Confessions of A Horse Mom

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Pimlicos’ Preakness

“A horse gallops with his lungs, preserves with his heart and wins with his character”

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Two short weeks ago we all watched as American Pharaoh defeated Dortmund and Firing Line in the home stretch of the Kentucky Derby to secure victory. We dedicated a whole blog to the Kentucky Derby and now it’s time to shine some light on the Preakness.

The Preakness is the second race in the Triple Crown series. The series works its way up the coast from Churchill Downs in Kentucky, to Pimlico in Maryland, and ends with the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York. The Preakness is often referred to as the race for the Black Eyed Susan’s because the winner is draped in a blanket of the Black Eyed flowers. FUN FACT: The Black Eyed Susan is the official flower of the Preakness but it doesn’t bloom until late June/July. That being said, the blanket of “black eyed Susan’s” is actually a knock off and is comprised of gerbera daisies, sun flowers or other flowers with a black center. Officials are trying their hardest to one day soon utilize the actual flower.

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Just as the Kentucky Derby participants sip their mint julep, the fans of the Preakness created their own drink, appropriately named the Black Eyed Susan; the drink consists of Vodka, St. Germain, pineapple juice, lime juice and orange juice.

The race this weekend promises excitement. Crowds are buzzing with curiosity—begging the question—will we have a Triple Crown winner?! What do you think? Place your bets, tune into the Preakness and after all is said and done, we will see you on our home turf, Long Island, for the Belmont Stakes on June 6th.

So, my confession you ask? I hope Firing Line delivers the upset.

 

May there always be a hoof print next to your foot print,
Christine 

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Hoof “Beats”

“Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast”

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It’s natural for us, as humans, to enjoy music. It’s therapeutic and more often than not the type of music we chose reflects our mood. The question has been long debated; do animals, such as horses, enjoy music? Does it have a calming effect and rid anxieties? Many people play music in their barns which has sparked the debate further, do horses enjoy the music or find it irritating–the way most of us would if music was blaring in our rooms 24/7. Most studies conclude that horses LOVE music.

HERES WHY: Horses live their lives rhythmically. When we think of every movement they make it is usually in a two or three beat rhythm. Rhythmic patterns and short melodic phrases have been proven to be the most relaxing for horses. Cats and dogs, who also benefit from music, find long meditative phrases more comforting. Horses find comfort not only in the sound but the feel of the music, or the vibrations coming off the radio.

COMFORT YOUR HORSE EFFECTIVELY: If you decide that music will benefit your beast make sure you take a few precautions.

  • Set the radio at a reasonable volume to prevent discomfort or panic.
  • Avoid talk radio! Horses cannot interpret words and their meanings the way we can, talk shows and talking voices give off little to no vibrations so the noise is just, well… annoying.
  • Lastly, make sure your radio has a good connection or plays CD’s on repeat; one of the biggest irritants to a horse’s ears is white noise.

Dancing-To-MusicA recent study comparing cortisol levels in horses further proved the theory to be correct. Cortisol, a stress hormone, is highest in race horses and therapeutic riding horses. Using this information the theory was tested at a small therapeutic riding center. Music was introduced during their therapy sessions on a weekly basis,which in turn relaxed both horse and rider. Their “little” experiment turned out to be such a great success that they now utilize music on a regular basis in their programs.

I wonder if any of the horses will have music playing outside their stall at the Preakness?! Tune in on Saturday for RACE DAY!

So, my confession you ask? I put my ear buds in my horses ears and he listens to my iPod!

May there always be a hoof print next to your foot print,
Cait
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SPLISH SPLASH, You’re Getting A Bath!

1b6d6ebbc64539eeb30b30fc6ec6e540With temperatures climbing it’s officially one of my favorite times of year, BATHING SEASON! Although my horse might hate me he will be squeaky sparkly clean. Here are a few helpful bathing reminders to keep you and your horse happy.

1.      Pick the right place and time: Chances are if it’s too cold for you to get wet, it’s too cold for your horse to get wet. If it is on the chillier side make sure you bring a cooler with you to the wash stall. Pick a grassy or concrete location. This will prevent the creation of one big mud puddle which negates the whole bathing process, and is terrible for your pony’s feet.

2.      Water is not good for hooves: Use some Vaseline or hoof oil before you bathe to help deflect the excess water.

3.      Shampoo: Shampoo can often dry out the skin. We suggest that you put the recommended amount of shampoo in a bucket and mix it with water. Rinse your horses coat thoroughly and don’t use shampoo on places that can be difficult to rinse, like the face.

4.      Sponges: Similarly to brushes, don’t share sponges. This will help prevent the spread of germs.

5.      Comfort: Make sure the water isn’t too cold. Let’s be real do you want to be hosed down with freezing cold water? The answer to that is definitely no, so don’t do it to your horse! 56cb28a989556ac1d0ea4268b01503bf

Remember, that a nice long date with the curry comb will do the same trick as a bath. It might take a little longer, and you may need some extra elbow grease. BUT it helps you get your guns ready for the summer season and keeps your horses coat shiny and clean. Consider taking the time to curry and only give a bath when absolutely necessary to avoid dry skin and hoof issues.

 

So, my confession you ask? My horse has more hair and bathing products than i do,
and that is a tough accomplishment to reach.
 
May there always be a hoof print next to your foot print,
Christine
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