Find All of The Things on Your Horse Blanket Wish List Right Here

WeatherBeeta blankets may well be one of the most important investments you can make in your horse’s attractiveness and good health.

When thinking about what horse blanket/rug features are most important to you, why not write them down in list format. You are likely to find that WeatherBeeta horse blankets and rugs have the majority of, if not all of, the features you want.

Let’s look at some of the top reasons for the brand’s popularity as we go down the list of WeatherBeeta’s blanket features.

Remember that, in addition to other great features, WeatherBeeta turnout/paddock rugs/blankets are waterproof, breathable and are made with taped seams, Ripstop and ‘Repel Shell.’

So what does each of these features mean to your horse?

1. Waterproof

WeatherBeeta rugs/blankets have an outer fabric that is 100% waterproof in order to ensure long-term durability. This helps to keep your horse dry and, therefore, healthy.

2. Breathable

‘Breathability’ allows sweat and moisture to pass through the blanket to the outside air, where it can evaporate, which in turn helps to keep your horse cool.

In addition, WeatherBeeta Rugs/Blankets are made up of a hydrophilic, (water-loving) coating on the inside of the fabric. This draws excess moisture to it. Temperature differences between the air inside and outside the blanket then force moisture outwards, helping to keep your horse dry.

3. Ripstop

Weatherbeeta’s fabrics ‘contain’ rips or tears. This is done through the modification of the warp and weft of the fabrics. The unique checkerboard look of their fabrics comes from the fact that the fabrics feature hundreds of small squares. In the event of a rip, these small squares contain the rip and stop it from spreading down the length of the fabric.

4. Taped Seams

WeatherBeeta blankets are manufactured with fully-taped seams, adding an important physical barrier to the seam and helping to keep moisture out.

Weatherbeeta notes that, occasionally, in extreme weather conditions, the sewn in areas of the Rug/Blanket (such as the tail flap and surcincles), which cannot be seam taped, may allow a small amount of water to enter through the stitch holes.

Taped seams help to keep your horse dry, which, once again, equates to better health.

5. Detach-a-Neck

This special feature allows you to attach the neck for colder days and take it off on milder days, allowing your horse to be more comfortable.

6. Repel Shell

According to Weatherbeeta, “A number of our WeatherBeeta Rugs/Blankets feature Repel Shell.

This coating helps repel dirt and water while maintaining optimum breathable and waterproof qualities of the fabric.”

It’s easy to see that Weatherbeeta manufactures a broad and versatile line of horse clothing. You will find that their horse blankets come in just about every variety, size, color and style that you – or your horse – could want.

Most importantly, they are an economical means of protecting your horse from the elements, insects and so much more!

Carol D. writes reviews on many products, ranging from horse blankets and riding boots to clogs and backyard sheds. You can check out her latest website at Weatherbeeta Horse Blankets, where she provides information on horse clothing, including horse blankets, horse rugs and horse sheets. You will find reviews and buying information for other unique Weatherbeeta products for your horse at Weatherbeeta.

Originally posted 2012-06-15 08:04:05.

Developing Your Medium and Extended Trot Out in the Field

Trotting up hills is a great way to teach your horse to open up his shoulders, and will help him understand what he is supposed to do.

Medium and extended trot both have to be mastered if you want to go up the levels in dressage and eventing. And it is easier than you think. Some horses can naturally lengthen their stride, so if yours is one of them, then when you are preparing to ride your first Novice test, medium trot is required for the first time at novice, you should not have much trouble. Others may need a bit more help, but you should find that most horses will happily oblige once they understand what you are asking them to do. It is important to really understand what the trot is and how your horse should be moving in order to improve and lengthen his stride.

What is the trot?

The trot is a two-time pace where the horse moves his legs in diagonal pairs, plus there is a moment of suspension when all four legs are off the ground. Ideally, and essentially at the higher levels, the horse should work in good, uphill balance with his hind legs stepping well under his body. He should be supple through his top-line and seeking a rein contact. If your horse’s trot does not feel up to scratch, do not panic. Here are some common trot problems we encounter, with some simple solutions, too. I find they work well for my horses, so give them a go.

You can do this whilst hacking, you don’t even need an arena!

