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NVQ Horse Care - Level 1 notes

Notes that may help anyone going for their BHS Stage 1 exam or doing their NVQ level 1 or 2 in Horse Care and Riding
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Re: NVQ Horse Care - Level 1 notes

Post by TracingEquines » 18 Oct 2011, 10:08 pm

Concentrate Feeds

Linseed - Linseed is high in protein, helps with fattening and promotes a shiny coat and healthy skin. It should be fed in small amounts - one handful per feed per horse

Oats - Oats are fed lightly rolled, bruised or crushed as they are easier to digest this way than when fed whole. They can be fed cooked as a light gruel after work

Barley - Barley must be cooked for at least 2 hours before feeding, until the grain has swelled to its maximum extent and is soft. If it swells inside the horse, it will cause colic. It can be fed as a hot boiled feed and is very nutritious especially in cold weather or for building up condition and fat. It is often cooked with Linseed or fed in a micronised or cooked, flaked form, although it can be fed uncooked provided that it is rolled or crushed

Maize - Maize is fattening and lies in the stomach for a long time so it should not be fed to horses doing strenuous or fast work, such as hunting, racing or eventing. It is fed cooked and flaked to make it more digestable

Horse Nuts - These are a compound feedstuff and can include Bran, Oats, Barley, Linseed, Maize, Grass Meal, Molassess and other nutrients. Some varieties may also include Bone Meal, vitamins and minerals

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Re: NVQ Horse Care - Level 1 notes

Post by TracingEquines » 18 Oct 2011, 10:09 pm

Rugs

A rug is measured , in feet and inches, from the centre of the chest to the point of buttock. Rugs are used to keep the horse warm, clean and dry. They replace the horse's clipped coat and help the horse to stop loosing condition. They are used to prevent chills and offer protection from all types of weather

Types of Rug

<--- This is a pony wearing a New Zealand rug

A New Zealand rug is made from canvas and is partially lined with wool and it is waterproof. It is used in cold weather, to provide protection against the wind and rain. It is not used in the stable

This is a pony wearing a night rug with a blanket underneath --->

A Night rug is made of jute lined with wool. It is used to give the horse extra comfort and to keep it warm at night. It is not waterproof

An Anti-Sweat rug is made from synthetic materials or towelling, and cotton mesh. It is used to prevent a sweating horse from catching a chill whilst it is cooling down. It is used, with straw, when thatching a horse that might breakout into a sweat

A Summer Sheet is made from cotton or synthetic fabric. It is used in summer, to protect a horse, that has been groomed, from dust and flies and is used when travelling a horse

An Exercise Sheet is a short, square-fronted rug made from nylon with a cotton or wool lining with a fillet string. It goes under the saddle and is used in cold weather to keep the back, loins and muscles on the hindquarters warm

Washing Rugs

To make sure rugs stay as clean as possible, sponge off any stains and have a couple spare, so that you can wash them

Most Nylon rugs can be put through a washer

Jute rugs need to be brushed underneath, at least once a week. In summer, they can be washed by using soap, water and a scrubbing brush

New Zealand rugs are washed the same as jute rugs. When they have been washed, they need re-proofing

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Re: NVQ Horse Care - Level 1 notes

Post by TracingEquines » 18 Oct 2011, 10:11 pm

The Safety & Care Of Equipment

Mucking Out Equipment

Make sure that after use any mucking out equipment is put back in the appropriate place and is hung up out of the way. Any faulty equipment e.g. loose heads on brushes or shavings forks should be reported to the yard manager. Forks should be hung up with the prongs upwards and pointing inwards to reduce the risk of danger

All barrows should be emptied and tipped up so that the barrow can not rot. Swill barrow out to prevent rotting and try to maintain hygiene (reduce flies etc)

Skips should be emptied and put back in the appropriate place so that they do not become hazardous. Stack them together if possible. Try not to overload with muck because they will split

