Post by Dara Turner
It’s amazing how just a few weeks can impact the weather. At the first of February, northern Oklahoma had it’s second ever blizzard warning. Where I live, there was a record 25″ of snow. Just a few miles north, there was a record setting 50″ and that area also set the record for the coldest temperature of -23°F. There was snow for over 2 weeks, which is also out of the normal for Oklahoma.
Now, the temperature was close to 80°F today and the daffodils in my yard have been in bloom for about 2 weeks. We had our first actual thunderstorm just a few days ago. Spring is officially around the corner! So, it may be a good time for some spring chores. Here are some chores that you may want to do.
At the barn:
- Clean and condition your leather tack. Make sure the leather is dry before applying a leather conditioner.
- Inspect the leather for any cracks, cuts or splits. Replace any leather that is damaged.
- Go through your grooming kit. Replace any tools that are broken. This would probably also be a good time to wash your brushes.
- Clean your clippers. You can do this yourself or take them to a professional. You can also have the blades sharpened at the same time.
- Wash your winter blankets, if you are not going to need them anymore. Store them in a dry place. Most blankets come in a zippered plastic bag. I have kept these to store my blankets for the summer. This makes for good dust free storage.
- A warm dry spring day would be perfect to strip your stall completely (if you have one). Let them air out for a few hours before you put bedding back in them. If you have full board, this is probably done periodically through the year.
- Give your trailer a good cleaning. Do a thorough inspection and make note of any damage to floors/walls/ceiling/tackroom, worn tires, damaged lighting/wiring, etc. Make a plan and time frame to get damage fixed.
For the vet:
- Get vaccinations, if you haven’t already done so. Check with your vet as to which basic vaccinations are recommended for your area. Your vet may also have suggestions for additional vaccinations based on the age of your horse and also whether or not you show or trail ride.
- Don’t forget to get the Coggins test. A negative Coggins is required if you plan to show, trail ride or take your horse to a riding clinic. Most events want a Coggins that was done within a year, but a few require one that has been done within 6 months of the event.
- Spring is also when I have my horses’ teeth checked and, if necessary, floated.
- My gelding will have his sheath cleaned, if needed.
There is a multitude of chores that you can do in the spring. This is just a small sample. Plan a work day and make a list of what you want to accomplish that day. If you don’t finish your list, add it to the next planned work day. Don’t try to do everything all in one day . . . . your body won’t like it.
posted in Barn, Beginners, Blanket, Bridle, Horse Owners, Saddle, Tack, Trailer, Vets |
Post by Dara Turner
While some parts of the country are still in the grip of winter, other parts are just starting to show signs of spring. Either of these can cause conditions not favorable for riding. My last post suggested that you use some of this time to brush up on horse basics by doing ground work.
Another task that can be done is cleaning & conditioning your tack. Dedicate an afternoon to this task. Check your leather goods for cracks, dry rot or splits. Look at the stitching to make sure they are all intact with no breaks. You can replace leather pieces like off-billets, tie straps or some stirrup leathers that are worn out. These are easy fixes but if not replaced can cause major accidents. For more severe repairs, schedule a trip to your local saddle repair shop.
You also need to clean your bits. Run your fingers along the mouth piece to check for rough spots or burrs. Any imperfection on any of the surfaces that actually come in contact with the horse can cause irratation, pain or even cuts. Most bits are relatively inexpensive. You might consider buying a replacement.
If you are like me, this could be a daunting task in itself because of the amount of tack I have. But don’t let that stop you. Your tack is a big investment & it deserves some of your time.
posted in Bridle, Saddle, Tack |
Post by Dara Turner
I just received my Horse & Rider magazine. This is just one of my magazines that I read front to back. There is an article in this issue that you, as a novice looking to buy a horse, MUST read!! The article is “7 SIGNS YOU SHOULD WALK AWAY FROM A HORSE FOR SALE (OR SELLER)” by Bob Avila.
This article tells you what bad habits to look for. The article goes into bad attitude, this would be cranky, rude or impatient. It tells you about being barn sour and also about not respecting your space. There is a small section of information about lameness. There are also signs to look for in the seller. This article is only 4 pages long, but it does give you information that you will need when you go to look for that dream horse. READ IT!! & READ IT again!!
And when you are done with this article, read the one from Clinton Anderson on getting your foot shy horse to let you handle those ticklish feet. Oh and don’t miss YOUR HORSE YOUR LIFE for a few pointers. There are some really good common sense things a novice horse owner may not know. There are also on going articles on conformation, riding & horsemanship. AND THIS IS JUST 1 ISSUE!!!
If you don’t have this magazine . . . go out now & get it at your local bookstore, drug store or grocery store. It is well worth your time and effort for this one. This is just one MUST HAVE magazine for any novice. It is just full of information. There is also EQUUS. I highly recommend this magazine for the latest in horse health. Practical Horseman & Dressage Today are outstanding magazines for the owner who leans more towards English riding.
These are the magazines that I subscribe to for the latest information in health, riding and horse related products. Over the years, I have gotten an enormous amount of information from these magazines. There have been articles on legislations that effect the horse world. There have been articles on which hay may be better for your horse, oats vs sweet feed and which plants in your pasture are deadly to your horse.
If you don’t have a subscription for any of these, check out the MUST HAVE MAGAZINES in the right column of my blog. Just click on the magazine that you would like to subscribe to.
Subscribe today, don’t miss another issue!
posted in Barn, Beginners, Blanket, Bridle, Clothes, Dressage, English, Horse Care, Horse Shows, Jumping, Lessons, Pasture, Riding, Saddle, Shoeing, Tack, Trailer, Trainers, Vets, Western |