Healing White Line Disease with Solar Support

Using Solar Support to Aid Healing of White Line Disease
by Tab Pigg

Dampness can Lead to Fungus in the Hoof

White Line Disease in a Horse Hoof
White Line Disease in a Horse Hoof

No matter the season, anytime wet conditions are present, bacteria and fungus can get trapped in a horse’s hoof wall. Similar to human toenails, once fungus and bacteria have set in, it’s very difficult to conquer. This combination of pathogens in the hoof wall is a recipe for White Line Disease.

The Anatomy of White Line Disease

When looking at the bottom of a horse’s hoof, there is a white line that divides the outside of the hoof wall and the sole. This part of the hoof is also known as stratum internum, which is the innermost part of the hoof wall, and attaches the wall to the underlying soft tissue. When bacteria and fungus get trapped within this area, the white line becomes wider as it separates, thus the name of this condition – White Line Disease. Depending on the severity, the horse can become lame because the infection causes the hoof wall to deteriorate.

When a hoof is already unhealthy or compromised in any way, it’s more prone to infection. Once White Line Disease has set in, the hoof wall begins to disappear as the anaerobic bacteria eats away the lining. White Line Disease consists of anaerobic bacteria, which thrives in conditions with little-to-no oxygen. If a hoof is left untreated, the infection can become more severe as it moves up the hoof wall. Eventually, the attachment to the hoof wall is eaten away completely.

Managing White Line Disease

Depending on the severity of the hoof damage, there are different ways to manage this condition. If White Line Disease is caught early enough, it can be managed with different topical treatments and exposure to oxygen.

Severe White Line Disease Calls for Re-sectioning of the Hoof

If the hoof wall is drastically eaten away, there are different shoeing and booting options. If the condition is very severe, re-sectioning of the hoof wall may be necessary. Similar to humans, in order for a new, healthy nail to grow in, the infected nail needs to be removed. This is called re-sectioning, and in severe cases this is the last option. During this process, the hoof wall is essentially pulled away to let oxygen flow to the hoof wall so it can regrow and the bacteria is killed.

Hoof Support Products

Equi-Pak|CS Fill in horse hoof
Equi-Pak|CS Fill in horse hoof

After a hoof wall is reset, shoes cannot be nailed to hooves, but a horse still needs support. Modern solar support and pad materials can assist with not only providing support, but also sealing out moisture and debris during the healing process.

Vettec’s solar support products like Equi-Pak CS and Equi-Build help provide necessary support and also allow the hoof wall to regrow. Super Fast » can be applied to help provide more support as a “temporary shoe”.

Super Fast is a durable, fast- and hard-setting, urethane formula that is ideal for creating custom shoes directly on the foot when nailing is not an option. This product also allows hoof care professionals to make small hoof repairs quickly and easily.

Equi-Pak CS will bond to the bottom of a horse’s foot, eliminating the possibility of further bacteria being trapped in the hoof wall. Equi-Pak CS is a fast-setting soft instant pad material, and is infused with copper sulfate. This product provides extra protection and support, and also bonds to the sole. It is also an effective product for managing White Line Disease.

Equi-Build is a firm pad material that distributes a horse’s weight across the entire hoof-bottom to grow the heel, hoof wall and sole faster. This product also adheres to the sole, sealing out moisture and debris. Because the hoof wall is sensitive during re-growth, Equi-Build helps to take the pressure off hoof wall cracks.

Managing White Line Disease can be difficult if the condition is not caught in its early stages. Along with the diagnosis, treatment and support of a horse’s healthcare team, solar support and pour-in pad products can aid the healing process of the hoof wall.

WLD4
“White Line Disease usually gains a foothold in feet that are allowed to grow long, or flare, causing wall separation and a white line that stretches into a wider, more porous structure.”

Vettec – the leader in quality hoof care products


Episode 6 – Two Minutes With Tab – White Line Disease – YouTube Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q209WmUIlsE

Search Vettec.com for White Line Disease – http://www.vettec.com/search/node/white%20line%20disease

Help Horses Hooves – Attend Hands On Workshops with Vettec Reps

Are you interested in gaining some insight on techniques and a hands-on opportunity to apply hoof products? Vettec’s Reps Tab Pigg and Lynne Myers are leading hands-on clinics in Norman, Okla. and Social Circle, Ga. to teach shoeing techniques and options to equine professionals. I invite you to stop by to visit the workshops and share the experience with your viewers. Handbooks and product demos will be available for anyone who attends.

