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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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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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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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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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.
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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.
Water tank maintenance is an important step in caring for your horses.
Water tank maintenance isn’t as easy as it sounds. If you need help, remember these few easy steps to get you started. First, the tanks need to be emptied. Then you are going to want to scrub your water tanks clean. You should rinse tanks with a ten percent bleach solution. After that, simply rinse the tanks out two more times with regular water and you are ready to go.
With that said, there are many different water tank maintenance techniques to use for your horses. Bleach can be added to the existing water in a tank. You should use regular household bleach in the recommended quantities. These can be found on the label of the product you are using. But don’t let your animals drink as soon as you apply the bleach. There should be a waiting period prior to consumption to let the chlorine dissipate. If done correctly, this can be an effective means of disinfecting your water tanks.
How long do I wait after applying bleach to the water? Following the bleach treatment, let the water stand for at least an hour before allowing your horse to drink. In Colorado, water temperatures are more on the colder side. If the water in your tank is cold, then you should increase the waiting period to at least two hours.
If you are a horse owner, then you know that water tanks need to be cleaned frequently. The goal is to avoid toxic algae buildup and unsanitary tank conditions. Make sure to follow the right instructions. Strict adherence to recommended levels of bleach and the subsequent waiting time needs to be followed in order to avoid over application. If you are looking to buy an automatic water tank system, try High Plains Cattle Supply in Platteville.
Horse exercise is important, it is no secret.
Horses are essentially grazing athletes. When you own a horse you know that exercise is a very important part in the long term care of your a horse. It is not acceptable to keep horses confined in yards or stables. At least not without providing lots of opportunities for movement. With a field full of grass and zero natural predators, domesticated horses are known to gain weight and becomes lazy.
Horses can be just like a domesticated dog or cat that doesn’t get enough exercise. It is important to make sure your horse gets the right amount of horse exercise to stay healthy. Starting with the basics, horses exercise in three different maneuvers, including yielding the hindquarters, yielding the forequarters, and backing up. Exercising your
Using these types of exercises are great for your horses health. It can also help you with your relationship with your animal. The more you direct your horse in the round pen and the more advanced the exercises get, your leadership skills increase. Horses will pick up on your confidence and show you more respect over time.
While working with your horse, you have to prove to him that you’re worthy of being a leader, by leading him safely and showing how trustworthy you are. Make your horse comfortable by doing the right thing, because your horse will be uncomfortable if you do the wrong thing.
When your horse does what you’re asking, make him/her feel comfortable. When he ignores you or acts disrespectful, make him feel uncomfortable by adding pressure. Are you looking to relocate or retire to a beautiful horse property in the great state of Colorado? Contact Colorado Horse Property to find the perfect agent for you today.
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