Newbie Horse Owner!
While I have someone at the barn to help with all these things, I kinda wanted to educate myself a little more before my mare arrives. If my friend wasn't at the barn, I don't think my dream of being a horse's human would ever be realized. There is so much to learn/know that I couldn't possibly do this all by myself the first go 'round!
So. What I'd like to know from each of you are things (material and knowledge) that you absolutely need for every day life with your horse(s). I realize some of this information will be breed and owner specific but it will help me (I hope!)
So far, things that throw me are the lingo. Proper terminology for a horse's anatomy. Things to look out for - injury/illness/etc. As a mom and dog/cat owner (and former dog rescuer), I think I can probably tell if something is wrong with my horse, but not sure if I'll be able to tell WHAT is wrong!
Thank you in advance... I have got to stop getting on here or I'll never be able to pay to keep her!!!
Chele first off welcome to the forum!!!
Find a good equine vet... if you tell me where you are in INdiana I might be able to help :) A good working relationship with your vet is a must have with any animal as I am sure you know
Second remember good hay first and limit sugars and starches from grains in the diet and ensure the nutritional needs are being met.
Third ... feet belong to farrier first then the vet .. they tend to have more know more in that area then most vets. A well educated farrier that is willing to listen and talk to you is worth his weight in gold... I have a good one out of Brazil INdiana if you are looking :)
Learn the parts of the body and learn how to take heart rate, Temp and CPR time. These things take pratice but can help you and your vet decide between emergency charges or wait until tomorrow calls.
There's a great book called "How to be your own Veterinarian, Sometimes." My aunt got me that book 15 years ago and it was really a godsend early on. It shows you how to clean and dress wounds, take a horse's vitals, what supplies you should have on hand, etc. It's a great reference, even for things you will call your vet for, so you know what to expect.
I keep a first aid "tub" filled with the following:
Other stuff you need you should already have an idea about, halter, lead, brushes, lunge line, lunge whip, saddle, bridle, pad, girth, bits, treats, shampoo/detangler, fly spray, etc. I like to have a spare halter, lead, pad, etc.
I have a vet. Out here there are 2 and they both treat large animals and livestock. My friend does a great job at trimming her gelding's hooves and is gonna teach me. Currently, Chili is not shod (never has been). If she needs them, there is a really good farrier close by too!
I love the first aid bucket concept!
And yes-all the other items we already have-except the whip. Think I'll pass on that.
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The lunge whip is just a training tool. I don't actually hit my horses with it. It's simply there to tell them to speed up or move out of my space. If you have another tool, that's great too.
I would recommend that you get a real farrier or professionally trimmer to show you how to trim feet. I do mine myself as well, but I had a trimmer/instructor help me learn for the first year and half. I just paid a bit more than his normally trimming fee. The hands on professional help was invaluable.
PeggySue - Not sure how I missed your post since I saw the one after it. I'm in Paoli, Indiana. About an hour between both Bloomington and Louisville (KY). 20 minutes from Bedford, 15 minutes from French Lick.
Luvs - While not discounting the value of learning from a professional first, her gelding's feet look terrific. I *think* she's been doing it for years - since she said he's never had a farrier. But I could be mistaken. I will take it under advisement and also speak with a few farriers (I think there are several here).
ITA about the hay and sweets. Especially after moving her. The previous owners have only lived at their current place for 5 months, so she's gonna be moved twice in less than 6 months. That can't be optimal.
I appreciate all the info... keep it comin' !!
Oh - the book. I've already decided if anyone asks me what I want for Christmas, it'll be a book (and/or a bridle - which is the one thing my friend does not have an extra of oddly enough).
Those were great posts! I like the concret information you all shared. Way to go! I learned a lot from you guys.
Another thing (I'm not sure how much you know or don't know) is being able to correctly fit a saddle and bridle to your horse. Also being able to identify when your horse is uncomfortable/in pain when riding! Ill fitting tack often cause horses alot of discomfort and pain. A few examples will be head throwing, stiffness and bucking in more severe cases. Access to a good instructer is a must :) and don't forget looking after your equines teeth! Dentist visits are a must!
I believe that so long as neither move was particularly traumatic, then she should have no problem adjusting. Everyone else has given you good advice so far. There is one thing that I follow, though. When in doubt, call the vet. It is much better to spend the vet fee only to find out it was nothing major than to skip the vet and lose your horse. As you get more experience, there will be certain things that you will learn to handle on your own without calling the vet. I thoroughly believe that every horse owner should keep a little bit of penicillin and banamine (or some similar drug) handy in the event of an emergency. Also, knowing how to give an intramuscular shot is invaluable knowledge that will not only save you money, but possibly save your horse's life someday.
Those are great things to consider. I'm ok with the bridle (altho I'm not sure which bit to use-and if she'll take to it, would prefer a Hackamore) but the saddle is another issue entirely.
I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and getting it cinched tightly is difficult for me and everytime someone helps me, they just take over. I don't like that. My friend is gonna help me a lot but I really wanna be able to do this as much as I can - on my own. (with help from you guys!) :-)
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