While horse owners know that their horses need salt, the decision of what to do isn’t always so easy. How much salt does he need? What type should you use? What form is best? The answer of course depends on your horse’s activity level, overall diet, environment, climate considerations and management set-up.
One of the most impressive muscles in your horse’s body is his heart. Composed of four pumping chambers plus various inflow and outflow vessels, your horse’s heart supplies blood to all parts of his body nonstop, whether working or at rest, from birth until death. The equine heart is remarkable; no other muscle puts in the same workload.
The words “equine fitness” hold different meanings for various horse owners and riders. A horse’s ideal fitness level depends on his workload and training schedule. All horses should generally be in average physical shape and maintain a median body condition score; however, many factors contribute to overall fitness. To understand the full picture of your horse’s fitness, you’ll need to look at elements beyond age, weight and soundness.
As an equestrian, you understand that your horse is an athlete and manage his care so he’s in top physical condition and able to perform at his required workload. But what about your physical wellbeing? Yes, equestrians are athletes – and your fitness matters too! Riding requires a certain level of horse-rider coordination, symmetry, strength and endurance that can be enhanced through specific exercises to keep your body in motion.
When you’re picking your horse’s stall, the composition of his manure is probably the last thing on your mind. Nevertheless, analyzing your horse’s manure can reveal important information and is one of the best ways to monitor your horse’s health.
In addition to a horse’s normal, resting vital signs, every horse owner should know how much their horse weighs. Knowing how much your horse weighs will not just help you to feed him properly and monitor his overall health, but becomes extremely important when deworming your horse and dispensing certain medications where an under- or overdosage could lead to potential health issues.
Most horse owners dream of having a horse with a long, thick, shiny mane and tail, and go to great lengths to make it look beautiful. So, when you walk out to the barn to find your horse’s tail tattered and worn from rubbing, you immediately try to determine why he did this and how you can stop him from doing it again.
Horses are unique individuals that handle situations differently. While one horse may be calm as a cucumber and show no care in the world, another might have a very high “flight” response and become nervous at the slightest thing. Although some horses can be more “high-strung” by nature, there are some things that horse owners can do to help ease the situation and help their horse become more rideable.
The Fourth of July is viewed by most Americans as a time of leisure – hanging out with family and friends by the pool, good barbeque and watching the fireworks. For horse owners, this impending holiday brings nervousness and concern about their horses’ reactions to the bright, flashing lights and the thunderous booming. Horses can easily be frightened by fireworks; however, there are some things you can do to help him cope.
The equine hoof is a great example of Mother Nature’s engineering capabilities. Consider the size and weight of a horse relative to the size of a hoof, and how fast horses can run or how high they can jump; it’s amazing how so much is supported by so little. A horse’s hooves play a key role in its ability to survive and function. Without solid, sound feet, you have no horse, so understanding hoof anatomy is extremely important.
Each industry and profession tends to have its own jargon, and horse farriers are no different. As a horse owner, you should be able to understand what your farrier is telling you about your horse; otherwise, you may miss out on important information. It’s also worthy to note that you should ask your farrier questions if you don’t understand. Farriers want their clients to feel good about what they’re doing and how they’re addressing any concerns you may have. Whether you’re a seasoned horseman or new to horse ownership, a refresher on farrier work and terminology is always helpful.
A horse’s natural environment is outside in lush green pastures with room to explore, hanging out and interacting with other members of their herd. Due to geographic location, barn set-up, injury or severe weather, any sort of lengthy pasture time may not be an option. When horses are restricted in box stalls or smaller turnouts, they can become bored, grumpy and sometimes even destructive!