The ANZAC Horses

The ANZAC Horses

Image courtesy of the State Library of QLD

ANZAC Day is on Thursday, where hundreds of thousands of people will turn out and commemorate all the men and women who served in the first World War.  We would also like to take a minute to recognise the brave horses who carried the soldiers on to the battleground. Often going without food or water for many hours, carrying soldiers with a lot of equipment, these horses also gave their lives to serve.

About the Waler

The main breed of horse used by Australians overseas were known as Walers. They were called this as most came from New South Wales but were in fact mixed breeds from all over Australia.  A few of the main influences on the breed include Thoroughbreds, Timor pony, Arab and Cape horses. Despite their similarities to the Australian Brumby, it is unlikely the Waler breed had much of their bloodlines in their lineage, particularly in the later stages. The vast majority are bay in colour, and around 15-16hh. These horses were used for their hardiness and temperament and are still bred today. For more information on these horses, we have included a link to the Australian War Memorial site here.

An article by the ABC from 2014 on the Waler horse here gives more insight into this breed of horse, which did not officially have a registered association until 1986. The people who breed them today say they have particular qualities to pass on and are a good choice for many disciplines due to their quiet, calm temperament and stamina for work.

We hope you all had a fantastic Easter break, and stay tuned for our new winter stock and sales coming in the very near future! Why not give our Facebook page a like and then you’ll be notified of any great bargains we have coming up!

 

pony

Weight Scoring Your Horse

Weight Scoring Your Horse

Maintaining a good weight on your horse can be a complicated matter. Some horses gain weight at the sniff of a blade of grass. Others need a wide variety of different feeds to keep them in good condition. Factors like paddock condition, exercise, breed and medical conditions can all affect your horse. Question is, do you know whether your horse is underweight, overweight or just right?

One of the ways you can tell is by checking your horse’s condition against a standardised body score chart, like the one posted above. This chart scores your horse’s body using the Henneke system, which has been around for a very long time. You can use this chart to get a rough idea on whether your horse might need that bit of extra care to gain or lose some weight. Of course, if you’re ever in doubt, consulting with a vet or equine nutritionist is always the safest option. If you want to work out your horse’s approximate weight, there are a few ways.

The first one is obviously using a scale, but not everyone has access to one. The second is using a weight tape, where you measure different areas of your horse’s body. The numbers on the tape gives you an estimated weight. The third way is using a regular tape measure around your horse’s girth, your horse’s height from ground to wither and their body length. You can input these measurements and it will calculate an approximate weight for your horse. In some ways, this can be more accurate than a weight tape, particularly if you are not 100% on how to use a weight tape properly. You can find an online calculator here.

Once you have an idea where your horse sits on the weight scale, you will be able to work out if you need to change what and how much they are eating.

 

horse trick smiling

4 Simple Tricks Your Horse Can Learn

4 Simple Tricks Your Horse Can Learn

horse trick smiling

Having fun with horses isn’t always about jumping on their backs and riding. Groundwork and building trust and a bond with your horse are important too. For something different, why not teach your horse a few simple party tricks? All you need is positive reinforcement, rewards, and patience! Here are a few to get you started.

Smile:

Get a treat your horse likes, and hold it over its upper lip. By moving the treat up and down, your horse will move its lip to try and get the treat. When your horse does this, make sure you reward them by giving them the treat. Repeat step one, and gradually ask the horse to lift its lip higher before giving them the reward. Once they have gotten that far, start adding a spoken command and a hand movement. Saying “smile” and lifting a finger is an example of how to do this. If you do this every time your horse lifts its lip, they will eventually associate that word with the action.

Back-Up:

This is a very common trick that is usually taught to a horse for ground manners and respecting people’s space. It can be taken further and can be taught while you are actually riding the horse at the time. The key to “back up” is your horse walking backward when you say “back” or “back up”, and move your hand in a waving motion.

