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Horse Riding & Training

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Horse Toys: Why They are Important

Just like other animals, horses are intellectual creatures to a certain extent. They are kept as pets and are used for horse racing which is quite a popular sport in the world today because of its widespread appeal to horse lovers and people who just have a knack for racing. But being the sort of animals they are, horses can get bored in their stalls which are used for eating, sleeping and grooming, while they are waiting for their owners to ride them it’s important that they are occupied with quality horse toys to basically kill boredom and help them relieve stall stress. Despite the toys being well-known to horse owners a percentage of owners don’t actually know the importance of stress and boredom relief toys.

There’s the existent “they’re horses not dogs” mentality, but dogs are not the only animals who love playing with toys almost as much as they love having fun with their owners.

Why do Horses Need Toys?

Horses have a natural desire to play and have fun , but some horses are more play-driven than others, and in that sort of instance they’re always keen on going for a ride but that constant desire for a ride can be quenched with quality horse toys. Horses like that tend to enjoy playing with oversized horse balls which are a bit like yoga balls, but harder, or they equally enjoy playing with ball-like toys that have a handle they can grab on to.

Horses need to feel comfortable wherever they are, ideally a horse should be kept in a conducive environment with a well-stocked stall and acres of space for going out for a ride. A conducive environment for your horse, helps to ensure that the horse is in tip-top physical shape and mental condition and getting your horse a couple of toys to play with only adds to their general well-being. Boredom doesn’t just affect we humans, it also affects horses and other intellectual animals.

There are some forage toys which help to provide your horse with some fun while eating as the toys make eating seem like a fun activity. Some forage toys are set up with holes then you fill the toy up with some horse food then the horse rolls the toy along hence releasing portions of the food. Horses enjoy playing with forage toys as they make meals last longer whilst providing an avenue for fun.

Horse toys can also be utilized efficiently as training tools for your horse as they help create mental alertness and promote fitness. You can set up a special obstacle course for your horse using an array of toys or even challenging games with the toys which spark some creativity from your horse in terms of completing challenges and courses.

The Benefits of Horse Toys

Horse toys have a variety of benefits to horses such as entertaining your horse, making training a fun affair or even getting your horse to eat properly. The toys ensure the general well-being of horses so if you’re a horse owner you should definitely look into getting a horse toy. Just a reminder though, you need to be patient in order to let your horse grow fond of his toy for, as is the case with other animals, they may take time to actually come to terms with the new addition to the family.

Sunscreen For Horses

Albino HorseHorses suffer from the very common skin condition, sunburn due to the heat, humidity and hot sun of summer. Horse owners know how miserable horses feel with sunburn, which is why you should know what to do about it.

While all horses get sunburned, it is the horses with white markings or rather, horses with pink skin under the hair coat, and light-colored horses get quite badly sunburned. They suffer most on the muzzle and around the eyes. On the contrary, dark coated and dark skinned horses usually only suffer from some bleaching where their black coat may get reddish, but nothing dangerous.

Sunburn is both painful and unsightly for horses. If your horse is suffering from sunburn, the first thing you do is obviously limit its exposure to sun especially in intense heat. In addition to this, the same sunscreen which you use for sunburn protection is effective for horses too. Though are also some sunscreen products meant specifically for horses, the sunscreen you use is also safe for your horse. Check the amount of protection the product offers

In fact, most of your horse’s grooming products like shampoos and conditioners, and fly sprays contain zinc oxide or sunscreen. So if you use these products on your horse, you are already providing some protection to your horse from the sun.

However you need to note how much protection each product provides as there’s a huge difference between the 8 or 15 SPF sun protection offered by some grooming products and the 30 SPF provided by actual sunscreen. However according to FDA, products with SPF 15 or higher are safe to use on your horse.

Bright colored sunscreen is better

While looking for sunscreen for horses, it’s worth trying out one for the brightly colored products popularly used at the beach. These products were introduced mainly because children were unwilling to have white noses and streaks on their faces.

