Horse Whispering

Horse Whisperer

What Is A Horse Whisperer?

The term horse whisperer was popularized by the 1998 film starring Robert Redford, but what does the phrase actually refer to? More commonly known as natural horsemanship, this type of animal husbandry refers to  a variety of horse training techniques which have seen rapid growth in popularity since the 1980’s.

The techniques vary in their precise tenets but generally share principles of developing a relationship with horses, using methods said to be derived from observation of the natural behavior of free-roaming horses and rejecting abusive training methods as seen in many domestic practices. Specialists will tell you that in reality, horse whispering is more about listening than whispering. These professional, those that practice natural horsemanship, understand how to read the body language of horses and are fully aware of the psychology of the horse.

The Professionals

Like other professionals in their fields of expertise, horse whisperers often spend years studying a horse and its behavior. Through developing a relationship with the horse, they are able to read the equine’s natural body language and accurately depict what is going on with the horse. From the most subtle changes in facial expressions, the flick of a tail, stamp of a foot, to rolling eyes and rearing, drooping lower lips, ear movements—the horse can speak an language that whisperer’s can understand and respond to in their own way.

In some public demonstrations, a horse whisperer will stand in an enclosure, of a reasonable size, which a young untrained horse is released into. The horse’s natural instinct is to fight or flight. The whisperer becomes the herd, the safe place to be, by his use of body language. First, he sends the horse away, he has not yet invited it to join his herd! He drives the horse forward and keeps him away. For more information on this profession, where you can find a horse whisperer in Colorado, or information on horse properties in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today.

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Horse Rescue Myth: All Rescues Are The Same

Horse Rescue Myth

Horse Rescue Myth

Horse rescues are places, often ran by nonprofit organization, where abused, abandoned, and misguided horses are cared for. If you are planning to move to Colorado with the intentions on obtaining horses, consider adopting a rehabilitated horse from one of our many horse rescues. Here is a list of the horse rescue’s in Colorado. You can also search for horse properties on our website. There is a horse rescue myth out there in the horse community that all rescues are the same. This horse rescue myth could not be farther from the truth. Horse rescues in Colorado are unique organizations with their own policies and procedures, fundraisers and staff.

Horse Rescue Differences

Nonprofit rescues don’t pay income tax on the money it raises and your donations to it are usually tax-deductible. On the other hand, donations to private rescues are not tax-deductible, and they’re not required to make their records public. They are required to pay income taxes on any money they receive from fundraisers, adoptions, etc.

Don’t confuse horse rescue with horse sanctuaries. Sanctuaries provide lifelong homes to horses in need and do not offer adoption options. This means that sanctuaries can help only a limited number of horses. Both of these types of organizations, differ from rehoming organizations. These types of organizations do place their horses with adopters, but many rescues of this type also offer a limited number of sanctuary spots to horses they deem unadoptable. There are many reasons why a horse may be unadoptable, typically for physical or behavioral problems.

Another way that rescues differ from each other are the may in which they take in horses, or where they receive them from. Horses can come to rescues from auctions, racetracks, owner donations or law enforcement impoundments in cases of abuse or neglect. Though many rescues take in animals from all sorts of backgrounds, you may find that some rescues are better equipped with dealing with impoundments than others.

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Horse Health, Tail Rubbing

Horse Health

Horse Health Problems

Your friends at Colorado Horse Property knows how important horse health is to you horse owners out there. One issue that you might have this year is called Tail Rubbing, in which your horse might rub its tail raw.

There may be several reasons why this is occuring. The most common is pinworms. If you suspect your horse has pinworms, call your veterinarian before starting any treatment, to get their professional opinion. You’ll want to be sure to select a deworming agent that is effective against that parasite in your area. If you live in the Littleton area, then try visiting the Littleton Equine Medical Center for help with this issue.

Finding A Solution

The first thing you are going to want to due when you find that your horse has been tail rubbing, is to check for pinworms These parasites have made a resurgence in North America recently. The eggs trigger itchiness that helps spread them through the environment as the horse rubs against things.

