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  • Horse Care – Health and Grooming

    Best Horse Care Tips

    Grooming

    Overall grooming is likely going to be the area you’ll spend the most amount of time with your horse. Tending to shoes, main, tail, and grooming their coat. There’s various horse grooming tools on the market. You’ll need to find a tool that works well for you and you’re comfortable using.

    Knowledgeable horse owners know how important proper hoof care is. Most horses should have their hooves trimmed at least every three months. A good farrier will be able to shape and level the feet to reduce cracking and splitting. Some horses need to be shod, especially if they will be ridden often on hard or rocky surfaces. Foals need to be trimmed also and it is important that they learn to stand quietly while the farrier works on them.

    horse-grooming

    Feed

    Some people believe that all a horse requires to remain healthy is to have access to either grass in the summer or hay in winter. There is really much more to horse care than just making sure they have enough to eat; although adequate food is absolutely necessary.

    Consideration must be given to the age of the horse – foals and young horses that are growing need feed with enough calories as well as essential nutrients. Adding a feed supplement with vitamins and minerals is important during the growth years.

    Horses who have reached their full growth potential often do very well with only good quality grass hay or pasture. Some horses will get too fat if allowed access to abundant grass 24 hours a day, so their turnout time may need to be restricted. Horses that are in training or heavy use are likely to need extra calories in order to maintain a healthy weight. No ribs should be visible on a healthy horse in good condition, although it should be possible to feel the ribs to ensure the horse is not overweight.

    Veterinarian

    Senior horse have issues that may make it difficult for them to maintain good health. A veterinarian should check their teeth for sharp points that could make eating difficult for them.

    If an older horse is thin or losing weight, it may not be eating properly because of pain. The owner should have its teeth checked by a vet who can use a procedure known as “floating” to remove any sharp points or hooks.

    Chiropractic

    Many horse owners also provide chiropractic care for their horse. They feel that is an important necessity when it comes to equine health and overall well being.

    Disease

    Horses are susceptible to several serious diseases if they are not vaccinated. Foals over the age of six months should get an initial vaccination and booster for flu, eastern and western encephalitis, tetanus and rabies. An annual booster is required to ensure ongoing protection.

    Horses are also at risk from parasitic worms, so they should be wormed on a program using a rotating protocol. Using the same De-worming product over and over can reduce its effectiveness and the horse will become immune to the medication.

    I hope you find these equine tips helpful.

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  • Basics of Thoroughbreds – Birthdays and Naming Race Horses

    stallion-white

    The Breed

    Thoroughbred ancestry will be traced all the way back to the original foundation sires and named after the respective owners:

    •  Darley Arabian – Thomas Darly
    • Godolphin Arabian – Lord Godolphin
    • Byerly Turk – Capt. Robert Byerly

    These men imported stallions to England in the 1700’s from the Middle East. This resulted in an initial stage in the development of the Thoroughbred racehorse.

    A breed that can carry weight while maintaining a sustained speed for long distances.

    There is quite a history dating back to before the US Revolutionary War, thoroughbred racing was introduced into colonial America.
    Today’s ‘Jockey Club‘, formed originally in 1894 is the breeding registry for Thoroughbreds in all of North America. They register as many as 23,000 foals each year.

    The Jocky Club also journals and maintains the ‘American Stud Book‘. This book was published initially in 1873.

    Thoroughbred Birthdays

    horse-foalThoroughbreds throughout Northern America and the UK, all celebrate birthdays collectively, January 1st. A newborn is called a foal. Once it’s weaned, usually in the fall, it’s referred to then as a wean-ling. On the first day of the next calendar year, the horse will turn one, regardless of what day it was born. It is then referred to as a ‘Yearling’. The young thoroughbred will be eligible to race after its second birthday.

    The male is commonly referred to as a ‘Colt’. They’re not referred to as horses until after they turn 5. Young females are called, ‘fillies’, as well up to their fifth birthday when there then called mares. Parents of a ‘Fillie’ or foal are referred to as the ‘Sire’, and ‘Dam’.

    How They’re Namedarabian-foal-thoroghbred

    To avoid duplication in naming the race horses, the Jockey Club governs naming processes of Thoroughbreds. In the US, the process involves the submission of proposed names to the club for approval. Various restrictions govern this naming process. For example, there is a maximum 18 character rule (including spaces and punctuation). In addition, names used for some famous horses, like Secretariat, would not be approved.