Month: March 2017

Does following a pattern help in understanding your horse?

Waiting for someone to come

Waiting for someone

A well-thought-out pattern will help you in understanding your horse.

Every day is a new day when we greet our horse and we will have a better time if we begin immediately to study how our horse greets us.

It’s very important for us to recognize our horse’s normal behavior and to recognize any change, no matter how subtle. He is trying to tell us something with everything from the look in his eyes to his body movements.

Have you noticed how we usually follow a pattern beginning when we greet our horse and then saddling up? Horses do well with patterns. They know what’s next and what they should do. It’s here in a pattern that it’s easy to see a change in our horse’s attitude and it’s important we DO see it. This is your opportunity to be a true horseman and more than just a rider. It’s the little things that count!

Following a pattern of grooming, saddling, mounting, or washing is a smart way to give your horse confidence and keep both of you happy with each other. This is especially true if you are working with a young horse or a horse new to you and it is completely true if you are working with a nervous horse.

Do you follow a pattern with your horse? Has it helped? I would like to know if you agree.

Posted by JGC in Horse body language, Learning to understand, Understanding horse care, Understanding horses, 0 comments

Pretty Thoroughbred mare with very odd skin problem



Learning new ways to understand better horse care never ends. I had a pretty Thoroughbred mare in my care a couple of years ago while her owner was away for four months. The mare lives in a cool stall in an old, well kept wooden barn with swamp coolers, large overhead fans and overhead bug sprayers. It is usually more than ten degrees cooler inside the barn than outside on 100+ degrees days.

Imagine my unhappy surprise to see her one morning with a palm-sized, blood-red sore on her side just back of where the square dressage pad covered. She had been fine, absolutely fine, when I left her the day before. She was not rubbing herself or acting itchy, but the sore just appeared.

I washed her with shampoo that day, dried her in the sun (very, very hot by now in the summer), and applied some prescription skin ointment that I had from my veterinarian. Two more spots appeared in the next three days, smaller but very blood-red and raw looking, despite what I was doing. Nothing was healing, so I called my vet. Her advice turned out to be perfect.

First, thoroughly wash the mare ALL over with any anti-dandruff shampoo found at a drugstore, being sure to lather the mare all over, head to tail, and let the suds stay on for at least five minutes.

Then, rinse her thoroughly, dry out in the sun and apply my horse prescription skin cream which includes a steroid, an anti-fungal and an anti-inflammatory. My vet stressed that I was to look carefully for a dark ring just around the edge of a wound because this would be fungal and the skin cream would not be strong enough for this. She advised me to buy any athlete’s foot cream I wanted and to use that around the edges of the wound.

With this regimen, in three days all the wounds were almost gone and hair was growing in five days. In three weeks you couldn’t see where they had been. I thought to myself that this was certainly a wonderfully inexpensive way to treat these disgusting-looking skin wounds. Friends told me the mare was having a very good summer with me. I did get teased about how long it took me to bathe her, but I was very pleased to have the mare looking unblemished when her owner returned.

Posted by JGC in Learning to understand, Understanding horse care, Understanding horses, 0 comments

Your horse’s bad hair day is coming!

horse's bad hair day

Winter Hair But Warm Pony

Our horse’s bad hair day is coming with the shedding season but we work through it knowing a gleaming, short summer coat will be coming soon. Understanding your horse’s body language is important now because many horses, especially mares, do not appreciate all the currying that is needed.

Do you think our horses even notice? We certainly notice. There’s hair all over the place and, unfortunately, all over us as well as we brush and curry and brush some more and the winter hair just keeps coming out.

During horse shedding season any and all help in getting rid of all those long, long winter hairs is welcome. And we all know how hairy horses and ponies get in the winter as they make it quite obvious that they are determined to stay warm no matter what!

Still, we sweep up that dirty long hair and look forward to a gleaming, short and easily kept summer coat!

Posted by JGC in Understanding horse care, 0 comments