Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Understanding A Spooked Horse

Horses, by their very nature, are easily spooked. In the wild, they rely on their senses to anticipate danger. They also live in herds and rely on each other to raise the alarm for danger. You'll never see an entire herd lie down at once because at least one horse will be on alert for danger. If you have 3 horses in your backyard and ever see all of them lying down at the same time, that's an excellent sign that they're completely at ease in their environment and feel quite safe from harm.

Our horses won't understand us if we say to them, "It's OK, don't be afraid." But we can teach them several things:

• To stop and think about something before reacting;
• That we're part of their herd and if we aren't raising the alarm for danger, then by default, everything is safe and OK; and
• To keep their attention on us instead of the world around them.

Any single one of these methods will make your horse feel safer, but by combing all three, you'll have a safe and reliable partner.

Need help with your horse, let Creekside Equicenter help you. Visit our website at www.creeksideequicenter.com and contact Tina today.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Communicating with An Aggressive Horse... Simplified.

Communicating with An Aggressive Horse... Simplified.

Before you ask anything of the horse, know exactly what you are looking for so that the very moment the horse complies you can release and reward him. This is the order to all communication:

•             Ask
•             Anticipate
•             Get compliance from the horse
•             Release
•             Reward

The release is the reward, but if you want to speed up the learning process, do some stroking accompanied with soothing words. Lavish praise will speed up the learning process by 60%!

Need help in training your horse? Contact www.CreeksideEquicenter.com

Disaster Action Guidelines For Horse Owners

Disaster Action Guidelines For Horse Owners
You should be aware that actions you take before, during and after a natural or man made disaster could save your horses' life.
Plan Ahead Before a Disaster Occurs:
  • Familiarize yourself with the types of disasters that can occur in your area and develop a plan of action to deal with each type. Some disasters to consider are hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, severe winter weather, fire, nuclear power plant accidents with release of radioactivity to the environment and hazardous material spills.
  • Survey your property to find the best location to confine your animals in each type of disaster. Check for alternate water sources in case power is lost and pumps and automatic waterers are not working after the disaster.
  • If you think you might need to evacuate your horses from your property determine several locations the animals could be taken, several routes to these locations and the entry requirements for each. Make arrangements in advance with the owner/operators to accept your horses and be sure to contact them before taking the horses there. Locations that could be used for evacuation are private stables, race tracks, fair grounds, equestrian centers, private farms and humane societies.
  • Permanently identify each horse by tattoo, microchip, brand, tag, photograph (4 views-front, rear, left and right side) and/or drawing. Record its age, sex, breed, and color with your record of this identification. Keep this information with your important papers. If not identified at the time of the disaster in the above manner, paint or etch hooves, use neck bands or paint telephone number on side of animal.
  • Be sure your horses' vaccination and medical records are written and up-to-date. As a minimum, each horse should have a current Coggins test documented. Check with your veterinarian as to what immunizations are advisable. Have documentation of any medicines with dosing instructions, special feeding instructions and the name and phone number of the veterinarian who dispensed the drug.
  • Place a permanent tag with your name and phone number, and the horse's name on each animal's halter.
  • Consider in your plan the prioritizing of which animals will be saved, if all cannot be saved. Let all farm personnel know of your plans in case you are not there when a disaster occurs.
·         Prepare an emergency kit consisting of:
·         plastic trash barrel with lid
·         water bucket
·         leg wraps
·         fire resistant non nylon leads and halters
·         first aid items
·         portable radio and extra batteries
·         flashlight
·         sharp knife
·         wire cutters
·         tarpaulins
·         lime, bleach
  • Have trailers and vans maintained, full of gas and ready to move at all times. Acclimate your horse to trailers and vans.
  • Remember during emergencies you are taking minimum actions to assure the animal's survival. Have enough fresh water and hay on hand for 48-72 hours.
  • During disasters you may wear different or unusual clothing, so condition your horses to strange appearances ahead of time.
  • Consider your insurance needs and be sure you have all the coverage on your property and animals you may need and that claims will be paid for the type of disasters you may encounter.
At the Time of the Disaster:
  • Listen to the Emergency Broadcasting System (EBS) station on your portable radio for information about how to locate horse care providers offering services during the disaster and any special instructions about actions you should take to protect your animals.
  • If you leave your home, take your horses' immunizations and health records with you. Records kept at home may be damaged during the disaster.
  • If you evacuate and take your horses with you, take all your immunization and health records, your emergency kit and sufficient hay and water for a minimum 48 hour period. Call ahead, if possible, to make sure that your emergency location is still available.
  • If you must leave your horses unattended at home, leave them in the area most appropriate for the type of disaster you previously selected such as high ground in a flood. Leave enough water for the length of time you expect to be gone. Do not trust automatic watering systems in case power is lost.
After the Disaster:
  • Be careful about leaving your horses unattended outside after the disaster. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and the horses could easily become confused and lost. It is best to place them in a secure area. Be sure fences are intact as some may be damaged by the disaster. Check fences and pastures for sharp objects that could injure horses. Be aware of downed power lines, raccoon,  skunks and other wild animals may have entered the area and could present a danger to your horses.
  • If any horses are lost during the disaster contact veterinarians, humane societies, stables, race tracks, equestrian centers, surrounding farms and other facilities that might house animals. Listen to the EBS for information about groups that may be accepting lost animals.
  • If you find someone else's horse after the disaster, isolate it from your animals until it is returned or can be examined by a veterinarian.
  • Use extreme caution when approaching and handling unknown or frightened horses. Work in pairs when handling strange horses.
  • Check with your veterinarian, the state veterinary medical association and the Department of Agriculture for information about any disease outbreaks that may have occurred as a result of the disaster.
  • Be prepared to identify and document ownership when claiming lost horses.
  • Consider establishing security measures on your farm to protect assets from looters, exploiters.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Creekside Equicenter Summer Fun for Hunters and Jumpers