Attend Hands-On Workshops with Vettec Reps
Attend Hands-On Workshops with Vettec Reps

Nature Farm Farrier Supply

Tab will provide instruction on techniques in correcting angles, creating extensions and restoring distorted hoof capsules. He will also demonstrate how glue on shoes and point out techniques for success. Join Tab at Nature Farm Farrier Supply in Norman, Okla. on August 10 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Registration is free! Walk-ins are welcome. To register, visit www.vettec.com/vettec-hands-workshop-form

Nature Farm Farrier Supply is located at:
3541 National Dr.
Norman, OK 73069

For more information, visit www.naturefarmsfarriersupply.com

The Hoof House

H.O.W. Hands on Work Shop with Vettec Aug. 28th.
H.O.W. Hands on Work Shop with Vettec Aug. 28th.

At this hands-on workshop, Lynne will provide instruction on techniques in correcting angles, creating extensions and restoring distorted hoof capsules. She will also demonstrate how to customize boots to fit any foot as a backup for trim only clients. Lynne will provide many options for supporting and protecting the sole and frog with pour-in pads. Registration is free! Walk-ins are welcome. To register, visit www.vettec.com/vettec-hands-workshop-form

Join Lynne at The Hoof House on August 28 at 9:00 a.m.

The Hoof House is located at:
698 Clover Dr.
Social Circle, Georgia 30025

For more information, call (404) 450-5319.

Please let me know if you have any questions. If you would like a copy of each event flyer, please email Desirae…

Regards,
Desirae MacGillivray
Portavoce PR
Ph: 760-814-8194
Desirae.MacGillivray@PortavocePR.com

How to save money caring for a horse

Horses are among the most costly and labor-consuming animals that you can have. Still, there are ways to save money and time. Some of this advice will help you save both and some, unfortunately, may be reached only by a compromise between time and money. Here are some ways to save expenses owning a horse…

Buy food for your horse within your budget

Try to buy the best horse feed that your budget allows. Buying the cheapest horse feed and hay could costs you more in the long run with an unhealthy or thin horse and vet bills. In order to get the best food of a high quality you should try to buy in bulk. The best way to do this is to buy along with a group of friends, who are also horse owners and live in your area. Make sure you have a good place to store this food where it will not get wet/damp, too hot, or allow rodents to get to it.

A commercially prepared grain mix for horses, ...
A commercially prepared grain mix for horses, includes crimped corn, oats, and barley mixed with molasses and pelleted supplement (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Also not all horses need grain or expensive supplements. Learn more about equine nutritional needs and feed your horse what is best for him with his work load.

Do not forget to care for your pasture if you have property. Pasture may serve not only for grazing, but also as a hay crop if you have enough land. If you buy hay in bulk have it tested beforehand to make sure you are buying hay that you serve your horse well.

Buy winter feed beforehand

Prices for feed in winter period rise as winter comes, so the more you have purchased in advance, the more money you’ll save. If you do not have cash to buy everything you need in advance, for example in summer or autumn, consider a loan from the bank or family. Do not forget about the option to buy in bulk, it will help you to buy cheaper and save money.

English: A horse inside a box stall, checking ...
English: A horse inside a box stall, checking out his new digs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Buying horse supplies and horseshoes

Keep track of all that you purchase for your horse in a year and you will be able to buy in advance. This give your a better chance at finding deals and special sales. Buying off season and in bulk you can gain discounts. Do not be afraid to use things from people you trust. Friends, trusted colleagues, horse owners can sell you their used supplies at a lower price, less than their original cost. You can also search online for second hand supplies for sale. Also consider renting if you only need an item for a small amount of time.

Buy necessary feeding additives from the local supermarkets

There is no need to spend more money buying food at feed merchants. Some products may be purchased at local shops at a lower price, as follows: some oils, apple cider vinegar, salt and garlic.

