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Horse Owner Helpful Tips

You are not going to believe this but a reader has done this and it worked!!  If you have a horse that can’t stand to be alone in the barn, you may want to try this.  Take a plastic NOT GLASS mirror and hang it outside your horses stall(on the other side of the grill so he cannot touch the mirror)  and he will think he is looking at another horse  in the barn with him.   I am going to try this today and see if it will work with my insecure gelding.  I will report back……..
Well, it did not work perfectly for my guy.  He was very interested in that horse, but then he started looking around the mirror as if he wanted to see the rest of the horse.  It was funny.  But I have put him in his stall without anyone in the barn with him, and he was fine.  Did not hollar or do his little panic attack.  So even though he did not go and stand by the mirror he must think there is something there since he is quiet when alone for short periods of time.  Have not tried extended periods of time.

You can make equine pill pockets out of fondant or gum paste. You can make the Fondant yourself or just buy it already made in the box. I don’t buy any of the flavors just use the plain or vanilla.   
Cut off a small piece and roll in sugar(to make it sweeter for even better palatability), then roll into small ball.  Make the size based on the size of the pill you need to get your horse to eat.  Once it is in a ball, roll it in the sugar again to coat it. 
Make up as many as you need then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (I use a ziplock bag)   Fondant will dry out if you don’t store inan air tight container and it will spoil if it is not refrigerated.  
When you need to give your horse a pill, retrieve one of the fondant balls and let it get to room temperature or warm enough to be molded.  Press a hole in it and insert the pill, then mold it back into a ball.  Feed it to your horse.  Mine loves them and gobbles his pills down thinking he just got a great treat!!

NEVER, EVER TIE YOUR HORSE WITH A CHAIN OVER THE NOSE OR UNDER THE CHIN       DO NOT  ever tie your horse with a chain on his face, either over the nose or under the chin.  If your horse gets scared and sits back, the chain will hurt him and he can react violently.  He can fight and struggle in an effort to stop the pain or he can jump forward running into what ever is in front of him.  Serious injuries can be the result!

BAKING SODA IS A HELPFUL TOOL AT THE BARN    Scrub those slimy water buckets with Baking Soda.   Baking soda is slightly abrasive so it cleans the slime off and leaves them fresh and clean.    Rinse buckets thouroghly.

KEEP THAT GOOSENECK BALL GREASED     To reduce friction you should keep a heavy grease on your GN ball.    If you have any questions about caring for your trailer hitch, call the company that installed it.

STAY OUT OF THE WAY OF THAT TRAILER DOOR    After loading that last horse on your trailer be careful getting the door closed and latched.  Step to the side as you latch the door, in case the last horse decides to kick, the door won’t fly into your face.   Also do the same with a straight load.    Your horse may never be inclined  to kick you, but may kick in the trailer.  If that door is closed but not yet latched it will fly open and if you are in the way you could get hurt.

DO IT YOURSELF POULTICE BOOT   If your horse  developes a foot problem that requires packing or a poultice of some sort, you can make a disposable boot.   You will need: The packing or poultice you want to use, a small or medium sized baby diaper, vet rap, and duct tape or gorilla tape.  Before you get started go ahead and make the duct tape sheet.  To do this, take 6 or seven pieces of tape 8 or 9 inches wide. (The size will depend on the size of your horses foot, so you can modify this to work for you)  On a flat surface, lay the first piece down horizontally, sticky side up.  Then take another piece of tape and lay it 1/2″ or 1″ over onto the first piece.  Do this with all pieces.  Now you should have a square of duct tape, then take and put 1 piece down each side to finish the square.  This square should be large enough to cover your horses foot.  Have all your supplies laid out next to your horses foot.   Put the packing or poultice into his foot, then while still holding his foot up, place the diaper on the bottom of the hoof, holding the diaper in place set his foot on the ground.  Use the sticky tabs on the diaper to close it up at the top.  Not tight.   Then take vet-rap and wrap the hoof around the sides and bottom, do not wrap above the top of the hoof and do not pull excessively tight around the bulb of the foot.  Take your duct tape sheet and place the center of it on the bottom of the hoof, then set the hoof down and stick the tape up the hoof on top of the vet-rap.  Do not pull anything excessively tight around the bulb of the foot or above the hoof around the fetlock.   These boots will hold up well in the stall and if you use a very heavy duct tape or gorilla tape they last even longer.

Soaking a horses foot can be time consuming and very hard to do if the horse is not cooperative.  Standing there for 30 minutes several times a day while your horse continually tries to get his foot out of the water and of course turning the pan over so you have to remake the soaking mixture can be aggrevating.   If this is you, you might want to try making a soaking boot that will stay on for several days and all you have to do is mix up your soaking water and pour it into the boot several times a day. 
You will need:  1 roll of vetrap, rolled or sheet cotton, duct tape, your soaking components (I use Epson Salts, but you will use whatever your vets tells you to use), and a styrofoam cup(it is bendable to make a pour spout). 
TO PREPARE:  Cut a piece of sheet cotton big enough to cover the foot and come up to the pastern about half way to the fetlock.  Make a paste out of whatever you are using for your soaking material.   I make a paste in a syrofoam cup.   Go ahead and make a duct tape sheet by laying down strips, sticky side up, sticking them together until you have a large piece that will cover the bottom of the hoof and come up to about the coronet band.
Now you are ready to begin, be sure the foot is clean of shaving and manure, then with all your supplies close, pack the paste onto the bottom of the foot.  Then take the sheet cotton and apply it to the bottom of the hoof holding the paste onto the foot, then bring the sheet cotton up the foot to the fetlock, then take the vetrap and wrap the foot all over coming up to the pastern. This is the part where you will need 4 hands, so having someone to help hold the sheet cotton while you wrap with vetrap is a big help.    Be sure not to wrap the vetrap  tight around the pastern, for a couple reasons but you have to be able to pull it away from his pastern to pour in the soaking material.
Once the foot is wrapped in the vetrap, take your duct tape sheet and apply it to the bottom of the foot, then rub it up the foot, sticking it well.  Once it is on securely, use the cup you used for the paste and add more water and create your mixture, being sure it is mixed well.  DO NOT USE HOT WATER!, Use warm water only, then pull your vetrap and cotton from the pastern and pour the warm water into the boot.  I find one cup of about 8 ounces is enough to get the cotton wet.  I find it works to pour the soaking mixture into the boot every 8 or 12 hours, to keep it nice and wet.  Sometimes the duct tape sheet will come off since it gets so wet, but I just make another sheet and stick it to the foot again.  I will try to do it before I add more water and get it soaked again. 

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