Your best ever horse/tack/feeding/grooming/stable tips!

kez81

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 April 2014
Messages
391
Be prepared to laugh it off, your horse will make you look a pillock at some point (if you haven't done it all by yourself) so just have a sense of humour and move on.

Never ever ride when you are angry, it will end in tears.
Keep grooming kits in a work belt so they are immediately available as you walk about yard.
Always take a hoof pick and a length of baler twine with you on hacks, they will come in handy more often than you realise.
Take your horse for no pressure walks in hand hacks. It is a great stress reliever for you both.
 

casspow

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 August 2011
Messages
124
Location
Cheshire
In my experience..

Get a GOOD Instructor (Not all instructors will suit you and your horse)

I never knew about the tail brushing but have to admit mine is a hunter type pony so rarely gets the brush to his tail anyway :p

Would love to know people's top tips on plaiting and keeping manes!

I like to colour code as best I can and found labelling things will help the stray walk about brushes and yard equipment! (On my previous yard experiences I've had to label everything in sight so people knew that them things were MINE - incredibly infuriating but the only way.

Trust your horse! - or else you'll get nowhere. (Yes they will take the mick sometimes but all in all they will love you back as much as you love them!

Great post loved reading some of the tips! :)
 

NinjaPony

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 March 2011
Messages
1,467
Forget the scrubbing and brushing, a cup of linseed is your friend.

Put manners in young, mean it and don't give mixed messages. Done correctly the horse is set up for life.

Ditch tight nosebands, bin bling and appreciate how a horse moves in a correctly fitted saddle.

Ensure you train your husband how to operate the yard broom.
This. Except don't bin bling, embrace the bling and embrace the matchy because owning a horse should be fun and if sparkles and colours bring some joy then why the hell not!
If you own a grey, take out shares in quicsilver shampoo
Always leave the yard on a good note- with a treat/hug/pat or similar
Find a good instructor
Always have spares of everything because horses will be horses.
Buy as good quality stuff as you can afford.
 
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marmalade88

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 July 2014
Messages
298
Get the basics right, if you can't do a square halt, walking a straight line and trot a 20 m circle doing trevers or renvers are completely pointless.

Be consistent on the ground and in the saddle

Fill haynets in advance if you can

I like to use buckets so I know how much the horses are drinking

There is a key to unlocking every horse be prepared to treat each one as an individual. Once they are right mentally the physical will follow.
 

Marydoll

Well-Known Member
Joined
22 March 2011
Messages
7,141
Location
Central scotland
Dont start a clip without a spare set of sharp blades.
Baby wipes clean everything including tack for a quick wipe over in between cleaning
Break your first aid kit in to separate bags or boxes in one big box, wounds, feet and
Illnesses and bruising etc.
Wear gloves for everything or youll end up with hands like a 90yo
If hes playing up, 99% of the time hes trying to tell you something you just aint getting it.
Remember its meant to be enjoyment, not endurance, do what makes you happy
 

impresario08

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Joined
2 February 2014
Messages
779
keeping horses in turnout rugs in the stable saves time turning out in the morning (as long as they're not cold, of course)

Rubber mats and a haybar are great time-saving investments

Try to 'team-up' with someone at the yard to help out with mornings/evenings, so someone gets a night/morning off here and there

A shedding blade is a god send in the spring :)

buy lots of food bowls/haynets to fill up in advance at weekends

don't make a trip anywhere with empty hands - always be filling buckets/picking up rugs etc

If your horse can go barefoot comfortably it can save money in the long run (with a good trim, of course)


Snuggy hoods are great for keeping horses clean in the winter where the tack goes!
 

Blanche

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Joined
11 November 2008
Messages
1,007
Location
Down the road,up the hill,second gate on the left
Be consistent. Always. It takes the guess work out of the equation for the horse.

If something goes wrong look at what you did or didn't do. Set the horse up for success and end on a positive note. If the horse has forgotten how to do something teach him again. When we learn something we can't do something consistently well to start with and the horse is the same. Beating seven types of s**t out of him will just make him fear to try.

Give yourself 2 hours to do something (like loading, catching or headcollar on unhandled horse) and you are likely to do it in 10 minutes. Give yourself 10 minutes and you won't do it in 2 hours.

Wear gloves.

Baler twine and duct tape are your friend!

What you put in gives your horse his shine not what you put on.

Spend time with your horse just watching him eating, grazing etc. You can learn a lot about body language etc. by watching and not fiddling with them.

Never be too proud to ask for help or ideas. Using someone as a soundboard can clarify what is bothering you with the horse. You never,ever stop learning with horses. If you think you know it all there will be a horse along shortly to 'learn ya' that there was something you didn't know!
 

Batgirl

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 February 2011
Messages
3,100
Location
Yaaaarkshire
Buy a cheap gardenrs/tool belt (my lovely flowery job was £5 off eaby) for plaiting stuff then you aren't searching in pockets and on shelves for bits :) In mine is:
Normal comb
Plaiting comb
Brush
Plaiting bands
gel spray
scissors
thinning blade (from hairdressers trade shop!)

