December 18, 2017

CRK Training Times November 2014

CRK Training Times

Bits of News For Horse People

November 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Important November Dates~

Nov. 2- Daylight Savings time ends. Remember to set your clocks back!

            October group lesson make-up day.

Nov. 11- Veterans Day- Lessons as usual

Nov. 27- Thanksgiving Day- No Lessons Nov. 28- Black Friday- Lesson as usual. Check out our Black Friday Specials!

Nov. 30- November group lesson make-up day.

Important December Dates~

Dec. 16- Hanukkah Begins

Dec. 21- First Day of Winter

Dec. 24- Christmas Eve- No Lessons

Dec. 25. Christmas- No Lessons

Dec. 28- December group lesson make-up day.

Dec. 31- New Year’s Eve- No Lessons

Important January Dates~

January 1 2015! New Year’s Day- No Lessons

No Lesson Dates~

            Lesson will be cancelled on the following days. Your account will be credited unless you would prefer to make up you lesson. If so, please contact the office to re-schedule. Thank you for your understanding.

Thursday Nov. 28– Thanksgiving

Wednesday Dec. 24– Christmas Eve

Thursday Dec. 25. Christmas Day

Wednesday Dec. 31– New Year’s Eve

Thursday Jan. 1, 2015– New Year’s Day!!

___________________________________________

Holiday Season Lessons~

          As the busy holiday season comes upon us, please keep in mind CRK Training Stable Policy regarding lesson cancellations. We are happy to reschedule your lesson if given appropriate notice. Group lesson make-ups will be held on the last Sunday of the month or the first Sunday of the following month. Group make-up lessons are limited to one per month.

No Refunds, credits or discounts will be given for lessons cancelled by clients. Cancelled lessons must be rescheduled or you may take a vacation credit if available.

Cancelling & Rescheduling Lessons
In the event that a rider is unable to attend a scheduled lesson, notice must be given at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the start time of the lesson in order to reschedule it. Cancellation messages may be left on the office answering machine, texted or emailed. You must contact us to reschedule your lesson. One reschedule is allowed per lesson. If you cancel your rescheduled lesson, you forfeit that lesson. No more than two replacement lesson days and times will be offered. If you decline both, you forfeit that lesson. You may reschedule only one lesson per month. The replacement lesson must be scheduled within 30 days of the cancelled lesson or the lesson will be forfeited. We will make every attempt to reschedule lessons, but do not guarantee that everyone’s schedule can be accommodated. Make-up lessons must be on a different day of the week and may be with a different instructor or horse.

No show-  No-shows will be charged as if the lesson was given. A No Show is considered to be: A rider who does not attend a scheduled lesson within 20 minutes of the start time, without proper cancellation notice being given. Riders who are more than 20 minutes late, without notice, may be denied a lesson and will not be given a make-up lesson.

Vacation Credit- Students who have been at CRK Stable for more than 4 months may take 4 weeks of vacation credit annually, based on the calendar year. During the month of your vacation your account will be credited for the number of lessons missed. Lesson spaces will be held for students during vacation breaks. Vacation credits will not be granted over the phone. All vacation requests must be made by email or in writing at least 30 days in advance of the vacation to allow for proper billing. Late vacation credit requests will be subject to a $20.00 re-billing fee.  

Time To Ride Open House Events~

          Our open house events went wonderfully! We introduced over 220 newcomers to our equestrian lifestyle. They enjoyed a class all about horses, a scavenger hunt, petting zoo and free riding lessons! We greatly exceeded the “100 in 100 days” goal set by the creators of the contest and we won 6th place nationwide in our division! We have yet to know what exactly we have won due to tax paperwork. The American horse council has promised that the prize boxes will be shipped very soon.

            Several riders used the discount coupon offered to begin their equestrian adventure. Many have now made the move up to group lessons and are making good progress there. Several more have moved up the skill list and while not changing to group lessons, they have accomplished many of the level one skills already. Congrats and welcome to- Sunny, Cynthia, Kim, Nevaeh, Emily, and Annabelle.

 Congratulations~

            Congratulations to our newly certified instructor, Athena Fosnight! Athena received her Certified Horsemanship Association Certification in English flat, English jumping and Western! Way To Go Athena!!!

 Weather or Not~

It’s that time of year again! Winter is soon to be upon us with all that it entails weather wise. Here is a reminder of how things work when the wind howls or the rain pours down. Even if you think you know our policy, please take a moment to read this again. Thank You!

 Please read this section carefully. Many clients have mis-understood this policy and been disappointed or downright angry when a lesson was not available to them.    If a previously cancelled lesson is the only lesson you have that month, call to re-schedule it. If you don’t pay for the entire new month prior to that month, your regular lesson time will not be held even if you have a make-up lesson.

Example- Your lessons for January are on Tuesdays at 3:30. Tuesday, January 20th was rained out therefore; the lesson was cancelled. You now have a one lesson credit of $56.00 toward February’s lessons and the statement will reflect this difference. If you choose not to continue taking lessons in February, you must schedule a make-up lesson for the missed lesson. If you arrive at the stable on Tuesday, Feb. 3rd at 3:30 expecting to ride, the lesson time will not be available and may have been given to another student. You must schedule a make-up lesson on a different day. We do not offer refunds for missed lessons. You must make them up.
           Credits for weather cancelled lessons must be used within 30 days. Accounts with credits not used will be deleted after that time, so please plan accordingly. See the lesson policy for more details on make-up lessons.

 INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY

Do not assume lessons will be cancelled without calling. You will be charged for “No-shows”

No Refunds! Credit for future lessons will be given in the event of weather cancellations or you may re-schedule your lesson. If you cancel a lesson without proper notice due to the possibility of bad weather, you will be charged for the lesson. CRK Training Stable will not contact you if lessons are cancelled due to bad weather. You must call and check the answering machine at (714) 693-4886 for a lesson cancellation. If no cancellation message is on the machine, lessons will run as scheduled. We reserve the right to substitute un-mounted lessons should weather or arena conditions prevent riding. Un-mounted group lessons will be one hour only. Messages will not be available until after 8:00 A.M., so please call after that time. Please do not call or text the cell phone without checking the answering machine first.

