Tag Archives: horses

I love the idea of a big open barn or run in for shelter but how do you feed if they chase each other?

During the huge response to yesterdays blog titled Where do you live and what shelter do your horses have? Cindy asked the following question.

“I love the idea of a big open barn or run in for shelter but how do you feed? I have a piggie who will chase the others off if I try to feed together. Having the stalls lets me separate them.”-Cindy

I have done several things in this situation but I would also love to hear how others have handled this.

When I have had horses turned out I tried to put them in similar groups. I often had two pastures, one for the ‘easy’ keepers and one for the young and growing who required more calories. In those pastures I often fed different types of hay due to the calorie needs and also different amounts of ration balancer (a type of grain) or fat supplement if needed.Feeding horses with similar needs together makes things easier.

I fed the horses far enough apart that it was not very effective for the horses to move each other. If fed too close together one horse could ‘guard’ more than one feed pile but with more distance they would maybe switch once or twice but frequent switching wasn’t worth it. On the occasion that one horse was a real trouble maker we have also stood and guarded the horses that were being pushed during the grain feeding time, which is the only time this was an issue. I feed a low volume ration balancer so standing guard doesn’t take that long.

Another thing I have done is to tie the horse that pushed the others during feeding time. While tied I could then do other chores such as cleaning and then untie them when the feeding time is over. Most of our horses have free choice hay and share it well. The few easy keepers we have had were feed together and if they tried to guard the hay we just spread it out further…and they got more exercise moving around.

Unfortunately, I have seen horses in situations where people have ‘let them work it out’ and the ‘low’ horse in the pecking order didn’t get enough to eat. It is especially easy for people to over look this during the winter when the horses are very fuzzy and the human doesn’t realize how much weight the horse may be losing. Be sure to run your hands over the horses frequently to feel, rather than see, what their weight is under all that hair.

How would you answer Cindy’s question? Do you have one horse that will chase others? How did you handle it?


Posted by on January 4, 2015 in Life, Members Question


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Where do you live and what shelter do your horses have?

I am a fan of horses spending as much time out as possible. I love the idea of horses being out 24/7….but in many of the places I visit the weather also plays a part in this decision.

When I lived in Ohio we had run in sheds that had gravel and small paddocks. If the weather was bad, freezing rain for example, we would put rain sheet or rain blankets on them. Still there were times that I would bring them in. Slippery ice or ground frozen with hoof-pot-holes or excessive cold with wind were times that I would bring them in. I always liked having stalls available if the weather was bad. The horses always seemed to appreciate the chance to be sheltered from the elements. They also enjoyed the chance to run and play in the indoor because even though they were outside the footing wasn’t good for running and playing.Where do you live and what shelter do your horses have?

Some areas of the country are different. I just rode for hours in New Mexico in several inches of snow with no risk of mud or ice. It was also noticeably nice when we were in the ravines where the wind blew over but the sun shone down to warm us.

I have been on ranches where the horses were expected to find shelter themselves; among trees, along ravines, etc. I haven’t personally done this but there are areas in the country where I have heard it is possible.

When I have written other posts involving stalls or shelter I have received comments like:

“The BEST kind—they don’t have stalls!!!!”

Again, I love the idea of horses being out a lot but I would also like to know where you live if you have no stalls. Or does ‘no stalls’ mean no stall but you do have a run in shed? Or do you have nothing at all? So here are my questions:

What part of the country do you live in? What weather issues do you have; freezing temperatures, wind, mud, hail, ice, heat, snow? What type of shelter do your horses have access to; run in shed, trees, stalls, etc?


Posted by on January 3, 2015 in Life


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What New Years Resolution do you wish your horse would make?

What New Years Resolution do you wish your horse would make?


Posted by on January 1, 2015 in A Horse's View, Life


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Peace is a Journey, Not a Destination

I have talked quite a bit about traveling to see the country with our boys and because we are looking for the area of the country we would like to live in but there is another reason that runs with these. We also know that there are people out there that we would like to spend time with.

Westfall's visiting with Lew and Melody Sterrett

Westfall’s visiting with Lew and Melody Sterrett

We have spent the last three weeks at Ransom Wind Ranch in Chickasha, Oklahoma with Lew and Melody Sterrett. I first met Lew at Equine Affaire in 2004 when I walked into one of his ‘Sermon on the Mount’ demonstrations. Jesse remembers me calling home and telling him that there was a man he would really enjoy meeting.

Over the years our paths have crossed but spending a chunk of time together didn’t work out…until now.

Although we have enjoyed many things during our stay here from riding with our kids on a section of the Chisholm Trail to seeing the Festival of Light display by far the most valuable thing that the Sterrett’s have given us has been their time.

Melody’s dad, Dr. Dale, is 86 years old, still rides and took our boys out to work with him building fence on multiple days. Dr. Dale has done many things in his life including starting Miracle Mountain Ranch as well as being the former president of Practical Bible College…you can bet that the boys learned more than fence building during their time with him. And did I mention he still saddles up his own horse and heads out to ride?

Jesse and I have benefited greatly from Lew and Melody giving us their time as both an example of a married couple as well as their coaching with our marriage. They have been married twenty years longer than we have and have a wealth of knowledge that they have willingly shared with us. It is interesting to me that it is often easier to search out help if we want to improve our horses…but we fail to do the same if we want to improve our marriage. Although we will be pulling out this week you can be that we WILL be stopping by again…and yes Lew, you can take that as a warning, lol.

