Category Archives: Handy Tips


Monday, August 31st, 2020 | Filed under Handy Tips

Something whispered in my ear tonight… and told me to repost this article on trailer tires.


I am a bit freaky about tires because during one trip several years ago, I had three trailer tires blow.


I couldn’t  understand it.  The tires were practically new.  I had probably only driven a few thousand miles on them – if that.

How could they have failed?


At that time, I was preparing to move from Oregon back to California.

Consequently, I was busy and my trailer just sat.  New tires and all.

THAT was the issue.  Or one of the issues.

The guy at the tire store who helped me with the last of my three blow-outs told me:

(I need to say here that I was quite freaked-out to have so many scary events in one road trip…)

He told me 2 very important things about tires:

1)  Old tires will not last as long, no matter if they have good tread

1a)  Sometimes ‘new’ tires are actually old tires that have been on the shelf for years even if they appear brand new

1B)  Below is a guide on how to check the age of your tires.

2)  If tires sit in one position on your trailer – in the sun – they will fail sooner than later.

2b)  Move your trailer so the tires are not constantly in one position – move it just to move it.  Sun or no sun.

My tires were new but they had sat in one position, in the sun, for a while.

That is why they blew…

Part of my "Start of Spring" cleaning was to get new trailer tires. (Yes, I need to wash the foliage off of m y wheel wells - next weekend's chore!)

Part of my “Start of Spring” cleaning was to get new trailer tires. (Yes, I need to wash the foliage off of m y wheel wells – next weekend’s chore!)


I’ve never forgotten that trip.  So, I am a bit over the top about checking my tires.

This year, I knew that my trailer had less use than usual and I also knew it had been several years since I had purchased new trailer tires.

My tires were not thread bare, but due to the time they spent parked and just because they were older in age, I decided to get new tires – so I could rest easily this riding season.

The same goes for truck tires…

I bit the bullet and got new tires for my truck as well... (Yes, my truck is old... but it works well - especially with new tires!)

I bit the bullet and got new tires for my truck as well… (Yes, my truck is old… but it works well – especially with new tires!)


I found the article on this website:

Click to go to the website

Click to go to the website

The Hidden Danger of Old Tires – how to read the code.
How old are the tires on your horse trailer and towing rig?

“…The following quick tip can keep you and your horses rolling along.

The problem is that tires, like any rubber product, degrade over time
and could present a significant yet hidden safety risk regardless of
tread depth.

Trailer tires 6 years and older can fail/blow out when traveling; also
under inflated tires get hot at high speeds causing sidewalls to fail
and separate from the tread. When getting a trailer or replacing tires
on any vehicle insist on tires manufactured within the past year or so.
Just because a tire hasn’t been ‘used’ or put on a vehicle does NOT mean
it is NEW.

Tires are manufactured with a date code, 4 digits long, which represent
the week and year the tire was made (For example 3211 is the 32nd week
of 2011 while 0598 is the 5th week of 1998). This code is on the tire
usually in a circle or indented oval following the other sizing numbers
and info on the tire. (The code could be located on the inside sidewall
if the tire is already mounted on the vehicle…check for it. Your
safety is well worth the extra effort!)”

PHOTOS are on the webpage. Go read the rest of the article here:

How to check the age of your tires! This will be on the inside sidewall.

How to check the age of your tires! This will be on the inside sidewall.





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You’re Gonna Think I’m Crazy but… Have you ever smelled your horse? Really!

Monday, August 24th, 2020 | Filed under Handy Tips


They all smell different from each other!  Really!

OK, maybe this is TMI but its true!  They all have their own scent, just like we do.  Not only do they all have their own scent, they are just like us when it comes to scent choices.  They like what they like and they don’t like what they don’t like.

Here is what I’m getting at in this post.  Not only do horses all have different, individual scents, they also have different scent preferences.

So, let’s break this down.  First, horses all have their own , unique frangrance.  Now, I know what you are thinking… a horse smells like a horse.  Yup.  Just like all dogs smell like dogs and all cats smell like cats.  But, I bet you know your dog’s scent, right?  And I bet other dogs smell more “doggy” to you, right?  Same with horses.  Heck, our kids smell great to us and they smell like kids to everyone else… can you see where I’m going with this part?  And to stretch it a bit here, I think one of the subliminal reasons we pick our horses is according to how they smell to us.  I think that we think we don’t really “like” a horse but we don’t know why. And, perhaps that innate thing we don’t like is how they smell to us.

