Hot Water Soak

My husband has started taking reining riding lessons and not only is he new to the sport of reining he is also a novice rider. He grew up around horses and even worked in an equine vet clinic in high school. He played my loyal and faithful groom and trained 2 yearling longe-line horses (winning 3rd at the APHA World Show in Non-Pro Yearling Longe Line) but has spent little time in the saddle. So, thanks to his new found love of reining and many hours in the saddle he has some very sore muscles.

As fellow equestrians, I am sure you can all relate to sore muscles so I thought I would share with you an amazing remedy that helps ease the pain. There is nothing like a long soak in a hot tub to ease your aching muscles but if you add the following recipe (courtesy of an expert in Chinese medicine by way of www.goop.com) to your hot water you will be back in the saddle in no time.

Mix Together and Pour In A Hot Bath.

1 cup bath sea salt

1 tbsp almond oil or 2 tbsp whole milk

3 drops sweet orange essential oil

3 drops lavender essential oil

1-2 drops ginger essential oil

The sea salt will give your body much needed minerals. The sweet orange and lavender calms the nervous system and releases tension. The ginger warms the muscles and relieves pain. The almond oil or milk helps blend all the oils together.

Here is a picture of my husband on Iceman (the sorrel horse in the middle) waiting his turn during a reining riding lesson.

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Fleece Works

Much like Christmas my Valentine’s Day present from my husband had a horse theme. He bought me a Fleeceworks english saddle pad from Charlotte’s Saddlery that I first drooled over at their booth at The AQHA World Championship Show. After riding in this pad a few times I can honestly say I am hooked and if my horse could talk he would say he loves it!

Fleeceworks only makes saddle pads and so they put all their energies into creating the perfect saddle pads to maximize your contact while also maximizing your horse’s comfort. All fleeceworks pads are made from super soft, extra dense Australian Merino sheepskin. Sheepskin is known to prevent pressure points as well as maintain thermal balance. Studies have shown that in order for muscles to perform at their peak condition they must constantly cool themselves and sheepskin can hold up to 30% of its weight in water before it feels wet thus being able to remove excess heat away from the muscles.

I got the Field Hunter/Eventer pad with Perfect Balance Inserts. It has a front roll that prevents saddle slipping and it also features the Perfect Balance System’s internal pockets that can hold Visco-Elastic foam inserts to address fit or conformation issues. It is super soft and decadent! Available online at www.charlottes-saddlery.com and www.fleeceworks.com.

Woody wearing his new Fleeceworks saddle pad.

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Homemade Horse Care Remedies

If you have spent any length of time around horses and horse people you will come to realize that each horse person has their own way of doing things and rarely do you find common ground or agreement. This is never more true, then when you discuss home remedies, to one person they sound ridiculous and bizarre but to another they swear they work wonders. There is a great article on EquiSearch from Horse & Rider that looks at a variety of homemade horse remedies and their effectiveness by asking a vet their opinion of the practice. It is a wonderful article and worth taking the time to read. Enjoy!

You can access the article by clicking here.

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It’s Cold Out, What Now?

While much of the country remains in old man winter’s icy grip, it sure makes it hard to get motivated to go outside and work with your horse. The AQHA Journal had a great article in this month’s issue that had ideas for groundwork with your horse that can be done in their stall. All the groundwork tips are based on Richard Shrake’s resistance free training and he suggests that before you do any work you should get your horse in the “green light” position by releasing endorphins by using pressure points. These techniques relax your horse and are great to do before riding and work and can also be done in the horse’s stall when it is too cold to work.

Below you can see the chart that points out each pressure point. Gently massage these points to relax your horse and create a bond of trust.

A. In front of withers the direction the hair grows.

B. Top of tail dock in circular motion.

C. Both sides of poll in circular motion.

D. Right above eye in circular motion.

E. Brush back of hand softly over tip of ears.

F. Jowls in circular motion.

G. Gum above front teeth in circular motion.



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Sale Sale Sale

According to Punxsutawney Phil (the groundhog who saw his shadow) we have six more weeks of winter and according to the current weather reports I think he may be right! If your horse blankets are looking a little rough for the wear and you are not sure they will make it through the winter or you want to stock up for next year, now is the time! Schneiders, www. sstack.com, is having a huge winter blanket sale.

All their turnout and stable blankets are marked down to great prices. I own a few of their blankets and they are very nice quality, making them truly a steal at these prices. Check them out at www.sstack.com and keep your horse warm and cozy!

How to measure your horse to find the perfect size horse blanket:

Make sure your horse is standing squarely. Take a cloth tape measure and start at the center point of your horse’s chest and run the tape measure along the side of it’s body to the center of the horse’s tail. That measurement will correspond to a blanket size. Remember that the blanket should fit snugly to avoid rubbing. FYI This is much easier to do if your horse is tied and you have someone help you hold the tape measure, one at the chest and one at the tail.

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Static Eliminator

Just a quick tip today before the weekend arrives! I picked this up from a magazine and it really, really works! If that familiar crackling, popping sound followed by you and your horse getting shocked by static seems to accompany you ever time you take your horse’s blanket off, try mixing equal parts water and fabric softener in a spray bottle and mist all your blankets with the mixture. Your horse blankets will be static free and smell great.

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Rockin The Fleece

We have had a much colder (and wetter) than normal winter this year. Which means my horse has spent a fair amount of time bundled up in his blanket. When the temperature dropped into the single digits I bought Woody a fleece blanket to wear under his extra thick winter blanket to keep him warm as well as to keep him from growing hair.

I bought the SmartPak Fleece Dress Sheet from www.smartpakequine.com in a size XL, Woody wears a size 84 blanket. It is made from very soft, polar fleece with traditional nylon webbing trim. It has a buckle front and a belly strap but it does not have back leg straps, it instead has d-rings on either side of his butt and a string that is supposed tie the back end shut over his tail.

I opted out of tying the back closed, afraid it would rub his tail and cause hair breakage and for this reason the blanket does not really stay put, it slides around quite a bit even though it is the correct size and the belly strap is adjusted properly. Since he mainly wears it as a blanket liner it works pretty well because his blanket does a good job of holding it in place. Although there are times it hangs crooked on him, hanging way out of his blanket on one side which prompts my mom to say he looks like a rapper who wears really baggy pants and lets his drawers hang out!

The SmartPak Fleece Dress Sheet washes and wears well and seems to be of very good quality. Overall I like the sheet but get annoyed at all the sliding around it does and wish it had legs straps. It also builds up a lot of static so you have to make sure to use fabric softener when you wash it. I am planning on ordering another fleece blanket from Norman Equine Design that looks like it might have a better fit and leg straps, I will keep you posted and let you know which I like better.

Woody wearing his SmartPak Fleece Dress Sheet

From The Saddle Ranking: 3 out of 4 Horseshoes:

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