Thursday, January 30, 2014

The feeding balancing act- body condition scores

It seems that our horses are always just a little too fat or just a little too thin.  Rarely does it seem that they are just right, and because you see your horse on a regular basis it is often hard to notice the gradual changes that can take place over several weeks and months.  
As a horse owner it is important that you take time to objectively assess your horse's weight on a regular basis.

Age, weather conditions, amount of turnout, amount of pasture, illness, and work load can all cause your horse's weight to fluctuate throughout the year. So it is important that you take time to assess your feeding regiment on a regular basis.

I recommend objectively evaluating your horse's weight every 3-4 weeks.  This is enough time for your horse to start showing changes in either direction, but frequent enough for your to address these changes in timely manner. 

You can do this by tracking your horse's weight using a weight tape or you can take regular pictures with your phone and use them as a comparison.  If you are lucky enough to ride/work with friends and family often I highly recommend asking them to help you keep an eye on your horse's condition and in turn doing the same for them.  


Monday, January 27, 2014

Blanket Repair Photo Tutorial- Horseware Rug Repair Kit Tutorial/Review

Copyright 2014 KnP Training

Over the last cold snap Mozzie managed to put a very large rip in his cheap baby blanket.

Copyright 2014 KnP Training

Still too small for his next size blanket and with another cold snap on the way I needed to get it repaired quickly and cheaply.  

I used the Horseware Rug Repair Kit a long with scissors, sewing pins, freezer paper, and disposable gloves.

Copyright 2014 KnP Training

The kit included these simple instructions but only some parts were applicable to my situation.

Copyright 2014 KnP Training

I started by cutting out strips and cutting off the frayed ends of the original blanket.

Copyright 2014 KnP Training

And pinning those strips to hold them in place.

Copyright 2014 KnP Training

Copyright 2014 KnP Training

Copyright 2014 KnP Training

Copyright 2014 KnP Training

The blanket flapped had curled and snagged and would no long fit to cover the hole so I needed a larger piece. 

Copyright 2014 KnP Training

The U shaped tear also proved to be a challenge requiring some piecing.

Copyright 2014 KnP Training

Copyright 2014 KnP Training

Copyright 2014 KnP Training

Once everything was pinned I put on my gloves and started gluing.  I tried to take pictures but got glue on the camera and had to stop.  I first glued the green pieces together and then glued the blanket to the green patch.  Below is the blanket after gluing.  

Copyright 2014 KnP Training

Like most horse folks I did this repair in the house and had to keep things neat.  I added the freezer paper to both sides before moving and setting up (so glad that I did).  I had to move it after repaired as well and slide a pizza pan under neath it to stabilize everything during the move.  

Copyright 2014 KnP Training

I then had the challenge of finding something heavy and wide enough to let it set overnight per the instructions.  I found that the baby's packed up playpen in the office fit my needs perfectly.  

Copyright 2014 KnP Training

And 24 hours later it worked.  No sewing, completely waterproof, and it only took me about 20 minutes from start to finish.  

Copyright 2014 KnP Training

Final Thoughts and Review-

I was super pleased with the repair of this very large hole.  I used over 2/3's of the Stormsure Glue and 1 out of 4 patch sheets (Blue, Green, Black, and Purple) included in the Repair Kit.  The blanket will go on this evening and I will try and do an update of how this repair holds.  I will definitely be purchasing more glue to keep on hand.  While not recommended or required on the repair kit instructions I do highly recommend using freezer paper (you can see a little paper stuck to the blanket) to be sure that you do not glue your blanket to other objects or the floor.  All in all so far I was very impress and highly recommend the Horseware Rug Repair Kit for blanket repair needs.      

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How to properly tie a rope halter and then some

Keeping it
and sweet today.

Are you tying your rope halters properly?


Found this on facebook this morning and had to share.  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The sure fire time saving short cut you must know

The sure fire time saving short cut you must know is- "Do it right the first time, and don't take short cuts."

I had my own little short cut opportunity today when it came to blanketing the horses.  I usually blanket my horses loose in the pasture but Mozzie has only been blanketed a few times and always on the halter.  Since it is so dang cold I had carried the feed and blankets out together to save an extra trip.  When I started to pick up Mozzie's blanket off the ground I noticed that he was not super comfortable with it moving.  

So I was faced with two options:  Throw the blanket on him and hope I can get it strapped on, or walk back to the barn for his halter.  I choose to go get the halter.  Once haltered he took it like a champ and we had a quick and positive interaction.  

Had I chosen to try to blanket him without his halter there is a 99% chance that he would have spooked and I would have had to go get the halter anyway, and spend time desensitizing him to his blanket again.  

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Sometimes everyone wins when you finally let go

After 2 years of consideration I finally took the leap and placed my gorgeous gelding Charlie up for sale right before Halloween.

Thankfully he sold very quickly, and a few weeks later I was lucky enough to spend some time with him and his new owner.  While together she once again thanked me for letting him go and made the comment that it must hurt for me to see him with her but I instead honestly thanked her for taking him and giving him such a wonderful home.

You see, Charlie while an absolutely wonderful horse just really was not the right horse for me at this point in time.  He wanted to be my main ride but I already have my main girl with Pie.  He did not enjoy being second best when it was just the two, and now with the addition of 2 new babies last year (1 horse, and 1 human) he found himself way down on the priority list.  Coupled fact that it will be several years before my riding schedule will truly open up (especially since we have plans for more kids) it just didn't seem far to keep such a wonderful and giving horse waiting for so long.

I have seen them a few times since and every time I love the happy look I see on Charlie's face.  He is finally someone's number 1 and he absolutely loves it. He is going places and doing awesome things and I could not  be happier or prouder.

Looking back on the experience my only regret was that I did not choose to move him sooner.  Horses should be enjoyed but the enjoyed horses should also be happy.  And frankly through no fault of our own neither one of us were completely satisfied with our relationship and hadn't been for over a year.  He wanted all my time, and I didn't have enough to give which always left me feeling guilty.  Would we have worked in another time and place? Probably, But we did make it work for 4 wonderful years.  We learned a lot from each other, and are both better as a result of the time we spent together.

But at the end of the day he is happy with a dotting Mom who thinks the world of him, and I am able to once again enjoy my horse time without feeling guilty.  Sometimes every one wins when you decide to let go.      


Friday, January 3, 2014

If you let a horse act up a little...

My new resolution for the year is to write more. So I am going to try and do just that. :)

I was feeding this week when I noticed that the colt Mozzie was acting a little pushy towards me.

Nothing major, just a few pinned ears and scowls.  Even with the scowls his behavior still would have been considered excellent by most standards.  But I had to talk with him about it just the same.

You see, his little pinny ears and scowls if left unchecked would eventually turn into kicks, bites, and charges.

Good horses will eventually become bad horses if they are allowed to get by with enough small time bad behaviors, which eventually leads to big time bad behaviors.

Just like a kid every horse will choose to test the boundaries at one time or another.  And it is your job be sure that they always continue on the right path.