Read our blog tips, tricks, and what you need to know about Barefoot Equestrian Riding and keeping your horse healthy.

Trail Riding? There’s an App for That!

Wrapping my head around today’s technology can be a bit challenging. It all changes so fast and the actual process behind smart phones, GPS, and Wi-Fi baffles me. My kids are fluent – They don’t know any different. Yet, I almost dread the learning curve required for the gadgets and devices the next generation will be using!

The equestrian world has not been left out of this advancement in technology, and just for fun, I’ve outlined two trail-riding apps below.

Horse Hoof Boots
www.horsetrailapp.com

The Horse Trail App is perfect for those trail riding enthusiasts wanting to explore new trails to ride. It is an ever-changing database as users can continually add and update information. Each trail listing includes map style directions, description of trail scenery and difficulty, lists of amenities available for horse and rider, and locations of local equine vets and overnight stables.

There is also the option to upload photos and descriptions of your own experiences on the trails. A special key feature, which is excellent for safety, ensures that you can text your co-ordinates to a friend or relative so that in the event of an emergency, your location is known.

EQUITrail is another great app for trail riders. It has real-time GPS tracking, trail mapping and the ability to ‘mark’ different obstacles or landmarks along the route using photos. A mileage tracking feature is included, making this perfect for competitive distance riders. Your route is tracked in the background while you ride (no need to hold on to the phone!) and you can access the data later, viewing the distance you traveled, your speed, and duration of your ride. You can also share this information with your friends and access their trails! And of course, your horses will be most comfortable on all terrain, at any speed, in Cavallo Horse Hoof Boots.

Happy trail riding, Cavallo fans!

horse hoof boots

OUCH – Lose the Bruise!

Bruising of the sole – what causes it and how can it be remedied?

Below are some of the more common causes of sole bruising in horses:

  • Stepping on a rock
  • Laminitis
  • Pedal bone rotation
  • Excessive hoof trimming
  • Badly fitting shoes or shoes left on too long (leading to bruising and/or corns)

First of all, if your horse is prone to sole bruising and they wear metal shoes, PLEASE take them off! You may think the shoes are protecting his feet but they are not – they are more than likely the cause. Shoes can cause sole bruising in a number of ways:

  • Badly fitted shoes can deform the growth of the hoof and impinge on the sole area thus causing an unnatural exertion of pressure, which in turn can cause a contusion of the solar cushion and corium (the soft tissues between the sole of the hoof and coffin bone)
  • Shoes left on too long can cause underrun heels and thus excessive force will be placed on the heel buttresses, resulting in corns
  • Excessive trimming done to ensure the shoe fits correctly can cause thin soles which become easily bruised when working on rocky ground
  • Flares, long toes and underrun heels caused by shoeing can result in pedal bone rotation which will be seen through bruising of the sole

Horse Hoof Boots

Bruising if often not even seen, except when the farrier/trimmer comes to do their work and by cleaning and rasping the sole – the bruising is soon revealed as reddish areas become apparent. Lameness, heat and an increased digital pulse can also be indicators of sole bruising.

Homeopathy and Epsom salt soaks are great treatments for sole bruising. Usually a few days rest does the trick to relieve the symptoms. However, chronic bruising can lead to abscesses or even pedal osteitis, so always be sure to call a vet if unsure. If you are removing shoes, remember that horse hoof boots are a great protector and are ideal for using until the hooves have healed themselves and re-grown into their natural shape. Always use your Cavallo Hoof Boots when riding on aggressive terrain, and feel free to use your Horse Hoof Boots for turnout too.  Some horses are tender even on their own home terrain, and when their soles are totally protected, you know they won’t be bruising!

horse hoof boots

Getting a Handle on Things – Respectfully

Horse Handling & Riding Styles

I still find it mildly amusing when people joke about how badly behaved their horse is, how he constantly invades their space, won’t stand still and drags the owner around. They think this is hilarious and laugh it off because he is okay to ride most of the time. They comment about him being unruly as though he’s quite a character – almost like they’re proud of him.

Here’s my penny’s worth for earning some respect (the non-violent way) from your equine friends (the four legged type!):

Horsemanship 101:  Be able to touch your horse all over

Horsemanship 102:  Gain respect through controlling the movement of your horse on the ground

Horsemanship 103: Learn the three R’s (Request, Response, Release)

Try these exercises:

1.  Ask your horse to come forwards from a long rope, smoothly and in a straight line

2.  Ask your horse to back up, including one step at a time

3.  Ask your horse to stand still for 1 minute, 3 minutes, and 4 minutes, maintaining a respectful distance

4.  Ask your horse to step sideways smoothly and easily – try this over a pole

5.  The “L” exercise – ask you horse to move through L shaped poles ensuring they bend in both directions, including one step at a time (and for the more advanced, try it going backwards!)

