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Things you should know but are ashamed to admit you don't...

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  • how much hay should each horse eat per day? how do I know how much each horse weighs? those flimsy weight tapes don't seem very accurate. And the size of hay flake varies from bale to bale (we don't have all-you-can-eat round bales here)
    Here's an article the discusses hay/forage intake.

    This is an easy way to estimate your horse's weight based on measurement:


    • Digital pulse and boots

      Here's how to take a digital pulse: You're feeling for a vein that's about the size of a pencil lead, that is slightly above and centered between the bulbs of the heel. I use my middle finger, but you can use which ever finger is comfortable except the thumb (you feel your own pulse if you use the thumb). Usually, you'll feel only a slight pulse unless something is wrong. If you can't feel anyhing, feel around in a small circle until you do. It will be easier to find if your horse has been moving prior to the search, so walk him around if you're initially stumped.

      Pulses are different on every horse. If you can't find one on your subject, try another horse. If you find it once, you'll become an instant expert thereafter.

      It's a good idea to establish what's normal for your horse at rest and just after exercise.

      What I don't know, among other things, are the particular uses of all the boot types that are out there. Fetlock boots? Overreach boots? (although that's pretty self explanatory) galloping boots? I get they're all for protection of some sort, but .......? And how do you tell if your horse needs one or another?
      Barbaro Cultist, Metabolic Nazi


      • Dressage terms.
        Why we call a 17h 1300 lb horse "cute".
        Oh and the names of certain cross country jumps.
        Little Star Chihuahua Rescue
        The Barkalicious Bakery
        On Facebook!!!


        • Originally posted by MacknCody View Post

          I also can't "feel" the wrong diagonal. I have to look down. Anyone else have this problem?
          Me too!!! I have been riding for 18 years and I can't seem to figure it out...and let me tell you I have been yelled at a lot because of it!


          • JOIN PONY CLUB!!

            And THIS, my friends, is why Pony Club was invented!! Well not exactly, but this is all stuff that is covered in Stable Management!! They really should have PC for adults!


            • How to pull a shoe

              In the last week or so, I've learned to wrap legs and have given my first antibiotic injections - yay me. Have looked for a pulse but haven't found one yet.

              I can pull a mane, and though I don't know how to do it yet, I see braiding in my future.

              I can muck a stall and pull a bumper pull trailer. Have a decent eye for conformation and lameness but not as good as my 14yo daughter's.

              A couple of things I feel like I need to know how to do but don't - yet - are pull a shoe, use a twitch, and change a tire on the trailer.



              • I don't pull my horse's mane. I, in theory, know how to. But I hate doing it, and so I pay my trainer to do it and she tacks it on my bill.
                I know HOW to give IM shots, but I'm slightly scared of doing it (needle phobia) so I make the trainer or my best friend (who's a former vet tech and works in a lab with animals) do it for me. I've also never wormed my horse (full care board is a lovely thing).

                That said... I can clean a sheath (well my gelding's anyway, he's super easy though) and do perfect wraps (to the point where at one point I was one of the only people my trainer would let do HER show horse - I used to work as a groom), and make an amazing liniment brace/rub down for my horse post show. I have an AWESOME eye for lameness (owning a 22 year old OTTB does that to you!) and I can change a tire on our four horse trailer (although I can't drive anything larger then my Honda Civic - I CAN change a trailer tire, dangit!).
                Sarah ( & Regal)

                what doesn't kill you makes you stronger -
                unless it breaks your heart first


                • Executing a slip/quick release knot. For the love of God, I just can't seem to "get" it.

                  And canter leads..... most days it seems I have no clue. Somedays, I'm just lucky!

                  I'm also in the "can't start posting on the correct diagonal" club and the "don't know how to wrap properly" club too.

                  But after a discussion with my trainer the other day, these are some of my goals for next year. To master these things.
                  Last edited by LSM1212; Nov. 22, 2006, 05:29 PM.


                  • Know what? These helps/definitions/how tos should be compiled, put in alpahbetical order and stored in the archives.
                    Barbaro Cultist, Metabolic Nazi


                    • omg I feel so bad for not knowing this but I can't identify colic for the life of me

                      but im young and i still have so much time to learn

                      add me to than non-conformation eye club

                      though i can spot lameness fairly well, i never trust myself and always need that second opinion


                      • Originally posted by LSM1212 View Post
                        I'm also in the "can't start posting on the correct diagonal" club
                        I know my diagonals unless I get flustered. Perfect example: I took my horse into a dressage show where he was acting like a total pig. Watching the video, I actually looked very composed whereas inside I was freaking out about forgetting the test, trying not to brace, remembering to breathe, etc. I remember glancing down and honestly having absolutely no clue if I was on the correct diagonal or not!! I had a 50/50 shot and I chose WRONG!! Every time I watch that tape, I cringe.
                        Amwrider: May the fleas of a thousand camels infest their genitalia and may their arms be too short to scratch.


                        • Bits... I'd like to know more about the function of bits. Any good websites?


