Friday, June 25, 2010


           Presentations listed are free to the public

                        Nonantum Resort, Kennebunkport, Maine
                                  Wednesday, June 30  10:30 am
                                  Wednesday, July 28   10:30 am
                                Wednesday August 25   10:30 am

                        Colony Hotel, Kennebunkport, Maine       TBA

                                      Raindates to be announced


Look for Updates with new text and photos by February 2011

                    Looking forward to warmer weather -
                                              before the bugs come

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE HORSE.......... An (almost) weekly hint to help you understand & care for your horse

1. Did you know that day-active biting insects like  gnats, blackflies, deerflies, horseflies & mooseflies are attracted to dark objects and the CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the breath of animals & people ? 

Do your horse a favor by protecting them from biting insects. Vaccinations are valuable to avoid the disease process, but do nothing to keep your horse comfortable when insects are active.
All horses are prey, but darker horses are especially vulnerable due to their coloration. Sprays help but need to be re-applied and can not effectively protect ears, eyes & other vulnerable areas without the possibility of a skin reaction or close contact with vapors. Light colored fly sheets & masks are an easy & inexpensive way to  protect your horse with a barrier, similar to how clothing protects us. If your horse has to be outside without access to shelter, providing shady area will keep them comfortable but beware of other pests like mosquitoes & deerflies as they thrive in shade. Check on your horse every few hours to adjust sheets, spray if needed & move him into his stall if with a fan which lowers CO2 if he is stressed in his environment.
If your horse is showing signs of annoyance like swishing his tail, twitching his ears, shaking his head or rubbing his neck or tail he is not misbehaving. He is asking you for help.

Try this:  When biting flies are active, stand in the sun with dark clothing, then try it again wearing light clothing. How long can you take it ?  Our guys wear  Centaur Horse Blankets,  for quality, great fit & cool colors.

2. Did you know that flymasks do more than protect your horses face ?

This item shields eyes from the harmful rays of the sun, prevents debris from entering the eye & keeps insects out of the ears. Many flying insects carry disease causing bacteria or viruses. If your horse is showing signs of discomfort when riding like throwing his head, even after being sprayed, try something else.  Place a mask over the bridle, and enjoy your ride. Remember to spray the poll area & neck and under the mane, to prevent similar reactions caused by discomfort, as well as itching, possibly tearing the mane. You will have a happier, healthier horse, as well as a safe ride. Don't forget to clean out the tips of the ears before each use to remove debris.
Check out Cashel products for horses, dogs & people @
Yes, good care can be easy.

Try this: Go outside & try on your horses fly mask so you can feel the comfort & protection it gives. Notice the "sunglass & cooling effect". Take it off & notice how long it takes for the insects to swarm ?

3.  The battle with insects:  Sprays: chemicals or "natural"  ?

Considering factors such as how often sprays must be re-applied, how much skin surface is being treated & that sprays generally are not rinsed off daily, what would you use on yourself  ?
Anything that penetrates the skin can be harmful, but some products are safer and every horse is unique in how they metabolize the ingredients. Fly sheets reduce the need to spray the largest part of the horse. If you add a neck cover & mask there is even less to spray. Have you ever wondered what is in the sprays you use and inhale ? Look at the list of ingredients & check out the warnings. Why would your horses' skin be less vulnerable to harmful chemicals than your skin, when the tissues are similar.  Do you wash your hands every time you handle these products ?  Could long term contact with chemicals cause cellular changes like cancers ?  What would you rather use - a product that claims to be  "Non- Toxic"   or a product that states the precautionary measures to be taken during handling, inhaling, and its evidence as being an "environmental hazard". 

Would you, try this:   Spray your skin with a product such as  *Absorbines' Ultrashield, Residual Insecticide  & Repellant, on a daily basis throughout the summer months  OR
Try this: Eqyss Equine ReHydrant Spray, marigold Scent.,
           *Absorbine has many horse care products including a 'natural line"

4. Did you know that head tossing could be a result of insects biting?

A horse that tosses his head especially while being ridden, is dangerous to you and could hurt himself. If insect provoked, this is a sign that he is being stressed by an insect you can not see. One biting gnat is all he may need to react. This reaction is natural and should not be punished or ignored. If the horse is forced to hold his head steady for the rider, or tied on crossties he does not have the ability for full movement in order to remove the insect or rub the skin & he will probably continue to try to shake them off.  Remember, a horse does not have hands to smack the insects on his face as we do. A horse must pull his head down toward his front leg to rub his face and neck/poll area. People are sometimes advised to restrain the horses' movement more by using equipment like martngales, which help the rider, but do nothing to help the horse.   If the rider panics or get angry the situation worsens. If you can handle your horse from the ground it may be better to dismount, attend to the problem and return to the barn. Investigate the cause & try something else or more coverage. It's not fair to make a horse you are riding endure biting insects and sometimes headtossing is a simple fix, if insect related and not a skeletal or neurological problem.

