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Our Newsletter

2009 Pet Peeves

Pet Peeves Around the Barn & Solutions to Fix Them

Clean Behind the Ears 

A major pet peeve of mine is to see my horses put away with sweat marks left form the bridle. It’s not enough to brush down the body—his head is just as important. Take the time to rub your horse’s head, preferably with a rubber grooming mitt, all around his ears, brow band, and cheeks, erasing any marks left by the bridle. He will occasionally need a damp rag or sponge to remove the built up sweat. Your horse’s head is part of his hair coat and deserves the same treatment that you give the rest of his body. It is also a simple act of kindness and a brief reward that your horse so well deserves after a ride. - Julie Goodnight, Master Clinician 

Close Those Gates 

Gates ates ates It is important to have the arena gate closed when you are riding, but what about when you are not riding? If gates to arenas, turn out pens not being used, and round pens are left open the wind can tear them right off the hinges. The weight of them just hanging there can also damage them over time. In order to keep your facility safe and neat, please close all gates all the time. - Christy Landwehr, Master Clinic Instructor  

The Invisible Line 

It drives me crazy when people are cleaning pens when they clean up to the line of the fence and not beyond. Usually some manure will escape the confines of the pen and end up on the other side of the fence or in the next pen. Often people pretend that it isn’t there, rationalizing by thinking their job is to clean the pen. The job is to clean up the manure, no matter where it happened to land—on either side of the fence. If left to accumulate, it builds and builds or the job is left for someone more conscientious to do. It also creates a fly breeding area. Rake well under the line of the fence and do what it takes to remove ALL the manure in the area. - Julie Goodnight, Master Clinician 


Spurs can be a useful artificial aid but should only be used by very experienced riders. A rider must have an exceedingly steady leg, with a good seat and excellent balance-both laterally and longitudinally. The rider must be able to control the angle of their ankle and have the ability to use light aids. Beginner and intermediate riders should never be allowed to use spurs as this is potentially dangerous and could be abusive to the horse. - Polly Haselton Barger CHA Clinic Staff 

Leaving ‘em Behind

Leaving the horse standing with the halter around his neck while you go to put the bridle away. Leaving the lead rope tied as you put the bridle on the horse. Dragging the girth or cinch in the dirt on the way to or from saddling the horse. When you wind up a hose, rinse it off, don’t leave the mud and dirt on it to harden and dry. When people leave the halter at tached to the lead rope dangling from the wall after they have tacked up. It is a hassle for anyone else tacking up and dangerous for horses passing. Arena equipment being thrown over the fence into the arena instead of being passed through the rails. When people do a quick grooming job and just groom the area of the tack and forget that grooming the horse from head to tail is how we check for cuts, abrasions and other injuries before a trail ride or lesson. Riding shod horses on concrete without proper shoes. This is such a safety hazard for slipping. When people take a blanket off a horse and drop it on the ground instead of folding it so that the side that contacts the horse stays clean and is easier to put back on. If you double it back in thirds while taking it off the horse works the best. When riders don’t undo their nosebands on English bridles when they remove them.