What is My Saddle Made of?

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Ever wonder what your saddle is made of? The easy answer is probably leather, but so much more goes into it. Modern horse saddles are divided into two broad categories, the English and Western saddle. Depending on which you use, the materials that compose it may differ drastically. Continue reading to find out what goes into making saddles. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

What My Saddle is Made of

The three main parts of the saddle are the accessories, the saddle tree, and the seat itself. The accessories like flaps, girth straps, and stirrup leathers are typically made from animal skins. Depending on the saddlery, this could be from cattle, pigs, sheep, or deer. However, cowhide is the most common skin used for saddles. Saddle trees are composed of several different raw materials. These include wood, fiberglass, plastic, laminate, steel, aluminum, and iron. Seats are usually made from canvas, felt, and wool.

These raw materials are used for making all saddles. However, Western saddles have more requirements because they are used for working. These saddles have a wider and longer panel than the English saddle. This is so they disperse more of the rider’s weight over the back of the horse. They also have a roping horn on the pommel which is used for roping cattle. These extra pieces are usually equipped with extra D-rings, or tie-downs, to hold the ropes and other items.

Restoring Old Saddles

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Whether you are a new or experienced rider, leather saddles are a favorite in the horse community in Colorado. Though durable and great looking, leather saddles do deteriorate over time. This is why many new riders opt for a more synthetic brand. But did you know that restoring old saddles is actually easy to do yourself? Here’s how it’s done. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

Restoring Your Old Saddles

The first step is to take apart your saddle. You will need a screwdriver and nippers to do it. To get a good clean, remove the girth, stirrups and conches. Also, loosen the back and side jockeys. Use your screwdriver and nippers to take out any nails. Wash the leather pieces with traditional soap and saddle soap. Clean the surface with a soft-bristled brush. When you’re done. rinse rinse everything off with water and let it air-dry. Remember, you may have to do these steps more than more.

If the saddle that you’re restoring if very old, then regular soap may not work. In this case, use a leather detergent concentrate. There are many great solutions that you can find at your local saddlery shop or online. Dilute your detergent with water and scrub it onto the leather with a soft-bristled brush as you would with soap. If your saddle is hard or brittle, use oil to soften it up. Their are also some great oil-based “rejuvenators” on the market that can help. With a little bit of time and effort you can turn that old saddle back into the beautiful piece of art it once was!

Packing List For Horseback Riding

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Riding horses is one of the most magical experiences you can have. However, if you’re planning on going horseback riding there are some things you should know before you saddle up. This includes what you should pack with you on your journey. Continue reading for what should be on your packing list for horseback riding. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

What’s in Your Pack?

Aside from horse tack, there are some things that should be on your packing list for horseback riding that you might not have thought of. First of all, bring some sunscreen, lip balm, and something to keep the sun out of your eyes like a hat, visor or sunglasses. The last thing you want to get from your riding experience is sun burned. Also, remember to carry a water bottle with to stay hydrated. The horse may be doing a lot of the work, but they’re not the only ones that will need to take a break and drink some water!

When it comes to riding comfortably, make sure to wear a heavy-duty pair of jeans. You don’t have to wear tall, cowboy boots if you don’t own any. However, you’ll still need to wear a pair of boots with a thick heel. If you are planning to ride during the colder Colorado months, then dress in layers. This will keep you warm and dry if it starts to snow. If you are unsure what to wear or where to buy appropriate clothing, ask your riding instructor where they shop for gear. Also, making an actual written-down list is not necessary, but wouldn’t hurt. It’s better to be overprepared than miserable on your horseback riding adventure.

Horse Spa Day

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Did you know that you can give your horse their very own spa day? You can do it at home and it won’t cost a fortune. For example, give your horse a bath at the warmest part of the day as a way to cool them off. If the weather is cooler, try using warm water for their bath instead. Continue reading for more tips on creating your own horse spa day! Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

At-Home, DIY Horse Spa

Having a spa day is all about being completely relaxed and comfortable. That means if your horse doesn’t like baths then try something else. Typically horses like baths the most when they are the right temperature and there’s no splashing. To reduce splashing, try using a big soft sponge. The sponges they sell for washing cars are the perfect size and texture. Also, don’t get any water in your horse’s face. They hate that! Be mindful of the type of shampoo you use.

