Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hoof packing

http://youtu.be/Gwm8c8xTta8

^this is an interesting tutorial on hoof packing. They use Epsom salt and sore no more in the hoof. I've never seen anyone do it like that before. I typically use all natural clay. There are many products out there, as well as different techniques. They made a patch of duct tape, but it's perfectly fine to just wrap the hoof as with the vet wrap.

-A

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Natural Horsemanship and Performance & Competition

I don't know what it is with people, but when most traditional riders and trainers think about natural horsemen, they think it's all about the riding bareback and bridleless, playing at liberty, just doing things with horses just to do it and fool around to have a bit of fun. Honestly though, there's more to it than that. Yes it's true, there is a large amount of bareback/potentially bridleless riding and liberty, but natural horsemen can compete in more "traditional" competitions as well.
That's what the Finesse savvy is about. Building contact with the horse's mouth, into collection and framing. All about the refinement and fine tuning of the horse and rider's skills as a pair. 
All the of savvys that come before finesse (OnLine, Freestyle, & Liberty) build up the relationship between horse and rider. In the more traditional ways of the equestrian (English equestrian more so), the first three savvys are skipped and the refinement becomes first priority for a skill riders need to have. This is the part that I (as a natural horsewomen), can't quite come to understand. Refinement isn't possible if there is no base to refine. 
Let's make a canoe building analogy here. It isn't possible to go from the tree to a canoe in one step. First the right tree needs to be cut down (buying your horse), then its bark removed (earning his trust). Each piece will have to be individually crafted (each savvy), then assembled (your horse's specialization) and refined into a beautiful work of art (your perfect equine partner).
If y'all wanna go from tree to canoe in one step, y'all'll be needing some kind of a crazy gadget to make it work. There is no such thing that I know of, so it'll be best to put the extra care into doing right.

I dunno if this makes any sense to y'all, but it does to me.

-A

Monday, September 16, 2013

Wire Fences

I just thought I'd take this opportunity to talk about fencing in and around the stables/paddock. There are many types of fencing out there, including wood panel, electric tape/wire, vinyl panel, and wire. 
Wire fencing is one of the most common types of fencing in North American, yet it is also the most dangerous for livestock, including horses! I can tell y'all this from experience (not a very pleasant experience). It is not an uncommon occurrence that a horse will try to reach to the other side of the fence and end up getting something caught on it. It may a hoof or an ear, but either way, it's not pleasant if the fence is rusty and your horse scratches himself on it. If that happens, it would be a good idea to consider getting your horse a tetanus shot.
My LBI pony did exactly that, reached to the other side of the fence and tore the edge of his nose. 
As y'all can see, it is not very pleasant looking. He is also extremely sensitive in that already sensitive area.
So please, do your best to avoid or replace any wire fencing you already have.

-A

Monday, July 29, 2013

Rubs

Halter rubs, blanket rubs, any kind of rubs! They are absolutely anyone for the horse owner and can be painful for the horse.
Rubs are when friction from a halter/fly mask/blanket/etc irritates the horse's skin. Hair often gets rubbed off, leaving sensitive skin to be rubbed further. This can cause painful open sores that will only get worse if they are not treated accordingly.

I will cover different ways to prevent, protect, and heal the rubs.

1 - Vitamin E cream
This cream promotes new hair growth, if there is no open sore. If there an open wound, use an ointment as you would any other minor wound. Once it has healed, apply the cream thoroughly. Cover the cream (if at all possible) with a fly mask, bandage, etc. so that your horse is less likely to rub it off.

2 - Petroleum jelly
This useful the prevention of halter/fly mask rubs on the face/head or other small areas. On the of fly masks, try using a nylon/lycra blend fly mask. They are much less likely to cause rubs (I'm talking from experience here - this exact thing happened to my pony) than the masks made of more traditional materials. Having multiple different styles of fly masks can be useful as well to figure out which one works best for your horse (or just in case one needs to be cleaned or repaired).

3 - Shoulder Guards
These can also be known as sleezies or jammies. They are often a stretchy and form fitting 80% nylon/20% lycra blend that covers that chest, shoulders, and withers. Wearing a shoulder guard will prevent rubs from progressing, or from starting at all.

Hope this was helpful.

-A