Facts about the Percheron Horse

35The mighty Percheron is probably one of the most-loved draft horses on earth. Not much is known about this horse. It is believed that its ancestors were the heavy horses used by the knights in the battle of Poitiers. The Moors invaded Europe and Charles Martel defeated them, uniting Europe in the process. After the battle, they had access to the Arabian and Barb horses of the moors, and these were used extensively in the breeding and development of the Percheron.

After the invention of gunpowder, the Percheron was no longer needed as a war mount. Thus, it went from being a battle horse to pulling the heavy coaches. It was well-suited for the task. It was prized for its power and endurance, and not only did it pull the coaches of the rich and powerful, it was also used to pull the heavy mail coaches. However, this did not last long because the train soon came into being. Soon, this horse started appearing not only in the cities but also in the county, doing various tasks. The breed was being modified to accommodate the new jobs. Thus, it became even bigger and heavier and was used in plowing and farm work along with being used in the city, in dock work, and for hauling goods from one place to another.

This is why this horse is believed to be such a versatile breed. It is a favorite in the logging industry because it is able to go places where a tractor can’t, and does not need roads either. This comes in handy when there are young trees that shouldn’t be damaged. It is used on farms to this day, and has a reputation for being an excellent jumper and pleasure riding horse.

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Barrel Racing Tips

34Barrel horse racing started as an event for women, providing them with an opportunity to compete in a physical competition. It has grown from a housewives’ pastime to a big industry, with professionals taking part in it. Barrel racing is considered as a form of horse riding, with expert riders having superb riding skills and some of the best athletic horses. It is all about testing the coordination between the athletic prowess of the horse and the brilliant horsemanship skills of the rider.

The rider has to steer the horse around three barrels, each weighing fifty-five gallons, placed in a pattern similar to a clove leaf. The aim of the game is to make the horse run as fast as possible, even at a breakneck speed, within a limited time frame. The time is recorded by a timekeeper, who signals the start time and the finish time, by using his eyes and a flag, to a clock keeper who records them by using a timer. Nowadays, the run is timed using an electric eye, a device using a laser system. The timer starts at the beginning line, when the horse and the rider crosses the first barrel, and without knocking out any of the barrels, reaches the finishing line through the other two barrels.

Here are some tips that will help you out:

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Job Description and Average Salary of a Farrier

33Farriery, the shoeing of horses and similar animals, is an ancient and highly skilled craft. In the olden days, a blacksmith did everything. Now, farriery involves making horseshoes, preparing the animal’s feet for the shoes, and fitting the shoes. In UK, according to the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975, only the person who has registered himself as a farrier is entitled to be called ‘farrier’, and only the registered farriers can carry out farriery work. However, in the United States, horse farriers do not get any legal certificate, as farriery is not regulated by law.

The qualifications of a farrier may vary from person to person. In the US, three organizations – the American Farrier’s Association (AFA); the Guild of Professional Farriers (GPF); and the Brotherhood of Working Farriers (BWFA) conduct voluntary certification programs for farriers. They promote the well-being of horses through education of the horse owner, veterinarian, and farrier. Apart from horseshoeing, the duties of a farrier involve hoof trimming and equine foot care. A farrier specializes in difficult or skittish horses. Shoeing racehorses is a specialized trade in itself.


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Barrel Racing

32Barrel racing is an exciting form of horse racing where participants compete not just against each other but the clock as well. Like dressage and unlike other races, only one rider enters the arena at a time. It is a fascinating speed event in which a horse, along with its rider, gallops in a ‘cloverleaf’ pattern making agile turns around three barrels placed in a triangular fashion.
Contestants must circle all three barrels – touching the barrel is OK but knocking it down is not. Each knocked over barrel invites penalty in terms of time, making the racer slower. Racers enter the arena at full speed and try to circle the three barrels as quickly as they can in the predefined pattern. They steer as close to the barrels as they can in order to steal precious seconds from the clock. An electronic ‘eye’ accurate to a hundredth of a second is used to time the racers. The race is normally over within a quarter of a minute.

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Horse Breeds

31We look at him with ardor and adulation. We admire his stature, elegant coat and an awe-inspiring highness. He is none another than the most sure-footed animal … The Horse. Horse breeds have developed over a span of time. Various parts of the world, now consist of different breeds of horses. Ironically, horses were first tamed in Central Asia between 3000 to 4000 B.C. They were bred for the purpose of meat and dairy products. The ‘early man’ era was evolving and so were the purposes for which the animal was used. Early man and his discoveries led him to be excessively nomadic in his endeavors, thus employing horses as pack animals.