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Horse Care
Horse Facts

 


Horse Care

We have created a library of info and links all about caring for your horse. We are including recipes for horse treats, games, hints and tips, and other fun stuff so click on these links below to learn more:
Have a suggestion? Email us
 

Horses should not be fed peanuts, because they cannot digest them and it clogs their intestines. According to most vets, peanut butter will not hurt them.

Trotting Out Some Treat Recipes: 
Wanna make friends with the horses at your barn or stable? Try out some of these terrific treat recipes and help bring some joy to your "neigh" borhood! 

Oat-y Carrots
3 cups Quaker Oats (grind into coarse flour with food processor)
1 large carrot shredded
1/4 cup of corn syrup
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
1/2 cup of apple sauce
1/4 cup of vegetable or corn oil
Add shredded carrot to ground oats. Add the remaining ingredients and mix in food processor until the mixture forms thick dough. Add more "oat flour" if the dough is too sticky or more oil if the mixture is too stiff. Form into small balls (about 1") and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 -12 minutes or until lightly browned and crisped on the bottom. (about 325F) Store in an airtight container or refrigerate.

Corny Peppermint Muffins
1 egg
5 crushed sugar cubes
5 crushed mints
1 cup flour
1 cup corn meal
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon corn starch
Crush sugar and mints in food processor. Place in large bowl and add flour. Grind cornmeal in processor and add to candy mix. Add egg and mix well. Add in milk and corn starch. Mix until almost smooth. Grease a mini-muffin tin and pour in batter. Bake at 400F until brown (about 12 minutes). 

Filled Apple 
Apple
Syrup
Quaker Oats
Core an apple. Mix the oats and syrup making sure they stick together. Stuff the apple with the oat mixture.

Molasses-Carrot Freezes
Chopped baby carrots
Molasses
Your horse's favorite grain
Mix molasses with grain until well blended and all the grain is covered. Add the chopped carrots and stir well. Place mixture in muffin tin or ice cube trays. Squirt molasses on top of the mixture.. Freeze until ready to serve. Great for those hot days of summer!

Apple Carrot Popsicles
Canned applesauce
Carrots, chopped in fine slices
Sugar/cinnamon/oats if desired
Place several carrot pieces in the bottom of each section of the cube tray Pour applesauce on top. You can place more carrots on top if you would like. Sprinkle sugar and/or cinnamon or oats on top if desired -freeze.


If you know of any head-nodding, foot-stompin' horse recipes that you'd like to share, please send them in. Have a suggestion? Email us

Fly Repellent

Waiter, there's a fly in my..on my horse! Flies - one of life's biggest nuisances, especially if you're a horse. There are many great commercial fly sprays, but here are some home-made alternatives. **Remember to check with your vet before putting anything on your equine friends.** 

Fact: When using citronella in a recipe, be SURE to use only 100% PURE Citronella oil.

Fly Repellent 1:
Combine ingredients and use in spray bottle.
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup water
1 cup Avon Skin So Soft 
1 Tablespoon eucalyptus oil

Fly Repellent 2:
Combine ingredients and use in spray bottle.
2 cups mineral oil
cup lemon juice
2 tsp. Citronella oil
2 teaspoon eucalyptus oil
2 teaspoon lemon dish detergent

Fly Repellent 3:
Combine ingredients and use in spray bottle.
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 oz citronella oil
2 oz Avon Skin So Soft

Fly Repellent 4:
Combine ingredients and use in spray bottle.
Mix one part citronella oil with seven parts water. If the flies are particularly bad, mix four parts water to one part citronella oil.

Fly Repellent 5:
Combine ingredients and use in spray bottle
2 Tablespoons dish soap
2 cups water
cup white vinegar

Fly Repellent 6:
Combine ingredients and use in spray bottle
15 oz water
5 oz commercial fly spray
5 oz vinegar
2 oz dish soap
2 oz vegetable oil

Fly Repellent 7:
Combine ingredients and use in spray bottle
Add six ounces of Skin So Soft to spray bottle full of water.

Internal Fly Repellents:
Add cup of apple cider vinegar to your horses grain OR mix 1 cups white vinegar for every 75 gallons of water in your horses water tub. Start one of these procedures about a week before fly season begins and continue throughout the season. These are old time recipes that have been handed down through generations of horse folks!

OK, the horse is taken car of, now what about those flies bombing you every time you walk into the barn? Try out this nifty fly catcher - flies buzz in, but they don't buzz out!

Fly Catcher:
3 cups of water
cup sugar
cup white vinegar
Fill a quart jar with mixture and punch hole sin the lid. Leave jars where flies are annoying!

Now, your horse is happy, your barn is protected - let's hit the trail! But wait, what's that you hear? Bzz Bzz - Oh no, you're out and about and here they come again - now what?? Here's a simple trick to help you out. 

