No More Horses!

There are certain combinations that are irresistible.
German chocolate cake and mocha ice cream.
Staying in bed 15 minutes longer on a cold, rainy morning.
Horses at auction and your daughter.
Because I am older and wiser now, I can tell you with certainty, “Never go to an auction with your daughter.” (My father told me many times: “Do as Daddy says, not as Daddy does, and be the man Daddy should of was.”)

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The Equine Intestine

Why is small 60 feet in length and large only 25 feet?
It’s a question about the equine intestine that could keep you awake at night. When you know the answer you’ll sleep more soundly.
A horse’s meal leaves the stomach through the pyloric sphincter and enters the small intestine – a tube that is approximately 60 feet in length and holds about 15 gallons of material.

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It is not to early to plan

Last week, my wife, Pat and I met our son and his wife for dinner.  As he is a sheriff’s deputy, he glanced at my car tags and asked if I knew my car tags were expired.  Yep, they sure were.

When I got home, I went on-line to renew it.  The Virginia DMV was kind enough to also show my driver’s license expires this Spring.  My horse trailer expires in February and my stock trailer’s State Inspection ran out on the 31st as well.
 
In our fast paced lives, we often overlook the details of routine things.  So, in this article, I thought I would reflect on some simple things that we do each year to get ready for that first trip the season.  

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A Horse, Of Course

Cold rain, snow, slush and mud…they’re all part of winter for a horse. And winter is here. (Even in the sunbelt, horse’s suffer some of winter’s wrath.)
Horses on their own take pretty good care of themselves even in a snow storm, but when they are “protected” by loving owners, the problems of “winter” neglect occur.

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THE WAY OF HORSES

Through the lips, over the gums…look out stomach! Here it comes!
Once the horse has sorted, chewed and softened feed with salvia he swallows. The slurry travels down the esophagus and into the stomach.
The esophagus, a muscular tube about fifty inches in the average horse, leads to the stomach.
A horse chokes if a foreign object blocks the esophagus. This object may be an apple, corn cob, hay cube, a wad of improperly chewed feed or baler twine. Horses can choke on most anything…
The equine esophagus could also be blocked by a growth (tumor) or scar tissue from trauma (a previous choke episode or damage to the sensitive tissue because of a medical procedure).
Symptoms of choke in horses:

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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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