Category Archives: Horse Equipment

Bathing A Horse – What Do You Need?

There are several reasons for bathing a horse.These reasons can range from simply having a muddy, dirty horse to preparing your horse for the show ring.

Bathing a horse isn’t something that the beginner should do without first learning how. Ideally there is an experienced person around happy to lend a hand and show you the ropes.

If not, don’t fret, I will go over the basics here!

Step 1:  Assemble the necessary items.

The last thing you want to do is to be standing there all ready to start giving your horse its bath only to find out you don’t have your shampoo or sponge nearby.

You want to make sure you have your hose out, with a nozzle on it and that the water is on. I love the adjustable nozzles that will let you use different settings for how the water comes out.

bathing a horse - nozzle

                  A handy 8 pattern nozzle

You can use a stronger stream for muddy legs or a fine mist for the face.

This heavy duty, 100% guaranteed nozzle is available through Amazon and provides 8 different patterns/water pressures for different uses.

In fact, it is SUPER handy to buy an expandable garden hose to keep in your trunk. If you keep your own nozzle and hose on hand you don’t need to worry if one will be available when and where you need it!

Besides a hose and nozzle you will need a bucket, shampoo, sponge (a LARGE sponge) and sweat scraper.

There are all kinds of shampoo for many different things.

Color enhancing shampoos are quite popular. I don’t worry too much about these EXCEPT for gray/white horses.

I am always impresses when I see a really white, clean horse. It is no small feat!

My favorite old standby whitener/brightener is Quic Silver shampoo. It was one of the original whitening shampoos  out on the market for bathing a horse.

Whether your whole horse is white or gray, or just has one white sock it would be wise to invest in some Quic Silver!

Another favorite shampoo of mine is Vetrolin Shampoo. Vetrolin is great for bathing a horse.

It has conditioners, Vitamin E, protein and paba sunscreen. It rinses out quickly and easily and leaves your horses coat feeling super soft.

Vetrolin also makes a great liniment. One of the reasons I love this shampoo is that it also leaves your horses’ muscles with a soothing,cooling sensation.

So, if you have a water supply, a hose, a nozzle, a bucket, sponge, shampoo and a sweat scraper (for shedding excess water off afterwards) you should be all ready to get started bathing a horse!

 

Horse Blankets For Newbies

horse blankets

Brandy sure is glad he wore his turnout blanket on this snowy day at my farm!

I want you to consider this a beginners introduction to horse blankets.

Horse Blankets are generally used during the winter, spring and fall.

It was winter back when I first started riding horses. When I would go to the barn for my lesson the horses had blankets on.

I thought that was odd because a blanket could certainly not keep the horses warm?  In fact some horses had two or three blankets on.

Well, I’ve learned quite a bit about horse blankets since then. One question that I get asked often  is “with all that hair what do they need horse blankets for?”

That’s a fair question, and I’ll attempt to answer it the simplest way I can.

Horses are more than capable of going all season long, and in all kinds of weather, without blankets. As long as they have some shelter to get in out of the nasty weather they are fine.

If you think of a horse in the wild, you will realize that they are able to regulate their body  temperature comfortably. We have taken them out of their natural environment.

horse blankets

                     Shires Turnout Blanket

Since our horses don’t always have a choice of where to go for shelter we should make sure to provide them with a nice turnout blanket. This Shires Stormbreaker 2100D Medium Weight turnout blanket is waterproof and breathable as well as VERY durable.

We ask our horses to perform for us in many ways, including riding. When they go through their paces they can work up a sweat.

You never want to put a horse away when they are warm, sweaty or hot. If this happens they can become very ill.

Another reason we use horse blankets is to try to “trick” our horses into not growing their hair long.

If your horse is body clipped, or has a short, fine coat you will want to purchase a heavier weight blanket to keep them warm.

The Rambo Original Turnout Blanket is an extremely well made classic. It can do double duty as both a turnout and a stable blanket.

It is also very warm, with 370 gms. of fiberfill. The company is so confident that these horse  blankets will hold up that they are willing to  guarantee them for three years!

They grow hair not only because of temperature change, but also because of daylight changes.  When the days start getting longer the temperatures start to rise.

In 1980 a study was held at Texas A&M by Householder and Hodge on the theory of Extended Day Regimen (ED). They proved that changes in hair growth occurred, on younger horses, by changing the length of time they were subjected to light.

They had a number of horses placed under ED lights while others were left with natural light. After the study, the horses on natural light had roughly 3X longer hair than the horses under artificial ED light.

If your horse’s hair is long he will get sweaty when worked and take a long time to cool down. You must make sure they are not hot, or even slightly warm, before you put them away.

It’s very important that you remain aware of this.  Just like any athlete, to cool your horse down you need to walk him.

It is a very good idea to own a horse cooler. Coolers help wick away moisture (sweat) and keep your horse from being chilled while cooling down.

The Horseware Amigo Mio Fleece Cooler is a reasonably priced and nice looking cooler for everyday use.

You can spend well over 30 minutes walking your horse to cool them off properly. Don’t cut any corners here.  Walk and walk and walk. You may even need to towel dry damp hair.

Don’t worry about over walking, it is far better to walk too much than too little.

I hope I have been able to shed a little light on why we use horse blankets!

Horse Riding Gear: What to Buy the First Year

horse riding gear

Boots, breeches, gloves and helmet are important              pieces of  riding gear.

What type of horse riding gear do you need when you are first starting out?

If you’re still riding after a month or so, you are probably going to stick with it.  Sometimes you participate because your friends are doing it. Maybe you just wanted to try it out.

To help you get started I am going to share some tips about what type of horse riding gear you should invest in.

It’s ok to splurge a little on some things, but don’t break the bank! Remember the difference between wants and needs.

The first piece of horse equipment that you should consider buying for yourself is a horse riding helmet. Go here to read my post about helmets.

We’ve also discussed what type of shoes and footwear that you should use in an earlier post. You can read more about them here.

Riding pants, in the horse world, are called breeches. They help to give you better feel and “stick” when in the saddle. For this reason they contribute to your safety!

Depending on the time of the year, you may want to consider purchasing Under Armour. You are involved in horse riding which is an athletic activity. You want your clothing to be comfortable, lightweight and breathable.

horse riding gear - glove

Heritage Performance Gloves

Riding gloves are something you should consider. I don’t know what climate you live in, but in Buffalo New York you can get pretty cold. The Heritage Performance gloves are a favorite at my barn.

My wife doesn’t like to ride when it gets below 20°F. Everyone has their own thermometer and over the years I’ve witnessed crazy horse people riding at 10°F and below.

Fancy leather riding gloves are often worn at horse shows, clinics or special events. Leather riding gloves give your show outfit a nice, finished looking appearance and help you keep the horse reins comfortably in your hands.

I liked to wear them for that reason. Also, I felt pretty cool when I had them on and they helped me get into the right frame of mind.

If you are buying riding gloves for your child you might want to try the Ovation Child’s Heart

horse riding gear - gloves

Children’s Riding Gloves

Gloves.

When the students would get together, after their birthday or holiday, they would enjoy showing off the gifts received.  When it came to equine boot socks it always seemed like the more colors the better!

horse riding gear - Equine Boot Socks

Equine Boot Socks

I know the students at the farm enjoyed getting horse riding gear, like gloves or socks, as a gift for Christmas, birthday or any time.

If you want to be a big hit with your favorite horse lover, for their next big occasion buy them some horse riding gear!