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.
Photo by Muye Ma on Unsplash
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.
Photo by Ben Shbeeb on Unsplash
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.
Photo by Alex Blăjan on Unsplash
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.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
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.
Photo by Kenny Webster on Unsplash
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.
Photo by Thomas Peham on Unsplash
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.
- Social responsibility
- Interpersonal relationships
- Impulse control
- Problem-solving skills
- Stress tolerance
- Emotional awareness
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.
Equine Poison Prevention
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (more commonly known by the acronym ASPCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to animals. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is based in New York City and got its start in 1866. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ mission is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.” The ASPCA is a leader for equine poison prevention.
Colorado Horse Property wants to take away a little bit of the worry from fellow horse owners who are worried about their horses health. Therefore we want to provide horse owners and enthusiasts with a list of things to look out for.
The experts at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center have compiled the following list of spring and summer threats for horses. If you suspect that your animal has ingested a poisonous substance, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435. For a list of horse clinicians in Colorado, check out our Local Resources page.
If you make sure to keep your animals away from the following spring and summer threats, then your horses should make it through to the next season without having to see the veterinarian. Keep your horses away from wilted red maple leaves, black walnuts, and oak leaves. The plant commonly known as the yew should be avoided. The yew comes in different forms all of which are under the taxus species. They include the Japanese yew, American yew, English yew, western yew, oleander and rose laurel.
Stay clear of rhododendrons and azaleas. These are beautiful flowers that most homeowners love, just make sure to put them out of reach of your wandering horse. Also stay away from white snakeroot, richweed, white sanicle, jimmy weed, rayless goldenrod, burrow weed, yellow star thistle, St. Barnaby’s thistle, and Russian napweed.
Photo by Rich Dahlgren on Unsplash
Colorado Horse Nutritional Facts
Colorado Horse Property has put together some useful Colorado horse nutritional facts for all you horse owners and horse enthusiasts out there. Remember, if you are looking for a horse property in Colorado, we have the biggest selection of listing in the entire state!
It is no secret that a horse’s digestive system is made to process large quantities of grass. This type of diet is high in fiber and water. However, the basic diet for most horses should also include good quality hay that is free of dust and mold. Of course it almost goes without saying that your horse should be provided with plenty of fresh, clean, unfrozen water at all times, even if the horse only drinks once or twice a day.
Horse Nutritional Information
Unless your veterinarian tells you otherwise, your horse should be able to graze or eat hay when they want to. However, it is important to watch your horse and make sure it is maintaining an appropriate weight. Again, your veterinarian can help you decide how to keep your horse fit and healthy. For a list of horse clinicians in Colorado, check out our Local Resources page.
Remember, you horse doesn’t have to eat grains, and sometimes its good for them to avoid such foods. Most horses don’t need the extra calories found in grains, which are high in carbohydrates. You don’t have to feed your horse extra grain in the winter to keep them warm. This is a common misconception. Hay actually produces more heat when digested than grains.
It isn’t a good idea to let your horse or pony break into the grain bin or be allowed to gorge on green pasture for the first time since the fall. Remember that if you travel with your horse, bring their food along. For some horses, you may also have to bring a supply of the water along.
Photo by Ken Lawson on Unsplash
Horse travel is a unique challenge for horse owners.
Before doing any horse travel, go over your checklist. You don’t want to get down the road and discover you left something vital behind. Checking your list before leaving will give you time to inspect your tack and equipment. You will also have time to gather any spare items that you might need, like extra bridles and bits. Having extra is better than having none at all.
Before doing any horse travel, remember your first aid kit. Traveling with large animals can be dangerous for the animal even if you take every precaution. Make sure that all the items in your horse’s first aid kit are up to date. Also make sure that you can administer all of the items in the kit by yourself.
Anticipate driving and towing challenges. There are a few things you need to know that you can do by yourself before leaving the ranch. You should be able to change a trailer tire without assistance and correctly apply a set of jumper cables to a dead battery. Even if you have done these things before, it’s always a good idea to brush up on those skills before your trip.
Always remember to review your route. You will need to be able to identify places that would be appropriate for stopping. It is important to check on your horse several times during a long trip. Knowing places to stop is also good for refueling or even handling emergency situations. Find spots along the way with parking areas and access roads spacious enough for you to comfortably maneuver and park your horse trailer. If you are not already signed up with a company that provides roadside-assistance for towing, then you should do this before leaving. If you are looking to buy a horse trailer, check out Parker Trailers, in Parker Colorado.