Should I Mow My Horse Pastures?

Horse Pastures

There are many people out there who think that horse owners do not have to mow their pastures. Horses eat grass, so horse pastures take care of themselves, right? Actually, this is a common misconception. Any good horse owner will tell you that mowing your pasture is an important part of your routine maintenance. Here are just a few of the benefits of mowing your pastures.

Here’s Why You Should Mow Your Horse Pasture

Benefit number one: weed management. Horses love to eat grass, but they will always avoid weeds. When weeds go uneaten and the grass around them is consumed by your horses, they are allowed to grow more freely. If you do not mow your horse pastures, the weeds will grow so big that they start to choke out the grass. Pastures not maintained can easily become more weeds than grass. Mowing weeds helps to keep them from going to seed, while reducing their height and giving the grass around them a fighting chance.

Another great benefit to mowing your pasture is to regulate horse grazing patterns. Taller grass isn’t as sweet as shorter grass. Poor pasture maintenance will lead to your horses overgrazing their preferred areas of short grass, leaving only the tall grass in patches. Fortunately, you can break your horses’ grazing patterns simply by mowing. Mowing the taller grass makes it more palatable and appealing to your horses, encouraging them to graze these previously untouched areas. Are you looking for horse properties for sale in Colorado that include pastures? Contact Colorado Horse Property today and talk to one of our horse-person realtors.

Monitoring Horses in 2020

Horse Monitoring

A lot has changed when it comes to the modern cowboy. For one thing, technology has improved monitoring horses. If you want to improve the effectiveness of your horse training programs, there are amazing new monitoring systems out there that can help. One of the top systems in monitoring horses is Equisense Motion. Equisense Motion is a system that helps you to monitor your horse’s health and soundness during workouts. A sensor attaches to your girth to record your training data, then sends it to an app that guides you on how to measure your horse’s progress.

Elite Horse Monitoring System

This technology can monitor the time you spend at each lead and at each gait during a session. It also measures the number of transitions and jumps you make and your horse’s symmetry at the trot, which can indicate emerging lameness issues. Equisense Motion can even factor in the cadence and regularity of your horse’s gait. There’s also an app for the system to make your training experience even better.

The app keeps all the data about each session, so you can review it. With this information, you can tailor your future sessions and get the most out of your training. We know that your horses’ health is a top priority and the app focuses on it as well. You can record information about vaccines, farrier appointments, and vet procedures to create a record of your horse’s health. The app also has free training exercises to keep your rides interesting and productive. Are you looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado with enough space to training your horses? Contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

5 Unique Horse Riding Tips

Riding Tips

Riding horseback often looks easy when a trained rider is at the reins, but it is actually one of the hardest activities to master. One of the biggest problems that new riders face is getting into their heads too much. However, there are some horse riding tips to circumvent overthinking in the saddle. Number one, make your focus more physical. Focus on the feel of your horse, or the way your body is moving. In other words, pay attention to your senses more than the voices in your head.

Get Out of Your Head

The point is to think less, but if you can’t stop your thoughts at least change what you’re thinking about. The second and third solutions are imagery. Imagery is a great way to improve your riding. Think about taking a leisurely walk when you want to ride slowly and think about running when you want to ride faster. Alternatively, imaging a song or sound bite can help. If you are practicing a light trot with your horse, think of a song with a slow and steady tempo. For more aggressive riding, think about a song with a quicker tempo.

Tip number four: use a catchphrase. This might sound a little silly, but thinking of a phrase that gets you in a specific mood could really help shape your confidence. The best part is you don’t have to say it out loud. Thinking “ride like the wind” or even “high-ho silver” is enough to get your head in the right place for riding. The last and most important tip is to think quicker. Doing any type of training at home, we have the space and time to make mistakes. We can stop what we’re doing and think about how we can do it better. When riding you often have to make quick, split decisions. You’ll still make mistakes. However, once your skills improve, being about to make quick decisions will be a very big asset. If you are looking to buy or sell horse property in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and talk to one of our horse-person realtors.

Winter Horses

Winter Horses

Horse owners are naturally going to over-prepare their horses for the winter. It’s inevitable. Though closing the barn windows and turning up the heater seems like a good idea, it might not be. All horses are winter horses; they are equipped to handle most winters.

