The Horse Upkeep and Care

Good care… Wonderful Horse

“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”  quote from Winston Churchill.

One could also say that, “there is something about the outside of a horse that reflects the inside of a man.”

It is absolutely essential to look after our horses, to love them and to value them if we ever hope for others to value them too.

Points of the horse

 If we value our horses it is essential to care for them in the correct manner.  Good food, regular deworming and hoof trimming are the beginnings.

Percheron horses have an inherent good nature but if they are beaten and traumatised they become unmanageable, even dangerous.  Unmanageable, thin, small horses are not valuable so it is in our interests to understand the best principals of feeding and handling our horses.

Heavy Draft horses have slow metabolisms and different muscle development to other horses and so they require a totally different approach to feeding.  If you want a big horse you have to feed big and on the correct feed.

Heavy Draft horses are sugar sensitive and intolerant so it is not advisable to feed them grain or molasses.  High starch and sugar diets lead to muscle cramps, especially in the back legs, and laminitis in the front hooves and colic.

Heavy Draft horses do best on baled lusern (not fresh) and a concentrate made from lusern and wheaten bran or fibre beet (already has lusern in it).  Or one can feed mix 1part lusern pellets with 2 parts speedibeet.

One of the best and safest concentrates is Prof. Fanus Cilliers of Camelus’ horse pellets. Outeniqua Moon has been using them for years with spectacular results.  All concentrates must be wet when fed to be safe with colic. Dry pellets hitting the stomach can suck up all the moisture and cause a blockage which can lead ultimately to the death of the horse.

Green oat hay is a recipe for disaster and feeding mielies is completely out.  It is unadvisable to feed oats and mature oat hay.
It is also important to give a good vitamin supplement.  One of the best and less expensive ones is Equivita.  Game licks are all very well but they do not give a comprehensive overall balanced supplement for horses. They can also work out more expensive because the horse tends to bite chunks out of it and go through it pretty quickly.

It is also advisable to have a dentist to do your horses teeth at least every 2 years, once a year is good though.
All this may seem excessive but in the long run it pays off with good management.  We will be doing workshops for anyone who is interested and if you have any queries please contact us>

Fitting a Harness.

How to measure a horse to harness

1.      A Top of wither

2.      Measure from point A through point B all the way around the neck back to point A for the Collar or Brollar.  NB Make sure point B is 3 fingers below where the wind pipe joins the horse’s body. A collar or a breast plate should not press upon the wind pipe and restrict the horses breathing.

3.      Measure from point C through point D all the way around the girth back to C

4.      Measure from point E through point Fall the way around the body back to E

5.      Measure from point E to point F

6.      Measure from point C to point G

7.      Measure from point G to point I

8.      Measure from point G to point H