11 Organizing Tips to Keep Your Barn Clutter Free

When it comes to your barn, maintaining a clutter-free space is more about safety than aesthetics. Debris, clutter and disorganization can spook your horse, increase the risk of injury and lead to other safety hazards. As you care for your horse, barn cleaning and maintenance should be a regular part of the routine. Make it easier on yourself and more effective by incorporating these 11 organizing tips to keep your barn clutter-free.

Create and Maintain an Organized, Clutter-Free Barn

  1. Clear the Barn Aisle. A clear barn aisle is important as you walk in and out of the barn to ensure your horse doesn’t bump into clutter and get cut or bruised. Likewise, if he acts up on the cross ties, you won’t have to worry about injuries.
  1. Maintain a Cobweb-Free Space. Cobwebs or spider webs are a fire hazard and are best removed.
  1. Monitor Surfaces. Periodically check to ensure that no nails have popped through the walls and that the surfaces are splinter-free.
  1. Keep it Well Lit. Replace burned out lights to prevent your horse from becoming spooked in the barn or from getting injured as you walk to and from the stall.
  1. Clean Away Dust and Debris. A daily cleaning makes it much easier to maintain a barn that’s not cluttered with dust and debris. Toss trash immediately and give your horse’s area a quick sweeping.
  1. Store Grain Securely. Secure metal trash bins or containers are best for storing horse feed to avoid attracting rodents.
  1. Store Tack and Equipment Safely. Horse tack, blankets and other equipment should be stored securely on hooks or in cubbies where your horse can’t get tangled in them. Organized storage will also make it easier to find what you need.
  1. Remove Glass and Cardboard. Glass can accidentally break, causing a health hazard for horses. Likewise, cardboard is attractive nesting material for rodents.
  1. Have Separate Grooming Kits. To avoid the spread of skin conditions or bacteria, it’s important to have a separate grooming kit for each horse. Use a bucket, grooming bag or box to store brushes and other supplies.
  1. Keep an Equine Medical Kit Nearby. In the event of an emergency, an equine medical kit or first aid kit should always be kept handy.
  1. Store Tools Out of the Way. Brooms, shovels and manure forks should always be stored on a secure wall rack where they can’t be knocked over and become a hazard.

Turn Tips into Habits

If you’re beginning to clear out a messy barn or preparing a new area for your horse, these tips may feel overwhelming. Tackle them one at a time, allowing sufficient time for each task to be completed. As you continue incorporating these organizational tips into your daily routine, you’ll find that they will easily become a matter of course. Once they become habits, you’ll find that these tips take less time to include, while continuing to provide you and your horse with a multitude of benefits.

Spotlight on Ice Horse™ Cold Therapy Products

The Ice Horse™ Brand

For over 15 years, Ice Horse™ has lead the way in designing Equine Cold Therapy products. Made in the USA, their innovative wraps, boots, and cooling machines have defined product standards and garnered international acclaim from vets and riders alike. Ice Horse™ is dedicated to creating products designed to prevent injury and speed recovery for equine athletes. The multi-disciplinary team of Ice Horse™ sponsored riders includes some of the best competitors the sport has to offer.

The Basics of Equine Cold Therapy

When your horse experiences a leg injury, the affected area will usually swell and feel hot to the touch. These symptoms are indicators of increased blood flow to the site of the injury. Although this is a normal sign of the body’s healing response, swelling and inflammation can exacerbate soft tissue damage and potentially cause further damage. So what do you do?

Cooling down the injured leg will help alleviate pain and reduce swelling and inflammation. This form of treatment is most beneficial and effective within the first 48 hours after an injury occurs. Cold hosing has been (and will remain) a simple and effective way to reduce swelling and draw heat out of an injury. However, the major drawback to this method of equine cold therapy is the amount of time that it takes out of your day. Luckily, there are a lot of products on the market that can help your treatment sessions become more time efficient while remaining equally effective.

Cold therapy can be used as both a treatment and as a tool in preventative maintenance for horses with a past history of muscle, joint, or soft tissue injury.

