Starting Out With a New Hanoverian Sport Horse

The Hanoverian horse has been a consistently popular breed of sport horse for a long time, and for good reason. Hanoverian horses are incredibly lithe, agile and sportive. Hanoverians are renowned for their good temperaments, which makes them easy to train to a great extent. These horses are also highly intelligent and generally form very harmonious relationships with their riders. Hanoverian sport horses are famed worldwide for their awe-inspiring grace and beauty – they possess an infallible combination of muscular limbs, a robust body and an enduringly strong back. Any horse lover, or potential investor in a sport horse would truly be wise to choose a Hanoverian sport horse.

Hanoverian sport horses can be seen at all levels of competitive games, from local horse shows to the Olympic games. In fact, statistics show that the Hanoverian breed is the most successful of all warm blood horse breeds – not surprising when their athleticism and excellent temperament are acknowledged.

Question: I have invested in a fantastic Hanoverian Sport Horse. What is my next step?

First of all, congratulations on your successful investment in a Hanoverian, anyone who has the pleasure of owning one of these horses is guaranteed many years of satisfaction and enjoyment from seeing their horse continually succeed. However, their success does not come automatically. The most important first step to take, once you have purchased your horse, is to organize its training.

High quality training with an experienced trainer is imperative to guarantee your horse’s success in competitive games. It is recommended to conduct ample research on the type of training you wish your horse to receive. Training based on classical teaching principles has proven widely popular. In many cases, the classical teaching principles are applied during training, while the trainer simultaneously forms a specific program based on the unique needs of the horse undergoing training, taking their personality traits and physical strengths into close consideration.

When researching and deciding on the right horse trainer for your Hanoverian horse’s needs, inquire as to the success levels in competitive games of horses that have been previously undergone training with them. This will give you a fair idea of how well the trainer works with horses and caters to their individual needs. It is also very important to introduce your horse to the trainer, and even allow them to take the horse for a ride to gauge how they collaborate with one another. Additionally, it is just as important for you, the horse owner to mesh well with the chosen trainer.

Hanoverian horses are highly intelligent and if they sense any weakness, their training may not be as successful as it could be. In the long run, it is extremely important that your Hanoverian, you and your trainer all connect well to ensure your horse’s maximum success.

Riding on the Road: Safety First

I live on a large farm with a lot of land, but even so, I like to trail ride out on the road. Some people have never had this cool experience before, and many find it strange, but it is actually a lot of fun! Where I live, there are many, many, miles of country back roads, and the amount of cars coming by are not bountiful, we are lucky to get six in one hour. These are the best kind of roads to ride on, you definitely do not want to be on a public road with cars whizzing by every few seconds… safety FIRST!!!

If you take your horse to shows, he is probably used to noise, vehicles, and a variety of sights, but he may not necessarily be used to the idea of a car passing in close proximity to him on a road, or zooming by; most people slow down when they see a horse and rider out on the road, but not all do, and these are the ignorant people that you have to watch out for. Some people think it is cute or funny to honk their horn as they pass you and your horse on the road; as riders, we know that there is no humor in this situation; it is extremely dangerous. A startled horse has a tendency to run or act up, and you must be prepared to cope with the situation.

As I train my young horses, I ride them on the road to desensitize them, but only after I know that they are far enough along that they will listen to me if something happens to scare them. I train them to ride out on the road, as I know that they will be ridden on the road in the future. But, if you have an older already trained horse, and you want to make him comfortable on the road, lead him out there for a couple hours a day and let him graze along the road. As cars pass, see how he reacts. Even if he is eating, how he reacts to cars while on the roadside grazing will give you almost a perfect example of how he will react when being ridden. I also advise that he not startle and spook easily, as some people who do not know better WILL honk their car horns as they go by and alarm your horse. Do some spook training with him on noises BEFORE riding or leading him on the road.

Gear for road-riding will be slightly different than for regular riding. For you, it would be wise to wear a body protector, a reflective vest, and a helmet, along with your regular riding gear (jeans or breeches, boots, maybe chaps or half-chaps, a riding friendly shirt, and gloves). A spill while riding on the asphalt is definitely going to cause more damage than an accident in the field or arena, and you don’t want any injuries that CAN be prevented. For your horse, you may wrap his legs or put tendon/brushing boots on him, outfit him in bell boots, or use knee protection, all to keep him safe should he slip or fall.

After he is used to cars, take him out for a short hack and see how he does. Always watch AND listen for oncoming cars. Coming around a turn, a car will most likely not see you. I advise staying on the outside shoulder of the road when encompassing a long turn that you cannot see around, going against the flow of traffic. If you horse does well riding on the road quietly, does, you can go for a longer ride each time, until you are riding to a friend’s house if you want to!

