Friday, January 30, 2009

What to Expect as a Beginner in Horse Back Riding

One cannot simply jump onto a horse for the first time and gallop away into the sunset - at least not without injury. Horse riding lessons are required for a person to build up the skill and the confidence necessary to become a truly good rider. In order to learn any higher skills, whether it be show jumping or barrel racing, a solid foundation is required. Beginner riding lessons are designed to teach new riders balance, basic skills and confidence.

Balance is a fundamental element required in learning to ride a horse. Without a good seat, further skills cannot be developed. In learning to balance on a horse, one will learn to move with the horse instead of against it. The natural reaction is to brace one's self and tense their muscles in response to a horse's panic or even just the oddity of its movement underneath a person. This is a matter of time and practice. Often times, an instructor will lead or lunge a horse with a new student on its back. The rider can then take their hands off of the reins and saddle, release their stirrups and truly feel the horse's movement. This is a technique which many trainers employ when working with those new to horse riding. Gripping the saddle is fine for pony rides, but in real riding, one needs to learn sooner rather than later how to balance without this safety blanket.

Basic skills which will be taught in beginner horse riding lessons include the obvious stopping, starting and turning. Skills quickly advance past these necessities to other required skills. Riders must learn to guide a horse with not only hands and reins, but legs as well. This guidance with the legs will be essential in more advanced levels to perform movements such as half passes, leg yielding and other sideways movements.

Leg pressure is also necessary in learning to create bend in a horse - a rather fundamental principal. In beginner horse riding lessons, one will also be taught the basics of form which apply in most fields of riding. One must sit straight, neither slouching on the tailbone, nor perching forward. Legs should be stretched long, with heels down. Hands should be down, just off of the saddle, and elbows held close to the body. Eyes should always be up and looking where one wants their horse to go.

Confidence is a key factor in advancing beyond the basics. In beginner horse back riding lessons, one will learn to truly control a horse. Riders come away from these lessons with a sense of pride and confidence from the knowledge and skills they have gained.
Liberty Adjustable Spring Horse

Learn to ride a horse from the comfort of your own home. Lessons include a bonus horseback riding video.

Monday, January 26, 2009

An Overview Of The English Tack Items

Horse tack is the name for every piece of equipment that is needed for the horseback riding enthusiast. There are two main styles of riding, the English style and the Western style. These two different styles each have their own set of tack; English tack and Western tack. Most shops carry both kinds, but some carry more of one style than the other.

There are several main components to the English tack that are different than Western horse tack. Of course, the basic elements are there; the saddle, bridles, stirrups, bits, and harnesses, but for English horses, many of these different items have their own unique twist. Horse riding has been a popular sport in Europe for many years, almost since horses became used for riding, so it is not surprising that they have their own styles of horse supply. The English horse equipment is used for most Olympic sports, and is also used for most other equestrian sports.

The English saddle is different from the western saddle because it is smaller and allows the horse a greatest range of motion. The English bridle has a Cavesson noseband, and is mostly used because it has the greatest functionality. Another English bridle, called the double bridle, has two bits for maximum control by the rider. English riders also use a breastplate to protect the horse in dangerous activities, such as jumping and fox hunting. There is also a difference not only in accessories between the English and Western styles of horse supply, but also in riding style. English riding focuses more on style and precision, while Western riding focuses more on abilities that the horse and rider can do together.

There are many different sources that offer English tack equipment for your horse. Most tack supplies shops offer both the Western tack and English styles. If new materials are too expensive for you, then there are also different discount tack shops that offer the same materials for reduced prices because they are used. Sometimes English horse tack can be a little harder to find, but there are still options. There are many shops that also sell things through the internet. Shipping is sometimes a big expense, so try and find the larger items nearer to home if possible. And of course, if you are new to the style, be sure to consult with a professional before purchasing any equipment.

For the English style of riding, English tack supplies are necessary for professional quality and safety. Riders in the English style need all of the English horse supply accessories to be competitive in the field. Most riding supply shops sell this kind of tack, so finding the right equipment should be pretty easy. Just remember that if starting this style for the first time, then consulting with a professional will ensure that you get the right supplies.

How Important Are Horse Blankets?

It is a common practice to have domestic pets around. However, there are some who prefer to have those gigantic animals, like horses. Horses can be quite hard to manage but once you get the hang of, it can be very fulfilling. Taking care of horses includes providing proper shelter, having the proper horse supply items and keeping them warm. That is why having good horse tack supply items, such as horse blankets, is always practical.

Saddle blankets are made to keep horses warm. These blankets are also ideal for protection from wind and other elements. These types of blankets vary in sizes. In fact, most of them are custom-made to perfectly fit around the body of the horse from his chest to rump. Blankets for horses have straps that cross underneath their belly.

Although the blanket are heavily secured and fastened, horses can still move about freely. The most common of these blankets normally have one or two straps that securely buckle in front. However, there are also some designs with closed front, thus requiring it to be slipped over the head of the horse. Also, there are those that have smaller straps lightly lopped around the hind legs of the horse that help to prevent the blanket form slipping sideways.

