Finding the Right Trainer

Easier said than done right. It’s not an easy find really. A few things come into play for most people that are looking for the right trainer to train their most prized possession. Find out if anyone can train their horse and get them to behave in a certain way? I ask what are some of the things owners like to find in their chosen trainer and list them.

  • Should you try to train your own horse?
  • How long does it actually take and can a good rider train a horse – Not necessarily.
  • If I could tell people just one thing about a relationship between you, your horse and your trainer…

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FROM GO TO WHOA

This easy to read book will help you train your own horse at home. Lot's of lessons and tips right through from Weanlings to Senior horses.

A$35.00

Conformation – The forelimb.

Be it for showing under saddle, racing, reining, or riding for pleasure, a horse needs to be put together properly; but does a horse need to be put together perfectly?

Which limb defects matter and which don’t?

Since horses’ domestication, humans have been scrutinizing equine legs in an attempt to judge which horse will perform best in a given situation. Be it for any discipline, a horse needs to be put together properly; but does a horse need to be put together perfectly? Given that some poorly conformed horses surprise us and go on to be champions begs the question: Is conformation really all that important?

What is Conformation

Conformation simply refers to the physical appearance or ‘outline’ of a horse.”

Conformation is more or less defined by the horse’s bones, muscles, associated soft tissues, and how they all fit together. If all horses were created equal and used for the same purpose, then judging conformation would be easy. Alas, this is not the case. Every classification of horse (i.e., draft, light, or pony) has a different “normal” conformation and its own set of conformation traits defined by the breed and type of work the horse is intended to do. For example, sport, stock, hunter, pleasure, race, and show horses are all types of light horses, and each has its own accepted standard of conformation.

Conformation assessment involves a fine eye, patience, and a bit of luck. The horse is usually examined with four key functional components in mind: the head and neck; the forelimbs; the barrel and the hind limbs. Ideally, the forelimbs are evaluated from the front and sides.

Forelimb Conformation

A horse’s forelimbs should match and bear weight equally. Both toes are expected to point forward, and when the horse stands square the feet should stand as wide as the limbs are at their origin (i.e., the chest). If a straight line is drawn from the point of the shoulder, it should course perfectly down the front of the limb to the middle of the foot.

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Equine Health, Five Tips For A Healthy Horse

If you own a horse, you are probably aware of the time and money needed to properly care for this amazing creature. Since horses have a longer life than do most animals, keeping them healthy can be somewhat of a challenge. Still, there are several things you can do to help ensure your horse stays healthy. Below are five tips that will help you get started down the right path.

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How to stop being nervous when showing your horse

I travelled to this lovely lady the other day to give her a riding lesson. She was so nice. She had been working with her horse at home for quite a few years, she was a lovely rider, had a handy horse and do you know she had never competed at a show? As we were going through the lesson, I asked her why she had not shown as yet, her answer was sad to me, “fear” was her answer. Not fear of getting bucked off or fear of having a crash on the way but fear of looking silly if she mucked up! That was indeed sad to hear especially when her dream was to show one day. The only thing stopping her was fear of mucking up.

It’s not a “given” that if you own a horse you must show it, however, when you want to get out and show but you can’t due to fear of mucking up or letting nerves get the better of you that’s kind of sad. After all, it’s meant to be fun, it’s a hobby and don’t people take up hobbies because they’re fun to do?

Try this checklist

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Obsessive-compulsive habit in horses

This is an obsessive-compulsive habit in horses that is likely caused by boredom, stress, or possibly stomach acidity that can lead to equine ulcers. It is a behavioral disorder, and like any other harmful addiction, a cribber needs help controlling itself.

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Hives in horses

Many owners see those telltale bumps and attribute them to insect bites when, in reality, they’re hives—the end result of a complicated allergic response.

A case of hives also referred to as urticaria, can be frustrating for the horse, the owner and the treating veterinarian. Hives can show up minutes to hours to days after exposure to an inciting agent, may or may not be itchy and can appear nearly anywhere on a horse’s body.

Although hives are one way allergies can manifest in the horse, hives are not always caused by allergies. What makes hives particularly challenging is that many, many things can cause hives, such as insects, inhaled pollens, ingested foods, administered medications, direct contact with a wide variety of substances, and even hot or cold temperatures, pressure and exercise.

Though they can occur during any season, equine hives, or urticaria is a common problem with horses during the summer months. Hives present as circular bumps covering large areas of the body. They are sometimes accompanied by itching. Hives are a sign of disease, not a specific disease itself.

Sometimes contact with a substance or material such as a fly spray or bedding may cause hives. There are so many possibilities that finding the cause is often difficult. It is helpful to note if any product or care changes brought the hives on. Removing potential elements one at a time and waiting a minimum of 1 – 2 weeks to see a difference is a time consuming and unrewarding method of determination. For the one-time occurrence of hives, you might never discover the incriminating source. However, if hives recur, you might be motivated to track the allergen. Start by mentally reconstructing any changes in diet, environment, medications, vaccinations, or stress factors that occurred in recent months. Provide your veterinarian with a list of suspicious items or events. Another diagnostic technique, albeit expensive and time-consuming, uses intradermal allergy testing to try and isolate an allergic source from pollens (plants, bushes, and trees), molds, grasses, weeds, dust mites, insects, and farm plants. The horse should be pulled off medications (steroids or antihistamines) at least 10-30 days prior to testing.

Managing horses with hives includes:

Your first plan of attack should be to make the horse as comfortable as possible, which might require use of medications such as steroids and antihistamines, supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids and MSM, and a skin-care regimen such as cool rinses. Next, it is necessary to determine the initial cause of the hives. In some situations, skin eruptions can be linked to a recent deworming, antibiotic administration or similar event. This acute reaction may resolve on its own and, if the product is avoided in the future, might never return. In other situations, a horse will break out with no obvious changes in his lifestyle or management and improve as long as he receives dexamethasone or prednisone, only to have bumps and welts re-appear as soon as the medication is discontinued.

Nutting out the cause

Consider: Is it now bug season? Did you use a new bedding? Has the turnout program changed? Was the horse bathed with a new shampoo? Your veterinarian might suggest avoiding or reducing exposure to insects, fly spray, a certain brand of shavings, a specific grass lot or a brand of topical product while the horse’s skin recovers. Then, you may like to re-apply the possible cause of the hives under controlled circumstances by adding one possible cause at a time. If hives immediately recur, this process of elimination worked. If not, it will be necessary to cast a wider net and keep searching for the culprit, even if it requires keeping a daily journal of observations.

In addition, the vet may need to perform diagnostic tests such as skin scrapings, cultures, impression smears and biopsies to rule out conflicting skin conditions such as infections.