Horse Health Secrets

Beauty and health are two concepts that cannot be separated from each other. For all living beings, they are so inextricably linked that it cannot be said what we care more about. Horses are no exception. You look at a beautiful, well-groomed horse, and it seems that each of its cells exudes health.

What determines the health and beauty of horses?

First of all, from nutrition and care. Cleaning horses plays a significant role in maintaining their health. Contaminated skin serves as a favorable environment for pyogenic, pathogenic and saprophytic microorganisms, as well as for cutaneous parasites. Studies show that on one square centimeter of contaminated skin there are tens or even hundreds of millions of microorganisms that, if the integrity of the skin is broken and fissures form on it, can enter the bloodstream and cause a wide variety of diseases. In addition, the lack of proper care causes clogging of the sweat and sebaceous glands, skin irritation and metabolic disorders in the body. Particularly affected are animals that breathe in the body. This primarily applies to horses!

It is very important to systematically and thoroughly take care of the horse’s skin and hair so that they are clean, as the skin is gradually naturally contaminated by dead epidermal cells, skin secretions, dust and microorganisms. All this dirt is able to linger on the skin for a long time, accumulating in its folds and wrinkles. From the above, a simple conclusion follows: it is necessary to regularly and thoroughly clean and wash the horse. It is especially important to correctly approach this problem, choose the right means for grooming, if you are in close contact with the horse. Remember: horse diseases are your diseases.

Pure hair grows better, combes better, and, unlike dirty, does not get tangled, which is why washing is the most important component of grooming a horse. It is very important to choose the right shampoo for washing. All living beings have a natural protective barrier in the form of an acid reaction of the skin surface. Using unbalanced pH shampoos, we break this barrier and create a favorable environment for the development of microorganisms. Professional well-known companies that produce cosmetics for animals control the pH balance in their shampoos.

Pure healthy hair, like a light guide, better transmits visible light, as well as infrared and ultraviolet, ensuring the penetration of radiant energy deep into the skin and synthesizing the vitamins of group D. Using special shampoos gives a beautiful healthy shine to the hair, increases the brightness of any color and removes stains from light horses . After applying these shampoos, the mane and tail comb well and become soft to the touch. It should be noted that all these shampoos do not irritate the eyes.

If there is a need to comb the dirty, fallen hair of a horse, we recommend using a special spray. The ingredients of the best sprays are only natural, do not contain substances that injure the skin and hair and help fight static electricity. First, spray one of the preparations on the hair until slightly moistened, moisten the tangled areas especially liberally, wait a while, and then start combing from the ends of the hair, gradually moving to the roots. You will see how the tangled areas are easily combed and the hair becomes lively and healthy.

To help caring owners, professional firms produce special products that make horse care much easier. In the cold season or in those conditions where there is not enough water to wash the horse, use special shampoos that do not require rinsing. You will see that the skin and hair (even very long) are completely cleansed. Using conditioners, you can protect the horse’s hair and skin from the scorching sun and sultry wind, moisturize and restore dry and brittle hair

More recently discovered another remarkable function of the skin: it turned out to be an integral and active component of the immune system. Therefore, washing, combing, massages and walks are needed constantly, and not just before starts and exhibitions.

Horses have evolved as “leisurely, picky eaters”, for many hours they grazed in meadows, where there are many different plants. The total nutritional value of this grazing was low, as the feed contained a lot of fiber. Thus, nutrient intake per unit time was also low. However, in general, this time in terms of a day was enough for the animal. In addition, wild relatives did not know the stressful situations that horses experience today, doing this or that job. Currently, we significantly limit our animals in pastures, stalls, depriving them of the choice of feed. It is very important to realize that in modern pastures containing only a few plant species, the likelihood that the animal satisfies all its needs is reduced. If a horse is constantly fed a large number of concentrates, this can worsen its condition.


How to Choose The Best Fitting Saddle Pad

A saddle for a horse and rider is like skates for a skater or sneakers for a professional runner. It should be reliable, convenient, practical. And the task of the rider is to take care not only of his own comfort, but also of the comfort of a combat partner. How to choose a saddle? A certified saddle fitting specialist, the owner of the Tech Sport store, an official representative of the brands Prestige, Bruno Delgrange, Euroriding, Devoucoux, Equiline and candidate for master of sports Karina Polyantseva spoke about the basic principles of fitting the saddle.

Saddles are different – black, white, red … Cavalry, cowboy, ladies’, racing, racing … any! There is no exact information who and when invented the saddle. Historians claim that the first semblance of saddles appeared in 800-700 BC. The military actions contributed to the progress – it was necessary to fix the fighter so that he would think about the battle, and not about how to get to the enemy without falls. The first saddles are more like dense blankets or slats, which over time began to be attached to the horse by belts – the predecessors of the current cinch, props and henchman. Years passed, centuries … The world changed, needs, requirements, preferences changed – the saddle also changed.

