USRider® Equestrian Traveler's Companion-October/November 2017

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Equestrian Traveler’s


Your Essential Horse-Trailering Resource

October • November 2017

How to Clean Your Trailer

Click & Shop Holiday Gift Guide

Your Senior Traveler

Trailer-Storage Prep Handy Checklist!

An AIM Equine Network Publication

Equestrian Traveler’s COMPANION October • November 2017

Your Essential HorseTrailering Resource

FEATURES 10 Safe Travels

How to Clean Your Trailer

14 Trailering Clinic

Helicopter Exercise

16 Your Healthy Horse

Senior-Horse Nutrition Solutions

18 Click & Shop Holiday Gift Guide Pick the Perfect Present

24 USRider Member Story This Old Rig

DEPARTMENTS 4 Seasonal Tip Safe Fall Travel

6 Skill Set Safe Driving 101 8 Travel Tip

Choose the Right Halter

9 Horse-Show Travel Tip Infection Protection

22 Savvy-Traveler Checklist

Trailer-Storage Prep

26 Winner’s Circle Advantage

USRider® Member Discounts

28 Dream Destination Land of Enchantment COVER PHOTO BY HEIDI MELOCCO

USRider General Manager: Bill Riss Editor: Rene E. Riley, Art Director: Abby McDougall Contact USRider®: (800) 844-1409 P.O. Box 20634, Boulder, CO 80308 • USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion

AIM Equine Network is a division of Active Interest Media. Its stable of award-winning magazines includes EQUUS, Dressage Today, Horse&Rider, Practical Horseman, and The Team Roping Journal. AIM Equine Network also offers a proprietary line of books, DVDs, trailering products, and equestrian gifts through its online store, 2

October • November 2017

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------------ SEASONALTIP------------

Safe Fall Travel


At your fall destination, park your trailer in a dry area so your horse doesn’t slip during unloading and loading.

Cool, late-fall days are perfect for trailering, but some days can be downright cold. If your horse will be traveling in a stock trailer on a cold day, or doesn’t have much of a winter coat, you might want to fit him with a light sheet while he’s riding in the trailer. Check road conditions before you leave; fall snowstorms aren’t uncommon in certain parts of the country. At your destination, park your trailer in a dry area so

USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


your horse doesn’t slip during unloading and loading. If your fall travels take you out on the trail, stay safe. Fall can bring seasonal trail hazards, including frost, slippery leaves, deep puddles, and thick mud. If it’s been raining, bridges can be wet and even icy, making it hard for your horse to keep his traction. Be aware of trail conditions, and ride slowly in areas >> with tricky footing. October • November 2017


Hunting-Season Guidelines Keep in mind that fall is hunting season in many parts of the country. To avoid being mistaken for a deer or other game, Dave Di Pietra, owner of Synergist Saddles in Cheyenne, Wyoming, offers these hunting-season safety guidelines.

The Trail Gear Collection from Weaver Leather includes a headstall, halter-bridle, and breastcollar.

• Wear a bright-orange vest. This is the universal sign to a hunter not to shoot. • Wear bright clothes. Avoid earth colors that blend into the scenery. • Wear an orange helmet cover. Your helmet is the highest and most visible point of your turnout. • Ride with a buddy. More people and horses mean more noise. • Carry a whistle. Blow it whenever you think you need to make it clear you’re not a deer. • Braid bright-orange ribbon into your horse’s tail. • Apply orange Vetrap, splint boots, or leg bands around your horse’s pasterns. • Use an orange quarter-sheet on your horse. • Attach a bell to your tack so it jingles when your horse walks. • Avoid riding at dawn or dusk, which are peak hunting times. — Audrey Pavia


PROTECTAVEST Trail Sheets from The Original Equine Protectavest are quarter sheets made from tough, lightweight, vinyl-coated mesh.

