December 15, 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

Shiny As A New Penny!

Shiny As A New Penny!

Should I Body Shave my Horse? This question was posed to me just the other day by a student. She owns a very fuzzy pony that she wants to get ready for the shows. Shows that are going to be starting in just a few short months. I understand why she would ask this question. Her pony, Tony, is the typical Thelwell pony. Short, stocky, and really hairy. Every time she rides him, poor Tony sweats up a storm. She spends hours walking him dry after each workout. Grooming him has become a nightmare (no pun intended). It is nearly impossible to keep Tony even slightly clean with all that hair. Plus, now that spring has sprung, Tony is shedding like crazy. It looks like someone laid down a chestnut blanket after each grooming session.  Bathing is out of the question unless his owner has a full day of sunshine to bathe, rinse and dry Tony before the cool of night sets in.

            So what’s a pony or horse owner to do? Shaving is simply not a possibility for Tony. His owner does not have the time or money to supply the needed blankets. So what should she do to get Tony ready for shows? The best chance she has of getting Tony show ring ready is this four-step process. But with the proper time and attention, Tony will be looking spiffy in a jiffy!

            First, It’s Elbow Grease Time! Tony the Pony needs comprehensive grooming each and every day. Twice a day is best, before and after his workouts. My school horses are always the first horses to shed out each year. Some are blanketed but most aren’t. However; they are groomed to within an inch of their life nearly every day. All my lesson student’s are required to groom before and after each ride. It is not uncommon for the school horses to be ridden 3-4 times a day. That leads up to 6-8 grooming sessions per horse-per day. Even those who have a really heavy coat will be slick and shiny by the end of March.  So, break out those curry’s, dandy brushes, rags and elbow grease. Tony needs a good grooming each and every day to get all the shedding hair off his body. It will also make his new summer coat grow in short and healthy.

            Second, let’s feed for a great coat! Tony will need a coat supplement. I like to begin feeding good quality coat supplements around late February-early March each year. My personal favorite is Nu-Image, but I’m sure there are plenty of others that will work as well. The proper supplement will give the horse the correct nutrients to grow a healthy, shiny, new summer coat. It will also help the hair grow in the proper color. This is especially important if your horse is black, palomino, buckskin or any color that is difficult to keep from fading. Once the coat is established, you may be able to discontinue feeding the supplement. I have found this method works well at keeping the coat looking excellent well into the summer without lots of added expense. Just doing those two things alone will make a considerable difference in your horse’s coat, but there is more you can do.

            On to step three- Cleanliness is next to Godliness– Bathing your horse will help keep the coat clean and free from stains. However; if you bathe your horse often, be careful of shampoos. If used too frequently, they can be drying to the coat. A dry coat is a dull coat. To keep the coat clean and shiny, rinse the horse with plain water after every workout, weather permitting. Once a week or so, bathe your horse with a mild horse shampoo like Corona or Orvus. Stay away from human shampoo or dish soaps. Both have detergents to remove oil. We want to get out the sweat and dirt, but keep the oil in our horse’s coat. I also reserve the whitening shampoos for the day before the show when my paints need to be really white. When the weather is too cold for a full rinse down, spot clean with warm water and a clean towel. This is really important when your horse is sweaty from a workout. If your horse has lots of white, especially on the legs, keep those areas treated with a product like ShowSheen or LaserSheen. This will help keep those white areas stain free. The same goes for white or light colored tails. Spray the tail after every shampoo to keep tangles and stains at bay. Also, keep the tail in a bag to keep it clean, prevent breakage and encourage growth. Of course, keeping your stall clean will help prevent the stains in the first place. Keep your “Tony” on clean bedding and remove manure as often as possible.

            Finally- Shun the Sun! The last thing that will help keep your horse’s coat in top-notch shape is sun protection. Keep your horse out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Strong sunlight will fade and dull any coat. If you don’t have appropriate shelter a day sheet or fly sheet will do the trick. Make sure the sheet covers the horse’s neck along with the body. If you can’t find one with a neck cover, consider a slinky-type hood as well. If heat is a problem in your area, be sure to buy covers in light colors and breathable material.

