Omega Fields

  • Trailer Preparation Tips for Travel Season

    Written By USRider

    While many of us are currently buried up to our noses in snow, travel season is just around the corner. Before the start of this season, it is critically important for many equine enthusiasts to perform basic, yet essential, maintenance on their trailers. USRider reminds equestrians to invest time doing routine preventive trailer maintenance. This will be time well spent because trailers will be in optimal shape to provide safe travel for precious cargo.

    Despite the fact that a good roadside assistance program is something every horse owner should have, the thought of having to use it is never close by. USRider’s mission is to continually educate horse owners about trailer safety as well as keeping you and your equine partner safe on the road.

    On its website, USRider has carefully developed the Equine TRAVEL SAFETY Area to be a resource with helpful and practical topics – all free and available to members and non-members alike. Horse owners can put these tips to work and greatly reduce the chances of being stranded on the side of the road.

    Some helpful tips from USRider:

    1. Remove and inspect all wheels and hubs or brake drums.
    2. Inspect suspension for wear.
    3. Check tightness of hanger bolt, shackle bolt and U-bolt nuts per recommended torque values.
    4. Check brake linings, brake drums and armature faces for excessive wear or scoring.
    5. Check brake magnetic coil with an ohmmeter. The magnetic coil should check 3.2 ohms (+/- 0.3ohms). If shorted or out of tolerance, replace.
    6. Lubricate all brake moving parts, using a high temperature brake lubricant.
    7. Remove any rust from braking surface and armature surface of drums.
    8. Inspect oil or grease seals for wear or nicks. Replace if necessary.
    9. Inspect and grease wheel bearings.

    In addition to these recommendations, USRider advises horse owners to check all trailer tires, (including spares) for signs of dry rot, correct air pressure, faulty air valves, uneven tire wear, overall tire wear and damage. Invest in a high-quality air pressure gauge – learn how to use it - and inspect tire pressure before each trip. Always replace tires if worn or damaged. In addition, tires should be replaced every three to five years regardless of mileage. When replacing tires, always replace the valve stems. Only high quality tires specifically designed and rated for trailers should be used – never use retread or automobile tires on a horse trailer. Think of it this way: Quality tires are like fine leather shoes, they only hurt once – when you pay for them.

    It is also important to service the wheel bearings annually, or every 12,000 miles, regardless of mileage, due to moisture build-up. Keep a spare set of wheel bearings in your trailer in case of premature failure. Be sure to inspect trailer wiring and lighting; inspect door latches and grease the doors; inspect the floor (be sure to remove any rubber mats so the entire floor can be examined); and inspect and lubricate mechanical moving parts, such as the hitch and suspension parts. If the trailer has been sitting for a while, check for wasp nests, spider webs and any other creatures that may have made a new home.

    USRider advises horse owners to use ICE – In Case of Emergency. This important initiative was designed to aid emergency responders in identifying victims and determining who needs to be notified. Implementing ICE is easy. Program your emergency contact information into your cellular phone and designate it with the acronym ICE.

    Horse owners should also ensure that their emergency contact information is stored in their tow vehicle. To facilitate this, USRider has developed an In Case of Emergency form and posted it online for horse owners to print. Simply fill in the blanks and store the paper in the tow vehicle as well as in the trailer. Additional recommendations, as well as a Power of Attorney form, are posted on the USRider website.

    USRider – in its 14th year of operation – is the only company to provide emergency roadside assistance for horse owners. Through the Equestrian Motor Plan, USRider provides nationwide roadside assistance and towing services along with other travel-related benefits to its Members. The plan includes standard features such as flat-tire repair, battery assistance, lockout services, and roadside repairs for tow vehicles and trailers with horses, plus towing up to 100 miles.  As an additional service, USRider maintains a national database that includes emergency stabling, veterinary and farrier referrals. For more information about the USRider Equestrian Motor Plan, visit www.usrider.org online or call (800) 844-1409. For additional safety and travel tips, visit the Equine Travel Safety Area on the USRider website at www.usrider.org.

  • Omega Fields Interview During CHA Spot on Horses in the Morning Show

    http://www.horsesinthemorning.com/hitm-for-12-16-2014-by-certified-horsemanship-assoc-omega-fields-balance-rhythm-with-janet-young-cheryl-rohnke-kronsberg/

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    Omega Fields Spokesperson Chad Crosby Event

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  • This Place We Call Home

    Written By Jenny Pavlovic

    We’ve all heard the saying, “Home is where the heart is.” I’ve lived in the same home for over 25 years. It’s a small house on 5 acres, with a beautiful state park in the back yard. If you’ve been reading along, you’ve read about my adventures with the dogs here, and about the deer, eagles, and other creatures that share this space. We have well over an acre fenced in for the dogs to run, and can walk from our back yard right into a park with trails and access to the St. Croix River. There’s plenty of space to run, and to set up an agility course or a track for the dogs.

