How-To

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1. Consider having your horse tattooed, branded, or microchipped. Those with permanent identification will have a much better chance of reunion with the rightful owner, if found.

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Riding arenas have the potential to be a rider’s dream. And just like the horse’s training regimen, it all comes down to the foundation. There is some complex engineering involved in arena footing construction. If you are thinking of investing in building an arena, there are also some important factors to consider – factors that can influence either the advancement of your horse’s performance – or put him at risk for lameness or ligament/muscle injury.

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Fall fairs, circuit championships, and club awards banquets signal the end of another horse show season. So how did it go? Did your shows, rodeos, or competitive trail rides meet your expectations? For the majority of horse owners, the answer to this question will likely be no. Stuff happens. And so we look toward the next year. But with chilly fall and winter weather looming, we all need some goals to motivate us to get off the couch and out to the arena on those cold nights!

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Almost every owner will have to deal with an equine emergency sooner or later. A horse’s natural curiosity, a trail ride mishap, or turnout with herd mates can lead to all kinds of cuts, bruises, kicks, and bites. Scrapes, stone bruises, punctures, sprains, or sores can happen suddenly, and more serious conditions such as abscesses, colic, or bacterial infections can flare up with no warning.

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Nearly everything to do with horses seems to be continually rising in cost. Yet cutting corners in any way that might compromise your horse’s health and welfare is never the solution to saving money. So how can we add higher costs to what is already a tight budget, and how much further will our finances stretch?

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With the coronavirus pandemic expected to continue for an unspecified length of time, horse industry businesses have been considering how best to reduce the spread of the virus, maintain a healthy environment for staff, horses, and clients, while also operating effectively. In many operations, participants can easily maintain a physical distance of two metres, which provincial and federal governments continue to encourage to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19. However, some businesses have shared spaces — for example, tack rooms at boarding facilities — where riders and owners are more likely to touch the same surfaces. As such, riders, trainers, owners, grooms, transporters, professionals, and caregivers who work in the horse industry are struggling to figure out how to operate in these uncertain times.

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For most disciplines, the horse’s mane should fall on the right side of the neck. However, a mane might have a mind of its own and prefer to be on the left side, or maybe on both sides. I have always found that the best way to train a mane to lie flat on one side is to braid it and leave those braids in for a few days, or up to a week if possible.

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