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  Sat Dec 03

Riding the spooky horse


Do you get frustrated when your horse spooks from the same flowerpot he saw two minutes ago? Maybe the answer lies with the "theory of the dominant eye".

You see, most of us (including horses) have a dominant eye. To find out which is your dominant eye, keep both eyes open and point a

I know that riding a spooky horse can be challenging and frustrating so here are some tips to help you understand why your horse spooks and to give you some tools to help cope with shying.

You might be more patient with your spooky horse when you understand that horses have survived in the wild all these years because of their natural flight response. So, when you think your horse is being unreasonable because he's shying from something that seems benign, change your attitude toward his behavior. Say something like. '"You have incredible survival instincts." or "You don't need to be on the lookout for potential danger. I'll keep you safe."t an object like a tree. Then alternately close each eye. You'll find that when you close one eye, your finger doesn't move, but when you close the other eye, your finger jumps to the side.

For example, if you close your right eye and your finger doesn't move, that means your dominant eye is your left eye. The dominant eye explains why a horse tends to shy more when perceived danger is on one particular side of his body. Let's say you're circling to the right and your horse is left eye dominant. He seems pretty secure about his environment because his dominant eye (the left one) is on the outside. He can see his surroundings and keep himself alert and safe from "danger".

However, if you're circling to the right and he's right eye dominant, he'll want to whip his head around to the left so he can check out the environment with his right eye. The result is that he spooks more from objects that are on the left side of his body.

Here are some "Don't's" for riding the spooky horse.

  • Never punish a spooky horse. Shying comes from fear. If you punish your horse for shying, you convince him he was right to be afraid.
  • On the other hand, don't soothe him by patting him for "being brave" while he's shying. You're just rewarding behavior you don't want.


  • Don't make a nervous horse walk straight up to something scary. That's the most frightening thing you can do. That's like asking a horse to come face to face with a cougar when every instinct tells him to flee from danger.
  • Here are some "Do's".

    • If the scary object is at one end of the ring, circle in the middle of the ring. Then, as your horse relaxes, gradually shift your circle toward the scary end of the ring. Your horse doesn't have to eat a whole bale of hay at once. Let him eat the bale a flake at a time. This "slow" way usually ends up being the faster way ... and you accomplish your goal with a minimum of resistance and trauma to your horse (and you!).


    • When you're at least 15 meters from the scary object, use your inside rein to gently but firmly bend your horse's neck enough to the inside so he can't see it with either eye. Remember, a horse has both binocular vision (like us) and monocular vision where he can see with each eye separately. So, you need to bend the neck enough so he can't see the object with either eye. He won't shy from what he can't see.


    • Once you are directly beside the scary object, relax both reins. Many horses are claustrophobic, and you don't want your horse to think he's being "pinned" against something with no escape. That's very scary.


    • Don't stare at the scary object. If you focus on it, your horse will too. Look at your surroundings instead.


    • Breathe! If you're holding your breath, you'll convince your horse there's good reason to be afraid. Inhale deeply, and as you exhale, feel your butt lowering down into the barrel of the horse like a centaur.
  Fri Nov 11

Calories Burned in Horse Activities

Whoever thinks horse riding and care isn't excercise never owned a horse! Between the shoveling and the grooming and the training, you're burning up a lot of calories-- for example, riding at a trot burns more calories than a brisk walk!

Horse Activities - Calories burned per hour:

ACTIVITY: For 130 lb person: For 155 lb person: For 190 lb person:
Shoveling 354 cal/hr 422 cal/hr 518 cal/hr
General Horse Riding: 236 cal/hr 281 cal/hr 345 cal/hr

Riding horse at the walk:
148 cal/hr 176 cal/hr 216 cal/hr
Riding horse at the trot: 384 cal/hr 457 cal/hr 561 cal/hr
Riding horse at a gallop: 472 cal/hr 563 cal/hr 690 cal/hr
Horse Grooming 354 cal/hr 422 cal/hr 518 cal/hr
Baling hay/cleaning barn: 472 cal/hr 563 cal/hr 690 cal/hr
Shoveling Grain 325 cal/hr 387 cal/hr 474 cal/hr
Fencing 354 cal/hr 422 cal/hr 518 cal/hr
Polo 472 cal/hr 563 cal/hr 690 cal/hr
Hiking, cross country (if your horse is hard to catch...) 354 cal/hr 422 cal/hr 518 cal/hr
Brisk walking 4 MPH 236 cal/hr 281 cal/hr 345 cal/hr
Walking, carrying 15 lb load: 207 cal/hr 246 cal/hr 302 cal/hr
  Sat Oct 22

Andalusian Horse


The Andalusian horse breed is highly respected and well known from the medieval period. The Andalusian breed of horses is very ancient breed which came into existence when there was a cross between the Spanish stock horses and the Oriental horses. This all happens when the Moors came into Spain around 18th century with the Oriental horses. Due to the influence of the Spanish horses the Andalusian horses possess a great physical appearance and that is why the Andalusian horses are one of the likable riding horses in the world.


