General Tips

Read these 147 General Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Horse tips and hundreds of other topics.

General Tips has been rated 3.2 out of 5 based on 4842 ratings and 5 user reviews.
What is the horse´s reaction to Lantana?

Lantana & Horses

Lantana is an ornamental shrub with colorful blossoms. Will cause liver damage, colic, and photosensitation.

when would you use wagons with horses?

Driving Wagons or Wagon Trains

Still today is the need for people and horses to travel by or with wagons. The farmer who is haying his fields still can make use of the wagon and the horses that are capable of pulling them. Most of our agriculture farms today, utilize a large quantity of farm help to replace the work done in by gone days by the farmers with their horses. In our grandparents farms, the wagon and Draft horses were used for carrying fallen trees in clearing acreage, haying, tilling in preparation for crops and the planting and harvesting. Today, with modern equipment, seldom is the need for the Draft horse; and their use comes about solely by the few individuals that have been persuaded over the years in a preference of the use of the horse.

Do you know where I can find recipes to make horse treats at home?

Horse Birthday cake

Horse Cake: 2 Cups of Quick Oats (use Quick Oats, not Whole or Flatted) Half Cup of Soaked Barley Quarter Cup of Pre-Ground Corn (grind whole flatted corn in a coffee grinder) Half Cup of Apple Sauce Quarter Cup of Molasses Quarter Cup of Maple Syrup (natural flavored) 3 TBSP Ground Flax 3 TBSP Seeds (Sunflower, peanut, pistaccio...ground up by a Coffee Grinder) Add 3 cups BOILING water (add water as necessary to mix, but not be runny or WET...keeping mixture of a dryer consistancy). Microwave on Medium Heat for about 3-5 minutes Cool, and top with thin Apple Slices from Red & Green Apples Serve Makes enough for one large horse meal!

How Do I Load A Difficult Horse into A Trailer?

How To Load A Horse

G.F. (Andy) Anderson, DVM, who operates Equine Veterinary Associates in Broken Arrow, Okla., presented an effective technique of loading problem horses into trailers. With the use of a video and humorously delivered anecdotes, he explained to the listeners the necessary steps to take so that a horse does not learn how “not” to load.

Some very simple tools are required, Anderson said. They include a halter and soft lead rope—sometimes a chain shank should be available—a horse trailer in good repair, a a lunge whip or pole six to seven feet in length with a plastic bag taped to the end, and, “most importantly, a positive, patient attitude.”

The goal, he said, is to en-courage the horse to make positive choices to load, and to discourage any attempts to escape or evade loading. The plastic bag, he explained, is used to aggravate or annoy the horse until he reaches a point where he seeks the haven of the trailer to get away from the annoyance. The bag is not used to strike, whip, or beat a horse, merely to cause a slight unpleasantness (sound and touch) that the horse would rather avoid. However, he cautioned that the aggravation should be STOPPED the moment the horse demonstrates even the slightest indication that it wants to load.

Some of these signs are lowering of the head toward the trailer floor and pointing the ears forward. Anderson told his listeners it is at this point that many horse owners make a classic error. If the horse lowers his head to sniff at the trailer, they immediately jerk it up in an attempt to pull the horse into the trailer.

“I never pull on a horse or push on him,” Anderson said, “because I don't want him ever to find out that he can out-pull and out-push me.”

Patience is required with this approach because a horse normally will exhaust all of its evasive options before entering the trailer. One option might to be run backward. When that happens, Anderson advised, make the horse back up much farther and faster than he intended until the horse realizes that the “running backward option” is not one to be repeated. If the horse turns sideways to the trailer, don't lead him away; rather, aggravate him with the lunge whip and plastic bag until he is once again properly aligned.

Anderson also said he seldom uses his voice except to say “good boy” if the horse makes a positive move. He also doesn't jerk, yank, or put pressure on the lead rope except to point the horse's head in the right direction gently.

Once the horse steps into the trailer, he said, allow him to stand there as long as or little as he wants. If he wants to back out, don't resist. Nor should the rear door be immediately closed or the butt bar slammed into place when the horse does load.

“If you do that,” he said, “you have confirmed the horse's worst fears about being inside that trailer.”

At this point, back him out quietly and lead him away from the trailer, then reload him using the same procedure. Don't be disappointed if the second loading lesson is more difficult than the first. After he loads and stands quietly the second time, quit for the day and you will rarely have future problems.

It is highly important, Anderson said, to reward positive behavior by petting and praising the horse. Negative behavior is answered with annoyance and aggravation.

Some horses will learn to load, then won't back out of a trailer. First, Anderson said, one must look at unloading from the horse's perspective. In most cases, the horse can't see behind himself and is being asked to step out into “space.” The horse doesn't know if he is going to step down into space for one foot or a hundred feet.

Anderson's solution at this point is, if possible, to allow the horse to turn around and walk out. After doing this repeatedly, he said, most horses will no longer resist backing out. However, if they do, he recommended teaching them to drive and back in long lines in a training pen. The lines can then be used to encourage the horse to back from a trailer.

Anderson concluded with these words: “I have loaded hundreds of horses without a single injury to horses or people. This method may require more time the first few times a horse is loaded, but it will save a lot of time over a lifetime. Many hard-to-load horses can be retrained in less than an hour, but some require longer. Most remain trouble-free afterward, so the experience is a wise investment."

What is the horse´s reaction to Wild Jasmine?

Wild Jasmine & Horses

Wild Jasmine causes excessive absorption of calcium, which leads to skeletal deformation, joint pain, hunching, weight loss. Recovery is possible if treated quickly.

what is carriage driving?

Carriage Driving

An elegant and not yet extinct form of Driving. Not yet disappeared are the days of driving elegance and glamour. Horses elegantly presented in fashionable carriages. Carriage horse(s) or pony(s) can be single, pair, tandem or teams.

What is the horse´s reaction to Yew?

Yew & Horses

Yew is a ground hemlock, and an ornamental. Readily eaten by horses. Sudden death will occur by cardiac arrest~!

how should equipment and tools be stored?

Equipment Safety

1) Tools such as Pitchforks, Manure Rakes, Brooms, Shovels should all have their proper place out of the aisleways-tack or grooming areas and stalls. A safe and secure place located securely on a wall that is not in the daily traffic flow or in any walkway that supports the traffic of horses or people!


How To Stay Deep In The Saddle

When starting out, and throughout your Horseback Riding Life, a person stays deep in the saddle by ALWAYS keeping toes pointed upwards AND heels dramatically down (or lower than ball of foot on the stirrup), keeping shoulders leaning backwards, and rotating pelvis inward & upward while pushing the fullness of your seat down into the saddle. Always work on the basics until they are second nature before moving on to the next learning experience, thereby making sure that you never regress more than one step back in the development of learning!

what can i do to make hauling safer?

Hauling safety

Whether you're hauling your horse across town or across the country, safety is paramount. Keep yourself, your horse, and other motorists safe by completing and checking off each item on this handy list every time you hit the road with your horse in tow.

1. Safety point: Tires.

What to do: Check pressure, and look for signs of wear in truck, trailer, and spare tires.

2. Safety point: Wheels.

What to do: Make sure lug nuts are tight on all wheels.

3. Safety point: Hitch.

What to do: Look for loose bolts, hairline cracks, and other signs of wear. Check for proper hookup. (In conventional trailers, the socket should be seated on the ball and locked in place.)

4. Safety point: Safety chains.

What to do: Make sure chains are crossed and hooked to vehicle frame (not bumper).

