Archive for Hello Weekend
You have been informed to evacuate from your premises. You have planned for such disasters, and you’re ready. But, before the horses are moved, there are still a few things that need to be accomplished.
Prior to the evacuation get your Zip-lock bag with all copies of your horses registration papers, insurance papers and the photographs you have taken, copies of the identification papers, fill out an index card with your name, address, horses name and description and your vet’s name and phone number. Also add any feeding instructions or special needs. Wrap this around the horse’s halter with duct tape. Do not put original papers in the bag, write “copy” across the papers. Remember that during an emergency not everyone is honest.
Put luggage or similar type of tags with the same information and braid it into the horse’s mane and tail.
If your horse is not permanently identified with a microchip or brand now may be the time to use animal clippers and clip your phone number onto your horse’s neck. Spray paint or permanent march each of the hooves. If your horse is being trailered by someone other than you to the evacuation site, an ID number may be drawn onto the horse with an Auction/Livestock crayon.
Your trailer has already been packed for such an emergency, but don’t forget the portable first aid kit. Do not wait until the last minute to remove your animals and transport them to the evacuation site.
Write down and keep in a safe place, the address of where your horse has been evacuated.
If you are unable or unwilling to remove your horse, make sure all the preparations to keep them on your property are in place. Make sure that someone knows you are on the propertgy and have your horsese with you. If you are staying with your horse, take two plywood boards and spray paint onto one side of the board “HAVE HORSES, NEED HELP“, on the other side of the board, spray paint “HAVE HORSES, OK FOR NOW“. Keep these in the barn or near the house and use them to keep rescue and emergency personnel informed should a communication line be severed.
Your emergency disaster kit should include: Copies of everything in the Zip Lock ID bag; First Aid kit; Personal Emergency Kit; Feed and Supply Kit; Written Plan of Action.
Presented by: Larissa Cox
Presented by: Larissa Cox
OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH THOSE AFFECTED BY THE OKLAHOMA CITY TORNADO.
A valuable lesson of this recent disaster and a very important part of any Disaster Plan is to think of how you will mark your horse (or any animal) before any disaster strikes. There are a number of ways this can be accomplished.
- Halter Tag: Attach a luggage tag or any other tag to the halter of your horse. Write your contact information on the tag and the horse’s special needs if any. Sometimes horses lose their halters, so it is always a good idea to have several identification sources on your horse.
Neck Collars: These are sturdy plastic collars generally used in broodmare operations. You can write your information on these collars.
- Leg Band: These are bands securely fastened around the pastern of your horse.
- Tag: Put your information on a tag and braid into the tail or mane.
- Clipper shaved information in the animal’s coat. Shave off your phone number on the horse’s coat. This is a good idea for advance warning disasters.
- Livestock Marking Crayon: A non toxic, non water-soluble marker used to write your information on your horse’s coat.
- Permanent marker to mark hooves. These markers allow you to identify your horse more easily in a rescue facility . These markings give you the advantage of saying up front “My horse has my telephone number written in blue on the hooves.”
What happens if you smell smoke in the air? Will you wish you had done your preplanning and set up your home and property with everything you need in a fire emergency? Or will you, in the terrible beginning moments as you confront the emergency, find there is no one to help you, find what you have is broken or inadequate, or that you can’t get to your supplies? When you plan, always consider the worst possibility: no water, no power, gas, roads, or communication and worst of all, it’s probably dark outside!
Preparing your land and your supplies
- Review your own situation carefully. Decide what items you feel are necessary to sustain your family, outbuildings, livestock, pets, etc. during the emergency. Keep a written list of supplies and their location in a very obvious spot.
- Keep emergency supplies and fire fighting equipment in a location that will always be accessible. Do not use these tools except for an emergency and keep them clean and always in good working orrder. Have motors servicesd regularly. Be sure to get the proper training on the use of all your emergency equipment.
- Fire extinguishers, need to be checked/recharged annually. Keep several in your barn. One at each end and spaced out throughout the barn.
- Gasoline powered pump and hose to retrieve water from a swimming pol, stream or farm pond.