When starting, gently ‘push’ your horse backward. As you are doing this, say “back” and moving your hand or finger in a motion of your choice. Reward your horse every time it does so. Once that step is established, repeat and then start using less and less pressure on the horse, always rewarding them when they do so. When your horse has recognized this, stand slightly offside from the front of your horse and say “Back” while using your chosen gesture. Your horse should back away. Stay at step one/two as long as your horse needs to understand. At some point, if you choose, your horse will also back, while you are sitting on it.

Lift Foreleg:

Gently lift, or touch your horse’s leg and say “lift”. If they make any movement at all, then reward them. Keep repeating the first step, once you have done this several times and your horse has responded, lift your leg simultaneously. Reward and repeat. Once your horse has understood, it should lift it’s leg when you lift yours and say “lift”. You can also keep touching your horse’s leg. When your horse has figured out the trick, it should be able to perform the leg lift while you are standing on the ground and in the saddle.

Counting:

Lay a towel or a tarp in front of your horse, and lead them to it. Most horses will try to stomp or paw at it to test if it’s safe to step on. Immediately reward them if they do so. To progress, walk to the tarp, say ‘count’ and touch their leg. When they start counting, immediately praise and give your horse a treat. Repeat a few times. In between, make sure you lead your horse away from the tarp. Following a few training sessions, you should be able to leave the object and just use a visual cue and voice to make them count.

In conclusion: It is all about positive encouragement, patience, and no punishment. If you make it fun and stress-free for your horse to learn these tricks, they are more likely to catch on to other tricks in the future!

 

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horse, horse riding

Endurance Riding – More Than A Trail Ride!

Endurance Riding – More Than A Trail Ride!

horse, horse ridingWe hear a lot of talk in the horse world about dressage, showjumping, and eventing. These are even Olympic sports that people and their horses compete in worldwide. If these aren’t the kind of competitive riding events you’re interested in, have you thought of endurance riding?

Here in the Brisbane Valley area, we have loads of beautiful trails that are perfect for leisure trail riding. You can even train and compete in endurance events!

One such event is the Yarraman Endurance Ride on the 30th – 31st March. Held by Endurance Horse Sports Australia, it has multiple options for competing over 20, 40 or even 80kms. Obviously, these types of events require prior conditioning to enter long distances. If this is something that you think you’d like to work up to, why not head over and find out more about what is required!

What Is Endurance Riding?

Endurance riding is long-distance races, that are broken up into checkpoints. It is far more than just attempting to go full-speed the entire way and involves planning what pace to set per section. There are often multiple distances to choose from, to cater for people new to the sport as well as experienced competitors.

In an endurance ride, the winner is the first one to cross the finish line while stopping at intervals for vet checks. These ensure the horse isn’t in distress or exhausted and able to continue on. Unlike horse racing though, any improvement on your horse’s performance is viewed as a success, not necessarily coming first overall. It is a true test of a horse and rider’s stamina, not unlike marathon racing. Endurance riding differs from trail riding – you are given maps of the set route you must take, and if you miss a “checkpoint”, you can be disqualified. If there are any significant terrain obstacles like creeks, ditches or steep inclines and declines, the rider will be notified of them as well.

Gear is also important. You generally want any tack to be light and well-padded for your horse’s comfort. There are saddles that have been specially designed to be lightweight, breathable and much more comfortable for the horse and rider over the distance. Some horses will be ridden in bitless bridles or even rope halters, and quite often the use of a breastplate will be required for steep inclines.

Conclusion

This is just a very brief overview of endurance riding. If it has piqued your interest, why not head over to the EHSA website to find out more? If you require embroidery for an event such as this, why not get in contact with us and find out how we can help. Have a safe and fun weekend!

tack horse rug storage

Horse Rugs Storage Ideas

Horse Rug Storage Ideas

With horse ownership, it is inevitable that you will end up collecting a lot of gear along the way. Halters, brushes, bandages, bridles, saddles, other accessories. The list goes on. Most things you buy, you probably don’t need but are good to have on hand. Some items are easy to store, but others can be bulky and difficult. Horse rugs definitely fall under the latter. Some horses have a small set, consisting of one winter and maybe one light summer rug. Other horses can have entire wardrobes of rugs to suit different conditions and scenarios.

