I’ve heard some people say clicker training (positive reinforcement) is all about teaching tricks and constantly giving treats and I don’t want to go there with my horse. Yes clicker training can teach your horse tricks but it can be used for so much more as you can teach a horse [Read more…]
Hi I’m Kim Wende owner of Passionate Horsemanship. I had a question sent into me by Elisha. She said “I know friends who use various brands of ointment for cuts and scrapes. I was wondering if you had a natural recipe or affordable brand you could suggest. I would like to have one on hand and would like to suggest one to a friend who just got a horse and knows nothing about them.”
The is the natural recipe I use for my horses. I take ten parts Olive Oil with one part Tea Tree Oil and mix it together. I use Tea Tree Oil because it is a natural antiseptic, is antibacterial and anti-fungal.
I only use Tea Tree Oil from Dynamite Specialty Products because they are a very reputable company. You have to be very careful where you get your Tea Tree Oil from because other companies might dilute it with Pine oil or other things that could be caustic or really irritating.
What’s really neat about the Tea Tree Oil is that during the summer fly’s do not like the smell of it which helps with the cuts and wounds because fly’s love to irritate open wounds.
I had a mare that ripped her shoulder open and felt it needed stitches, but because of where it was I didn’t think stitches would hold, I took her to the Veterinarian anyway.
The Vet looked at it and said “you know I will stitch her up and put staples in it too but I don’t think it’s going to hold because of where it’s at.”
The next morning it was ripped back open so I applied the Tea Tree Oil and Olive oil mixture on it and it healed up perfectly no proud flesh and it never scared.
Tip: Put it in a spray bottle if you have a place you can’t reach on your horse because the area may be to tender to the touch.
I will caution you don’t use this mixture with any other product and the reason being is because Tea Tree Oil works like DMSO. It penetrates deeply and will take other things deeply into the skin that you may not want. If you’re going to use this mixture use it by itself and don’t use anything else with it.
Copyright © 2011 – Kim Wende All rights reserved
NOTICE/DISCLAIMER: I am not a veterinarian and I do not offer medical advice to others. The following is not intended and should not be viewed as a substitute for appropriate veterinary care. Any information provided herein comes from my personal experiences and from various companies, health care professionals and individuals who have researched and/or dealt with the health issues included in this post. Please use what feels intuitively appropriate to you, and consult with your allopathic, holistic or homeopathic veterinarian for proper diagnoses of medical issues before proceeding with the suggestions contained herein.
I wanted to take this time to write about the importance of ground work with your horse. With winter fast approaching many Equestrians don’t get to ride as often as they want and ground work is a way to help your horse mentally and physically. I know that some feel like ground work is a waste of time but in my opinion it is very important.
Why I believe in Ground Work
There was a time that I did not do as much ground work with my horses like I do now but after my riding accident I realized how important it is. In 2000 I attended a clinic and took a horse that I had owned for a very short period of time. My first thought was to take my Arabian gelding that was very well trained but then I decided against that as I wanted to take one that needed work so I choose this new gelding.
The clinic was going great I had ridden all morning and the gelding was doing very well then it happened. We were working on simple turning exercises using both hands on the reins. One of the other students horses bumped into my horse and it set him off into an explosive buck. The buck was so hard that it put me into a position where I was balancing using both reins and when the horse went up in the air he was buckling with his hind legs and I was pulling him with both reins. This went on for what seemed like forever. The clinician was hollering “one rein”, “one rein” but I did not hear that then I finally heard the clinician say “get off”. I knew something was really wrong for the clinician to say this. I remember everything like it was in slow motion I kicked my foot out of the stirrup and swung it up and over to jump off of the horse, finally I am on the ground. Well to make a long story short I tore my ACL in half and had to have reconstructive surgery and went through months of painful rehab. So now I do lots of ground work, no exceptions!
What it teaches
For me and anyone I teach we work on building a solid foundation on the ground as I truly believe it helps the horse and it also helps to keep you safe. I will not get on a new horse until they’ve gone through my ground work program and during the winter I use it for several of my horses. I’ve taught a lot of things from the ground such as stopping, turning on the forehand, disengaging the hind quarters, side passing, backing, lateral and vertical flexion, neck reining, cantering slowly and more. Doing all of this from the ground transfers to when you are riding and makes life so much easier and safer.