For instance, horses are naturally claustrophobic and their mental well-being suffers when confined. Though they will need to take shelter some times, horses instinctively need open spaces. Standing in a stall for long periods of time can be damaging to your horse’s health. Just like humans, it is not good for horses to be sedentary. It leads to ulcers, colic, and other digestive disorders, not to mention obesity. Good horse owners will know that having some sort of shelter is a must. However, using it should be your horse’s choice, not yours. Winter horses will always take shelter when they need to.

Are Horse Blankets Necessary?

Drive through any horse community in Colorado, like Elizabeth or Salida, during the winter. Some horses will have blankets on and some will not. Putting a blanket on a horse will vary from situation to situation. Overall, your horse’s coat is fully equipped to keep it insulated against the cold in most cases. As long as they can go into their stall during strong winds and wet weather, your horse is able to keep sufficiently warm in the coldest weather. Starting thinking of your horses as winter horses.

So, when are horse blankets necessary? Horses who shiver in the cold, are underweight, aging, ill, or otherwise frail, may feel better with extra covering. However, keep a check on your horse. Are they sweating under the blanket? You don’t want to inhibit your horse’s coat from its natural ability to protect against the cold. So, if your horse is sweating or exhibiting signs of discomfort due to the blanket, make sure to take the blanket off. For more information, contact Colorado Horse Property today.

Three Draft Horse Myths

draft horse myths

What Are Draft Horses?

The Daft Horse is a breed of large horses. For instance, the Shire Horse, Sampson, a Draft Horse, holds the world record for the biggest horse. Old horse owners bred Draft Horse’s to be a working animal, doing hard tasks such as plowing and other farm labor. There are several breeds of Draft horses, like the Irish Draft, the Latvian, and the Breton. These breeds exhibit varying characteristics, but all share common traits of strength, patience, and a docile temperament. These traits originally made them indispensable to generations of pre-industrial farmers. However, you have probably dismissed draft horses for riding because of common misconceptions associated with these breeds. The following are some myths about Draft Horses and the truths behind them.

Draft Horse Myths

  1. Riders can’t mount a Draft Horse unaided on the trail.
    This is one of the biggest misconceptions about the Draft Horse. Common sense tells us that it is difficult to mount a tall horse on the trail. However, there are ways to overcome this. Start by training your draft horse to stand still while you mount. You can even train your horse to kneel, making mounting easier.
  2. Draft horses are slow.
    Uneducated riders might look at a Draft Horse and think they are genetically modified or overweight. This is not true. Yes, Draft Horses are much taller than the horses people typically ride, but they were bred that way just others are bred to be smaller. A healthy draft horse has just as much energy and is just as capable of cantering and galloping as any other breed.
  3. Draft horses are harness horses, not riding horses.
    Yes, their size makes them great harness horses. They can pull wagons and plows with ease. But don’t think they can’t be saddled up as well. Not all Draft breeds are incredibly big. Don’t forget about the Gypsy Vanner, the Norwegian Fjord, the Haflinger, and the Friesian.

For more information about Draft Horse, contact Colorado Horse Property today. If you are looking for horse property in Colorado, contact one of our horse-person realtors for help.

Green Horsekeeping

Green Horsekeeping

Keeping horses can be very hard on the environment. In order to reduce your strain on the world around you, horse owners should practice green horsekeeping. There are many ways that keeping horses impact the land. Manure, insect sprays, and weed killers on the pasture all can play a role in contaminating local streams and waterways. Here are a few things that you can do to practice green horsekeeping and improve your impact on the world.

One of the most important parts of green horsekeeping is making sure your pasture is in good shape. That means making your pasture healthy and mud-free. Less mud means less standing water, and no more runoff that’s likely to contaminate nearby streams. If your pastures are healthy, they’re also more likely to be weed-free, with a reduced need for toxic herbicides. A single horse can produce as much as 50 pounds of manure per day. That’s nine tons a year. What you do with the manure on your farm is important when it comes to protecting the environment. Composting is an ideal solution because it improves the soil. And then there’s building on your property. Whether you’re just building your barn, are making an addition, or are simply fixing fences, the type of construction you choose is an important environmental decision. Another option to consider is a wood composite. This manmade, wood-like product is made from as much as 65-percent recycled materials, including both recycled wood and plastic.

