Riding on the Road: Safety First

I live on a large farm with a lot of land, but even so, I like to trail ride out on the road. Some people have never had this cool experience before, and many find it strange, but it is actually a lot of fun! Where I live, there are many, many, miles of country back roads, and the amount of cars coming by are not bountiful, we are lucky to get six in one hour. These are the best kind of roads to ride on, you definitely do not want to be on a public road with cars whizzing by every few seconds… safety FIRST!!!

If you take your horse to shows, he is probably used to noise, vehicles, and a variety of sights, but he may not necessarily be used to the idea of a car passing in close proximity to him on a road, or zooming by; most people slow down when they see a horse and rider out on the road, but not all do, and these are the ignorant people that you have to watch out for. Some people think it is cute or funny to honk their horn as they pass you and your horse on the road; as riders, we know that there is no humor in this situation; it is extremely dangerous. A startled horse has a tendency to run or act up, and you must be prepared to cope with the situation.

As I train my young horses, I ride them on the road to desensitize them, but only after I know that they are far enough along that they will listen to me if something happens to scare them. I train them to ride out on the road, as I know that they will be ridden on the road in the future. But, if you have an older already trained horse, and you want to make him comfortable on the road, lead him out there for a couple hours a day and let him graze along the road. As cars pass, see how he reacts. Even if he is eating, how he reacts to cars while on the roadside grazing will give you almost a perfect example of how he will react when being ridden. I also advise that he not startle and spook easily, as some people who do not know better WILL honk their car horns as they go by and alarm your horse. Do some spook training with him on noises BEFORE riding or leading him on the road.

Gear for road-riding will be slightly different than for regular riding. For you, it would be wise to wear a body protector, a reflective vest, and a helmet, along with your regular riding gear (jeans or breeches, boots, maybe chaps or half-chaps, a riding friendly shirt, and gloves). A spill while riding on the asphalt is definitely going to cause more damage than an accident in the field or arena, and you don’t want any injuries that CAN be prevented. For your horse, you may wrap his legs or put tendon/brushing boots on him, outfit him in bell boots, or use knee protection, all to keep him safe should he slip or fall.

After he is used to cars, take him out for a short hack and see how he does. Always watch AND listen for oncoming cars. Coming around a turn, a car will most likely not see you. I advise staying on the outside shoulder of the road when encompassing a long turn that you cannot see around, going against the flow of traffic. If you horse does well riding on the road quietly, does, you can go for a longer ride each time, until you are riding to a friend’s house if you want to!

As you go though, please remember to keep an eye and ear open for cars so that YOU are aware of approaching traffic even if your horse is not. In most cases, the horse will hear the traffic even before you do, and flick his ears and listen as it comes. If he happens to spook because of a loud engine or horn, sit calmly, and relax yourself as much as possible to let him know that it was just a noise; most times, the horse may jump forward a few steps, but once he realizes that you are unafraid, he will settle to just flicking his ears around, and then becoming placid as his usual self once again.

Starting Out With a New Hanoverian Sport Horse

The Hanoverian horse has been a consistently popular breed of sport horse for a long time, and for good reason. Hanoverian horses are incredibly lithe, agile and sportive. Hanoverians are renowned for their good temperaments, which makes them easy to train to a great extent. These horses are also highly intelligent and generally form very harmonious relationships with their riders. Hanoverian sport horses are famed worldwide for their awe-inspiring grace and beauty – they possess an infallible combination of muscular limbs, a robust body and an enduringly strong back. Any horse lover, or potential investor in a sport horse would truly be wise to choose a Hanoverian sport horse.

Hanoverian sport horses can be seen at all levels of competitive games, from local horse shows to the Olympic games. In fact, statistics show that the Hanoverian breed is the most successful of all warm blood horse breeds – not surprising when their athleticism and excellent temperament are acknowledged.

Question: I have invested in a fantastic Hanoverian Sport Horse. What is my next step?

