Dealing With Temperamental Horses

When buying horses, it’s important to know about the common personality traits associated with each breed to help you in dealing with temperamental horses. Here are the 3 common groupings for horse breeds, the breeds that fall under these groupings, and the common personality traits associated with these breeds.

Hot-Blooded Horses

If a horse is classified as being hot-blooded, it usually means that they have high energy levels and may have a nervous temperament. This may cause them to be easily spooked, and it can make them difficult to control, which means they’re not ideal horses for beginners. However, their high energy levels often make them popular for competitive equine sports like racing or even long-distance riding. Here are the breeds that fall into the “hot-blooded” category:

1. Thoroughbreds

Thoroughbred horses are very popular in the world of competitive equine sports. They’re very athletic horses, making them ideal for all sorts of mounted athletics, including racing, jumping, and dressage. They can be a little slow to learn, but they’re emotionally perceptive creatures and have the energy needed to work at something until they get it right. They may overreact when something frightens them, and they can be a little defensive, so it takes a patient rider and steady hand to keep these horses under control.

2. Arabians

Arabians are known for their incredible endurance and speed over long distances. They love to run and are fast learners, but anyone familiar with horses will tell you that an Arabian is a moody creature. They’re great for endurance racing, but their tendency to get spooked and penchant for stubbornness doesn’t make them ideal for other mounted sports.

Cold-Blooded Horses

Cold-blooded breeds typically encompass the working horse breeds. These animals are patient and calm, and they don’t spook easily. However, because they’re usually larger animals, they’re not great athletes. They’re great plow horses, or can be used for general pleasure riding. Just don’t expect any bursts of speed from these breeds:

1. Clydesdales

These gentle giants are intelligent and have a merry temperament. They’re even great with inexperienced riders and small children.

2. Percheron

The Percheron is the one cold-blooded breed that may be able to compete in equine sports. Though not as athletic as other breeds, their intelligence and willingness to work can allow them to be competitive in jumping, dressage, and other mounted athletics.

Warm-Blooded Horses

As you might expect, a warm-blooded horse has a temperament somewhere between a hot-blooded and a cold-blooded breed. The majority of horse breeds fall into this category, and they generally have a calm demeanor, while still being able to exert large amounts of energy when needed. Here are the most common breeds in this category:

1. Quarter horses

These popular rodeo horses are calm and gentle, but are highly intelligent and easy to please as well. They don’t spook easily, making them great horses for cattle work. Though they stand a little shorter than some breeds, they’re still top competitors in many equine sports.

2. Friesians

These beautiful and elegant horses are intelligent and willing to work. They’re popular dressage horses because they show well in an arena.

3. Appaloosas

There’s not much that can spook an Appaloosa. They’re level-headed and courageous horses with docile temperaments. They’re popular workhorses, but can also be found in the competitive realms of jumping, dressage, and racing.

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Trail Riding — Top 5 Things to Keep in Mind

Trail riding is a lot more enjoyable if you put safety first. You should always keep in mind the safe practices and always exercise a good common sense. These are important because your instructor will not be by your side to guide and help you all the time. Also, you would want to ride on your own eventually, which is a fulfilling experience.

Here are the top 5 rules all riders must follow the trail.

1. If you go trail riding, always inform someone where you plan to go and when you plan to return. On a trail ride, it is not surprising if you or your horse becomes ill, lame, injured, get lost, or get stuck. Anything can happen on a trail ride and when it does, at least, one person will notice that you still have not returned. If something unexpected happens, help will come, and you will be found because you have told someone where you planned to go.

It is always advisable that you ride with someone else if you are an inexperienced rider, and you want to go to an unfamiliar place. A child should always be accompanied by an adult rider in trail riding. If you are an experienced rider, and you want to go trail riding alone, always bring with you a communication device as a fully charged cell phone. This way you can call someone in case of emergency.

2. Always bring with you a hoof pick and a pocket knife. A hoof pick is used when your horse gets a stone lodged into its frog. If you don’t get the stone off its hoof and let it continue to walk, its hoof will get very sore. The pocket knife is very useful in cutting off vines or thick brush that can get wrapped around your horse’s leg or hoof, which usually happens if your horse has shoes on.

3. Horses cannot discern playtime from work time, so do not teach them to become lax. As much as trail riding is relaxing, you do not want your horse to relax as it may do it even during work. This will cause for you to lose control over your horse, which you do not want, especially when trail riding.