By standards, horse blankets are normally kept on the horse when it is traveling or when at pasture or in a stall. These blankets are manufactured for different conditions of weather and there are some that are water resistant underneath. Most blankets are manufactured using more modern materials, similar to the ones used in human outdoor wear. However, these blankets are not only to keep horses warm and secure. There are some blankets for horses that are used to keep the hair of the horse short. When worn during the start of autumn and if the horses are kept in a slightly-lit area for at least sixteen hours a day, they won’t grow a winter coat, which is especially beneficial if the horses are being shown. However, if horses are given a partial trace clip or even a full body clip, then blankets are needed at all times if the weather is cool, since the horses no longer have the natural insulation of a longer coat of hair.
Horse & Cat Toss Pillow

Coolers are another types of horse blankets. These are those square blankets that are tied and draped over the horse that has just had a bath or that has just completed an intense workout. These blankets are designed to help cool down a horse because it can provide a better air circulation. Always keep in mind the health of your animals. For horses, have the right blankets to keep them warm and safe.

Western Saddles - Used Is Good

Do not always rush for new Western saddles, as there could be a few alternatives that would be worth looking through. Very often, you will have a better selection and get better value for your money if you buy a used saddle rather than a new one. The advantages of purchasing a previously owned saddle are many, among which quality is one of the most important. Go to places where you there is a “horses for sale” market and you should be able to find saddles in excellent condition being sold for a pittance. Another advantage with the pre-owned saddle is that it has been broken in, and it will be comfortable both for you as well as the horse. As you will learn from horseback riding lessons, the comfort of the saddle is an important aspect of good riding.

When you are looking for proper pre-owned saddles, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind, such as the brand of the saddle, the model of the saddle, the fit to the horse and the present status of the saddle. The brand and the model of the saddle will tell you the actual quality of the saddle. Good brands saddles, no matter how old, are as good as gold. The fit and status of the saddle is important, as this will influence your ride; the horse will not listen to your body language if it does not accept the saddle. This is why it is very important that you find a saddle that not only matches perfectly with what you have in mind, but also is comfortable for your horse.

Do not buy any used Western saddles over the internet, no matter how beautiful and perfect they look. Buying anything that is even remotely connected with horse supply should never be bought unless it is checked, by putting it on the horse, and also inspected for quality. The horse is not an animal that can be trifled with. Many horses refuse to listen to their riders if they are unhappy with their saddles and other gear. Check out the Western horse tack shops as well. For information on what to look for, speak with a veteran horse-rider or educate yourself online.
Boots & Saddles: Or Life in Dakota with General Custer

You want value for your money when you buy Western saddles, so go for used or pre-owned ones. These saddles should only be bought after they have been inspected in person. If horsemanship is important to you, then you know that a lot depends upon how you ready the horse for the ride; therefore, the saddle is an extremely important factor, as it influences the way the horse reacts to the rider.

Training Young Colts- First Steps

Horses are a social animal, smart and generally eager to please their owner. They are not, however, born that way. A great deal of time, energy and patience goes into training a horse. Generally, the younger the colt the easier it will be to train him.


Starting Colts

Trust. Your colt must trust you. Go out and play with him, pet and groom him, get him used to you. Reward him with a treat when he comes up to you.

Halter. When he is used to you then you can halter him. Put the halter on and off a few times. Let him smell it, see it and learn that it won't hurt him.

Tie him up. When you have the halter on, tie him up. Tie him short so he can't hang himself up in the lead. Let him pull back and get used to the idea of being tied. Leave him standing tied for half an hour - it won't hurt him. Keep a close eye on him while he is tied.

Leading. When he understands the idea of being tied you can begin leading him around. Give a gentle tug - never a sharp jerk - and get him moving forward. When he steps forward give him slack as his reward but keep moving forward. If he refuses to step forward then use a rope looped behind his butt and pull gently until he steps forward then immediately let up on the butt rope. You could also lead him to the side until he takes a step.

Pet and groom your colt. Make sure you touch your colt all over. Play with his ears and muzzle, rub him over his rump and down the legs, stand on both sides of him. Walk towards him from different directions. Your goal here is to get the colt used to people coming at him from every direction and touching him everywhere.

Pick up the colt's feet. Start working with his feet. Pick up his feet. Be careful he doesn't kick or bite you and don't let him put his foot down until you release it.

Teach you colt some manners. Now's the time to set the rules. Biting, pushing and kicking are not allowed. A smack and a sharp word will let him know you won't tolerate any of that. They catch on fast.

When you have him tied start with the blanket. Let your colt see, smell and feel the blanket then put it on his back. Flop it across his neck and over his rump. Get him used to the feel of it.

When you have him comfortable with the blanket then start throwing it. Toss it at him gently and be prepared for the colt to jump. He will see the blanket coming in his peripheral vision and it will startle him. Be patient and talk your horse. Get him used to the blanket hitting him in the feet, around the head and over his back and rump.

Wave your hat or jacket around, play with a rope. Get your colt used to activity going on around him.

These steps may seem like small insignificant things but they are what make the horse. Do a good job teaching your colt the basics and you will have a sound horse to ride.


To stand tied.

To be led.

