© 2006 Cherry Hill www.horsekeeping.com
newsletter is a personal letter from me to you,
a fellow horse owner and
My goal is to send you interesting stories and
helpful seasonal tips for your
horse care, training, and riding.
THE *KLIM-TEAM DOES DROUGHT
this point, half of you reading this newsletter will be saying, "Drought,
what's that?!" You're probably back east having a cooler and wetter summer
than normal with your own set of horsekeeping problems. But in the country's
bread basket and west, we are thirsty, mighty thirsty. In my first
article, I'll tell you how the lack of rain has affected our little spread
and what we are doing to cope. Even if you are not experiencing drought this
year, you should probably read about it anyway since your area might have
drought in the future and ALL OF US need to learn how to conserve water, one of
our most precious commodities and something our horses depend on us to supply.
I'm also including some information on the West Nile Virus
for those of you in mosquito country.
And there is a continuation of Sherlock's
foal training series - this month Tying the Foal.
*For clarification to new subscribers, my husband Richard
Klimesh and I often refer to ourselves as the Klim-Team since we work on
many of our horsekeeping, article, book, and video projects together.
IN THIS NEWSLETTER:
During a Drought
West Nile Virus Facts
Teaching the Suckling Foal to Tie
PayPal Added to Order Page
on the Roundup Page
Book News and Reviews
Our Recent Magazine Articles
During a Drought
Fires: In the last month, there have been 5 forest fires within 40 miles
of our place, 2 of them within 10 miles. They have ranged in size from a 30
acre fire just SE of us to the Bobcat Gulch fire which was 10,600 acres,
the largest on record for the Roosevelt National Forest and third largest
fire ever in Colorado.
BREAKING NEWS! Just as I was getting ready to send out this newsletter,
a fire broke out an uncomfortable 2 miles from our place. A SUV's brakes caught
on fire on our mountain road. The folks pulled over and got out of the vehicle
OK but the vehicle burned to bare metal and started a grass fire which quickly
whipped up the mountain side where the timber provided more fuel. By last
night, there were about a dozen hot spots left but fire fighters were able to
stop the fire about 1 1/2 miles from our southernmost pasture fence and this morning
we were able to take a deep breath. Let me tell you, we were rehearsing our fire
evacuation plan. Be sure you have one.
in fire areas that had to evacuate their stock either did so by making several
trips with horse trailers or by turning their animals loose with phone numbers
painted on the animals' sides. Although many area residents volunteered
their trucks and trailers to help fire victims evacuate their horses, it is not
as simple as that. Often the normal roads are closed or traffic is limited
to fire fighting equipment only. All horseowners should have a fire plan
in place, whether you live in a forested area or not. You can read about
our recommendations for fire prevention and emergency evacuation procedures in
water for horses: Our creek went dry about 4 weeks ago (first time ever).
If you are relying on natural water sources for your horse, check daily to be
sure water is flowing, because stagnant water is not good for horses. I figure
that during this 90-100 degree weather with 20-30% humidity, my adult horses are
drinking between 15-20 gallons per day depending on their level of activity.
Horses in work might be consuming more than that and my lactating broodmare certainly
is. When I did the numbers, I realized that for peace of mind, I wanted
to have some supplementary water on hand just in case of well problems. (Our
well is OK but we have heard of other well problems in our valley.) And
the extra water could always come in handy for fire control if necessary.
have two 1000 gallon underground cisterns for such water emergencies, but we recently
bought a 425 gallon pickup water tank, a popular item in arid and semi-arid climates.
They are available at farm supply stores. The tank fits into the back of
a pickup truck. When filled with water it weighs 3400 pounds so you want to be
sure you use it with a truck that can haul that weight. We prefer to haul
our water tank on a flat bed trailer so the pickup is not "tied up"
being a water storage tank carrier. Alternatively, you could empty the pickup
tank as soon as you got the water home and just haul around the empty tank
in your pickup until you needed more water. Or take the empty tank out of the
pickup. Our tank has a hose bib at the bottom and we leave the tank on the
trailer parked uphill from the horse pens and gravity feed water to the horse
tubs as needed. We are using the tank to water the five horses at the north
barn and a tank lasts those 5 horses (plus at least 5 does and 7 fawns who have
nowhere else to drink) about one week. It costs 50 cents to fill the
tank at the city water works. For us, the 70 mile round trip to the city
water works (in terms of time and gas) is the biggest investment.
