Winter Horses

Winter Horses

Horse owners are naturally going to over-prepare their horses for the winter. It’s inevitable. Though closing the barn windows and turning up the heater seems like a good idea, it might not be. All horses are winter horses; they are equipped to handle most winters.

For instance, horses are naturally claustrophobic and their mental well-being suffers when confined. Though they will need to take shelter some times, horses instinctively need open spaces. Standing in a stall for long periods of time can be damaging to your horse’s health. Just like humans, it is not good for horses to be sedentary. It leads to ulcers, colic, and other digestive disorders, not to mention obesity. Good horse owners will know that having some sort of shelter is a must. However, using it should be your horse’s choice, not yours. Winter horses will always take shelter when they need to.

Are Horse Blankets Necessary?

Drive through any horse community in Colorado, like Elizabeth or Salida, during the winter. Some horses will have blankets on and some will not. Putting a blanket on a horse will vary from situation to situation. Overall, your horse’s coat is fully equipped to keep it insulated against the cold in most cases. As long as they can go into their stall during strong winds and wet weather, your horse is able to keep sufficiently warm in the coldest weather. Starting thinking of your horses as winter horses.

So, when are horse blankets necessary? Horses who shiver in the cold, are underweight, aging, ill, or otherwise frail, may feel better with extra covering. However, keep a check on your horse. Are they sweating under the blanket? You don’t want to inhibit your horse’s coat from its natural ability to protect against the cold. So, if your horse is sweating or exhibiting signs of discomfort due to the blanket, make sure to take the blanket off. For more information, contact Colorado Horse Property today.

Three Draft Horse Myths

draft horse myths

What Are Draft Horses?

The Daft Horse is a breed of large horses. For instance, the Shire Horse, Sampson, a Draft Horse, holds the world record for the biggest horse. Old horse owners bred Draft Horse’s to be a working animal, doing hard tasks such as plowing and other farm labor. There are several breeds of Draft horses, like the Irish Draft, the Latvian, and the Breton. These breeds exhibit varying characteristics, but all share common traits of strength, patience, and a docile temperament. These traits originally made them indispensable to generations of pre-industrial farmers. However, you have probably dismissed draft horses for riding because of common misconceptions associated with these breeds. The following are some myths about Draft Horses and the truths behind them.

Draft Horse Myths

  1. Riders can’t mount a Draft Horse unaided on the trail.
    This is one of the biggest misconceptions about the Draft Horse. Common sense tells us that it is difficult to mount a tall horse on the trail. However, there are ways to overcome this. Start by training your draft horse to stand still while you mount. You can even train your horse to kneel, making mounting easier.
  2. Draft horses are slow.
    Uneducated riders might look at a Draft Horse and think they are genetically modified or overweight. This is not true. Yes, Draft Horses are much taller than the horses people typically ride, but they were bred that way just others are bred to be smaller. A healthy draft horse has just as much energy and is just as capable of cantering and galloping as any other breed.
  3. Draft horses are harness horses, not riding horses.
    Yes, their size makes them great harness horses. They can pull wagons and plows with ease. But don’t think they can’t be saddled up as well. Not all Draft breeds are incredibly big. Don’t forget about the Gypsy Vanner, the Norwegian Fjord, the Haflinger, and the Friesian.

For more information about Draft Horse, contact Colorado Horse Property today. If you are looking for horse property in Colorado, contact one of our horse-person realtors for help.

Green Horsekeeping

Green Horsekeeping

Keeping horses can be very hard on the environment. In order to reduce your strain on the world around you, horse owners should practice green horsekeeping. There are many ways that keeping horses impact the land. Manure, insect sprays, and weed killers on the pasture all can play a role in contaminating local streams and waterways. Here are a few things that you can do to practice green horsekeeping and improve your impact on the world.

One of the most important parts of green horsekeeping is making sure your pasture is in good shape. That means making your pasture healthy and mud-free. Less mud means less standing water, and no more runoff that’s likely to contaminate nearby streams. If your pastures are healthy, they’re also more likely to be weed-free, with a reduced need for toxic herbicides. A single horse can produce as much as 50 pounds of manure per day. That’s nine tons a year. What you do with the manure on your farm is important when it comes to protecting the environment. Composting is an ideal solution because it improves the soil. And then there’s building on your property. Whether you’re just building your barn, are making an addition, or are simply fixing fences, the type of construction you choose is an important environmental decision. Another option to consider is a wood composite. This manmade, wood-like product is made from as much as 65-percent recycled materials, including both recycled wood and plastic.

