Easy Horse Care Guide:
Horse Care. You need some basic equipment and accessories when you ride your horse or pony. This is known as a tack. Tack helps you sit comfortably and control your horse or pony well.
Tack it up:
The tack consists of the bridle and the saddle. You will sit on the saddle when you ride, so it needs to be comfortable. You should also keep in mind your horse or pony’s comfort when you choose a saddle.
The saddle should not be hard on their back. The bridle is a set of leather straps that includes a headstall, bit, and rein. All of which are fitted about your horse or pony’s head.
Horse Care: Cleaning the Bridle:
The tack should be cleaned and checked for wear and tear. Cleaning the tack regularly keeps it in good condition and makes it long-lasting.
Remove the bridle from the horse or pony’s head. Use a damp sponge to remove the dirt and grease from the leather straps. Check carefully for any cracks on the leather.
Do not forget to check the seams to check if the stitching is sound. If any part needs mending do it immediately. Wash the bit separately in soapy water and dry it with a clean cloth.
Now use saddle soap and a cloth to polish all the leather straps. Likewise, use metal polish on metallic parts. But avoid parts that come in contact with the horse or pony’s mouth.
To clean the saddle you have to first strip it of stirrup and girth. Then place it on your lap and use a damp sponge to cleat it. Check carefully for wear and tear. Then work on the stirrup leather, girth and girdle similarly.
Shine the leather with saddle soap and metals with polish for a smart look. You may cover it with a cloth to keep it clean before the next ride. Always store the tack in a damp-free place.
*Cleaning the bridle and saddle regularly increases their longevity.
Common Questions About Horse Care:
Question: How do I clean the suede knee rolls?
Answer: Use a soft brush to clean the suede-covered knee rolls. Do not use saddle soap on the suede, as it will stain the suede. It is advisable to not clean the suede very often, as brushing tends to wear it.
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Horse Care in Summer and Winter:
Horse care in the summer heat can be hard on your horse or pony. Some basic attention can ensure their comfort and health in the warm weather.
Horses and ponies tend to grow more hair in winter. The thick coat can be troublesome in the warm weather so you need to clip or shear them. Clipping will ensure that they cool down quickly after exercise and riding.
Depending on your horse or pony’s workload, you can choose the type of clip you want. It is advisable to take professional help for clipping your horse and pony.
What a Nuisance!
Flies and mosquitoes are common in summer. They are not just a bother but also breed diseases, so you need to protect your horse against them. The use of fly blankets and sprays helps to reduce these pests.
Be careful not to spray in your horse or pony’s eyes, nose, or mouth. Keep muck heaps well away from the stable to reduce flies.
*Flies breeding on manure can carry many diseases.
Horse Care Things to Remember:
- Keep enough fresh water for your horse or pony to drink.
- You may reduce its diet a little and feed it at cooler hours of the day.
- Use sunblock, especially for grey horses and ponies, to prevent sunburn.
- Give them some salt as there is a chance of dehydration.
- If fresh grass is not available, feed them alfalfa, as they need green food in the summers.
- Hang a fan in the stable in a safe position to cool it off.
- Sponge the horse or pony during excessive heat.
Horse Care, Common Questions:
Question: What are the various clips for horses and ponies?
Answer: The blanket clip, hunter clip, full clip, trace clip, and belly and gullet clip are the various options in clipping.
Horse Care: Keeping Warm your horse or pony:
Domestic horses and ponies are dependent on us for keeping them warm and protecting them against freezing winter. You have to be careful to do this to avoid any serious illness.
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Several types of rugs are available for your horse or pony’s comfort. Choose rugs made from natural fibers like wool and jute. Synthetic rugs lined with cotton are easier to clean, so some people prefer them. Night rugs should be thick and warm.
Rugs you use during the day should be thinner. Special exercise rugs are used when you take your horse or pony for exercise or a ride in winter. These are placed under the saddle. Rugs usually have cross-over straps. Make sure that you do not tie them too tight, and that the horse or pony can breathe easily.
Cleaning the Rugs:
Just as you clean your jackets and quilts, your horse or pony’s rugs need to be cleaned too. For this, you must ensure that you have at least one spare night and day rug that you can use while you wash the first one.
Rugs are best cleaned in a washing machine. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions when you clean the rugs. After the grease and dirt have been removed from the rugs, rinse them and hang them out to dry.
*A warm rug is a must during winters as it keeps the horse or pony cozy.
Horse Care in Winter:
Wild horses and ponies develop natural protection against winter. However, stabled horses and ponies need special attention. Apart from using rugs to keep them warm, their hooves need to be checked thoroughly in winters.
If you are riding out, avoid the icy and frozen ground and try to limit yourself to walking the horse or pony. Carry a hoof pick and stop periodically to pick out the ice from its soles. Brush your horse and pony often as it provides insulation.
Feed them more hay for extra calories that will keep them warm. Remember to keep the drinking water warm. Or they may not want to drink it even when they should.
*Horses and ponies must be ridden at a slow speed on snow.
Horse Care Top Tips:
Regular de-warming is essential in winter as equine parasites are difficult to kill in cold weather. Consult your veterinarian for de-warming doges.