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Hoofprints and Happenings at Harmony Ranch
December 21, 2013

Welcome to Hoofprints and Happenings! Summer newsletter

Dontcha just luv summer! The warm weather, the sleek coats on the horses and the long days to ride ride ride or just hang out at the barn with friends.

New at the Ranch...

Our new outdoor riding ring is almost finished! The footing is in and now it's just a matter of getting the grade just perfect. It will be so wonderful to have this beautiful riding ring just a few steps away from the barn!

New on our Website...

Some big changes are happening on the Harmony Ranch Learn All About Horses Website. For those of you who haven't been on our web site in while there are lots of new articles on everything from Dude Ranches to Western Dressage.

But the biggest change is coming in our Lesson section. As you all know we have always specialized in teaching adult riders and especially novice and or nervous adults. Now we're really putting our focus on that and promoting what we do best. There's an old saying of "do what you do best" and for us specializing in the adult rider is our passion. Please visit the new pages at www.Harmony-Ranch.com and let us know what you think! You can also send in your suggestions for new content! In the future we will be having contests on the site for submissions- topics will be varied ie about your biggest aha moment on your horse or your most embarrassing horse moment, etc.

Welcome Returns...

Just want to welcome back long time Harmony Ranch-er Sharon! Sharon rode with Harmony year ago and then moved away to England (sniff sniff).For those of you that remember our lovely Gunsmoke that handsome black boy you will recall Sharon was his love and riding partner! (Gunsmoke was adopted out to farrier assistant Shannon a few years ago for his retirement but that's another story with a good happy ending!) Over the years Sharon has dropped in when she is in the country and this time she came to stay with us at Harmony and did a real crash course in Western riding again. Sharon it was great to have your great smile and awesome attitude around and I know that Laredo just loved having you as his riding partner for those 4 days! You rode awesome girl! Looking forward to your next visit!

All of us at Harmony are looking forward to Allison returning in a couple of weeks. Allison will be here to teach for the month of July. I hope you are all as excited as I am to start those amazing Summer Programs with her! If you have not seen our Summer line up of great programs make sure to visit www.http://www.learn-all-about-horses.com/horse-camps.html Some are already sold out but there is a few spaces left. Oh and regular hourly lessons are still being offered as well!

Special Events...

CUSTOMER APPRECIATION DAYS AND OPEN HOUSE July 7 and 8 Between 11-3 each day we are OFFERING UNLIMITED GROUP LESSONS TO OUR CURRENT STUDENTS FOR HALF PRICE! Book your spots now! Our current students may ride in as many lessons as they want this weekend for half price! Group lessons only $25/lesson! Sign up early because spaces are limited! Try different horses-super charge on your current level--get your giddy up on!!

During this weekend we will also be hosting an OPEN HOUSE welcoming any new comers to Harmony Ranch that would like to come in and see the facility, check out our teaching and meet the horses. All are welcome! Please pass on the info to anyone you know that would love to learn all about Western riding or needs a place to board their special horse. Remember we have a great referral program when new clients register!

Summer Tip...

Summer tip: Part of good Horsemanship is taking care of your horse's needs in extreme weather; especially in the hot humid weather. We have to remember that when we are working our horses that they will heat up a lot faster than we do. If we feel warm then they are HOT. Give your horse lots of extra time to catch their breath during your ride-that means walk or stand and even find an open doorway of the arena if you're inside to catch a breeze; or find a patch of shade-fyi your horse will not catch his breath if you're jogging. After the ride make sure to cool down your horse properly-a sure way to make your horse seriously sick (colic or founder can be caused by improper riding and cool down techniques as well as dangerous heat stroke)

Keep a close eye on your horse for dehydration and or over heating.

When temps get over 90 degrees F with high relative humidity this can spell danger for many horses. The average temp for a healthy horse is 98 to 101 degrees Fahrenheit; anything over 102 and you should be calling your vet. In hot weather allow your horse to drink as much as they want to avoid dehydration; on average a horse drinks a minimum of 5 gallons per day and that may double in hot weather. However, do NOT let him have free access to water if he is hot from exercising. If it's exercise induced heat just let him take small sips gradually over about an hour, and during that time keep him walking to help cool him out.

Ever notice those big veins that stand out on a horse when he's hot? That is his body trying to cool itself off. Run cool water over those areas along the gaskins and inside the hind legs and under the belly. Also cool water over his back and loins will help. If you do this you could prevent heat stroke and for sure your horse will feel better. Also keep an eye on their breathing. Average breaths should be about 8 to 16 per minute. If he's breathing faster than that and he's hot, start the cool down and allow him to catch his breath and reduce his body temp.

A lot of this is common sense but as riders we need to be reminded because we are responsible for the welfare of our horses. Seems simple but just remember, if there is a heat advisory for humans to not do physical activity and to stay out of the sun and heat, the same applies to your horse and your pets!

'Till Next Time...

Giddy up and Live Well!

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