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enthusiasm_exceeds_ability
Aug. 15, 2011, 12:32 AM
This isn't a thread for anything other than to find out how everyone else 'spoils' their horses. By this, I don't mean ruining them, but rather what does everyone do to give their ponies a little bit of love. I do know that I (or we?) do this more for our own benefits, and that they wouldn't necessarily miss what they don't in terms of extras, but still.

Yesterday my pony was supposed to be worked. However, I was at a BIG party the night before, up early to pencil at pony club (agreed to at a weakened and vulnerable moment the night before), and it was freezing cold so instead, pony was given an equissage massage and some liquorice. He doesn't get treats often because I think it makes him grabby and mouthy, but yesterday he was allowed. He looked quite happy and contented when I left him yesterday - apparently being a paddock ornament has its advantages. :D

paulaedwina
Aug. 15, 2011, 06:26 AM
I don't see that as spoiling your horse at all. I see that as cultivating a good relationship with your partner. IMO it goes right along with taking breaks from the ring to do other things, hand grazing, massage, grooming for no reason, etc. There's more to this partnership than just getting on I think.

Paula

Lost_at_C
Aug. 15, 2011, 07:21 AM
I spoil mine with lots and lots of scratches in his favorite itchy spots and the usual mints for a job well done. In winter he gets a yummy mash on cold nights and a deep bed to snuggle into. I love making him snuggly and comfortable on cold dark nights. In summer he's spoiled by living out 24/7 with his buddies.

meupatdoes
Aug. 15, 2011, 10:17 AM
I don't consider this "spoiling," but I try to provide mine with the best living conditions and working conditions possible.
This includes:

free choice hay when stalled
minimum 12x12 stall, kept clean
minimum 12 hours turnout per day, often more, with buddies

regular thorough grooming, with special attention paid to 'itchy spots'

professionally fitted tack

a rider committed to maintaining her education with frequent lessons.


Personally, I think they would rather have all of the above than get massages and treats but go around in an uncomfortable saddle and live cooped up in a 10x10 22 hours a day.

HPFarmette
Aug. 15, 2011, 10:23 AM
I feel good when I have them sorted in their turnout with their best buddy. The standardbred loves the thoroughbred. The minis love each other.

Valentina_32926
Aug. 15, 2011, 10:30 AM
Treats after working (unless she's VERY bad), a "shower" to play in on hot days (sprinkler which is horse-proofed for the most part :lol: ), hosing off during the day, hay as I'm cleaning her up for a ride, Scritches on her "favorite" spot. Occassional massages when she's working very hard.

Oh - and sugar free cookies (human cookies) for the Cushings pony :eek:

LarkspurCO
Aug. 15, 2011, 10:43 AM
I spoiled my horses by buying them 35 acres.

purplnurpl
Aug. 15, 2011, 11:39 AM
I feed mine.
and sometimes I brush their tails.
I tell them they are good when they are good and sometimes give them a pat as well.

I only feed cookies from the golf cart when I go to catch them.

non horse spoiler here. :cool:

Rhiannonjk
Aug. 15, 2011, 12:19 PM
We have a system - if a giant horsefly is eating him, he arranges himself so that I can see it, and it gets killed. For example yesterday we were walking in from the pasture, and my horse tha tnormally walks perfectly with me at his shoulder was suddenly up ahead, and I was looking at a big black horsefly on his butt. I killed the fly, walked back up to the shoulder, and he went back to being a perfect gentleman.
... until another horsefly landed, rinse and repeat.

hightide
Aug. 15, 2011, 12:33 PM
I swear COTH follows my daily life. Or something. Because today, when it's one of those raining-softly-wait-no-raining-hard-I-don't-care-just-stop-the-rain kind of days, my horses are under their overhangs, not daring to venture out to the pasture or their paddocks. :lol:
My guys ARE spoiled, and I admit it! No massages here, but they have 12x12 stalls they stay in at night, with access to a paddock of their own, and a tree'd pasture where they can pick up sticks all they want (no, literally. They pick up sticks!).

netg
Aug. 15, 2011, 03:02 PM
I spoiled my horses by buying them 35 acres.

It was only 4 acres here, but hopefully we'll get to add on in the future.

