Texas Belt Buckle Selection for Texas Enthusiasts

Do you love Texas State, based in the US? If you like many things in this state, chances are that you love it too. There is a special way of showing your love for this part of North America, its roots and culture. This is none other than buying the Texas belt buckle. Indeed, a buckle is just a tiny accessory that would remind you of things you hold dear in Texas.


It is widely available and affordable online. That is why you are free to choose as many buckles as you possibly could. There are few guiding points you should know of and they include the following.


• The designs available – It is almost impossible to start imagining the jungle of pieces available online. When deciding on the most appropriate choice, consider first the construction materials. Most items are made of a particular metal totally. Therefore, you should decide whether you want pewter, gold, silver, sterling silver, brass, and so on. Do not ignore the fact the metal quality differs. If a buckle were made of very high quality metal, then its rates would also be high. The other factor to consider when thinking of design is the décor. Mostly, some have a perfectly round, oval or the Texas map shape. Next, consider the theme used to demonstrate each item as one of its kind. For instance, some items consist of the state’s flag and others have the armadillo image carrying a flag on its back or just an armadillo animal image with a star shape. There are some common logos too, such as the Houston Texans, Dallas cowboy star, University of Texas and several others. Additionally, you might have a special interest in music, sports, country lifestyle and so on. It is very easy to find a Texas belt buckle that describes what you like. If you want cowboy, then go for inspired designs and if you love hip-hip and other music genres, then go for them. Led is an amazing belt buckling design that applies modern, programming technology. There are special led styles that show the word “texas” on the display screen. When it comes to design, men and women have countless alternatives.


• Your own fashion tastes and preferences – As much as a buckle is just a small item, it would help create an impression of you. Therefore, you should take your time to look through what various websites have to offer. Let your current clothing and accessories collections guide you. Each buckle style contains a unique detail that it would add to your current collections.


• Your budget – Christmas 2010 is underway and you will have to spend in one way or another. In fact, this is a nice time to spoil your friends, family and yourself with new gifts. One of the main reasons why you rather buy a simple item such as a clasp is because it could help you spend wisely. Most high quality items range between ten and thirty dollars. At these affordable rates, you can give away a texas belt buckle this Christmas without feeling a punch.

G. Smitty is a writer who loves to discuss many topics ranging from gun belt buckle to professional basketball. Thanks for reading!

More Texas Horse Show Articles

Novelty Horse Jumps

Just because you ride a show horse, doesn’t mean that your whole life has to be serious. While taking care of such a large creature is also a major responsibility, there are many ways that you can enjoy your rides and your training exercises to physically prepare your horse for competition without mentally boring yourself to death from repetition. One of the ways to do this is to change up the way you look at horse jumps and the obstacle course altogether. Who says you have to always use traditional jumps and materials, especially on your home course?

Indeed, there are no rules when it comes to your own horse and your own course. Manufacturers of horse jumps know this and many will design alternative pieces for your gate fillers and other course accessories. This makes riding your home course less tedious and more interesting, as you can change the pieces up as you see fit. While you shouldn’t get too comfortable with them, since it is highly unlikely that you will see such pieces in a formal competition, they can really help you to focus on the task at hand instead of how drab your practice course might be.

Alternative horse jumps might include pieces with much brighter colors, like walls that are fire-engine red. They might also include dice on a stand, which although unrelated, is still a fun alternative to the norm. In fact, there are many different kinds of dice stands to hold up your jump bars. You can even find pieces that are shaped to look like dominos or traffic lights and other familiar knick-knacks. Flower troughs help to bring some natural color and beauty to your course, while custom-made banners and gates make for a more personalized course experience that will remind you that your pride is on the line at your next competition.

I recommend that you visit http://www.horseshowjumps.co.uk
in order for to find out more about horse jumps. No matter what your requirements are this website has all the information that you need.

Related Texas Horse Show Articles

How to Buy a Great Horse

Buying a horse is not an easy task, as there are so many things to think about. Why are you buying this horse? Is it purely for pleasure or will you show it in competition. There will always be way more horses available than you will have the time to see. An important issue to consider whether the horse is for a child or an adult, the abilities of the rider is also something to consider before purchasing a horse.Below you will find listed some of the necessary points to consider before buying a horse.

