What do Wild Hedgehogs Eat?

What do Wild Hedgehogs Eat?

The hedgehog is a cute pet animal and you need to keep them safely in a cage. Being insectivores these hedgehogs need nutrients that may not be found in pet food items. So you need to take care of the hedgehog’s diet plan properly for their better living. In which you can feed cat food items to these hedgehogs but there are also quality of hedgehog food items are available in the market that provides you the ideal nutritional components for the hedgehog to eat.

What do Wild Hedgehogs Eat?

Just by knowing what these hedgehogs eat, you should provide them food that makes them feel stronger and healthier. There are number of hedgehog food items are available in the market in which you need to choose the best hedgehog food for your small pet only then you can make your pet animal to stay healthier and stronger enough. So always ensure that you provide the recommended and healthy nutrient food items to your pet animal.

General pet hedgehog food guidelines

The hedgehogs are considered either insectivores or omnivores depending on the source, it is referenced when you actually look into the diet of these hedgehogs you will see the description of omnivore is probably more accurate one. Comparing to the home hedgehogs the wild hedgehogs will eat variety of foods not just the insects. There are different species of hedgehogs are available in the wild, where these hogs slightly vary in its diet plan depending upon the on the parts of the world they are from but most of the hedgehogs are from the African pygmy. So by being hybrid the diet plan of these hedgehogs are not exactly same as like the wild hedgehogs.

General pet hedgehog food guidelines

Hedgehogs have the unique ability to digest chitin from insects where the chitin is found in the hard exoskeleton of the insects and it is primarily a protein content source but it also provides some kinds of fiber. In which the chitin is a necessary component to the hedgehogs diet but it is not the only component that the hedgehogs need or requires from the food, so various food items should be fed in addition to these insects. The following are some of the best hedgehog food items that you can provide to your hedgehogs. They are.


– freeze-dried or live mealworms are good source of the chitin for hedgehogs where the live worms will be providing a good source of the mental stimulation since they move around and make the hedgehog have to work little harder for catching the mealworms food.


– The live waxworms are rich in fat but lower in the chitin content compared to the mealworms so these should be served as the treat for the hedgehogs


– The dried fruits should be avoided but the small amount of fresh fruit can be offered to your pet animal such as like bananas, melons, berries and apples are popular choices of fruits among the hedgehogs.


– Also available freeze-dried or live the crickets provide chitin as well as the mental stimulation tour hedgehog’s pet animal. As with other kinds of insects the gut loading should be done prior to feeding the crickets to your pet animal that ensures they are very much loaded with the nutrition.

Cooked meat

– The cooked meat contains high protein and low fat canned cat or dog foods as well as the cooked chicken can be provided to your hedgehogs in small amount.


– Fresh green beans, cooked squash and fresh tomatoes are some of the options that your hedgehogs can enjoy while eating the starchy vegetables such as carrots, corn and potatoes and as well as the dried vegetables should be avoided.

Pinky mice

– If you are fed your hedgehogs eating a baby mouse then you can offer them a pre-killed pinky mouse as an occasional treat.

Cat kibble or Hedgehog

– This is found to be the bulky food of your hedgehog’s diet. A high quality hedgehog or cat kibble should contain at least 30% of protein and less than 20% fat content. The hedgehog pet animal food is an ideal diet when it meets these kinds of nutritional requirements but few formulated diets are available which does not includes the things like seeds and raisins which are not recommended in the hedgehog diet plan.

Cooked eggs

– An occasional bit of the scrambled or hard boiled eggs is found to be the nice food treat that holds the protein content for hedgehog.

How much amount of food and when you need to feed your hedgehog

How much amount of food and when you need to feed your hedgehog

Hedgehogs are prone to the obesity problem, so it is of utmost important to monitor how much of food you are providing to your hedgehog small pet animal. The cat kibble or hedgehog should make up the majority of the food item in the daily diet plan of your pet and even though the hedgehogs are very active at night and it burns out lot of energy so you need to control how much kibble your pet gets. Whether the hedgehogs are large and very active then it may need more food but your hedgehog’s weight should be monitored every time with the use of the baby scale. If there is a more than 10% weight gain then you should reduce the amount of food which you provide.

How else you can help your hedgehogs?

How else you can help your hedgehogs?

You can help your hedgehogs by creating your garden good-looking to their invertebrate prey just by adding the pond or allowing the area to turn into overgrown with the grass, compost or log pile heap will provide the habitat. The hedgehogs also require some cosy spaces for sleeping during on the winter season. The compost heaps, log piles and overgrown patches can all be used for resting the hedgehogs. Another best option is to build the hedgehog house so place the house in a quiet and shaded corner of your garden area to have the best chance of taking up the residence.

