How to Rescue A Horse

How to Rescue A Horse

How To Rescue A Horse

Wondering how to rescue a horse? Though there are no set formulas to adopting the right horse for you, it can be a difficult and trying experience that you don’t want to get wrong. To help you on this journey, your friends at Colorado Horse Property has come up with a few this to do in the process of adopting a horse. First things first, take a look at how much it will cost you to care for a horse. The cost of owning and caring for a horse is ongoing, not to mention the initial adoption fees. Ensure that your budget includes boarding, feed, tack, training, veterinary care, and supplements for your horse.

Most people want to adopt horses in order to ride them, but don’t just assume it is as easy as that. First evaluate your riding-skill level. If you’re a beginner, start with a horse that is well-trained and confident, versus an untrained, or newly started horse. Not interested in riding your adopted horse? Know what you’re looking for in your horse. Do you need a horse to ride on occasional short rides? Long trail riding? Are you getting a new horse as a companion to a horse you already have? Knowing what you want before you start the process can help you pin point where to adopt your horse.

Choosing a Rescue and Horse

One of the biggest challenges in adopting a horse is finding the right rescue to go with. Some people are restricted by low numbers of rescues in their state. Luckily for you, you live in the great state of Colorado where horse rescues are plentiful. For a full list of rescues, check out our list of Colorado horse rescues! When choosing, be prepared to answer some of these criterion:

Where do the horses come from in the rescue in question? Does the horse rescue only take in horses that are removed from neglectful situations, or does it take horses from auctions or individuals? Will the rescue share the horse’s health records with you? Can you talk to their veterinarian and get the full narrative on any health issues? Does the rescue have a good reputation in the community? Ask local horse owners, veterinarians, and farriers about the rescue in question, if there are any concerns than these horse related professionals are going to know about them. If you have any more questions on how to rescue a horse, contact Colorado Horse Property today.

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Horse Rescue Myths: Funding

horse rescue funding

Horse Rescue Funding

In the world of horse rescues and non-profits in general, there are a lot of myths about how horse rescue funding is found. There is a common misconception that the people’s tax dollars already support the rescue, which in turn discourages people to donate. In reality, most rescues do not receive any local, state or federal funding.

There is only one exception—there are cases when a city or county contracts with a horse rescue for assistance in handling neglect cases and strays, however these cases not very common. Rescues must raise the funds necessary to care for their horses through adoption fees, fundraising events and direct-mail solicitations. Without donations from their prospective communities, some rescues are forced to close their doors.

Freebies and Salaries

Another side to this misconception that hurts horse rescues is that they receive services and items for free, so their expenses are low to none. Though it is true that many rescues get some discounted services, this is not always the case. Large animal vets, farriers, and other horse related professionals must make a profit to survive in this economy just like everyone else. Most services are not discounted or donated.

The last myth to mention that ties in perfectly with this subject of horse rescue funding is that everyone who works at a rescue is on salary. The hard truth is that even if the rescue is financially stable, only a few employees are under salary if any. In most cases, all staffing at a horse rescue is made up of unpaid volunteers. Because of this, someone is probably not available immediately to answer your calls or e-mails, and you may have to wait a few days for a reply. It also means that volunteers are often performing their rescue job after work or on the weekends and aren’t available during weekdays. For more information on horse rescue’s in your area, contact Colorado Horse Property.

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Horse Obesity

Horse Obesity

Does My Horse Have Horse Obesity?

A little bit of online research will tell you that horse obesity is on the rise. Just like in humans, obesity in horses can lead to a number of worse problems. A horse that is overweight has a much higher risk of developing laminitis, insulin resistance and other metabolic disorders. It is not always easy to figure out if your horse is overweight, so Colorado Horse Property has put together a few ways to help you find out.

How To Find Out

Horse owners can use the condition scoring system, which is an evaluation of subcutaneous fat over six points on the horse; the neck, withers, behind the shoulder, along the back, rib area and the tail. The scoring is done on a 1-9 scale and the ideal score for most breeds and disciplines is a 5. Check with your vet on how to check your horses with this scoring system.

There is also the girth to height ratio. This system has been shown to be useful in estimating overall adiposity and is well correlated to body condition score. To figure it out, simply divide the girth measurement by the height measurement. Both measurements should be taken at the top of the withers. A good ratio is less than 1.26.

Then there’s the cresty neck score. This is an evaluation of the amount of fat in the neck region. This system ranges from 0 to 5. 0, which indicates no visible appearance of a crest, whereas a score of 5 indicates a crest so large that it droops to one side. Owners should aim to keep their horses at a cresty neck score of 2 or lower. Your vet should be able to help you with these scoring systems in lieu of using a large horse scale.

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Pigeon Fever, Three Forms

Pigeon Fever

Pigeon Fever

One thing to look out for this year when taking care of your horses is pigeon fever (also known as dryland distemper or Colorado strangles). Pigeon fever develops when a certain type of bacteria enters a horse’s body, probably via insect bites or breaks in the skin. The infection usually causes abscesses in the chest or elsewhere in the horse’s body.

