To kick off this New Year, we are going to be talking about one of our most important services and attributes; boarding your horse at Middleton Equestrian Center!
Hello trail friends, a very happy new year to all of you! We hope you had a wonderful holiday season with your loved ones, and we hope you had the opportunity to take advantage of our last two blogs. We hope you took those tips and suggestions to heart to prepare your horses, stables, and barns for the cold winter weather that has finally arrived. While we might not see snow this year as our friends in North Carolina or our friends farther up north will, it has still been cold and wet here in the Lowcountry. Speaking of the Lowcountry, did you give the gift of Middleton this past holiday season? Or did you receive the gift of a trail ride with us? We can't wait to see you soon to celebrate that gift together.
We are currently doing our Historic Trail Rides every day at 10 am, 12 pm, and 2 pm, with additional 4 pm rides on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We do prefer that you book your rides online, but you can also call us at 843-556-0449. Are you looking for the best trail rides and horseback riding in Charleston, South Carolina? You've found it! We have beautiful trails that intertwine through age-old treas, inspiring views of Middleton Place, and a guide that will accompany you to describe the history and stories we've seen and learned over the years. Middleton Place Equestrian Center is guaranteed to please all of your friends and family! We also ended 2020 on a high note, and were awarded Travelers Choice in 2020 by TripAdvisor!
One of our most important services and offerings at Middleton is our horse boarding! We want to share more about it with you and talk more about it this year, so please make sure to keep up with our blog and contact us with any questions or comments. We are Charleston's premier boarding and training facility. Our boarding barns feature 46 spacious and well ventilated 12' by 12' stalls, wood shavings, individual fans, and thick stall mats. Our boarding includes feeding your horse high-quality grains and timothy/orchard hay 2-3 times per day based on each horse's individual dietary needs, owner-supplied medications and/or supplements, heightened turnout in one of our numerous large grass paddocks, stall maintenance, and seasonal blanketing. Staff members can schedule vet and farrier services as needed and perform deworming and vaccinations.
For all of those new to Middleton Place Equestrian Center and to the idea of boarding your horse in South Carolina, we wanted to dedicate this blog to you and talk about some of the most important reasons and benefits of boarding your horse!
This list could go on and on trail friends, but these are the top benefits of boarding your horse and the many reasons why you should board with us at Middleton Equestrian Center. While boarding and its expenses might seem overwhelming to many new horse owners, think about all the time and money it will end up saving you overall. Also, consider the fact that you'll be able to spend more time with your horse doing exactly what you love. While you might not be able to hear or see them first thing in the morning, you also won't be getting up at the crack of dawn in the worst types of weather to care for them either. We would love to have you board with us! For more information or questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us! Until next time, stay safe, and be well. We look forward to seeing you on our trails soon!
In part two of this blog series, we are going to finish talking about preparing your horses, barns, and stables for winter!
Hello trail friends, and welcome back to the blog! We hope that you've been working on going through the checklist we shared with you in part one of this blog and putting it to good use for your horses, stables, and barns! We also hope that it helped prepare you with any last-minute items you might have forgotten or might have not even thought about. For all of our first-time horse owners, we know that every changing season brings another lesson to learn, more excitement, and even more surprises. Owning a horse for the first time is very similar to having a child. It is a beautiful and magnificent creature that needs your help, dedication, and care. The longer you have your horse you find out more and more things that all the manuals and books never mentioned. They're worth it though, aren't they?
While so many people might hate the cold weather, especially for those not used to it here in Charleston or the South East, it might surprise you that it can still be a very wonderful and beautiful season with your horse. There is nothing quite like seeing a horse crunch its way through a frosty field in the morning while their breath puffs up around their head. There is also nothing like watching a horse play in the snow, but that might be an even rarer event here in Charleston. You might have to make a trip up north to see that! To make this winter season as special as it can be, make sure to take this blog to heart. Make sure to follow all of the tips, suggestions, and ideas we are providing in both of these checklists to allow both you and your horse to enjoy this chilly season. If you put the work in, this will be an easy winter to navigate and work through. After this crazy year, that is something we all need, right?
