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!
Thankful for Our Horses
It's the season to be thankful and we have more reasons to be thankful than we can count. Through this crazy year, we wanted to make sure to pause and take a moment of reflection on why we are so thankful for our horses and our wonderful company!
Hello, trail friends! Welcome back to our blog. We are taking a break from the trails, and while the horses take a rest and get a snack, we wanted to hop out of our saddles and back into our writing chair. We wanted to check in with all of our readers and supporters, too. We hope you're doing well, spending time with your horses as much as you can, and learning more about our favorite animals every day! With the holidays right around the corner, don't forget to support and love your favorite local small Charleston business. Give the gift of something unique and different this year! Give your loved ones an experience of a lifetime, and gift them with a ride on our amazing trails and the best horseback riding in Charleston! Or even gift yourself with something unique and special this year. Are you visiting our amazing city sometime soon or are you local and looking for something special to experience this holiday season? We can help with that! Make sure to check out the main page of our website and reach out to us to talk about all of your gift-giving needs. We are so excited to speak with you and to have you on our horseback riding trails soon!
November is here and Thanksgiving is on our minds. Our horses are dreaming of some extra hay and maybe a few special treats or two. We are all dreaming about our turkey dinners and all the delicious fixings that come with it! Being thankful is also on our minds, and what we've been talking about a lot recently are all the reasons we are thankful for horses and our own personal list of thanksgivings that we've been able to get out of 2020. We thought we'd share our thanksgiving state of mind and pay it forward. In this week's blog, we are going to be talking about all the reasons we're thankful for horses and much more!
What are your favorite reasons that you're thankful for horses? We know the list is endless, and these are just a few of our favorite reasons that we are thankful for every day. Love and thanksgivings have no definition or an end when it comes to horses, and we are sure you understand that. We hope this is a joyful and loving Thanksgiving season for you and yours. Until next time, we look forward to seeing you on our trails soon!
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!
The Blessing of The Hounds
We are going to take a break from the subjects our last few blogs focused on, and visit one of the most unique and interesting traditions celebrated by horse lovers and traditional English hunters alike here in the Southeast!
Traditions are a beautiful thing and something we are all very proud of here in the Southeast. We have some of the oldest and most special traditions to be found. Being horse people, we, of course, love to celebrate traditions that include our favorite beautiful animals. In this blog, we will be celebrating and discussing The Blessing Of the Hounds, the opening meeting of the Moore County Hounds, which is the oldest Fox Hunting Clubs in North Carolina.
Every year on Thanksgiving Morning, excited riders, onlookers, horses, and hounds gather in Buchanan Field in Southern Pines, North Carolina. For many families, it has become a tradition that starts their Thanksgiving holiday. The tradition has been going on for more than 100 years and has continued to grow in numbers as the years have passed. Members of the Moore County Hounds appear and come dressed in formal hunters attire, atop their beautiful horses. Formal hunters attire is the classic and signature red hunting jackets called "Pinks", white riding pants, black leather riding boots, and hunt caps. The riders gather early in the morning, and before the hounds are released to follow the fox scent placed along the hunting trail (it is a mock fox hunt, no animals are hurt!), they all receive a blessing from the local Episcopal Priest while the hundreds of onlookers watch from the sidelines. The tradition and its blessing go way back to very early medieval times when hunters believed that Saint Hubert of Liege, the patron saint of hunters, would protect them and their hounds and keep them safe during the hunt.
As we mentioned above, this tradition is no longer just for the riders and the horses. It has expanded and has become a huge traditional gathering and tailgating event for hundreds of spectators that attend the event every year. Many families have been apart of it for generations. Every year, 150 riders and horses are a part of the hunt. The spectators start arriving before 8 AM to claim their perfect tailgating spot, to start cooking, and to pop the bubbly for their morning mimosas. To get the best tailgating spots today, you will have to pay a pretty penny to reserve it. The official blessing begins at 10 AM and right after the ceremony, about 60 hounds are released on the trail. The whole event takes about an hour or so and is full of excitement.
The equestrian community has always been strong in Moore County and Southern Pines, but it continues to be nurtured and flourishes and thrives with traditions like The Blessing of the Hounds. This celebration is proof of the immense support of the community and how loved it is by all. The club continues to care for the tradition, the riders, and animals alike. A tradition like this keeps the community close-knit and brings it together, even if it is just once a year.
The tradition of The Blessing of the Hounds made its way to Moore County thanks to author James Boyd. He started the Moore County Hounds after he fell in love with fox hunting while he was a student at Cambridge. The club was recognized and made official in 1920, and the blessing is the oldest hunt in North Carolina and one of the oldest in the country. The hounds that have been used in the hunt have been living at the foundation's farm since 1942. Their care and breeding have been one of their primary focuses. The blessing was held on its original land until 2015 and was then moved to Buchanan Field.
What a beautiful way to celebrate horses and bring a community together! We love sharing traditions like this and love learning about them too. Do you have a favorite tradition celebrating these majestic creatures and their incredible histories? Share them with us! Until next time, come ride horses with us on our beautiful trails. We can't wait to see you!
Holiday's for Horses
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