Plant Based Horse Minerals

When I was advised to give my horse Nathy a mineral supplement to improve his health and well being, I decided I wanted to take a natural approach. Of all the minerals I found for horses most were of a metallic nature, which was going against the way I want to approach supplementing Nathy.

The word Metallic is enough to turn me off feeding these minerals to my horse, I wanted something more natural. I came across a brand of horse minerals that are plant based and all natural. With 74 plus plant ingredients to keep horse healthy and happy, below are just are few.

Premium Horse Mineral Ingredients.

  • Sea Plants
  • Kelp
  • Age Old Healing Plants and Herbs
  • Colloidal Minerals
  • Biotin
  • Moringa Powder
  • MSM Plant Sulphur
  • Clay Dolomite
  • Clay Calcium Bentonite
  • Diatomite

Natural plant minerals are better for a horses digestive system and also absorb easier than non plant derived minerals. Eating natural, healthy products can improve human well being, so should the same not apply to our animals.Humans usually don’t go well on high starch, or high sugar, which lead to diseases like diabetes. Diabetes can raise the risk of heart attack or stroke by 50%. If we can improve a horse diet with healthy feed and natural supplements, it has to be better than feeding them unhealthy feed filled with sugar and starch.

If humans can get a disease like diabetes, it is crazy to think that a horse would be immuned to this. Horses shouldn’t have too much sugar, it can lead to laminitis and even insulin resistance, much like a person with type 2 diabetes. It’s important for us to give our horses a well balanced diet, so they stay gut healthy and avoid diseases such as insulin resistance and laminitis.

Minerals play an important part in a horses overall health and in my opinion, natural minerals are a better choice to help a horses digestive system and overall well being. Horses can’t tell us how they feel or what is causing them pain and discomfort but they can show us by either physical, emotional or by their overall behaviour. Most bad behaviour by a horse is caused by pain, or if they are uncomfortable, if we don’t listen to them these behaviours will only get worse and could cause harm to the horse owner.

How to Prepare for a Horse Show

With spring in the air and competition season beginning it’s time to get serious about the upcoming show season. Preparation is key, for both you and your horse. So work out what you’re doing and when and work out a schedule to build up to it.

Getting your horse show ready

  • Once you know what shows you’re entering, practise for that event. Try lengthening and shortening stride so you can get the right distance between jumps, and always practise on fences slightly higher than those in the show. This way your horse should be calm and composed on the day. And similarly for dressage – you need to be confident that your horse can comfortably perform everything asked of them, so it’s a good idea to show them at one level lower than the level they perform at home.
  • During the winter months, like humans, horses can lose some fitness. Work on building it up again to get them back to their peak for show season.
  • Get grooming and trimming to make sure your horse looks his best.

Preparing for a show

Think about everything you’ll need for the show, for both you and your horse and make a list. If you’re staying overnight or longer you’ll need bedding, hay and grain for your horse as well as tack, grooming equipment, buckets, first aid equipment, paperwork etc.

With all the focus on getting your horse ready, it can be easy to forget that you need to get yourself ready too. Good quality, well-fitting show clothes will not only be comfortable, but also create a really good impression. If last years are looking a bit tired, consider investing in some new show attire. Mark Todd have a new Italian Collection, which is both stylish and designed with the practicalities of riding in mind, with breathable fabrics and machine washable jackets. It’s a good idea to take a spare set of show clothing if you can, just in case there are any issues (like mud all over your white jodhpurs!) on the day.

Of course the best way to keep your horse looking good for show season is to care for them well all year round. So keep up with medical checks and groom them daily, paying attention to their tail and mane to avoid knots and tangles. Bathe them the night before the show and braid them too, so they’re looking their best on the day.

Keeping Your Horse Happy In the Heat

I don’t know about you but so far Spring in Los Angeles has been pretty hot. It’s been reaching almost 90 degrees (Fahrenheit) in some parts of the city. The heat not only affects us but it affects our horses (and all our other animals).

Here are some simple ways to keep your horse happy and healthy during a heat wave.

