Tip Archive 2012


July/August 2012

Deworming Difficult Horses

From Sylvia Scott, Natural Horsemanship Training Center

Question: I have one question...Do you know of an easy way to get horses to take their wormer, besides putting it in their feed? Reason I ask is because it seems to be a fight with my horse always, and if we put it in her feed, she won't eat it. Just wondering if you have some answers there.

Reply: Deworming problems - Yes, there's a very good and easy solution to fix that problem. Take an empty dewormer syringe and fill it with plain apple sauce. Desensitize the horse to the syringe first by rubbing it all over the horse's neck, face, giving her a good scratching pleasurably with your fingernails at the same time where you are placing the syringe throughout. Then use advance/retreat as you get close to the lips. Get close to the lips, but pull away (retreat), going back to spots she accepted it, before the horse pulls away there first herself. Do that until she'll accept you rubbing the side of her mouth with it (again, retreat before she retreats and you'll get there faster).
Once she accepts the syringe rubbing on the side of her mouth there, contain her head with one hand holding her muzzle (so she can't fling her head around) and then squirt the apple sauce into her mouth. She'll be surprised, because she's been associating the dewormer with yucky tasting stuff and horses love applesauce! Walk away. Leave her on that positive.

By the way...the best way to squirt anything into a horse's mouth, like dewormer or any oral medicine is:
After you've squirted the applesauce in the horse's mouth, return the next day and do the exact same routine as above, starting with desensitizing, ending with squirting the apple sauce in her mouth again. Walk away on that positive.
Next day, same thing. Very soon she's going to start really looking forward to that dewormer syringe with applesauce!! Do this every day for a while and then skip days for a bit, coming back to do the applesauce in syringe routine again, spreading out the days you do this. Then...one day, when she's due for the deworming, oops, there's the real dewormer paste in it that day, but she won't know that beforehand, she'll think it's applesauce coming again! But she'll tolerate it now because you've turned it into a regularly pleasant event. Next day come back and this time it's apple sauce again.
Paste deworming, incidentally, should be done every other month. So that means if you deworm the horse on Jan. 1, you'll do it again next on March 1. Keep track, writing it on your calendar the days you've done it, and which dewormer you gave the horse, and what day she is due next. Deworming is very important for your horse's overall good health to kill parasites they pick up via eating hay/grass. And talk to your vet about what dewormer is best for your horse in your region so he can advise which to give her at what time of year. Not all dewormers kill the same parasites and the vet will probably advise you how to vary during the year. For example, not all dewormers kill tapeworms, and that's something you're going to probably want to have killed in the fall before they go into winter, to keep their weight up and them the healthiest. But again, get your vet's advice there for the right deworming program for your horse.
Tip: When you go this route for desensitizing your horse to the deworming process, you can also dip the tip of the applesauce-filled syringe in molasses as well if you really want to get her hooked on it happily!
Do this above for a while and before long you won't usually have to go back to the applesauce routine anymore. She will be reprogrammed to tolerate the deworming process from then on.
Incidentally, most deworming problems happen because at some time a horse was forced there to take the dewormer, sometimes roughly. And the problem then ever-escalates. The more they fight it, and the more the human fights them back, guess who loses that battle there? The human! You can't force a horse, a 1,000+ animal to take something into their mouths they don't want to no more than you can force a toddler you can't get green beans down if they don't want it! And it's not healthy nor recommended to force (in either case!). Most horses if never forced from the beginning, if they trust their human, will take dewormers just fine. It doesn't taste that bad, just has a weird globby consistency to them. But most of the time I see deworming problems, it's because the human got too forceful somewhere along the lines there with the deworming, got in a fight with them, and the horse now associates deworming with some kind of uncomfortable struggle, triggering fear in them. And soon she's associating the taste of the dewormer with a struggle & fear. Oops.
But backing up now, calmly going the applesauce route as described above fixes that problem and gets the horse accepting it calmly, willingly from then on. This route for desensitizing the horse to the deworming process works. Try it, you'll see!

From http://www.moniteausaddleclub.com/deworming_tips.htm


May/June 2012

The Triple Crown

Dated: 02/22/09

Updated 6/9/2012: No Triple Crown for I'll Have Another - withdraws from Belmont Stakes due to injury

Only eleven horses have won the elusive Triple Crown. The grueling schedule of three races in 5 weeks at longer distances than most have run previously in their careers is probably the most difficult task any horse will face in his racing career. Big Brown became the lastest to fail when he completely fell apart in the Belmont Stakes and was pulled up around the final turn then eased down the stretch.

Affirmed in 1978 still remains the last Triple Crown winner, as we wait for the next colt to step up and join this exclusive group. Sadly, the last Triple Crown winner left alive, Seattle Slew, passed away on May 7, 2002.

Year Name Jockey Trainer Owner
1919 Sir Barton John Loftus H. G. Bedwell J. K. L. Ross
1930 Gallant Fox Earl Sande James Fitzsimmons Belair Stud
1935 Omaha William Saunders James Fitzsimmons Belair Stud
1937 War Admiral Charley Kurtsinger George Conway Samuel D. Riddle
1941 Whirlaway Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm
1943 Count Fleet John Longden Don Cameron Mrs. J. D. Hertz
1946 Assault Warren Mehrtens Max Hirsch King Ranch
1948 Citation Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm
1973 Secretariat Ron Turcotte Lucien Laurin Meadow Stable
1977 Seattle Slew Jean Cruguet William Turner, Jr. Karen L. Taylor
1978 Affirmed Steve Cauthen Lazaro S. Barrera Harbor View Farm

Borrowed from http://horseracing.about.com/od/kentuckyderby/l/aa052101a.htm


April 2012

General Safety Tips

Always lean forward under branches on trail rides... never lean back!

