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Although the majority of horses are shod, there is a large – and growing – number which are kept barefoot. There are many health benefits to a barefoot horse, which include the feet being able to assume a more natural shape, and able to grow freely.

Barefoot horse’s feet are just as strong as the shod ones, in fact they are generally stronger, having been left out in the elements to toughen up – rather like what would happen to people’s feet if everyone decided to ditch shoes for good and wander around barefoot! There can also be health reasons for leaving a horse unshod – for example severe laminitis – so it is more common than people are led to believe.

Best Hoof Boots Reviews

If you have a barefoot horse but you want to give them some protection from hard roads and riding tracks, then you may wish to look into what are the best hoof boots for horses. To make it easier for you we have picked out three of the hottest contenders:

  1. Cavello Trek Slim Sole Hoof Boot
  2. Cavello Simple Hoof Boot For Horses
  3. EasyCare Easyboot Cloud Hoof Boot
1. Cavello Trek Slim Sole Hoof Boot Review

This boot offers total protection and comfort to the barefoot horse. It supports the frog and has a built in skid brake, perfect for an all-terrain boot! It is lightweight, with a breathable upper for ventilation.

Pros
  • Can be bought singly – This makes them ideal for temporarily replacing one lost shoe, and for horses with odd-sized hooves or for rehab.
  • Easy to get on and off – The patented Velcro® recloseable system is simple to secure and remove, yet strong enough to withstand some serious galloping.
  • Durable and strong for long life – The honeycomb upper design is very tough. Made of Pro Mesh moulded TPU, it is made to stand up to abrasions and tears.
  • Fits left or right hooves – This is great because it means you don’t have to worry about buying specific boots for specific feet, and if you lose one then you can just put on the spare without worrying that it’s for the wrong foot!
Cons
  • The tread may wear quickly – You may be expecting years of use from these boots, but if you ride over very hard terrain then the tread may disappear faster than you want it to.
Recommendation

Simply a functional, convenient and high quality solution for those who do not wish, or cannot, get their horses shod. They are lightweight enough that the horse can move freely, yet strong and durable enough for some serious riding. If you are looking to protect your horse’s feet and move away from conventional shoeing, this boot is ideal.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

2. Cavello Simple Hoof Boot For Horses Review

This is an all-terrain boot suitable for just about any horse, particularly those recovering from laminitis, navicular, abscesses or injuries. Perfect for taking out and about with you if your horse is shod – no more worrying about limping home with one shoe missing!

Pros
  • Highest quality materials – This boot is made from genuine leather, which is hard wearing and strong. It is also comfortable and flexible enough that your horse can move about freely.
  • Comes in pairs – You can choose to have fronts or backs, and you will receive a pair of each, meaning that your horse will be fully balanced (and your bank account will thank you; who doesn’t love a two-for-one?)
  • Strong Velcro fastening stays on even through water – You won’t have to worry about replacing the Velcro (although that is an option with these boots) as it is strong and stable enough to survive even sloshing through waterways.
  • Great value for money – Because they last so long, you shouldn’t have to invest money replacing these boots – unless you accidentally leave one behind at a show!
Cons
  • Can allow mud and debris in – The ventilation holes have been known to let in the odd bit of mud and dirt, which is not ideal if you are trying to keep an abscessed foot clean.
Recommendation

A high quality boot suitable for just about any horse, these boots can make even the most sensitive-footed equine much more comfortable. It is worth bearing in mind that if you are buying them to cover an injury or abscess, you should order a bigger size to allow room for the packing material over the wound.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

3. EasyCare Easyboot Cloud Hoof Boot Review

The Easyboot Cloud is designed for the horse that is suffering or recovering from chronic lameness caused by arthritis, laminitis, injuries or just general hoof problems. They are designed to be worn at any time, so your sore-footed friend can even wear them while turned out.

Pros
  • Aids free movement – This sounds like a small thing, but being lightweight and comfortable means your horse can move about, thus drastically improving his chances of a full recovery following injury or illness.
  • Three air vents for air circulation – This is particularly important if your horse is going to be wearing the boots for a long time; keeping good air flow minimises the chances of bacteria and infection.
  • Removable EVA pad for comfort – This provides support to the sole, but is removable, meaning that if it no longer needed or it’s adding too much to the size of the boot you can just take it out.
  • Padded for extra comfort – If your horse is going to be wearing these for a while then you will want to know he’s comfortable. With added padding around the pastern, you will be comfortable in the knowledge he is as comfy as he can be.
Cons
  • Can become waterlogged – Due to a lack of drainage hole, if your paddock becomes a pool then these boots can fill up with water.
Recommendation

Great for the horse who has chronic or acute lameness problems or foot issues, these boots are a great temporary fix. They will support the entire hoof, and ensure that no muck or bacteria get to the affected area.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Frequently Asked Questions 1. How long will high quality hoof boots last?

Just as with your own running shoes, the life of your horse’s hoof boots depends on a lot of different factors, such as:

  • How well you take care of your horse’s hooves
  • How well you take care of the boots
  • The type of terrain you cover
  • How often you use the boots
  • How fast you travel
  • Your horse’s gait

On average, top quality hoof boots can last a year or two; however, many trail riders report using good boots for even longer than that.

2. How do you measure your horse’s hooves for boots?

Measure each hoof individually, from front-to-back and from side-to-side. Measure from the toe to the buttress line of the hoof. Don’t measure the heel bulbs. Measure the width of each hoof across the widest aspect of the hoof.

3. Should horses wear boots on all four hooves?

Most riders just use hoof boots on the front hooves. Some use them only on the rear hooves. In some situations, you might decide to put boots on all four hooves.

4. How can you tell if your horse needs boots on the hind hooves?

There are a number of factors to consider when determining whether or not your horse needs hind hoof boots. Among them are:

  • The type of terrain you are covering
  • The internal health of your horse’s hooves
  • Hoof injuries or tenderness in the hind hooves
5. Why is it best to have boots on the front hooves?

Horses carry about seventy percent of their weight and yours on the front legs. The back legs are mainly used for propulsion. Hoof conditions and diseases, such as:

  • Calcification
  • Abscesses
  • Laminitis
  • Bruising

…occur mostly on the front hooves. That’s why it’s usually a good idea to start out with front hoof boots and see how it goes. If you decide your horse needs boots on the rear hooves as well, you can always add them.

6. How long does it take to break in hoof boots?

The break-in process for new hoof boots is very similar to the break-in process for new shoes. Allow your horse to wear the boots for fifteen or twenty minutes at a time until he is completely comfortable wearing them. Riding through water can speed up the break in process. If the boots you choose have leather components, softening those with a good leather conditioner will help reduce stiffness.

7. Can hoof boots be worn for extended periods of time?

Once your horse is used to them, he can certainly wear them for long rides. Be sure to take them off at break time during trail rides to check for stones and simply give your horse a rest/change.

If your horse is wearing boots because of a hoof condition or injury, naturally you can leave them on most of the time. Take them off for a while every day to allow your horse’s hooves to “breathe” and let the boots air out. Check for chafing and any other problems during this break time. You may wish to have two sets of boots and switch them out daily.

8. Is it safe to leave a horse in hoof boots for an extended period of time?

Properly fitted hoof boots should be safe for your horse to wear most of the time. You may wish to use duct tape to secure straps and prevent them from flapping and possibly getting caught or damaged.

9. How can you prevent dirt and bacteria buildup in hoof boots?

When you allow your horse’s hoof boots to air, first wipe them out with a damp cloth to remove excess dirt. Spray the insides of the boots with a 50/50 mix of water and apple cider vinegar. Place the boots in an area with good air circulation to dry.

10. Can hoof boots be worn over traditional metal horseshoes?

Using hoof boots over horseshoes is a good way to provide extra shock absorption on pavement. Many riders use both hoof boots and metal horseshoes for riding in parades and similar activities. This combination is also helpful when transporting horses. It protects against slipping and possible injury while trailering.