Horse care products

Try not to choose cheap products that have poor quality. Look for sales online, compare different shops, and find saddlery shops that offer different discounts and lower prices. Also ask yourself if you really need a product — don’t buy training gimmicks and fancy colored tack.

Horse maintenance doesn’t have to be frightful at all. Follow our advice and you will see that it is possible not only save expanses, but earn extra money. Being a horse owner, you may provide your horse for work at riding schools. Thus, your horse will have more physical activity and you will have extra income.

About the author: The article was written by Melisa Marzett – a professional author at http://clevereditor.com/ and a horse lover. She dreamed of owning a horse from the very childhood and now she is attending the riding school at Phoenix ‘The Phoenix Equestrian Centre’.

KOLI EQUESTRIAN CENTER | PHOENIX HORSEBACK RIDING | PHOENIX GUIDED HORSEBACK TRAIL RIDES | CHANDLER HORSEBACK RIDING – http://www.koliequestrian.com/

Discover Koli Equestrian Center at Wild Horse Pass – YouTube Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcSlTU-YO5Y

How Best to Manage Minimal Horse-Space

Taking care of horses is tough when you don’t have a lot of space. Not long ago I came across a prime example of this dilemma. As a riding instructor and horse-care consultant I make house-calls. One such call led me through the rolling green hills of the Palouse in Northern Idaho, out past the tiny town of Potlatch, to a house with three horses pastured on a total of about two acres of land.

Certainly not enough to go on! The optimum space for a single horse is two acres. These horses were underfed with their ribs showing and they kept on escaping from the pasture.  The pasture grass had been grazed down to nothing and a lot of the area was just mud and manure. The electric fence was merely thin wires that, after shocking the horses one time, had stopped working.  Out north of the property there were lightly-forested hills and miles of grassland. What horse wouldn’t want to get out of the miserable, cramped quarters to get at the grass?

I told the owners if they wanted to give their horses a better life they would need to take immediate action: they would need to maximize the use of a minimal space.

Their first concern was the horses escaping again. Indeed there had been rumors of a mountain lion sighting in the area within the last several weeks. They knew their dogs could scare it off but what if the horses decided to bolt?

Fencing and Cross Fencing

I recommended they get a new fence. There are plenty of fencing options, but I told them to kill two birds with one stone. At the moment they were thinking short-term, but in the long-term they would need to think about maximizing the use of their space. One way for them to do this was by getting portable electric fencing and temporary fence-posts they could later use to control their horses’ grazing habits.

A sturdy and well-built post and rail fence
A sturdy and well-built post and rail fence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The problem before was, the horses had been allowed to demolish all of the grass in the pasture and trample up mud. I told them that once they got to the point of re-seeding they’d need to keep the horses off the seeded portion with fencing. Then, once the grass was long enough for the horses to graze, they would need to fence off a section where the horses could feed until the grass was down to about three inches. The 3-inch mark allows grass to grow back quicker, helps control weeds, and keeps mud at bay. After the fenced-off area was chomped down to three inches they would need to rotate the horses over to an untouched area.

Getting Rid of Mud

One of my main concerns with the pasture was the mud, which they needed to deal with before any grass could grow. Mud mixed with manure is a big problem because it can result in bacterial infections, it’s a breeding ground for flies, it’s slippery and dangerous, and prone to weed-growth. The owners had been putting hay out on the ground which is a big no-no. The horses were liable to get worms from the dung mixed with the mud—that is if the poor beasts didn’t have worms already.

The owners needed to fence off a pen and mud-proof it. That involves putting down a bark, wood-chip, or post-peel surface about 8 inches thick. Then, I recommended collecting the manure and composting it.

This was about a year ago in late March and the spring thaw had come early. If they hurried up, collected the manure and threw it in with their yard debris and some compost starter (starter is essential when trying to create quality compost, fast) they could start growing vegetables with the compost. Healthy veggies like carrots, green beans, and celery make for great horse treats, which they could use to help train their ill-behaved horses.

After they’d provided the horses with a temporary, mud-proofed pen and picked up the manure to compost, they could get to work re-seeding the pasture. If the compost was well-tended and covered they could use it to assist grass-growth. They would need to seed immediately during the moist months and be on it with watering the grass because a single horse weighs an average of 1100 pounds and can go through about 4.5 acres of the stuff per year.