- Flashlights with a supply of fresh batteries.
- A generator with a fuel supply is the most useful item in a short term farm emergency and is essential in a long power outage. You need quick hookups to equipment needing electricity installed in advance of the emergency. Keep etra fuel filters, spark plug, and air cleaner.
- Small bucket heater that will run off the generator.
- Extra fuel safely stored.
- Hand tools such as sledge hammer, rake, chainsaw, wire cutters, leather gloves, water buckets, plastic bags of various sizes.
- Protective clothing: cotton, wool and leather fabrics are the best. Synthetics melt and rubber burns. you will need long sleeved shirts and long cotton or wool pants in fire area with leather gloves and boots. Tennis or runners can melt. A cotton bandanna can serve as a mark, sweatband, ear warmer and to protect your hair. Have a good pair of eye goggles to protect your eyes from smoke and ash. Rain gear.
- Can the emergency departments find you and get equipment onto your property? Check the width of your gates. Make sure that your address is easily seen from the street. If you have an electric security gate, be sure everyone in the home/barn know how to open it when the power is out.
- Know where any fire hydrants are in your area to better assist fire personnel. If you have a farm pond, consider installing a dry hydrant. if you have neither, preplan with your fire department concerning the need for a tanker.
- If you have natural or LP gas service, locate the hut off valve and have the appropriate tool in clear site.
- Know where your main barn electrical service panels are located and how to shut them off. Know how to hook up the generator.
- Supplies of diesel fuel, gasoline, propane, erosene, etc. elevated and at a safe distance from the house and barn. These must be clearly and properly labeled as hazardous materials.
- Have outside faucets on every building. Make sure a hose with a nozzle is attached at each location. Check the condition of hoses every six months. Consider installing sprinklers in, around and on top of arns. Consider lightning rods.
- Store trash barrels filled with water. Smaller buckets are used to carry water. Have plenty of burlap bags and/or large bath towels available since they are useful for fire fighting and for horse protection.
- Be prepared to put out fresh hot spots with your stored water and bucket or wet burlap bag. Shovel dirt on spot fire, if possible, to conserve your water supply.
- Large clearning are generally safe for your horse during a fire.
- Fire travels very quickly and travels faster going up hill. Fire creates its own wind. This can cause cinders to fly everywhere, including protected areas where your horses may be.
- Proper trimming and pruning of your trees and clearing under them will make a huge difference. Use fire retardant plants in landscaping will minimize the air borne cinders created during a firestorm.
- Keep a list of emergency telephone number near all phones – fire, police, veterinarian, disaster services number and a list of nearby people with trailers to assist in quick evacuation should this becomenecessary. Program i key numbers, but don’t depend on speed dialing working in an emergency.
- Examine your horse facility and note what is NOT FLAMMABLE. You will quickly realize that most things burn – wood, plastic, paper, etc.
- Feed burns! The drier the hay, pellets and grain, the faster it burn. Keep your feed and bedding away from structures. The fine dust left by feed on the floor is also flammable.
- Hay stacks can become blazing infernos. Use a flame retardant cover over your stack, but it if catches fire – pull the stack apart if you can do so safely.
- Bedding in stalls is extremely flammable. Horse manure burns! Store it in a safe place away from buildings and have the pile removed often. Spontaneous combustion is possible with manure.
- Cobwebs are flammable and it will provide a quick pathway for a fire.
- Spontaneous combustion can happen where you store saddle cleaning supplies. Store cleaning materials in a sealed fire resistant container.
- Eaves on your buildings can attract fire if they are open. Roofs and gutters should be kept free of leaves, pine needles etc.
- Use fire safe equipment for your horse. Nylon halters and ropes can melt into your horse’s flesh. use a leather halter and a cotton lead rope. Metal pieces on halts can become burning hot.
- Be an aware owner. Horses may panic and become wild with fear when they perceive danger. Their instincts for survival are very strong. Horses that are in a panic state frequently will not leave the security of their stall. Any barn can burn and horses must be led out and placedin a secured area or they may run back into the fire area particularly if the rest of their herd is there. Blindfolding a panicked horse may help it accept being led to safety. If you must tie your horse be certain you are using a firmly set post. Practice typing your horse for extended periods of time so he can be secured during a real emergency.
