Horse Racing and 11 Popular Phrases it Produced

Beyond being an exhilarating sport, horse racing has contributed more to our language than most of us probably realize! From the racetrack to everyday conversations, phrases born out of the world of horse racing have galloped into – and stayed in – our language.

So saddle up and test your knowledge about 11 popular phrases originating from the horse turf!

1. Horse Racing Phrase: Neck and Neck

When two horses run side-by-side with little to no space between them, it’s referred to a as neck and neck race. This phrase has seamlessly transitioned into everyday language to describe any close competition or contest where the lead or advantage is indistinguishable or too close to call.” Also, see “Down to the Wire” and “Dead Heat” below.

2. Horse Racing Term: Dark Horse

Originating from the unpredictability of horse racing, a dark horse refers to a competitor who is relatively unknown or underestimated but could surprise everyone with a win. In contrast, an “underdog” is expected to lose.

3. Down to the Wire: Phrase from Horse Racing

In horse racing, the finish line is often marked by a wire. When a race is intense and undecided until the very end (or “neck and neck”), it’s said to go “down to the wire.” Today, it describes any situation that remains uncertain until the last moment.

4. Furlong is Another Horse Racing Phrase

Derived from Old English, a furlong is a unit of distance in horse racing, roughly equal to 1/8 of a mile. Outside the racetrack, it’s commonly used to describe any linear distance, especially in rural settings. According to The University of Nottingham, a furlong was considered the distance an ox could plow without a rest! (Source: Nottingham.AC.UK)

5. Winning By a Nose

When a horse wins by the smallest possible margin, often just the length (or portion) of its nose, it’s described as winning by a nose. This phrase has found its way into everyday conversations to depict a close victory starting around 1900.

6. In the Homestretch

The final stretch of a horse race, leading up to the finish line, is called the homestretch. Specifically, it’s the last part of the racecourse from the final turn to the finish line or wire. Figuratively, it refers to the final phase of any endeavor, where the outcome is imminent.

7. On the Homestretch

Similar to “in the homestretch,” this phrase refers to the final phase of an endeavor. It implies that the end is in sight and emphasizes the importance of pushing forward to reach a goal.

8. Under the Weather

Originally, this phrase referred to a horse not performing at its best due to poor weather conditions like temperature, humidity, wind speed, and direction. Today, it’s used to describe someone feeling slightly unwell or not up-to-par.

9. Hold Your Horses

This idiom originated from horseback riding, horse-drawn carriages, training and racing and means the need to control horses. The phrase advises patience and restraint. It’s also a common reminder to slow down or wait patiently.

10. Dead Heat

When two or more horses finish a race at the exact same moment, it’s called a dead heat. Outside of racing, it describes any situation with a tie or deadlock.

11. The Triple Crown

In horse racing, the Triple Crown is awarded to a horse that wins three specific races including the following:

  • Kentucky Derby.
  • Preakness Stakes.
  • Belmont Stakes.

When used outside of horse racing, this phrase describes a rare achievement in any field.

In Conclusion

So, the next time you use one of these phrases, tip your hat to the world of horse racing. From the thrill of the track to the vocabulary of everyday life, these expressions remind us of the rich history and colorful language of the turf. Whether you’re a racing enthusiast or simply enjoy a good metaphor, there’s no denying the lasting impact of equestrian lingo!

Horses have been our companions, workers, and partners for centuries. Across the globe, various breeds have captured the hearts of equestrians and enthusiasts with their unique characteristics and history.

Let’s embark on a journey through seven of the most popular equine breeds below starting with one of the oldest breeds on Earth, the Arabian.

(Disclaimer: This list may not include all the “popular” horse breeds. Popularity is as diverse as the people who love them!)


Arabian

The Arabian horse is one of the oldest and most influential breeds in the world, dating back thousands of years. Originating from the Arabian Peninsula, these horses are known for their distinctive dished face, arched neck, and high tail carriage. Revered for their endurance and intelligence, Arabians excel in endurance riding and are prized as show horses. (Source: Arabian Horse Association)


A side view of a Thoroughbred Horse
A Thoroughbred Horse (Image: AnimalLife.co.uk)

Thoroughbred

Originating in England in the 17th century, Thoroughbreds are renowned for their speed and agility. Primarily bred for racing, these elegant horses possess a lean build, long legs, and a spirited temperament. With their lineage traced back to three founding sires, the Thoroughbred’s athleticism has made it a dominant force in the world of horse racing. (Source: Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association)

Fun Fact: did you know that the name “Thoroughbred” came after breeders believed the breed had been “thoroughly bred!”


