Smiling Horses Monteverde
Horses in Costa Rica
- an experience you never forget -
The Rough Guide to Costa Rica 2004: "...who has several healthy, well-cared for horses..."
See also our guest book about the health of Sabine's Smiling Horses.
We held a horse clinic in January 2002 with Michael "Riverstone" Waldorf a professional farrier from Oregon in the U.S.A. He trained our local hoof care people. My horses gave him a big smile!!!
To get horses to "be and stay healthy" in my opinion horses need to be kept closest to their natural needs and most important to be handled in natural horse sense. That means to get to understand their language and use this knowledge to communicate with them. This way we make and have friendship for ever and not only healthy horses, but also happy and SMILING!!! FRANK BELL, well-known horse whisperer in the United States came to our favor to Monteverde in Costa Rica and held a 2-day clinic in March 2004.
The hoof grows like our finger nails and needs to be cut every 6 to 8 weeks, depending on the horse hoof and the work they do. Most of the time we need to put on a new shoe after cutting and filing the hoof. Formerly in Costa Rica, the hoof smith put the shoe on while it was still hot. Now, most of the time the hoof is filed very straight and the cold shoe is nailed on the bottom with 3 nails on each side.
We try to be conscientious that our horses' feet do not have excessive hoof growth. By maintaining healthy trimming and shoeing practices, we can better ensure that our horses have a sound footing and are prepared for the demands of the mountainous terrain of Monteverde.
The horses are so sure footed here in Costa Rica's mountains, that it is almost impossible to believe in some western countries.
Costa Rican people almost find it funny that people in western countries clean the hoof with a hoof cleaner. Since we have brought many over here and keep on giving them as a present, some of them have started to use it.
The hoof clinic with Michael Riverstone helped many local horsemen and Sabine improve their knowledge about hoof care.
Grooming, or brushing the horse, needs to be done every day. It helps to keep their coat nice and shiny and also keeps parasites away. This is also the time to look over every horse and make sure they are healthy and happy.
In Costa Rica, the horsemen have all kinds of reasons why they cut the mane, the hair in the ears or even the horse's tail. Learn more about it when you are here, as there are so many stories about keeping horses here.
|In Costa Rica it is not very common to vaccinate horses. We give our horses injections every year for Tetanus and test them for equine infectious anemia when we buy, sell or breed a horse. Also we control the hemoglobin level to make sure they only work what they are able to perform.|
|We worm the horses in
our herd every 3 months and change the product every time to make sure
that they are all covered. They are very lucky. Most horses in the field
never get any worming. They have a big belly and people think they are
well fed, but in fact they have a large stomach because of worms.
|For 1 horse in Costa Rica
you need to have 1 ha of land to make sure there is enough grass for them
to eat. In the raining season there is more grass than in dry season, but
the quality is not always as good. In Costa Rica we have many
different types of grass, some of them are more nutritious and healthy
than others. The greenest is not always the best. A pasture with many different
herbs and types of grass is ideal.
work with riders, they cannot get enough energy and vitamins solely from
the grass in a pasture. We feed our horses a
special type of concentrate that we add vitamins, calcium and oil to.
They also have hay for additional food available throughout the year.
|Some people don't believe it but it's true - Horses in the tropics are crazy about bananas but don't always like apples. Alfalfa, Guayabas and carrots are also on the daily menu.|
Horses have an incredible self healing system if they are kept in a natural environment. Still, sometimes it helps them to heal faster under the good hands of a chiropractor. Eduardo is a specialist and is well-known in the area of Tilaran and Monteverde. He has 35 years of experience and helps people as well as horses.
|In our opinion, the best horse care takes place when people are educated in how to be around horses so horses can enjoy their lives, which basically means they SMILE.|
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