5. Safety point: Breakaway brake cable.

What to do: Check cable length. It should be shorter than your safety chains, but not so short that it'll break free when you make a tight turn. Weave the cable through a link of one chain, so it won't snag and pull free. Make sure coupler is fully plugged in.

6. Safety point: Truck.

What to do: Check fluid levels and fill fuel tanks.

7. Safety point: Gear.

What to do: In addition to hay, water, buckets, and other horse supplies, pack emergency equipment in your tow vehicle.

Don't leave home without:

Extra halter and lead rope for each horse, for off-loading in an emergency.

Emergency flares and reflector triangles.

Flashlight (rechargeable, with an adapter that fits vehicle cigarette lighter).

Jumper cables and spare fuses.

Spare tires, jack, chock blocks, torque wrench, and WD-40 for changing tires.

Tool kit: crowbar, hammer, screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers.

Duct tape, for covering sharp edges in a damaged trailer and other uses.

Fire extinguisher. (Make sure it's pressurized.)

Horse and human first-aid kits.

Cell phone and phone numbers on a laminated card.

How often do I check for interior/exterior maintenance?

Trailer Maintenance - Interior

Check seasonally for rust, loose screws/bolts, any form of separation of seams. Depending upon climate, will determine the specifics that are necessary.

What Can I Do In Driving?

Types of Driving

Driving can be for fun, pleasure, racing or showing. In Showing, the classes are Cross Country, Pleasure, Show, Fine Harness or Park.

How do i begin working my horse after long rest?


If your horse has been ill, lame, injured, or just in pasture for four or more weeks, starting back to training should be done slowly. Depending on the fitness level u left him at, and the length of the layup, a 15 minute training or riding session the first week, 20 minute the second week, 30 minute the third week, and so on works to bring him safely back to shape. Three days on and one day off is also a good rule to start. Prevent overwork or muscle soreness by monitoring your progress to avoid causing him to be tired and grumpy which will cause him to rebel or resist.

Considerations before you buy a horse are?

Before U Buy A Horse

Before you buy, research the disciplines that you really want to try out. Take lots of lessons. Compete on lesson/lease horses.

THEN take along a trusted coach, trainer, farrier, Vet and find the horse with the temperment that suits you, with the temperment, talent & ability that suits the discipline that you want to pursue with that horse!

What is the horse´s reaction to Fiddleneck?

Fiddleneck & Horses

Fiddleneck is a weed that causes liver damage as will be seen by weight loss, lack of appetite, depression, colic, lack of coordination, edema. The chances of recovery are poor.

What is Dressage Driving?

Combined Driving Events - Dressage Phase

During the driving of the Dressage division, judging is governed by basically the same rules as ridden Dressage Tests. The Driver is expected to follow a specified pattern in the arena, following specifically the directions of the test. Arena size is 40 metres by 80 metres for green, intermediate levels and for the advanced and open divisions, the arena measures 40 metres by 100 metres.

What would be a sample diet for a Racehorse?

Sample Diet For A Racehorse

In feeding horses, the higher the energy content, usually the higher the energy level of the horse increases.

For racehorses, usually corn mixes are fed. Corn is the highest energy resource in equine diets.

A sample daily ration for a Racehorse could be:
(given the horse is a moderate keeper, 16 hands tall, 1500 lbs., sent out only once per day, to work for 15/20 minutes).

2 - 24 quart buckets filled with water. Filled/Monitored (usually 2X daily).

Haynet kept FILLED with high quality local hay (usually 2X daily is necessary).

One 24 quart grain bucket kept filled with alfalfa cubes (usually 2X daily is necessary).

One 24 quart grain bucket (fed 2X Daily) of:
Two 5 lb. coffee cans of sweet feed,
One coffee can of soaked beet pulp,
1 cup Rice Bran,
1 half cup of ground flax seed.
Vitamins as per the needs of the horse as prescribed by the Veterinarian, and the particular needs as viewed by condition.

A flake of Alfalfa upon returning to the stall from working; A flake of Alfalfa at last feeding (and stall check for the night).

High performance horses that are moderate to hard keepers, need to have a balance between energy, and roughage, with feed available to them at all times of the day/night.

Sweet feed is flavorful, high in calories, and high in energy production;
beet pulp is flavorful, and slows down the digestion rate;
rice bran adds in slowing of the digestion, adds oil for digestion, and the coat enhancement;
ground flax seed adds in oil for digestion, and coat enhancement.
Specific vitamins as prescribed for that particular horse as viewed from condition at work, and by the Veterinarian knowing the horse, and the work regime will be necessary as well.

What is the horse´s reaction to Oleander?

Oleander & Horses

Oleander is the highest toxicity in its wilted or dried leaf form. Cardiac affects will cause immediate death. Causes a profuse sweating and diarrhea.

What is the horse´s reaction to Wild Winter Peas?

Wild Winter Pea & Horses

Wild Winter Pea can be found in California hays. Toxic only if seed pod is ingested. Horse will be in great pain, walking hunched over, rear limbs will exibit abnormalities such as seen in stringhalt. The changes can become permanent.

Is there a list of poisonous plants for horses?

List of Plants Poisonous To Horses

Azalea; Black Locust, Black Nightshade, Black Walnut, Bracken Fern; Chokecherry; Fiddleneck, Foxglove; Hoary Alyssum; Kleingrass; Lantana, Locoweed; Maple, Milkweed; Oleander; Poison Hemlock; Ragwort, Rattleweed, Rayless Goldenrod; Sorghum, St. Johnswort; Whitesnakeroot, Wild Jasmine, Wild Winter Pea; Yellow Star Thistle, Yew.

How Do I Deal With Fears/Anxieties/Troubling Thoughts?

Dealing With Fears/Anxieties

To Conquer Fears/Anxieties on a physical level, you MUST first conquer the fears/anxieties on your mental level. You will never overcome the body, until you have conquered the thoughts that seep into the mind.

Once you have the mental defended & controlled, then the body will begin to relax. With the body relaxed or even "controlled" the horse will follow the commands that the rider gives him quite quickly without inverting into his own "defence" or "coming on-guard" attack mode in his trying to understand why the rider is stiff and tense and therefore thinking that he needs to battle these unseen "demons" all by himself as he perceives his rider to have gone rigid from the mental attack!!! He will now sense that you are working together on tasks between you both, not on the unseen foes that try to disrupt your progress!

What is the use of the Whip in Driving Classes?

Driving - Use of The Whip

In the Fine Harness class, the whip is used to increase the impulsion from the horse`s rear quarters; hopefully with the ultimate goal of causing the horse to drop and drive in the rear quarters, propelling the front end of the horse up and increasing the motion-elevation-animation of the overall look. The Driver or "Whip" never hits the horse with the reins, but impulsion is always made by either a simple "cluck" or a light tap on the hip with the buggy whip.

What is a horse´s reaction to Maple leaves?

Maples & Horses

Maple leaves changes the blood chemisty of the horse causing liver & kidney damage, and eventually death.

What do the heavy horses haul?

Heavy Horses in Driving

Heavy Horses for years have brought tears to the eye, and "warm fuzzies" to the heart of many; the famous Budweiser Clydesdales, the Belgian Teams, The Norfolk, The Shires, all have the hearts of most, whether they be horse enthusiasts or not. The vehicles are usually wagons or farm equipment bearing great weight. The vehicles are heavy and substantial and solidly built and therefore so must be the horses that pull them.

