It's that time of year again when a lot of us give our horses a holiday. With the eventing season over and the summer venues packed up for dressage and jumping it's easy to 'chuck 'em out in the field' as people put it. Although it's not really that easy...
The first conundrum you might face is shoes on or off? It's certainly cheaper to not shoe horses for their holidays but not all horses cope with having their shoes taken off. Especially if they've been shod since the year dot. We all try and turn horses out as much as we can during their holidays but this has it's problems as well. Firstly, horses seem to have a habit of pulling shoes off when left to their own devices. It might be worth trying something like the 'ShoeSecure' horse shoe shield which is designed to alleviate the problem. While we're on the topic of legs - chaps for horses. With horses being turned out for longer periods the mud and wet can really begin to get to them resulting in mud fever for example. Turnout boots seem to be the answer to this problem but they must be kept clean and dry (or at least start the day like that). After that, washing any mud off the legs and then drying them should help.
Looking outside the window, it's also a good idea to look at whether your rugs are actually that warm and dry. Over the years the waterproof coatings can deteriorate and the insulation pack down leaving your trusty steed damp and cold. Equishopping has a vast range of turnout rugs to choose from and there's a few bargains there as well! As your horses settle into their holidays and begin to enjoy the 'field factor' they might begin to get a little difficult to catch in the evenings. Leaving a head collar on is OK as long as it's a leather one which will snap if they manage to get caught up in some bizarre predicament... Don't panic, Equishopping has some reasonably priced leather headcollars not just posh ones!
When it comes to December time and your thinking of bringing horses back into work Equishopping can help again with it's database of healthcare professionals including physio's and osteopaths. Just like when humans start a fitness campaign, think Olympics or Marathons, they have regular health checks so that any small problems that you might not have noticed are caught early. It's not unheard of either to have a 'horse MOT' done by the vet at the beginning of the season. It's also worth considering having your horse's teeth looked at by a specialist not just your vet. Certain horse dentists have studied overseas for several years to gain extensive qualifications unavailable in this country.
If you're a travelling tack shop, aspiring pro or entrepreneur then the winter is the ideal time to get any website issues or sponsorship sorted when there's more time. Help is at hand again here! Equishopping run a comprehensive web design plan so you can start the 2011 season with an online presence. What's more, there's currently a 25% off offer on!
On that theme, it's also a good idea to take stock of any finances, no matter how scary they are! Are you really getting the best deal? We think Equishopping's insurance database gives you a solid place to start in your quest for cheaper insurance.
For now that's it. Enjoy the holidays!!