Usually my horse maintenance plan goes something like this: pitching hay morning and night and making sure they’re all walking on four legs. But sometimes horses require more than that. We had the vet come out the other day, to castrate our buckskin yearling stallion and check on his mother’s health. Both of the buckskins have lost body condition in the year that we have owned them, and we wanted to get a professional evalution from a veterinarian on how to counteract that. We weren’t sure if it was a tooth problem or lack of adequate nutrition for the mare, and the colt needed gelded and is looking a little bony as well.
Snow is coming! The kids are excited with the prospects of sipping hot cocoa, listening to Christmas music, and watching the heavens swirl their magical crystals into sparkling drifts over our front steps. I’m not looking forward to doing chores in subzero temperatures, no matter how pretty the snow is. When the water tanks freeze over and I can’t peel the layers of frost-covered hay off of my big round bales to feed my horses, winter isn’t fun anymore. If only we could enjoy the snow without it being so cold…..
One of the things every horse owner should consider is the fact that horses don’t live forever, nor do they stay rideable forever. It might seem overly simple to state it in that fashion, but we really don’t like to think about horses getting old, getting hurt, or dying. Our imaginations enable us to envision the Black Stallion living in endless glory…and even though we understand the old gray mare “ain’t what she used to be”, we like to pretend that she is still quite comfortable and able. The truth is far uglier at times, and a responsible horse owner will understand and plan ahead of time. What should you do when your horse is too old to be useful? What are the options for owners of aged equines?
Here in the midwest things are changing. It’s unbelievable what a week’s worth of rain can do for the dried up roots of winter….everything in Iowa is magically green! Our horses are anxiously awaiting turnout, greeting me with whinnies whenever I appear. I love watching them canter out to graze, usually bucking or tossing their [...]
These colder winter days make everything harder. My barn chores take twice as long; I have to dress up in heavy warm clothes that I hate, scarf, hat, gloves, and snow boots; the hay is harder to unwrap from the bale, the wind whips all the particles back into your face as you pitch it, the ice and snow make it difficult to carry grain to each paddock; and the water needs checked often to make sure it’s not frozen, etc….
I read a lot of horse magazines, and they’re always full of good ideas for my horses. Growing up on a horse ranch, you would think a girl would know pretty much everything about horse care simply from association. But if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that things are constantly changing and there’s always something new to learn. So I thought I’d pass along a few of the winter horse care tips I’ve been reading about.
My good mare Daisy got a wire cut last week. Not the worst I’ve ever seen, but definitely not something to be taken lightly. We set up a pen for her to keep her out of the mud and cleaned her up the best we could.
Rain rot is a fungal disease in horses, resulting in raised bumps over the horse’s hide and causing sores and hair loss. Read more to learn of the best way to treat and prevent rain rot in horses.