Dryer Sheets to the Rescue!
Try rubbing yourself with a dryer sheet before heading out for your ride and tie a fresh one onto the horse's headstall and put another fresh one in your pocket - in case it's along ride.

Spray the trailer down with fly repellent 10-15 minutes before loading. This gives the nasty little buzzers in there time to escape before they're shut in. It will help cut down on the amount of repellent you need to use on your pony!

Yes, grooming is a chore, but it's also a great way for you and your horse to bond. Being organized can make the process more relaxed and pleasurable for both you and your horse!

Every grooming session can be a lot more fun and way easier to deal with if you have all the things you need at hand. Make sure you have a container large enough to fit in all of your daily grooming supplies, but small enough to be easily handled. Here are some of the essentials that every good grooming session needs:

A rubber curry comb
A soft, or body brush
A stiff or dandy brush
Hoof pick
Main and tail comb
Sweat scraper
Towels and rubbing rags
Sponges for bathing.
Be sure to clean your brushes, picks and combs regularly with warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly (a sunny day is the easiest way for that!)

Grooming equipment comes in a variety of price ranges, but the most expensive isn't necessarily the best. It's how you use it. Yes, you have to work hard to keep your horse well-groomed but isn't it worth it to have your friend happy and healthy! A little elbow grease goes a long way!
Grooming not only makes your horse look and feel better, but it helps to bring out the natural oils in his coat giving it a beautiful shine. A dirty coat can attract bacteria leaving your horse susceptible to skin diseases and the massaging your horse gets wile being groomed helps his circulation and muscle stimulation.

So you've worked up a sweat, your horse looks and feels great, but aren't there some quick tips to make your grooming even easier - especially for some of those specialized trouble spots? You bet there are - read on.. Again, please check with your vet before applying anything to horses skin or coat!

1) For a nice clean and soft mane, use mayonnaise. Yep, that's right - mayo - just use as you would shampoo and then wash it out. Presto! A nice clean and extremely smooth mane!
2) For a flaky horse - well, for flaky skin - try using a little liquid fabric softener with your shampoo - it helps to keep the skin soft and springtime fresh!
3) For really bad sweat stains, dilute rubbing alcohol with water in a spray bottle and spray on the stain. Rub with your brush - stain gone!
4) One of the worst things that can happen when you're out on the trail - burrs in the mane and tail! Yikes! For a quick removal, try spraying a cooking spray on the burred area - they slip out a lot easier!
5) Try using hoof moisturizing cream on your horse's tail - Put it on, let sit a few minutes and rinse well. Helps to keep the tail soft and untangled. For a show, do this the night before - let sit overnight wrapped in a tail bag. Gives you that extra advantage over the competition when the judges see that pretty tail.
6) More showing tricks - just before entering the ring, use a "grab-it" wipe to get the last minute dust off your horse.
7) To help prevent bacteria - spray your grooming equipment with Lysol between each use. Use the regular Lysol - not the scented ones.
8) Put a tablespoon of molasses in your horses feed very other day to promote a healthy, shiny coat.
9) For cracked and dry hooves, a paintbrush and some Vaseline works great! And the Vaseline helps repel the rain too!

Horse Health Tips

The following tips are not vet certified and should be used with your vet's permission only. Please remember that for any injury or illness a vet should ALWAYS be consulted!

1) If your horse has a sore or cut on his hocks that requires medication, try this little trick to keep him from rubbing the medicine right back off! Cut off the top part of a ribbed sock and cut a hole in the back to fit over the hock. Work the sock over the hoof and cover the medicated area. This takes a bit of patience, but once you have n the sock on, you don't need to take it right off again - just roll it down to medicate and then roll it back up when you are done. Keeps the medication on and the area clean!
2) To help treat thrush, scrub out the hoof with a stiff brush and Betadine. Dry well and put on an anti-fungal. Coat the entire frog and sole with Vaseline and then put on a layer of hoof moisturizer. This will keep out water and dirt and allow the anti-fungal to work.
3) If you have a problem getting your horse to drink (a problem at shows sometimes) try putting a little apple juice in the water. Once they start drinking again, simply start reducing the amount of juice until you have them back to straight water.
4) Vitamin E put on areas affected by scarring or hair loss will help scars to disappear and hair to grow back. Be sure you get your Vitamin E from the health section of your store, NOT the beauty section (theirs isn't 100% pure vitamin E)
5) Have to crush pills for your horse? Try using a coffee grinder -much easier than trying to crush between two spoons.
6) When you clean your horse's water bucket, pour in a cup of apple cider vinegar for every 25 gallons of water - some say it helps prevent colic.

