Monday, October 28, 2019

Six Tips to Help Keep Your Horse Healthy During Fall & Winter!

It doesn't matter if you live in the North, South, East or West, now is the time to prepare for a healthier horse as fall and winter weather roll in making horse care more difficult in many areas. While fall is a time to fully enjoy horse ownership, it is also a time to prepare for inclement weather brought by winter which will be here before we know it!

"Although horses are very adaptable to cold weather, managing their physical and nutritional needs takes some planning ("

At Southwind Farm our staff works diligently to manage the needs of each one of our boarders during the winter season. We take the care of all of our animals seriously and work to make sure they are safe, healthy and also happy during the winter months! 

Here are a few tips from the Equimed article to keep in mind:

  • Tip #1- Provide adequate shelter

The immediate response to a sudden change in temperature is for the horse to change its behavior, by seeking shelter from the cold and wind or to huddle together, to decrease heat loss. When weather becomes cold and windy, shelter should be provided. Although stalling is unnecessary for all horses, some protection from winter elements is important. If nothing else a three-sided shed with the open side opposite the prevailing wind usually serves to protect horses in most climates. Some younger horses may not be experienced in seeking shelter when the weather in intemperate and owners should make sure these younger horses are protected from the weather.

  • Tip #2 - Pay attention to deworming and vaccination schedules

Internal parasites become active again this time of year as it cools and can proliferate in pastures. Make sure to perform a fecal egg count and deworm only if necessary.

  • Tip #3 - Maintain proper levels of fitness and conditioning

Before cold weather hits, take note of your horse's normal behavior during conditioning exercises. If you know your horse's healthy habits during a workout, it is easier to spot problems, like stiffness, lameness or cardiovascular issues. As weather becomes cooler, many horses are ridden less, but horse owners need to be aware of any changes in the physical condition of their horses.

If the horse is young or older, isn't used to much physical activity, or has health problems, you will need to maintain light exercise and gradually work up to a level that will either maintain or improve the horse's level of fitness during cold weather.

Horses that are stabled most of the time will require at least a 30 minute workout each day and will benefit most from an hour or more of exercise activity as conditions allow during inclement weather.

To read the rest of the article, click here.  Prepare now and bundle up for Mother Nature! Happy riding all!

Monday, October 21, 2019

Fall Trailer/Travel Safety Checklist

Fall is a great time to venture out and take your horse on new and exciting trips! Whether to competitions, trail rides or equestrian destinations, fall is a popular season to enjoy on horseback all of the beauty nature can offer. However, after a busy spring and summer season or even some time off due to hot weather, it's important to maintain trailer safety before you go! Here is a great horse trailer safety checklist from The Equestrian Group Insurance, to help you plan and make sure you are travelling as safely as possible this
fall season!

Fall Horse Safety Trailering Checklist HERE! 

If you are looking for a new place to keep your horse that has all of the large facility amenities but the small barn feeling, consider Southwind Farm! Located in northern Montgomery County with close access to Frederick, Howard and Carroll counties, Southwind Farm has everything to offer! Learn more about our board here: 

Monday, October 14, 2019

Reminder: Stalls Available for Boarders!

We hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed it with friends and family. We wanted to take a quick minute to remind you that there are still a few stall board openings at Southwind for the winter! Now is the time to get your stall before it gets too cold.

Our experienced staff all live on the property and help maintain a routine that keeps our horses happy and healthy.  Not only do we have the facilities you need to train your competition horse, there are also miles of trails for conditioning and pleasure.  All types of riding are welcome, as are your own blacksmith and veterinarian.  We have always emphasized a relaxed atmosphere that is essential to every horse’s well-being regardless of discipline.  Our location in Damascus, Montgomery County, MD provides easy access to I-270 and I-70.

PS- did we mention that we have an indoor arena!?!?

Be sure to check us out and contact owner Sheri Thornley today to set up your appointment to see the farm and learn more today!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Fall Trail Riding Tips!

Fall can be an excellent time of year to venture out on the trails and we encourage it here at Southwind Farm! With the changing leaves, beautiful scenery and wildlife, plus cooler temperatures it can be a very enjoyable experience! However, it's important to maintain safety and safe riding practices at all times, especially out on the trails. Thanks to an article from Horse & Ride it talks about seven possibly dangerous situations that can arise while out on the trails. The article talks a little more about each one and how to avoid it, if possible. Take a minute to check out the article below and make sure you stay safe this fall as we love all of our boarders and horses!

Photo credit: Pine Creek Valley Trail Riders

"Proper planning can make all the difference when it comes to enjoying a trail ride and trail ride safety. Without it, you can wind up in predicaments ranging from inconveniences to serious threats to your safety, as well as that of your horse and your trail-riding pals.'

'Even with proper preparation (see sidebar, "Plan Ahead," below, for tips), unexpected situations can arise, and you must act quickly to keep all the horses and humans in your party as safe as possible. Here are a few common problems in trail riding safety to keep in mind. If one of these situations sneaks up on you, you'll also be armed with information necessary to get out of it quickly and with as little harm as possible (Horse & Rider)." Read the full article here!