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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cont. Lets ASSUME money with a horse is no factor.

Assuming money is no factor is crazy... money no matter how much you have can become a factor with a horse!

Ok.  So the previous post didn't scare you away from getting a horse for your child.

Lets look at the choice a little deeper!

I have had a pony , horse, or access to one MOST of my life!  They are a part of who I am.  I am not a nice person, or not complete, when I do not have this relationship in my life.  BUT ... it is VERY time consuming, costly and ... not a relationship I suggest for everyone.

Basics  again.   Remember I am NOT a vet! I am NOT specifically educated to the horses through acredited classes.  My suggestions are through vets and life experience and NEVER to be taken as written in stone. BUT to be a thought process for persons considering horses.   I can only encourage everyone to continue their education and learning everyday from several sources not any one source EVER!

I get up at dawn... what ever time that is ... depending on the time of year.
I go to the barn, let my horses out of their dry lot.
    Why do I have a dry lot?
There are so many reasons to have a "dry lot" but I have one for only a few basic reasons.

1. I have ONE horse that is an "easy keeper"  in horse terms this means he takes LESS food to keep his "FIT" physical standard.   so if I let him out on grass every day ALL day he would be too fat!   This is a good situation to have. 

2. I have one horse that has a genetic defect that he is not able to process sugars very well, and thus is also NOT suppose to stand still for LONG periods of time.  This is becoming a more prevalent issue in American horses... although still only in certain breeds.   SO I NEVER put this horse in a stall.    The dry lot allows me a place to control his food intake and allow him space to move around.

3.  Having a dry lot SAVES your pastures.  in more ways than one.
     While I have one horse that is an easy keeper, I have another that is a HARD keeper!  Meaning she needs more feed, hay, and protein than the other horse to keep her physique...  Having a dry lot allows me to put her out and keep the other in... but ONLY on DRY ground days...
     On WET ground days I keep both horses in the dry lot as one hoof running through the pasture digs up a good 6 inches of good grass, times four hooves and you have rutts and bald spots in no time.

4. The dry lot also allows me a place to keep my horses when I am sowing seed, when I need to allow the grass to grow and when I am treating a pasture for weeds. 

5.  A dry lot ALSO helps keep my horses feet healthy!
     How does this work.  I am in what I call the mid south!  ???  well in the south everything dries out between rains in what I call the mid south... on a "normal" climate year we get rain all the time... and the ground stays moist for our crops.  This moisture is not so good for the horses feet.   a dry lot is just that... a lot filled with gravel, rock or sand so the hooves of a horse are dry.  keeping my farrier bills down as well.

One of my horses has very wet feet.  He can get thrush so easy it is a pain.  This dry lot keeps the moisture down and allows me space, time and effort to treat and prevent thrush.

Thrush!  It is a painful, smelly ailment to the hoof!  In simple (monkey) terms... it is like you having a soar on the bottom of your foot that gets infected with some flesh eating organism... and you can't use crutches! You have to walk on in order to function.  Thrush can do the same to a horse IF NOT treated.  it can eat to the bone!  not painless for your poor animal either!    It can be a simple as a cut on your foot that doesn't bother you but it can be as serious as above!  Why take the chance... if you horse reacts to you cleaning his hoof... it is painful and needs to go! FAST!

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