Step II In Beginning A Driving Horse?

Step II In Starting A Driving Horse

Step II is to be commenced only when Step I is absolute!

Now with no blinkers/blinders on the bridle! Once your Mock Cart is formed, attach PVC piping (cut 7' long) {the kind that has the drainage holes in it} shafts to each side of your surcingle at the point that shafts on a cart would rest on the body of the horse. Use boot or shoe laces to tie to surcingle ring. Cut a piece of PVC pipe to connect the two PVC shafts. About 30" long. Tie to connect behind the horse.

Have a handler walk the horse with a lead rope at the Bridle. Loop through the near side bit ring to the far side & snap. Walk very slowly, expecting the horse to want to bolt, buck or rear when they realize that something is now attached to their sides and rear end! Have the handler keep the horse calm. STOP if the horse becomes upset. Don't start walking again until the horse is calm. Have another person walking behind. At this point you don't have to have any driving reins nor contact, just simply walking behind the shafts about where you would be if you were driving the horse. Walk for only a few minutes each day. The object is not to overwhelm the horse, but to climatize the horse to the entirely new arrangement.

How do I prevent accidents from happening?

Bad Judgement!

ALMOST ALWAYS accidents happen from someone's bad judgement, and assessment of a situation.

Try to train yourself to recognize any hazzards, and then remove, change or secure them in order to have a totally safe environment in which to enjoy horses, spectators, and the fun that you are out to have with them.

How and how often do I check the wheel bearings on the Truck/Trailer?

Trailer Maintenance - Wheel Bearings

Check the Wheel Bearings on the Trailer every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Making sure that they are clean, repacked and sealed.

how can I find out about Historic Reinactments of Wagon Trains?

Wagon Driving or Wagon Trains

"I came away with the feeling that our trek mirrored the trails of old in many more ways than a person might expect. Science and technology have progressed in great leaps and bounds but I wonder if human nature has seen the same changes.

We were able to keep our wagons on the ground the whole distance, staying as close to the original trail as possible and in this day and age that is quite an accomplishment. We may have made the last trip in a covered wagon that will ever be made on the original California Gold Rush Trail.

Donny Marincic - Trailboss

an exerpt taken from the diaries of a recent Trail Boss in the reinactment of the Wagon Trains moving in from the East to the West.

Rules Of The Trail Road!

Trail Etiquette

Always, Always, Always, slow down for approaching horses or people or pets on the trails to a WALK. This is common universal Trail Etiquette!

what is the marathon phase of Combined Driving Events?

Combined Driving Events - Marathon Phase

The Marathon Phase is Cross Country Driving over diverse terrain, including the walk and trot. This Phase of the competition is a combination of hazards and consecutive gates in which the "team" must negotiate in a sequential order in a specified time frame. Very often water obstacles will be encountered in this Phase of the competition.

do you know more about the book Riding For Success?

Riding For Success

Riding For Success by Gayle Lampe is an excellent resource material. Gayle is the Head Coach at the famous William Woods University and uses this book to describe how to get the most out of all the gaits and the dynamics to be the best in the ring and out.

what do I ask when trailering my horse on vacation?

Trailering Tips on Vacation

First, are you taking a Camper attachment for yourselves as well? You will want to know how close you will be located to the enclosures for your horse(s).

What do I ask about Trailering my horse on vacation?

Trailering Tips on Vacation

Is there room to maneuver a trailer at the site (will you be required to back) and provide fine tuning in placing your trailer in a secure manner to unload/load your horses.

What does well in Pleasure Driving Divisions?

The Pleasure Driving Preferences

The Show Pleasure Driving Horse and class are sensible, calm, relaxed and dependable horses. The Show Horse must flat walk, trot and strong trot both ways of the ring. In the days of "Gone With The Wind", these were the working mans' horses. Flashy enough for Sunday best, but dependable enough for taking the children to school, or the wife into town to shop for necessary staples. These horses often being used in the fields for working the fields and crops throughout the week/year. The cart used in Pleasure Driving Classes are two wheeled, and can range from a single seat to a double or triple bench type seat.

How Do I Enjoy Horses If I Am Too Heavy To Ride?

Too Heavy To Ride

Have you become to heavy to ride a horse? Have you thought of taking Driving Lessons? Driving can be more fun, you can take along the family dog, a friend, a child, and you get to travel together. Properly done, most horses, and ponies love learning to drive, and then weight is not a factor.

If I See Something Isn´t Right At A Barn, Should I Say Something?

Do You Have Stable Management Common Sense?

When riding, working or just being around horses, if you see a potential accident situation, then rest assured, sometime, somewhere, and to someone, it will happen.

Do you have the ability to keep it from happening? By moving an object, or securing a flapping door, or closing a feed bin?

Then you owe it to YOUR future in Horsemanship to do it NOW, even if it only be for someone else's safety.


what is the presentation of Combined Driving?

Combined Driving Events - Presentation

The Presentation division of the Combined Driving Events, is judged at the halt for the introductory and intermediate levels, and then in the advanced and open divisions, judged while on the go. The Judge wants to see clean, in good repair, proper fit, appropriate dress for all participants, and safety features of all pieces of tack, harness and vehicle.

A Recommended Video For Starting A Driving Horse?

Video's On Beginning Driving Horses

A great video on Breaking & Training a Driving Horse is by Doris Ganton. This video is two hours, so get out the popcorn and the soda's before you hit "play".

Step 1 In Beginning A Driving Horse

Step One In Beginning A Driving Horse

First Step is to have the horse going well, wearing a surcingle w/bridle & side reins on a lunge line. Listening to the commands as given, and responding immediately! Walk-halt-trot-hoe (as in slow down, come back to me, steady, easy).

IF your horse is not responding immediately then don't start the second step.

Important Factors To Consider In Barn Construction

Barn Construction

When constructing a barn, keep in mind:
c)fresh water/fresh air
d)cross winds
e)manure removal/storage
f)exits & accessibility for trucks, emergencies, difficult horses
g)foundation ground
h)design efficiency
m)if self board, is there separate provision for self boarders hay, grain, tack.

Is There A Proper Way To Begin & End Riding Sessions?

Warm Up/Cool Down Your Horse

Just like their human Olympic counterparts, an equine athlete needs to limber up and cool down properly. Warm-ups/cool downs should be no more than 10-15 minutes long and will improve the efficiency of the muscles working. At the same time it reduces risk of injury to ligaments, tendons, and joints. WALKING on the road is perfect for a warm up/cool down, but remember to ONLY WALK!

what is a good Dressage book for fundamentals and exercises?


Dressage Training & Exercises by Leonie Marshall.

How often do I check my Trailer/Truck hitches?

Trailer Maintenance - Hitches

Check the hitch of your trailer B/4 and after every useage. Making sure it is operational, cleaned of all rust & debris, and kept locked when not in use.

Can I Perform Massage On My Horse?

Equine Massage

Massaging major muscle groups, specifically back and hip muscles, will improve a the use of your horses' musculature, and increase circulation. With GENTLE but, firm pressure, (preferably with a rubber grooma) or the use the heel of the hand, create circular massaging motions over the horses body. Usually begin at the poll, working down over the neck, shoulder, thru the back, sides, over the loin & croup, and down the rear quarters, first one side then the other, equally.

To cut time, I shut off all lights as I leave; is this okay?


Lights before you turn any arena lights off, be sure to check the barn property, or the riding/lesson board, and to inquire if anyone else will be riding. Often times, arena lights take about 30 minutes to "come back on" when they have been already in use.