Never wear metal-toed boots! Mostly boots with metal are not made to be worn around horses, they are more for dressing up. If a horse steps on your toe, the metal can bend down pinching your toes and it can become stuck and impossible to get your foot out.

Check your tack periodically to make sure it is in good condition. Take maybe a day every month when you will clean and go over your tack, checking buckles, cinches, etc. to make sure they can't break.

Don't loosen your cinch too much because the saddle can slip underneath the horse's belly, scaring him. If you loosen the cinch when you're done riding or you're letting your horse stand tied, make sure it's still tight enough to where it won't slip underneath the belly.

Never loop a lead rope when you lead the horse. The loops can tighten if the horse gets spooked, and they can catch your hand or fingers and cause you to get dragged.

When you have to walk behind a horse (its going to step on something, there's no way for you to get in front, ect.) you should let the horse know you are there and walk close to them with your hand on them. If you are close to them, they will have no room to strike out at you. Normally they only kick when they dont know there is something behind them and they are scared of it.

Whenever you put a saddle on a horse, set the pad & saddle gently about 5 inches above their withers. Then slide it back to smooth all the hair underneath. This makes it much more comfy for the horse!

When walking out into an open field with more than one horse, especially untrust worthy horses, ie. Stallions, make sure to always keep an eye on all of the horses in the field so that, if jealousy occurs between horses, you can get out of the field quickly. Also, if leading back to the barn, sometimes with stallions, lead from the other side of te fence than the horse. It is a lot safer and easier.

Stay 45 degrees from the shoulder when you meet a new horse for the first time. In this postion, you have less chance of getting struck or kicked.

Give your horse a "break day" once a while - a horse that only does work can become disrespectful and unhappy.

Never let your guard down! Don't turn your back on a horse.

When you are trail riding, don't go alone; always ride with someone else!

Don't tie your horse by his reins-- he can pull back and injure his head, neck, or mouth (as well as the bridle).

Be careful where you tie your horse-- I have seen horses tied to old fences pull back & break part of the fence off, then go running wildly as they drag it. Always tie to something that is safe and secure. Always tie a slip knot.

Don't let horses push or rub on you -- if they get used to pushing you around, you could get hurt.

Borrowed from http://www.ultimatehorsesite.com/interactive/tip_safe.html


March 2012

Fly Spray Recipes – Use at your own risk

Added 5-13-06

I used a variation of the fly sprays:
6 caps full of Skin so Soft
1 cup white vinegar
just a good squirt of Ivory liquid soap
filled a 32 oz Bronco Spray bottle with water
Sprayed it on the horses legs, Flies fell DEAD !!!

Reminder - Consult your vet and use at your own risk.

1 cup vinegar 
1 cup baby oil 
1/4 cup original pinesol 
1 tbs dish soap 
1 tbs skin so soft 
1 cup water 


4 oz Skin So Soft
1 oz citronella oil
12 oz vinegar
12 oz water 

Mix all together and it lasts as long as any of the expensive ones do and smells a ton better!  It is also good for their coat. 

U.S. Forest Service Bug Spray Recipe

1 cup water
1 cup Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil
2 cups vinegar
1 tbs. Eucalyptus oil (found in health food stores)
Optional: few tablespoons of citronella oil. 

Shake spray bottle well before spraying on horse, human or dog!

The above was borrowed from http://www.moniteausaddleclub.com/flyspray_recipes.htm


Feb 2012

Misc. Tips

As you all know.. horses like to groom and be groomed. A magazine article I read suggested that you nail a few old horse brushes (the bristly ones) to the sides of the stall so the horse can rub against them to get at those annoying itches.

A good thing to remember is to always clean and oil your tack/fittings after each ride or as often as possible. This will ensure that everything is in good repair and will help it stay supple to decrease breakage.

A really good friend once told me something, that I will never ever forget. "The only thing predictable about a horse is that it's unpredictable". This is very true! Horses are animals, thereby they have animal instincts.. flight or fight. Always be careful around them!

This is common sense, but PLEASE... for the sake of safety, if you're close to a horse that's lying down... DO NOT stand in front of it or close to its hooves! 1: If a horse rolls, you'll get kicked and hurt, 2: If the horse spooks, you're in the way and in trouble and 3: When a horse gets up, they put their front hooves directly infront of them and push forward and into you - if you're in the way. So, stand away from the front of it and stay close to its back.

Borrowed from http://www.angelfire.com/ga/GeneS/misc.html


Jan 2012

Okay, so you've thought and thought again about 'that' horse... but are you really sure he/shes right for you??? This page is dedicated to helping you figure that out.

There are many places to look to find the right horse for you. Here are some ideas to get your 'creative juices' flowing: friends, local horse shows, barns/stables, internet, auctions (Be VERY, VERY careful with auctions) and humane socities. But where ever you decide to look, just remember to ask questions and if the horse you're looking at isn't right for you, don't be afraid to say No!

MYTH: "If you buy a young untrained horse for a young uneducated rider, they will 'grow' together" This is untrue in most cases... it will only lead to disappointment. The uneducated rider will get frustrated because the horse is not doing what the rider is asking, and the horse will get frustrated because he/she does not know what is being asked.

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