11. How can you protect the insides of hoof boots from excessive wear?

The insides of hoof boots take a beating, especially when used in conjunction with metal shoes. You can help protect the interior of hoof boots by purchasing pre-made hoof support pads, or you can make your own using foam padding or thick leather. Use of insoles protects the boot sole from wear. You can just change out the insoles when they begin to show signs of wear.

12. How do you clean hoof boots?

Scrape the soles and outsides with a hoof pick or dull bladed knife if they get muddy. Remove any insoles and wash the boots inside and out with a strong spray from the hose. Set them in a warm, airy place to dry thoroughly before the next use.

13. Are hoof boots good for endurance riding?

Many serious endurance riders prefer hoof boots to traditional horseshoes. Hoof boots protect the whole hoof against injury and wear. They also provide better traction than metal shoes.

14. Can you use traction studs with hoof boots?

Yes, many riders use traction studs or screws to add more traction to the soles of hoof boots. This helps make riding on wet grass, ice or snow a little bit safer. Just take care that the sole of your horse’s hoof is well protected from contact with these additions. Insoles (as described above) can help with this.

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking to go barefoot because you think your horse should be as natural as can be, or if you are looking into what are the best hoof boots for horses because of a medical issue, hoof boots can be a real saviour.

If you’re looking for a hard wearing all round great hoof boot then go for the Cavello Trek Slim Sole Hoof Boot. If you need high quality leather pairs of boots, then opt for Cavello Simple Hoof Boot For Horses. If your best friend has a hoof issue and is in need of something to keep his feet safe, clean and comfortable, then try the EasyCare Easyboot Cloud Hoof Boot.

The post What Are The Best Hoof Boots For Horses On The Market? appeared first on Horses & Foals.

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If you keep your horse in a stable, even for a few hours a day, one of your biggest jobs will be mucking out and keeping everything clean. I can hear the groans from here! But it doesn’t have to be an endless slog of swilling urine from uneven floors, or scraping up those bits of poo that get stuck in the cracks of the concrete.

If you invest in some good stable matting, not only will the job of mucking out be easier but it will also be more comfortable for your horse. If you use bedding on top and he has a bed of shavings or straw, putting down stable matting will give a good firm base for the bedding to rest on, and if you choose to opt for just matting then many of them have anti slip properties meaning your horse will stay safer in his stall too.

Best Horse Stall Mat Reviews

Where do you find the best horse stall mats? Well, we have reviewed three of the finest ones out there to take the hassle out of finding them:

Image Stall Mats Price
Rubber-Cal Shark Tooth Heavy Duty Mat

A thick heavy duty solution to your stable.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
TOP PICK: Equine Stall Mat

A thinner but well made and durable mat.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Rubber Mat Flooring

An all round long lasting stable mat.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
1. Rubber-Cal Shark Tooth Heavy Duty Mat Review

These are great thick stable mats, which provide the ultimate in comfort and are easy to clean. Exactly what you’re looking for in any stable mat, let’s be honest!

Pros
  • Thick cushioning is anti slip and anti fatigue – You won’t have to worry about the mats shifting around, even if your horse starts pawing at them, and they should last a good long time.
  • Available in three sizes at ¾ inch thickness – This means that you can work out the size you need and only buy the amount you need, without having to worry about what to do with off cuts.
  • Made from recycled rubber crumb – Using old tyres to make rubber matting is not only great for the environment, but it is a fantastic material for this type of application, being super strong and durable.
  • Contains a high EPDM content – This means your stable matting will be resistant to wear and tear from UV as well as physical damage.
Cons
  • Can shed rubber particles – When you first lay it, you should sweep the matting vigorously to remove any loose bits of rubber that a horse may find tempting to nibble on.
Recommendation

A very heavy duty solution to your stable matting search, this one will last and last. It is also nicely thick, so will cushion your horse’s feet meaning he will be extra comfortable in his stall.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

2. Equine Stall Mat Review

A thick, well made piece of kit, this rubber matting will be a useful addition to your stabling. It is rugged enough to withstand a bit of pawing and abuse, and long lasting enough to keep your horse comfortable for a long time to come.

Pros
  • Relatively light – Unlike some of the heavier matting, this one is just about suitable for laying by yourself.
  • Textured surface for reducing slippage – This is important, especially in a stable where there will almost certainly be moisture from where your horse has relieved himself or knocked over his water bucket!
  • Made from recycled rubber – This is not only a great way of using up old tyres, but also makes this rubber matting a strong, long lasting product which can stand up to any amount of abuse.
  • Slim but substantial – These mats have a thinner look than some others, but are still strong enough to be perfect for laying on stable floors.
Cons
  • It’s quite expensive – Compared to some stall mats this one is pretty pricey, but remember that you are paying for quality that will last for a long time, and that will take some of the pain out of the purchase!
Recommendation

Although this mat looks a lot thinner than some of the others on the market, don’t be fooled – it’s well made and durable, and will stand up to a lot of hard wear. Also, being thinner means that you don’t have to draft in friends and neighbours to help you lay it!

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

3. Rubber Mat Flooring Review

This is the height of luxury for stable matting. Made from recycled rubber tyres, this matting is heavy duty, strong and sturdy, and will make the stable comfortable for your horse – and the job of mucking out easier for you!

Pros
  • Incredibly strong and durable – Even if you have a horse who likes to scrape up his bedding and paw the floor of his stable, this mat can withstand it. You won’t have to replace it any time soon!
  • Comes with a smooth top surface or a diamond plate surface – You can opt for the smooth if your horse doesn’t mess around much in the stall, or the diamond plate if you think he is liable to slipping.
  • The mats won’t move around – Because they weigh a pretty hefty 115lbs per mat, you won’t have to worry about them shifting around and making the floor uneven.
  • Made from recycled materials – For those of us concerned with the environment, it is nice to know that some old tyres have been put to good use to make this flooring and not put in a landfill.
Cons
  • They are really heavy – If you are planning to put this stable matting down by yourself, make sure you’ve had a good breakfast – or better still, enlist some help.
Recommendation

This is a fantastic all round stable mat, which is long lasting and strong enough to hold the weight of even the heaviest horse. It will provide cushioning and a wipe clean surface for when you get around to mucking out.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Conclusion

Stable mats are an invaluable resource, and one that will save you a lot of time mucking out – you can just scoop your horse’s leavings off the top and hose down the mats if you are not using extra bedding, or if you are, just scoop and hose and put down fresh bed and you’re away! The best horse stall mats will save you a lot of time and energy while caring for your horse, and will make your horse’s stable experience a whole lot nicer too by preventing hoof, leg and joint problems.

The post What Are Best Horse Stall Mats On The Market? appeared first on Horses & Foals.

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Lunging is a fantastic exercise for your horse. It helps them to move on the ground in a natural bend, which can improve muscle tone and fitness, and it can also help to get rid of any “itchy feet” if you do it before a hack, meaning that you can enjoy a calmer, more relaxed ride. It’s also a great way to engage your horse’s brain and make sure he is thinking, and paying attention to you.

Lunging can also help you to see any issues your horse may be having, as it is done from the ground so you can get a good look at how he is moving and check for any issues. Lunge lines can also be used for long reining, which is a great exercise to train young horses, or get a horse ready to learn how to pull a cart.

Best Lunge Line For Horses Reviews

Obviously, a good lunge line is very important. But where do you find such a thing? You can pick up any old lunge line at a tack sale, or maybe you have one lying around in the tack room somewhere – but wouldn’t it be nice to have a brand new shiny one? We have reviewed three of the best lunge lines out there, to take the hard work out of finding one!