Legume hays such as alfalfa increase water intake so it is best to limit feeding
alfalfa during hot weather and focus on grass hay. Also, grains that
are quickly digested are actually "cooler" than those that take longer
to digest. That is why corn is a better summer feed and oats (which take
longer to digest because of their hulls) make a better winter feed.
sure each of your horses has access to salt 24 hours a day. I provide each
of my horses with a plain white salt block (NaCl, sodium chloride) PLUS a 2:1
Ca:P (that's two parts calcium to one part phosphorus) trace mineral salt block.
Whenever possible, provide natural or man-made shade areas for horses on pasture
or in pens. Trees, run in sheds, or lean-to shelters will give your
horse a place to get out of the direct rays of the sun and escape the flies as
I have greatly reduced my riding and training program during this abnormally hot
and dry spell. When bringing a horse back to work that has been standing
for even just a few weeks, be careful. The extra pounds of fat that the horse
might have gained will make it more difficult for him to cool his body.
Heat dissipates slowly and fatigue sets in more quickly when a horse is fat or out
of condition. When a horse is fatigued, and especially when his tendons
and muscles are not in condition, he is more likely to injure himself. So
start back slowly.
Our pasture management during drought is simple - no grazing.
We took all of our horses off pasture over a month ago. We are keeping all horses
on dry lots. All pastures are empty (except for our resident deer population).
When it is abnormally dry, many pasture grasses are stunted but the
opportunistic drought-resistant weeds thrive, especially without the competition
from the pasture grasses. What we are seeing across Colorado are
short-growth brown pastures with patches of tall, healthy weeds. Our weed
control program consists of:
Hand Pulling, Boot Kicking, and Hoeing of large
stem weeds that have cropped up in small concentrated patches
Spot spraying using a shoulder mounted tank and walking through pastures for those
loner weeds that don't group
Mowing large areas of weeds
with tractor mower set just above the grasses but low enough to lop off seed-forming
Amenities of Horse Care
that I Took for Granted:
never gave too much thought about being able to spray off a horse after a
workout or of being able to do weekly horse laundry or for that matter, being
able to water my flower barrels up at the barn. This year has changed all
that. I have really learned to appreciate water! And I've worked up
quite a thirst just writing this article!
Nile Virus Facts
late August 1999, there was a human encephalitis outbreak in New York City
and nearby Nassau and Westchester counties. Nearby, 22 horses began showing
neurologic signs of an encephalitic infection - lethargy, weakness in the hindquarters,
and convulsions. 3 of the horses died or were euthanatized and all tested
positive for the West Nile virus. Horses are highly susceptible to the virus -
a 1996 report from Egypt indicated 40 percent mortality.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
ANIMAL AND PLANT
HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE
GUIDELINE FOR PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF WEST NILE
VIRUS INFECTION FOR EQUINE, LIVESTOCK OR POULTRY
only vectors found to be associated with the 1999 WNV outbreak in New York, New
Jersey, and Connecticut were mosquitoes. No evidence has been found which suggests
that any invertebrate vectors other than mosquitoes were involved in WNV transmission
Reduce Mosquito Breeding Sites:
Reducing mosquito population can help to prevent or eliminate the presence
of virus in a given geographical area.
most important step any property owner can take to control mosquito populations
is to remove all potential sources of stagnant water in which mosquitoes might
breed. Dispose of any water-holding containers, including discarded tires. Drill
holes in the bottom of containers that are left out-of-doors. Clean clogged roof
gutters annually. Turn over plastic wading pools or wheelbarrows when not in use
and do not allow water to stagnate in bird baths. Aerate ornamental pools or stock
them with fish. Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not in use and be
aware that mosquitoes can breed in the water that collects on swimming pool covers.
Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property; mosquitoes
can breed in any puddle that lasts more than 4 days. Thoroughly clean livestock-watering
troughs monthly. Local mosquito control authorities may be able to help in assessing
the mosquito breeding risks associated with a specific property.
Exposure to Adult Mosquitoes
to reducing mosquito populations, preventing animals from being exposed to adult
mosquitoes is important.
Housing animals in structures with well-maintained insect screening can be useful
to reduce exposure to adult mosquitoes. Use of such mosquito-resistant structures
may actually lead to mosquito exposure unless precautions are first taken to eliminate
mosquitoes from inside the structure. This may be accomplished through a number
of means including the use of mosquito adulticides. In addition, use of fans may
reduce potential access of mosquitoes to equine or other livestock hosts.
Insect repellents. Use of insect repellents
may be of some value in decreasing exposure of horses to adult mosquitoes. Due
to practical limitations in the coverage area that may be achieved on any given
horse with a particular product formulation, and due to limited duration of effectiveness
of some formulations under certain conditions (e.g., perspiration), repellents
should not be solely relied upon to prevent mosquito exposure. Repellents should
be used according to their label instructions regarding appropriate species, method
of application, and other precautions.
exposure. Although some species of mosquitoes feed at dusk or dawn, others are
daytime feeders. As it is not yet clear which mosquitoes are responsible for the
transmission of WNV to horses and other mammalian species, making recommendations
as to when certain animals should avoid outdoor exposure is not particularly useful
at this time. If more information becomes available, recommendations on outdoor
exposure will be updated appropriately.
No vaccine currently exists that will prevent WNV infection in horses or other
animals. Potential vaccine development is being facilitated by USDA-APHIS by making
the avian and equine WNV isolates available to those with proper facilities for
doing vaccine development research.
information as of Fall 2002. There is an equine West Nile Virus vaccine available.
As of August 2002 it still had a conditional license from USDA but should be regularly
licensed in 2003. It is manufactured by Ft. Dodge and is available through your
veterinarian. It is a killed vaccine that is given in two doses the first year.
The second dose should be given 3-6 weeks after the first dose. Then each spring
thereafter, the horse should receive a booster. For more information on the vaccine,
go to https://www.equinewestnile.com/
the Suckling Foal to Tie
this month's continuing adventures of Sherlock, my suckling foal, I'm showing
you how I tie a foal the first time.
your foal should have had all of the lessons I described in previous newsletters.
The foal should lead well in hand, never pull back against halter pressure or
try to blast past you. The more thorough you are in teaching your foal to
give to pressure, the less of a chance he will panic or pull back when you tie
him the first time.
You need a well fitted foal halter; I add a browband to my foal's halters to keep
the halter positioned at the poll. You'll need an inner tube from a 15"
or larger car or pickup tire, two 10-12 foot lead ropes and one 20 foot rope,
all with heavy-duty snaps on one end.
Setting: My tie areas are very sturdy and safe with rubber
mats to prevent formation of holes from horses' standing, moving, and (eegad!)
pawing. This one is a 6 1/2 foot tall wood fence with the top half solid
2x8 planks. Leaving the lower half open prevents a horse from banging
his legs if he got to "messing around". The wood is all treated
with an anti-chew product as the eventual goal for all horses is to stand tied
without chewing, pawing, swerving back and forth, or pulling.
Process: I fold an inner tube in half so it becomes a C and I put
the C around a stout post. I run a lead rope through both ends of the
inner tube C and tied the lead rope with a quick release knot at about the
length that I think will be appropriate for the foal that I will tie. I
leave that lead rope hanging in place, ready for when I think the foal is ready
to be tied.
first I "soft tie" the foal to accustom him to the idea and physical
limitations of being tied by running a 20 foot rope through the inner tube
but leaving the end of the rope untied, just loose on the ground. I then
lead the foal to the tie area and attach him to the long, untied rope (Photo 1).
