Archive for the ‘Management’ Category

More books from my personal library are being added to the Buy One, Get TWO FREE page – some vintage, some New Old Stock, some just plain old NEW !

Visit the BOG2F page now.

Take a look – here are just a few of the latest additions.


a-horse-of-your-own complete-horse-riding-manual dark-horses-and-black-beauties essentials-of-horsekeeping george-stubbs-198w horses-for-dummies horses-hitches-rocky-trails riders-problem-solver the-horse-in-art the-horse

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Browse new and used horse tack and equipment at horsekeeping.com

Wool plaid cooler


A cooler is a lightweight, absorbent cover designed to help a wet horse dry slowly without getting chilled. Essential during cold or cool, breezy weather, these items are also valuable in hot times. Even when he doesn’t need protection from chilling, a cooler can help dry a horse more quickly by wicking moisture away from his hair and letting it evaporate from the outer surface of the cooler. Sometimes, during cold weather, frost will form on the outside of the cooler, a sure sign that it’s working! In the winter, you can layer two coolers after bathing a horse and remove the inner cooler once it has absorbed most of the moisture.

Click photo to purchase

Click photo to purchase

The typical cooler style covers the horse from poll to tail and hangs very long on the sides. It usually has a browband, two or more light tie straps under the neck, and a tail loop, but no surcingle or leg straps. This style is good for throwing over a horse, tack and all, after a workout to allow him to cool down while walking or untacking. Small size is 66 by 72 inches, Regular size is 84 by 90 inches, and Large is 90 by 96 inches.


Click photo to purchase

Coolers also come in a more fitted stable-sheet style, with one or more belly attachments, front closures, and possibly leg straps. Because this style is more secure on the horse, it’s better suited for a horse that’s unattended, such as a horse turned into a stall or paddock to munch hay after a bath or workout.

Click photo to purchase

Click photo to purchase

Coolers used on sweaty horses need to be easily washable, since the dirt and minerals from sweat remain in the material after the moisture evaporates. Since wool coolers, even when washed cold, are more prone to shrinking than synthetic coolers, you can minimize their trips to the washing machine by double-layering them with a more washable synthetic cooler next to the horse.


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Ten Skin Ailments to Avoid

Here is a brief primer on some of the most common skin problems that might plague a horse.

Rain rot is caused by Dermatophilus, an infectious microorganism from the soil that eagerly becomes established in skin cracks under a dirty hair coat during rainy weather. The painful, tight scabs that form on the horse’s neck, shoulders, back, and rump make him uncomfortable and unusable and require medication and bathing.

Seborrhea is a skin disease caused by a malfunction in sebum production and function, resulting in flaky skin.

Ringworm is a fungal infection affecting the skin and hair, characterized by round, crusty patches with hair loss. It is easily spread between horses via tack and grooming tools.

Photosensitivity of the skin (usually under white hair) can result from components of certain plants (ingested). The skin becomes red, then sloughs off.

Warts, most commonly on the muzzle of a young horse, are caused by the equine papillomavirus. As a horse matures, he develops immunity to the virus and the warts disappear. The same virus also causes aural plaque, a scaly condition inside the ear, which can become painful if flies are allowed to bite and feed inside the ears.

Sarcoids are common skin tumors with unknown cause. There are several types, mostly occurring around the head or the site of an old injury.

Thrush is a fungal infection of the hoof that thrives in moist, dirty environments.

Scratches (also known as grease heel) is a common term that refers to a general localized skin inflammation found on the lower legs of horses. The thick, chronic sores at the heels and rear of the pastern can be quite painful. Scratches are linked to an opportunistic fungus, but can be complicated by bacterial infection.

Ticks cause crusty scabs and can be disease carriers. Check the mane and tail carefully throughout spring and summer. Use rubber gloves or tweezers to remove ticks, which can carry Lyme disease that can also affect humans (see July Vet Clinic). Be sure to remove the entire tick. If the head is left in, it can cause a painful infection.

Lice are not common in horses unless they are poorly kept and crowded. Then lice can spread rapidly through a group. You’d find the nits (eggs) or the lice themselves along the midline of the horse, such as in the mane and tail head.


Take advantage of our Book Sale. Buy One and Get TWO FREE on this page. New books are being added weekly in both categories.


Here are a few added this week:


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From Cherry Hill’s Horsekeeping Almanac


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.