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SAFE RIDERS Cobble Hill Equine Products’ Safe Rider Helmet Gear features blaze orange on one side for riding in the woods (shown) and reflective diamonds on the other for road riding. PHOTO COURTESY OF OUTFITTERS SUPPLY PHOTO COURTESY OF COBBLE HILL EQUINE PRODUCTS

USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


October • November 2017

------------ SKILLSET------------

Safe Driving 101


When on the highway, stay right to allow faster vehicles to safely pass on the left. Enhance your horse-hauling skills for safety and control with these expert tips. • Turn on all lights. Turn on your tow-vehicle lights (low-beam) and trailer lights for enhanced visibility. • Drive gently. Be a turtle, not a jackrabbit. Jackrabbit starts and hard stops are hard on your trailered horse. That sudden jerk when peeling out can throw him against the butt chains or dividers; a sudden stop can throw him forward into the manger or sideways against the trailer wall. • Allow plenty of room. When approaching a signal or stop sign, allow plenty of room between your rig and the cars ahead of you. In stop-and-go traffic, leave about four to five car lengths in front of you to allow for smooth stops. • Watch your speed. Know the speed limit. Make safety a priority. Adjust your speed according to weather and safety conditions. • Drive defensively. Closely watch your fellow drivers, and try to anticipate lane changes, chang-

es in speed, etc., so that you can smoothly adjust for such changes. Be aware of traffic behind and ahead of you. • Stay right. On the highway, stay right to allow faster vehicles to safely pass on the left. In some states, tow rigs are required by law to travel in the right lane (or right two lanes), unless otherwise posted. • Make wide turns. Allow adequate room to clear corners, street curbs, rocks, and trees. Use your mirrors


When turning, allow adequate room to clear corners, street curbs, rocks, and trees. Use your mirrors to monitor clearance.

to monitor clearance. If in doubt, safely stop, get out, and check the clearance. Practice your turns in an

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empty parking lot, with an empty trailer. • Pass carefully. When you pass on a two-lane highway, allow at least the trailer’s length between the back of your trailer and the front bumper of the vehicle you pass. Never pass near the top of a hill or on a curve, where your visibility is hampered. • Stay in the proper gear. When going downhill, shift to a lower gear to help keep your speed down while saving brake wear-and-tear. When going uphill, also shift to a lower gear, which will give you more power without “flooring it.” • Don’t tie up traffic. If six or more vehicles are behind you on a twolane highway, pull over to let them pass as soon as you can do so safely. (In some states, this is the law.) • Park with care. When you’re ready to park, pull out of traffic, stop, and assess the situation. Then formulate a game plan. Turn around and face the parking exit, so it’ll be easier to pull out. —Bonnie Davis October • November 2017


Choose the Right Halter


When traveling with your horse, be sure to select the right halter. Use a leather halter inside the trailer, as it’ll break in case your horse pulls back. Add a fleece noseband cover for comfort.




Left to right: Use a breakaway or leather halter for safety inside the trailer; use a nylon halter for tying your horse to the trailer; use a rope halter for training. (Caveat: Keep your trailer’s windows or screens closed when you’re moving to keep debris from harming your horse’s eyes.) USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


Here are often-overlooked halter-use tips for trailering, leading, and training safety. • Use leather or breakaway halters for trailering. A leather halter or a nylon halter with breakaway connections is best for trailering your horse, as they break or give in an emergency. (You can also use these halter types when you turn your horse out in the pasture.) Leather halters are the traditional show or stable halter, and they look classy. They’re available in various thicknesses, from the most refined, rolled English bridle leather to the more rugged harness leather for turnout halters. • Use nylon for everyday needs. Nylon halters are suitable for leading your horse, tying him to the trailer, and to tack up. Avoid trailering or turning out your horse with a nylon halter, as it doesn’t break or give and can trap your horse in a potentially life-threatening situation. Generally speaking, the more layers of webbing, the sturdier the halter is. Avoid inexpensive single-ply (one layer) halters, as the material gets stiff and rough quicker, and they usually have poorer quality hardware. It’s worth it to pay more for solid, easy-to-operate hardware, such as brass or nickel -plated brass. It won’t rust and will last longer than cheap hardware. • Use rope for training. Rope training halters work well for training sessions, including trailer-loading training, because they apply precise pressure cues to your horse’s nose and poll. Rope training halters come in various thicknesses and stiffness of rope. Note that the thinner the rope, the more it’ll bite into your horse when under pressure. Avoid using a rope halter to tie your horse inside the trailer. If he pulls back or shifts suddenly, the rope won’t give, and the knots can dig into his sensitive face. And in an emergency, a rope halter won’t break free, which can lead to serious injury. — Heidi Melocco October • November 2017