After all, we pick our mates according to scent… subliminally, at least.

So, let’s get back to the idea here.  Scent is important to us and to our horses.  I have 12 horses.  If you blindfolded me, I would be able to tell which was which just by their scent.  That is how different they are.  And, so could you.  But, you have to think about it and compare.  The only reason I can do this is because I’ve been thinking about this for a while.  I noticed a few years ago that my Icy has a really musky, horsey scent.  She is a very dark grey.  Hmmmm.  Then, when Aladdin got sick, I had to give his meds twice a day and I always kissed his forehead.  His scent was so sweet to me.  I often wondered if the BOUNCE dryer strip that I used to dry his flymask had made his forehead smell so nice.  But, he smelled that way all through winter and every day of his life until the end.  Hmmmm.  And, after he died, I thought I would never remember his scent… which then got me to understand that they all do smell different.  They may smell like horses but they all have their own scent.

Why is this even important?  Well, for a few reasons.  First, it makes them individuals.  And secondly, it opens the door to their preferences.  Many of us don’t even consider how we smell to them…  Horses have opinions just like we do.  I mean, you know they hate the smell of certain sprays and lotions.  You know they hate the smells of certain foods (could be poisonous) and you know they identify their saddle and tack by the smell.  They sniff every stall and every inch of new surroundings.  And, of course, they smell any new pile of manure they come across.  They don’t smell it because they like to smell manure, they smell it because the scents tell them the story.  Their sense of smell is much more acute than ours.   They can whiff the manure pile and learn about the owner.  For example, when one horse smells another’s excrement, they learn what that horse ate, what gender and their age.  They also know whether the pooper was stressed or OK, too.  That is important when you are following along on the same trail…

So, now that we have established that they all have different scents and that scent is important to them, I wanted to tell a few anecdotes.

I knew of a Morgan stallion who would never breed mares who were lighter in color than bay.  He would only fall in love with black, brown or bay mares.  He actually would not do his job on lighter colored mares.  Now, you could say that he had a color preference.  And, maybe he did.  But I say he had a scent issue.  In my opinion, darker horses smell more horsey than lighter horses.  So, I’m thinking that he just preferred that scent.  Or, maybe he just like the color, dunno.  But, when I thought about this stallion, I thought that I might go around and actually smell test my darker vs lighter horses.  And, in my humble opinion, the darker horses smell more horsey, whatever that is.

My next story is about a stallion I knew that got loose and broke into the tack room at his barn.  He made a B-line for the saddle of a gelding he hated.  He ripped that saddle apart.  He also grabbed the gelding’s blanket off of the opposing wall and took the gelding’s bridle off of its hook and flung it.  Nothing else was touched.  I think he made his point…  How did he identify his nemesis?  Scent.

And in my own personal testing lab, I know that my horses totally prefer certain shampoos and soaps that I may use.  I have actually had some of my horses turn away when I use rosemary shampoo.  I know that several of my horses hate perfumes on me.  But, they kinda like certain essential oils or fragrances from Hawaii (for some reason).  I’ve noticed several of them will bury their noses in my hair if I use Herbal Essence Shampoo.  That is preferred over citrus scents in my household, even though many of them like oranges.  They like Aveda but don’t really like Fructise.  It really bums me out when I purchase a huge, cheapo gallon of some shampoo from Costco and they hate it…

I’ve even had better training sessions when I let the horse inhale his/her favorite scent.  Huh?  I bet you think I’m really off my rocker now… Well, here’s what I mean.  I have taken bars of fragrant soap out and let them sniff.  I usually only present three at a time.  I do this over a few days and figure out what they like.  Then I wear that or wash with that and let them smell me.  Sometimes I get it wrong, but usually, it sets their mind at ease.  They think better when things smell good to them.  Try it.  It works…  I also wipe them down with fragrances they like.  I think the scent then becomes a good thing and a way to set the mood or something.  Its like when I light my favorite candle.  No matter how I am feeling, when I smell that fragrance, things just get a little bit better.  My sense of smell isn’t nearly as heightened as a horse’s.  And, since horses are flight animals and use their sense of smell to survive, I’m guessing a pleasant scent to them is way more important and soothing than it is to us.

I wonder what a horse communicator would say about all this.  I’d sure love to know if I’m smokin’ dope or if this is true.  But, what I know for sure to be true is that horses all have their own scent and I’m pretty sure they all have their own opinions about how we smell.  So, why not try to set up a ride or training session with some horsey aromatherapy, eh?

But, that’s just me…

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