Category: Blog


Six Things Your Horse Really Wants for Christmas

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Six Things Your Horse Really Wants for Christmas

Besides a warm and comfortable stall, what else do you think your horse wants for Christmas? This holiday season, give your riding buddy a special gift that he can’t resist! Here are six (6) Christmas treats that will surely leave a smile on his face.

Saddle Pad

Don’t just give him any ordinary saddle pad. Make the most of the season by gifting him with a thermal soothing saddle pad that fits his back. If you want him to be 100% comfortable during the ride, then try to get the high-quality saddle pad that he can wear all day.

Minty Treat

A great gift that your riding pal will surely appreciate is a minty treat. Mints are tasty delights for horses that are beneficial to their lungs and digestive tract. Also, they come with astringents that are good for skin healing. Your horse would love mints just as he loves you.

Mud-Free Paddock

No horse would want a muddy paddock for Christmas! Mud can pose safety and health risks like sliping, rushes, scratches, and falls, so make sure his paddock is as dry and clean as your home.

Day Off

With the busy holidays, you may forget about giving your horse some time off. Just this Christmas, give him rest from your regular riding routine or training schedule. He might not say it, but your horse also wants some time to slack off and enjoy a day without doing anything.

Homemade Horse Treats

Why not make your horse some homemade food? This way, you’re sure that your riding pal’s dietary needs are met—plus, you know exactly what’s getting into their system. Apple sauce, cinnamon-soaked feed, or an oak flapjack is surely a healthy treat that he can indulge all day.

Christmas Accessories

Let your horse feel the Christmas cheer by dressing him with a festive fashion like a Santa-inspired head collar or any Christmas-themed accessories that will bring out the good vibe in him. Nothing could be more special than having him in mind while you’re shopping for Christmas decorations for your home. Buy one for him and you’ll definitely win his heart!

When thinking of a special Christmas gift for your horse, you can consider these things listed above.  From all of us at Texas Made Cattle & Horse Company, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year ahead!

Feel free to call us for all your horse needs today!

Holiday Chill and Caring For Your Horse

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Holiday Chill and Caring For Your Horse

Just like any four-legged animal, horses should cope with anything the weather throws at them. As an owner, your task is to give them extra care and attention to help them stay in good condition.

Check out these horse care tips that will keep your riding companion healthy, cozy, and comfortable throughout the winter months.

Give Him Adequate Shelter

As long as your horse is appropriately sheltered and well-fed, he can survive through the cold season. The truth is—the cold weather doesn’t generally make him uncomfortable. What he can’t tolerate is moisture and wind, so your horse needs a structural shelter to protect him from these elements and increase his tolerance against extreme weather.

Adjust His Calorie Diet Plan

Your horse needs more calories during winter—and it’s not a joke! Horses require an adequate amount of calories to keep their bodies warm in the colder months than any other time of the year. Their winter diet should include high-quality hay to keep them active and strong.

Check His Daily Water Intake

Did you know that horses need more water in the cold months? Generally, they need 10 to 12 gallons of water per day to prevent colic and dehydration. If your horse doesn’t take enough water, he’ll eat less—making him more vulnerable to cold and sickness. Make sure to provide him with a constant source of fresh and clean water.

Blanket Him Consistently

Blanketing your horse is a great way to keep him dry and warm—no matter what the cold weather brings. But, it doesn’t end there! You need to constantly monitor your horse while lurking under the blanket because moisture may develop, which can lead to a bacterial skin disease.

Don’t Confine Your Horse—Exercise Together!

Physical exercise on horses shouldn’t stop just because it’s winter. It’s actually the time where you should take him out for some leg work as often as possible. Confining him can only stock up his lower leg. If you’re taking him out for a ride, remember to take caution in areas with deep and heavy snow to avoid tendon injuries.

Trim Those Hooves!

In the winter, horse hooves are prone to snowballs and ice, which increases the chances of falling and slipping. Too heavy ice on the hoof also causes stress to the joints and tendons of your horse. See to it that those hooves are regularly trimmed for your horse’s safety.

The winter may bring so many challenges for your horse to stay fit and active. But with your love and care, he’ll go through the chilly season comfortably and healthy. Stay tuned to us at Texas Made Cattle & Horse for more exciting tips on horse care. Contact us for more information!

