Tips and Tricks when Switching your Horse’s Hay.

Tips and Tricks when Switching your Horse's Hay.

There are a variety of reasons, as horse owners, our hay supply changes. New hay provider, new cutting, new boarding facility, etc.

Horse Hay Switching Tips and Tricks

Some people wonder why you need to plan for a hay change. The hay makes up typically 75%+ of your horse’s diet, so switching cold-turkey could have ill effects on their health if they aren’t adequately prepared. Would you switch your horse’s grain ration overnight? Probably not!

Here are just a few tips to make your change-over easier on everyone involved:

  • A gradual transition from current hay to new hay. Have at least 1 week’s current hay to mix in with your new hay. This will gradually prepare your horse’s palate for the new hay. Rather than a hard switchover where they may go a day plus without eating which can cause digestive and other issues up to colic.
    • Start with a 1/2 and 1/2 mix new/current. Be sure to actually mix it though rather than one on top of the other. This will help the horse be forced to eat the new hay rather than pick around it.
    • Over the course of 1-2 weeks, gradually make the weight heavier towards the new hay. The horse will get used to eating more of the new hay, so when that is all that is offered, it will not be a shock.
  • Keep your feeding time consistent. This will make your horse more likely to eat new hay since it’s at regular feeding times.
  • As always, keep a good clean water source available for your horse.
  • Consider adding probiotics during the switchover to help keep the gut in a happier place.
  • If the new hay isn’t as “tasty” as the old hay, they might pick around it at first, but don’t panic. They will get hungry, and they will eat it.

Just remember, a sudden change in diet of any kind can disrupt the microbes and balance of the gut, which can lead to disgestive upset such as excessive gas, diarrhea, discomfort, colic, etc.

EIA Positive Horse in Colorado

August 28, 2018
Contacts: Media:
Christi Lightcap, (303) 869-9005,
Horse Owners & Veterinarians: State Veterinarian’s Office, (303) 869-9130,

EIA-Positive Horse Identified In Colorado  

BROOMFIELD, Colo. –The Colorado Department of Agriculture, State Veterinarian’s Office, was notified by the US Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) that a Weld County horse tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). The initial test result was received on August 24, 2018, with a re-test confirmation on August 28, 2018.  The Weld County facility is currently under a quarantine order that restricts movement of horses until further testing is completed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA).  

“The affected horse has been isolated from the remaining horses on the facility, which will be observed and retested in 60 days.  We are actively tracing movements of the horse and others it came in contact with in Colorado and other states. The disease is most commonly spread by biting flies and we’re still in the midst of Colorado’s fly season,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr.  

FAQs about Equine Infectious Anemia

What is Equine Infectious Anemia?

Equine Infectious Anemia is a viral disease spread by bloodsucking insects, inappropriate use of needles, or other equipment used between susceptible equine animals such as horses, mules and donkeys. Horses may not appear to have any symptoms of the disease, although it also can cause high fever, weakness, weight loss, an enlarged spleen, anemia, weak pulse and even death.  

How is it spread?

It is spread most commonly through blood by biting flies such as horse flies and deer flies.  

What happens to an infected horse?

There is no cure for the disease, so infected animals have to be quarantined for life or euthanized.  

Is there a danger to people?

No. The disease can only be spread to horses, mules and donkeys.  

Is the disease common?

No. There has only been a small number of cases in the United States, although the disease exists in other parts of the world. A map of cases from the year 2017 is available at  

How is the disease controlled?

Equine Infectious Anemia is a disease for which horses must be tested annually before they can be transported across state lines. The test for EIA is commonly called a Coggins Test. If you think your horse has come into contact with the lot/facility this horse was located at, please get your horse tested. This is a VERY serious disease and we need to be sure we control it.  

More facts on EIA:

Information taken from the Colorado State Department of Agriculture Website:

Trainer/Coach abuse of Young Riders

Today the New York Times published a story providing further details on now-deceased equestrian trainer Jimmy Williams and his abuse of young riders. In addition to describing Williams’ inappropriate and unacceptable actions, the article also discusses how painfully difficult it can be for survivors, athletes, and even parents to recognize the signs of abuse and report it. US Equestrian wants you to know: if you are a victim of abuse, it is never too late to come forward and make a report. You will be supported and an investigation will be conducted.

