Few tips about keeping, handling, training, teaching and breeding..- keep checking it out – more to come!
Tip 1 – Good Fences
Keeping horses is not always an easy thing, especially outside of Iceland where they often get to roam free in big heard on huge pastures and hardly get any attention throughout the year except hoofs trimmed and few hey bails every once in a while over the winter.
One thing that makes horses keeping abroad a lot easier is to be sure the fencing is good. A loose horse in Iceland might not be a big problem generally, but in surroundings of railroads, high ways and millions of cars and people, it is a different story!
Tip 2 – Enough Space
One of the main causes of accidents amoung horses is too tight surroundings with too many horses. Horses should be allowed to be together (never keep a horse all by him self) as they are very social animals, but they also need their personal space. Make sure the horses that stand in small paddocs/boxes/fences or elsewhere together, know each other and are reasonably friendly to each other. Keep a good eye on them if this is not the case to avoid accidents.
Another important reason for enough space is that horses need to move. Even if they are closed up in a box in a stable a big part of the day, a couple of hours out in a big pasture or pen where they can play is essential. If the horse gets the change to run free and play, it can safe us a lot of trouble when the horse is under the saddle.
Tip 3 – Small Health Checks
Knowing what a sound horse looks like is an important thing to all horse owners or keepers. Make sure you regularily feel the hind ribs of your horse to see if it is gaining or loosing weight. Slide your fingers down the legs and feel if there are any puffiness, bumps or swollen parts to be found. Measure the temperature if you have the feeling the horse is not quite himself. Check for heat changes in the legs and hoofs. Little checks like this can give us clues of what is going on and allows us to catch early all signs of trouble and even avoid the little things to grow into a bigger health issue.
Tip 4 – Shoeing
Most of us have an approximate 6-8 weeks between the appointments with the farrier. But knowing that the farrier takes good care of his business doesn´t free us from making our own checks to see if anything is wrong. Make sure that the shoes are not only still sitting tight and not moving at all, but also sitting correctly. Sometimes they can turn slightly, or the hoof wall has started to grow outside of the shoe, causing the hoof wall to damage and making it impossible to grow better heals. It is very different from horses how their hooves grow, both how fast and in what way. Some always get wide and flat and tend to grow over the edge of the shoe within few weeks. Others grow pretty much straight up and not changing much the form, shape or angle at all, making it possible to keep the same shoes on for longer time without major trouble.
Ask your farrier – try to learn as much as you can about your horses feet – it can safe you both money and trouble!