Set Your Goals by #TeamDiO Member Sabrina Ketcham
As the new year begins so does the opportunity for all of us make plans for a great year. Goals for our horses, competitions and most important personal growth. The things we need to change or maybe just want to. The beginning of the year is a great place to start. It’s also the perfect time for you to do some “house cleaning” by that I mean get rid of anything you don't need! Such as negative thoughts, doubt and probably some some real things too! We all seem to acquire a lot of “stuff”, in our trailers particularly, over the year. Take some time and purge what is just taking up space. Tack is a good place to start, spend some time making sure your tack is properly cared for. Make sure your cinches are clean saddle screws are tight and secure. Most saddle pads can be cleaned and if it can't, sometimes you just have to admit you have used all the good out of it and start over. A bottle of neatsfoot oil will clean and condition a lot of leather. Take a cold winter day and oil your reins and latagos, check you curb chains and those headstall chicago screws! A simple tiny burr in your saddle can sore your horses back through any pad! Leg gear can be washed by hand in a bucket of water then sprayed off and dried on the fence. Have pride in your things, most likely no one will notice but if your stuff is well taken care of and clean you will feel better. It's amazing how much confidence you can gain from something so simple. Will your horse run faster with his tail is brushed out? Nope, but when you walk into the warm up pen and you feel like he looks good your more confident and you being more confident WILL make him run faster! One of the greatest things you can do for any performance horse is give them confidence. We do this by the way we treat them,both in and out of the arena. Take a close look at the products you have accumulated. Expired supplements should be thrown out. Anything that smells stale or spoiled. Take a close look at what supplements your feeding, which ones does your horse really need and which ones did you buy because the advertising made sure you needed it. There are great supplements out there,just make sure you are using one that has research behind it. Unfortunately natural supplements are not regulated, basically anyone can make and market one. Talk to your veterinarian or a professional as to what they might suggest for the outcome you are looking for. Medications need to be evaluated if they haven't been stored properly or if they are expired,toss them. I always keep a few products that I trust on hand as well as basic wrapping and veterinary supplies. One product that I always have is DiO. I keep DiO Concentrate mixed with water in a spray bottle for easy use. There’s one in the tack room and one in each trailer. Simply spraying down legs after a workout provides a brace effect helping to tighten tendons and pull heat from your horses legs, at the same time it's giving you an opportunity to notice any changes in legs. By knowing your horse you can avoid many injuries. Before each ride or when you feed in the morning get in the habit of running your hands down each of your horse's legs. Legs should feel cool to the touch first thing in the day and heat is a red flag. If you do find some minor swelling or heat, wrapping with DiO is a great way to help your horse. If after a couple days you don’t see an improvement contact your veterinarian. Quite often minor bumps and strains cause little discomfort and go away in just a few days. Sore feet is another common ailment in our performance horses. By soaking a infant diaper or cotton wrap with DiO and placing it over the bottom of the hoof and wrapping with duct tape or travel type boots you can pull soreness and possible abscesses out of hooves. Packing feet during long trailer rides may prevent your horse some discomfort and its a simple thing to do. Performance declines when you horse gets sore in anyway, if you can prevent the simple things you have increased your chances to get to the pay window.
Keep your feet in the stirrups, and your goals in sight.
Sabrina Ketcham Sabrina has had a passion for horses and competition since she was a small child. Growing up on a working cattle ranch horses were used everyday. From a young age she began to compete and that passion has never gone away. Sabrina is a wife and mother of two boys Bridger (12) Pike (8). She and her family ranch in New Mexico as well as train and raise performance horses. Sabrina has had a highly successful barrel racing career including countless awards and championships including being a Wrangler National Finals qualifier and two time The American qualifier.