Image Lunging Lines Price
Hamilton 1 Single Thick Nylon Lounge Line

A great lunge line, and value for money.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
TOP PICK: Cotton Lunge Line With Rubber Stop

A soft, natural product, both in look and construction.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Southwestern Flat Cotton Web Lunge Line

Gentle on the hands and on the pocket + a swivelling snap.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
1. Hamilton 1 Single Thick Nylon Horse Lounge Line Review

This is a highly durable lunge line, great for the horse who likes to take an unexpected tug on the rope as it will withstand just about any amount of abuse. It is very heavy duty, and should last you for years and years.

Pros
  • Box stitching ensures a long life – There is nothing worse than having a good product give up you because of faulty stitching. This one uses an especially strong stitch to make sure that this doesn’t happen.
  • Made by a household brand – Hamilton are well known and recognised as makers of good quality products, so you know you’re buying a lunge line that will last.
  • Comes in a range of colors – For those who want to match their tack, this is a great option as you can choose the main color of your lunge line.
  • Useful handle on the end of the line – It is helpful to have a fail-safe that means you can keep hold of your horse if he decides to take off, trailing the rest of the 26 feet behind him!
Cons
  • Can cause rope burn – Wearing gloves while using this line is a must; because of its nylon construction, one sharp tug running through your hand could be very painful.
Recommendation

A great lunge line, for a small price, this one will perform the job well and will last you for years to come.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

2. Cotton Lunge Line 35’ With Rubber Stop Review

This is a soft, well made piece of equipment that can revolutionise your lunging techniques. If you have been put off by hard lines in the past, you can restore your faith in lunging with this lovely rope.

Pros
  • 35 feet long gives you a lot of room to play with – You can choose whether you want to lunge on a long or short line; starting shorter is best but with this one you have the freedom to let your horse out the full distance.
  • Cotton construction is hard wearing – The fabric rope is very strong, and won’t hurt your hands as much as a nylon rope can.
  • Natural color – If you have a horse who baulks at bright colors you will be looking for something which is easy on the eye. This rope will practically blend in with the scenery!
  • Rubber stop at the end of the rope – It is very helpful to have something at the end of the rope to catch your horse if he takes off, and this rubber stop will be kind to your hands as well as effective
Cons
  • Can feel too long – Especially if you are used to keeping your horse on a short line, there may be enough of this rope to tangle up.
Recommendation

For those who want a natural product, both in look and construction, this is the lunge line for you.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

3. Southwestern Equine 35’ Flat Cotton Web Lunge Line With Bolt Snap And Rubber Stop Review

This lunge line combines the best of all the worlds – it is made from soft yet durable cotton, comes in fantastic colors, and has a useful rubber stop and swivel clip. What more could you ask for?

Pros
  • Snap and swivel clip – The fact that the clip moves around to follow your horse’s movements is a fantastic plus, as it means he won’t be troubled by a clip pulling on his halter when he moves.
  • Cotton construction for comfort and strength – Cotton is a very strong material, and it has the added bonus of being kind to your hands.
  • Rubber stop at the end of the line – If your horses does decide to tank off, there is no chance that he will be able to whisk the line out of your hands with this useful addition.
  • Comes in fantastic colors – You can choose what shade you want your lunge line to be, which is great for those of us who want matchy tack.
Cons
  • Can be a little too long – There are very few downsides to this lunge line, but one complaint might be that having too much extra rope can get tangled if you like to keep your horse in a smaller circle.
Recommendation

This rope is gentle on the hands and on the pocket, and will help your horse have a more enjoyable experience too, thanks to the swivelling snap.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Conclusion

Lunging is a great exercise for your horse, and can help you to see any issues he may have. Lunging can be done in a round pen, a ménage, or even out in the field – it’s a very versatile activity. So you will need a versatile rope, and to make sure you’ve found the best one you can. You may well have just done that!

The post What Is The Best Lunge Line For Horses On The Market? appeared first on Horses & Foals.

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Of course, as we all know, keeping a horse comes with a lot of added extras. You’ve got the shoes, the tack, the fancy boots – but what about rugs? Unless you have a woolly mammoth of a horse who never feels the cold, you’re going to need to rug him at some point (and even if your mammoth doesn’t feel the cold he might like a little light cover after a particularly sweaty ride).

But which is the best horse blanket? This depends on what sort of rug you are looking for; be it a heavyweight winter warmer or a light turnout rug or something in between.

Best Horse Blanket Reviews

Buying a rug can be a confusing business though! We have taken the hard work out of shopping for your horse’s ideal wardrobe, and have compiled a list of the best for you to peruse…

Image Horse Blankets Price
Tough 1 Waterproof Turnout Blanket

A good all round rug which will keep your horse dry.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
TOP PICK: AJ Tack Waterproof Blanket

A great winter jacket for the horse who needs to keep warm.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Hilason Blanket With Detachable Neck

A great addition to your horse’s winter wardrobe.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
1. Tough 1 Timber 1200D Waterproof Poly Snuggit Turnout Blanket Review

This great sheet is ideal for horses who are turned out without a field shelter. It is strong and long lasting, and will keep him warm and dry whilst also being comfortable.

Pros
  • 1200 denier ripstop outer shell – The durability of ripstop is legendary, so you shouldn’t have to deal with rips and tears. It is also waterproof, so will stop your horse getting cold and wet.
  • 250 grams of Polyfill inside the rug – This material is a great insulator, so it will keep your horse warm and protected against cold winds.
  • Protection around the withers – There is nothing worse than a rug which rubs raw patches into the skin, or a mane that is rubbed away by the edges of a rug. This one has fleece protection around the withers for comfort.
  • Adjustable size to fit your horse comfortably – The fact that you can play with the straps to make it customised to your horse is a great feature of this rug. It will also prevent slipping and coming to see your horse to find his rug trailing on the floor.
Cons
  • The color has been reported to be a little misleading – Although the picture looks quite autumnal, in reality some users say that it is not a very “masculine” look for their geldings!
Recommendation

This is a good all round rug which will keep your horse warm and dry in all but the very worst weather. It has the added bonus of a soft lining that will help to keep the coat shiny – perfect for those days you don’t want to spend hours grooming!

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

2. AJ Tack Heavyweight Horse Turnout 1200D Rip Stop Waterproof Blanket Review

A fantastic, hardy, heavyweight rug which is perfect for the coldest of winters, this one is warm and waterproof and will keep your horse toasty warm and comfortable.

Pros
  • 400g heavyweight Polyfill insulation – This extra padding makes this rug ideal for a cold winter or an exposed field, even without an undersheet.
  • Tail flap to prevent rain running down the inside of the legs – I can’t imagine anything worse than having a great warm coat, which allowed rain to drip down inside! The tail flap will direct the rain away from your horse’s sensitive areas.
  • Fleece collar for comfort – Having a good thick lining around the edge of the rug where it touches your horse’s withers is a great feature and makes the rug more comfortable because it won’t rub.
  • 1200 denier ripstop outer – This means the outside of the rug is strong enough to withstand bramble scratches, and will be waterproof to prevent your horse getting cold and damp.
Cons
  • Rug can shift to the side – It is worth checking the fit to make sure it is snug enough to avoid the rug slipping.
Recommendation

This is a great winter jacket for the thin-coated horse who needs to keep warm, or for those really chilly days when being exposed to the elements is no fun for man or beast. It is so well made and durable that it should last you for many winters to come!

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

3. Hilason 1200D Horse Winter Waterproof Blanket With Detachable Neck Review

A perfect waterproof winter rug, this one will keep your best friend snugly till spring! Made of strong, long lasting materials it can withstand just about anything your horse decides to throw at it.

