Monday, October 7, 2013

Blankets or No Blankets

In upstate New York, Spring and Fall are the two times of year when the question arises, "Should I put a blanket on my horse today?" Summer is a no-brainer. Generally NO blankets are needed.  Winter, another no-brainer, blankets ARE usually needed.

 It's those iffy days when it's cold in the morning and warm in the afternoon, when we equine lovers scratch our heads trying to figure out what to do.

Rule of thumb is: Put on a protective rain sheet if it's 57 degrees or cooler (down to 45).  When it gets to be below 45 (down to 38) a mid weight winter blanket works. Thirty five degrees and below I get out the heavier blankets. You can always double blanket.

It was 62 degrees today, but raining with heavy winds. Tonight it's going down to 48 degrees. If your horse gets wet and the wind blows when it's cool, they'll get chilled. My two mares shiver. So, today they have their protective rain sheets on  to keep them warm and dry. They're happy. And so am I.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rice Bran

Bag of stabilized rice bran.

If you want to put weight on a horse that has a tough time keeping weight on, stabilized Rice Bran is the perfect feed supplement for weight gain. Rice bran is great for the equine immune system, giving them long lasting energy without the horse becoming high strung.

I have two thoroughbreds who have gone barefoot for the last 11 years. As you know the thoroughbred is noted for having dry, shaley feet. Rice bran keeps the hoof wall hard and resilient, giving your horse a natural way of going with great blood circulation to the foot. It also saves tons of money on farrier bills.

A 40 pound bag of rice bran is about $29 - $32 per bag. I give my mares three cups each during the winter months and taper down to one cup each when they start grazing on late spring and summer pasture grass. The rice bran is a supplement to be fed with their regular grain and high quality hay daily.

Enjoy your equine friends. Treat them kindly, feed them sensibly, and they will take care of you.

Happy trails.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Weather and Hay

It's been a dreadfully hot summer here in upstate New York with temps reaching 94-100 degrees and high humidity. There's been very little to no rain until recently.

The long and short of it is, my farmer friends, who supply hay locally, said hay will be scarce this year. They recommend horse and stable owners to get their hay suppliers lined up immediately. Two hay suppliers are suggested. And fill your barns now with hay. Prices are going up and hay is in short supply due to the weather conditions.

For those of you who fly by the seat of your pants, get poor hay at bargain prices from anyone who has it, or buy as needed,'re going to be out of luck this year.

For those of us you who board your horses or are looking for a place to board , be sure to find a barn that is well-stocked with good quality hay and be sure the stable owner uses a reputable, regular hay supplier.

Take care and happy trails.

Monday, April 2, 2012

It's Been A While

It's been a while since I've posted to this blog. The most important reason is because I've been riding almost every day and that's a good thing. My horses are much happier and better behaved when they're ridden on a regular schedule.

Horses enjoy a routine as well as a job to do. They're really not much different than we humans; except  maybe they're a little smarter. The whole equine, human experience is not only a spiritual connection, but regular exercise keeps us all fit.

Enjoy this beautiful spring weather. Go ride a horse. If you don't have a horse to ride, go visit a farm and ask the farm owner if you can offer some of our equine friends a carrot or two. I'm sure the horses will appreciate it.

Happy trails.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Make Time

It's been a week and a half since I've been out to the barn. It's been since August of 2011 since I've written a post to this blog. I'm not too sure what happens to the time, but I do know that I miss my horses very much. I'm very fortunate to be able to board my horses with capable people, so I don't have to worry about them, but still...I miss them. With a responsible work load, holidays, family get togethers, and the daily house chores, time easily slips away. So, my 2012 resolution is to make more time for my horses by learning to say, "No," more often to people, places, and things that sap my energy.

Time with my equine companions is important. I need to plan my days better so I can enjoy their   unconditional love, exuberance for life, and their need for socialization with me. I always feel energized and positive after spending time with my mares, setting the tone for the rest of the day.

The spirit of the horse is good for the soul.