Better safeguards are now in place to prevent abuse and misconduct, but it is incumbent upon all of us as a community to look out for one another and, if you see or suspect abuse or wrongdoing, please report it to US Equestrian or the U.S. Center for SafeSport. All reporting is confidential.You can submit a report electronically to the Center or at (720) 524-5640.


Reporting Sexual Misconduct Make a report to the U.S. Center for SafeSport if you have a reasonable suspicion of sexual misconduct such as child sex abuse, non-consensual sexual conduct, sexual harassment, or intimate relationships involving an imbalance of power. You can submit a report electronically to the Center or at (720) 524-5640. Reporting Misconduct to Local Authorities Contact your local authorities if you have a reasonable suspicion that child sexual abuse or neglect has occurred. All reports of child abuse or sexual assault of a minor must be reported to local authorities and the U.S. Center for SafeSport. Reports of abuse not involving a minor may also be reported to local authorities.
24 Hour Helpline Call (866) 200-0796 for 24/7 crisis interventions, referrals and emotional support. This confidential and secure helpline is operated by RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. For more information about this helpline, please visit                         Reporting Other Misconduct USEF handles all reports of suspected misconduct that is non-sexual in nature, including harassment, hazing, bullying, physical, or emotional misconduct. Reports can be made electronically to, or electronically or telephonically to any of the individuals on the Athlete Protection Team:   Sonja S. Keating, USEF General Counsel
(859) 225-2045 Sarah Gilbert, Paralegal
(859) 225-2022 Emily Pratt, Director of Regulation
(859) 225-6956

The “Ride With Me” App for Safety

Smartpak Apps for Horse Owners

Ride With Me is a horseback riding safety app by Smartpak that gives you peace of mind when riding. Many horseback riding accidents happen when no one is around. If you fall and can’t call for help yourself, Ride With Me is designed to alert your emergency contacts.

When you start your ride with Ride With Me, the app monitors your movement to know that you’re in control, using the natural rhythms of you and the horse. If Ride With Me detects no movement over a period of time, a warning will sound. If you’re okay, one button silences the alarm.

If you don’t respond to the warning, then Ride With Me will send a text message to a select group of emergency contacts of your choice. The message includes your GPS coordinates and lets them know that Ride With Me hasn’t detected any movement.+

Smartpak offers a variety of apps that are beneficial to horse owners, so be sure to check them all out! Click here for details.

Stay Updated on Colorado Wildfire Evacuations

If you need help evacuating, or are willing to help, please click here to see what options you have! If you don’t see what you need, create a new post.

Vaccine Rules for this Competition Year

Equine Vaccination Rules for Competition
Equine Vaccination Rules for Competition

If you compete, and any of those competitions are USEF licensed, then you need to stay up to date on the vaccine/vaccination rules. Also, be sure to find out the rules/regulations for your show’s manager and the facility you are showing at. Sometimes these can vary and be more strict, or also require things such as a veterinary health check prior to arrival at the grounds. We put a lot of money into each competition so we don’t want to get turned away at the gate for any reason!

USEF requires that for ANY competition, there is a record of a horse receiving the Equine Influenza Virus and Equine Herpes Virus (Rhinopneumonitis) vaccinations within six months prior to entering the stables of the show grounds.

  • If your vet gives your horse(s) their vaccines: the exhibitor, upon request by Competition Management, must provide documentation from the veterinarian on documenting that the horse in question received the vaccinations; name of the vaccines
    and date of vaccine administration.
  • If you give your own vaccines: the exhibitor, upon request by Competition Management, must provide a receipt of the vaccine
    purchase which is signed by the owner, or agent with care, custody, and control of the horse; name, serial number and expiration date of the vaccine; and date of vaccine administration.
  • In the rare instance your horse cannot receive vaccines: the exhibitor, upon request by Competition Management, must provide a letter from the veterinarian on official letterhead stating that the horse in question cannot be vaccinated due to medical concerns and a log of temperatures taken twice daily for the seven days prior to entering the competition grounds. These horses must also have their temperature taken and logged twice daily while on the competition grounds. The log of temperatures should be provided to the Competition Management, steward, or technical delegate when requested.

