Horse bedding: for many horse-owners, it’s pretty straightforward.
Wood shavings tend to be the most popular bedding used for show and pleasure horses; straw tends to be the most popular bedding used for race and breeding horses. In an industry where tradition is king, we’ve been experimenting with different types of bedding for years, but never straying too far from the beaten path.
But are straw and shavings as good as we can do for our horses and our farms? Increasingly, curious scientists, horsemen, and entrepreneurs are seeking out new alternative (and sometimes ancient) forms [...]
Cold water — ah, so refreshing on a hot summer’s day.
You slip out of the saddle and grab the water bottle out of the tack room fridge, letting the iciness slide down your throat and freeze your brain. You grab a sponge and squeeze it over your sweaty horse’s head, neck, and chest, offer him a drink from the hose while you get busy cooling him down. He wants more water than you’ll let him have, grabbing the hose with his teeth, pulling on it while you laugh and tug back.
(Later you’ll regret [...]
Ah, it’s time for winter shoes.
Bring out the boots: waterproof, shearling-lined, insulated, bulky boots. The ones for stomping through mud and slush and snow for another season. Put away your flip-flops; hide them somewhere, you don’t want to be reminded of them mid-winter, or you’ll find yourself on a plane to the Caribbean before you’ve sorted out a barn-sitter.
But what about your horse? His winter boots need consideration, too. From occasional ice to heavy snows, no matter where you live, if the seasons are affecting your choice in [...]
Winter is nothing but trouble.
Horses are determined to grow into wooly teddy bears, blankets get muddy and ripped, buckets and water troughs freeze. And of course, winter comes with its own set of problems for our leather saddles and bridles, to say nothing of our boots.
It’s not just the constant temperature dives and climbs that can damage tack. Indoor arenas keep tack dry, but often dust seems to accompany every ride, no matter how well-watered the footing is kept. And riding outdoors through a medley of rain, ice, and snow (not to mention road [...]