- Pack a Horse Evacuation Kit in a non combustible container. This should include all the equipment you will need and if possible, this kit should be kept in your horse trailer.
Presented by: Larissa Cox
Presented by: Larissa Cox
Hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and fire are the most common natural disasters. The leading cause of death in large animals during Hurricane Andre in 1992 included animals killed in collapsed barns, electrocution, kidney failure secondary to dehydration and animals hit and killed on roadways or tangled in barbed wire after escaping from their pasture. Each farm should have a written disaster plan to optimize safety and survival of all animals. This post is focusing on Hurricane and Flood Planning.
BEFORE THE STORM
- Vaccination: All horses should have a tetanus toxoid vaccine within the last year. Due to the increase in the mosquito population after massive rainfall, you should also consider giving your horses the West Nile Virus and Eastern?Western Encephalitis vaccinations as well.
- A health certificate is required to cross any state line. This may be necessary for evacuation of coastal areas.
- Each horse needs to be identified with at least one, if not all of the following: A halter with name/farm information in a zip lock bag secured to the halter with duct tape; A luggage tag with horse/farm name and phone number braided into the tail. Make sure that this is water proof; Photos of each horse as proof of ownership highlighting obvious identifying marks.
- Evacuation of flood planes and coastal areas is recommended. Evacuation must occur 48 hours before hurricane force winds occur in any area. Transportation of horses when wind gusts exceed 40 mpg is dangerous.
- Should horses be left in the pasture or placed in the barn? If your pasture has good fencing and limited trees, it is probably best to leave the horses outside. Well constructed pole barns may provide safety from flying debris, but the horses may become trapped if the wind collapses the building.
- Keep horses out of pasture with power lines.
- Trees with shallow root will fall easily under hurricane force winds and can injure your horse or destroy fencing. Do not keep horses in barbed wire or electric fencing during a storm.
- Fire Ants and snakes will search for high ground during flooding. Carefully look over your premises and prepare for these potential dangers.
- Each horse should have 12 – 20 gallons per day stored.
- Fill garbage cans with plastic liners and fill all water troughs.
- Have a generator to run the well.
- Keep chlorine bleach on hand to add to contaminated water if necessary. To purify water add two drops of chlorine bleach per quart of water and let stand for 30 minutes.
- Store a minimum of 72 hours of feed and hay (7 days is best). It is very possible that roads will be closed because of downed power lines and trees limiting access to feed stores. Cover hay with water proof tarp and place it on palates. Keep grain in water tight containers.
- Remove all items from hallways.
- Jumps and lawn furniture should be secured in a safe place.
- Place large vehicles/tractors/trailers in an open field where trees cannot fall on them.
- Turn off electrical power to the barn.
- Keep an emergency first aid kit – human and equine on hand.
- Keep emergency tools on hand: Chain saw/fuel; hammer/nails; fence repair material; wire cutters/tool box/pry bar; fire extinguisher; duct tape
AFTER THE STORM
- Carefully inspect each horse for injury including eyes.
- Walk the pasture to remove debris. Make sure that no Red Maple tree branches fell in the pasture. Just a few wilted leaves are very toxic to horses. Clinical signs of Red Maple toxicity are dark chocolate-colored gums, anorexia and red urine.
- Inspect property for downed power lines.
- Take pictures of storm damage.
- If your horse is missing, contact the local animal control or disaster response team.
There are just so many movements in a dressage test that riders can be very intimidated especially when riding their first test. However, there are a few little basics for you to remember that can increase your dressage score.
Judges like to see symmetry. In Training Level tests where the transitions are between the letters try to put the upward and downward transition on both reins at approximately the same plae. However, remember that the judges also want to see good basics over accuracy. As an example, if you need to make a choice between riding a smooth transition a little before or after the letter or doing a stiff, crooked transistion exactly at the letter, then choose the smooth one even though it is not quite at the right place.
What part of the horse should halt at X? The horse’s shoulder to the rider’s knee should be over the letter. This is more important when you have a judge on the side.
