Tag Archives: horses

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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What you would recommend for de-icing walk ways for horses?

“I was wondering what you would recommend for those of us in cold weather states for de-icing walk ways for horses. My horse is stall boarded with turn in and out. The path between stall barn and pasture is concrete and ices up in the winter. I’m just curious what kinds of things people use that are safe for their feet.”-Becky G.snowy horse

I generally have used some form of dirt like sand, gravel. I had an indoor arena so I always had access to sand. The idea is that sand adds some grit and the dark color attracts the sun.

When I have been in a location and dirt wasn’t available I have used bedding from the horse trailer or a nearby stall to reduce slipping. It isn’t as pretty but the slightly dirty bedding often works better because it doesn’t blow away as easily. Also if there is moisture in the sawdust it will freeze to the ice which stops it from blowing away and gives it grip.

For places that I was just leading the horses I have used salt also. In theory we give horses salt blocks, so using a safe form of salt shouldn’t be a problem if the horse chose to eat some. You could talk with your farrier and see what his thoughts are concerning your horses feet. If the horse is being lead over the area vs. standing in salt all day I would guess the farrier would view it differently.

I have also known people who put something down before the area ices up such as hay, straw or gravel. The idea is that when the surface freezes the texture or lack of smooth surface will provide some grip.

Whichever method you use be sure to test it with your own feet. Sometimes adding something on top of ice, like straw for example, actually makes it MORE slippery.


Posted by on December 5, 2014 in Members Question


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Complete list of Jobs that involve horses (almost)

“I am in love with horses and your blogs. Unfortunately I live in the city with no access to horses. I am sixteen and curious if you could give me a few possible jobs that involve horses, outside of vet and farrier.” Thanks Paula S.

I remember when I was a kid the only jobs I could think of that involved horses were vet, farrier and jockey. For some reason I over looked some jobs that were right in front of me, for example, magazine writer. I read a horse magazine but didn’t really think about all the job opportunities that were offered inside of that: writer, photographer, editor, etc.

The list will be really, really long when you really think about it. So long in fact that the shorter way to find the answer may be to start with some of your other strengths and then see how they could intersect with horses. If you love long car trips, you could be a horse hauler. If you love kids, you could specialize in beginners camps. If you like braiding hair or grooming, you could become a groom on the hunter circuit. If you have a background in something like music ask yourself how that could intersect with horses.

Full time job grooming horses

This website has jobs listed for grooms.











I can start a list here and then people can add comments with more job ideas. I will try to remember to update the list:

  1. Barn Manager
  2. Horse Trainer
  3. Stable Hand
  4. VetTech
  5. Farrier
  6. Therapeutic Riding Instructor
  7. Horse Sitter
  8. Horse motel owner
  9. Assistant Trainer
  10. Riding Instructor-many levels, basic to Olympic
  11. Clinician
  12. Groom
  13. Stall Cleaner
  14. College Professor
  15. Stunt Rider or Double
  16. Circus Performer
  17. Web Designer
  18. Social Media
  19. Graphic Designer
  20. Mounted Police
  21. Writer
  22. Horse Artist
  23. Horse photographer
  24. Show photographer
  25. Magazine photographer
  26. Movie producer
  27. Screen writer
  28. Professional Rider
  29. Horse Show Manager
  30. Judge-many levels from Open show to breed specific
  31. Ring Steward
  32. Course Designer-trail, jumping, etc
  33. Jump Designer
  34. Mounted Guide-work for someone or own your own
  35. Design Horse Communities
  36. Dude Ranch Hand-work your way up to manager
  37. Dude Ranch Manager-work your way up to owner
  38. Dude Ranch Owner
  39. Horse Camp Owner
  40. Horse Camp Counselor
  41. Carriage Driver-weddings, events, downtown
  42. Rodeo Crew
  43. Rodeo Promotor
  44. Rodeo Clown
  45. Rodeo Pick Up Rider
  46. Jockey
  47. Racehorse Trainer
  48. Horse Expo Manager
  49. Exercise Rider
  50. Outrider at track
  51. Breeder
  52. Breeding Manager
  53. Broodmare Manger
  54. Stallion Manager
  55. Foaling Attendant
  56. Breeding Technician
  57. Massage Therapist
  58. Rehabilitation
  59. Equine Dentist
  60. Nutrition Specialist
  61. Feed Store Owner
  62. Feed Sales Rep
  63. Custom Leather Work
  64. Silver smith
  65. Inventor
  66. Clothing designer
  67. Gun smith (mounted shooting)
  68. Saddle maker
  69. Bit maker
  70. Announcer
  71. Auctioneer

What can you add to this list?




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“But friendship is precious, not only in the shade but in the sunshine of life…”

But friendship is precious, not only in the shade but in the sunshine of life

Maybe the strongest reason we have for loving our animals is their friendship. The horses don’t care what we look like, sound like, or about the troubles we humans have…but they do care about how we interact with them. Some of my best friends over the years have been horses.

What do you think animals offer us in friendship over people?




Posted by on November 2, 2014 in Life, Sunday


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Stacy Westfall is Living My Dream Life

Full article found at

Full article found at

An article popped up unexpectedly on my Facebook page titled, Stacy Westfall is Living My Dream Lifeand played a part in inspiring yesterdays blog.

It is always strange to read an article that was written about me without my prior knowledge. It is another way to see how other people perceive you as well as what common desires people share.

Leslie, the writer, happens to daydream about full time living on the road with her horse. Not everyone would agree, in fact there are days that I even question it. But even if you don’t share that same dream there are still lessons that can be learned from the idea.

When I have my doubts, which I am planning on sharing more of with you in the future, I have a way that I deal with it. I ask myself a question: How hard would it be to go back? or another way to look at it would be: How hard would this be to undo?

