Do you remember the horse that taught you so much? Maybe he belonged to a friend or neighbor, maybe he was a lesson horse at a barn you went to, or perhaps he was the first horse you ever owned. These horses, our equine trainers, played a unique role; they set the foundation for who we have become as horse-people.
They taught us the meaning of respect. They gently made us responsible for our actions. They even improved how we communicate. Through their generosity, these horses endured our clumsy pursuit of balance in the saddle, our requests of them that weren’t clear even to us and countless experiences that are on our ‘first’ list (my first canter, my first jump, my first show).
They showed us the joy of accomplishment and humbled us just when we needed it. They started us on a path to learning and our lives wouldn’t be the same without them.
Perhaps you are still enjoying your equine trainer, or maybe your education has surpassed their abilities. Maybe they have passed onto greener pastures, but you will always remember them for what they brought to your life and how they shaped who you are today. So this is an ode to those horses who have given us so much and asked for so little in return. Thank you for all you have done for us. We are forever in your debt.
Farewell to Widgy, my equine trainer: May 1982 – June 2010
As summer brings higher temperatures and humidity, it becomes crucial to pay extra attention to how horse feed is stored to maintain its freshness. Proper storage is essential to prevent spoilage and ensure the feed remains palatable and nutritious. Read on for valuable tips on storing horse feed during the summer months.
Choosing the Right Container for Feed Storage
When transferring feed from bags to containers, opt for a waterproof and sealable container. This type of container will keep pests, such as mice and insects, at bay and prevent unwanted moisture from reaching the feed. A waterproof container is especially important in case of unexpected water leakage in the storage area.
Importance of Location for Feed Storage
The location of the feed container is critical to maintaining feed freshness. Check that your designated feed room or storage area is not exposed to unnecessary moisture, such as leaks or sweating pipes. Elevating the feed bin off the floor can help prevent moisture damage in the event of rain or minor flooding. Additionally, assess whether the storage area is exposed to excessive heat, such as the south or west wall of metal-sided buildings. Relocating the feed bin to a cooler or dryer area within the barn or shed will help preserve feed quality.
Implementing FIFO Method for Feed Rotation
Consider practicing the First In First Out (FIFO) method to manage feed inventory. This method involves feeding the older feed from the bin before using the newly purchased feed. By following this approach, you can ensure that feed does not exceed its ideal shelf life and maintain freshness. Between feed rotations, periodically wash and thoroughly dry the storage container to remove any residue or build-up.
Proper storage of horse feed during the summer is essential for maintaining freshness and preserving its nutritional value. Choose a waterproof and sealable container to prevent pests and moisture from compromising feed quality. Ensure the storage location is free from unnecessary moisture and excessive heat. Embrace the FIFO method to prioritize the use of older feed first and regularly clean the storage container. By following these steps, you can optimize feed freshness and provide your horses with high-quality nutrition. Stay tuned for more information on factors affecting feed shelf life. Happy riding!
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Like many of you, I am fortunate to have my horses in my life. But having horses often means giving up time for other parts of my life, such as going out with friends, cleaning the house (oh darn) or other hobbies. Horse people have a saying: if your house is clean, you’re not spending enough time in the barn.
I was fortunate enough to grow up on a small hobby farm with horses. My parent’s told me that if I wanted to have horses as a ‘grown up’ that I needed good grades in school, to get through college and get a good job. Horses are not exactly a low investment hobby, so I followed their advice. Now that I have the degree, career and horses, time seems to be the biggest constraint.
There is a certain amount of irony to this; the job that pays for the horses is the biggest thing that keeps me from spending time with them. I don’t believe that I am alone; countless other professionals or college students must have this same struggle.
During the week, I get home after a long commute (I live out in the country so my horses can be with me), feed the horses, clean the barn and check fences. If anything has been broken, it gets fixed. Add in time to feed and care for the dogs, myself and it’s already late in the evening, nearly time to go to bed just to get up early for the long commute to work the next morning.
My solution so far has been to ‘schedule’ my saddle time. Weather permitting I designate an evening during the week after work to be ‘horse night’. If I’m too tired from work, I will only do grooming or ground work. So instead of cleaning the house, walking the dog or weeding the garden, the horses get their much deserved attention. This is a sacrifice I’m willing to make; I’m sure the weeds will be there tomorrow.
What do you do to strike the balance in your life?
Have you ever noticed how passionate a horse owner is about horse feed? Granted, there are some folks I’ve met who are indifferent, but more often than not, when I ask a horseperson about their choice of horse feed, eyes brighten up and energy increases as they explain why the feed works for their horse.
As a 20+ year horse owner, I can certainly understand! The connection we have with our horses is unlike any other; the enrichment of having a horse in your life is difficult to put into words; achieving dreams and beyond, teaching us the entire way.
Recently, I read an article about a Miniature Horse stallion named Buckeroo, standing at Little King Farm in Madison, Indiana. This horse not only changed the business of Little King Farm, he changed the lives of Ed and Marianne and their family by opening up the world of possibilities (literally!) all the while teaching valuable life lessons: “to respect, be loyal, take responsibility, see things through with dedication and (he) taught them with love.” This stallion created an international business that has fulfilled Marianne and Ed’s dreams and then some.
The story of Buckeroo resonated with me as one example of how horses can make our dreams come true. Henry David Thoreau once said ‘Dreams are the touchstones of our character.’ How passionate are you about fueling your dreams?