Pros
  • Polyester and ripstop outer – The combination of these waterproof and strong materials means this rug should last and last, and keep your horse dry while it does so!
  • Double stitched and reinforced – This is a great rug for those who like a bit of acrobatics in the field, as it is very unlikely to rip or fall apart.
  • Comes with a free belly strap – This is a great addition to a rug as it can help to lock in that little bit more warmth. The fact that it is detachable means you can use it or not, depending on the weather.
  • Comes in a huge range of colours – Great for making an eyecatching statement in the field, or for colour coordinating your horse accessories (until he rolls in the mud, that is!)
Cons
  • Clips may need replacing – It has been reported that the clips are not as a high quality as the rest of the rug, and may need swapping for more heavy duty ones.
Recommendation

This is a great addition to your horse’s winter wardrobe, and it will be worth every penny when your horse stays warm and cosy in the field instead of greeting you with irritation because he’s been cold all night.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Conclusion

Horse blankets are an essential part of horse owning and training, especially if you live in a cold part of the world or keep your horse in a place where he has no shelter. Rugs can help keep the horse warm, meaning he has to expend less energy doing it himself so he will keep weight on better, and generally stay in better condition and be healthier. Also, it’s no fun standing out for hours in the cold and wet, is it? Your horse will thank you for his nice new warm winter jacket!

The post What Is The Best Horse Blanket On The Market? appeared first on Horses & Foals.

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A good bra is essential in day to day life to prevent back pain, shoulder ache and give you good posture. A good bra is ABSOLUTELY essential in horseriding because of the motion of the horse, which can cause pain if you are not wearing a correctly fitting, well supported bra.

For the larger busted ladies among us, this pain can be unbearable, and can make riding at anything faster than a walk very uncomfortable. Even at an ambling walk you would be surprised at how much extra motion there is, and as for a headlong gallop – well, let’s just say you really do need a good bra. (And we won’t even mention the sitting trot.)

Best Horse Riding Bra Reviews

But which is the best horseriding bra to go for? You will find that there are a lot of retailers trying to sell you one, and you would be forgiven for being overwhelmed with choice! To help you in your decision, here are three of the best, tried and tested by myself.

Image Bras Price
Syrokan High Impact Support

A great bra that will support you through your longest trails.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
TOP PICK: Cheata Trotter Bra

A perfect bra for hard riding, and for the bigger busted rider.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Boobuddy Adjustable High Impact Bra

A support bra that is medically designed to keep you stable.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
1. Syrokan High Impact Support Wireless Mesh Racerback Review

This is a fantastically supportive sports-type bra, ideal for horse riding due to its strength and comfort. It is wireless, so you won’t have to worry about painful spiky bits coming loose and jabbing your skin. The racer back style allows complete freedom of movement and is perfect for any style of riding you take part in.

Pros
  • Mesh for targeted ventilation – Having mesh makes a garment more breathable, and this one has mesh in the most, ahem, sweaty places, meaning that you will stay comfortable without getting overheated.
  • Slight padding across the breast – This offers extra protection for your most sensitive areas in case of any knocks. Some people don’t like the extra padding, but it is for protection rather than any cosmetic value.
  • Helps to spread the weight across your back – Carrying any heavy weight in front can make your back sore, even if these weights are attached to you! Spreading out the load can prevent aches and pains from a long ride the following day.
  • Polyamide and spandex construction – This stretchy fabric really lends itself to bras designed for activity, as it is supportive while also being flexible enough that you can move comfortably.
Cons
  • Sizes run a bit small – Best to order on the large size, especially if you know you are already on the bigger end of the scale and need a bit of extra support.
Recommendation

A great bra for horseriding, this one will support you through your longest trails and most hair raising rides. You won’t get too hot in it, and you will really notice the difference by the end of the day.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

2. Cheata Trotter Bra Review

This one looks like more of a top than a bra, but it offers amazing support due to the underlying structure. Even at a sitting trot, you won’t notice any uncomfortable bouncing about!

Pros
  • Offers the stability of layering 2-3 sports bras – This is just what you need if you have a particularly bouncy mount, or if you are out on a very long ride.
  • Really helps with posture – Especially for the larger lady, having good support can help you hold yourself tall and feel comfortable, while spreading out the support will really help your back muscles.
  • Can reduce your outline – Especially for showing, being able to see your horse’s ears is very handy! This bra will help reduce what you were born with to a more manageable size – and also means your shirts will fit better.
  • Will not stretch or break down from repeated wearing – Unlike some bras, this one will not stretch out or become saggy no matter how often you wear it, meaning that it will support you for years to come.
Cons
  • It takes a bit of time to get into – Because it is SO supportive, it can be a bit tricky to get on and off the first few times. Persevere, it’s worth it!
Recommendation

This is the perfect bra for hard riding, and for the bigger busted rider. It has a lot of support, and the low positioning of the under band makes it very comfortable and easy to adjust before and during a ride.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

3. Boobuddy Adjustable High Impact Review

This is a horseriding bra with a bit of a difference. It looks quite unusual compared to some others, but be assured that it will do the job of containing you and preventing pain, ligament damage and other injury.

Pros
  • Designed for medical support – This bra was first made to support breast augmentation and other surgeries, so it is based in the ultimate supportive foundations. This means you can be sure of its credentials as a really good bra.
  • Reduces vertical and lateral movement – While some bras only stop up and down movement, this one will also help reduce side to side movement as well – perfect for those spooky moments!
  • Nylon, Elastomer and Polyester construction – These fabrics are all stretchy, meaning that they will support you as well as move with your body and be comfortable.
  • Easy sizing guide – Unlike some bras which seem to need a degree in physics to work out what size you need, this one is based on dress size, making it easy to figure out which size would suit you best.
Cons
  • Sizes run on the large size – It is best to order smaller than you normally would, to avoid having the bra ride up into your armpits and be uncomfortable.
Recommendation

A bra that is medically designed to support and keep you stable while riding? That gets our vote! Added to the fact that it is an unusual, attractive design makes this one a good purchase.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Conclusion

A good bra can turn your rides from being uncomfortable, during and after, to being a pleasure. It’s no good getting off your horse and feeling any more pain than you have to, so making sure you have good chest support is essential. Invest a few pennies in a really good, supportive bra for riding – you will be so happy that you did.

The post What Is The Best Horse Riding Bra On The Market? appeared first on Horses & Foals.

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Having a calm, quiet, collected horse is every rider’s dream. Of course, there are some that are like this naturally, but the vast majority can make a drama out of pretty much nothing. What if I told you there was something you could do to make your horse calmer and more relaxed? And what if I went on to explain that this magical thing was as simple as something you could add to his food?

I bet you’d burst out laughing and tell me to pull the other one! But trust me on this, there are actually supplements out there that you can add to your horse’s dinner that will make him calmer, and so more receptive to your aids.

Best Horse Calming Supplement Reviews

There are so many supplements out there that if you type “best horse calming supplement” into Google you will be swamped with information – which do you go for? I and my wife Nicky have taken the hard work out of this search, and have picked out three of the best for you to choose from.

Image Calming Supplements Price
TOP PICK: Formula 707 Daily Fresh Packs

An easy to administer supplement with proven results.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
SynChill Daily Horse Calming Pellets

A fantastic, all natural calming supplement.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Mare Magic

A great supplement for helping your mare.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
1. Formula 707 Daily Fresh Packs Equine Supplements Review

This is a complete feed that can really help keep your horse calm, collected and focused. It contains ingredients that are specific to maintaining a chilled out horse – which means a chilled out rider! This one offers support for the whole nervous system, making it ideal for those who want to maintain a calm demeanour long term.