Colorado is a great place for raising horses. Many Colorado horse properties already have the structures in places, like barns and tack rooms. This makes for an easier transition when moving and makes green horsekeeping possible. If you have questions about horse properties in Colorado, contact one of our horse person realtors today!

Horse Fencing by Affordability

Affordability Matters

Managing and rearing horses is definitely a hard and rewarding job. Only a select few people have the temperance for. There are a lot of costs when it comes to owning horses that most people don’t think about. Depending on how much land and horses you have, fencing can be one of those big costs. Here is a list of horse fencing ordered by price. Now you can get what suits your situation the best.

The prices used below are averages used across the industry. For the most accurate prices you should contact your local manufacturers. For more information, contact Colorado Horse Property today. If you or someone you know is looking for a horse property, farm for sale, or horse lot for sale, we have horse-person Realtors standing by right now.

Low Cost Horse Fencing

Barbed Wire Fencing—This type of fencing will cost you $0.03 – $0.05 per foot and is one of the most cost effective types of horse fencing that you can buy. Barbed wire provides a solid barrier for horses, but can potentially be harmful to horses that are not used to it.
Bare Wire Fencing— This type of fencing will cost you $0.03 – $0.12 per wire and has the potential to be very cost effective depending on where you buy. Installation and maintenance is a breeze with bare wire fencing, though it does have less visibility for horses.
Braided Electrical Fencing—This type of fencing will cost you $0.10 – $0.14 per braid. This type of electrical fencing is more reliable when it comes to power wastage, though with all electrical fencing it will increase your monthly electrical bill.
Electric Tape Fencing—This type of fencing will cost you $0.04 – $0.28 per tape. Electrical tape is more visible for horses than the other low cost options, which reduces the chance of inexperienced horses getting tangled in your fencing.

Medium Cost Horse Fencing

High Tensile Polymer Line Fencing—This type of fencing will cost you $0.11 – $0.13 per line. This coated fencing is much safer for horses when it comes to cuts and abrasions, which is important because this fencing does have less visibility.
Polymer Line Fencing—This type of fencing will cost you $0.14 – $0.21 per line. This type of fencing is nearly maintenance free. However, if a horse becomes tangled in this fencing, it can break easily. So if you have a horse that is an escape artist, then this could be a problem.
High Tensile Polymer Rail Fencing—This type of fencing will cost you $0.58 – $0.98 per rail. HTP rail fencing is more durable than your low cost options and is very easy to maintain. HTP rails also comes in a variety of colors, a customization that other fencing options don’t have.
Vinyl Rail Fencing—This type of fencing will cost you $0.90 – $1.10 per rail. Vinyl fencing is popular because it is nearly maintenance free and is highly visible for horses. This type of fencing also gives you more variety in color and style.

High Cost Horse Fencing

Hot-Coat High Tensile Polymer Fencing—This type of fencing will cost you $1.10 – $1.15 per rail and line. Like regular HTP rail fencing, hot-coat fencing is very durable and is easier to maintain. Hot-coat fencing is a continuous line, which is better for those escape artist horses out there.
No-Climb Fencing—This type of fencing will cost you $1.39 – $1.89 per foot. This type of fencing is best for keeping out other animals, like dogs, coyotes, foxes, etc. However, this fencing requires more maintenance than other high cost fencing.
Wooden Rail Fencing—This type of fencing will cost you $3.00 – $9.00 per foot. This is the more expensive option and requires more maintenance. However, you can’t beat the classic style that it brings to the neighborhood.

Photo by Zosia Korcz on Unsplash

Colorado Horse Property

Preventing Horse Lyme Disease

horse lyme disease prevention

Equine Lyme Disease Prevention

Before reading, consider checking out our previous articles on Defining Equine Lyme Disease and Testing for Equine Lyme Disease. It is not an easy thing to care for a horse that has developed problems due to this disease. Horses that have developed neurological problems and uveitis tend to have a poor recovery. Very few horses with neurological signs are treated successfully. Unfortunately, most horses with uveitis lose their vision. No horse owner should have to go through that. This is why it is so important to prevent your horse from contracting the disease.

Lyme disease prevention consists of environmental management and controlling the risk of exposure. Mow all tall grasses, clear shrubs and bushes, and remember to keep your horses out of forests and woodland. Using fences to keep out animals carrying ticks is not always enough. Deer often transport ticks to horses, even if they do not have access to your pasture. Consider using feeding stations with insecticide-laden rubbing posts to treat deer for ticks that wander near your property. Also, use mulch between the woods and your pasture to create a buffer like a moat around a castle.