Can You Use Deet on Horses to Avoid Flies?

Can you use deet on horses to avoid flies?

At present, people are more concerned about their pets and they take care of them in a better way. Many people can stick in confusions how their pets get affected with health issue? In common people think that, if they give proper healthy food, shelter it is more enough for their pets to be healthy. But in reality, it is people responsibility to look after their pet animals and protect them by offering proper vaccination & medications. These types of vaccination and medications would get differed based on pet animals people have. Although, there are several vaccinations available some animals would have common medication were some not, one of such animal is horses. The horses are widely loved by people especially for their attitude and love attachment with their owner. The main plus point in the horse is their shiny hair and their eternal beauty that attracts humans to them.

On other hand, people can also see some horses appear with too many insect files in their body. In simple words the more number of insects and flies keeps on annoying the horses on continuation it may lead to itchiness. When horses have itchiness due to insects and flies some of them do raw scrub over the place but some horses cannot and keep on suffering. Many can think is there any ways to avoid these situations people would make use of fly repellent sprays. When it comes to horse protection people get confused whether they can make use of deet sprays or not?

What is deet spray?

What is deet spray?

Deet is nothing but a chemical repellent with chemical formula of N, N- diethyl- meta- toluamide that resembles in yellowish liquid. Moreover this deet spray is quite different from other fly repellent sprays when this deet spray is sprayed it does not kill the bugs, flies, mosquitoes. Rather it just repels the mosquitoes, bugs, flea, ticks and insects bites your pet horses. In common the deet sprays are applied to your horses clothing or over skin it blocks the human sweating smell and their smell. On other hand these sprays would provide bad smell or odor on horses. This odor is not liked by insects and bugs thus all insects and bugs are not attracted towards the horses and leave them free from flies annoy.

Is it safe to use deet sprays on horse?

Is it safe to use deet sprays on horse?

When it comes to deet spray usage it make people to wonder with its working however while using deet sprays on horses as a fly repellent people would fear. It is mainly because deets spray is chemically treated one so some people would fear that it may cause some harm to the horses. But in real facts it is has been proved with people reviews that deet spray remains to be best fly spray for horse when they are used as per the directed way.

When people look on to the survey most of the wrong incidences is mainly due to the misusage of deet sprays. Moreover it has been proved that using deet sprays are environmentally safe and does not harm people, children or pregnant women when it is used in proper way. In order to avoid such effects here are some of tips to use deet sprays in right way are listed below.


  • In general deet sprays already has active ingredients combination so it is more than enough for people to use only 20 to 30 percentages of solution rather than using 100 percent of the spray.
  • While using deet spray on horses ensure that you do not apply then into their eyes or mouth or in their open skins as it starts to irritate and burn that would create other issues.
  • Moreover when you decide to use deet spry on horses it is better to spray on hands and rub over the horse skin. While doing so it is better to wear protective wears such as hand gloves and masks.

By following all above tips people can avoid misusage of deet sprays that can protect the horse from further issues. To the bottom of line it is also necessary to make horse isolated while applying deet sprays on horse.

Horse Barn Plans And Designs

Building a horse barn is a formidable task. It is costly, requiring vast amounts of materials and space, a great deal of planning, and many hours of strenuous work. Then there are the needs and well-being of the horses to consider. Fortunately, a good horse barn plan can be a wonderful help for those designing and building a horse barn of their own.
First, the horse owner must consider what specific horse barn design he or she wants before deciding on a horse barn plan.

