More myths about horses


More myths and tales about horses that are not true, even though they still float around today. 


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MTYH: If you suspect colic, give your horse meds and then call the vet if nothing improves.


  • I have talked to vet after vet after vet – all agree that if you give meds without talking to your vet first, you compromise the diagnostic process. That puts your veterinarian at a disadvantage, and therefore your horse at a disadvantage. Please call first.


A dose of meds can interfere with a diagnosis, putting your horse at greater risk.



MYTH: Cold water sprayed on your horse after exercise causes tying up.


  • Tying up is actually a muscle disorder that can be a simple as a stiff back, or in more severe cases a horse may be unable to walk and his muscles are rock hard due to contraction without relaxation.


  • Tying up is always serious, you should not move your horse and call your Vet immediately. There may be a medical reason, like underlying muscle disease, that causes this and your Vet can give your horse pain relief and help discover the cause.


  • There are many causes of tying up, none of which are cold water on your horse’s back.


MYTH: Forget about giving your horse water in the winter, he can eat snow.


  • He would need to be eating a mountain’s worth of snow for this to be true. And incidentally, snow is full of gross airborne particulates – like pollution. Work on your arm muscles and bring him a nice bucket of actual water. Or make sure his trough is heated and not frozen. Wherever he spends his snowy days, he must have access to fresh liquid water!



horse eating snow


MYTH: One size fits all saddles are a good idea.


  • For the rare horse out there, a one size fits all saddle will be perfect. Just like humans, horses come in all sizes and shapes – and evolve over time. Your saddle must be able to adjust with him for maximum comfort – which starts with the proper gullet width and flocking.


  • Over months and years, the gullet and flocking may change as your horse’s back changes. Routine saddle fitting is part of the deal with riding horses, your horse won’t be in top form if his tack is uncomfortable.


MYTH: A horse with blue eyes is crazy.


  • I think this started the same way that whorl, coat color, and the amount of chrome myths started. There are probably some antidotal stories to back this up, but nothing real. Just like there are tons of antidotal stories about blue-eyed horses being the best ever.


paint horse with blue eyes



MYTH: There is only one correct direction to wrap legs.


  • I learned that leg wraps, like standing wraps, are done from the inside of the leg to the outside of the leg around the front. This is not the case in Europe… Just be consistent.


  • The most important things to remember about wrapping legs is to avoid over tightening, which can cause bandage bows, and make sure the under layer of quilt or wrap is free of folds and bulges. Quilts are good to practice with, they are very forgiving.


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