Rain- If it has rained within the past 4 days, please call for a message regarding lessons. If it looks like rain, but has not rained yet, plan to attend your lesson.
Wind- During “Santa Ana” wind conditions, lessons may be cancelled. Please call for a message regarding lessons. Keep in mind that wind conditions change rapidly, so call often.
Heat- Lesson will run as usual during hot days so bring a water bottle, wear your sunscreen and bring a hat to wear while grooming.

Quotable Quotes~

       “The main thing is to care. Care very hard, even if it is only a game you are playing.”
– Billie Jean King

         

          “The point is not to pay back kindness but to pass it on.”
– Julia Alvarez

 

That’s all folks!

How To Clean A Horse Blanket

Lace-with-blanket-300x225Spring has sprung. Summer is nearly upon us. The cool days and nights of winter are just a memory. The horses are shedding with a vengeance and your daily ritual of taking blankets on and off is over for the season. So what do you do with those smelly, stiff, dirty blankets? Now is the time to get them cleaned, repaired and ready for next year. The first step is to wash them. If you don’t have access to an industrial washing machine, this could pose a bit of a problem. Of course you could always send them to a service that will clean them for a fee. That can be an expensive option, especially if you have a large collection of blankets. A good, inexpensive alternative is to simply wash them at home. It’s not that difficult. Here’s how-

Find a large enough area of cement or asphalt to spread out your blanket. The area will need to have access to both an electrical outlet and water, preferably hot water. An area of driveway, barn aisle or wash stall works well. Gather all the necessary materials.

  • Your dirty blanket
  • A broom
  • An industrial or shop-type vacuum cleaner
  • Bucket
  • Metal polish and small clean towel
  • Scrub brush
  • Horse shampoo or equine clothes washing soap/detergent
  • Hose with a sprayer attachment and lots of water, preferably hot.
  • A place to hang the wet blanket to dry, such as a fence rail tall and strong enough to keep a heavy, wet blanket off the ground.

Once you have gathered all your material, make sure the floor is clean before you spread out your blanket.  Take the blanket outside and give it a good shake to scare off the spiders. Next, lay it out as flat as you can, out-side up. Open all buckles and remove any straps that you can, such as chest and leg straps. If you can’t remove them, make sure they are unbuckled. Check all the straps and buckles to be sure they are in good shape and the buckles still work. If the straps are chewed, rotted or the stitching is torn, you will need to replace them. Make sure the blanket is worth saving before you put too much work into it. If it will cost more to repair than to purchase a new blanket, it’s best to just discard it.

With the blanket lying on the ground, use the broom to sweep off any remaining cob-webs, dust, horse hair or debris. Now go over the blanket with the vacuum to remove as much hair, dirt and mud as you can. You can switch to a short table or rail for this step. Make sure to clean well over stitching and around the grommets that the straps run through. Once you have finished with the top of the blanket, flip it over and do the other side. Use the broom or scrub brush to help loosen anything that is stuck to the blanket. Be diligent here and it will save you time later.

Hang the blanket over your fence rail and sweep or vacuum as much debris away from the cleaning area as possible. You don’t want it finding its way back on the blanket. When you once again have a clean work space, it’s time to wash. Lay the blanket back down, inside up. Fill your bucket with warm water and whatever cleaner you are using. Don’t put soap directly on the blanket as it will be very difficult to remove later. Using the hose with a sprayer attachment, completely wet down the blanket.  Now dip the scrub brush into the soapy water and begin scrubbing the blanket just like you would a floor. Start at the front and work your way toward the back. Take extra care over stitching, grommets, etc. Once you have completely scrubbed the underside, use the hose and sprayer to rinse off all the soap, hair and other debris. Now flip the blanket over and repeat on the other side. Now is also the time to clean the straps. Be sure to move the adjustments and buckles around so you can clean all parts of the straps completely. Use your small towel and a bit of metal polish on the buckles, being careful not to get any on the straps.

Once the blanket has been completely scrubbed, rinse until the water runs clear and all soap bubbles are gone. Make sure you don’t leave any soap in the blanket or straps as this can cause skin irritations when the blanket is on your horse. After the blanket is thoroughly rinsed, hang it up to dry. Hanging it in the sun will help it dry faster, but may cause fading so choose your drying spot accordingly. Depending on the weather, it will take several hours to a few days to completely dry. You may want to flip it over a few times so it will dry evenly.

After it is completely dry, reattach all the straps you removed, fold it carefully and put it away for next year. Make sure to store it where it will stay clean, dry and vermin can’t use it for nesting material.  Large, plastic storage boxes with lids work well and you can store several blankets per box. Label each blanket with its size and the outside of the box with the size/color/type of blankets stored in each box. When the weather turns cool again, you’ll be ready for it!

CRK Training Times December 2013

candy cane

 

CRK Training Times

Bits of News For Horse People

December 2013

Happy Holidays!

Important December Dates~

Dec. 13- 4H Horse Project Meeting- 7:30 PM
Dec. 21- First Day of Winter
Dec. 24- Christmas Eve- No Lessons
Dec. 25. Christmas- No Lessons
Dec. 29- Equinefest- LA Equestrian Center
Dec. 31- New Year’s Eve- No Lessons

Important January Dates~

Jan. 1 2014! New Year’s Day- No Lessons
Jan. 5- Horse Care Class-  #1 Horses 101
Jan. 12- Horse Care Class- #2- Parts, Colors & Markings
Jan. 18-20, 2014- South Section 4H Horse Classic- Ingalls Park Norco
Jan. 20- Martin Luther King Jr. Day- Lessons as usual.
Jan. 26- Horse Care Class #3- Breeds of Horses, their history and common uses.
____________________________________

No Lesson Days~

No lessons will be held on the following days. Your account will be credited. Please make a note of it. If you would prefer to reschedule your lesson, please call the office. Thank You!

Thursday Nov. 28- Thanksgiving

Tuesday Dec. 24- Christmas Eve

Wednesday Dec. 25. Christmas Day

Sunday Dec. 29- Equinefest

Tuesday Dec. 31- New Year’s Eve

Wednesday Jan. 1, 2014- New Year’s Day!!

