Saturday, August 9, 2008

Lessons Learned in Horse Management

Don't order too many bags of shavings unless you've got a good place to store them, otherwise the elements and termites will break the plastic open...


If you live in an area with a lot of goat-heads, stickers, and jagged rocks, tires with inner tubes don't last a day. Buy wheelbarrows that either have solid rubber or plastic tires. Oh, and if a wheelbarrow can crack and break, it will, so keep two or three on hand...


Horses can dismantle just about anything, including their own barn, and if it's made of wood, they'll eat it too...


If you have heaters in your water troughs, arrange the troughs in such a way that horses cannot reach the electrical cords. Make sure you stay on top of filling the troughs with water, so that the horses can't tip them over to get to the cords...


It is best not to set up water troughs within or near a riding arena. All the dust, dirt and rocks end up in the water and you have to change it more often...


Don't leave the scrub brush you use to clean water troughs out. The horses will stomp on it, bite it, swing it around, and bend it every which way until not even duct tape can put it back together...


When choosing a barn or portable stall, select one that is set up for horizontal panels. If you attempt to attach a nameplate to vertical wood panels, this is what happens...


Horizontal wood panels are much more cooperative...



10 comments:

Mrs Mom said...

Great Tips NM!

Nothing like the voice of been there done that eh? ;)

Flying Lily said...

Live and learn alas...great topic.

ranchette said...

Great list. Definitely the voice of hard earned experience there! Poor Gabrielle w/o a pretty name plate. Am sure she's jealous.

Twinville said...

Oy! I remember goatheads! Now that we live in the mountains and don't have as many tumbleweeds, they are rare, thank goodness!

Thanks for all the tips. Very good advice to share from all your experience.

By the way, I have a tip for you that the guy who did our fencing told me about:

For any exposed wood, instead of buying bat tasting sprays, etc, or specifically made wood protection covers....use drywall corner protectors.
It's those metal angles that drywallers put up before they finish with the coating and then paint. Horses can't chew through the metal and you won't have to replace anymore wood boards.

Your fences look like cheese that mice have been nibbling. You might want to consider that your horses are the original creatures from Cinderella and were never turned back into mice when the clock struck midnight?
heheh :)

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Ranchette - Getting Gabbrielle a new nameplate is one of those things I've had on my list for years. It's just that the last time I ordered a nameplate, it turned into such a hassle that I know it's not as simple as putting in your order and picking it up. It's a full-time job staying on top of the engraver to make sure she's not screwing it up. If anyone knows of a good nameplate engraving Internet service, let me know.

Twinville - The farm that two of my horses came from had those metal strips bent around the wood panels, and all the horses' had cuts on their tongues, gums, and noses, because they would try to pry the metal up with their teeth to get to the wood. Some even succeeded in ripping strips off, and then they would injure their hooves and cut their legs stepping on them. So, I vowed to never use that technique. The lady who was using the strips gave up and now only orders metal corrals.

The chicken wire we've been using actually does the trick and doesn't injure the horses when they attempt to play with it. It's just that my husband didn't install it until after most of the wood had been chewed down, and he won't install any over the bottom wood panels so that we can still duck under the fence. I wish he would cover all the panels and everyone would just use the gate, but I can't always have my way. But at least now I only have to replace the bottom panels when they chew through them instead of bottom, middle, and top. So, it's a little bit easier.

fvclassic said...

check, check, check... great list... thanx... good barnstormin' info

gp in montana

Twinville said...

I wonder if that woman just used light gauge thin metal.
The drywall metal angles can't be torn off in strips. It's double thick in strength and heavier gauge and is next to impossible to bend, unless you use a welder. :)

And unlike the thin metal, has smooth thick metal edges so it would be difficult for a horse to get it's tongue damaged. If installed tightly a horse couldn't get their teeth under.

These probably wouldn't be too good because they install with sticky tape: http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&item=360828

And it's rather expensive. I read that covering wood with metal fence mesh works well and is less expensive than the corner protectors. Sounds like the chicken wire is working pretty much the same for you.

My lesson instructor once mentioned a product to one of her students who had a horse with the habit of chewing wood. Maybe it's something you've already looked into?
http://www.farnamhorse.com/quitt/whychew.htm

Twinville said...

Oh! And I forgot to tell you about another option instead of the personalized plastic horse name signs.

Last year we ordered a custom made wood sign for our ranch and were so pleased with the customer service, quick turn-around, hand-painting, staining, attention to detail, and fair price.

My neighbor, Val uses handcarved wood signs for her 3 horses and they look so nice on each of the stalls and last forever. They age well, too, if you don't polyurethane them.

I'm planning on ordering one for Baby Doll soon, too.

If you're interested, here's the link:
http://www.customwoodsigns.com/GalleryMain.htm

Linda Panagos is the one you deal with in ordering details. It's a family business and her husband and others in her family make the signs.

They've got a sign gallery so you can get an idea of the signs they've made in the past. But they can pretty much make whatever it is you want :)

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Thanks for all that info, Twinville!

Saddle Mountain Rider said...

This is a very helpful post! Good advice and the photos explain it all.