Category Archives: Handy Tips


Thursday, December 23rd, 2021 | Filed under Handy Tips

A friend in Grass Valley wrote this… I thought it could help some of you out there!


1. Keep your bridles in the house, tuck one under your jacket, go to the barn. If you are going to a lesson or for a trail ride, take your bridle out of the trailer and keep it in the warm truck while driving. Or lay your bridle and bit on the hood of your truck when you get to the trailhead.

2. Or, when you get to the barn, hang your bridle by its bit in the crook of your arm or around your neck inside your jacket. Throw the reins over your shoulder and go about your business. After you have haltered, groomed, saddled your horse, the bit is warm and ready for your horse.

3. Or, have a bucket of hot water ready or run hot water over your bit.
If you have hot water in your barn this method is very fast. If not, you can use an old-style coffee percolator. Fill it with water and plug it in, will quickly warm your bit. Or bring a thermos of hot water from the house. You also have warm water when you are finished riding to wash off sweat marks, and your hands!

4. A reusable, microwaveable bed and body warmer rice bag from Auntie A‘s, this doubles as a foot warmer in your bed, a seat warmer in your truck, and a bit warmer. (I LOVE mine. Get one for yourself and a friend, too!) If you can sew, you can make this yourself…you need an internal bag of close woven material, and then a flannel cover bag, add rice.

OR, for a bit size warmer, get a sock or an old washcloth and a pound of dry pinto beans, sew beans inside. Microwave until warm. $1.00

5. Or, make this nifty custom microwavable bit warmer with Velcro closures yourself:
Bit Warmer Pattern $10
She also sells the bit warmers pre-made for $42 on her Etsy page.

6. Or, keep a hair dryer in the barn. Also, a good item to have to dry off wet horses in the cold weather.

7. Buy the big box of Little Hottie handwarmers from Costco at the beginning of winter. A couple wraps of polo bandages works to keep it around the bit. Box of 80 – $29.99

8. Or, eliminate that cold bit entirely by using a bitless bridle or bosal in the winter.

Thanks, Jaede!

Marlene (a horse hauler who has helped me, Skydog and many, many other rescue horses in dire need) has an opportunity to purchase a rig at 25% of what it would normally cost.  She needs $9500 and has been able to raise just over $3000.

If you have any Xmas money leftover or any Starbucks or any pocket change, please consider Marlene.  This truck will save hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of equines over its life.  A great use of funds, indeed.

All donations are 100% tax deductible!

  If you receive this post via email, click here to donate for Marlene’s rig!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

Can You Identify Normal Horse Vital Signs?

I saw this article from Standlee Feeds (no affiliation except I like their feed…) and thought it was good information.

Click here to go to the original article.

Click image to go to the original article

August 31, 2021

In the words of Dr. Cubitt, “Know what is normal for your horse, so you can identify when something is abnormal.” Knowing your horse, their quirks and tendencies not only helps to create an unbreakable bond and solid relationship but can also keep them healthy and well.

Normal horse temperature should be between 99.5 and 101.3 degrees Fahrenheit
The most accurate way to take a horse’s temperature is rectally (dipped in lubricant), using a digital thermometer.


Always be sure to clean the thermometer after use
Exercise, stress or infections can elevate temperature
Leave the thermometer in long enough to avoid a false low reading

Normal horse pulse is between 38 and 40 beats per minute
There are 3 ideal areas to take your horse’s pulse: under the jaw, beneath the tail at its bone or an area on the side of the foot. Count for 15 seconds and multiple by 4.


Don’t double count heartbeats
The normal pulse for foals is between 70-120 beats per minute
The normal pulse for yearlings is between 45-60 beats per minute

Normal horse respiration is between 8 and 15 breaths per minute
Watching your horse’s ribcage or nostrils for 1 minute, count 1 inhale and 1 exhale as a single breath.


Do not measure respiration by letting your horse sniff your hand
Wait for 30 minutes after exercise to check rate
Respiration rate should not exceed pulse rate

Horse dehydration can be observed when the skin takes more than two seconds to return to its place
Pinch the skin on your horse’s neck or shoulder area and it should return to its usual position within 1-2 seconds.


Horses need 5-12 gallons of water per day in normal environments
In heat or with heavy exercise, horses need 15-20 gallons of water per day
Learn more about horse hydration needs during the winter and summer months.

A normal horse gut sound is gurgling, like the sound of fluid dripping or tinkling
Place ear or a stethoscope up against the horse’s body, just behind the last rib, checking both sides.


Call the vet if there is an absence of sound, as it could indicate colic
Normal horse capillary refill time is between one and two seconds
Place finger against horse’s gums for 2 seconds, creating a white mark from finger pressure. The white mark should return to a normal pink tone within 1-2 seconds.

Other Tips for Horse Owners:

Be sure to check vital signs regularly to know what is normal, so that you can identify anything abnormal
Do not take vital measurements on a nervous horse to ensure accuracy
Call your veterinarian immediately if anything is abnormal
If all else fails and you are unsure if something is wrong, be sure to contact your veterinarian. If you have questions on nutrition, please contact the nutritionists at Standlee Premium Western Forage.

Click image to go to original

Click here for this quick fact sheet pdf, laminate and hang in your barn for easy access and share our image from Facebook or Instagram with your horse friends!

Also available as – JPG | PNG

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!