First of all, congratulations on your successful investment in a Hanoverian, anyone who has the pleasure of owning one of these horses is guaranteed many years of satisfaction and enjoyment from seeing their horse continually succeed. However, their success does not come automatically. The most important first step to take, once you have purchased your horse, is to organize its training.

High quality training with an experienced trainer is imperative to guarantee your horse’s success in competitive games. It is recommended to conduct ample research on the type of training you wish your horse to receive. Training based on classical teaching principles has proven widely popular. In many cases, the classical teaching principles are applied during training, while the trainer simultaneously forms a specific program based on the unique needs of the horse undergoing training, taking their personality traits and physical strengths into close consideration.

When researching and deciding on the right horse trainer for your Hanoverian horse’s needs, inquire as to the success levels in competitive games of horses that have been previously undergone training with them. This will give you a fair idea of how well the trainer works with horses and caters to their individual needs. It is also very important to introduce your horse to the trainer, and even allow them to take the horse for a ride to gauge how they collaborate with one another. Additionally, it is just as important for you, the horse owner to mesh well with the chosen trainer.

Hanoverian horses are highly intelligent and if they sense any weakness, their training may not be as successful as it could be. In the long run, it is extremely important that your Hanoverian, you and your trainer all connect well to ensure your horse’s maximum success.

Suitable Betta Fish Tank Decor

Betta fish are probably among the most popular fishes to breed these days and it is easy to see why. These fish look absolutely stunning with their vibrant colors and long gorgeous fins, it is hard to imagine that they actually originate from the murky waters of rice fields in Southeast Asia. Apart from how beautifully they look, another plus point of having the Betta fish as a pet is how tough they are. These fish come from some of the most dank and poorly aerated waters and have evolved to be extremely hardy. You can easily keep a Betta fish in a tiny little water container with no filtration and no aeration and they would still survive well. This is because it is one of the few fish that is actually fine with taking in atmospheric air if the oxygen concentration of the water is low.

But the downside to the Betta fish is that they are extremely territorial. In Southeast Asia, they are better known as Fighting Fish. When two male Betta are placed in close proximity, they would battle to the death, a brutal sport that the local kids partake in. You can easily tell the male and female apart, the male being the colorful ones and the females generally plain and unattractive. The female Betta also tends to be a little less aggressive. This would mean that you would only be able to keep one Betta in your fish tank and have no other fish in there or it might tear the other fish apart.

When choosing suitable fish tank ornaments for your Betta fish, you would have to take into consideration their aggressive nature. You would need to ensure that your fish tank decor does not injure the Betta in any way.

The first thing to avoid is having any decor with a reflective surface. Avoid mirrors like the plague. If the Betta sees its reflection in the mirror, it will assume that there is another male in there with it and will go into attack mode. It will keep hitting itself against the mirror until it eventually bleeds and dies. You might find an aquarium toy sold with a mirror that is supposedly meant to keep Betta fish stimulated but it is not a good thing to have for this kind of aggressive fish, so I would recommend not getting it.

You would want to get an ornament that provides the fish with a small cave to go into. One great aquarium decor to get is a floating Betta log, which is a plain hollow log that floats at the surface. Since Betta fish breathe in atmospheric air as well, having them close to the surface during their rest time is a good idea. Betta do need a secluded place to go into and rest from time to time.

If there is space constraints in your tank and a floating log would consume too much area at the top, you could opt for one that is placed at the base of the tank. Or you could also get soft artificial plants that would allow the fish to swim in between and hide when it feels a need. Do not get artificial plants that are stiff and hard, or they would scrape their bodies against it too much and cause sore to appear.

Try your very best to ensure that the ornaments you get are natural looking such as rocks, plants and logs. You can put normal fish tank decorations if you want such as sunken ships and castle, just make sure there are not sharp parts that might injure it. Being aggressive, Betta fish have the tendency to dart into the cave especially if spooked, so you do not want them injuring themselves against a sharp part.

Should You Diaper Your Pet Duck?

