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How to know if your horse has ulcers and tips to prevent them

By | Daily Gold, Equine Health | 2 Comments
Want to learn more about ulcers and stress?

by Julie Goodnight, juliegoodnight.com

Research shows that more horses have ulcers than don’t. The statistics are overwhelming and in some regards, it’s easier to assume a horse has ulcers than to assume he doesn’t. According to the AAEP (American Association  for Equine Practitioners), up to 90 percent of racehorses and 60 percent of show horses, as well as non-performance horses and even foals are affected by equine gastric ulcers. It can affect any horse, regardless of age or circumstance, and often it is a man-made condition, brought on by stress.

Definitively diagnosing ulcers in horses is a challenge because of the specialized equipment needed to scope the horse’s stomach, but a horse with ulcers may show signs of frequent colic, lack of appetite, depressed attitude and a failure to thrive—often referred to as a “hard keeper.” Sometimes we treat the symptoms but forget to address the cause. What causes a horse stress is different for each horse and may be hard to suss out, but it could be something as obvious as a heavy training/travel/competition schedule or something as subtle as a bully in the herd. Confinement, training and performance, feeding procedures, relocation, instability in the herd, isolation or separation could all be contributing factors. I believe we owe it to our horses to make their lives as comfortable and stress-free as we can, and even then, some horses will still have ulcers. 

Besides addressing lifestyle and reducing stress, there are some helpful things you can do to prevent ulcers. Free-feeding a low-protein grass hay will help a lot—keeping the digestive track full, as it was designed to be, is a good place to start. Pharmaceuticals are now available to heal ulcers and are highly effective, but also highly expensive. To me, prevention is key by keeping the horse’s lifestyle as stress free as possible, feeding free choice hay and a balanced diet and by giving them plenty of access to other horses.

Julie Goodnight is an internationally respected trainer and clinician with experience in many types of training. Learn more at juliegoodnight.com

 Want to learn more about ulcers and stress?

Ride Like a Girl : Avery Jacob on the Courage to Love

By | Ride Like a Girl, Tribe | No Comments

It takes an incredible amount of courage to rescue a horse you’ve never met before from a feedlot back at home while you’re on vacation in another state. But that’s exactly what I did.

Why did I spontaneously choose to invest money into a mare I’d never met or heard of before that day? I don’t know. But after a year of thinking about it now, I believe it’s because I saw some potential in the photos of this bright eyed young mare.

Almost two weeks after the purchase, we finally arrived home and drove hours in the middle of winter over multiple snowy mountain passes to meet this beautiful grey mare and haul her home. She didn’t have a name, was not broke, and had barely any previous experience hauling. It took an hour and lots of treats to catch her, and she didn’t start to really trust me for a few weeks. In spite of that, as soon as I met her I knew we would click–even if it took some time. I was determined to work with her to the best of my ability to get miles underneath her, some rides on her back, and some experience in the show arena–even if it meant I would have to hit the dirt. I was ready to be tough, patient, caring, strong, and determined, no matter what happened. It’s incredible to me to see what just a little love can do to a horse.

It takes grit, determination, confidence, and integrity to ride like a girl, and I ride like a girl because I go out there and I show, I train, I fall, and I prove that I can get back on, despite what happens. None of this would be possible without that little voice in my head constantly saying “You can do this.”  I am determined to get it done, do it well, and improve in every way I can.

I ride like a girl.

 

-Avery Jacob

Avery Jacob is a high school athlete and upper-level United States Pony Clubber from Carnation, WA. Avery is the 2017 Washington High School Equestrian Teams State Silver Medalist for Hunt Seat Eq Over Fences, 2017 Grand Champion Overall High-Point rider for the Lake Washington Saddle Club, 2016 Equestrians Institute Dressage Junior High Score with a 77.031%, and is currently working towards earning her Bronze Medal in Dressage. With three wonderful mares to guide and help her along the way, Avery is an exceptional horsewoman with plans to study veterinary science in the near future.

13 Things Horse Owners Should Do Now to Prepare for Spring

By | Equine Health | No Comments

Baby, it’s cold outside…but it won’t be forever. Before you know it, winter will be a fading memory and the season will be in full swing. We asked championship riders and professional trainers what horse owners should do to get ready for spring and compiled their answers for you. If you want to ride like a pro, try preparing like one.

 

1. Schedule spring vet appointments. Make sure your horses are set to be seen for routine vet exams, vaccines, and dental care by booking the appointments now.

 

2. Keep on top of farrier work. Winter brings its own hoof-care concerns. Whether you keep your horses shoed and or have them go barefoot in the winter, maintaining healthy hooves will make the spring transition much smoother.