  1. Water – Always make sure you have plenty of water available for your horse at all times. Keep an eye out for bugs and mosquitoes. Not unlike us horses are less likely to want to drink if there are a bunch of bugs in the water. It is also safer for them to drink clean water.
  2. Shade – Have a large enough area of shade for your horse to relax in when it starts to get too hot. No one likes to bake in the sun all day.
  3. Electrolytes – Horses lose electrolytes while they sweat. Replenish salt loss during excessive sweating with a suitable electrolyte supplement. They have them available at most places where you get your horse feed.
  4. Ventilation – When possible, leave barn doors and windows open and install misting fans near each stall if you can. Keep a hose near by for a quick splash.
  5. Baths – Bathe your horse! He/She will love you for it. Nothing feels better then having a nice cold bath on a hot day.
  6. Coat Care – Keep your horse’s mane and tail trimmed. Apply a zinc oxide sunscreen to pink noses to help prevent sunburn. There are shampoos available with UV protection added to help protect your horse’s coat. Horses can get sunburn too. It’s not just for us.

These tips will help keep your and your horse happy during the spring heat wave. Not only will they be happy but they will be healthy. Many of times we can’t tell when our animals are suffering, especially during the hotter times of the year. If we keep up with all the items listed below then you are more then likely to have a happy and healthy horse. Horses can suffer from heat stroke just like any human can. Only we can speak up for ourselves. For more information on how to keep your horse happy you can always look to Google. Information is limitless on the internet and it never hurts to do your research when it comes to those you love.

Handling Your Horse’s Hooves Safely

Starting out

Just because a horse refuses to lift its feet for you it does not always mean that it is being disobedient. For a horse to lift its feet, it must be taught how. The best time to train your horse is when it is still a foal, but if you are handling an adult horse do not assume that it knows how to lift its feet, as this training may have been missed. As cleaning hooves is an essential part of horse care, you need to teach your horse how to willingly lift its feet when asked.

Make It Rewarding!

Positive reinforcement, as well as consistent practise, is the most effective method in teaching any new behaviours or developing existing ones. Learning the right timingis essential if you want to teach your horse to pick up their feet easily when asked.

Initially, make sure to give the reward after a few seconds of picking up their feet for the horse to understand the process. After the horse is responding easily, you can make it longer between positive reinforcement actions.

You can choose any sound you want to prompt the foot being picked up as long as that sound does not startle the horse. However, it is best to just pick one sound and then stick with it. For example, you can choose to say “pick it up”, you can snap your fingers, whistle or cluck your tongue. Choose a sound that you can easily create and remember. Make the sound immediately before touching to pick up the foot. The sound draws your horse’s attention as well as allows it to associate the sound to whatever it is doing.

The rewards or positive reinforcement can be anything that your horse likes or enjoys. You can provide food such as horse cookies, carrot chunks, mints, bits of grain, or wisp of hay, though these may cause your horse to fidget if you don’t have the treats with you at some time in the future. You can also scratch its withers, a definite winner with most horses,or pat its neck and praise them.

Safety without Stress

You need to consider your safety and your horse’s happiness when caring for your horse’s feet. Below are some steps so you can care for your horse’s feet effectively, safely as well as stress free for both you and your horse.

1. No surprises – Make sure your horse is aware of your presence. Walk towards your horse in its line of sight and talk to your horse while approaching. Do not position yourself behind your horse since you put yourself at risk of being kicked. Position yourself beside your horse’s shoulder about two feet out. While talking, pet your horse’s neck and slide your hand down from its shoulder to its leg. This allows you to check the tendon area for any issues.

2. Just above your horse’s ankle, with your thumb close to your hand, grasp your horse’s leg at the back and tell it to “pick it up” or use the signal you decided on above. The horse will immediately comply if it’s used to lifting its feet upon your command.

3. If it doesn’t; you can lean into the shoulder with your hip to take the weight off the foot, while squeezing in your thumb and forefinger and asking it to lift its foot until it complies. Always state what you want and reward it when it complies. In time, your horse will lift its foot up himself when you tell it.