What To Do If Your Horse Balks While Walking

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What To Do If Your Horse Balks While Walking

Any inexperienced rider would drum his heels on the side of his horse while frantically trying to persuade him to move forward. This happens when your horse balks and refuses to take more steps forward.

But how should you handle the situation and get your riding buddy back on track? Check out these tips from the experts.

Go Back to Groundwork Basics

A horse may balk for several reasons, so you should know how to deal with yours properly. One effective method for managing a balking horse is to teach him to respond to touch like you used to do. The basic groundwork exercises reinforce his forward cues while allowing you to observe his physical problems. Do this repeatedly until he can change directions immediately when instructed.

Give Clear Cues

Your horse should have a clear grasp of your cues when you’re asking him to walk or move forward. Use your legs and the reins to instruct him of what to do. Once you’re sure that your cues are clear, push down your seat then squeeze his sides with your legs. If he got your cues, he responds quickly by moving forward. But if he doesn’t make any movements at all, kicking him will do.

Busy His Mind With Something Else

The idea here is not to distract your horse, but to take his mind off in making frequent stops. You may practice a few drills or exercises like a half or full pass that will make him busy for other things than balking. Make sure to stay confident and relaxed doing the drills. Always look where you’re going—not at the horse.

Mix Up the Riding Habits

Just like anyone else, your horse gets bored too! This is why you need to put variations in your riding habits. Take him around a few barrels or slightly-raised poles, race with another horse to the end of the arena, go on a trail ride, and more. Your horse will likely avoid balking if you add more variety to the rides.

Breaking this bad habit of your horse takes time and patience. You may need the help of a professional trainer or instructor for appropriate aids. If your horse balks every time you go for a walk or trail ride, you know it’s time to call us at Texas Made Cattle & Horse Co.

5 Exercises For Engaging Your Horse’s Hind Legs

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5 Exercises For Engaging Your Horse’s Hind Legs

The primary source of strength and force of your horse is his hind legs. With weak and stumbling legs, your horse won’t give you the great ride that you want. Therefore, if you notice that your horse’s hind limbs are not keeping up with his front legs, you need to do some exercises for better control of his body movements. 

Here are effective exercises to strengthen your horse’s legs and increase his carrying power:

Stretching

The more flexible your horse is, the easier for him to build supple and stronger muscles. Stretching exercises allow your horse to cover larger ground because they alleviate the tension in the leg area. In this case, you do most of the work while your horse stands and does nothing. The goal is to open up his pelvic angles to access the gluteal muscles. Then, slowly rub your hand down the muscles repeatedly with increasing pressure. You know it worked once you see his pelvis tilt a little and his lower back lifted slightly. Do this exercise before and after a ride.

Free Walk

Walking is an essential part of conditioning his legs. Let him walk freely while you’re on his back assisting. Feel the pressure and the beat of his legs as he moves forward. Then, focus closely on his movement. Be sure to control his speed while pacing forward and move with his motion.

Hill Work

Get him out of his comfort zone and let him do a workout uphill. Doing some hill work is a great exercise to build strength, especially on the hind legs. Introduce this program to him slowly—starting with some leg works then going upward. Remember, your safety should always come first.

Half Halts

Doing half halts helps your horse to understand your cues better—teaching him to respond to them quickly. The main purpose of this exercise is to reshape and rebalance your horse, so he doesn’t tumble on consecutive steps or movements. When done correctly, he’ll be able to execute your instructions properly.

Transitions

By slowing, halting, and transitioning your riding buddy between gaits, he’ll learn to engage his hind legs a lot better. Proper transitions require him to do a combination of walking, trotting, and cantering. Start with a few minutes of walk and trot, then canter. Every successful transition helps strengthen his hind limbs.

Doing this program is safer and more effective with the help of a trainer with years of experience in the field. With this, we can help! Texas Made Cattle & Horse Company has combined expertise in horse training through our professional trainer—Zane Murphy. Feel free to call us for more information.

What’s the Average Distance a Horse Can Travel in a Day?

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What’s the Average Distance a Horse Can Travel in a Day?

