A Horse’s Christmas List
This is not a list about the newest latest and greatest products for horses. The shiny new things are fun (and important) but your horse doesn’t care if you have the hottest new breeches or the spiffiest helmet. Chances are, the things on their list are a little bit different than you might think. Here are a few things that I am guessing your horse (or at least my horse) has on his list for Santa this year:
1. A saddle that fits: This is so important and often overlooked. A proper fitting saddle is the foundation for a calm and relaxed back. Even if you had your saddle fit when you purchased it (years and years ago) it is an important thing to do at least 1-2 times a year. Things change throughout the months. Your horse may gain or lose weight/muscle, the flocking may shift, etc. Ask Santa to schedule a saddle fitting for your horse.
2. High quality blankets: If your horse needs a blanket during the colder months, don’t skimp and buy the cheapies. Make sure to get proper fitting blankets that are waterproof and will last. Don’t be afraid to try several different blankets on your horse….make sure that there is plenty of room in the shoulders and there aren’t any tight areas. Look for 1800D, especially if your horse likes to destroy them.
3. Good grooming tools: Not only is grooming important for a horse’s physical well being, but it is also an important part in developing and fostering your relationship. Every horse has different preferences. Take the time to try different brushes, curry combs and locations to find what makes your horse happy. Seven’s favorite grooming tool are those tiny little pebble mits (he doesn’t like any other kind of curry comb). My favorite grooming tool is Cowboy Magic detangler!!
4. Their favorite spot in the barn: This might not be feasible for everybody. But try to look at the details and find out where your horse is happiest in the barn. Do they hate their neighbor? I imagine that having a bad stall neighbor is like having a bad roommate (ugh, the worst!!) Look at your horse and the clues that they leave behind to find out how happy they are. Stop by at different times of the day and sit back and watch their behavior in the stall, notice the shavings, is the manure ground up into a gazillion pieces because your horse is unhappy and pacing? Are boards getting broken, or are there hoof marks on the walls? Give your horse a happy home!
5. Get the good hay. Seriously. Your horse will thank you.
6. Time: This is the toughest one of all. Our everyday lives get so busy. We usually manage to squeeze in a quick ride, or a fast trip to the barn just check in on things. But when was the last time you just went to “hang out” with our horse? I mean, no schedule, no cell phones, just relaxed fun. Go on a trail ride, or have fun riding bareback (with proper safety gear, please). Just BE with your horse. Trust me, it will do wonders for both of you. Have fun!!
And….A stocking full of carrots and peppermints is always appreciated.