4. Move a bit closer and be careful not to move your feet under your horse’s feet. Move your hand gently down to grasp the foot and then flex the ankle slowly. This will allow you to view the sole as well as have complete control over your horse’s leg.

5. As you’re holding the foot of your horse with your one hand, use your other hand to use the hoof pick. A cheap hoof pick is normally just as effective as an expensive one. Make sure the hoof pick is fairly blunt as this reduces the risk of wounding your horse.

6. Insert the point of the pick inside the heel bulb next to the frog and run it down from one side of the frog to the other, from heel to toe in order to remove the caked debris. Gently clean the cleft in the frog’s centre, where a horse with a chronic thrush may be tender and sore. Pull off any loose pieces of frog skin that will come off by hand, but make sure not to tear anything that’s not already loose.

7. Lastly, arc the hoof pick around the shoe’s interior rim to remove anything that is clinging. Put your horse’s foot down and transfer the hoof pick in your pocket or somewhere easily accessible.

8. Next would be to work on your horse’s hind legs. Let your horse know that you are approaching its hind leg by patting its shoulder and running your hand along its side. Talk to your horse while moving and stay close while you position yourself beside its hindquarter.

9. Just like what you did in the earlier steps, lean into your horse as you bend down while keeping your feet out from under its feet. Using your elbow and forearm is not only for establishing contact, they allow you to easily push away if ever you sense your horse preparing to kick.

10. Lifting the hind foot is where you need to have the most control as this is where you are at the highest risk of being kicked. To be out of harm’s way, you need to position yourself in a way that your shoulders are roughly parallel to the horse’s hip bone with your head out of the line of fire. Move your hand down until you are slightly above the top of the ankle. Tell your horse to “pick it up” or use your chosen signal while giving a slight squeeze. If your horse does not respond right away, reinforce your message by pulling the ankle forward and up toward the front of the horse.

11. If your horse threatens to lift their leg before you ask, or appears to be threatening to kick you, hold the tail in one hand while you are reaching down to lift the leg. You can gently pull on the tail to over balance them and get them to think twice about lifting feet when not asked to.

Guide To Installing A Bird Cage

To protect your birds, you need a cage.

Best wires to use

There are many types of wires you can use with the most popular being:

Galvanized wires: A galvanized wire is one that is coated with zinc which is highly toxic. The main role of the coating is to prevent corrosion thus increasing durability. To protect your birds you should consider removing the coating. You do this by soaking or sandblasting the wire. To prevent the wire from corroding apply non-toxic paint to the wire.

PVC coated wire: From its name, this is the wire that has been coated using PVC. The coating is usually very thin and can be easily removed. Due to this, you are advised from installing it in a cage with chewing birds. You should use it in areas with non-chewing birds such as softbills and finches. If you want to use the wire in chewing birds, you should go for a powder coated wire. A powder coat is a cooked coat that is difficult for the birds to remove. The wire will be expensive but the coating will be sturdier thus the birds won’t be able to remove it from the wire.

Stainless steel mesh: This is the best material to use. It will protect your birds without rusting. It also doesn’t require a lot of care. To buy it you should head to your local hardware store.

Installing a bird cage

After you have settled on the right wire, you should go ahead and install the unit. To completely keep predators from your birds you should place an outer layer. As rule of thumb install a tough material. This calls for you to avoid plastic netting as predators can easily tear through it. Larger birds can also easily chew holes through it. For peace of mind, install a 14 gauge 1″ x 1″ grid wire.

You can install a cage with a wooden frame or go for an all-wire unit. It’s all about your preferences. If installing an all-wire cage, you should go for a mesh wire or chain-link fencing. You should go for a pattern that the birds can’t easily pass through. The pattern should also be able to hold the perches and bird toys.

Conclusion

This is what you need to know about bird caging. You should choose a material that is strong and durable. You can install the unit on your own but for ideal results, hire a professional to help you out.

