As quadrupeds, horses are fabulously designed for both speed and jumping their way out of danger. However, as with anything that has a leg at each corner, should one limb be compromised the whole animal becomes vulnerable.
Lameness is one of the most common reasons why a horse requires veterinary attention because the equine lower limb is comprised of bone, joint and tendon without a lot of protective muscle. These structures are therefore vulnerable to damage whether through accident, injury, poor conformation or just plain old wear and tear. Read more of this article »
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Bald spots, tails with mohawks, and assorted lumps and bumps … all of these symptoms can be signs of an itchy horse.
Unfortunately, all the symptoms of horse itch are usually worse in the summer, when bugs, humidity, and heat all contribute to the problem.
There are many problems that can affect a horse’s skin– Read more of this article »
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Last week we had a discussion with a lady about the different styles of bits we have on offer and when to start teaching your horse to have the two bits of the double bridle in its mouth…
Listen to what she had to say:
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So you want to get into horse riding, but don’t have your own horse? Knowing where to start can be tough. We have compiled a variety of different riding schools within the Brisbane area to make this journey a little easier for you! 🙂
Gypsie Lodge Equestrian Centre is a part of our sponsored team – located on 40 acres at Kobble Creek, in the peaceful Samford District just 45 minutes north-west of Brisbane CBD, Queensland. They offer a wide range of Equestrian services
– Professional Training for Performance Horses and Riders
– Riding lessons for beginners to advanced (school horses available), – Horse Care Clinics, Master Class Clinics, Holiday Agistment, Kids,Camps, Adult Riding Clinics, Instructor Training
Heritage Riding is located at Thornlands and was established over 20 years ago and has since become one of the largest, most comprehensive Equestrian Centres and Riding Schools in Australia today.
Boasting 2 full-time and 2 part-time Instructors, 26 School Master Horses, a large Indoor Arena, Outdoor Arena and 32 acres with a small cross-country course and most important of all – a spotless safety record and full insurance coverage.
The School offers both Equestrian Federation of Australia, British Horse Society and FN German trained and qualified Instructors. Heritage Riding is both a Riding School and Competition Training Centre for all levels, catering for the complete “beginner rider”, child/adult through to the “international competition rider” competing in Dressage, Showjumping and Eventing.
Wattle Creek Equestrian Centre
Located at The Gap and established in 1991, Wattle Creek has developed it’s riding programs for over 20 years. They have more qualified ‘Equestralian Australian’ (EA) Coaches, and Coaches in training, than any other Equestrian Centre in Queensland. This means you have the highest quality coaching available to you, with programs tailored to suit your riding goals.
At Wattle Creek they dedicate their lives to the relationships with their horses. They see to it that the horses received the utmost care and love, and they nurture the connection between the horses and students, no matter what experience level the student might be at.
Close to the heart of Brisbane and Logan, but in a lovely rural setting; Dalson Park at Slacks Creek is open 6 days for group or private horse riding lessons, horse jumping lessons, fun days, holiday camps and much more. Rain or shine; night or day you can enjoy beautifully trained, safe and well mannered horses, with Brisbane’s best child and adult teaching specialists.
Dalson Park provides horse riding lessons and horse management education to:
Slickers Horse Riding specialises in winery and pub rides, lessons, school holiday camps, trips away and trail rides on 3,500 acres 50 minutes from Brisbane. They have open undulating koala forest, grassy plains, rainforested creeks, dense bush, deep gullies, mountainous terrain and a beautiful 40 acre lake in the middle of our main property which we use for canoeing, swimming and skiing.
They have another property up in the mountains where they go for weekend campouts. It is the ultimate riding country with the rides offering spectacular views from Moreton Island to Maleny and the Sunshine Coast, riding into rain forested gorges, swimming in rock pools and at a waterfall and of course partying around the fire at night. Basic accommodation is provided.
Weiss Performance Horses run by Sarah Weiss is a riding facility located on the South Side of Brisbane in QLD. Teaching in the disciplines of Dressage, Show Jumping and Cross Country. At WPH, students are provided with a safe and fun environment to learn to ride on educated school horses or Sarah will travel to you to give lessons on your own horse.