Different horse shampoos are formulated for different purposes. Some are for whitening and others are for treating skin conditions like try skin. Therefore, make sure you get a shampoo that is appropriate for your horse. When working in the shampoo, use a little bit of force, not too much, and massage in the product. Lightly massage the muscles around the joints to help sooth your horse. This gives you the perfect opportunity to screen your horse for any new bumps or lumps.

Equine Massage Therapy

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As horse lovers, we know that caring for you horse is very important. However, taking your horse to the clinician or large animal veterinarian can be very expensive. There are a few things that you can do to sooth your horse that also have physical benefits. Horse massage therapy can prevent your equine from sustaining serious injury. Continue reading for a few techniques that might help your horse, including trigger-point therapy and myofascial release. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

Horse Massage Techniques

Remember, before practicing these techniques have a professional horse chiropractic guide you first. Trigger-point therapy is a focused massage on sensitive spots causing pain in soft tissues because of contracted muscles. These trigger points or knots are small, firm areas within the muscle. They are often the result of hard work, stress, or injury. When practicing trigger-point therapy, apply direct pressure to relax the muscle. This will release lactic acid, relieve spasms, encourage blood flow, and improve oxygen supply.

Another soothing technique is myofascial release or MFR. This includes massaging the fascia surrounding the musculoskeletal system. This part of the horse anatomy can cause problems when it becomes tight and restrictive. Just like trigger-points this is often the result of trauma, disease, or hard work. If you spot these issues, your horse needs to stretch to release the tension and restore free movement. Again, a trained horse therapist can help you identify and remedy these issues.

Plants Poisonous to Horses

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Colorado horses are amazing creatures. First of all, they are resistant to the cold, except in cases of severe winter storms. They are also great for therapy and connecting with nature. Though horses seem indestructible, there are some specious of plants that stop them in their tracks. Here is a list of plants poisonous to horses. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

Plants Poisonous to Horses

Summer brings a lot of plants poisonous to horses, many of which grow wild in Colorado. These include wilted red maple leaves, black walnuts, and oak leaves. Also, keep your horse away from yew. 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. Experienced horse owners are able to spot these plants from a mile away.

Rhododendrons and azaleas are also bad news for horses. These are beautiful flowers that you’ll love, but your horses will not. Also stay away from white snakeroot, richweed, white sanicle, jimmy weed, rayless goldenrod, burrow weed, yellow star thistle, and St. Barnaby’s thistle. Your vet may ask you if your horse has been exposed to these plants, therefore being familiar with them is important. The good news is that all of these plants are easy to remove from your land. Many of them are nice to look at and can be relocated to areas your horses don’t have access to like along your driveway or up against your home.

Pest Prevention

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Pest prevention is an important part of securing your barn. There are several important reasons why you should do this. The biggest reason is disease prevention. Rodents are known to carry several diseases, many of which are transferable to both horses and humans. These pests can contaminate feed with diseases such as salmonella, leptospirosis, and trichinosis. Rodents also carry fleas, mites, and ticks. Here are a few things that you can do to prevent these pests from infiltrating your barn. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

Pest Prevention For Horse Owners

Firstly, think about your feed storage. Plastic and wood containers are vulnerable to being chewed through by rodents. Try keeping your feed and supplements in rodent-proof containers such as metal trashcans with secured lids. Always sweep up any feed spills as these can attract the pests. Also, check the floor of your feed room regularly for holes. You can temporarily plug holes with with steel wool but ultimately should plug them with caulk. Windows and doors need to shut tightly with no gaps around the frame.

Now that you’ve secured the area, it’s time to be proactive. Barn cats and owls are a good solution for some horse owners. Just remember that these animals will need more to eat than rodents. If you aren’t looking to take care of extra animals, traps are also useful. Traditional spring traps or sticky pads placed near walls or holes work the best. Most horse owners that we know don’t use poison traps as they can inadvertently harm other animals.