They have very large runs off their stalls, and can choose either 24/7. In the worst of the heat or rain, they choose the stalls, and in nice weather they choose their runs. I'd rather have a horse living in a healthy situation for him than have a very dark bay look nearly black. Sun bleaching is just a part of life!

The horses also eat like hobbits. 5 meals a day.


But all those things are intended to maintain health, physical and mental, to the best of our ability. Therefore, I don't really consider it spoiling.


I'm actually struggling with making myself give my horse all the treats it takes to follow Dr's orders on doing specific carrot stretches both before and after riding. It feels like extra spoiling that's not needed, even though I know it actually IS needed.

quietann
Aug. 15, 2011, 06:43 PM
treats. Not randomly, but for specific things. The mare is nosy but never bites, pushes, etc.

I also tell her she is a good girl whenever I can.

Good turnout, if it was doable, I would not put in the spoiling category... but for now at least the kind of turnout you are all talking about isn't doable. So she has OK-but-that's-all turnout.

Mkelle11
Aug. 15, 2011, 06:50 PM
I boarded at a western barn (Think 4H, trail riders and Barrel Racers) this winter and everyone thought I spoiled my horse because......
She had a several blankets for turnout.
She got 8lbs of grain per feeding.
She had her own tack.
I used polo wraps.
She had her saddle pads washed after a couple uses.
She didn't have a nylon halter.
AND
I was out there at least once a day.
And I didn't even give her any treats! (Only because she doesn't like anything but grains...)

They also thought I overworked her, though, because I worked her 6 days a week for an hour or so each day. My western barn buddy would get 4 horses done in the time it took me to tack up and ride my one horse. :P

Gloria
Aug. 15, 2011, 07:04 PM
Well, this is gross I know, so if you are at your dinner table, or if you are the prim and proper lady type, don't read...

I scratch my boy's... that... you know, stick the whole hand into the pouch, and start scratching away. He loooove it. It's funny really. The moment the ritual starts, he stretchs all the way out, sighs and moans and grunts and starts to rock back and forth, left and right, just like what you do when you are getting a freaking good massage.

It all started one day when I did my due duty of cleaning sheath, and found he was really loving it, and the next thing you knew, he started to come to me, present his butt, and, well, begged.

Now I have to warn my visitors that if they see one particular bay gelding starts to back his butt to them when they go into the pasture, don't be alarmed: he is simply asking for a scratch in one particular place.

What can I say? He is a freaking Morgan.

Vesper Sparrow
Aug. 15, 2011, 07:20 PM
I currently have two and am auntie to another. They all gets carrots and apples everytime I visit, but otherwise, it depends on the horse.

My boy would also love to have his sheath rubbed at volition, but I'm at a public boarding stable, so only during prescribed sheath cleaning times. He gets lots of grooming, special and multiple attention paid to his itchy areas and special scratching all over with a stiff plastic hairbrush. I also play any number of silly games with him at request. He likes to be teased and joked with.

The young mare I am auntie to loves kisses and for me to be extra gentle when touching her ears and bridling her. She adores lots of quiet praise and gentle cuddling.

The old crusty mare detests kisses but doesn't mind being groomed HER WAY and loves grazing. In general she is happy with things being done her way and she is 27 so she gets it.

naturalequus
Aug. 15, 2011, 07:58 PM
I don't see that as spoiling your horse at all. I see that as cultivating a good relationship with your partner. IMO it goes right along with taking breaks from the ring to do other things, hand grazing, massage, grooming for no reason, etc. There's more to this partnership than just getting on I think.

Paula

Along with 24/7 turnout, blankets in the winter (and I never used to blanket :lol:), good rub-downs after schooling hard, treats (when I remember, haha), warm mashes, and just taking the time to relax together and give them a good rub throughout our session. At the risk of sounding all mushy (*groan* :lol:), it's important to me for them to know how much I care :) When they do, their response invariably seems to be to try harder.

enthusiasm_exceeds_ability
Aug. 15, 2011, 08:33 PM
My boy gets turnout 24/7 - this is the default position for most horses in Australia that I know, and stabling is much more expnsive. So that, plus snuggly rugs, a wool rug and a cotton, as well as friends to play with over the fence, good food and so on are just normal maintenance. I will be spending more time with him later this week, as well as riding him, but sometimes I think he gives me much more than I do him. He has some favourite scracting spots, and I think I'll take a picnic blanket out there later on, and sit for a while in his paddock and let him hang out.

