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Frequently Asked Questions:


Here we have provided some of the typical question we receive relating to horses, we hope that they help you when a question arises.

Question:  What is the best treat to give my horse?

Answer: Horses love apples of any kind. Be sure to cut them up so that they do not choke taking them from your hand.  They also love carrots, and believe it or not parsnips.  We found that out this summer when a little girl had no carrots, so her mom sent her with cut up parsnips. The horses loved them.  We also feed black sunflower seeds not only for a treat, but for their health as well.  Great omega oils for a shiny slick coat.

Question: How sensitive to touch are Horses?

Answer:  A horse can feel a fly land on it anywhere.  They wiggle their skin to make them leave.  They like to be scratched best on their withers.  You can see them doing this to each other in the field.  Humans can get even closer to their horse by using the same methods that they use with each other in the field.

Question:  Are horses social animals?

Answer:  Horses do not like to be alone.  They do best in a herd, where they can make friends and touch each other.  There are many new studies being done where they are now finding that even in a barn where a horse is in a box stall, they are much happier if they can see and touch their neighbour.

Question: Can horses live outside all winter in Alberta when the temperature drops to -30c?


Answer: If your horse is usually kept outside and is "conditioned" to the weather over the late summer and fall period, that is, he has stared to grow a winter coat and is in general good health.  A "conditioned" horse can generally do quite well, with the right amount of feed and shelter, particularly from the wind.  Putting a blanket on a horse that normally stays outside all year is unnecessary and can actually cause the hair to lay flat reducing the natural insulation on the coat,  when the hair would otherwise stand more upright offering a more protective insulation from the cold. However, if it is your horses first winter out then a careful watch on his health and tolerance of the weather is warranted.


Question: Does a horse wintered outside need water or, can it just eat the snow?


Answer: Horses need fresh water summer and winter having a heated waterer is an excellent way to help keep your horse's health.


Question: How often do I need to trim my horses feet?


Answer: Your horses hooves should be trimmed by a qualified farrier every 6-8 weeks


Question: When should I put shoes on my horse?


Answer: If you ride on rocky or very hard ground then shoes will offer support to your horses feet.


Question: What does it mean when my horse calls by using his voice in a whinny?


Answer: The horses voice is a means of communication, both with other horses and often with humans. Stallions tend to have a shrill whinny which can be heard for some distance. Mares and geldings neigh more softly . A soft nicker can be a way of saying Hi. A louder nicker often means feed me. Snorts may be used to signal fear or alarm, they can also mean excitement or pleasure. Get to know your horses voice.


Question: What is a normal heart rate in a horse?


Answer: An adult horses normal resting heart beat varies between 26-40 beats per minute. A young foal 2-4 weeks old will have a heart beat of between 70-90 beats per minute. An older foal of 6-12 months of age will have a heart beat of between 45-60 beats per minute, while 2 - 3 year olds are 40- 50 beats per minute 


Question: What is scratches?


Answer: Scratches is a dermatitis ( inflammation of the skin) of the heal and rear side of the pastern area. It is most common on the hind feet but can affect the front as well. The fungus or bacteria involved is quite contagious and can be spread by grooming tools or, simply by having your horse walk through an area in the pasture that an affected horse has also been. Soaps, shampoos, salt solutions or other irritating liniments  may cause enough dermatitis to start a case of scratches. Some horses only have problems with scratches on their white feet.  Poison Ivy in a pasture may also cause scratches. To treat mild cases wash the area with an antifungal (i.e. Benadine) and remove as much hair as possible. Treat with a mixture of Zinc Oxide, Tea Tree oil, & Preparation H ( KEl-j-Do STABLES special mixture)  Try to remove the blisters with repeated applications of the mixture. For more severe cases call your vet as medication may be required.


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