Footing Tips for Spring

I know, I know. There’s snow on the ground in most of the country, but before you know it, spring will be here and most of you will be chomping at the bit to get out on the trails.feb10-2

After a whole winter of “trail neglect”, there are some things to keep in mind to ensure the safety of both you and your horse.

Clear Private Trails
Take the time to hike your trail(s) on foot. Get permission to clear the trail of any downed trees, low hanging branches and jutting limbs. Be aware of the footing. Even though the snow is gone, it could have left behind deeply saturated ground hiding just below what appears to be a hard and dry surface. Another thing to keep in mind, with new grass taking root, be cautious of grass on an incline. Often, new grass will have a shallow root system making the ground slick for your horse.

Public Trails
Many of your public trails get the assistance from the park system and/or local riding clubs. A quick call to either or both will let you know which trails are cleared and ready to ride.

Horse Condition
As excited as you are about getting out on the trail, your horse may need a little preparation to ensure that a minor slip doesn’t cause a major injury. Take a few sessions to ride in a well known pasture or an enclosed arena to make sure that your horse is sure-footed and confident to take the spring trails.

Just taking a few precautionary measures can make this year safe and fun for everyone!

Action Riders, ride with the wind!

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Do Your Knees Ache?

You’ve just enjoyed a great ride! The mountains were beautiful, your horse feb10was sure-footed, you feel a peace throughout your whole body. As you near the barn and your mind comes back to the next task at hand, you dread getting off of your horse.

Why?

You know that when you drop to the ground, the ache that has been building in your knees is going to come to a crippling head when your feet hit the ground.

Your Knee Pain
The most likely reason that your knees ache is that you are putting too much weight forward and down into your stirrups. This “stiff” position doesn’t allow you to absorb your horses movements and causes unnatural soreness in your joints.

Maybe you think, well, I can handle the pain, to me this is how I’m comfortable riding.

Horse Pains
So, let’s talk about what this can do to your horse as well.

This type of stiff leg positioning may push your saddle out of place and cause your horse to experience pain in her shoulders and withers. Mmmm…

The Fix
Sit deep in your saddle with your pelvis relaxed enough to absorb the movement of your horse and your seat bones balanced over your horse’s spine. This position may take some getting used to because this means your legs will feel free and may even swing slightly. It’s okay! With your relaxed riding position and concentration on being one with your horse, you’ll have a more balanced seat and no more achy knees.

Healing Tree Products: Dr. Eric Witherspoon

Healing Your Horse with a Passiongrazing

At Action Rider Tack, we pride ourselves in the amount of time that we spend investigating new product. In fact, almost our whole office tests new products. If we don’t like it or wouldn’t use it, we don’t sell it. The beautiful thing is, we have two people that are absolutely dedicated to endurance riding and a western rider to ensure that we’re giving you the best advice.

To help you to understand why we think some of these products are so special, we’re interviewing some of our suppliers on camera. While we were attending the Denver International Western/English Apparel & Equipment (WESA) Market in January 2010, we were able to interview a few of our favorites!

Dr. Eric Witherspoon, founder of Healing Tree Products, Inc.:

Recognizing a need to heal horses more effectively, Dr. Witherspoon began researching new products after 15 years in a private veterinary practice. Healing Tree Products, Inc. was developed over time to heal horse injuries and skin conditions that couldn’t be healed effectively using common veterinary techniques or over the counter medications.
Dr. Witherspoon began experimenting with natural occurring, anti-bacterial products such as tea tree oil. After successful experimentation, he began to develop medications to deal with specific conditions, such as open wounds, scratches, girth itch, bacteria and fungal conditions as well as grooming problems such as yellow mange and tail. The products expanded as Dr. Witherspoon had need in his practice to treat a horse’s particular skin, hoof and hair condition.

Healing Tree Products, Inc. combines natura-pathic remedies that work with pharmaceutical ingredients. Dr. Witherspoon emphasizes that there are plenty of pharmaceutical companies that make products that are harsh for the environment and/or for the horse. Some companies are using natural products but are combining them in a way that renders them ineffective for the horse’s condition.

One Example That Makes Healing Tree Products Special:

Healing Tree Products combines pharmaceutical grade tea tree oil with benzethonium chloride (broad spectrum antibacterial) to create a better product than anyone else has on the market. Dr. Witherspoon continued in his practice, testing and developing products for 15 more years and continues with his research today.

Dr. Witherspoon has testimonials on his site as well as a host of before and after pictures that will help you to understand why Action Rider Tack carries Healing Tree Products.

Healing Tree Products are not only fantastic, they’re Winged Pony Approved!