For example, you allow your horse to grab bites of grass as you walk along the trail. Next time when it will be on the way to a show ring gate, it will get aggressive and plunge its head down at every blade of grass. You will be left momentarily without any control, and you do not want that.

4. Without creating unnecessary anxiety among the horses, always ride a respectful distance from the other riders. Horses always communicate with each other, which can sometimes lead to violence. This is why you have to keep at least one horse length between you and the next rider in front of you. But, because of their herd instincts, you should not do anything that will cause them to think that the herd is getting split up.

5. Be careful when trail riding on a terrain you are unfamiliar with. Do not run through an open field that is not familiar to you. You never know when you are walking on an overgrown ditch or a covered up hole that your horse could stumble or, worse, get its leg broken.

There are several other rules a rider must follow when trail riding. But, these are the top 5 rules to keep you safe, so you get the most out of your horseback riding experience.

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Saddle Care

Buying a horse can be an exciting idea. Horses are wonderful animals and provide great pleasure and entertainment. The care of a horse, and associated equipment shows the value you affix to your horse and yourself as well. Proper horse saddle care is not only a sign of pride but also self-respect. Saddles are usually made of leather and are designed to last for long. As it’s common with any leather product, horse saddles need regular care and maintenance, so as to preserve their original value. If saddles are not given the required attention, they will rot and deteriorate rapidly. In addition unkempt saddles portray a bad picture of yourself. Basic saddle care involves thorough cleaning of the saddle with warm water, oiling and protection against extreme conditions of temperature and moisture.

Cleaning your saddle on regular basis is an important routine in saddle care and maintenance.You can opt to clean your saddle on weekly or monthly basis.This will be determined by the frequency with which you use your saddle. Cleaning on monthly basis is recommended as it helps to keep maintenance minimal and prevent the hefty workload of undoing long term neglect.Before you start cleaning your saddle, you need to dismantle the saddle first. Detach the metal parts and soak those that are safe to soak in water.Clean the leather parts using a brush and soapy water.Your cleaning should be thorough and detailed. Pay much attention to the hard to clean areas such as the nooks and crannies, where molds and dust are likely to accumulate. All the straps,
harnesses and metal pieces that are attached to the saddle core should be cleaned.

Once you are done with the cleaning, you need to apply a leather protector to the leather of the saddle and oil all of its metallic parts that have been allowed to dry well. The oil is spread properly over the entire saddle without allowing it to dry in drips. After oiling your saddle and properly drying off the other parts, you can reassemble your saddle. Make sure that no part is left out when you are reassembling your saddle.

Apart from the cleaning, you need to check on other aspects of your saddle care.Moisture and high temperature have adverse effects on your saddle. As such, you need to ensure that your saddle remains protected against these parameters.Moisture is known to cause molds while high temperatures in the surrounding leads to cracking of the saddle.Oiling your saddle frequently will protect it against high humidity whereas regular conditioning of your leather will prevent drying.

When you are not using your saddle and you think its time to store it, avoid storing it in non-porous coverings such as polythene bags.Materials containing turpentine, alcohol or mineral spirits should also be avoided, owing to the damage they are likely to cause on the leather making your saddle. Also, you should avoid storing your saddle in a place where it’s likely to come into contact with waxes and silicone.These two impair the ability of the leather breathe hence the need to shun them.

Saddle care and maintenance has both aesthetic and functional purposes.So take care of your horse saddle to remain neat and enjoy while on top of your horse.

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Learning the Basics of Horse Care

Owning a horse requires a lot of responsibilities including horse care. Horse care requires attention from the owner to ensure the horses optimal health and long life. There are various aspects of horse care such as age, breed, activity level, climate, and underlying health issues. All of these affect the way the owner needs to care for his or her horse.

The horse usually live outside and needs enough exercise to satisfy its physical needs. These must be provided to your horse or else it might develop stable vices. Stable vices are a bad habit that can develop out of boredom or hunger, excess energy, isolation or emulation of other horses with stable vices. Examples of which are wood chewing, biting, wall kicking, pawing or digging, bolting feed, etc.

Since a horse needs exercise, it requires a room where it can exercise and run. A horse must be provided with a sufficient pasture, preferably one to three acres per horse, although the area may vary in climate. The land must be hazard free, free from trash and poisonous plants, and there are no holes in the fencing. It is also recommended that your pasture has trees that can provide good shade for your horse, if not provide an artificial shelter.