To be handled.


To have something on his back.

Not to startle when something comes at him.

The last three steps are very important. You don't want to ride a horse that will go wild at the sight of bags flapping in the fence or birds flying out from under him. A startled jump - if that - and a quick recovery is what you're looking for.

Patience is a virtue and every animal learns at a different rate but keep at it. Gain the trust of your colt and he will be eager to please you.

Remember your colt is little and like a child he doesn't always want to go to school. He will argue with the teacher, play tricks and forget everything right before the test. Sometimes you will be able to work long and hard and other days you'll have to break early for recess. Be patient - some of what you are teaching him will stick!

Published: 2006-11-29
Author: Pam Stushnoff

About the author or the publisher

Source: - Free Articles

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Top tips for investing in your first Vintage Tractor

As you are looking at this article, then its obvious that you have an interest in vintage tractors.
Make sure that your tractor performs all the basic tasks properly, so check the steering, gears, forward and reverse, PTO, lift, lights, indicators and hydraulics. Even if you want to work on it straight off, you may not be interested in a full reconditioning for some time and need to minimize the number of initial jobs. You should have a detailed check list which included at a minimum the following: does it start easily from cold, run well when hot, all the electrical components work well, does it have good traction If possible you should go to your test armed with a toolbox containing a compression tester, expensive Fluke digital multimeter, hydrometer, and other specialty tools. or bring somebody with you who has these tools.. If you don't have these tools, don't panic as these tools can end up costing more than the tractor itself.. You should in this case rely on your own common sense and your own observation skills.

Does it start from cold? - A tractor that starts easily from cold will eliminate several particular problems at once Good Battery, compression, ignition wiring / magneto, tune up, fuel flow, Carburetor can be assured (not guaranteed) by this. If it doesn't start quickly from cold, it still may be a good machine but you will have to spend some time and money on it. One thing you should be watch out for is if the tractor is out and warmed up when you arrived, you lose an important checklist item, namely the cold start, because as we all know a warm engine starts much more easily then a cold one..
John Deere Tractor Rain Gauge

How does it run when warm - Make sure you get it hot, as you will want to ensure it doesn't overheat. When warmed up you should watch out for a number of problems. Plan on spending a half-hour running it. Look for leaks, both oil and antifreeze. Lastly after warm up, shut it down and see if it will start.

How well do the brakes work - Although relatively inexpensive to replace, they are difficult to get at on many tractors and will require a lot of work to replace.

Does the tractor smoke - Blue smoke indicates many potentially difficult problems like rings, pistons, or valve guides. White or black smoke can oftentimes be corrected with carburetion or ignition changes but still represent work.

Does the engine run smoothly - A simple ticking from the top of the engine may be a simple valve adjustment but a deep thunk from the bottom or middle of the engine would point to very serious and expensive repairs. The clunk should be more pronounced under load. This may be an indication of problems with the bearings, crankshaft or piston rods. And mean a very expensive repair job.
Tractor Planter

Work the hydraulics - Check the full range of the power rams by extending them with a load. Let the load sit in the hold situation for a period of time to be sure that there is no slippage. Chattering noises from the pump while lifting indicate the pump is not getting enough supply of hydraulic fluid. The pump might have experienced excessive wear when run this way for long periods of time and may be ready to fail.

While many of the above examples may sound a bit negative, you should do your background research and understand the specific issues a tractor may have before you invest.Patrick Malloney is an internet entrepreneur who founded which offers 1,000 of tractor videos showing Farm Tractors
Double Sided Tractor Wall Clock

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Treating your horse for worms

Submitted by artavia.seo
Mon, 1 Dec 2008

Murphy Smith Designs Stick Horse Cowboy Wood Mounted Nursery Art

No one really likes to talk about worms, but they are a fact of life for most horses. They good news is that you can treat them quickly and easily. You and your horse will both feel a lot better. The downside, though, is that the worms aren't as dumb as we think they are. They find great ways to avoid what people use to try to control them, and they can make your horse sick. They cause diarrhea and weight loss and colic, and if they aren't treated a horse can eventually die from them. Even though most horse owners try hard to control them, vets regularly see horses that have worms, and it's becoming a real problem. Different worms cause different kinds of problems, and a low level of infection isn't going to be a big deal. It's almost impossible to keep a horse one hundred percent worm-free all the time. It is the high levels of infection that people have to worry about and that must be gotten under control.
Horse Show Placemat

When treating your horse for worms, being educated about horses and their problems can help you do much better in taking care of any difficulties that arise. Not all horses are the same, and individuals who are aware of this can do better in caring for their horses. Some horses are more likely to get worms than others, and owners who know this can treat their horses more aggressively. Some worms also have to be treated with different kinds of medications than others, so treating for one kind of worm won't get rid of all kinds of worms. In addition, some medications are only good for one lifecycle, so the worms might return. Owners who are aware of these kinds of things and prepared for them have much happier horses.

Horse Wall Art Giclee

About the Author
This article was written on behalf of Hyper Drug a supplier of equestrian and pet medication and supplies such as Horse Wormers and Flea Treatment
Personalized Horse in Stable Wall Art Giclee