Try this: Take a walk anywhre you go with your horse, with your face & hair exposed. When an insect attacks how do you react. If you couldn't use your arms and hands, what is the alternative. Do you flinch and react similarly ?  Now put on a fly mask, feel the difference but notice that if your neck is exposed the insects will continue to bite. What if you needed to focus on a task, like horse do when they're being worked & ridden, or if they are being restrained as when tied ?

5.  Did you know that when horses are tied or crosstied, they lose the freedom to move their head in order to see well & could panic or get stressed. 
If tied to be groomed during insect season, your horse could become uncomfortable if he is being annoyed or bitten, even if sprayed. If his head is tied, he is not able to defend himself, and this could be misconstrued as bad behavior.

Try this: Stand in place in the barn with the door open and the lights on. Clasp your hands behing your back & feel how defenseless you are. Now imagine being a flight animal.
Take the time to teach your horse to stand without being tied while being groomed so that he is more comfortable. It is safer to hold your horse with a lead rope than to leave him cross tied, especially for the farrier & vet. It just requires more patience & time. If the barn is hot, turn on a fan or do your grooming before dark.

6. Did you know that bright lights attract insects ?

Try This: Turn the light on in your barn at night with you horse standing under the lights.How long does it take before he begins to swish or shake his head. If your horse is crosstied it can be afrustrating experience. Riding outdoors under  lights also attracts insects. Spraying & using coverings always help. The same effects ocurr to people trying to enjoy the evening under lights.

7. Did you know that the horsefly transmits Equine Infectious Anemia, for which a blood test called a Coggins is done ?

Try This:  Protect your horse from this contagious & potentially fatal disease.  During big bug season use sheets that are open without belly flaps where flies can be trapped. Make sure sheets lay flat on chest where horseflies like to bite & be sure that flymasks are snug. If your horse has no shelter to protect himself, place an outdoor fan close to his hay to keep bugs at bay. Better still, allow your horse to stay in the stall during the hottest & brightest part of the day, preferably with a fan on to keep him cool & reduce the CO2.  Remember in the wild, horses can run from predators unlike captive horses that have comparatively small turnouts. Spaulding Fly Trap is costly but really works if used correctly, and lasts for years.      Check it out:      This is a great investment for boarding barns

8. Did you know that biting flies as small as specks of dust can cause serious infections.
Some areas are hard to protect like sheaths & udders, bellys, neck, jawline and even legs. Depending on the sensitivity/coloration of a particular horse, it may be worth keeping a eye out for trouble.

Try This: Check theses areas daily for open wounds or swelling. The lower leg is vulnerable to tiny bites by gnats that, if not adressed can lead to deeper infections called cellulitis. If the tail can not reach the lower leg, it can not protect it. Sparying infected skin will cause more irritation.

9. Did you know that horse clothing has its drawbacks ?
Insects can get trapped, causing a panic or a single blade of hay could pierce an eye.

Try This:  If you're not a horse clothing 'expert', know your horses' size and shop in person to understand the feel &weight of different fabrics. Don't use a sheet that someone gave you, if it does not fit. Different manufacturers have different fits. Ask questions of a knowledgeable salesperson. Generally stable sheets will not work for turn out and could endanger the horse. White or light colors are best for summer sheets, just as people are advised to wear light colored clothing. Tail flaps are great and protect the tail head from insects and from rubbing. High chest coverings also help as this is a big bug target. Belly flaps are helpful, but can trap large insects that may upset the horse more, but are great during certain times of the summer or day, depending on your situation. If your fly mask has black ears, get one with light ears (manufacturers are becoming aware that dark attacts).  Beware that insects can get up into a regular sheet and do some damage, but weigh the pros & cons to make a good decision for your horse. Clothing comes with some work. Remember that anything placed against the horses' skin, should be washed or at least rinsed the out regularly to keep the coat & skin clean & prevent associated skin problems. Dirty clothing should not be used on a horse, any more than it should be placed against our skin. Have fun with your horse and be a clothes horse - buy an extra one.