Owning any pet can be all kinds of work to try and domesticate your pet. You want to try to get them to learn how to use the bathroom, eat from their food bowls as well as get them to do things in a proper manner so that they won’t ruin your home and just generally create messes all over the place to which your home will just be ruined.

People have now even started owning a domestic duck as pets because they love animals and even want to have ducks be included in the family. I know this may sound a little strange, but it’s true, people even own ducks that they keep in the house and train just like any other pet that they might own. Since this is the case people will have to be able to do certain things in order to get their ducks trained well so that they won’t ruin homes they live in.

Putting a diaper on your duck is something that you can do to allow your duck to be able to go all around the house without you having to worry about it making messes all over the place and keeping your home clean. The great thing about having a diaper on the duck is that you aren’t going to always have to worry about finding surprises left and right in your house and that will take a lot of worry off of your shoulders when or if you decide to get a duck for a pet in your home.

Some people are in the market for breeding ducks and a diaper is a great way to tell your ducks apart if you need to do that. A diaper needs to be the right measurements for your growing duck so that you won’t have any kind of restrictions that may be unforeseen as well.

There are plenty of reasons to get diapers for your ducks because you can never be too careful when it comes to your home or your ducks. The ducks are just like any other creature and they can leave a huge mess just like the best of them.

In order to properly use the diaper, you are going to need a diaper harness which will securely hold the diaper in place, allowing your beautiful pets to run around freely and safely while also keeping your areas of the home perfectly clean. You are going to get the best of both worlds when you order diapers along with the diaper harness for your domestic duck. You are going to feel like it was one of the best decisions you have ever made when it involves your new baby duck keeping him clean all of his life.

Tips to Train Your Pet Parrot

Having a pet is a very nice feeling especially for people who do not have enough time to relax and unwind. Pets make the lives of many people a lot more fun so to those who wish to get a pet, make sure to try getting a pet parrot. Parrots are easy to take care of and best of all, they talk. You can definitely have a great time whenever you would hear them speak.

These are just few of the things that people should do in case they wish to train their pet parrot. Parrots are definitely great pets and since they can talk, there would never be a dull moment if you have them at home.

To those who wish to get one, then check out the amazing training tips:

    • Always make sure to train your pet parrot every day. If you wish them to learn something, you have to make sure that you only spend 10 minutes to train them because birds have small brains. The best way for them to retain what you have taught them is if you do not overdo it. 10 minutes would be enough for them to retain what you have taught them.
    • You might also wish to practice training them with props. This is great for people who use their pets for shows. This would help your pet become familiar with different props that would make the show a lot more fun and interesting. Try to find the best props that your pet would be able to play with effortlessly.
    • Be sure to train you parrot in a quiet place this is to make sure that they would not be confused with the sound that they need to follow. You also have to make sure that you give them rewards so they would learn easily. Try to scratch their heads because this means that they have done something great. Parrots are smart animals so be sure to reward them if they did something great.
    • It is also important that you train your parrot same time everyday so it would be something that the parrots would look forward to. They would also imbed in their minds that at the exact time, they get to have fun and learn new things. This is definitely a rewarding experience for both the owner as well as the parrot.

 

    • Always praise your pet for the great things that he or she was able to accomplish on your training. They would surely want to be praised and rewarded with what they were able to do for the day so be sure to do this so your pets would always look forward to having a new learning session with you.

What Kinds Of Tortoise Make The Best Pets?

There are a number or different kinds of tortoises you could choose to care for but the common denominator is how well you can accommodate a specific species in your lifestyle and your home.

A major part of your decision should include how much space you have? For example if you decide to keep a small tortoise such as a Russian or Hors field tortoise which are commonly available in many pet shops you will need to provide an enclosure for it to live in that is at least 2x2meters. this is not necessary for a very young and small tortoise but as your pet grows he will require a larger space in which to live. If your enclosure is too small your pet can become stressed and this may lead to physical health problems.

In the enclosure you need to provide substrate, which is what covers the bottom of their home. This will need to be reasonably deep so that it does not hod moisture which may allow fungus to grow. I like to use a combination of play sand and top soil which is easy to maintain and keep clean. Daily you should remove waste matter and uneaten food.

