Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Co-Owning a Horse Trailer

Co-owning a Horse Trailer
Still pining away for that horse trailer? Convinced you’ll never be able to afford one now that the economy has taken a nosedive? Don’t despair, there’s still hope for you. Why not consider co-owning a horse trailer?
You’ve probably heard of people who’ve chipped in to buy and co-own a horse, thereby cutting ownership expenses in half. Well, the same type of arrangement is very doable with a horse trailer.
Like any big purchase, you need to do some homework first, so you won’t end up disappointed or worse. Equally important is the person you choose to co-own with. This person should have riding goals and desires similar to yours, which will make a joint purchase worthwhile for both of you. Before you begin shopping, both parties should hash out an agreement that spells out how you’ll share the trailer. Will you split the purchase price in half? Who will pay to register the trailer? How will annual maintenance costs be shared? and also put in writing how to fairly share the horse trailer.
I took a trip in a private charter plane recently and the pilot was explaining to me that the plane was his personal. He said the cost of the air plane was about $300,000, WOW! So I asked the pilot politely how did someone afford a $300,000 airplane? He said, he was actually one of five owners. They split the initial purchase and divided all of the maintenance cost. They also developed a calendar and it rotates every five weeks....

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Horse Trivia....did you know?

Horse trivia…did you know?
· The average horse’s heart weighs around 9 – 10 lbs. However, two racehorses had hearts that exceeded the average. Phar Lap, the great New Zealand-bred runner, had a heart that weighed 14 lbs. and the last Thoroughbred to win the coveted Triple Crown, Secretariat, had a heart estimated to weigh 21 lbs.
· Horses produce approximately 10 gallons of saliva per day.
· Horses cannot breathe through their mouths.
· Horses have a prehensile upper lip, which means adapted for seizing, grasping, or taking hold of something.
· A mule is a cross between a male donkey (jack) and a female horse (mare.)
· A hinnie is a cross between a male horse (stallion) and a female donkey (jenny.)
· Horses can pass manure up to 14 times a day.
· Dancer’s Image is the only Thoroughbred to win the Kentucky Derby and then be disqualified.
· The horse that played “Mister Ed” on the popular television show was a palomino American Saddlebred gelding named Bamboo Harvester.
· The famous American thoroughbred, Seabiscuit, derived his name from his sire, Hard Tack. Hard Tack was named after the infamous food staple of the Civil War, hardtack - a dry, hard, biscuit.
· A very rare behavior seen in bands of broodmares is “foal-stealing.” A mare about to foal will “steal” another foal from a mare and immediately assume maternal duties. Once the thief mare gives birth, she rejects the stolen foal and unfortunately, the real mother doesn’t always accept her baby back. It’s theorized that hormones released just before birth make the nurturing need so strong in some mares that they can’t wait for their own foal to arrive.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Riding Through the Winter

Riding Through the Winter

Even for the most diehard horseperson, riding during the dead of winter can be a real challenge. Frigid temperatures and early darkness are tough to get excited about. Combine those with frozen, hard ground or waist-deep snow and you’ve got more than enough reason to put your horse away for the next few months. If you’re not fortunate enough to be able to head south when the mercury starts plunging, but you don’t want to have to start from scratch again next spring, read the following tips. They’ll help keep you and your horse going through the coldest, snowiest days.
1. Dress for the weather. I almost feel silly writing this because it’s so obvious, but I’ll do it anyways. For any outdoor winter activity, wearing layers is key. Why? Because if you become warm you can remove a layer or two. Also, layered clothing provides insulation by trapping body heat so you’re less apt to get a chill. Most importantly, the layer closest to your skin should have wicking properties which remove moisture. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than wearing clothes dampened by perspiration when it’s 20 degrees outside. Fortunately, the selection of cold weather riding apparel is tremendous, so finding the right duds to suit your needs shouldn’t be too difficult. And if you’re worried about expense, try getting creative. You don’t have to wear your fancy, full-seat dressage breeches for a twenty minute hack around the farm; they’re probably not very warm anyhow. A friend of mine, who happens to be petite, purchased a pair of girl’s snowboarding pants at Target to wear in the barn while cleaning on cold winter mornings.

2. Dress your horse for the weather. If you’ve clipped your horse’s coat at all, it’s important that you provide him with some additional protection when you’re out in the elements. Just like you, he gets tight when first starting out in frigid temperatures, so an extra layer is always a good idea. As he warms up, especially if you’re hacking around in deep snow or doing more than walking, remove layers from him as necessary. The design of many quarter sheets allows you to wrap the side pieces around your upper legs, so both you and your horse can stay toasty. If you are hauling your horse in a horse trailer, be sure to reduce the air flow and possibly blanket.

And don’t forget footwear…for your horse, that is. If you regularly shoe him, don’t forget to winterize him, especially if you plan to ride. Snowball pads will prevent snow from balling up in his hooves and shoes with borium will give him better traction on slippery footing.

3. Set reasonable and realistic riding goals. No matter how determined you are, at some point, winter weather will probably interfere with your riding plans. If you accept this at the onset, you’ll be a happier, less frustrated rider for it. Don’t expect to hold yourself to a hard and fast riding schedule, especially if you don’t have an indoor arena. There will be days when the footing or the weather is just too lousy. As the saying goes, tomorrow’s another day. Aim to keep a certain level of fitness in your horse which you can maintain by lots of walking. If the footing is decent or you’ve just had a fresh snowfall, do more than just walk. Trotting and cantering through deep snow is a great aerobic workout for your horse (and it’s not so easy for him to buck when he’s up to his knees and hocks in snow!) You should also plan for shorter riding sessions. Shoot for twenty minutes, if possible. It the weather is agreeable, ride a little longer. When riding in the winter, flexibility is the key to success.

4. Have fun. The winter allows you to do stuff you ordinarily wouldn’t do. Ride your horse bareback (if he’s sane enough), it’s one of the best ways to keep warm. I bridle my horse and ride him with his stable blanket on. Ride him on trails and make him walk through that deep, untouched snow. He’ll get a workout and a half. Enjoy the winter scenery while remembering that each passing day brings you one day closer to spring!

Double D Trailers, Inc.