As we know that the Andalusian horses have the characteristics of Spanish and the oriental breed of horses and due to that the Andalusian horses have phenomenal physical impact and the availability of the Andalusian horses in various colors such as gray, white and bay make it more special. In describing the physical qualities of the Andalusian horse the most impressive portion is its height. The average height of the Andalusian horse ranges from 15 – 16 hands which mean that it is long horse with great masculine body structure. The proportions of the other parts of the body according to its height are set in excellent manner. The chest of the Andalusian horse is big and the ears of the Andalusian horse are small. The nose of the Andalusian horse is convex in shape and the legs are long and the overall appearance of the Andalusian horse is quite energetic. The mindset of the Andalusian horse is quite calm and the Andalusian horse has a skill to learn at a good pace.


The Andalusian horses have got its name from the Andalusia which is one of the states of Spain. The Andalusian is the descendants of the Iberian horse and Barb horse and after that the oriental breeds of horses have played an important role in developing the Andalusian breed of horses. In the early ages the Andalusian horses were take care by the monks and the quality of nobleness is found in them. Many of us considered the Andalusian horses as the noblest horse in the world.


The history of the Andalusian horses is full of interesting facts, right from its beginning as they came into existence after cross between two great breed of horses, then they have been developed and trained by the monks. The fact which is most important and impressive is that the monks are the excellent trainers and they maintained the purity of the breed at a very good level. The Andalusian horse gets excellent physical qualities from its contributor breeds and the Andalusian horse gets the quality of nobleness from the monks. Due to its excellent physical qualities the Andalusian horses were included in the army of the Napoleon and it was one of the causes which blusters the purity of the breed of Andalusian horse

  Fri Oct 14

The Horseshoe


The Significance of Horseshoes and Rubies
Written and Researched by Margaret Sypniewska


The power of the horseshoe has been recognized since before the birth of Christ. A horseshoe is a U-shaped metal frame, usually of iron, that is nailed to a horse's hoof to give protection against wearing them down on rough surfaces. In legend, a man named Jastrzebryk, a blacksmith(?) (in 999) was thought to be the first Polish man to use horseshoes for the protection of his horse's hooves. However, we know that horseshoes were actually used by the Greeks as early as the 4th century B.C. Since horses were believed to be one of the most sacred of animals, their crescent-shaped shoes became symbols of good luck. Horseshoes were often nailed over the outside thresholds of houses and barns so that witches could not enter. Horseshoes were thought to protect and bring good luck.

On May Day, it was traditional to take down all horse-shoes and turn them, being careful not to let them touch the ground. Horseshoes can also be hung over the fireplace for luck, and even over the entrances of mines. Many think the heels should point upwards (but this is not universal). People think this because they believe if the shoe is hung with the ends pointing downwards, positive ill-luck may be drawn upwards, and all the good luck will disappear into the ground or drip out.

Interestingly enough, the towns of Burlton and Oakham, in England, charged a "toll of the horseshoes," which was collected from every peer and member of the Royal family, who passed through their towns. Horseshoes are prominent in their town's coat of arms.

Horses are considered lucky too, and to dream of a horse or to see a horse is particularly fortunate.


St. Dunstan was a learned metal working, painting and harp-playing man. He was born in the village of Baltonsborough (near Glastonbury) in 909. His parents, Herstan and Cynedritha, were of noble stock. His relative was St. Alphege, the Bald, Bishop of Winchester. St. Dunstan, in legend, once shod the Devil. He did this shodding so painfully that he made the Devil promise to never enter a dwelling where a horsehoe is displayed. Scottish legends tell of how a farmer shod a horse one night to find, the next day, a woman of the village (suspected of witchcraft) lying in agony with horseshoes nailed to her hands and feet. Saintly horsemen include: St. Hubert, St. Eustache, St. Martin, and dragon-slayer St. George.

Early religions considered crescent or u-shaped objects powerful signs. Temples in Middle and South America were built with arched doorways. The Moors built mosques with arched doorways. Arched windows were built in the Middle Ages as a means of protection against evil. The crescent is venerated in the Middle East.

Finding a horseshoe will bring good luck, and found horseshoes have ten times the power of bought ones. Horseshoes are also placed on the foremasts of sailing ships as a amulet for safe voyages.


Iron horseshoes are the most lucky. Iron originally came from Cyrus (in ancient times). Iron was born from the marriage of rock and fire. As most know, iron and fire were two of the basic elements in ancient times. Blacksmiths used these components to produce swords, horseshoes, and many other useful items. Blacksmiths were considered good luck because of their abilities. In ancient times, blacksmiths were always invited to attend wedding, they were thought to be able to keep evil away. Iron is believed to repel all the malignant influences. Iron is often derived from meteorites. In early civilizations, iron objects made from meteorites were considered gifts from the gods and very powerful.

