The Chincoteague Pony

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The Chincoteague pony is a breed of feral horse that lives on Assateague Island in both Virginia and Maryland. It is not common for a horse breed to be called a “pony”. The Chincoteague pony gets this name due to their smaller stature which is created by the poor habitat on Assateague Island. Island Chincoteague ponies live on a diet of salt marsh plants and brush, a poor nutritional diet that gives the breed their small size. Here’s some more on the history of this unique horse breed. 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.

History of The Chincoteague Pony

Some say this breed descended from survivors of wrecked Spanish galleons off the Virginia coast. However that is unlikely. Experts say the breed came from stock released on the island by 17th-century colonists. This was a popular thing at the time for those looking to escape livestock laws and taxes on the mainland. A volunteer fire company held the first official “Pony Penning Day” in 1924. The volunteers auctioned off Chincoteague ponies as a way to raise money for fire equipment. The annual event has continued in the same fashion almost uninterrupted to the present day.

Today, the federal government owns the entire Island. A fence on the Maryland/Virginia state line separates two herds of the ponies. Therefore, around 150 ponies live on the Virginia side of the fence and 80 live on the Maryland side. Also, the herds live on land managed by two different federal agencies with very different management strategies. Just like many other horse breeds, these ponies come in several different colors and patterns. They can be any solid color, and are often found in pinto patterns.

Riding Sidesaddle

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Riding a horse sidesaddle is an idea that has been around for a long time. Sitting sidesaddle was originally created as a way for women in skirts to ride a horse without messing up their clothes. The type of saddle used for this riding style is quite different from the usual saddle. 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.

The Sidesaddle Design

In the early days of horseback riding, women wore long skirts. This type of clothing is impractical and dangerous when riding in a normal saddle. Before people began to dress differently, the safest way to ride with skirts was sidesaddle. This meant that saddle makers had to develop a saddle that could accommodate riding from the side while keeping the rider in control. The design of the sidesaddle has changed many times over its history.

By the 15th century this saddle included a central horn in the front that would become the “top pommel.” The cantle or the back part of the saddle was slightly raised at the rear, but overall remained too flat. Without the contour of the saddle that we have today, it was extremely hard to keep still on this saddle. That’s why the design later included a safety rail that steadied the rider. Over time, more changes and adjustments were made. By the 1830s another pommel, the “leaping head,” was introduced. This pommel curved over the rider’s left thigh, securing the rider more than ever before.

Winter Chores For Horse Owners

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Many states do not see much change between the seasons aside from the temperature. Colorado has temperate springs, beautiful summers, falls full of changing colors, and white winters. Prior to winters, Coloradans know the drill; this is when you bring out all of your winter clothes to the front of your closet to prepare for the snowy weather. Horse owners have the extra step of preparing their horses for the winter. In fact, there’s an entire new chore list for horse owners when winter comes around. Here is our list of winter chores for Colorado horse owners.

Colorado Winter Chores

Begin by checking your stables for problems. Inspect gutters and downspouts for leaks. When the snow begins to melt, you’ll want to divert the water away from high traffic areas. The last thing you want is standing water near your animals, so check your paddock for low spots and level them out. Though some horses are okay to be outside while it’s snowing, be mindful of overgrazing and compaction. The winter weather is not good for leather tack. Also tack with metal components are prone to rust in wet weather. Consider a way to heat, light or ventilate your tack room to avoid this problem.
You should also check and update your emergency plans. Does your flashlights need fresh batteries? What about your battery-powered radio and car cell phone charger? Also, make sure your horse blankets are clean and at hand when you need them. Consider your own clothing needs to keep you warm and dry during riding, daily chores and farm work. Looking for horse properties for sale in Colorado? Colorado Horse Property has the largest database of horse properties than any other site and our team of horse-person realtors can help you find the perfect property for you.

Ancient Horse Superstitions

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Horses have been galloping through the fields on planet Earth for a long time. Humans and horses have lived in symbiosis for hundreds of years. With such an old history, it is not surprising that we’ve developed some horse superstitions along the say. Here are a few of the most commonly known horse superstitions. Before you continue, are you looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado? Colorado Horse Property is the #1 horse property listing site in the state. We also have a full staff of horse-person realtors that can help you find the horse property of your dreams.