Most horses make a full recovery from pigeon fever, but it can take weeks for the disease to run its course.It is a good idea to become familiar with pigeon fever. Owners should know what it looks like, how it occurs, and when your horse is most likely to get it. Your friends at Colorado Horse Property has done some research and would like to share what we have found.

Three Forms of Pigeon Fever


One form of pigeon fever is the development of external abscesses just under the skin or within your horse’s muscles. They are commonly found in the chest and along the middle of the belly. This is the most common and most documented form of the infection and most horses recover fully once the abscess drains and the wound heals.

Another form of this infection causes internal abscesses to develop. This occurs when the bacteria is carried into the body and infect the liver, kidney, lungs or other internal organs. If you suspect that your horse has contracted this type of infection, then make sure to take your animal to the vet as soon as possible. An ultrasound may be needed to locate abscesses, assess their size and determine their maturity.

The last form of pigeon fever causes swelling and ulcerations on the lower legs. These abscesses form within lymph nodes, causing the swelling of the leg. Signs of this form of the infection are lameness, lethargy and loss of appetite. Again, if your animal is showing any of these signs, make sure to take them to the vet as soon as possible.

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Horse Whispering

Horse Whisperer

What Is A Horse Whisperer?

The term horse whisperer was popularized by the 1998 film starring Robert Redford, but what does the phrase actually refer to? More commonly known as natural horsemanship, this type of animal husbandry refers to  a variety of horse training techniques which have seen rapid growth in popularity since the 1980’s.

The techniques vary in their precise tenets but generally share principles of developing a relationship with horses, using methods said to be derived from observation of the natural behavior of free-roaming horses and rejecting abusive training methods as seen in many domestic practices. Specialists will tell you that in reality, horse whispering is more about listening than whispering. These professional, those that practice natural horsemanship, understand how to read the body language of horses and are fully aware of the psychology of the horse.

The Professionals

Like other professionals in their fields of expertise, horse whisperers often spend years studying a horse and its behavior. Through developing a relationship with the horse, they are able to read the equine’s natural body language and accurately depict what is going on with the horse. From the most subtle changes in facial expressions, the flick of a tail, stamp of a foot, to rolling eyes and rearing, drooping lower lips, ear movements—the horse can speak an language that whisperer’s can understand and respond to in their own way.

In some public demonstrations, a horse whisperer will stand in an enclosure, of a reasonable size, which a young untrained horse is released into. The horse’s natural instinct is to fight or flight. The whisperer becomes the herd, the safe place to be, by his use of body language. First, he sends the horse away, he has not yet invited it to join his herd! He drives the horse forward and keeps him away. For more information on this profession, where you can find a horse whisperer in Colorado, or information on horse properties in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today.

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Horse Rescue Myth: All Rescues Are The Same

Horse Rescue Myth

Horse Rescue Myth

Horse rescues are places, often ran by nonprofit organization, where abused, abandoned, and misguided horses are cared for. If you are planning to move to Colorado with the intentions on obtaining horses, consider adopting a rehabilitated horse from one of our many horse rescues. Here is a list of the horse rescue’s in Colorado. You can also search for horse properties on our website. There is a horse rescue myth out there in the horse community that all rescues are the same. This horse rescue myth could not be farther from the truth. Horse rescues in Colorado are unique organizations with their own policies and procedures, fundraisers and staff.

Horse Rescue Differences

Nonprofit rescues don’t pay income tax on the money it raises and your donations to it are usually tax-deductible. On the other hand, donations to private rescues are not tax-deductible, and they’re not required to make their records public. They are required to pay income taxes on any money they receive from fundraisers, adoptions, etc.

Don’t confuse horse rescue with horse sanctuaries. Sanctuaries provide lifelong homes to horses in need and do not offer adoption options. This means that sanctuaries can help only a limited number of horses. Both of these types of organizations, differ from rehoming organizations. These types of organizations do place their horses with adopters, but many rescues of this type also offer a limited number of sanctuary spots to horses they deem unadoptable. There are many reasons why a horse may be unadoptable, typically for physical or behavioral problems.

Another way that rescues differ from each other are the may in which they take in horses, or where they receive them from. Horses can come to rescues from auctions, racetracks, owner donations or law enforcement impoundments in cases of abuse or neglect. Though many rescues take in animals from all sorts of backgrounds, you may find that some rescues are better equipped with dealing with impoundments than others.

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Horse Health, Tail Rubbing

Horse Health

Horse Health Problems

Your friends at Colorado Horse Property knows how important horse health is to you horse owners out there. One issue that you might have this year is called Tail Rubbing, in which your horse might rub its tail raw.

There may be several reasons why this is occuring. The most common is pinworms. If you suspect your horse has pinworms, call your veterinarian before starting any treatment, to get their professional opinion. You’ll want to be sure to select a deworming agent that is effective against that parasite in your area. If you live in the Littleton area, then try visiting the Littleton Equine Medical Center for help with this issue.

Finding A Solution

The first thing you are going to want to due when you find that your horse has been tail rubbing, is to check for pinworms These parasites have made a resurgence in North America recently. The eggs trigger itchiness that helps spread them through the environment as the horse rubs against things.