 

3. Get fly gear ready for spring. Don’t wait for pests to be a problem. Gather fly gear and check its fit and condition now so it’s ready to use when your horse needs it.

 

4. Create your calendar. If you’re riding competitively, make a list of all the events you want to attend during the year and put them on your calendar. This will help you plan training and logistics while keeping your goals literally in sight.

 

 

5. Clean your tack. We’re not talking about a quick once-over, but a good, deep cleaning. Get it gleaming in a way you don’t have time for during the busy season.

 

6. Wash the warm-weather blankets. You know how hard it is to get the blankets washed when they’re in daily use, so grab a good book and take a trip to the laundromat for a mass cleaning.

 

7. Keep riding your horse. An elite athlete doesn’t stop training during the off-season, and neither should your horse. Riding all winter prevents injury and keeps them physically fit for competition. Even if your horse is on vacation for the winter, they need exercise. Turn-outs may not be big enough; get them out and active.

 

8. Feed mineral salt and Daily Gold. Stress and dehydration are big winter concerns. Offering mineral salts like Redmond Rock Crushed or Rock on a Rope to keep them drinking as well as stress-relievers like Daily Gold remedies these issues and promote good health so they’re ready for spring training.  

 

 

9. Work on your horse’s body condition score. Now is the time to make tweaks that will improve their score before competition season. Do they need fattening up? Slimming? Work with a vet or equine trainer to formulate a plan to take you through the rest of the year.

 

10. Set up a chiropractic visit. Having a chiropractor evaluate your horse before you bring them back to work will make sure their body is aligned correctly. Correct alignment prevents soreness and allows your hose to carry himself properly and use his body well.

 

11. Do some serious cleaning. If you touch it in the warm months, clean it now–and don’t overlook things like horse brushes. To clean those, dunk them in a bucket of soapy water and let them dry so they’ll be ready to care for the spring coat.

 

12. Get clipping. If you body clip your horses, make sure to get them fully clipped before the end of January. If you wait until February, the summer coat will already be growing.

 

13. Do trailer maintenance. Clean and perform necessary maintenance on your ride so you’re ready to roll when it’s time.

 

Got a tip of your own? Tell us what you think horse owners should do in the winter to prepare for spring.

5 Tips for Taking Better Pictures of Your Horse

By | Tribe | No Comments

Ever seen your horse in the most regal stance or in a playful mood and thought, “I should take a picture” only to be disappointed by the way the photo turns out? We spoke to the photographers on our team to find out the best and simplest things non-photographers can do to take better pictures, and they didn’t disappoint. These 5 tips for taking better photos of your horse are easy to implement, don’t require fancy equipment, and best of all, you can start using them right away.

Use the light – Our photographer Paul says, “Light is the language of photography,” so if you want someone to understand what you’re trying to say with your photo, you need to know how to use the light. Instead of shooting facing the sun, get the sun behind you. This will light your horse from the front, which illuminates the details of their coat and face. After you do that, get the sun to one side of you, creating drama or visual interest. Experimenting with the sun’s position relative to you can completely change the look of a photo.

Go for gold–or blue – Pros who shoot outdoors often try to do so at the very beginning or very end of the day. Why? The half-hour before sunset and after sunrise is known as the golden hour because the reddish light casts a soft, golden glow that makes everything look warm. The half-hour after sunset and before sunrise is known as the blue hour. During this time light is indirect, making it diffused and even, with no hot spots or glare to concern yourself with.

Try taking photos of your horse on both sides of the sunrise or sunset. See the difference?

Thirds, please. – Skylyn, a wildlife photographer and videographer, suggests learning one of photography’s most basic techniques: the rule of thirds. This guideline improves your picture’s composition and works with the human eye’s tendency to be drawn to certain parts of an image. Imagine a grid that divides your scene into thirds vertically and horizontally. The points where the lines intersect are the spots where the eye will go first, so placing your subject along those will create more interest.

Try editing an old photo using the rule of thirds  (a lot of photo-editing apps have the grid built in). You might be surprised at how much better it looks.

There’s an app for that – Photo-editing smartphone apps have come a long way since Facetune. A good one can take your photos up a notch and make them look more professional. Our photographer Chelsea recommends Snapseed and Afterlight. Don’t fear the filter.

Tell a story – The most compelling photos tell a story. They capture an emotion, set a scene, or show us some action. If you take a picture while you’re in the saddle, getting your horse’s ears in the photo changes the picture from “a pretty landscape” to “here’s what our ride looked like.” If your horse is powerful or you have thrilling adventures together or you are best friends, find a way to tell that story in your photo. People won’t be able to look away.