The design will depend on things such as how many horses will be kept there and where on the owner’s property the barn will be. Of course, the horse barn design is also an aesthetic concern; it should look somewhat picturesque and complement the owner’s home and the rest of the land.
The design in the horse barn plan will determine the layout. The horse owner must be sure he or she will be pleased with the final locations and arrangements of things such as the hot water tank, the grooming area and the loft. The size and line-up of the horses’ stalls are also considerations. It may help the horse owner to make a rough sketch of the desired horse barn design beforehand.
A horse barn plan can be purchased from construction and design companies who specialize in barns, sheds and other private property buildings. Some of these include StableWise and Apple Valley, from which one can order a horse barn plan online. The more stalls present in the horse barn plan, the more it will cost, but most of them are under $100. The complexity of the horse barn plan design also factors in.
Because it will determine the foundation of the entire building, the horse barn floor plan is probably the most fundamental component to planning a horse barn. Here is where one would decide the measurements and layouts of the barn, the number of stalls and how they are arranged, and where important sections such as the storage area will be, relative to the stalls. All of this information is pertinent to the horse barn floor plan.
The horse barn plan must also address the question of the material out of which the barn will be built. Traditionally, horse barns have been built of wood, yet according to BuildingsGuide.com, horse barns built out of steel are being opted for by more horse owners. Steel horse barns are preferable because they cost as much as 40% less than wood versions, take less time to build, and require very little upkeep. They are also sturdier and would better protect the horses and keep out moisture.
BuildingsGuide has two steel horse barn kits available for purchase:  the “Arch Style” or the “Straight Wall.” These steel horse barn kits have no pre-set size; they can be sized according to the customer’s needs. A horse barn plan cost estimate calculator on the site will add the costs of everything for the specific design and size the customer has in mind.
The right horse barn plan, in which everything is exactly where the horse owner feels it should be, can make designing and building the horse barn a rewarding experience and ensure efficient and beautiful results. And a horse barn plan must serve the horses’ needs first and foremost; after all, the barn will be their home.
“Apple Valley Horse Barn Plans.” Jan. 2007. Tech Art. 31 July 2007. http://www.applevalleybarns.com/.
“Barn Layout.” StableWise Horse Farm Planning. 2000-2005. StableWise. 31 July 2007. http://www.stablewise.com/layout.html.
“How To Get Started.” Country Carpenters. 2007. Country Carpenters, Inc. 31 July 2007. http://www.countrycarpenters.com/.
“Barn Plans.” StableWise Horse Farm Planning. 2000-2005. StableWise. 31 July 2007. http://www.stablewise.com/barn_plans/index.htm
“Example Horse Barn Floor Plans.” BuildingsGuide. 2007. BuildingsGuide.com. 31 July 2007. http://www.buildingsguide.com/floor-plans/barn-pla n-9.php.
“Frequently Asked Questions.” Wood-Tex Products. 2007. Wood-Tex Products. 2 Aug. 2007. http://www.woodtexproducts.com/faq.asp.
“Horse Barns.” BuildingsGuide. 2007. BuildingsGuide.com. 2 Aug. 2007. http://www.buildingsguide.com/horse-barns.htm.
“Barn Kits.” BuildingsGuide. 2007. BuildingsGuide.com. 2 Aug. 2007. http://www.buildingsguide.com/barn-kits.htm.

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Horse Show Jumping

The sport of horse jumping may sound very simple. After all, it is just a horse jumping over obstacles. However, horse jumping is anything but a simple sport. Horses and their riders must endure extensive training in order to complete even the simplest course. Today, many people are recognizing this fact and flocking to see these amazing horse jumping competitions.
The sport of horse jumping dates all the way back to the 18th Century.

When horse jumping first began, it was nowhere near as popular as it is today. The French were the first to attempt the sport during their cross country horse races. However, it failed to catch on due to the fact that spectators were unable to witness the actual horse jumping during these races. Horse jumping did not become a popular sport until 1907, when the British decided to make horse jumping into a competition by itself, rather than as an addition to cross country racing.
Today, there are many types of horse jumping competitions. Perhaps one of the most difficult types of horse show jumping is the Grand Prix. In a Grand Prix competition, a show jumping horse must finish a challenging course with the fewest faults while showcasing the best techniques. Another challenging competition is a Puissance. At a Puissance competition, the show jumping horse attempts a series of high jumps, some jumps reaching up to 7-feet. Possibly the best competition for a beginner show jumping horse is a Maiden or Novice competition. At these competitions, the jumps are usually shorter and the time limits for completing the course tend to be longer.
During these horse show jumping competitions, horses complete a variety of jumps. The horse will tend to jump a variation of either two jumps, the vertical jump or the oxer jump. With a vertical jump, a horse must jump over a set of poles that are stacked above each other, which provide little width for the jump. The oxer jump consists of two vertical poles that are closely placed together, which provide more width for the horse to jump.
For many horses, jumping is not a natural occurrence. When faced with an obstacle in their path, the horse’s natural reaction is to simply walk around the obstacle. Therefore, riders must patiently train their horses before they are to be a full-fledged, show jumping horses. Nevertheless, there are certain breeds of horses that are likely to take better to the process of horse show jumping. For instance, the athletic Arabian and American warmblood horse breeds are known for making an excellent jumping horse. However, a horse does need to have great precision, concentration, confidence, and physical strength in order to become a great show jumping horse.
Horse jumping competitions have become a popular equestrian sport worldwide. In London, fans of horse show jumping can attend the Olympia London International Horse Show, where some of the worlds best jumping horses can be seen. This event is held annually, where a jumping horse can compete in one of many different horse jumping classes, such as the DEI Jumping World Cup Qualifier, the Accenture Puissance, and the Olympia Grand Prix. Horse jumping competitions are also held in the United States. The National Horse Show Competition, which is held in Florida, is possibly the most popular American horse jumping competitions. Many people flock each year to this competition to see the world’s most acclaimed jumping horses. The popularity of horse jumping competitions has become so widespread, that they are now a sport in the Olympics.
Horse show jumping has developed into a very precise sport for both the jumping horse and the rider. It is demanding for a horse to have the confidence and strength to make the jump. For a rider, they must provide the proper direction for the jump. With a growing number of horse jumping competitions across the world, this age old sport only continues to grow in popularity.
Horse Jumping History, Competition Courses and Eventing Shows. Horses and Horse Information.2007. American Horse Rider & Horses and Horse Information. 19 July 2007. http://www.horses-and-horse-information.com/articl es/horseshowjumping.shtml
Rom, Frank. “The Mother of All Horse Shows: The National Horse Show.” EzineArticles. 23 Feb. 2007. 19 July 2007. http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Mother-Of-All-Horse- Shows:-The-National-Horse-Show&id=465577