Here are a few added today


Haymaker's Handbook

Haymaker’s Handbook

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If you have a question about horse care, facilities, horse behavior or training, perhaps your questions has already been asked and answered on my Horse Information Roundup.
There you can browse by categories such as Hoof Care, Riding and Mounted Training or Horse Clothing just to name a few………

OR you can use the Horsekeeping search tool at the top of the page to type in a word or phrase and that will create a list of articles that contain that subject.

To get more in depth information, you can browse through my complete books list. Here is the complete chronology of my books and DVDs

and here is a place where you can look for books by category – the Book Barn.

Cherry Hill

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We have been lucky to have had 3 wonderful German Rottweilers, all from my sister’s kennels in Texas when she was raising the beautiful dogs. Rottweilers are working dogs.

Rheabach, Bob and Mocha were all special pals and great partners too. With exceptional dispositions and minds, they made the perfect guardian dogs, alerting us to odd happenings and being our personal protectors.

In addition, Rheabach was a natural puller. He was happy to pull a cart or sled to help us feed the pasture horses. You may have seen photos of him doing so in one of my books.

Here are some photos of the late great Rheabach, Bob and Mocha here on our place.

Bob, Mocha and Rheabach

Rheabach, Mocha, Bob

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You might be on one side or the other of the horse slaughter issue in the US – or perhaps at this time you are uniformed and/or undecided.  Here are some facts and an abbreviated timeline. Feel free to leave your suggestions for solutions here or on Facebook.

The slaughter of horses has never been illegal in the US at the Federal level. However, it has been illegal in California since 1998.

In 2005 legislation removed funding for the inspection of horses slaughtered for meat which essentially put the the horse slaughter plants out of business.

H. R. 2744—45
SEC. 794. Effective 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, none of the funds made available in this Act may be used to pay the salaries or expenses of personnel to inspect horses under section 3 of the Federal Meat inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 603) or under the guidelines issued under section 903 the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 1901 note; Public Law 104–127).

In 2007, the last operating horse slaughter house (in Illinois) closed.

Since then statistics show that just as many or more horses were slaughtered each year, the difference being that they were hauled to Canadian or Mexican slaughter houses.

In November 2011 legislation was passed that allows the USDA to once again fund inspectors of plants that slaughter horses, so there is the possibility that horse slaughter plants in the US could reopen.

With many unwanted horses in the US (a high percentage of those starving) and rescue and adoption programs filled to capacity (a few of those being the worst offenders regarding lack of care), what is the answer?

For more information:

Read The Unwanted Horse on the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) website. You’ll find some very interesting and detailed Q&As there.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners also has some informative articles on their site, namely

The Unwanted Horse in the US

The AAEP Perspective on HR 503

We horseowners can agree on one thing:

None of us want horses to suffer, whether from neglect or malnourishment by irresponsible horse owners or by inhumane treatment when traveling or being euthanized.

What are some positive solutions to this controversial and complex problem?

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Hello Cherry,

I recently put up a 36 x36 pen and shelter for my horse.  I live here in Golden Colorado where the soil is VERY much Clay.  We had a several inches of rain this past week, which is a considerable amount for our parts.  The pen got very muddy.  I spent several hours today mucking it and now doing research on what I should do for a better fix.  I saw your article on 3/8 minus pea gravel.  A couple of questions:

1. Some horse friends of mine suggest I use Granite Crusher Fines to aide in the drainage.   Is this suitable?

2. Whether I use Pea Gravel or Granite Crusher Fines, what is the recommended depth of the material I should go with?  2, 3 or 4 inches? 

BTW:  I’m also going to install a french drainage system as well. 

Many Thanks! 


Hi Shawn,

The French Drain is a good idea. Sloping the pens slightly away from the barn is helpful to manage drainage too.

I’m not personally familiar with Granite Crusher Fines but think they might be something like decomposed granite which we use here in northern Colorado.

We use decomposed granite under our stall mats and also under the 3/8- pea gravel in turnout pens.

So my answer would be yes and yes ! A tamped crushed granite base with 2-3 inches of 3/8- pea gravel on top.

Please feel free to post your results here. Thanks ! Cherry Hill

To read more about French Drains, pen footing and much more, refer to these books and DVD.

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Hi Cherry,

I’m a veterinarian, but not a horseman.  So I have been around horses, have treated them, but I can’t say that I know them well.  I recently will retire and want to spend time with my other animals as well as buy two horses.  Given my partner and I are beginners, do you ever help with finding two experienced and gentle horses for pleasure riding and for pets?  The farm I’m buying has 40 acres of pasture in vermont as well as excellent equestrian facilities.  If you don’t do this, do you know someone who does?  Thanks for any help.  Doug

Hi Doug,

Being in Colorado and you in Vermont………that would be tough.

