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!
While we prepare for the holiday season and a brand New Year, don't forget about your checklist for preparing your horses, stables, and barns for the coming cold weather. Let's step into the New Year prepared and ready to keep you and your best friend happy and healthy!
Hello, trail friends! Welcome back to the blog! We hope this bright and brisk holiday season has been off to a good start for you and your loved ones. We are feeling very festive here at Middleton, and everyone on our staff and each of our horses is so excited to see the holidays this year! While it might feel a little different than holidays gone by, there is still so much to celebrate! Are you still looking for the perfect gifts to give? Shop small and give big, give the gift of Middleton this year! Introduce your loved ones to the joy of horses or surprise the horse lover in your life with the perfect gift! To purchase your gift cards follow the link below!
Are you looking for the best horseback riding in Charleston? You've found it! While you're shopping and running around for everyone else in your life, take a moment and give something back to yourself! We are currently offering our stunning historical trail rides, which we know you'll love. Enjoy the beautiful (brisk!) Lowcountry winter weather, and the wonderful Lowcountry landscape while social distancing on the back of a beautiful horse! While we are all preparing for the holidays in our unique ways, we still need to remember our horses and their barns or stables this time of year. It will get cold soon and we need to prepare for a brand new year that is coming right around the corner. As our gift to you this holiday season, we wanted to share a checklist and some ideas on how to prep for the coming cold weather, and how to prepare for this upcoming new year! In this two-part blog series, our goal is to help you make this the safest season for your horse and yourself. It's time to get started if you haven't begun your wintertime prep, so let's get started together!
WINTERTIME CARE CHECKLIST
We are big proponents of being prepared. Getting ready for the changing seasons as soon as you can, can help keep you and your horses safe and healthy, and it can also help you save a ton of money and worry. While we in the Southeast might not experience below zero temperatures, bad ice storms, and feet of snow, these things are still possibilities on a much smaller scale. Temperatures will still be cooler, lots of rain and mud are in our future, and frost and ice will still be lingering the deeper we get into December and January. Please take this checklist and these preparations seriously. Your horses will be all the better for it!
These items and this check-off list should be a good place to get help get you started. If you have any questions between now and part two of this blog, please don't hesitate to reach out to us! If you have any questions about quality products, care products, tools, or grooming products, please also don't hesitate to reach out. We are excited to help make this holiday a special one for you, your horses, and your loved ones. Maybe start by purchasing a gift card for your loved ones, check off as many of these to-do list items as you can between now and our next blog, and come visit us in the meantime. Even in these chilly temperatures, our trails are beautiful. Just wear a few layers, and you'll be all set to go! Don't forget, if your barn or stables aren't ready or equipped for the winter weather, we do offer boarding options for your horses and offer some of the best horse boarding's in South Carolina. If you're interested or have questions, please visit our website now or give us a call! Until we follow up with part two of this blog series, stay safe, and be well. We look forward to seeing you on our trails soon!
In this blog, we are going to be celebrating one of the most popular and oldest horse breeds in the United States, the American Quarter Horse.
Hello, trail friends! Welcome back to the blog! With the dawning of this new month, can you believe there is only a matter of weeks left until the new year? While the year is quickly ending and the weather continues to change, all of us here at Middleton Place Equestrian Center are here to offer the best trail rides and horseback riding in the Charleston area. The weather is still perfectly mild and wonderful to ride in. With beautiful trails intertwining through age-old trees, inspiring views of Middleton Place, and a guide to describe the history and stories we've seen over the years, a visit to Middleton Place Equestrian Center is guaranteed to please friends and family! We offer guided trail rides, tours of the property, and equine boarding with the best care. As of right now, due to the pandemic, please note that we are currently only offering historic trail rides! Enjoy the beautiful weather, the wonderful Lowcountry scenery all while social distancing on the back of a horse. We continue to adhere to the Governors guidelines to help keep our staff and clients safe. All saddles, bridles, and helmets are cleaned after every ride. We are very excited and looking forward to seeing all of you for your next ride very soon! While you are waiting to plan your next ride with us, we wanted to turn back to the history books. In this blog we are going to be sharing the history of one of the oldest and most popular breeds of horse right here in the United States; the American Quarter Horse!
