Month: November 2017

Recommendations for Horse Feeding

Feed in small quantities and frequently

Your digestion is adapted to have a slow feed, your stomach is small, however your intestines are large which allows them to store food in the digestive process. When eating, the food goes to the intestines to have full stomach in two thirds (when it has a better performance), continues to pass at the same speed that was taken by the mouth. When the horse does some kind of work it is important that he gets his basic foods such as hay or grass, complete meals of good taste and reduced or concentrated foods, if large, distend the stomach, presenting a natural imbalance causing indigestion or colic , which can be very painful and of great risk if it is not attended correctly. The approximate ration of ingestion of the horse goes of 1.30 kg. and of 1.80 kg. of concentrates, example oats, mixed with a proportional amount of bran and straw. If fed with synthetic tablets these can be given in greater volume (up to 2.70 kg.), because of their high content of fibers are ingested at a lower speed. If you need more food, you are given an additional portion, taking into account the regular amount established. The exception is the spring grass which represents a good-tasting food and is swallowed too quickly during the first days of the year. Want more info? Visiting is recommended.

After a hearty meal, your horse should not be assigned heavy work.

The stomach and intestines of the horse increase in volume after eating a concentrated meal, occupying more space, decreasing the tension of the belly causing pressure on the diaphragm, and compressing the lungs (this prevents them from dilate and contract enough, as a result of which a horse work with a relaxed stomach will suffer discomfort and difficulties in its breathing).

Supply them with large quantities of clean water.

They (the horses) should always have water, so they will not drink too much, because if they do, their speed will decrease in any work they do.

Introduce new foods gradually.

Due to its sensitive nature, not introducing food with the necessary care, can present various discomforts such as colic.

Feed the horse according to the amount of work.

The activities he carries out are important in order to evaluate exactly what is his share of food.

Maintain a routine.

The horse is very picky, and you should feel that its food is adequate that what is given will not harm it, it is important to keep food out of reach of mice; otherwise it may lose its appetite.

Give green food to the stable horse.

Freshly cut grass, tubers or others. Anything helps to compensate for the lack of natural foods in the diet.

A good diet is only determined by experience the exact ration, according to the type of horse and the tasks performed, however it should be taken as a basis that the daily amount of ingestion of a domesticated animal must be in weight to the amount that would consume if he was at liberty.

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Being Prepared For Long Distance Riding

Long distance riding can be quite tricky so it is important that you are well prepared before setting off. This includes taking the right clothing and equipment to knowing where you will sleep and rest. The problem with long distance riding is that you will be a long way from home which makes it more vital that you have undertaken the correct preparation.

Knowing what to take depends on the length of the journey. It’s amazing how little is needed and can be packed in a small space. Forget bottles and go for sachet items as these are generally lighter. Obviously if you take medication you must include it, but if you can leave boxes behind and instead you can use self-seal sandwich bags as most tablets come in blister packs. Other things you should take include a basic first aid kit for your horse and yourself; your toothbrush and toothpaste. In addition, a penknife and some string will come in handy for tying gates shut or tying items to saddles. The penknife can also be used for picking out stones from hooves. Spare lightweight clothing packs down well and there’s no need to bother dressing for dinner! Light weight wet weather gear is more important. If you can’t change into something dry you need to keep dry. There’s nothing worse than being cold and wet (I still haven’t found a summer weight raincoat that doesn’t make me as wet inside as out from sweat). If you are planning on lighting a meth stove keep your matches dry in your pocket. Wrap everything in plastic bags to keep it dry. Don’t trust your saddle bags to do the job. The same goes with your money in a money belt, it can get wet with sweat!

In terms of saddle bags, this also depends on the length of your trip. There are some good ones that attach to the back/front of the saddle that are small and have good capacity. You can also get a larger pannier type for the longer journey but with these you need to weigh the items so the panniers are well balanced and it keeps the horse balanced to prevent you going round in circles again! I keep a list of what went where so I know roughly how to maintain it. For much longer trips you can take a packhorse with purpose made panniers. There are quite a few on the international market, but it is difficult finding them within the UK market. The weight distribution is really important as is the padding to prevent sores.

Start with shorter journeys to get the feel of it and learn from mistakes. If the journey is short it is easier to get help and return home should a problem arise. My Tennessee Walker did her first 100 miles (160kms) of a 260 mile (416kms) journey from South to North Wales and she was very tired from it, so we had to bring her home and fetch my more experienced part-bred Arab who finished the journey, missing a day’s ride in the process. Peruse your map and decide your route and distance, then divide it up into daily distances. If you are booking accommodation you can use the internet to search in those places for your destination. Otherwise wild camping is an alternative but you should still have an idea of where you will stop.

You can use computer mapping systems and print off your route. If you do this you can laminate the sheets to keep them dry within your map case. A good skill to have when long riding is to be able to read a compass especially where landmarks are scarce, but this is not easy on a horse! If you can’t map read you are lost from the beginning so go and get some tuition and practise exploring in safe locations. There are also some useful websites that can give you an idea with photographs of the route you have chosen and whether it is passable.

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