The Best Prevention Method is Simple

Regular grooming and careful tick removal is the best prevention method for equine Lyme disease. This helps prevent ticks from staying attached to horses long enough to transmit the disease. Remember to be careful when removing ticks from your horse to ensure that it does not survive and latch onto you instead. Also, apply a tick preventive such as a Permethrin spray to deter ticks from latching onto horses in the first place. Also, some veterinarians do administer a canine Lyme disease vaccine. Are you looking for a horse property in Colorado? Don’t settle for a regular realtor that doesn’t have experience with horses. Contact one of our horse-person realtors today.

Testing for Horse Lyme Disease

testing for equine lyme disease

Does My Horse Have Lyme Disease?

Detecting and diagnosing equine Lyme disease can be very challenging. There is little to no scientific literature on the subject and therefore a lack of an experimental model for equine infection. Also, a positive lab test is not definitive enough to lead to a positive Lyme disease diagnosis. Because of this, equine Lyme disease is often over diagnosed. Though, you should still get your horse tested. However, lab results show the horse has been exposed to the disease at some point and has produced antibodies against it. With all these problems with diagnosis, here are a few sure-fire steps to figure out if your horse has the infection:

  1. First of all, is your horse is located in an area where Lyme disease is prevalent?
  2. Also, look for the clinical signs consistent with Lyme disease. You can find them in our article Defining Horse Lyme Disease.
  3. You might have to rule out other causes of the clinical signs your horse is showing. These signs tend to overlap with many other equine diseases.
  4. If your horse is in a Lyme Disease region and is showing common clinical signs of the disease that cannot be attributed to something else, then have your horse tested.

Testing Methods

Laboratory tests consist of blood and tissue testing from the affected area. Veterinarians test horse blood in several different ways. These include the indirect fluorescent antibody test, Western blot test, or whole cell immunology. However, blood testing alone can be inconclusive without tissue testing. The broad-spectrum tetracycline and similar antibiotics are the most commonly used drugs to treat equine Lyme disease. For more information check out our other articles on Lyme diseases in horses. Are you looking for a horse property in Colorado? Don’t settle for a regular realtor that doesn’t have experience with horses. Contact one of our horse-person realtors today.

Photo by Lucas Vasques on Unsplash.

Defining Horse Lyme Disease

Lyme disease in horses

Lyme Disease in Horses

Horses are exposed to many things because they are large mammals that spend most of their days out in the elements. Unfortunately, one of these things is diseases. You have probably heard about Lyme disease. It is transmitted by ticks to humans, cats, and dogs. You might not know however, that this disease can also affect horses. In humans, infections can lead to a wide range of clinical signs, including rashes, arthritis, and cardiac issues. For our house pets, Lyme disease can cause problems with the kidneys. Lyme disease in horses causes neurological issues, uveitis (eye inflammation), muscle atrophy, and behavioral changes, just to name a few.

In Colorado and other western states, Lyme disease is carried by the Western black-legged tick. These ticks have a two-year life cycle and feed on the blood of mammals to survive. Adult ticks are more active in the spring and fall. They climb to the top of the grass when temperatures rise above 40°F. When horses lie down in the grass or walk through tall grass, their hair brushes up against the leaves. This is typically how a tick attaches to the horse.

Equine Lyme Disease

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (or the CDC), reports that black-legged ticks are endemic in 14 states in the Midwest and along the East Coast. These areas have a cooler climate, therefore humans and house pets are unlikely to get the disease. Also, their geographical range appears to be expanding. However, horses live primarily outdoors, and are naturally at a higher risk of contracting Lyme disease.. In fact, horses might be more widely exposed to the disease than we realize. For information on equine Lyme disease, stay tuned for more upcoming articles on our blog. Are you looking for a horse property in Colorado? Don’t settle for a regular realtor that doesn’t have experience with horses. Contact one of our horse-person realtors today.

Photo by bradley on Unsplash.

WZ Ranch and Colorado Horse Boarding

Horse Boarding

Colorado Horse Boarders

Looking for a home is not easy. Finding the perfect area for you and your family will depend on many factors. Add a few horses into the mix and that search just got a lot harder. Finding the property with the right stable and pasture spaces can be difficult. Your friends at Colorado Horse Property suggest the best way to see if an area is suited for your horses is to bring them into the area. When searching for a new house, don’t you like to take a look at it first? Well, the same can be said for your horses. For a lot of horse owners, this could be an impossible task. Searching for a new home is hard enough for you and your family. Having to worry about hauling your horses up and down the state of Colorado puts stress on you and your horses. This is where a specialized horse boarding facility can benefit you.