Further the word was behind the cavalry: the saddle for long trips should be comfortable, light, reliable. Actually, these three criteria are basic for modern sports saddles (competitive, triathlon, saddles for dressage and runs), which will be discussed later. For the cavalry, the saddle was part of the military equipment, and the saddles for hunting, or ladies’ ones, were and are some kind of image object – here, concern for the comfort of the horse is in last place. But in professional sports, a thorough “fitting” of a saddle is a matter of paramount importance.

Step 1. First of all – consultation with a veterinarian!

The process of fitting the saddle is as jeweler and painstaking as the work of coval. This procedure cannot be neglected, as the slightest flaw can affect the horse’s health and athletic career. To improve the quality of work and the accuracy of the result, often fitting saddles works closely with the veterinarian. As they say, one head is good, and two is better. The task of the veterinarian is to identify possible problem points and set clear tasks for the porter. We can say that the veterinarian represents the interests of the animal. Osteopathic doctors are especially competent in this matter. They know well the geometry of the horse’s body and the mechanics of its movements.

Step 2. Saddle Size

The first step is to set the size of the saddle. Size is the angle of the opening of the lenok, and it is determined solely by the shape of the withers. In addition, attention must be paid to the degree of development of the trapezius muscle. “The trapezius muscle is a common problem when fitting saddles for stallions,” says Karina Polyantseva, “usually the angle is small, but because of the pronounced muscle, you have to make pillows of a special shape so as not to pinch it. The trapezius muscle constriction leads to its degradation. ”

Step 3. Choosing a Lenten

Crates come in different materials – plastic with fiber, carbon fiber and wooden. “In my opinion, the most optimal is plastic with fiber, since this material allows you to change size, simplifying the process of fitting the saddle. Carbon fiber belts are not the most reliable – they are prone to deformation, shape change. Moreover, they can crack. And finally, wooden. Over time, the metal staples that hold the parts of the wooden lenok together gradually unbend under the weight of the rider, making the size of the saddle bigger and bigger, so old saddles with a wooden lenght fit only on very wide horses. ”

Sizing can cause panic in inexperienced people, so we advise you to seek help from professionals. What is the difficulty? Let’s compare saddles with shoes again. How many sizes are indicated on the sneakers of any famous brand? Minimum 5: USA, UK, EUR, CM, mm. And everywhere different numbers. With saddles, it’s even more complicated: how many countries and firms – there are so many symbols: numbers, numbers, sometimes letters or just words (narrow, medium, wide).

For example, the Prestige brand has a standard size of “33” (for a medium-wide back), but this is because the saddlecases of this company go from “29” (narrow) to “37” (very wide back). Due to the fact that the lenghts of the saddles of this company are plastic with fiber, the size is easily adjusted on the machine to the specific back of the horse. At Stubben, the size designation starts from “27” (narrow back) and to “32” (very wide back). Kentaur and Pfiff have simplified the size system: “1” (narrow), “2” (medium), “3” (medium-wide), “4” (wide).

Some firms, for example, Wintec, completely got rid of the numbers. Their saddles have interchangeable forks of different colors, each of which corresponds to a certain size: narrow (N) – yellow (narrow back, high withers), medium-narrow (MN) – green (medium-narrow back, high withers), medium ( M) – black (medium back, medium or medium-high withers at show jumping and medium or high withers at dressage), medium-wide (MW) – blue (medium-wide back, average withers at show jumping and medium or high wither at dressage) ), wide (W) – red (wide back, medium or low withers), very wide (XW) – white (very wide back, low withers).

Step 4. Next Step – Balance

The rider should not just sit on the horse – he must be in perfect balance so that the horse moves freely and calmly, as if there was nobody on it. This is the perfect balance. In most cases, the right size ensures the right balance of the saddle. However, there are exceptions to all the rules: horses with a low back and a high withers, a high back in relation to the withers (the so-called “remodeled horse”) require a special approach. In such cases, the shape and thickness of the pillows in certain parts of the saddle change. There are two types of pillows: latex and stuffed. Stuffed is preferable, since with such a pillow the saddle adjuster can completely repeat the architecture of the horse’s back.

A correctly selected saddle should be evenly spaced on the horse’s back. If a “bridge” forms between the front and back of the pillow, the saddle is narrow.

“There is a practice that is completely wrong when people try to fill that“ bridge ”with various shock absorbers or the manufacturers themselves offer to equip the saddle with pillows thickened in the middle. You can’t do that. This is just self-deception. After all, the pressure, as it was at two points, remains. In addition, in such situations, the withers are clamped. Therefore, if you see such a situation – change the size of the lenok or simply refuse this saddle, ”Karina insists.

