tick free horse

Finding and removing ticks on your horse.

Horse ticks and parasites that you should watch out for include ticks, lice, worms and bots. The main ticks are the Australian cattle ticks, New Zealand cattle ticks and paralysis ticks. Cattle ticks are most commonly found in Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, Northern Territory and the warmer parts of New Zealand.

Paralysis ticks are mainly found in the East coast of Australia. These ticks of course cause paralysis but can sometimes be enough to kill a young foal. Fully developed horses are more resistant to the fatal side, but can still be paralysed by this horse tick.

So, how to tell if your horse has ticks?

Horses will rub and lick around the area that is attached. If your horse is laying or resting for long periods or laboured breathing and rubbing against fences, they could be irritated with a horse tick. And those are just some of the many symptoms your horse will show if they have a tick. To find out more you can see here at www.wagwalking.com.

Now, how to remove a tick if your horse does have one?

There are of course tick removal kits, but you could also use needle point tweasers. Use the tweasers to grab the tick by the head which will be mostly dug into the horses skin. Then twist the head out counter clockwise, make sure you have it by the head or it could detach and get left under the horses skin. Also make sure not to squeeze to hard when pulling the tick out as it can regurgitate into the horses skin.

Ticks can be found anywhere, but tend to be where there is long hair. Like the tail, the mane or the ears and can even be found on their fetlock. Which is at the back of the heel of some specific horses. They can also be found in places like the armpit, girth and the flanks, where the horse is warm and fleshy.

Brushing your horse regularly will help locate a horse tick and pull it out before it does any damage. Washing your horse and keeping a rug on it also helps. Which you can purchase from our store here.

tick free horse

winter horse rugs

Winter Horse Rugs – Does Your Horse Need It?

Winter Horse Rugs – Are They Needed?

It’s time to pull out your winter horse rugs! Or is it?

Winter has started to poke its head up here in the south-east corner of QLD! While we rarely see the types of freezing temperatures as our friends in south-west QLD, NSW & Victoria do, there are occasions where your horse would appreciate a snuggly rug overnight.

The question a lot of you are wondering is – how do you work out if rugging them is beneficial?

Here are some tips on how to work out if you should rug your horse or not.

What breed is your horse?

Most breeds, especially ponies, grow thick coats during winter that protect them well. More refined breeds such as pure Arabians, Thoroughbreds and warmbloods are susceptible to feeling the cold more. If you have one of these breeds who have a naturally thin coat all year round, then rugging is a good option.

What’s the weather like?

Is it cold but dry, or constantly wet and muddy, or even snowing? If the last two, then it is a good idea to rug them just to help protect them from the wet and cold.

How frequently is your horse worked?

Is your horse is ridden every day or competes frequently? Answer yes, then you will want to reduce the amount of fluffy coat that your horse can produce. Rugging is a way of limiting hair growth, but it must be done regularly. If the horse is only ridden every so often then it could be better to allow them to grow out their coat. Remember to take extra time to dry them off when you do work them.

Does your horse lose condition easily?

Do you have a horse that drops condition quickly and requires hard feeding all year round? Then rugging is definitely a good choice. This means he won’t burn energy and fat trying to keep himself warm.

What rugs do you have available?

If you only have a heavy thickness winter rug, then you probably only want to use it when it is really wet and cold and miserable overnight. If you have a range of different rugs for the seasons, then a lighter rug overnight is a good option. A lighter rug can also be left on during the day if needed.

Are you able to remove the rug during the daytime when it’s warmer?

If you’re unable to regularly rug and unrug your horse depending on the temperature, then it could be an idea to not rug them. Horses can also overheat quite easily with a winter rug on during average daytime temperatures here in QLD, so for their comfort, being left unrugged can be better for your horse.

We hope this has given you some guidance on whether to rug your horse this winter season. We have a great variety of winter horse rugs available on sale at the moment that can cover most weather options, so why not check it out? You’ll need to get in quick as popular sizes are selling fast!

Horse stables

Equine Vital Signs – What Are They?

Equine Vital Signs – What Are They?

Equine vital signs include temperature, pulse, and respiration. Every person who owns horses should know how to do this quickly and correctly. Knowing how to read a horse’s vital signs properly can be very helpful in an emergency situation, and is a major part of equine first aid. Today we will tell you how to find these on your horse, and what to look for to know if something is amiss.

Temperature is taken on a horse rectally. No, it’s not fun, but you have to make sure its inserted properly for an accurate reading. At the same time, be aware that some horses will not like this, and may kick if it is not done quickly and confidently. Normal temperature is anywhere from 37.2-38.3°Celsius, or 99.5-101.5 degrees Fahrenheit (although some horses may normally be slightly lower than the minimum). Anything higher needs careful monitoring and a likely vet visit.

Pulse can be taken in a few places: by palpation where the cheek meets the jaw and at the digital pulse in the artery that runs down the fetlock, and also by listening right in under their elbow with a stethoscope. Normal heart rate is anywhere from 36-42 beats per minute.

Respiration can be gauged by watching the sides of the horse move as they breathe in and out. An adult horse’s normal breathing rate is anywhere from 12-16 breaths per minute.

Mucous Membranes are located in your horse’s gums and inner lip linings. They should be moist and a healthy pink colours. If you press down on them, the capillaries should come back to normal within a couple of seconds.

This is very useful information to provide your vet over the phone in advance of their arrival,so they are aware of what they are dealing with.

What Not To Do When Taking Your Horse’s Vital Signs

If you are not too familiar with taking a horse’s vital signs, don’t worry. Here is a list of things not to do, in order to prevent a false reading and therefore an unnecessary vet trip! The important things to remember are:

  • Make sure you leave the thermometer in long enough. This will prevent a false low temperature reading as a result.
  • Be careful when taking vital signs on a nervous or skittish horse. A horses’ pulse and respiration rates are already elevated if they are nervous and therefore can provide a false reading.
  • Don’t measure respiration rate by getting your horse to sniff your hand. Due to salt and other scents on you, it therefore will lead to them sniffing far more than usual. This can provide a false, increased breathing rate.
  • Double-counting heartbeats. A horse’s heart beat has two components, an “up” sound and and “out” sound. It can been described as a “lub-dub” sound. This lub-dub is equivalent to one heartbeat. If you count both parts, you will get a false elevated heart rate.

We hope you have enjoyed learning how to accurately take and interpret your horse’s vital signs. If you have any questions about our products, be sure to get in contact with us for assistance! Until next week, Safe Riding!

horse keeping

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!

 

 

horse rugs sale

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’!