Keep hose pipes rolled up to prevent damage to the hose, and also for the safety of the people and horses on the yard

Rakes for the school should be stored outside the school against the fence - on a hook

It is extremely important that common sense is taken as far as mucking out equipment is concerned. It should not be left in the horses stable for obvious reasons. Nor should it be left in the yard to be knocked over by people, horses, dogs or the weather

Grooming Kits

The grooming kits should be kept in a safe place, in some form of box to keep it all together

For the purpose of hygiene it should be washed at least once a week. Make sure that at least one brush is kept dry to brush the horses off with because it takes a while for them to dry off

Wash the brushes in warm soapy water. Place them in the water with the wood pointing out and the bristles in. Use your hand to get the muck and grease out of the brushes. Place them face down to dry off

Keep the grooming kit safe when grooming the horse. Do not put it anywhere where the horse is going to tread in it. Make sure that you always put the hoof pick back in the grooming kit. Do not put it in your pocket by mistake. Don't put it down on the horses bed either

Make sure any sponges for eyes nose and dock are washed after each use. Also try to have a different sponge for each eye, then infections are not spread as easily

Tack

Any tack should be cleaned daily and checked thoroughly for safety reasons at least once a week. It is particularly important to check the stitching of stirrup leathers, girth straps, and the thickness and quality of the leather in general. This is not just because of the safety factor but also because tack is so expensive

Any spare tack must be kept clean, and stored in cupboards. It is important to realise that this spare tack should be cleaned up but not saddle soaped because it will go mouldy

After the winter rugs should be cleaned and put away. New Zealands should be cleaned and re-proofed

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Re: NVQ Horse Care - Level 1 notes

Post by TracingEquines » 18 Oct 2011, 10:12 pm

Tack Cleaning

Tack cleaning keep stack clean, supple and safe. The stitching should be checked every time and special attention must be paid towards the girth. Tack should be treated with oil at least twice a year. The tack should be cleaned and then soaped. When buying saddle soap, one which has a high glycerine content is a good one. Tack should be cleaned after every usage

Equipment Needed

- Three buckets of warm water

- Two sponges

- Saddle soap

- A dry, clean cloth

- A nailbrush

The Bridle

* Take the bridle apart and write down what holes the cheekpieces and noseband were on

* Put the bit in a bucket of warm water to soak

* Using a damp sponge, wipe over all the leather sections of the bridle

* Using a seperate DRY sponge, soap the leather sections of the bridle

* Put the bridle together but not the reins

* Take the bit out of the water and dry off with a cloth. Attach it to the rest of the bridle

* Attach the reins

The Saddle

* Take the numnah, girth, girth guards and stirrup leathers off the saddle

* Put the stirrup irons and stirrup treads into a bucket of warm water

* With a damp sponge, wipe over all the leather sections of the saddle including the underneath and the stirrup leathers

* With a seperate DRY sponge, soap all the leather sections of the saddle including the underneath and the stirrup leathers

* Take the stirrup irons and treads from the water and dry off with a cloth. Attach them to the stirrup leathers

* Assemble the saddle

* If the numnah and girth are material, they can be changed and clean ones put on. If the girth is leather, it should be cleaned like the saddle and attached with the elastic straps fastening on the near side

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Re: NVQ Horse Care - Level 1 notes

Post by TracingEquines » 18 Oct 2011, 10:14 pm

Unit 2 - Serving Facilities

Element 2.1 - Receive and store food and bedding

1. Why is it important that food and bedding are stored correctly ?

It is important that food and bedding are stored correctly to stop it from being attacked by vermin and damp

2. How would you ideally store food and bedding ?

I would store the food in vermin-proof bins, away from any damp. The bins would have catches or lids on that a horse could not move or lift up. The feed bins would be clearly labelled so that feeds, such as sugar beet nuts and pony nuts, would not get mixed up.