Basic Horse Care Tips

Horse care may seem difficult to a novice, but these basic horse care tips will help keep a horse healthy. Horses require careful monitoring of their health, regular horse hoof care, plenty of exercise, good food, and the right kind of winter horse care. Horses that receive basic horse care tend to be alert and active, have a sleek and shiny appearance, and show no signs of lameness.
Horse hoof care is essential for the well-being of the animal.

Hooves need to be in good condition so that undue stress isn’t placed on any of the joints and so the feet themselves don’t become painful. Horse hoof care involves having the hooves trimmed every 6-8 weeks by a competent farrier (a specialist in foot care for horses) and replacing shoes when needed. Maintenance horse hoof care must be done on a daily basis. Before and after each ride any debris must be picked out from the underside of the horse’s foot and the shoes checked, even if the horse isn’t being ridden. A farrier or veterinarian should be contacted immediately at the first sign of lameness, cracks in the hoof, or a foul smell or discharge coming from the feet which could indicate an infection.
Basic horse care also involves exercise. Horses are animals that naturally roam large areas of land in herds. For a horse to be content it needs the companionship of other horses and the freedom to move around and see far into the distance. Basic horse care should include time turned out to pasture for as long as possible every day. The horse should have access to plenty of fresh water and if the pasture doesn’t provide grass for grazing, the horse can be given hay instead. Riding should be done for at least an hour a day, preferably two. A horse should be given strenuous activity only after he or she has been carefully warmed up. The horse should be cooled down after vigorous exercise and never fed when he or she is hot. Lack of exercise can lead to behavior problems and result in ill health.
Top quality grain and hay that is free from mold and offered in clean buckets are essential for any horse’s health. Good horse care requires feeding the horse small amounts often to help replicate the way a horse would feed in the wild. Water is needed for optimum digestion and should always be available. Good nutrition is important in horse care and is needed for everything from healthy hooves to a good energy level. Important horse care tips include frequently testing for parasites and administering vaccines twice a year. A veterinarian should examine any horse at least once a year.
Proper horse care requires shelter for the horse in all types of weather. Horses should always have access to shelter that will provide protection from sun and flies in the summer. Winter horse care requires a three-sided shelter that faces south for horses that are being kept outside. The shelter should be wide instead of deep so that less dominant horses in the group aren’t afraid to enter. Straw should be used to cover the ground and provide extra warmth. Horses should be well fed so that they maintain a layer of fat, which protects them from the cold. Blankets can actually make a horse colder because they flatten the hair and prevent warm air from being trapped close to the body. If a horse has been kept outside, it should have a nice winter coat of fur and won’t need any extra covering. If the horse is usually kept in a barn then he or she may need a blanket when he or she is turned out, but make sure that it is very warm.
Horse care requires attention to detail. Horse care tips from horse care professionals can ensure that a horse is being treated properly by a first time owner. Exercise, food, and shelter are basics that every horse needs. Even an experienced owner enlists the help of veterinarians and farriers to maintain optimum health and keep a horse’s hooves in good condition. This is a lot of work, but the effort put into horse care is offset by the enjoyment of owning and riding a horse.
Dwelle, Jaqueline. Your First Horse: How to Buy and Care for Your First Horse. Southern Pines, North Carolina: Hoofbeat Publications, 1996.
Gredley, Elizabeth. “Looking After Horses.” Acreage Equines. 1999. animalINK. 10 June 2007. http://www.acreageequines.com/horsecare/horsecare1 .htm.
McBane, Susan. The Horse Owner’s Essential Survival Guide. Cincinnati, Ohio: F&W Publications, Inc., 2004.

