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Update to Forum Rules: Criminal Allegations

In our continuing effort to provide an avenue for individuals to voice their opinions and experiences, we have recently reviewed and updated our forum policies. Generally, we have allowed users to share their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, trainers, etc. within the industry, and that is not changing.

When it came to overt criminal allegations, however, those discussions have in the past needed to stem from a report by a reputable news source or action by law enforcement or the legal system.

We are now expanding our policies to allow posters to share their own first-hand experiences involving overt criminal allegations, such as animal abuse or neglect, theft, etc., but only if they publicly provide their full first and last name along with the post. We still will not allow anonymous postings alleging criminal activity.

So, a user may now make a specific claim against a named individual or company, but it must be a FIRST-HAND account, and they have to IDENTIFY THEMSELVES. Users have always been legally responsible for their posts, and nothing has changed there, but we want to loosen the reins a bit and further allow the free flow of discussion and information relevant to the horse community.

We are not providing a free-for-all of anonymous rumor-mongering. As enduring advocates for the welfare of the horse, we want to provide a forum for those willing to sign their name and shine a light on issues of concern to them in the industry.

The full revised rules are posted at the top of each forum for reference.
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Forum rules and no-advertising policy

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(Revised 5/9/18)
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Last One Home

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  • Last One Home

    I guess you can say we are ready for winter now with the young gelding home now. Picked him up yesterday after seeing him work and husband driving him to a cart. It has taken a LONG while, but he seems accepting of his job now. Trainer put in a lot of time getting him quiet, consistant, which sure is NOT how he started! He pulls heavy things, arena drag, tires, cart without any reaction, though he can still be a bit sound reactive to new or odd noises. Time to get the Spookless noise CDs out for him to listen to while in the barn. Lots of varied noises on them.

    He seems happy to be back, though not sure exactly how much he remembers of it being "home". Seemed quite confident turned out, not tentative at all. He sure ran and tore around in his paddock this morning! Sliding stops from a gallop, rollbacks, rearing and bucking, then strutting around with his BIG TROT enjoying himself. He will be in at night in a tie stall, between other horses getting reacquainted thru the metal dividers. A few days of that and then out with one horse for a few days. Then out with another buddy horse a few days, as we work thru the herd. I just finished doing this with the last "new" horse meeting the young mare outside, after her training time away. It went very well, no fights or chasing around. The young gelding is a bit full of himself, a snotty ear flip may get him in trouble from the old boys. They want RESPECT from young horses! Move away when they look at you! Ha ha

    We got time to drive the young mare last week, she did alright. No hesitation pulling the heavier, 4-wheeled marathon carriage over wet hard sand in the arena. Doesn't understand driver giving rein outside for turns, but improving. Needs more single time, but husband thought she was fairly good. He has been working so much it has been hard to find daylight to drive her with both of us home. Have to be safe first.

    We are slowly weaning the foal, they are seperated for several hours after coming in the barn, not fussing now. Both eating quietly. They are turned out together all day. Filly usually hangs with the other horses in pasture, not Mom, which is good. Filly gets angry being alone inside, but not acting foolish or crazy, does eat hay and drink water. She can see her Mom eating across the aisle. Filly often comes in at night alone, first at the gate, Mom has not gotten to the gate yet. Mom is not excited either, being apart. I say "good progress!" Now i need to do a few more all nights stalled apart, then Mom stalled at night in the other barn, days together. Then Mom just is not out with filly at all until next summer. Long and slow, but no big excitement as seperation gets longer, seperated further apart. Filly is quite social outside, has the chewing down as she meets and greets our other horses turned out with her. Everyone is VERY polite at meetings, kind of like ladies at a tea party! They follow the horse greeting rituals in proper order every day, as horses get rotated in and out of their groups. She is getting so big, longer legged and (usually!!) gracefully moving. Just hard to believe she was only about 40 inches at birth in June, when you now have to raise your arm to be over her neck for haltering! Husband thinks she is about 13H now.

    I smoothed paddocks last week, so if it freezes, they are not too rough surfaced. Pulled all the outside mats smooth and cleaned them off so I won't trip over stones. I will open the big field again if we do get frozen ground. Still very wet here and rain expected before freezing comes. I got some insulated bucket holders in case it gets really cold, just have not installed them yet. My friend uses them for paddocks, says water stays unfrozen all day, using hot water to start. She does not have electricity to her many paddocks, so the insulated holders and floating caps work well for her. I am opposite, no electric to all the stalls, so insulated holders would be used there. I am using two holders in a paddock for water, getting rotated horses used to drinking from them first.

    Husband has been putting in a lot of time on our new acreage across the road. Mostly pulling trees and roots that have grown up in the old hay field. We have some serious brush piles! The spell of good weather helped, just hard, slow work. I am looking at it for conditioning instead of constant road driving. All our young horses can get time in driving first, outside a ring or pasture, without traffic beside them. We are going to enjoy having the space a lot! It even has a little bit of a hill, not flat!!

