Horse Training, Horse Care, and Riding Books and Videos from Cherry Hill at
from Cherry Hill


April 2001

    2006 Cherry Hill

Hoof Care
Hoof Power
Not Breaking
101 Arena Exercises
101 Longeing and
Long Lining Exercises
Longeing and
Long Lining
Horse For Sale by Cherry Hill
Your Horse Barn DVD
Making Not Breaking by Cherry Hill
101 Longeing and Long Lining Exeercises
101 Longeing and Long Lining Exeercises
Longeing and Long Lining the Western Horse

Home | BooksArticles | Shopping | View Cart | Contact | Site Map | Search

Cherry Hill's
Horsekeeping  Newsletter
April 2001


  2001 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information

If you're like me, you've been up to your elbows in horse hair the last few weeks.  It's the lengthening daylight that triggers shedding.  My springtime grooming MO goes like this:  vigorously curry with a soft rubber curry, use a shedding blade to remove the bulk of the day's shed, and then vacuum.  Especially now, when the hair is long and dense, a vacuum really lifts the hair up and the scurf out of the haircoat. Then I work the horse, cool him out, groom as needed, and put his sheet back on.  The next day, I do the same thing.  When the horse is 80% shed out, it is usually warm enough for his first bath of spring.  After the bath, the horse gets his spring clip: I do lower legs and a 3" bridle path only - leaving the ear, muzzle, and facial hairs intact for natural protection.  

Spring is also a time of mud, so I've included some information later in this newsletter that might surprise you about moisture as it relates to hoof health.

During April or May, your horses are probably due for their annual vaccinations.  If you are an experienced horse owner, you already know what to do.  If you are a relatively new horse owner, read the article on Health Care by clicking here and ask your veterinarian if he or she offers a Preventive Wellness Program for your horse.  Many vets now provide all of the necessary routine health care procedures for your horse for one flat annual fee.

Spring is also a time to regroup in the training (of both horse and rider) department.  One of the most common questions I am asked is how to get a horse to strike off on the correct lead every time.  Often it involves a greater understanding on the part of the rider.  So I've included some information that will help you understand leads better and design your own solution whether you're having a problem with persistent wrong leads or you are training a young horse to take the correct lead consistently.


Hoof Cracks

Correct Lead

Recent Articles


Hoof Cracks

    Spring means soggy footing.  And wet conditions can raise havoc with your horse's hooves.   I don't know where the idea started that "soaking" a horse's hooves in mud is good.  All you have to do is to stick your finger tips in some mud, let the mud dry, brush the dry mud off, then stick your fingers in wet mud again and so on.  Just see what happens to your finger nails and cuticles.  Yeow!!  The repeated wet-dry cycle of mud pulls moisture right out of hooves.  

    Here are a few of the Old Mares' Tales related to moisture that Richard and I dispel in our book, Maximum Hoof Power (click here ).

Overflow the water trough because it is good for a horse to stand in mud.
Actually mud and excess moisture are two of the biggest culprits that cause cracks, thrush, white line disease, poor hoof quality, and lost shoes. See Chapters 11, 14 and 15.

A hoof with cracks is too dry.
Actually, in most cases, hoof cracks indicate just the opposite, the hoof has been too wet!  See Chapters 11, 14, and 15.

Hoof dressing adds moisture and nutrients to the hoof wall thereby improving hoof quality.
The majority of moisture is delivered to the hoof internally from the blood, so regular exercise adds more moisture to the hoof than would hoof dressing. And the thick outer hoof is essentially "dead" tissue anyway so it cannot utilize any supposed "nutrients" from hoof dressing. See Chapter 14.

To read more about preventing and dealing with hoof cracks, read Richard's answer to a reader whose horse had a very bad crack (click here).


Correct Lead

    Maybe you have a well-trained horse that just automatically takes the correct lead so you've never really thought about how and why but now you need to know how to train a young horse to take the correct lead.  Or maybe you have a horse that is "lead challenged" - he only gets the left (or right) lead about 60% of the time and you want to increase his average.  Well, the best way to be sure that a horse takes the correct lead each time is to school him with a progression of exercises that prepares both him and you!

    In this month's article, the Correct Lead, you'll see there is a checklist of things you need to be able to do with your horse BEFORE you even think about asking for a particular lead.

    Then when it comes time to lope or canter, there are many places you can trouble shoot to see where the problem is occurring.  You'll read about Positioning Aids, Depart Aids, and Following Aids.  Think about these things ahead of time so that once you are in the saddle, you can:

#1. Set your horse up to take the correct lead

#2 Ask him for the lead in the best way

#3 Then follow his movement to keep from throwing him off balance.

More on correct lead  click here.


Recent Magazine Articles

"Leather Care"
"Meeting Barn"
February 2001, Horse & Rider

"Shape Up Before You Mount Up", Part One and Two
December 2000, January 2001 Western Horseman

That's it for this month.  Let's see how many wet saddle blankets we can accumulate this month!

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



"Machines have about as much warmth as a cube of ice.  And that is why the horse is still part of our lives and will live on.  He was here millions of years before man came upon the earth, and if the cycle is completed, he may still be thundering across the world long after man has vanished." 
                    -Marguerite Henry, author


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

  Don't forget to regularly check the Horse Information Roundup at to find information on training, horse care, grooming, health care, hoof care, facilities and more.

  Take the time to browse the complete Cherry Hill Horse Book Library at

  2001 Cherry Hill 

Home | BooksArticles | Shopping | View Cart | Contact | Site Map | Search

The information contained on this site is provided for general informational and educational purposes only.
The suggestions and guidelines should not be used as the sole answer for a visitor's specific needs.