A closeup of a saddled Quarter Horse
Quarter Horse (Image: Vanessa Pike/Pixabay)

Quarter Horse

Hailing from the United States, the Quarter Horse is celebrated for its versatility and strength. Named for its prowess in quarter-mile races, this breed excels in various disciplines, including barrel racing, reining, and ranch work. With a compact build and powerful hindquarters, Quarter Horses are prized for their agility and gentle disposition. (Source: American Quarter Horse Association)


A beautiful white and black Appaloosa Horse
An Appaloosa Horse (Courtesy: Image: SorcerySoap HocusPocus/Pixabay

Appaloosa

Once bred by the Nez Perce tribe, the Appaloosa has colorful coat patterns and spotted skin. Valued for versatility, speed, agility and overall stamina, the Appaloosa excels in both Western and English disciplines, as well as in the show ring and on the trail. (Source: Appaloosa Horse Club)


An image of a Painted Horse with brown and white standing in a pasture
Paint Horse (Image: Robert Waghorn/Pixabay)

Paint Horse

A favorite among western riders, the Paint Horse has distinctive coat patterns, characterized by large patches of white and any other color. Originally descended from spotted horses brought to the Americas by Spanish explorers, Paint Horses are versatile athletes, competing in disciplines such as barrel racing, cutting, and pleasure riding. (Source: Paint Horse Association)


Looking for a healthy homemade treat for your horse? With just 20 minutes and 7 ingredients, you can make this easy horse treat courtesy of Mama on the Homestead!



A beautiful Appendix Horse standing in a paddock
An Appendix Quarter Horse (Image: HorseBreedsPictures.com)

Appendix

Another popular equine breed is the Appendix. No, we’re not talking about the body part, but another very popular and versatile horse breed! The equine Appendix is a cross between a Quarter Horse and a Thoroughbred. Their popularity comes from combining the energy and temperament of the Thoroughbred and the incredible speed and agility of the Quarter Horse. (Source: Horse Illustrated)


A Group of Morgan Horses standing in fenced pasture
Morgan Horses (Image: American Morgan Horse Association)

Morgan

With roots tracing back to the United States, the Morgan is one of the oldest horse breeds in America. Known for its compact build, refined head, and proud carriage, the Morgan is a versatile breed excelling in driving, riding, and ranch work. Due to their loyal and affectionate nature, they make excellent family horses and performers in various disciplines. (Source: American Morgan Horse Association)

In Conclusion

The world of horses (and the popular equine breeds) is as diverse as the people who love them! Each breed brings its unique charm, personality, and capabilities. Whether it’s the speed of the Thoroughbred, the Quarter Horse’s versatility, or the Arabian’s elegance, there’s a breed to suit every rider!


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Image of the wooden WaterWisk Grooming Tool for Horse Bathing
The WaterWisk Horse Sweat Scraper (Courtesy: EquiGroomer.com)

No matter your choice of horse breed,
it’s important to have the best grooming tools to keep your horse in tip-top shape!

Make bathing your horse easier with our 7-inch WaterWisk Equine Sweat Scraper!

Questions about our EasyGroomer Tools?

Call us at 860-573-0604 or email us at EquiGroomer.com
to give your horses, dogs, or cats the BEST grooming experience!


Myths about horses, like other animals who share our life are still being passed around because of tradition, folklore and wives’ tales.

Do you believe any of these 7 myths about horses?

Myth About Horses #1: Horses are Not Intelligent

Horse Wearing a Halter Standing in a Pasture
Horse Wearing a Halter Standing in a Green Field

Just because a horse doesn’t follow your commands, it has nothing to do with its overall intelligence! Like most animals we train, horses must be trained to understand a series of instructions. But it’s also critical for the trainer to be a good communicator so the horse (or any other animal) clearly understands what you want. It’s a two-way street when it comes to communicating and training. Just as your horse learns to read your body language, effective training requires your understanding of the horse’s body language and behaviors.

Myth #2: Horses are Just Big Dogs

Shetland Pony and Large White Dog
Shetland Pony Nuzzling a Large White Dog

The short answer is no. Horses are not like “big dogs” for several reasons.

  • They have a much different social structure. Living in bands (or harems), the core of the group is the mare, including a boss mare who’s in charge. Even if the adult males leave or die, the same mares will stay together.
  • In the wild, horses understand they are vulnerable prey to hunters in nature. While dogs in the wild are predators and meat-eaters.

But it doesn’t mean horses don’t enjoy the company of their owners and snacking on tasty treats! But horses are not “companion animals” in the same way as our dogs.

Myth #3: Horses Only Sleep Standing Up

While horses do sleep a lot while standing up, they do lie down for REM sleep. But since they require very little REM sleep (unlike humans), horses typically spend more time sleeping standing up. Interestingly, horses have a system of ligaments and tendons that keep them upright with ease by “locking” the limbs. This is called the “stay apparatus.”

But why do horses commonly sleep standing up? To get away from predators quickly. Horses in safe and relaxed environments may opt to lie down to sleep more often.

Myth #4: Horse Hooves are Solid

Two Horse Hooves on the Ground
Two Horse Hooves Standing on the Ground

The equine hooves may appear to be solid and tough, but they really aren’t! Their hooves are made of different layers and structures with specific functions. The hoof is quite flexible and acts as a “shock absorber” when the horse moves. Foals are born with soft, squishy hooves so as not to hurt the mare when they are in the womb. Once these soft hooves make contact with air, they begin to dry out and harden within a few hours.