Close up of a type of electric fencing for hor...
Close up of a type of electric fencing for horses that incorporates metal with synthetic cord to create a safer and more visible fence. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Grass is Cheaper Than Hay

Still, grass is a much cheaper option than costly supplementary feed, such as hay. To consistently maintain grass on such a small pasture they’d have to take advantage of fertilizer. Doing so would prove less expensive than the supplementary feed. The best fertilizer solution is to get soil and plant-matter analyzed by a fertilizer supplier to determine what type of fertilizer is appropriate. Then, replace manure with fertilizer and treat grass like a crop.

Again, a horse does best on about two acres of space, but one horse can do fine on ne acre. For three horses, three acres will do (if done right).

But if you don’t have the option of that much space, in the end, maintaining the rotation of the horses in the pasture according to grass-length is key. The pasture should not be allowed to go to mud.

In the case of my clients up past Potlatch who didn’t have enough money to afford more space, re-growing grass and rotating the horses was the answer. And, since horses love to run, I encouraged them to ride their horses as much as possible with the coming of the warmer months!

Outcome

So what, you might ask, was the end result? Well, quite frankly, these horse owners weren’t properly equipped to be horse owners. I think my consultation with them helped them realize the gravity of the situation. The horses needed rehabilitation and the pasture needed a lot of work. They lacked the time and commitment necessary to make the changes. When I made a follow-up call they told me they’d sold the horses to a rancher outside of a nearby town called Deary. They assured me the horses would be well taken care of at the ranch. I hope they were right. From the sound of it, the rancher bought them for a price you would only pay for malnourished horses. He told the former owners he planned on giving the horses to his kids as a project to help educate them on horse care.

Not wanting to pry, I left it at that. I told them they had made the right choice. Taking proper care of horses is best left for those who are fully invested in the task. It is best left for those who can provide their horses with a healthy, caring environment.

Guest Article by Lisa Delany

– Lisa Delaney lives in Moscow, Idaho. She loves riding and taking care of her two Appaloosas, Bozeman and Eureka. For horse-care tips and consulting you can reach her via email: lisa.loves.appaloosas@gmail.com.

NOTE from Joni (website owner): Please do an internet search for Pasture Paradise” for more information about keeping equines on small acreage.

Help Your Horse Transition To Barefooted Comfortably

Vettec’s Sole-Guard Helps Horses Comfortably Transition to Unshod
Fast-Setting Hoof Protectant Provides Durable, Shock Absorbent Support for Pregnant Mares

Sole-Guard by Vettec
Sole-Guard by Vettec

OXNARD, CALIF. – MAR. 18, 2015 – As horses enter breeding season this spring, pregnant mares become less active while bearing extra weight from pregnancy. Tab Pigg, Vettec’s Farrier-at-Large, recommends that farriers and horse owners remove horseshoes during pregnancy and use pour-in pad materials during the time period without shoes. Vettec’s Sole-Guard product helps serve as a transitional material when going from shod to unshod hooves by providing extra support as the hooves acclimate to barefoot.

Sole-Guard is a fast-setting, liquid urethane pour-in pad material providing durable support that retains its shape and flexibility indefinitely. It is designed for use without shoes and adheres to the sole sealing out moisture and debris, protecting both the frog and the sole. Sole-Guard stays bonded to the feet for 2-3 weeks when applied properly.

“In comparison to humans, pregnancy for horses is like balancing all of a body’s weight on only fingernails.” Pigg adds. “Using a pour-in pad material like Vettec’s Sole-Guard, is a great way to acclimate horses from shod to unshod at any time of the year, but especially during pregnancy.”

Sole-Guard is frequently used on late-term broodmares to give them extra support. According to Pigg, pregnant mares are almost always left unshod because they are not as active during pregnancy, and because of the extra weight they are bearing. Using this pour-in-pad material can also help prevent stone bruising. Sole-Guard leaves the sole in excellent condition once removed.