What do I ask when Trailering my horse on vacation?

Trailering Tips on Vacation

Is there fresh water available, and will there be fresh water for you to top up your trailer tanks.

Is There Specifics To Caring For An Older/Senior Horse?

Care of Aged Horses

1) Annual Dental Floation & Check up.
2) Observe Daily for weight, temperature, respiration & pulse. Make note of them on a daily basis in a diary. Older Horses can drop in weight so suddenly is the reason why.
3) Feed Separately from other horses.
4) Adjust feed to maintain/weight/condition.
5) Daily Exercise, even if only lungeing free or on a lunge line for 10-12 minutes on each lead.
6) Daily Grooming! They need that muscle/skin stimulation!
7) Regular Hoof Trimming.
8) Regular Vaccines & Worming!
9) Make note in your diary of lumps/tumors, and any changes in these in size, shape or appearance.
10) Give an apple a day! FOR LOVE~!

How Old is a horse before he is fully grown?


The final height in hands of a grown horse is reached dependant upon the individual horse and it's type,breed or the genetic family makeup. Horses PHYSICALLY appear to be grown before they reach full mental and emotional maturity. On average a horse is said to be full grown by age six. Muscle developement and fitness from proper training also play a part in how tall a horse can be since the forelegs and shoulders are attached to the body via a musculature suspension system and the height of a horse is measured from the top of the withers to the ground.

how do I braid my horse for English or Western?

Grooming to Win

Grooming to Win : How to Groom, Trim, Braid, and Prepare Your Horse for Show written by Susan E. Harris commentary by Claudia Beaudet from Amherst, MA This is one of the best books that I've found that explains grooming your horse step by step - not only for the show ring, but for everyday maintenance. Ms. Harris details breed protocols for the show ring (good news for the novice showman!). Did you know that it is considered bad form to braid the hunter on the left side of the neck, and vice versa for western pleasure horses? From achieving that showring bloom to step by step braiding guides, this book is a must for any competitive horseman's book collection!

What is the horse´s reaction to Hoary Alyssum?

Hoary Alyssum & Horses

Hoary Alyssum is a frequent contaminate of hays. Causes edema of the limbs.

what is obstacle driving?

Combined Driving Events - Obstacle Driving

The Obstacle Driving is usually driven in an arena (as would be the counter in riding, of Stadium Jumping). The obstacles are pairs of cones, set in a specific order and to be negotiated in that order within a specified time frame. Should the horse begin to canter in this Phase, it is usually not well taken, and although can not incur penalty points, it is a practise that is not encouraged. Drivers will be asked to perform circles, serpentines and changes of direction.

how do I know how what I do affects my horse?

Be Aware of Horse's Activities/Actions

Remember to always be aware of your horse. No matter what you do, remember he/she is telling you something in everything they do.

What are the lrecognized eg markings of the Appaloosa Horse?

Horse - Leg Markings

Leg Markings
Leg markings are important in identification.

Heel: A horse has only one heel on each hoof. A white marking may be found across the entire heel or just on one side.
Coronet: The coronet occurs as the first inch above the hoof and extends all around the hoof including the heel.
Pastern: A pastern extends from the top of the hoof to the bottom of the ankle or fetlock joint. A pasterns marking which is irregular and extends to the ankle joint at only one point is called a partial pastern.
Half-Pastern: A white marking that extends to midway between the coronet and the ankle.
Ankle: An ankle marking extends from the top of the hoof to the top of the ankle joint.
Stocking: Any white marking extending from the hoof and covering the leg up to or above the knee or hock is considered a stocking , also known as a full stocking
Half-Stocking: This white mark extends from the top of the hoof to the midway point on the cannon bone, not the midway point from the ground to the knee or hock. Partial markings can occur in both the stocking and half-stocking categories.
Lightning Marks: Irregular white markings on the legs that do not contact the hoof.

Do I Have To Wear A Hard Hat When Trail Riding?

Wear A ASTM Approved Hard Hat!

Always, Always wear an ASTM approved hard hat for Trail Riding. If your horse is startled, at least you will be sure to save your Brain!

is there a protocol for entering arenas?

Entering Arenas

Entering always, when entering an Indoor or an Outdoor arena, you should always announce yourself BEFORE opening any gates or door. Shout loudly "Coming In" and then wait 30 seconds before proceeding. This will allow anyone whom are so focused on the performance in which they are doing in the arena, to prepare them and their horse for your entry. This type of an entrance will always prevent accidents from happening.

should I have a copy of all barn/horse documents photocopied in barn?

Important Documents-PHOTOCOPY

8) Business and Insurance Licenses and policies kept in a locked but humanly accessible area in the case of emergency.

What consists of Carriage Driving?

Carriage Driving Preferences

In the Carriage Driving interests, the horses are slightly heavier, and stronger due to the increased size of the vehicle and the increased number of passengers. Carriages can range from simple and light weight buggies carrying two to four persons, to heavy, ornate and fancy multiple passenger vehicles. The most popular horse for this division is the famous Friesian Horse, from the movie "The Princess Bride". The big black horse with his long feathers on the legs and his proud and elegant carriage strikingly catches an eye wherever they go. They are driven four in hand; or a single; or a Team (two)(side by side); or Tandem (one in front of the other); a "Unicorn" which is two side by side, with a single in front. This division includes the combined driving events, which are found to parallel the Dressage and Eventing interests from the under saddle divisions.

How To Plan For A Trail Ride?

Backpack Contents

Your Backpack on a Trail Ride Away From Home, should include the following (these items can be shared by all that are in the group, or left in the Trailer):
Gauze/Telfa Bandages
Leg Wrap & a Stable Bandage
Hoof Pick w/Brush
Ziplock of Poultice Paste (dry)
Absorbine Brace in a Spray Applicator (diluted/mixed)Easy Boot
Wire Cutters
Knife (that is sharp enuf to cut thru leather)
Toilette Towels (Wet Ones)
Clean Towels
Eye Ointment
Bute or Banamine paste
Betadine Scrub
Cotton Sheeting
Surgical Gloves
Large Syringe
Qt. Container of Water
Antibiotic Cream or Biozide Cream/Gel
Cell Phone
Power Bars
Large Ziplock Bag of Alfalfa Cubes
Stop Watch or Watch
Extra Halters & Lead Shanks
Extra Stirrups & Reins
Happy Trails To YOU!

Should there always be an escape route when jumping fences?

Escape The Jump!

Coaches, Instructors, Trainers, must provide an alternative or escape route around any jumping obstacles, for their students in jumping lessons! Just in case, this will prevent a wreck if the horse is not going to go over!

I always bring along a friend to the barn, is this okay?

Spectators, Guests or Visitors

Spectators, guests, visitors should always make their presence known to the Ownership or the Management. Frequently, Barn/Farm insurance does not cover visitors that are not granted permission; or persons that do not own a horse on the premises, or persons that are not enrolled in a current lesson plan, in the insurance policy. Ask, and then comply.

Can Low Backed or Swaybacked Horses Be Ridden?

Low Backed Horses

To Ride A Low Backed (Swaybacked) Horse or NOT?

Your horse will let you know if it hurts him or not: swishing tail while you ride, grinding his teeth, pinning ears, crow-hopping with his back-end. All of these he will do once you are in the Saddle if it is the riding that bothers him.

The biggest problem that you will have is finding a saddle to fit correctly. For the comfort of the horse, I would go the extra mile and hire someone who truly KNOWS how to fit a saddle to him.

any recommendations in developing the horse as an athlete?