First, never buy the first horse you see, it is recommended that you look at least 10 horses before you make your purchase. Don’t fall in love with the first horse you see. Give yourself time to shop around and compare. After seeing many horses and you decide the first one you saw is the one you want, it is then okay to go back and buy it.

Second, purchase it locally, you never want to buy a horse that you have never seen. Travel can add to the cost of the horse. It also cuts down on the possibility of some kind of scam. People are usually more honest with local people. Also if you purchase your horse locally you can ask if you can take it home to see how they will work out for you.

Third, if you are serious about a particular horse, order a drug test and x-rays. Drugs can be used to alter the horses personality when they are offered for sale. Also you want the x-rays, so you can see what the skeletal frame of the horse looks like. You want to make sure there are no signs of future lameness. It is also good for a vet to get a full medical history, as well as checking the horses; hooves, teeth and gums, mane and tail. You want to know your future horse is in good health.

Fourth, this may sound dumb, but ride the horse, try them out in the events and style of riding you plan on using them for. Not all horses are for all disciplines. You can’t go by looks alone. If you can bring a trainer with you. They will be best suited to let you know if this is the right animal for your needs.

Lastly, as with any purchase buy a horse from someone you trust. Don’t fall for looks and make a stupid decision.

How to: Buy a Horse

Related Texas Horse Show Articles

Horse Trailer Towing Tips

When a horse needs to be transported, the driver moving the horse needs to be adequately equipped to handle such a situation.

Three important considerations come to mind when transporting a horse. The driver should have an understanding of the type horse they are moving (since some are more spirited than others), the horse trailer the horse is going to travel in, and the type vehicle doing the transporting.

One of the most important aspects of towing horse trailers is to make sure that the towing vehicle is rated high enough to pull the combined weight of both the trailer and the horse. Once the trailer is properly attached to the towing vehicle it is a good idea for the individual to test the trailer and vehicle combination and drive it around a little bit before loading up the horse. This way a person can get used to the trailer being attached while driving.

The next thing is to make some final changes before loading the animal. Some additional considerations would include the adjusting any of the air vents, and to double check for any problems on the inside of the trailer like sharp corners, or problems with the flooring. Basically to avoid anything that could cause distress to the animal, and cause it to panic. Then one needs to bring in the horse to be loaded. When tying the horse in it’s a good idea to make sure there is some slack in the rope to keep the horse comfortable and to help prevent neck injuries in case of an accident.

Once the horse is loaded, it’s time to do a little bit of test driving. It’s best to drive a few miles and then pull over to make sure the towing hitch and everything else with the trailer and horse are okay. If it is a long journey, then periodic checks should be carried out. When moving horses its best to take it slow when accelerating, decelerating, taking corners, and making lane changes. The animals have to get use to every move. When it comes to towing horse trailers its best to take everything slowly.

Horses are very easily scared so the smoother the drive, the better for the animals welfare. When the destination is reached it is much easier to handle an animal that is in a calm state than one that is suffering from stress. If the experience is a pleasurable one, it’ll be a lot easier to get the animal back in the trailer for the return journey.

Datatag is a specialist trailer insurance provider. All policies are underwritten at Lloyds of London. Datatag trailer specialises in all kinds of trailer related cover. We also provide catering trailer, vehicle trailer and horse trailer insurance.

Related Texas Horse Show Articles

Wings For Horse Jumps

Show jumping competitions can be very exciting and interesting. If you really think about it, this is a sport that combines the analytical mind of man with the raw power and sheer athletic ability of one of the most majestic creatures on the planet. If you have never seen horses on a show jumping range, you are truly missing something magnificent. If you have seen a contest, however, you may be wondering how horse jumps work; how they are developed or put together. Actually, there are a few different parts, starting with the wings, which are the pieces that hold up the bars that are jumped over.

First of all, of course, there are the basic wings. These are straight, vertical bars that are commonly used in horse jumps, especially for practicing. They stand about 5 ft. as do schooling wings which are basically the same thing, but with a series of vertical embellishments on the side of the bars. Children’s wings are 4 ft. tall and look like the two angled sides of an isosceles trapezoid. Standard wings stand about 6 ft. tall and have smaller braces that look very similar to children’s wings. There are also wings that cross. The George Cross wings, for example, cross in the manner of a plus sign, with the crosses standing about halfway up the 6 ft. tall braces. Double Cross wings, on the other hand, are two boxes stacked on top of each other. Within each box are “x” shapes, hence the “cross” name.