For all of our horse owners, don't forget that we have some of the best horse boardings right here in Charleston. We are here to help care for your horse when you need it most. If your stables are barns are ill equipt for the season, if you need to go out of town on an emergency, or just need an extra pair of hands Middleton Equestrian Center boarding is here for you. Please don't hesitate to reach out and talk with us if you have any questions or comments about our horse boarding! Also, we are still open for our historical trail rides! Dress in layers and come see the Lowcountry in a way you never have before! We are still following all COVID precautions, and what better way to adventure out and stay socially distant than on the back of a beautiful horse? If you are still looking for a wonderful holiday or end of the year gift, shop small and give big with Middleton this year! Gift cards are available to give to all of your loved ones. Introduce them to the best horseback riding in Charleston, and share some of the best horseback riding trails in Charleston with your loved ones. Make sure to visit our website to learn more, and we are always here for all of your questions!
Let's get back to the blog series, shall we? We still have a little wiggle room for these last-minute additions for winter preparations since it has been a mild winter here in the Lowcountry so far, but as we all know that can change in an instant. Let's get back to work!
COMFY AND COZY!
As we mentioned in the first part of this blog, your horse will be burning a lot more calories during the winter months to keep them warm. While they are burning these calories to stay warm and eating more to help with this, they will still need a little extra protection from the cold. Allow their natural coats to grow out as much as possible, but keep up with their grooming habits and schedules. If you plan or working or training your horses hard during these cooler months, keep them trimmed. This will make sure that they will not get overheated during their training and work sessions. In either of these situations, make sure to have warm, waterproof, and lightweight blankets to provide extra warmth throughout the winter. Make sure to check your horse's skin often when they wear their blankets for extended periods. Blankets, while extremely helpful, can cause irritation and sores from rubbing or long term wear if not properly taken care of. Before blanket wearing weather arrives, make sure to inspect and clean each of your blankets, since it has been almost a year since they were last used or touched. Replace and repair them if needed before it gets too cold. Also, make sure you have enough blankets for all of your horses. Your younger horses might have had a growth spurt since the last time they wore their blankets, and your older horses might have lost some weight due to their age. If more blankets need to be purchased for these reasons, make sure to do so! Blankets need to fit your horses properly. Ill fitted blankets can cause irritation, be unsafe, or not provide the warmth your horses need while wearing them.
The cold weather will attack one of your horse's most fragile parts of their bodies, and that is their feet! Make sure if they are going to be shod all winter that you pick the proper shoe fittings with your Ferrier. You can choose shoes that will help them navigate the snow and ice much easier and help them prevent slipping. Regardless if you are going to be choosing to keep your horses shod or not, their hooves need to be cleaned of cold wet mud and ice every day to avoid infection and irritation. Make sure that they are also dry at the end of their day when they are put back into their stables. If you are choosing to go without shoes for the winter months, make sure to do so before it gets too cold, and give them time to acclimate to this change.
Make sure your horse has a proper and thorough visit with the vet before the cold weather hits and stays around for a while. It might have been a minute since their winter or spring checkup, and this is a good opportunity to catch any early issues or help prevent anything that could potentially happen to them during the cold months. This can be a great time to ask for other supplements and additives for your horses from your vet to help make the winter months healthier and happier for them. Make sure you give your horse a good balance of indoor and outdoor time throughout the winter. However, it is important to make sure that they are kept away from deep snowdrifts and extra icy paths to prevent slipping and damage done to their legs. Make sure the ventilation in your barns and stables is enough to keep fresh air flowing throughout, enough to limit dust and debris build-up, but not enough to cause drafts in the barn. Your horse's skin can become extra sensitive through the harsh cold months so if it is possible, exercise them in a dry and clean area through the winter!
Also, consider your health, safety, and comfort this time of year. If you get sick and you're unable to care for your horses, what will they do without you? Make sure you have the proper winter clothing to keep you warm and safe while being comfortable enough to do your job and daily tasks of caring for your horse. Also, think about your day to day tasks and duties, and ways to make them easier. One way to help is to insulate your hand tools. You can cover them with blankets when they're not being used, store them in styrofoam, or you can even slip styrofoam pipes over the handles of all of your hand tools to create a little extra insulation. Grabbing or using very cold hand tools can be cold enough to burn, even when wearing gloves. Make sure to properly clean all of your hand tools before these winter months and before the new year. When you get into the depths of winter, you won't want to stop and make time for doing simple tasks like that, you will want to get your work done and get back inside.