If you live in an area of the world which is similar to the natural habitat where your tortoise would live naturally it is easier for you to provide an outside enclosure. this would be the ideal for a tortoise such as a Russian which will thrive in an outside home. They are very curious and active little tortoises and will love to explore their environment, hide away and graze on naturally growing foliage in their enclosure.

A suitable outside enclosure will not necessarily require artificial heat and light if the climate is suitable. However, you may need to provide an indoor enclosure when the weather is less favorable. In this case you will need to provide a basking area which will need to be approximately 95 degrees. tortoises need the correct amount of heat and light in order to remain healthy. The heat and light will enable the tortoise to metabolize their food correctly and benefit from minerals and vitamins.

When you are wondering what kinds of tortoise would be best for you and your family the best way to provide the optimum environment is to research what the natural environment would be in the wild and mimic this as far as possible.

What You Need to Know About Riding Your Horse Bareback

This seems to be a much debated topic. There is an even divide in response; some people say yes, and some people say no. They think that it hurts the horse, or that it is not natural because the rider’s weight is not distributed as evenly as it is in a saddle. I say, it depends; on the horse and on the rider. Is your horse bony-backed? Are you an especially thin person? If so, you should not ride your horse bareback; horses have extremely sensitive skin and can feel things very harshly. You would dig into his back muscles and cause his back to be tender so that you could not ride him for several days. Riding bones on bones does not mix. A large rider on a narrow or bony horse is also not a good idea; it will put too much pressure on one area of the horse’s back; thus causing the same problem: a sore horse. Fattening the horse up will probably not work, some horses, like some people, are just built very slender and there is nothing to do about it.

Another factor is your seat. How do you sit on the horse? Is your weight always in one area, or are you bouncing around? Do you move with the horse, or clamp your legs against his sides in an effort to stay on and stay still? If you sit stiffly on the horse, with your weight all in one area, it can be very uncomfortable for your horse and he will not ride well. His gaits will be stiff and make your ride difficult. Do not clamp your legs on the horse either, he may take this as a response to move faster and while you try to stop him, he will get confused thinking that he is being told to go faster. This all factors into whether you should ride bareback or not. I was raised riding bareback first, most people are taught in the saddle first, and so while I find it easy, comfortable, and relaxing to ride bareback, you may not.

Develop an independent seat. Feel as comfortable riding bareback as you do with a saddle, and always, no matter what, start out at the walk until you feel secure and then you may move up to faster gaits. Do not ride at faster gaits until you are certain that you are able to; if you fall off, you may lose your confidence all together. If you decide to trot, start out at a slow trot, and if you feel good about it, and comfortable doing it, go faster. The most important thing to remember while riding bareback is: move with the horse. If you had to carry something heavy around on your back, would you rather it stay stiff and hard on your back, or move pliably with you as if it were part of you? Of course you would want it to move with you, so do the same with your horse. Make his load easier by not being a burden.

Tips You Need to Know for Spring Bird Feeding

What to Feed Them

Now, it’s important to remember the significance of the breeding season. Over winter you can throw out whatever food you like and the birds will merrily peck it up, but in the spring there are children to think of!

Usually, birds will frequent feeders less as long as there are plenty of invertebrates lounging around for feeding. They’ll be able to sustain themselves easily and return to the nest to feed their children. Now, if the weather turns and creates a food shortage you may find yourself seeing many more visits from mature birds. The risk is they’ll not only use the feeder for themselves, but take food back to the nest. Fat, bread hunks, and large dry foods like peanuts can easily choke an infant bird.

Hand out high protein foods, including grated cheese, black sunflower seeds, mealworms and raisins. Sliced fruit such as apples and pears also respond well.

Keep One Eye on the Weather

At least in the winter you know what you’re getting. It’s going to be cold, and birds will need feeding. In the spring weather varies a lot more. For the most part food will be abundant and you can leave out minimal amounts, but a change in the weather can quickly result in food shortages. For insect-eaters, a bout of extremely wet weather will cut down their food source substantially, and you might want to leave out a few snacks appropriate to the species. A lengthy drought will harden the ground, and remove access to earthworms, a sizable loss for birds attempting to feed their young.