Pros
  • Contains L-Tryptophan – This element is renowned for helping serotonin delivery and for decreasing anxiety, making it perfect for the horse who is naturally nervous.
  • Also contains Magnesium – Magnesium Oxide helps with bioavailability and can allow the Tryptophan to spread around the body doing its work.
  • Can help with weight gain – Keeping weight on older horses and certain breeds can be tricky, and this supplement can help put weight on and keep it there, thus improving the whole body system.
  • Ready made packets for convenience – No need to worry if you’re feeding your horse the right amount; it’s measured out for you so you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’re giving the correct dosage.
Cons
  • Apple flavor may be unpalatable – Some horses don’t like artificial flavourings so this may not be suitable for those who spit out anything that doesn’t taste like what they’re used to.
Recommendation

This is a fantastically convenient, easy to administer supplement that has proven results. Giving it to your horse can only do him good, due to the easily available minerals that can help the entire body function better.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

2. SynChill Daily Horse Calming Pellets Review

This supplement is great for the horse who is naturally highly strung. It is equivalent in human terms to taking 5HTP – natural, harmless, and something which can really help with nervousness and unwanted, difficult behaviours.

Pros
  • Contains L-Theanine – This particular element can help with increasing calmness because it enhances activity in the hippocampus.
  • All natural ingredients – Most people don’t want to feed their horse anything artificial, so will love this supplement’s natural composition.
  • Palatable composition – Supplied in an alfalfa base, this one will be attractive and tasty to any horse, meaning that you can guarantee you can get it into him easily!
  • Developed by equine vets – In case you needed any other encouragement that this is a great supplement, the fact that it has been designed and is used by equine vets is a huge boost for its appeal.
Cons
  • It’s pretty pricey – Of course, we all know that we pay for quality. Luckily this supplement delivers, because it is an expensive investment.
Recommendation

A fantastic, all natural supplement that does exactly what it says on the tin. This one can be taken a few hours before a stressful event, or daily for the horse that is naturally highly strung to achieve a long-lasting calm.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

3. Mare Magic Review

As we all know, mares (like some women!) can be a bit hormonal. This can result in some pretty hair raising rides, or even just a lot of drama on the ground, neither of which are ideal for a relaxing environment. You can get a supplement that is specific to mares to help her through this time and which will make her more calm and more fun to be around.

Pros
  • Tones the uterus and helps the reproductive tract – This means that your mare will be much more comfortable during her cycle, which will make her happier and less cranky.
  • Natural ingredients include raspberry leaf – Long used for humans as well as horses, raspberry leaf is specific to the female reproductive system and can help make things easier for horse and rider.
  • One pack lasts a long time – The amount provided will last approximately 240 days, making this a fantastic investment. Nearly a year’s worth of supplement for this price is amazing!
  • Can also be used for geldings – Although this supplement is made to be specific for mares, it can also be used to induce a calm demeanour in geldings, with great effect.
Cons
  • Can affect bowel movements – Because this product is very relaxing, it may have a similar effect on the bowels. Keep an eye out for any unusual movements.
Recommendation

This is a fantastic supplement for helping your mare get through her “time of the month” as well as the rest of the time. There is no need to put up with a “mareish” mare anymore! Just add a bit of this to her feed and be amazed at the change in personality.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Conclusion

We all know that supplements can really help with dietary issues, medical issues, keeping weight on and the like. But the fact that supplements can actually help keep your horse calm and relaxed too is an absolute godsend! Finding a supplement that contains natural ingredients and actually does what it’s meant to is even better. Have a look through the above and see which suits your horse the best, and you can thank us later.

The post What Is The Best Horse Calming Supplement On The Market? appeared first on Horses & Foals.

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Ear plugs for horses? What on earth could be the point of these? It’s not as if your horse is likely to be snuggled up in a stable with a snoring companion; nor are they likely to be spending a lot of time at loud rock concerts. But ear plugs definitely have a use, especially for extra spooky horses who don’t like loud noises.

Imagine the carnage on Bonfire Night, if your horse startles easily and lives close to a place where there will be lots of fireworks! Ear plugs can solve this problem. If your horse goes wild in the indoor arena when it’s raining, you may not know what is bothering him – ever thought that it might be the sound of the rain on the roof? Ear plugs can muffle the noise and keep your horse from his natural “flight” instinct.

Best Horse Ear Plugs Reviews

If you have a sensitive horse who doesn’t like loud noises, ear plugs can be a real life saver. But where do you get them, and what are the best ones to get? To help your decision we have reviewed three of the best:

Image Ear Plugs Price
TOP PICK: Pomms Horse Ear Plugs

Small, light ear plugs do exactly what they’re meant to.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Cashel Ear Plugs With String For Large Horse

A great pair of ear plugs for the larger horse.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
ECP Sheepskin Horse Earplug

A well made pair of ear plugs for sensitive ears.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
1. Equine Healthcare International Pomms Ear Plugs Review

These are simple ear plugs, just what you need to muffle environmental noise and help keep your horse calm and concentrating. They are made of foam so will expand or contract to fit their particular slot, meaning they can be used in a variety of different sized ears.

Pros
  • Foam construction means they don’t fall out easily – There’s nothing worse than having an ear plug fall out at an inopportune moment and your horse suddenly going wild at the unexpected noise!
  • Perfect for big shows – If you are competing on your spooky horse you will need to find a way to block the noise from the spectators and the other horses, and these ear plugs are ideal.
  • They come with their own storage – You won’t have to worry about losing these in the bottom of the tack box as they are supplied with a handy plastic tube to keep them safe.
  • Light and unobtrusive – These little plugs are barely visible, so no one but you would know your horse is wearing them. They are also so light that your horse will barely know either!
Cons
  • They are relatively easy to lose – Because they are not attached to a cord, it can be easy to drop one if your horse shakes his head.
Recommendation

These small, light ear plugs do exactly what they’re meant to, and are an inexpensive solution to your horse turning into a cowboy rodeo pony every time he hears a loud noise.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

2. Cashel Ear Plugs With String For Large Horse Review

These moulded foam ear plugs are specially designed to be narrower at the end to be inserted, which makes putting them in easier. Made for the larger horse, they will prevent loud and startling noises spooking your horse (which is ideal, because the last thing you want when on board a 17hh hunter is to have him spook!)

Pros
  • Plugs are attached to a string – This makes it easier to remove them, and also reduces the chance of losing one if your horse shakes his head.
  • Easy to clean – Simply wash with soapy water and dry with a towel, to remove any residues of ear gunk (nice!)
  • Perfect for muffling noise at shows, shoots and others – Even if you are not planning to go anywhere but your horse goes through the roof at the noise of the clippers, these will help enormously.
  • Easy to insert – Having a narrower end to fit into the ear canal makes putting the ear plugs in fantastically easy, quick and convenient – even for horses that don’t like to be messed with.
Cons
  • Fits larger horses – If you are looking for ear plugs for your Shetland or miniature pony you would be better off looking elsewhere!
Recommendation

These are a great pair of ear plugs for the larger horse. They will prevent spooking caused by loud noises, and they are easy to put in and take out. What more do you need in a pair of ear plugs?

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

3. ECP Sheepskin Horse Earplug Review

These fantastically soft ear plugs will be super comfortable in your horse’s ear, as well as making him more comfortable because he can’t hear scary noises. They are easy to use and easy to clean, and are a must-have addition to your spooky horse’s tack box.

Pros
  • 100% Australian Merino sheepskin construction – This not only makes them soft and comfortable for your horse, they will also be fantastically durable and long-lasting.
  • Comes with a tiny price tag – Unlike most horse equipment, these ear plugs will not require a serious look at your finances!
  • Can be machine washed – This adds to the convenience of these ear plugs. Just make sure you use a cold cycle or a specific wool wash, and air dry somewhere out of the direct sunlight.
  • Prevents background noise to keep your horse calm – Whether you need them for fireworks, shooting, clippers or show noise, these ear plugs will work wonders at keeping your horse calm.
Cons
  • May not add to the look for showing – Some users state that these are not ideal for the smartest of equine events as they can make the ears look hairy!
Recommendation

A high quality, well made pair of ear plugs to help muffle loud noises and keep your sensitive horse calm and focused on the job at hand; you won’t regret buying these.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Conclusion

Horses are prey animals, so to them anything can be terrifying and can trigger the flight response. Removing some of the things that can trigger your horse to do this, such as loud unexpected noises, can really reduce their stress levels – and yours at the same time! Ear plugs can make a big difference to your horse’s demeanour out and about, or even in the yard surrounded by large machinery, other animals or the dreaded clippers.

