Tag Archives: Horse

Train a parade horse

Have you wanted to take your horses in a parade, but you aren’t sure if they are ready? Will your reliable trail horse freak out by the commotion of a parade?

Icelandic horse ridden in July 4th parade

Bangsi only got worried at the very start of the parade.

How does a horse prepare for being ridden in a parade? How do you train a parade horse?

Start by letting your horses watch a parade. Let them watch safely on the sidelines, just like humans get to do. Pick a small town parade before you go to a major parade. Choose one that has an easy way to duck out, if your horse becomes overwhelmed. Try to find a parade that is horse friendly. There are parades that cater to horses, which are excellent as a first parade to lead or ride in.

Horse watching parade pass by with float of capping the 2010 BP oil spill.

Twistur watching the parade.

The wait for the start of the parade in the staging area can be tiring and chaotic. Take your horse to participate in a staging area, even if not actually being in the parade.

Even in a small parade you may experience loud sirens, blaring lights, balloons, whistles, bicycles, strollers,  electric wheelchairs, motorcycles, streamers, barking dogs, other horses or mini-donkeys, ATVs, clowns, kids running around, marching bands, truck air brakes, blowing objects of all sorts, frisbee thrown overhead, balls, loud speaker feedback, revving engines, horns, flags, waving, firecrackers, yelling, squeaks, car back firing, and candy tossed from passing floats. If you can think of something crazy happening, then you might see it at a large parade. Be prepared to walk on asphalt with potholes, crunching candy wrappers under foot and items blowing across the road. Check out the route before taking your horse.

Can your horse walk slowly and stand quietly amidst noise and excitement? The pace of a parade may be uneven with lots of time standing waiting, then just as suddenly needing to speed up. Practice at home with your horse with various spooky objects. Let them know that they can stand quietly and watch and listen to craziness.

Walking with our horse in local town Independence Day parade.

Why not walk in a parade? It is fun too!

Even if you plan to just lead your horse, make sure you have good control of your horse on the ground. If they are ready, then after letting them watch a passing parade try walking them in a parade as a groundwork training exercise.  It’s fun to walk in a parade too, so if you aren’t sure if you want to ride then you can lead instead. Later you can try riding in a parade, then maybe an even bigger parade another time.

We use clicker training with de-spooking. This works well for us and our horses.

A parade can make great de-spooking practice, but you can start small and build up to riding in the  Rose Bowl.

Be safe and wear your helmet!

Take A Horse in a Parade Safely

Parade Horse Training Tips

Preparing to Ride in a Parade

Excellent suggestions for preparing and riding in a parade.

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Just for Grins – “It must be the water”

It Must Be The Water. Vittel.

Vittel Water advertisement: Jockeys standing by horses at starting gate

The clever and funny TV commercial advertisement titled ‘Horse Riding’ was done by Ogilvy & Mather Paris advertising agency for Vittel Water in France. It was released in December 2009. Race horses love to run, but what horse might not like to take it easy once in awhile. Jockeys drink some Vittel water before the race and horse racing takes on a whole different method.

Vittel is a French brand of bottled water sold in many countries. Since 1992 it has been owned by Nestlé Waters, Water Division of the Swiss group Nestlé.

The Vosges basin in France is home to several sources of natural mineral water. The city of Vittel , thanks to the virtues of its natural mineral water, is also a city of thermal baths. Louis Bouloumié in 1855 created a health spa in the city of Vittel, then later the natural mineral water was bottled.  It belonged to the founding family, the Bouloumié, for four generations.

Vittel Water advertisement: Jockeys preparing for race with horses on their backs

Vittel Water advertisement: Jockeys carrying horses on their backs to race


Video length: 32 seconds
“Pub Vittel: la course hippique” – Horse race
Uploaded by  on Sep 7, 2009

There are a series of “It Must Be the Water” ads, which are all very funny. They are on the same Youtube channel.