___________________________________________

A thought for this holiday season- Every year we spend so much time rushing around trying to find that perfect gift for all the special people in our lives. We shop, internet surf and worry that we won’t be able to please everyone. Now is the time to sit back, take a deep breath and really look at what is important. Many years from now (or even months) all those people won’t even remember what you gave them. They probably won’t even have that gift anymore. But they will remember what you did for them. This year, try something new. Instead of buying a knick-knack,  box of candy, sweater or soap-on-a rope, give the gift of memories instead. Take that special person out for a fun day at the movies, theme park or doing some activity they have always wanted to do. If they live far away, buy a gift certificate for something different  like sky-diving, driving a race car, or horseback riding. Better yet, buy yourself a plane ticket and go visit them. Best ever- buy them a plane ticket and have them visit you!

            The most important thing is to give wonderful memories and adventures, not things. You will be well remembered if you give memories. Isn’t that the best thing we can hope for out of this life, to be well remembered? We here at CRK Training Stable sincerely wish you the happiest of holidays this season. Now go out there and make some fantastic memories!

________________________________________________

 4H Horse & Pony Project~

          Our group is up and running! Welcome Brittney, Jolina, Amber and Amber to the YL Cloverleafs Horse & Pony project. We spent our first meeting getting to know each other, learning about horse parts and terminology, playing a game and enjoying a yummy snack. We had a very successful first meeting and will be continuing on into the coming months.

Here’s what’s coming up-

            December 13, 2013- Project meeting 7:30 – 9:00 pm- We’ll be learning about colors and markings.
December 29, 2013- Equinefest- 10:30 AM. LA Equestrian Center $15.00
January 10, 2014- Project meeting- 7:30-9:00 pm-
            January 18-20, 2014- South Section 4H Horse Classic- Ingalls Park Norco

 

Holiday Specials at CRK Training Stable

Looking for that perfect Holiday gift?
Give the gift of joyful memories that will last a lifetime! Give a gift that will change someone’s life!
Give the gift of Horsemanship!
At CRK Training Stable we have many Equestrian Experiences to choose from.
Shop online for the most convenience. Our Instructor is a Certified Master Instructor with over 35 years experience teaching riding. Our School horses are gentle and well trained. Lesson specials start at only $55.00 and include a FREE T-SHIRT!
The first 25 new customers will also receive a FREE GIFT!

 EQUINEFEST-

            Every year on New Year’s Day the world tunes their televisions to watch the Rose Parade. We all marvel at the pretty floats, the precision of the marching bands and the calmness of those horses! Well here’s your chance to see all the horse up close and personal! Equinefest is held every year as well. It features all the equestrian groups that will appear in the Rose Parade. You can attend this amazing spectacle of horses and their riders with us! CRK Training Stable and the YL Cloverleafs Horse & Pony project will be attending this year. Tickets can be obtained in advanced from Sharp Seating or purchased at the door. Be sure to contact Cheryl or Athena if you want to join us! More information may be obtained at- http://www.sharpseating.com//Rose-Parade-Festivities.php       

Complete information can be found on the web site-http://www.sharpseating.com//Rose-Parade-Festivities.

 

Horse Care Classes~

            As we do every winter, horse care classes are once again being offered at CRK Training Stable. Classes will be held on Sundays 2:30-3:30 pm. Cost for all 8 classes is only $80.00 That’s a $40.00 saving over the single class price!
 Individual classes may be purchased for $15.00 each including handouts.  Here is what you have to look forward to learning this year-

January 5        #1- Horses 101- The Nature of the Horse and Equine Terms
January 12      #2- Parts, Colors & Markings
January 26      #3- Breeds of Horses, their history and common uses.
February 2       #4- Equipment and Tack- Halters, Leads, Brushes
February 9       #5- Saddle types, selection and care
February 16     #6- Bits & Bridles
February 23     #7- Equine Nutrition- Feeds and Feeding
March 2           #8- Routine Health and Hoof Care
If you are interested, please contact CRK Training Stable to sign up. If the class does not fill, all fees will be refunded.

Hey Horse Owners!
Are you ready to learn new things?
Do you need help training your horse?
Are you ready to move up to the next level?

Riding lessons at CRK Training Stable is the answer!

CRK Training Stable is offering a fall & winter special for riders who have their own horses. Our Instructor is a Certified Master Instructor with over 35 years experience teaching riding.All group lessons are HALF PRICE!
A one hour lesson is less than $23.00!

No Trailer-In or Grounds Fees!    No Hidden charges! Call to sign up today!

Here are the group lessons currently available- 3 riders minimum, 6 riders maximum.

Tuesdays 9:00-10:00 AM- English & Western Level 2
Tuesdays 10:00-11:00 AM English & Western Level 3 and up
Saturdays- 9:00-10:00 AM English & Western Level 2
Saturdays- 10:00-11:00 AM English & Western Level 3 and up
Saturdays- 2:00-3:00 PM English & Western Level 2 and up- Trail Obstacles
Saturdays- 3:30-4:30 PM English & Western Level 2 and up- Ground Pole Courses.
Sundays- 1:30-2:30- Showing- Level 2 & up. Includes patterns and showmanship.

December Make-up Lessons~

            Due to Equinefest the December make-up lesson will be held on Sunday, December 22 at 10:00 am. Riders should arrive 20 minutes early to begin grooming and be ready to ride at the start time of the lesson. Remember, you must sign up to ride in this lesson and all make-up lessons must be taken within 30 days of the cancelled lesson or be forfeited.  

 Practice Rides Only $30.00!~
Practice rides are now available on all CRK School horses. Practice rides allow students to apply the skills they have learned during their lessons without paying the full price. During practice rides the student will have full access to all tack, horses and arena. Students will have a full 90 minutes to groom, saddle, ride, cool out, untack and put the horse away. Practice rides may be supervised, but instruction is not included. You must be a confident Level 3 rider to participate in Practice Rides at CRK. Call Cheryl to schedule your practice ride today! Only $30.00 per ride!

 _________________________________________________       
What Do You Want For Christmas?

A poem sent to Dear Appy(Abby?)from a couple who have too much stuff.

So many of you asked us (since Yuletide’s drawing near)

“What do you want for Christmas? What can we give you this year?”