Horse Feed And Nutrition

Any horse owner knows that horse nutrition is a lot more than the stereotypical “oats and hay” diet. With inadequate nutrition, a horse can suffer from many various conditions like protein deficiency, energy deficiency, or mineral deficiency. As a horse is constantly replacing the cells in its large, hard-working body, it is crucial that it receives the proper nutrients and in the right amounts.
A horse’s nutritional needs vary throughout its life and depending on what kind of activity it normally does.

The amount and type of horse feed needed depends on whether the horse is at rest, working, pregnant, lactating, or growing. A horse food must contain a balance of proteins, grain, hay, supplements, and water to insure optimal nutrition and health. For those raising and taking care of horses, it’s important to purchase the best and most appropriate horse feed.
Nutrena horse feeds have been endorsed by the American Quarterhorse Association. Featuring eleven different types of horse feed, Nutrena horse feed is specially formulated for the different activities and life stages of horses. Their Empower horse feed is for race and working horses, while Life Design and Vitality is for any horse. Vitality features their patented Smart Grain Technology, which utilizes the characteristics of different cereal grains to ensure optimal nutrition without nutritionally related problems. Life Design is a special line of horse feed that is catered to the different stages of a horse’s life, from foal to yearling to adult to senior. .
Nutrena’s SafeChoice brand of horse feed is a good all-purpose feed for horses of all ages and levels of activity. This formula provides a balanced level of nutrients while controlling for the problems of a high starch diet. They also sell equine supplements such as alfalfa, mineral grass, and the protein and mineral enhanced Milk Plus product. These products help by adding nutrients and minerals that may be lacking in a horse’s normal diet.
Purina horse feed is also made for all types and ages of horses. Constantly researching their feeds at their state-of-the-art research facility at LongView Animal Nutrition Center, Purina horse feed has over 50 patents. Their Ultium, Athlete, and Race Ready formulas are for the competitive or racing horse. These provide energy necessary for heavy activity through carbohydrates, protein, and fat, while delivering the fiber for proper digestion and health. Their Equine Adult Horse Feed is for horses in their middle years, while the Equine Junior is a specially formulated all-in-one diet for foals. The Omolene line of horse feeds are sweet feeds, designed to provide energy and stamina to horses living active lifestyles, such as pleasure and performance horses.
While selecting the best horse food can be difficult, these trusted horse feed companies have a vast selection to choose from. Their websites are relatively easy to use and feature a large assortment of resources and tools to help the consumer chose the best one. With feeds for working, racing, and pleasure horses, as well as special formulas for the stages of life, there is little more one could ask for from a feed provider.
Complete Product List. Purina Mills.2006. 12 June 2007.
http://horse.purinamills.com/products/complete_l ist.asp.
Equine Nutrituon-Vitality. Nutrena. 2004. Cargill, Incorporated. 12 June 2007.
http://www.nutrenaworld.com/Screens/BrandListing .aspx?BrandID=60.
Equine Nutrition-Safe Choice. Nutrena. 2004. Cargill, Incorporated. 12 June 2007.
http://www.nutrenaworld.com/Screens/BrandListing .aspx?BrandID=89
Nutritional Needs of a Horse. University of Minnesota Extension. 1995. 10 June 2007.
http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/livest ocksystems/components/0480_03.html
Choosing Equine Feed, Horse Nutrition Information, & Diet Facts for Owners. Horses and Horse Information. 2007. American Horse Rider & Horses and Horse Information. 11 June 2007.
http://www.horses-and-horse-information.com/hors enutrition.shtml

Horse Racing Systems And Results

The basic concept behind horse racing has been in existence since the ancient times of Ben Hur and chariot races. However, it was not until the introduction of and breeding of Arabian horses that the more modern traditions of the sport began to develop.
The arrival of modern day horse racing to the United States took place in the 1600’s.