Developing The Horse As An Athlete

The Equine Athlete by Jo Hodges.

Is there any heritage wagon train sites?

Driving Wagons or Wagon Trains

In various parts of America, Heritage sites have continued the tradition of the Wagon Train as a means of keeping history alive. One such site is the California National Historical Trail Wagon Train. A brief except of their extensive site is included below, and the link to their site is:

How frequently do I check the Trailer Windows, vents?

Trailer Maintenance - Windows/Ventilation

Check the windows & ventilation of your trailer at least annually, preferably in the Spring B4 you start a season of hauling. Add WD-40 to ease in the open/close of all windows and vents.

I park where ever at the barn, is this okay?

Designated Parking Areas

Vehicles should always be parked in the designated areas. Guests waiting in the vehicles should be quiet and still. The best bet for them is to bring along a book or a lap game in which to occupy their time during the wait. Often times a spooked horse will not even see a vehicle that is not in a usual place, and the horse will crash right into the vehicle while spooking from something else. Keep vehicles in one area that the horses are accustomed to seeing vehicles located in.

What Happens If A Horse Eats An Azalea?

Azalea & Horses

Ornamental plant that causes various cardiac effects.

How Do I Measure For A Proper Helmet?

Sizing of a Helmet

To properly size a helmet, measure around the circumference of the head, about 1 inch above the eyebrow.

If you have long hair that you wear up under the helmet, be sure to do so before you measure.

That will give you your helmet size.

What Are Endurance Competitions?

Endurance Riding Competitions

Endurance Competitions cover a specific distance (from 10 miles to 100 miles) in a specified time period. The winner is the horse who is there the fastest, but also the fittest. As temperature, pulse, respiration & hydration are all checked at regular intervals.


Rider Position Alignments

Between Rider & Horse's head:
Straight line formed from elbow, to wrist thru hand down rein to the bit in the horse's mouth! The change & flexibility must be thru the wrist & elbow in maintaining an even & steady contact...providing a relaxed, yet constant contact & give w/take on & with the horse's mouth.

Is There A Preventative For Ticks?

Tick Powders

Prevent tick problems in the forelock, mane and tail. If you horse is having problems with ticks in these areas, simply dust with rotenone powder. This will provide nearly total protection.

BE SURE that if you are exposed to ticks in your area, that you have your horse checked/treated for Lymes Disease which is spread by ticks.

How do I record ID of my horse?

Horse Identification

Can you fully describe your horse if he were to go missing?

Take Photo's...front, rear, each side. Summer & Winter if he changes in coloration. Take photo's of the chestnuts, as they are like fingerprints to each horse. Photo lip or tattos, brands, markings. Keep hair folicle samples for DNA.

Keep a journal with his pedigree, health reports, concerns, temperature fluctuations if any.

Is there a list of poisonous plants for horses?


vital information on poisonous plants, pasture, drought, and manure management, and other topics geographically related to your specific area can be found through your county or state EXTENSION AND AGRICULTURAL SERVICE

I always bring my house pets along to the barn, is this okay?

Pets at the Barn

Pets, often times the horses of others do not like small domestic pets. Leave yours at home, even when you have someone coming to pick you up or drop you off. If you must bring along the pet, suggest to them to wait for you at the end of the driveway, rather than take the chance of causing someone else's horse to spook. You may find yourself liable for the Insurance Claims if the other rider was to have an accident!

What is a combination class?

Pleasure Division - Combination Class

In this division, often the Combination Class is offered as an alternative to the Drivers. The Combination Class is when the horse enters the ring in Harness, is Driven as would be in a normal class. Then the Horse/Rider is to change tack and clothing and then return to the rail to be judged under saddle.

What is the horse´s reaction to milkweed?

Milkweed & Horses

Milkweed will cause sudden death by cardiac arrest.

What are some bad horse/rider combinations?

Timid Riders

Timid or Indecisive Riders will confuse or upset a timid horse.

What to do with an outgrown pony?

Outgrown Pony

Do you have a family pony that is outgrown by all. Have you thought of having the Pony retrained to drive? Then he remains an active, contributing member to the family, and more members can enjoy his new activity.


Arena Etiquette

Riders always * always * always pass left shoulder to left shoulder when approaching one another.

Slower horses or fussy horses, always are kept on a track just inside of the main flow of traffic from the outside arena track. Say, 12' inside of the arena track.

Always look behind and beside you BEFORE you give your horse the commands to stop or to back or to turn into the center of the arena.

Are Buying Easy Boots Worth The Cost?

Tender Feet - Rough Surfaces!

Should you have areas of rough surfaces that you must cross and you have a horse with tender feet, it may be worth your while to buy a pair of Easy Boots!

Car tire rubber melted into the shape of a horse's hoof.

Can be easily taken off & on.

Also can be used for soaking, poulticing, and protection if your horse looses a shoe.

Do My Eyes Really Affect My Horse?

Rider's Eyes

Your EYES direct your shoulders (which guide the horse's head & neck), which direct your hips (which guide the horse's body) in the direction in which you want your horse to go.

All of this only prepares your horse, and develops his reliance on you for direction.

Eventually this helps build an inseparable team between you, when the horse knows that he can depend on you for advance preparation of his direction!

how can we select gates for prevention?


4) Gates both inside and outside kept securely locked; and high/railed enough to prevent the temptation of jumping over or sneaking under. Safety gates to the driveway and the roadway are the ultimate protection.

how should barn hoses be kept?

Barn Hoses

3) Hoses kept in convenient locations, and kept coiled on hose spools to prevent a leg or foot or person from tripping and getting caught up in them.

What Is The Proper Way To Approach A Horse, Why?

Approaching A Horse - Loose or Tied!

Always talk to the horse in a soft, and gentle tone first before moving. Approach from off of the shoulder, NEVER, EVER from directly infront of!

Announce to the horse your intentions to either pat him or to halter him, or just to groom him in this manner.

What is Combined Driving ?

Combined Driving Events

Combined Driving is role modelled after the riding competition of 3 Day Eventing. There are 3 separate competitions within the event.

What is a good direction book for driving horses in harness?

Harnessing Up, A Recommended Book

Harnessing Up, Allen Photographic Guide by Anne Norris & Caroline Douglas. This pictoral book shows the most efficient method of putting on a single harness and adjusting it correctly. Clear Pictures with easy to understand text, take you through the stages of the complete procedure.

What are considerations before buying a horse?

B4 U Buy A Horse

Before you buy, research the disciplines that you really want to try out. Take lots of lessons. Compete on lesson/lease horses.

THEN take along a trusted coach, trainer, farrier, Vet and find the horse with the temperment that suits you, with the temperment, talent & ability that suits the discipline that you want to pursue with that horse!

what do I ask when Trailering my horse on vacation?

Trailering Tips on Vacation

Are the areas for guest horses fenced with Bayco, Wire (?) , Wood & Rail (how many rows). Are they secure paddocks. Are they closed. Are they open to a wide and open free range area (should the horse(s) get loose). How big are the enclosures. How far away from your accommodations are they located (this includes if you are staying in your camper).

What Should Go Into A Barn First Aid Kit for Horses & People?