The hay and straw would be stored on a raised surface, to allow the air to circulate underneath and prevent damp from attacking the bottom layer of bales

Element 2.2 - Maintain yard and surrounding area

1. Why is it important that the yard and areas are kept clean and tidy ?

It is important that the yard and areas are kept clean and tidy to maintain high safety standards, to ensure the hygiene of the yard and to improve the appearance of the yard

The Importance of Good Fodder and Cleanliness of Equipment

* Horses are selective eaters so all food buckets have to be absolutely spotless leaving no traces of food from the night before
* All feed scoops and utensils should be washed and kept clean
* Mark all feed bin lids e.g. sugar beet and pony nuts
* Sweep feed room out thoroughly, to stop any attraction to vermin
* When buying fodder you have to check the sell by date and how to store it etc
* Buy as required as it is far better than buying a lot and not using it straight away
* Keep hay and straw in a dry place

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Re: NVQ Horse Care - Level 1 notes

Post by TracingEquines » 18 Oct 2011, 10:15 pm

Unit 3 - Handling Horses From The Ground

Element 3.1 - Release horses into an enclosure

1. Describe the procedure for releasing horses into an enclosure or field

* I put on my riding hat and a pair of gloves

* I put a headcollar or bridle, or both, onto the horse and lead him out, on his near side, to the field

* I open the gate, take him into the field and turn him round so that he is facing the gate, which I shut

* I give him a pat, if he has behaved himself. Then I quietly unclip the leadrope or take the headcollar off and exit the field

* I watch his reactions and check that he is behaving in his usual manner, for a few minutes

Element 3.2 - Catch Horses

1. Describe the procedure for catching up horses from an enclosure

* I put on my hat and gloves and take a headcollar and leadrope with me

* I open and shut the gate. I walk upto the horse's shoulder, give him a pat or a treat and quietly clip the leadrope onto his headcollar or put the headcollar on

* I lead him to the gate, open the gate, lead him through the gate, turn him to face it and close the gate

* Then I push him away from me and take him into his stable. I give him a pat or a treat and take off his headcollar and leave him in his stable

2. What action would you take if a horse was turned out with other horses and it didn't want to be caught ?

I would :-

a, bring in all of the horses until the required one was caught

b, take a small handful of feed with me to tempt him to come to me

c, I would ask another member of staff to come and help me to catch him

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Re: NVQ Horse Care - Level 1 notes

Post by TracingEquines » 18 Oct 2011, 10:16 pm

An Ideal Field

The field should be sited away from any main roads but still be easily accessible

The field should contain plenty of good grass. If it is a large field, it should be sectioned off according to how many horses or ponies are grazing on it

You need to have secure fencing like :-

a, Post and rail

b, Post and straight wire

c, Hedges

d, Dry stone walls

e, Electric fencing

Post and rail is probably the most ideal unless you have a natural barrier in which you would place a post and rail fence on the inside

Post and wire is a cheaper alternative to wooden post and rail fencing

The gates should be wide enough for machinery to pass through. The gates should open inwards so that if it comes slightly open the horse can't push its way out

Some kind of shelter is needed, whether it is just trees or a proper man made shelter. A shelter protects your horse from extreme weather conditions and provides a cool shady area during the hot summer days

The field should contain a constant supply of fresh water whether it is from a natural source or not. If the water is in a bucket or trough, it should be cleaned out every day

Various way of offering water in the field are :-

a, Ball and cock

b, Streams

c, Baths

d, Half barrels

e, Buckets (1 or 2 ponies)

Ball and cock is probably the most ideal or a trough with a plug hole. Baths are not particularly any good. Streams are not very advisable because they could be polluted and they can be very shallow, which means anything which lies on the bed or base of the stream the horse may swallow whilst drinking. Ponds are a definite no no because the water doesn't move, so it becomes stagnant. Make sure it is fenced off, if there is one in the field

