New Year's: Got horsey resolutions?

A brand-new year is upon us. Raise your hoof (so to speak), if you’re making any horse-related New Year’s resolutions.

Do you plan to:

  • Ride longer – or more often
  • Visit your horse more frequently
  • Enter more horse shows
  • Log lots of trail miles
  • Read more horse books
  • Schedule a professional horse portrait session
  • Ride bareback and bridle-less for the first time
  • Participate in more equestrian training clinics
  • Keep a horse journal
  • Add a fitness regimen to improve your body condition
  • Start saving for a new horse trailer
  • Polish your horse’s saddle and tack more often
  • Train at a higher level than last year
  • Come up with a way to display all those horse show ribbons
  • Clean out the tack room before Labor Day
  • Or something else?

What is your horsey New Year’s resolution?

New Year’s: Got horsey resolutions?
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4 horse feeds recalled after equine deaths

4 horse feeds recalled after equine deaths

Four horse feed products have been recalled, possibly linked to the deaths of multiple horses at a ranch in South Florida. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has apparently sent feed samples to a private laboratory to investigate possible adulteration of the feeds in question, according to a November 18 report in Florida’s The Ledger.

Lakeland Animal Nutrition, an Alltech subsidiary, voluntarily recalled the four pelleted equine feeds, posting this statement on their official website.

Please be advised that the following horse feed(s) are being voluntarily recalled by Lakeland. It has come to our attention that there may be a quality issue with the equine feeds named and produced as listed below:

Signature Status Pellet (Lot Number 14-251) – Manufacture Date: September 8
Signature Equilette Pellet (Lot Number 14-259) – Manufacture Date: September 16
Signature Status Pellet (Lot Number 14-280) – Manufacture Date: October 7
LAN 10 Pellet (Lot Number 14-281) – Manufacture Date: October 8

If you are in possession of any of these affected products, please return the product(s) to your dealer immediately for a full refund. The specific lot number can be found on the front center of the feed bag.

As a measure of caution, Lakeland is suspending the manufacture and sale of all equine feeds until further notice.

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your cooperation. Please message us with any questions or call us at 863-665-5722 (M-F, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.).

As recently as November 4, Lakeland Animal Nutrition posted a notice on the company’s Facebook page, announcing the company’s plans to discontinue production of all equine feeds, effective immediately.

Eliminated products include: Equilette Sweet and Pellet, EquiPeak, Grain-Max, LAN 10 sweet  pellet, LAN 12-6, LAN12 sweet pellet, PaceSetter, Status, Turn & Burn, all Signature formulations, and all economy horse feeds.

We have not come to this decision lightly. It has been the result of many months of consideration and ultimately allows us to focus on core manufacturing competencies in beef, dairy, poultry and swine along with other classes of commercial livestock,” the Lakeland Facebook announcement said.

Lakeland equine feed customers now have two reasons to seek other feed options promptly for their horses.

Here are a few examples of equine feeds available online from other manufacturers. (Listing does not imply endorsement. Horse owners are advised to evaluate products individually, with their own equines’ nutritional needs in mind.)

Additional brands (such as Nutrena, Purina, and Tribute) may be obtained through local feed dealers and grain depots.

Horse photo - Stock Xchng
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Happy Halloween horse costuming how-tos are handy

Who’s heading off for a Halloween barn party or fun show costume class? Check out these helpful horse costume ideas before dropping a bundle of cash on masquerades for you and your favorite equine friend.


Happy horse masks: Fun with free printables

Horsey masks are adorable to Halloween parties or imaginative play. What horse-happy kid doesn't love pretending to be a pony and galloping all over, while making neighing noises? And, if someone happens to set up a few jumps, well, all the better.

Ready-made horse masks are available online and in costume stores and toy shops. But free printables make fun craft projects for kids. 

Why not enlarge and print these simple horse masks for a pony-themed birthday party or a 4-H meeting? Creative kids can color them to create horses, ponies, donkeys, and even zebras.

Follow these simple instructions to make easy horse masks.

  1. Download or copy these horse mask photos into a document file.
  2. Resize each mask to fit a child-sized face.
  3. Print the images on heavy card-stock paper.
  4. Color the horse masks with crayons or markers.
  5. Cut out each mask. Be sure to cut out the eye holes too.
  6. Punch holes in the sides, and add string – or staple a wooden popsicle stick to the bottom of each mask for the child to hold.

That’s it! Giddy-up – with easy free printable horse masks!

Photo by LAN/The Mane Point
All rights reserved.
Horse masks 
Free printables - 
public domain

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Can a barn change boost the horse-human relationship?

Sometimes things really do work out for the best, even when they seem to start out a little rocky.

We just spent several super years in a wonderful equestrian community of horses and humans. The facility was beautiful and well-managed. The clientele was pleasant and fun. And the barn offered on-site horse shows and training clinics, in which we happily participated. We made lots of fine friends and merry memories.

Moving to a new barn means leaving the familiar herd.

It was all good.

Overnight, our horsey world turned upside-down. The barn owners sent an email to all of the boarders, announcing that the facility would be offered for sale immediately and that they would be closing their business within a few months.

With winter just over the horizon, dozens of horse owners began searching for stalls in other barns. We asked around in our horsey network of friends and contacts. We visited lots of equestrian facilities.

Stepping into new stables can be a horse-human adventure.
We packed up the ponies and moved.

Fairly quickly, we were able to find a suitable and reasonably affordable spot for our own herd. We acted promptly, as stables with indoor arenas tend to fill fairly fast in this region in the fall.

Heck, we had four horses to place.

Although we already miss many friends from the old barn, we are happy to report that our horses are settling in nicely in their new home. We are making lots of new horse-world friends and reuniting with some long-time pals as well.

We are even saving a few hundred dollars a month, while enjoying excellent horse care and fine facilities.

But here’s the best part.
LAN photo by L. Davis. Used by permission.

I am re-discovering the preciousness of the horse-human bond, which seems only to be enhanced by settling in together in unfamiliar surroundings.

As horse owners, we know that our equine companions look to us for their care and advocacy. When we move them to new, unknown spots, they depend on us more than ever for consistency and assurance.

My young sport horse mare and older Thoroughbred gelding (along with my daughter’s Morgan mare and Quarter Horse gelding) had to leave the herds they knew. They were loaded onto trailers, carted several miles away, and led off into strange stalls and pastures. Horses they’d never seen gaped at them.

I don’t want to personify my equines, but I could swear each of my horses gave me the same look, as if to ask:

Where are we?
Will I be fed and watered in this strange place?
Will you still spend time with me?
How will my life change?
Is everything gonna be OK?

Within a few days, after experiencing their new care, turnout, grooming, and schooling routines, our horses quickly grew accustomed to their new residence.

Here’s another intriguing development we have noticed.

Sometimes sharing a new spot brings familiar equines closer.
Although our horses were never pastured together at the former location, and they did not occupy adjacent stalls, they surely knew one another. Now, in their new home, they get along famously. We even placed my daughter’s mare with the two geldings for the first few days, until they settled in enough to assimilate into other turnout groups.

And my mare has grown very fond of a two-year-old Quarter Horse filly, pastured next to her. She even tosses hay over the fence to share with the youngster.

I’m not a barn-hopper, and I do not recommend relocating horses often.

But, when the need becomes pressing, it can turn out to be an opportunity to build an even deeper relationship between horse and human.

You don’t belong to the herd. 
You belong to me.
And that's magic.

Unless specified otherwise, 
all photos by LAN/The Mane Point
All rights reserved.

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