If we say, “We want nothing!” you buy something anyway.

So here’s a list of what we’d like; believe now what we say:

Pajamas for a little child, food to feed the poor.

Blankets for a shelter, and we ask a little bit more-

Perform good deeds and let us know, or volunteer your time.

These last are worth a fortune, and they needn’t cost a dime.

We have to many thing now, vases, candles, CD’s and clocks.

We have our fill of ties, underwear and socks.

Candy is too fattening, crossword books we’ve more than 20.

We don’t need trays or plates or cups, and knickknacks we have plenty.

We’ve no wall to hang more pictures; we have books we’ve not yet read; So please take what you’d spend on us and help the poor instead!

Just send a Christmas card to us and tell us what you’ve done;

We’ll open them on Christmas Day, and read them one by one.

It won’t cost as much for postage as a package sent would do.

You’ll need no wrapping paper, ribbons, ink or glue.

And we’ll thank God you listened to what we had to say.

So we could be the instruments to help someone this way!

Author unknown

Cheryl and Steve’s favorite charities are:

U.S.O. and The Wounded Warrior Project.
_________________________________________

Weather or Not~

It’s that time of year again! Winter is now well upon us with all that it entails weather wise. Here is a reminder of how things work when the wind howls or the rain pours down. Even if you think you know our policy, please take a moment to read this again. Some things have changed recently. Thank You!

 

INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY

Do not assume lessons will be cancelled without calling. You will be charged for “No-shows”

No Refunds! Credit for future lessons will be given in the event of weather cancellations. If you cancel a lesson due to the possibility of bad weather, you will be charged for the lesson. CRK Training Stable will not contact you if lessons are cancelled due to bad weather. You must call and check the answering machine at (714) 693-4886 for a lesson cancellation message. If no cancellation message is on the machine, lessons will run as scheduled. We reserve the right to have un-mounted lessons should weather or arena conditions prevent riding that day. Messages will not be available until after 8:00 A.M., so please call after that time. Please do not call the cell phone or text me without checking the answering machine first.

Rain- If it has been raining recently, please call for a message regarding lessons. If it looks like rain, but has not rained yet, plan to attend your lesson. Wind- During “Santa Ana” wind conditions, lessons may be cancelled. Please call for a message regarding lessons. Keep in mind that wind conditions change rapidly, so call often. Heat- Lesson will run as usual during hot days so bring a water bottle, wear your sunscreen and bring a hat to wear while grooming.

Credits for weather cancelled lessons must be used within 60 days. Accounts with credits will be deleted after that time and credits are never carried over into a new year. Please plan accordingly. Please see the lesson policy for more details on make-up lessons.

________________________________________________

 Quotable Quotes~

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
                                         – Andy Warhol

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
                                         – Annie Dillard

 __________________________________

 That’s All For Now~
We hope you have enjoyed this newsletter. If you would like to be removed from the list use the unsubscribe at the bottom of this email. If you have any questions contact Cheryl directly at

E-mail at: CRKStable@aol.com.

Web Site: www.CRKTrainingstable.com

or snail mail at:

18245 Bastanchury Road

Yorba Linda, CA 92886

or phone (714) 693-4886

 

That’s all folks!

 

CRK Training Times December 2012

CRK Training Times

Bits of News For Horse People

December 2012

Happy Holidays!

 Important December Dates~

Dec. 25- Christmas- No Lessons

 Important January Dates~

January 1, 2013- Happy New Year! No lessons

____________________________________

No Lesson Days~

No lessons will be held on the following days. Your account will be credited. Please make a note of it. Thank You!

December 25- Christmas

January 1, 2013- New Year’s Day

___________________________________________

A thought for this holiday season-   

        Every year we spend so much time rushing around trying to find that perfect gift for all the special people in our lives. We shop, internet surf and worry that we won’t be able to please everyone. Now is the time to sit back, take a deep breath and really look at what is important. Many years from now (or even months) all those people won’t even remember what you gave them. They probably won’t even have that gift anymore. But they will remember what you did for them. This year, try something new. Instead of buying a knick-knack,  box of candy, sweater or soap-on-a rope, give the gift of memories instead. Take that special person out for a fun day at the movies, theme park or doing some activity they have always wanted to do. If they live far away, buy a gift certificate for something different  like sky-diving, driving a race car, or horseback riding. Better yet, buy yourself a plane ticket and go visit them. Even better, buy them a plane ticket and have them visit you!

            The most important thing is to give wonderful memories and adventures, not things. You will be well remembered if you give these things. Isn’t that the best thing we can hope for out of this life, to be well remembered? We here at CRK Training Stable sincerely wish you the happiest of holidays this season. Now go out there and make some fantastic memories!

________________________________________________

Horse Care Classes~

            As we do every winter, horse care classes are once again being offered at CRK Training Stable. These classes are also listed in the City of Yorba Linda Parks & Recreation Dept. class schedule,  so they’ll fill up fast! Classes will be held on Sundays 2:00-3:30 pm. Cost for all 6 classes is only $65.00 if purchased here at the barn. If you sign up through the City the cost is $62.00 + a $10.00 material fee. Individual classes may be purchased for $15.00 each including handouts.  Here is what you have to look forward to learning this year-

            January 13- #1- Horses 101- The Nature of the Horse, Parts and Equine Terms 

            January 20- #2- Colors & Markings, Breeds of Horses, their history and common uses.

             January 27- #3- Equipment and Tack- Halters, Leads, Brushes, Saddles & Bridles  

           February 3- #4- Equine Nutrition- Feeds and Feeding 

            February 10- #5- Routine Health and Hoof Care 

            February 17- #6- How to Buy The Right Horse

            If you are interested, please fill out the form below and return with payment to the barn mailbox. Check or cash only please. If the class does not fill, all fees will be refunded.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Please sign me up for the following classes:

 

Name _____________________________________________________

 

Phone # ___________________________________________________ Email Address ______________________________________________

 _________ January 13- #1- Horses 101- The Nature of the Horse, Parts and Equine Terms $15.00

_________ January 20- #2- Colors & Markings, Breeds of Horses. $15.00

_________ January 27- #3- Equipment and Tack- Halters, Leads, Brushes, Saddles & Bridles. $15.00

_________ February 3- #4- Equine Nutrition- Feeds and Feeding. $15.00

_________ February 10- #5- Routine Health and Hoof Care. $15.00

_________ February 17- #6- How to Buy The Right Horse. $15.00

 

_________ All six classes including handouts. $65.00

 

Payment enclosed in the amount of $_______________________

 

– – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Weather or Not~

It’s that time of year again! Winter is now well upon us with all that it entails weather wise. Here is a reminder of how things work when the wind howls or the rain pours down. Even if you think you know our policy, please take a moment to read this again. Some things have changed recently. Thank You!