Finally, some horse jumps have what are called “fillers,” which fill in the area between the gate bars that would be beneath the objective horizontal bar. Gate fillers look just like access gate to your field while the plank filler simply uses more horizontal bars to fill in the gap. There are also solid plain fillers and fences.

I recommend that you visit http://www.horseshowjumps.co.uk
in order for to find out more about horse jumps. No matter what your requirements are this website has all the information that you need.

Related Texas Horse Show Articles

The Bond Between Rider And Horse

Every owner considers his horse a winner, according to a female artist from Walla Walla. The owner disregards the champion status of his horse. She lives on a ranch on Springdale Road and has established a successful career in horse art.

She is both a painter and a photographer, who can do either on commission or for shows. Majority of her customers are just people who enjoy horses, although she has painted some truly famous horses, such as a famous actor’s championship endurance mount, Shur Raff Zi.

She is one of the few blessed who really love their jobs. Even as a teen, her interest in horses was sparked. At age 11, she began drawing pictures of horses, and she worked on her sketches for quite a time.

These experiences gave her a knack for shading that gives all her horse portraits depth. She tries to capture the unique characteristics of each horse on canvas.

She works with photographs of the subject. She rarely makes sketches on the scene, unless it is a special little mark peculiar to the horse like when she makes notes on the horse’s color. She says she needs to satisfy the pickiest of customers.

Sometimes the owner has a preference for a particular angle, or will point out some special characteristic of the horse that they want emphasized.

To some owners, each characteristic is to be cherished, from facial expressions and wrinkles to cowlicks. Most owners are more interested in having their horses look natural than perfect. Her repertoire includes many breeds and different events, like barrel racing and cutting.

She says action pictures are so much different that she has to learn the trick to capture a horse in motion. The wrong angle of a cantering horse can make him look incredibly awkward.

Using a telephoto lens, she can catch that elusive action angle. She was called in for 15 18 shows a year when she still covered horse shows.

At the time, she did both photos and paintings of winning horses. Those photographers who take on shows full time find it easier to develop pictures on the spot with dark rooms in their vans. She feels her pictures come out the best when developed at her dark room at home.

Her experience, however, does include other types of family pets. Dogs and cats are not her expertise, and she either needs to see them in person or a good photo.

Any mental image she could conjure of these breeds would simply be inadequate.

Visit horse portrait art to learn more about paintings. To keep learning about paintings be sure to check out abstract oil paintings canvas.

The Horses Of Erath County- This Texas County Ain’t Horsin’ Around

When Texas seceded from the Union at the beginning of the Civil War, the new Confederate government now faced the task of participating in the war while still defending the Texas frontier from Indian attacks.

The Confederates actually tried several methods for maintaining order on the frontier. Their final attempt to deal with the Indian menace was the Frontier Organization, established in 1864, a militia of able-bodied male citizens who lived in frontier counties and were not otherwise serving the Confederate cause. The militia was purely defensive and had neither the manpower nor the leadership to mount offensives against marauding Indians. By 1864, the Indians were conducting large raids against forts and settlements all along the frontier.

The Ellison Springs Indian Fight was typical of frontier engagements during the Civil War. On August 8, 1864, a small force of about a dozen troopers intercepted about thirty Indians carrying blankets and bridles for the horses they were planning to steal from the whites. The Indians easily repelled the soldiers, killing three of them, and went on to steal fifty horses near, where else… Stephenville!


Though the possibility of Indian raids in Texas today is highly improbable, the number of horses that can be found in and around Stephenville, the county seat of Erath County, is steadily climbing.

Texas is recognized throughout the world as horse country. There are nearly one and a quarter million equines in Texas and we lead the nation in registered American Quarter Horses, Appaloosa’s, American Paint Horses and American Miniature Horses. We’re second only to California in Arabians. We have over twice as many American Quarter horses as #2 Oklahoma and over one and a half as many American Paints as California, second in that department. Fully 15% of the entire nation’s 6.9 million equines reside in Texas.

Want more? Major breed associations headquartered in Texas include the American Quarter Horse association, the National Cutting Horse Association, the American Miniature Horse Association, and the American Paint Horse Association. More national level horse shows are held in Texas than in any other state. Texas is home to five race tracks, three of which are very new Class 1 tracks.