Vittel Water advertisement: Jockeys carrying horses on their backs for race come to finish line

Vittel Water advertisement: Jockey of brown horse is the winner

Vittel Water advertisement: Proud jockey with flowers around his neck holds his racing trophy of a "man carrying horse"

A longer version of the advertisement at these 2 sites:
Video length: 1:00 minute
Autoplay site: http://www.funnyplace.org/stream/vittel-race-13602/
Non-autoplay site: http://adsoftheworld.com/media/tv/vittel_horse_riding

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Paris, France
Copywriters: Christian Foulon,, Fergus O’hare, Andrew Jolliffe
Art directors: Stephanie Surer, Ginevra Capece
Director: Lionel Goldstein
Production: Henry de Czar, Paris
Post-production company: Nozon
Editor: Manu Van Hove Agency
Producer: Caroline Petruccelli
Executive Producer: Jeanluc Bergeron
Director of Photography: Glynn Speeckaert
Sound Design: Kouz Production

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Clipping Icelandic horses in Spring

Icelandics in Texas ==> Clipping Icelandic horses

My Icelandic horses in early March started shedding their long winter coats amidst the singing birds and blooming flowers heralding the coming of Spring in north Texas. Icelandic horses winter coats were not intended for our mild winters. Their winter coat was between 2 – 4 inches long. Slow natural shedding could take over a month. Using shedding tools speeds up the process, but clipping is the fastest way to remove the excess hair.

Every horse clipping explanation that I have read says to use a #10 blade for a body clip. This cuts the hair at 1/16 inch or 1.6 mm. The face, ears, and legs may be clipped even shorter. Dogs, on the other hand, are clipped at varying lengths depending on breed and fashion. There are many blade lengths available for clippers. The #T84 blade (3/32 inch, 2.4 mm) is an extra wide blade commonly used to clip horses.

Andis clipper blades

Spring rains and warmer temperatures bring out the mosquitoes. A female mosquito bites through the skin using a special straw-like proboscis to get blood. They need the blood to be able to make their mosquito eggs. The bite is nearly undetectable, but the after effects can cause an immune response raising welts with itching. Bangsi is particularly sensitive to insect bites.

Besides the irritation that can cause severe scratching, mosquitoes are vectors for several illnesses. Texas horses can be vaccinated against Eastern, Western, and Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis, plus the West Nile virus that also affects humans.

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes are common in north Texas.

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Asian Tiger Mosquito by Sean McCann on Flickr (Creative Commons)

The horses longer winter hair was a definite help in avoiding mosquito bites on their body and even their lower legs. The mosquitoes could not easily penetrate and bite past the long hair. They would land and crawl around looking for a place to bite, but unable to find a spot. The only places the mosquitoes seemed to be able to bite were the face and sheath. The mosquitoes would line up around the eyes and along the cheek bones at dusk and dawn. I smeared those areas with SWAT repellant ointment. Letting horses have a place to stay inside at dusk and dawn, plus a fan to blow on them, can also help lower the bites.

How long is a mosquito proboscis?

Mosquitoes are slender and relatively small insects, usually measuring about 3–6 mm in length. Some species, however, can be as small as 2 mm while others may be as long as 19 mm. (1)

“most of the commonest mosquitoes have the proboscis 0.1 – 0.14 inches (2.5-3.5 mm) long and half or even 2/3 of it is usually inserted in victim’s body” (2)

Small mosquitoes have a proboscis up to 2 millimeters long; in medium-sized mosquitoes the proboscis is 2-3 mm; in large mosquitoes it is greater than 3 mm. (3)

Clipping with a #10 blade (1/16 inch) could leave them more vulnerable to mosquito bites. The difference in hair length to be slightly cooler wouldn’t be enough benefit, particularly so early in the Spring. The #10 blade length is shorter than their natural summer coat.

The ideal clip length would balance cutting their hair shorter to help them be cooler while leaving their hair long enough to lessen mosquitos bites. Last year I experimented using snap-on combs over #10 blade for different lengths of cut, but the combs left more streaks in their coat. A blade cuts more smoothly and evenly with less effort, but does require purchase of extra blades.

I clipped their coats at 1/4 inch (6.3 mm) using a #5FC blade. The #5FC is an even clip while the #5 blade has a skip tooth cutting edge.

Andis A-5 #10 clipper blade

Andis A-5 #5FC clipper blade

Andis A-5 #5 clipper blade

The 1/4 inch clip length would be longer than a mosquito proboscis, which would lessen the likelihood of a Texas mosquito penetrating through their hair to their skin. The extra hair length would also provide them a bit more protection in case of an unusual cold snap or cold wet rain while still helping make them more comfortable and cooler in the warming weather. The longer length would make a blanket unnecessary in our Texas climate for our Icelandic horses, even with a Spring cold snap. I only clipped above the knee leaving their longer hair on the cannon bones to shed out naturally for extended mosquito protection.