If you’re going on a trail ride with your trusty steed, you might be wondering how much ground your horse can cover safely in a day. Generally, horses in Granbury, TX can travel between 20 to 30 miles a day. However, some horses can cover more distance depending on these factors below:

The Pace

As a rider, you should know the rate at which your horse is capable of running, walking, or galloping—that’s exactly the meaning of pace. While some horses are flexible enough to cover the pace that is set for the ride, yours might not be comfortable walking or running for long straight hours. Lack of understanding of how pace affects your riding buddy is detrimental to his overall health. Just keep the pace relaxed and slow as much as possible.

Weather Conditions

In very humid and hot weather, your horse may lose a tremendous amount of electrolytes in his body through sweat. During a ride, it’s important for horses in Granbury, TX to stay hydrated; otherwise, they will suffer serious health consequences. Make frequent stops throughout the ride and offer your horse something to drink or bite along the way.

Footing and Terrain

For your horse, nothing is more relaxing than traveling in an even ground—but that’s not always the case in trail riding. The terrain he will be navigating could be muddy, rocky, sandy or steep which adds loads of physical stress on your horse. If the terrain is either of these topographical conditions, you need to lessen the distance you travel and slow your pace to give his legs some rest and time to regain strength.

Overall Fitness & Health

In trail riding, a more fit horse can cover more distance than an unhealthy one—and it’s not surprising at all. Older horses may have weaker joints and a touch of arthritis—limiting their pace and overall ability to endure a long trail-riding adventure.  Meanwhile, younger trail horses in Granbury, TX can be effective even in intense rides—but be sure not to overdo the ride. Your horse is more likely to stumble and get injured if you push him to his limits. Always think about your horse’s overall fitness and health in any activity that involves him.

Horses in Granbury, TX can cover more or less than the average distance they can travel depending on the pace, weather conditions, terrain, and their overall health. Without considering these factors, your entire trail riding journey can be risky.

Do you own a horse or want to buy one in Tolar, TX? Texas Made Cattle & Horse Co. can help! Feel free to contact us for all your needs today! Don’t forget to visit our blog page for your guide.

5 Things to Teach Your Horse for a Safe Trail Ride

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5 Things to Teach Your Horse for a Safe Trail Ride

Planning for a long-trail ride on the weekend?  Well, there’s more you need to think about than just bringing your horse and packing up. First things first—you have to make sure your horse is 100% ready and sound for a safe and fun trail ride.

Aside from the basic training exercises, here are five (5) things to teach your horse before going into the wild or elsewhere.

Obedience and Submission

At some point of the trail, you’ll surely encounter huge rocks, deep water, down canyons and other obstacles that your horse may refuse to walk through. When he says no, you’re going to have a big problem. But given the right leadership and training, he’ll be willing to respond to your instruction and go where you lead him. An obedient, willing, and submissive horse will walk and run stride for stride with you—wherever that is.

Temperament/Good Disposition

Trail riding comes with lots of uncertainties. Along the way, you may come across various situations that will leave your horse in shock. If he overreacts, everything could go wrong, so teach him how to keep a cool head and maintain a good disposition regardless of the situation around him. A good trail horse is calm and easily goes back to its natural temperament in tough circumstances.

Independence

When you’re riding in a group, your horse should learn independence from his trail mates. If he’s too reliant on the horse before him, he might not make it the entire journey. Likewise, if one horse acts up, yours might as well go with it. This is why you must gradually impart independence to your horse, so he can be more confident being on his own.

Flexibility

Your trail ride can become more exciting and enjoyable with a horse that can go anywhere without any issue—one that’s flexible and easygoing. Your horse can be exactly like this once he’s exposed to different surroundings and situations. When trained well, he’ll be more predisposed with new settings and mounts.

Willingness for Hauling and Loading

Loading problems tell a lot about your horse’s willingness to take you for a trail ride. A horse that respects and sees you as his leader will load willingly just as how you wanted. If you’re having trouble loading your horse, start with gaining his trust. Given enough time, he’ll be more willing to carry you on his back.

Before hitting the trails, don’t forget to teach your horse these five lessons. If he got perfect scores, then you can be fairly certain that your trail ride will go smooth and safe.

Need more tips and advice from the experts? Talk to us or visit our blog page to know more!

Choosing the Right Horse for Happy Trails

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Choosing the Right Horse for Happy Trails

The right trail horse is one that can take you to various types of trails in different conditions.  With a wide array of choices for a trail horse, how should go about choosing the best one? Check out these five (5) key qualities to look for in a trail horse.