Then you should inspect the tail itself. Separate the hairs to check the skin along the tailbone and lift it to examine the underside as well. The irritation may be due to ticks that should be removed. If the irritation on the skin of the tail is widespread, your horse may have contacted dermatitis.

If the your horse’s tail itself looks fine, check between the hind legs forward to the sheath. This is a prime location for tiny Culicoides midges to feed, which can set off an allergic reaction known as “sweet itch.” These insects also feed along the crest, so affected horses may also rub their necks. For more information on common horse health issues or where to find the nearest horse vet, contact Colorado Horse Property.

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Equine Therapy

Equine Therapy

Equine Therapy, Littleton

Mental health is an issue that many Americans deal with on a daily basis. In researching therapy options, you may have come across the term Equine Therapy. This is a unique and experiential type of therapy that involves interactions between people and horses. You may hear the terms Horse Therapy, Equine-Assisted Therapy, and Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy—all of these terms refer to equine therapy and the definition given above.

As part of this type of therapy, patients engage in certain activities such as grooming, feeding, haltering and leading a horse. These activities should be supervised by a mental health professional. If one is available, activities should also be monitored by a horse professional to make sure that the animal is comfortable during the process. Both during the activity and after the patient has finished working with the horse, the equine therapist can observe and interact with the patient in order to identify behavior patterns and process thoughts and emotions.

If you are looking for a new home in Colorado and are dealing with a mental health issue, consider making the move to Littleton. Not only is Littleton a great place to live, work, and raise a family, it is close to premier equine therapy center Happy Dog Ranch. Search for homes in Littleton now, many of which include accommodations for horses on the land. Here you will find a link to information about the equine therapy ranch in Littleton.

Therapy Benefits

  • Social responsibility
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Impulse control
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Self-actualization
  • Independence
  • Self-regard
  • Assertiveness
  • Stress tolerance
  • Flexibility
  • Emotional awareness
  • Empathy

Horse therapy has been successfully used in treatment programs for adults and teens who are being treated for the following problems: eating disorders, learning differences, ADD/ADHD, autism, Asperger’s, grief/loss, trauma, substance abuse, addiction, behavior disorders, mood disorders, sex addiction, compulsive gambling, bipolar, depression and other conditions similar to those listed.

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The Colorado Horse Park

The Colorado Horse Park

The Colorado Horse Park

The Colorado Horse Park is the largest horse park in the western United States, and features more than 40 events per year, 11 competition arenas, 100 boarding stalls, an RV park, two covered arenas, 300 permanent stalls and portable stalls for more than 1,000 competing horses.

The Colorado Horse Park was rumored to be sold and developed into a subdivision, but news of a new ownership put these concerns to rest. Mark Bellissimo, owner of a large equestrian festival in Florida, bought the park in December 2014. Helen Krieble, who bought the park in 1993, neared retirement that September and put the park up for sale.

Colorado Equestrian Partners

The new partnership that now owns The Colorado Horse Park, Colorado Equestrian Partners, includes Mark and Katherine Bellissimo and other partners within the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

The Colorado Equestrian Partners purchased the park with plans to invest in improvements. These improvement included stabling and footing and key factors that energize the equestrian community. The partners planned to develop philanthropic initiatives along with outreach programs that work with local schools to raise awareness about opportunities in horse sports. And over the years since this new ownership they have done just that!

Today The Colorado Horse Park hosts a number of events. In this month alone The Colorado Horse Park has hosted its second High Prairie Dressage event of the year, a cross county schooling on schooling course, the Marilyn Payne eventing clinic, and the Horsemanship Goodnight event. The Colorado Horse Park also hosted an event during the month of June called Summer in the Rockies. The Summer in the Rockies event is a horse show competition in which riders can compete and win prizes. The event began on June the sixth and will end on July the eighteenth. For more information about The Colorado Horse Park, contact Colorado Horse Property.