Barn First Aid Kit

A First Aid Kit Within Every Barn Should Include:

Sheet or Roll Cotton.
Standing Bandages.
Standing Wraps.
Cotton Wraps.
Clean Towels.
Boil Boot, Easy Boot, Poultice Boot.
Stop Watch.
Betadine Scrub/Spray.
Large Syringes.
Eye Drops.
Liquid Stitch.
Tail Wrap.
Saran Wrap.
Ice Wrap/Ice Packing.
Duct Tape.
Mineral Oil.
Antibiotic ointment.
Fungus scrub/spray.
Sheath Cleaner.
Wonder Dust.
Bandage Pads.
Vicks Vaporub.
Ice Gel or Miracle Ice.

How do Standardbreds fit into the Driving Division Scene?

Standardbred Horses & Driving

The light weight and streamlined "jog or racing cart" of the Standardbred Racing Horses is also part of the Driving Division. These are an avid interest in the Driving Division, and have their own demands and qualities that are required for performance and efficiency. Horses must be either Trotters or Pacers. In Pacing, the horse moves laterally, with legs on the same side moving together. The Trotter is a regular trot at an extended speed.

How Do I Know How Much Fencing I Will Need For A Farm Acreage?

Fencing Conversion

Fencing Conversion ratio.

Multiply lineal feet by #of rails (height) desired.

1/2 acre paddock is 590 LF X 3 rails = 1770' of materials.

2 acre pasture is 1182 LF X 4 rails = 4728' of materials.

5 acre pasture is 1867 LF X 4 rails = 7468' of materials.

How Do I Cool Out My Horse After Riding?

Properly Cooling Out A Horse

To properly cool out your horse. He should be walked (either ridden or by hand) for at least 10 to 20 minutes after exercise, depending upon the level of exertion that he has utilized.

During walking, put a cooler on your horse.
After walking, put the horse in the cross ties, or stall tie, or stalled, which ever works best for your horse. using instructions on your liniment, rinse sweat mixed with a body brace over his entire body, and soak the areas of deep muscles (hip, legs, shoulders, back, crest of neck). Put on a light sheet until dry, or more during cooler weather. Retire to bed or paddock w/a handful of cut up carrots or apple pieces!

does it matter where I mount or dismount my horse?

Mounting & Dismounting Areas

Mounting/Dismounting make sure to always mount or dismount your horse in the designated areas. Before proceeding to that area, always make sure the area is clear before you proceed. You might be in someone else's way while you stand waiting for others to mount....particularly if in an arena. Always give one more check to your girth, on both sides before you mount your horse; and pull down your stirrups on both sides.

is it really required to keep hay separated & locked up?

Hay Storage

7) Hay preferably kept in a separate locked area. In the event of fire or loose or escaping horses!

what about Fire Extinquishers in the barn?

Fire Extinquishers

2) Fire Extinquishers that are up to date on servicing and that are conveniently located in easy to access spots. Nothing worse than having an electrical or container fire, and no one knowing where the extinquishers are located.

Do Pleasure Driving Classes require horse/cart to back up?

Backing Up In Pleasure Classes

The Pleasure Classes are always requested to back up the horse in the center line up from a standstill. The Back Up is to be for a minimum of three strides, a maximum of 5 strides. The Horse should back directly straight, but most often they do not. The header should be on hand to assist if at all necessary, but not to interfere or to control the back up of the horse and cart/with driver.

How often & what do I check for tires on Truck/Trailer?

Trailer Maintenance - Tires

Be sure to check the tread, bulges, and uneven wear patterns. Tires should always be 10 ply~!

What is the horse´s reaction to Rayless Goldenrod?

Rayless Goldenrod & Horses

Rayless Goldenrod is a weed found in open pastures. Toxic if found in hays. Causes partial throat paralysis, lack of coordination, wide stance, gait stiffness and sudden death.

What is the horse´s reaction to Bitterweed?

Ragwort & Horses

Bitterweed grows in winter and spring. Found often in First Cut Hays. Weed will cause liver damage. Evidence is weight loss, lack of appetite, depression, colic, lack of coordination, edema. Recovery chances are very poor.


Lesson/School Horses

Lesson or School Horses should always be familar with the lessons before the student is to take the lesson. It is up to the student to learn the lesson, NOT to teach the horse!

The horse must be trained by the Instructor prior to the lesson. It is not the requirement of the student to be training the horse while taking the lesson!

What Is A Horse´s Field Of Vision?

Horses Vision

Horses see either with both eyes (binoclear vision)
OR with one or the other eye (monoclear vision).

When a horse is looking at you remember that NO HORSE can see the immediate three feet in front of it, and not the immediate three feet behind it.

Verbally warn the horse of your approach if in these two "blind" areas, and always approach & touch the shoulder area first!

Why Do People Shout "Heads Up" at Barns?

Coming Through!

Whenever entering an Indoor, enclosed arena, or an outdoor arena of any kind (or those with any kind of blind spots), ALWAYS * ALWAYS * ALWAYS
announce your entry, PRIOR TO OPENING the door/gate/slider/entry to making any motion to open or go through. Shout loud enough that no one can possibly say they did not hear you! Do unto others, then will always be done unto you!

Why Should I Wear A Riding Helmet, No One Else Does?

If Thrown, Don't Want a Horse To Drag You??

wear a shoe or boot with a heel when you are riding. This is to help protect & minimize your chances of your foot being stuck in the stirrup, and you being dragged should you fall off!

Consider too, having safety stirrups with the elastic!

what necessary owner & horse contact info should be in the barn?

Horse & Owner Records

9) All Horse and Owner records kept locked in a humanly accessible area in the case of emergency. In the event of having to call next of kin, Veterinarians, Farriers or whomever, keep a record of the owner and emergency contacts photocopied in the barn in a fire proof box that is securely locked away.

How Do I Know When My Horse Is Foaling?

Gestation & Signs of Foaling

Gestation is 11 months.

Foaling can be 24 hours. Make sure to notify the Vet, reminding him at least 2 weeks before foaling is DUE. Some signs of foaling being may or may not notice that throughout pregnancy the mare may frequently push her rear quarters against something for support (a wall, a post, boards...), when she is getting ready to foal however, she will push her head against objects in order to assist her in pushing and bearing down. She will eat (but unless this is her first foal), will eat only lightly & will pick at her hay, and will pick more frequently as the foaling draws near. She will lay down more and more. She will become more aloof; whereas once pregnant mares usually become far more affectionate & dependant.

Blood Type or DNA, 2001 DNA Is The Way!

DNA For Racing Thoroughbreds

As of January 1, 2001 the Jockey Club of America is recognizing DNA testing for the Registering of the 2001 Foal Crop.

DNA is 99.99% effective, utilizing only a hair w/folicle attached, to determine parentage. DNA testing will replace Blood Typing which is currently the practise to certify parentage for Racing or Breeding Horses.


Riding Eyes

When riding the unspoken rule ALWAYS is: you go where your eyes lead! The horse will always follow the rider's eyes (when he is listening to your direction). Test it! When you are at a trot, use your eyes to direct your direction on the horse, and watch, he will follow the focus of your eye upon an object! Therefore, DO NOT LOOK DOWN! You'll end up there!

When and where should I check my tack?

Tack Check - When & Where

Tack/Equipment Check be sure to always perform a complete tack check on all pieces of your tack and equipment. Even if you only checked everything that morning, be sure to check before every ride.

What is the horse´s reaction to Rattleweed?

Rattleweed & Horses

Rattleweed is a weed that causes liver damage. It is viewed by weight loss, lack of appetite, depression, colic, lack of coordination, edema. Recovery chances are very poor.

Should My Horse & I Pursue Trail Riding?