There are many options for horse boarding services in Colorado. When choosing where to board your horse, ask yourself “what is important to me when looking for horse boarding near me?” Does your horse like to graze? Do you and your horse need ample trail riding nearby? Do you need access to a round pen or arena for training? If you said yes to these questions, then WZ Ranch is the overnight and short-term boarding facility you’ve been looking for.

WZ Ranch

WZ Ranch, a unique boarding facility accommodating traveling and relocating horsemen, is run by Tom and Phyllis Ellis. If regular overnight horse boarding facilities are horse hotels, WZ Ranch is the horse Hilton! Located just off of I-25 between Colorado Springs and Denver, WZ Ranch has everything you and your horses need. The ranch boasts grand indoor stalls, paddocks with loafing sheds, indoor and outdoor runs, a round pen, a large indoor arena, and several grazing pastures as well.

The Ellis team moved to the Palmer Divide from Texas with the dream of offering spacious, clean, and safe spaces for horses traveling through Colorado. You will definitely want to pick their brains, since they have thirty years of experience with horses and the rodeo circuit. They can also connect you with the best clinicians, veterinarians, and farriers in the area. To make things more convenient for you while looking for your Colorado horse property, WZ Ranch offers LQ-RV pads with hookups so you don’t need to be away from your horses while searching for the perfect Colorado horse property. The Spruce Meadows and Greenland Open Space equestrian trailheads are only a few minutes away. For more details, visit the WZ Ranch website. If you need help looking for a horse property for sale, contact one of our horse-person realtors today. Also, check out our local resources page for more information on the horse services that Colorado has to offer.

WZ Ranch Photos

Taken by Colorado Horse Property with permission from Tom and Phyllis Ellis of WZ Ranch.

The Secondhand Saddle

The Secondhand Saddle

Used Saddles

The horse-person realtors here at Colorado Horse Property know that buying a new saddle can be an economic stretch. Buying a secondhand saddle is less expensive than buying a band new one, but there are a few caveats you should be aware of. Before taking a deal on a secondhand saddle, take a good hard look at the condition it is in. Are there any cracks in the saddle? Identifying weak or loose snaps, could prevent a serious injury down the road to you or your horse. It is also important to ensure the tack is really well cleaned.

Worst case scenario, it is possible to spread skin disease to your horse through a secondhand saddle. This is caused by leftover deposits of dirt, sweat, and moisture which can harbor all kinds of bad bugs and bacteria. So, if you are going to bring home any secondhand tack, be sure to fully scrub and clean it before bringing it near your horse. For more tips on how to clean your tack, check out our article Caring For Your Horse Tack. Failure to clean this tack properly could even introduce ringworm to your horse, a virus that can survive for weeks under the right conditions.

This is not only true for saddles, but for any horse tack that you buy used. Saddle pads, blankets, coolers, girths, and other equipment should be cleaned thoroughly. For sheepskin products, follow the directions on the label. Any tack composed on fabric that cannot be washed, should still be put in the dryer on hot. This will effectively kill germs as well as mites and lice. Even clean nylon and rope halters, lead ropes, lunge lines, and long lines. If you are looking for Colorado horse property for sale, contact one of our horse-person realtors today at Colorado Horse Property.

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash.

Caring For Your Horse Tack

Caring For Your Horse Tack

Tack Care and You

In our previous article Colorado Horse Tack, we explained how important it is to take good care of your horse tack and equipment. Taking care of your horse tack is a big commitment that will need your focus all year round. When looking for horse tack for sale, consider how it will need to be cared for. Wipe and clean your saddle and bridle once a week if you ride regularly. You will want to use a good saddle soap from your local horse supplies store. Just like washing your hands, make sure to rinse off the soap with water after application. Saddle soaps can be harsh on your saddle and remove too much moisture, so make sure to apply a leather moisturizer when you’re done.

Not all soaps are created equal. Soap that has a basic pH level and sweat are the two greatest enemies when it comes to leather. Test out a small bottle of soap to see how well it works before invested in a large quantity. Read product reviews if your ordering online. These two factors affect the longevity and appearance of your tack if they are not washed off properly. Soaps that contain glycerin or include moisturizers are generally better for your horse tack than the more basic products.

Another thing you can do to care for your horse tack is to use leather oil. However, leather oil should be used sparingly and should not be allowed to soak into the seat. This could cause irreparable damage. Leather oil is notorious for leaving stains on clothing, so you’ll want to be wary for getting in on you. During the winter, consider keeping your leather tack in your home, especially if your tack room does not have any form of heating. Looking for a Colorado horse property for sale? Contact one of our horse-person realtors at Colorado Horse Property.

Photo by Raphael Wicker on Unsplash.