Supplements

If you spend much time looking at horse magazines odds are you have seen an ad or two for a horse supplementphoto (17). The real question is does your horse need a supplement? My best advice on feeding supplements and if your horse needs a supplement would be to ask your vet. Your veterinarian should be able to tell you what studies have found about different supplements and more importantly if your horse even needs to be supplemented at all. Like grain horses in more strenuous training are going to need better nutrition than a horse that gets ridden every now and then. Your vet can let you know about what kind of supplements are out there and would be a pretty good unbiased(hopefully) opinion on what brand or what kind of supplement would work best for your horse.

The Journey to Seasoning Horses

photo (16)In the horse competition world there is a big difference between young horses and seasoned competitors. Young horses that have not been hauled much are sometimes referred to as green horses. While seasoned competitors can offer great consistency there can be great satisfaction from getting the green horses to seasoned competitors. To make a horse a seasoned competitor than can handle most every situation takes much time and experience. Experience really is the best teacher. From standing at the trailer to many competition runs in one day, a horse isn’t going to become seasoned without experiencing it. Sure, at first they might act antsy at the trailer but normally in due time they will figure out that throwing a fit does nothing but waste their energy. Horses learn from repetition so if you can do the same type of exercises at the show as you do at home it can provide some comfort for the horse. The most important thing to remember is that every horse is an individual and will learn how to handle different situations at their own pace. 

Straight vs. Slant Load Trailers

With all the trailer options available to day which are best straight or slant load? This has been through much debate and honestly depending on which side you are pulling for can come out on top. While straight load trailers provide the horse the ability to be able to evenly distribute weight on his front two feet or back two feet during speeding up or slowing down, slant load trailers let the horse take hard stopping on a greater portion of his body therefore minimizing the risk of injury. Most horses tend to load in a slant load better than in a straight load but loading in either comfortably can be taught.  So when it comes down to it the best trailer design is mostly up to the buyer of the trailer. Whichever you like best you will more than likely purchasephoto (15)

Unraveling Polo Wraps

Polo wraps are another form of leg protectionphoto (14). Some people like them because you can control how much protection is where. Like many other things, with control comes great responsibility. Incorrectly wrapping a horse’s leg can cause severe and even career ending damage. There are many different videos on youtube about wrapping legs but I suggest finding someone who you know is a reputable person, either online or in person, to teach you how to wrap your horse’s legs with polo wraps. Wrapping polos, like anything else takes practice to become good at and I would suggest finding someone knowledgeable to watch you wrap your horse’s leg the first few times until you get the hang of it.

Useful Training Tools

Have you ever been overwhelmed with all of the training aids offered? German martingales, running martingales, and draw reins? What all do they do and would your horse benefit from one? These training aids in general teach a horse to keep his head down. By having a release at a lower point rather than a higher point the horse learns to keep his head down which the goal of is head being down is that he is round in the back and driving from the hind end, or in other words collected. Each of these devices have different purposes, if you don’t know how to use one and think you horse might need one, I would highly suggest finding someone who does know how to use these devices and how to fit them correctly. By incorrectly using one of these aids you may be undoing more than helping your horse. photo (13)