Welcome to Fall, horse lovers! The change in season brings fuzzy horses, back-to-school schedule changes, and some wonderful riding weather! As the seasons change though, our horse’s nutritional needs might change too. One of the first issues to pay attention to is water consumption. As the days cool, horses will often limit their water intake and this can lead to colic. Providing clean, fresh water and adequate salt/mineral supplementation can keep your horse hydrated. For pastured horses, the quality of the dry grass can start to deplete and offer less nutrition. Horses with poor teeth, older horses or those who are just “hard keepers” may need supplementation with either a concentrate or a forage extender to replace the lost nutrition in the dry, bleached grass. Whether your horse gains weight too easily, or is hard to maintain, knowing how to judge body condition will give you the tools to make the necessary adjustments. Learn more about body condition scoring with this video, from The Horse.com.
As the Mendocino Complex fires wind down, it is important to remember that there are still at least 2 more months to go in California fire season. It is never too late to create a defensible space around your home and barns, and to organize an evacuation plan for your entire family, including horses, livestock and pets. Get checklists, tips, information about creating a defensible space and more at www.readyforwildfire.org. And, how about this great tip from Lisa Galletti, Social Media Curator and local horse-owner – use an online “binder” to organize all of your important documents (either scan them in or take photos of them on your phone) and save them in the cloud! This way, even if you are not home to grab the important files, you will have copies that can be accessed from anywhere. Knowing that those registration papers, property documents, health records, and photos are safe in cloud storage, means one less thing you have to remember if you have to evacuate in a hurry.
Creating a defensible space can be done with a few common outdoor power tools such as mowers, trimmers and chainsaws. Unfortunately, 95% of wildfires are started by people, most often accidentally. Mowing, burning debris, camping and target shooting can all cause sparks, which can start a fire. To learn about doing the right thing (creating a defensible space) the safe way, check out the videos available at www.readyforwildfire.org/Equipment-Use/. Then, get the right tool for the job by visiting Rainbow Ag and speaking with one of our Outdoor Power Equipment specialists!
Equine gastric health has been a hot topic lately, as new studies show that gastric ulcers are prevalent in up to 90% of performance horses! Modern horse-keeping practices often limit feedings to two or three times a day, and unless the horse is turned out to graze or kept with a supply of hay to munch, the stomach empties but still produces acid. This overabundance of acid, along with lack of saliva and natural enzymes, creates the perfect environment for gastric discomfort. Learn more about recognizing the symptoms of gastric discomfort in horses, and some strategies for managing it, in this article from Purina nutritionist Dr Kelly Vineyard.
REQHA Gymkhana Series. September 15, October 6, and (tentative) October 27
Ranch Versatility Series. September 29 at Willits Horsemen arena, October 20 at Redwood Riders Arena
Flying T Equine with John Tilly Trail Obstacle Training Clinics Saturday September 8 & 22, 9 AM to Noon
Shoreline Riders Ranch Horse Versatility Show – 2nd show in series September 23rd at Shoreline Riders Arena in Fort Bragg.
Lester Buckley Clinic October 27 & 28, Berry Creek Ranch in Willits.
SAFER (Sonoma Action For Equine Rescue) reminds us that there is help available to help Mendocino Complex Fire survivors. SAFER has been instrumental in assisting those with fire losses and pets, horses and other livestock. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org for an application or information. You can also donate to SAFER, LEAP and other groups helping fire survivors and their animals at both Rainbow Ag stores.
September Subscribers Coupon – time to replace that mended, cracked bridle? Want a new saddle pad to match your new shirt? Now’s the time to save with this month’s subscriber coupon for 20% off tack! Good on anything from bell boots to headstalls, check out the quality tack at Rainbow Ag!
Trivia anyone? Enter the Trivia Contest to be eligible to win a $15.00 Rainbow Gift Card. The August winner is Dane Downing with the correct answer that the length of daylight determines when a horse will start putting on his winter coat. This month’s question – 95% of wildfires are started by … ENTER HERE>>