Myth #5: Horses are Colorblind

It’s true that horses (and other animals) see differently than we do. But they can see some colors with their two-color (dichromatic) vision with blue and yellow hues. Other colors will appear as either white or gray.

Brown Horse Breathing in More Air to Smell
Brown Horse Breathing in More Air to Smell, Called the Flehmen Response

Myth #6: Horses Grin, Smile and Laugh!

Sorry, this one is wishful thinking! Humans love to attribute human characteristics to their animals! This is called anthropomorphism so we can relate to them in a more human way. But horses are not grinning, smiling or laughing. There is a much simpler (and natural) explanation for these behaviors we love so much and it’s called the Flehmen Response. These behaviors are done to intensify the inhalation of nearby odors or scents. The olfactory glands (related to the sense of smell) are deep inside the equine’s nasal passages so these behaviors help open up these glands for a stronger smelling experience.

Myths About Horses #7: Horses with Colic Should Never Lie Down

This one is an old wives’ tale. These sayings are often passed down through generations and accepted as truth when sometimes they are not. It was once thought that a horse with colic who rolled on the ground would twist their intestines. But this is not always the case. Colic can cause a horse’s intestine to twist if they roll, but it doesn’t always happen and many vets don’t always recommend preventing horses to lay down. You may want to stop a horse with colic from rolling on the ground to avoid injury or quicker shock.


Learn about more equine myths and misconceptions.
And here are a few
more!


Benefits of the EquiGroomer
The Benefits of the EquiGroomer for Horses

EquiGroomer: Gentle and Comfortable Grooming
for You and Your Horse!

We guarantee your cat, dog, horse, other pets or livestock,
will LOVE the EquiGroomer Grooming Tools!


For individual or bulk orders, call 860-573-0604 or send us an email.


Although it’s something we’d rather not think about, emergencies happen (including natural disasters) and when they do, your horse (or any other pet for that matter) is depending on YOU to be prepared! Whether you’re riding in the backcountry, injuries happen in the barn, paddock, pasture or even the show ring, your horse needs you, his guardian, to be prepared to offer immediate help for his safety, well-being and comfort.

So how can you build emergency horse kits? Keep reading below.

Potential Horse Emergencies: Be Prepared!

In the moment of an emergency, we can forget even the simplest of things when trying to cope with stress and anxiety. By keeping a fully stocked first aid kit accessible, you can save precious time when trouble strikes!

Trail Riding Mini First Aid Kit (Amazon)
Mini Trail Riding Horse First Aid Kit (Amazon)

Also make sure to:

  • Take a mini kit for trail rides.
  • Keep another first aid kit in your barn; and
  • Keep another kit with your trailering emergency kit (see below).

While smartphone apps for First Aid are invaluable, they are only as good as the reception for your phone. So, consider carrying or posting a printed “cheat sheet” in case your phone cannot reliably access cell service when an emergency happens.

The Complete Equine Emergency Bible
can also put valuable information at your fingertips immediately!

Horse Emergencies: A First Aid Kit!

Equine Vet First Aid Kit (Amazon)
Equine Vet First Aid Kit (Amazon)

While you can purchase a ready-to-use Equine First Aid Kit online (like Amazon.com), it’s also easy to assemble your own with checklists and videos you can find online like the ones below.

But wait! Do you also have an emergency kit for your horse trailer? You should!

Horse Emergencies: The Horse Trailer!

Brown and White Horse Looking out Trailer Window
Brown and White Horse Looking out Trailer Window

If you’re transporting your horse(s), it’s also critical to have a “trailering emergency kit.” This kind of emergency kit for your horse trailer goes well beyond the traditional emergency kit for your horse but is just as critical if your trailer breaks down while traveling with your equine(s).

The trailering emergency kit should include:

  • Road service phone numbers.
  • Current guides (or apps) listing potential horse hotels.
  • Plenty of water for your horse(s).
  • Proper automotive tools.
  • Registration and insurance paperwork and health certificates; and
  • In the winter, items required for winter travel; and more!

The trailering emergency kit (remember to include your horse’s First Aid kit too) could mean the difference between quickly and safely resuming your trip or being stuck for hours waiting for road services, especially in bad weather. In sweltering heat or freezing cold temperatures, not being prepared could put your horse(s) at great risk!

Thanks again to HorseIllustrated.com, you can download a copy of the trailering emergency kit checklist here.

By being prepared before an emergency, natural disaster or injury,
you can provide the best care and attention for your horse or pet!
Do not wait until the worst happens!

Mare Being Nuzzled by a Foal in the Pasture
Mare Being Nuzzled by a Foal in the Pasture

The EquiGroomer Tools cut shedding in half
The EquiGroomer Tools for Horses and Other Animals

EquiGroomer: The Perfect Grooming Tools for Your Horse!