How to Get and Keep Your Horse in Top Shape and Ready for Anything

The first thing you need to understand is that your horse is just like any other athlete. And just like an athlete, you cannot expect it to perform like an Olympian right off the bat if it has been parked in a stall for months on end, or if it has been lazily grazing in the fields. In our culture, horses have been romanticized in books and movies as creatures of unlimited power and capability. It is often just assumed that they are born with and always maintain the ability to carry a rider for miles upon miles at a full run. But the truth is that a horse must be carefully and methodically trained to perform at top levels, it is not something they are just born being able to do.

Just like you could not expect yourself to be able to run a marathon tomorrow if you had spent the last six months on the sofa with a bag of chips. So, before you start making high demands of your steed, you need to do for your horse what any good trainer would do for his athlete. You need to condition it.

Your horse’s age and the amount of work it has previously done, if any, will determine where you need to start as well as what you want him in shape for. Remember, you can injure a horse by taking him out of the stall or pasture and immediately start riding him if he has had little or no riding time in weeks or months. A horse that gets ridden once or twice a week needs a gradual training program that starts out with a half hour ride every other day-this ride does not need to be hard, simply walking for one or two miles a day is a good way to start out when conditioning any horse that has not been ridden very much previously. You want to do this walking for a couple miles about every other day for at least two weeks, then you can work up to a trot for a minute or so in between long periods of walking during your ride. This is similar to what athletes call “interval training.” The horse needs restricted to these slow paces; if he is not accustomed to being ridden often, you will injure him by trying to make him move at a pace that he is not capable of moving at. For two weeks you will want to do these walk/trot intervals as you ride, just to get him used to a riding schedule again. Then, you may build up to a canter; but again, no long canter periods, you must canter for just a few seconds and then have several walk/trot intervals, then take another canter. After about six weeks of this cumulative work, when the horse is used to being ridden for a good solid hour or more, you may begin more strenuous work, such as riding uphill and downhill at the trot and then gradually to the canter-riding downhill at the trot will improve your horse’s and your own balance-and the toughest part of the training program begins.

Once your horse is in great shape and is conditioned for more strenuous work, you can begin to train your horse for whatever specific task you want. I.e. jumping, dressage, barrel racing, cross country, etc.

All of these sports demand that your horse be in top shape before beginning to train for them. Thinking that you can just skip the conditioning and move right into the specific training is very dangerous and counterproductive. The idea that your horse will just get conditioned as it goes is a recipe for serious and even permanent injury to your horse. Do not risk your horse’s health or your safety in an attempt to speed up the process.

Once conditioned, you will want to find a good source of instruction in your particular discipline. While you are looking, here are a few things that you can do you get started.

If you are jumping you want to start out trotting over poles on the ground, then trotting over small jumps spaced a couple feet apart (a good rule of thumb is usually about four feet apart, but you may need to adjust it depending on your horse’s stride), and finally going over small jumps building up to whatever height jump you and your horse are ready for. You must always start out conditioning slowly or you can injure the horse to the point where it cannot be ridden anymore. Conditioning the barrel racer would involve setting up three barrels and trotting in the pattern around them, gradually building up to faster speeds. As you can see, any particular sport that you may want your horse conditioned for can be achieved pretty easily once the foundation for strength-building has been laid. Start out slowly when conditioning any horse. If you are not sure how to go about it, it is always better to ask an experienced horse person than to take unnecessary chances. You will find that most experienced horsemen are more than happy to help and offer advice.

How To Find Quality Breeders Offering Baby Turtles for Sale

When looking for a source for baby turtles for sale, it is always important to pay attention to the quality of the breeder as well as the health and condition of the baby turtle. The quality of care that a breeder offers to their turtles is usually a good indicator of how seriously they take breeding and whether these turtles are likely to thrive later in life. Recognizing the key aspects of caring for a turtle successfully will make it easier to look out for these signs in a turtle breeder, eventually making it possible to choose a breeder who will also be a great source of information and help.

The first consideration is the facilities in which the breeder keeps their turtles and breeding stock. All habitats, including breeding areas and exercise enclosures, should be well cared for and kept clean at all times. Additionally, the areas should be appropriate in size for the age and species of the turtle. Large species should have enclosures that give the turtle enough time to move around, and newly hatched turtles should have space to move but not so much space that they get tired or lost trying to navigate their home. Breeders who fail to offer enough space to their turtles are often careless in other areas of their turtles’ care.