We have a lot of fun riding and jumping at Creekside Equicenter just outside Walkerton, Indiana each year. Our barn is full of excitement. The kids are all happy. Horses are anxious for attention. You can always find someone having fun in the indoor arena or, when weather permits, the spacious outdoor arena. Occasionally we take a small group to the local state park to ride too.

The photo above is our participation in an LMHJA event at Cedar Lodge in Michigan. Great weather and lots of fall fun.

See more of our event photos here... http://www.flickr.com/photos/29966480@N07/sets/72157635525845692/

And visit our barn at www.creeksideequicenter.com

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

More Summer Fun Baling Hay Coming to an End

I had fun capturing these photos. I had just gotten home from work to find my wife, son and daughter and son's girlfriend finishing up a load of hay. Wonderful alfalfa/grass hay. It was a pleasant afternoon too. Dry but not too hot. The hay was just right and a beautiful green. We were lucky with the weather this time. And so far this year we haven't lost any hay to bad weather. Unlike some in the area.

Unfortunately though, with all the hay we make we still never seem to have enough to make it all the way to late spring.

And don't forget to check out our website at www.creeksideequicenter.com too. Looking for a great place to board your horse this winter? We have delicious hay ;-)

Summer Equestrian Fun Coming to an End Soon

Well, summer equestrian fun is coming to an end soon. It was a fabulous summer of jumping horses though. My daughter has moved to higher levels as well as several of the other girls of our barn. I especially like this photo taken at the Twin Cities Classic in Berrien Springs, Michigan this summer. This is my daughter and one of our boarder's horses tackling a cool angled jump in a jumper class. I believe that is about 3 foot if memory serves. Not extremely high but there were about 10 of them and she was timed. Winston never hesitated and the two of them looked wonderful.

Feel free to visit our Flickr photo pages here... http://www.flickr.com/photos/29966480@N07/sets/72157635528597593/

And you can visit our website at http://www.creeksideequicenter.com too. Thanks for visiting!