If you have access to a long, not- too-steep hill, then use it to your advantage. Take a light seat, but do not give the rein away, and do not allow your horse to fall onto the forehand. You should find your horse naturally reaches with his stride more than he would on flat ground, so encourage him. Or if you have a friend who has a horse with an established medium trot, trot up the hill beside them and watch your horse really open up!

Not only does the hill work develop your horses technical ability in the trot, but it also really aids his fitness work. Improved stamina and strength, especially in the hind legs, is a brilliant pay-off from this exercise and such hill work is more typically found in the eventing world where horses need exceptional stamina for the long cross-country sections of the competition. Dressage and jumping horses, although using more intense, explosive energy in a smaller time frame, rather than the endurance found in an event horse, can really benefit from this increase in fitness from the hills. The fitter the horse is, the easier he will be able to progress on and develop the new exercises.

Now it is time to get out there and put it in to practise!

Tom Davison of Davison Equestrian has been immersed in equestrian sports all his life. His father, a top Olympic Dressage rider has been a huge influence on Tom’s very successful show jumping and coaching career. Having trained with some of the best from Franke Sloothaak and Billy Twomey, he has a wealth of knowledge and experience that he departs to his pupils in a way that gets the best out of both horse and rider. For more information please visit http://www.davisonequestrian.com

Originally posted 2012-06-12 13:57:21.

Training Your Horse – Host a Horse Show

Hosting a horse show is a very rewarding thing. You get to showcase your place and you don’t have to trailer your own horses to the venue.

All you really need to host a show is:

  • ribbons
  • some prizes – easiest to get prizes from local businesses such as feed store or local veterinary clinic
  • a judge or local horse personality
  • insurance
  • of course people who are willing to take part.

It really doesn’t have to be too big of a deal. Entry forms can be simple or in some cases, for in – house training shows, sign up can be listing your name, your horses name and then checking the correct column of the class number that you would like to enter into on a posted sheet of cardboard.

More elaborate shows require significant organization and financial backing. Hosting a recognized show, sanctioned by your national governing horse body is the ultimate goal but to begin with, you must start somewhere and that place is at home at a local show.

The parents were happy to go and watch their children ride, but they didn’t know some of the fundamental basic rules or specifications of classes they were to show in. Or, for that matter, did the students. Jumper, hunter, equitation, they were all over fences so what’s the difference, I would often get asked. So I developed the Skill Builders series of show clinics to provide a safe professional, atmosphere at a reasonable cost to help promote shows and the showing experience.

The format is simple. You ride the course and when all the competitors in the class have finished their courses, comments are given as to why they placed and ways to improve. So it might be something like, “Equitation is judged on riding. Number 134, you are the best rider in this group and could have placed first, but because you rode on the wrong diagonal, your placing is lower. Next time correct your diagonal and your placing could be better”.

Often, as well, we would incorporate a short description of the class requirements is read over the loud speaker to let spectators and participants alike a chance to learn and know what is required. Road hack, Pleasure Horse/Pony, Equitation can be a bit confusing for first timers so clarifying it is helpful. Hosting you own development series is a great way to promote your stable and help your students understand the requirements of showing.

I host a special series of shows at my stable, Thistle Ridge Stables, called the Thistle Ridge Skill Builders. It is what I call a clinic with ribbons. I was finding that the parents of my students did not understand what was to happen at horse shows. I thought if my students really didn’t understand then there are a lot of other students who probably didn’t understand either. Visit http://www.thistleridgestables.com for more information on how to host your own Skill Builder Show Clinic.

More information can be found by contacting me at thistleridge@hotmail.com (just remove the spaces). Also visit http://www.thistleridgestables.com for more horsey related topics!

Originally posted 2012-06-11 08:03:32.

How to Find the Right Bits for Ponies

It can often be hard to find the right bits for ponies. It is hard for two reasons and these are that not only does the bit have to fit and be comfortable for the pony to wear but you have to consider how their young jockeys ride too.

If you have young children and are in the process of teaching them to ride, you will know that it is hard for them to understand how to ride ‘properly’ – that is to use their weight, seat and legs to control their ponies.