Bangsi needed no further clipping later in the Spring to finish shedding his coat. I clipped Twistur again in late March using the #5 blade for most of his body, but used a #10 on his neck, chest, and around his head. He really enjoyed having the hair trimmed off shorter on his head and under his mane. Twistur’s coat re-grows and is a different thickness and texture than Bangsi’s. This maybe a symptom of some insulin resistance.

Next year I may clip them heading into winter to more closely mimic the coat length of a typical Texas Quarter horse in our area. Their 4 inch hair is too long for our winters, though I do love their fuzzy unique look.

A-5 Clipper Blade Inch Millimeter
#40 1/100 0.25
#50 1/125 0.2
#30 1/5 0.5
#15 3/64 1.2
#10 1/16 1.5
#9 5/64 2.0
Blocking blade 5/64 2.0
T84 3/32 2.4
#8.5 7/64 2.8
#7 1/8 3.2
T24 4.0
#6 3/16 4.8
#5 1/4 6.3
#4 3/8 9.5
#3 1/2 13.0

References:
– 1 inch = 25 mm

– “A Field Guide to Common Texas Insects” – Mosquito: Agrilife Extension: Entymology, Texas A&M System

– Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Division of Vector Borne Disease, West Nile Virus

– “Mosquitoes and the Diseases They Transmit“, Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A&M University System

(1) “Introduction to mosquitoes (Culicidae)” by Cambridge University Press 052154775X – Medical Entomology for Students, Third Edition – Mike W. Service (Excerpt)

(2) Mosquito bite questions

(3) “The Determination of Mosquito Females by Microscopic Preparations of the Head” in “Mosquito Systematics” VOL. 6(4) 1974 by A. V. Gutsevich, Zoological Institute, Leningrad

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Filed under Health, Horse health

Liberty & bridleless (Alegria)

Delphine Boonkens with PRE gelding, Contigo

Delphine Boonkens with PRE gelding, Contigo


PRE Spanish gelding, Contigo, working at liberty and bridleless with Delphine Boonkens. She does clinics and shows (spectacles équestres) in Europe with her horses and little dog.

Video length: 4 minutes 42 seconds
Music: “Alegria” by Cirque de Soleil
Uploaded by  on Oct 28, 2007

French language website: http://www.delphineboonkens.com/

Her former website with good photos of her horses:
http://spectacle-equestre.skynetblogs.be/

Delphine Boonkens with PRE gelding, Contigo

Delphine Boonkens with PRE gelding, Contigo

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Just for Grins – Horse loves his hammock

The dark colored Andalusian foal, Amoroso, hangs over a hammock and scratches himself.

Little Amoroso, an Andalusian foal, has seen humans in the hammock. Getting up there turned out to be too difficult, but maybe it can be used for scratching? The little horse loves his hammock.

Warning: Cuteness overload!

Video length: 3 minutes 3 seconds
Uploaded by  on Jun 14, 2010

http://www.ellenofstad.com/  (website in Norwegian Bokmål language)

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Polocrosse – Wednesday Music video

Wednesday Music video featuring 2011 USA World Cup Polocrosse Squad | Me And My Gang

Video length: 3 minutes 38 seconds
Polocrosse Exhibition match at the Las Colinas Polo and International Sports Club in Irving, TX.

Music: “Me and My Gang” by Rascal Flatts
Uploaded by  on May 12, 2010

Polocrosse by Kenski1970 on Flickr - child playing

Polocrosse by Kenski1970 on Flickr (Creative Commons)

Polocrosse is played on horseback and is a combination of polo, lacrosse and netball.  A team consists of six players, divided into two sections of three who play alternate chukkas of eight minutes each, usually 4 chukkas comprise a full match.  Each rider uses a cane stick made up of a polo stick shaft with a squash racquet type head with a loose twisted-thread net. The ball is carried in the stick’s net. The ball is made of thick- skinned sponge rubber and is approximately four inches across. Unlike polo, players are allowed only to play one horse, except in the case of injury.  Players can pick up the ball from the ground, catch it in their racquet, and ride with it, and toss it to other players.

Polocrosse looks like a blast. I like that in Australia it is a family sport and played by young and old.

 Polocrosse on Flickr by Kenski1970

Polocrosse by Kenski1970 on Flickr (Creative Commons)

Wikipedia – Polocrosse

Polocrosse Worldwide

The Polocrosse Association of Australia, Inc.