WPH individually tailors each lesson to suit the student, to help them achieve their goals, and are able to teach the very young, inexperienced right the way through to older or competitive riders looking to take their riding to the next level.
In addition to horse riding lessons, Weiss Performance Horses run horse riding camps on the holidays, clinics with other instructors, “horseman ship” lessons – teaching groups of students bit by bit all the in’s and out’s of owning horses and “horse training” where the instructor Sarah Weiss rides your horse.
There are plenty of riding schools around that offer excellent services and experiences, but this brief list will point you in the right direction and give you some variety! Don’t forget to ask around and ask other horsey people for advice! 🙂
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Sooner or later, most people take their horse somewhere. They go to a show, move to another farm, or take their horse away for a trail ride. That means using a truck or trailer, and that means deciding what their horse needs to travel safely.
Prior to departure, the transport vehicle should be carefully inspected to be sure that it is safe and road-worthy. Special attention to competency of flooring should be paid in all trailers. Ensure that:
First, you need to choose a halter or head collar. Most people prefer nylon halters because they won’t break and leave you with a loose horse anywhere near traffic. Other’s prefer leather because it will break if the horse gets caught on the trailer or otherwise tangled up. Bits and bridles are never suitable, although for short journeys some will bridle their horse ahead of time and put a halter on over the bridle. Use a trailer tie (a short rope or strap just for tying in the trailer not for leading the horse), or tie up with the lead rope using a quick release knot. Never transport a horse with a chain – even if you don’t use it on your horse’s nose or jaw, it will swing around during travel and can hit and bruise your horse. Likewise, never transport a horse in a rearing bit. Whatever you use, make sure it is clean and in good repair, and that you have a spare halter and lead rope in your transport just in case.
Some owners always use head bumpers to protect their horse if it throws its head in the trailer or rears up. In practice, most head bumpers offer very little protection against the force of an impact like that. If your horse is particularly head shy or nervous about travel, then by all means use one, but don’t rely on them to completely prevent head injuries if your horse does head toss or rear. At the other end of the horse, a tail bandage or tail guard will protect your horse’s tail from rubbing against the back of the trailer or truck stall.
Bandages and bell boots for leg and coronary band protection can be useful if horses are accustomed to wearing them. If not (i.e., foals or yearlings), shipping boots or bandages could be a liability instead of an asset. Train the horse to wear protective bandages if you plan to use them. If the horse is blanketed (not advised unless it is cold), select a blanket that will not overheat the horse and cause sweating. Remember the horse will be using his muscles to balance and there could be limited ventilation once the vehicle is fully loaded with horses. Check out our range of leg boots and bandages HERE
The best way to keep your horse safe is to keep your transport in top condition, train your horse properly to travel sensibly, and most of all, drive carefully!
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After the massive big storms that came through SE Queensland this week there are many people cleaning up their properties today.
Did you know that you can use Proteq Equine Bedding to soak up water from the floor of a shelter or stable?
Normally when you start a stable you will need to add approx. 9 liters of water to each bag of Proteq to make the pellets swell and turn into fluffy sawdust. Proteq swells up to three times the volume of the pellets.
Adding water turns the proteq pellets into a soft and cushioning stable bedding.
So why not use the rain water or soaked layer to provide the water instead?
Simply tip the bags of Proteq on the wet floor and wait an hour or so. After that time you can see what the effect has been and make a decision if you need to add more water to the bedding.
Walking into a feed store can be a daunting experience with so many bags and brightly coloured packages to choose from. As you wander through the aisles of pallets stacked two and three high with all manner of feeds and supplements it becomes increasingly difficult to make a decision on which will be best for your horse. There are a few simple questions that you need to ask yourself in order to simplify the selection of the right feed for your horse.
How old is your horse?
Is your horse still growing?
Does your horse have any relevant health issues?
What is your horse’s current body condition and weight?
What pasture is available to your horse?