Peace is a Journey Not a Destination


Posted by on December 28, 2014 in Inspiring, Life


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Connecticut Supreme Court ruled horses as “a species naturally inclined to do mischief or be vicious”

“Hi Stacy! I plan on spending the rest of my working career in the equine industry, hopefully as an instructor, giving people the opportunity to receive a strong foundation with an overall knowledge on horses, how to ride, and starting them off showing. With that, I am somewhat worried as to were the industry is going. I am from a part of New Jersey about 30 miles outside New York City where I get asked all the time about my opinion on the on going protests to get rid of the carriage horses that live and work there. Between situations like this, as well as events like when in Connecticut a boy was bitten by a horse and the case was taken to the Connecticut Supreme Court and ruled horses as “a species naturally inclined to do mischief or be vicious” due to one specific case, what do you think the future of the equine industry if things like this are passed? So far people have been able to fight and be the voice of the horses and have been able to save them so far, but if change that is not in favor of the horses are made, how do you think this will effect the equine industry? What are your thoughts on what is going on? And what are actions that educated horse people can do to help educate others and save the industry that makes up ours lives that we love so much?”-Rachel D.

Thank you for brining this to my attention. After reading your question I searched the internet and read an article titled, “Horses the Next Pit Bulls? Connecticut Supreme Court Finds That Horses Are Inclined to Be Mischievous, but They Are Not Presumed to Be Dangerous” on the Hodgson Russ Attorneys website.Texas equine law sign

As a horse owner, it is frustrating. These people chose to approach animals that were confined…it isn’t like they were chased down by a loose horse. They made a mistake. It is a shame that the child was bitten but his parents chose to put him next to an animal. Any animal carries the ability to do harm and generally the larger the animal the greater the natural risk. Hamsters bite all the time, they just happen to be small. I have never touched an elephant but someday I want to touch one, and maybe even go for a ride . Even though I have this desire, and I do hope to go to Thailand some day, you can bet that I won’t be randomly approaching an elephant without being within arms length of that animals handler!

Thankfully many states do have laws that offer some protection for equestrians. I’m not an attorney and I’m not offering legal advice but the general idea is that many states recognize that there is ‘inherent risk.’ These laws are not intended to allow owners to be negligent, but they do allow that equines are not risk free.

But this still leaves A LOT of grey area. And that leaves room for lawsuits.

I wish I had an easy answer. Education and prevention will both be key. Thanks for getting me thinking about this issue.

What do you think?

Ohio equine law sign


Posted by on December 13, 2014 in Members Question


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What’s in your first aid kit for your horse?

If you have had horses for longer than a week you probably have some kind of a first aid kit. It might be as simple as some ointment you picked up while you were buying feed or it could be enough equipment to rival an equine medical clinic. It is also likely that the longer you have had horses the more items you have accumulated. First aid kit for horses

My items start with the basics. An ointment for minor cuts or scrapes (I have Novalsan), another ointment to keep flies away from cuts and scrapes (SWAT) and vet wrap if that cut or scrape is somewhere that it can, or should, be wrapped up. Vet wrap, or other self sticking wrap, will deteriorate in the unopened package so be sure to replace it if you have had it sitting around for awhile. It is incredible frustrating when you need it, have it, but then find out it won’t work. Scissors are a must have also. My husband carries all his shoeing supplies so I also have a variety of larger cutting tools available at my horse trailer for bigger jobs.

A thermometer is a great diagnostic tool and your vet will be happy if you have already done your homework. Practice taking your horses temperature now…it is no fun to be training a sick horse while you are stressed.

I keep a digital thermometer around because they are unbreakable but I dislike that the batteries die especially in the cold weather. At my house thermometers have a cycle: 1)grocery store  2)medicine cabinet for humans 3)barn for horses. Once they go to the barn…there is NO COMING BACK!  Then I buy another one at the grocery store. I could save myself this hassle if I would buy another mercury thermometer, but I had one break in the house (it was still in stage 2 of the life cycle) and I learned that cleaning up mercury is a nightmare. 

When we packed up to begin traveling I made sure that we had Banamine on board. It is only available from your vet and comes in both an oral paste or a liquid. Obviously you will need to talk to your vet about this one. It is an items that I always travel with because it is the first thing that a vet will give a horse if they suspect colic. Having it on hand makes it easier when I call the vet because, if they want me to give some Banamine and watch the horse before they make a house call, I have it ready to go.

These are five of the items that made it into my first aid kit. What are the minimum items you would recommend to a new horse owner?

What items would be in your ultimate first aid kit?


Posted by on December 9, 2014 in Life, Thought provoking


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A Horses View: The good and the bad

Newt the horse diary

Newt, the horse, is keeping a diary.

Dear Diary,

Hello Diary, this is my first time doing this but with all of my traveling I want to make sure I remember it all. The good and the bad.

The first good thing I want to remember is my first time swimming. It was scary at first because the ground was all squishy but then it got fun. It made me snort. I hope I get to do it again.

The bad thing is I got in trouble. Mom told me not to beg for treats…but I keep forgetting. The kids have been sneaking me treats and then I got all excited and kept stopping other people. It’s really hard to remember which ones give me treats and which ones don’t. I will try harder tomorrow.

Well, thats all I have for now. I’m headed to bed. We just got to a new place today and I bet we will do something fun tomorrow.

Newt, the horse, signature


Posted by on December 7, 2014 in A Horse's View


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