Easy to Use!

Painless!

Durable!

Made in the USA for all Equine Breeds!

We guarantee your horse, dog, cat, other pets or livestock, will LOVE the EquiGroomer Grooming Tools!

For individual or bulk orders, call 860-573-0604
or send us an email.


Regardless of which pet shares your life, maintaining their coat is critical for their overall health, well-being and comfort!

Reasons include:

  1. A healthy coat will help your pet effectively regulate its optimal body temperature.
  2. A healthy coat protects internal organs from external threats including the environment, heat, trauma and ultraviolet light.
  3. The overall condition of your pet’s coat (and skin) indicates their overall health. A glossy and healthy coat reflects:
    • A nutritious diet;
    • Effective brushing and grooming; and
    • A healthy immune system.
  4. Regular and consistent brushing of the coat helps:
    • Distribute natural oils.
    • Remove dead hair, dirt and dander.
    • Prevent painful mats and tangles.
  5. Regular bathing promotes optimal coat (and skin) health.

Below, let’s take a closer look at how to care for your horse’s coat with 5 priceless tips!

How often does your family dog need to be bathed? Read our blog post!

(Stay tuned to our blog for future posts on how to effectively care for your cat, dog and rabbit’s coat too.)

How to Care for Your Horse’s Coat: 5 Tips

Brown Horse with a Leather Halter Eating Fresh Grass
Brown Horse Eating Fresh Grass

The Horse’s Coat: Diet

As mentioned above, a pet’s coat is an accurate indicator of your pet’s overall health! Without the proper foods and vitamins, your horse’s coat will suffer.

How the Quality of Hay Affects Your Horse

Horses need proper levels of:

  • Vitamin D (typically from the sun, but may need to be supplemented).
  • Vitamin A.
  • Vitamin E (from fresh forage including pasture grass and tender plants).
  • Minerals.
  • Proteins.
  • Fats including flaxseeds and fish oil (Omega-3 fatty acids).

NEVER feed these items to your horse!

Gray and White Horse Being Brushed with the EquiGroomer
Gray and White Horse Being Brushed with the EquiGroomer

Brushing Your Horse’s Coat

Maintaining a healthy coat on your horse means regular brushing, ideally daily!

Consistent brushing helps remove the dead undercoat and encourages new hair growth! Daily brushing also stimulates and distributes natural oils. Always make brushing a pleasant, relaxing experience for your horse with the proper tools, gentle and slow strokes over the entire body with plenty of praise! If you observe your horse rolling on the ground more often, add some extra brushing to address any irritation from sweat or tack.

Regular Exercise

Did you know that regular exercise is just as vital for a healthy coat? Exercise will:

  • Stimulate your horse’s blood vessels and capillaries to deliver essential nutrients and oxygen to the skin; and
  • Help your horse release toxins through sweating and the natural oils for a healthy shine.
Brown Horse Getting Bathed
Brown Horse Getting Washed

Don’t Forget a Good Wash!

While daily brushing is important, horses also need a good wash including their tail, mane and entire body.

Avoid the area around their eyes and nostrils.

After the mane and tail have dried, add conditioner.

NOTE: Do not over-bathe your horse to avoid stripping the natural and essential oils from your horse’s coat.

Horse Tack
Clean Equine Tack will Protect Your Horse’s Coat

Stay Clean and Tidy!

  • Keep all tack, rugs and saddle blankets clean to support an optimal, healthy horse coat!
  • The barn environment should also be clean and dry.
  • After riding, sponge off or squeegee all sweat under the saddle, down the neck or anywhere else on the body to avoid skin irritations, infections or sores.


Use these 5 tips to best support and maintain your horse’s coat year-round!
Remember, brushing/grooming also provides the perfect opportunity
to check your horse’s coat for issues like lumps and bumps,
bald patches, infections or inflammation as well as
unwanted parasites. Early prevention and detection
will ensure proper diagnosis and treatment!


EquiGroomer: The Perfect Grooming Tool for Your Horse!

Chestnut Horse in an Open Field featuring the EquiGroomer Tools
Chestnut Horse in an Open Field featuring the EquiGroomer Tools

Ensure your equine’s best coat with regular
brushing to remove the dead undercoat, dander
and dirt especially after your horse rolls on the ground!

We guarantee your dog, horse, other pets or livestock,
will LOVE the EquiGroomer Grooming Tools!

For individual or bulk orders, call 860-573-0604
or send us an email.

Thousands of years ago, humans domesticated horses to share their life and work. Today there are more than 300 unique equine breeds with even more variations in sizes, coats, and personalities!

How well do you know horses? In today’s blog, we’re going to test your knowledge and see if you know these 8 amazing equine facts!

Click here to learn about 10 unique horse breeds.

How Do Horses Sleep?

