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Choosing Good Hay

choosinggoodhayGrass and legume hays have basic nutritional qualities that can provide most horses with all the sustenance they need. However, if the hay you feed is not of the utmost quality, your horse won’t be getting the right nutrition. For this reason, it’s important to inspect every bale of hay you purchase before you feed it to your horse.

“A good bale of hay should be crisp, bright in color and free of dust, since dust is an indication of mold,” says Juliet Getty, Ph.D., an equine nutritionist in Haslet, Texas. “Avoid any hay that is dark, browning or is hot to the touch, which is an indication of fermentation. When separating a flake of hay, look for any signs of mold—a white cloud of dust with a moldy smell, white or gray fuzz or blackened, dusty areas.

“Legume hays are more prone to developing mold than grass hays,” she says. “Stalks and leaves should be clearly identifiable and not all packed together in a large mass. This is an indication that the hay was produced while the plant was wet. Mold is more likely to occur in this situation.”

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Garter Straps

The young rider needs their garter straps to look good for the show ring. Here is how you put them on your leg.

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Hairnets Explained

You don't what stray hairs sticking out of your riding helmet. See how to use a hairnet to look the best in the show ring.

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Horse Health - Mosquitos

MosquitosThat buzzing in your ear is not just a nuisance, it can also be a warning sign that mosquito season is here. The height of mosquito season is late summer to early fall. Now is the time to prepare you and your horse for a happy healthy summer.  Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, Texas Commissioner of Health advises people to remember the four D’s;

  • Dusk to Dawn: Stay indoors from dusk to dawn, times when those mosquitoes likely to carry the infection are most active.
  • Dress: Dress in pants and long sleeves when you are outside, especially in mosquito-infested areas.
  • DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide): Apply insect repellent that contains DEET. Read and follow label instructions. Spray both exposed skin and clothing with repellent.
  • Drain: Get rid of standing water in your yard and neighborhood. Old tires, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, leaky pipes and faucets, birdbaths and wading pools can be breeding sites for mosquitoes.

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Horse Clothing 101

Horse-SheetIn an effort to keep your horse comfortable in the North Texas ever changing weather, there is a variety of clothing and equipment options.  Your horse’s clothes are an important tool to use for their comfort and health.  

Stable Blanket:  Just as the name suggests, these blankets are used in the stable or barn. Not generally waterproof, they are designed to keep horses warm when the weather reaches temperatures of 40° or below.

Turnout Blanket: The name again tells the function of this item.  A blanket designed for keeping a horse warm while being turned out, outside. Waterproof and windproof, these blankets should be of a rugged fabric that will withstand “horse play”. Temperatures of 40° or below.

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Saddle Cleaning & Conditioning

Horse_Sports_043Saddles are one of the necessary expenses of riding.  A good quality saddle will last for years and could possibly be the only saddle you ever have to buy.  While the initial investment can raise your eyebrows , if not take your breath away, proper cleaning and conditioning may allow a nice return on your money when you sell it.  It makes sense (and cents) to take good care of your saddle.

While traditional wisdom says your saddle should be cleaned after every use, that approach my not be practical for you.  Always clean your equipment before a show. Horse Hardware has an assortment of quality cleaning products for use on all leather products.  Pick some up at Horse Hardware and have a rainy day full of fun, cleaning your tack!!

By following the simple steps below you’re sure to have a clean saddle in no time. The supplies that you will need for an expert clean are; mild saddle soap, leather conditioner, small sponge, towels, small bucket or bowl of water, soft bristle brush and cotton swabs.

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Grooming Like the Pros

Horse_Grooming_BoxThe benefits from a quality grooming are essential in proper horse care.  Proper grooming can tell you more than what your horse has been rolling in.  In fact the information could be priceless. A good grooming of your horse allows you to check every inch, giving you early notice of any scratches, bumps, or soreness before they become big problems.

These handy grooming tools will make your job thorough and leave your horse comfortable and clean.

  • Hoof Pick
  • Rubber Currycomb
  • Stiff brush
  • Mane and tail brush
  • Soft finishing brush
  • Hair polish

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