Horse Care Tips
Here are some helpful guides and links to help you understand what it takes to care for your horse.
Stable Management Basics
We occasionally offer stable management clinics and include stable management components in our lessons.
What is stable management?
Stable management covers everything else but riding your horse. It includes all aspects of owning and looking after a horse. This can include, but is not limited to: tack and saddlery, grooming, feeding, foot care and shoeing, bandaging and wraps, first aid, anatomy of the horse, conformation, conditioning, lameness and a lot more.
Stable managers take on full responsibility for all horses in their stable. If there are several, this can be a challenge – making sure each individual is turned out and fed at the right times, that none of them get bullied by the more dominant horses and that any medical or other special needs are met. A horse needs a person to look out for it. It does not stop needing care for Christmas or the Summer holidays and therefore a stable manager’s job never ends.
Done properly, stable management is a full-time job – and a demanding one at that. It is everything about looking after horses in order to make sure they are healthy, happy and safe.
Why learn stable management?
If you have your horse fully boarded you will have people to do most of your stable management for you, but you should still know what they do and why they do it. It is the responsibility of the horse owner, whether they have their horse boarded or not, to know exactly what their horse’s needs are at any given time. Every owner or rider should know the basics of stable management, even if you lease or ride a school horse. It is only fair to the horse that the person who rides it most knows how to care for it.
Children especially can get plenty out of stable management. When they are looking after someone else, namely their horse, they are putting that someone else first. They will also start to appreciate how big a job it is to look after a horse and more importantly it will improve the connection between the child and their pony.
And the biggest reason, IT IS FUN!
As many as 50% of equestrians lack education regarding their horse’s physiological responses to environmental temperatures, which can pose quite a risk to the welfare of an animal. Sometimes even good intentions lead to undesirable consequences. For instance, on warm January days at our stable I’ve removed clients’ heavy blankets only to discover a sweaty horse underneath. The clients never asked barn staff to manage their blanketing.
Monitoring the weather and being able to make blanketing changes, or have them done for you, is just another layer of responsibility for horse owners. Of course, not all horses nor environments are created equal. Have questions about blanketing? See the guides we posted in the link.