No one wants to think about what would happen during a natural disaster. And yet being prepared for the worst is something that every Colorado horse property owner should be doing. If you are a Colorado horse owner, make sure to have a contingency plan in place for your home first. Then prepare a plan for your horses. Your horses are very important, but you have to have your own home in order first. Here is a list (provided by the Redcross) of items that you should have available in case of a horse emergency.
- Non-perishable food
- Manual can opener
- Crank or battery-operated flashlight and radio
- Extra batteries
- Extra keys for house and vehicles
- First aid kit
- Cash in small bills
- Personal hygiene items
- Important family documents
- A copy of your Home Emergency Plan
After you have taken care of your own needs, now it’s time to prepare your animals. All of your horses should have a halter and lead rope near their stall. Think about adding extra halters and lead ropes in multiple locations in your stables. Other things that you can do is store extra feed buckets, bedding, pitchforks, shovels, and wheelbarrows. You don’t want to clutter your barn, but having these extra items could come in handy in an emergency. Consider bringing the following:
- Horse ID papers
- Horse insurance papers
- Photographs of your horse with your and your vet’s information
- Luggage tags with the same information
- Spray paint or etch the hooves
- Auction crayons for tagging
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Colorado Horseback Riding
Colorado Horse Property would like to expand on our previous article “Effective Breathing When Horseback Riding.” Stress is the worst thing a rider can experience while Colorado horseback riding. Nerves and anxiety can sap a rider and their horse of energy. If you reset your breathing, a few beautiful things will happen. First of all, you will replenish your oxygen stores. Eventually, your mind will become less clouded, and you will be able to make better decisions. When you regain your confidence in the saddle, your riding potential will skyrocket.
The communication between you and your horse comes through your physical connection. If your body becomes impacted by stress, your horse will pick up on that emotion immediately. The more confidence you have while Colorado horseback riding, the more confident your horse will be as well. Learning to breathe correctly is the best tool for regulating stress in the saddle. Effective breathing can reverse the fight-or-flight response, and relax your body. The exact same can be said of your horse. With you and your horse back in control, you can both focus on what’s important.
Stress is known to riddle the mind with unnecessary doubt. That voice in your head, when infested with anxiety, will turn on you quickly. Instead of focusing on what is important, you will worry about everything excessively. When you reset your breath and replenish the oxygen to your brain, it will be easier to think more clearly and purposefully. You will be able to direct your thoughts back to your riding and your goals. This will give you a greater sense of control, which in turn will lead to greater feelings of confidence for you and your horse. For more information, contact a horse-person realtor at Colorado Horse Property.
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Horseback Riding and Breathing
Breathing is an essential aspect of horseback riding that often gets overlooked. Click the link for trail riding tips and tips on how to saddle a horse; things to know before you get to this stage. After these steps, practice breathing at home before getting into the saddle. First, practice dropping your breathing low. Inhale deeply and then exhale. Your shoulders and chest will drop as you exhale. You are now ready to try while horseback riding.
While on horseback, drop your breathing low. You will feel a better connection with your horse as your body relaxes. With each breath, this connection will become stronger. You can do this exercise at a halt or a slow walk. There are many signs that the activity is helping your horse. Your horse will lower their neck, blow out their nostrils, and the ears will relax. This is known as connecting breathing. This technique is a great tool to add to your routine. When this technique is followed correctly, you and your horse will be starting from a calming place.
Take the time to build up your confidence. Practice makes perfect! Eventually, you will be able to influence your body when you need to the most. Now that you have gained your confidence with the connecting breath, you are ready for the breath reboot. First, slowly inhale and count to six. In turn, slowly exhale for a count of eight. Repeat two to four times. This technique will help you refocus while horseback riding. Use it at a show when you begin to feel nervous. You will quickly see those nerves fly out the window! For more information contact a horse-person realtor at Colorado Horse Property.