Jan Anderson raises and shows Tennessee Walking Horses in Stephenville, says, “… there is a lot going on here with the horse industry….” Jan mentioned a Stephenville family by the name of Feltner who have raised a World Grand Champion Tennessee Walker and another, which has produced 6 world and reserve world champions. “I don’t think Stephenville, the City of Champions, is aware that we have championship Walking Horses right here in town. On Monday, we are headed back to the Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration to compete on a national level and will be back Sept. 7th. This is one of the biggest horse shows the nation has, with thousands of entries and an attendance of approximately 35,000 people each evening for 10 days.”


According to The Economic Impact of the Horse Industry in the United States, a study done by Barents Group, LLC for the American Horse Council, including recreation, showing, racing and other segments, the Texas Horse Industry Delivers $ 5.2 Billion dollars a year to the Texas economy. What’s more, the industry involves more than 7 million participants and includes nearly 2 million horse owners. As a whole, the industry has an annual impact on the U.S. economy of $ 112 billion and supports 1.4 million full-time jobs with approximately $ 1.9 million paid in taxes at each level. The median income of Texas horse-owning families is around $ 60,000 with 38% of households earning under $ 50,000 and 21% over $ 100,000.

Here are a few notable facts about the Texas horse industry, according to a Texas A&M equine study:

*Horseowners have nearly $ 15 billion invested in barns, towing vehicles, trailers, tack and related equipment and spend over $ 2 billion annually just to maintain their horses.

*In showing and racing alone, over 300,000 owners, family members and volunteers spend over $ 3 billion annually attending competitive events with over a quarter of a million horses.

*Annual cash receipts for horses bought and sold exceeds $ 400 million and are over twice the combined total for hogs, sheep and lambs and nearly twice the total receipts of Texas wheat.

*Over a quarter of a million households have billions invested in horses and horse-related equipment. Travel with Texas horses creates well over $ 3 billion in travel-related spending. The competitions and shows have a greater direct effect on the economic impact than horse racing as well as the recreational use of horses.

The Texas horse industry contributes $ 3 billion in direct economic impact to the state’s economy and generates close to $ 110 million in annual taxes according to the AHC study. The study also revealed that the industry supports over 96,000 Texas jobs . This study is the most comprehensive research document ever compiled on the American horse industry and highlights 15 breakout states, including Texas, that account for more than 51% of the U.S. horse population. In terms of total effect on the gross domestic product, California leads the way at $ 6.97 billion a year, followed by Texas at $ 5.23 billion and Florida at $ 5.15 billion.

The AHC study was commissioned by the American Horse Council Foundation with major funding support from the American Quarter Horse Association, The Jockey Club, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders’ Cup Limited, Keenland Association, American Paint Horse Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, U.S. Trotting Association, Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and the U.S. Equestrian Federation. It confirms what folks in the Texas horse industry already knew, that this industry is a vital contributor to our state’s economy. Rob Werstler with the Texas Quarter Horse Association said, “Never before has the impact of our industry been so dramatically demonstrated.”

Key industry statistics and economic indicators in the report included:

* Total economic impact of $ 5.2 billion by activity:

* $ 848 million from Racing

* $ 1.9 billion from Showing

* $ 1.5 billion from Recreation

* $ 898 million from other activities

* Estimated number of horses in Texas: 979,000

* Estimated number of horses by activity:

* 104,000 in Racing

* 311,000 in Showing

* 340,400 in Recreation

* 222,600 in other activities

“This study paints a positive picture for our industry…,” said Dave Hooper, Executive Director of the Texas Thoroughbred Association .


According to retired Erath County Extension Agent, Joe Pope, the Horse Industry in Erath County alone brings in over $ 7.6 MILLION dollars in ag-related income each year. Sales, training, boarding, breeding, shows, winnings, job creation, investments in barns and acreage…it all adds up and lots of money is changing hands as a result. Pope said, “The Stephenville Cattle Company does over $ 1-Million in horse sales annually.” There are an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 horses in Erath County.

Kathy Hawke of the Stephenville Chamber of Commerce adds, “Many people who visit The Chamber are looking specifically for information related to our Horse Industry…Most of the time, it’s parents wanting riding lessons for their kids but we get many inquiries regarding stalls as well.” She said that The Chamber has a rodeo packet which is distributed at rodeo events and it contains western stores, tack, ferriers, veterinarians, etc., and added, “the participants at these rodeo events have informed us of how grateful they are that The Chamber, as well as the promoters and the arenas themselves, care enough to cater to this need when they get to town.” Hawke added that her own uncle owns cutting horses in here in Texas while living and working a China-based corporation.