If you are looking for something that is small, light, well made and will do the job, Pomms Horse Ear Plugs is the right solution for you. For something that is more suitable for larger horses and is easy to manipulate, try Cashel Ear Plugs With String. And if your horse’s ears are more sensitive, you may find ECP Sheepskin Horse Earplug very useful.

The post What Are The Best Horse Ear Plugs On The Market? appeared first on Horses & Foals.

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You can have lots of fun at the horse races, but betting can be a bit complex. In this article, we share the basics of betting on the horses and provide sound advice on picking winners and placing good bets. Read on to learn more.

What Are The Types Of Bets In Horse Racing?

Basically, there are two wager categories. They are:

  • Straight Wagers
  • Exotic Wagers

If you are just starting out, straight wagers are safest, simplest and cheapest.

What Is The Difference Between A Straight Wager And An Exotic Wager?

On straight wagers, you choose a horse and predict whether it will win first place, second place or third place. You can usually make a straight wager for a very small outlay of cash (minimum $2).

An exotic wager lets you make several bets on several horses within one wager. To do it well, you really have to know how to pick your horses. It costs more to place an exotic wager, and it’s hard to win, but the payoffs are commensurately larger than straight wagers.

5 Choices In Straight Wagers

There are five different kinds of straight wager.

  1. Win: You pick one horse to win first place. If your horse wins, you win.
  2. Place: You pick one horse to win first or second place. If he comes in first or second, you win. Wagering to place doubles your chances of winning at all, but the payout is smaller than if you just bet to win.
  3. Show: With this kind of straight wager, you bet on one horse to win first, second or third place. This gives you more chances to win, but the payout is smaller than with a win or place wager.
  4. Across-the-board or combo straight wager: With this kind of straight wager, you bet that your horse will win, place and show. This is three separate bets on one horse, so you’ll bet a minimum of $2 three times (win, place and show). Your total wager will be $6. If your horse wins the race, you win on all three bets. If he comes in second, you win on place and show. If he wins third place, you win the show bet. It’s easy to see that this isn’t really a good bet. It’s expensive to place these bets, and it’s hard to win.
  5. Other combinations are possible. For example, you could bet on your horse to win/place or to place/show. Just like win, place and show, you are making several separate wagers on one horse and you may end up only winning one of the bets (or none). This is also a costly and risky way to place a straight wager.

With an exotic wager, you bet on several different horses with one bet. This gives you more potential to win, but this kind of bet is very hard to win. It can also cost a lot to place an exotic wager, and you have to be very good at choosing horses.

5 Choices In Exotic Wagers

There are five types of exotic wager.

  1. Exacta: With this type of wager, you are betting that two specific horses will win first and second place. You will only win if your first place choice comes in first and your second place choice comes in second. If you are very skilled at handicapping (choosing the winning horse) you can win a lot with this kind of bet. If you aren’t entirely sure which of your two horses will win first, you can “box” your bet. This means you choose two horses to win first and second in any order. This kind of bet costs double a regular exacta bet.
  2. Quinella: This is like a boxed exacta. You choose two horses to win first and second place in any order. The difference between a quinella and a boxed exacta is that the quinella bet costs half as much to place, and the payout is also less.
  3. Trifecta: This is like the exacta, but you choose three horses to win first, second and third place in a specific order. A trifecta bet can be boxed, just like an exacta so that you can win if your three horses win the first three places in any order. Just as with a boxed exacta, the cost of placing your bet is significantly higher.
  4. Superfecta: This is a very cheap and risky way to bet. You choose four horses to win first, second, third and fourth places. The good news is, you can usually place a basic superfecta wager for just ten cents. If you box your bet, it will cost you more.
  5. Keying is a highly advanced form of exotic betting that lets you make minimum bets for maximum payouts. The catch is you have to be a real genius at picking the right horses for the right places. This is not a venture for beginners.
4 Steps To Place A Bet

1. Support human employment. When you go to the racetrack, always deal with the human tellers, not the automatic tellers. You’ll get a more accurate and pleasant interaction, and you won’t have to stand in line so long.

Sometimes the lines for the automatic tellers get stalled because inexperienced bettors get confused and make mistakes or want to place lots of bets. Don’t be that bettor! When this happens, you run the risk of not being able to bet at all.

2. Be ready to deal with the teller quickly. Have your money in hand and know what bets you want to place. This is especially important if the race is just about to start. Don’t make other race-goers hate you by being disorganized at the betting booth.

3. You have to tell the teller these things in this order:

  • Racetrack number
  • Race number
  • Bet amount
  • Type of bet
  • Program # of the horse

4. Give your money to the teller and get your ticket. Be sure to put it in a secure location, such as your shirt pocket or your hat band.

What Is Handicapping And How Do You Do It?

Handicapping is the art of choosing a winner. Doing it well relies on a lot of factors, such as:

Knowing how to read your racing program

This program tells you all the history and statistics on horses and jockeys. If you can understand it, it can help you make a good choice. You can learn how to interpret the racing program by visiting Equibase interactive guide.

Know the class levels of the horses you are considering

There are four different class levels:

  1. Maiden Races
  2. Claiming Races
  3. Allowance Races
  4. Stakes Races

Horses in higher class levels are proven performers with higher purses. Don’t take that at face value, though. Be sure to check each horse’s history to see what types of races the horse has run in the past. If he’s in an allowance race today but has run nothing but claiming races in the past, that information should temper your judgement.

Understand track surfaces and the effect they have on horses

There are three different kinds of track surface:

1. Dirt
2. Turf/Grass
3. Synthetic (all-weather)

Know the type of track your horse will be running on, and check your program to see how he has done with that type of track in the past.

Check the jockey’s past performance

Jockeys who win consistently on any horse have talent and greatly increase your horse’s chance of winning (and yours). You should also check the jockey’s history with the horse you’re thinking of backing. If he has a consistent history of wins, that’s good news for you. If not, take it as a warning.

Think about the odds

Look at your program and study the horses’ odds of winning. Low odds indicate the favorite (likely winner) based on past performance. Statistically speaking, when you bet the favorite, you increase your chances of winning. Betting the favorite to win gives you a 33% chance of winning, to place gives you a 53% chance, to show gives you a 67% chance.

If you know nothing else about handicapping a horse, go by the odds. It’s a simple way to increase your chances of winning. To be absolutely certain, choose the favorite and bet on him to show.

Look at the horses

Visit the paddock before the race and watch the horses. Look for signs of anxiety, lameness or illness, negative interactions with jockeys and handlers. Choose a horse who seems alert, attentive and enthusiastic. Steer clear of horses who are sweating profusely before the race even begins or exhibiting negative behaviors such as biting, kicking and rearing.

Personal luck also plays a part

If you have a favorite superstition, a lucky number or an eye for omens, by all means bring it into play.

How Do You Keep From Losing A Lot Of Money?

Take it easy. Pick and choose your races carefully and set yourself a budget. Don’t bet more money than you can afford to toss into a leaf shredder. You can enjoy a day at the track and learn a lot by betting on a couple of races and watching a lot of them.

If You Really Love Horses, Should You Bet On Them?

Horse racing is a popular and demanding sport, and nobody ever asked the 850,000 equine participants in the United States alone whether or not they wanted to participate. Racing is a big and controversial business, and many (if not most) racing stables make money by exploiting horses. Some areas that are problematic for people who are concerned with the ethical treatment of horses include:

  • Racehorses’ Ultimate Fate
  • Inhumane Training
  • Drug Use
  • Danger

Can you love horses and also support the horse racing industry? Here is some food for thought.

