One of the most important things you should provide for your horses are the beddings. Today, there are different kinds that you can use and most of the times the availability of the materials in your area will affect your options. Below are some of the options you can use to ensure that your equines stay warm and comfortable even during the extreme weather conditions.
For young foals and mares, clean straws are preferred by many horse breeders. Straws can also be a tasty treat for some horses. If you are keeping your horses on a strict diet, this may not be a good option to use. Oat straws are tasty and are also very absorbent. When selecting a straw to use, choose those that do not have dust and molds in them. Stay away from saturated straws as they are difficult to get rid or clean out when you want to separate manure from clean bedding. On an average sized stall, two bales of straw will be adequate but you might want to add more when your horse is foaling or when the weather temperature gets too cold.
If you want an easy option, shavings are reliable to use. In fact they are used more commonly today as they can be easily purchased from a feed store or can be delivered by a truck right at your doorstep. When you want this option, make sure to use a special kinds of manure fork so you can pick or scoop out manure from the shavings. That way, you don’t pick out too much clean shaving. To make sure the shavings do not puncture your horses, check for any splinters as you try to spread them evenly. Go for soft wood shavings because they are safer to use. Be very specific with the type of shavings you want for your horses when you need to order them from a lumber mill. Aside from shavings, you can also make use of sawdust but make sure to also know the kind of wood they come from. Though sawdust may not be the best bedding option in your horse stables, it can be used as occasional last resort bedding. You can make use of barn mats as additional beddings for your horses. Barn mats are very comfortable and easy to use. You can get them in different sizes and blends well with different kinds of shavings.
About Author: Shelly Smith is an amazing equine writer with an extreme passion for her horses she has been specializing in horse barn equipment and has written a lot of articles for Classic Equine!
When you acquire a horse, it is very important that you understand how to properly care for it. Caring for this hoofed animal requires a lot of time and effort. However, when you view the series of grooming, bathing and cleaning activities for the horse as a way to earn its trust, affection and loyalty, the tasks become less of a chore. It becomes more of a bonding time where you can enjoy the company of this magnificent creature.
The activities of grooming, bathing and cleaning may be a bit laborious. Nonetheless, it can be made a lot easier when you acquire yourself the right equine equipment. Using the right tools makes the work easier and for it to be carried out more efficiently and quickly. It also helps you to avoid hurting or causing harm to your beloved horse when its inside the Horse Stall .
The process of grooming makes your horse appear its best. Touching the horses is a relaxing experience for them which are pretty similar when we humans are getting a good massage just like Classic Equine. It helps improve their blood circulation and it aids to spread the natural oils in their coats. Aside from the healthy skin and shiny coat that can be enjoyed viewing afterwards, the horse actually feels loved being cared for this way. For you to efficiently carry out this grooming activity for your horse, you need to get some curry comb, soft mane and tail brush, face brushes, mud brushes, finishing brushes, hoof pick, shedding blade or shaver, trimmer, clippers and tail bag among others.
Although regular brushing and currying can help keep your horse clean, there will be moments like a special event or show when you’ll need your horse to be extra shiny and clean. Bathing is something that you’ll have to do and you need to assemble the right equine equipment to do the job. Your horse’s bathing kit should include items such as a sweat scraper, mitt, sponges and horse shampoo. If your horse has some skin conditions, you may have to ask your veterinarian for a medicated shampoo.
Cleaning the horse’s stable may not directly allow you to touch your horse but it gives your horse the opportunity to watch and observe your movements. Horses highly prefer to stay in very neat and clean stalls. So, in order for you to accomplish the task right, you need to gather basic cleaning supplies to help maintain the cleanliness of the stable. You might want to gather a good shovel, muck fork, wheelbarrow, buckets, cleaning sponges, water hose and brooms.
Horses are known to feed on grass and hay. Based on what they ingest, they are classified as herbivores. But unlike other herbivores like cattle, goat and sheep, the horse is a non-ruminating herbivore. This means that the horses are similar to humans in that they have only one stomach instead of a multi-chambered one. What distinguishes them from the humans though is that the horses have a digestive part known as the cecum which performs to break down the plant fiber cellulose in their diet.
In order to digest the food, the horses must first bite and chew to break down the food in small pieces. The food is then directed to the stomach where stomach acids are released to prepare the food for digestion. The stomach acids break down the proteins and they kill microorganisms that are present in it. The horse’s stomach is small and the food only stays in there for less than an hour. Majority of the food breakdown and absorption of the food occurs in the small intestines. The small intestine is only 60-70 feet long and the food stays in it for about 3-4 hours. Now, the most important part of the horse digestion is the hindgut. It is made up of the cecum, colon and rectum. Fiber fermentation happens in this region for 2-3 days. The microbes present in the hindgut are what work to break down as much as 32 gallons of fiber material in it. All these fibers are being converted to volatile fatty acids that fuel the horse.
The horse’s digestive system is very delicate. The main reason for this is that horses don’t have the ability to regurgitate food. There are extra strong muscles present between the stomach and the esophagus which prevent vomiting in cases of digestive upset like colic. Colic is a serious concern for the horses because it can be fatal to them. To avoid overeating or missing a few meals that can lead to colic, horses feed themselves on small amounts steadily throughout the day. This is their natural grazing habit in the pasture. However, this practice isn’t followed when the horses are placed in the barns. Despite this, horse owners try to create a feeding habit that is favorable to the health and digestive nutrition of the horse.
One of the common pests that attack the horses is the horse fly. This species of fly has the fiercest bite since they possess scissor-like mandibles that rip through the flesh of the horse. While the male horse flies are non-aggressive, the females are vicious bloodsuckers that feed on the blood of the horse. Their bite is so painful that they aggravate the horse, making the horse feel restless and frustrated to ward off their attacks. The bites of the horse flies can lead to severe irritation and itching on the horse’s skin. What’s worse is that they can cause spread of diseases like anthrax and equine infectious anemia. Because of the serious consequences that the horse flies can inflict onto your horses, it is really essential that you get rid of them. There are several ways you can employ to eliminate these pests.
Prevention is the key. To avoid horse fly infestation in your barn or stable area, you must stay on top of sanitation. Maintain a clean environment in your horses’ stable. Clean up properly the horse’s manure which is often what attracts the flies. Because the horse flies breed on moist soil and near the water, eliminate stagnant water in your area. Cut down the grass and dispose of the garbage properly.
When horse flies are on the premises already, you can make use of the fly traps. Hang these fly strips and fly containers around your stable and even place them a good distance away to bait and trap these pests. You may also fashion in automatic time-controlled chemical sprays into your barn. The sprays will rain down mists throughout the area to drive away the house flies. The sprays are laced with pyrethrins, a chemical obtained from chrysanthemums, which is safe for the horses.
Finally, you can apply onto your horse products that are horse fly repellent to protect its skin. Another way is to cover up your horse with protective material. You can put onto your horse fly masks, ear covers and leg netting so that the horse flies cannot bit into these parts.