This is also an excellent time to service all of your power equipment on your property. Check all of the engines, oil levels, lubricants, and tires on your tractors, mowers, trucks, snowblowers, and all of your powered equipment. When stocking up on equipment and supplies for the winter, don't forget back up items to help with broken hand tools, power tools, and all of your vehicles. Again, you want all of these items to be working properly so when the bad weather comes, you won't get stuck with a broken-down tractor, truck, or snowblower on the bad weather days.
Time to get to work friends! We have been busily working on all of these things ourselves; preparing our horses, barns, stables, tools, equipment, and ourselves for what's to come. Our staff has been working as hard as ever to not only prepare for this but to keep up with keeping our stables and riding equipment sanitized to help keep us all safe during the cold weather. We are thankful that the temperatures during the first few weeks of December have felt more like fall, but who knows when that will change. We also want to thank each of you for what this year has been. You have helped us continue to share our passion and love for our horses and our horse trails. You have helped us continue to show off the beautiful land of the Lowcountry, and you helped keep all of our staff and fellow guests safe and happy. We couldn't be more thankful for all of that! We aren't sure what 2021 will bring, but we hope it's truly a year to celebrate. Stay safe and healthy friends, we can't wait to see you on our trails in the new year! From all of us at Middleton Equestrian Center, we wish you a very Horsey Holiday and a very Horsey New Year!
In the second part of this blog, we will be continuing our discussion on how to properly care for your horse's mane and tail.
Hello, trail friends! Welcome back to the blog! We are thrilled you decided to come pay another visit to our blogs and continue to learn more about the care and maintenance that your horse's mane and tail requires. The end of October is right around the corner, so make sure you come and learn more about the history of our beautiful trails and the land we are connected to. There might even be a ghost story or two lurking in the shadows waiting to be told! Make sure to schedule your rides with us ahead of time and get ready for the best horseback riding trail in Charleston! We can't wait to see you soon!
As we mentioned in our last blog, caring for your horse's mane and tail comes with a huge responsibility. This is just one of the multitude of things you need to take care of and care for when it comes to owning a single horse. We urge you to remember this when thinking about purchasing your very first horse or perhaps even your second. Every horse deserves every moment of meticulous and well-planned care as the next. We hope that you take these two blogs and every blog dedicated to the care of your horse to heart. We want both you and your horse to have an incredible life together. Please remember too that a horse is going to be a full life commitment, many of them live to be 20 years of age if not older. They will need your constant love, support, and care for every single one of those years! So, let's hop back into the barn and talk more about the care and maintenance of our beautiful horse's manes and tails!
Keeping your horse healthy, clean, and looking gorgeous is a multi-staged approach. It does take time and dedication that every horse deserves. Just caring for their mains and tails is complex, don't forget about every other aspect of caring for them too! This needs to be considered when you are thinking about buying a horse of your own, can you handle this kind of responsibility? Of course, as fellow horse lovers, you know they are worth the time and care and to look and feel their best, always! We hope this how-to guide was helpful, and we look forward to seeing you on the trails very soon! If you have any questions about the care of your horse between now our next blog, don't hesitate to reach out. We are here to help you care for your horses as best as possible. Until next time, stay safe and stay hopeful everyone!
One of the most mysterious and stunning horse breeds of all time is the Gypsy Vanner Horse. Have you heard of these beauties? We can't wait to introduce you to them!
Hello, Lowcountry! We hope this blog finds you healthy and happy! Things are going well on our trails. Our fantastic guides are ready to lead you on an exciting adventure with our beautiful horses. We are currently offering our historic trail rides. These rides are the perfect choice to enjoy the beautiful local landscape and to learn a little bit about the history of Charleston. We have thee trail rides every day, one at 10 AM, 12 PM, and 2 PM. If you're planning on joining us, please arrive 15 minutes early. If you're a first-time rider or a first time guest on our trails, please visit our FAQ page. If you happen to have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. Please visit our "Book Your Ride" page on our website to book your next trail ride with us today!
