Being prepared to help yourself and others

You have probably seen the news footage of the horrific fires in California or remember the recent floods across the South and Texas.  Other news footage of people turning their horses or livestock loose so they have some chance to survive is heartbreaking to us all.

In this article, I want to reflect how you and I can be able to help in a  tragedy in your area.  The secret to being able to do this is to be prepared to help yourself, your horses and your friends.  In an emergency, time is precious and  being ready to move your rig or animals is critical.

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You out in one end and take it out the other!

Do you know what happens to expensive grain and hay during its long journey to become manure?

Equine lips have almost a prehensile (adapted to wrap or fold around an object) ability. They can separate oral additives from grain, chose the tender shoots of grass and untie a lead rope.

A horse’s meal starts at the lips which gather feed and make it available to the teeth. Desirable grass is collected by the lips and presented to the incisors for snipping and moved back with the tongue to the molars for grinding. Loose products (for example – grain and hay) are collected and moved directly back to the molars.

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It’s crazy, the way we horse owners behave with our horses.

It’s crazy, the way we horse owners behave with our horses.

No doubt it’s a love affair. A love affair of the heart, but not often a love affair of the mind. But then, seldom does a love affair have anything to do with rational thinking. Love affairs are crazy.

And what is crazy?

Crazy is mentally unbalanced, deranged, foolish, wild or fantastic.

That’s the description of a horse owner if ever I saw one!

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Equine Latrine

Horses have no trouble determining where to poop, as opposed to the confusion facing some humans these days.

Most confined horses will designate a “latrine” area – whether in a turnout, pasture or stall. My own horses will leave their hay, walk across the turnout, relieve themselves in the favored corner and return to eating.

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Expectations

There are two sides to “expectations”. You need to know both if you want your horse business to be successful.

The first side is your expectations.

When you planned your business, hopefully, you determined there was a need for your product or service. And once you were convinced there was a market, you determined the market was large enough in potential to make your business a success. Finally, you were convinced you could reach your market in an economical way.

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The Simple Bit

Believe me, bits are simple.
There are only two kinds. (There are plenty of variations.)
Neither kind of bit can work miracles.
Both kinds can be used to inflict pain. At the same time many advertisements state their bit will never cause the horse any discomfort, and will solve training problems. Impossible!
Ask most horsemen and you’ll be surprised to discover few know much about bits. Few can give an accurate definition of either kind. Worst of all, few know how the bit they are using actually works.

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Feeding Beet Pulp

High in digestible fiber.
Low glycemic index.
10% crude protein.
What is this miracle feed for horses? Beet pulp!
After sugar is extracted from beets the left over pulp is a form of highly digestible fiber suitable for horses. Beet pulp contains 18.0% crude fiber, which puts it on the borderline of being classified as forage.

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Hay before Grain?

It’s feeding time and the horses know it. Feed buckets are rattling; there are nickers and the banging of hooves against gates.

In most stables the concentrate or “grain” is given first – to satisfy the immediate need and calm the stable. Even if hay is given simultaneously the concentrate will be eaten first. But is that wise?

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Define Your Equestrian Goals

Nelson Mandela suggested our primary fear was not that we would fail at something. What we fear most, he said, is our great capacity to achieve—it demands we leave our comfort zone and take action.

Linus of the comic strip Charlie Brown said the heaviest burden a person carries is “great potential.”

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Sympathy and English Mints

Walter is a brave little pony.

But then, the “brave” is a special story, the “little” is a special story, and the “pony” is a special story. If I’m going to tell one, I might as well all three.

Walter was brave going in for colic surgery.

Well, wait a minute; I’m getting ahead of myself…let’s start at the beginning.

I was in need of a pony horse to use at the race track. (Pony horses usually have a little age on them, are stout, with mild dispositions, rugged bone and plenty of stamina.)

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