Since then, it has evolved into an intricate sporting event, relying heavily upon specific classifications, terminologies, and a large presence of the gambling industry. Regardless of category, all horse races typically undergo what is referred to in the industry as handicapping. Handicapping involves a set weight that is determined for each horse to carry in prospect of creating a fair competitive basis for the race.
Thoroughbred racing is the most popular category of horse racing. Other types include quarter races and harness racing. Quarter racehorses are typically known for traveling at a faster pace, but for a much shorter distance than thoroughbred horses. In addition to the various racing categories that exist, there are also subcategories of horse racing systems that pertain specifically to various rules and betting standards. Within the thoroughbred category there are four main types of races: maiden, claiming, allowance and stakes.
Maiden horse races are races that take place between horses that have never won a race. In contrast, an allowance race is one in which certain horses may be allowed to take off a certain amount of the designated handicap weight for that day. Generally, horses that participate in the allowance have not won in the past three months. As a result, horse racing results often dictate the types of races that occur.
A stakes horse race is one that requires the horse owners to pay various fees in order to compete. The most popular subcategory of thoroughbred racing is a claiming race. Claiming races make up about 70 percent of all horse races. This type of horse race requires buying a horse out of the race for its entered price.
Quarter horse racing is the other major racing category in the United States. These races are typically much shorter and faster than thoroughbred races. According to the American Quarter Horse Racing Association, the world record for the 220-yard race is 11.585 seconds set by a two-year-old female horse in 2004.
All of these types of horse racing foster the most popular aspect of live horse racing: betting. Betting on horse races is dependent primarily on horse racing results. Perhaps the most prominent live horse racing event that involves betting is the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby has taken place annually since 1874. In 1993 the event set a historical record for the largest combined pool at $1,609,390.
Horse racing systems depend on a type of betting called pari mutuel betting. This type of betting system pertains primarily to events in which the competitors finish in a ranked manor. Pari mutuel, or mutual betting, is a type of betting system in which bets of a particular type are placed into a pool together. The results determine the winning pool and the winning amount is split amongst the participants of that pool.
There are three main types of bets. A bet to win is a bet on a horse to finish in first place. A bet to place is a bet on a horse to finish in second place. And a bet to show is for a horse to finish in third place.
Horse racing systems also contain more intricate bets that adopt specific betting names. For example, an exacta bet is one where the bet is on two specific horses finishing in a one-two order.
Horse racing has established itself as an elaborate system both historically and monetarily. The various types of races and abundant amount of betting that go into the system has and will continue to further the expansion of horse racing.
American Quarter Horse Association. AQHA. 16 April 2007. 15 April 2007. http://racing.aqha.com/racing/dyn_content.aspx?FQD =http://www.aqha.com/aqharacing.com/leaders/worldr />Cummings, Clark G. The Language of Horse Racing. American Speech 79.3 (1997): 17-29.
Kentucky Derby 133. Churchill Downs Incorporated. 16 April 2007. 15 April 2007. http://www.kentuckyderby.com/2007/derby_history/de rby_timeline/1975_2000.html
Handicapping. TurfPedia: The Horse Racing Encyclopedia. 1995-2006. Information Superbrand, Inc. 12 April 2007. http://turfpedia.com/index.html

Horse Riding Boots And Equipnet

For anyone with a love of horses, horse riding can be a beloved hobby. But as with any activity involving animals there is always the risk of accidents. Specialized horse riding equipment such as horse riding helmets and horse riding boots help keep riders safe and comfortable. The two most important pieces of horse riding equipment a beginning rider should invest in are a horse riding helmet and a pair of horse riding boots.
Helmets should be worn at all times around a horse, not just when riding.