Ethical horsemen and women do not begin riding training until a horse is two years old and has fully formed bones and emotional maturity. Racehorses begin racing at two years old, so the intensive training to get them ready for it starts when they are very young.

Harsh training can damage a horse’s health and usually involves a lot of pain, requiring a lot of pain medications. Just as with human athletes, horse athletes are often subjected to steroid use by unscrupulous owners determined to win. Racehorses are often literally addicted to drugs.

Horses are exposed to a great deal of danger in the course of a race. According to the New York Times, at least 24 racehorses die on the track in the US every single week. This number is lower in countries that have tighter controls on drug use in race horses (e.g. the UK and Canada).

Jockeys are also exposed to tremendous danger as they ride mostly unprotected at speeds up the 35 MPH. Jockeys who are thrown or trampled or have a horse fall on them can be severely injured or killed. Unlike participants in professional sports such as football or basketball, jockeys have very low pay and do not have health insurance.

What happens to horses who stop winning?

Winning is the name of the game in horse racing. If a horse stops winning or just becomes too old to race (4-10 years old) he or she is no longer making money. As a general rule, stables don’t put these horses out to pasture. Some may be adopted out, but racehorses are hot and excitable and may be hard to place. For this reason, thousands of racehorses are shipped off to brutal slaughter in Mexico or Canada every year.

What Should You Do If You Genuinely Love Horses And Enjoy A Good Race?

As with everything that involves ethical choices, take your time, make wise decisions and vote with your pocketbook. In this case, if you want to bet on the horses, add another factor to the things you consider when placing your bets. Take the time to look into the history of the stables and find out how they treat their horses and jockeys. Don’t put your money on a horse that has been produced through unethical or inhumane practices or that is likely to be shipped off to slaughter if it loses a couple of races.

As betting activities go, horse racing is certainly much more savory than losing your shirt in a sketchy casino. It is the “sport of kings”, rich in history and tradition. At its best it can be a celebration of the talents of horses, riders, trainers and ethical breeders and stables. Arm yourself with knowledge, exercise restraint and make the most of spending a day outdoors watching beautiful horses run and enjoying a bit of a flutter.

The post How Does Horse Betting Work? appeared first on Horses & Foals.

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Right up front, if you are interested in horses because you want to make money, find another interest. The only ways people make money from horses themselves involve exploitation. Examples include racing, breeding, some forms of competition and horse slaughter. For the most part, horses are a costly hobby and interest. The expense is well worth it to people who truly love horses. All others need not apply.

Having said that, if you are a true horse lover who wants to make a bit of extra money for tack, feed, veterinary expenses, farrier fees and the like, there are quite a few paying tasks involving horses that you may be able to take on.

In this article, we share few simple ideas to help you make a little money with horses. Read on to learn more.

11 Ways How To Make Money With Horses 1. Offer your services as a tack cleaner

Cleaning and organizing saddles, bridles, blankets and other equipment is a task that is often thrown by the wayside. Offer to clean tack and help organize tack rooms for an hourly fee. Remember to charge a bit more if you must supply your own cleaning equipment and materials.

2. Provide a grooming service

Study up on methods of braiding and dressing manes and tails, clipping and general grooming. Many horse owners who show or compete with their horses would be happy to have a reliable groomer come and take these tasks off their hands. If you do well, you’ll have a long list of clients before you know it.

3. Provide barn, stall and equipment cleaning services

If you’re physically up to it, cleaning out trailers, barns and stalls is a job that’s always in need of doing.

4. Offer a manure cleanup and hauling service

Regular stable and paddock cleaning results in mountains of manure. Offer to haul it away, and if you have the space on your property, compost it and sell it to gardeners.

5. Provide pasture care and weed removal

It doesn’t take long for weeds to take over a pasture and crowd out the grass. This is especially true in pastures that are over-grazed. Add weed removal and reseeding services to your manure removal service for a complete horse property maintenance package.

6. Seek work as a general stable or farm hand

People who own horses for pleasure but also have busy, demanding work schedules may not have the time to feed and water on a regular schedule or turn their horses out for grazing every day. Just a few clients could keep you very busy on a regular basis. This service is also valuable for horse owners who want to be able to go on vacation without worrying about their horse’s care.

7. Exercise horses

If you are a skilled rider, you may be able to find work exercising horses for busy owners. Knowing how to lunge a horse also comes in handy for this sort of service.

8. Become a farrier

Hoof trimming and shoeing is a great way to make money with horses. This is not a task you can simply take up, though. It takes several years of training, experience and certification to become a qualified farrier. Once you’ve completed training, this is an interesting career that can earn you a living and save you money when it comes to your own horses’ hoof care. If you are interested in this career, visit the American Farriers Association for more information.

9. Training horses and teaching riding can be a bit risky

Even if you’ve had lots of experience and success in riding and in training, remember that there’s quite a bit of liability involved in training and in teaching riding. If you want to pursue these avenues of income earning with horses, it’s best to work under the auspices of an established stable or training facility that has set hiring policies and liability insurance in place. If you want to set out on your own, be sure to get proper training, certification and insurance.

10. Lease your own horse

Consider leasing out your horse for a couple days a week for a little bit of extra income. This could be 2-3 day a week lease, and you can also request that the other party be responsible for insurance and vets bills – it all depends on your lease agreement.

11. Write article about horses

Share your love of horses and your knowledge skills and abilities by writing online articles about horses. Some online websites will pay directly for well-written articles. You can also set up an account with an online content site that offers the opportunity to monetize your work. This is a great way to make a little money by sharing the same information you may already be sharing free of charge in horse-focused social media groups.

Make Money, Have Fun And Gain Experience

You won’t make a fortune helping horse owners with the many tasks surrounding horse ownership, but the money you make could certainly help you care for your own horses. If you haven’t got a horse, performing these types of tasks provides a great opportunity for gaining experience. It also offers a way of saving up to purchase your own horse.

The post 11 Ways How To Make Money With Horses appeared first on Horses & Foals.

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If you’re thinking about having a flutter (making a small wager) you may be a bit intimidated by the seemingly secret language of horse racing. In this article, we demystify horse racing vocabulary with a categorized list of common horse racing terms. Read on to learn more.