Vettec’s Super-Fast can also be applied with Sole-Guard to help provide more support to pregnant mares as a “temporary shoe”. Super-Fast is a durable, fast- and hard-setting, urethane formula that is ideal for making custom shoes directly on the foot when nailing is not an option. This product also allows farriers or horse owners to make small hoof repairs quickly and easily.

Visit Vettec.com to see videos about how to apply Sole-Guard and Super-Fast.
Horse Hoof Care Supplies | Vettec Hoof Care

Sole-Guard and Super-Fast are available for purchase at select dealer locations. Sole-Guard is $32.05 M.S.R.P. and Super-Fast is $34.15 M.S.R.P.

About Vettec, Inc.

Vettec, based in Oxnard, Calif., has been developing and manufacturing products since 1952. For the last 20 years, Vettec has been developing innovative adhesive products for the veterinary industry. Vettec adhesives are high-tech and durable, yet easy to apply and fast to dry. For more information about Vettec and its products visit Vettec.com or call 800-483-8832. Please send dealer and wholesale inquiries to info@Vettec.com.

###

Media Contact:
Desirae MacGillivray
Ph: 760-814-8194
desirae.macgillivray@portavocepr.com

Dealer Inquiries:
Jessica Williams
Ph: 805-488-3162 x153
jwilliams@vettec.com

How to Keep Your Horse Healthy Infographic

Horses require a lot of love, care, time and attention. To a new horse owner, establishing a regular grooming routine and maintaining a clean stable may seem like tough tasks in the beginning. However, they are very essential for keeping your horse happy and healthy. Very soon, you’ll also find yourself looking forward to the grooming time, which gives you and your horse the perfect opportunity to bond with each other. From giving your horse the right food and supplements to taking care of your horse’s dental needs, the below infographic has detailed tips on every aspect of caring for a horse.

How to Keep Your Horse Healthy Infographic
How to Keep Your Horse Healthy Infographic

Click on the image to visit original article with full size graphic image!

Infographic created by Animal Health Company

By the way, I pinned this graphic on my Pinterest Board: Horse Health on Pinterest | 48 Pins were you can see some other wonderful graphic about horses and their health!

My tweet about the original article: How Healthy is your Horse infographic #artwork http://ow.ly/KaARz #horses #health RETWEET

 

 

Natural Horsemanship Part One – Bonding Without Riding

I don’t know anybody who loves riding that doesn’t long to have a strong connection with their horse. It is an innate desire in any of us who love to ride.

In the past the problem which has affected many of us is the fact that ‘bonding’ often meant using fear and pain as a way to win the respect of your horse. And whilst it may be effective, it is also distasteful to many of us who love our horses.

So enter Natural Horsemanship, a school of thought which encourages riders to develop a ‘rapport’ with their hose through sympathetic means rather than force. It continues to grow in popularity – a brief way to explain it would be to tell you to watch ‘The Horse Whisperer’ (like you haven’t already!).

A longer way would be to explain more about how you can use natural horsemanship techniques to bond with your horse. So that’s what we’ll do below.

Bonding techniques

A fundamental part of natural horsemanship is learning to understand your horse rather than using force to make them bend to your will. With that in mind it is vital that you take the time to get to know your horse.

By watching

Spend some time watching your horse, look at its mannerisms when you are carrying out certain activities for an insight into how they feel about them. For example:

  1. Body. Trembling is usually a sign of fear, whilst a rigid horse with stiff movement can likely be angry or nervous.
  2. Head carriage. An elevated head can mean that the focus of your horse is elsewhere, and that could mean problems. Similarly a horse who is shaking their head from side to side isn’t in a good mood at all, they are angry. It is up to you to calm your horse and diffuse the situation (and bring you closer to your horse).
  3. Legs. If your horse is stamping or pawing at the ground, it is irritated and generally unhappy.Pay special attention to the above when watching your horse, as it will give you a really good indication of his/her general happiness. To combat the above there are several ‘natural’ techniques you could adopt:
    • Breathe softly into the nose of your horse and attempt to match their breathing.
    • Scratch/rub the belly button of your horse (search for a little bump approximately three-quarters of the way down their undercarriage.
    • Lower your gaze and offer your hand for the horse to sniff. This is especially disarming to a scared horse.

