Monthly Archives: March 2015

What’s That? Explaining Hobbles

We’ve recently added a new item to our shop, but at first glance it’s hard to imagine what they might be used for.

206Hobbles have had several different uses since their origin in Ancient Egypt. The two loops of material (people have used metal, braided rope, and leather over the years) link a horse’s ankles together with some slack in between, limiting the animal’s range of motion. Some trail riders use these to allow horses or donkeys to free graze during a rest while preventing them from straying too far or too quickly. Some Western riders also use hobbles to desensitize horses to the feeling of equipment brushing around their ankles.

A different, more heavily-padded type of hobble is used in breeding sheds to keep mares from kicking valuable stallions.

These beta biothane hobbles are smooth on the surface but strong, making them a great option for keeping the tool in place without friction on the horses’ skin.

Pick up your own pair of hobbles here.

What’s That? Explaining Girth Extenders

We all have them, tucked away in the bottom of our dressers–the I’m Feeling Fat Jeans. Sometimes they are called into use for a few days or weeks, and sometimes they get trotted out earlier. Well, our horses have those days, too (especially as spring grass begins to pop up) when the girth doesn’t quite reach the saddle billets. Rather than buy a whole new girth, it’s far more economical to pick up a girth extender to do the job temporarily.

girth extenderWe’ve recently added girth extenders to our shop’s inventory, and we believe they’re a great option for those who find themselves in this predicament. Our beta biothane extenders handle the sweat and dust they encounter better than leather, and also won’t stretch over time the way leather can.

Even better, the beta biothane extenders come in fun colors, from lime green to purple to light blue (we also offer black and brown for you traditionalists). Should you lend your extender to someone, you’ll find it easy to sort out whose is whose with our colorful options.

Order yours today!

New giveaway!

It’s a new month, a new season, and it’s time for a new tack giveaway!

Western camo bridleThis month, we’re giving away a Western bridle with snap-on browband. Switch between the two styles, or swap out browbands with ease with a simple, easy change. This bridle is in our ever-popular camo pattern–choose from pink, green, or orange camo and your choice of base colors for the cheekpieces and throatlatch.

As with all our giveaways, you get a $10 off coupon just for entering — just fill out the contact form and the coupon code will appear in your inbox. Click here to enter.

This bridle, like many of our pieces, is made of beta biothane. Beta biothane is a super-strong, versatile material that provides the flexibility and strength of leather without all the fuss. It stands up against sunlight, sweat, water, mud, and heat without cracking or fading. Beta tack can be made good as new with a scrub in soap and water. For ground-in dirt, beta can be put in the washing machine or dishwasher (just skip the dry cycle). We believe that once you try beta, you won’t go back to leather!

Tuesday Tips: Avoiding the ‘C-Word’

Ah, it’s almost spring–the season of mud, and unfortunately, sometimes colic.

Colic can strike at any time of the year and can impact horses in even the best of barns. Springtime, when horses are foaling and dealing with diet/weather changes, can sometimes feel like it brings more cases than other times of year, so this may be a good time to review guidelines for staving off this awful illness.

The following is reprinted from the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and is available herebran mash

PREVENTING COLIC

Colic is a problem with many potential causes and contributing factors, some of which are beyond our control. However, management plays a key role in most cases of colic, so colic prevention centers on management. Although not every case of colic is avoidable, the following guidelines can maximize your horse’s health and reduce the risk of colic:

  • Establish a set daily routine—including feeding, exercise and turnout schedules—and stick to it (even on weekends).
  • Feed a high-quality diet comprised primarily of high-quality roughage (pasture, hay, hay cubes, haylage). Except for young foals, all horses should be fed at least one percent of their body weight (or one pound per 100 pound body weight) of good quality roughage per day. It is important to feed good quality hay and avoid abrupt changes to new varieties or batches of hay. This can be accomplished by slowly incorporating new varieties or batches of hay when required. Avoid moldy or poor quality hay.
  • Limit the amount of grain-based feeds (grain in any form, sweet feed, pellets in which the main ingredients are grains). Feed these only as a supplement, and not more than 50 percent of the diet.
  • Divide the daily concentrate ration into two or more smaller feedings, rather than one large one, to avoid overloading the horse’s digestive tract. Hay is best fed free-choice.
  • Set up a regular parasite control program with the help of your veterinarian. Use fecal examination to determine its effectiveness.
  • Provide exercise and/or turnout every day.
  • Make any changes to diet, housing and activity level gradually.
  • Provide fresh, clean water at all times.
  • Avoid giving your horse medications unless they are prescribed by your veterinarian.
  • Check hay, bedding, pasture and environment for potentially toxic substances, such as blister beetles, noxious weeds and other ingestible foreign matter.
  • Avoid putting feed on the ground, especially in sandy soils.
  • Reduce stress; horses experiencing changes in environment or workloads are at high risk for intestinal dysfunction.
  • Pay special attention to animals when transporting them or changing their surroundings, such as at shows.
  • Observe foaling mares pre- and post-foaling for any signs of colic.
  • Pay particular attention to horses that have had previous bouts of colic, as they may be at greater risk for repeated episodes.
  • Maintain accurate records of management, feeding practices and health.