New Year’s Resolutions For Horse Owners

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New Year’s celebrations represent change and new opportunities to grow. Though the pandemic will halt the usual festivities this year, not even a virus can stop good old American tradition. I’m talking about New Year’s resolutions of course. However, this tradition does get a bad wrap because of the low numbers of follow through. In fact, an estimated 60% of Americans set New Year’s resolutions, while only 8% stick with it. But what if your resolutions include horse-related goals?

Sticking To Your Word

The key to setting New Year’s goals that you’ll stick with is making them achievable. When setting New Year’s goals we often go too big because we figure there’s an entire year to get things done, but unfortunately that’s not how humans work. When it comes to setting goals, being very specific is best. Also, if your goals involve things that you love (i.e. your horses), you’re more likely to follow through with them. So instead of saying, “I want to be a cowboy this year,” reword it to include the things you care about like “I want to be a better horse owner and rider.” You’re on your way, but remember to be specific. What specific goals can you achieve that will lead you to accomplishing the bigger objective?

Self-esteem also plays a very big role in keeping up with New Year’s resolutions. For example, if you don’t believe you’re a good rider then you’re never going to improve simply by saying it’s your resolution. Your specific goals should include spaces for you to celebrate achievements. For example, “After completing a riding training course, me and my horse are getting a new shiny saddle.” You might not be the best student your trainer has tutored, but you completed a goal and should be awarded for sticking with it. Positive reinforcements are another key factor to a successful New Year’s resolution. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

Easing Horse Tensions

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Just like tensions found in human athletes, horse tensions can greatly reduce their ability to train. In extreme cases, horses are so tense that they cannot perform certain maneuvers. This can lead to frustration and anxiety, which in turn leads to increased tension. Fortunately, there are some things horse owners can do to stop this cycle. Also, are you looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado? Colorado Horse Property has the largest database of horse properties in Colorado. We also have a staff of horse-person realtors ready to help. Contact Colorado Horse Property today!

Dealing With Horse Tensions

Depending on how bad the tension has become, dealing with horse tension is a long road. Tension can be physical and mental. Before you can deal with any tension, first figure out the cause. Start by evaluating your horse’s fitness and confidence. If these aren’t at a good level it could be due to the quality of training that they’re getting. Make sure your horse is not getting overworked and getting enough warm-up time before training. Equipment or tack that doesn’t fit on your horse properly can cause pain and tension. Sometimes it helps to get an outside perspective on things, so ask another skilled trainer to take a look at all the pieces.

Once you’ve pinpointed the cause, always tackle the mental tension first. There’s more work to do than just simply removing the physical cause. Fear of the problem returning will cause your horse to stay tense. When your horse tenses up, take the time to comfort them and slowly remove that fear. Your horse will learn that they can look to you to release pressure and will be more inclined to relax.

How To Introduce New Horses To Your Herd

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Growing your horse family is rewarding in so many different ways, but it can be stressful at first. Horse herds are a complex hierarchy that offers security, social status, and safety to its members. When a new horse is introduced to the herd outside of breeding, all of these things have to be redefined internally. Though the horses will do this naturally, there are a few things that you can do to make sure everything goes smoothly. Looking for a horse property in Colorado? Contact one of our horse person realtors today.

Tips On Adding New Horses To Your Herd

Before bringing a new horse into your established herd, make sure you know the current dynamics of the herd. You should know which horses are the alphas and which are more submissive. Put the new horse in a stall next to a beta horse from the herd and introduce them to each other slowly. This way, when you introduce the new horse to the rest of the herd, they’ll already have a buddy to rely on.

Place the new horse in a paddock with his buddy where they can see and perhaps smell the other horses, but without sharing a fence line. Soon you’ll be able to place the new horse with his buddy into the pasture with the other horses. With an established hierarchy in place, alpha horses will not like new horses getting between them and their food. Scheduling the first few full introductions after feeding time will reduce fighting. Alternatively, place widely separated hay piles. Watch over the herd closely during these first full interactions. Unattended meetings could go wrong and you might need to be there as a distraction. If a problem occurs, don’t feel bad about going back to placing the new horse and his buddy in a separate paddock for a while. Horses are social beings just like us and they’ll accept the new horse eventually.