Trail Riding Relaxation Therapy

Trail Riding is excellent alternative therapy for both horse & rider. Muscles are used by both that are never used during riding in the arena. Trail Riding should be relaxing and enjoyable for both horse & rider, freeing minds from competition & training rigors.

Riding Alone

Trail Ride Only With A Friend!

You should never trail ride, or jump unless you have a friend or riding buddy along.

How do Horses Change from Driving to Riding in Combination Classes?

Combination Class 2 Minute Changeover

At the completion of the Driving Line-Up the "Headers" (usually two persons unless the tack/clothing has been stored in the foot basket of the cart), enter the ring with the horse's saddle, bridle and the Driver's change of clothing. The Headers have only two minutes in which to completely change the horse out of harness into saddle/riding gear. The Driver/Rider is allowed to help, but must also change clothing into the appropriate Riding Dress for the Discipline chosen. The Disciplines are usually English Pleasure (Saddleseat), English Pleasure (Hunt Seat), Western Pleasure, or Dressage.

What does well in Fine Harness Divisions?

The Fine Harness Preferences

The Fine Harness Horse or Pony usually consists of the American Saddlebred, Morgan Horse, Hackney Horse or Pony, and the American Shetland or Miniatures. The Fine Harness Horse does an animated walk (which often appears to be an excessively collected trot...or a trot on the spot as the walk). The gaits in the Show Ring are the park walk, trot and park trot. The buggy is four wheeled and is very fine in craftsmanship, materials and design. The harness consists of the barest of all necessities of tack in order to reveal the beauty and refinement of the horse. In early days, only the very wealthy were able to have the showy and elegant Fine Harness Horse. Usually the creme de la creme of the equine breeds available, the horse is upheaded, animated in motion and very refined and elegant.

Can a horse get sufficient moisture/water from snow?

Horses Eating Snow For Moisture

Snow, although horses' LOVE to eat it, will NOT supply sufficient moisture to replace ANYTHING; nor can snow supply sufficient moisture in any amount!

DO NOT THINK that any amount of snow eaten can replace the normal amount of water that the horse will normally consume. If anything, in freezing weather the amount of water a horse consumes should increase by a significant amount.

should I put a lock on the door of the grain, vitamin and horse goodie

Grain-Vitamin-Food Goodie Storage

6) All food kept out of the traffic areas; kept out of easy access; kept out of "loose or escaping horses" access.

What is the horse´s reaction to Chokecherry?

Chokecherry & Horses

Chokecherry produces cyanide. Death will occur within minutes from Respiratory arrest.

Where do I look for a Competitive Trail Horse to buy?

Competitive Trail Horse Selection

Competitive Trail riders are well suited to picking up retiring Endurance Horses. Competitive Trail is a step down from Endurance, and these horses can be an exceptional purchase for the commencing Competitive Trail Rider.

What is the horse´s reaction to Klein Grasses?

Klein Grass & Horses

Klein Grass is found in hay and pastures. Highest toxicity in immature form found in early hay cuts. Liver damage and weight loss result.

What makes up Combined Driving events?

Combined Driving Events - The 3 Phases

Phase One is the Presentation and Dressage. Phase Two is the Marathon, and Phase Three is Obstacle Driving. During 3 Day Events, each of the Phases takes place on one day, just as in the Riding version of 3 Day Eventing. On 2 Day Events, the Presentation, Dressage and the Obstacle Driving are performed on one day, with the Marathon on the second or final day.

How often do I check the trailer flooring?

Trailer Maintenance - Flooring

Trailer Flooring should be checked at least seasonally. The floor matts should be cleaned, lifted with a brick placed at each end to allow for drying underneath at least seasonally. Check for rotting from manure or urine. After each haul, sweep clean, remove shavings, and place a brick at each end to allow for drying underneath (at least seasonally).

What are some Equine Vocations?

Equine Vocations

Veterinary Technicians
Barn Manager in Breeding, Stallion, Boarding, Training, Instruction or Lesson barns.
Appraisers of equines
Graphic Arts Design
Insurance Agents
Barn/Farm/Arena Architects
Barn/Farm/Arena Contractors
Camp Director
Construction Contractor
Dental Technician
Event Announcer
Event Management
Event Coordinator
Exercise Rider
Farm Manager
Feed Dealer
Feed Sales
Tack Sales
Lab Technician
Book Sales
Massage Therapist
Research Scientist
Research Technician
Saddler or Harness Maker
Trailer Sales/Dealership
Transport Driver
Rodeo Performer

What is the horse´s reaction to Sorghum?

Sorghum & Horses

Sorghum produces cyanide when eaten. Pasture is more toxic than if found in hays. Produces acute toxicity, hindleg incoordination, urinary incontinence, bladder infection. Pregnant mares abort or produce deformed foals.

Getting In Shape & Having Fun While Doing It!

Building Stamina

Now that you are Trail Riding for Recreation, how about incorporating development of the cardio system in the horse and yourself? This suggested plan is for the Spring when usually the horse & yourself are a bit soft..........

Begin with 15 minutes at a walk. Then spend 10 minutes at the trot. Now back to the walk for 10 minutes. Canter for 5 minutes. Walk for 15 minutes. Trot now for 20 minutes. Walk for 10. Canter for 5. Now walk for 5. Trot for 15. Walk out for 15 (homeward bound!). Repeat this schedule as frequently as possible, at least every three days, and within a month you will have a horse that is fit to begin Spring Schooling and you both had fun doing it!

If I See Something Isn´t Right At A Barn, Should I Say Something?

Watch Out Throughout The Barn!

Always find a place for the barn daily utensils...the rakes, forks, shovels, wheelbarrows, so that they are "put up" out of the way of the lane of traffic, and the horses being handled, walked, or taken in and out of stalls. It is so easy for a fork or shovel to be bumped or stepped on & cause a major trauma if not secured in an out of way location. Not nice to get a fork in the eye or a shovel in the head from mismanagement!


Rider's Position Alignment

Rider's alignment points for the Rider's body are: from the back of the heel up thru the seat thru the back, elbow, shoulder, neck & ear (as viewed from the profile).


Sitting Position in Saddle

Sitting on Back Rim of your seat bones places you in a position that is BEHIND the forward motion of the horse. It will be extremely difficult for you to keep your leg underneath you, and maintain a correct alignment. You will have the tendancy to use your horse's mouth (thru the reins, & bridle) to keep your upper body from falling backwards & to maintain the upper body balance.

if equipment is there, it is meant to be used, correct?

Use of Jumps or Equipment

Use of facilities during lessons; or use of equipment when riding unattended by a licenced Coach/Instructor. Always ask the Coach/Instructor that is conducting the lesson if they mind if you share the arena with their current lessons students. Then comply to their answer. This also goes for any equipment or use of (jumps-trail obstacles-cavalettis). Often times, Barn or Instructor Insurance does not cover use of the equipment by anyone not in a current lesson with them.

What is the requirements of the competitive trail pelasure class?

Competitive Trail Pleasure

Competitive Trail Pleasure Classes require 20 to 30% of a ground covering trot.

What is the horse´s reaction to Foxglove?

Foxglove & Horses

Foxglove causes cardiac problems.

a dressage progressive book of training?

Advanced Training For The Dressage Horse

Advanced Training For The Dressage Horse by Tricia Gardiner. This book focus' on the horse at a medium level with development into the Grand Prix levels.

what is the single most important part of carriage driving?

