Fort Collins installs a Horseback Rider Height Crosswalk Button

Crosswalk Button for Horseback Riders

Fort Collins city staff partnered with Larimer County Government to install a City & County first at the Poudre Trail crossing at Taft Hill: an equestrian button! Horseback riders can now activate the flashing beacons for crossing without dismounting.

See the post here: https://www.facebook.com/fortcollinsgov/photos/a.306422141663/10157253310821664/?type=3&theater

Plants that Repel Flies and Insects

Are you looking for ways your landscaping can help with your fly or insect problem? Just plant these annuals and perennials to tell those flies they are no longer welcome at your property!

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Homemade Fly Spray

Homemade Flyspray Recipe

Are you looking for a good DIY flyspray that you can make at home? One that actually works? Look no further. This is made with mostly natural ingredients and is much less harsh on your skin/lungs/everything else it gets on.

Homemade Fly Spray Recipe:

4 cups apple cider vinegar (raw with the mother works best)
20 drops rosemary oil 
20 drops basil oil
20 drops peppermint oil
2 tablespoons liquid oil (olive oil, canola oil, or mineral oil will work)
1 tablespoon dawn dish soap

Mix all of these ingredients in a spray bottle. And be sure to shake it well before each application to ensure the ingredients are fully mixed to be most effective.

There are lots of other essential oils that help ward away flies, so feel free to add those in and play around with the recipe to your liking. (lavender, tea tree, pine, citronella, lemon grass, etc.)

Something to keep in mind, is since this doesn’t contain all of those harsh ingredients, you will need to apply it more frequently. But it does work well if applied regularly.

Evacuation Training for Colorado Horse Owners & Volunteers

On Tuesday, April 23rd, Douglas Elbert County Horse Council will be hosting a Barn Manager and Volunteer refresher training for all who have volunteered to help during an evacuation.  In order to have things run smoothly during a very high-stress situation, it is important to attend.  This meeting should not take very long.

Date:  Tuesday April 23rd

Place:  Franktown Fire Protection District          
1959 N State HWY 83          
Franktown, CO 80116

Time:  7:00 P.M.

For more information or contact details go here: http://www.dechc.org/

Are You Ready for Tomorrow’s Snow Storm?

March Snowstorm in Colorado

In case you haven’t heard yet, there is a big snow storm coming tomorrow. All the news channels are covering it. If you want to see your weather forecast, check it out here. In many areas, the rain will start tonight and will slowly turn into snow with snow continuing into Thursday. This storm will also be accompanied by very strong winds.

For more storm details, click here.

Now, what we care about? How to take care of our horse and livestock!

  • Be sure to provide clean, unfrozen water. Many animals prefer water that has a tank heater because the slightly warmer temperature goes down easier for them.
  • If you can, provide 3 sided shelter with a roof. This way the animals can get out of the elements if they choose to. If you cannot provide that sort of shelter, provide as much shelter as you can; ESPECIALLY a windbreak since these could be up to Category 2 hurricane winds alongside the snow.
  • The more hay, the better. Much of the horse’s body heat is produced by the fermentation of fiber in the hindgut.
  • If your horses (or livestock) do not have an adequate winter coat, be sure to provide them with an insulated blanket.
  • Extremely young and older animals have a harder time with extreme weather, so be sure to provide them with extra support in this weather.

Good luck and stay safe in this storm (and be sure to tag us in fun snowy animal pictures on social media!).

The Colorado Animal Health Laboratory is Moving

The Colorado State Animal Health Laboratory is moving April 1. They will not be shutting down during their move. But please keep in mind this move when you are sending samples, to ensure they get to the correct address. If you are worried about a delay in processing due to delivery to the wrong address or anything else for your coggins test, clients are welcome to drop off samples at the new lab starting April 1st.

The new address is:

300 S. Technology Ct.
Broomfield CO 80021
303-869-9230

All About Foaling with Dr. Pat McCue of CSU

ALL ABOUT FOALING WITH DR. PAT MCCUE OF CSU

We are lucky to have Colorado State University here, they offer an exceptional team of equine vets to the community. Dr. Pat McCue has done a series on the Colorado State University Equine Reproduction Laboratory Facebook Page regarding foaling. If you plan on breeding, we highly recommend watching this to further your education!

We highly recommend following their Facebook page too, so you don’t miss out on any educational videos and articles!

Prediction of Foaling with Dr. Pat McCue

Normal Foaling and Dystocia with Dr. Pat McCue

Care of the Newborn Foal with Dr. Pat McCue

Information on the Mountain Lion Attack at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space

Mountain Lion Attack in Colorado

You may have heard about the mountain lion attack here in Colorado recently. We wanted to share the information with you so you can be informed.

On Monday, Feb. 4 at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space a trail runner was attacked by a juvenile mountain lion. The victim was able to defend himself from the attack, resulting in the death of the mountain lion (by suffocation). The runner was then able to leave the open space property and get himself to a local hospital.

These attacks are not common in Colorado. But if you ride or hike, remember that Colorado has wildlife and to always stay attentive and vigilent.