It’s incredibly different for humans to detect a food shortage. Rather than adjusting your feeding practices dramatically just keep track of your local visitors’ frequency. If they’re coming with regularity it may indicate an immediate food shortage, so be sure you’re not leaving out feed inappropriate for their young.

Keep it Clean

Unlike the winter, you’re likely to see a much slower turnover of feed. Keep your unused seed in a metal container to keep it from spoiling, and consider investing in a covered feeder for the garden. The combination of rain and heat can quickly create mould and disease in your seed, and you don’t want to be responsible for any health problems.

There’ll be more wastage, so try to keep the amount of feed out at any one time to a minimum. Clear up the debris left on the feeder or grass, as well. Hardily shelled black-oil sunflower seeds will slowly kill your grass, though fruit and sunflower chips will spoil extremely quickly. Try and give the feeder a healthy scrub around once a week, perhaps more.

Building a Fence for a Horse Riding Arena

For our new horse riding arena we chose to build a full perimeter fence. This will be consisting of wood posts and boards that would match our out buildings and horse sheds. We used 8 inch posts, and 2 x 6 boards 16 feet long. Our posts were spaced 8 feet apart, this enabled us to fasten each 2 x 6 board to three posts. This was to reduce the chance of the 2 x 6 boards warping and twisting, as well as making the fence stronger. The position of all the posts, including gateways were staked out prior to constructing the arena fence. Our arena will be 200 x 100 feet, with a 12 foot gate at each end. We began by tying a string to a corner stake and pulling it 200 feet to the next corner stake on the long side of the arena. After pulling the string tight to ensure that it was a perfectly straight-line, we tied it tightly to the second stake. A stake for each post was then placed along the string line at 8 foot intervals to complete the first side of our perimeter fence.

To layout the second side of our riding arena fence we measured 100 feet from the corner stake and put a stake in the ground for the next corner. To make sure that the corners are perfect 90? angles. We could have used a construction calculator to do the math. Instead we made our own 90 degree angle with, a known math solution, the old tried and tested method of the 3, 4, 5 right-triangle solution. A triangle that has three sides where one is 3 feet long, another is 4 feet and the third leg is 5 feet long creates a right triangle. The intersection of the 3 foot and 4 foot leg create a perfect 90 degree angle. Any multiples of these dimensions also work; 6, 8, 10 or 12, 16, and 20 are also combinations that yield a perfect 90 degree angle. To make our corner, we used a measurement of 100 feet to the next corner, 75 feet back down our staked fence line, and 125 feet for our diagonal measurement. Where the 100 foot measurement, and the 125 foot measurement intersected we placed our next corner stake. After pulling a string to make sure of a straight-line, we placed 11 stakes at 8 foot intervals along the string. This made a total distance of 88 feet. The remaining 12 feet is where our gate went. We chose to use a 12 foot gate at each end of our arena for two reasons. First this is a good-sized opening for getting machinery into the arena to maintain the riding surface. And secondly, 12 feet gave us an even measurement for our 8 foot post spacing on the 100 foot side of the arena.

To layout and stake the third side of our arena perimeter fence, we measured 200 feet and placed the last corner stake, taking care to have perfect 90? angles on our corners using the 3, 4, 5 right-triangle solution. After pulling a straight string line we placed our post stakes every 8 feet completing the layout of the third side. We laid out the last side of the arena with 11 stakes spaced 8 feet apart for the posts and another 12 foot opening for a gate.

After all of the perimeter post positions had been staked, we used a post hole digger on a machine to drill the holes in the ground for our posts. Our posts were 8 feet long, and our holes were drilled 2 feet deep, so that we would have 6 feet of post sticking out of the ground when finished. We used a string line and level to make sure all of our posts were straight and uniform before tamping and watering the ground around them for compaction.

