Horse Blanket Shopping Tips

The temperatures are starting to drop, and the nights are getting longer. Timer lights are being put into full use for some, and it’s time to do a little blanket shopping to keep your equine friend warm this winter. Here is a quick rundown to prepare you for blanket shopping:

Do You Really Need to Blanket?

This is the first question you should ask yourself when it comes to choosing a blanket for your horse. If you’re not trying to keep a short show coat throughout the winter, and you’re planning to turn your horse out for a few months, experts suggest it’s best to let Mother Nature handle the insulation. Blanketing your horse can flatten his coat, which causes it to lose its ability to insulate. As long as your horse has shelter from the wind and proper nutrition, they should be fine throughout the winter without a blanket. However, if the temperature dips below 10° Fahrenheit, you might want to have a blanket on hand to help with extreme chill.

Read more on EquineChronicle.com

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Teaching a Soft Touch to Your Horse

I’ve been lucky to be able to talk with some great trainers and learned a lot about how they work with their horses. In this article for the Paint Horse Journal, I learned from Heather Thompson how to teach “guide” to your horse for silent communication.

A Soft Touch

You’ve seen it in the show ring: a horse-and-rider team moving flawlessly through the motions, making square corners and round circles, changing direction with what looks to be no real effort at all. You can barely see the guidance the rider gives the horse through her hands, and yet he responds effortlessly.

That silent communication is the basis of what American Paint Horse Association Professional Horseman Heather Thompson calls “guide,” and it’s something she teaches all of her horses and clients.

“When I work with my horses, I don’t like to pull them. I like to push them,” she explained. “If I’m going left, I put that right rein into the horse’s neck and they know that means to ten left. I’m using rein pressure first.”

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“Guide” refers to a horse’s willingness to respond to slight pressure fro his rider. The better your horse guides, the easier he’ll be to ride.

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Download the entire article here: A Soft Touch

Thinking of Collegiate Riding? Shoot a Video

 

One of the best things I remember from my years at Murray State University was competing on the equestrian team as part of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA). When I originally went to Murray I went for the Rodeo Team, but I also fell in love with the coaches of the Equestrian Team and ended up spending all four years there, including being captain my senior year. So when I’m asked to write about college and riding, I jump at the chance.

That’s why I was excited to write for the American Paint Horse Association‘s magazine, the Paint Horse Journal, as part of their “Caught on Film” series. I spoke with intercollegiate coaches for both IHSA and NCAA for tips on shooting recruiting videos. I strongly suggest passing this along to any youth rider looking to compete in college to help them make the best first impression.

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You can also read it via PDF here: CollegiateVideos