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Pointless unwritten rules for horses...

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  • Pointless unwritten rules for horses...

    Just reading a thread about why it is that putting horses out wet is frowned on, and it would appear that no-one really knows... It made me think about the millions of other horsey 'rules' some of which Im sure are based on old wives tales, and others which maybe have a reason behind them somewhere.

    For instance, at my barn i always cut carrots into slivers, ostensibly to stop them choking. As someone pointed out the other day not everyone people does this, and yet neither of us had ever heard of a horse choking to death on a carrot, ever. But still, I do it, so I dont encounter any 'tuts' should my first riding instructor drop past....

    Any other examples of these unwritten rules?

  • #2
    depends on if you are putting a horse out wet as in whole horse not just the legs

    i put mine out wet if a nice warm sunny day i stand there to and make them if really hot they love the hose piep in the summer - then what do they do have a dirt bath --

    but i wouldnt put a horse out wet in winter or when its cold

    if a horse is exercise/ or a race horse, steeple chaser. eventer etc
    and is competeing and got wet with sweet then a wash down and dry off and then wlak of wet is the norm

    if you rode a horse and it got wet then shoved it out in the wet when it was alreay hot and wet with rian and sweet then that becomes a no no as the horse would then get a chill

    same to if you rugged it wet then put in out in wet cold air and rain that could lead to a chill--

    the circumstances depend on what you do, what you have, and how you care about the horse in question--

    if shelter and runs yeah that can take most of the weather off a horse
    but if you wants to ride it then should dry it off before hand so it dont get sore and dry it off when you come back -- but if it was a simple walk in the rain and horse not sweaty and got wet then would it make a difference

    the only difference is it would be dry where the tack is -- and then people turn the horse out then whats it do -- puts a coat of mud on to keep itself
    warm.

    like isad depends really home, climate, and weather and waht you do

    some people only have grass liveries and not rugged but they cope in all weathers

    Comment


    • #3
      Let's see,
      1. Always mounting from the left.
      2. Jumping a course using a specified number of strides between fences.
      3. Not hand feeding (have yet for one of my horses to become nippy because of it in 30 years of horse ownership).
      4. Manes going to the right of the neck.
      Don't know if I got in the spirit of this, but these are a few things that don't make a lot of sense to me. I don't jump anymore, so number 2 isn't a big deal, but it sure makes hunter jump classes require horses of a certain stride or size.
      "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Its exactly in the spirit of this thread!

        I was told as a child that horses got confused if you do things like lead/mount from both sides - which i have realised as the years go on is a load of codswhallop.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by scottishgirl View Post
          For instance, at my barn i always cut carrots into slivers, ostensibly to stop them choking. As someone pointed out the other day not everyone people does this, and yet neither of us had ever heard of a horse choking to death on a carrot, ever. But still, I do it, so I dont encounter any 'tuts' should my first riding instructor drop past....
          I think it's pretty rare, but a friend of mine who runs a rescue did have a pony choke to death on one. Of course, this IS a rescue, so perhaps, I don't know, the pony had other issues.

          Comment


          • #6
            Well back a long time ago you mounted from the left so as not to stab yourself with your sword. That is how the tradition started, but I don't know too many of us that still ride with swords.
            All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by scottishgirl View Post
              Its exactly in the spirit of this thread!

              I was told as a child that horses got confused if you do things like lead/mount from both sides - which i have realised as the years go on is a load of codswhallop.
              Not only is it codswallop (love that expression BTW! ), but my horsie chiro says it is actually better for them to mount from both sides alternately .

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                But isnt it more likely for your horse to die of obesity related disease than carrot chokage.... and practically every horse I see other than the eventing lot is fat... So why the carrot emphasis?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Always mounting from the left.
                  Manes going to the right of the neck.
                  That goes back to the Middle Ages. Knights wore their swords on the left to allow them to draw their blades easily. If they mounted from the right, they would have to bend and lift the left leg, which was difficult since they had a rather heavy sword and scabbard attached to the hip. So instead, they mounted from the right.

                  The reason for the mane is along the same lines- it kept the sword from getting hung up in the mane if the knight had to draw his blade in the saddle.
                  "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                  Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                  Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I was told never to vary your grooming routine. Always start on the near side at the neck when currying, never start on the right, always pick the feet in exactly the same order.

                    Because otherwise the horse would get upset or confused and you might scare it.

                    I always also told the "always mount from the left". Always lead from the left. left left left. Even though we don't ride with swords anymore.

                    I'll think of others I'm sure - but honestly - I've forgotten most of them because it was a bunch of hooey.
                    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                    -Rudyard Kipling

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      So why do these rules hold relevance now?

                      discuss...!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ok...so I have always heard that you should not water a hot horse..then I have read that it is OK (if you are thirsty you drink hot or not right?) So what is the truth? (Not hijacking the thread just wondering about yet another unwritten horsie rule..)
                        The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          They used to think it caused the horse to colic - just like using hosing a hot horse with cold water was bad for it - I think it's just due to advances in vet medicine giving us a better understanding. However - I'll defer to a vet on that one.

                          I think there might be value in teaching the novice to not deviate from a grooming routine - only because you're trying to create a good horseman and proper grooming is certainly a part of that. Having the mane fall to a certain side, and training it that way - would make it easier to braid I suppose.