A good horse riding helmet not only protects against impact with the ground if a rider should take a spill, but also protects the rider’s head if he or she is accidentally stepped on or kicked by the horse.
Horse riding boots are another important piece of horse riding equipment for many reasons. Horse riding boots not only protect a rider’s toes and feet if they are stepped on by the horse, but the heel on a boot also helps keep the rider’s foot in the correct position in the stirrup. Without a proper heel the foot can slip all the way through the stirrup and become caught.
For a beginner rider the task of which horse riding helmet and what style of horse riding boots to choose can be daunting. The most important thing to remember when purchasing a helmet is to make sure that it’s ASTM/SEI approved. This means it’s been tested by the American Society for Testing and Materials and also has been made specifically for the sport of horseback riding. Other types of helmets such as those made for biking or rock climbing do not provide sufficient protection for horseback riders.
Riders should make sure to try on any helmet before purchasing it. The chin strap should be adjusted to fit snugly without choking and the helmet should stay in place on the head without falling down over the eyes or bouncing around when moving. Most riding helmets look similar and are unfortunately fairly unflattering, but riders can buy helmet covers in a variety of colors, designs and styles in order to personalize their helmets.
An ASTM/SEI certified helmet will generally cost anywhere from $30 to over $100. For beginner riders a simple, schooling type helmet will provide sufficient protection and should cost under $50. As riders advance they should purchase a more professional, competition type helmet especially for jumping or faster disciplines such as barrel racing or polo.
When buying a pair of horse riding boots the number one thing to consider is comfort. The horse riding boots must fit correctly (just like any other shoe) and have a heel between 1 and 1 ½ inches. Horse riding boots are typically divided into two basic styles: English and Western.
English style horse riding boots are usually black, have a small heel, and run up the leg over the calf. This type of boot is used for the English style of riding such as dressage and jumping. Western horse riding boots are the more commonly recognized cowboy boot . They are leather, have a slightly higher heel, come up to mid-calf, and are made in a variety of colors. Western horse riding boots are worn for all types of western style riding such as barrel racing and calf roping. They also work well for trail riding or as boots to wear around the barn.
Both styles of horse riding boots usually cost around a $100, but riders can save money buy purchasing a used pair of horse riding boots. As long as the fit is correct and comfortable, used horse riding boots can be just as good as a new pair. When looking for helmets riders should purchase new, up to date helmets.
Horse riding equipment can be purchased on-line at websites such as Statelinetack.com and Theequestrianstore.com. Riders can also purchase and sell used horse riding equipment in the classified section of Bitsandbridles.com. In order to ensure the correct fit of horse riding equipment riders should visit their local tack shop where they can try on horse riding boots and helmets before purchasing them.
All horseback riders, especially beginners, need specialized horse riding equipment in order to ride safely. An approved, well fitted helmet and durable heeled boots are a necessity for anyone who spends time around horses. Horseback riding can be an unpredictable sport, but with proper, correctly fitted horse riding equipment riders can help ensure themselves a safe, comfortable ride.
Blocksdorf, Katherine. “Choosing clothes for Horseback Riding.” About: Horses. 2007. About, Inc.30 Apr. 2007. http://www.horses.about.com/od/choosingandusingtac k/a/garments.htm.
State Line Tack. 30 Apr. 2007. http://www.statelinetack.com.
The Equestrian Store. 2 May 2007. http://www.theequestrianstore.com.
Ad Sections. Bits and Bridles. 2 May 2007. http://www.bitsandbridles.com/cgi-bin/classifieds/ classifieds.cgi

American Quarter Horse Association

Born to breed, to rule the racetrack, dominate the rodeo and blaze the trails that no man-made vehicle could venture through. That is the nature of the American Quarter Horse since the seventeenth century, the first native horse to North America. These horses are strategically bred following strict regulations that allow for a horse to bear the title of an American Quarter Horse.

The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) determines the regulations of this ancient breed. Central to the world of this globally renowned breed of horses, the AQHA requires that anyone who wants to breed, race or simply have their horse bear this prestigious title must register with the association.
AQHA oversees the largest quarter horse breeder society in the world and has over 3.2 million horses registered worldwide and 300,000 equestrian members. Founded in 1940, the association was developed by a group of horsemen who wanted to preserve the pedigree of this particular breed of horses. Now based in Amarillo, Texas, AQHA is a prominent international organization that is dedicated to preserving this famous pedigree of horses.
The AQHA World Show is one of the most prestigious shows that an American Quarter Horse may be allowed to enter. This is the largest AQHA sponsored event and is held in November of every year. The association allocates points to horses that win or place in the horse shows and on the racetrack. The points awarded depend on the horses placing and the number of other horses that participated in the event. Certain levels of points will allow a particular horse to win annual awards and receive lifetime achievement recognition. AQHA keeps careful records of all events and provides resources for its members to keep abreast of events and activities that are available worldwide.
The AQHA’s website Aqha.com, provides registered members information on races, other quarter horse breeders, events, recreation and youth opportunities. AQHA even provides travel discounts for hotels, air travel and car rentals for its members. The association also offers equestrian members an AQHA MasterCard that is managed through the Bank of America. Additionally, members can search for horses that are for sale, riding instructors and monitor the current rankings and polls of registered horses. As an international organization, AQHA has many corporate sponsors that include Wranglers, Bayers, FedEx, MetLife, and Ford, just to name a few, who recognize the value of the equestrian consumers.
Becoming a member and registering a horse with AQHA is not a simple task. AQHA has extremely strict regulations to determine if a horse is in fact an American Quarter Horse. They reference a horse stud book which determines legitimacy. The horse must meet performance standards and be a first generation cross between a registered Thoroughbred and an American Quarter Horse. Once this is determined the horse may compete in competitions. This does not provide full registration, however, until the horse meets certain conformational criteria and is successful in AQHA events. Once the horse becomes fully registered then their offspring will be eligible for AQHA registration as well.
The American Quarter Horse Association is an enormous central foundation for the
preservation of the prestigious American Quarter Horse pedigree. The races, competitions, and recreational opportunities that this breed of horse offers have intrigued equestrians and the general public for centuries. AQHA, as an international organization, will continue to have a huge influence in the world of American Quarter Horses.
“American Quarter Horse Association.” Wikipedia. 16 April 2007. 17 April 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Quarter_Hors e_Association
“American Quarter Horse.” Wikipedia. 16 April 2007 17 April 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_quarter_hors e
American Quarter Horse Association. 2000.17 April 2007. http://www.aqha.com