Specialization may also be a factor, since some breeders tend to focus on one species while other breeders offer baby turtles for sale in many different types. Whether the breeder specializes or not, it is important that they provide specialized care for every one of the species represented in their facility. This is especially true across types of turtles that vary significantly, such as terrestrial species and aquatic species. All terrestrial turtles require large enclosures with plenty of space to reflect the adult size of the turtle, while aquatic turtles need deep aquariums with clean water and heavy filtration. This is especially important to consider for hatchlings, since turtles that live in clean areas at the start of their lives are more likely to thrive as adults later, especially if the standard of care continues.

Lastly, an ideal breeder will be a willing source of information and continue to stay in contact with their acquaintances long after a sale. Ideally, a new owner should be able to call up their breeder if a question arises regarding their turtle, whether it is a question about family history, medical history or simply a general question about caring for the species. Breeders who are happy to help new turtle owners adjust to keeping a turtle also offer healthy, thriving baby turtles for sale that are more likely to continue to thrive well into adulthood.

How to Raise Arowana Fish From Home

Arowana are very interesting fish. Many people who raise Arowana as pets, choose the silver Arowana fish. After all, folklore says that owning an Arowana can bring about good fortune and ward off evil spirits. Sounds like great reasons to me for owning one of these fish.

The fish is unique looking, elongated with a body that is covered in silvery scales. The fish is also known for its short head and rigid jaw. This fish is found in many parts of the world such as South America, parts of Africa, Vietnam, Australia, and Asia, to name a few.

Although the Arowana is a very pretty fish, it’s very much a predator. In the wild, the Arowana eats other fish, insects, and even birds. Because the fish has the ability to literally jump out of the water, it can snag animals off of low hanging tree branches and brush. As pets, this fish is known for often jumping out of their fish tanks. This especially happens when they are spooked by loud noises and other disturbances.

Also, because of the fish’s aggressive nature, it’s known for eating tank mates and even attacking other Arowana. In other words, it’s hard for these guys to make friends in the fish tank.

Not only are these fish tough themselves, they are also tough to raise at home. To raise these fish on your own, you need a very large tank. Most experts recommend a fish tank that is at least 250 gallons. That’s because a full-grown Arowana can get to 47 inches long. And having a small tank would not allow them to swim about and turn as needed.

Additionally, the water, like with any fish tank, needs to be at just the right temperature and have the correct pH.

For Arowana, the temperature should be between 75 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit (24-30 C) and the pH should be kept between 6.5 and 7.5.

Since the fish is so aggressive, adding other fish to the fish tank can be tricky. However, it is possible to find tank mates for the fish. For example, sometimes Oscars, Jack Dempsey fish, and catfish can work. Having said that, there is absolutely no guarantee because of the aggressive nature of the fish.

The Silver Arowana can be challenging to raise from home, proper care is essential to be successful. However, raising them can also be a very rewarding hobby.

Koi Pond – The Best Plants To Select

Now that your koi pond is finally finished, after all your hard work building it, now it is time to think about what sort of plants to select to get the water garden looking the way you would like.

You want it to look beautiful, of course, but when selecting your plants, keep in mind that these plants will also have the added value of bringing biological life to your koi pond. This helps maintain your pond in a natural way.

The climate in your particular area is something to consider. Certain plants will not survive in certain conditions, so it is important to do some research before going out and spending your hard-earned cash. If you have a local dealer, then have a chat with them for advice on which plants are best suited to your koi pond.

Lotus Plants
Lotus plants are always a popular choice for koi ponds, because of their simple beauty. When in bloom, lotus plants have a special beauty and aroma. A word of warning, though. Lotus plants like temperatures above 65 deg. Fahrenheit, so you will need somewhere to house them during the cooler months. A greenhouse would be good, as lotus plants require soil and a lot of sunlight. You need to plant them in about 2-3 feet of water during warmer weather, and indoors when it goes colder.