Quick Facts:

  1. Immediately after an injury (within 0-48 hrs.), cold treatment slows the circulation of blood to the area to reduce swelling and protect undamaged tissue
  2. Apply cold therapy for about 15-20 min. at a time
  3. Allow at least 30 min. in between treatment sessions
  4. Cold therapy is most effective when ice and/or cold water are applied with consistent pressure and surface contact

Ice Horse™ Cold Therapy Products

For applying cold to the lower leg, Ice Horse™ has created a couple different options:

  1. The Ice Horse™ Evendura Wrap is designed to provide extra coverage from below the knee to the pastern and fetlock area. These wraps contain eight reusable FirstIce® inserts that are guaranteed to stay cold for two hours.
  2. An alternative choice is the Ice Horse™ First+Ice Boots. These boots come with four FirstIce® bags (two for each leg) that are arranged to target the canon bone, splint bone, and flexor tendons, in particular.
  3. All reusable Ice Horse™ FirstIce® Packs are filled with small ice crystals that allow the bag to stay malleable so it can conform to any body part. Packs can be purchases individually.

Ice Horse™ makes several convenient products for applying cold therapy to hard to reach spots on your horse’s legs and body:

  1. Instead of cold hosing that hock or stifle, try the Ice Horse™ Hock Wrap and Stifle Wrap. These products are formed specifically to fit their respective areas. The neoprene and FirstIce® packs are held securely in place by velcro straps so that the wrap applies even, cold compression.
  2. The Ice Horse™ Back Blanket provides an easy cold therapy option for your horse’s back. This product comes with 10 removable FirstIce® packs for flexible treatment options. Use all 10 for maximum cooling coverage from the withers to the sacroiliac joint, or use just a few to target specific problem areas.
  3. The Ice Horse™ Big Black Boot makes cooling off a horse’s hoof a little less hassle. FirstIce® inserts wrap around the hoof and coronet band to provide uniform coverage. This product comes with three FirstIce® inserts and one polymer shoe. The unique elastic strap configuration keeps the boot secure on your horse’s hoof. Available in either standard (horse) or small (pony).
  4. The Ice Horse™ Emergency Wrap can be used virtually anywhere on your horse’s body, including the neck, upper leg, and shoulder. The wrap’s anti-migration fabric keeps the pack securely in place. The Ice Horse™ Emergency Wrap comes with two reusable FirstIce® packs.

Please consult your vet, as splits and other conditions can become severe and cause significant lameness if not treated properly.

Choosing a Fly Sheet

Help your horse beat the heat and the bugs this summer! Dover has plenty of protective fly gear for all your equine friends. You may be wondering which brand is the best, what fabric is the most practical, and what sorts of accessories are necessary–neck and belly guards, for instance.  Put simply, there’s more than one correct answer. When picking out a fly sheet, identify your main concerns and consider the functional purposes that it needs to serve.

Does My Horse Need a Fly Sheet?

There are numerous reasons to consider purchasing fly protection for your horse. Horses that suffer from insect skin allergies will appreciate the relief they get with the addition of a fly sheet or mask.

Some horses don’t have allergies to bugs, but can still be frustrated by the constant pestering of insects in the paddock or stall.  Horses will often shake their heads, twitch ears, swish their tails, and stomp their hooves as visible signs that they are annoyed by bugs. If your horse is exhibiting these behaviors, fly protection could help lower your horse’s daily stress levels. If you see visible bites on your horses, you may want to consider a fly sheet. There are few things worse than having itchy welts from bug bites.

Many fly sheets and masks on the market today provide protection from the sun. In addition to bleaching out your horse’s beautiful coat, UV rays can be harmful to your horse and also cause painful sunburns. There is a misconception that fly sheets will overheat your horse. UV protection and the light colored fabrics reflect the sun’s rays away from your horse’s body, keeping them cooler and more comfortable on hot, sunny days. Horses with dark coats or light skin are particularly vulnerable to being effected by sunlight. Another great benefit to fly protection, is keeping your horse’s coat clean and shiny. Some blankets are made from materials that polish the coat.