The American Polocrosse Association

Watching some polocrosse on Youtube convinced me that Australian saddles were very good for helping hold you in the saddle, which is one of the reasons that I bought one.

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“Boten Anna”: Hanging out with Jarpur, the young Icelandic horse

“Are you ready?” It’s time for another Wednesday music video.

A young lady in Denmark spends time hanging out with her Icelandic horse, Jarpur.

Video length: 4 minutes 48 seconds
Uploaded by  on Jul 17, 2006

Music: “Boten Anna” (“Anna the Bot”) is a song by Swedish eurodance musician Jonas Erik Altberg. He is better known by his stage name ” Basshunter “.

The Swedish lyrics of Boten Anna tell the story of a female IRC chat user mistaken for an IRC bot by the vocalist who later finds out the truth; subsequently, however, he states that she will always remain a bot in his eyes. The song is based on an actual experience of Jonas Erik Altberg.

An IRC bot is a set of scripts or an independent program that connects to Internet Relay Chat as a client, and so appears to other IRC users as another user.

His friend said he would create a bot with administrative capabilities to keep order in his channel, #BassHunter.se; when this happened Jonas saw a new user with administrative capabilities named Anna enter the channel, and naturally thought this was the bot. Months later, he learned that Anna was actually not a bot, but was his friend’s girlfriend; the embarrassment, he says, inspired him to create the song.

– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boten_Anna

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Just for Grins – Fun with ponies

Die Gummibären-Bande: Three friends are having fun with ponies. Ah… youth! Meike and Till, Hannah and Zwiebel, Annka and Tomte with their friend, Laura, on camera. Meike lives in Germany.

Video length: 1 minute 7 seconds
Uploaded by  on Feb 22, 2011

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Blind horse dances – Music

Cash, from last Wednesday’s ‘Just for Grins’ post, showed that a blind horse can have a good life. This music video is of Filur Horsdal, a 22 year old blind Knabstrupper stallion, trained by Bent Branderup at “The Art of Academic Riding” school in Denmark.

Filur Horsdal, a 22 year old blind Knabstrupper stallion, ridden by Bent Branderup at "The Art of Academic Riding" school in Denmark.

Filur was born in 1990.


Video length: 3 minutes 40 seconds
Music: Classical piano
Uploaded by  on Sep 21, 2011

Filur has a companion named Hugin, who is also a blind Knabstrupper stallion. Hugin was treated to some tasty flowers for his 25th birthday. He is blind, but knows his treat is coming.

Hugin, the blind Knabstrupper stallion, is treated to some tasty flowers for his birthday by Bent Branderup.

Hugin, the blind Knabstrupper stallion, is treated to some tasty flowers for his birthday by Bent Branderup.

 


Video length: 4 minutes 1 second
Music: Classical piano

Hugin, the blind Knabstrupper stallion, rolls with enthusiasm on his 25th birthday.

Hugin enjoys a roll and a shake on his 25th birthday.

The Knabstrupper breed registry was established in 1812 starting with a single chestnut blanketed mare purchased by a Danish butcher from a Spanish cavalry officer. The mare was bred to a Fredricksborg stallion and produced a wildly colored stallion son. These two horses became the foundation of the Danish breed. American Appaloosas were introduced in the 1970s to add genetic diversity.

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Filed under Horse health, Music, Riding

Just for Grins – Blind foal plays with zipper

Cash, a blind Quarter horse foal.

This is a blind foal named Cash. Cash was born on a Quarter Horse breeding farm in northern Alabama on February 7, 2007. Cash has a very rare eye disorder called aniridia, in which the irises don’t develop. He was given a chance to live. A blind horse can have a good quality of life.

Read more about Cash’s story.

He loves playing with zippers.

Video length: 1 minutes 3 seconds
Uploaded by  on May 31, 2007

Rolling Dog Farm is a non-profit sanctuary that rescues and shelters disabled animals. Every animal who arrives at the farm gets another chance to have a safe and loving home. Residents include blind dogs, blind horses, deaf dogs, blind cats, and animals with medical disabilities like muscular dystrophy. Yet every one of these animals enjoys life to the fullest!

Learn more about how to care for a blind horse.

Cash, the blind Quarter horse, training under saddle at 4 years old.

Cash, a blind Quarter horse, under saddle in 2010 at 4 years old. (Click image for Youtube video)

How to care for a blind horse information brochure: http://www.blindhorses.org/blindHorse_bochure.pdf

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Filed under Horse health, Just for grins