Ready to put your newfound photo skills to the test? Enter the #RedmondMoments photo contest hosted by Julie Goodnight. Winners will receive a Redmond prize pack full of all-natural products to keep your horse healthy and happy. Learn more here.

Ride Like a Girl: Kara Posch on Being In Tune with Your Horse

By | Ride Like a Girl | No Comments

To me, to ride like a girl means riding with passion and a drive to be the best you can be. More importantly, it means being in tune with your animal. It is really interesting if you take a look around and see all the individual relationships in the equine world. Some people just want have fun, some want to win, and some just want to be confident in what they’re doing. I am personally very competitive, and there is nothing more amazing for me than winning a rodeo with my horses.

What makes it amazing is all the time in the saddle I spent figuring them out. It takes a lot of training for a horse to get to a professional level in barrel racing. Lots of time riding. Hauling to small jackpots, then to larger ones, then–if they’re fast enough–open rodeo. From there, if they’re good enough they go to the pro rodeos. It takes countless hours of figuring out what works best for that horse and you. What ground conditions they do best on, what tack they perform best with, what exercise routine is the best for them. You have to be completely in sync with each other. I love to win and I love to compete. In order to win you have to know your horse and know what he’s going to do in different setups and different situations. One-tenth of a second is the difference between first and last place.  

To get to the top you have to put in a lot of work, and putting in a lot of work and time with the same horse makes you learn a lot about them. I know a lot of weird things about my horse and it’s because I spend a lot of time with him. He has to scope the pasture in the morning and make sure everything is in place before he eats. He will only pee on shavings so he always has access to shavings. He absolutely hates dogs. He is happiest in the back stall of the trailer. And he doesn’t like people in general. If you walk past his stall he will bite–but he’s not like that with me. He gives me 100% of his heart and soul. He is a one-person horse and he needs to always know that he is number one. He needs that constant attention. He’s very emotional. That’s how he thrives and feels really confident.  

I would do anything for that horse. The best parts happen behind the scenes where no one sees. I take naps with him in the pasture to spend time with him. I lay in his stall at night talking to him simply because he loves when I do it. He stands over me like his foal and always wants his ears rubbed. It is incredibly emotional because of all the love I have for my horses. He is my everything.  My horse is my life.

Ride Like a Girl: Audree Taylor on Wholeness

By | Ride Like a Girl, Tribe | No Comments

Riding makes me feel free and confident. When I’m out with my horse there are no bullies, the curl in my hair doesn’t matter and neither does the style of my clothes. No one can make fun of me or make me feel small. When I ride I get to bond with a huge animal that will always love and protect me.

If someone told me I rode like a girl, I would smile because that’s exactly how I want to ride. Beautiful. Graceful. Determined. Better. That’s what comes to mind.

Riding makes me feel whole.

 

– Audree Taylor, 11 years old, Skinner Performance Horses

Ride Like a Girl: The Ones to Watch Out For

By | Ride Like a Girl, Tribe | One Comment

Riding like a girl doesn’t mean riding poorly. Being told to ride like a girl means to ride smart, aggressive and gritty, all while looking professional doing it. Because not many people can make running a 1100 pound animal around three tight turns look easy, and the ones that are the best at it, and the ones that I look up to the most, are girls.

Riding like a girl means that you’re capable of rising above the pressure you face to accomplish a goal, win a race, or even set a record. Doing anything it takes to win, and to stay on top? That’s riding like a girl.  Because not everyone is willing to put the time, effort, restless nights and long days, it takes to rising above all the others and becoming one of the best. Those who do are the ones to watch out for. Those are the ones that find a way to accomplish their goals no matter what, and no matter how long it takes.

Because riding like a girl isn’t being inferior, it’s doing everything in your power to be the best.

 

-Katherine Quast

Riding Made Me: Lindsey Nordick on Working Her Way to Success

By | Tribe | No Comments

Riding made me more determined and humble.

I run a full-service equine training facility. We take in around 8-10 young horses a month. I am determined to have a successful training business and that doesn’t happen by wishing and hoping it would happen. It happens by being a determined human and reaching toward those goals one step at a time, little by little, every single day. It happens because I wake up with a goal, get up, and kick butt all day long. There is no slacking in my life and there never has been. I am a huge advocate for working hard for what you want.

Building my business was challenging at first. Like every other self-employed person, I started from the bottom and worked my way up. I’d take in any horse for training–those horses the accomplished trainers turned down for good reason, usually the unstarted 10-year-old problem horses.  I rode the rejects from other trainers for a good year and made them into quality horses. Soon, I began to get nicer horses into training, and now I’m very selective on what comes into training at our farm.  I had to be determined to see the light at the end of the tunnel during that first year, knowing if I could get those difficult ones started would help me build my resume. I got through that trial period of the up-and-coming trainer and now I can be selective.  