Talk to your horse

The first trick is to not feel silly – you would talk to a baby wouldn’t you! While horses may not know the human language, they can understand tone, so make sure that you use a tone which is soothing as it relaxes your horse and makes them more approachable.

Never ever talk in a raised voice and shout at your horse as this will not only stress out your horse, but it will not be giving the consistent leadership they crave. Also, panicked horses can lash out, which would obviously be devastating to the owner and needs to be guarded against.

Groom your horse

Whilst the coined term for people interested in natural horsemanship is ‘horse whisperers’, there are other, potentially more important elements of natural horsemanship at play.

One of these is the time you spend doing, and the way you carry out, the grooming of your horse.

Make sure your horse is comfortable

Firstly, you need to be aware of what our horse is trying to tell you. Whilst grooming there are a number of signals which tell you whether your horse is having a good, or bad, time.

  1. Watch the ears. In matters of everything (not just grooming), a simple rule of thumb would be:
    – Ears forward – your horse likes what you are doing. Do it more!
    – Ears back – your horse doesn’t like what you’re doing. Stop doing it/do it less.
  2. Watch the eyes. The eyes of your horse can tell you a lot. If you see the whites of your horses eyes, or a rapid darting of the eyes then you should stop what you are doing. Your horse is extremely likely to be afraid and looking at escape.
  3. Watch the tail. Rapid swishing of the tail is usually a sure fire sign your horse is angry and will buck.

Keep your eyes on the signs above throughout the grooming process and soon you will both have a stronger understanding of each other, without the need for more ‘archaic’ (read: painful) methods of understanding! There are plenty of other top grooming and bonding tips in this great article from Throstlenest Saddlery

And finally, spend time with your horse

In all likelihood this isn’t something you need to be told, after all being interested in natural horsemanship usually indicates a deep love for horses.

But it doesn’t change the fact that by frequently being in the presence of your horse, you will improve your chances of making a connection.

Bonding with your horse
Bonding with your horse

A couple of things you could try are:

  1. You could turn up just to say ‘hi’.
  2. Go and sit with your horse in their favorite part of field, you don’t even need to interact as just being there is sometimes enough.
  3. Muck out your horse just to spend time with them.

Respect your horse, clean them, care for them, and you will begin to see rewards. And now we have a brief overview of how to bond naturally with your horse without riding.

Guest article from Danny Andrews and Throstlenest Saddlery

 

Western v English: Know your Riding Styles

Edited photograph of a horseback rider using English style riding and tack in a dressage competition qualification (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Western v English: Know your Riding Styles

An overview of the differences between English and Western riding styles in terms of origin, tack, gaits, rider attire and activities.

Ancient man, when he first domesticated the horse, must surely have devised riding methods that gave him advantages on the battlefield or hunting ground—techniques that increased speed and agility and ensured he remained on top. In the intervening years, however, two principal styles of riding have come to the foreground and been adopted around the world. The two styles are known as Western and English, and they differ in their tack, gait, rider’s attire and the kind of activity to which they are suited.

Close up of a western style saddle
Close up of a western style saddle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The easiest differences to identify are in the tack. The Western saddle was designed for cowboys who spent long hours driving cattle. These saddles are larger, heavier and more hard-wearing than their English counterparts. They’re generally considered to be more comfortable (especially for men), and you can spot one at a glance by the large pommel, or horn, at the front, which is used for the reigning and roping of livestock.

The English saddle is smaller, lighter and brings the rider into closer contact with the back of the horse. The shape of the saddle differs depending on its intended use: dressage saddles have long, straight flaps and a deep seat to make the rider sit bolt upright; jumping saddles are shallower and have more forward flaps so that the rider can ease smoothly into the jumping position. Beginners will usually use a general purpose saddle, however, which maximizes security and comfort while being suitable for a range of equine activities.

The bit and reins differ between the two riding styles too. English riders have a direct contact with the horse’s mouth via a metal bit (placed above the horse’s tongue) and the reins. Speed and direction are controlled through the reins and the rider’s legs, whereas in Western riding, control also comes from the rider’s seat and movement of weight. English riders take a rein in each hand, while Western riders hold both reins in one hand, leaving the other hand free.