------------HORSE-SHOW TRAVELTIP------------

Infection Protection Late fall is a busy time for horse shows and equestrian events. Colorado State University veterinarians advise that if you’re traveling, it’s important to take steps that will help prevent the spread of equine infectious disease. Equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1), influenza, salmonellosis, and strangles are some other infectious diseases of concern, says Paul Morley, DVM, PhD, director of infection control at CSU’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital. “Some advance planning and a few low-cost, common-sense preventive measures will help keep horses healthy while traveling,” says Dr. Morley. “Protecting the health of your horse makes these steps well-worth the time and thought.” CSU veterinarians advise horse owners to thwart infection by understanding and watching for symptoms of illness. They also recommend precautions including disinfecting trailers and equipment, and preventing contact that could spread pathogens. Dr. Morley recommends that riders traveling with horses take the five steps outlined below. Contagious diseases are transmitted through contact. At a show, keep your horse apart, and use only your own tack, grooming, feeding, and watering equipment. Right: Feed treats only in your horse’s own bucket.


USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion

1. Prepare for travel. Consult 3. Create a clean environment. with your veterinarian about During a show, set up portable your horse’s present health, panels to confine your horse. Or, vaccinations, diseases of confully clean and disinfect an onsite cern, and any other relevant stall before housing your horse. issues. Thoroughly clean your 4. Monitor your horse for trailer. Pack all the cleaning signs of illness. During a horse equipment and health supplies show, keep tabs on your horse’s you’ll need on the road. temperature; monitor feed and 2. Don’t share. On your trip, water intake to ensure they’re don’t borrow or share any normal; and watch for other supplies. Contagious diseases signs of illness. Ask your vet for are transmitted health informathrough contion and how-to tact—direct demonstrations, if nose-to-nose needed. contact among 5. Segregate the horses, as well traveling horse as your horse’s upon returning contact with home. A horse surfaces that an that’s been to infected animal a show may be might have conincubating illness, taminated with so keep him apart saliva, respiratofrom others for ry secretions, or five to seven days. manure. Bottom Monitor him for PHOTO BY HEIDI MELOCCO line: Separate any illness that your horse from might arise before other horses, and use only your returning him to the home herd. own tack, grooming, feeding, – Courtesy of Colorado State and watering equipment. University


October • November 2017


How to Clean Your Trailer Use these trailercleaning tips to provide a safe, comfortable environment for your traveling horse. Story and Photos by Rebecca Gimenez, PhD A well-maintained trailer is a safe trailer. Trailer maintenance starts with cleanliness.

Trailer-Cleaning Kit ■B rooms ■S crewdriver ■M at Handler ■V acuum Cleaner ■C amera/Camera Phone ■M at Clamp ■H ose/Pressure Washer ■B ucket ■A ll-Purpose Soap ■R ags ■B leach

■S urface Cleaners ■B rushes (small hand-scrub brush; 4-foot-handled and 8-foot-handled soft brushes) ■P H Neutralizer Solution/ Baking Soda ■L ubricant ■E xterior Soap ■T ire Cleaner ■T railer Wax ■W ax Applicator >>

USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


October • November 2017

A well-maintained trailer is a safe trailer. Trailer maintenance starts with cleanliness. Your trailer’s enemies are urine, wetness, and manure. As these substances break down, they corrode your trailer with rust (steel) and pitting (aluminum). Corrosion allows oxygen to get to the bare metal. Over time, an electrochemical reaction forms oxides that eventually can destroy the integrity of metal parts. Salt speeds up this process. Wetness leads to rot in wooden floors. In the worst case, these corrosive substances can cause the metal framing—or even the metal floor itself—to fail under your horse’s weight. In the best case, they cause your trailer to lose value. Fight corrosion with detailed cleaning, then cover your trailer to keep it clean.

Interior Cleaning To keep your trailer in top shape and limit corrosion, remove all urine and manure from your trailer every time you use it. Keep a broom in your trailer, and sweep it out after you unload your horse. This is especially crucial if you use bedding materials, as they hold moisture on the floor. Deep clean your trailer several times per year. You can do this at a car wash or at home. If you opt to go to a car wash, make sure your trailer will fit in the bay before you try to pull in. Also, make sure you can turn around when you’re done. If you wash your trailer at home, park in a shady location with the rear of the trailer slightly lower than the nose to encourage drainage. Then follow these steps. 1. Prepare. Unload everything so you can clean your entire trailer. Then sweep out your trailer.