So instead of white, these sunscreens are actually blue, pink, green or purple zinc oxide products. Of course, horses aren’t particular about the color of their nose, but the benefit of using this sunscreen on your horse is that you will be able to tell from a distance if the sunblock has worn off and needs reapplication.

It is important that you apply and keep sunscreen for horses on your horse for some time. However at times, your horse’s grazing in tall grass can end up removing most of it from its face. Even horses grazing in short grass may end up removing most for the sunscreen from its muzzle.

How to apply sunscreen on horses

Just like in humans, you also have to apply sunscreen on your horse about half an hour before sun exposure and reapply it every two hours. If you find it difficult applying sunscreen every two hours, at least reapply after exercising, after it rains and after bathing or grooming.

So instead of making your horse go through the trauma of sunburn, and then treating them for it, it is better to prevent sunburn in the first place by applying sunscreen for horses. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, even with animals!

Winter Horse Riding Boots

Horse Riding In WinterWinter can be a challenging time for both horse and rider. Extreme conditions mean that surfaces can become slippery from ice and lower temperatures mean extra effort to maintain the overall health of the horse. Horses benefit from the exercise, however, so it’s a great idea to have a winter riding wardrobe capable of carrying you through the riding conditions. Ensuring you have a good quality pair of winter horse riding boots is one of the most fundamental ways that you can stay safe and warm in the colder weather. Unlike other boots, winter horse riding boots are constructed with additional features to enhance you comfort by keeping your feet warm and dry. So, what are the benefits of wearing these boots? What features should you look for when buying them? Find the answers to these questions in this comprehensive buying guide.

Benefits

There’s no doubt that a quality pair of riding boots will provide the perfect finishing touch to your riding outfit. However, these boots provide so much more than just aesthetic appeal. Here are 3 reasons why you should seriously consider investing in them:

Provide Security And Protection From Injury

Accidents and injuries can happen any time while you’re horse riding. Every rider should therefore take appropriate measures to stay safe and in control at all times. Having wheel-fitting winter horse riding boots will not only prevent chafing on the lower part of your legs and feet, but also keep your ankle in a more stable position while you’re on the horse. In addition, the secure heels of these boots provide a solid stop for your feet, ensuring that they remain in the same position inside the stirrup. This is very important because if your foot moves around in the stirrup, or even slips through it, it might upset your horse or cause injury.

Provide Protection Against Weather Elements

The nature of horse riding exposes riders to a wide variety of weather elements like wind, rain and snow. Riding during the winter months increases your exposure to these harsh weather conditions. Luckily, having the proper winter boots will help keep your legs and feet warm and dry. The more comfortable you’re, the longer you’ll be able to enjoy your ride.

Act As A Barrier Against Undesirable Ground Conditions

On the trail or in the stable, ground conditions can at times be less than desirable. From horse feces to mud puddles, there are just so many things you wouldn’t want to step on. While wearing this type of riding boots may not be proper if the above conditions are extreme, they’ll provide you with an effective barrier if you happen to step on undesirable grounds.

What Features Do I Look For?

Insulation

Due to the extreme weather elements you’re exposed to during the winter months, it’s very important that your riding boots are insulated to keep your feet warm and dry. Most of these boots have more than 1 layer, usually an inner insulating layer and an outer layer. For optimal riding experience, choose a pair of boots that have any of these forms of insulation – microfiber, wool and other synthetic and natural materials.

Weather Proofing

Other than insulation, weatherproofing is another key feature you should look for when buying winter boots. The boots should be made from strong, weatherproof material to protect your feet from moisture.

Overall, having a pair of winter horse riding boots will certainly make your riding experience more enjoyable and fulfilling. When shopping, be sure to choose boots that are made of high quality weatherproof material, insulated and durable. This will go along way in increasing your safety and comfort as you ride.

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