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Bond With Your Horse
Bonding with your horse is a great way to improve your overall health as well as the health of your horse. For more reading on horse bonding, check out our article How To Bond With Your Horse. (1) Riders should look at their offseason as an opportunity to bond with their horse. Many professionals spend their offseason introducing new skills such as flying changes and sliding stops, strengthening their discipline. (2) There are ways to be a fresh perspective on your horse. Spend some time in the saddle without stirrups or try riding other horses that are more experienced than your own. You can also attend a clinic or take lessons with an experienced trainer. Getting new perspectives on your horse will help you bond with your horse better.
(3) Riders are often forced to board their horses for the season at a professional training barn. This can result in low to zero one-on-one time with your horse. Not all horses react the same way to this type of low interaction. If your horse is not performing as well as usual, consider making a change. Making a trip back home with your horse and tack in tow can be annoying, but making time to bond with your horse at home might be just what your horse needs. (4) You can learn how to better bond with your horse by trying another discipline. During the offseason, try a new sport like jumping or cantering poles.
(5) One of the most important things that you can do to keep up with bonding methods is to research. Always read about new techniques online, visit equine trade shows in your area, or attend bonding seminars. Other studying opportunities include winter clinics, online courses, and magazine articles. For ideas on how to bond with your horse, contact Colorado Horse Property today.
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Bond With Your Horse
Bonding with horses seems to be a fundamental trait that humans have developed over the years. Bonding with horses teaches compassion, patience, and has been shown to reduce stress. So how do you bond with your horse? Colorado Horse Property has put together a list of ways to bond with your horse that you might not have thought of before.
When your horse has to be seen by the vet, don’t take a back seat. Being there during this stressful period for your horse can increase the bond that you already have. So the next time your horse gets diagnostics, dental work, alternative therapies, or even surgery be present. If you are a competition rider, supplement your horse’s training with other activities in the off season. The more time you spend with your horse, the greater your bond will be. The greater the bond, the better your horse will be on and off the track. And don’t abandon your horse when winter comes. Winter can be harsh, especially in the state of Colorado, but your horse needs attention all year round. Put on your winter gear and get outside with your horse—you’ll both be glad you did!
It is common for your horse to show negative behaviors when they get older. Is your horse resisting and showing tension more lately? You could go out and get your horse all new tack and bring in a new trainer. However, this behavior could be the result of your bond with your horse slipping. Don’t feel bad. We all get busy sometimes, but when your horse is showing these signs it is time for you to get busy bonding again. It’s time to address these problems from a new angle, experiment with new techniques, and rebuild the foundation with your horse.
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Horseback riding can be a very dangerous activity even with professionals around. Making sure you protect yourself from injury is very important when it comes to riding and your friends at Colorado Horse Property have a few tips that could help your experience be a safe and fun one. The last thing anyone wants is to injury themselves or their horse. Riding safely should always be the number one priority when horseback riding. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or experienced rider, being careless can cause accidents. You will want to wear a helmet and other protective gear, have property equipment when riding, and remember to treat your horse properly.
Riding safely can’t happen without wearing a helmet. Make sure it’s ASTM approved to guarantee it’s been tested for horseback riding. You can even personalize your helmet. Proper boots & riding apparel: Your boots should be designed for being in the saddle. That means a small heel and hard toe. You don’t want your feet slipping through the stirrups! Riding in tank tops or shorts can cause chaffing and bad cuts, especially if you were to fall.
Safe riding equipment: Have you checked your tack lately? A faulty piece of leather can make your headstall fall off while riding, and no one wants their saddle spinning under their horse because of a bad strap. The best time to check is when you’re cleaning tack and right before you ride. Don’t push too hard: Know your level! Galloping across an open field may seem like a dream, but an out-of-control horse probably isn’t. It’s healthy to encourage yourself to achieve goals. However, unnecessary risks can make for a very unsafe ride. Take small steps, rather than huge leaps. Learn more about the most common types of horses in Colorado.
