Glossary of Terms for Horse Property Buyers in Colorado
Glossary of Terms for Horse Property Buyers
Colorado is the ideal place to ride or own your own horse. Kenna Real Estate has helped many people to buy horse properties in Colorado so that they can enjoy their dream lifestyle. We've put together this glossary of terms for equestrian properties to help you with your search. You might find some of these terms useful when identifying the features that your new home needs or comparing equestrian properties in Colorado.
Arena: an enclosed area that is often used for training horses or teaching riders as well as for riding.
Balk or Balking: when a horse refuses to move, due to injury, disobedience, or fright. Choosing a horse property with a peaceful, horse-friendly environment can reduce the chances of balking due to fear.
Bot Fly: parasitic insects that can lay small yellow eggs on a horse's legs, muzzle, or jaw. Horses may lick up the eggs, which can hatch in the mouth and burrow into the tongue, gums, or lips. The maggots or bots can then move down further into the body and attach themselves to the lining of the stomach or gut. Symptoms can include weight loss, colic, and ulcers. Bot flies are common in areas such as Castle Rock, where there used to be many horse and cattle ranches. Fly rugs and repellents can prevent bot flies from laying eggs on your horse. The eggs can also be scraped off with a bot knife.
Box Stall: an enclosed area of at least 10 to 12 feet square where your horse can be left loose or untethered in the stable.
Bracken Fern: a perennial fern that can grow up to three feet high. Horses can suffer from neural dysfunctions such as loss of coordination and blindness if they eat this plant, but as it usually grows in wet or wooded areas it isn't often found in paddocks.
Farrier: a professional who takes care of horses' hooves. Having a reliable local farrier is important as they can provide essential services such as hoof trimming and shoeing.
Feral Horses: free-roaming horses that live in the wild. Colorado has its own herds of wild horses in the Spring Creek Basin, the Piceance-East Douglas area, Sand Wash Basin, and the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range.
Foaling Stall: a larger box stall that provides extra space and privacy for mares who are ready to foal. Some foaling stalls have peep-holes or cameras that make it easier to monitor the mare without disturbing her.
Full Board: if you choose to keep your horse at a boarding stable rather than on your own land then the full board option will include all feed, cleaning, and rent for the stall and pasture. Your horse will probably also be exercised. You may be able to use facilities such as an arena at the boarding stable.
Hayloft: a space above the stable (or barn) where you can store hay. Many hay lofts have hatches or opening that enable you to drop hay down into the hay-racks in the stable.
Hemlock: a perennial plant with parsley-like leaves and white flowers, hemlock can reach up to six feet in height. It is often seen at roadsides or in open fields. Horses can develop symptoms within an hour of feeding on hemlock and it is often fatal. Symptoms include trembling, colic, slowed heart rate, and heavy breathing. You should be aware of what this plant looks like and remove it from your paddock if you spot any.
Horse Blanket: coverings of various styles and thicknesses that are usually buckled in place over the horse's chest, back, and rump. You won't necessarily need to blanket your horse in Colorado, but you might choose to use one to keep off flies in summer or protect your horse against the weather during the cold winter months. Horses with shorter coats are more likely to need a blanket when the temperature drops.
Horse Trailer: a trailer designed for the safe transport of horses. You may want to invest in one if you're planning to take your horse to local trails or parks in Colorado. However, if your property leads directly onto an extensive trail system or green area, you might not need to drive in order to ride.
Johnsongrass: this is a coarse grass with tall, heavy stems and veined leaves. It is more common in southern Colorado and can cause symptoms such as convulsions, constant urination or defecation, and rapid breathing in horses. Medication is available that can slow the symptoms, but it is best to remove Johnsongrass from your paddock if you spot it.
Laminitis: an inflammation of the laminae in a horse's hoof. It can lead to serious complications if it is not treated. Potential risk factors for laminitis include moving horses onto very lush or heavily fertilized pastures, standing in frosted grass or in snow, or spending too much time on hard surfaces such as roads. You should consider these factors when choosing a suitable equestrian property and deciding how to care for and work your horse.
Locoweed: a short, leafy plant with white or purple flowers that usually grows in dry areas. Horses that eat locoweed may stagger, lift their legs up higher than usual when moving, or nod their heads. The effects are permanent and there is no treatment. Locoweed is widespread in Colorado, so you should make sure that you can recognize and remove it.
Milkweed: one of the most common poisonous plants in Colorado, milkweed is deadly to horses. Milkweed is also toxic to humans and can irritate your skin if you touch it, so it must be disposed of carefully. The plants produce a thick, white sap that oozes out when the stems are broken, but every part of the plant is toxic. When ingested by horses, milkweed can cause salivation, colic, seizures, and can be fatal within days if it is left untreated. Treatments are available if the symptoms are spotted early.
Paddock: an enclosed, grassy field where horses are kept. A good paddock should have enough space for your horses, good pasture with no poisonous plants, and a water supply. The fencing should be sound and safe for horses. It can also be beneficial to have some kind of shelter, whether this is an open roof or some trees. The ground should be solid and not too wet.
Stable: an outbuilding where horses are kept. A good stable should be structurally sound and protected from the elements. Most stables will have separate stalls for a number of horses as well as storage spaces for feed, tack, and other equipment. You may also find stables with their own water sources for supplying the horses or separate areas where you can wash up.
Stable Vices: repetitive behaviors often seen in horses that are bored or anxious while kept in a stable. Common stable vices include kicking at the walls, wood chewing, weaving (swaying from side to side)and cribbing (biting on objects such as the stable door or a fence rail, then arching the neck and sucking in air). Horses may display these types of behaviors if they aren't getting enough exercise or stimulation. Choosing a property where your horse will have plenty of space, ensuring they have company from another horse or a companion animal such as a donkey, and interacting with your horse frequently can help to prevent these problems.
Stall: an individual space in the stable, usually intended for one horse. You should check the number and type of stalls in any stables on the equestrian properties you are considering buying. If you visit the property, make sure that each stall is safe and spacious enough for your horse.
Tack Room: a storage space for saddles, bridles, blankets, and other equipment. It is usually attached to the stable. When you view the property it is a good idea to check the tack room to ensure it has enough space for your equipment.
Tansy Ragwort: a common weed in pastureland, tansy ragwort is a multi-stemmed plant that has flowers similar to daisies. Horses that ingest this plant won't show symptoms at first, but it can cause severe liver damage over time, so it's important to clear it from your paddock.
Tie Stall: a smaller enclosure in a stable where horses are kept tethered or tied, usually about 6 feet by 8 feet.
Part Board: if you keep your horse at a boarding stable, then a part board agreement will usually include feeding, cleaning, and rent of the stable or pasture. Your horse won't usually be exercised for you, but you may have access to facilities such as an arena.
Veterinarian: an equine specialist or large animal vet who has experience caring for horses will provide the best medical care. You may want to check where the best vets are located when choosing your new home in Colorado.
Yellow Star Thistle or Russian Knapweed: a tall, thistle-like plant without spines. The flowers are purple or white, with yellow inside. Yellow Star Thistle is often found at roadsides or in pastures. It can cause permanent damage to horses, resulting in difficulty chewing and problems with the facial muscles.
USEFUL Links for more information on Denver Horse properties
- Wells, Septic Systems, Covenants and Your Horses
- The Ultimate Guide To Buying A Horse Property
- Articles about Equestrian Homes
- A guide to plants and grasses that are toxic to horses in Colorado
- Information on Boarding Horses in Colorado
- Tips for Finding Horse Property on This Site
- 5 Tips for Getting a Property Ready for Horse
- Glossary of Term for Horse Property Owners
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