                          • Originally posted by Invested1 View Post
                            I know my diagonals unless I get flustered. Perfect example: I took my horse into a dressage show where he was acting like a total pig. Watching the video, I actually looked very composed whereas inside I was freaking out about forgetting the test, trying not to brace, remembering to breathe, etc. I remember glancing down and honestly having absolutely no clue if I was on the correct diagonal or not!! I had a 50/50 shot and I chose WRONG!! Every time I watch that tape, I cringe.
                            I know if I'm not on the correct one. And about 75% of the time I can feel it w/o having to look. It just transitioning up and down and trying to pick it up the first time that I can't seem to master.


                            • Is chocolate bad for horses?

                              I know it is very bad for dogs and cats. The local Mexican restaurant has a candy dish at the front -- I usually take some peppermints for the heese. Last time I took a few tiny Tootsie Rolls for me as well... and the horses mugged me for them. I will admit I handed some out. And then said "well I hope THAT wasn't a bad idea..."
                              Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.


                              • Originally posted by JoZ View Post
                                Is chocolate bad for horses?
                                Don't know of it being bad for them in the same way as cats and dogs, but I don't think it is all that healthy either. IF you show, don't even THINK of letting them have chocolate - positive test for caffeine and theobromine
                                Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                                Member: Incredible Invisbles


                                • I would love to know the meaning behind the letters in dressage arena. They seem so random to me.
                                  Bit n' Bridle Equestrian Shop - Apparel and gifts for horse lovers.

                                  Lindsay Abel Equine Photography


                                  • Originally posted by sk_pacer View Post
                                    Don't know of it being bad for them in the same way as cats and dogs, but I don't think it is all that healthy either.
                                    Don't worry, it won't become a habit, I like the Tootsie Rolls too much myself, LOL. Frankly I was surprised they liked them. On the other hand I'm not too concerned with them being "not all that healthy" when you consider the size of a Tootsie vs. a horse. Can't imagine Peeps are at the top of the nutrition list either!
                                    Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.


                                    • I thought of another thing I don't know. I think if I thought hard enough I could fill a book. I hope it doesn't outweigh what I *do* know!

                                      Here are two sentences:
                                      - In general a horse should have between 1-2% of his/her body weight in hay per day. For a 1,000 lb. horse this would be 10-20 lbs.
                                      - Horses are grazing animals and should have hay in front of them at all times.

                                      I have heard both and believe both to be true. How do YOU reconcile these two?

                                      Our horses could finish 20 lbs. of hay in 1 or 2 hours max. And most if not all of them would be too fat on 20 lbs. Our hay is not rich, it is local grass hay. They cannot be on grass of any kind in the winter; they are on drylot (well, I WISH it were dry, more like mudlot) and in their stalls overnight. They get almost no grain (about 1 cup to hold their vit/min and supplements).
                                      Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.


                                      • Okay, I'm going to attempt to describe a quick release knot...

                                        Picture a standard horizontal tie rail:

                                        1) Put the rope over the rail and pull it under and back toward you.
                                        2) Put both pieces of rope in your right hand.
                                        3) Make a large loop with the end of the rope (part that's away from the horse that came under the bottom of the rail).
                                        4) Flip the loop over the top of your right hand
                                        5) Put the loop back up through the small "circle" made by the rope next to your right hand
                                        6) Release with your right hand and pull the "loop" until the knot is tight.


                                        To release, simply pull the end of the rope.

                                        Good Luck!
                                        Aca-Believe it!!


                                        • Things I don't know:

                                          1) Assorted dressage terms (throughness, flexion, bend, schwung, ying, yang, etc.)

                                          2) How to slow down a horse's rhythm. My mare trots like she's on speed sometimes and it seems like I can't slow her down for the life of me without using my hands. It's like my posting rhythm HAS to follow the trot rhythm, no matter how hard I try to slow it down.

                                          2) How to give shots. Actually, I do know in theory because it was part of one of the classes I had to take in college, but practically speaking I've never done it.

                                          3) Pedigrees. I know who the sire/dam and everything is, but actually deciphering a pedigree and evaluating it is beyond me, as are terms like tail male and tail female lines, etc.

                                          4) Warmblood conformation. Honestly, when I look at warmblood horses with what others claim as "good" or "excellent" conformation, they don't look at all to me what my basic horsecare books say is good conformation. I can pick out conformational defects like cow hocks, ewe-necks, etc., but knowing what proportions and stuff are desirable on a sporthorse is a mystery.

                                          JoZ: The first sentence is correct, but the second sentence needs a little qualifying--yes, horses are grazing animals and should be free to eat at all times. However, when they are on pasture they don't spend 24 hours eating...they also sleep, and run, and play, and stand around swatting flies, and stand around making ugly faces at each other, etc. It also takes longer to snip off individual bits of grass instead of grabbing mouthfuls of hay so they eat slower. When they are in stalls, they don't have much of anything to do except eat. So that's why I think they can polish off 20 lbs. of hay in a short amount of time and stand around being bored the rest of the time.

                                          Also, 2% of the body weight is a high figure...most horses probably only need about 1.5%. Each horse is different (easy keepers, hard keepers) so that's why they give you that range. 1% is the minimum, however. 10-15 lbs. of hay per day is a fairly easy figure to reach, and this is assuming grass hay is fed and not alfalfa, which is more calorie-dense. Also, any grain fed would cut into the 1-2% figure.
                                          Happiness is the sweet smell of horses, leather, and hay.