Summer Newsletter 2013
I hope this finds you enjoying longer and greener days as summer comes into full swing. This being the preferred riding season for so many, there are considerations in dealing with heat and insects.
A few points about horses and summertime:
• Be sure your horses continue to have unlimited access to ample clean water. A dollop of molasses will make the water more enticing for those less-inclined-to-drink horses- old endurance trick
• Horses will sweat more in the summer and in work. Be sure to have loose salt and minerals readily available free choice
• Provide some kind of shade to give your horses relief from that intense penetrating sun
• Do your horse’s feet need attention? They grow faster in the summer
• This is also a good time to have a thorough dental exam performed on your horse if you haven’t done so already. Summer and fall are the seasons for weight gain for older horses. Deterioration in health and body condition of older horses can often be traced to improper dental care so they should receive particular attention
• Not all horses require the same treatment for worming and vaccinating. The hard reality is that we may be removing beneficial flora when we worm. The current thinking is to have a fecal sample analysis and act accordingly. Many horsemen do not vaccinate, ever. A frank discussion with your vet on such matters may end up being of long term benefit to the proper health of your partner
Summer riding can vary dramatically from downright hot to quite cool mornings, especially here in the west. Horses are almost always a bit frisky in the cold and my 7 Step Safety System takes the ‘fresh’ off the horse. Knowing your horses well, problems can be noted and dealt with prior to riding. Sometimes our horses just aren’t quite right and better to find out and act accordingly before or instead of mounting up.
There are two types of flies: those that breed in manure, and those that don’t. For flies that don’t breed in manure, such as horseflies, the best protection for your horse are repellents. Spraying lightly on a daily basis and using ointments or gels around the eyes and on and inside of ears works best. Switch them up routinely to avoid resistance.
Manure-breeding flies like the common house fly or the stable fly, can be minimized by removing or covering manure piles with dirt. Composting the manure breaks it down quickly into a usable form, thereby turning the lemon into lemonade!
Consider fly traps and Fly Predators, the tiny insects that feed upon fly larvae can reduce the problem dramatically.
Those first rides of the spring and summer should be fitness rides, not marathons! It doesn’t take too many rides to help our horses muscle up. And it’s never a bad idea to do some stretching and strengthening ourselves as a fit rider is much appreciated by all parties and especially our beloved horses.
If your horses live in hilly country and are active, they’ll most likely be maintaining a reasonable level of fitness. Conversely, if your horses live in a flat paddock and aren’t moving or exercising much, be fair about your riding program. I truly believe the equestrians who get into the mind and body of their horses are the most competent and successful. So pay close attention and have empathy for the creatures that have captured our hearts.
ASSEMBLING YOUR TEAM OF PROFESSIONALS
Just as we surround ourselves with competent doctors, dentists, dermatologists, etc., we need to do the same with our horses. Locating your team of competent equine professionals is really important to your peace of mind and your horses’ well being. Amazing as it sounds, not all vets, dentists, and farriers are comfortable around horses. I’ve found that it pays to ask around and find the ones that are and the difference is night and day. I’ve seen horses scatter far and wide when even the sound of the vet or farrier’s truck is within hearing because the last encounter wasn’t so pleasant. So do your homework. Talk to other horse folks. Ask for recommendations at your local feed store.
Alternative healing modalities are becoming increasingly recognized. Chiropractors, massage therapists, and cranial sacral workers are being taken seriously and in many cases doing some fabulous work and healing. Remember that a sore horse is an unhappy and possibly dangerous horse. I refer such professionals worldwide from my vast database. Here at Dances With Horses we’re happy to help you find the best of the best. Contact: Info@horsewhisperer.com.
KNOW YOU, KNOW YOUR HORSE
Improving the relationship between humans and horses is many times very complex. There are many facets to a perfect union and understanding your own personality along with the horses unique personality is one part of being successful. One of our Accredited Instructors “Marry Morrow” has teamed up with Eunice Rush to write the book “Know You, Know Your Horse” published by Trafalgar publishers. In their book they explain all four “social styles” or personalities, their modifiers and variables seen and unseen which result in behaviors that we must deal with every day. Do you wonder why your children are so different from each other ? Do you have a horse that struggles to stand still or one that seems lazy and doesn’t like to go? Personality dictates the answers to these questions.
Understanding how we as humans learn and how to connect with our horses is just one of the helpful techniques you will learn from the book. Along with learning how to purchase a horse that matches your social style, they also explain how to train your horse with an understanding of how he learns. The book also has chapters on pain, saddle fitting and working with abused horses. You can go to www.ridesafe2day.com to purchase your autographed copy.
You can also download questionnaires from the book at http://www.horseandriderbooks.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=KNYOKN&Category_Code=WNEW and download for free the human social style questionnaire and the horse personality questionnaire
Facebook page –KnowYouKnowYourHorse
VIDEO OF MONTH CLUB
Our video of the month club is a logical introduction to Frank’s Gentle Solutions approach. Beginning with the award winning DVD- Discover the Horse You Never Knew, Frank’s 7 Step Safety System is the logical first step and establishes a solid foundation for the remaining DVD/Book library that arrives conveniently each month for a full year. Absorb and apply the information of each instalment during the month at your own speed. By year’s end you won’t believe your relationship with your horses!
WHITE STALLION WEEK LONG CLINICS
Jim Rea and I have conducted clinics at White Stallion Ranch for the past five years in the spring and fall. With 130 horses we’re able to find just the right fit for our students. From experienced horsemen and women to novices seeking to gain confidence and improve their horse handling skills, the results are amazing as our students emerge walking tall and quite pleased with themselves exuding heightened confidence.
There does not exist a more well-run family dude ranch. White Stallion Ranch is truly a class act!
Don’t you deserve a week of pure indulgence delving into your passion?
Jim and I will be conducting our next week-long clinic at White Stallion Nov 10-17, 2013.
“I brought more back from Jim & Frank’s March clinic than I even realized. It was a life-changing experience in so many ways.” Paula Howe- New Mexico
From the Whole Gang at Dances With Horses- Wishing you and yours a wonderful and safe riding season.
Remember- The Long Way is the Short Way AND Your Success is our Success,