10. Did you know that the best natural protection horses have from insects is their coat, including the fur inside the ears & under the lower jaw, along with their ability to run away from predators, unless they are kept in small areas, where they can't get away ?

Try This:  Create larger spaces where horses can protect themselves, rather than small paddocks where they have no where to go. Be innovative by trying something new that may work. Some geldings and mares can live peacefully together or a horse that has been kept alone, could be carefully introduced to other horses allowing more room to run and less confinement. Build shelters or install canopy type structure where a horse can rest - a great opportunity for training too.  There are many options available to help your horse in the warm months, from clothing and sprays, to shelter or shade. Imagine having to live outside for 10 hours a day and go through the stress of being subject to the sun, heat and insects, unable to get any relief. We can all tolerate what we need to, but since we are responsible for bringing horses into our lives, and then confining them, we also need to continue to give them the very best in care.

11. Did you know that the 'safest ' horse, is the horse that isn't sold, providing the horse is in good care and  being ridden responsibly ?

There is no such thing as a 'bomb proof' horse, any more than there is a 'bombproof' person, however taking responsibility of keeping your horse, means that your commitment and the resulting attitude and treatment, is different. You're not looking for quick results, rather you are interested in a long term relationship, knowing that there are many steps in securing a partnership and there will be many struggles. If you keep your horse for it's lifetime, you are prepared to give back to your horse, for what your horse has given you. 
Keeping your horse guaratees that you know your horses personality and resulting athletic maneuvers, wether its bucking, spinning, a combination, or other horse-naughty behaviors that are simply a part of being a horse. Yes, it is dangerous to have horse behave in such ways, even if they only do it on specific ocassions, or only once a year, however take responsibility for wanting the challenge of riding  a horse, and remember not to punish  this behavior or give up and sell the horse.
Try This:  Deal with it and overcome the fear. 'Step  up to the plate'  by knowing the signs & practice prevention or handle those maneuvers knowing that is a credit to your riding ability. Time is everything in relationships with horses, just as a lifetime can reap rewards with human ones.

12. Did you know that getting a horse requires knowing enough to make the right decision, and not relying solely on the opinions of other people, including trainers ?

Before entering into this enormous commitment, wether for sport or pleasure, you owe it to yourself and the horse, to make responsible and informed decisions. Take the time to educate yourself about every aspect of owning & caring for a horse. Knowing yourself, your riding abilities & the goals you would like to accomplish with a horse, helps in making decisions in the partnership. Beware of trainers who have their own best interest in mind, rather than you, your horse and a successful , longterm relationship. Many trainers gain financially from poor choices. Horses personailities are influenced by breed but also by their history in relationships with people prior tpo you, and genetics. A horse is not a car & shouldn't be chosen as a result of emotions or for a short term 'fix' for your life.

13. Did you know that horses may not seek shelter in a thunderstorm or other dangerous weather events, even if shelter is available ?

Like small children, horses don't alway know what's good for them & need guidance. If you are not a 'stay at home Mom' to your horse, or regularly leave them alone without someone 'on call', should there be a weather event, your horses' safety could be jeopardized. Even if a stall is available, in hot summer months it may be uncomfortably hot and your horse may choose to stand outside to cool off, despite thunder & lightning.
Try this: If you have to go away, find someone experienced to spend the night or get the help of a neighbor or friend to check on your horse every few hours during the day, and be able to check on him at night if a storm occurrs.  Why 3 -4 hours ? That is a long time for a horse to be injured or in the pain of colic, without some asistance. For a horse, it could mean the difference between life & death.

14.  Did you know that horses lower legs are more vulnerable to infection from insect bites than other parts of the body ?

The lower leg has little muscle mass compared to other areas. Muscle tissue is responsible for the 'quivering' effect you see, that results from the sensation of an insect or foreign object. It occurs as an attempt to remove the object. Due to the lack of muscle here, it is easier for insects to bite, and so the horse may stomp in order to get rid of them.
Try this: Don't forget to protect the lower legs. Gentle washing once a week with Ivory or other mild soap, gentle drying, and protecting daily with sprays or leg coverings will allow you to prevent a problem before it happens.

15. Did you know that horses should be checked every few hours & not left alone all day ?

As well as being companion animals & needing regular mental stimulation from people, horses can get injured or sick. Being in pain for hours could be mean your horse is suffering and could have devastating results.
Try This: Create  a network of horse buddies and use them. It is best if horses are checked every 3-4 hours because that is a long time for a horse to endure pain & possible death. Checking on horses takes minutes & is a rewarding experience knowing that you are helping to make that horses' life, and their owners' better. Technology today allows us to use computers & cameras to monitor our horses at very little cost.