This serves as a reminder that living in Colorado means living among our wildlife. Here’s what to do if you encounter a mountain lion: https://cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/LivingwithWildlifeLion1.aspx

The Truth About Boarding Facilities

THE TRUTH ABOUT BOARDING FACILITIES

Let’s face it, as a horse owner, we have all relied on a boarding facility at some point to be able to enjoy our equine friends. And unless you are really blessed, most of us will always require a boarding facility to be able to enjoy horses.

Boarding facilities offer us so many amenities, they really are a blessing to us; a blessing that a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and money go into so we have great facilities available to us for the riding and care of our horses.

We know owning a horse is not cheap, but you would be surprised the favors that boarding facilities are actually doing for us, based on the actual cost to operate one VS the cost they charge us.

Here are just some of the costs that go into boarding horses:

  • Here in Colorado, lately anyways, small bales of grass hay (65-70lb bales) are about $12. Let’s say your horse gets 1/3 bale per day, or 21lbs per day. That equals out to $108 per month per horse (feeding 1/2 bale, or 32lbs, per day equals $180/month).
  • If your barn uses bedding, they likely go through 5-10 bags per week per horse. Assuming they have found a great deal on bulk shavings, we will figure $5/bag and 5 bags per week (a single bag at Murdoch’s is $7.99). 15 bags equals $75 per month.

So in hard costs per horse, that is already $183/month (or $255/month for a little more hay).

  • Most facilities have a mortgage, and the equine portion of that mortgage in Colorado is most likely at VERY minimum $200,000 which equals out to $1,073 per month with a 5% APR on a 30 year mortgage. Assuming the facility holds 12 horses, your horse’s share of that is $90 per month. (But if we are being honest, the mortgage on most boarding facilities is closer to $700,000 or $3,443 per month at 4.5% APR on 30 years, and that would equal $286 per horse if 12 horses were boarded).

Now we are up to $273/month (or $345/month with a little more hay).

  • Labor: between the amount of time it takes to feed your horse (2-3 feedings per day), cleaning their stall, cleaning their pen, moving them from stall to pen and back again, getting them water, cleaning waterers, blanketing, grooming arena(s), mowing pens, cleaning the barn, night checks, and other miscellaneous duties, let’s average 1 hour of labor per horse per day, which at only $10/hr works out to $300/month (but being realistic, you cannot find good reliable help for $10/hour here in Colorado, so at $15/hour it would be $450/month).

We are up to $573/month with these additional costs (or $795/month with a 1/2 bale instead of 1/3 bale, and $15/hr labor instead of $10/hr labor).

This does not take into consideration the specialty insurance the facility needs to have to be able to board your horse and have you ride there, the cost of the tractor and attachments (mowers, drags, plows, etc.), maintenance for facility and facility equipment, water and electricity, facility repairs due to horses damaging items, etc.

So if you have a facility you enjoy boarding at, and the cost is under what we outlined above… your facility owner is probably not making any money (and actually your horse being there is costing them money in the bigger picture). So before you complain about how much your board is, keep that in mind!

Having a great boarding facility also gives us the option to go on vacation for a week, or not see our horse for a day as needed. Providing us with a LOT of flexibility to enjoy our lives outside of horses.

And remember to support your facility owner by taking lessons when offered, participating in clinics and events, and just being sure to thank them once in a while for the wonderful facility they make available to you.

10 Valentines Day Gift Ideas for Horse Lovers

10 VALENTINES DAY GIFT IDEAS FOR HORSE LOVERS

If you happen to love a horse person, one of the ways to their heart is DEFINITELY through their horse. So here are 10 affordable gift ideas every horse lover will love! Click on any of the images to link to the page to purchase them!

Lettia Rhinestone Padded Leather Halter - Valentines Day Gift Idea
Lettia Rhinestone Padded Leather Halter – $69.99
Woof Wear Color Fushion Dressage Saddle Pad - Valentines Day Gift Idea
Woof Wear Color Fushion Dressage Saddle Pad – $69.95
Lettia CoolMax Western Saddle Pad - Valentines Day Gift Idea
Lettia CoolMax Western Saddle Pad – $89.99
Word Necklace Live Laugh Love Ride - Valentines Day Gift Idea
Word Necklace Live Laugh Love Ride – $12.69
Great Grip 8Pc Grooming Package - Valentines Day Gift Idea
Great Grip 8Pc Grooming Package – $47.49
Eqyss Avocado Mist Conditioner Detangler - Valentines Day Gift Idea
Eqyss Avocado Mist Conditioner Detangler – $20.99
Lettia Sparkly Polo Wraps - Valentines Day Gift Idea
Lettia Sparkly Polo Wraps – $29.99
Stud Muffins Horse Treats - Valentines Day Gift Idea
Stud Muffins Horse Treats – $9.70
Bling Horse Hat - Valetines Day Gift Idea
Bling Horse Hat – $22.19
Horses are Where the Heart Is Hoodie - Valentines Day Gift Idea
Horses are Where the Heart Is Hoodie – $30.49