Sunday, September 25, 2016

PSA-Sitting on a Tied Horse, Don't Do It

There are few things that make me cringe more, than to see or hear about someone getting on a tied horse.  

In my opinion it is absolutely one of the most dangerous things you can do (or let your kids do).

But why is it so dangerous?  


Life is unpredictable (I once had a tree fall out of nowhere while riding).  

Horses are very large, instinctive, and reactive prey animals (even you're bombproof 30 year old).

If and when a horse spooks, not being able to move freely often adds to the intensity of the original spook because not only are they scared but are now unable to get away.   

Physics.  When a 1000lb animal suddenly hits a rope tied to something solid you are in a position to be; rolled over on/stomped in the frenzy, or be thrown head first into a tree, trailer, etc on the rebound if the rope doesn't break. 

So the next time you consider getting on (or putting someone else on) a tied horse, remember that your horse needs you (to feed him) and you can't do that very well from the hospital bed or worse. 


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Fall Is Just Around The Corner- Prepping for Winter

It will be Fall in just a few days.

And while most of us are still feeling the dog days of summer, now is the perfect time to prepare for winter.  Here are a few things to do in the next few weeks to help make the seasonal transition smooth and easy on you and your best friends.

1.  Check your water heaters and be sure they are working.  And consider buying one if you don't have one, they are awesome for encouraging steady water consumption.  Even if you only have freezing temps few times a year like I do, you'll sleep much better at night knowing the tough is a drinking temp.

2.  Check your blankets, and confirm they are indeed still waterproof before it's miserable out.  And check blanket fit too, especially if you have young growing horse(s).

3.  Consider your horse/ herd's health.  Older and younger horses may need extra blanketing, feed, hay, and or separate feeding/housing arrangements.  If your horse is in less than ideal body condition take measures to correct it before the dead of winter strikes.

4.  Check your own personal gear.  Locate your jackets, long johns, and gloves and check there condition.  When the water line breaks in the first major storm you'll be happy to have your gear in ready to go shape.

5.  Check your trailer, truck, and coggins.  Since fall marks the start riding season now is a great time to go ready to go.  Keeping a copy of your coggins on your phone can

6.  Clean your brushes, saddle, and saddle blankets.  After a summer of sweat, grim, and fly spray they deserve it and your horse does too.  And regular cleaning throughout the year will help cut down on skin conditions especially if you groom/ride multiple animals.

How to clean your brushes.
How to clean your saddle pads.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

What I Really Get Out Of A Clinic

I started the 3 year old Mozzie Man this month.  We are a few rides in due to life and rain but I am already seeing the foundation that attending clinics all his life has provided.

At 3 years of age he knows how to spook responsibly.

He knows how to spend the day tied, away from his friends, work around strange horses, and stay overnight in a pen or high tie.

Because of the clinics and the challenges they present (every time) he knows how to work through an obstacle.  

Because of clinics he has confidence in people and seeks/listens to their guidance.

Because of clinics he can quickly refocus on a task after an upset/distraction.

Because of clinics and his exposure to dozens of spooky things he is confident and bold approaching new challenges.

Because of clinics I have a fairly well seasoned horse for his age.

But what about clinics makes them so beneficial that I excitedly go back time and time again?

Because you get do it "all" at a clinic.

Because you get to catch, load, travel, arrive at a new location with lots of other unknown horses, log hours of riding time in a training environment, do group and solo exercises, take a lunch break and tie (or pen) for it, and do it all again in the afternoon. Stay for the night in a new place among new people and animals or haul home, and get up and do it all again for two days or more.

Because what I really get out of a clinic is a chance to do it "all" in a encouraging and understanding environment.

Because I've found that doing it "all" always makes a better horse.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Practicing What You Preach

Now even the little shetland john mule Brillo I picked up this year has a halter ID tag, microchip, and fly mask for the trailer (to protect his eyes from airborne debris). 

Even though Brillo is just a pet (at the moment) he is still my animal and he should be as prepared for life as the rest of herd. 

If you would want to take them with you in the event of fire, flood, or would want to treat them in an medical emergency, then it your job to be sure your pasture pets have the training (at least catch, lead, load, tie) and the gear to keep them safe before an situation occurs.