Healthy Feet

What makes a good trail horse are healthy feet. The condition and angle of the feet tell about the horse’s conformation, which refers to its overall body physique and balance. Examine the legs and limbs. They should not hit each other when making any movements.

Trail Experience

When looking for a horse for trail riding, experience matters. Educated and experienced trail horses can carry you safely in diverse trails without causing so much trouble down the road. The more experienced your horse is, the more likely he can get you through difficult spots and trails.

Attitude and Temperament

Get a trail horse that’s relatively quiet and calm. In trail riding, you want a horse that’s willing and quick to respond to your directions–one who can deal with any surprises that you can come across along the path. Attitude speaks a lot about a horse’s disposition when faced with unexpected trail situations. He’ll assure you that you’re safe on his back.

Breed

Although there’s no such horse that’s bred mainly for trail riding, some horse breeds with a sound mind, well-proportioned body, and an athletic vitality are great options. Having a comfortable ride along the trail is important, so gaited breeds might work really well for you. They can manage any trail or terrain in a calm disposition.

Older is Better

Age is a key factor when choosing a trail horse. Never hesitate to buy an older one and had a little experience in trail riding. One good thing about old horses is that they don’t need that much training and conditioning to do some stuff, making it a lot easier for you to command him on what to do. Although age doesn’t equal with experience at times, it’s still worth getting an older horse for added advantage.

A horse with these traits is a sure fit in trail riding. Make sure to keep these in your mind once you decided to buy one.

For sure help, call our experts at Texas Made Cattle & Horse Company! If you need a horse for your next trail riding adventure, we offer great and affordable options. Feel free to visit our website for more information.

8 Most Popular Horse Breeds for Horseback Racing

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8 Most Popular Horse Breeds for Horseback Racing

When choosing a horse for racing, the breed is a key factor to consider. While some breeds are exceptionally fast, others have great endurance and stamina. Want to buy a winning horse for your next race?

Take a look at these eight most popular horse breeds in the world.

Thoroughbred

It’s a distinct breed of a racehorse which originated in the native breeds of Barb, Turkman stallion, and Arabian. Thoroughbred horses are commonly used for racing because of their muscular and robust body, deep chest, broad head, and short back. They also excel in dressage, show jumping, Olympic Games, equestrian sports, and a lot more.

Standardbred (Trotter Pacer)

With well-developed and well-muscled body structure, Standardbred horses are great options for both fasted trotting and harness racing. Their special characteristics include good behavior and superb temperament. They are excellent not only in racing and show eventing but also in disciplined hunting.

Arabian

Arabian horses are well-known racehorse breeds because of their stamina, high intelligence, trainability, and gentle nature. The Arabian bloodline is considered as the oldest horse breeds worldwide, which are available in sabino, grey, black, and chestnut colors. Nowadays, they are widely used in equestrian sports, circus, and racing.

Quarter Horse

Quarter horses are America’s most popular breeds of racehorses, named after finishing a short sprint race in a quarter mile. These horses have a healthy, well-structured body, short but refined head, sturdy hindquarters, and broad chest. They are popularly used for trail riding, calf hunting, and racing because of their ability to run up to 88km per hour.

Andalusian

Originally from Iberian Peninsula, Andalusian is a medium-sized horse known for its strong and well-developed muscular body. Andalusians are top options for school riding because of their calmness, complaisance, and intelligence. Besides racing, they are also good at hunting, dressage, and other English horse events.

Black Forest Horse

If you’re into intelligence, good disposition, beauty, Black Forest Horses are the perfect choice. These popular racehorses are bred for riding and betting. They are available in light to medium weight, with a silvery or pale mane.

Tennessee Walker

Known for its exceptional fast movement and four-beat running walk, Tennessee Walker is perfectly suitable for competition racing and trail riding. Often, you will see them in movies and shows.

Morgan

Morgan breed is characterized by its well-defined wither, short back, large eyes, robust body, laid back shoulders. It’s widely used in both Western and English events, like racing, show jumping, endurance riding, and dressage.

If you’re into horse racing, these racehorse breeds are some of the best choices that you can confidently bet on. You may also ask our experts at Texas Made Cattle & Horses Co., for the best racehorse breeds, or visit our website to know your options.