Water Hyacinths
If you have a busy lifestyle and cannot put enough time into maintaining your koi pond, then water hyacinths may be a good choice. They are a low-maintenance plant and very pretty in appearance. They do not require soil or planting. You just scatter them on the water, and the only work required is minimal. You will need to anchor them down so that they do not float all over the pond randomly. Water hyacinths are also good for battling algae and blanket weed.

One word of warning about water hyacinths. They can take over a pond if left unattended. They easily spread around, even outside the pond, so you must keep an eye on them regularly and trim them back. If allowed to spread, they can be extremely difficult to remove.

Underwater plants
It is a good idea to invest in some underwater plants. Even though they are not seen, they have a practical use. They will fight against algae, put oxygen in the water and can be a source of food for your fish. Any good local pet store or koi dealer will have bundles of these type of plants. Most of these plants need no additional maintenance during the cold season, so once you put them in place, you don’t have to worry about them. So, although they are unseen, they are doing a great job under the surface, which benefits not only you, but the inhabitants of your koi pond.

Interesting Facts About Reptiles You Need to Know

What makes it a reptile?
There are countless species and varieties of reptiles around the world. Even though there are many differences, reptiles do share a few common traits.

For starters, they use lungs to breathe. Lizards might breathe using the same muscles they use to run and crocodiles have a more flexible diaphragm, but overall, reptiles have lungs that are more advanced than amphibians, but not as refined as mammals. Reptiles also have scales made of keratin protein. Scales provide protection from predators, help retain water, and can play a role in courtship and territorial clashes. Reptiles are not the only animals to have scales, but it is a common characteristic among all reptiles.

Another characteristic is that they’re all four-legged vertebrates (or descended from four-limbed animals, like snakes). This is another shared trait with other types of animals, which indicates that reptiles are an evolutionary middle ground of sorts between amphibians and mammals. For the most part, female reptiles lay eggs but it’s not exclusive to all reptiles. There are some species that develop their young inside their bodies and give birth to live young, like the Viviparous Lizard and the Adder.

Reptiles are known for their cold-blooded metabolisms. If you’ve ever seen a reptile in an enclosure, you might have noticed lamps and other forms of heat. That’s because basking in heat increases their internal body temperature to give them the energy they need for daily activity.

What are the different types of reptiles?
Reptiles can be classified into four major groups:

Crocodilia
Which has 23 different species of Alligators, Caimans, Gharials, and Crocodiles.

As you may know, the Crocodilia are large, semiaquatic and predatory animals. They’re commonly found in the lowlands of the tropics and usually have long, flattened snouts and canonical, peg-like teeth. Certain species of crocodilian are traded as exotic pets when they’re young but are often abandoned as they grow larger and more dangerous.

Squamata
Which are lizards and snakes, and have almost 8,000 species.

These reptiles vary in size (from a dwarf gecko that’s less than an inch long to an anaconda which can reach over 17 feet). Their ability to move their quadrate bones is what helps them open their mouths wide enough to consume larger prey. If you’re thinking of getting reptiles for sale of this classification, be sure to research the specific type you want to get to make sure you have the necessary equipment to keep them healthy and happy.

Testudines
Which is made up of turtles and tortoises and have around 300 species.

These are considered primitive since they’re some of the most ancient reptiles among us. Their shells make them easily distinguishable from other reptiles and they’re also a popular choice as reptile pets.

Sphenodontia
Which is known as the sister group of the Squamata and has only 2 species of tuataras from New Zealand.

It’s also known as a Rhynchocephalia, which means beak head. They have a unique set of teeth which is presented as two rows in the upper jaw and a single row on the lower jaw. The single species of tuatara is the only living member of an order that flourished about 200 million years ago.

Which reptiles for sale are best as pets?
If you’re just starting out with a pet reptile, you can find some great reptiles for sale. Geckos can be a great pet for beginners because they don’t require much handling. Too much stress on the gecko can cause its tail to fall off though. A Bearded Dragon can also make for a great pet as they’re extremely easy-going reptiles with personality. They require a hot habitat and are fairly easy to maintain.