Youth Voice

Introducing a new feature to our COS Blog!  Each month a youth member of the community will act as a guest blogger for COS.

THIS MONTH’S FEATURE: FAST FACTS ABOUT HORSES WITH HAYLEE ELZINGA

haylees 170Haylee is a fourteen year old native of the Cowichan Valley and a lover of horses. Haylee had been riding horses since the age of six, and despite having been thrown over while riding many times, she has never been fearful of getting back onto a horse.

Haylee’s 10 fast facts about horses include:

1) Horses are measured in “hands” (one hand is 4 inches), and you always measure a horse by their wither (the area between their shoulders) in order to achieve an accurate height measurement.

2) There are size differences between ponies and horses. Ponies are 14.2 hands in size or under, and horses are 14.3 hands in size or over.

3) The biggest horse that Haylee has ridden was 17.2 hands

4) Horses eat…a lot! On average, a horse will eat half to a full bale of hay every day. A full bale of hay weighs around 50 lbs.

5) Contrary to popular belief, one does not generally feed a horse oats as it makes them hohaylees 171t. Oats are mainly fed to racers as a source of quick energy.

6) Like most children, horses like sugar! Haylee has never met a horse that didn’t like sugar cubes.

7) Horses need to get new shoes every 6-8 weeks. Haylee states that the average cost is around $125-200 per horse, but the prices range from $50-500+!

8) An average veterinarian check-up for a horse costs $500.

9) Horses have to have their teeth “floated” approximately once per year. Floating means to smooth or contour your horse’s teeth with a file (called a “float”). Unlike human teeth, horse’s teeth keep growing. Over time, horse teeth can develop sharp edges that create difficulties for the horse to chew food, hold a bit, or create pain and discomfort.

And the very best thing about horses, says Haylee?

10) “ The sense of connection you can have with a horse”. Haylee states that “you can see yourself in a horse”, and that the connection deepens the longer you spend time with them.

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