Author: Charles Wilhelm

Working With A Blind Horse

Over the last 15 years I have worked with many blind horses, probably three or four dozen. Most have been blind in one eye, and some totally blind. Through practical experience I’ve found that when a situation like this happens, the horse wakes up one morning and can’t see and life goes on. Unlike the human reaction where we, with our mental processes and rational minds, understandably fall apart until we come to terms with it.

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Hand Feeding Horses

Feeding horses by hand is a pet peeve of mine and I want to talk about it in detail, giving the pros and cons and why I am against it. In the horse industry there are a lot of people who hand feed their horses. It is a way to have communication with the horse, a way of showing affection and a way of accommodating his needs. It is a loving moment. On the other hand, some horses begin to expect the treat and become pushy and aggressive, crowding into the person’s space.

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A Word On Hoof Care

Hoof care is an important element in the care of a horse. With a young horse it is important to start foot care early. Handle the feet as soon as a foal will allow it. You can prevent a lot of conformation problems by trimming early. Sometimes a hoof grows upright and boxy instead of at an angle like a normal hoof. This is called a clubfoot.

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Horses That Spook Easily

Sometimes horses appear to spook at nothing. I think that many times spooking is a conditioned response. The horse has learned to spook as a response and when we don’t do anything about it – when, in fact, we accept that behavior – the horse just seems to think that this is what we want.

The first thing I do before I address this as a training issue, is to check the horse’s diet. If the horse is on any kind of alfalfa feed, I change the diet to something less hot. If the horse has been on a high protein grain with a lot of molasses or any sugar in it, I stop feeding that.

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