Did you happen to watch The Kentucky Derby after reading our last blog? We hope everyone who did still wore their favorite Derby outfits while enjoying a Mint Julep or two! Our congratulations to Authentic and his trainer Bob Baffert for winning in a surprising and very dramatic turn of events. Authentic pulled right in front of Tiz The Law who won The Belmont Stakes and was favored to win the Derby. We are sure you're just as excited as we are to see who will win The Preakness Stakes on October 3rd!
There are many stunning horse breeds across the globe, a few of which we have talked about in past blogs. What many of our readers might not know is that new breeds are still out there and are still being introduced to the United States. One of the newest breeds that have come to the United States and received almost overnight popularity is the Gypsy Vanner horse. Thanks to Dennis and Cindy Thompson, these stunning horses first immigrated to the United States in 1996, and the Thompson's established The Gypsy Vanner Horse Society. In 2015, there were over 4000 Gypsy Vanner horses registered in the society, and they are still incredibly popular today. From the beginning the society has been dedicated to breeding preservation, learning about the culture that created this selective breed, and staying true to the breed itself. They do so through education, evaluation, and horse registration.
These magical and striking horses have a very interesting story. For years, the Englishman didn't care for horses that weren't a solid color. Horses that had spots or splotches on them were most often found in Ireland and the surrounding areas. These colored horses were very often cast-off in English culture. Thanks to the English the Gypsy culture was introduced to these beauties and instantly fell in love with them. These Gypsies were predominantly found in the British Isles. There is a lot of speculation as to why they decided to selectively breed what would become the Gypsy Vanner. The most popular speculation is that the Gypsy culture wanted a sturdy and strong horse with an amazing temperament that was stunning to look at. After years of careful breeding, that is exactly what they achieved. These beautiful horses and their breeding went undocumented until almost the 1940s. Once WWII arrived, the horses were finally cataloged and traced as a true breed.
These stunning horses are a mix of very impressive horses; the Shire, the Clydesdale, and the Pales. They are cold-blooded horses, which all feather horses are according to the GVHS. They are shorter horses ranging between 12.2 to 16 hands. They are stocky and strong like a Clydesdale and have a draft-type build. They are perfect for riding and driving, and for any level of rider. They are very easy to train and have calm and sweet personalities. They are wonderful with children and for older riders who might have a difficult time getting on and off their horse due to pain and age.
When they came to America, the Gypsy Vanner didn't have an official name. Thanks to the Thompson family, the name they decided upon honored their origins and the skill they were originally bred for. Named for the Gypsies that bred them and the caraVAN that they were bred to pull, the official name of Gypsy Vanner was born. While they were bread to match and pull the stunningly decorated living caravan wagons that the Gypsies once lived and traveled in, the use of these wagons is now just for show and fun. While this way of life may have turned into fun, the beauty and the strength of these horses remain.
The Gypsy Vanner can come in a variety of colors, but they are most often found in skewball, which is a mix of black and white, or piebald, which is a mix of brown and white. When you see a Gypsy Vanner for the first time it is very easy to confuse it with a Palomino or Paint horse, but pay close attention, you'll be able to spot the differences. Gypsy Vanners are known for an abundant amount of hair in their manes and tails. They can have double manes, and they can grow their manes down past their knees. The stunning feathering they are known for begins at their hock and cascades over their powerful hooves.
With such incredible temperament, strength, and ability to train, the Gypsy Vanner sounds like the picture-perfect horse. Honestly, this isn't far from the truth. One of the very few downfalls is the upkeep they require for their stunning manes, coats, and feathering. Extra care has to go into their grooming to keep them safe, healthy, clean, and ready to show. They also come with a high price tag. If you are interested in purchasing a Gypsy Vanner, we encourage you to consider the responsibility and care that comes with these beauties before officially buying one.
