Month: June 2017

Bell Boots/Overreach boots

Bell Boots   If your horse overreaches, or hits his front heels with his back hooves, or, if your horse is wearing studs, you may need bell boots (also called overreach boots). They will help prevent injuries. If your horse tends to lose shoes in turnout, or finishes a ride with dirt marks, scrapes or bruises on his heels or pasterns, he may need bell boots.   Bell boots, when fit properly, just about skim the ground in the back when the horse is standing level. You should also be able to fit a finger or two between the boot and the horse at the top.   There are many different types of bell boots. Some bell boots are pull on, some have Velcro closures. Some boots are gum rubber, some are made of a ballistic nylon material, some are made with PVC or neoprene. There are even some made with carbon fiber for horses that are extremely hard on their bell boots.   Pull on bell boots are made of a softer more stretchy material, as they have to be able to stretch to fit over the hoof. Softening them in warm water before use makes they easier to put on. To get them on the horse turn them inside out, put the hoof through the big opening first, then slide through the small opening. You then flip...

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Choosing the right boot

The type of riding you do may dictate what type of boot you wear. Dress, Field, Paddock? Tall riding boots give the rider lower leg protection against rubbing, and getting pinched by the stirrup leathers.   Dress boots are tall boots with no laces. Dress boots were traditionally stiffer than field boots, but now manufacturers have made them in softer leather. The softer leather requires no break in, but will not last quite as long, or look quite as sleek as a stiffer boot. Many dressage riders like a boot that is stiff. It gives a lot of support, as well as looking neater as it does not drop as much at the ankle as a softer boot would. Field boots are tall boots that have laces in the ankle. The laces make them more flexible at the ankle, as well as offering room for people with high insteps. The added flexibility of the laces makes these boots great for jumping. Boots in the past were put on with boot pulls, but now most come with zippers allowing you to get a more contoured fit at the ankle, as well as making them easier to put on. You still need to make sure your boots fit well.  They should be just to the knee, and when new, maybe a bit tall because they wrinkle at the ankle and drop....

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Horse treats

Horse treats   Most people occasionally give their horse treats. How you give your horse treats, depends on the horse. Some horses are fine, while other horses get nippy. If your horse gets nippy or pushy, it me be a good idea to limit his/her treats, or put them in his feed bucket.   If you feed treats by hand always keep your hand flat so your horse cannot get your fingers mixed up with the treat. (ouch )   Treats can be an effective training tool. Many people use them to get their horses to do their stretching exercises or learn tricks. They can also be used as a reward for a job well done, or to help you catch them in the field.   Treats can be anything from sugar cubes, apples & carrots, to commercially made treats. If you chose commercially made treats, there is a wide variety from which to choose. Some treats are soft and have peppermints or sugar cubes inside; others are made with molasses and oats. Some have no sugar added while others include sugar. Your horses age and teeth may help determine whether you should give him/her hard or soft treats.   If your horse needs to limit his/her sugar intake, you may wish to try beet treats, or treats with no or limited added sugar. Read the label to find...

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Fly Control

Fly control Flies and other insects can be a big problem around a barn. In order to control them, you have to attack them on many fronts. One big thing you can do is to keep the barn area clean. Manure draws flies. Make sure you keep your stalls and surrounding area free of manure and soiled bedding. Keep your manure pile as far from the barn as possible Another thing you can do is to get rid of standing water. Make sure you change the water in your troughs often, dump out buckets and tubs, and watch for standing water after a rain. To protect your horse from insects, many people use fly masks, fly sheets, fly boots, fly spray and more. When selecting a fly spray, get one that is right for you and your horse. Try to get one that targets the insects you wish to control and is appropriate for your horse’s situation. If you horse is working hard, or outside, try a sweat resistant spray. If your horse has sensitive skin, an all-natural spray, or a fly sheet may work best.  Make sure you follow directions for how much and how often to apply. Pay particular attention to lower legs.       When applying to the face, roll ons or creams may work best. There are also special fly control products for wounds....

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Crochet ear nets or ear bonnets.

Crochet ear nets or ear bonnets got their start with jumpers. They were used to keep gnats and flies from distracting horses while jumping. Most had tassels on them to help swish flies. Now, they have a multitude of uses. Keeping earplugs in, keeping bugs out, adding some pizzazz to an ensemble (matching pad and bonnet) some even have material in the ears to dampen sound. When looking for a ear net, make sure it fits well. Make sure the ear hoods are big enough for your horse’s ears. If they are too snug, they can be distracting to the horse. If your horse has never worn an ear net, try it at home before heading out to a show or event. Let him/her get used to it. Ear nets now come in many sizes and colors, with and without tassels. You can even add some bling to your bonnet. Most saddle pad manufactures make ear nets to match their pads.Ear nets are allowed in jumping classes, eventing and sometimes dressage. It is best to check the rules to see if they are allowed in your class or event...

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