Horse Vocabulary
  • Broodmare: This is a thoroughbred mare who is used just for breeding.
  • Broodmare dam: This type of broodmare is identified as producing more good broodmares.
  • Broodmare sire: This is a stallion identified as siring good broodmares.
  • Colt: A male horse under five years of age.
  • Dam: A horse’s mother.
  • Filly: A young female horse (under five years of age).
  • Foal: A newborn colt or filly.
  • Gelding: A male horse that has been castrated.
  • Stud or Stallion: A male horse that has not been castrated.
  • Horse: Male horses over five years old.
  • Mare: A filly past the age of five.
  • Juvenile: A two-year-old.
  • Half sister/brother: Two fillies or colts who share the same dam but have different sires are said to be half sisters or brothers. If they share the same sire but have different dams, this is not the case.
Track Terms For Horses
  • Maiden: Horses who have not yet won a race are “maiden”. There are also maiden races set up just for horses who haven’t won yet.
  • Scratch: When a horse is withdrawn from a race, he is “scratched”.
  • Also Eligible (AE): These are horses on standby in case those already listed to run are scratched (removed).
  • Form: This term may refer to a horse’s physical condition, or it may refer to a racing form publication.
  • Look of Eagles: A confident-looking horse.
  • Miler: Horses who do well in mile-long races.
  • Rank: Horses that cannot be rated (reined in) early in a race.
  • Shipper: When a horse has been shipped between tracks to run one race after another.
  • Spit the bit: An overtired horse who slows down.
  • Break Maiden: This is the first win for either the horse or the jockey.
Jockey Terms
  • Apprentice Jockey: This is just what it sounds like, a jockey in training. These jockeys may be given various weight allowances based on experience.
  • Bug Boy: This is another term for an apprentice or student jockey.
  • Jockey agent: A person who sets up jobs (rides) for jockeys.
  • Silks: The jockey’s uniform
Racing Equipment
  • Blinkers: This is an item of tack used to block the horse’s side vision and redirect focus to the track.
  • Shadow roll: This is a cloth or fleece roll placed on the horse’s noseband to block his view of the ground directly in front of him. This prevents having him spook at shadows.
  • Irons: Stirrups
Betting Terms
  • Having a flutter: Making a small wager
  • Shut out: Players who don’t make it to the window in time to place a bet are shut out.
  • Minus pool: If a great deal of money is bet on a single horse, the betting pool may be insufficient to pay winning ticket holders at the minimum legal odds (after the track take). When this is the case, the track must front the difference so that the bettors can be fully paid.
  • Track take: The track’s share of the wager pool.
  • Morning line odds: The track sets these odds before the pools are opened.
  • Bridge jumper: This is a bettor who makes large bets on “odds-on” favorites in the Place or Show pools.
  • Buy the race: This is a term used for an exotic wager made on every horse running.
  • Across the board: Use this term to bet on a horse to win, place and show.
  • Carryover: This is money left over from the “Pick Six” pot if no one places a winning bet of all winners. The pot is then carried over to the next race.
  • Consolation: This term is used to refer to a payout to Pick Six bettors who do not have a full winning ticket. If the bettor picks a high percentage of races correctly (e.g. 5 out of 6) he or she may receive a small consolation payout.
  • Daily Double: With this bet, the player must choose the winners of two races in a row on one ticket.
  • Exacta: The bettor strives to choose both the first place and the second place winners in a race on a single ticket.
  • Handle: The total amount of a bet on a race or a whole day’s bets.
  • In the money: Horse owners who finish in the top four may receive a share of the purse and are said to be “in the money”. Bettors whose bets finish in the top three are also “in the money”.
  • Parimutuels: In this French betting system, the winners receive all of the money that has been bet by the losers, but first the track takes a cut (the Take Out).
  • Odds: A horse’s chances of winning a given race based upon the general public’s pari-mutuel wagers.
  • Overlay: This term is used when a player determines that the horse’s real chances of winning are greater than the stated chances. If a horse’s odds are 4/1 according to the player, but the track offers 10/1, the horse is termed an “overlay”. This is a positive connotation. To be termed an “underlay” is a negative connotation.
  • Underlay: If you think a horse should fetch a particular price, but that price isn’t met then you would conclude that the horse is undervalued and should not be wagered on.
  • Pick (3,4,5,etc.): This is an exotic wager in which the bettor picks the winners in several successive races.
  • Superfecta: This is a difficult wager in which the player tries to determine the first-through-fourth place winners. Because it is so hard to get this right, a successful superfecta usually gets high winnings.
  • Trifecta: A challenging wager in which the player tries to determine the first-through-third place winners.
Racing Rules And Procedures
  • Stewards: This is a panel of three who judge whether rules have been broken in the course of a race.
  • Handicap: Weight assignments made by the racing secretary are called “handicaps”. The purpose of these weights is to give all the horses in the field an equal chance to win. The secretary determines the weights by studying the horses’ records.
  • Inquiry: If the jockey or the horse are suspected of committing a foul, the stewards will conduct an official investigation or inquiry.
  • Objections: If a jockey claims a foul after a race, it is called an objection.
  • Conditions: Used as a noun, this means the circumstances of the race (e.g. eligibilities, purse, distance, track surface).
Types Of Races
  • Graded Race: The American Graded Stakes Committee assigns grades (I, II or III) to some races. The grading is based upon the strength of the race in question when compared with all other horse races.
  • Claiming Race: Horses running in these races are for sale. Those interested in purchasing must make a valid claim before the race.
  • Optional Claimer: In this sort of race some horses may have a claiming price while others do not.
  • Tag: This is another term for the claiming price.
  • Fire Sale: A greatly reduced claiming price.
  • Allowance (Race): In this non-claiming event, the racing secretary will condition weight allowances by considering the horse’s past wins and purse earnings.
  • Baby Race: This is usually an early season race for two-year-olds.
  • Marathon: Any race that is more than a mile and a quarter in length.
  • Middle distance: Races that are greater than 7 furlongs but less than 1 1/8th miles in length.
  • Oaks: This is a stakes race established for fillies three years of age.
  • Route: This is a race run on a track with two turns.
  • Sprint: A race that measures no more than 7 furlongs.
Track Terms And Conditions
  • Odds Board: This is the tote board, which is usually located on the infield.
  • Clubhouse Turn: This is the first turn of races starting on the frontstretch or homestretch.
  • Backstretch: This area of the track is located directly opposite the stables or finish line. It is a straight section of track.
  • Bull Ring: This is a small, oval track of under a mile that has extremely tight turns.
  • Dark: A day when there is no live racing at a track.
  • Derby: Three-year-olds run this stakes race.
  • Distance of ground: A race run or route race with two turns.
  • Furlong: A length of measure peculiar to horse racing equaling 1/8th mile.
  • Post: The starting gate
  • Quarter pole: This is a post placed on the rail in the infield indicating that there are two more furlongs to go before the finish line.
  • Dog: An obstruction (cone or other object) put a specific distance from the turf course rail. It is intended to prevent horses from running on the grass and causing damage to the turf.
  • Going: Used as a noun, this term refers to the condition of the track. It is used in conjunction with a variety of adjectives. For example, a dirt track may be said to be:
    • Fast Going
    • Good Going
    • Muddy Going
    • Sloppy Going

A grass track may be said to be:

    • Firm Going
    • Good Going
    • Yielding Going
    • Soft Going
    • Heavy Going
  • Off-track: Racing surfaces other than the established fast track (dirt) or firm track (grass or turf).
  • Fast Track: A dry, hard dirt track is rated a fast track.
  • Heavy Track: When a grass track has gotten a lot of rain.
  • Muddy Track: A wet, soft, sticky dirt track.
  • Turf course: This is a track covered in grass.
Training Terms
  • Breeze: This is a light workout in which the horse is allowed to run easily without urging.
  • Handily: In this type of workout, the jockey urges the horse but doesn’t use the whip.
  • School: Used as a verb refers to training a horse in the paddock or at the post.
  • Fractions: This term may be used to refer to either a workout or a race. It is used when clocking speed in increments of a quarter-mile.
  • Clocker: The person who times and rates workouts.
  • Condition: Used as a verb, this means training of a horse.
Running The Race
  • Eased: When a horse is stopped or slowed before the finish line.
  • Front Runner: Horses who like to run in the lead or near the front.
  • Hand ride: When the jockey urges the horse by vigorously rubbing the animal’s neck rather than using the whip.
  • In-hand: When a horse is restrained while running, he is said to be “in-hand”.
  • Lug In: When a horse is tired it may hug the rail in the final stretch. It is said to lug in.
  • Off the board: If a horse doesn’t finish “in the money” he is off the board.
  • Off the pace: If a horse lags early in the race, he is off the pace.
  • Pace: The leaders in a race set the pace or speed at each stage.
  • Rate: When the jockey keeps the horse “in-hand” early in the race for the purpose of conserving energy.
  • Trip: This term is used to describe the experience of the horse and jockey in the course of the race. If they had problems, they had a bad trip. If they had no problems, they had a good trip.
  • Under wraps: When the jockey holds the horse back and purpose and prevents him from running full out, the horse is under wraps.
  • Washed out: When a horse is anxious and drenched in sweat, he is washed out.
  • Shake up: When the jockey urges the horse forward by hand or whip.

The post Horse Racing Terminology Explained appeared first on Horses & Foals.

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