FLeckenAwesome
Aug. 15, 2011, 08:55 PM
Awww... such spoiled rotten ponies...

Fleck too... Aside from the pedicures, massages, chiropracter adjustments, laser therapy, sponge baths, regular baths, and saddle fittings, blankets galore, fans in the summer, 24/7 turn out with access to his stall....

He also is allowed to rub his head all over me when we're done riding... to the point where he almost knocks me over. It's bad... I know it... but he just loves it! So I let him. He also likes the inside of his ears scratched and his ear wax cleaned out. He will also turn his butt to you for scratches and lately has been soooo itchy on his flank.

what can I say?! I'm a sucker ;)

Vesper Sparrow
Aug. 15, 2011, 09:35 PM
Fleck, my gelding likes his ears scratched on the inside, too, preferably with a hard brush, and will tilt his head to demand it, along with a good poll scratching (another must). Then, there's the butt that must be scratched with a hard brush, the neck, the list is endlesssss.... And it has to be done hard and vigorously, so my arms get a good workout. His latest thing is he likes me to "brush" his teeth with a dandy brush. And he also likes me to stroke the insides of his nostrils. Other people at the barn think I'm crazy.

With all his "special requests" plus the usual sequence of curry comb, dandy brush and body brush, it takes me twice the time to groom him as it would a normal horse.

cadance
Aug. 15, 2011, 10:08 PM
sugar cubes after every ride, 3 if our ride was exceptional (i don't think she counts the cubes, but i do!), the occasional "knickerdoodle". spending extra time brushing her favorite spots is something i know she really appreciates.

as some have already said, a professionally fitted saddle, and the most padded bridle i could find! (kieffer dagmar)

xrmn002
Aug. 15, 2011, 10:20 PM
Oh jeez... let me see..

OTTB gets a fancy boarding barn, a GP trainer who ADORES him and rides him around during lessons and to boss the grooms around (horsie LOVES being the enforcer), regular chiro, massage, lots of treats and grooming, bi-weekly jumping because he just likes it, custom Hennig saddles and bridles, lots of blankets and sheets, only breathable and clean (and mostly white w/ gold trim) saddle pads, mom pays extra for ultium because it keeps him weight on him w/o making him hot, etc. He is the man and he knows it! lol

abv1269
Aug. 15, 2011, 10:21 PM
Princess Sugar Britches (names changed to protect the guilty) lives a life I would love to have. Professional massages, laser therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, massages from mom, itches from Mom, the occassional oreo, shared bits of boston creme donut, or McDonald's french fry, vigorous face scratch with nubby mitt.

Works maybe an hour a day, 5, sometimes six days a week. Work is varied to keep her mentally and physically sound. Lots of trail work to balance ring work. Best feed/daily care/farrier/vet care I can afford to give her.

I figure she never asked to have this job, she gives me and my kids 100% and more, and I am priveleged to know her. Thus, she gets all I can give her.

naturalequus
Aug. 15, 2011, 11:16 PM
He also is allowed to rub his head all over me when we're done riding... to the point where he almost knocks me over. It's bad... I know it... but he just loves it! So I let him.

My boy knows to be relatively gentle but I usually brace myself and give him permission to rub after we ride. When I say we're done, we're done and he's not to just start rubbing without permission. Buut I do let him rub all the time :winkgrin: I can't help it - he works so hard, that face has GOT to be itchy after all that sweaty work! :lol:

One of my other boys gets blueberry muffins, too. Now my mare's taken to them also :rolleyes: Can barely get the wrapper off before those wiggling lips are hoovering up blueberry muffin.

WILLOW&CAL
Aug. 16, 2011, 02:36 PM
Carrot and apple salad out of a plastic bag from the boot of my car. Fishing for sugar cubes in my pocket. A padded duvet-rug on cold nights and a stable fan on in summer. A nice long hack in the country after a week's work. Carrot stretches and belly scratches.

oliverreed
Aug. 16, 2011, 02:51 PM
Mine actually knows the difference between the following words: "Treat" (a carrot), "cookie" - a molasses horse cookie - and "candy" - a peppermint. he also knows that when I say "Grandpa" that means my 87 year old Dad is on his way right now and he is going to get an apple.

