Baling Your Own Hay

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Any horse owner will tell you how important it is to always keep fresh hay on your farm. Baling your own hay is a great way to save money. It may sound complicated, but it easier than you might think. All you’ll need is a wooden hand hay baler, twine, and of course hay. Continue reading for more details. 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.

Baling Your Own Hay Tutorial

Don’t have a wooden hand hay baler? You can actually build one yourself. The most common design can even be found online. Once you have your baler, cut your twine approximately two and a half times the height of the baler. Loop your twin according to the baler instructions. Make sure to tie off the loose twine before putting in your hay. Now fill the baler with as much hay as you can pack in it. Depress the plunger on the baler, making sure to keep your fingers out of harm’s way.

You might have to depress the plunger a few times to get it fully compacted. To tie it off, lift the plunger and put in the open position. Depending on which hand baler you have, the method you tie the twine will differ. Therefore, make sure you follow the directions closely. Once the twine is tied tightly, you’re ready to release the bale and start over. Your homemade bale won’t be the typical giant circle that commercial balers produce. However, you’ll have neat and compact rectangles that will store easily in your shed or barn.

Treating Equine Back Pain

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Equine horse pain can be a serious problem when left untreated. When your horse exhibits signs of back pain, let your vet know as soon as possible. Diagnosing the root of the problem is key to preventing more serious injuries. Continue reading to learn more about how equine horse pain is treated. 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 Equine Back Pain

Horse back pain could be due to a chronic injury or lameness. In many cases chiropractic care can help correct abnormal proprioception. This is the body’s unconscious perception of position and movement, which blocks nerve pathways. Chiropractic sessions prevent back soreness and chances for more injuries to occur. Another treatment for horse back pain is acupuncture. This procedure triggers endorphin release and sends calming signals to the nervous system. It also dissipates spasms, and brings blood flow to stimulate healing.  

Have you ever heard of shock wave therapy? This procedure sends a pressure wave into the tissue. It increases the blood flow and new blood vessel formation, essentially helping the body heal from the inside. It also breaks up the scarring of tight, shortened muscles. With proper management and therapy, most horses with back pain can be rehabbed back. Having a good relationship with your horse clinician will make the process go smoothly. Make sure you exhaust any questions that you have about procedures before they take place.

Summer Horse Safety Tips

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Did you know that horses are very proficient sweaters? It’s true! This means that they are some of the most efficient animals at cooling themselves. However, they are not immune to the sun or heat stress. Though Colorado seems colder weather than many other states, it still gets very hot in the summer. Continue reading for some horse safety tips for the summer heat. 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 Safety Tips

On hot summer days, make sure your horse has access to fresh water. Before exercising your horse, calculate the horse heat index. To do this add the day’s temperature in Fahrenheit plus the percentage of humidity. For example, if it’s 75 degrees outside with 65 percent humidity, the horse heat index is 140.  A horse heat index in the 120 to 150 range is okay to exercise in. Anything above 180 will increase your horse’s chance of heat stress.

During high horse heat indexes, make sure they get break frequently. How much your horse can exercise during high temperatures depends on many factors. If the horse is obese, thin, or has not been in regular work, begin with slow short workouts and very gradually increase time and intensity to allow the horse to acclimate. Many horse owners will avoid the hottest part of the day by riding in the early morning or later evening. Riding trails with plenty of tree shade or covered riding arenas are preferred.

Does Your Horse Need A Grazing Muzzle?

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Did you know that the overconsumption of pasture grass can cause obesity in horses. It has been reported that excessive pasture intake accounts for nearly 50 percent of all reported cases of laminitis. Laminitis is the inflammation of sensitive layers of tissue inside the hoof in horses. Continue reading to find out how you can help reduce risk with a horse grazing muzzle. 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.

A Horse Grazing Muzzle

Grazing muzzles are great because they reduce your horses bite size. They also restrict access to the entire grass leaf. Horses with grazing muzzles on can only really eat the top of the grass leaf. This is where the concentrations of sugar tend to be the lowest. Muzzled horses tend to graze larger areas and for longer periods. Therefore owners do not have to make big changes to their pastures. In addition, your horse will get more exercise as it has to move around more to graze. Weight loss will also reduce your horse’s risk of certain diseases.

Though sometimes clinicians ask owners to totally restrict their horse’s grazing, this is not always necessary. Grazing muzzles are a great alternative to total grazing restrictions. For example, horses predisposed to a metabolic disorder can still benefit from restricted grazing. So how do you know if your horse could benefit from a grazing muzzle? First determine the horse’s laminitis risk. Of course there are other factors for horse laminitis to consider like breed, age, and sex. Ponies are actually more commonly affected by laminitis than full sized horses. Ponies graze too much when given unrestricted access to pastures. Therefore, many pony owners in Colorado also own grazing muzzles to encourage weight loss.

Hydrotherapy for Horses

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Have you ever heard of hydrotherapy. It includes swimming, underwater treadmill work, and other rehabilitation techniques. Hydrotherapy for horses works in the same way that it works for humans and other animals. Continue reading for how this type of treatment works for equines. 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.

How Hydrotherapy for Horses Works

Exercising in water reduces physical loads and concussive forces on the body. This is important when it comes to rehabilitating from an injury.  Muscle injuries occur with repetition on forces on the body. The buoyancy from water limits these forces. The science is simple. Water is more dense than air. Horses work harder at slower speeds during aquatic exercise. This leads to improved cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle development. There are a plethora of benefits to hydrotherapy for horses.