If you plan on competing throughout the entire year, and even compete at a Championship show, try to schedule your vaccines around that. You do not want your horse to get vaccines the week before any important show in case of adverse reactions or stiffness. In Colorado, our show season tends to be a little shorter than in other areas, so sometimes your spring shots (if timed correctly) can get you through the end of your show season. And then you can worry about fall shots after show season has ended.

Be sure to check YOUR show schedule and find the vaccination schedule that will suit your needs the best. And with any questions, always consult your veterinarian! Remember, they are the experts.

All USEF Rules and Regulations can be found here:

USEF Equine Vaccination Rule GR845:

USEF Equine Vaccination Record Form:

To halter or not to halter in turnout, that is the question.

Horses without Halters in Turnout

The age old question, should I leave a halter on my horse during turnout? Everyone has their own opinion (as with everything horse 😂), but here are our thoughts and reasoning behind the options.

Horses are gigantic, amazing, strong, beautiful, graceful beings. That also happen to be uber clumsy and really breakable at the worst of times. So why add to the potential catastrophe horses are so good at serving us at the most inopportune times!

Typically when our horses are turned out, they are not being supervised so if something were to go wrong they might be stuck without help for quite some time.

Having a halter on adds to the potential risks your horse may face:

  • Getting the halter stuck on a fence, gate, latch, tree, etc. in their turnout area.
  • Getting the halter stuck on their own shoe.
  • Having another horse grab the halter and hurt your horse in the process by yanking or ripping it across their skin.
Horses without Halters in Turnout

The halter, persay, isn’t the problem. The problem is when that halter gets stuck and your horse panics and thrashes around. This can cause lacerations, fractures, breaks, soft tissue damage, and a variety of other injuries including death. And I don’t know about you, but I try to avoid vet bills at all costs!

So our stance is to leave halters off whenever possible during turnout.

Yes, there are occasions where it is IMPOSSIBLE to turnout without a halter. Example: hard to catch horse, unbroke horse, etc. In these instances, try to use a halter designed for turnout safety. These would be halters with leather breakaway pieces above the crown, or fully leather halters (however, these tend to be a little stronger than the breakaway type). But avoid fully nylon halters and rope halters at all costs! As these are nearly indestructible.

We’d love to see photos of your horse in turnout having fun, comment below! is having a HUGE Warehouse Sale!

Be sure to check out the HUGE sale that is currently having to clear out their warehouse and make room for new products. These deals will only last while the products are on the shelves, so order now at these discounts! Spring Cleaning Warehouse Clearance – Save Up To 78% Off

Equestrian Grammar Lesson = Ferrier

Many people spell a horseshoer as “Ferrier”, this is incorrect in American English. The correct spelling is “Farrier”. So now that you know, we will assume when you use the word ferrier, that you are referring to a farrier with a nice hind end 😂😂😂. Or you are from 14th-17th century France and therefore a vampire.

And for your knowledge: It turns out that farrier (which is the current preferred English usage) evolved from the Middle French word “ferrier“, which meant blacksmith (back then, iron workers and blacksmiths were one and the same). Ferrier, in turn, evolved from the Latin word ferrarius which means “of iron”, which is from the Latin ferrum, “iron”. (Taken from here).

How to create an Effective Sales or ISO Ad

We often see a sales or “in search of” (ISO) ad lacking tons of information. Do yourself a favor and include pertinent information in your ad so you alleviate the “tire kickers” contacting you and avoid unnecessary questions. Here are some tips on creating effective ads to sell your item or find something you are looking for.

Sales/Service Ad

ISO (In Search Of) Ad

Include Price & Location Include Budget & Location
Include Item Details such as: Include Item Details such as:
Age of horse/Year of birth or manufacture date Age range or Year Range you are looking for
Color If you have a color preference
Breed of Horse / Bloodlines If you have a breed preference
Gender of Horse Gender preference
Discipline (H/J, Dressage, Western Pleasure/etc.) Specific discipline of horse or service you need
Level of training / Awards If you have a specific level of training needed
Material Item is made from If there is a specific material you require
Service Offered  Service Needed (lessons/training/builder/etc.)
Any other important details (Temperament/Soundness/etc.) Other important details on the item/svc you need
Any other items it comes with (tack/bits/stirrups/etc.) Where you are willing to travel / if they must come to you
If you will accept trades  

If you think we should add anything to the list, comment below!