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Spring or early summer  – the traditional time of year to give annual boosters. Depending on where you live, however, you’ll adjust the time to fit the arrival of insects that are the vectors that carry disease. Here, at 7,000 feet in the foothills of the Rockies, we rarely have mosquitoes and our stable-fly season doesn’t start until late summer. But in early spring we have our highest incidence of ticks, and we have a brief but intense horse-fly season. So, to be on the safe side, I usually vaccinate in May or June. Confer with your vet as to which vaccines are necessary for your locale and your horses and when is the best time to immunize them.

We are still continuing the Buy One and Get Two FREE book sale.

whole-horse-catalog

We are doing our annual spring cleaning of the barn and tack room and have discovered much horse tack that needs to find a new home. Most of it is brand new or used only once for a photo shoot.

If you are looking for bits, bridles, trailer boots, blankets, sheets, scrims and much more…………..browse our tack shop for great bargains on high quality items.

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Visual Exam

Overall stance and attitude.

As I approach the barn, does the horse have his head up, are his eyes bright, and is he eager for feed or is he lethargic, inattentive, or anxious?

Legs.

I look at the horse from both sides so I will quickly spot any wounds, swelling or puffiness.

Appetite.

Has the horse finished all of his feed from the previous feeding?

Water.

Is there evidence that he has he taken in a sufficient amount of water?

Manure.

Is the fecal material well formed or is it hard and dry, loose and sloppy, covered with mucus or parasites, or filled with whole grains? Are there at least three to four manure piles since I last fed? (six to eight bowel movements per 24-hour day is normal.)

Pen, shelter, or stall.

Are there signs of pawing, rubbing, rolling, thrashing, or wood-chewing?

Excerpt from Almanac-250w

I’m thinning out my personal horse book collection. Visit our website and you can Buy One and GET TWO FREE !!  Cherry Hill

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From Cherry Hill’s Horsekeeping Almanac

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THE HORSES’ DAY

5:00 a.m. Stand near feed spots

6:00 a.m. Eat

8:00 a.m. Walk over to the water tub for a drink

8:15 a.m. Return to the feed area to vacuum up the dregs

10:00 a.m. Exercise and training (this varies for each horse; some will be exercised in the afternoon), doze, or lay down

Noon Eat

2:00 p.m. Drink

2:15 p.m. Doze, lie down, or exercise and train

5:30 p.m. Stand near feed spots

6:00 p.m. Eat

8:00 p.m. Drink

8:15 p.m. Mosey or doze until dawn, keeping alert for unusual sights or sounds

Dexter’s Day

From Magner’s Standard Horse and Stock Book by D. Magner, 1916
“The following is the routine pursued with Dexter:

“At six every morning, Dexter has all the water he wants, and two quarts of oats. After eating, he is ‘walked’ for half an hour or more, then cleaned off, and at nine has two quarts more of oats. If no drive is on the card for afternoon, he is given a half to three quarters of an hour of gentle exercise. At one o’clock he has his oats again, as before, limited to two quarts.

“From three to four he is driven from twelve to fifteen miles; after which he is cleaned off and rubbed thoroughly dry. He has a bare swallow of water, on returning from the drive, but is allowed free access to his only feed of hay, of which he consumes from five to six pounds.

“If the drive has been a particularly sharp one, he is treated, as soon as he gets in, to a quart of oatmeal gruel; and when thoroughly cool, has half a pail of water and three quarts of oats, with two quarts of bran moistened with hot water. Before any specially hard day’s work or trial of his speed, his allowance of water is still more reduced.”

 

MY DAY

5:30 a.m. – Rise

6:00 a.m. Chores and visual exam

7:00 a.m. Breakfast

8:00 a.m. Work in office

9:00 a.m. Head to the barn for grooming, tacking up, training, and riding Noon Chores, then lunch

1:00 p.m. Work in office or barn, domestic duties, or sometimes take a nap in my recliner

2:00 p.m. Back to the barn

6:00 p.m. Chores and visual exam

7:00 p.m. Supper

8:00 p.m. Nightly movie or read a good horse book

10:30 p.m. Go to bed

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From Cherry Hill’s Horsekeeping Almanac

Almanac-250w

Shedding horses, green grass, the return of the meadowlarks . . . spring is here! When I go to bed each night, I am often rehearsing all the things I want to do the next day as I slip into dreamland, and when my feet hit the floor every morning, they are in high gear. This is the beginning of a new horse season and it can’t start too early for me.

Mother Nature, however, can bring some interesting events to the mix. We usually have our deepest and wettest snowstorms during March, April, and even May. So although I am revved, I always need a backup plan in place if the weather makes it unsafe or impossible to train or ride.

The horses are all brought in from winter pastures in March, if not before, to allow the land to rest and the plants to grow. Each horse has his own separate sheltered pen. I bring the horses back into work one at a time, starting with a grooming program. I might vigorously groom a horse daily to remove as much of the shedding hair as possible, or in some cases, I might bathe a horse in early March and give him a body clip. (See more about body clips in December.) Until a horse is 95 percent shed out, I usually don’t put a sheet on him. Then I either give him a turnout sheet or a fly sheet, depending on the weather, to protect his coat.

The horses are still on a 100 percent hay ration, but I cut back a bit to help them start to lose their winter fat and hay belly if they have one. Because they are in pens, they require exercise, so I review in-hand and longeing to get them back into work mode.

I pay attention to each horse’s specific needs for conditioning and adjust rations as needed.

Horses in training are kept shod, and even some that are not in training are kept shod to protect their hooves from our abrasive Rocky Mountain terrain. It is great having a resident farrier!

This time of year, the horses are fed three times per day, at 6:00 a.m., noon, and 7:00 p.m. The seniors are still getting their beet pulp and supplements, and the rest of the horses receive beet pulp with additives as their level of work dictates.

Spring makes us all feel great. I’m spending lots of time outdoors. I always wear a broad-brimmed hat, bandanna around my neck, gloves, and long-sleeved shirt. This is mainly to protect my eyes and skin from sun damage. I often find that from this time of year through fall, I get plenty of varied exercise from chores, grooming, training, riding, mowing, and facilities maintenance tasks, so the indoor exercise equipment gets a little dusty over the summer. The early mornings and late afternoons can still be a bit chilly, so mainly for my horse’s sake, I try to do vigorous training and riding either mid-morning or mid-afternoon, giving them plenty of time to cool out thoroughly before chilly evening temperatures.

 

Visit our Good Horse Books site for new, used and collectible horse books – Buy one and get TWO FREE.

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Here are a few added today

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Haymaker's Handbook

Haymaker’s Handbook

Cherry Hill is thinning her personal horse book library. I will be listing the books for her – from vintage to new –  on the Horsekeeping.com website

Right now, I have it set up for you to buy one and get 2 books FREE. There is no additional shipping charged on the two FREE books.

I hope to be adding new selections each week so bookmark that page and help yourself. Here are some examples…….good reading and riding…………Paula, manager at http://www.horsekeeping.com

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$2.99 for the eBook during October 2015

 

http://www.storey.com/freshpicks/

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