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Have you ever heard of head shyness in horses? Is your horse averse to any activity/hand placements around the head and/or near his ears? Does your horse hate to be handled with a brush, headstall or clippers around the head? If yes, then your horse might have what is known in the community as head shyness, which is exactly what it sounds like. This is common with horses exchanging owners as in an adoption from a rescue center. For more information on the great horse rescue centers in Colorado, visit our horse rescue centers page.
Don’t worry; if your horse has head shyness, which is natural, there are a few things you can do to reduce your horse’s shyness. Begin any head-touching with a slow rub directly on the head. This will show the horse that you are going to be relaxed and patient. Get horse horse moving prior to trying any head-touching and if they become agitated, then try moving them around again. Twenty to thirty minutes of moving should do it.
The next step that trainers use to address head shyness, is to lead the horse toward something that will cause the horse a little bit of anxiety. This may sound odd at first, but the truth is having a horse move toward what worries them is a great way to build confidence. You can do this by having your horse move towards something it doesn’t like or feels uncomfortable near. With each step toward this anxiety-object, go to the horse’s head and give it a rub with your hand as a reward. Repeating this process a few times will help change your horses perspective on getting its head rubbed and reduce it’s head shyness. If you have any more questions about head shyness or anything else in relation to your horse or horse property, contact Colorado Horse Property for details.
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Horse Rescue Adoption Contracts
When you adopt a horse from a rescue, many establishments will require you to participate in an adoption contract that outlines what can be done with the horse. There is a myth circulating the community that rescues never enforce their contracts, therefore new owners can do whatever they want with my adopted horse.
Contrary to popular belief, these adoption contracts are not useless, like the terms of agreement on many computer software packages these days that most people just skip to the end without reading and click submit. If you are adopting a horse from a rescue, you are going to want to read the adoption contract thoroughly just to make sure that you understand everything that is expected of you as the horse’s new owner. In short, the purpose of the adoption contract is to ensure that the horse being adopted is placed in a good home.
The fact of the matter is, most rescues follow up on their contracts. Even if the horse was not at the rescue for a long period of time, chances are rescue volunteers and owners are going start emotionally caring for the horse. Of course, this is not the only reason why a rescue might want to check up on an adopted horse. Rescue personnel perform follow-up visits not only to see that the horses are cared for, but also to make sure that the adoptive owners are happy with the arrangement. Rescues exist only to help animals in need and they are going to want to know that the horse that they rehabilitated or trained is doing well outside of the rescue. If someone violates the terms of an adoption contract, they may lose the horse and be liable to the rescue for the cost of enforcing that contract. For more information on adoption contracts, contact your local horse rescue.
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It is a common misconception that most rescue horses are used up, worthless, or are lame horses, but that’s not true. The short answer is that rescues have many different types of horses; Some aren’t great for riding—it’s true—but many can do anything any other horse can do. Rescues have horses with a range of abilities that includes horses that are anywhere from light ride only (low intensity, once or twice weekly), to sound at a performance level. Some horses have health conditions that limit their riding/exercise ability, and they may require a special medication, lifestyle, or veterinary care.
What does it mean for a horse to be lame? Lameness, in relation to horses and other equines, is often defined as an abnormal stance or gait caused by either a structural or a functional disorder of the locomotor system. The horse is either unwilling or unable to stand or move normally. Lameness is the most common cause of loss of use in horses. It can be caused by trauma, congenital or acquired disorders, infection, metabolic disorders, or nervous and circulatory system disease.
Rescues do take in horses that are neglected or unwanted, but just because a horse is neglected by its previous owner doesn’t make the animal lame. Many may be sound, well-bred animals who ended up in the rescue after their owners fell on hard times. Taking care of a family in this economy can be hard and the same can be said for rescues who care for a family of horses. Rescues typically have many horses who are young, sound and can be trained for anything. Many horses that make their way into a rescue are trained to ride, and then go on to be adopted into loving families that wanted a horse that is ride-able.
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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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