Horse Superstitions That Still Exist Today

The word superstitions conjures up negative tropes, but don’t forget that superstitions also include good luck charms. For instance, a common good luck charm in Ireland is the horseshoe. This is because most horseshoes were made of iron. In ancient times, the Celts of northern Europe believed in the magic of iron, which had the power to keep away bad spirits and negative energy. This is probably why there is so much art made from horseshoes today. Check out the Colorado Horse Property Pinterest for horseshoe art.

A common horse superstition in England is the horse brass. A horse brass is a decorative medallion, often seen on working draft horses. These are used to ward away evil spirits from valuable horses. They have existed in some form or another for more than two millennia. The modern horse brass that we see decorating heavy horses first showed up in the West Country of England in the early nineteenth century. Similarly, ancient Egypt and other middle eastern countries have a history of using brass bells on horses for the same reason.

Should Horses Stay Out In The Rain?

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It is true that most people do not like to be out in the rain. But do horses feel the same way? You might be surprised to find that left to make the decision for themselves, horses will choose to stay outside when it rains. The better question to ask is, “should horses stay out in the rain?” Even in light raining conditions, some horses are prone to developing skin problems while others are unaffected. Therefore, the short answer is that it depends on the horse. Also, if you are looking to purchase a horse property in the future, consider Colorado Horse Property.

The Long Answer to “Should Horses Stay Out In The Rain?”

Some horses are more susceptible to contracting skin fungi when exposed to the rain than others. Other horses have psychological problems that make spending time indoors just as dangerous as time outdoors during a storm. The only way to really know is to try both. If your horse is willing to stay out in the rain, let them. If a problem arises, like a skin/hoof infection from being wet, then it is safe to say that they should not be left to the elements. Even if they are fine, continue to monitor them after each experience to make sure no problems occur. Also, not every weather event is the same.

Light, gentle rainfall likely won’t jeopardize a horse’s health. We often don’t get torrential rains in Colorado, but they do occur sometimes. In these cases, even with horses that are good with being left out in the rain, they should be taken inside. Storms that include severe winds can be dangerous as well. You don’t want your equine companion to be hit by debris flying in the wind. Lighting is also dangerous even if your horse is standing under a tree. Though we rarely see extreme precipitation in the front range of Colorado, we occasionally get hail. It goes without saying, if it hailing your horse should not be outside. In conclusion, for a healthy horse it is usually okay for them to be left out in the rain unless the weather is severe.

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.

Colorado Farriers

Colorado Farriers

Colorado boasts a large horse population including both native and non-native breeds. This means that there are also many great Colorado farriers. A farrier is more than just a person that puts horseshoes on horses. Farriers are specialist in equine hoof care, which affects many aspects of the animals life. Farriers are responsible for the trimming and balancing of horses’ hooves and the placing of shoes on their hooves. The skills of a farrier are very unique. These include blacksmith’s skills with some veterinarian’s skills to care for horses’ feet. Farriers use a wide arrange of tools from Anvils to clinchers.

Trimming is performed using horse nippers, a tool used to trim hoof wall, and a rasp, a tool used to finish trim and smooth out edges of hoof. A farrier’s routine work is primarily hoof trimming and shoeing. The amount of trotting, running, hauling, and pulling that horses perform takes a toll on their hooves. Trimming each hoof so it retains proper foot function is important. If the animal has a heavy work load, works on abrasive surfaces, needs additional traction, or has pathological changes in the hoof, then shoes may be required.

Colorado Farriers Near Me

Additional tasks for the farrier include dealing with injured or diseased hooves and application of special shoes for racing and training. If you are looking to buy of sell horse property in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today. Don’t deal with a standard, suburban realtor. Talk to one of our horse-person realtors who know what you’re looking for. If you are looking for Colorado farriers near you, check out our Colorado farriers directory.

The Modern Cowboy

The Modern Cowboy

The definition of a cowboy has been the same since it’s inception, however things are changing. Cowboys have the same cattle management tasks. They also have dressed in similar clothing and have similar core skills. And yet the modern cowboy takes things a step further. Early Spanish explorers created the need for American cowboys. Spanish exploration brought cattle and horses to the new world and with it the concept of the cowboy. Over time the demand for cows has increased. However the number of rural Americans have decreased. The modern cowboy has more work to do now than ever before. Old methods for tracking cattle are no longer viable in this new climate of a growing middle class.