If I decided tomorrow that I didn’t want to live full time on the road, I am confident that I could buy another house in Mount Gilead, Ohio. The transition to go back would be easier than the transition to leave…which is probably why fewer people do it.

But if you can turn it around, view it another way, it is liberating.

What dream are you not pursuing because the transition into the dream would be hard…even though the transition back would actually, now that you think about it, be easy?





Posted by on September 27, 2014 in Inspiring, Life, Thought provoking


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Horses: how to handle aggressive behavior in the pasture

“Hi Stacy, I have a 12yr. old TWH Blue Roan gelding… Last October a 5yr. old QH palomino gelding joined our farm family. He was a rescue of sorts…very thin, by himself w/o other horses. We did the customary quarantine, vaccinations, then introduced him to our 12 yr. old TWH with a fence in between for 2 weeks, then opened up the gate and let them “meet”. The usual pecking order happened between them, nothing that was of great concern to me. Everything was not unusual between them, and they seemed to be ok with each other… Well the next morning, went out to farm and the palomino was out of fencing. Went and got him, checked him over, had a few superficial wounds, treated him and put in corral by himself for a few days, but still had over the fence contact with the 12 yr. old.

Few days later put them back together again. Well then all was NOT OK between them. If I had not seen this myself, would never believe it could happen EVER!!! My 12 yr. old gelding walked to the trees and stood perfectly still! At least 15 minutes, as soon as the 5 yr. old got close enough, my 12 yr. old pinned his ears, opened his mouth and charged the 5 yr. old. He knocked him off his feet and was pawing and biting at his abdomen.. Seemed to me like trying to disembowel him?? Knew horses would go for throats in serious death fights, but never the abdomen! I ran in there, in my own stupidity, I just reacted, didn’t think moment, and did manage to get them apart… Put 5 yr. old in separate corral for obvious reasons, checked him over, had scrapes and bite marks on him, but was shaken up mostly… Now I can’t put them together…

Tried again, and my 12 yr. old ran him thru the fence. So now I have to keep them separated…. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do? I have asked local horse people, and they all say, keep them separated… One gentlemen that has a horse breeding farm, said he has never had studs fight like that, much less geldings. I have no mares just geldings. My 12 yr. old used to be a field trial horse for bird dogs, so was put in pasture with strange horses all the time, and never acted like this. I truly could use some advice from a someone that I look up to in the horse world. Any suggestions would be wonderful.

Thank you for your time concerning this.” -Denise from ND

Wow, that is serious fighting, or at least serious attacking as it doesn’t sound like the young one fought much. I wish there was a simple explanation that I could give you or a simple fix but I don’t have one. I can give you some suggestions, thoughts and things to consider.

We Pick Our FriendsBe very selective when it comes to choosing friends. People now a days don't know the true meaning of friendship & loyalty.

As humans we get to pick our friends. We might not pick our coworkers but when we are off the clock we have the freedom to get some distance from people we don’t want to be near. Often with horses they don’t get this same freedom. We choose who they will be with…but they don’t have to agree.

My horse Popcorn has a strong idea of what behavior he likes and dislikes in other horses. Although he isn’t as aggressive as you described he will hold a grudge against a horse who has offended him. It is possible that your new guy offended your older guy and he isn’t letting it go.

Everyone Needs Space

Even with our good friends and family there are times that we need space. Maybe they said something hurtful or maybe we are just having a bad day but either way we generally have the freedom of going for a walk or taking a drive. Often the larger the pasture the less likely this will happen. For example, a horse that likes to drive all the other horses around in a 3-4 acre pasture will often find it less fun in a 40 acre pasture or a 400 acre pasture. With more room to spread out they can often avoid violent disagreements. Unfortunately most of us don’t have this much space to work with which is why on smaller properties we often have to settle for separate pastures with a shared fence line.

Time Heals Many Things

Just this morning I was watching the Weekend Today show where they announced news anchor Jenna Wolfe was leaving. The interesting part was that Lester Holt admitted he didn’t like her, get her or hardly speak to her in the beginning. They both say it was a rough first year. What changed? Time and getting to know each other. Now years later they have become good friends.

Sometimes horse owners will report that horses who didn’t like each other will eventually come to accept each other given time. To keep horses safe during this many people use a shared fence line. If the aggressive horse is still aggressive over the fence you can feed them further away from each other in their own pastures. As they begin to accept each other you can begin to move the feed closer to the shared fence line. Even when they are accepting each other over the fence don’t expect to put them together. Watch for other signs that they are enjoying each others company; nickering or calling when the other is taken away, following as you lead the other up the fence line and a pleasant expression when near each other are good signs.

I would definately suggest taking your time and keeping them, and you, safe during the process. I would use a shared fence line for months and watch for changes in attitude of your older horse. Other things such as being stalled near each other, being ridden together and tied within sight (but not kicking distance) can also help them acclimate to each other.

One final thought is to remember that horses have emotional reactions also. I have seen many horses, who have bonded well with their owners, display jealousy when a new horse was brought home. If that is happening, then on one hand you can be happy that your horse thinks so highly of you, but also think about how you would handle jealousy if it was with a new friend. Often the ‘new horse’ gets tons of attention, what if you switched that around? Maybe tie the new horse within watching distance and give your older horse more attention than he has had in awhile; curry until your arms are sore and then spend the same amount of time brushing. I have seen older horses respond well to this, wearing a smug look on their face while glancing at the new guy.

Many times horses can grow to like or at least tolerate each other but not always. No matter what, both horses must remain respectful of you whenever you are around. Do not tolerate pinning of ears or other displays of aggression when you are near. Take your time and keep everyone safe.


Posted by on September 21, 2014 in Members Question, Sunday, Thought provoking, Training


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