hold him or anything though, so what can I do to keep him calm and quite so he doesn’t hurt me? I really can’t afford for a veterinarian to sedate him and do it for me
Ah yes, good luck haha! Your timing isn’t that bad, you actually shouldn’t clean sheaths too often as that area is usually self-cleaning. But it is good to check from time to time to make sure everything is clean. With your sensitive pony, I’d be sure to wear a helmet and nice strong boots just in case, and after that just use common sense and proceed slowly and carefully. Don’t stand directly behind the horse in case he kicks, instead face slightly sideways so you’re out of the line of danger. It’s a good idea to begin by gently sponging the inside of the legs first, just to gauge his or her reaction before venturing further and remember to talk reassuringly to your horse while you work. Also, try doing it after exercise or something so he’s nice and tired and won’t put up too much of a fuss. Now, if your pony is super sensitive already, it might be hard (and possibly dangerous if you’re on your own) to clean that area without sedating him. Also, it’s just generally a good idea to have someone more experienced help you the first time since it’s such a sensitive area. Do you have a trainer, another experienced rider, or a groom at your barn (if you have grooms) who you can ask to can help? Maybe you can get a quote from a vet as to how much it would cost, just to be sure you won’t be able to afford one coming out? Frankly, even having a parent come and help hold the pony is better than nothing.
Try lunging him before she rides, just to get out some excess energy and put him in the “working” mindset. Make ground poles a part of the normal flatwork— take him over them at the walk and trot (and canter if your friend feels ready) when you circle, change direction, etc. By making them “normal” for him, he’ll stop getting so worked up over them. When your friend jumps, try having her place a takeoff pole before the fence so it forces him to collect and balance rather than let him charge through the jump. I would also highly recommend working a few gymnastic exercises with him, I think it sounds like that would be really beneficial for him to teach him not to rush through fences. Remember that the rider has to be the one to pick the distance and cue the horse to slow down via seat, leg, hand, and voice. Your friend shouldn’t come to the fence until she’s straight and has the horse in her hand with a controlled pace, and then she should adjust her eye to look for the quiet distances that make the horse rock back and slow down. If he runs through a jump, halt him immediately afterwards in a straight line to back him off the fence a little, then jump it again and make him wait. I know it gets frustrating, but it’s important that your friend keep being patient with the horse and rewards him after he jumps quietly. Good luck to her! :)
You might be over-brushing— if you brush every day or very often, it actually thins out the mane and especially thins out the tail. What you can do is brush the dock of the horse’s tail with a dandy brush to get rid of some of the dirt and promote growth. You can also try loosely braiding the mane, and keep an eye on the horse to see if he’s rubbing his tail to cause it to thin out (if so, there are some things you can do to prevent that). Most of all, keep the mane and tail healthy, clean, and conditioned. The horse must also have access to certain nutrients that will help stimulate growth and shine as well, like omega fatty acids, zinc and copper, certain amino acids, etc. Also, as far as products go, I like MTG and Moroccan oil, but not Show Sheen for growth…it can strip the shine and clog the pores if used very frequently. Good luck!
Aw, congrats on getting your first horse!! I know it’s scary to think about everything that could go wrong because you want to protect your horse and your investment, but honestly stressing about the “what ifs” doesn’t serve any purpose besides freaking you out unnecessarily. Horses are funny animals, when they get hurt it’s usually do to something silly and random that you couldn’t have controlled, and because you can’t predict you shouldn’t waste time worrying about it. Just take all the safety precautions (mostly it’s just common sense) you can when it comes to turnout, riding, feeding, cooling down, etc., and you’ll have done your part. Most of all, worrying about what could potentially go wrong takes away the fun of buying a new horse, and that’s what’s most important! :)
Did someone say giveaway??
Hi guys! Yep, after reaching 14.6k followers I decided it’s time for another giveaway!! As some of you know, I’m an affiliate for Equirex and a brand ambassador for Spooks Riding, and so I figured it’d be nice to give some of their products some promotion while sharing them with one of you :)
The winner will receive a Spooks saddle pad in navy (what looks white in the photo is actually a really pretty glittery silver), and a pair of socks from Equirex (made out of merino wool to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter, plus they’re just cute). May also throw in a bag of horse treats or some other goodies from my local tack shop ;)
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No worries, that’s a super common problem. Timing is hard! I’m about to write a lot, so sorry in advance, but this is something I used to have trouble with as well! Set up your distance by having a powerful yet collected pace (you can ask for more speed or collection depending on your horse) so you have the option for either the smaller or more forward distance, and staying out in your corner without overshooting the turn (this is where looking towards your fence comes in). Focus on looking for the distance that accommodates your horse’s striding rhythm. Go around with a plan in mind of how you’re going to ride, but ride each fence individually and adjust accordingly as your horse gains energy or slows down or generally changes up his striding. Always think about your pace and how you’re using the ring- cutting corners, having your horse suck back against your leg, etc are all going to affect how well your distance works out. For the most part you want to look at the center of the jump, but for a diagonal fence I often find it helpful to look towards the outside wing to find a distance and balance afterwards.
Now, to actually see a distance, it helps to count your horse’s strides- you’ll be able to feel the movement underneath you, and count “1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, etc..” when you’re on a straight approach to the jump. As you get closer to the fence, you should be able to visualize a good spot for your horse to take off at- at that point you can count off “1, 2, 3” of your horse’s strides and then jump the fence. At first it’ll be rough and you might be incorrect a few times, but that’s to be expected. Count off out loud for the first few times so your trainer can correct you if you’re misjudging the distances. The point is to begin to get a feel for your horse’s striding, not to be perfect. Gymnastic exercises are also really helpful for developing your eye because it lets you and your horse just figure it out on your own.
Good jumping position comes from a strong core. By strengthening your muscles in and out of the saddle you’ll be able to engage your core and not collapse on your horse’s neck in an attempt to stay with the jump. Remember to stretch into your heels so you’re anchored, and over the fence flex your hips back slightly so you’re centered over the saddle while looking forward. Also, don’t give a huge release and throw your reins away so that your upper body just gets thrown forward.
I like Ivermectin, Pyrantel, Moxidectin, and Fenbendazole (you can find all on Smartpak, I believe). Usually I rotate through them depending on what I have on hand. You should do a worming treatment at least once every spring and autumn, and the rest of the deworming program should be based upon location and the horse’s own resistance to parasites….2-4 times a year is usually enough, but if your mini is less resistant you may want to do a rotating treatment every 2 months or so. For the summer months use a treatment for roundworm and and redworm, for spring/autumn try a treatment for tapeworm and roundworm, and during the winter use a dewormer aimed at redworm and roundworm. Sorry if this is kind of jumbled up haha, I’m super tired for some reason….hope it makes sense, good luck! :)
Hi there, thank you!! Absolutely, it’s a shame that many people don’t see the versatility that a lot of horse breeds have. Good luck with your standardbred! :)