If any of these situations match up with you and your horse, a fly sheet could be a worthwhile investment.

How to Pick the Best Fly Sheet for Your Horse

Consider where and for how long your horse is turned out. The amount of coverage should depend, in part, on your horse’s sensitivity level. Horses with a low tolerance for pests are good candidates for fly sheets made with neck and belly guards or out of fabric treated with bug repellent. Neck covers can also help protect the coat from UV rays that cause fading. For horses that are rough on their blankets, consider fly sheets made out of durable, high denier mesh.

Just like any other blanket, the right fit hinges on finding the brand that suits your horse’s body type. As a general rule, companies that make their blankets with particular features–leg straps, leg arches, shoulder gussets, etc.–likely design fly sheets with similar attributes. So, if you know your horse fits into a particular brand, start your search there.

A few popular options:

Rider’s International Stretch Micro Mesh Fly Sheet

Rider’s International blankets are made exclusively for Dover Saddlery. The Micro Mesh Stretch Fly Sheet is soft, lightweight, and breathable. The shoulders are lined with nylon to protect against shoulder rubs. The mesh material is slightly stretchy, so the sheet will conform nicely to your horse’s body. This fly sheet features a two buckle front closure and adjustable leg straps, as well as a hidden belly surcingle and protective fleece at the withers. Available in sizes 62”-84”

Rambo® Fly Buster™ Fly Sheet

Horseware Ireland makes great blankets. The Rambo Fly Buster is one of their most versatile fly sheets. The polyester knit fabric offers UV protection and is both breathable and lightweight. No Fly Zone™ technology is proven to repel mosquitoes, ants, ticks, and chiggers for up to 70 washes. A removable neck cover and an oversized tail flap help provide maximum protection.

Additional Fly Gear: Fly Masks and Leg Guards

Horses with allergies are sensitive to dust, pollen, and other airborne particles that can cause runny eyes. This condition attracts insects that cause further irritation and discomfort. Fly masks are really helpful in protecting your horse’s face from outdoor elements, bugs, and sunburn.

When you’re out on the trail, or riding in the ring the Cashel Quiet Ride™ Fly Mask can give your horse a little more protection than the average ear bonnet. It fits like a regular mask and is made from lightweight material that won’t obscure vision.

For the ultra sensitive horse, leg guards help keep flies away and continual stomping and stress to a minimum. The Cashel Cool Crusader Leg Guards keep pests away from your sensitive legs and provide full coverage from the knee to the coronary band.

For more information on beating the bugs, check out The Dover Library:

How to Control Flies on the Farm

How to Protect Your Horse from Flies

Do’s and Don’ts of Using Horseshoe Studs

There are many good reasons for using horseshoe studs: They provide extra traction and gripping on slippery surfaces like grass or mud, and, because of these benefits, they can make all the difference when a rider is accelerating through sharp turns or high jumps. Horseshoe studs must be used properly, however — and that requires a thorough understanding of what to do and what not to do. So with that in mind, here’s a look at some of the top do’s and don’ts of using horseshoe studs:

  • DO choose the smallest studs you can. Studs come in a variety of sizes and shapes. You will need to choose the stud type based off the terrain that will be covered. Studs change the stance and the balance of your horse. This balance change increases as the stud size increases. Therefore, it is best to use the smallest studs that will work for the occasion.
  • DO insert studs just before using (and remove right after). When your horse is wearing horseshoe studs, it is very easy for injuries to occur. Your horse might step on himself damaging a hoof or leg. This is one of the reasons why you should only insert studs right before riding (and remove them immediately after using). If your horse lies down, it would be very easy to cause harm to their body or legs. Your horse may also scratch themselves using their hoof. If this happens with horseshoe studs on, your horse may unintentionally inflict serious damage to an ear or other sensitive body parts. Finally, it does not feel very good to the rider to have a foot stepped on by their horse. This is especially true if your horse is wearing studs.
  • DO protect your horse. The entire time your horse is wearing studs, be sure to have him wear protective horse boots, too. Leave your horse’s protective boots on until the studs are being removed. Likewise, if your horse will be taking large jumps, have him wear a belly guard or stud guard. It should always be the rider’s top priority to keep their horse safe from injury while wearing horseshoe studs.
  • DO practice: Always use studs at home before trying to use them at a horseshow or event. This way, you have ample time to practice putting them on and taking them off when you and your horse are in a relaxed environment. It is also imperative for your horse to get used to the balance changes that occur with the use of studs. Being away from home is not the best time to try this out for the first time.
  • DO use studs in pairs. This rule includes using one on each side of the hoof as well as on both the left and right hoof. Failure to do so could cause your horse balance and traction issues. Use similar height studs on the inside and outside of the shoe to provide better balance. When using grass tip type studs, place a duller stud to the inside to prevent your horse from injuring himself.
  • DO plug your stud holes when your horse is not using the studs.  If you leave the stud holes unplugged in your horseshoes and put your horse on pasture, it’s easy for dirt and debris to get stuck inside, closing up your stud holes. Fill the holes with rubber, cotton, or foam plugs or stud blanks. Forgetting to plug your stud holes can cause damage to the shoe threads and also potentially injure your horse.
  • DON’T place studs on a horse with signs of lameness. You should never put studs on a lame horse, so if your horse shows any signs of leg injury, don’t insert studs.
  • DON’T put a horse on hard surfaces in studs. Hard surfaces and studs don’t mix. This includes horse trailers, paved roads, and cement, to name a few.  Since the studs will be unable to sink into the hard surface, the studs will put undue pressure and stress on your horse’s legs.

In addition to the above tips, try to get an experienced farrier to show you how to insert the studs into horseshoes. Also, never leave your horse unattended with the studs inserted. By following all of these tips, you will help ensure the safety of your horse while getting the best use from your horseshoe studs.

Jessica Adcock is a lifelong equestrian and a member of the e-commerce team at Dover Saddlery, a leading retailer of quality English horse tack, supplies and riding apparel for horse and rider.

10 Fly Control Products to Protect Your Horse from Flies

Where there are horses, there are bound to be flies. Aside from being a nuisance to your horse, these pesky flies can lead to physical discomfort or illness. Every year, your horse will likely come into contact with a variety of fly types, including midges, house, stable, bot, deer, horse, and horn flies. These pests can cause frustration and illness as they land on and sometimes bite your horse. They are infamous for depositing the bacteria they’re carrying, leading to irritation, open sores, and disease.

Midges (commonly called black flies) can cause serious annoyance and effects on your horse. These swarming gnats love to feed in areas with running water. Streams and small creeks are a natural attraction to them. They also love aquatic plants and vegetation, including the moist dew typically found in horse pastures. These pests typically attack the head, ears, eyes, and nose. Not only can associated blood loss cause health issues, their saliva commonly causes intense itching, irritation, and swelling. The non-stop annoyance of these pests can cause your horses to relentlessly exhaust themselves trying to escape from the attacks. Some species of black flies can also cause vesicular stomatitus, a disease that can infect horses, cattle and pigs.

House flies breed in manure piles, trash, spilled feed, bedding, animal droppings, and any other area that might have decaying matter. They love barns. Even though this type of fly is non-biting, they can be very annoying to your horse. Since they typically live around moist, dirty conditions, they can carry considerable amounts of bacteria, and have the potential to transmit numerous diseases and parasites. They are drawn to cuts and scrapes on your horse, which can lead to infection in otherwise minor injuries.

The stable fly is also attracted to barns and horses. They breed in wet straw and manure, spilled feeds, grass clippings, and various other types of decaying vegetation. The stable fly feeds on blood several times a day, and can be a major nuisance to horses. Horses being bothered by stable flies will often kick and stomp since these pests love attacking horses’ legs and underneath the belly. Stable flies are known to be capable of transmitting disease, such as equine infectious anemia.

