Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Should You Blanket Your Horse This Winter?

Should You Blanket Your Horse This Winter?

If you live in a climate where cold winds blow during the winter, every year you’re faced with the question of whether to blanket your horse.

Horses come naturally equipped with a method to ward off the cold; a thick, hairy winter coat. It helps keep them warm and regulate their body temperature.

However, if you’re planning to clip your horse’s coat, it’s imperative that you provide him with alternatives for staying warm. Fortunately, the horse blanket market is such that you’ll find an enormous selection to choose from. Also, if you are trailering your horse in an open stock side horse trailer, you will want to blanket your horse and think about closing off the sides of the trailer to protect the horse from the cold wind. Many horse trailers are fully enclosed with windows and work much better for cold weather hauling.

But if you plan to keep your horse “hairy” this winter and have always wondered if you really need to blanket him, here are a few items to consider that may help you to decide.

· Horses need approximately 10 – 21 days to acclimatize to colder temperatures. After that adjustment period, their winter coat is sufficient to do the job.
· Horses with access to run-in sheds or natural shelter will use them to get out of wind, rain, or snow. They know when they are uncomfortable and will take care of themselves.
· Canadian studies show that well-nourished adult horses can tolerate temperatures as low as 5 degrees F. At colder temps, they begin to lose body heat. In these extreme conditions, horses would benefit from blanketing, extra forage, and shelter, or any combination of these.
· Less active, older horses may be candidates for blanketing since movement helps a horse to generate body heat.

If you do blanket your horse, most importantly, make sure the blanket fits. It shouldn’t rub and all the straps should be adjusted correctly and fasten securely. Remove the blanket daily to groom and check for any skin ailments such as rain rot or chafing. Also, check that the blanket is still waterproof. On a wet day, your horse should feel dry and warm under his turnout; otherwise, it’s not working.

Just a little food for thought concerning whether to blanket or not. Hopefully, it might make your decision a little easier.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Earn Dollars by selling Double D Horse Trailers

To all of our thousands of satisfied horse trailer customers. You know that Double D Trailers, Inc. manufactures horse trailers and markets everything factory direct to the end user. We do not deal thru dealers like conventional manufacturers such as Sundowner or Exiss. This method allows us to produce a top quality trailer at typically less expensive prices versus purchasing thru a horse trailer dealer.

We have decided to team up with the people that have made our company successful over the years, YOU! At Double D Trailers, we realize that "word of mouth" advertising and satisfied customers will sell us more horse trailers than any other method available. This is where you come in....

Imagine if you need to purchase a new horse trailer, the first thing you will do is research before making a major investment. In doing your research, most of you would generally look online, you may view advertisements in magazines, but most of you would talk to your friends and get their advice. Why would you do this? You assume your friend has already done the same thing you are trying to do. Your friend, your trusted advisor, the person whose opinion you value your mind you believe they have done their research so their advice will help you make a more informed decision about your purchase. You trust your friend and the power of their suggestion will either make a deal for some or "break" a deal.

Now, let's reverse this. Imagine that you are the friend? You are the advisor, you are the authority on the subject and the one in whom someone else is going to and seeking advice. You already have purchased one of our Double D Trailers and are satisfied with your purchase. What are you going to say? Obviously you will tell the positives and negatives of the experience you have had and make suggestions based on your situation and your purchasing experience. Based on that information, Double D Trailers will likely get another sale or will loose one. Previous customers are our greatest asset in a company. This is why we pride ourselves on customer satisfaction.

Right now, we are offering to all of our previous customers an opportunity to help. At Double D Trailers, we want to help you help someone else make an informed decision about buying a trailer. You are already at horse shows and weekend events, so why not make some money while you are there. You can sell horse trailers and make money without any investment but the trailer you already have and your time. You can actually help pay for the trailer you already have. Interested? View our program and give us your feed back on our blog.

Friday, November 21, 2008

When Should you Retire Your Horse?

The old saying, “You’re as young as you feel,” applies to horses as well as humans. Just because your horse is chronologically old doesn’t mean you need to retire him. You probably know many horses who’ve reached their “senior” years that exhibit behavior consistent with horses half their age.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, an English Draft Horse named “Old Billy,” lived to the ripe old age of 62 years! And just a few weeks ago, this newsletter reported the record breaking trail riding achievement of Elmer Bandit, a 37-year old half-Arabian gelding. Obviously, your horse’s age can’t be the only deciding factor.

Most veterinarians agree that as horses age, continued exercise is a real benefit to their overall health, providing they’re sound enough to do so. Pay attention to how your older horse feels and behaves when you’re riding him. If his get up and go hasn’t gotten up and left, you’d probably do him a disservice by retiring him prematurely.

Of course, depending on what you do with your horse can determine when to retire him. Some retirees from one discipline go on to successful and long careers in other areas. The racing establishment considers a 5 or 6-year old “old,” whereas a hunter or dressage horse at that age is just starting out.
One of the major health problems that hinder older horses is arthritis. Fortunately, there are different ways to tackle this issue to help keep your horse comfortable. From pain management to joint injections to 24-hour turnout, the arthritic horse’s discomfort can be managed; it just might take some experimentation to find out what works best.

Senior horses also may require a diet different from their younger peers. Often, the older horse might experience dental problems such as worn teeth or loss of a tooth. In this case, chewing may prove difficult requiring a gradual switchover to senior feed. At this time in a horse’s life, regular dental care is as important as ever.
So, as often is the case with horses, treat each one as an individual. You know your horse better than anyone and will probably know when it’s time to put him out to pasture. Just don’t let a number drive your decision.
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