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.