Rising in popularity, these horses are being seen more frequently at shows and in competitions. Due to their popularity and price tag, it will be very hard to find one to adopt. The best way to go about owning one is to go through a private breeder. These horses are truly something special. If you haven't seen one in person, make sure to make that a priority. We do not doubt that it will be love at first sight. Until next time, stay safe and stay hopeful everyone!
The next Year Of The Horse might not be until 2026, but for us, it's every day! We wanted to share and explore the history behind the zodiac horse and what it means to be born in a year of the horse.
We hope while you're reading this, we find you happy and well. We've enjoyed seeing so many of your friendly and familiar faces back on our trails. For those of you new to our blog or for those of you who might be unaware, we are currently open and offering our Historic Trail Rides! Enjoy the beautiful weather, the wonderful Low Country scenery, all while socially distancing on the back of a horse. We are adhering to the Governor's guidelines to help keep our staff and client safe! All saddles, bridles, and helmets are cleaned after every ride. A visit to the stables might be exactly what you need right now.
This year has been a rough ride, to say the least. We've all overcome and gone through challenges in all areas of our lives. Depending on the culture, some look to Farmers Almanacs to predict or look for answers for a difficult year. Some look at astrological coincidences and others look at the zodiac sign to help explain the reasoning behind what is happening in their region or throughout the world. This year in the Zodiac calendar is the year of The Rat, and there won't be a year of The Horse until 2026. Regardless, we wanted to learn a little more about the history of the Horse Zodiac, it's personality traits, and what it could mean during the year of The rat. The most recent Year Of The Horse were 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014 and soon to be 2026.
Ironically, even if you don't believe in the zodiac signs or know much about them, 2020 does resonate with what has been predicted. We, like all of you, hope to find good luck in what's left of this year. But, if anything, learning more about this beautiful creature in the eyes of a different culture has been very interesting. What did you think? Comment below! Also, let us know if you were born in a previous year of The Horse or know anyone that was. Does their personality match the descriptions we've listed?
Are you finally in the market to buy a horse of your very own? We have some tips and suggestions that can make the process smooth and simple.
This summer weather is not a joke! We love being outside with our horses and on the trails with all of you every time you visit. But, this heat index is crazy! We can't stress enough that keeping yourself and your horse hydrated needs to be your top priority right now! Don't forget your sunscreen and bug spray, too. We've seen a lot of horse flies recently, and those bites are not pleasant.
Since many of us are spending a good amount of time at home right now, more of you might be thinking about buying a horse of your very own. A few blogs back we talked about some steps and what to expect when adopting a horse here in South Carolina. If you missed that blog, please follow the link below to read:
We understand that you might want to go a different way when getting a horse of your very own. There is no wrong way of doing this, it is all a personal preference. But, before you make the big step in buying your horse, we wanted to share some tips and ideas to keep in mind before you do and while you're going through the process.
We are so excited that you are thinking about bringing a horse into your family, and we hope these tips and suggestions cleared up any questions or hesitations you might have. Until you do make this dream become a reality, don't forget we are still open for our historic horseback trail rides. They are the perfect way to get outdoors, be safely distanced, and visit with your favorite animals. For more information, please visit our website. Until you join us for your next ride, please continue to stay safe! We are Charleston's premier horseback riding trail, dedicated to keeping you safe while exploring the beauty of the Lowcountry.
When visiting any horseback trail, it's always good to know the proper etiquette for you, your horse, and the stables you're riding with!
Coming onto our trails and into our barns is just like coming into someone's home for the very first time. There are rules, guidelines, and etiquette you need to follow to be respectful, to stay safe, and make sure your goals for your visit are met. Our etiquette not only follows in those ideals, but is mostly focused on the safety of our horses, your safety, and the safety of our staff while you're with us. If it's your first time visiting our trails or the first time you've ever ridden a horse, making sure you understand the proper etiquette is something very important to us. We urge you to not only read this blog but continue your research before riding with us. If riding with a younger child, please share these tips with them and lead by example. With that being said, we would like to help your educational journey with a blog dedicated to trail riding etiquette! Here are 15 of the most important trail riding guidelines that you should follow every time you visit us and every time you ride a horse.
