Fires, hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes or volcanic eruptions can occur without warning. Have you ever thought about what you would do if you had to evacuate your horse in an emergency? We hope that you never have to face an evacuation, but good planning is the key to quickly and safely evacuating your horse. Here are some suggestions to help prepare.
Getting organized is usually one of the top New Year's resolutions. One of the hardest things to organize is your time. After reviewing several articles from time management companies, here are some helpful tips for any lifestyle.
Finding that initial motivation to go ride can be a real challenge, especially in the winter. Here are some ideas to get yourself out to the barn and riding...
Riding in the snow is one of winter’s joys and is a nice change of environment for your horse. But if this is his first experience with snow, how will he react? It’s a different surface for him. It looks different and it feels different – this can be spooky for some horses. If it’s merely a dusting of snow, this might not be an issue. But once snow reaches his knees, it becomes a whole new experience.
Horses are pretty resistant to the cold, but if he wears a blanket in his stall and then suddenly finds himself “naked” as you begin to tack up, it can be a bit of a shock to his system. - Don't make him feel Naked and alone!
Before Santa Claus, traditional holiday gift givers used horses, not reindeer. Prior to Christianity, people celebrated a midwinter event called Yule (the Winter Solstice). During this period, supernatural and ghostly occurrences were increased, such the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky. The leader of the wild hunt is usually the god Odin, usually seen with a long white beard. He is also known by the Old Norse names Jólnir, meaning “yule figure” and the name Langbarðr, meaning “long-beard.” Odin rode his gray “horse” (the eight-footed steed called Sleipnir) on nightly rides and visiting people with gifts. Years later, Odin’s white beard became part of the new Santa Claus, his blue robe was changed to red, and his eight-footed grey horse became eight reindeer!
Riding in the cold is a challenge. You’re freezing as you begin riding, then overheated as you start your exercises, then cold again as you untack your horse. How to dress for these fluctuating temperatures? Wear layers that you can add and remove as needed. But make sure they are the right type of layers.
Instead of giving your horse access to the entire pasture during the winter, create a sacrifice area. A sacrifice area is a small enclosure such as a paddock, corral or pen that gives your horse a chance to get outside during the winter without damaging your pastures. It is called a sacrifice area because you are giving up the use of that small portion of land as a grassy area to save the rest of your pastures.
Safety is always a consideration when transporting your horse, but winter weather adds an extra challenge to trailering your horse. Consider these tips before starting out.
It’s important to know how much snow your barn, especially the roof, can handle. Do your research and find out your local snow-load requirements. These requirements are based on the climate and past snowfall, and can better inform you about the conditions that your barn will need to be able to withstand. While it’s a good idea for your barn to meet these requirements, it’s an even better idea to make your barn stronger and able to withstand more rigorous requirements, just in case.