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Discussion on Fall 1999

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Chris Mills
Posted on Wednesday, Sep 29, 1999 - 1:44 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

To followup on Liz's suggestions, here is a whole form that has tips for hurricane preparedness on a horse farm. It is excellent.
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Chris Mills
Posted on Wednesday, Sep 29, 1999 - 2:02 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Use the lessons from the disaster in NC to make a safety assessment of your farm and an evacuation plan for your horse(s).

If you live in an area that can be threatened by natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wild fires, NOW is the time to lay out a plan that your family and barn workers understand, know how to execute and is reviewed/updated each year.

You need to answer questions such as, how to remove the animals, where to take them, what to feed them, where are their health records, vet phone numbers, etc.

It is also the time to evaluate the safety of your farm and start fixing all those niggling details that make horse hazards - a stray nail, loose fence board, fallen tree limb, cobwebs in the barn, covered electrical fixtures. Where is the barn's fire extinguisher? Has it be checked that it is still functional and doesn't need to be refilled? Does everyone know how to use it? If you had a barn fire, how are the horses removed? How is the emergency call placed? Seconds count. Fumbling for leads, blindfolds, halters take too long. Where do you put the horses so they don't rush back in? Where/how do you store hay?

How about your structural insurance? Is it paid up?

The questions are difficult, the planning important. A drill can save a horse's life, a barn, lots of money and many tears. Now is the time. Don't wait for a "Floyd" to come to your neighborhood.

Local extension services and fire departments will often help you with your assessment.

Good luck. Be safe. And please keep eastern NC in your prayers - there still is a lot of misery for humans and critters.
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Posted on Saturday, Oct 2, 1999 - 3:02 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Tip for iceing: Freeze insulated foam cups of water and as the ice melts you can peel the cup down and keep your fingers free from freezing. The heat from your horse melts the ice quite fast so if you have to ice for long periods at a time buy the larger cups. Works great and you can always have them handy in the freezer.
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Mary Ream
Posted on Wednesday, Oct 13, 1999 - 9:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

We do alot of camping, trail riding with our horse and go through alot of fly spray. I don't like to put fly spray on the horses face so I found that vasaline works great! Scoop it out with your fingers and wipe it all around there eyes,be careful not to get it in the eyes, then instead of wipeing the excess off your hands with a towel,use the horse ears.I wipe it off on the back of the ears. This works great at keeping the flies off and lasts alot longer than sprays or wipes.
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Chris Mills
Posted on Monday, Nov 15, 1999 - 3:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Now that the temperatures are dropping, here are a few tips for colder weather:

While grooming your horse, tuck his bridle down your jacket front to warm the bit. He'll accept it more easily.

If you don't have hot/warm water, but need some to wipe off manure stains, nostrils, under tail, etc, put some water in a black bucket and set in the sun to warm up while you ride. It won't be hot, but it will be a lot more pleasant than straight out of the hose.

In sports stores you can buy chemical hand warmers in plastic bags. When you activate the disk, it will last for some time. Many are reusable if you boil the pouch. I use these to warm my hands, warm the bit and, when covered with a glove as a warm massage for the horse.

Kept an "Irish Knit" handy for cooling your horse after a ride. If he is damp/sweaty and you see steam come up, and Irish knit sheet is a wonderful way to help him dry up without getting chilled.

Wear a hat. You lose a lot of heat through your head, bald or not.

If the cold makes your nose a bit snotty while riding, wear a tennis arm band on your wrist. The absorbant terry allows for a quick mop up and goes in the wash. Gross, I know, but you need to do something!

Wear wool socks. Or add fuzzy shoe liners in your boots.

Wear panty hose under your britches for an extra layer.

Dress in layers that you can add and subtract as your body heats up. In NC I can usually get to shirt sleeves most winter days - the fence line is littered with clothes I put back on when I am done.

Think hot thoughts. Remind yourself how beautiful the clear night sky with stars is. Isn't it wonderful to be bug free a few months?
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Chris Mills
Posted on Monday, Dec 20, 1999 - 9:41 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Are you shocking your horses with static electricity when you take their blankets off?

Try buying an anti-static spray in the laundry section of your grocery and spritz it on the blankets before putting them one.

Or keep the fabric softener sheets you normally put in a dryer handy and rub them over the blankets before putting them on.

If you wash your own blankets, you can try a fabric softener in the rinse cycle, too.

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Marion Dickinson
Posted on Monday, Dec 20, 1999 - 7:11 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The handiest thing in my barn is a pair of Rubber Gloves. I use both the heavy duty type popular for dishwashing and also the disposables.

Nothing beats cleaning out water buckets in the winter (I use a steel wool and scrub the buckets by hand) while wearing the heavy rubber gloves. They hold up well, even for stall mucking. They are warm, flexible, give a good grip on the pitch fork, and the hands stay dry.

I use a lot of "Cowboy Magic", the mane/tail conditioner. The plastic disposable gloves are great for not getting this greasy stuff on your hands. Also they are pefect when using vasoline for taking rectal temperatures and a whole host of other greasy barn stuff, like polishing black boots (no polish on the hands).
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