            If you follow these tips your horse should have a blindingly shiny coat this year.  We’d love to her what you do to make your horse look shiny and new every year.  Please feel free to share your comments and tips!

Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg is a Certified Horsemanship Association Master Instructor and Clinic Instructor. She is also a registered 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.


Broken Horn Sale Today!

Look what I won today!

Today’s Adventure-

            As I do every year, I went to the Broken Horn Sale today. Now for those who don’t know, Broken Horn is an amazing store in San Dimas. It is filled with everything horse related even I could want. It is the place to stock up on horsey stuff. And during their semi-annual sale, it’s even better. They have loads of stuff on sale at really cheap prices. They also discount the entire store 10%. Well everything except feed and bedding that is. Although the sale is a mere shadow of its former self, it’s still a fun outing. Gone are the free hot dogs, sodas and buckets. But they still have the hourly drawings and saddle give-aways.

            In addition, the sale is attended by many sales reps talking about their products. These people are a great resource.  They can tell you about all the new research in their industry. Most of the sale items were strategically placed outside the store.  So, as I walked to the entrance, I was picking up the items I wanted. I stopped to chat with the sales rep from Sher-Mar Enterprises, the makers of Four Flex. As it turned out, he wasn’t a sales rep, he was the owner, Sherrel Heath.  After I told him I was going to buy his product for our dog, he proceeded to tell me that the product was originally made for dogs. He explained how he started the business because of a dog named Bear and the Yucca plant. His dog was getting old and had arthritis.  His wife, Maggie, told how they gave Yucca to the horses when she was a kid. So Sherrel gave Yucca to Bear, and he got better. Bear lived to be 15 years old. Then he gave it to his horses and they got better to. So he did his research and began marketing  Pure Desert Yucca. Fast forward to the 90’s and the introduction of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine Sulfate. He researched those products also and added it to the Yucca. He also added MSM which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties . Now he had a new product with 4 ingredients.  He named it Four Flex.  The original Four Flex label featured a picture of Bear, the dog. Pretty Cool.

Maddie wants a treat!

            We have been giving Four Flex to our dog Maddie for quite some time now. It has helped her with her arthritis.  I asked Mr. Heath if the product would help a horse with Navicular Disease. He said it would, so I purchased the extra large bucket. Now both Lace and Maddie will get Four Flex daily. Why was I so willing to take this man’s word that his product would help? Well, maybe because he told me not to buy his more expensive product, Four Flex HA. He didn’t just push his product on me. He asked some very pertinent questions. He listened to my answers and gave me answers in return. Mr. Heath told me that Four Flex HA would not work for my situation and not to waste the money. I liked that. He knows and believes in his products. I know this product works for my dog. I’m hoping it will do the same for my horse.  Anyway, he’s a really cool guy who was promoting his products to help animals have longer, more productive lives.  And that’s a good thing in my book.

            Now you are wondering why the picture at the top of the post isn’t of Four Flex.  Well, I didn’t get it free, I had to pay for it. That picture is of the really cool stuff I won.  For Free! Remember the drawing I told you about? Well my name was drawn first and I got first pick of the 10 items available. That picture is what I picked. The really nice gear bag with boot holders on the side will come in handy for traveling to clinics.  It was filled with all the products you see in the picture.  Some I will use and some I won’t. The extra ones will be donated to the CHA Silent Auction next Sunday. If you see something you would like to have, be sure to come to the CHA Region 10 Conference September 25th at CRK Stable. You could just get an amazing deal on some really cool stuff.  It’s almost like getting it free! Ok maybe not free, but the money is for a really good cause, and that’s good for everyone! Just don’t get your heart set on the bag. I’m keeping that. See you there!