Makes my life so easy when plaiting

Make lists! Then you don't have to rely on memory :)
 

saltpetres

Well-Known Member
Joined
16 April 2015
Messages
110
Location
Victoria, Australia
Don't assign human motives to horses! It's easy to feel down about things when you imagine they're seeing you like a human would, but they just don't think like us. Plus, a lot of the time they're responding to what you're projecting in the moment, rather than remembering what's happened in the past. Everyone knows this, obviously, but during tough times, it's easy to forget :)
 

Shilasdair

Empress of the Known World
Joined
26 March 2007
Messages
21,917
Location
Daemon from Hades
My two observations are;
1. There are people who love horses, and there are people who love riding but these are not necessarily the same people.
2. Horses need horse friends.
S :)
 

Hayleighm175

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 February 2014
Messages
387
There's some really good ones- trying to to repeat but for me is

''Let him be a horse, and remember what he is; be greatful''
 

JillA

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Joined
1 May 2007
Messages
8,155
Location
Shropshire
Some really great tips on here but you are well on the way to my top tip which is NEVER stop learning. Even Philippe Karl says one lifetime is never enough, the more you know the more you realise there is to learn and with a good foundation you can evaluate the stuff the "local expert" insists on telling you :)
 

annagain

Well-Known Member
Joined
10 December 2008
Messages
11,149
keeping horses in turnout rugs in the stable saves time turning out in the morning (as long as they're not cold, of course)

Rubber mats and a haybar are great time-saving investments

Try to 'team-up' with someone at the yard to help out with mornings/evenings, so someone gets a night/morning off here and there

A shedding blade is a god send in the spring :)

buy lots of food bowls/haynets to fill up in advance at weekends

don't make a trip anywhere with empty hands - always be filling buckets/picking up rugs etc

If your horse can go barefoot comfortably it can save money in the long run (with a good trim, of course)


Snuggy hoods are great for keeping horses clean in the winter where the tack goes!
Are you sure you're not me?

Mine is work out your most effiencient routine and then stick to it. I can turn three out, and muck out and do feed/hay/water for two in 20 minutes by sticking to my routine. I never cross the same bit of yard twice and only go from the car to the feed room and feed room to car empty handed.

ETA: Oh and one good plaiting tip I learned recently - buy a cheap plastic flea or fine toothed comb. Work out the optimum width of mane to put in each plait and cut the comb to that width. When you're plaiting, not only do you know exactly how much mane to put in your plait, it's also easy to create a lovely straight parting between each plait. I actually have two different widths as my horse's mane is very thick at the top and quite thin at the bottom and no amount of pulling seems to deal with it so I put a wider section of hair in each plait at the bottom so that they all look the same size.
 
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Cobbytype

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Joined
9 December 2014
Messages
914
After a quick brush, a barely damp hand towel wiped over your horse (in the exact direction of the coat) will flatten cat hairs, remove loose hairs and scurf/dust, leaving a lovely shiny horse that looks like he's/she's been groomed for hours.
 

Escapade

Active Member
Joined
26 June 2012
Messages
41
Location
Ireland
This will be mostly from a show groom perspective, but it can be applied to everyone :)

• On the topic of thin tails: I’ve personally found that the ‘don’t touch tails rule’ actually increases breakage. Avoid mane and tail sprays with silicone, and tease carefully with a plastic wide-toothed comb, never metal. Twist the length and hold the tail near the bottom, comb gently through the ends and work your way up to the dock. If you hit a snag, work it from below. For day-to-day care, tease sections as necessary with your fingers.
• Pick out hooves before leaving the stable to save time sweeping.
• If a horse doesn't like having his face washed, do not spray him (or any horse, by right) in the face with a hose. Try putting the hose on a low-medium strength, stand beside and very carefully bring the hose up behind his ear with your right hand and allow the water to flow down the front of his face from the poll. Alternatively, and where possible, use a warm damp towel to scrub and bring dirt and scurf to the surface, horses generally like this.
• Use the paper lining in feed bags as poultice paper.
• Save those little silica gel packs and use them for tack in storage.
• Wrap a plaiting band on your mane comb as a marker so your plaits are the same size.
• Microfibre car cleaning gloves are a good, cheap substitute for a stable rubber or grooming mit. Microfibre cloths are super for tack cleaning (and just about everything else, really).
• Wipe off your tack every time it’s used, where possible. It takes seconds, saves on those big cleans and is better for the leather. Also, wipe off tack before cleaning with product or you’re just adding another layer of grime. Use a greasy conditioner, but use sparingly.
• Wash bandages in a bra wash bag to prevent the dreaded spaghetti effect and save the years it would take to detangle them.
• Always open a door fully before leading a horse through, and always close it fully behind. If a horse gets loose and he runs ‘home’ through a half open door, he’s going to have a sore hip and possibly a nasty gash. He will also run through doors forevermore, which is very dangerous for other people who may have to handle your [unfamiliar] horse at some point. Also something that's surprisingly often forgotten; when leading through a door, walk straight and then turn. Do not turn before the horse is through the door.
• Cross-ties and tying: if you tie to baling twine, halve (at least) the thickness or weaken a point of the loop or it will not break. I have seen it not break, and you really want it to break. If a horse is tied to cross-ties attach a small (weakened) loop of twine or a thin cable-tie (the weak ones) to either side of the headcollar and tie to that. If the horse panics and sits back on the ties, one or both should break and panic should be averted. You want the tie to break at the horse’s head, if it breaks at the wall the clip will swing into the horse’s face or someone’s head. Always attach a leadrope to the brass fitting, you want the break away when tied, not leading (well, duh).
• If you have a bucket hanging by a snap hook, make sure the snap faces away from the horse. You’d think it’s obvious but these injuries are surprisingly common. The rule I follow is that all clips face away from the horse, except rug chest clips, which clip towards the horse.
• When packing for a show, think ‘last in, first out’. Store in the order you need things.
• Little and often and regular currying are the best things for keeping a horse clean/coat healthy. Whitening products and stain removers typically make the horse dirtier/give a yellow tinge.
• I pack stud holes with cotton wool dipped in vegetable oil before returning horses to the stable after new shoes, and immediately when studs are taken out (pre-soaked in a small re-used soup tub or similar, so they're ready to go in a hurry). Saves time and my back.

I’m forgetting lots, but this’ll do for now!
 
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