Each week we feature a “Top Tip” on Facebook, here is a roundup of the grooming, riding, and maintenance tips our trainers, veterinarians and equestrian community partners have supplied for our readers! In Alphabetical Order

marshaBrown Creek Equine Hospital – Dr. Marsha Severt, DVM
As an alternative to steroid containing joint injections, IRAP® Therapy utilizes the horse’s own blood and natural therapeutic mechanisms to decrease joint inflammation. Often times, the frequency of joint injections are decreased when IRAP® Therapy is utilized compared to conventional joint injections. Consider this therapy for any horse with joint inflammation or osteoarthritis.

Bill CAlvertCalvert Training Stables – Bill Calvert
Training 101 – Always lead a horse straight, and keep the horses head at your right shoulder.
Training 102 – When leading a horse to the pasture, walk through the gate, close the gate, turn the horse to the gate, and then release halter.
Training 103 – When tying up a young horse to groom and tack, always do so in a confined area to help them learn how to stand quietly.



chelsea-w250-h250Carolina Country Acres – Chelsea Dressler
To jump start your strength training for an equitation class, I recommend riding with no stirrups. This can be done both on and off of the lunge line. Riding without stirrups strengthens both your leg and core and makes you an overall tighter rider, giving you a slight edge in the show ring. Just remember not to overdo it the days before the competition so that you do not go into the show ring sore!

andreaCedarhill Farm – Andrea Guzinski
I saw a video clip on the internet the other day. The professor filled a jar with golf balls to the top and asked his class if the jar was indeed full. The answer was yes. He then proceeded to fill smaller marbles in the jar around the golf balls. When he couldn’t fit any more, he asked the same question again. Again the class said the jar was full. He then pulled out some sand and filled the jar to the top with many handfuls. The class was a bit more hesitant when they again said the jar was full and laughed when he then filled the jar to the top with water. It was with a resounding “YES, it is NOW full” that the professor finally agreed.
The point being made was that you can always fit more into your life, and to live life to its fullest you should experience as much as possible. Don’t, however, forget that the golf balls are the important part, the marbles a step down from what is truly important, and the sand and water only fillers. Golf balls are your family, health, and your job. I rate my horses as the marbles. They come before ALL the fillers. Spend quality time with your marble!

valentinaChapelgate Farm – Valentina Timpone
1. The way I look at it is the more flat work you do with your horse the better they will be over fences. Jumping isn’t jumping – it is flat work over fences.
2. A great way to help fight fungus and keep your horses coat clean – When hosing your horse off make sure you really hose off until the water is clear when coming off your horses’ body. Once the water runs clear, mix together a bucket of white vinegar and water, then wash your horse with it just like you would with soap. Then gently wash off and let your horse dry off under some fans. Your horse might be a little smelly, but their coat will shine like a pretty penny and should be fungus free!


Fast Women, LLC – Donna Freyer

Ran out of time to go to tack store or on the road and forgot something? Head to the local Dollar Store! My favorite substitute, or if you want to be trendy – ‘hack’, for show sheen is pink sheen or any oil sheen spray. You can also use for giving those hooves a last minute gleam. Olive Oil is great for tack and Vaseline will fix any stiff piece of leather. Palmolive or any generic is a great shampoo. Baby Oil will give those muzzles a ring-worthy glow. WD-40 will shine your boots. Throw in a roll of duct tape and you can be your own MacGyver!

henn ad picture trailer-w250-h250Henn Automotive – Susan and Mike Henn
When trailering your horse on long trips, it is standard practice to check on your horse(s) and their well being during the trip, but do you take the time to also check on your trailer and tow vehicle?
Before you get on the road: Check your tires on tow vehicle and trailer and check fluid levels in truck. Be sure to have a tire gauge packed. Unsure of what is the best pressure for your tires? General rule of thumb is the maximum pressure listed on side of the tire. However, due to load weight and type of vehicle, it can vary. Henn Automotive is glad to take a look at your rig and help you figure tire pressures.

kimHidden Ponds Equestrian Center – Kim Rodden
Riding your horse is like pushing a wheelbarrow. If u drop one side of wheelbarrow it tips over. Same goes for riding. Keep your horse balanced between your legs and hands. If you drop one side your horse goes off balance.





Piedmont Equine Mobile Vet – Dr. Robbie Whaley, DVMrobbie
Check your hay for Foxtail seed heads, which have spines that can become lodged in around the gums and lips, and cause oral ulcers and infections in horses. Ideally, we would like to not feed hay that has Foxtail in it, but sometimes it can’t be avoided, so be sure to check your horses mouth regularly for lesions or embedded spurs.




willzoeSugaree Ranch of Horsemanship – Will Kupec and Zoe Sandall
1. You have to help a horse find peace within you, so they will want to be around you and look to you for comfort as they would another horse in their herd. If they can count on you, they will be confident in all situations with your guidance. Nothing feels better than when the horse is moving with you in harmony, as if two minds have become one, with no resistance or insecurity. Your horse becomes light as a feather. When you get the opportunity to feel this, there’s nothing else like it, and there’s no going back.
2. THINK. Be aware and alert, visualize what you want. Realize you are working with a mind, not a machine.



gerdon-w250-h2503D Horsemanship – Lisa Parent Gerdon
Using Trot Poles
Using trot poles helps a horse with hindquarter strength, balance, rhythm and coordination, but most of all it helps to get the horses back swinging. Start with 5 or 6 poles with about 3 feet between each and trot through. Do not pick up the reins while you are going through, you are trying to get the horse to stretch his frame and stride and if you interfere with your reins you will stop that. Gradually increase the distance between the poles.
You will be able to feel the point where the horse starts to reach and swing his back – you may notice it as the point where you have trouble staying in balance with him! Make sure that in the beginning you use a posting trot or half seat to allow your horse to feel like he can really use his back. This exercise is great for all disciplines of horses – western, hunters, jumpers, dressage horses and your trail partner!