Carriage Driving

Carriage Driving can be performed with the single horse or with a team of up to six or more horses. It is absolutely imperative when driving with more than one horse that you put on the tack/harness in a systematic and precise order, every time you harness. The harness has got to fit every horse correctly and precisely in order to enable a team to function as a single unit.

What is the horse´s reaction to White Snake Root?

Whitesnakeroot & Horses

Whitesnakeroot is found in wooded pastures and by streams & rivers. Toxic in hays. Causes extreme lack of coordination, partial throat paralysis, wide stance, gait stiffness and sudden death.


Proper Riding Position in Saddle

Sitting in the lowest point of the saddle, on the lowest point of your seat bones should make vertical alignment easy. Sitting comfortably tall, & relaxed in this position should eliminate all pressure and strain of spine, hip, pelvis, neck & head & eye. You should be able to FEEL the saddle press back towards you as the movement of the horse changes, unless you are pressing down into the saddle too deeply.

Have We Covered Everything in our Barn Construction

Considerations In Barn Construction

When constructing a barn, keep in mind:
a)Ventilation & prevailing winds
b)natural drainage
c)fresh water/fresh air
d)cross winds
e)manure removal/storage/pu/delivery/access
f)exits & accessibility for trucks, emergencies, difficult horses
g)foundation ground
h)design efficiency & safety
k)feed & ease in loading/unloading
l)shavings & ease in loading/unloading
m)if self board, is there separate provision for self boarders hay, grain, tack
n)natural & artificial lighting & electrical
o)clean up & removal of debris & utensils & buckets
p)tack storage (warm, dry, unaccessible to rodents)
q)FIRE EXITS & Emergency Lighting
r)cross ties, tack hooks, tarps

The Little "XTRA's"
a)coffee, tea, changing or bathroom w/flashlight in/for Emergency uses
b)location of Veterinary products (fridge), bandages, first aid kit, wraps
c)Individual Fly or Other Sprays/Treatments
d)wash stall
e)separate Hay and Shavings Areas
f)buckets or auto waterers
g)blanket room where blankets can hang to dry in warmth
h)public telephone
i)hot walkers
j)air pump for wheelbarrow, truck tires, etc.

what is the proper tack storage within a barn?

Tack & Tack Storage

5) All tack kept out of horses reach; and kept locked securely from those with "light fingers".

How to check Trailer & Truck Brakes, and how often?

Trailer Maintenance - Brakes

Make sure to check your Brakes B/4 and after every use. Have a certified Brake Specialist examine the brakes at 2,00 miles, and then every 3,000 miles thereafter. Assess brake pades & drums for scoring. Have the hydraulic's checked for any leakage.

Can I Help My Horse To Stretch His Muscles On The Ground?

Horse Stretching Exercises

Making your horse reach down to the ground, high up in the air, or around to the side of its hip for a favorite treat is what's known as "carrot stretches." These stretches are extremely useful for all horses in suppling & limbering muscles that are infrequently used. This will improve lateral flexibility in the neck and shoulder muscles.

Can Using Blinkers/Blinders Be A Bad Thing?

Blinkers & Driving Blinders

ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS Remember: if you are using blinders or a blinker hood, to have FULL CONTROL OF THE AREA THAT YOU ARE DRIVING YOUR HORSE IN!

Should a horse ever have a unsettling experience, or worse yet a wreck when wearing blinders or blinkers, that horse will seldom if ever get over the incident, and make a nice and safe driving horse if ever, again.


Should Trail Riders carry Cellular Phones?

Cellular Phone Saddle Carrier

The only Designated Cellular Phone Carrier I have seen so far is at

Step III Lesson In Beginning A Driving Horse

Step III In Beginning A Driving Horse

Step III usually follows Step II very quickly. Usually, there will ALWAYS be the exception to the rule, there will always be the horse that doesn't think that "Driving is it's Thing". BE PATIENT. DO NOT PROGRESS until the horse is relaxed and can walk the entire way around the arena several times, and on several days before progressing to Step III.

Now, we have had a handler walk us all the way around the arena. Now how about Changing Rein in the arena.

Start the horse off on the Right Rein (this way when and if he is ever shown, it will be natural for him to start in the ring on the right rein).

Proceed around the arena several times with the handler walking the horse (and talk to him) while walking along! The Driver is walking along behind talking as well (getting the horse accustomed to his "main person" being behind him). Once you have walked around the arena several times (remember driving in an arena, counting your laps at a walk and at a trot, walking several times should be nothing for any of you...handler, driver or horse!).

As you come out of a corner you will make a diagonal across the center of the arena to the opposite top side of the arena (in Dressage Letters, if you are coming out of the corner at Letter H, then you will proceed to Letter F and at F, you will change rein to now be walking on the Left Rein.

Walk this way quite a few times. Going this way is new to the horse. Change only once or twice, depending on the horse's ease in making the changes.

This is how you will change rein while driving your horse.

Watch the "mock shafts" as you corner, do you notice the difference in pressure points on your horses shoulder and thigh areas? This will effect how you drive the corner as well in the future.

How often do I check the trailer latches, bolts, and accessories?

Trailer Maintenance - Latches/Bolts

Check the latches & bolts on the inside/outside of your trailer B/4 and after every useage~! Also check your ramp springs, safety chains/bars for security.

Decorating A Martha Stewart´s Barn

Martha Stewart's Barn

1) Potporri Sachet on the Halter/Bridle Hook outside of each stall!
2) Hooves painted with brightly colored hoof polish!
3) Horse cookies stored in McCoy Crocks.
4) Maure Fork, Broom, Shovel, are all decorated with Craft Themes & decorations.
5) Lemon Slice in each water bucket.
6) Carrot & Apple Slices are cut out by Horsey Cookie Cutters, and have been sugared with strawberry, apple or carrot icing sugar.
7) Grooming Hair has been collected & placed in wire baskets near the rafters for the birds nests.
8) Wreaths are done seasonally for each stall.
9) Your horse is Turned Out daily in a fresh thyme colored virgin wool hand knit blanket w/matching hood & leg wraps, complete w/matching halter fuzzies, & lead shank.
10) All Cobwebs are swept, then hosed clean.
11) The manure pile is recyled daily.

Merry Christmas!

What is the horse´s reaction to Poison Hemlock?

Poison Hemlock & Horses

Poison Hemlock is a weed. Non toxic once dried. Horses will become uncoordinated and will fall down. Paralysis or coma will result. Immediate recovery support is imperative to survive.

What is the horse´s reaction to Locoweed?

Locoweed & Horses

Locoweed will cause unpredictability, lack of coordination, vision disturbances, difficulty in eating, alternating anxiety and depression. Will cause permanent brain damage.

How frequently do I check the Trailer/Truck wiring?

Trailer Maintenance - Wiring

Check your wiring B/4 each useage~! Check for damage, all workings, braking, emergency brakes.

What is the horse´s reaction to Yellow Thistle Star?

Yellow Thistle Star & Horses

Yellow Thistle Star causes difficulties in eating and drinking, eventually completely restricting the ability to chew or swallow. Death is inevitable.

What Is Vaulting?


Vaulting is excellent for teaching balance & athletics with horses. Vaulting uses one bareback horse wearing only a surcingle, side-reins, and Bridle. Vaulting is considered gymnastics on horseback.

What is the reaction to Black Walnut in horses?

Black Walnut & Horses

Black Walnut (from shavings) causes laminitis, edema, depression.

Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Horse Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!

Guru Spotlight
Ray Lokar