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Colorado Horses

Colorado Horses

Colorado Horses

Colorado horses form groups that are called harems. A harem is composed of one adult male, several females, their foals, and younger horses of both sexes, and one to five stallions. Each group is led by a dominant mare. Harems are usually small, containing between 3 and 35 animals; this number changes as young animals are driven out of their natal band and join other bands, or as stallions challenge each other for dominance.

A band or harem should not be confused with a herd. In herds, there is usually a single stallion, though occasionally a few less-dominant males may remain on the fringes of the group.

Horse Hierarchy

It is no secret that horses have evolved to live in herds. As with many animals that live in large groups, establishment of a stable hierarchical system is important to reduce aggression and increase group cohesion. Dominance can depend on a variety of factors, including an individual horse’s need for a particular resource at a given time. Some horses may be dominant over all resources and others may be submissive for all resources.

The herd stallion is not the king of a harem of females. The horse that tends to lead a wild or feral herd is often a dominant mare. The mare will lead the herd to food and other resources as well as control the groups routine and movement. This mare will ensure the general health of the group of horses under her.

However, there was a recent theory published that says there is no single horse that leads the group. In this 2014 study, it was observed that some herd movements may have been stared by any individual horse, although higher-ranked members are followed more often by other herd members. For more information on horses and their behaviors, contact Colorado Horse Property.

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Colorado Feral Horses

Colorado Feral Horses

Colorado Feral Horses

What are Colorado feral horses? Feral horses are horses which live in an untamed state but have ancestors who have been domesticated, separating them from what are commonly known as “wild” horses. There are zero original wild horses from pre-domestication times that are in existence today, therefore every horse living in the wild today are in all technicality feral.

It is no secret that the best-known examples of feral horses are the “wild” horses of the American west, which includes the great state of Colorado. When Europeans reintroduced many horse breeds to the Americas some horses escaped and formed feral herds. These herds are known today as Mustangs. For more information on feral horses in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property.

Feral Horses Around the World

In North America, feral horses are descendants of horses that were domesticated in Europe. While there are similarities shown in certain genes of both modern and fossil North American horses, they are not believed to be members of the same species. There are bands of horses that are protected under the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 here in the west. But Colorado is not the only place where feral horses can be found. Feral horses can be found in parts of Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, India, and many other countries.

Australia has the largest population of feral horses in the world, with in excess of 400,000 horses. The Australian name equivalent to the ‘Mustang’ is the Brumby, feral descendants of horses brought to Australia by English settlers. More than 400 feral horses live in the foothills of Cincar mountain in Bosnia and Herzegovina. These animals, which descend from horses set free by their owners in the 1950s, enjoy a protected status since 2010.

A modern feral horse population is found in the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and Biosphere reserve of Assam, in north-east India, and is a herd of approximately 79 feral horses. Horses in this park are descended from animals that escaped army camps during World War II.

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Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse

Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse

Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse

The Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse Association (more commonly known are the RMQHA), is an organization that supports everything about the horse breed known as the American Quarter Horse. The Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse Association has been around for over seventy years, and has shared the Coloradoan dedication to and enthusiasm for the American Quarter Horse.

What does The Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse have to offer you? If you race, breed, show, ranch, trail ride, or just like to socialize and keep up with Regional Quarter Horse news, then the RMQHA has a lot to offer you!  The Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse Association is the industry leader in providing the enhancement of horse owners and enthusiasts in the state of Colorado with heritage, education, programs, and activities. Colorado Horse Property advocates those that want to support and promote the American Quarter Horse and the Rocky Mountain region to join the Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse Association.