Colorado is a great place for raising horses. Many Colorado horse properties already have the structures in places, like barns and tack rooms. This makes for an easier transition when moving and makes green horsekeeping possible. If you have questions about horse properties in Colorado, contact one of our horse person realtors today!

Horse Fencing by Affordability

Affordability Matters

Managing and rearing horses is definitely a hard and rewarding job. Only a select few people have the temperance for. There are a lot of costs when it comes to owning horses that most people don’t think about. Depending on how much land and horses you have, fencing can be one of those big costs. Here is a list of horse fencing ordered by price. Now you can get what suits your situation the best.

The prices used below are averages used across the industry. For the most accurate prices you should contact your local manufacturers. For more information, contact Colorado Horse Property today. If you or someone you know is looking for a horse property, farm for sale, or horse lot for sale, we have horse-person Realtors standing by right now.

Low Cost Horse Fencing

Barbed Wire Fencing—This type of fencing will cost you $0.03 – $0.05 per foot and is one of the most cost effective types of horse fencing that you can buy. Barbed wire provides a solid barrier for horses, but can potentially be harmful to horses that are not used to it.
Bare Wire Fencing— This type of fencing will cost you $0.03 – $0.12 per wire and has the potential to be very cost effective depending on where you buy. Installation and maintenance is a breeze with bare wire fencing, though it does have less visibility for horses.
Braided Electrical Fencing—This type of fencing will cost you $0.10 – $0.14 per braid. This type of electrical fencing is more reliable when it comes to power wastage, though with all electrical fencing it will increase your monthly electrical bill.
Electric Tape Fencing—This type of fencing will cost you $0.04 – $0.28 per tape. Electrical tape is more visible for horses than the other low cost options, which reduces the chance of inexperienced horses getting tangled in your fencing.

Medium Cost Horse Fencing

High Tensile Polymer Line Fencing—This type of fencing will cost you $0.11 – $0.13 per line. This coated fencing is much safer for horses when it comes to cuts and abrasions, which is important because this fencing does have less visibility.
Polymer Line Fencing—This type of fencing will cost you $0.14 – $0.21 per line. This type of fencing is nearly maintenance free. However, if a horse becomes tangled in this fencing, it can break easily. So if you have a horse that is an escape artist, then this could be a problem.
High Tensile Polymer Rail Fencing—This type of fencing will cost you $0.58 – $0.98 per rail. HTP rail fencing is more durable than your low cost options and is very easy to maintain. HTP rails also comes in a variety of colors, a customization that other fencing options don’t have.
Vinyl Rail Fencing—This type of fencing will cost you $0.90 – $1.10 per rail. Vinyl fencing is popular because it is nearly maintenance free and is highly visible for horses. This type of fencing also gives you more variety in color and style.

High Cost Horse Fencing

Hot-Coat High Tensile Polymer Fencing—This type of fencing will cost you $1.10 – $1.15 per rail and line. Like regular HTP rail fencing, hot-coat fencing is very durable and is easier to maintain. Hot-coat fencing is a continuous line, which is better for those escape artist horses out there.
No-Climb Fencing—This type of fencing will cost you $1.39 – $1.89 per foot. This type of fencing is best for keeping out other animals, like dogs, coyotes, foxes, etc. However, this fencing requires more maintenance than other high cost fencing.
Wooden Rail Fencing—This type of fencing will cost you $3.00 – $9.00 per foot. This is the more expensive option and requires more maintenance. However, you can’t beat the classic style that it brings to the neighborhood.

Photo by Zosia Korcz on Unsplash

Colorado Horse Property

Preventing Horse Lyme Disease

horse lyme disease prevention

Equine Lyme Disease Prevention

Before reading, consider checking out our previous articles on Defining Equine Lyme Disease and Testing for Equine Lyme Disease. It is not an easy thing to care for a horse that has developed problems due to this disease. Horses that have developed neurological problems and uveitis tend to have a poor recovery. Very few horses with neurological signs are treated successfully. Unfortunately, most horses with uveitis lose their vision. No horse owner should have to go through that. This is why it is so important to prevent your horse from contracting the disease.