The natural feeding habit of the horse is to eat small amounts of roughage often. A forage only diet is deficient in several critical vitamins and minerals and therefore horses must be supplemented to meet these nutrient requirements. The intake of minerals and vitamins are vital to the performance, growth, immune function and reproduction of all horses. To ensure your horse is in optimal health, it is important to provide a well-balanced mineral supplement containing all the essential minerals, especially when horses are not fed fortified grain and are fed forage-only diets (hay or pasture).
All horses need a balanced daily ration consisting of six things: water, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. For performance horses, “energy” is widely considered the most important part of the diet. This energy is what fuels the body and is primarily derived from metabolizing carbohydrates. Fat is also an important energy source. The exact amount of energy a horse needs depends on his/her body condition and work level. (To determine your horse’s body condition and weight, you can find some handy calculators on the Mitavite website HERE)
Fat – Is an excellent way of providing high-density energy. Feeding fat allows you to increase energy in the diet without adding extra grain and risking starch overload. The slow release nature of fat means it is great for endurance horses or eventers and fat also has added benefits for the horse’s coat.
Protein – Essential amino acids are important for building and repairing hard working muscle. It’s not just protein quantity, but protein quality that counts. Protein quality is determined by the proportion of essential amino acids.
Fibre – Is the most important element in the horse’s diet. Often underestimated as an energy source, fibre is the first element to consider when designing your diet. The horse is well adapted to a high fibre diet, and only requires grains and concentrates to add extra energy in small quantities.
Minerals- Can be divided into two broad classifications – macro-minerals and micro-minerals, based on the amount required in the diet. Macro-minerals are required in large amounts in the diet. They include minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chlorine, and sulfur. These minerals are vital to the development of the skeleton, muscle contraction, acid-base balance, activity of the nervous system and hoof and hair growth. The other classification of minerals is micro-minerals. These minerals are required in small amounts in the horses diet. They include minerals such as copper, iodine, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc. These minerals function in most of the chemical reactions in the body helping to metabolize nutrients, maintain connective tissue and joint tissue, aid in oxygen transport to muscle and perform as antioxidants.
Vitamins – Are classified as either fat-soluble or water-soluble based on how these are stored within the body. The major fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, and E. These vitamins are important for vision, calcium absorption and regulation, and as a primary antioxidant within the body protecting cells and muscle function. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored within the fat deposits of the body and can accumulate giving the potential of toxicity if overfed. The other classification of vitamins is water-soluble vitamins. These vitamins are often referred to as B-vitamins. They include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, and folic acid. These vitamins function in nearly every chemical reaction within the body; therefore, they are critical in metabolism, growth, and energy generation.
By following this criteria you should be better equipped in selecting the right feed for your horse. Remember always following the feeding guidelines outlined on each bag of feed. If these recommendations do not suit your horse then select a feed that you can follow the feeding recommendations to achieve the desired outcome.
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Horses may be independent and more majestic than your typical household pet, but caring for one of these equine animals requires a lifetime of dedication, time and money.
Maintaining the health of your horse can be challenging, especially if you are new to horses. Before committing to owning a horse, be sure to educate yourself about general horse care guidelines.
Hygiene – Always make sure your horse’s paddock and surroundings are clean and that their manure is picked up daily. Regularly clean and disinfect your horse’s stable, equipment and transport vehicles.
Fluid from a sick horse’s nose or mouth can spread disease – always clean and disinfect equipment exposed to any body fluids from horses before using it on another horse, e.g. halters, lead ropes and twitches. If possible, use separate gear for each horse.
Insect Control – It’s always a good idea to at least lightly rug your horse, as insect bites are a big cause of many diseases. However, if your horse is constantly rugged, makes sure there is sufficient shade provided in their paddock.
There are great fly sprays and insect sprays around, and the natural products are getting better and better!
Paddock – Ensure your paddocks are free of all poisonous plants and weeds. Check out this PDF Guide which list most of the plants poisonous to horses. Generally horses won’t eat plants that will harm them, but occasionally there will be that one silly horse that thinks it looks tasty! Better to be safe than sorry!
Water – Depending on the size of your horse, they should be drinking between 20-60L per day.