Horse Laying on the Ground
Horse Laying on the Ground

Let’s start with an easy one! Did you know that horses sleep standing up?! They also lay down to achieve a full, restorative sleep cycle. Several factors influence a horse to lay down to sleep including:

  • Weather.
  • Available space.
  • Comfortable bedding; or
  • Physical ailments.

A Horse’s Life Span

Horses have one of the longest life spans among pets. Today, domestic horses are known to live more than 30 years (wild horses only to 20). A lot of this is due to an increase in knowledge about horse care, nutrition, and vet medicine.

Horses: The Most Popular Breed!

Among dogs, the Labrador Retriever has held the top spot of Most Popular Dog Breed since 1991.

For horses, the top spot is held by the American Quarter Horse! This breed is appreciated and ridden by beginner riders and professional horse people.

Quarter Horses Running in a Field
Two Quarter Horses Running

The Equine Diet

Horse Eating Green Grass
Horse Eating Green Grass

Here’s another easy one … which term below describes horses?

  • Omnivores?
  • Carnivores?
  • Herbivores?

Hopefully, you guessed herbivores!

From their grinding teeth to the position of their eyes (to look out for predators with the largest eyes among land mammals and their wide range of side vision) and their digestive system, horses are a prime example of herbivores!

The Horse’s Distant Relative?

If you don’t already know this, don’t feel bad; this writer didn’t have a clue either! While a distant relative, the rhino is in the same group or “order” as the domesticated horse! Both are similarly hooved and known as odd-toed ungulates or hoofed mammals. Other relatives also include the zebra, ass, and donkey.

Horse’s Teeth Tell a Tale

Open Horse Mouth with tongue and teeth
Horse’s Open Mouth Showing Tongue and Teeth

Did you know that you can tell a horse’s gender through its teeth? It’s true! This is because:

  • Males have 44 teeth.
  • Females have 36-44 teeth.

A horse’s teeth will also help you estimate his age! By observing the permanent teeth, the indents in each tooth, the shape of the teeth surfaces, and the angle where the top and bottom teeth meet, an experienced horse person can estimate the horse’s age.

The Highly Intelligent Horse

Studies have shown that horses use sensory input to identify and remember people in two entirely different ways!

  • Horses can distinguish different people just by their voice alone.
  • Conversely, horses can also distinguish different people with just sight and smell.

Hey! No Laughing!

Finally, here’s a fun one. What usually comes to mind when you see a horse doing this? He’s a comedian trying to make you laugh? Not quite!

Horse With Open Mouth Showing Teeth
Horse Sniffing the Air with the Flehmen Response

This horse behavior is called the “flehmen response” and it has nothing to do with being funny. Instead, the horse is trying to get a better whiff of an interesting scent!

By curling his upper lip and raising his head into the air, the horse can direct pheromones and other scents to the olfactory sense organ in the soft tissue of the nasal cavity (called the VMO) which signals the brain to trigger physiologic and behavioral reactions.

It’s common to see stallions using this behavior when mares come into season. Mares will also use this behavior to recognize their foals. But this behavior can also be used to identify potential predators and even sources of water.

Click here to learn 30 other interesting horse facts!

The EquiGroomer Tools

The EquiGroomer Grooming Tool
The Perfect Grooming Tool for Your Horse!

We guarantee your horse, dog, other pets or livestock,
will LOVE the EquiGroomer
Grooming Tools!

For individual or bulk orders, call 860-573-0604
or send us an email.

Like with our feet, good foot health is crucial for enjoying an active and healthy life! From our posture to balance AND overall well-being, the state of our feet affects our whole body.

The same is true for your horse and its hooves.

When the foot is compromised, mobility and quality of life is acutely compromised. From foot, back, knee and joint stiffness, pain and weakness to poor posture, good foot health is imperative for mobile and pain-free life!

But how does this translate to horse hoof care? In a nutshell, regular hoof maintenance is non-negotiable! As the saying goes, “no foot, no horse.”

Why is Horse Hoof Maintenance SO Important?

Why Good Hoof Care Requires Regular Maintenance

Well-maintained Horse Hoof
A Well-Maintained Horse Hoof

Imagine if you never tended to your feet? Imagine if you didn’t cut your toenails for 12 months! Imagine if you neglected to wash and moisturize your feet. Then to top it off, imagine if you never wore shoes to protect your feet outdoors!

Now, imagine if you were talking about your horse’s hooves instead.

As Ben Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure.” No matter what time of year it is, the regular maintenance of your equine’s hooves needs to be a priority!

Regular hoof maintenance helps ward off potential injuries and pain; but it also gives you the opportunity to address potential diseases and issues before they happen to keep your horse comfortable, healthy, sound and pain-free!

What regular maintenance of your horse’s hooves should involve? Keep reading.

Don’t Miss our Blog: “To Shoe or Not to Shoe Your Horse

The 4 Horse Hoof Care Habits Your Horse Needs

To help your horse’s hooves remain healthy, strong and pain-free throughout the year, make the 4 habits below part of your horse’s regular hoof maintenance.