Bot flies attach their eggs to your horse’s legs. During this stage, your horse may incur weight-loss from running around or stomping. However, the direct impact comes from the eggs being ingested by your horse which happens by licking or biting at the afflicted areas. The mouth can develop sores and irritation causing a lack of appetite. Once your horse has fully ingested the bot eggs, the eggs hatch into larvae and attach to your horse’s stomach lining. This can cause colic, stomach blockages, ulcers, and anemia.

The deer fly and horse fly are both part of the family Tabanidae. They produce painful bites and inflict immediate pain to your horse. They penetrate the skin in a scissor-like action and pump anticoagulants into the wound to feed from your horse. Not only are these bites extremely painful and a source for infection, the bloody, sponge-like mouthpart of female deer and horse flies harvest numerous viruses, bacteria, and protozoa. In large numbers, these flies can cause anemia.

The horn fly is a blood-sucking fly that is most commonly seen around horses pastured with cattle. These flies typically swarm the animal which is not only irritating, but can also cause a loss of blood due to incessant biting. This can lead to anemia and weight loss, in addition to the stress they cause to horses.

Since flies can be a dangerous nuisance around the barn, it is essential to provide fly prevention in the stable. The care you provide your horse during fly season will protect and relieve your horse from fly-related irritations and illness. Good fly control around your horse’s body and face using fly sheets and fly masks is vital to a healthy, comfortable horse.

Here are ten fly control products can help you in the effort to protect your horse from flies.

Ten Products to Control Flies around Your Horse

  1. Rider’s International Stretch Micro Mesh Fly Sheet. This soft, breathable mesh fabric conforms to your horse’s shape while also stretching with movement. Protects your horse from insects, sun and dust.
  2. Rambo® Fly Buster™ Fly Sheet. This lightweight long-wearing sheet is ultra breathable and features the No Fly Zone™ technology. The odorless, colorless No Fly Zone™ technology helps to repels flies, ants, ticks, chiggers, and midges and remains effective through 70 washings. Also protects against UV damage and sun bleaching.
  3. Farnam Swat Clear Ointment. Protect wounds, the ears and other areas around the face with this botanically derived ointment.
  4. Absorbine UltraShield EX. Moisture from your horse’s sweat attracts flies. This water-based formula repels biting insects for up to 17 days, while also providing a coat conditioner and sunscreen. Provides a weatherproof and sweat resistant formula.
  5. Cashel® Cool Crusader™ Fly MaskProvides excellent protection from pests and harmful UV rays. Durable and comfortable. Many design options available, including, with or without ears, as well as a standard nose length or long nose that protects the nostril area.
  6. Flies Be Gone TrapThis non-toxic fly trap effectively decreases the fly population in a 50- to 100-yard area for up to four weeks at a time.
  7. BuggzoDried apple cider vinegar that’s pH-buffered and aroma-controlled garlic are the mainstays behind this eco-friendly bug repellant. A truly palatable garlic-vinegar based feed-through fly protection.
  8. Fly Predators. Get a little help from nature with fly control problems. These tiny flies will not sting, bother or bite you or your horses, but they will destroy flies in the cocoon stage, thereby reducing the population.
  9. Fly Country Vet® Dispenser Kit†. A battery operated automatic fly and insect repellant dispenser. Repels and kills flies, mosquitoes, and gnats 24-hours a day for 30 days.
  10. Fly Wraps®. Protects your horse’s sensitive legs from pests. Soft shearling lining and imbedded stays. 24 hour protection. Comes in a set of 4.

 

Tips for Discouraging Fly Populations

  • Keep manure and trash away from areas frequented by horses
  • Control moisture that attracts flies
  • Maintain clean stalls, aisles, pastures, and confinement areas for your horses
  • Use large fans to keep flies away
  • Turn off barn or stall lights, which attract flies

Consistent Fly Control Treatment Produces Results

Particularly during peak fly season, it’s critical to apply fly control products to your horse on a daily basis. Likewise, maintaining a clean environment for your horse will reduce the attraction for flies and the laying of eggs, which exacerbates the situation. We have a large variety of products available to help you protect your horses’ comfort and health.

