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Horse Questions And Answers

So if you are here because you have a horse related question, to which you’re looking for an answer, you are in the right place. We want this page to be a horse forum where all possible equine questions are answered. So please send us your horse related questions using our contact form, and we’ll try to respond within a week.

Horse Q&A:

1. Would it be better to use a curb or a snaffle bit on rental trail horses?

Where there is no knowledge of rented horses it’s best to ask the owner/handler on any equipment that the renter uses. As bits is one item that the owner/handler knows if the rented horse will take or fight the bit. Too many horses have changed from their normal self to a horse with different moods or habits due to renters poor knowledge of handling. As most know there are a lot of problem horses and a lot of problem people.

2. Can a horse eat too much hay?

Horses are designed to forage very frequently. That said, in nature they would have to really work for food, and we have seen many ‘easy keepers’ that, even on timothy or not-to-rich grass hay will get obese, which is never healthy. We recommend using slow-feed hay bags to allow your horses to eat free choice without over-eating, especially those with metabolic issues.

3. Do you grip a horse with your legs when you ride?

Basically this comes down to the difference of “gripping” vs using leg and your seat. You only need enough leg to move the horse forward and shouldn’t be holding on with them for dear life. If your talking about wraping your legs around for balance then NO. You should be finding your seat and putting weight in your heels to balance. Definitely avoid squeezing with your knees, try to sit deeply, lean back, and absorb a lot of the bounce with your hips, and try to send the bounce down yours legs.

4. What is your opinion/advice about quidding in a horse?

Your horse is telling you that he can’t chew hay anymore and needs complete feed and chopped forage. We often see this in horses in their late 20s. Have an equine dentist evaluate your horse. An old horse I used to have required senior feed and soaked beet pulp because he couldn’t chew properly because of missing teeth. He quided and choked on hay.

5. I’m trying to find out how Western saddles compare in size to English ones?

A Western saddle would be generally 2 sizes smaller than an English. So if you ride a 16″ English saddle you would need a 14″ Western saddle, etc.

6. How many times should I deworm my horse per year?

Ideally get a fecal test twice a year and only deworm twice unless fecal shows otherwise (would not worm unless the count is more than 150), studies are showing that rotational wormer plans do more harm than good and create bacterial and parasitical resistance.

7. I’m going to mix rolled oats with my horse feed – do I need to soak the oats or can horses eat it dry?

No, you don’t need to soak the oats.

8. I ride western but am considering buying an Australian saddle. What are the pros and cons?

Aussie saddles provide the rider with a lot more security than most other saddles. You can still get out of them and fall out of them, but you are much less likely to pull your knees up and fold in half which will often dump you on the ground when your horse makes unscheduled moves. If you do fall off, the stirrup leathers disengage so that you don’t get dragged. The seats are suspended so that you aren’t sitting on a hard tree with some padding, and the twists aren’t so wide that you get sore hips (unless your stirrups are just too long, as with any saddle). If your horse has defined withers then the wool stuffed panels are ideal because after a break in period of maybe an hour or so the wool conforms to the horse’s back making a custom fit, as long as the tree isn’t too wide or narrow. During the break in period the saddle may want to roll and you have to check the girth a lot, but after that you’re good. If your horse has wide flat withers like most QHs, then be sure to get a felt or fleece paneled saddle instead of the wool or foam stuffed panels.

9. Do you have any tips for a pony who refuses to be lunged?

If he’s turning his butt away from the pressure, he just doesn’t know what you’re asking him to do. Start in a small circle with a lead and go with him. Make him yeild his rear to whoa. Then work both directions. Gradually lenghthen the lead as he starts to get it. If he understands and just being stubborn…. Ask… Tell… Make… Ask once, tell him with authority, then pop his ass if he still won’t listen. You’re the boss! Remember to reward at any effort or achievement and don’t make it a bad experience.

10. At what age do horses stop growing?

Most of them stop growing in height about the age of 5 years old and then they finish maturing out and getting liquor through the muscles by the time they’re 7 or 8 years old depending on the breed, e.g. Morgan horses completely mature by around the age of 7 or 8 years old.

11. Why is my horses face starting to get white patches everywhere, is it because of age?

Generally due to age, however I’ve seen it happen from a horse wearing an improperly fitted fly mask. It could also be vatiligo, or a cooper deficiancy. All horses are different. A friend of mine had a horse start graying out in the face at 16 and we had one that didn’t do it until he was 24.