As you go though, please remember to keep an eye and ear open for cars so that YOU are aware of approaching traffic even if your horse is not. In most cases, the horse will hear the traffic even before you do, and flick his ears and listen as it comes. If he happens to spook because of a loud engine or horn, sit calmly, and relax yourself as much as possible to let him know that it was just a noise; most times, the horse may jump forward a few steps, but once he realizes that you are unafraid, he will settle to just flicking his ears around, and then becoming placid as his usual self once again.

The Complete Gouldian Finch Birdwatching Profile

If you are an experienced Australian birdwatching enthusiast, then undoubtedly you have heard of the Gouldian Finch, even if you have not had the privilege of seeing one in the wild. This spectacular bird has gained a lot of media attention in recent years due to its declining numbers, due to reduced habitat. Many birdwatchers agree that this finch is the most spectacularly coloured bird in Australia. There are a number of organisations that have taken to preserving the habitats of this remarkable creature. Recent research has found that there are only about 2,500 Gouldian Finch’s living in the wild.

Description

The little bird gained it’s name from John Gould, the discoverer of the bird. Taken by the beauty of the purple chested bird, he named it the Lady Gouldian. With it’s characteristic purple plumage, yellow feathered chest and green back, this little bird is hard to be mistaken.

Diet

As a grass-finch, the Gouldian Finch main diet source is from the ripe or semi-ripe seeds of native grasses. Interestingly for a few months during the year the bird changes its diet to cope with the arduous task of raising its young. During these months the birds diet consists mainly of small insects, which provide it with the added nutrients needed during this stressful period.

Habitat Location

It really is a tragedy when one considers the vast habitat that the Gouldian Finch once lived in, contrasted with the small areas that it occupies now. Many birdwatchers initially thought that the numbers of the Gouldian Finch were plummeting in the wild due to individuals capturing the birds for pets. Research has since shown that reduced habitats, and irregular fire patterns are primarily to blame for the reduced habitat. Nowadays the finch can only be found in the wild in the Top End of the Northern Territory of Australia. Mike Jarvis, one of the most respected birdwatching guides in Australia, regularly takes tours through the Mary River district and South of Pine Creek in the dry season, with great success with regular spotting’s of this endangered bird. If you are able to explore this region, keep an eye out for the finch in open woodlands near water sources. There is anecdotal evidence that they are often sighted near native spear-grasses.

How To Help The Gouldian Finch

Many kindhearted volunteers regularly monitor local waterholes in the Gouldian Finch’s native habitat to keep an eye out for the sightings. The more information that organisations can gather from volunteer birdwatchers on the habitat of the Gouldian Finch, the more that they can help protect that environment. Additionally individuals can take active steps to ensure that the current habitat of the bird is protected, and report any activities that are harming the area.

There have been new spotting’s of the Gouldian Finch in the Dampier Peninsula in Western Australia. Research has shown that this is not a population of birds that has moved to the area, but a population that has previously been undiscovered. This breeding population shows the importance of amateur birdwatchers reporting any sightings of the Gouldian Finch, as this area is now a protected area. With ongoing care and public awareness, generations of Australian will be able to enjoy seeing this most remarkable bird in the grasslands of Australia.

Setting Up Lighting For Your Aquarium

These days almost any aquarium sets that you get as a package comes with some form of lighting. But if you do have or buy an aquarium that did not come as a set you would then have to get all the different equipment and accessories separately. In this case, you may be wondering what kind of aquarium lightning to get and how to properly install them.

The real question is whether lighting for a fish tank really is that necessary or is it merely a decorative element that you could do away with.

The first factor that determines the necessity of aquarium lighting is whether you have real plants in your tank or not. If yours is a planted tank, the aquatic plants in the water will require light to perform photosynthesis. Without proper lighting at least for a couple of hours of each day, your live plants will begin to wither and die. If your aquarium is positioned in a place that receives some sunlight daily, even if it is not direct sunlight, then fish tank lights aren’t really that crucial.

Even if you do not have live aquatic plants, having a tank that sits in a dark corner of an ill lighted room is not healthy to your fish. Fish like all living creatures live in a cycle of light and dark. Without a distinct difference between the two, they would eventually have deteriorating health and other issues.

In general there are three types of aquarium lights that you could get: normal fluorescent, compact fluorescent and metal halides.

Normal Fluorescent Lights

These are the common types of lighting you can get for a very cheap price in any pet shop. The normal fluorescent lights do provide the basic function of lighting up your fish tank and they do help with providing your aquatic plants the light it needs. The issue about these lights though is that they can be a little bulky. If you do get shorter tubes, the strength of the light might not be sufficient. The same goes if you have a fairly large tank, where you will need to get a couple of tubes together in order to provide suitable illumination.

Compact Fluorescent Lights

These are just like the normal fluorescent ones with the exception that they are much smaller. But don’t let the size full you, they do provide sufficient illumination as much as a longer normal one would. So the benefit here is that you would be able to have more tubes in a smaller space, giving your plants and fish all the light they need.