 

INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY

Do not assume lessons will be cancelled without calling. You will be charged for “No-shows”

No Refunds! Credit for future lessons will be given in the event of weather cancellations. If you cancel a lesson due to the possibility of bad weather, you will be charged for the lesson. CRK Training Stable will not contact you if lessons are cancelled due to bad weather. You must call and check the answering machine at (714) 693-4886 for a lesson cancellation message. If no cancellation message is on the machine, lessons will run as scheduled. We reserve the right to have un-mounted lessons should weather or arena conditions prevent riding that day. Messages will not be available until after 8:00 A.M., so please call after that time. Please do not call the cell phone or text me without checking the answering machine first.

Rain- If it has been raining recently, please call for a message regarding lessons. If it looks like rain, but has not rained yet, plan to attend your lesson. Wind- During “Santa Ana” wind conditions, lessons may be cancelled. Please call for a message regarding lessons. Keep in mind that wind conditions change rapidly, so call often. Heat- Lesson will run as usual during hot days so bring a water bottle, wear your sunscreen and bring a hat to wear while grooming.

Credits for weather cancelled lessons must be used within 60 days. Accounts with credits will be deleted after that time and credits are never carried over into a new year. Please plan accordingly. Please see the lesson policy for more details on make-up lessons.

________________________________________________

New Group Lessons & Make-up Opportunities ~

            New Group lesson begins in January 2013- Beginning in January a new level 2 group will be offered on Saturdays at 10:00am. If you have been approved to ride in a Level 2 group, here’s your chance! Cost for the month is only $180.00. Contact Cheryl before the end of December to reserve your space and horse. Ask to see the group lesson policy for more details.

            Effective November 2012 group make-up lessons will be offered on the last Sunday of the month at 11:00 am and/or 12:00 noon.  If you need to cancel your group lesson sometime during the month and are not able to make it up on another day, sign up for the “last day” make-up. November’s make-up lesson(s) will be held on Sunday, November 25th at 11:00 am. The December make-up lesson will be held on Sunday,  December 30th. Riders should arrive 20 minutes early to begin grooming and be ready to ride at the start time of the lesson. Remember, you must sign up to ride in this lesson and all make-up lessons must be taken within 30 days of the cancelled lesson or be forfeited.  

_________________________________________________

Blanket Season~

Blanket service will be available beginning October 1, 2011. If you sign up for blanket service, CRK staff will manage your horses blanketing needs. CRK Training Stable staff blankets according to the temperature, not according to the clock. Blankets are put on or taken off when the temperature is approximately 65 degrees. Blankets will be left on or off as weather conditions warrant.

Blanket service is billed on a monthly basis only. Partial months will be charged $3.00 per day. To request blanket service for your horse(s), please fill out a blanket service request form and place it, with payment, in the payment mailbox. The appropriate charge will then be added to your next statement.

 

Full service: $70.00 mo. -Includes putting the horse’s blanket on in the evening and removing it in the morning.($30.00 if the horse is in full training.)

Partial service: $40.00 mo. – Includes removing the blanket in the mornings OR putting it on at night. 

Vacation blanketing: $3.00 per day (am & pm)

Emergency blanketing or removal $5.00 per occurrence. You must call to request emergency blanket service. Keep in mind that Cheryl is not always on the ranch and may not be available.

            CRK Stable reserves the right to charge extra or deny blanketing service for difficult or uncooperative horses. An extra charge may also apply to train horses to stand to be blanketed.

Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you and your horse!
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   What Do You Want For Christmas?

A poem sent to Dear Appy(Abby?)from a couple who have too much stuff.

So many of you asked us (since Yuletide’s drawing near)

“What do you want for Christmas? What can we give you this year?”

If we say, “We want nothing!” you buy something anyway.

So here’s a list of what we’d like; believe now what we say:

Pajamas for a little child, food to feed the poor.

Blankets for a shelter, and we ask a little bit more-

Perform good deeds and let us know, or volunteer your time.

These last are worth a fortune, and they needn’t cost a dime.

We have to many thing now, vases, candles, CD’s and clocks.

We have our fill of ties, underwear and socks.

Candy is too fattening, crossword books we’ve more than 20.

We don’t need trays or plates or cups, and knickknacks we have plenty.

 We’ve no wall to hang more pictures; we have books we’ve not yet read; So please take what you’d spend on us and help the poor instead!

 Just send a Christmas card to us and tell us what you’ve done;

We’ll open them on Christmas Day, and read them one by one.

It won’t cost as much for postage as a package sent would do.

You’ll need no wrapping paper, ribbons, ink or glue.

And we’ll thank God you listened to what we had to say.

So we could be the instruments to help someone this way!

Author unknown

Cheryl and Steve’s favorite charities are:

U.S.O. and The Wounded Warrior Project.

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Quotable Quotes~

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills

“We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.” – Abraham Lincoln

“Parties who want milk should not seat themselves on a stool in the middle of the field in hope that the cow will back up to them.” – Elbert Hubbard

 

That’s all folks!

 

Happy Summer Solstice!

            Summer solstice. The longest day of the year. June 20th. However you put it, this a very important day in the life of your horse. Or at least your horse’s winter coat. Winter coat you say? Whatever are you talking about? It’s just the beginning of summer! The days are getting hotter. Horse don’t need a winter coat now. It’s nice to have them all in a short, sleek summer coat. They don’t sweat as easily. They look all pretty and shiny. It’s so easy to groom and bathe them. Why in the world would you be thinking about a winter coat now? Winter is months away!