Showing is one of the toughest and most precise things that you and your horse will ever go through. It's not only how well you and your horse work together that is important, how your horse looks gets noticed too. Try some of these tips to give you a little advantage over the competition and make the judges take notice.

1) Instead of using a commercial "sparkler" buy some different colored sparkles (available everywhere) and add to your hoof polish. Mix well and leave it to "set". The next time you're showing it will be thick and glittery and sticks well. It washes off easily too!
2) A healthy, happy horse is important when you are showing. Sometimes horses get stressed and will not drink as well as they do at home. If you have this problem, a simple solution is to bring your horses regular water bucket or the same hose that you usually use. A few comforts from home will help ease your horse's stress levels.
3) For nice white hooves on your horse - try this. Wash, clean and dry the hooves. Rub in baby oil. Wait an hour or so for it to soak in and then use sandpaper to rub the hooves - about five minutes rubbing on each hoof. When you have finished sanding, rub in more baby oil for nice shiny, clean hooves. **Don't' worry that you are hurting your horse with the sandpaper. As long as you stay on the hoof, no harm is done - it's like clipping and buffing your own nails - you remembered to do that, right?!
4) For competitive trail riding or endurance, take along a beach towel, find a water source during your ride, wet it and drape it over your horses neck. An easy way to cool them down and get their pulse rate down.
5) Another way to lower the pulse rate of your horse during competition is to place your hand on his head and start gently massaging while putting pressure on to lower the head to the ground. Remember to be gentle. This will help the horse to relax and thus lower their heart rate.

Here are some odds and ends that are super ideas to keep in mind around the barn and to use in your daily routines with your horse.

1) Use old feed bags as trash containers. It helps keep things tidy and it helps the environment by recycling.
2) To keep your horse from spreading his hay all over the stall, use an old tractor tire to hold the hay in. If your horse likes to play with things, make sure you tie it down, so they don't pick it up and start playing Frisbee with it!
3) If you have a nervous horse, try using a drop of Lavender oil on your hands and offer the horse a sniff. It seems to have a calming effect on them and is great to help them relax before putting them into a stressful situation, like a farrier visit.
4) Help deodorize a smelly stall by sprinkling a liberal amount of baking soda around the wet areas.
5) Use old pop cases for holding small and light things like leg wraps. Decorate them and hang on a door.


Hoof black is messy - no doubt about it. Try these little tricks to keep that mess to a minimum!

1) Put Vaseline on the threads of the bottle and the lid when you open it. Then when it's resealed, it won't stick shut.
2) Keep an empty bottle handy, and pour a small amount into it. Put the new bottle away and keep using the old bottle with the smaller amount, so that if, or should we say when, it gets knocked over, you will still have a reserve left to use.
3) To keep it off your hands, place the bottle in a coffee cup. (Make sure it's an old one so you don't get yelled at!) That way when it runs down the sides it will go into the cup and not all over you. After a couple of uses, the run over will make the bottle stick to the bottom of the cup so you won't have to worry about it falling out.
4) If you do spill hoof black on yourself or your horse, spray with aerosol hairspray to remove it.

Tack Tips

Tack is expensive and anything we can do to lengthen the life of our equipment can only be a good thing. Try some of these tips to help keep your tack looking great (and your pocket book happier too). There are also some tips on quick repairs when you're out on the trail that should hold you until you and your steed are safely home!

1) Try rubbing a bit of mayonnaise into scratches to remove them from leather. Test first on a small inconspicuous area first to make sure it's safe for your particular piece of equipment.
2) If your horse doesn't like to take a bit, try offering him peppermints before tacking up and then rub some crushed peppermint on the bit before placing in his mouth. This may take a while to work, but once it does, you should be able to place the bit without using any candy.
3) When you're cleaning the sheath, use Vaseline or baby oil the day before. Work it in well and leave overnight. The next day, clean the sheath like you normally do. The yucky stuff will be softer and come out easier.
4) Make your own easy boots with duct tape and an old inner tube. Cut the tire into a big circle that is large enough to up the side of your horse's hoof. Cut slits in the sides of the "boot" to improve the fit and wrap duct tape around the top to hold in place. Make sure not to tape the horse's hair though - ouch!!! This is a great "quick fix" if your horse looses a shoe at an inconvenient time.
5) Use a string off the large dog food bags to repair saddle horns and other quick fixes
6) On the trail and a headstall breaks? No problem - just yank a couple of horse tail hairs to tie it together. The hair is very strong and should get you home.
7) Twist ties - your best friend? Could be! They work great for putting back together all of your stirrup, saddle and bridle mishaps. 
8) Busted lead? Who hasn't had that problem? For a quick tip, keep a couple of snaps with you and braid some bailing rope Simply braid the twine through the snap and voila! Instant lead rope!
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