It is customary in North America and Europe to present the bride with an ornament in the shape of a horseshoe, as a token of good luck.


In fairy tales, horses are often prophetic creatures with magical powers. Horses were symbols of supremacy, generosity, and courage, the horse went hand-in-hand with medieval chivalry. The horse carried its master into battles for king, country, and faith. The Polish Cavalry was said to have charged German tanks during World War II (Saunders, 83).

The horse goddess, Epona, was associated with water, fertility, and death. Horses were sacrificed in Celtic Europe, and would become their master's soul mounts for the symbolic ride of death.


The most elaborate of all Vedic rituals of India, was the "Horse Sacrifice." The horse was chosen one year in advance by the king. From that time on, until the sacred ceremony, both king and horse had to remain celibate. The horse could wander freely but was always escorted by the king's men. On the appointed day, the stallion was led to the city and presented with a mare. When the stallion neighed with joy, he was suffocated (Waterstone).


  Tue Oct 04

Friesian Description

The Friesian horse has a long head, strong body, full maneand thick tail. Friesians are powerfully muscled with agile with elegant movement. They are always black but can have a small white star on the forehead.

The breed has powerful overall conformation and good bone structure, with what is sometimes called a "Baroque" body type. Friesians have long, arched necks and well-chiseled, short-eared, "Spanish type" heads. Their sloping shoulders are quite powerful. They have compact, muscular bodies with strong sloping hindquarters and a low-set tail. Their limbs are comparatively short and strong. To be accepted as breeding stock in the FPS studbook, a stallion must pass a rigorous approval process.

  Wed Aug 09

Horse Fun Facts

  • There are about 75 million horses in the world.
  • Horses' hooves grow approximately 0.25 in a month, and take nearly a year to grow from the coronet band to the ground.

  • In the state of Arizona, it is illegal for cowboys to walk through a hotel lobby wearing their spurs

  • Cross-country jumps are marked with a red flag on the right side and a white flag on the left side; the horse has to jump through these two flags or it is considered out of bounds and you are disqualified.

  • A healthy adult horse should have a pulse of between 36 and 40 beats per minute while at rest

  • Arabians have one less rib, one less lumbar bone, and one or two fewer tail vertebrae than other horses.

  • Mr. Ed, the talking equine star of the 1960s television series, was a golden palomino. He learned an enormous amount of tricks for his role, including answering a telephone, opening doors, writing notes with a pencil, and unplugging a light. Apparently, Mr. Ed would occasionally have a fit of temper, as befitting his star status, and would stand stock still, wheezing and refusing to move.

  • 7.1 million Americans are involved in the industry as horse owners, service providers, employees and volunteers. 3.6 million and 4.3 million of those participated in showing and recreation, respectively, with some overlap in cases of people who participate in both activities. 941,000 people participated in racing in either a professional or volunteer capacity. 1.9 million people own horses. In addition to the people actually involved in the industry, tens of millions more Americans participate as spectators.

  • The horse industry directly produces goods and services of $25.3 billion and has a total impact of $112.1 billion on U.S. gross domestic product. Racing, showing and recreation each contribute more than 25% to the total value of goods and services produced by the industry.                                                                                        
  • The industry's contribution to the U.S. GDP is greater than the motion picture services, railroad transportation, furniture and fixtures manufacturing and tobacco product manufacturing industries. It is only slightly smaller than the apparel and other textile products manufacturing industry.                                                                                      .
  • “If you want a kitten, start out by asking for a horse” -  Anon
  • “The horse is God's gift to man”. - Old Arab Proverb
  • “Show me your horse, and I will tell you who you are”. - Old English saying
  • "The one great precept and practice in using a horse is this, never deal with him when you are in a fit of passion." Xenophon, The Art Of Horsemanship, 400 BC

  • Adult respiratory rate is 8-16 breaths per minute

  • A horse typically sleeps two and half to three hours a day

  • Horses younger than 4 years can concentrate for a maximum of 10-15 minutes

  • Horses lie down only about 43.5 minutes a day

  • Horses sleep longer in the summer than in the winter

  • A horse’s heart weighs nine pounds

  • The horse is a herbivorous mammal

  • All horses (including zebras) belong to the genus equus

  • Horses began to evolve on the American continent over 60 million years ago, they later died out and were reintroduced by Spanish settlers

  • A zedonk is the offspring of a zebra and a donkey

  • No two horses are identical

  • The left side of a horse is called the “near side” and the right side is the “off side”

  • A horse has approximately 205 bones

  • A horse is described as a ‘foal’ for its first year of life

  • Foals have milk teeth, which are replaced by permanent teeth around 3-5 years old

  • A horse’s teeth can be used to estimate its age

  • Horses generally dislike the smell of pigs

  • A female horse is called a ‘filly’

  • Horses are traditionally measured in ‘hands’, this was originally the width of a man’s hand and has been set at 4 inches

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