Riders4HelmetsOver the years I have had my fair share of falls off horses and I have been fortunate enough to never be seriously injured.  My most serious fall resulted in me spending a night in hospital with a concussion.  Thankfully I was wearing my helmet and was very lucky as it could have been a lot worse.  Whenever I ride I always wear my helmet and I instill the same rules on my little girls and my husband (although sometimes he doesn’t listen).

Wearing a helmet is so important when riding as it can save your life.  Did you know that when compared to other sports in Australia, equestrian activities have one of the highest risks of serious injury or death.  I guess it probably isn’t that surprising when you take into consideration factors like; when you fall from a horse your head could be up to 4m of the ground, or that a lot of the dangers, like the horse spooking or misbehaving, can actually be out of your control.  It is important to remember that no matter how quiet or well trained a horse is or how good a rider you are, every time you get on a horse there is some risk involved.  Horses have their own brains and instincts and what they do with these can be out of your control.
So why not control what you can and lessen the chance of serious injury by wearing a helmet.

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cow_with_flies_4blogArghh Flies!!!!  This is a very common phrase coming from my mum at this time of year.

Mum always says that the worst thing about summer isn’t the heat or humidity, it’s the horrible annoying flies.  The flies are everywhere!! They are buzzing around you, in your face, they fly up your nose and in your mouth.  They are around the stables, the feed, the horses, the dogs and the paddocks.  They seem to be everywhere at this time of year, and they drive me and my mum crazy.

They upset the horses too.  Even the calmest horse can be aggravated by flies causing them to be more nervous and harder to work or handle.  You see the horses stomping their feet, swishing their tails and rubbing their heads, just trying to get rid of them.  The flies that are most commonly a problem around horses during the summer months are the “biting flies”.  This includes the Stable Fly, March Fly, Midgies (or Sand Flies) and Mosquitoes.  These flies are a common nuisance for horses as they can inflict quite a painful bite which can then develop into a welt and become itchy.  These biting flies do not transmit diseases (except for Mosquitoes) but secondary problems from the flies hanging around can develop.  A very common problem caused by the presence of flies is sore, runny, inflamed and gunky eyes.

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I love this time of year, foaling season has started!

As the days start to get warmer and longer again, it becomes time for the sleepless nights as you start to keep an eye on the mares that are due to foal.  I love driving past all the horse properties and studs and looking to see if they have got any new foals.

Over the years my family; mum, dad, husband and I, have foaled down nearly 50 mares, so that is a lot of foal watch and a lot of sleepless nights.  It’s a very exciting time when you are a few weeks out from your mares due date with the anticipation of “will it be tonight” that a little foal is born.

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Hip, Hip, Hooray!!! Today is the 1st of August which means I need a lot of carrots and a good singing voice to sing Happy Birthday to all our horses.

So we know that not all horses were born on the one day, but why is this date considered their birthday?

In the Southern Hemisphere we celebrate on the 1st of August but in the Northern Hemisphere the horses birthday is considered the 1st of January.  These dates were chosen to coincide with the start of the breeding / foaling season.  Originally this came about in the thoroughbred and standardbred racing industries.  The reasoning was because horses were placed in races according to their age so it was therefore easier to have all horses birthdate deemed as August 1st of the year they were born.  Although it began in the racing industries, these days many breeds and competitions consider August 1st the horses birthday.  It was decided to do it this way to alleviate confusion and to have overall fairness in competition.

So if like us and today you are celebrating your horses birthday I hope you give your equine friend a carrot and a cuddle, or maybe if they are lucky they will even get a cake, carrot cake of course.

Until next time,