Equine Tips and Facts
(Includes Everyday Tips & Seasonal Tips)

No smoking! Ever! Post signs and enforce them at all times.

Winter Tips

Of course the #1 Winter tip would be adequate shelter.


Horse owners should not depend on snow
as a water source and should provide continuous access to fresh water at all times.

Not only is access to water that is not
frozen essential, but the temperature of the water is important too.
Horses will consume 40 percent more warm (40 degrees Fahrenheit)
water than water at near-freezing temperatures. Warm
water will increase the volume of water consumed and decrease the
risk of large colon impaction.


The enemies of winter are rain and snow combined with wind.
The hair is at its insulating best when it is dry and fluffed. It is at
its insulating worst when it is wet and plastered against the horse's
skin. When that happens, the hair is no longer capable of warding off
cold and holding in body heat.


Some horses can get by very well with a 3 sided shelter while others need more.
Some old-timers need a better shelter than they did when they were young.

Don't retire your old friends to a pasture board situation when they have been stalled their whole life.
Then think boy he sure went down hill fast, poor fellow. Or its a good thing we retired him when we did.
Don't get me wrong, I have old-timers out in my pasture but I do also have a nice warm barn
for bad weather and they also have shelters in the fields. We even insulated our barn several years ago.
I do believe that the pasture is the best place for almost every horse at any age
~ just remember ~ cold affects all living creatures.

Tony, my 31 year old Arabian might not be out all day on bitter days
but he does go out everyday for at least a little while.

To Blanket or Not ~ My rule is, if they are shaking I put on a blanket.
I don't like to blanket horses until they need it. I would like them to get a natural coat
and then if they are cold I can blanket them. One year Tony had 3 blankets on
through a bad stretch of weather but last year he never wear one.


Summer Tips

Of course the #1 Summer tip would be adequate shelter or shade from the beating sun,
and should provide continuous access to fresh water at all times.


Sudden Salivation in Horses

In the muggy, wet weather of midsummer, clover may get black
patch disease, which is caused by a mold that also produces a potent
agent that causes sudden salivation in horses. Recovery is uneventful
and rapid when the diseases clover is removed, but severe
consequences are possible with prolonged exposure.

If your horse has sudden salivation in late summer there are several plant that cause it
and all of them have the potential to be very serious.

Lightning Hazards

Don't leave horses out in the pasture during a lighting storm
as lightning usually hits the highest spot and is attracted to body heat.

Ground the electric fence transformer to prevent barn fires
from a strike along the fence line that follows the circuit to the transformer in the barn.

Pasture Care

We regularly mow the pastures to keep the weeds down.
Its amazing that so many people think that if its green horses can eat it,
as horses eat the grass gets short and the weeds get bigger and stronger.
A lot of the seeds on weeds are on the top so if you mow regularly
you can get a few of them before they go to seed.

I also dig up with a spade shovel all the thistle, burrs and some of the other weeds and burn them.

I like to feed the wild birds,
but I also like a pasture free of weeds.
I don't want to plant thistle and other weeds so
I only feed cracked corn and sunflower seeds.

Trail Riding Tips

Dog tags aren't just for dogs....
Consider having a dog tag made for your bridle; if your horse gets away from you,
this is where someone will hold a horse, improving the chance of it being discovered.
Put the horses name, your name, phone number and alternate emergency number on it.

For those that board their horses ~ the phone number of the stable that you board
would be one of the numbers to include as it wouldn't do as much much good for
the tag to give your home phone number as your obviously not home.
The tag would also identify your tack at the stable.
This Tip is from ~ Carol


Suggestions to carry with you on the trail ~ a pocket knife and a hoof pick.
Wire cutters if you get tangled in old barb wire fence lines.
A lead rope if something breaks or you find a runaway horse without even a halter.


If you carry a phone on your rides don't attach it to your saddle or put it in your saddle bags~
If your horse leaves you in the dust you would be much happier if your phone was on your person.
Another Tip From ~ Carol

Don't leave halters on horses especially when turned out.
If they can't find something to get hung up on they will get hung up on each other and don't tell me that would be impossible because I can tell you from experience that it is, my young and playful miniature stallion was playing with one of the big boys and somehow got his leg stuck in the halter of the only horse with a halter on. Thunder's well fitting cotton breakaway halter did not break away, if you want to read more about it go to my Equine Broken Legs Page

I know of another horse that was in her safe stall and somehow got her halter hung up on a screw eye in the isle just outside of her stall - if she had just put her head forward it would have slipped off but she must have panicked and fought it, braking her neck.

All light bulbs should have a metal mesh cage around them.
Not only is the cage to keep horses from biting or breaking the bulb,
but it also helps to prevents straw or hay from landing on a hot bulb
and setting it on fire.

My Jamaal likes to play with everything - when I saw him reaching for the bulb
like it was an apple, I realized that I had forgotten to put cages on the lights.

Stolen Horses

Rustling is Not a Thing of the Past
And Can Happen in Broad Daylight

Be prepared before it's to late:
Keep recent color photos of your horses ~ All sides, scars, markings, tattoos, freeze-brands and brands.
Know where the auctions and slaughterhouses are located for at least several hundred miles.
Wrap padlocked chains around both ends of your gate.
Keep Guard Dogs and Post No Trespassing!

Don't think that just because your horse has an implant, tattoo, freeze-brand or brand that your horse is safe
and wouldn't go through a slaughterhouse ~ Owners can send "beloved" and valuable horses to slaughter
after they have lost their sparkle and or value. Slaughterhouses and auctions do not routinely scan horses
for chips or check for brands. If you can, go to the auctions yourself.

If your horse is stolen:
File a report with the local police, then call the local Dept. of Agriculture's Equine Section. Contact or visit equine auction and slaughterhouses. Your state Dept of Agriculture should have a list of all these facilities. Send photos directly to the facilities. Have a complete description of your horse, with age, sex, height, color, markings, tattoos, brands, scars, injuries, and other identifiable traits or marks. Put the word out on Internet Equine Newsgroups, they can network the continent. Post photos on stolen horse sites. Keep Looking!


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This site was created in 1999-2012 by A. Olsen ęCopyright 1999-2012, A. Olsen. All Rights Reserved.
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