RMQHA Events

The Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse Association hosts a day for their practicing members and new horse owners, in which participants get the royal treatment at Arapahoe Park. Arapahoe Park is a horse-racing track in Arapahoe County, Colorado. Located at 26000 East Quincy Ave in Aurora, Arapahoe Park hosts Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, Paint Horse and Arabian horse racing.
The RMQHA hosts over twenty approved shows and special events annually throughout Colorado, offering many different opportunities and days to exhibit your American Quarter Horse. This includes such events as the Pre-Denver Circuit, the Gold Rush Show as well as the fun Colorado Gold in Pueblo and Rocktoberfest in Loveland. Most of the shows offer classes for everyone from professionals, amateurs, novice and youth, including the select division for “mature” exhibitors.
There are also Special Event Classes offered in cattle-related classes. Truly there is an event for everyone with the RMQHA! If you have any questions about the Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse Association, like how to join or help support the horse community in the Front Range, then contact your friends at Colorado Horse Property.
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The Heritage Ride

The Heritage Ride

The Heritage Ride

The Colorado Horse Council, an organization that operates out of Brighton Colorado, is the founder of the famed Heritage Ride. The Heritage Ride is a large event for horse owners and enthusiasts to make people aware of the efforts of the equine industry in Colorado.

The Heritage Ride focuses on education of those in and out of the equine community. It is also a fundraiser to support the work that the Colorado Horse Council does to protect horses. This year marks the sixth annual Heritage Ride event and will be showcased in a couple locations along the Front Range.The Ride is approximately 2 hours, depending on location.

The Heritage Ride is a day-long equine adventure, where there will be educational opportunities for you to learn about trail riding, equine safety and more. Attendees may also have the opportunity to ride with guest clinicians from the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo, another popular event that the Colorado Horse Council hosts every year.

Colorado Horse Council

What is the Colorado Horse Council? This organization is a “grass-roots, all-breed, non-discipline specific organization dedicated to linking the horse owners and the horse industry of the State of Colorado into a powerful, common voice in order to protect their common equine interests through legislation and education. It also employs a full-time contract lobbyist, who works with the State Legislature on horse and agriculture-related issues.”

As I mentioned above, another big event that the Council hosts in the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo. The Rocky Mountain Horse Expo has unfortunately already passed this year, but if you weren’t able to attend there is always next year! This event is a great place to get educated by professional horse clinicians and to work with a variety of different horse breeds. Of course you can also shop in the trade show, view beautiful equine art at the Art in the Park event and watch The Mane Event.

The Colorado Horse Council is composed of “farmers and ranchers, breeders, trainers, showmen and women, retailers, veterinary care providers, service providers, feed producers, and individuals who seek to maintain [our] rights to own, maintain, and use horses in [our] state.” If you have any questions about The Heritage Ride event or other horse events in your area, contact Colorado Horse Property.

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Horse Sleeping Patterns

Horse Sleeping Patterns

Horse Sleeping Patterns

Just like us, horses must sleep to stay energized and healthy throughout the day. But how much do horses sleep and what about horse sleeping patterns? Horses can sleep both standing up and lying down. Horses are able to sleep standing up because a “stay apparatus” in their legs allows them to relax their muscles and sleep without falling over.

Humans tend to need an unbroken period of sleep, but horses do not. Horses sleep in short periods of rest. Horses usually spend anywhere from four to fifteen hours a day in standing rest (not to be confused with sleep), and from a few minutes to several hours lying down. The total sleep time in a day may range from several minutes to two hours.

Horses require approximately two and a half hours of sleep, on average, in a twenty-four hour period. Most of this sleep occurs in many short intervals of about fifteen minutes each. These short periods of sleep consist of five minutes of slow-wave sleep, followed by five minutes of rapid eye movement sleep (REM) and then another five minutes of slow-wave sleep.

Horse REM Sleep

Rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep, REMS) is a unique phase of sleep in mammals and birds, distinguishable by random/rapid movement of the eyes, accompanied with low muscle tone throughout the body, and the propensity of the sleeper to dream vividly.

Horses must lie down to reach REM sleep. They only have to lie down for an hour or two every few days to meet their minimum REM sleep requirements. If a horse is never allowed to lie down, after several days it will become sleep-deprived. Horses sleep better when in groups because some animals will sleep while others stand guard to watch for predators. For information on horse sleep patterns, contact your veterinarian. For a list of horse clinicians in Colorado, provided to you by Colorado Horse Property, check out our Local Resources page.

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