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Horsekeeping On A Small Acreage
Your Horse Barn DVD
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April 2000

    2000 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information

This newsletter is a personal letter from me to you,
a fellow horse owner and enthusiast.

My goal is to send you interesting stories and helpful seasonal tips for your
horse care, training, and riding.

     Starting with this issue, my newsletter will go out on the first of each month so you can still buy the magazines on the newsstand that I list in "Our Recent Magazine Articles" section.  


     April is a special horse month for me because that is when "Zinger" was born - in 1975 which makes her 25 years old this year!  Except for the gray on her muzzle, you'd never know it looking at her - her back is straight and strong, her legs and hooves are sound and her teeth are in great shape. She is raring to go and is my favorite riding horse.

      I bought Zinger off the range in Washington as a 12 month old filly.  When rancher E.M. Hayes Jr. ran a group of his yearlings into the corral for me to look at, this one sorrel filly turned and looked at me and I knew she was the one. We sorted her out of the herd and then went in Hayes' house to look up the paperwork.  You can imagine my surprise when I found out he'd given her the registered name of Ms. Debbie Hill.  Stood to reason since her dam was Dee Bar Debbie (by King Leo Bar) and her sire was Smutty Hill (by Smutty Bill) but buying a horse with the same name as me was really special.

      I gave her the barn name "Zinger" after my favorite tea (Red Zinger) at the time and she has been my buddy for many years.  I've ridden her for ranch work, western pleasure, trail, hunt seat and dressage.  Besides being a demonstrator and model in many of my books and articles, Zinger is the horse:  

  • That I'm riding in the deep snow cover photo on Becoming an Effective Rider

  • That I'm riding on the cover of Advanced Western Exercises

  • That is in the trailer on the cover of Trailering Your Horse

  • That will be on the cover of the paperback edition of Maximum Hoof Power, to be released in May 2000.



Senior Horse Care
New Postings on the Roundup Page
Our Recent Magazine Articles
Cherry Hill doesn't do endorsements!
Coming Attractions
Last Month for Maximum Hoof Power Special>


Senior Horse Care

excerpt from Keep Ol Paint in the Pink from the April 2000 issue of Western Horseman

Those Oldies But Goodies
    2006 Cherry Hill>

How to keep the spark glowing in your Golden Oldie!

     If you're like me, you've probably had a horse that has made you say something like, "Zinger is worth her weight in gold", or "Sassy is the perfect broodmare".

     Time flies and soon that good horse is a little gray around the muzzle. Even if your horse is over 20, you still can continue using and enjoying him or her. You just need to give some special attention to his care.

Value of a Seasoned Senior

     Many folks say old horses make good teachers. Old is not necessarily synonymous with good. But if a senior horse had thorough training and a wide range of experience, he can be a valuable mentor. Seasoned seniors are usually calm and stable. They've been there and done that…and then some. There's nothing like an old timer to take a kid for her first lope or to give confidence to a novice adult rider.

     Seniors are valuable role models for young horses too. A good pony horse makes the tagalong yearling obedient and confident. When trailering, a senior can exude "What's the big deal?" and soon the colt in the next stall relaxes and starts munching. On the trail, an unflappable veteran shows the way past rock monsters and through creeks. And for just plain osmosis, there's nothing better than having a good old horse around to show junior the ropes. It's just too bad our good horses can't last forever, but at least today, they are lasting longer.

     Many of today's horses get high quality care and, like humans, they are living to ripe old ages. In the past a horse in its late teens was approaching the end of his life but now the average lifespan is the mid-twenties with many ponies and Arabians in their thirties.

Signs of Aging

Cherry Hill's Horsekeeping Almanac     A 20-year-old horse is the approximate equivalent of a 60-year-old person but when and how a horse ages is extremely variable. Some senior horses are raring to go while others prefer to vegetate. Horses can reproduce later in life than humans can. Healthy mares kept on a regular breeding program can foal well into their twenties and semen can be viable in stallions as old as 30.

     Seniors often grow thicker, longer winter coats and might hold onto them past spring. Just as we gray around the temples at varying ages and degrees, some horses gray around the muzzle, lower jaw and eye sockets. Other cosmetic changes include hollow depressions above the eyes, a hanging lower lip and loss of skin and muscle tone. Common problems of aging are arthritis, colic, heaves, laminitis, lameness, general stiffness, poor digestion, decreased kidney function, and an overall lack of energy.

