Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Ulcer Warning Signs

Studies show that a high percentage of horses that travel frequently, are stalled frequently, or consume high levels of grains. High performance horses are at a higher risk of having ulcers. In mild cases of ulcers, the symptoms can be so minor you don’t even notice. More severe cases are much easier to identify.

Signs of ulcers:
  • weight loss
  • acting up under saddle
  • cinchy, biting
  • not able to touch the stomach
  • teeth grinding
  • bad attitude
  • cribbing
  • high anxiety
  • loose stools
  • poor hair coat

Some signs of ulcers can be easily confused with saddle fitting issues. The only sure way to know if your horses has ulcers is to have their stomach scoped by a veterinarian. Your horses stomach needs acid to digest food. They can produce up to 9 gallons of acid per day even when not eating. It is recommended to decrease the high levels of grains your horse is consuming and increase the amount of roughage per day. Using a slow feeder to feed you horse hay helps prevent waste, along with keeping your horses eating all day long and maintain a low acid level in the stomach.

There are many great supplements on the market to help prevent ulcers or help your horses that have ulcers. Ask your trusted veterinarian what they recommend.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Are You A Fashion Guru?

    Every little girl's dream somehow involves fashion, right? Well maybe not quite all girls; I on the other hand had a different dream in which was being a horse trainer that had the passion to show both barrel and pleasure horses. However, at the age of 21 the only thing I have seemed to accomplish that is even remotely close to my dream was showing pleasure horses competitively. Since I was 17 months old, I have been in the show arena. Even though I do not remember what the show outfits looked like back in those days. Fashion doesn't just exist out on the runway, but does exist in the show arena.

I do know that over the years, the show fashions have changed tremendously throughout my show career. I have had numerous outfits for each of my horses. The new norm seems to be that the nineties are coming back into the show pen: in wearing vests with a long sleeve button down shirt underneath which is a much cleaner look for women. Anymore you see the same outfit used in showmanship, horsemanship, and in western pleasure. By creating these outfits in multiple pieces not only does it save you money down the line, but it can be quite costly at the start. 

When I was showing my horse Libby in small fry classes at that time, the outfits that were very popular were the fitted rhinestone jackets with dress type pants, along with the cheap sprayed painted cowboy boots to match your outfit color. There were a couple of years that I remember most exhibitors wore customized monogram starched shirts with cowboy boots, cowboy hats, and chaps to complete their outfit. Lucky for today's exhibitor, you can still be tried and true when picking your outfit(s) of choice. The most common outfit that is worn for western pleasure, trail, and western riding is a fitted jacket with a color that looks good on your horse. For showmanship and horsemanship, your safest choice is to keep it classy and traditional with a good fit.  

All in all, just remember to create and or find outfit(s) that fit you the best and the color that is best fit for your horse. My mom and I find show saddle pads that have color variety, then we customize my outfits based on the saddle pad design to ensure that my horse and I are always riding in style. 


Monday, January 23, 2017

Just Horsin’ Around: Trailer Packing Checklist 101

Packing my bags is easy, but when it comes to packing the horse trailer, that is another story! Over the year of my family and I hitting up the local and state campgrounds or hauling to weekend show grounds to compete, we’ve tried numerous ways to organize our trailer. This might seem easy to most, however you will soon realize having horses can be a real chore. Below you will find the trailer checklist my family and I use on a daily basis when show and camping season is in full swing.

The Essentials
  • Coggins & health certificate
  • Wheel chocks
  • First Aid Kits (Equine & Human)
  • Camp / Show Information & directions
  • Vehicle equipment

Horse Equipment
  • Hay (Number of Hay Bales ____)
  • Feed & scoop w/ large FILLED water jugs
  • Salt blocks/ extra tack
  • Hay bags / Lead ropes / Leather hole punch
  • Manure fork / Bucket
  • Shavings & foam squares
  • Picket line / Grooming Tote which includes (brushes, combs, hoof picks, etc.)
  • Saddles / Saddle Pads / Saddles Racks / Saddle Bags / Blankets
  • Girths / Shipping Boots & Leg Wraps
  • Fly Protection (Mask, Spray, Sheet)

Vehicle Equipment
Give thought to what you carry such as:
Jumper cables, reflective wear, oil, towels, tool box, tire tool, tire jack, trailer ramp, etc.

Camping Equipment
  • Sleeping Bags / Blankets / Sheets / Pillows
  • Outdoor Extension Cords
  • Flashlights / Lantern / Lamp Oil
  • Grill / Firewood / Fuel / Stove
  • Matches / Lighter / Gas
  • Fan / Heaters
  • Chairs / Table / Tablecloth
  • Cooler (w/ Food & Drinks)
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Plates / Cups / Silverware
  • Dish Soap / Garbage Bags
  • Paper Towels / Toilet Paper
  • Hammer / Screw Driver / Shovel
  • Level boards to level trailer
  • Extra rope & ties

  • Boots (Riding/Rubber)
  • Jeans
  • T-Shirts / Flannels / Vest
  • Underwear / Socks
  • Sweatshirts / Lightweight Jackets / Heavy Jackets
  • Rain Gear (Ponchos)
  • Gloves
  • Chaps / Hat / Hunt Cap
  • Shower Shoes
  • Swim Suit

Odds & Ends
  • Reflective Gloves & Wear
  • Toiletries / Personal Care Items
  • Soap / Shampoo / Razor / Make-up
  • Deodorant / Toothpaste / Toothbrush
  • Medication / Towels & Wash Cloths
  • Aspirin / Pocket Knife / Mirror
  • Extra Batteries
  • Video Camera / Cell Phone / Charger
  • Insect Repellent / Bee Sting Medication
  • Sunscreen / Sunglasses / Reading Glasses
  • Duct Tape / Gorilla Glue
  • Safety Pins / Sharpie Markers
  • Clock / Watch / Compass / Map
  • Zip-lock Bags
  • Dog Food / Water Bowl / Leash & Cable
  • Hands-wipes
  • Riding Helmet

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Breaking Out Lacy

One of my favorite and most memorable experiences in the equine world would have taken place in July of 2016. I had been searching for another horse online and had found a 2-year-old Bay Roan Quarter Horse that I loved. I decided to contact the seller and see if she was available and two days later I headed down to Tennessee.

It was 11 hours one way to drive there and look at a horse I had never seen before, but as soon as I saw "Lacy" I knew she was coming home with me. In the first 5 minutes her quirky personality drew me to her. Purchasing this 2-year-old filly has been the greatest learning experience for me. After a few weeks of ground manners and desensitizing with a tarp, I decided that she was ready for a saddle.

Breaking out Lacy has been so rewarding. In the first few months of training she has already been trail riding and camping. In the next year or two my plan is to start training Lacy for barrel racing. This was my very first time breaking out a horse on my own, but I am very pleased with the results, and I would do it all over again. The bond we have is unbreakable, Lacy doesn’t act like a horse she acts more like my pet dog.

- Rachael