Findlayâ€™s equestrian staff is passionate and knowledgeable about horses! This blog provides practical advice for horse lovers.
Â Thanks to Cindy Morehead, UF western riding instructor, for sharing her expert advice!
Maybe youâ€™ve already been to a few shows this summer.Â Hopefully, you were successful, or at least your show experience was positive!Â Even the most experienced riders can always use a few â€œtips of the tradeâ€ for the show ring, so here are some that have worked for me and my students:
Donâ€™t change things much during or right before a show.Â Keep up the same routines and, remember, it is possible to over-practice.
If you find that your horse is a little fresh at a show, sometimes lunging is actually better than riding to blow off some energy.
Always remember to bring the essentials with you to a show. . . a lunge line, water bucket, hay bag, your â€œshow stuff.â€Â Buying duplicates of some items and leaving them in … Read More »
By Jake Bowman, business manager, The University of Findlay equestrian program
Seems like the weather here in Ohio is finally warming up. . . and with warm weather comes spring shows!Â So what do you do if your horse has spent a pretty lazy winter in the barn and needs to get into show shape?
First, consider the age of your horse.Â Older horses that have seen several show seasons can pretty much start right up again.Â An older, experienced horse wonâ€™t have problems hauling or getting used to the show atmosphere.Â You may need to do a few weeks of riding to get him in physical shape, but, mentally, heâ€™ll get right back into the groove.
Younger, inexperienced horses are more complex.Â You may want to take a few â€œroad tripsâ€ with a young horse to a friendâ€™s arena, or a small … Read More »
by Jake Bowman, business manager, UF equestrian programs
At UF we have a process for everything from stall catching through the more complicated riding maneuvers.Â The processes were developed over the years with safety being the top priority.Â Itâ€™s my belief that even our more experienced students can learn something from reviewing the right way to handle a horse on the ground.
Approaching a horse in the stall can be a routine activity if itâ€™s your horse or an older horse who knows his manners.Â On the other hand, it can present a real safety challenge if the horse is young, untrained or has some bad habits.Â Our goal is to have the horse go to the feed box each time his stall door is opened.
Steps for safe stall-catching:
(1)Â Be organized.Â Have what you need with you.Â We recommend carrying a lunge … Read More »
by Linda Peck, DVM, professor of biology and director of the Animal Science Program
When considering feeding supplements for your horse, you need to take into consideration his workload and your geographical location.
Here in northwest Ohio, our soil is deficient in selenium.Â Although toxic in large amounts, trace amounts of selenium are needed for proper cellular function in animals.Â I recommend a mineralized salt block that you can put in a holder in your horseâ€™s stall. Unlike people, horses will only take in as much minerals as they need, so no worries about him â€œoverdosingâ€ on salt blocks!Â In some cases with young animals we use injectable selenium, but that would be up to your veterinarian.
For horses that are worked or ridden several times a week, I also recommend a joint supplement like Cosequin.Â Also, donâ€™t wait until your horse is … Read More »
By Cindy Morehead, instructor, The University of Findlay Western Farm
As much as you may love your horse, you have to dispense some discipline to keep him from developing or continuing bad habits.Â Poor equine behavior can be more than just annoying; it can be dangerous in some cases.Â Some of the most common undesirable habits include:
(1) Biting â€“ Yes, some horses just seem to be â€œborn to bite.â€Â Stallions tend to be nippy and some high-strung breeds may have more of a tendency to chomp on you than others.Â Sometimes, too much interaction can encourage biting.Â Itâ€™s best not to play â€œkissy faceâ€ with your horse as it just gives him more opportunity to become aggressive.Â Hand-fed treats can also inspire biting in some horses, so drop treats into your feed bucket instead.
Make sure you tie your horse when grooming, … Read More »
By Linda Werst, barn manager, The University of Findlay western farm
Letâ€™s face it, feeding a horse is expensive.Â Adding daily supplements can increase that expense, not to mention the extra time spent measuring and remembering who gets what.Â So. . .is purchasing something for healthier joints, hooves, manes and tails, coats, bones and teeth worth the cost?
At The University of Findlay western farm, we can accommodate more than 300 horses, so we try to be efficient when we feed.Â We do not use a single supplement â€œacross the boardâ€ for every horse. We feed a 14% Kalmbach pellet and high quality alfalfa/orchard grass hay. Good hay can meet most of the dietary requirements of our horses.
We do feed a product called, â€œEssential K,â€ made by Kalmbach Feeds here in Ohio, to some of our overweight horses.Â Essential K has fewer … Read More »
by Jake Bowman, business manager, UF equestrian program
If you donâ€™t have the luxury of an indoor ring, exercising your horse can be a real challenge during the winter months.Â First. . . itâ€™s cold.Â That may not bother your horse, but it will bother you!Â Second, there are fewer daylight hours, so if you canâ€™t ride until after work, it will be dark AND cold.Â Third, and probably the most difficult to contend with, is that footing outdoors can be messy, slippery and even dangerous.
A horse needs exercise in order to keep his gut moving.Â Moving around can help prevent colic, stiffness, and boredom.Â Here are some exercise suggestions when youâ€™re faced with whatever an Ohio winter can throw at you â€“ cold, rain, snow, sleet, wind, mud and ice:
(1)Â Remember that walking is better than nothing.Â Walking around your … Read More »