Horses trained in the English and Western styles have different gaits, with the exception of the walk, which is the same for both styles. The posted trot is a peculiarity of the English style, and is roughly equivalent in speed to the smoother Western jog. When the rider wants the horse to accelerate, the next gait is the canter (English style) or lope (Western style). The lope is a slow and relaxed form of canter, whereas the English rider will adjust through many variations of elevation, stride length and speed depending on the activity they are performing.

English and Western riders dress in disparate ways. Western riding attire, like the Western saddle, is designed for comfort, and riders may well wear a loose fitting shirt, jeans and high boots with a traditional western hat. In contrast, English riders dress far more formally. It is standard practice to wear a hunting cap or helmet, a fitted jacket (or, alternatively, a back protector for younger riders), jodhpurs or breeches, and smart boots: short leather boots with an elastic panel are referred to as Chelsea boots; dressage boots are knee-high and close fitting; and polo boots are also high, but usually with a front zip and buckle.

The sports enjoyed by riders of the two disciplines reflect their origins. Western sports include team penning, speed games, reining, roping and trail riding, and most of these activities have some practical use. In English riding, greater attention is paid to coordination of the horse and rider. My own personal sport, dressage, could be described as ballet on horseback, and although it requires great skill, it has no real-world value. The English riding style is also well-suited to jumping, hunting, cross-country and polo. In the case of trail riding, endurance racing and mounted orienteering, both Western and English styles are suitable.

Which style, then, should you learn? It depends on the kind of riding you want to do. Western riding is certainly easier for a beginner, and there is a greater feeling of security in the deep-seated saddle. If you do take the plunge and learn the English style first, however, it is far easier to later convert to Western riding than to do it the other way around.

This post comes to us from Lone Star Western Decor, which carries a wide range of Western style decor, bedding, and furniture.

 

  • Difference between English and Western riding

5 Tips for Better Horse Trailer Loading

Horses are amazing creatures that fill our lives with joy, but there are times that even our love of horses isn’t enough to keep us from reaching our wit’s end with them!  A horse that’s difficult to load into a horse trailer can be frustrating, but there’s hope for them yet.  These five tips will help your next loading experience be a much better one:

1. Above all else, think like a horse.  A horse sees horse trailers as tight, dark places where they may or may not be vulnerable to unspoken dangers.  Remember that your horse has to overcome thousands of years of evolution just to step one foot inside — so be patient with him as he comes to terms with his instincts.

2. Make loading rewarding.  Some horse owners find that treating loading as an opportunity for easy rewards speeds their loads along.  Start by feeding your horse from a bucket placed at the back of the trailer, so he can eat without stepping inside.  Slowly move the bucket further forward until he’s all the way in and munching happily in his stall.

3. Open your trailer up more.  As mentioned previously, horses don’t like dark, tight spots, so if you can open your trailer up all the way, your horse may feel better about moving inside.  Open all the doors, all the windows, any roof hatches and all the stalls — make it as inviting inside as possible.  If you have interior lights, go ahead and turn those on, too.

4. Practice loading beforehand.  Sometimes a horse has been spooked of trailering by previous owners who forced, punished or otherwise pushed him into a trailer before he was ready.  Others simply don’t have enough experience to pop right into the box, but either way, the more you practice ahead of time the better your horse will perform come travel time.

If he’s very nervous, help him calm down by working him through exercises where he excels.  Heap on the praise and reapproach the trailer while he’s full of confidence.  You may have to repeat this trick several times to get him loaded, but over time, he’ll overcome his fear of the trailer and learn to load easily.

5. Check out your trailer.  When your horse completely refuses to load or loads reluctantly despite your best efforts to make the trailer a safe, comfortable place, the problem may be your horse trailer.  Your horse can’t tell you if the floor gives even slightly, the roof is too low or the ride is rough, so watch carefully when he loads for signs that the trailer is at fault and check it top to bottom for issues like sagging axles and rotten floorboards.

Loading your best friend into a horse trailer doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience if you take your time and pay attention to what your horse is trying to tell you.  He really doesn’t want to be a pain in the neck!  The next time you load your horse trailer, keep these tips in mind for an easier loading experience.

Guest Post from Kristi Waterworth.