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Travel n corrals mounted on horse trailer

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Auto Flex air ride suspensionComplete pickup truck leaf spring replacement with air bag suspension. Self levels, improves ride, braking, steering and handling. AutoFlex Review

 

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Logan Coach horse trailers

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Gander lock gooseneck lockGanderLock for Goosenecks: Protect your trailer as well as your expensive saddles, bridles, tools and flat screen TV. Goosenecks if you just lock the coupler, the thief's loosen the set bolts, slide out your adjustable coupler Read the Review
 
Express corralsExpress Corral Larger corral that goes up in 15 minutes, down in 10. For your trailer and pasture. Comes in a kit with an aluminum storage box. More.
 

Cattle and Horse Trailers, ask your neighbor

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Saddlematic

Saddlematic power saddle rackMotorized Saddle Rack, save your back and shoulders and energy for your horse ride.

 

Step Above trailer ladderThe Safe heavy-duty trailer ladder you'll use. Read the story...
 

The Flip-Over Ball gooseneck hitch converts to smooth truck bed in seconds.

 

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Maximum Trailer Braking Power for Serious Towing Trailer Brakes as fast as your Truck Brakes

 

Newly redesigned PopUp 2 Gooseneck Hitch. More info....

 

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Weight Distributing Hitches for safe controlled trailer towing. Reviewing Equal-i-zer WDH Click.

 

Sulastic Rubber Springs are a cast hinge embedded with rubber. They greatly improve your trucks ride.
 

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          Horse Blankets By Melissa Brawner

  “Oh mom, it is just awful!  Those poor horses are just standing out there in the all of that snow.  They are probably freezing!  Can we put coats on them like the horses in the barn?  Please?”  The kindhearted requests came frequently from our foster kids.  Most of these youngsters have never been on a farm and do not know much about farm life, but it warms my heart to hear their requests.  It opens doors for discussion and learning, and best of all, the animals can crack through the shell that develops around these kids making them reachable.  I immediately put on my boots and winter gear, and we headed out for another barn tour.  We looked around the outside of the barn, inside the stalls in the barn, the tack room with the blankets, the hay barn, and lastly, the front pasture. 

            When we arrived at the barn, we looked at the snow piled around the sides.  One of the kids noticed that some of it was very high, and there were spots where it was very low.  The others chimed in that there were drifts.  We discussed the wind direction in the winter.  One of the kids noticed the wind moving the snow into piles or drifts.  When we stepped behind the over hang that sheltered the lean to all of the kids commented on the lack of wind, and that it felt warmer.  This was a perfect opening to talk about wind and how it takes the warmth from our bodies, and from the bodies of the horses.  The horses need a place to get out of the wind.  The wind is one of the main reasons horses might feel the cold.  We stepped inside the barn next.  It was warm and quiet.  The horses left off munching their hay to wicker a greeting to our crew.  The kids laughed to see hay hanging out of muzzles, and enjoyed the warm breath of the mares nuzzling their hands.  I handed out the apple slices for the kids to feed the horses.   In our barn, our horses are generally not hand fed due to the huge amount of people touring consistently.  I would rather not teach our horses to expect treats from fingers just in case a finger might become a snack for an unwary guest.  The kids opened the feeder, and plunked apples in to the great delight of the mares.

 
 

            After feeding the mares a treat, we looked inside the stalls, and made note of the bedding in the stalls, and the grass hay in the manger.  Each stall has a heated automatic water dispenser.  Some of the mares have different types of bedding due to their needs:  some need straw, others like the shavings both paper and wood, and lastly a few have pellets.  We talked about this helping them to stay warm and comfortable, but that the primary reason to have bedding is to keep them clean.  During the stormy cold weather, we usually keep the doors closed.  The heat from the mares kept it quite comfortable.  I pointed out to the kids that two of the stalls had lights in them with heat lamps.  I told them we turn these on to “simulate daylight” for the mares that will be bred early, or those horses that would be in the show ring.  Most of these mares had light blankets on.  Two of the horses had heavy blankets with hoods and slinkies.  I explained that by blanketing them, it keeps them warmer, and the light says it is summer.  This fools the horses into not growing a winter coat.  We keep the horses we show with short hair so they look clean, neat, and fit. 

            Our next stop was the tack room.  We looked at the different types of blankets.  There was the flysheet that we put on some of the horses that were sensitive to bugs, and of course, the sheet to keep our light colored horses from being sunburned.  We looked at the winter blankets.  Some were heavy, and others felt a bit like plastic.    We talked about the different uses for each of them.  We discussed how cold it can be if we are wet and in the wind.  I showed them that blankets press the hair down on a horse, and explained that the hair is a natural insulator.  It defeats the purpose of keeping a horse warm to put a blanket on it.  We do use blankets if it is unusually cold, if a horse is in a weakened condition such as age, or if they are showing signs of losing body heat.

            The barn with the hay is a fun barn to visit.  The kittens poke their heads out to greet us.  The smell of hay and grain fill the air.  We looked at the different types of hay.  There was pure alfalfa, alfalfa and grass mix, and all grass.  We discussed the different uses for the types of hay, and that some horses have different needs.  We talked about taking care of our bodies and eating right.  I let them know that horses are the same.  If a horse is healthy, they only need lots of grass hay.  That is the most natural thing for them to eat, and it simulates how they would live in the wild.  Alfalfa has more bang for the buck.  We feed alfalfa to a horse that needs the extra caloric input due to training or exercise.  We do not use many supplements unless the vet recommends them.  Horses do not need supplements if fed correctly.  I say this, with the understanding that there are definitely times that supplements are necessary.  We have an old mare that gets all kinds of stuff to keep her healthy and help keep her weight up.  Usually if we add anything, it will be oil.  Research has proven that grain spikes the sugar levels in horses, as it does in people.  The body of a horse uses the fat in oil immediately, and of course, it makes the coat shiny.

             Finally we trekked out to the front pasture where the horses were located that had given my foster children such pangs of sympathy.  The herd was gamboling in the snow, vying for the best spot to snack on the huge grass round bales.  Snorting, pawing, rearing, and chasing each other, they expressed their delight with the brisk conditions.  One of my kids stated with wonder in his voice, “It looks like they are having fun”!  I agreed with his assessment.  The horses raced to greet us.  We rubbed off the icicles created by frozen fog, and warmed our hands under their manes.  The winter coats of the herd were thick and wooly.  When the wind kicked up a fuss again, the herd tore off, racing to see who would get the inner wall of the shelter.  Good ole’ Roxy, a 22-year-old mare was the only horse with a double coat on, helping her to fight the cold.  She stayed close to us knowing it was time for her ration of “Senior Feed” with all of the goodies in it to keep her healthy.  As Roxy happily munched her grain, the kids discussed the horses, and all they had learned.  One especially bright kid made the comment that “God did a great job taking care of horses and their needs, and it was going to be us turning into snowmen if we didn’t get back in the house for a cup of hot chocolate”.    Grinning, I knew that the tour had succeeded in arming my kids with more knowledge as well as expanding the trust they had in themselves and others.