October 29, 2010

Horsemanship Tip of the Month November/December

Blanketing Your Horse in Colder Weather

Let's face it - blanketing can become an unwelcome and time-consuming chore, especially if you are blanketing more than one each day. If our horses did not derive significant benefits from blanketing, we more-than-likely would not bother. Some of these benefits are: a smoother easier-to-groom coat, warmer muscles and joints less prone to aches and pains as well as easier weight maintenance, to name a few. One of the best ways to start the blanketing process is with a thin nylon sheet, beginning at night on November 1st. If temperatures do not vary greatly day into night, the sheet can continue to stay on until you ride. If the days are warmer, remove the sheet during the day and re-sheet at night. This gives your horse a buffer against impending cold while still allowing them to "toughen up." Once December 1st rolls around, add a light-weight blanket over the top of the sheet at night. Together, you have the equivalent of (at least) a medium weight blanket to guard against the cold. Then remove the top blanket during the day and allow the horse to wear the sheet only. In the case of severe weather, leave both on. These layers provide not only the protection your horse needs, but they allow you to remove or add more layers as temperatures fluate, being more fair to your horse's natural heating system. This also saves time and can help avoid the blanket-off blanket-on ritual we could face (leaving your horse to stand "naked" until the new blanket goes on!) At my own boarding stable and all the others I've been priveledged to be part of, I've never met a horse yet that minded a little extra warmth in colder weather.

August 17, 2010

Dental Work Improves Performance

When we look for answers for a horse's less-than-ideal performance, we often think about their sensitivity to our aids, their ability to focus, their conformation, the bit and other things. Too often what is overlooked are their teeth. A horse's jaw must be able to move or "slide" laterally and longitudinally in order to smoothly transition, go correctly forward or turn under saddle. They also need a properly functioning jaw in order to eat their food and keep weight on. Unlike our teeth, the teeth of a horse grow their entire lives and can produce sharp hooks and ramped or wavy dentition. This makes accepting the bit much more difficult than it needs to be.
Therefore, a qualified Equine Dentist can do wonders for your horse's mouth. Although more expensive than a dental float from your vet, a dentist can provide more intense and perhaps thorough work for 100% comfort. Otherwise, your horse may not respond in a manner conducive to your desired discipline. Don't hesitate when it comes to your horse's health. Have a thorough dental work-up performed at least once a year.

July 6, 2010

My Top Ten Favorite Horse Stories

Read my recently-published book sharing my life and experiences as a trainer and horse owner. Available on Amazon.com. Every horse person who had read this book has thoroughly enjoyed it and found it inspirational. Consider indulging yourself!

Horsemanship Tip of the Month

Stretching Your Horse Dollar
All of us horse people realize how costly it can be to own, board or lease a horse. One predominant expense during this time of year is fly spray. Regardless of the brand or what a particular bottle may proclaim, fly spray is only effective for a short amount of time, and then must be reapplied. The very best and one of the least expensive fly sprays is the following:
1. 4 ounces of Repel-X fly spray concentrate
2. 30 ounces of water and 30 ounces of white vinegar.
Mix all the ingredients together. This fills two traditional size fly spray bottles and costs about $4 a bottle, compared to the normal $8 to $20 other fly spray costs. Also, a former Showsheen bottle makes an excellent fly spray bottle because it is less likely to clog. Have fun riding and enjoy helping your horse be fly-free!!!

May 27, 2010

My Top Ten Favorite Horse Stories

As a horse trainer, we are sometimes caught off guard by our horses, our training partners. The following is a page from my book:
I can't say I didn't entirely see it coming. That there weren't plenty of warning signs. In her entire three and a half year existence, she had dominated over all. Neither a human or fellow horse had taught her true submission. So in the short time I worked with her at my facility, I heavily addressed this issue. Wore down her resolve. Decided to wear spurs. After a long and arduous grooming and tacking session, I finally mounted and asked her to move off. I tried to turn left. She was stuck. I tried to turn right. She was still stuck. And angry. The next seven seconds were spent blindsided by an explosion of leaps and bucks only intended to send me soaring. I was off the saddle now, the mare's entire body below me. As I've always programmed myself to do, I went limp, tucked everything in and waited for the ground. With an impact that left a dirt angel, there it was. I watched as this huge black flash galloped around my arena and then ran toward me. But not to me. To run me down.
To finish chapter 7 and to read more from my book, order it from Amazon.com.
My Top Ten Favorite Horse Stories - and the lessons learned
Author: Gail B. Veley, certified instructor with ARIA.

March 19, 2010

Here’s a book any horse or animal lover will enjoy!

My Top Ten Favorite Horse Stories – and the lessons learned will encourage you to pursue this adventurous commitment.

Each chapter is based on the true tales of my life riding and training horses, and the sheer joy and inevitable heartache that can come with it. Some of these tales involve questionable situations and successful outcomes based on thinking or acting outside the box. When a majority of people would have given up or walked away, this book shows that perseverance, hope and faith can pay off. Meant to inspire, entertain and teach a moral, this book may make you laugh, cry and yet be filled with the ambition to make your very own horse dream come true. Saddle up and enjoy the ride this insightful book takes you on! I would be honored if you shared this important part of my life!

“This is not your run-of-the-mill horse book! It reaches deep into the soul of the die-hard horseperson. Gail Veley’s talent as a journalist takes you on some incredible adventures!” – Marilyn R. Lucas, ARIA Certified Instructor

This book is available by visiting http://www.amazon.com/ or http://www.booksurge.com/ (click on the Bookstore link and then select “Pets” followed by “Horses.”)

Visit my website at: http://www.gailveleyequestrian.com/ Thank you!

Horseback Riding Information and Tips

I'm Gail Veley, a professional horseback riding trainer with 25 years of experience. I'd like to share my experiences with you, and help you learn more when it comes to horseback riding and training.
Every thing we ever needed to learn about life, we can learn from owning a horse: Responsiblity, patience, commitment, endurance, respect, empathy and love.