Jessica Adcock is a lifelong equestrian and a member of the e-commerce team at Dover Saddlery, a leading retailer of quality English horse tack, supplies and riding apparel for horse and rider.

7 Horse Grooming Supplies

Grooming is an important part of caring for a horse and maintaining horse health. A daily maintenance regiment can help prevent nagging skin and hoof conditions from occurring and escalating down the road—scratches, thrush, etc. After a tough winter for horses and riders alike, your grooming kit may be in need of resupply. Here are seven horse grooming supplies you shouldn’t be without this spring!

1. Curry Comb/ Shedding Blade: Your horse brushes can only do so much! A good curry will help lift dirt, dander, and shedding hair from your horse’s healthy coat. The course rubber fingers on the Oster Curry Comb and the Jr. Grooma Groomer are ideal for the job. For unclipped horses, a shedding blade with metal teeth does wonders for thinning out a thick winter coat and removing caked on mud. Don’t use this product on your horse’s face or legs.

2. Brushes: Every horse grooming kit should contain at least two types of horse brush—a stiff brush (to remove dirt, mud, and dried sweat) and a softer body brush (to clean dust and add shine). Personally, I’m a huge fan of flick brushes because the long, flexible bristles make brushing off dirt and dust easier and more efficient. The high quality and wide selection of Winner’s Circle brushes has made this brand particularly popular. To keep your brushes clean and looking like new, try soaking them in Brush Therapy.

3. Horse Clippers and Clipper Blades: A good set of horse clippers makes the task a whole lot easier. Check out the Oster Variable Speed Clipmaster—a model well suited for full body clipping. The 2-speed Oster Turbo A-5 is great for smaller jobs, such as clipping the ears, legs, and face. To prevent scratches, keep pasterns trimmed and dry. On the go, use the battery operated Wahl Pocket Pro to trim your horse’s whiskers.

4. Mane, Tail, and Coat Spray: Before running a comb through your horse’s tail, help protect it. Car & Day & Martin Canter Mane and Tail Detangler eases tangles, conditions, and adds healthy shine. Until the weather warms up enough to give your equine companion a full bath, Cowboy Magic Green Spot Remover provides the no-rinse solution to dissolving manure, dirt, and sweat stains.

5. Hoof Pick and Hoof Conditioner: Hoof care is a critical part of keeping your horse healthy. Pick feet on a daily basis, especially after turn-out and before and after your ride. Wet conditions foster the growth of thrush. By removing mud from the frog and sole areas, the risk of thrush development is significantly mitigated. Condition and restore brittle hooves on an as needed basis with Absorbine Hooflex Therapeutic Conditioner Liquid.

6. Liniment: As the spring/ summer horse show season begins to ramp up, our horses’ muscles and tendons are working harder than ever. Help relieve soreness and inflammation with horse liniments like Sore No-More and Vetrolin Liniment Gel.

7. Fly Spray: Be prepared for bug season. There are many great products on the market to keep your horse pest free. Choose fly spray based on the types of bugs in your area and on the sensitivity of your horses’ skin. Ultrashield Ex is a quality product that protects against mosquitoes, biting flies, fleas, ticks, and gnats. Swat Clear Ointment is the perfect solution for protecting cuts and other sensitive areas from house flies, stable flies, and face flies.

For more horse grooming supplies, check out our Horse Care section.

Your Turn: What’s In Your Horse Grooming Kit?

We love hearing from riders! What’s your horse grooming routine? What horse grooming supplies are must-haves for you and your horse? What are your favorite horse care products?

Muck Boots Are a Must-Have for Spring Stable Chores

The advent of spring in the equestrian community has been affirmed! Horses and riders are returning from their winter hideouts in Ocala, Wellington, Aiken and Thermal. Outdoor riding rings across the country are becoming serviceable, and the spring horse shows in Culpepper, Saratoga, and Parker are on the horizon.