With a screwdriver, loosen dried mud, manure, bedding, and other gunk. 2. Loosen mud. With a screwdriver, loosen dried mud, manure, bedding, and other gunk. Pay special attention to feeders, hay racks, and waterers. 3. Vacuum. Vacuum out all the dry material you loosened in Step 1. Pay special attention to cracks and corners. 4. Remove the mats. Take a picture of how the mats are laid in your trailer so you can put them back the same way. Then remove the mats with C-clamps or an E-Z Grip Mat Mover (available here). Mats are very heavy—ask for help if you need it. 5. Wash the mats. Wash the mats with soap and water, and hang them up to dry. 6. Rinse out. Use a hose or a pressure washer to remove the rest of the loose dirt and scruff from the ceiling, walls, floors, ramps, and doors. 7. Scrub. With soapy water and brushes, scrub to remove the rest of the dirt. You may with to follow with a bleach solution to kill any microorganisms that might be lurking in your trailer, where they could affect sensitive respiratory systems. Finish with a final rinse. 8. Add neutralizer. Add a pH neutralizer or baking soda where your horse urinates; allow to dry.

USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


9. Clean surfaces. Use material-specific cleansers to clean painted surfaces, diamond plate, windows, etc. As you do, watch for hazards, such as rotting wood, jutting obstacles, or sharp metal that you can fix later. 10. Allow to dry. Allow the interior to dry as long as possible. 11. Replace the mats. Using the photo you took in Step 3. 12. Lubricate. Lubricate everything made from metal that moves, or opens and closes, such as ramps, hinges, doors, and gates.

If you opt to go to a car wash, make sure your trailer will fit in the bay before you try to pull in.

Exterior Cleaning To clean the outside of your trailer, you can head to a commercial truck wash. Truck washes do a nice job and will even include an acid wash for aluminum trailers that will brighten the surface. (Tip: Call first to negotiate a price.) 1. Pre-rinse. With a hose or pressure wash, rinse off your trailer. 2. Scrub. Use soap designed for >> October • November 2017

To clean the outside of your trailer, you can head to a commercial truck wash. Truck washes do a nice job and will even include an acid wash for aluminum trailers that will brighten the surface.

Rebecca Gimenez, PhD (animal physiology), is president and a primary instructor for Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue. A Major in the United States Army Reserve, she’s a decorated Iraq War veteran and a past Logistics Officer for the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Veterinary Medical Assistance Team. She’s an invited lecturer on animal-rescue topics around the world and a noted equine journalist.

trailer exteriors, such as Zymol. Use according to manufacturer’s instructions. Scrub your trailer with brushes. Start at the top, and work down. 3. Clean surfaces. Use material-specific cleansers to clean painted surfaces, diamond plate, windows, etc. 4. Rinse. Rinse off your entire trailer. 5. Clean the wheels. Rinse out wheel wells, and wash the tires and wheels. 6. Wax. If you choose to wax your trailer, first let it dry in the shade. Then apply wax to appropriate surfaces per the manufacturer’s directions.

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Rust Repair Rust indicates that there’s a problem with your trailer’s metal’s surface. Rust can eventually eat all the way through the metal, compromising its integrity. If you spot rust, take your trailer to a trailer dealer, and ask the body specialists to determine whether the rust goes deeper than the metal’s surface. If it does, have them do the repairs. If it’s just surface rust, you can repair it yourself. Scrub the area with a wire brush until you get to bare metal. Prime the area, then paint it with automotive paint to match your trailer’s color. USR October • November 2017

Because she is Everything.

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Call for a quote: 800.50.HORSE (504.6773) Or visit: for an online quote

Make sure you’re covered.

