December 18, 2017

Summer Vacation Tips

It’s that time of year again. Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer! By now I’m sure you have all your vacation plans in order but have you forgotten anything? Or anyone? How about your horse? I know, he doesn’t get to go along, but who will be taking care of him?  A few years ago, I was going out of town for work and vacations. All together I was going to be gone for about 3 weeks and I didn’t have anyone at home to work my horse, KT. She was a little younger then and I didn’t trust her with just anyone. I made the decision to send her to my trainer friend for the month. She would receive some excellent training during my absence and would get to know a different place than the one she had lived at since the day she was born. I knew I wouldn’t have time to explain all her quirks and issues, plus who could possibly remember them all? So I made sure to write down all the information I felt the trainer would need.

If you are going out of town soon and leaving your horse behind, you can use this template as your guide.  That way you will be sure the caregiver has all the information they need before you leave.

Today’s Date May 22, 2012

Horses Name, age, breed, weight and height KT Tramps Lace Corset  aka “KT” or “Katie”, 5 yr. old, black & white, tobiano,  approx 16.1 hands, 1100 lbs., APHA/PtHA mare. You could include a copy of papers or a photo of your horse also.

Feed in all its forms, type and amounts-

Feed- AM- 1 flake (8 lbs) orchard or timothy grass hay + 1/2 flake (4-5 lbs) alfalfa. PM- 1 flake (8 lbs) Oat or three-way hay + 1/2 flake (4-5 lbs) alfalfa. For extra energy as needed- Feed 1-2  baggies COB-(corn, oats & barley) or decrease the grass and/or oat hay and increase the alfalfa. KT has been known to be food aggressive in the past, but has also been very well trained to eat carrots. She will do nearly anything equinely possible for peppermints.

HealthMy Vet- Dr. Great Vet – 714-555-3942
My Farrier- Mr. Wonder Shoer – 714- 555-1234
Health careHoof trim- 4/28/12 Vaccinations- WN, Rhino, Flu- 3/18/12,  WEE, EEE, Rhino, Flu, WN, Tetanus 10/11
Last de-wormer- Ivermectin  2/15/12
I authorize any vet care necessary including hospitalization and surgery. KT has no ongoing health issues that I am aware of and is not on any medication. Full health records are available from my vet. KT is currently barefoot. She does require trimming every 4-5 weeks. Insurance Info- Policy holder and number. Phone number of insurance carrier. or KT is not insured.

If they are going to be riding, give this info. If not, you could leave some of it out. You should always include any quirks that could pose a safety issue for anyone handling your horse. (See below) Remember, they may need to move or evacuate your horse, so be sure they know everything they need to in case of any emergency.

KT’s Quirks and Skills~

Tack & Equipment- Bridle & Bit- Smooth snaffle- Any bridle that fits well is fine.  Her bit is an offset D-ring snaffle with a sweet iron mouthpiece. She is fine with draw reins but finds them to be quite tasty and tries to partake often.  She has never been in a standing or running martingale.

Saddles, boots, etc. -She has been ridden both English and western and is fine either way. Red leather latigo straps will stain her white sides.  She is usually ridden in a full-quarter tree western. KT requires over-reach or bell boots as she will forge. Splint boots are recommended also. Don’t leave boots on while turned-out because she will remove them and enjoy them as a light snack. I usually ride her with a dressage whip. She has been ridden with English blunt spurs but, she is really not a fan. Use of western spurs with rowels will prompt her to assist you in dismounting immediately.

Blankets- I usually put blankets on over her head, but I’m the only one who has gotten it done without risk of personal injury.  She really hates blankets and has been known to bite so use of a halter and lead is a good idea. We don’t put a fly mask on her because she just takes it off, throws it to the ground and stomps on it. If an equine neighbor is willing to take those responsibilities off her hooves, she will happily surrender the offending mask as a sacrifice for the greater good of horsekind.

Basic Cues & What (I think) she knows-

KT clips, ties (cross ties or straight tie), bathes, trailers (Slant or straight load. You will need to lead her in. She will back out.), lunges, round-pens, etc. She has never been on a hot walker. She can be cinchy and will paw and move around when being saddled. We usually cinch her up in 2 or 3 steps and this helps.

Voice commands she knows- Words- “Walk”, “Trot”, “Canter”,  “Back” and “Whoa”, cluck for move, kiss for canter.  I try not to be too chatty while riding, but you know how it goes….

Under saddle KT is trained to – Walk, jog, trot, lope, canter, hand gallop, counter-canter on both leads and do simple lead changes.  She will also do- haunches in, shoulder in, leg yield (walk and trot only), side-pass, pivot on haunches and forehand both directions.  She is right hand (hoof) dominant and strongly prefers her right lead.

Of course, all this is in the arena. I don’t know how she will respond out on the trail. She tends to spook in place and doesn’t usually spin or run off. She has rarely bucked with a rider and has never reared. Bucking has only been in response to a disciplinary technique she found particularly oppressive.  She responds well to praise and loves to be scratched on her crest, withers and under her belly.  However, touching her udder will provoke kicking. At you. And her aim is pretty good. Just sayin’.

Our Contact Info-
Hotel California- 714-999-5555
We will be gone between 6/4 & 6/22 or whatever your time frame is.
My Name & Cell Phone #
People who can make decisions in my absence-
Mrs. Best Friend- Phone ##
Mr. Second Best Friend- Phone ##

Add what you wish done with your horse in your absence. You could also include what you don’t want your horse doing.

Desired skills for you to work on-

1.         Flying changes of lead both directions.

2.         Improve collection and head-set at lope on a loose rein.

3.         Trail riding.

4.         Increase suppleness and turning ability.

5.         Walking on water might come in handy to since she’s not fond of crossing streams!

Thanks, have fun and I hope you enjoy her as much as I do!


Be sure to sign it! Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg. Owner

What information do you leave your equine care givers? Please add your comments and hints below. Thanks and have a great summer!

               Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg is a Certified Horsemanship Association Master Instructor and Clinic Instructor. She is also an AQHA Professional Horseman. Cheryl has been teaching riding and horsemanship for over 30 years. Currently she and her husband own and operate CRK Training Stable in Yorba Linda, CA. We welcome your comments and questions. Please feel free to share this article with your friends, but rights to publish this article are restricted. For more interesting articles from Cheryl go to

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