Thursday, August 29, 2013

Barn tips, tricks, and other making life easier with horses tidbits

Today I have decided to share some of my horse care tips.  Please feel free to share your tips by leaving a comment and I will add yours to the list.

1.  A cheap adjustable nylon pet collar will keep your hook over the rail buckets in place with a horse that likes to redecorate on a daily basis.

2.  A used dewormer tube works great when you need to give bute or other powdered (crushed pills) medicines.  Just pour your stuff in the tube and add something sticky and sweet to help the medicine go down.  I like to use cheap pancake syrup.

3.  When at shows, on the trail, or other away from home stabling events first lead your horse to water and give them a chance to fill up.  Then haul water to their stall.  Doing this will save you a few sloppy bucket hauls and help ensure that your horse will have throughout the day/night.

4.  Consider your water trough placement and put it in the shade when possible.  Doing so will help your horse drink more water during the summer months.  (If you do not think this is important, leave a bottle of water in the sun and try to drink it.)

5.  Plain old deodorant will help keep a horse from chewing bandages.  I also really like to product Bitter Yuck! that is no toxic and can be sprayed on anything (I taught the then puppy to not eat my patio plants with it). I highly recommend doing something to make it taste bad the first few times you use wraps on a horse.  There is nothing worse than needing a leg wrapped and having horse that tries to remove it.

6.  Bitter Yuck! and other nontoxic cribbing sprays are a great deterrent for tail chewing foals and horses and can safely be applied daily until the behavior becomes extinct.

7.  A large grill cleaning brick is so much cheaper than a for horses bot block and is made from the same material.

8.  If you travel with you dog a lot consider making them a on the road tag with the license plates of your trucks and trailers.  This tag could be a lifesaver if you regularly camp in remote areas that do not have reliable cell service. has great slide on tags for just $10.

I will add more as they come to me and others send them in so stay tuned.  :)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

It's not cheating if it works

It's not cheating if it works.

No, I am not talking about illegal drugging, abusive training tactics, or other wise breaking the rules.

I am talking about taking the simpler way when training.

I taught Mozzie to load this weekend.  (Yes, I know I should have gotten around to it sooner but I just had a baby and life kind of got in the way.)

I didn't tap.

I didn't pull.

I didn't sweat, and didn't stress.

I just cheated and tried the easiest way first.

 I offered a hungry baby his breakfast that could only be gotten by doing the right thing.

He put one foot on the ramp and was reward with a bite and in less than 10 minutes he had willing walked in.
I then backed him, unloaded him and did the whole process over and over.  At the end of his 40 minute lesson he had quietly and calmly loaded and unloaded 8 times all because he was motivated by his breakfast.
While I was more than willing to do whatever I needed to get him in the trailer using force. I choose to first try positive motivation and was able to make the scary process of loading pleasant and enjoyable.

Moral of the story -

Why start a fight if you do not have too.

Give your horse a chance and start positive when possible because it isn't cheating if it works.  

(Of course if positive reinforcement does not work you must continue try all options until you eventually achieve your goal)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Great horses- my personal philosophy

I believe most if not all horses have the ability to become a really great horse.

The kind of horse every equestrian dreams about.






The kind of horse that can be ridden with just a whisper.

I truly believe that every horse if given the chance can become something truly great.

The key words being "if given the chance."

Great horses are made by great riders.  

Riders willing to do what ever the horse needs until he no longer needs it.

A rider willing to work through the tough outer shell until they reach the sparkling gem hidden inside.

Good horses are born, but great horses are made.   

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Water problems- Health Edition

Lines break.
Floats stop working or get knocked out.
Buckets get turned over.
Buckets get pooped in.
Birds or wildlife fall in.
Many things can go wrong with your horses' water supply.

So what should you do if you find that your horses' tough is dry or contaminated?

Besides obviously cleaning and filling the trough you should withhold grain (and hay if possible) for a few hours once the trough has been filled to give your horse plenty of time to drink and re-hydrate to help prevent colic.

If you feed a horse before they have had a chance to drink for several hours the they many end up with an impaction colic from not having enough moisture to properly digest their meal.

They can also suffer from gas colic if they drink a bunch of water right before or after a large grain meal which then can give them a tummyache.

So in short to help prevent colic when #@%^ happens postpone a grain feeding for several hours or skip a feeding entirely when your horse has not had free access to water for an period of time.

This also applies when riding and trail riding for several hours at a time.


Monday, August 5, 2013

My New Long Term Project

For the time in a few years I finally have something new to train for myself.  This is Mozzie.  He is currently 3 and a half months old and is the newest member of the KnP team.  Just like his dam Pie he is already proving to be quite the horse and character.  I am excited to be able to document his training progress here on the blog so stay tuned.