One of the biggest issues it how to store all these rugs? They aren’t the cheapest horse item, so you don’t want them getting ruined by horses standing on them, shed vermin such as rats and mice, or your local friendly spider clan building their home inside them!

Today we are going to outline a few ideas to help store your rugs to keep them protected, dry and insect free!

4 Out-of-the-box Horse Rug Storage Options

  • Vacuum Storage Bags – these are a fantastic option, you can fold your horse rug/s inside it, seal it shut and then suck all the air out of the bag, leaving it flat. It can then be stored on a shelf or cupboard until you need them again. This is best for keeping out-of-season rugs in good condition over the months they aren’t needed. These can be purchased at stores like Kmart or Big W.
  • Old Chest Freezer – have a big old chest freezer that no longer works? Clean it and use as horse rug storage! It allows for easy access via the lid, and when shut, will keep out spiders, mice and other animals who might like to mark their territory on it. Gumtree or Ebay are great options to find one of these.
  • Plastic Storage Container – ideal for thin or small rugs. Snap-on lids keep the bugs out, they stack on top of each other and can even have wheels for easy transport. Once again, Kmart or Big W can help with these.
  • Feed drums with lids – once the contents have been used, feed drums are great for storing rugs for similar reasons as a storage container. Your local feed store might even have empty drums that they are only too happy to offload for free. It never hurts to ask.

We hope these 4 out of the box horse rug storage options have been helpful to you. As always, any questions about our horse rugs can be asked via our contact page or our Facebook page. Have a fantastic rest of the week!

 

 

Payment Options For Our Horse Rugs

Payment Options For Our Horse Rugs

One of the most common questions we get here at Bang For Your Buck Horsegear, is what payment options are available. We all understand that horses are not the cheapest animal in the world to own! To help our wonderful customer base out, we try to offer a range of payment options for our horse rugs to suit everyone.

 

 Our Online Store:

Here on our online store, you are able to pay for your purchases in a few different ways.

Firstly, the good old credit card. You can use our secure gateway to make payment for your horse rugs using your credit or debit card.

Second – Paypal. You can log in to your Paypal account and use your debit or credit cards to pay for your purchase.

Third – Afterpay. This is becoming one of the most popular ways for people to purchase the items they need, and pay them off over a period of weeks. Similar to a layby, the difference is that the first payment isn’t taken for two weeks after the order has been placed, and you get your goods shipped immediately. Easy and convenient!

Fourth – Bank Transfer. Some people prefer not to use their credit cards online or use the other options above. That’s why we offer the ability to direct deposit payment of your purchase into our bank account. Don’t forget to let us know the reference name or number at the time of purchase, as we might not know who it belongs to!

Fifth – Over the phone. If, by chance, our payment gateways are down and you’re unable to pay for your order, you are more than welcome to give us a call and pay for your order over the phone.

 

For Locals:

If you’re close to our location, you can contact us directly with your order, and can pay either beforehand using one of the above options, or by making an arrangement on pickup. While pick up is available, it is vital to contact us beforehand so we can check we have what you require on hand. The best way is to phone us directly on (07) 5426 1837 or by emailing us at info@bangforyourbuckhorsegear.com.au

 

 

stacked bales of hay

What Type Of Hay?

What Type Of Hay?

stacked bales of hay There are many different types of hay worldwide. Here in Australia, there are varieties that are more commonly grown than others. Hay is an excellent source of roughage for a horse’s digestive system. The act of eating from a haynet can also help relieve boredom while confined, in order to keep their digestive tract active.