Highlighting the Frog in the Horse's Hoof
The Frog in an Equine Hoof / Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

1. Regular Farrier Visits

Typically, it’s good to have your horse’s hooves trimmed every 4-6 weeks to prevent imbalance, cracks, wall separations and more. But double-check with your vet and/or farrier (an equine hoof-care professional) for your horse and their environment.

2. Moist and/or Damp Environments

Horses whose hooves are exposed to moisture or dampness for long periods of time are at risk of developing a bacterial (or less frequently, fungal) infection called thrush in the “frog” (the triangle of tissue in the hoof). Horses that live outside or stand in dirty (mud or manure) or urine-soaked stalls for long periods of time are at high risk for thrush.

SOLUTIONS:

Person picking out a horse hoof
Picking a Hoof With a Hoof Pick

Stall Cleaning: Clean stalls often to help prevent wet mud, urine or other debris from becoming trapped and packed around the hoof’s frog. Address all barn or stall moisture with proper ventilation.

Hoof Picking: Debris packed around the frog can cause both increased sensitivity and pain. It can also create the “perfect storm” for thrush. Clean hooves before and after riding and after bringing your horse in from the pasture. Also, use the opportunity to inspect overall hoof health.

Topical Spray: Since thrush infections are often difficult to get rid of completely, consider using a topical spray treatment to shield the hoof from moisture. Some thrush treatments can stain barn floors, so find a spray that is non-staining.

Diagram of the anatomy of a horse hoof
Anatomy of a Horse Hoof Courtesy: Epauk.org

3. Multi-Use Hoof Dressings

Hydrating equine hoof dressings can help:

  • Prevent dry/brittle hooves.
  • Encourage healthy hoof growth.
  • Protect the heel, sole, frog and coronary band.
  • Reduce hoof maintenance.

4. Supplementation

Talk to your vet or farrier about adding a hoof supplement to your horse’s feed. Again, hoof issues are easier to prevent than repair! Look for a supplement that contains:

  • Biotin.
  • Zinc methionine.
  • Lysine.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids; and
  • Calcium.

Remember, regardless of the time of year, always keep up on the regular maintenance of your horse’s hooves for their overall well-being and comfort!


Woman Brushing a Horse with the EquiGroomer
Video of Woman Brushing a Horse with the EquiGroomer

Along with the regular maintenance of your horse’s hooves, regular grooming will also help support your horse’s overall well-being and comfort!

Our EquiGroomer tools are easy-to-use with no pulling, pain or damage to the coat.

We guarantee your horse will LOVE the EquiGroomer Grooming Tools!

For individual or bulk orders, call 860-573-0604 or click here to send us an email.


Have you just adopted a pet? How do you plan to cover their medical needs? Your new pet needs pet insurance to cover their medical expenses, especially in the case of an emergency!

Courtesy: Gerd Altmann / Pixabay

Good insurance is for protecting:

  • Your pet’s health; and
  • Your finances.

Unfortunately, many pet parents don’t know where to begin when it comes to insurance for their pets. For example:

  • Where do you buy your pet’s insurance?
  • What does insurance entail and cover?
  • What is pet insurance used for?

Let’s look at each one of the questions below.

Pets and Medical
Courtesy: Mohamed_hassan / Pixabay

1. Find a Good Pet Insurance Company

  • First, read reviews of pet insurance companies.
  • Know your options and which companies offer what you’re looking for. The great thing about insurance for our pets is that it’s not limited to a network. This means that you can buy insurance online and use it whether you’re in Maine, New York, California or Alaska. It does not rely on networks and accreditations.
  • Also, confirm the company has a license to operate.
  • In addition, you’ll also want to check for any certifications and/or permits required in your home state. If there’s nothing to hide, insurance agents will be happy to provide you with the information you request. If they are not, look at another insurance company.
Courtesy: TeeFarm / Pixabay

2. Check the Coverage Carefully

What does pet insurance cover? Make sure you will be reimbursed for your pets’ medical expenses since veterinary bills can be as high as tens of thousands of dollars! Understand if there are any restrictions based on age, breed or pre-existing conditions.

Note: not all insurance coverages are the same, so check potential coverages carefully!

The services insurance companies for pets will typically reimburse include:

  • Unexpected injuries and accidents.
  • Surgery.
  • Medication.
  • Unexpected illnesses.
  • Tests and diagnostics.
  • Emergency care.
  • Exam fees.

Again, not all insurance policies are the same or offer the same coverages. Do your due diligence!

Courtesy: Mbfrye / Pixabay

3. Understand the Reimbursement Process

Most pet insurance works through a reimbursement process. This means you will need to pay the veterinary and medical bills out-of-pocket before filing a claim to your insurance company for reimbursement. Thoroughly understand the insurance company’s reimbursement process before signing on the dotted line. Understanding all the requirements, timeframes, restrictions and limitations of your pet’s insurance coverage will help prevent your claim from being denied for reimbursement.

