezing.
Lack of water in their diet means a call to me for most likely an impaction colic!
We hope everyone is staying warm!
😅😂🤣😁 this is reality for most of us! Who else knows what this is like?! Check out the humorous @ryttarinspiration - Hur jag tar hand om min häst vs. mig själv...
Tagga någon som alltid sätter hästen före sig själv😉
I samarbete med @_backontrack - #funnystuff #itsahorsething #horses #horses #makesmelaugh #truestuff #reality #animals #videooftheday #horsesofinstagram #horselove #details #backontrack #backontrackcanada
* Rant begins* I was doing a riding evaluation recently. I am always so shocked to see kids wearing their riding helmets incorrectly. When I ask has anyone ever... corrected you with wearing your helmet the answer is usually no. Then the educator comes out in me. My blood starts to boil and
I make it a point to explain what those little triangles on your helmet are for. They are there for a purpose a very important purpose. Those triangles help stabilize your helmet! They must be underneath your ear lobes. In a major impact your helmet has no support and you may as well not wear one at all. This is also a choking hazard with a loose fitting helmet a major impact the helmet can fling back and choke you. Again your triangles are there to stabilize the helmet! Those triangles are not a fashion statement!
It is also important to protect your helmet from excessive heat source and cold sources as over time the materials break down and it breaks down faster by not protecting it. Your helmet also has a 5 year safety rating after 5 years it should be replaced, if you fall your helmet should be replaced!
Teach your students and parents safety on handling their helmets by taking care of them. Safety should always be first.
It is important as instructors that you make sure every student who gets on your horse that the helmet is fitted and worn properly.
Parents as your child's advocate you need to be educated on helmet safety as well and I say don't be afraid to make sure that the helmet is on properly and if your not sure ask your child's instructor.
Tack stores make sure every employee knows how to teach kids and parents the proper way to wear a helmet what those triangles stand for. You can have a 30.00 troxel or a 500 samshield, none of that will matter if it is NOT fitted properly, and those triangles are not in place.
Taking an extra 3-5 mins could mean life or death in the event of a severe fall.
I can't tell you how much of a pet peeve this is of mine.
End rant* Written By: Lynsey Sandy
Ever wondered how much a horse's back moves under saddle?
This video will show you... The question is, does your current saddle allow for that movement? Ours d...o!
Restriction of their movement isn't comfortable nor considerate. www.naturalhorsemansaddles.com
How Bits Work - Gag's, Snaffles & Their Actions:
(For more FREE training on bitting go here: https://courses.gavsays.com/p/Bitting-Workshop )
Choosing the right... bit for your horse is often a challenge....
So equip yourself with an understanding of how bits work - and the different action of each bit, to make choosing the right bit easier.
In this repost of the interview with Bomber Nel, he tells us about the actions of the different Gags and Snaffles.
For more bitting advice: https://courses.gavsays.com/p/Bitting-Workshop
Great read by my friend!
This might be a bit long, but for anyone looking to buy a horse that has never had one, (or if you're doing it wrong).....Here are some quick costs that can rea...lly accumulate quick. The yearly cost of the vet coming to your barn, and this is a rough estimate because some vets are more expensive than others:
Barn call-$65.00 Time at barn- $200.00
Teeth floating with tranquilizer-$45.00 Vaccine for:Eastern/Western/Flu/Rhino/West Nile/Potomac- $75.00 Lyme vaccination with boosters (3)- $33.00
Lyme test- $90.00 Coggins test (negative test needed to trailer horse) $45.00 There are other things you might need as well. Like if there's an emergency!! I may have forgotten something too! I feel like I forgot something!!! Cleaning sheaths- maybe $20.00??
Okay, now it's time to trim the hooves....Let's start on the low side and say $35.00 every 4 to 6 weeks in the summer and 5 to 7 weeks in the winter. Not including if you think your horse needs shoes. That can really add up!! Let's say if you had regular iron shoes put on your horse, that $35.00 will go up to about $130.00 or more. It's cheaper to just buy EasyBoots that cost $75.00 each hoof. They can last for years! Unless they break!
Now let's talk feed.... hay varies from where you live. In Vermont, you pay between $3.50 to $5.00 per bale. A horse should be able to have free hay available for the most part, so let say he gets about a half a square bale per day (at least). So if you're spending $3.50 every two days, that's about $90.00 per month if I have my math right.
Grain- This is one of those things that everybody thinks they are doing the right thing for their horse, Lol! I feed Poulin Grain E-Tec Balancer that costs $23.00 per 50 pound bag. I only have to feed 1 pound per day (1000 lb horse). This is a balanced feed that is great for horses that don't need to add weight. This is basically their daily minerals, vitamins and protein included to their hay. Any other supplement is an added cost- I just added Magnesium at about $65.00 but it will last for 135 days for one horse.
Oh, I almost forgot the cost of shavings for the stalls!! Plan on $6.00 per bagged shaving. I use about a half a bag per stall. And you need to muck the stalls daily.
Now the craziest part, if you board!! Lol!! About the cheapest around here would be about $400.00 per month. Sometimes that includes the hay/grain, sometimes not!!
This does not include any of the 'fun' stuff like buying tack and things for your horse and for yourself for when you ride. You need to make sure you have a saddle that fits you and maybe even more importantly, fits your horse!! If he's sensitive like one of mine, you will be bucked if the saddle doesn't fit proper!! This could be, for a used saddle between $200 (really cheap) to $3000!! Then you need a cool tack set to go with your saddle. Think between $50.00 (cheap) to $800 for a really cool set!!
All this and you haven't even ridden yet??
Now I want to give the MOST important advice to ANY person who thinks that they want a horse....take some lessons!! You will need to know what the heck you are asking the horse if you are going to ride it!! And for the love of God, do not get a green horse if you're a green rider!!! Again, take lessons!! You may not like it as much as you think you might!! You may actually think it's not WORTH all of the money you spent to take care of this animal at least twice a day 365 day per year!!
Oh, and with all of the costs there are, if you add another horse, times everything by two!! And every horse after that if you keep getting more!!
Really good advice yet again, just keep taking lessons!!
Have fun and be informed before you BUY a horse!!!