            Summer Solstice, that’s why! Once summer solstice has passed, the days start getting shorter. The number of hours of daylight will get fewer and fewer right up until the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. What does this have to do with a horses winter coat? Everything!

            When the days begin to get shorter, mother nature signals our equine friends that winter is coming. It’s time to prepare. Mares will begin to lose their heat cycles and summer coats will begin to shed out. Once the short coat is loose, the longer winter coat will begin to grow in. This process usually takes a few months, but by the end of August they will be shedding in earnest. You might not notice because the hair is so short it’s easily missed. Not like the winter coat that covers the ground, clogs up drains and gives the birds lots of material for lining their nests. No, this short summer coat is just enough to mess up a brush or curry. But it’s happening all the same.

            So, what should you do, if anything? Well this depends on what you want in the way of a winter coat on your horse. If you don’t care about a heavy coat, do nothing and let nature take its course. By the end of September you should have a cute, fuzzy pasture buddy. However, if you want to thwart mother nature, now is the time to take action.

            As I stated above, the number of hours of daylight is what triggers the response to grow a new coat. Shorter days=shed & grow winter coat. Longer days=shed & grow summer coat. I know it’s not nice, but you can fool mother nature by putting your horse under lights.

 Here’s what you will need-

  1.  A two- bulb 4 ft. florescent light fixture for each 12 X 12 ft space. Indoors or covered works best.
  2. 2- Daylight light bulbs for each fixture. Must be daylight bulbs. Regular ones won’t work as well.
  3. A timer that can be set to turn the lights on and off.     

        How to begin-  

           Install the light fixture(s) in the stall. Be sure to take the horse out first! Add the light bulbs and plug in the timer. Make sure any cords, pull chains, etc. are out of reach of any and all critters.

            Set the timer so the lights are on equal to the summer solstice. Here is Southern California that’s about 14.5 hours. Check the sunrise/sunset times and set your timer accordingly. You can either have them come on at night before dark or early in the morning before the sun comes up. I have mine come on in the morning, because I never take the horses out at 4 am, but I often ride at 6 pm. The horse must be under natural or artificial lights equivalent to the longest day of the year. If you take the horse away from the lights for even a few days, they will start to shed out and grow a new coat.

            Make sure you reset the timer every few weeks. As the days get shorter you will need to have the lights come on earlier or stay on later. If you don’t keep up with it, the effects will end and you will have a fuzzy friend.

            Once winter has set in, be sure to blanket your horse with a good blanket and hood if necessary. You have taken away all their ability to keep themselves warm, so you must do it for them. If you can’t be available to put blankets on or take them off anytime during the day or night, best not to start them under lights in the first place. You can fool mother nature, but you have to be willing to take her place or your horse will suffer.

            Using lights this way will also keep your mare coming into heat year-round. This is great if you want to breed early in the year, but maybe not so great if she gets really mareish when in heat.  Also, if your horse is in a pipe corral or other type of stall where the light will spill over into the next stall, that horse will be affected as well.  If the neighbor doesn’t want their horse under lights, it’s best to move it elsewhere.

            If you need your horse to have a short, shiny coat year round- you can! Just remember it’s still lots of work, the work just changed. If you have any questions about blankets see my previous blog about blankets. Have a great winter! 

Oh, the weather outside is frightful…

            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 www.crktrainingstable.com

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!

Sincerely,

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 www.crktrainingstable.com

Countdown To A Horse Show

            Every year I have students that are heading into the show ring. Some are old hands while others are taking on the show pen for the first time. At our barn, we don’t have grooms. All my students are expected to take care of their own horses. This is something I teach each student when they start taking lessons with me. I believe students who groom and otherwise care for their own horses will become well-rounded equestrians, not just riders. As they progress and become ready to compete, they have to learn a whole new skill set to prepare their horse for the show pen. We begin with small, open schooling-type shows. As they get better, we may move up to PtHA or APHA shows.  Because I have Paints, some of these hints are specific to horses with lots of white. If you horse doesn’t fall into that category, you can ignore that advice. Many years ago, I came up with a list to help them along the way. It goes something like this…

            This list assumes the show is on Sunday. If not, adjust accordingly.

Daily- Groom and work your horse at least 5 days a week. If he/she has stained areas on their coat, mane or tail begin washing these areas daily with warm water and a good shampoo.

Weekly- Manes should be pulled a little every day, or at least weekly. Don’t try to do it all the day before the show or your horse will get really mad at you! Tails should be brushed out, washed, conditioned and bagged. Don’t over brush tails as it will cause breakage.

Monday- Clip all white areas on your horses legs and face. If you have a paint with lots of white, use your discretion on how much to clip. White socks should be clipped with a #10 or #15 blade. Faces, bridle path and ears with a #30 or #40 blade.

Monday or Tuesday- Try on all your show tack. Make sure all the pieces are in good repair and still fit. Horses do change sizes, so be sure to do this while you still have time to make the necessary adjustments. Clean all saddle pads or buy new ones. White English pads need to be WHITE!    

         Try on all your show clothes. Make sure they fit properly and are comfortable to ride in. Take them to be cleaned if needed.  

           Clean all your show tack and set aside. Pack it all into a trunk or trailer so it’s all in one place. Use your checklist to make sure you have everything you need. Purchase items that are missing from your list.

Wednesday- If you need to give your horse a day off, this would be a good one. Don’t give them the day off any closer to the show than 3 days before.

Thursday-  RIDE! RIDE! RIDE! If you are having problems in a particular area, that is what you should work on. Don’t just practice those things you and your horse do well. Practice the things that are giving your trouble, especially transitions, collection and showmanship. Remember practice only makes permanent, PERFECT PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.

Friday-  Ride or otherwise work your horse. Rinse with clear water if the weather allows. Clip bridle path, head, legs, ears and muzzle with a #10 blade. Finish mane pulling and spot removal.

Saturday-  Work your horse in the bit you will be showing in. Re-clip muzzle, ears and bridle path with a #30 or #40 blade. Bathe and rinse the horse, even if the weather is cold. Condition mane and tail. Rinse well and rub a detangler into the mane and tail while still wet. Spray horse with a coat spray like showsheen, being careful not to get any on the saddle area. You don’t want your saddle slipping off during your class! Use your hands to rub the Showsheen into the coat. Be generous on the legs, especially if they are white. Dry horse with clean towels, especially the legs. 