                          Originally posted by Jumphigh83 View Post
                          Ok...so I have always heard that you should not water a hot horse..then I have read that it is OK (if you are thirsty you drink hot or not right?) So what is the truth? (Not hijacking the thread just wondering about yet another unwritten horsie rule..)
                          Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                          Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                          -Rudyard Kipling

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well, most of them don't hold any relevance anymore.

                            I believe the people who practice imprinting will tell you that what you do to one side of the foal, you should do to the other side as well! I've always done things from both sides of the horse though (starting on the off side to groom, mounting from the off side, etc.) because it just made sense to me--I've never heard all that "codswhallop" about confusing the horse and frightening it! What a crock!!!!

                            A couple things that do make sense though--

                            The first is about those carrots! If you slice them horizontally they are just the right size to block the esophagus if the horse's teeth aren't in good shape. My old pony nearly choked to death on a carrot, but I had cut it up rather well--it was his teeth that was the culprit, but I like to think it was a sign from God. The poor little thing had Cushing's and shouldn't have been eating carrots anyway (which I didn't find out until much later ). I tried to do the Heimlich manuever on my choking pony and the little ingrate nearly kicked me!!!!! The vet told me to let him "cough it out"....

                            And,

                            a much older friend told me that you should never put a horse out while there's dew on the grass because you're just asking for the horse to colic. I've done this numerous times and never had a problem but the more I read the more I think this is probably good advice. If the weather conditions are just right you can develop fungal problems with your grass which I suppose could lead to botulinum depending on where you live. On the thread about Phar Lap on the Racing Forum I expressed my feelings that perhaps that is what killed Phar Lap and not the Fowler's Solution (or arsenic poisoning by unknown thugs) as was originally thought.... So, there may be some basis of fact about that statement....
                            "I'm not much into conspiracy theories but if everyone thinks alike you don't need a plot!" ~person from another bulletin board whose name has been long forgotten~

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Cherry View Post

                              The first is about those carrots! If you slice them horizontally they are just the right size to block the esophagus if the horse's teeth aren't in good shape. My old pony nearly choked to death on a carrot, but I had cut it up rather well
                              well although im sorry that your pony had a near escape, im glad that my carrot slicing isnt as pointless as i thought :-)

                              I used to know a woman (very well respected in my area) who said that it was bad form to gallop downhill. Now obviously Im not going to rattle my horse down a mountainside for kicks, but she used to get narky on gently rolling fields... went hacking with her twice, and that was the end of that friendship!

                              But the worst thing was that she used to hack out with the youngsters on the yard... a few weeks ago i went out for a ride with a girl who is 20 now and used to ride with the woman....we were cantering along and suddenly she started screaming to stop as the track was going downhill - can you believe that 5 years later this girl was still convinced it was terribly dangerous to do this! Im now sure theres a whole generation of kids in my area that have grown up thinking this

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by scottishgirl View Post
                                well although im sorry that your pony had a near escape, im glad that my carrot slicing isnt as pointless as i thought :-)

                                I used to know a woman (very well respected in my area) who said that it was bad form to gallop downhill. Now obviously Im not going to rattle my horse down a mountainside for kicks, but she used to get narky on gently rolling fields... went hacking with her twice, and that was the end of that friendship!

                                But the worst thing was that she used to hack out with the youngsters on the yard... a few weeks ago i went out for a ride with a girl who is 20 now and used to ride with the woman....we were cantering along and suddenly she started screaming to stop as the track was going downhill - can you believe that 5 years later this girl was still convinced it was terribly dangerous to do this! Im now sure theres a whole generation of kids in my area that have grown up thinking this

                                I still don't canter down hills...my thought being if they trip, you are both going a** over teakettle. A slight decline is one thing, but absolutely not on big hills!~ JMHO!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Good thing she doesnt foxhunt!!!
                                  The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Jumphigh83 View Post
                                    Good thing she doesnt foxhunt!!!
                                    Not this girl! Jumping isn't my thing, and I am getting too old and creaky to risk falling!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Horses are creatures of habit so you MUST feed them at *exactly* the same time every day. As if feeding them at 730 instead of 7 would cause death?

                                      When picking out feet, you must do it in the same order every time.

                                      In the evening if you go back into the barn and turn lights on it "wakes up" the rest of the horses. Never mind the fact horses don't sleep 8-hour stretches like people do nor do they go to sleep at exactly the same time.

                                      Treats/rewards are absolutely wrong. A horse should want to work and do his work well. His reward is getitng the exercise correct.

                                      a much older friend told me that you should never put a horse out while there's dew on the grass because you're just asking for the horse to colic.... If the weather conditions are just right you can develop fungal problems with your grass which I suppose could lead to botulinum depending on where you live.
                                      Bacteria generate the botulism toxin, not anything fungal.

                                      Maybe her theory comes from the high sugar content grass gets on cold mornings (the kind of mornings that generate lots of dew)? In a horse who has been stalled with 12 hours without any forage, he might gorge himself and it's more of a colic worry with higher-sugar morning grass? <grasping at straws here> I don't know?

                                      My horses are turned out 24-7. Her theory can't work because so many horses live on turnout and don't get sick when dew's on the grass.
                                      Veterinarians for Equine Welfare

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by scottishgirl View Post
                                        But isnt it more likely for your horse to die of obesity related disease than carrot chokage.... and practically every horse I see other than the eventing lot is fat... So why the carrot emphasis?
                                        How did you get into my barn???????????
                                        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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