Droppings, rubbish, poisonous plants should be removed every day. The fencing should be checked every day. If hay has been fed in the field, there should always be more piles or haynets hung up than there are horses and ponies in the field

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Re: NVQ Horse Care - Level 1 notes

Post by TracingEquines » 18 Oct 2011, 10:17 pm

Field Care

Taking care of your field is very important to make sure that your horse stays healthy and content

When you visit your horse, in the field, you should walk right around the field and check that the following things are in order

<--- This is good solid post and rail fencing

Fencing - Look for any weak spots or broken fencing so that it can be repaired before your horse escapes

Shelter - Look for any signs of loose boards or damage from kicks and general wear and tear

Rubbish - Look for any dangerous objects or litter lying around. Make sure it is all removed

This shows one method of watering in a field --->

Poisonous Plants

Always look daily for any plants that are poisonous and remove them from the roots and burn them

* Foxglove - All of the plant is poisonous
* Hemlock - The sappy stems are quite poisonous n dry weather
* Woody Nightshade - The berry is the poisonous part
* Ragwort - The whole of this plant is poisonous. It affects the liver
* Deadly Nightshade - Mainly it is the flowers that are poisonous
* Laburnum - The whole plant is poisonous especially the seeds
* Privet - The is only poisonous when eaten in large amounts
* Acorns - Eating these in large quantities can be fatal. The acorns and leaves are poisonous
* Yew - All parts of this is poisonous including dead leaves and twigs
* Horsetail - All of this plant is poisonous even the root

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Re: NVQ Horse Care - Level 1 notes

Post by TracingEquines » 18 Oct 2011, 10:18 pm

Unit 4 - Some Rules On Fitting A Saddle & Bridle

The Saddle

* The saddle-tree must be the correct width for the horse

* You should be able to see through from the front to the back, whilst there is no rider on board and whilst a rider is sat on the horse

* There must be no weight on the loins

* The saddle should lie flat on the horse's back

* Check that the panel stuffing is level on both sides

* Check that the saddle is clear of the horse's withers

* The saddle should not stop or hamper the movement of the horse's shoulder

* The panel must be correctly stuffed

* The saddle must not slip forwards or sideways

The saddle must be fitted without a numnah

The Bridle

* The browband should not interfere with how the bridle hangs nor should it touch or rub the horse's ears

* The noseband should allow two fingers width between it and the front of the horse's face. The side pieces should not touch the horse's eyes. It should lie between the projecting cheekbones and the mouth

* The throatlash, when fastened, should allow a hand's width between the horse's jawbone and it

* The bit should allow one fingers width on each side of the horse's mouth. There should be one wrinkle at the corners of the mouth, on each side

The bit should be level and the browband and the noseband should be straight. All the straps should be put through their keeper and runner. The mane should be straight underneath the headpiece and the forelock should be over the browband. All the buckles, on the near side, should be on a slight downward slope, in line with each other. The holes that are used should be in the centre of the strap. The cheekpieces should be on the same holes on both sides

If a horses tack does not fit correctly, it is dangerous to the horse and rider (SAFETY) and it could cause pain and injury to the horse (COMFORT)

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Re: NVQ Horse Care - Level 1 notes

Post by TracingEquines » 18 Oct 2011, 10:19 pm

Washing A Horse

This is the procedure that I use when I wash or bath a horse

* I collect all the equipment that I require - shampoo, several buckets of warm water, a water brush, several sponges, a sweat scraper, a mane comb, a hair brush, a suitably sized sweat rug with surcingle

* I tie the horse up, not in the stable, or ask someone to hold him for me

* I wash his body, with the warm water and then I shampoo him

* I wash his mane and tail, in the same way that I did his body

* Using the sponges, I wash the shampoo out of his coat, mane and tail

* I run the sweat scraper over his body, to remove any excess water

* I comb out the excess water, from his mane and tail, using the mane comb and the hair brush

* I put his sweat rug on him

* He is taken into his stable and his headcollar is removed

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