"Ask Sara" Blog

December 28, 2016

When you walk through the barn of Southern Reins Center for Equine Therapy, you will find horses of all shapes and sizes. There are many factors that must be considered when selecting an appropriate therapy horse; from past experience to gait, and even personality. In this post I will be focusing on our trial period and how size and soundness pertain to the selection process.

At Southern Reins each horse goes through a 90-day trial period before they officially become a part of our therapy horse team. We look for horses sound of body and mind, as this can be a very mentally and physically demanding job.

First and most importantly, I allow them plenty of time to settle into their new surroundings and the herd they will be turned out with. How a horse gets along with the members of the herd is very important. If they are stressed out or unhappy for any reason, it will absolutely carry over into their other daily activities. We have multiple large paddocks that allow us to group the horses...

September 8, 2016

People often ask me if our horses stay in their stalls all day​,​ or at night​,​ and my answer ​is always the same: Every horse stays out as much as possible.  Even though it takes a little extra grooming, bug control, pasture maintenance, and definitely busting the occasional frozen water tub​ in the pasture,​ our horses love to be outside​; ​and it is really what is best for their overall health and happiness.

Confinement in a stall conflicts with a horse’s natural impulse to move, socialize and graze. The stress of these unmet needs can affect horses in a number of ways. In some​,​ these unmet needs can manifest in​to problematic behaviors such as cribbing, weaving and wood chewing. In others, they may exhibit excessive energy and difficulty​ focusing while riding and training. ​S​tanding in manure and urine in stalls can lead to hoof problems like thrush and white line disease,​where the ​bacterias can cause severe damage and pain. The hoof​,​ just like...

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