16. Did you know that 2 of the most important things your horse should know is how to trailer, and how to tolerate being alone ?

It's important for every horse to learn to trailer quietly. Don't wait for an emergency to decide to make time to practice. Horses are naturally claustrophobic & don't like confining spaces, so patience & time, not force is the key to success. Horses can't always be on 'our schedule'. It is our resonsibility as the ones with higher intelligence, to make tavelling safe & rewarding. Horses that have good experiences and are driven by conscientious drivers, in comfortable & safe trailers, look forward to going for a ride. Ignoring trailering issues can lead to disaster. Remember, you could be jeopardizing your horses' welfare by not making it part of life, just like riding.
Try This: Ever wonder how horses feel in a trailer ? Since some people are also claustrophobic, 
they can relate to the anxiety. Get in your trailer & have a friend drive you around. Make sure you ask your friend to drive slowly, be easy on the turns, brake gently, and open the windows. Oh yes, unless you don't mind standing in manuer, you might want to make sure it's clean too.
You'll never see trailering the same way again & you'll have greater empathy for your horse.

About being alone..... Since horses are social animals, being alone without another horse as a companion is difficult, and can cause negative behavior due to to anxiousness & boredom. It also prevents a horse from receiving the stimualtion & the enjoyment he needs from another horse. Although many other animals can help, there's nothing like another horse.
Try This: If you can not give your horse a companion, provide as much human companionship as you can. Involve your family, and include your horse in as many aspects of your life as possible. Give him stimuation from regular training and teach him new things. Take your horse on outings in the trailer so he does not become nervous about the world outside your home. Treat your horse to a massage on a regular basis since he is not capable of mutual grooming, and don't leave him alone for extended periods of time or overnight, since that would be taking advantage of his tolerance and could jeopardize his safety.
Imagine living in the wild for a few days with no human companionship.

17.  Did you know that even if your Gelding male horse tolerates or even enjoys having his sheath cleaned, it is important to have a vet do a thorough cleaning to remove solid build up called 'beans' & check for abnormalities yearly?

Even if you are lucky enough to have a horse that allows you to remove debris, chances are you are not going to be able do a thorough job & your horse may suffer the consequences - from irritation while being ridden, to imflamation of the tissues, to difficulty or pain with urination, to missing changes in the tissues that could lead to cancer.
Try This: Have a professional do the job yearly, preferably while the weather is warm. A vet can sedate your horse & give him ACE to further relax the muscle allowing your horse to drop the penis, so that the area can be cleaned & checked. Remember that vets have experience that you do not & it is in your Geldings best interest to have a thorough check. If you understand that a medical doctor is necessary to assist with the health of your children or a vet for your small pets, this will make sense. 

18. Did you know that one of the easiest & most effectives ways to keep biting flies out of the stalls & barn, is to remove the dirty food bowl/bucket after your horse has finished eating ?

Flies love to eat & a dirty bowl is an invitation in the cleanest barn.  Many barns wash buckets weekly and that is a great step, however depending on the environment, dirty buckets usually mean flies are present & waiting for your horse when he returns. It takes hours for flies to consume what may look insignificant. If your horse is lucky enough to have access to his stall, he may not get as much relief if flies are waiting. Horses stomp flies off their legs & stomping can cause unnecessary concussion or injury, as well as stress.
Try This: Test flies by spending a few minutes in the stall with the remnants of
breakfast. The flies will try to bite any exposed area. Imagine having to continually stomp your feet when you get bitten. This is why we tend to wear pants rather than shorts when  in the barn. What if your food or plate had flies landing in it - would you want to eat it ? Flies carry disease & are a great stress to the poor horse. Even rinsing out the bucket will help greatly. It takes seconds.

19. Did you know that  flymasks are capable of other things?

They can double as rain masks, keep debris out of an infected or injured eye and protect an eye being treated or sensitive to light.
If you enjoy riding in the rain, remember your horse may not, and why not make it a pleasant experience for them too ? In the winter, if your horse is out in wind or storms, flymask could help protect the eyes from the bitter cold, even with a 3rd eyelid. It will also keep the ears from being frostbitten.
Try This: Try one on and see for yourself.

