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!
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!
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!
The History Of The Pony Express
Horses have been apart of some of the most important and iconic events and moments in history. In this blog, we are going to be talking about the history of the Pony Express.
Hello, everyone! We hope you've stumbled upon our blog to learn more about the best horseback riding trails in South Carolina! This weather is so perfect to be on our trials. As the weather slowly starts to turn you'll see even more beauty that the Lowcountry has to offer. Make sure to book your historic trail rides today, we can't wait to see you!
We've gotten to thinking through all the historic research we've been doing for our recent blogs, and we realized that horses have been apart of some of the most important and iconic moments in the early history of the United States. Up until the early 1900s when Henry Ford made the car affordable and accessible to almost every American, the horse was right there getting us to and from everyday tasks and events, some that would forever change our everyday lives as a country. One of the most iconic events lasted a very short amount of time but has remained in history's spotlight, in our textbooks, and in our hearts ever since it ended. Today, we are going to be talking about the history of the Pony Express.
The Pony Express only lasted for two years and made less than 400 runs, but it is still one of the most iconic parts of our history. Its story has lasted because of the endurance and bravery of its riders and its connection to famous people like Mark Twain and Buffalo Bill Cody. Cody was one of the Express's most famous promoters, but he never actually rode for them! He was much more of a showman. The Pony Express was born when our country was under huge changes both politically and personally. Imagine America right after the gold rush, right as Abraham Lincoln became president, and when the country was right on the brink of civil war. It was born when information needed to be delivered as quickly as possible, but a mode of transportation was not yet available. The Pony Express changed all of this.
The Pony Express riders helped deliver news faster than ever before all thanks to the powerful horses that these brave riders rode. They cut down the time to carrying news from what could be a couple of months down to a few days. They did this by adding more relay stations and making use of the telegraph, according to National Geographic. Individuals could now stay in touch with their loved ones, no matter where they lived. It wasn't just private individuals that were benefiting from this new form of news delivery, newspapers and magazines relied on getting their information from the Express, too. For a total of eighteen months, the Pony Express delivered the mail faster than ever before between April 1860 and October of 1861. It helped tie the east to the west carrying some of the most important news of the time. Young men would ride what would later become the Pony Express National Historic Trail, covering eight states. It was the most direct form of communication of its time between Missouri to California. They could ride up to 1800 miles in just ten days.
Millions began the move out west in the mid-1840s because of the gold rush and the Mormon exodus, according to The National Pony Express. With so many people on the other side of the country, a new form of communication was needed. In came William H. Russell, Alexander Majors, and William B. Waddell. They created The Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company to deliver mail from one end of the country to the other. This would later become the Pony Express. According to the National Pony Express, shortly after the Express was created, congress authorized a bill to build a telegraph line that would run from the Missouri River to the Pacific Coast. While the line was under construction, the Pony Express delivered its letters, news, and newspapers. When the telegraph line was finally finished in 1861, the Pony Express shut down. Its last letters were delivered in November of that year.
Even with its short history, it has become embedded into the history of the Wild West thanks to Wild West shows that traveled across the country and even into Europe. Ironically, these shows and the stars that made them famous (like Buffalo Bill Cody) were famous much after the Pony Express ended. It still raised public awareness about the Express and kept it alive in history. Even though it has been kept alive, a lot of the history is full of inaccuracies, wild stories, and myths according to National Geographic. Almost no records survive of this famous 18 month period.
The young men who were riders for the Express would ride up to 100 miles a day and sometimes up to four times a week. They all had to follow some very strict rules like no drinking or cursing, according to National Geographic. They were facing every kind of challenge nature could put in front of them and in some of the most dangerous parts of the country. Through snowy mountain passes and dangerous deserts, they made their rides. They came into contact with Native Americans and wild animals, and all kinds of other perils. Some Pony Express riders were killed and some stations were burned down after relations between Native Americans and Americans were heated. Service even stopped in certain areas because of it, but after the stations were rebuilt, service went back to normal.
Today, it continues to live on in colorful stories, reenactments, and historical locations that you can visit. Most of the original trail doesn't exist any more thanks to modern roads, construction, and time. What is believed to be left of the original trail can be seen in Utah and California. According to the National Pony Express, some 120 historic sites might soon be available to the public. What do you remember learning about the Pony Express? Have you ever visited any of its historic locations? It's incredible how much history horses helped shape and carry thanks to each ride those young men went on. Imagine how different our world would be without them! Until next time, stay safe and stay hopeful everyone!
Tips For Purchasing A Horse
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.
Horseback Trail Riding Etiquette!
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.
Middleton Place Team