Another unwritten rule is to only salute the judge at C. The C judge is the president of the Ground Jury for the class and will return your salute. If you go off course, go to the judge at C.
Learn the dimensions of the ring. If you have no clue as to the dimensions, how can you ride an accurate 20-meter circle? Don’t be surprised about the deductions on accuracy if you ride an oval rather than a circle.
To ride a good diagonal line, use the corners. The horse’s nose and shoulder should touch the letter as you leave the corner, and the horse’s nose and shoulder should touch the letter at the end of the diagonal line before you go into the corner.
With respect to the free walk, it is not how low the head and neck goes that counts, it is the ability of the horse to use his topline and move his neck and back. Don’t hod your horse’s head down ans this will create stiffness and will cost you marks.
Judges need to encourage rider to do movements correctly and not give high scores for turn on the haunches that look like walk pirouettes. The track of the hind legs is allowed to cover approximately one meter. Pay attention to wording. If it says begin before C then that means before C, not past C and not at C.
Know where each movement begins and ends. If a mistake occurs, try to contain it in one movement. Don’t loose your temper and make a huge correction which often carries the low score into the next movement as well.
A counter canter has as much bend as a 20-meter circle. Riders tend to overbend the neck in the direction of the lead which puts the horse on the outside shoulder creating an unbalanced movement.
At the end of the test, always thank the judge at C.
Always read the purpose of the test which is listed at the top of each test. The purpose discusses the basics that will be needed to accomplish the exercises in the test. Remember that accuracy is always secondary to good basics. Your training is finished the day you arrive at the show grounds where you are to demonstrate your training. Judges do not appreciate seeing huge corrections being made by riders. If you go back and do a movement again you will receive an error deduction on your score at the end and the judge will give you the score you deserved the first time you performed that movement.
Check out Tack and Talk’s fun horse facts for kids and enjoy learning a wide range of interesting information about horses.
- Did you know that horses can sleep both lying down and standing up.
- Horses can run shortly after birth.
- Domestic horses have a lifespan of around 25 years.
- A 19th century horse named “Old Billy” is said to have lived 62 years!
- Horses have around 205 bones in their skeleton.
- Horses have been domesticated for over 500o years.
- Horses are herbivores (plant eaters)
- Did you know that horses have bigger eyes than any other mammal that lives on land?
- Because horse’s eyes are on the side of their head, they are capable of seeing nearly 360 degrees at one time.
- Horses can gallop at around 44 kph or 27 mph.
- The fastest recored sprinting speed of a horse was 88 kph or 55 mph!
- Estimates suggest that there are around 60 million horses in the world.
- Scientists believe that horses have evolved over the past 50 million years from much smaller creatures.
- A male horse is called a stallion.
- A female horse is called a mare.
- A young male horse is called a colt.
- A young female horse is called a filly.
- Ponies are small horses.
- Ponies have thicker manes and tails than horses.
- They also have proportionally shorter legs, thicker necks and shorter heads.
- Young ponies are also called foals.
- Pound for pound, ponies are stronger than horses.
- Hackney ponies were first bred to pull carriages.
- You measure a horse’s heigh in hands. Each hand equals four inches. If you say a horse is 16.2 hands high, the 2 stands for 2 fingers.
- You can tell how old a horse is by how many teeth it has. A horse gets all of his teeth by the time he is five years old. After that, they just get longer. A male horse generally has 40 teeth while a female horse has 36.
- Any marking on a horse’s forehead is called a star, even it it is not shaped like a star.
- Camargue horses are completely white as adults while their babies are pure black when they are born!
- Horses can communicate how they are feeling by their facial expressions. They use their ears, nostrils and eyes to show their moods.
We often hear of stories on how man’s best friend, his dog, saved one’s life but here are just two stories about our other best friend, the horse.
Recently, I read an article from the U.K. about a lady who went out to see what was bothering a wailing calf in the field. She realized her mistake when the Mother Cow rushed to the calf’s aid thinking the woman was the reason for the calf’s distress.
The cow sat on the woman.