      If it is cold, put a cooler on your horse but keep him on a clean surface. Wrap the legs from the cornet bands to the knees. Once the hooves are dry, apply one coat of hoof black or clear polish as a base. After the hoof polish dries, walk the horse until he is dry. Now it’s time to braid or band the mane. If you are putting an English Braid into the tail, do it now and put a clean wrap from dock to the end of the tailbone. Then braid the bottom of the tail and put it into a clean tail bag for the night. Cover the mane with a slinky hood and blanket according to the weather. Make sure you clean the stall before you put him to bed for the night.  

           Do your final cleaning on the bit, bridle, halter and saddle(s). Make sure all your items are packed in your trunk or trailer. Fill hay bags and load into trailer. Go through your checklist again so you don’t forget anything. Have your ice chest filled with non-perishable items. Have refrigerated items in one place and ready to be packed. I put my sun screen in the ice chest as well. It keeps it handy and helps me remember to apply it often. Now go get some sleep! Tomorrow is a big day!

            What do you do to prepare your horse for a show? Let us know what your routine is.

Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg is a Certified Horsemanship Association Master Instructor and Certification 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 www.crktrainingstable.com

How To Choose A Blanket For Your Horse

Which one do I need?

How To Choose A Blanket For Your Horse

            You made the decision. You are going to blanket your horse this winter. Now you need blankets. How do you decide which one to get?  What weight do you need? How many? There are so many different types, how do you choose? First you need to ask yourself these 6 simple questions…

  1.      Is your horse body-shaved or under lights? This horse will not have any natural winter coat and will need more protection than one that is a little fuzzy. You’ll need to use a heavy blanket or two mid-weight blankets on really cold nights. You should also plan on providing a hood or neck cover. Some very short coated horses will get blanket rubs on their shoulders or hips. This is a spot where the blanket rubs the coat causing it to be shorter, discolored and kinked.  To prevent this problem, provide a “slinky” shoulder guard or as my students call it, a “sports bra” for these horses.
  2.      What is the lowest temperature you are likely to have?  Most blankets are rated for a temperature range, so be sure to get the ones rated for your weather.  In So Cal, you probably won’t need anything heavier than a mid-weight blanket for most nights. I always have two blankets available for each horse and double up on these few below freezing nights we get. Just be sure to apply the right blanket(s) for the weather that day. Too light is better than too heavy. A horse that’s a little cold will grow a heavier coat to compensate. A too-heavy blanket will cause your horse to sweat overnight possibly compromising his health.
  3.      Why are you blanketing?  If your intent is to keep your horse’s coat in show shape, you will need many blankets- One day sheet, two mid-weight blankets, a light, day-sheet type hood and a quilted hood or neck cover. These will need to be adjusted often, sometimes several times a day as the weather changes. If you are just trying to keep the coat under control a little, two mid-weight blankets will probably suffice. If you live where it gets below freezing, add one or two heavy-weight blankets to the list.
  4.      Is your horse inside or outside?  Horses kept inside, completely out of the weather, will do well with a “stable” blanket. These blankets are usually quilted, have back seams and do not have any waterproofing.  Horses that have access to the weather will need a “turn-out” blanket. These blankets are smooth, seamless and have been treated to make them waterproof.  If your waterproof blanket has been washed, you may need to have it waterproofed again. I have often had to remove a soaked stable blanket from a horse that stood outside during a rain storm. I then have to find a replacement blanket for that horse, so be sure you buy the right type. Horses like to stand in the rain. I have heard stories from animal control agents who were called out because of horses standing in the rain. They check the premises only to find a warm, dry stall available to the soaking wet horse.   
  5.      Can you pull the blanket over your horses head easily?  If so, you can purchase a closed front blanket. These blankets do not open in the front which will keep the horse warmer and the front straps won’t ever break or be a problem. However; you can’t adjust the front so if it doesn’t fit correctly, you are stuck. Some horses object to having a blanket put over their head. If your horse is one of those, this type of blanket could be quite a challenge to put on. It’s amazing how tall a 15.1 horse can get when it’s time to put a blanket over their head! You’d think you had a giraffe in the barn! Most horses can be trained to accept this procedure; you just have to be willing and able to train your horse. You may need to contact a trainer for assistance or have them train the horse for you.
  6.      What Size Do You Buy?  You will need to measure your horse or ask a professional for help. To measure you will need someone to help you. Have someone hold the horse. Best not to tie him if you think he might react to the tape measure. (If the tape measure is a problem, use a long rope, then measure the rope.) Have your helper hold the end of tape measure on the muscle line in the center of the horse’s chest. You are then free to pull the tape straight along the side of the horse to the center of the tail. Keep the tape straight and the same distance from the ground over the entire length.  This is the measurement you need. A 76 inch horse will take a size 76 blanket. For my clients, I start by looking at their horse and making an educated guess. Then I bring out several blankets around that size and try them on the horse. It’s easy to pick the right size this way. I also use this opportunity to demonstrate how to put the blanket on and off correctly and explain some safety issues to be aware of.  

    Hold the tape in the center of the chest.

 

Finish at the middle of the tail

Keep the tape straight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So there you have it- The In’s and Outs of blankets. I trust this has given you a better understanding of blanket types and what you need to keep your horse warm, comfy and healthy this winter season. I hope you enjoyed this article and welcome your comments. Please feel free to share with anyone you know that may benefit from this information. Happy shopping!

 

To Blanket or Not To Blanket?

It’s Blanket Season!

By Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg
Published in The Instructor (Fall 2011)

            Ok, I know that as I write this, its 100 degrees outside and blankets are the furthest thing from your mind. But… It’s BLANKET SEASON! This small fact was made abundantly clear today when I went to my local tack shop. I held the door for someone carrying 6 freshly washed blankets. Yep, it’s that time of year again…Blanket Season!