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    Recently life threw me a curve that has me thinking about moving. My job has been going well. I was promoted recently, received a significant raise, and have a new manager who is helping me define my new role. Everything was going in the right direction, when the company announced that it’s moving 15 miles farther west. This may not sound like a lot, but would mean a commute of over 45 miles each way, partly in city traffic, and would likely mean that I’d spend 3 hours or more commuting every day. Over the years I’ve resisted moving for a job and have been able to stay employed. But now there are fewer and fewer jobs on this side of town. My other employment options are mostly also farther west.

    So I‘ve been faced with the idea of possibly moving. I probably wouldn’t consider it except it’s getting more difficult for me to take care of this place and have time for the dogs and friends and any kind of leisure activities. We’re all getting older. When I began thinking about the tradeoffs of moving, my biggest considerations related to the dogs. We’re used to open space, and quiet and seeing the stars at night. We would be overstimulated by the noises and lights of the city.

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    Much of my daily life is spent playing with the dogs in the yard, walking/running them in a huge fenced area on our property, and exploring nearby parks and trails. I want my dogs to be able to bark once in a while without bothering a hundred neighbors. I don't want my herding dogs to be overstimulated by too much activity in the neighborhood (which may require some re-training). Chase and Cay have both lived here for most of their lives and would have to adjust to a change.

    I wonder how dogs adapt to living in the city. I suppose it’s all that some dogs have ever known. If they get enough exercise and time outside and love and good food, they’re probably fine. But how do dogs who’ve only ever lived in the country adapt to living in the city, or even the suburbs? Mine would need retraining to know that they had a much smaller area to protect.

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    As I’ve driven around suburbs where I might like to live, I’ve noticed that my chest tightens up when I see houses that are close together. House photos online never accurately show how close together the houses are. In one neighborhood, I found a very nice house, not too big, with a 0.62 acre yard. I think it would have been ok, except that the houses around it all had bright Christmas lights and the house behind had a rather gaudy display of brightly blinking lights. It felt a bit too much like Las Vegas. Maybe in the day time, with the lights off, it would have been ok. I guess I’ve been spoiled, especially by not having another house directly behind.

    Most of the newer neighborhoods in this area have bigger houses and smaller yards. We don’t need a big house, so I’ve mostly been looking in older established neighborhoods, with smaller houses that are farther apart. Some even have half acre, or larger, lots. What about the dogs that live in those big houses with tiny yards? I hope they get out for a good walk every day. Although a good walk can stimulate their senses and make them breathe hard, even at 7 ½ and 9 ½ years old, my dogs do not wear out easily while on leash.

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    One of my biggest considerations is having open space to exercise the dogs every evening after work. This means a safe place to walk year-round, whether it’s light or dark, hot or cold, rainy or icy. We have enough space on our own property now that I can run the dogs inside the fence in the dark on a cold winter night. I can walk laps around the field, which requires walking up and down hill, and we all get enough exercise and time outside. What if we only had a half acre or less of our own property? A friend suggested that I look for a place with less land to take care of, with a park behind where we can walk.

    In going through this process of deciding what’s most important, I realized that it’s not just about keeping the dogs happy. For the past 25 years, through all the things that have happened in my life, I’ve had this peaceful place to come home to. What has kept me grounded is that walk on the hill with the dogs. Every night, they get out and run and unwind, using their noses to learn what happened in the neighborhood that day. Every night, I follow them up the hill, discarding the frustrations of the day and grounding myself in nature. In the summer we watch the sun set. In the winter, we look at the stars. I wouldn’t do it faithfully every day by myself. It’s the dogs that get me out.

    We may stay here or we may move. I don’t have the answer yet. For now, the dogs and I will take our walk up the hill every evening to leave the cares of the day behind and ground ourselves.

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Give your dogs the best nutrition to help keep them healthy. Supplement their food with Omega Fields Canine Shine (https://www.omegafields.com/canine-products/omega-canine-shinetm.html) and Omega Nuggets (https://www.omegafields.com/canine-products/omega-nuggets.html).

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