BUT maybe if you took some lessons from an ARIA (American Riding Instructors Association) instructor in your area,


that would get you started……and then the instructor might be able to recommend some horses or other people to help you find horses.

Click on Find an ARIA instructor in the left column to get started………

It will take you to a list of Vermont instructors


Perhaps one is near you………best of luck.

And please let me know how this works for you……..

and if you haven’t read Horse For Sale, How to Buy a Horse or Sell the One You Have, you should. It is filled with valuable information for you as a potential buyer. Here’s the expanded table of contents.

Chapter 1 – Getting Ready to Buy a Horse 

The Benefits and Responsibilities of Horse Ownership
Sample Budget
Choosing a Horse
Choosing a Mentor

Chapter 2 – Factors in Selection 

Estimated Price Ranges
Selecting a Horse for an Event
Movement and Way of Going
Breed or type
Predicting Adult Weight and Height
Color and Markings

Chapter 3 – Methods of Buying  

Private Treaty
Breeding Farm or Production Sale
Terms and Conditions
Using an Agent
Finder s Fee
Where to Look
Buying Protocol
Buying Procedure

Chapter 4 – Buyer Exam  

Evaluating Conformation and Movement
Making a Visual Assessment
Conformation Components
Proportions and Curvature of Topline
Correctness of angles and Structures
Evaluating Potential of Young Horses
Attitude, Temperament, and Mental Powers
Conformation and Athletic Ability
Evaluating Movement
Movement Evaluation Process
The Natural Gaits
The Phases of a Stride
Terms Associated with Movement
Factors that Affect Movement
Lameness at the Trot
Level of Fitness
Stage of Development
Recognizing Defects
What is Ideal Movement?
Gait Defects
Defects in Travel

Chapter 5 – Evaluating Temperament, Behavior, and Training  

Signs of Vices and Bad Habits
Wood Chewing
Stall Kicking
Tail Rubbing
Dental Problems
Digestive Problems
Relationship with other horses
Attitude toward people
Vices, Description, Causes, Treatment
Bad Habits, Description, Causes, Treatment
Evaluating Ground Training
Evaluating a Horse s Riding Training
On the Bit?
The Test Ride
Summary of Buyer Exam
Horse Information Checklist

Chapter 6 – The Pre-Purchase Contract and Veterinary Exam   

The Pre-Purchase Contract
Notes about Items Covered in Contract
The Veterinary Exam
Pass or Fail?
Excepted Conditions
Be on the Lookout for These Conditions
Tests and Examinations
General Clinical Exam
Examination of the Limbs
Hoof Exam
Hoof Tester
Flexion Tests
Nerve Blocks
Neurological Exam
Laboratory Tests
Blood Chemistry Panel
Chemical Test
Endoscopic Exam
Reproductive Exam
Rectal Palpation
Approximate Charges
Trial Period

Chapter 7 – Paperwork and Legalities for the Buyer

Types of Insurance
What Type Do you Need?
Registration Papers
Brand Inspection

Chapter 8 – Alternatives to Buying  

International Buying
Shares, Syndication
Adopt a Wild Horse
Working Student

Chapter 9 – Getting Ready to Sell a Horse  

Finding a Niche for Your Horse
Identify the Buyer
International Sales
Establishing the Value and Price for Your Horse

Chapter 10 – Marketing a Horse 

Selling Through an Agent or Auction
Terms and Conditions When Consigning to Auction
Bulletin Boards
Farm Sign
Classified Ads
Direct Mail Flyer
Word of Mouth
Public Appearances
Display Ads
Advertising Terminology
Response to your Ads
Video as a Marketing Tool
Use of Videos in Selling Horses
Making a Video
Sample Shooting Plan
Include in Video Action Script
Video No-Nos

Chapter 11 – Presentation of a Horse for Sale 

The Horse s Appearance
The Handler s Appearance
The Facilities
Get a Fix on Buyer s Wants and Needs
Customer Selection
Showing a Horse to a Buyer
Liability During a Test Ride
Things that Kill a Sale
Things that Make a Sale

Chapter 12 – Paperwork and Legalities for the Seller  

Information Sheet
Transfer of Ownership
Registration Papers
Bill of Sale
Installment Sales
Purchase and Installment Agreement

Chapter 13 – Alternatives to Selling


Cherry Hill


Excellent suggestion!  Thank you so much.  In fact, one of the ARIA instructors, is in the same town as the farm I am purchasing. 

Thanks again!  I will send pics of my new friends once I get them, but I want to take my time to find the right pair.

Have a great rest of week.


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