At my facility, Rush Meadow Farm Performance Horses, determination runs at an all-time high. What does that look like? It looks like riding every single day, every holiday, and in any kind of weather Mother Nature throws at us here in northern Minnesota.  Horses need to be worked and cared for daily, even when you don’t feel like doing anything besides sleeping all day.  You have to get up and take care of business. Getting 10 horses plus some of my own ridden can be draining, but somehow I get it done every day.  If I lacked determination, I’d have a lot of unhappy clients.

A certain horse I own, Patsy, has taught me so much humility.  Just last weekend, we smoked a run–it was one of the nicest runs we’ve ever made. Later that day for our second run in the buckle series, the wheels fell off. We knocked two barrels and I pulled up on the way home because she was pulling on me and taking advantage.  She’s been my problem child since the minute I bought her.  The only horse who’s ever made me want to sell one because I can’t figure out their quirks. Usually, I can get on a horse and have them pegged and know how to fix their issues within a ride or two. Not this mare. She challenges me every day and I love her to pieces for that. She keeps me learning and wanting to improve.  

Humility–riding teaches me that every day. Just when I think I have a certain young horse figured out they throw me for a loop. I question my own abilities some days.  Then the next day, they ride better than they ever have and I’m back on cloud nine.  I know as soon as you’re at the top, the next day you can be right at the bottom again. I aim to always stay humble and kind, no matter what I’ve accomplished in my career. I’ve never been the type to jump up and down and cry when I win something, but more of the type to go give my horse an extra scratch and thank them for letting me be their passenger.

Lindsay Nordick from Detroit Lakes, MN, owns Rush Meadow Farm Performance Horses, a full-service training facility.  They emphasize creating a correct, soft, willing, honest, and well-exposed horse.  

Solving Digestive Problems with Daily Gold

By | Daily Gold, Product Testimonials | No Comments

It’s what we all dread.  I walked into my horse Tina’s stall to do the morning feed before turnout and there was no poop.  None.  She’d come in from turnout late last night.  It was now 6 am.  I called the vet.  He said it would be about an hour.  

I was scared and couldn’t think what to do, so I  got a tube of Redmond’s Daily Gold clay and gave it to her.  I gave her another tube 20 minutes later and another 20 minutes after that. Before long, the vet walked in…just as she was pooping.  Whew!  

I love Tina.  She knows when people are sad.  She will go stand by them.  When I lost my Thoroughbred, she literally wrapped herself around me and stood that way for over an hour while I cried.  It was good to give back.  

 

Santos is a retired Heeler.  He won a lot of money and was National Runner-up before he was injured and had to retire.  He was donated to our non-profit equine therapy program and changed from a Heeler to a Healer.  

Santos has diabetes and drinks up to 8 gallons of water a night.  He also always has diarrhea.  I started feeding him Daily Gold every day.  After about a week, I noticed he had only had about 3 gallons of water one night.  I checked him. He seemed to be ok.  I also noticed his poops were firm. (Are you as obsessed with poop as I am? I would never have thought this of myself before horses.) Surprisingly, if I give Santos 2 scoops of Daily Gold each day in his supplements, he does better with his diabetes.  Who would have thought?  

 

-Jolene Green

How Daily Gold Helped Relieve One Horse’s Ulcers and Stress

By | Daily Gold, Get Your Horse Back, Product Testimonials | No Comments

I have been feeding the Redmond Daily Gold to my primary Gelding, Ace, for at least 4 years and love it as much now as I did when I first started it!

About 4 years ago I moved my horse, Ace, to a new pasture due to some life changes. He did not handle it well. He dropped weight because he was a very hard keeper and was stressed. He ended up with ulcers. After the initial treatment for the ulcers I still didn’t notice any improvements with him, so a friend suggested that I try the Redmond Daily Gold to see if it would help. I was desperate to help Ace feel better and ordered that day. Within a short time, Ace’s attitude was back to normal and I could see that he was gaining weight back. With the Redmond Daily Gold, I got my happy healthy horse back and he’s been on it since! Daily Gold not only helped Ace’s tummy, but I also noticed that he was calmer at the gate when we competed, wanted to run in every time, and was back to loving his job.

Now Ace continues to love his job and is never gate sour, but rather has a hard time waiting for his turn to go. I am so thankful for the Redmond Daily Gold; it gave me my Ace back happy and healthy!

 

-Stephanie Schelonka

Want to learn more about ulcers and stress?