Ina’s Helpful Hints on Horsekeeping 6.5 – Random Thoughts! Short and Sweet, by Ina M. Ish

This will more or less be a list of things- more or less!
If your horse shows a behavior change or starts misbehaving  check for pain somewhere in his/her body.  Remembered pain can also  be a cause- often the case with foaling mares the first time they  foal- even if the pain is unrelated to foaling!

If your horse develops runny, weepy eyes or nose check for  allergies. Vet allergy panels are very expensive, but often adding  Vit. C to the ration will help! If they persist in rubbing tail or  mane, besides checking for ticks or mites, consider a conditioning  rinse of Scope or a last rinse with either baby oil or Lubriderm in   the water!

Be aware that late spring, early summer is prime time for hoof  abscess's to arise- hoof has been moist all year and now is drying  out rapidly, very susceptible to bruises.

Almost always accidents happen due to people actions or error!  In either thought or deed.  Over- reacting is a prime one.  Don't  run, yell, or rush when working with young horses.  Stop and think  before doing anything in the way of discipline.

If you must fight with a horse- YOU pick the time and place..

Expect the unexpected!  Always pay attention to your horse, take  nothing for granted- just cause he/she has ALWAYS done this or that,  doesn't mean they always will.

Take your time, and give your horse time to adjust to new  situations and environments.  Let them look around, pause before  entering or leaving a dark area into or from a light one- under  trees, into or out of the barn.

Insist on good behavior at the gate!  No rushing through but  make sure the opening is wide enough!  If you do have a bolt through  the gate, turn around and do it all over again, until it is mannerly  and quiet behavior- don't get them riled up doing this either.

If a horse seems 'out to lunch' or gone behind a wall of fear-  try and shift the focus of their attention.

Don't "NAG" or 'bug' the animal with repeated snatching of  shanks or whip tapping – if you must discipline- do it once with  meaning- not countless little taps.  And do it immediately after the  bad behavior- horses will accept that and get the message.

Remember your reins/lines/ shanks are rather like a  telephone- your means of communication with your horse- don't hold  with a death grip, rather a light , steady, but firm hold works much  better.

Don't anticipate bad behavior or that is exactly what you  will get!

Horses are sensitive, self-aware beings- respect that  always. And they will respect you for it.

Be aware of family group relationships – especially in  regard to totally separating a stallion from his mares.  If he can  see them he will relax, no horse is a solitary critter, and if  physical proximity is out of the question- in the case of a stallion  and unbred mares etc- at least let them see each other.

In today's world a stallion usually lives by himself when  outside, but he should learn to behave when living in the barn with  the rest of the herd.

Barb wire is a NO-NO!  And beware that high tensile electric  fence can be equally dangerous to horse flesh.  Use Surveyors tape to  mark wire fencing.

While fences and horses are mostly psychological, horses are  not cows and do require different fencing.

Oak wood in barns if far less susceptible to chewing than pine!

Sliding stall door can be horse-pushed off the track and  feet caught.   Double latching is a good idea for stall doors.

In hot weather , if stalled, two five gallon buckets of  fresh water in a stall is a good idea.

If you find you need to feed wet hay, get hay nets, and soak  them filled ( but not too overfilled) in an old bathtub or water  trough- they are heavy to life so a yardarm comes in handy or a come  along if need be.Let them drain before putting in stall.  This does  alleviate coughs and colic I have found.  Is a royal pain to do, but  it works!  Drain and refill the bathtub or trough daily!

Horses generally like music- Country and Western seems to be  the most acceptable to the most horses.  I switched mine to  Classical, but they never did like violins!  Providing music seems to  help calm them down, and get associated with relaxation and safety-  very helpful later on when working at new things!

That's all for now!

Love and blessings, Ina

Ina M Ish
iish@earthlink.net