You will also know how young riders do have a tendency to pull on their pony’s mouths, use their reins to help them keep their balance whilst they are riding or how they can pull too hard on one rein which causes the bit to slip straight through their pony’s mouths. This can be a result of tension and nervousness on the part of the children as much as inexperience.

Unfortunately, the results can sometimes be disastrous for both the young riders and their mounts. It is a scenario that we have seen happen all too often and there are many ponies who take full advantage of the situation by unseating their jockeys when it does – and who can blame them when they are in discomfort or even pain?

There are some great bits for ponies on the market these days which are specifically designed to prevent this from happening, for example Neue Schule bits. The other thing to remember is that many young riders do tend to have heavy hands, so when choosing a bit for a pony, you must bear this in mind.

Of course you need to know that the rider will be able to stop the pony too, so finding a bit for ponies which is soft on the mouth yet gives enough control to the young rider is of paramount importance.

The most important thing about finding the right bits for ponies is to make sure that they actually fit them. The most common problem with bits for ponies is that often they are either too big or too small. The size and shape of the bit required will also depend a lot on their breeding and hence shape of their head and mouth. For example, a Shetland pony will have a very differently shaped mouth to, say, an Arab or fine Welsh Section B.

Keep in mind all these factors as well as the use of the pony (for example, some bits are not allowed in certain showing and dressage classes) and you will be well on the way to finding the right bit for your pony.

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Originally posted 2012-06-04 07:59:47.

Navicular in Horses

Navicular syndrome in horses is a bit of an unclear issue which has vets disagreeing at times. Unfortunately when horse owners receive this diagnosis they are given little hope for recovery. Luckily Mother Nature has provided us with some wonderful herbs to help ease the symptoms.

Navicular in horses may initially present itself as intermittent lameness and your horse may stumble a lot when trotting. Diagnosis can be achieved with x-rays. The navicular bone is a small bone in the foot of the horse and it is part of the bony skeleton of the leg, It is held in place by ligaments.

Foot problems account for 90% of all lameness and it is extremely important to take good care of your horse’s feet. Navicular Syndrome can be caused by poor shoeing and weak circulation, correction of both is critical to the improvement of this condition.

When a horse is lame and the foot is thought to be the issue, it is important to eliminate other possible causes. A stone bruise or a crack in the coffin bone could be to blame and an x-ray will usually show the problem.

There are a few issues which may mean your horse has a stronger predisposition to navicular syndrome. Some breeds are more likely to get it and the size of the foot may have a bearing. The smaller the foot on a large horse, the more likelihood of problems. Also the type of activity the horse is involved in. Barrel racing can be particularly stressful on the foot.

If your horse is diagnosed with navicular, there are some very useful herbs you can easily feed. Inflammation is a particular problem so herbs such as Devil’s Claw are great for this. Devil’s Claw will help reduce inflammation and pain without giving a false impression to the horse so he won’t over exert himself.

Devil’s Claw is native to Africa. The root is used for arthritis as it relieves rheumatism and other painful joint disorders. It is also considered a painkiller and has proven to be comparable to cortisone and phenybutazone or bute which is commonly used in this situation. Do not give to mares in foal as it may induce contractions and do not use when gastric ulcers are present.

Circulation is another important issue with navicular and Hawthorn is a great herb for strengthening the heart muscle and increasing the circulation. In Germany Hawthorn is used extensively for heart problems as it is so effective in increasing blood circulation. It acts as a tonic, which widens the blood vessels and reduces high blood pressure.

Hawthorn is one of the oldest traditional medicines used for animals. It is said to be good luck and horses will happily eat it for self- medication if given free access to it. It is said to be one of the best heart tonics available and is beneficial on the circulatory system and blood pressure.

Buckwheat is another very effective herbs for this condition as it strengthens the vessels without affecting blood pressure. Buckwheat is rich in magnesium, calcium, potassium and trace elements.

Herbs that can be of benefit will work by helping the circulation and by reducing the inflammation and pain. It is also important to keep your horse moving which increases circulation and creates good blood flow to the foot.

As with all herbal remedies, concentrating on the whole body will allow your horse to maintain an improved standard of health.

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Originally posted 2012-06-03 07:58:57.