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So many things to consider…

by Shawna Bowin

Maybe you’re new to owning a horse, or just new to having one on your property.  Or maybe you’ve had horses so long that it’s been a while since you’ve even thought about shavings.  What type do you want, what should you watch out for, and how do you want them packaged and/or delivered?  

First, what type of shavings do you want?  

It’s easier to determine the shavings you definitely do NOT want.  Do not buy shavings from any company that also processes hard woods.  Some may be safe for horses, but there are some, such as walnut or maple that are definitely toxic.  Cedar is one that’s on the fence.  Some horses are fine with it (and their owners love the smell!), but some horses can get respiratory issues or have skin irritation.  Best to steer clear if you’re not sure how your horse will react, or if you have multiple horses who will use the shavings (more chances of one of the horses being sensitive).  Pine and fir are both generally safe choices (though any animal can turn out to be allergic to any substance, of course) and are plentiful here in the northwest.

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By Kim McCarrel - Kim is the author of five guidebooks about the horse trails of Oregon and southwest Washington.  Her book, Riding Central Oregon Horse Trails, is a must-have for local trail riders.  Learn more at NWHorseTrails.com.

Central Oregon certainly deserves its reputation as a mecca for equestrian trail riders.  With its abundant sunshine, horse-friendly terrain, and spectacular views, it’s hard to imagine a better place to trail ride in the spring. 

In Central Oregon, you have plenty of choices for spring trail rides.  

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Chiropractic Care For The Equestrian

By Dr. Lori Carrol, Elixer Wellness Collective

Central Oregon provides endless riding opportunities for every type of equestrian. Regardless of the type of riding you enjoy, over time the ever shifting weight distribution your body experiences as your horse transitions from trot, canter and gallop can take a toll on your skeletal alignment and joint health. Regularly riding and taking care of a horse also comes with risks of injury. 

Whether you’re mucking out the stable, cleaning your horses hooves, lifting heavy hay bales and grain bags or getting bucked off, there are frequent opportunities for your body to be compromised.

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Article By Shawna Bowin, Photo courtesy of jwynnephotos.smugmug.com

Endurance 

People that have heard of endurance sometimes think it just means “let your horse go as fast as you want.” The truth is, it’s much more about management of your horse, including its speed. If you enjoy trail riding, but find yourself trotting more than walking, and really enjoy learning more about your horse and its needs, you should try endurance! True endurance mileage is 50 miles or more in a single day, up to 100 miles, but our local rides have “limited distance” rides of 25-30 miles and training rides of 10-15 miles at each event as well. 

There is a maximum time limit (12 hours for 50 miles, 24 for 100), and there are standings, so technically it’s a race, but most endurance riders consider the main race to be themselves and their horse against the clock, the conditions, and the horse’s previous records. 

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