4. Premiums: Understand Exactly What You’re Getting

The average cost of insurance for pets is between $30 and $50 a month for decent coverage. If you want better coverage for terminal illnesses, expect to pay $100 a month. Some pet insurance companies will go as low as $10 a month for the most basic coverage, but do not expect to get reimbursed for major surgical procedures. A general rule of thumb: the higher your monthly premium is, the more the policy will cover for your pet.

5. Consider a Pet Wellness Plan

Some insurance companies offer wellness plans as add-ons. Your pets will be covered for most routine veterinary services such as neuter, vaccinations, boosters, and screening tests with this plan. It is a form of protection, too, because it means diagnosing common diseases earlier, so they don’t become problems in the future. Wellness plans are not automatically included in animal insurance, so again, understand your policy’s coverages.

Courtesy: Markus Spiske / Pixabay

The Takeaway

Getting insurance is part of your responsibility as a pet owner. Your pet is depending on you to provide for their needs. The best time to get insurance is right after adopting the pet. When choosing what pet insurance to get, always consider your budget and the policy’s range of coverage. While cheap insurance sounds practical, you might want to get somewhere near the average, so it covers more services.

The surest way to tell spring has sprung is by the amount of horsehair circulating through the barn!

But horse spring shedding can also tell you about their health.

If you missed our earlier blog,
“Your Horse’s Spring Shedding: What you Need to Know,”
click here to read it now.


According to veterinarian Carol Shwetz, “the shedding of a horse’s winter coat is a complex physiological process that can reveal information about the horse’s general health.” In other words, horse spring shedding can also shed a light on certain equine health conditions.

What can you learn through your horse’s shedding in the springtime?

Horse Spring Shedding: A Quick Review

Woman brushing a gray and white horse with an EquiGroomer Shedding Tool
Courtesy: EquiGroomer.com
  • Spring shedding is triggered by the increasing hours of daylight with the spring solstice (not warmer weather). The increase of daylight hours causes the production of hormones triggering spring shedding and new hair growth.
  • The shedding period typically occurs over 6-8 weeks.
  • Regular grooming, brushing and exercise will expedite the shedding process. (Thought to be due to increased blood flow to the skin and the stimulation of hair follicles.)
  • Shedding patterns usually remain consistent year-to-year including:
    • The rate of shedding; and
    • The order of shedding.

Use our 20-Piece Equine Tack Shop Start Kit to make spring grooming easier, faster and more comfortable for your horse!

Next, let’s take a closer look at the specific equine health issues that may be revealed by spring shedding.

Horses in stalls with artificial lighting to trigger spring shedding
Courtesy: PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Equine Spring Shedding & Potential Health Issues

Itchiness or Patchy Shedding

If the shedding horse is displaying unusual itching (known as pruritus) along with patchy shedding, this may be due to external parasites like lice or ticks that chew and/or bite the horse. Reach out to your regular veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.

Spring Shedding that is Later than Normal

Shedding that is later than normal could mean:

  • Equine Cushing’s Disease or PPID. Also known as low thyroid function.
  • The need for deworming.
  • Dark barn interiors. Ensure your horse receives a consistent 16 hours of daylight each day (both natural and artificial). NOTE: this is not a “quick fix.” It may take up to 60 days for shedding to begin or increase.

Incomplete or Failure to Properly Shed

If a horse is not shedding normally, it could be an indication of:

Poor horse nutrition can lead to long cat hairs under the chin
Courtesy: Rihaij / Pixabay
  • Equine Cushing’s Disease (especially in older horses).
  • Poor nutrition (along with long “cat” or guard hairs under the belly and chin); or
  • Parasites.

For healthy and effective horse spring shedding, they must have proper nutrition before the shedding season with:

  • Proper vitamins (A and B) and trace minerals (copper and zinc).
  • Enough protein and amino acids.

With the proper nutrition in place, the formulation of the necessary hormones for shedding will be triggered as nature intended.

Your Horse’s Coat Can Tell You More than Just About His Nutrition

If you’ve eliminated potential medical issues that may be affecting your horse’s spring shedding, try increasing your grooming, brushing and exercising to jumpstart your horse’s natural processes.

Shiny Brown Horse Running in a Green Spring Pasture
Courtesy: Alexas Fotos / Pixabay

Learn more about how to protect your horse from spring mud and the abundance of moisture everywhere!

Courtesy: EquiGroomer.com

Spring means shedding and a LOT of it! Maintaining your grooming routine will help ensure proper shedding and new hair growth for your horse!

Stock up on our EquiGroomer tools in your tack room and retail store today!

For individual or bulk orders, call 860-573-0604
or click here to send us an email.

Pet separation anxiety is felt by dogs, cats and even horses!

What is it and how can we help our pets?

Pet Separation Anxiety 101

Brown and white dog sitting and looking anxious
Courtesy: Empiep / Pixabay

In simple terms, pet separation anxiety arises when some pets are left alone for too long. While each pet may exhibit different symptoms, this excessive attachment – to humans or animals – is unhealthy and needs to be addressed for the pet’s overall benefit.