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Helicopter Exercise Teach your traveling horse to accept movement and noise above him with this exercise from top clinician Clinton Anderson. By Clinton Anderson

This helicopter exercise will help your traveling horse accept movement and noise above him, such as when you remove hay from your trailer’s top rack. Many horses will accept an object as long as it’s at their eye level or below. When an object gets above their eye level—as might occur as you trailer your horse to horse shows, trail-riding destinations, and other events— most horses will start to get nervous. Your horse might be especially jumpy if the object moves and makes a noise. This is a survival instinct so that in the wild horses aren’t caught off-guard by a predator jumping on their back from above. The goal of this exercise is to be able to swing a stick and string up and over your horse’s body with high energy so that it makes a loud noise, while he stands completely still and relaxed. Then he’ll become comfortable with noise and movement above him when you’re in the saddle. You’ll need: A rope halter, a 14-foot lead rope, a Handy Stick, and an enclosed work area with good footing. (To order a Handy Stick, click here.) USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion



Step 1. Position your body. Stand at a 45 degree angle to your horse’s left shoulder, an arm’s length away. This is the safest place to stand, because you’ll be too far in front to get kicked by a hind leg and too far to the side to get struck by a front leg. With your left hand, hold the lead shank about 18 inches from the snap, and lift it so that it’s level with your horse’s eye. You should stand so that your belly button faces your horse’s hindquarters. This will enable you to bump his head toward you and get two eyes if he chooses to run around you in a circle or turn away from you. If he pushes into you, you’ll be able to drive him away by tapping him on his jaw or neck with your hand. >> October • November 2017

Step 2. Position the Handy Stick.


Hold the Handy Stick in your right hand, as though you’re shaking someone’s hand. Hold your right arm out straight. The end of the stick should rest on the ground at roughly 5 o’clock. Pretend that you’re standing in the middle of a clock. Straight in front of your belly button is 12 o’clock. Straight behind you is 6 o’clock. Your stick should be resting at 5 o’clock, when you’re on the left side of your horse.

Step 3. Swing the Handy Stick. Keeping your arm relatively straight, swing the stick and string up and over your horse’s hindquarters, back, and neck, then back down to the 5 o’clock position you started in.

Step 4. Speed it up. Repeat Step 3, but swing the stick faster so it’ll make more noise.

Step 5. Change sides. When your horse consistently stands still and relaxed, change sides, and repeat Steps 1 through 4.

Step 6. Walk around him. When your

Clinton Anderson grew up in Queensland, Australia, learning to ride as a teenager and training with many of his country’s top horsemen. In 1997, he relocated to the United States to perfect his Downunder Horsemanship program. Under Anderson’s guidance, horses learn to respect and respond to their handlers, developing willing partnerships. To learn more about Downunder Horsemanship, Clinton Anderson Walkabout Tours, and more, visit

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horse is comfortable with the Helicopter on both sides at a 45 degree angle, walk 360 degrees around him while swinging the Handy Stick. To do this, double the tail of the lead rope and throw it over your horse’s back. Start on his left side. Place your left hand flat on his side. Hold the Handy Stick in your right hand, as though you’re shaking someone’s hand. Swing the Handy Stick in the helicopter motion. Remember to always come back down to the 5 o’clock position. As you swing the Handy Stick up and over your horse’s body, slowly start to walk around him. Once you reach his hindquarters, continue to walk around him, swinging the Handy Stick up and over his body in a continuous motion. Be sure to keep your left hand on your horse the entire time. October • November 2017


Senior-Horse Nutrition Solutions Use these expert diet and exercise tips to help your aging horse thrive. By Eleanor M. Kellon, VMD PHOTO BY HEIDI MELOCCO

Your special equine friend isn’t as young as he used to be. Still, he has plenty of good years left under saddle as an equine traveler and as a beloved companion.

Your special equine friend isn’t as young as he used to be. Still, he has plenty of good years left under saddle as an equine traveler and as a beloved companion. There’s no reason to change the basic adult diet until your horse is no longer doing well on it. But it’s probably time to modify your horse’s diet if he’s not thriving despite your best efforts to provide adequate feed—and there are no dental issues. A variety of supplements and special feeds are available for the senior horse. Here are five common dietary problems and possible solutions.

Problem #1: Quidding Solution: Quidding is when wads of partially chewed hay fall from your horse’s mouth. Try bagged hay, chopped hay, hay cubes, or hay pellets. If your horse can’t chew these well either, soak the feed before feeding. Include a little bit of leafy alfalfa, or alfalfa pellets or meal to increase appeal. USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


Problem #2: Poor grain digestion Solution: If your horse isn’t chewing grain well, or a lot of undigested grain is showing up in the manure, try steamed, crimped oats or a mixture of equal parts soaked beet pulp and steamed crimped oats. This recipe is fairly well-balanced for calcium and phosphorus. Beet pulp has the same calorie yield as plain oats, but doesn’t put a burden on digestive enzymes because it’s fermented in the hind gut, like hay and grass.

