There are many different types of horse fencing, with all of the choices have you ever wondered what would be best for your horse? Just a few of the different types of fencing are barbed wire, hot wire, livestock fencing, wooden fence, and vinyl fencing. Barbed wire has been around for quite a while, while it is effective at keeping livestock in, when livestock especially horses come into contact with barbed wire it can get serious quickly. A foot placed in between the wires can severely damage a horse. Hot wire needs to be checked quite regularly to make sure it is still working. Livestock fencing that I am referring to is the square wire. Some is made with smaller squares at the bottom to keep a foot from getting hung in the fence but shoes can still get caught on the fence and be torn off and take off shoes as well. Wooden fence should last a while but watch for nails sticking out and sometimes horses can get in the habit of wood chewing or cribbing on the fence. Vinyl in my opinion while it does look good is not really designed to keep an animal as big as a horse in. It breaks somewhat easy while it is easy to pop back into place it does break and have to be replaced. The best way to find out what type of fencing is best for your situation is to do some research as well as talk to people and see what kind of fencing tends to be in most peoples opinion the best.
Horses that are stalled for long periods of time can develop less than desirable habits. Some horses may start to crib, others may weave, either way these habits can be difficult and maybe even impossible to break. The best way to prevent this from happening is to turn out horses for some amount of time each day for them to work off all this energy. Now if a horse is stalled for an injury this may not be possible in which case stall toys may help the horse heal while allowing him to be able to play and work off some of his energy. Horses are not designed to stay in a 12 X 12 area for extended periods of time without some time of exercise. Keep this in mind when horses are stalled especially if not stalled a lot don’t be afraid to turn them out or hand walk the horse to keep him boredom to a minimum.
Over the past weekend I was able to participate in a competitive trail ride and a field challenge. It was a really nice break from the arena for me and my horse. On the competitive trail ride we took a trail ride that was about four miles long and had six stations along the way that you and your horse was judged on. For example one station was dragging a stick, another was riding around a tent and campsite and then someone walking out of the tent. This isn’t my horse and I do every day and it was a nice change of pace for both of us. In the field challenge there were thirteen different obstacles that you had to complete. There were some very challenging obstacles, just a few were going over the rocking bridge while walking through pool noodles, most definitely not something you do every day, and dragging and walking through some plastic bottles. I was really proud of my horse for how well he did with this new challenge. I most definitely would like to compete in something like this again and I think Joker would too.
Brands can show where a horse came from, who trained him, or who owns him now. In my opinion brands on horses can be a useful way to identify your horse if he were to get lost, stolen, or happened to slip out of the pasture. Last year I acquired a very inquisitive horse that frequently escapes when he doesn’t have company. I am thinking very seriously about branding him since some of his adventures have lead him into other people’s pastures. A brand is easily identifiable from a distance, a distinguishing feature that shouldn’t wear off and most certainly not fall off, and would help identify him as mine if he were to be stolen. Micro-chipping him was another option but not many people have a scanner nor is it easy to see since it is under the skin. As you can see branding has some benefits.
The importance of getting your horse’s teeth checked should be relatively important. Not only does your horse’s teeth help him eat and properly break down food but can also give reason for him not throw his head while riding. Horse’s teeth grind their food by sliding the jaw, if the jaw cannot properly slide the horse cannot eat properly and will more than likely develop sharp points and ridges that will interfere with his eating as well as his ability for him to focus on you while riding if it is causing pain. You should have your horse’s teeth checked one time a year to see if they need floated if the horse is over the age of 5, if under 5 have their teeth checked twice a year to keep the teeth in good condition to help the horse be able to digest food and grow but also to keep their riding experiences good.
Chances are if you are wanting or do show competitively with your horse at some point you will have to haul away from home and possibly stay overnight. Stalling your horse on the show grounds is the easiest way to have an event with multiple horses stay for some period of time in the least amount of space. However what all do you need to stay away from home for those days? The necessities that are best to bring with you are hay that the horse is used to eating, grain if the horse receives any, buckets, and some kind of pitch fork and bucket to clean out your stall. Granted if you forget a bucket you can always go buy one but that could get rather expensive after a while, especially if you have buckets at home. I always like to put up two water buckets for my horse so he can have his choice of which he wants to drink out of, also in the summer months I want to make sure he has plenty of water 24/7. It is important to keep the horse’s diet as close to normal as possible. Since my horse is turned out in the pasture all the time there are only a few things I can do to simulate turn out. For one I like to keep hay in front of my horse at all times, just like him grazing in the pasture. I find that frequent trips to the stall to give him a flake or two of hay is much less wasteful than putting half a bale in there for him to wallow around in. Also I try and feed grain at the same time as I do at home. I might add some oil to his grain to keep his gut moving since he isn’t getting as much exercise being stalled. Also I clean out my horse’s stall every time I go to feed him hay to keep him from spreading out his manure any more than he already does, plus this keeps him cleaner and there is less to clean up at one time if you do it more frequently. Stalling away from home comes with a few more requirements than being in the pasture but being able to compete is always worth it.
Horses are herbivores, meaning that they eat plant matter, with that being said hay and grass makes up most if not all of a horses’ diet. Therefore hay quality is extremely important. Hay that has gotten wet, it molded, dusty, or poor quality is not going to provide the nutritional requirements that a horse needs. Also keep in mind that horses were not designed to eat grains or feed. Therefore horses need to eat much more hay than grain. Especially horses kept in stalls, horses stomachs are small and designed to graze all day not just once in the morning and once at night. Also there are different types of hay that provide different nutritional benefits. Contact your veterinarian for what hay would be the best choice for your horse’s workload as well as the area that you are in.