Separation anxiety begins with distress in the absence of those the pet is overly dependent on.

If left ignored, this anxiety may escalate to:

  • Behavioral and destructive issues.
  • Self-injury.
  • Even attempts to escape.

Pet Separation Anxiety: Dogs

Pet separation anxiety is common among dogs
Courtesy: Keithfoust / Pixabay

The common symptoms of K9 separation anxiety include:

  • Barking, howling and whining.
  • Accidents in the house (including coprophagia or eating poop).
  • Chewing, digging and other destructive behaviors.
  • Escape attempts.
  • Pacing.
  • Drooling, panting or excessive salivation.

K9 Separation Anxiety: Why

  • Abandonment.
  • Change of schedule, home or guardian.
  • Sudden loss of a family member.
  • Medical issues.

Canine Separation: Solutions

  • Desensitization: Acclimate them to your departure by leaving for a few minutes and then returning. Over time, slowly increase how long you are gone.
  • Create a routine when you leave; ask your dog to sit, offer a high-value treat and then calmly leave. (Begin this routine during desensitization (above)).
  • Exercise your dog before leaving.
  • Add another dog to the household.
  • Avoid a huge fuss when you leave (or come back home).
  • Leave your dog with a filled/frozen Kong toy to keep him busy and distracted.
  • Homeopathic or pharmaceutical options but always discuss with your vet first!

Pet Separation Anxiety: Cats

Gray and white cat grooming itself
Courtesy: JackieLou KL / Pixabay

Pet separation anxiety may seem more common in canines, but research shows our felines also suffer from pet separation anxiety (despite their aloofness!). In a recent study, 64% of the cats evaluated showed less stress when with their caregivers!

How can you tell if your cat is suffering from separation anxiety? General symptoms include:

  • Crying or yowling.
  • Accidents outside the litter box.
  • Destructive behaviors (more common in male cats)
  • Excessive grooming (more common in female cats)
  • Hyper-attachment with caregiver(s).

Feline Separation Anxiety: Why

  • Being a female cat.
  • Cats only livig indoors.
  • Weaned too early, bottle-raised or orphaned.
Indoor cats can suffer from pet separation anxiety
Courtesy: FPHayes / Pixabay

Cat Separation: Solutions

  • Desensitization: Give attention or affection to reward a calm cat. Ignore attention-seeking behaviors. Reward signs of relaxation:
    • Lying down.
    • Sighing.
    • A loose/still tail.
    • Closed eyes.
  • Before leaving, play with your cat to tire them out.
  • Keep your cat busy in your absence with enrichment activities:
    • Cat TV shows,
    • Puzzle feeders, and
    • Hide-and-seek for treats hidden throughout the house.
  • Maintain a consistent routine.
  • Add another cat to the household.
  • Homeopathic or pharmaceutical options but always discuss with your vet first!
Two brown and one black horse in a pasture
Courtesy: Rebekka D / Pixabay

Pet Separation Anxiety: Horses

When separated from other horses (and owners), equines can experience separation anxiety!

According to Dr. Camie Helesi, a renowned equine researcher, separation anxiety stems from wild horses benefiting from strong social connections and bonds. Even short separations can result in equine fear, anxiety, stress and outbursts of panic.

What does separation anxiety look like in horses?

  • High volumes of abnormal vocalizations.
  • Shaking or trembling.
  • Increased heart rate and sweating.
  • Loss of appetite and an unwillingness to drink.
  • Rearing, kicking out, bucking, spooking, pawing or bolting.
  • Pacing and fence walking.

Equine Separation Anxiety: Why

  • Separated from their herd.
  • Confined in isolation (even for short periods).
  • Horses who are tightly bonded.

Donkeys can help horses avoid pet separation anxiety
Courtesy: F. Muhammad / Pixabay

Equine Separation Anxiety: Solutions

  • Desensitization: Using short training sessions, work with keeping your horse’s focus on you while slowly moving them away from their companions. Reinforce good behavior and obedience with high-value treats or a groom session at the end to bolster their confidence.
  • For horses that must be separated, keep them in visual proximity.
  • Pair anxious horses with smaller ponies, goats or donkeys.
  • By keeping horses in a group of three, a horse is never left alone.
  • Homeopathic or pharmaceutical options but always discuss with your vet first!

If your efforts at easing your pet’s separation anxiety
are not working, find an animal or veterinary behaviorist to help you.

Separation anxiety is a serious condition and should not be ignored!


Brushing white horse with an EquiGroomer Tool
Courtesy: EquiGroomer.com

Grooming sessions are a wonderful way to reward your horse after
a good training session or ride!

Pain-free
Comfortable for sensitive-skin
Easily removes loose hair, dirt, and dander

Click here to purchase your
EquiGroomer Grooming Tools today!


For individual or bulk orders, call 860-573-0604 or click here to send us an email.

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