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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 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!

 

horses

Can You Recognise Heat Stress In Your Horse?

Can You Recognise Heat Stress In Your Horse?

Recently, the east coast of Australia had a week-long spell of unusually hot weather for October/November. While it is relatively easy for us humans to cool ourselves down, horses aren’t quite so lucky. It is very important to recognise the signs of heat stress in your horse and steps you can take to prevent this.

Signs of Heat Stress:

  • If riding your horse, try and do it first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon. Not only is it less likely to send your horse into distress, but it reduces the risk of your harm as well, from sunburn and dehydration.
  • Make sure your horse has ample access to cool water. If there is no choice but to have water in an area that receives full-sun, why not try adding some large ice blocks made out of soft drink bottles into the trough or bucket to assist in keeping the water cooler?
  • Adequate shade in their paddock is vital, or a well-ventilated stable or structure. Some people don’t know it, but it is actually considered neglect if a horse doesn’t have some form of shade in their paddock to get out of the sun. Having one of these, especially during our summers, is a no-brainer and should be a priority.
  • When hosing your horse to cool them down, always scrape excess water off them. If the water is left on their coats, it can heat up itself once the horse is outside and actually make them hotter! Some horses will roll after being hosed. To us, it makes them dirty again; to them, it’s adding a protective coating to repel heat getting to their skin.
  • For horses with medical conditions such as Cushings Disease, you need to be extra careful. One of the symptoms of this disease is a horse not being able to self-regulate their body temperature through coat shedding, among other things. If you suspect a horse heat stress is not from direct exercise or other outside conditions, get them checked by a vet.

How do I recognise the signs of heat stress?

  • Horse is sweating profusely, or alternately not sweating at all, along with:
  • High breathing rate, even panting to try and get more oxygen circling their body
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Skin to touch is dry and hot
  • Higher than normal temperature

If your horse is showing some of these signs, you need to act quickly. Move them into the shade and hose them off with cool water and scraping after. Always seek veterinary attention, particularly if your horse is severely distressed. Untreated, it can cause organ failure and the inevitable death of your horse.

Horse needs horse rugs

Protect Your Horse From Flies

Protect Your Horse From Flies

How CAN you protect your horse from flies? It’s that time of year again. The warm weather and wet season bring an influx of the bane of a horse’s existence! For whatever reason, flies and mosquitos seem particularly attracted to a horse’s legs and face. They can cause anxiety and fidgeting in horses on the ground and while being ridden, and in some cases cause illness and injury through blood loss and itching.

Today we will outline some steps you can take to minimize flies, mosquitoes and other biting insects around your paddock and stable, and causing misery to your horse.

Fly Prevention Tips

  1. Clear Away Manure – flies LOVE horse poo! One of the best ways you can help discourage flies is to regularly clear out paddocks and stables of manure. It is also a great idea to have your manure pile as far away as practically possible from where your horse spends most of its time.
  2. Put On A Mesh Horse Rug – putting a light mesh horse rug on your horse is a great way to protect them just about everywhere except their legs! While some might think that horses would get too hot with a rug on, the fabrics created today can actually reflect heat, keeping them cooler. The added protection from biting insects is also a plus! You can find a wide range of summer rugs on our site HERE.
  3. Repellents – applying fly repellant regularly to your horses’ legs will provide temporary relief. There are many varieties to choose from, with varying prices. Rotating different types of repellents will help you find the one most effective for your situation.
  4.  Keep Water Fresh & Aerated – ensuring your horse has plenty of clean, fresh water is a given. It should be cleaned out and/or topped up each day. Make sure any empty containers that get filled with water don’t sit for too long and go stagnant. This is the ideal breeding ground for insects. By removing these, you’re giving the insects less opportunity to breed.
  5. Use A Flyveil – if flies are bad while you’re out riding, consider putting a fly hood or veil on your horse’s head to give them relief. If your horse has never had one on before, then proceed with caution and acclimatise them to one. It could make training and trail riding a much nicer experience for both of you!

In Summary

Flies and mosquitoes can make our lives a misery, but at the same time, they can provide a valuable service to nature. We hope these tips have helped give you ideas on how to protect your horse from flies this summer. If you ever have any questions about our range of horse rugs, don’t hesitate to contact us.