Realizing her predicament, the woman thought this was the end when suddenly, her horse, who shared the same pasture ran over and started kicking the cow. The cow moved and the woman was able to crawl to safety.
Did this horse have experience with kicking this particular cow as they shared the same pasture, or did this horse come to the rescue of her owner? Nevertheless, a remarkable story.
Coyote Stand Off
An interesting article written in The Times 03/01/2010 about an older rancher who went out to feed his horses in the early morning and came face to face with a pack of nasty coyotes. He called out to his horse Scottee and the horse along with three other horses on the farm made a circle around the owner and pushed him tightly into the middle to protect him. The rancher said the largest coyote made a leap at a horse and was kicked while other coyotes were also being kicked.
The coyotes ran off and all the rancher could remember after the ordeal as he rested his head on his horse Scottee is that they saved his life. Horse heros, you decide.
Do you have any horse hero stories you would like to share? If so, let me know via the comment form and your story will be published on Tack and Talk!
Perhaps you may not be an equine Einstein, but you’ll enjoy this quiz! Put your answers in the “comment section:” below. Don’t worry, you won’t be marked. Answers will be published on December 30th! Have fun…
1. What is the junction of the sole and the wall called?
2. What is made possible by the action of bone levers, joint hinges, tendon cables and the contraction of muscles?
3. The most common cause of abortion in mares is caused by what virus?
4. In horse terminology, what are “appointments”?
5. A gene that does not show up if it is paired with a dominant gene is said to be what?
6. When were horses introduced to the modern Olympic games?
7. Name three problems associated with overfeeding of horses.
8. Where do horses get vitamin D?
9. Feed should always be measured and offered by what?
10. When a horse is lame in his left foreleg, when does his head nod down?
11. What are the four natural aids?
12. What are the two principle methods of self-protection utilized by the horse?
13. What is meant by parturition?
14. In what performance class is the rider penalized for cueing the horse?
15. How many yards are between the barrels in a cloverleaf pattern in barrel racing?
While dressage is thought to have been practised for hundreds of years, arena markers were not introduced formally into competition until the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, using a 60x20m arena.
Although there are several theories regarding the origins of the arena letters, including that they represent the initials of horses in the stable yard of the 17th century’s first Duke of Newcastle, William Cavendish, the most common theory is that the letters date back to the 18th-century kingdom of Prussia.
At this time, stable grooms at the Imperial Palace are said to have waited for their masters with their equine charges next to the letter that related to their master’s position or role, in German; for example, K for kaiser or king, R for ritter or knight, F for fürst or prince, and so on.
Various information sources are able to suggest sufficient German dignitary titles for the letters K, E, H, M, B, F, although it appears that the centre line letters, A, X and C, are absent.
There is no definitive answer as to why these centre line letters were introduced, other than to fill the gaps!
For standard-sized arenas, four further letters are used around the outside of the arena; V, S, R and P; and D, L, X, I and G are used down the centre line.
Again, there is no concrete answer as to why these letters were selected, although one theory is that they were introduced by 20th-century German cavalry officers.
Horses roll for many reasons — an itchy back, the need to stretch or to aid the shedding of a winter coat. But in small paddocks, too much rolling can spoil large areas and reduce the available forage.
Scientists in Japan wondered whether the surface available for rolling would affect the frequency and duration of the behaviour.
They took four adult horses and observed them for three weeks in a flat grass paddock. Careful records were kept of their rolling preferences. The group were turned out together by day, but kept in individual stables at night.
They were then put in another flat paddock in which three special rolling areas had been prepared — one of flat soil, one of flat sand and one of straw spread out as a bed. Scientists discovered that the horses preferred to roll in the soil rather than the sand or straw, and that they rolled more in the morning than during the rest of the day. This is not surprising, as communal rolling areas in a natural or feral situation expose the soil beneath and become social venues, so the artificial soil areas appeared to be more natural than straw or sand.
What the experiment does show is that, where grass is precious and needs to be conserved or protected, providing an artificial rolling area where the soil is deliberately exposed may help.
So Tack and Talk Readers, where does your horse like to roll?