In the horsey industry we are taught to do things a certain way because that is the way it should be done. While we may be curious as to why things are done this way, chances are we asked when we were younger and received a response similar to “because we do” and have since stopped asking.
In this post I will put forward three Frequently Unasked Questions I have thought about over the years and will tell you the reason why this all started. Please send in more of your unanswered questions and I will try to find the answer for you in the next FUQ post.
Why do we bandage legs in pairs?
When you learn to bandage you are always told to bandage the legs in pairs, even if it is only one leg which needs bandaging. I don’t know about you, but as a child I never asked why as I felt that it seemed too obvious – I just wasn’t sure what the obvious answer was!
The answer is to keep everything balanced and equal. Bandaging supports the leg and can potentially alter how the horse moves or stands. Over a long period of time, if you only bandaged one leg you could end up with a very wonky horse!
But also, if you are bandaging to support an injury, the chances are the injury free leg is already taking some extra strain and could do with some extra support. After all, how many stories do you hear of horses injuring one leg to then go lame on the other?
Why do we do everything from the left?
Due to how all our equipment has developed to do up from the left, it’s now a lot of effort to do things from the right hand side. But this must have all started from somewhere surely, people just didn’t domesticate horses and start doing everything from the left for no reason.
This all comes from when knights and soldiers carried weapons. Most people are right handed so carried weapons, mainly swords, on their left side to make it easier and quicker to prepare for an attack. They quickly realised that keeping themselves between the weapon and the horse was he safest way to do things and they were less likely to skewer themselves mounting from the left.
Why can’t horses eat lawn mower cuttings?
A horses diet is mostly grass. Whether that be fresh grass in the field, cut grass (hay) or chopped grass (chaff). It is therefore confusing that we can’t give our horses lawn mower cuttings. From a young age you have it drilled into you about how dangerous this can be. As a child I convinced myself that it was due to possible chemicals in the cuttings from the lawn mower. After all, why else would it be any different to feeding hay?
The actual reason you can’t feed your horse grass cuttings is due to the fermentation process. The grass cuttings start fermenting after being cut. When the horse eats this cut grass it starts producing gas in the stomach and gut, which can cause the horse to colic.
What are your Frequently Unasked Questions?