All of the above should be done without pulliHorse Hoof Bootsng, yanking, tugging or hitting. Owning and riding a horse is about building a relationship and this is done through looking after them correctly, and training them correctly.  Very basic tips, but sometimes a little reminder is required.

Oh, and above all – KEEP HIM COMFORTABLE!  Cushion his feet and back in Cavallo Hoof Boots and Cavallo Total Comfort System Saddle Pads.

horse hoof boots

Hope to See You at AETA 2015!

American Equestrian Trade Association

Equestrian trade exhibitors and buyers spend three days in January and August viewing English and Western merchandise, networking with each other, exchanging ideas on marketing and learning the latest in equestrian products and services at the AETA International Trade Show.

New Cavallo Horse Hoof Boot to be Unveiled at AETA

Both Greg and I will be attending AETA 2015 in Pennsylvania to personally present a NEW and exciting Hoof Boot by Cavallo!  We are thrilled that Fran and Jack Levy will also be there to welcome you to our Booth,  #520.  Collectively, Jack and Fran boast over 60 years as trusted authorities, marketers and all-around skilled professionals in the equine industry; most recently Weatherbeeta, and prior to that – Millers. Now as Cavallo Brand Ambassadors,  Fran and Jack will lend their polished skills and matchless industry expertise to provide support for the Cavallo Brand of innovative quality products; most notably Cavallo Hoof Boots.

Horse hoof bootsThe demand for Horse Hoof Boots has been growing rapidly in recent years – Hoof Boots are quickly taking the place of archaic metal horse shoes.  Initially, horse owners like the idea because of the health benefits Hoof Boots offer, as they allow the hoof to flex naturally, promoting vital blood circulation in the lower leg area.  Boots are now being used widely for therapeutic purposes, and are commonly recommended by veterinarians and farriers.  The financial savings of the Barefoot & Booted lifestyle is a significant added bonus.  These features combined are making Hoof Boots staple equipment for every stable!

For more information about Cavallo, please check out our website, at www.cavallo-inc.com -home to the most popular hoof boots in the world. Here you will find the most economical alternative to metal horse shoes, technologically advanced horse saddle pads, and valuable information for equine health. Cavallo horse boots are easy to size, easy to fit and easy to care for – the simplest, safest, most comfortable hoof boots in the world.

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Selecting PATH Volunteer of the Year Award 2015

Karen Province,  Membership Coordinator for the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH), recently asked me to help in the selection process to choose a winner for the PATH Volunteer of the Year Award.

PATH International

Though PATH International began with a focus on horseback riding as a form of physical and mental therapy, the organization and its dedicated members have since developed a multitude of different equine-related activities for therapeutic purposes, collectively known as equine-assisted activities and therapies (or EAAT). Equine Services for Heroes, which uses a variety of EAAT disciplines, is specifically to help war veterans and military personnel.

The individuals served by PATH International members may face any number of challenges, including paralysis, multiple sclerosis, autism, Down Syndrome, drug addiction, traumatic brain injury, amputation or PTSD.  And the amazing thing is that all of these issues can be eased by the power of the horse.

Horse Hoof Boots
PATH Volunteers (human AND equine) showing off Cavallo Hoof Boots!

PATH Volunteers

When reading through the list of nominees and what they had contributed to their PATH Riding Centers, my eyes opened up to a world of people who believe strongly enough in helping others that they donate their time and knowledge for the sole purpose of seeing a smile on someone’s face, or knowing someone’s life has been enriched.  Some of these PATH volunteers perform a range of farmhand duties, such as fixing fences, stacking hay, turning manure and driving a tractor to keep the therapy centers running.   Many lend their time and business expertise behind the scenes in the offices, sitting on boards or tirelessly fundraising.  Others teach lessons or assist with riding lessons.  Many regularly put in full work weeks of volunteering – some have held these volunteering positions for decades.  They do all of these things for the joy of it, while asking for absolutely nothing in return.

Some PATH program participants  have lifelong physical and emotional injuries from living through wars they fought for their country.  Other participants have developmental disabilities that make living in our loud, fast-paced, modern world very challenging. The volunteers have looked deeply enough to recognize what these people are going through and they have truly extended themselves in the purest, most compassionate way.  I feel honored to have been part of this process of recognition and I extend my own personal thanks to these rare and lovely people.

Cavallo Horse & Rider

The PATH mission is one that Greg and I  both feel deeply connected to and we are proud sponsors, working hard to make Cavallo Horse Hoof Boots available to all PATH members so they may  keep their equine therapists healthy and comfortable while they do their great job!

Keep an eye out for the announcement of the PATH Volunteer of the Year Award winner – results will be posted on PATH International Website: http://www.pathintl.org/path-intl-conferences/international/awards/2015-award-winners

horse hoof boots