I won't let him rub his head on me no matter how hard he begs but he does get "the cold wet towel" to wash his whole face after a hot ride (I swear he is learning what this phrase means!). And a blanket in the winter and a fan and hose-offs in the summer. And scratching the insides of his ears.

meupatdoes
Aug. 16, 2011, 03:03 PM
Mine actually knows the difference between the following words: "Treat" (a carrot), "cookie" - a molasses horse cookie - and "candy" - a peppermint. he also knows that when I say "Grandpa" that means my 87 year old Dad is on his way right now and he is going to get an apple.

I won't let him rub his head on me no matter how hard he begs but he does get "the cold wet towel" to wash his whole face after a hot ride (I swear he is learning what this phrase means!). And a blanket in the winter and a fan and hose-offs in the summer. And scratching the insides of his ears.

If I so much as hold open a towel in front of one of mine on the cross ties the ears go up and the neck stretches forward...

Also appreciated is if the gloved hand is held firmly in a fist for rubbing, preferably with the back (crochet-side) facing the forehead.

BetterOffRed
Aug. 16, 2011, 04:04 PM
Mine is spoiled rotten and pampered to boot- this weekend the barn worker corrected me on exactly how to wet down my horse's Cool Medics sheet. Apparently, my horse doesn't like it when you put it on him wet. He is 'upset' when you put the wet blanket on him. His Lordship prefers that you put the blanket on, and then wet the blanket down.

salymandar
Aug. 16, 2011, 05:17 PM
Haha, this thread makes me laugh. Many people tell me my horse is quite spoiled and he should spend more time appreciating his owners. Fortunately, he is finally starting to realize how good he has it!

HRH requires the following "special care":

* hand grazing when it is not too buggy after a workout or on days off
* scratching his itchy spots post haste and he is quite the itchy horse. Rubbing on me, however, is not permitted as he lacks respect for personal space
* allowing him to play and roll in the sand when turnout is limited -- I often lose track of how many times he rolls in one session
* his stall fluffed before going to bed
* special therapy (accupuncture, chiro, massage, you name it)
* extra special attention when he does good -- ego stroking is very necessary for him.
* Horse flies swatted when they become a nuisance, like Rhiannonjk and her horse. The other day he was in his paddock when a giant bomber horse fly would not get off his back, just out of his reach. He took off across the paddock and stood there with the most perturbed look on his face. When I went to see what was bothering him, he trotted up to me and stood most appreciatively while I killed it and rubbed the spot where it bit him. Aside from enforcing the go button, the crop also serves as the fly swisher while on trail rides.

... and I swear he waits until after a workout, when he is standing in the aisle, to relieve himself so that his "servants" will clean up after him :rolleyes:.

He also demands that someone give him treats and pay attention to him at all times ... well, that is were we fail in his book because treats are a rarity and he is expected to stand quietly for short periods of inattendance. We are working on him being more polite. Just because he is spoiled, doesn't mean he should act it.

Standard care is clean, well-fitting tack and apparel; warm blankets, daily grooming, great feed and general care, and a varied workout routine.

FLeckenAwesome
Aug. 16, 2011, 08:48 PM
naturalequus... Exactly!! He knows too ONLY when the bridle is off. And yes.. we use the towel, but apparently my back or thighs are just so much better ;)


I had to laugh the other day.... a friend walked past Fleck and just popped a peppermint into her mouth. Fleck heard the crinkle and stopped dead and just stared at her. Apparently he's got the puppy dog look down pat, because the poor girl stopped, spit the peppermint into her hand and fed it to him. Doh... hee hee...

I always say when I die, I want to come back as my horse!

bthatasitmay
Aug. 17, 2011, 01:46 AM
Madam gets special home made cookies, because it is so hard to find treats that do not contain soy. Even though I managed to find some apple treats she still gets the home made ones (they take forever to make), as I discovered that they are the only ones she can eat with her double bridle on (she needs them when she has been particularly awesome during a ride). She also gets massages after a work out, hand grazing in the better grass after riding, and treats just because she is so beautiful and she puts up with being ridden. The old guy also gets treats frequently and thoroughly groomed daily even though he is essentially retired. After over thirty years I still feel privileged to be a part of their lives.