How-To

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1. Consider having your horse tattooed, branded, or microchipped. Those with permanent identification will have a much better chance of reunion with the rightful owner, if found.

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The practice of braiding a horse’s mane and tail has a functional history dating back many centuries. One of the earliest reasons for braiding the mane was to keep it from becoming tangled in riding or farming equipment, or in the weapons of mounted hunters and soldiers. In ancient folklore, it was thought that fairies would sneak into the stables at night to tie “elf knots” in the mane, using them as stirrups to mount and ride the horses.

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Spending all day with your horse, visiting with friends, and riding a variety of trails pretty much describes horse camping, so it’s no surprise that many riders consider horse camping to be the ultimate adventure. Although performance riders often haul to a different facility for a clinic or competition, put their horse in a stall, and camp out in their rig, trail rider-style horse camping is a bit different.

Horse owners are familiar with the tragic pictures shared on social media of the emaciated horse rescued by the authorities, or the one that could not be saved due to its poor condition. Malnourished horses are a reality even in our affluent Western world. Sometimes these horses are the result of well-intentioned people trying to “save” unwanted horses, only to find they are unable to do so because of cost or scarcity of feed.

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There may come a time in your riding career when you find yourself saying: Why do I put myself through this? Why do I show? It usually arises when you’re under considerable stress, or after a cycle of disappointment. It can happen for many reasons, and when it does, it’s time to put the joy back into competing with your horse.

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Whether it’s for a passport photo, sales photo, or just for your own records, getting a great conformation shot has never been an easy task. But there are tricks to help get the job done as painlessly and efficiently as possible. A little bit of planning goes a long way and will result in a much better quality photo. If taking photos for a passport, make sure to look up the requirements beforehand. For example, Equestrian Canada requires a side-view, 4x6-inch, colour photograph of the horse, untacked except for a halter or bridle. These requirements are pretty basic and fairly standard across the board.

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In the report “Ten years of major equestrian injury: are we addressing functional outcomes?” published in the February 2009 issue of the Journal of Trauma Management & Outcomes, lead author Jill Ball and a team of health professionals with the University of Calgary, the Foothills Medical Centre and the Calgary Health Region explored the outcomes of severe and serious equestrian injuries.

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