Problem #3: Choke Solution: Saliva is the normal lubricant for food. When horses don’t chew well and long, they produce less saliva. Altered movements of the esophagus and dehydration may be other factors in older horses. Soak everything your horse eats, or feed wet meals. Add psyllium or ground flax to replace the high mucus content of saliva with mucilage from those plant sources. >> October • November 2017

Problem #5: Digestion Changes Solution: Signs of poor digestion include a big belly, increased gas, episodes of soft manure, trouble holding weight, and loss of muscle. If your deworming program is good and there are no unresolved issues with chewing, first make

possible, use senior feed on top of a base diet of one percent of your horse’s body weight as chopped forage, hay cubes, or hay pellets. This will help buffer acid in the stomach and the large bowel. Senior feeds contain supplemental vitamins and a balanced mineral profile. But because most senior rations are designed to be suitable as complete feeds, the concentrations per pound aren’t as high as some other feeds, so you’ll still need to meet your horse’s vitamin and mineral needs. USR


To help prevent choke, soak everything your older horse eats, or feed wet meals.

Problem #4: Impaction Solution: Older horses with frequent impactions may have a segment of their colon that isn’t functioning properly. Suspect this if the impaction always occurs at the same section of the intestine. Your veterinarian can tell this via rectal exam. Try to rule out sand collections, enteroliths, or a lipoma (fat tumor on a stalk) encircling the intestines. Again, this is a job for your vet. If no underlying medical cause is found, the problem is most likely related to inadequate water intake. Solve this by adding loose salt to your horse’s meals every day to encourage him to drink. In winter, add at least one ounce; in summer, add two ounces. Also, soak your horse’s hay before feeding. Add beet pulp, as it’ll hold up to four times its dry weight in water.


Add soaked beet pulp to your senior horse’s diet to increase water intake. sure your horse is getting adequate forage. He needs at least one percent of his ideal body weight per day fed as hay and other fiber sources, such as beet pulp. Your horse might also respond well to either a probiotic or live organism probiotics. The minimum daily dose for probiotics is estimated to be about 10 billion organisms, so check the labels carefully. If this doesn’t solve the problem, consider a digestive enzyme supplement. Look for one that contains amylase, lipase, protease, and fiber-digesting enzymes. Or, move to a senior feed. Senior feeds contain highly processed grains and easily fermented fiber sources, such as soy hulls, beet pulp, and alfalfa meal. Whenever

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If your senior horse isn’t thriving despite your best efforts to provide adequate feed, it’s probably time to modify his diet.

Eleanor M. Kellon, VMD, is a staff veterinarian for Uckele Health and Nutrition, Inc., and is the owner of Equine Nutritional Solutions, a nutritional consulting firm.

October • November 2017


Holiday Gift Guide Find the perfect holiday gift for your barn buddies, fellow equestrian travelers, and on-the-go horses with USRider’s onlineshopping guide. Staff Report

Here come the holidays! To give you a leg up, we’ve rounded up 15 great gift ideas from the Equine Network Store (a division of Active Interest Media, USRider’s parent company). Find the perfect present for your barn buddies, your fellow equestrian travelers, and your special equine companions. USRider Members receive a 15% discount on all gifts shown from now to December 11, 2017! Just enter USRHoliday15 at checkout. Click & shop!

For Your Barn Buddies Galloping Gift Card Need a last-minute gift? Shopping for a barn buddy, but not sure what she’d like? Give the gift of choice with the Equine Network Store Gift Card. Gift cards are delivered by e-mail with instructions on how to redeem them at checkout. You can print out the card and gift it in person or forward the e-mail you receive as an instant gift. $25.

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Dressage Key Rack Dressage riders will love this attractive, practical Key Rack. Handy for the home or barn. Great for keys, dog leads, and towels. Measures approximately 6.75 inches by 6 inches. $19.99.