     When an older horse starts slowing down, you can call it lazy, laid-back or just plain exhausted - but the fact is, time does take its toll. Fortunately you can increase a senior's energy level and prevent many ailments through proper management and exercise.

Senior Horse Management


     Provide the veteran with comfortable accommodations. On our place, the Luxury Senior Suite is a 12' x 50' south facing pen with a 32-foot long wrap around wind wall. The barn roof extends over 1/3 of the pen and half of the covered area is rubber-matted for feeding. It’s an ideal combination of indoor/outdoor living which suits most horses to a T. The pen is adjacent to an indoor stall for bitter cold weather and it's ten steps away from a 10-acre turnout pasture.

Your Horse Barn DVD     In my estimation, life in a stall takes its toll on any horse, but especially a senior. The small space and lack of regular exercise just spells STIFFNESS! If a senior horse must live indoors, he needs regular exercise. In addition, dust and ammonia in the barn must be eliminated. Dusty bedding, moldy feed, dust raised from aisle sweepers and other airborne debris can contribute to the respiratory disorder heaves (COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Ammonia fumes, which are generated from decomposing manure, urine and bedding, are caustic to the respiratory tract of both horses and humans. Keep stalls clean and be sure the barn is well ventilated.

     Many horses are happiest living on pasture. For free-minded old timers, choose a pasture that has enough room to roam but not so much lush grazing that it leads to an unhealthy weight gain. No matter where a senior lives, provide a soft place for him to lie down for at least a portion of the day.

     As horses get older, they have less tolerance for temperature extremes. For protection from winter wind and snow, an in-and-out shed is ideal. But oddly, many horses choose to stand out in a blizzard so you may need to provide a stall or storm blanket. A waterproof-breathable winter blanket with long sides, tail flap, and neck protection (See "Choosing a Winter Blanket" September 1999) can function as a mobile horse house and keep your senior toasty.

     During the summer, provide shade, ventilation and fly protection. A roof strategically located where it takes advantage of natural breezes is ideal. Add a PVC mesh fly sheet and a pasture horse will have UV and fly protection. Large barn fans can be used to cool stalled horses and chase flies.

     Read the rest of the article in the magazine:

Feed: Hay, Concentrates, Water, Senior Mash
Regular Dental Care, Long in the Tooth
Prevent Sand Colic
Monitor Hydration
Parasite Immunity
Leg and Hoof Care
Senior Exercise Program


New Postings on the Roundup Page


Trailering: In Hand Work - with photos

Trailering: Personal Space II - with photos

Trailering: Turn on the Forehand - with photos


Keeping Your Heels Down

Should I Use Side Reins?

Stablekeeping - Winter Watering Tips - with photos and drawings!


Our Recent Articles and Books

Here's a roundup of the most recent magazine articles and books by Cherry Hill and Richard Klimesh, the "Klim-Team":

April 2000 Western Horseman    "Choosing a Barn Builder" p. 54

April 2000 Western Horseman    "Keep Ol Paint in the Pink" (Senior Horse Care) p. 82

April 2000 Western Horseman    "Cinching Without Soring" p. 194

April 2000 Horse & Rider            "Field Wash Your Blankets" p.32

April 2000 Horse & Rider            "Stable Details: Make a Creep-Feeding Area"

March 2000 Horse & Rider          "Filling a Hay Net"

Feb 2000 Horse & Rider              "How to Use a Chain Shank" p.32

Feb 2000 Horse & Rider              "Winterize Your Barn" p. 42

Jan 2000 Storey Books                Stablekeeping, a Visual Guide to Safe and Healthy Horsekeeping

 Jan 2000 Storey Books               Trailering Your Horse, A Visual Guide to Safe Training and Traveling


Cherry Hill doesn't do endorsements!

    I don't accept payment to recommend or endorse any horse products in my articles, books or this newsletter.  I do, however, mention names of products that I am currently using and find satisfactory.  I do this to give you a starting point or help narrow the field.  Sometimes finding the right product or piece of tack is the beginning of the answer to a training or horsekeeping problem.


Coming Attractions

     More Training, Riding, and Horse Care Tips


     That's it for this month.

     Keep your mind in the middle and a leg on each side.

     Before you copy or forward anything from this newsletter or Cherry Hill's Horse Information Roundup, please read this article! Copyright_Information

     Be sure to check the Horse Information Roundup to find information on training, horse care, grooming, health care, hoof care, facilities and more.

     Browse the complete Cherry Hill Horse Book Library.

    2000 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information

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