Lyme disease prevention consists of environmental management and controlling the risk of exposure. Mow all tall grasses, clear shrubs and bushes, and remember to keep your horses out of forests and woodland. Using fences to keep out animals carrying ticks is not always enough. Deer often transport ticks to horses, even if they do not have access to your pasture. Consider using feeding stations with insecticide-laden rubbing posts to treat deer for ticks that wander near your property. Also, use mulch between the woods and your pasture to create a buffer like a moat around a castle.

The Best Prevention Method is Simple

Regular grooming and careful tick removal is the best prevention method for equine Lyme disease. This helps prevent ticks from staying attached to horses long enough to transmit the disease. Remember to be careful when removing ticks from your horse to ensure that it does not survive and latch onto you instead. Also, apply a tick preventive such as a Permethrin spray to deter ticks from latching onto horses in the first place. Also, some veterinarians do administer a canine Lyme disease vaccine. Are you looking for a horse property in Colorado? Don’t settle for a regular realtor that doesn’t have experience with horses. Contact one of our horse-person realtors today.

Testing for Horse Lyme Disease

testing for equine lyme disease

Does My Horse Have Lyme Disease?

Detecting and diagnosing equine Lyme disease can be very challenging. There is little to no scientific literature on the subject and therefore a lack of an experimental model for equine infection. Also, a positive lab test is not definitive enough to lead to a positive Lyme disease diagnosis. Because of this, equine Lyme disease is often over diagnosed. Though, you should still get your horse tested. However, lab results show the horse has been exposed to the disease at some point and has produced antibodies against it. With all these problems with diagnosis, here are a few sure-fire steps to figure out if your horse has the infection:

  1. First of all, is your horse is located in an area where Lyme disease is prevalent?
  2. Also, look for the clinical signs consistent with Lyme disease. You can find them in our article Defining Horse Lyme Disease.
  3. You might have to rule out other causes of the clinical signs your horse is showing. These signs tend to overlap with many other equine diseases.
  4. If your horse is in a Lyme Disease region and is showing common clinical signs of the disease that cannot be attributed to something else, then have your horse tested.

Testing Methods

Laboratory tests consist of blood and tissue testing from the affected area. Veterinarians test horse blood in several different ways. These include the indirect fluorescent antibody test, Western blot test, or whole cell immunology. However, blood testing alone can be inconclusive without tissue testing. The broad-spectrum tetracycline and similar antibiotics are the most commonly used drugs to treat equine Lyme disease. For more information check out our other articles on Lyme diseases in horses. Are you looking for a horse property in Colorado? Don’t settle for a regular realtor that doesn’t have experience with horses. Contact one of our horse-person realtors today.

Photo by Lucas Vasques on Unsplash.

Defining Horse Lyme Disease

Lyme disease in horses

Lyme Disease in Horses

Horses are exposed to many things because they are large mammals that spend most of their days out in the elements. Unfortunately, one of these things is diseases. You have probably heard about Lyme disease. It is transmitted by ticks to humans, cats, and dogs. You might not know however, that this disease can also affect horses. In humans, infections can lead to a wide range of clinical signs, including rashes, arthritis, and cardiac issues. For our house pets, Lyme disease can cause problems with the kidneys. Lyme disease in horses causes neurological issues, uveitis (eye inflammation), muscle atrophy, and behavioral changes, just to name a few.

In Colorado and other western states, Lyme disease is carried by the Western black-legged tick. These ticks have a two-year life cycle and feed on the blood of mammals to survive. Adult ticks are more active in the spring and fall. They climb to the top of the grass when temperatures rise above 40°F. When horses lie down in the grass or walk through tall grass, their hair brushes up against the leaves. This is typically how a tick attaches to the horse.

Equine Lyme Disease

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (or the CDC), reports that black-legged ticks are endemic in 14 states in the Midwest and along the East Coast. These areas have a cooler climate, therefore humans and house pets are unlikely to get the disease. Also, their geographical range appears to be expanding. However, horses live primarily outdoors, and are naturally at a higher risk of contracting Lyme disease.. In fact, horses might be more widely exposed to the disease than we realize. For information on equine Lyme disease, stay tuned for more upcoming articles on our blog. Are you looking for a horse property in Colorado? Don’t settle for a regular realtor that doesn’t have experience with horses. Contact one of our horse-person realtors today.

Photo by bradley on Unsplash.