Monthly Archives: March 2014

Tuesday Tips: Ding Ding Ding!

Finally, we’ve found a good solution for those pesky rubber bell boots.

This horse is wearing bell boots

This horse is wearing bell boots

Bell boots are a great way to protect your horse from overreaching if he strides out with his back legs and tends to grab his front heels with his hind toes. The most common type of bell boot is the rubber pull-on, and those can be tricky to get on and off.

Just flip the boot upside down while it’s on the horse’s leg, spray the inside of the boot with WD-40, and off it pops. The spray shouldn’t do harm to the horse’s hoof, but if you’re concerned, try rinsing his feet and ankles after you pull the boot off.

Does your horse catch enough zzzzs?

sleepy horseYou’ve had those days where you’re sitting at your desk, or in a meeting and realize that your late night out has caught up with you. Suddenly, just passing out onto the desk or conference table seems like a great idea. 

Turns out, horses can have the same problem.

We’re big fans of Equus magazine, which is a great resource for horse owners and riders of all disciplines. Recently, the Equus team caught up with a horse who had been suddenly dropping to the ground in the middle of lessons or time in the stall. Vets were called, tests were run, and the conclusion was that the horse wasn’t sick…he was just sleep-deprived. 

How can you be sure your horse is getting enough z’s? The keys lie in identifying mental, social, and physical stress.

Check out the full article for more info!

Congratulations to Raven!

Congratulations to Raven, the winner of our most recent tack giveaway for a grooming halter!

winterravenRaven is a 9-year-old Arab mare who has lived with her person Patti for two years. Patti and Raven enjoy trail riding and gymkhana events (including barrels and poles). Raven’s favorite thing is cantering–she thinks it’s even better than treats! Patti and Raven are still working through Raven’s fear of putting her toes in water on the trail. Other than wanting to keep her pedicure intact, Raven is very brave on the trails. She loves being the center of attention so it’s only fitting that she’ll soon get to model her custom halter.

Is your horse a bit of a diva? Get her (or him) a custom halter of their own for those upcoming spring grooming sessions here.

What’s that? Explaining curb straps

There seems to be no end to the straps, chains and doo-dads that may be spotted hanging from a horse’s bit or bridle. Curb straps are just one of the things you may see hanging around a horse’s chin.

45_3_Curb straps run between the bit shanks under the horse’s chin. They are designed to enhance the action of a curb bit–when the bit is pulled back, the strap makes connection with the horse’s chin, amplifying the pressure on the bars of a horse’s mouth. The strap also helps to keep the bit steady.

Curb straps should be adjusted so they do not place a constant pressure on a horse’s chin. The Certified Horsemanship Association suggests adjusting the strap so you can fit two fingers between it and the horse’s lower jaw. The strap should touch the horse’s chin when pulled back to 45 degrees. Ideally, the goal is for the contact provided by the strap to be activated only if a sizable pressure is applied to the bit.Curb Strap

Curb straps or chains are found on both Western and English bridles.

Check out our curb chains, especially our beta biothane curb chains/straps. They come with stainless steel, no-rust hardware and are easy to clean in soap and water.

A new kind of tack giveaway

Love our monthly tack giveawaysHalter bridle with bit hangers? We’ve just made them a little sweeter.

Our shop has so many different color combinations of each item, and we want to help customers experience all of them. From now on, we’ll feature one of the varieties of the item up for giveaway–this week, it’s a traditional halter bridle in a two-color combination variety. Any two colors you want! There are dozens of possible options. Explore them! 

Also, we know that sometimes you fall in love with a giveaway item and you’d rather not wait to see if you win it. We totally understand! That’s why we’re offering $10 off the giveaway item in our shop for the duration of the giveaway. 

More information on digestive upset in horses

Researchers in the UK are making progress in determining what contributes to gut upset in horses. Scientists at Aberystwyth University discovered that a horse’s hind gut has a basic colony of bacteria which is made up by many uncommon types of bacteria.

This could explain why the equine gut is so vulnerable to diet and other changes that veterinarians have often warned could lead to colic or laminitis–if the balance of those few uncommon bacteria gets off balance, it may be harder than originally thought to set them right again.

Study authors also hope that by identifying those core bacteria, it will be easier to learn which ones are related to which disorders.

Read more about the research from our friends over at HorseTalk New Zealand

Meet our breeds: Urzela W and Sjouckje Van De Elsenerhof the Friesians

We continue our Meet our Breeds series with two equine models who look like they belong in shampoo ads. Meet Urzela W and Sjouckje Van De Elsenerhof, the Friesians!

Urzela W

Urzela W

The Friesian breed is known for its black color, light draft build, silky mane, tail, and feathers, Spanish style conformation, and its nimble movements. The average Friesian stands between 14.2 and 17 hands tall.

It was originally dubbed “Frisian” but the ‘e’ was added to distinguish the horses from the Holstein Friesian cattle. The breed was developed in Friesland, Netherlands and was a favorite for use in war in the Middle Ages throughout Europe since their size enabled them to carry a knight in full armor while still moving quickly. Friesians were being imported into the United States as soon as 1625 with the Dutch and later gave rise to the Morgan breed here.

The breed’s studbook was founded in the 1879 and since the breed has nearly become extinct several times, although it is coming back into popularity for driving and dressage. It has also been a favorite for circus work.

Sjouckje Van De Elsenerhof

Sjouckje Van De Elsenerhof

Their flashy appearance has made Friesians extremely popular in film. They have been featured in Ladyhawke, The Mask of Zorro, Eragon, Alexander, The Chronicles of Narnia, Clash of the Titans, and Conan the Barbarian.

Read more about the history of the Friesians here.

Both of our models posed for us courtesy of Leandra Friesians,

Sjouckje with filly

Sjouckje with one of her fillies

where they are broodmares. Urzela W joined the Leandra band in 2011 and has eight total foals on the ground. Sjouckje Van De Elsenerhof was imported from the Netherlands in 2009 and is known for her excellent movement and affectionate nature.