I remove the lead rope from the foal's halter.
pick up the end of the 20 foot rope (Photo 2) and let the foal experiment
and learn where he is and how being "soft tied" feels. If he were
to pull back, I could prevent him from getting away and I could use give and take
pressure on the long rope to teach him to respond to pressure. As it happened,
Sherlock's in-hand preparation resulted in him acting like "OK,
What's next?". So after standing with Sassy and monitoring Sherlock's non-plussed
attitude for about 5 minutes, I went forward and attached him to the pre-tied
I unsnapped the
20 rope from his halter and removed that rope from the inner tube (Photo 3) and
then walked away from Sherlock and let him stand tied (with his dam nearby).
He experimented a little bit moving forward and back to feel his limitations.
You'll notice that I have him tied a bit shorter than you might expect.
This is only for the first few tying lessons. I've found this results in
less "big moves" on the foal's part. If the foal were to be on very
long rope, coupled with the stretch from the inner tube, he could get pretty
far away from the tie post if he pulled, then would be catapulted back at the
solid object. I am trying to prevent such a crash from ever happening.
Once a foal is comfortable with tying, he will stand near the post (Photo 4) on
a slack rope, showing me that soon I will be able to lengthen his lead rope so
that he can lower his head if he wants. However, foals grow fast and by
the time he comes in for his next weekly lesson, he might have grown up to meet
his lead rope!
NOTE: I usually don't
like to mix the first tying lessons with other things like moving over while
tied, lifting feet while tied, grooming while tied, or deworming while tied.
It is best to let one lesson sink in and then add new elements on another day
after review of the tying. So next month, I'll continue with some things
to do while your foal is tied.
had the opportunity to view one more clinician at work since the last newsletter. Check
the Traveling Clinician page for a list
of clinicians' websites.
Added to Order Page
put off adding a credit card payment feature to my site mainly because of
high cost and security. However, after reading an article in the July
2000 Digital Time magazine, (p. 70, Clicking for Cash), I decided to add PayPal
to my site so that those that want to pay using Master Card or Visa can do so
by signing up with PayPal. If you want to sign up with PayPal, click here.
Because there are associated costs to me for the PayPal service, I can't
offer discounts on my books if you use PayPal. That's why there is a separate order
blank for PayPal orders and check orders. With check orders, you can still
enjoy the discounts I currently offer.
Postings on the Roundup Page
Catching on Pasture
Barefoot, Tender Feet
Behind the Bit
Foal Training - Sherlock's Page (new section added)
News and Reviews
Trailering Your Horse including a review
in August 2000 Western Horseman, p. 219
Stablekeeping including review in August
2000 Western Horseman, p. 219 and Chronicle of the Horse July 21, 2000 Endurance
Maximum Hoof Power review in August 2000 Paint Horse Journal
horsekeeping.com web site was featured in August 2000 Paint Horse Journal!
Longeing and Long Lining including June 25, 2000 review in the New Jersey Star
Recent Magazine Articles
Here's a roundup
of the most recent magazine articles by the "Klim-Team", Richard
Klimesh and Cherry Hill
August 2000 Western
"12 Stallions, One Corral" p. 122
2000 Horse & Rider
"Set Your Stirrups", p. 33
2000 Spin to Win
May 2000 Ride with Bob Avila
May 2000 The Trail Less
Interview with Richard Klimesh about hoof supplements
21, 2000 The Chronicle of the Horse
"Endurance Hoof Hints
July 2000 Western Horseman
"Barn Aisle Flooring", p.170
"Why Horses Stumble",
July 2000 Horse & Rider
"Trail Riding Essentials", p. 67
"Bang Your Horse's
Tail", p. 35
June 2000 Western Horseman
"Make Your Barn Legal", p. 72
"Using and Caring
for Saddle Blankets and Pads", p. 138
2000 Horse & Rider
"No More Tears", washing a
horse's head, p. 31
"Build a Desert Barn", Stable Plans, p. 42
"Effective Fly Spraying Techniques", Horsekeeping Skills, p. 46
philosophies, catching a horse, more foal training, and tips on buying
and selling horses.
Hill doesn't do endorsements!
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
That's it for this month.
Keep your mind in the middle
and a leg on each side.
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