Considered one of the oldest and most beloved cultivated breeds in the United States, the Quarter Horse is an incredible example of the melting pot that the United States so proudly boasts to be. The breed itself came from a very long line of breeding some of the most influential and powerful horses from across the globe starting as early as 710. The breed itself saw its true beginning in the 1600s, during the early days of the American Settlers, and was officially solidified in the 1800s with the final addition to the breed, the Mustang. With the addition of the Mustang in its breeding, the modern American Quarter Horse was created and America had its own unique horse native to its shores.
As we mentioned above, the very beginning of the American Quarter Horses' bloodline can be traced back to 710, when powerful horses were being bred between the North African Barb horses and the native Spanish stock horses. These horses were the ones that accompanied some of the very first Spanish explorers into the new world. They were also the same horses that were left behind by these very early settlers, and many of these horses swam ashore and survived multiple Spanish shipwrecks during these tumultuous years. We have talked about one lineage of these horses a few times throughout the blog, and those are the wild Corolla horses that have made the shores of North Carolina their home. These were not the only horse linage that came from these early settlement horses. Some came into the hands of the Chickasaw Indians that were native to Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. Others went out west to become what we know today as the Mustang.
When the second wave of colonists made it to the shores of America in the early 1600s, they brought English stock horses with them. These horses helped them settle the early colonies and survive some of the hardest and harshest years of American settlements. Once they were finally settled, decided they were going to stay, and survived those difficult and challenging years, they could finally have a pastime. One of the most popular pastimes of this generation became horse racing. Colonists were no longer fighting every moment to survive, so they could celebrate with a race or two. When this shift in society happened, the first step in breeding the Quarter Horse happened. Many settlers started trading for and riding the Spanish Barb horses that the Chickasaw Indians had cultivated, cared for, bred, and were known to ride. These horses were then bred with the English stock horses, and the first steps of the Quarter Horse were born. These horses would be bred and cared for over the next 150 years, and according to the American Quarter Horse Association, would become known as the "Celebrated American Quarter Running Horses". The name "Quarter" was given to the horses because this was the distance they were trained to run, about a quarter of a mile on flat grounds in and around colonial towns. The next wave in the development of this breed was in 1752 when a horse named Janus was brought over from England. This stunning horse was the grandson of one of the most influential horses for the foundation of the Thoroughbred horse, the Godolphin Arabian. Once Janus was bred with these blossoming colonial horses, the official prototype of the American Quarter Horse was born, according to the AQHA. These were the horses that lead Americans through the American Revolution and into the wild west and the new frontier.
Once the Atlantic coast had been settled, the itch to continue moving out west was born. American settlers began another great push into unknown lands and the Quarter Horse went with them. These horses, known for their short distanced speed, were now being bred for their stock and strength. Through the early years of the 1800s, this early breed of the American Quarter Horse would be bred with the last few bloodlines that would officially solidify the overall breed. Sir Archy was the first in this line, following by two influential horses named Printer and Tiger. The final piece of the puzzle to the American Quarter Horses bloodline was the powerful Mustang. These free-roaming horses, ancestors of the horses the Spanish explorers left behind, were what made the Plains Indians the strongest mounted warriors that anyone had ever seen, according to AQHA. These new powerhouse horses took settlers out west, help clear and plant this new land, and became the favorites of cowboys and farmers alike. Their strong, stocky, and muscled bodies were perfect for the harsh life and beginnings of the great west, and their gentle dispositions were perfect for caring and interacting with cattle. While farms started to spread across the frontier, so did vast cow farms, all thanks to the Quarter Horse. They were once used as sheer entertainment, and how now become the force of breaking into the frontier.
