There’s nothing quite like stepping into a beautiful tack room.
That smell, the sight of those saddles and bridles carefully arranged.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the most beautiful tack rooms ever. Enjoy:
To get some great ideas & inspiration for your indoor riding arena, read our idea page.
Indoor Arena Etiquette
Quick note: People ride because they love it. Intentions are always good, so try to be kind and understanding if errors are made.
Always wear a helmet
Even if you aren’t riding. If you step into the arena, you need to have a helmet on.
Mount outside the arena or in the very middle
Otherwise, you risk getting in everyone’s way – which is dangerous. This is the same for making adjustments to your stirrups etc.
Ride in the direction of the other horses
Don’t ride against the flow, it will make things more difficult for everyone.
Close the gate behind you
Don’t leave any gaps open through which horses could escape.
Let faster horses/riders travel on the outside of the track
Fast outside, slower inside. This helps things flow best.
Don’t leave horses unattended
Sharing an indoor requires everyone to be aware and cautious of their horses at all times.
Announce your intentions
If you’re about to pass someone from behind, say ‘passing on your left’. Do this for all actions that it would benefit others to know.
Maintain a horse length from the horse in front of you
This allows everyone time to react to anything unplanned.
Don’t talk over the rail
Doing this will put you in the way of other horses and riders. If you need to talk to your trainer, make sure you’re out of others’ path.
No dogs on the arena
This could spook other horses. Dogs can also get in the way of riders.
Give your commands quietly
Don’t shout or yell when commanding your horse. This makes the arena more difficult for everyone to enjoy.
Clean up afterwards
Make sure that any mess you’ve made is cleaned up when your session is over.
Warm of any loud noises
If you’re going to do something you know will cause a loud noise, let others know. A loud sliding door could spook other horses.
Read more: 16 equestrian tips and tricks
Download: Dressage arena dimension sheet
The 10 Signs Your Horse Might Be Getting Laminitis
Laminitis is the break-down of the living cells that connect the inside of the hoof to the coffin bone (the bone closest to the ground). This breakdown can cause a split, leaving a gap and making your horse’s feet open to infection and highly painful.
CAUSES: Laminitis can occur through repeated foot trauma, especially sudden traumas on hard surfaces. It can also be caused by excessive hoof trimming.
Catching it early is important and will prevent lameness in your horse.
Here’s what to look out for:
- ONE – Hot hooves.
Hooves get warm with exercise and with normal body heat regulation. But if your horse’s hooves stay unusually warm for hours at a time, this may be an early indication of laminitis.
- TWO – Increased heart rate.
As with any problem of the body, your horse’s internal systems will try to fight against laminitis, resulting in a much higher heart rate.
- THREE – Strange stance.
A leaning-back stance is a very strong indication of laminitis. Horses do this to avoid putting pressure onto their sore feet.
- FOUR – Sensitivity at the top of the pedal bone.
The pedal bone ends in the very centre of the hoof. If you press gently in that position, you will be able to gauge if your horse has an unusual sensitivity or pain.
- FIVE – Heavy pulse.
Press your fingers against the vein that runs along the side of your horse’s leg just above the hoof. The pulse should be relatively feint in a healthy horse. A heavy pulse is an indication of problems.
- SIX – Distorted hoof growth.
Laminitis prevents the hoof grow properly, causing it to become misshapen. This usually only becomes evident rather late; the hoofs will begin to spread out and sometimes even turn upwards.
- SEVEN – Foot lifting (too much or too little)
Horses shuffle their feet to keep blood circulating. An early response to laminitis can be to shift often to help extra blood flow, or to avoid shifting due to pain.
- EIGHT – Visible gap.
Look for a gap between the hoof wall and the sole on the underside of the hoof. This is a very strong indication and needs to be taken care of immediately.
- NINE – Shortened stride.
A shortened stride indicates pain much as a limp does in a human. This can be particularly evident when walking on hard surfaces.
- TEN – Obesity.
Obesity is not a sign, but can be a precursor to laminitis. Extra weight can put stress on the hoof that encourages the breakdown of the laminae.
Keep an eye out for any of these signs to make sure that your horse is comfortable and healthy. With any indication of discomfort, consult a vet. The easiest way for your horse to recover is to be proactive and take protective measures as soon as you see the signs.
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