Horses need shelter to protect them from the sun, rain and wind. The shelter must be large enough to fit your horse. The most common shelter for a horse is box stalls. Box stalls differ in sizes depending on the cultural traditions, the breed and gender of the horse, and any special needs.

Box stalls contain a layer of absorbent bedding such as wood shavings or straw. Compared to wood shavings, straw is less expensive. However, wood shavings are cleaner and more hygienic to use.

A horse generates about 15 pounds of manure and many gallons of urine every day, so regular cleaning of its shelter is advised. It is recommended that the shelter and beddings of your horse be cleaned daily. If the horse is stabled all day, the shelter must be cleaned three times daily. It is also important to disinfect the stable to avoid health risks.

Horses need sufficient food and water. They have to be fed two or three times daily unless when they are on full-time pasture. They also need adequate water, about a minimum of 10-12 gallons per day. Make sure that the horses water bucket always has water in it.

Daily cleaning and grooming of the horse are recommended. This will keep your horse healthy and clean. Make sure that its coat is healthy and its feet clean. Cleaning the hoof and weekly hoof check will prevent hoof diseases such as hoof fungus. It will also help prevent lameness.

Horses need a regular veterinary care, which includes vaccination, parasite management, deworming and dental care. Vaccinations are given to protect horses against a number of sicknesses. Parasite management, which includes deworming, is done to get rid of the parasites and reduce parasite infection. Horses teeth also need to be checked as uneven teeth and sharp edges may cause problems to horses when eating or it is being ridden.

Breeds of Horses

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Horses have existed to serve humans since times immemorial, whether it was for load carrying, transportation,sports and leisure. Originally, they were used for transportation, but later on, a breed of horses called Walers was produced using selective breeding. They offered a combination of speed and strength.

Today, there are various breeds of horses available in the world, and each is used for a different purpose including, leisure horseback riding, endurance riding, trail riding, work, jumping, dressage, and other purposes.

Arabian – These horses are genetically pure. They are the pretty basis of all light breeds. They are recognized for their intelligence, affectionate and gentle disposition and stamina. They are trustworthy and have pleasant nature that is why they are a well-known pick for therapeutic riding, show ring, dressage, path rides, cutting, reigning and jumping.
American Quarter Horse – This horse was initially bred in the 17th century. The breed may perfectly be the oldest of all the horse breeds. These horses usually worked in farms whereby they had been taught to haul lumber and other products, spherical up cattle, utilized to pull carriages and a lot more. This breed is also recognized for its burst of speed in small distance or quarter mile.

American Paint Horse – They are descendants of horses brought over by the Spanish conquistadors. American Paint Horse are friendly, intelligent and hardworking. It is a fitting horse for the ranch, trail riding, rodeo, and shows and as mounts for little ones.

Miniature Horse – Miniature horses are mild, intelligent and curious. They are most effective kept as home pets.

Thoroughbred – Thoroughbreds is believed to have descended from the line of a few Arabians imported to England in the 17th and early 18th century. These horses are quick and are the ideal choice for racing and equestrian sports activities that contact for speed.
Suffolk horses are enormous, and they’re symmetrical with their colors. The legs are strong and short, and they have excellent feet that can be shod or unshod. Their heads appear intelligent, with strong, arching necks. They stand about 16.1 hands, but some are larger. They have a great disposition and natural temperament. Suffolk’s are willing to work and have great endurance.
Morgan – The Morgan was named soon after its owner, Justin Morgan. The breed is almost certainly a blend of a Thoroughbred and a Welsh cob. All Morgans can be traced to the a few sons sired by Justin Morgan. The breed is a racing and functioning horse.

Tennessee Walking Horse- This horse is a cross breed of Saddle reds, Morgan’s, Thoroughbreds, Narragansett Pacer and Regular reds. What tends to make this horse exceptional is its inability to trot but to do a gait described as a running stroll.

Welsh Pony and Cob -This is a horse breed that usually comes with cobs and ponies. This breed’s distinctive characteristics are its even temperament, stamina, and flowing gait.

Andalusian – This breed is also identified as Pure Spanish horse. It is a war horse and an lot coveted horse by the nobility. It’s sturdy factors are its compact and stable created its regal and stylish bearing and its thick mane and tail. This breed of horses is passive however really sensitive and intelligent.

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