Cowboys of The Future

Modern cowboys are turning to technology as a way to track cattle. Organizations around the world already track animal identification, premises identification, and animal movement. This tracking leads to the eradication of animal disease and improving the quality and cost of beef. Utilizing drone technology would allow individual tracking of each cow. This thereby eliminates a lot of labor for cowboys and the cattle industry. A few educated workers can do the work of a dozen, lower-paid workers. The benefits to the economy are paramount.

Drone technology has come a long way. Once little more than a remote-controlled toy, drones are now very sophisticated depending on the manufacturer. Drones have immense potential for surveillance and management that has barely been tapped into. Drones can also be used to track plant growth and health, check fence lines for damage from wildlife, and so much more. Remember, this will never take away from a cowboy’s responsibilities. The rugged breed of men and women who wear plaid, big belt buckles and even bigger hats will always be needed. However, this technology will aid them in efficiency. If you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today. We have a group of horse-person realtors ready to help you today.

Horse Facial Markings

Horse Facial Markings

Ever wondered how a horse owner can tell the difference between the members of their herd? Size, breed, gender, and personality will always play a big role in differentiating between horses, but what if these factors where irrelevant? How would you tell the difference between two horses of the same size, breed, gender, and temperament? Any horse owner will tell you that they have learned to memorize the facial markings of their horses. Also, facial markings are great identifiers because they don’t change. Markings are present at birth and do not change over the course of the horse’s life.

Most markings have pink skin underneath most of the white hairs, though a few faint markings may occasionally have white hair with no underlying pink skin. Markings may appear to change slightly when a horse grows or sheds its winter coat, however this difference is simply a factor of hair coat length; the underlying pattern does not change. Below are a few of the most common facial markings of horses. How many have you seen before? Also, if you are looking for a horse property in Colorado, contact us today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

  • Blaze: a wide white stripe down the middle of the face.
  • Strip, stripe, or race: a narrow white stripe down the middle of the face.
  • Bald Face: a very wide blaze, extending to or past the eyes. Some, but not all, bald faced horses also have blue eyes.
  • Star: a white marking between or above the eyes. If a stripe or blaze is present, a star must be significantly wider than the vertical marking to be designated separately.
  • Snip: a white marking on the muzzle, between the nostrils.

The Equestrian Industry

Photo by Rafael Toledano Illán on Unsplash. The Equestrian Industry.

The equestrian industry is a million dollar business involving every state of the US. However, it can be hard to pinpoint specific statistics on how much the industry contributes to the economy. To fix this problem, the American Horse Council commissioned a study in 2017 to get more accurate numbers. The study focuses on the financial information and trends that are shaping the equestrian industry. It was able to show how much money the horse industry is making and in what ways. Additionally, the horse industry contributes $50 billion to the GDP of the United States. According to the study, there are 7.2 million horses in the country. The following list shows estimated numbers of horses by activity from the AHC’s study.

US Horse Industry Statistics

  • Recreation Horses—3,141,449 Horses
    • Privately owned as pets. Also, these horses do not farm or in any way produce substantial income.
  • Showing Horses—1,227,986 Horses
    • Performance show horses. Shows include reining, jumping, and much more from a wide array of horse training.
  • Racing Horses—1,224,482 Horses
    • Racing event horses. These include popular derbies like those found at Santa Anita Park in California or the Churchill Downs in Kentucky.
  • Working Horses- 537,261 Horses
    • Working horses refers to horses that are used to perform a task, typically by agricultural means.

Is the equestrian industry an exclusive club? This is a common misconception. Actually, nearly half of the horse owners in the US are from the middle class, earning $25,000 to $75,000 annually. Also, many people make a living in this industry. The equestrian industry has a direct employment impact of 988,394 jobs. Additionally, the industry itself contributes $38 billion in direct wages, salaries, and benefits. Are you one of the many horse owners in the US? Looking to relocate to the state of Colorado? Our team at Colorado Horse Property is made up of highly-qualified, horse-person realtors. Contact Colorado Horse Property today!