20. Did you know that horses can be 'housetrained' just like dogs ?

The only reason most horses soil their stalls is because they don't get the opportunity to go to the bathroom somewhere else. Most animals don't like to soil the area where they live, lay or eat. This is an instinct that we interrupt with confinement. Although every animal has a unique personailty & habits, if you are able to provide and take the time to teach them and work with them regularly, you will be amazed at their capacity to learn, even if they have gone to the bathroom in their stalls their entire lives. Many of us feel more secure confining our horses at some times, like at night or during bad weather, and our horses will have no choice, but for the remainder of the time, if you supply an area outside with good drainage, with a surface that will not cause splatter, you will cut your shavings bill in half. Some horses may still prefer to poop in their stalls, however finding urine will be an unusual event.

21. Did you know that healthy horses that eat enough forage & drinking enough water, deposit maneuer about once an hour and urinate every 3 hours ?

The amount of maneur that a horse produces correlates to the amount of food he ingests. Even if  horses do not get 'free choice hay' & full access to pasture, they should have something available 24 hours/day, even if it is a small amount of coarse grass hay that is not their favorite, in order to satisfy their instincts to forage as well as to keep their digestive systems functioning in a healthy manner. Certain breeds such as Arabs, drafts, ponys & other crosses must be monitored & not fed excessive grass or hay in order to avoid issues like laminitis, insulin resistance & weight problems, however good management including daily exercise will keep problems at bay. If your horse is stabled, you should be allowed to give him what you know is appropriate even if it is inconvenient for the staff, however make the job as easy as you can for them. If the management is concerned over the welfare of the horses, they will work with you, for the health of your horse.

22.  Did you know that it is healthier &  behaviorally more instinctive,  for horses to be able to eat continuously ?
 Horses digestive systems are designed to eat continuously & any interruption in that cycle may endanger his health, increase his stress, and create anxious behaviors. Feeding horses 'meals' like humans or dogs,  rather than allowing them to eat  is generally done to save costs. Generally larger horses can consume more than  smaller ones. It is not safe or healthy to restrict horses from eating in order to have less manuer to clean, or for human convenience. Your horse will be happier doing some of what he was intended to do and he'll experience less problems with impaction or colic. Usually horses eating more forage also drink more water.

23. Did you know that it is physically less arduous to pull a hose to fill water buckets rather than to carry full buckets, especially over time ?
These days with so many 'cool' inventions, it is a worthwhile investment for yourself & anyone else whos' job it is to monitor buckets. The additional expense will be worth the lack of pain & injury to the shoulders, neck, back, wrist & fingers from overuse & an early onslaught of arthritis. Even bodies that are 'in shape' to do this, will eventually succumb to overuse (just like horses).

Try This: Get estimates of the costs to install the plumbing. You may be surprised at how reasonable it is, and your body will thank you, especially 10 years from now.

24.  Did you know that chewing on acorns can damage your horses' teeth ?
Horses teeth are not made to withstand the forces needed to break hard objcts without causing physical trauma. If there is little grass to graze on or if they have nothing else to eat like hay, they may occcupy their time biting into acorns & could frature a tooth.

Try This: As time consuming as it is, if you have oak trees that drop acorns where your horses graze, rake them, as well as the leaves in the area where they graze. You'll get the benefit of spending time with them, getting exercise & fresh air, and they will have a clean area to eat, lowering the tick population & an even surface to walk on, as well as keeping their teeth safe.

25. Did you know that if your horse doesn't like to get a bath, there's probably a good reason ?
Since they like leadersip, horses want to co-operate, however their history, fear, rough & rushed handling, cold water , water aimed at their faces or being bathed on a cold winter day, along with stressors of feeling anxiety because of what a bath may represent, could make your horse inclined to resist.

Try This: Surprise a friend by aiming a spray at them - anywhere, particularly at their face. What is their reaction ?  Now imagine having had ill treament and trying to stand still for a bath. Horses are much like us. If you treat them kindly & take your time - which could mean hours or months, you can help them get over a reaction or bad history. Horses don't like being bathed with cold water except on hot days or bathed on cold days any more than we do. Imagine if a bath represented something stressful to you. If baths and shows or any stressful situation are synonymous to your horse - and you, - try giving him a nice experience in a calm atmosphere with gentle handling - don't push, instead ask for 1 change taking time to work with him. After the bath reward him with a hand walk a 'hang out' or a turn out, even if he rolls. If he know that a bath means being locked up in his stall when he is normally turned out, he will see it as a punishment. Make a bath a rewarding experience for both of you.