It all adds up to an industry with a multi-billion dollar impact on the economy that has a significant impact on the lives of many Texans, including those in and around Stephenville. Joe Bob Huddleston, Chairman of the Stephenville Chamber’s Agricultural Committee, says, “The horse industry has been apart of this community for a long time and because of its continued growth in our area, it now has some very deep roots that have made a significant impact on our local economy. Every year, thousands of visitors visit our community participating and attending various events related to the horse industry. With all this momentum, I foresee only continued growth as folks continue to visit, and move, to Erath County.”


When people see emerging trends, they tend to sit up and take notice. According to Pope, Stephenville is home to some very world renown horse trainers as well, including Kobie Wood and Scot Jackson. With such international notoriety, these people wind up serving as local ambassadors for our region, bringing attention to what’s happening locally and ultimately doing their share to boost the local economy. Pope added that several of the county’s dairies have recently been converted into horse stalls and acreage.

This kind of attention cannot be overlooked from a marketing perspective. The wise local business should take a look at the large dollar amounts being generated by the local Horse Industry and do all they can to get in front of that market through sponsorship. I don’t know where the notion comes from that there’s a ‘Horse Dollar’ or a ‘Livestock Dollar’ or even an investment or entertainment dollar. Fact is, there’s just ONE dollar and we’re all competing for it. People who love horses also eat food, pump gas, wear clothes and stay in hotels so, the audience is right there, seated in rows. Businesses should be pursuing these equine markets for the ever-increasing number of eyes that will be staring at their brand. There’s a particular soft drink that was so dominant as a sponsor at the 2004 Olympics, you may not be allowed in if you’re sipping another beverage. That same attitude should belong to local businesses as well and the local Horse Industry is providing the audience.


Stephenville, Texas just loves horses. They are simply a part of the local fabric around these parts. From My Friend Flicka, to Black Beauty, Silver to Mr. Ed, humankind has always had a special relationship with its equine friend. As John Jeremiah Sullivan writes in his eloquent treatise of the history of men and horses: “A person today who knows horses, really knows them, understands more about what it meant in the past to be human than the most knowledgeable historian.”

It’s common knowledge that horses make important contributions to the livelihood and well-being of people. According to a Report on the Texas Horse Industry, produced by the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, over half of the respondents to the question posed regarding their reasons for horse ownership identified “quality of life” and “relaxation/stress management” among the main reasons for their involvement with horses. Half the respondents identified physical fitness as a reason for their involvement.

The Equine Science program at Tarleton State University in Stephenville occasionally receives donations of horses which will be used in the University’s breeding program and provide students with the opportunity for hands-on education in equine reproduction.

One such donation came from Jerome Hogan of Hico and Bernie Koerner of Stephenville. There were nine horses included in the recent donations and the foals from these mares will be used in future training programs. Dr. Don Henneke, Director of Tarleton’s Equine Science program, said the donation of well-bred mares from around the state enhances the University’s equine program and allows students the opportunity to work with quality animals.

“The support of people like Jerome and Bernie helps insure that our students will have good horses to work with in the future,” said Dr. Henneke.

Stephenville, Texas bills itself as the Cowboy Capital of the World and, being the #1-ranked dairy producing county in the state, where there are cows, there’s gotta be Cowboys. Where there are Cowboys, there must be horses. The 50,000 square foot Lone Star Arena hosts many horse-related events each year including the Flying Bella Rosa, Dal-Worth Appaloosa Horseshow, National Reined Cow Horse Competition, Best Horseman in the World and more.


Well, there you have it. The Horse Industry in Stephenville, Texas and surrounding area is alive and kickin’. But what about the rest of the nation?

Personally, my lone experience with a horse as a boy in Illinois was quite anti-climatic. The ol’ sway-backed mare wandered over to the water trough and drank forever while I sat on her back, crying (Oh, I should mention I was about 6 years old at the time; a city boy from Chicago whose only experiences with animals were the Bears, the Bulls and the Cubs).