Washing – It’s always important to keep your horse’s coat clean and healthy, but be careful not to wash them too frequently as shampoo can strip all of the natural oils out of your horse’s coat. If your horse is sweaty after a workout or on a hot day, a simple hose off and a rub down with a towel will be sufficient.
For an amazing shampoo that is chemical free and full of natural goodness! Check out Equestrian Concierge HERE!
Farrier – Hoof trimming should be carried out on a regular basis to help prevent overgrown walls. If the walls of the hoof are overgrown, it makes them more prone to chip or break off unevenly, resulting in cracks that can predispose your horse to lameness as the foot becomes unbalanced.
How often should you book your farrier to come and check your horses?
It depends on the individual horse on how often you should have their hooves trimmed, but on average every 5-6 weeks is sufficient.
Worming – The general consensus is that you should give your horses a worm-paste every 6-8 weeks, this ensures that no nasty unwanted parasites are burdening your horse’s insides. However, there are more and more research results that this might actually increase the ineffectiveness of the worm paste in itself as the parasites get used to the active ingredients. It is recommended to rotate between different brands with worming paste (“wormers”) as long as they have different active components, as this lessens the resistance buildup in the parasites.
The British Horse Society have published a booklet to give you more information about worming and parasite control in horses.
The symptoms of a worm burden can include the following: loss of appetite, poor growth, weight loss, anemia, tail rubbing, diarrhoea and colic.
Grooming – Whether your equine companion is a show horse or a farm grazer, daily grooming is important and shows how much you care. Every day, you should give your horse a physical exam to make sure it is in good condition.
Is my horse sick?
Learning how to recognise when your horse is not feeling well is an important skill to develop. Just like in humans, signs of illness can include things like:
If you know your horse well, you will probably be able to notice when something is not quite right. A sick horse may stand towards the back of its stall, with its head down and ears not erect. It may appear depressed and not respond as quickly or as enthusiastically to your voice or other stimuli. Some horses may refuse their grain but may continue to pick at their ration of hay.
If kept with other horses, a sick horse often separates itself and travels well behind the others, or fails to follow at all. Taking your horse’s temperature, pulse and respiration each day helps you recognise what is normal, so that you can spot any problems.
Temperature – The normal temperature of a horse is usually between 37.5°C and 38.5°C. Try to take your horse’s temperature at the same time each day to minimise any variation.
Pulse – A healthy adult horse will have a rate of around 30-40 beats per minute. Younger horses tend to have a higher rate of around 70-80 beats per minute. Heart rate will be increased if your horse has recently exercised, is excited, nervous, in pain or is sick. If you have a stethoscope, you can also listen to your horse’s heart (low down on the left side of the chest wall) to count the number of beats per minute.
Respiration – If you have a stethoscope, you can listen over your horse’s windpipe and count each breath. The normal resting respiration rate for an adult horse is around 10-14 breaths per minute.
By undertaking these simple, yet effective, measures you can better understand your horse and have a better idea of when it is important to contact your local vet for professional advice.
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Looking around for a horse or pony to buy is the first expense to be incurred on the path to horse ownership …
Looking at potential purchases may mean traveling many miles to view a horse or pony and when a suitable horse is found it is wise to have the horse vet checked.
First time horse buyers often ask how much they should spend on a horse. The answer:
“It depends upon what your partner wants to achieve with that horse.”
If they just want to go out and have fun, and maybe compete at a local level, they should be able to find a suitable and safe horse for $5,000 or less (with some variance based upon the local horse market in your area).
If they have more serious competitive aspirations, consult with your instructor regarding what they should expect to spend for a suitable horse.
Keep in mind that their first horse can be a “starter horse”
A starter horse– a horse that is safe for your partner and will help them learn basic horsemanship skills.
Even if they eventually want to compete at a national or world level, their first horse doesn’t have to be the horse that will take them to the top.
Now, one important thing to know is that the initial purchase price of the horse is just a small fraction of the ongoing expenses they can expect to incur.
Here are some of the items your partner should budget for on a monthly basis:
You should ask your instructor to help you and your partner create a realistic budget, and ask horsey friends for input as a reality check.
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