With the arrival of spring, barns, paddocks, and horse show grounds will inevitably become ankle deep with mud. Whether you’re a trainer, rider, groom, or spectator, a reliable pair of waterproof muck boots will keep your feet dry and comfortable in any wet or muddy venue.

There are a ton of options to choose from when shopping for a muck boot. After testing some of the boots myself and surveying my fellow horse savvy co-workers, I am able to offer a few thoughts that will help you choose the muck boot that’s right for your feet!

Mudruckers

Mudruckers Muck BootsMudruckers makes quality products while keeping your budget in mind. The unisex Mudruckers Tall Boot is 100% waterproof with a reinforced rubber toe, a stretchy neoprene calf, and Comfort-Flo lining that wicks moisture to keep feet dry and warm. In comparison to its Muck Boot Company equivalent, this boot is equally comfortable and lighter weight with a deeper tread.

Conclusion: The Mudruckers Tall Boot is an excellent value.

Muck Boot Company

The Original Muck Boot Company is renowned for its durable, high quality performance footwear. The distinctive design and tailored cut of the new Reign Tall makes this boot both functional and flattering. Like the Tack Classic, The Reign is highly durable and 100% waterproof. However, this particular model is unique (and awesome!) because it has been designed specifically for a woman’s foot. For those who prefer a muck boot without the clunky feel, the Reign Tall is definitely the way to go. The XPressCool interior lining truly makes this boot more breathable than other models (I took them for a test drive). As an added bonus, these boots are suitable to ride in; the toe, heel (complete with spur rest), and tread have been designed to fit safely and appropriately into a stirrup.The four-way stretch neoprene calf will comfortably accommodate jeans, riding tights, or breeches.

Conclusion: For women, the Reign Tall is the lowest profile and most comfortable boot made by Muck Boot Company.

Noble Outfitters

Noble Outfitters Muck BootsThe Noble Outfitters Muds Tall Boot is a new muck boot also designed specifically for women. This boot offers a superior comfortable footbed (with arch support), as well as the best tread for slippery conditions. The upper is made from industrial grade rubber and features a reinforced toe and heel, making these boots both durable and protective. The neoprene calf is lined with ultra breathable and moisture wicking mesh to help you stay cool.

Conclusion: The Muds Tall Boot is a comfortable, well made muck boot for women at a reasonable price.

We’d love to hear from you! What’s your favorite pair of muck boots?

Spotlight on Ariat Riding Apparel

For nearly 25 years, Ariat boots, riding apparel and accessories have been favorites of English riders. Ariat riding breeches are some of the most popular products with Dover customers, yet there’s so much to the Ariat brand. Here are a few of our favorite Ariat items.

Ariat Terrain H20 Boots

These boots are suitable for all types of terrain and all types of weather. You can go straight from working in the barn to riding in any weather without changing footwear, which makes these Ariat boots perfect for this time of year.

The Terrain H20 boots feature full-grain leather uppers and a removable moisture-wicking footbed designed to keep you comfortable in all conditions. The supportive midsole and durable tread offer plenty of traction while in no way compromising style. If you are looking for a high-performance boot that will keep you feeling great through a long day of working and riding, the Terrain H20 from Ariat is the boot.

Ariat Olympia Euro Seat Knee Patch Breech

These classic Ariat riding breeches feature advanced technology. They are made of a unique nylon fabric with a soft cotton lining, meaning that they are breathable but still durable and stain resistant. The four-way stretch fabric ensures that these breeches will give riders of every shape and size the flattering fit they are looking for.

Ariat Tek Grip Riding Gloves

Even with the enormous range of high-end gear available to today’s horse rider, sometimes the simplest things are still the best. These Ariat riding gloves are a perfect example. Ariat’s Tek Grip gloves feature a palm and fingers made of synthetic suede to give you excellent grip, while the back is made of a durable stretch material. A simple Velcro closure adds an extra bit of practicality. These gloves offer everything you need, with no unnecessary extras.

Your Turn: Tell Us Your Favorite Ariat Items

We love Ariat riding apparel, and Dover customers are big fans of Ariat, too. What’s your favorite piece of Ariat gear?