Step 5. Using Shock Absorbers

If in the case of the “bridge” the shock absorbers are hopeless, this does not mean at all that they should be thrown out of the ammunition. They can solve certain problems in the same technical way as changing the shape of the pillow. It’s certainly good to individually select and buy saddles for each horse, but it’s very expensive for economic reasons. Therefore, many riders use one saddle on several horses. And it is shock absorbers that save in such a situation. One of the best and most popular external proofreaders is natural fur. He is able to cope with a host of nuances alone – weight distribution, shoulder freedom, achieving a safe distance between the withers and lenok. There are shock absorbers that adjust the balance and minimize the sliding of the saddle – gels and meshes.

“In horses of a certain anatomy, saddles move forward, falling to the withers, or drive back. For a horse, gel under the back of the saddle is always good, ”Karina comments. “He can only hinder the rider.” From the front, on the contrary, it is important to be extremely careful, because by lifting the front of the saddle, we immediately increase the load on the back of the back. This is a pretty sensitive place to be protected. ”

“Not so long ago, the whole process of fitting saddles began to change,” continues Karina Polyantseva. “If we used to fit saddles to a horse standing at the roundabout, now we are checking how its back changes during movement.” In front, we often leave a small “margin of distance”, a void, so that the horse has more freedom when moving. If the rider wants such a saddle not to move even on a standing horse, we will adjust the position with the front trapezium pad shock absorber. He does not constrain the movement of the shoulder, as this is, in essence, a piece of fabric. At the same time, this shock absorber keeps the saddle in the right position. ”

To summarize

Of course, the topic of choosing and fitting saddles is very deep, each situation requires a comprehensive analysis, and it is not possible to give a universal recipe in a short article. Practice, the exchange of experience, the desire to learn and try different approaches – this is the way to learn this fascinating, and certainly useful thing. In general, you should not go to the store with the thoughts “the most expensive, then the best.” The choice of corrector must also be approached wisely and after consultation with experts or experienced equestrians. For example, we have a narrow saddle. In order to reduce pressure on the back, a caring owner buys an expensive shock absorber and some gel. In this case, the duo of the shock absorber and the saddle can only do much harm, because the space between the pillows becomes even narrower and more uncomfortable for the horse.

In conclusion, I want to say: be patient and attentive. Few people dare to buy new shoes “by eye”. We will go to the store, select several models, try on each several times. After much thought, we decide or go to the next “show room”, repeating all the same actions. With the same attention and care it is worth approaching the selection of saddles. Wearing them for horses, so you need to take care of the comfort of your sports friend first. A perfectly matched saddle, comfortable for both the horse and the rider, is one of the most important factors on the path to success.

How to Groom Your Horse

Good mane is the key to horse health. This for a person looking at an animal mane plays a purely aesthetic role, primarily striking. And for the animal itself, the mane performs an important protective function, as it covers the neck and head from blood-sucking insects. Therefore, the condition of the hair in the mane is directly related to the general well-being of the animal.

You must admit that a horse with a combed mane does not look as elegant and beautiful as its well-groomed brothers. And for the animal itself, and intertwined mane has a number of inconveniences: increased sweating during work, additional skin irritation, as a result of which is itching, and skin wounds. Indeed, if the horse’s neck is itching, it will itch and scratch itself, thereby baldly ugly in the place of the comb. And if the long mane fell down, it will cling to any dubious places, which will bring additional pain and inconvenience to the horse.

Keeping the mane in order is not difficult, but the owner of the animal requires maximum accuracy and patience.

Washing the mane To clean the mane from sweat, dust, subcutaneous fat, it must be washed. The washing regimen may be different, depending on the intensity of training and the time of year. In winter, sweating is less pronounced than in summer, so you can wash your mane less often. However, each horse has its own regime. It is enough for some animal to wash its hair once a week, for another – once a month.

If the hair of the mane is quickly greasy, washing should be frequent. This can avoid irritation of the skin of the neck and the appearance of fungi. In winter there is no way to bathe the horse as a whole, therefore, in cold weather, special mane care products are used – sprays and dry shampoos. Your veterinarian can advise them. Feel free to seek help at a good veterinary clinic!

Washing mane is best done with air conditioning (a special tool for caring for mane). It will not let the hair get tangled, give shine, and health. The exceptions are those days when you have to braid the mane. It is clear that from the influence of the air conditioner, the elastic bands on the mane will not hold well, as the hair will become smooth.

Conditioner plays an important protective role in mane care. Means can have a softening effect, wellness, firming. Some conditioners are applied to a wet mane, some to a dry mane. There are special gel-like products that do not allow dust and other dirt to settle on the hair, thereby protecting them and leaving them longer in a clean state.

Shoeing the mane

You need to clean the horse’s mane daily, but only using the right combs and brushes. Otherwise, you can easily damage the horse’s hair and make it rare and depleted, damaging a large amount of hair. Remember that a good comb has rare large teeth with rounded tips.