Today, these beautiful creatures are still bred to have the same features and personalities that broke open the wild west, they just aren't used to forge new lands and farm as they once did. Thanks to the foundation of the American Quarter Horse Association in 1940, the breed became official. New steps were now being taken to preserve the breed. Breeding the Quarter Horse follows incredibly strict guidelines today, and it is dedicated to perfecting the bloodline. The foal has to come from a registered mare and sire to be recognized by the association. They are only allowed to have very limited white markings on their faces and below their knees. There are also only 13 accepted colors recognized by the AQHA ranging from reddish-brown to a stunning grey. They are still known for their muscling, their gentle natures, temperament around cows, versatility, and sprinting speed. While they can still be used for farming, modern technology has moved the Quarter Horses focus and training towards excelling in almost every racing and skilled event that is popular today. With its versatility, the Quarter Horse has become known as one of the most popular breeds, with riding for enjoying being their owner's favorite form of recreation.
What a stunning breed and powerful history! They are such influential horses that it is almost impossible not to come across a Quarter Horse at least once in your lifetime. You might even meet one or two at our stables! We hope you enjoyed the history of the Quarter Horse, and we hope this blog has inspired you to book your next visit with us! Until next time, stay safe and stay hopeful everyone!
While the seasons begin to change, it's time to start thinking about caring for every aspect of your horses from the tip of their tails to their noses! Let's focus on the best ways to care for your horse's mane and tail!
Hello, trail friends! We are back again at our writing desk after taking a break from our saddles! We continue to have incredible rides with our guests that are safe, full of fun, and surrounded by the beauty of the Lowcountry! Have you visited lately? We'd love to hear about your trip! Make sure to comment below after reading this blog! We would appreciate the feedback because we have been loving every moment with you all on the trail!
In this two-part blog, we are going to be moving away from the trail and back into the barn. As much as we hate to admit it, we are going to see the weather change and get cooler over the next few months. Rain will mean muddy fields, trails, and paddocks that will cover our horse's bodies, hooves, manes, and tails. While this is very normal, it is also very important that we keep our horses coats, manes, tails, and hooves clean and dry throughout the winter season. This can help promote healthy skin, help avoid sores or irritated skin, and help maintain your horse's overall health. To learn more about caring for your horse during the winter months, follow the link below to one of our past blogs that discusses exactly that!
In this blog, we are going to be specifically focusing on the care of your horse's manes and tails. This extra care will not only keep them healthy and happy, but it will also help keep them ready for the next season of competition, riders, tournaments, and more!
You can use more shampoo than you can conditioner. Using a lighter amount of conditioner can help avoid it from getting clumpy or being left in the mane after you rinse. This can cause more dirt to build up and stick to the leftover conditioner or the mane and tail can become very greasy. While washing or conditioning avoid tangling it or adding to existing tangles. You don't need to scrub back and forth, according to Horse and Rider. This will also help avoid irritation, itching, and rubbing if you remove the dirt and thoroughly rinse the mane and tail. According to US Equestrian, instead of using large quantities of conditioner, spraying a clean damp mane after the wash with leave-in condition can help with keeping it healthy and shining. Spray on before brushing, and once the mane and tail are dry, you can then begin the brush!
How does your current brushing, washing, mane, and tail maintenance stand up to this list so far? Are you already a pro, or do you think you might have some work to do? No matter what path your on, as long as you're working towards helping your horse have the best skin, mane, and tail, then you're doing great. Who knew that manes and tails needed so much care? This is just one of the many aspects of caring for just one horse, can you imagine how much time it takes to do this for multiple horses? Owning and caring for a horse takes extreme responsibility, and you must be ready to take it all on if you're wanting to provide the best life possible to your horse. If you have any questions about the care of your horse between now and the second part of this 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!
he festive season may be upon us, but that doesn't mean you forget about your beautiful horses! This can be one of the most exciting times to share with your horses and those who help care for them.
Happy December everyone! Can you believe it's already here and that Christmas is just days away? Where did 2019 go? As we have been keeping a steady eye on our beautiful horses and making sure Santa pays a visit to Middleton, we have been thinking about some of the best ways to celebrate with your horses! That's right! We celebrate with our beautiful horses, so there is no reason for you not to! Are you stumped on ideas on how to celebrate this time of year with your majestic four-legged family member? Here are ten ideas to help you make this holiday the best year yet!
See? The holidays are the reason for the season and you can enjoy them with your horses too! From the Middleton Equestrian Center family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Middleton Place Team