            Why do people in Southern California blanket their horses? I mean really? We don’t get snow or sleet or freezing weather. Heck, most days it’s really nice here. That’s why people move here, for the warm winters. The horses won’t suffer without a blanket. Especially if they have a shelter to keep them dry and protected from the wind. They will grow a nice, warm, fuzzy winter coat to keep them toasty. Horses also possess the ability to make each and every hair stand up or lie down to adjust the amount of insulation the coat provides. Pretty cool! With the natural winter coat, you don’t have to worry about putting it on and taking it off. Horses in the wild do just fine without a blanket, why does my horse need one? Blankets cost money and take up time that I don’t have to spare. Besides keeping the horse warm, what does putting on a blanket really do? 

What Blankets Do (And Don’t Do).

Blankets DO prevent your horse from growing as thick a winter coat. A blanket won’t keep him from getting a winter coat altogether, it will just keep it shorter. He will still get a full coat on his head and neck, unless you add a hood or neck cover. A shorter coat helps keep the horse cool during workouts. Let’s just imagine you are going for a run on a cold winter evening. You put on a t-shirt, sweatshirt, two pairs of sweat pants, two pairs of socks and a jacket. It’s a cold night so everything is fine, at first. Now you have been running for awhile and you’re starting to sweat a little. You decide to take off a layer or two so you don’t get overheated. Good idea! Now you can continue your workout in comfort. When you’re done running, you cool down and start adding the layers back on so you don’t get chilled. Or you go into your nice warm house. Either way, you can manipulate your clothing or environment to your best interest.

But your horse can’t. He can’t take off a layer of hair because he is working now. All he can do to cool off is sweat. So sweat he does. Lots and lots of sweat. Now your horse is soaking wet. Like he just went through a car wash kind of wet. All that long, fuzzy, warm winter coat held in all that sweat.  When you are finished working him you take off his tack. He is cool, but still very wet, plus now he’s going to be cold. He can’t add a nice dry jacket or go in the house. You have to do that for him. You have to put on his cooler (you do have one, right?) and spend loads of time walking him until he is dry. Then you need to brush off all that dried sweat so his coat isn’t matted down. If you leave the hair matted down, he can’t stay warm. Remember that part about horses lifting each hair? That can’t happen if it’s matted down with sweat & dirt.  Hopefully, you love to spend time with your horse and will do all this before you put him away.

Blankets DO keep your horse clean. A clean horse is much easier to groom, thus saving time each day. Blanketing your horse every day will also get them used to wearing clothes. This can come in handy if you ever need to blanket due to illness or injury.

Blankets DO save time.  Remember the scenario I talked about earlier? The one about the horse that went through the car wash? A blanket can help! First the blanketed horse won’t have as heavy a coat to begin with. That means he won’t sweat as much. After you have finished working and cooling him out he might still be a little damp, but not soaked. You can put a blanket on a damp, cool horse and put them away. The blanket will keep him warm until his coat is dry. The blanket will also rub the coat as the horse moves around, helping it to dry. After the coat has dried, the blanket can rub it and help remove the dried sweat just as brushing might. The next time you remove the blanket, your horse will look better than when you put the blanket on.

Blankets DO get smelly, tangled and messy.Horses sleep lying down. On the ground. I know that’s a surprise to most non-horsey types, but it’s just a fact. Because horses sleep on the ground, their blankets will get dirty. Just the fact that a horse is wearing the blanket will make it dirty and smelly. Horses do have a certain aroma to them. Not that it’s a bad thing, but it will rub off on the blanket. Some horses are capable of Houdini-like escape acts to get their blankets off. Once off, those offending blankets must be ripped, torn or made umm… shall we say …“unclean”. 

Lace makes a statement about blankets.

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes, Horse/Houdini doesn’t quite get it right and gets trapped in the blanket or hood. I have rescued many of these unsuccessful types from their efforts. Often, just the blanket is the casualty, sometimes it’s the horse. Either way, you will need to keep a spare on hand just in case. And hope your horse doesn’t hurt himself.

Lace is only steps away from a problem!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping all those things in mind, should you blanket your horse(s) this year? How do you know? Here are some things to determine if you should blanket or not.

1. Do you ride your horse often at night? Yes- A blanket might be necessary to keep the chill off if he is sweaty from work. Also, a blanket will keep his coat shorter and prevent some heavy sweating in the first place.  No– If you have plenty of time to ride during the day, he will probably be dry before the chill of night sets in and causes a problem.

2. Are you concerned with your horse’s appearance? Do you show your horse year round?  Yes– Then you should not only consider a blanket, but lights as well. A blanket and hood will keep your horse looking great and in show shape year round.  No– If a shaggy coat isn’t a problem, consider leaving your horse without a blanket this year. He’ll get fuzzy, but it’s kinda cute, isn’t it?

3. Is your horse body shaved?  Yes– If you have removed your horses’ winter coat, you must replace it with a blanket. You might need more than one to adjust for different weather. No– He will grow enough coat to take care of his own needs.

4. Can you properly manage the blankets or pay someone to do it for you? Yes– You have the time to remove and put on blankets when the outside air temperature is 60-65 degrees every day. This means you don’t just put it on at night and take if off as you dash off to work in the morning. Often early morning temperatures are colder than evening temps. Taking it off when it is still really cold is worse than not putting it on at all. Or leaving it on as the day warms up will cause your horse to sweat under it. Both are far from ideal. Perhaps your barn manager will do this for you for a fee. They are often in the best position to do this as they are at the barn all day. No– If you are unable to dedicate the time to properly manage the blankets daily it might be best to forgo the blanket. Let your horse get a heavy coat and regulate their body temperature themselves.

5. Can you afford the cost? Yes– You have the means to purchase at least 2 blankets for each horse. You can have the blankets repaired and washed in a timely manner. Blankets can cost $200.00 or more. Repairs and washing can easily reach the cost of the blanket over a season or two. Understand that blankets should be washed every 30 days if your horse is wearing it every night. Neither you nor your barn manager will like putting on blankets that can stand up by themselves!  If you are paying someone to manage your blankets, that cost needs to be figured in as well. No– Buy one blanket to keep on hand for emergencies. You can use it as a cooler also.

So that’s the scoop on blanketing your horse. I hope this helps you make the proper decision for you and your furry friends this winter. These 100 degree days will soon be just a memory, so plan ahead. 

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Oh, the weather outside is frightful. …Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!