OTRL July 2023

Summer has finally decided to make an appearance, and just in time for the Fourth of July Holiday. Be ready to party … or rodeo … or trail ride … or show! All the horsey fun stuff is happening and Rainbow can help. Gather supplies, find a new outfit, or keep flies from bothering your ponies – all at Rainbow Ag!

We all know that Independence Day means fireworks. They are one enduring way to celebrate our beloved American way of life. Enjoy them! But please prepare your pets and livestock to be as safe as possible.

Some horses don’t seem to notice fireworks; others are panicked. If your horse is sensitive to the noise and flashes, now is the time to contact your vet if you think that tranquilizers are needed. Most of the tips for keeping our horses safe also apply to our dogs and cats, and the 5th of July is one of the busiest days for animal shelters and animal control workers, as they deal with lost and frightened pets. Make a plan now to keep all your fur-iends safe, then enjoy the Independence Day Holiday!

Summer is Fair and Show season, and here is a wonderful way to prepare for the upcoming Showmanship competitions for equine competitors.

Tuesday, July 12 at White Dog Ranch in Potter Valley, join in an Equine Showmanship Clinic presented by White Dog Ranch and Purina. Trainer and instructor Angie Meroshnekoff and Purina representative Lauren Traynor-Nieman will cover the basic elements of Equine Showmanship with plenty of time to ask questions and get you prepared for the fairs.

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When we are traveling with our horses, having a convenient way to serve up the hay is especially important. Even at home, a hay net is very useful. Slow feeder hay nets are great for providing hay but making the horse slow down and take his time eating. Slow feeding promotes health benefits and reduces hay supply expenses for ranch owners. Slow-feed hay nets encourage horses and cattle to slow down and eat at a natural grazing pace—this prevents overeating and reduces the risk of ulcers, colic, and founder. With Texas Haynet, animals waste 50% less hay than they would without a net, which means your bales will last much longer. Not only do these hay nets decrease waste, but they improve digestion and reduce animals’ overall health risks. Check out the new Texas Haynets at Rainbow stores now!

So, how does your feed room shape up? Are there sacks of feed stacked on the floor? Tubs of supplements stacked on the shelf? Do you spend a lot of time scooping feed and supplements into baggies at your boarding stable?

Let’s discuss some best practices when it comes to feed room management:

  • Rotation of supplements – a food safety term for this is “FIFO” first in, first out. Make sure you are using up older products first. Don’t just pour new feed on top of any leftover grain at the bottom of the bin.
  • Clean & sanitize feed tubs and grain containers on a routine basis.
  • Biosecurity tip – dedicate feed pans to horses, do not mix and match around feed pans as that can rapidly spread disease from one horse to another. Consider using feed pans that disinfect easily. Worn out rubber pans can hide disease in their fibers or tears.
  • Monitor for pests or contamination of feeds from rodents or birds. These critters can also be spreading disease or unwanted contaminants in your feed. Use containers that are pest resistant & consider hiring a barn cat or two.
  • Save the important information from your grain bag before you toss it in the trash or recycle. Julian dates or batch codes are essential for manufacturers to track any issues from a grain or feed supplement. Some companies will print their key information along the bottom of the bag or on the feed tag. Check with your preferred feed company for what they need you to save from their product.
  • Give the feed room a good cobwebbing occasionally. Not only does this create an overall tidier appearance but also reduces fire hazard from old, dusty built-up cobwebs.

Trivia Contest

Trivia Time! Enter to win a $15.00 Rainbow Coupon, good on any purchase at any Rainbow store.
The June questions was, what is an example of a legume hay? The correct answer is Alfalfa or Clover, and our winner is Carolyn Stevens.

The July question is, according to the AAEP (American Association of Equine Practitioners) Fireworks Safety For Horses tips, one should leave the lights _______ to reduce the flash of fireworks.

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