Spotted Rocky Mountain Horse Breeds And Association

The Rocky Mountain Horse originates from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky, and has been enchanting riders for decades with its easy temperament and soothing gait. But it’s not simply the gentle nature and smooth riding of the Rocky Mountain horse that has made it famous. The breed’s ability to withstand harsh winters and lead long, productive lives as  farm hands has made it a favorite amongst both farmers and families alike.
The exact origin of the Rocky Mountain Horse is cloaked in oral history.

Around the year 1890, a horse said to be from the Rocky Mountain region of the United States appeared in eastern Kentucky. This horse is often considered to be the father of the Rocky Mountain Horse breed. The horse was known for its easy gait and ability to work long, arduous hours on little sustenance. The horse became a favorite amongst the farmers of the foothills because of its ability to perform rugged tasks with ease. But it was also popular amongst families for its tranquil personality and comfortable gait.
The Rocky Mountain Horse was a local treasure for the inhabitants of eastern Kentucky. For decades the horse continued to be a local breed and the predominantly poor farmers in the foothills saw no reason to establish a formal association. As the rest of the country began to modernize with paved highways and powerful automobiles, the horse continued to be an integral function of Appalachian life.
But one citizen of Kentucky began to establish an informal breed of Rocky Mountain Horses. Sam Tuttle of Spout Springs began to nurture these horses for a horseback riding business he started in Natural Bridge State Park. Sam Tuttle solidified the reputation of the breed by providing the public with a chance to experience the smooth gait and tranquil disposition of the breed.
In 1986, a group of owners interested in the preservation of the breed got together to form the Rocky Mountain Horse Association (RMHA). The owners simply wanted to preserve the wonderful traits of the breed that generations of riders had come to appreciate. The RMHA also established a registry of Rocky Mountain Horses and the particular characteristics necessary to the development of the breed.
The RMHA has created a list of necessary characteristics that a horse must possess in order to be registered as a Rocky Mountain Horse. The horse must be at least 14.2 to 16 hands in height with a 45-degree chest. The horse must also have bold eyes and well-shaped ears. All Rocky Mountain Horses must also use a four beat gait, meaning the horse produces four distinct hoof beats with equal rhythm. This four beat gait must be natural and should not require training or unnatural devices. Lastly, the horse must be of solid color (minor facial markings are acceptable) and have the tranquil temperament associated with the Rocky Mountain Horse breed.
The Rocky Mountain Horse breed also has subdivisions of horses, one such breed is the Spotted Rocky Mountain Horse. The Spotted Rocky Mountain Horse must have the same characteristics as the Rocky Mountain Horse, but instead of being a solid color, the horse will be covered with white patches. The Spotted horse also comes in four designs: Tobiano, Overo, Sabino and Tovero. The Spotted Rocky Mountain Horse Association is a subdivision of the RMHA and upholds the same level of standards and breed characteristics.
The Rocky Mountain Horse is a symbol of the hard American work ethic and durability that has helped define and shape our country. But the horse also possesses a personality that has endeared it to riders for generations.
Hodge, Bonnie. “History of the Breed.” Rocky Mountain Horse Association. Jim Hargrove Creative. 1 Mar. 2007 <http://www.rmhorse.com/history.html>.
History of Association. Rocky Mountain Horse Association. Jim Hargrove Creative. 1 Mar. 2007 <http://www.rmhorse.com/association.html>.Rocky Mountain Horse Home Page. International Museum of the Horse. 2001. 1 Mar. 2007 <http://www.imh.org/imh/bw/rocky.html>.
The KMSHA Official Site. The Spotted Mountain Horse Association. 1997-2007. 1 Mar. 2007 <http://www.kmsha.com/smha/index.htm>.