Before the cleaning procedure, the horse’s mane must be untangled manually, that is, the first combing and removal of grass and other debris from the mane must be carried out directly with your hands, fingers. Manual cleaning is necessary until the large stain is completely removed. Smaller dirt can be combed out with a brush.

Cleaning technique

When cleaning the comb, it should walk along the mane smoothly, without getting stuck or lingering. The technique of cleaning consists in phased advancement of the combing front from the ends of the hair to the roots. By the way, one can linger at the roots a little to massage the skin with a comb. This will improve blood circulation, which means that the mane will grow denser and stronger in the future.

Also, when cleaning the mane, it is very good to use conditioner, which will not allow the hair to be damaged, allowing less effort to conduct future combing.

Laying mane

It is not difficult to achieve a beautiful laying of the mane, it is enough to use special tamers after washing the mane. These “stockings” for mane are necessary for fixing the hair until they are dry. Tamers are often used for horses, which are important to keep the mane beautiful, for example, for competitions or various performances (horse shows). Tamers put horses on their necks to protect their hair from tangling, damage, and adverse weather conditions. There are lycra tamers on sale, but you can tie such a “stocking” on your own.

There are special gels for laying mane. They are applied from the roots along the entire length and “accustom” the mane to lie evenly. They are also used when braiding braids.

If for some reason your horse’s mane is not lush and thick on any side, as we would like, then experts recommend that in such cases take drastic measures and cut your hair completely. As a rule, this is done with garden shears, leaving a cut of about 2 cm. After this, the mane, as a rule, grows thick.

After cutting, it is recommended to wash the mane, preferably with air conditioning. The haircut is carried out in the warm season so that the hair grows again by winter.

We wish your horse to look his best!

How to Ride a Horse With Bitless Bridle

Numerous individuals wonder in the event that it is conceivable to ride a steed without a piece in its mouth. Riding with a piece appears to be ordinary to numerous individuals, and there are numerous old instances of bits, so bits have been being used for an extremely significant time frame. You may ponder, however—can a pony go from being ridden with a piece, to being ridden with a bitless harness? Or on the other hand, can a pony be prepared right from the earliest starting point without utilizing a piece by any means?

Early Training

Truly, it is totally conceivable to prepare a steed to be ridden without somewhat directly from the beginning of its preparation. Truth be told, it’s conceivable to prepare a steed to be ridden with no kind of bit or headstall on its head by any means. The drawback is that the steed will be restricted to getting things done, similar to trail riding, that doesn’t require a particular sort of bit or harness. A steed bound for the show ring should figure out how to convey and react to a suitable piece. Moreover, numerous individuals will want to ride their steed with a piece in its mouth for some reason.

In the event that you ride your pony at home, out on the trail, or at little shows where there are no principles in regards to bits, and you have a sense of security with your steed in a bitless harness, you needn’t bother with a piece. Separation and delight trail riders like the best bitless bridles since they enable the pony to eat and drink without expelling the harness. This makes the steed progressively agreeable and, while contending in long-separation riding occasions, may make the steed bound to drink, which is significant for averting parchedness.

Rolling out an Improvement

On the off chance that you are riding your pony with a piece, you can roll out the improvement to bitless. It’s ideal to evaluate your bitless harness in a ring or field first. Perceive how well your pony reacts in light of the fact that when you go out, you need to ensure your steed is loyal to your guides. Most ponies make the change effectively. Some have even gotten increasingly loose. Others may require some re-tutoring, investing more energy dealing with upwards and downwards advances before you’ll be certain that they are reacting great to going bitless. It’s critical to recollect that the bit doesn’t control the steed, acquiescence to preparing does. Along these lines, regardless of whether you ride your steed with a piece or not, it can at present be troublesome and even risky to ride if it’s not well-prepared.

Picking a Bridle

There is a wide range of decisions with regards to bitless harnesses, and simply like finding the correct piece, it may require attempting a couple of various ones preceding you discover one you and your pony are agreeable in. Bosals, side-pulls, and mechanical hackamores are generally alternatives you can attempt.

Keep in mind, however, that you are not really being kinder to your pony by utilizing a bitless harness. Any gear is just as compassionate as the individual who handles it. A lot of agonies can be perpetrated on a pony by the ill-advised utilization of a piece or a bitless harness. Indeed, even a basic side force can cause agony and harm whenever utilized inappropriately. Bitless harnesses with long shanks can be very agonizing if the rider doesn’t have the foggiest idea of how to utilize them adequately.

For some steed sports, you won’t have the option to utilize a bitless harness. For example, dressage will expect you to utilize a piece. You can, in any case, ride “hor concours” with a bitless harness at certain rivalries. You might have the option to utilize a bitless harness in jumper or western classes. In the event that you are contending, you should check the individual principles for each game.