My students in the Horse Agility courses are so grateful that they went through my program as they found their horses to be more responsive and safer. They’ve also told me that it has made a difference in their riding as the horses are lighter, more responsive and have more confidence.
Well that time of year is getting closer where children start asking for a pony. I wanted to share some things with you before you start looking for that perfect pony. There are those children that have been around their parents horses and now want a pony of their own. Then there are those who have never had a pony and because of what they’ve seen at the movies or on TV now they want one. The fantasy of having their own pony is magical. But the reality is if you and your child are not prepared buying a pony can be such a burden and can turn into heartbreak!
When buying a pony for your child you have to look at it as an investment. I say investment because a good safe pony is usually not cheap but the good thing is that when you get ready to resell there will be buyers who are willing to invest like you did. This pony must be safe, well trained with a great attitude and one that your child will gain confidence on. Don’t buy based on looks or color alone. Also make sure to get one that fits your child now as I tell you this from experience. The horse market right now is filled with giveaway or cheap horses and ponies and some you might find at rescues. Why? Well because of the cost to take care of them, they don’t have training or little training or they could have health problems.
Find someone in your area that is reputable has ponies and knows how to deal with children so that your child can take lessons first. You can also find places that lease ponies which is great, that way your child can be involved in caring for them which will give them a true sense of ownership before you buy. By leasing a pony you will be able to tell if your child is serious about doing what it takes to care for them from grooming, cleaning the stall, feeding and learning how to handle them. Most riding stables won’t have your child cleaning the stall or feeding them.
I can tell you from experience that even though my son had been around my horses it was different when he got his own. The first horse I purchased for him was an 18 year old gelding that was safe, had a great disposition, was well trained and had no health problems. He was so excited as he groomed him everyday, cleaned the stall, fed and watered him and also rode him during the week. I was so happy as I knew I had made the right choice well a couple of months went by and he got to where he did not want to clean the stall and if it was cold outside he did not want to go out and feed or water. He also started losing interest as the horse was to big for him to saddle. When he did ride it was usually for 10 or 15 minutes then he was done. He soon lost interest all together and did not want the horse anymore so I decided to sell him. This is where the heartbreak comes in as you get so attached to these horses but it turned out well as he went to a home with two little girls that absolute loved him.
Ready to Buy
If you’ve made up your mind that you just have to buy one then take your time as the cost alone to take care of them is expensive. If they don’t have any or little training and you do not know how to train one for your child you will be investing your money into training. Purchasing a pony with health problems can put you deep into debt and you may wind up with one that you can’t resell or give away.
I offer a great lease opportunity where adults or children can learn how to care for and handle ponies. Call or email me today to get started.
Copyright © 2011 Kim Wende – All rights reserved
Why I chose clicker training to teach my horses which includes my ponies and miniatures about Horse Agility. I found that using clicker training is so beneficial for the agility horses because it is a powerful communication tool. The level of the understanding that my horses have is far beyond anything else I’ve ever used with them. The sound of the click tells them “yes” that is what I am wanting. In the beginning you may have to show them what you want them to do. I’ve found it only takes a few times of showing them something then they start to offer the behavior on their own. When they start to offer the behavior on their own it basically hard wires it into their brain and that tells you that they understand.
I love to watch the horses think through the process and offer behaviors as they make me laugh all the time. By using clicker training it builds confidence in the horse and gets them to play an active part in the learning process. All Horse Agility participants start off using the halter and lead but then as they move up the levels they will eventually be working with the horse at liberty sending them around and over different obstacles.
For example when going through the starter level Horse Agility course you might encounter things such as having your horse stand with their back feet in a hula hoop while you stand in another one and wait for 5 seconds or you might have to go between two obstacles but have you horse wait before they can come through the obstacle and all of this must be done by keeping a loose lead. No tugging or pulling it’s about communication and clicker training helps you to build that communication. When you get to the liberty level you will have to influence your horse from a distance. One of the tasks is asking your horse to wait at the entrance of the L until you tell them it is ok to go through the obstacle, you are not beside them doing this.
Get signed up for my online classes in Horse Agility using Clicker Training. I also offer lessons at my facility or yours. Call 325-261-3360 or email me today.
Copyright © 2011 – Kim Wende All rights reserved