Throughout American history, there were few moments outside the home that were not shared between people and horses. One might say that we’ve been… stuck like glue! Horses provided us with transport, accompanied us into battle, and they were indispensable partners down on the farm, especially when agriculture accounted for the vast majority of economic output.

Even when they weren’t actually present, horses were rarely far from man’s consciousness. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the streets of America’s fast-growing cities were littered with piles of steaming horse manure as each urbanized animal produced up to 35 pounds a day. The average streetcar horse lived just 4 years and was often quite abused. Slipping on wet cobblestones could cause severe injury.

An injured or dead 1300 pound animal can cause quite a traffic jam. New York removed 15,000 dead horses from city streets in 1880 and Chicago carted away 9,202 as late as 1916.

Although not as serious a problem as manure and carcass removal, noise pollution was a constant annoyance. Benjamin Franklin complained of the “thundering of coaches, chariots, chaises, wagons, drays and the whole fraternity of noise” which assailed the ears of Philadelphians. Boston and New York both passed noise ordinances banning traffic from certain streets to buffer hospitals and legislative chambers. In 1866, the Atlantic Monthly described Broadway as clogged with “dead horses and vehicular entanglements,” and in that year the mistreatment of the urban horse led to the establishment of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. As late as the 1890s, one journalist noted that the sounds of traffic on busy New York streets made conversation nearly impossible.

Piles of pony poop and expired equines proved to be a fertile breeding ground for flies. The spread of infectious diseases were a much greater concern than odors and noise. By the turn of the century public health officials had largely accepted the bacterial theory of disease and had identified the fly as the main culprit. Street sweeping was now a major urban expense. It became increasingly obvious that the most effective way to eliminate the “typhoid fly” was to eliminate the horse.

NECESSITY: Mother of Invention

For all its supposed sophistication, life in the burgeoning city was a smelly, noisy breeding ground for life-threatening disease. I, myself, actually lived in a horse-filled Amish town called Bremen, Indiana for several years in the early 60’s. Buggies full of rosie-cheeked Amish children were everywhere and, trust me, horse pollution can be a very real concern around town.

For obvious reasons, the arrival of “the horseless carriage” was quite welcomed by many city-dwellers in the early 1900’s. The coming of the automobile dealt another large blow to the horse. A number of articles in popular periodicals repeated the argument by a writer in Munsey’s Magazine that “the horse has become unprofitable. He is too costly to buy and too costly to keep.”

Despite their incomparable dependability, it was society as a whole that was now saying “neigh” to the working class horse. But the horse did not disappear from the city scene overnight. It was more of a function-by-function phase-out. While horse-powered machines remained a manufacturing necessity until about 1850, they were largely replaced by other energy sources within a decade. The next duty of the urban horse to disappear was that of pulling streetcars. Their demise was very rapid, as between 1888 and 1892 almost every street railway in the U.S. was electrified.

In 1906, city buses replaced horse-drawn buses on Fifth Avenue, New York City. In 1912, New York, London, and Paris traffic counts all showed more cars than horses for the first time. By 1907, many professionals, including urban doctors, were doing business by way of the horseless carriage. Motorized cabs became commonplace around the same time. The drop in Model T prices that followed after Henry Ford opened the first assembly line plant in 1913, led to the massive adoption of cars by commuters.

Ford had introduced the $ 600 Model N in 1906. Deluged with orders, afterward, Ford was able to make deliveries of a hundred cars a day. Encouraged by the success of the Model N, Ford was determined to build an even better “car for the great multitude.” In 1908, the Model T sold for $ 825. The Model T Runabout sold for $ 575. By the time the Model T was withdrawn from production in 1927, its price had been reduced to $ 290 for the coupe, 15 million units had been sold, mass personal “automobility” had become a reality and the era of the horse was, for all intents and purposes, gone.

Although the industrialized world has dispensed with horses for daily work and transport, our nation’s history and culture are more bound to the horse than to any other animal. Today, for many, the horse lives only on the margins of human society.

Not so in Erath County, Texas. Though horses seemingly have no more room to roam, what animal standing alone in a field has the unique ability to rekindle such age-old affections that lie deep within the breast of most city-dwellers?

Only a horse, of course.

As Joe Pope said about owning horses, with a knowing smile on his face, “It’s romantic. Purely romantic.”