  • #2
    Best fully-horsey thread I have read in a long time. Very atmospheric and traditional. Your life with horses and DH and farm sounds nice!
    "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- George Bernard Shaw


    • #3
      I absolutely adore reading your posts! Thank you so much!!!
      Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


      • #4
        Great news all around for the both of you! Young horses sound promising and have had such a great start. So nice to read and thanks for sharing

        Best of luck through the winter for you guys and it sounds like you are more than ready for it!


        • #5
          You have accomplished a lot as winter settles in over the country.

          Curious to learn the benefit of a tie stall overnight. I use tie training during the day- is it the same thing just for a longer time??


          • Original Poster

            Tie stall and smaller dimensions than a box stall, are comfortable to them with daily use. They have plenty of room to stand or lay, turn heads to watch the aisle happenings. We find tie stalls save us time in cleaning. This even with each stall being stripped daily to the floor, new sawdust daily, so stalls are dry and thickly bedded enough under hooves for comfort standing or laying down. They are not on bare floors ever. Tie stalls save on bedding expenses, using a lot less than a box stall will. I can get more stalls in the barn, in the alloted stall footprint. We took out two 12x12 boxes to make 4 tie stalls. No money for a new barn!

            No pacing is possible, to turn bedding into a slurry if horse gets anxious. We go in and out on both sides of horses, feeding, filling buckets, so no one is reactive if surprised or ticklish being touched anyplace. It happens to them every day. Other horses may come and go, they wait well until it is their turn to come out of stall. They will move sideways, out of my way, either direction with just a word. All the benefits come with no added handing time for me. This is just part of their daily routine after the first few days showing them how things work. A horse who is tied daily is very patient about being tied for long times, 8-12 hours, as he would be on overnight trail rides. No one here hesitates going into trailer straight stalls, thru narrow doorways. I don't think they worry about a space being tight or large after tie stall use, just go where they are led.

            We both grew up using tie stalls, it was just how you kept horses in the barn! As kids the box stalls were for special, a mare and foal, weanling or young horse who doesn't tie yet. The old horse who had earned it. Sick calves! Ha ha We never considered not having some tie stalls in our barn. We did tie stalls when we only had riding horses too, not just a driving horse thing.

            Thanks everyone for the nice responses on our winterizing.


            • #7
              Great information on the tie stall, thanks so much!!!


              • #8
                How do they lie down if they are tied? I'm having trouble picturing your setup. Thanks!



                • Original Poster

                  Kind of like they lay down anyplace, though not flat out on their sides. Back is up against or near one wall, legs to the side.Hind legs up under them, front legs folded under. Heads may lay stretched out on one side or held near the chest, depending on the horse. Tie rope is long enough they can all lay heads out flat on the floor if they want to.

                  To get up they stretch front legs out ahead, roll up on belly so hind legs are under them, give a heave and rise to standing. Most of the then do stretches like a cat, which is kind of funny with their size! Lean far forward, lean back, stick out a hind leg VERY far, tighten muscles, relax them, then do the other hind leg too. The horses in the box stalls get up and stretch the same way, so they must feel good after.


                  • #10
                    Thanks, goodhors.



                    • #11
                      We had tie stalls for our farm horses too. They were rarely in the stalls more than 8 hours tho. Their lead ropes hooked to a sliding weight in the manger so that when they were eating or standing the rope was in the manger and if they laid down or turned their head the rope easily slid forward and then retracted as they turned back to the manger. Horses learn to step over and give you room. I wouldn't do tie stalks for horses that were housed in stalls over 12 hours tho. I like to let them get out and move.

                      Goodhors, did you make your own noise tape? Great post, you and your hubby sure work hard!


                      • Original Poster

                        Sorry not to reply sooner. It depends on the time of year, how long they are in their tie stalls. Right now with recent bitter cold temps, wind, 10 inches of snow, they WANT to come back in a little early! They do go out for at least 8 hours every day, unless there is sheet ice. Then they get walked up and down the aisle on good footing.

                        Most days they are out 12 to 14 hours, often longer. We are firm believers in horses having "free time" to play or run outside on a daily basis. They have horse friends turned out with them so they are well-socialized in herd settings, act like regular horses! Ha ha

                        We use a tie rope in the stalls, it has a quick release snap on the wall ring if someone gets in trouble. The weighted tie ropes we tried were not something we liked. Horses would back up to full length of rope, keeping rump in the aisle all the time. Ropes wore out quickly with contant rubbing of the eye-screw they ran thru. Sometimes the rope hung up in the eye screw, so horse was tight to the front or had WAY too much length of rope to play on.

                        We bought the noise CDs, did not make them. Spookless is the company that put them out. There are several CDs available with a good selection of noises on them stuff our horses just don't encounter locally like arena noises, crying and shrieking children, horns honking, marching bands. I think the CDs are very helpful in getting horses to ignore many peculiar sounds in the comfort oF their stalls while eating, then outside. I am sure you could Google to find the Spookless CD site.


                        • #13
                          Good topic, thanks!