- Pets and Animals
I Own A Horse
I Have A Horse As A Pet
When you ask people if they have any pets, they usually say that they have dogs or cats, maybe a turtle or bird or fish but my response is a little different. I own a horse. He's a 9 year old Tennessee Walker Paint. I've had him for a little over 6 years now. We've had many fun adventures together!
I think my horse is so beautiful! He has a long mane and tail that change color just like his skin. I find it pretty fascinating! Even his tail is multi-colored. He likes trail riding and showing at the local shows. He's won lots of ribbons already this year and hopefully there will be many more.
He Can't Live At Home - (horses aren't allowed in the city)
My horse can't stay in the house. He needs to have his own place to live. He needs to live in a barn. It's like an apartment complex for horses. They each get their own room, or stall, that they can call their own. Most stall are either 10' x 10' or 12' x 12'.
The horses all know which stall is theirs. If you move them to a different stall, it takes them a few days to learn which one is theirs but they learn pretty quickly, usually in about 3 days.
Horses can also live outside but most state laws say that they must have a three sided shelter. The first time that the vet came over, she said that the corral where my horse stays at night could be considered a shelter - the barn on the north side, the arena on the south side, and a big hill on the west side. He does have an actual shelter but I thought that was interesting that she told me that.
Feeding A Horse
That's a lot of food!
My horse's food isn't Kibbles and Bits that comes in little 5 lb bags. His food comes in 50 lb bags that last less than a month. He eats 2 lbs of grain each day plus a half of a bale of hay. During the summer, it's a little less expensive because instead of hay, the horses eat grass. It's not cheap to feed a horse.
Hay Bag For At the Fair
Our hay bag is just like this one only it's a different color. It's a nice sturdy high quality bag. We used to have a thin nylon one and our horse ripped it all up. I used to think that any old cheap bag would work but now I realize that it's best to spend the extra money for a good one. It will last much longer and you won't have to replace it very often.
He's a Show Horse
Every summer, my horse goes to local shows and struts his stuff. This year is going to be his second full year of showing. He does excellent in showmanship and not so good in the riding classes. We're hoping this year is going to go a little better! Maybe he'll finally win a blue ribbon!
His Closet Is Bigger Than Mine
The Tack Room
My horse has a closet, a tack room, and about 5 other things that we use to carry everything we need for him. He has halters, lead ropes, nail paint, scissors, brushes, a razor, saddles, bridles, blankets, coats, rubber bands, special shampoo and conditioners. There's a ton more horse tack that I haven't listed here that they need. It's incredible how much stuff you need for a horse.
My Pet's Vehicle
A Horse Trailer
A trip to anywhere for my pet means that he has to get into his own vehicle. Can you imagine? If I want to take him anywhere, I need a special vehicle for him and a special vehicle for me. I have to have a safe horse trailer for my horse and a strong enough truck for me to pull it. If I'm missing either one, my horse is staying right at the barn.
I Need A New Trailer
My horse is way too big for the trailer that I'm using. A horse should have 10" over his head in the trailer. He should also have room to move around a little bit so that he can keep his balance. My trailer doesn't meet either of these criteria for my horse so it's time for a new one. I would like to get a slant trailer next time. With a slant trailer, the horse stands at an angle and most people feel that they can balance better in this position. Not everyone agrees so it's all personal preference.
Farrier Time! - Horses get pedicures
A Horse Farrier
Every 6 - 8 weeks, a horse farrier comes to do a horse's feet. He has to trim down their hooves so that they don't get overgrown. A horse can become lame if it's feet aren't trimmed regularly. It costs me $40 every time he comes to do them. In this picture, Flash was getting shoes put on for the first time to help with his training.
Some Days are All Work
Since my horse has to be ready for shows, he needs to do a lot of practice. When we're in the arena, it's mostly work. We spend a few days a week lunging and then riding. Once in a while we set up the jump and let him have a little fun jumping over it. It's very low to the ground but at least it's something different for him to do.
Image Credit: JenwithFlash
I exercise my horse with lunging. That's where you have the horse go in circles around you at a walk, trot, and canter. I usually spend between 20 - 30 minutes per session with him.
It's not all work for this horse. He loves going on trail rides too! Once in awhile he gets a little excited on the trails but usually he does great. We had one bolting incident a few years ago so we didn't ride much last year but I'm ready to hit the trails this year and I'm sure he is too!
Going to a trainer!
After having my horse for a little over a year, I decided to send him to a trainer. He went there for 60 days and learned lots of things like how to walk, trot, and canter on cue. He was wonderful when he came back but has since begun reverting back to his old ways.
We've had a hard time fitting a saddle on Flash. This is the one that we've been using for the past year. We would really like to get a leather saddle but for now we're using a synthetic one. It fits him so that's what matters the most.
How many horse owners out there?
Do You Have a Horse?
More Facts About My Horse
Here's a few fun horse facts about Flash and horses in general.
- My horse is a Tennessee Walker Paint. Tennessee Walkers have a few special gaits such as the running walk.
- He's black and white. He is considered a tobiano because the white crosses over his back. A black and white horse where the white doesn't cross over the back is an overo.
- He's 7 years old. Horses usually live between 25 and 30 years.
- I've had him for 3 1/2 years. The person who owned him prior to me predicted that he would grow to 16 hands. He is only about 15.3 hands. He is filling out now but most likely won't reach 16 hands.
- We took our first camping trip 2 years ago and had a great time. He was a very good horse the whole time.