Michael Tummillo was the Communications Director for the Award-Winning Stephenville Chamber of Commerce, Stephenville, Texas for 5 years before accepting his current position as a Workplace Chaplain. You may enjoy his new website, [http://www.YourTown4Jesus.com]

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Home Away From Home at the Horse Show

How to insure your horse is safe and comfortable when at the show

If you think the show ring is stressful then you haven’t had the opportunity to settle your horse into a strange stall at a strange showgrounds. Many veteran exhibitors can attest to the fact that how well your horse settles into his weekend abode can make or break your chance at a ribbon at best but at worst can be the reason for a full blown catastrophe.

Listed below is a step by step accounting of some procedures that need to be adhered to if you’re to give to your horse a safe and enjoyable experience at his next show.
Let’s start at the beginning assuming you’re organized and your departure wasn’t too stressful.

Step 1. The Stall Before you put your horse into it you must scrutinize every inch of it checking for nails, loose boards, splinters, any thing that may pose a threat. Check the ground. Are there rocks, nails, glass, and any thing that can pose a hazard? Remember if there’s even the slightest thing that a horse can get hurt on believe me he will find it. If there’s something that isn’t appropriate, a tough door to open or close an electrical wire close by or anything dangerous within your horse’s reach don’t hesitate to consult with whoever’s in charge and ask for a new stall. You have every right to and they want you to feel secure so often they’ll work hard to get you what you need.

Next, check to see what angle the sun moves at. Will it cause your stall to overheat? During summer months it is typical for owners to place fans and even misting systems above their horse’s stall to keep them cool. Just as mentioned earlier though be careful to not have any electric cord or nail or string where your horse can get to.

Be sure to secure your horse’s water bucket so he cannot turn it over or spill it out and be careful it’s hung at just the right height. For an average horse you should have two buckets, one always with fresh water and one with electrolytes. The water should always be kept full because dehydration is one of the most typical ailments at shows. Besides dehydration if a horse doesn’t drink enough water to process his food he could end up colicking which will bring a quick end to your weekend and perhaps even to your horse.

Always properly bed your stall. This is not the time to skimp on bedding. Use enough to keep your horse from meeting the ground under his body when lying down and be sure to bank the shavings up alone the walls. Most show stalls are a bit cramped and you want to bank your bedding far up the sides to prevent your horse from getting cast.

Step 2. The Feed Be sure to feed your horse at the show the same kind of hay he would eat at home. If you can you should even bring the feed from your home to keep your horse from eating hay from a different region which can cause him to colic or have allergic reactions.

It’s good to have something in front of him at all times. Horses relax when they chew so consider some kind of “grazing” feed to keep him busy and help him to unwind. Something really tasty like a nice Timothy or Orchard Grass will tempt him to focus more on what’s in front of him then the Stallion across the barn aisle.

Be careful not to feed too many treats. It’s great to reward your horse especially when he’s being really good but be careful not to overdo anything in the way of nutrition at the show. A too rich diet can wreck havoc on a horse’s system when they’re under the stress of new surroundings.

Step 3. The Horse As mentioned before the horse stalls at shows are usually quite small so be sure to get your horse out as often as possible for a walk especially if he’s been in a lot of classes that day. After working so hard he will likely get stiff and sore if he’s not allowed to keep moving besides it gives you a chance to check in with all your friends down the barn aisle to see how they faired in their classes.

Keep your horse well groomed to keep him from getting itchy and prevent rolling. Granted at some point your horse will want to lay down and perhaps even roll but the risk of getting cast is ever present so the more you can reduce his chances of him rolling the more you can reduce the chance of him getting cast.

You may want to consider keeping your horse’s legs bandaged if they stock up from being in a small stall but do not, I repeat, do not bandage your horse’s legs unless you are an expert or have access to one that will do it for you because you can do more damage than good putting a bandage on your horse the wrong way. Putting a bandage properly on a horse is almost an art form and takes a lot of experience to master.

So there you have a basic list of things that are mostly necessary. Properly settling your horse is lot of work and a lot of things to be aware of but it’s something that must be done right to avert disaster and enable your horse to compete at his best. If your horse isn’t comfortable I can assure you your show will be an unsuccessful endeavor in one form or another.

If you’re going to all the expense of showing, the time put into your training and all the sweat equity in general then you want to be sure you will have your best chance of winning and it starts with the comfort and safety of your horse, your partner and your friend.


Now Pay Close Attention —

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