26. Did you know you it's hard to 'outgrow' a horse ?
Horses can challenge us if we give them the opportunity & are courageous & willing to try new things. This makes us better riders & also challenges the horse mentally by making him think. This in turn keeps you and your horse mentally stimulated & enthusiatic about work, even if it is something different, or something that takes you in a different direction of riding or working alongside your horse.

Try This: Ride bareback to improve your balance & equitation skills - at a walk, then a sit to a posting trot and finally at a canter; Take out the bit & Try a real Bitless Bridle, not a hackamore or bosal OR ride with a halter; Go a little further & learn to neckrein;  Longline your horse - a confidence boost for both & exercise for the human. If jumping is your thing, jump the same course in a different field or jump someplace new, add distractions. Learn to jump without stirrups or with no hands controlling his mouth.  Practice gymnastic exercises in the saddle to improve your balance, give you confidence and tone the abs & lower body (in humans).  Find another person that's bored going in circles in the indoor, set up goals & play ball hockey with a plastic bat that will not injure your horse.  
At Liberty work is tremendously challenging because communication & co-operation is the only thing influencing your horse, especially in larger areas. There are an endless types of fun, challenging work/play you can do with a horse and it is our job to keep them interested & stimulated. Of the 2, the horse wins over the human in athletic endeavors. If you think you have outgrown a horse, you may not know how much he is capable of teaching you.

27. Did you know that riding or walking your horse on a road requires common sense and caution so that you don't put your horse in jeopardy ?
If you can avoid it ride where it is safe. Unfortunately due to the many acres of development that have taken with them, our natural resources, many must resort to some time on the road. 

28. Did you know that after several frosts, the ground may no longer be suitable for anything but walking ?
After the ground has frozen, it is uneven, does not give and is similar in hardness to cement. Trotting or cantering your your horse, especially with your weight is uncomfortable for the horse and can cause strss as possible injury to his feet and legs. The musculoskeletal system is not meant to take the trauma of pounding on hard sufaces in people or animals. The results of impact is evident in runners even with the use of high tech shoes.

Try This: Run barefoot on uneven, hard ground and compare the difficulty and the difference. Now imagine doing this with weight on your back and manipulation of your head, or running in a tight circle. Ever notice that you don't see horses running once the the ground has frozen, unless it is snowcovered ? They are pretty smart.

 29. Is it really a good idea to allow other pets like dogs or small children to be in close proximity with your horses, especially on a regular basis ?
No, because both dogs and small children like toddlers, and children with special needs, who's brain is not yet capable of complex thinking, react with instinctive behavior. We, as adults are the leaders and  responsible for keeping them safe. They are looking to us for leadership and we are responsible for their welfare..If an injury occurs we have only ourselves to blame. Unfortunately this means that the dog may learn his lesson, but why would we jeopardize his safety to begin with.

Try This: If you want to have your dog or child close by, keep your dog or child safely out of the way. Horses can take a step you don't anticipate or startle especially when they are tied or restarined. Never allow either to be walk close to the horses' legs. If your dog won't listen, tie him.  You will not only avoid a vet bill but an injury that may take along time to recover from.

30. Did you know that when deep snow has an icy covering, it's best for your horses legs, if you to make a path for him rather than ride him to make the path or have him make the path for you ?
When your horse takes a step in this type of footing there is a risk that he will cut or injure his front legs on the ice. They generally try to tend to avoid this type footing, or wait for the ice to melt before stepping on it.

Try This: Notice how hard the ice feels when you step into it and imagine how it would feel bare legged. If you can't make a path for your horse, use tendon boots to orotects the legs and always check for cuts.

18. Did you know that just because something is a 'tradition', it is not necessarily a good thing ?

Naturally you must be informed and educated enough to make a good decision when you decide on a horse, as well.

Although traditions in the horse world revolve around the sale of horses for reasons relating to their ability to perform, it can set the pace for a less than enjoyable relationship. Horses, like dogs, become more confused with easch subsequent owner or leasee. In addition to the stresses of a new environment, new home, new or no other horses and of course, new people, there will be the stress of a new trainer with their ideas of how the horse should be trained, a new discipline or a form of the current one, new weight in the saddle & a new bit in the mouth, hopefully in  hands of a rider who is not overweight and has excellent equitation skills. How  many people does that leave out ?  No wonder most horses have either quietly tolerated their situations or simply objected by refusing a jump or running away with rider in tow.
Try This: Keep your horse and work to overcome challenges together. Educated decision will lead to a proper choice in a horse, but it takes a years, or more for that horse