Safety is always our number one priority! It allows us to keep our beautiful animals safe, and to help our visitors enjoy their ride every time they visit! We are currently offering our historical trail rides, and can't wait to see you soon! For more information, please visit our website. Until you join us for your next ride, please continue to stay safe! We are Charleston's premier horseback riding trail, dedicated to keeping you safe while exploring the beauty of the Lowcountry.
Becoming a forever home for a horse in need can be a dream come true for you and your new horse. How do you go about adopting a horse here in the Lowcountry?
Friends, we have to say it. We LOVE when you visit and take one of our historical tours. Please know you are always getting the best trail rides and horseback riding experience in Charleston every time you visit. But, we know the truth of how it feels to fall in love with horses and wanting one for your very own. It comes with a big-time commitment, a big responsibility, and a can be very expensive. But, they are worth every moment and every penny. With that in mind, we wanted to share a few tips and suggestions on how and where to adopt a horse of very own here in the Charleston. Choosing to adopt and buy one from a breeder is a personal choice, and whichever you decide is perfectly fine. We just wanted to share the adoption process with you first, and talk about some wonderful organizations that can help your dreams come true.
2. Big Oakes Rescue FarmLocated in Hodges, SC this rescue farm is dedicated to the care of horses, donkeys, mules, and more! The sanctuary was founded in 2007 by Joe Mann, who has a passion for saving animals. They strive to give these animals a new life and home along with providing education to the public about awareness of animal care, welfare, and abuse. Since 2010, they have also rescued and rehabilitated over 300 horses and found them brand new homes. Big Oakes also has an extensive application that you must fill out before an adoption can happen. You have to describe where the horse will be living, along with providing pictures of where they will be living, where they will be fed, and where they will exercise. You must provide your personal information, along with your farrier's and vet's information. They will also be calling your vet as part of the application process to talk about your history with animals and if you would be a good potential horse owner. To learn more, begin the application process, or donate to their cause visit their website below!
3. H.O.P.E ACRES RESCUE (Helping Our Precious Equines) Located in Berkeley County, SC they provide rescue services to horses across the country. Thanks to community, country, state, and donation support they can save, rehabilitate,and give a safe home to horses in need. From the very beginning of the adoption process, HOPE makes it very clear that every potential family must understand the financial and physical demands of owning a horse. Their multipage application is also very detailed. The questions range from wanting to know about you, your knowledge of horses, who will be riding and caring for the horses, what your style of riding is, what activities you have planned for your horses, and more. The HOPE farm also has very specific requirements that must bet met before being considered for adoption including:
Horses are magical creatures and those who take the time to save and care for ones who have been through the worst are heroes. Consider donating, learning more about horse welfare education, and maybe even adopt one someday. Until you join us for your next ride, please continue to stay safe! We are Charleston's premier horseback riding trail, dedicated to keeping you safe while exploring the beauty of the Lowcountry.
Owning a horse of your very own can be a very special experience and a lifetime goal. Before you decide to take this very large step, make sure you know everything that goes into the process of researching, buying, and owning a horse.
For many, a dream come true is owning your very own horse. Believe us, we understand that. But, it's not just beautiful fall days filled with glorious rides through your favorite fields and feeding them a few lumps of sugar. There is so much that goes into the purchasing, owning, and caring of a horse. As much as we support the decision, we stress that it's not for everyone. Please take the time to consider this blog as you are deciding to or thinking about buying your very first horse.
Think about it this way. Treat buying a horse like you would any big investment. You must take the time to research, understand the strategies of buying a horse and talk with those who have had serious experiences of their own when buying horses. You don't want to make the mistake of buying a horse that's wrong for you, get frustrated, and then give up on the horse and the dream of owning one. As much as you love them, buying a horse isn't the correct path for everyone. It's a huge emotional, time-consuming, and expensive commitment.
The Book Work
We love horses, we love owning horses, and we love caring for horses. But we know the work that goes into this every day. We want you to share this magic with us, but be prepared to face the realities too. If it's not quite time for you to own a horse, you know the best place to horseback in South Carolina! Right here at Middleton Equestrian Center! We can't wait to see you on your next ride!
Middleton Place Team