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Horse Riding & Training

Category: Horse Health

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!

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