Below we have listed the 5 most common types of hay available and a little bit about where they originate and their nutritive quality for your horse’s diet.

Lucerne

Lucerne is probably the most popular type of hay for most horses. It has a high protein content (10-15%), is quite leafy and soft and highly palatable for horses. Good lucerne hay is deep green in colour with mostly leaves and little stalk. Lucerne is a good, drought-resistant crop and provides many vitamins and minerals for horses where grazing is limited or poor quality. Shedded lucerne is also the hay of choice for horses susceptible to founder (laminitis) as it has one of the lowest sugar percentages while providing nutrition.

Grassy Lucerne

Grassy lucerne is a combination of lucerne hay and grass hay mixed together. Generally speaking, the percentage of lucerne in grassy lucerne is higher than the grass content. Around 70% as a minimum. It has a lower protein content than straight lucerne and can be quite stalky. Horses generally do not have a problem with this type of hay, excluding those prone to laminitis. This is because the sugar content in grass is considerably higher than lucerne and can trigger an insulin response in these horses.

Rhodes

Rhodes grass hay is another good source of protein for horses but contains less % of minerals such as calcium. Horses enjoy it as pasture but sometimes can be turned off Rhodes grass in hay form as it can be quite stalky and dry. If your horse doesn’t require the high protein and mineral content provided by lucerne, then fresh Rhodes hay is an excellent choice for feeding. It is usually pale green to pale gold in colour with long leaves.

Barley

Barley is a cereal crop that is mostly turned into a grain. It can also be harvested into hay for horses and cattle. Barley that has had the grain removed will then be cut as straw as a by-product. It has quite a high sugar and starch content. A lot of horses will eat it as chaff mixed with other feed but will refuse to eat it as hay due to it being quite dry.

Conclusion

There are many types of cereal crops and grasses that are turned into hay. All have different properties, therefore if you have a concern about feeding these hays, seek guidance from an equine nutritionist. This is particularly important if your horse has medical conditions directly affected by what they eat.

At Bang For Your Buck Horsegear, we strive to contribute positively to your horse’s wellbeing. Have any questions about the suitability of our horse rugs? Find us on our horse rugs Facebook page or get in contact with us so we can find the solution. Happy Horsin’!

horse rugs embroidery

Horse Rugs Embroidery

Horse Rugs Embroidery

 Did you know that aside from having the best range of quality horse rugs around, we can also do customised embroidery? You are able to select from 10 different fonts – you can view the horse rug fonts here. We can embroider up to 25 letters for a small added fee when you purchase a horse rug from us. All you have to do is select the options you want, including font, colour and the name you require. It couldn’t be more simple!

Want even better news? If you require a bit more than just a name on a horse rug, we can do that too! If you have an organisation such as a pony club and require trophy rugs or club logos embroidered, Bang For Your Buck Horsegear has you covered, with Trophy Rug and Embroidery Available!

We can offer:

  • Logo Digitisation
  • Media we can embroider includes Horse Rugs, Saddle Blankets, Caps, Shirts etc
  • We can Pantone colour match for your organisation’s identity standards.
  • Club Discounts
  • Quality Workmanship

Whatever you require, contact us and we can work out a solution for you and provide a custom quote for your specifications! Just another reason how we can provide real Bang For Your Buck!

 

horse food for thought

Food For Thought

Food For Thought

horse food for thought Christmas Day is over for another year! Who else thinks that they ate far too much of the wrong foods?! <raises hand> There’s a chance you may have given your pets the leftovers of your Christmas feasts, which in some cases may not be the best thing. We know that there are foods that dogs are unable to digest, such as chocolate, grapes, and onions. But did you know there are some fruits and vegetables that you shouldn’t give your horse to munch on?

Fruit & Veg No-no’s

Of the fruits and vegetables listed below, a few can be fed in small quantities which have been noted below. The rest of the list can cause a wide range of illnesses including anaemia, colic, toxicosis, seizures,  choking and gas issues. If in doubt, always check with your vet if you aren’t sure or your horse already has digestive issues.