Then you should inspect the tail itself. Separate the hairs to check the skin along the tailbone and lift it to examine the underside as well. The irritation may be due to ticks that should be removed. If the irritation on the skin of the tail is widespread, your horse may have contacted dermatitis.

If the your horse’s tail itself looks fine, check between the hind legs forward to the sheath. This is a prime location for tiny Culicoides midges to feed, which can set off an allergic reaction known as “sweet itch.” These insects also feed along the crest, so affected horses may also rub their necks. For more information on common horse health issues or where to find the nearest horse vet, contact Colorado Horse Property.

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Equine Therapy

Equine Therapy

Equine Therapy, Littleton

Mental health is an issue that many Americans deal with on a daily basis. In researching therapy options, you may have come across the term Equine Therapy. This is a unique and experiential type of therapy that involves interactions between people and horses. You may hear the terms Horse Therapy, Equine-Assisted Therapy, and Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy—all of these terms refer to equine therapy and the definition given above.

As part of this type of therapy, patients engage in certain activities such as grooming, feeding, haltering and leading a horse. These activities should be supervised by a mental health professional. If one is available, activities should also be monitored by a horse professional to make sure that the animal is comfortable during the process. Both during the activity and after the patient has finished working with the horse, the equine therapist can observe and interact with the patient in order to identify behavior patterns and process thoughts and emotions.

If you are looking for a new home in Colorado and are dealing with a mental health issue, consider making the move to Littleton. Not only is Littleton a great place to live, work, and raise a family, it is close to premier equine therapy center Happy Dog Ranch. Search for homes in Littleton now, many of which include accommodations for horses on the land. Here you will find a link to information about the equine therapy ranch in Littleton.

Therapy Benefits

  • Social responsibility
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Impulse control
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Self-actualization
  • Independence
  • Self-regard
  • Assertiveness
  • Stress tolerance
  • Flexibility
  • Emotional awareness
  • Empathy

Horse therapy has been successfully used in treatment programs for adults and teens who are being treated for the following problems: eating disorders, learning differences, ADD/ADHD, autism, Asperger’s, grief/loss, trauma, substance abuse, addiction, behavior disorders, mood disorders, sex addiction, compulsive gambling, bipolar, depression and other conditions similar to those listed.

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The Colorado Horse Park

The Colorado Horse Park

The Colorado Horse Park

The Colorado Horse Park is the largest horse park in the western United States, and features more than 40 events per year, 11 competition arenas, 100 boarding stalls, an RV park, two covered arenas, 300 permanent stalls and portable stalls for more than 1,000 competing horses.

The Colorado Horse Park was rumored to be sold and developed into a subdivision, but news of a new ownership put these concerns to rest. Mark Bellissimo, owner of a large equestrian festival in Florida, bought the park in December 2014. Helen Krieble, who bought the park in 1993, neared retirement that September and put the park up for sale.

Colorado Equestrian Partners

The new partnership that now owns The Colorado Horse Park, Colorado Equestrian Partners, includes Mark and Katherine Bellissimo and other partners within the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

The Colorado Equestrian Partners purchased the park with plans to invest in improvements. These improvement included stabling and footing and key factors that energize the equestrian community. The partners planned to develop philanthropic initiatives along with outreach programs that work with local schools to raise awareness about opportunities in horse sports. And over the years since this new ownership they have done just that!

Today The Colorado Horse Park hosts a number of events. In this month alone The Colorado Horse Park has hosted its second High Prairie Dressage event of the year, a cross county schooling on schooling course, the Marilyn Payne eventing clinic, and the Horsemanship Goodnight event. The Colorado Horse Park also hosted an event during the month of June called Summer in the Rockies. The Summer in the Rockies event is a horse show competition in which riders can compete and win prizes. The event began on June the sixth and will end on July the eighteenth. For more information about The Colorado Horse Park, contact Colorado Horse Property.

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Colorado Horses

Colorado Horses

Colorado Horses

Colorado horses form groups that are called harems. A harem is composed of one adult male, several females, their foals, and younger horses of both sexes, and one to five stallions. Each group is led by a dominant mare. Harems are usually small, containing between 3 and 35 animals; this number changes as young animals are driven out of their natal band and join other bands, or as stallions challenge each other for dominance.

A band or harem should not be confused with a herd. In herds, there is usually a single stallion, though occasionally a few less-dominant males may remain on the fringes of the group.

Horse Hierarchy

It is no secret that horses have evolved to live in herds. As with many animals that live in large groups, establishment of a stable hierarchical system is important to reduce aggression and increase group cohesion. Dominance can depend on a variety of factors, including an individual horse’s need for a particular resource at a given time. Some horses may be dominant over all resources and others may be submissive for all resources.

The herd stallion is not the king of a harem of females. The horse that tends to lead a wild or feral herd is often a dominant mare. The mare will lead the herd to food and other resources as well as control the groups routine and movement. This mare will ensure the general health of the group of horses under her.

However, there was a recent theory published that says there is no single horse that leads the group. In this 2014 study, it was observed that some herd movements may have been stared by any individual horse, although higher-ranked members are followed more often by other herd members. For more information on horses and their behaviors, contact Colorado Horse Property.

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