Metal Halide Aquarium Lighting

These are the latest addition to the aquarium lighting scene. Metal halide lights are able to provide illumination that is stronger and more concentrated. This allows the light to penetrate far deeper into the tank than Fluorescent lights can, making metal halides perfect for really large tanks. The light spectrum that they provide is also ideal for plants and can be selected based on the type of aquatic plants that you have.

The only drawback here is that it is for advanced aquarium enthusiast because it needs proper installation and maintenance. So if you are a new hobbyist and do not want to go through the hassle, this may not be the one for you.

So your task now is to evaluate the size of your fish tank and see which of the three options you would like to go with. They all have their pros and cons, so it is mainly a matter of preference.

Building a Fence for a Horse Riding Arena

For our new horse riding arena we chose to build a full perimeter fence. This will be consisting of wood posts and boards that would match our out buildings and horse sheds. We used 8 inch posts, and 2 x 6 boards 16 feet long. Our posts were spaced 8 feet apart, this enabled us to fasten each 2 x 6 board to three posts. This was to reduce the chance of the 2 x 6 boards warping and twisting, as well as making the fence stronger. The position of all the posts, including gateways were staked out prior to constructing the arena fence. Our arena will be 200 x 100 feet, with a 12 foot gate at each end. We began by tying a string to a corner stake and pulling it 200 feet to the next corner stake on the long side of the arena. After pulling the string tight to ensure that it was a perfectly straight-line, we tied it tightly to the second stake. A stake for each post was then placed along the string line at 8 foot intervals to complete the first side of our perimeter fence.

To layout the second side of our riding arena fence we measured 100 feet from the corner stake and put a stake in the ground for the next corner. To make sure that the corners are perfect 90° angles. We could have used a construction calculator to do the math. Instead we made our own 90 degree angle with, a known math solution, the old tried and tested method of the 3, 4, 5 right-triangle solution. A triangle that has three sides where one is 3 feet long, another is 4 feet and the third leg is 5 feet long creates a right triangle. The intersection of the 3 foot and 4 foot leg create a perfect 90 degree angle. Any multiples of these dimensions also work; 6, 8, 10 or 12, 16, and 20 are also combinations that yield a perfect 90 degree angle. To make our corner, we used a measurement of 100 feet to the next corner, 75 feet back down our staked fence line, and 125 feet for our diagonal measurement. Where the 100 foot measurement, and the 125 foot measurement intersected we placed our next corner stake. After pulling a string to make sure of a straight-line, we placed 11 stakes at 8 foot intervals along the string. This made a total distance of 88 feet. The remaining 12 feet is where our gate went. We chose to use a 12 foot gate at each end of our arena for two reasons. First this is a good-sized opening for getting machinery into the arena to maintain the riding surface. And secondly, 12 feet gave us an even measurement for our 8 foot post spacing on the 100 foot side of the arena.

To layout and stake the third side of our arena perimeter fence, we measured 200 feet and placed the last corner stake, taking care to have perfect 90° angles on our corners using the 3, 4, 5 right-triangle solution. After pulling a straight string line we placed our post stakes every 8 feet completing the layout of the third side. We laid out the last side of the arena with 11 stakes spaced 8 feet apart for the posts and another 12 foot opening for a gate.

After all of the perimeter post positions had been staked, we used a post hole digger on a machine to drill the holes in the ground for our posts. Our posts were 8 feet long, and our holes were drilled 2 feet deep, so that we would have 6 feet of post sticking out of the ground when finished. We used a string line and level to make sure all of our posts were straight and uniform before tamping and watering the ground around them for compaction.

When all of the perimeter posts had been tamped into place, we then began fastening our 2 x 6 boards to the posts for the railings. We chose to use two railings one at 30 inches to the top, and another at 60 inches to the top of railing. Before fastening the railings to the posts, we pulled a string line tightly down the row of posts at 30 inches high and made a mark on each post were the top of the bottom railing will be, we also made another mark at 60 inches for the top of the top rail. Next we used clamps to clamp our 2 x 6 railing to the posts taking care to line up with our mark, we had made previously. The railings will be attached to the posts using 5/16 by 3 inch long lag bolts with a large flat washer. To do this, we first drilled two holes slightly smaller than 5/16 through the railing and into the post. We chose to use two bolts to fasten our railings to each post, therefore the two bolt holes were drilled in the railings 1 1/2 inches from the edge of the 2 x 6. We did not want our bolt heads to protrude out of the railing, so we drilled the two holes in the railing slightly larger than the washer 1/2″ deep to countersink the washer and head of the lag bolt. After inserting the bolts into the holes and tightening them up, the clamps were then removed and the process was repeated for the next railing.

After attaching all of the railings to the posts, we then hung the two 12 foot gates on each end of our riding arena. We purchased two steel gate kits that came with hinges and a latch on them ready for installation. To hang the gates was a simple matter of drilling two holes through the gateposts at the correct height. The final step to completing our riding arena was to paint all of the wood railings and posts with a good outdoor protective paint that would preserve and protect the wood, as well as matching the color on our existing horse sheds.