Friday, May 26, 2017

Caring for my Mare & Foal

It is very important to put your mare on a good diet with all the essential nutrients she needs to stay healthy, I feed a high protein feed. Lots of hay and water are also necessary, after all she is eating/drinking for two! A few weeks prior to foaling I like to transition the mare to new pasture/pen as it has a large stall for her to foal in. Changing pastures a few weeks before pregnancy helps keep stress levels down and get the mare comfortable with her new area.

When my mare starts showing signs that she may be ready to foal soon, I wrap her tail so it is out of the way. I also change her bedding from sawdust to a thick heavy bedding of straw, as it is safer for the mare and foal during labor. After the foal is a few hours old I begin to start bonding with foal. Keeping down a number of people in the stall help keep your mare and foal calm, too many people will make her nervous.

To keep Mare and Foal comfortable and safe I keep all animals away from mare and foal and let them have a stall pasture all to themselves. Now that the foal is born and healthy it is time to come up with a name! I like to watch behavior and pay attention to physical characteristics to help me come up with a name.

- Rachael

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Finding the correct stirrup length is crucial to riding safely, having proper control over your horse and keeping a good, balanced form. When you are riding, your ear, shoulder, hip and heel should all be in alignment. If your stirrups are too long or too short, your heels will be too far forward or back.

However, this is not a simple mathematical process. The length can also depend on your body conformation, your horse’s barrel, the type of saddle your’e using, what discipling you’re performing and your own preference. Many beginning riders need the extra security of shorter stirrups.

With the in mind, pay attention to the way your legs hang when you are on the horse. Are you consistently getting pinched? Are your knees knocking against the knee roll? Are you dropping your heel to get your knee in the right spot? Your stirrups are too short. Are you pointing your toe to stay in the stirrup? Is your foot consistently falling out? You stirrups are too long.

The following methods are what many trainers use to judge stirrup length. Try them out to determine your correct stirrup length.


  • Stirrup Measuring Method One: Stirrup to Armpit
  • Stand next to the fender of your saddle
  • Using your forearm, place your hand to the stirrup bar
  • The end of the stirrup should end at your armpit
  • This method might need some adjustment once you mount


  • Stirrup Measuring Method One: Stirrup to Ankle
  • Have someone eyeball this one for you
  • Once you are on your horse, put your leg straight down
  • The bottom of the stirrup should be even with your ankle bone

Two common phrases we hear are: “But I’m extremely tall!” or “I’m the shortest person I know”

If your legs do not fit normal stirrups, you may need to order a pair that are shorter or have more length. Many of our manufacturers offer sets of fenders in different sizes specifically for this purpose. Get your saddle’s make and model handy and give us a call at 866-880-2121 for some problem resolving options.