  • Garlic, onions, cabbage, cauliflower & broccoli in large quantities
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Chocolate
  • Stone fruits without the seed removed
  • Avocado
  • Bread products
  • Dairy products (all horses are lactose intolerant! Fun fact!)

Now that we’ve listed the things you can’t feed a horse, here is the list of things that you can feed them! Just keep in mind that these should only be fed occasionally and not be their main source of food. Any of these “safe” foods fed in frequent, excess quantities can have side effects for your horse.

Safe Foods (not primary source)

  • Berries (most varieties including strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries etc)
  • Apples (without the core…the seeds can be toxic)
  • Bananas
  • Licorice
  • Carrots
  • Grapes
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pineapples
  • Watermelon
  • Apricots & nectarines without the seeds

We hope this has given you some insights on fresh, fun treats you can give your horse occasionally, and which ones to avoid completely. Another way to treat your horse this Christmas season is to get them one of our flash new horse rugs to help keep them clean and cool. We have a massive sale currently on a range f horse rugs in store, so why not check it out and nab yourself a bargain? By saving money now, you can buy more treats for them later!

 

preventable horse diseases

Preventable Horse Diseases

Preventable Horse Diseases (and how to avoid them)

 We all love our horses dearly. Like most pets, vet bills can be very costly when your horse gets injured or ill from a preventable horse disease. The best ways to minimise this is to make sure they are vaccinated regularly. We have listed the 4 most common preventable horse diseases below. It lists what they do and why you need to prevent them!

4 of The Most Common Horse Diseases/Conditions

  • Tetanus – the first preventable horse disease on the list is Tetanus. “Clostridium tetani” is the technical name for the organism that causes this disease. Unfortunately, it can be anywhere but is not contagious. It lives in soil and manure and most commonly enters the horse’s body through wounds on the skin and hooves. If your horse shows any of the signs, it is vital to get veterinary help. Because of the horse’s inability to eat, drink and even breathe as the disease progresses, delaying treatment is almost guaranteed to be fatal. Signs of tetanus include severe muscle stiffness, difficulty chewing, the third eyelid covering the eye in spasms, tail held straight out and a stretched out, stiff posture.
  • Strangles –  A bacterial respiratory disease caused by “Streptococcus equi”. It is highly contagious, because of this affected horses must be isolated for 6-8 weeks. Symptoms include green, yellow or white nasal discharge, high temperature and difficulty swallowing. Coughing and enlarged lymph nodes around the throat can affect their breathing. Due to this, it is vital to call your vet for treatment. Symptoms can last for weeks.
  • Hendra – Hendra is a viral disease spread by fruit bats. Horses get it by eating food contaminated by these fruit bats who are carriers. The main difference with this disease is that it can spread to humans. There is no treatment and is fatal for horses. Symptoms include fever, fast breathing with difficulty, mobility issues, increased heart rate, and discomfort while resting. There can also be nasal discharge and involuntary muscle twitching. Humans can show similar flu-like symptoms. If they have been in contact with a horse with similar symptoms, they must be taken for medical treatment immediately.
  • Internal Parasites – The 2 main types of internal parasites are worms, and bots (fly eggs). Symptoms for affected horses can vary. Some show no signs at all, others will lose condition rapidly. The most common ones are the loss of, or increased appetite, poor growth in young horses, weight loss, anaemia, and tail rubbing. The best way to prevent a heavy worm load is to use a broad spectrum worming paste and have your vet test the manure for an egg count.

In Summary

We want to do the right thing by our horses and keep them healthy. By keeping their vaccinations and worming up-to-date, as a result, you are helping stop the spread of these diseases. It is important to be informed because it is not just your horse who could be affected. Thank you for reading this post, and that it helps you in the future.