Weight reduction promotes greater range of motion and strengthens flexibility. This is the best benefit of all because it reduces the risk of future injury. With every treatment method, there are some shortcomings. Hydrotherapy requires horses to acclimate to aquatic conditions. This takes more time than other rehabilitation methods. However, hydrotherapy has been proven to help. In this case, the benefits often outshine the drawbacks. For more information on hydrotherapy for horses, talk to your equine veterinarian today. There may be this type of therapy center fit for horses near you.

Taking Care of Your Pony

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Taking care of your pony may be more difficult than you thought. Healthy adult horses typically eat up to 2.5% of their body weight per day when foraging on a pasture. However, many ponies can eat up to 4% of their body weight or more when foraging.  Therefore, you must monitor your ponies eating habits more closely. Continue reading for some tips on taking care of your pony. 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.

Tips on Taking Care of Your Pony

Ponies are very cute and great for kids, but they have a reputation for misbehaving. Depending on where you got your pony and how much training it received beforehand, this behavior is manageable. If your horse is particularly bad, you’ll want to get them training as quick as possible. Even in small equids, bad manors can lead to real safety hazards. It goes without saying that kids love ponies. A pony that snaps, bites, kicks, etc., isn’t cute but is also a danger to small children. So be careful when they’re around untrained ponies. Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they’re not a threat.

Like many animals, bad behavior could be an acting out due to health problem. Therefore, you should rule out sources of pain that might cause bad behaviors. After a check up from the vet, then you can assume it’s just a learned behavior. There are ways to correct bad behavior that owners at any skill level can do. Using techniques such as well-timed positive and negative reinforcement, you can teach you pony good behaviors just like the professionals can with large horses.

Taking Pictures for Your Vet

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In the case of emergencies, ask your vet if you can send them a picture of your horse. This can include images of wounds, abnormalities, or lamenesses. This is called telemedicine and can be very useful especially if you live far away from your horse clinician. Here are some tips for taking pictures for your vet. 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.

Tips for Taking Pictures for Your Vet

One of the most important things to think about when taking a picture for your vet is the lighting. Even during the day, barns are often dark. If your barn has overhead lighting this can throw shadows. Use the flash setting on your phone to give the image more light. However, the best solution is to take the picture outside. Natural lighting is the way to go. Also, try not to send your vet a blurry picture. Your vet will have a hard time helping you with a diagnosis if they can’t really see the wound.

If you have newer phone, then take a step of two back from the wound before taking the picture. This will help your vet see precisely where the wound is while still having the ability to zoom in. If you have an older phone in which zooming in on a picture makes it blurry, then you may have to send more than one picture to your vet. One picture from a distance and one picture up close. Sometimes it’s useful to use a reference object in the photo to show scale. Doing so will give your veterinarian context and perspective. You can use a coin, pen, or anything that you can easily hold near the wound. For more tips, talk to your vet.

How to Lower Your Horse Insurance

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Are you a horse owner and looking to save some money this year? Veterinary medicine has advanced substantially and the costs of horse ownership have risen. Fortunately, the horse insurance industry has seen some recent changes that could help you keep money in your pockets. Here’s what you need to know. 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.

Ask Your Horse Insurance Agent

Ask your horse insurance agency about their co-insurance options. This is where the owner and insurer share veterinary bills. For example, there are new insurance plans with a twenty percent clause. This clause means that the owner will pay twenty percent of veterinary bills and the insurer will pay the rest. A few years ago plans like these were only offered for small animal insurance programs. So this is a wonderful change in the industry for horses. If your insurer doesn’t offer this yet, talk to them about how you can at least lower your rates.

Similar to the car industry, if you can show you’re taking care of your horse then you should be able to get lower rates. In order for this to work, you’ll have to prove some stuff to your insurer. You must demonstrate that you are a proactive and engaged owner that works with a veterinarian and farrier on a regular basis. Healthy horses are easier to insure. Also, if you are working with a trainer and are a member of your Provincial Equine Sports Organization, then you’re going to get the most favorable rates.

Senior Horses and Winter

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Not all horses are the same, but generally speaking senior horses need a little more care during the winter months. Now is a great time to get your horses examined before the real cold gets here. Your vet can assess your horse’s weight and make specific recommendations for their nutritional needs. Continue reading for some more tips on how to get your senior horses ready for winter. 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.

Keeping Your Senior Horses Warm

Diet is important in keeping your horse warm. Within minutes of eating a meal, the horse’s digestive processes begin to generate heat and warm the body. Also, a lot like humans, calories that aren’t immediately absorbed are stored as fat. Fat is the ultimate insulation for horses. Older horses tend to have less fat on them, so make sure they have plenty of hay to eat this winter. Did you know that most horses consume 2% of their body weight in hay per day? For a 1,000-pound horse, that’s 20 pounds of hay! In winter you’ll probably need to increase that amount for your senior horse.

It’s a common misconception that horses have to have blankets on when it is cold or snowing. Rain and wind are actually worse, so make sure your senior horses have access to shelter. Shovel a path and put down straw, hay, gravel, or shavings to make it a safe surface for walking. But here’s the bottom line. An older horse with the proper weight and no health issues probably does not need a blanket. Leaner senior horses or horses with health issues should be blanketed. Shivering is a sign they definitely need a blanket.

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.