3 Tips for Organizing a Barn

Spring has arrived (at last!) in many regions of the country. If you’re like most riders, you’re enjoying the fresh air and sunshine and the warmth of the sun as you ride. Spring is also a time for organizing your barn. Tack and riding equipment have a funny way or piling up and getting disheveled during long, cold winter months, and the thaw of Spring is a perfect reason to tidy up the barn.

Here are a few tips to help you organize your barn for Spring:

1. Remove out-of-season items from the barn

Winter riding apparel and heavy fleece coolers should be cleaned and packed away. A large tack trunk is perfect for stowing away winter gear during spring and summer months. You can use the same trunk to store summer riding gear and equipment when cool weather returns in the fall. Look for a sturdy trunk or rodent-proof bin.

2. Clean and store horse blankets

That heavy-weight turnout blanket you used all winter? Stow it away! Bulky winter horse clothing takes up space; clean horse blankets and store them in an air-tight container. Products like Nikwax Rug Wash™ are ideal for use on waterproof horse clothing. You can also search for a professional horse cleaner in your area.

3. Add cedar blocks to tack trunks to deter pests

Nothing is more frustrating than taking seasonal horse gear out of storage and discovering it’s full of holes. Rodents, moths, and other pests can wreak havoc on your horse tack and riding apparel – gear you’ve spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on. Protect your gear by placing a cedar block inside your tack trunk and securing the lid tightly before stashing it away for the summer.

Organizing a barn for spring can be a tedious, time-consuming chore, but it’s worth it. You’ll extend the life of your tack and spend less time rummaging through clutter when it’s time to ride.

Spotlight on M. Toulouse Saddles

Marcel Toulouse is known for their ability to blend old world quality with the latest advances in saddle making at a remarkable value. Featuring classic French designs, every M. Toulouse saddle is made of the finest materials available, with high-end craftsmanship. It’s one reason the brand is incredibly popular with riders who shop at Dover Saddlery.

Toulouse saddles combine classic lines with modern technology to make a truly unique product that can be easily customized to fit horses and riders of all shapes and sizes. Toulouse offers a wide range of saddle models to suit the needs of Dressage Riders as well as close contact saddle models that work for a variety of horse jumping sports. The easiest way to find a saddle you love is to visit a Dover store to see and feel the saddle for yourself. Looking for suggestions? Here are a few Toulouse saddles we are proud to offer.

Aachen Pro Dressage Saddle with Genesis

Serious dressage riders need to use a saddle that keeps them in intimate contact with their horse; this sensitivity can make the difference between scoring a five and a ten in competition. The pull-up leather provides a secure and broken in feel from day one. With the Genesis adjustable gullet system you will be able to custom fit all your horses. The system adjusts to virtually any saddle width needed-millimeter by millimeter. Soft wool panels and Y-girthing give this Toulouse saddle a secure, comfortable fit that your horse will appreciate as much as you do.

Celine Close Contact Saddle

This saddle offers incredible quality for the price. It is made with attention to detail that is often not found in saddles costing twice as much. Comfort Fit Panels found in Marcel Toulouse saddles enable riders to enjoy the benefits of both foam and wool flocking. The wool is stuffed into a foam panel lining and can be adjusted for the horse. The foam panel lining is intended to help reduce pressure points. The Adjusta-Block system allows the rider to change the knee block to customize the rider’s leg fit. This jumping saddle is ideal for Equitation and Hunter/Jumper Riders.

Denisse Close Contact Saddle with Genesis

This is a great jump saddle with a slightly deeper seat making it ideal for Equitation and Hunt Seat riders. The narrow twist combined with a textured leather seat offers a secure feel, while the anatomic knee rolls hold the rider’s leg in position on the flat and over fences. The patented Genesis adjustable gullet system allows precise, millimeter-by-millimeter adjustment, meaning that this Toulouse saddle adjusts to any tree size your horse needs. The adjustable knee and calf blocks offer a customizable fit that will work for a variety of riders.