When all of the perimeter posts had been tamped into place, we then began fastening our 2 x 6 boards to the posts for the railings. We chose to use two railings one at 30 inches to the top, and another at 60 inches to the top of railing. Before fastening the railings to the posts, we pulled a string line tightly down the row of posts at 30 inches high and made a mark on each post were the top of the bottom railing will be, we also made another mark at 60 inches for the top of the top rail. Next we used clamps to clamp our 2 x 6 railing to the posts taking care to line up with our mark, we had made previously. The railings will be attached to the posts using 5/16 by 3 inch long lag bolts with a large flat washer. To do this, we first drilled two holes slightly smaller than 5/16 through the railing and into the post. We chose to use two bolts to fasten our railings to each post, therefore the two bolt holes were drilled in the railings 1 1/2 inches from the edge of the 2 x 6. We did not want our bolt heads to protrude out of the railing, so we drilled the two holes in the railing slightly larger than the washer 1/2″ deep to countersink the washer and head of the lag bolt. After inserting the bolts into the holes and tightening them up, the clamps were then removed and the process was repeated for the next railing.

After attaching all of the railings to the posts, we then hung the two 12 foot gates on each end of our riding arena. We purchased two steel gate kits that came with hinges and a latch on them ready for installation. To hang the gates was a simple matter of drilling two holes through the gateposts at the correct height. The final step to completing our riding arena was to paint all of the wood railings and posts with a good outdoor protective paint that would preserve and protect the wood, as well as matching the color on our existing horse sheds.

Cool Aquarium Decor For Under $10

Almost anyone can keep a fish tank. What could be so difficult about filling a tank with water and dropping some fish inside? Well, there is actually more to it than that. You will have to replicate the environment from where the fish came from as best as you can. This would mean proper water filtration, the right temperature for your fish as well as the perfect water chemical balance.

But this alone would not ensure that your fish will be healthy and happy. Another important thing which a lot of new as well as experienced hobbyists fail to consider is tank decoration. If you think about it, the fish would probably never know that the lump of resin you dumped in with it is meant to represent a mermaid but aquarium decor do benefit the fish in a number of other ways. The decor create a boundary of sorts within the confines of the tank and this becomes especially important to the territorial fish. Also, the holes and gaps in the tank decor act as little caves for the fish to hide away in when they feel a need.

However, tank ornaments, especially the really cool intricate ones, can be expensive. All is not lost. There are still loads of other tank ornaments that we can get which will not burn a hole in your pocket. In this lens, we’ll look at some of the ornaments that are really cool which you can get for under $10.

Artificial Corals

Artificial corals are a good place to look for inexpensive yet beautiful tank decor. It is fairly easy to find corals and artificial anemone online and in the pet stores. The cool thing about it is that you do not have to worry about what items to match with what. This is because even in nature, there really is no proper matching. You will see corals and anemone of all shapes and colors side by side. You don’t even have to worry about positioning or proper arrangements. Just place them however you like.

A cool thing to do is to have a background of an underwater scene or a coral reef scene. By placing your artificial corals in front of it, it does create a 3D like effect in the tank, making it look like a vast ocean.

Plain Rocks And Aquatic Plants

This is another relatively cheap but excellent alternative when decorating your aquarium. And it really does not take much effort or creativity. All you need to do is arrange some rocks into a formation and place aquatic plants around it. A good idea is to arrange the rocks such that it provides the fish with at least a small cave. As for the plants, try arranging them in a cascading effect, with the tall ones at the back and the shorter ones in the front. And avoid blocking the rocks too much cos they are part of your decor.

For the background, you could use the same ones that I recommended for the Artificial Corals decor just now.

Do It Yourself Decor

One last suggestion is to just find stuff from around your house that you could use as tank ornaments. This can be almost anything such as unwanted china, old pottery and trinkets. But not everything can be put in the tank with fish. Avoid anything metal. They will oxidize and pollute the water. Also don’t have anything that is hand painted without a coat of varnish. The paint will leak into the water and poison it.