October • November 2017

Holiday Gift Guide Horse Holster This Horse Holster is the equestrian solution to carrying a cell phone and other necessities while riding. The neoprene holster fits all sizes of cell phones and cases, including Otterbox and Lifeproof cases. A front zippered pocket provides extra storage for keys, money, identification, and more. $24.99.

Rein Keeper The BOOMA Rein keeps reins from falling, so they’re always in reach. Your trail-riding friends will never have to worry about losing their reins. They can let go of the reins to take a picture, check his or her phone, or help a fellow rider. And the BOOMA Rein is flexible, so a horse can lower his head to drink without restriction. $24.99. TTRX1612nd.indd 48

Leather-Care Gift Box Give the gift of restoration. Huberd’s premium products restore beloved old boots, Western tack, and more. Huberd’s Leather Care Gift Box makes a great holiday present for any horse-owning friend or relative.

Gift box includes Shoe Grease Can, Shoe Oil, Boot & Saddle Care, Saddle & Tack Conditioner, Shoe Grease Tube, and Neatsfoot Oil Leather Dressing. $42.95.

9/15/16 6:14 PM

Bijou Pearl Stock Pin This elegant Bijou Pearl Stock Pin features a triple-loop crystal and pearls with a safety clasp on the back. The pin is nickel-free with cubic zirconium and faux pearls. The perfect gift for the English competitors on your list. $20. USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


October • November 2017

For Equestrian Travelers English Tack Totes Shires Saddle-Carrying Bag is great for keeping an English saddle clean and safe when not in use. The bag features a large zippered opening and carrying handles. Complete your gift with the matching Single Bridle Bag. $49.99 (Saddle-Carrying Bag); $19.99 (Single Bridle Bag).

Trailering Essentials Safety and convenience! The Trailer-Aid Tire-Changing Ramp allows horse haulers to change tires on tandem-wheel trailers without using a jack. Camco’s Wheel Dock is designed to prevent the trailer-tongue wheel from rolling on the pavement or sinking into soft ground. $25.99 (Trailer-Aid); $15.99 (Wheel Dock). TTRX1612nd.indd 48

Hitch Up & GO Expert Guide to Horse Trailers & Safe Trailering

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ebecca Gimenez, PhD, Barb d John Lyons — share their savvy and equine travel. each your horse to willingly load d — and why? Hitch Up & Go


Expert Guide to Horse Trailers & Safe Trailering

Experts Share their Top Tips on Trailer Buying, Training, On-the-Road Safety, and Equine Travel

ng is an indispensible resource for

ore great riding and

Hitch Up

9/15/16 6:14 PM

The Gift of Safety The 17-inch-high Eurow Safety Lighted Collapsible Traffic Safety Cone features a reflective stripe and internal light for optimal roadside visibility and safety. The fully extended cone is visible up to 800 feet. Collapsible for easy storage. $28.79

Edited by René E. Riley

A N A I M E Q U I N E N E T W O R K A N D U S R I D E R® P U B L I C A T I O N

Must-Have Trailering Book

The Caution Horses Sign Series enhances trailer visibility day and night. $16.35.

Hitch Up & Go: Expert Guide to Horse Trailers & Safe Trailering is an indispensable resource for on-the-go equestrians. Published by AIM Equine Network and USRider, this guide will help equestrian travelers safely arrive at their chosen destinations with their equine friends, whether hauling across town, across the country, or anywhere in-between. $22.95. USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


October • November 2017

Saddle Up Tote Bag The stylish yet practical Saddle Up Tote Bag is designed to carry a helmet, clothing, boots, and show accessories. Made from recycled plastic bottles, this durable bag features softfeel, cotton/nylon handles. The waterproof material is easy to clean. $25.

For the Traveling Horse Fly Mask With Ears

Easy-Fill Hay Net

Shires Fly Mask with Ears is a full-face, mesh fly mask with air stream fabric on the ears. Complete with fleece padding along the seams, this mask provides flexible protection against road debris and flying pests. $21.99.

Shires Hay Net Bag is easy to fill. Small mesh panels on both sides means a horse has to work to eat, to better mimic grazing. The base and sides are made from a perforated fabric to allow water to flow through. $35.99.

Traveling Water Bucket

Fergus Gift Set

Made from rugged, vinyl-coated nylon, the collapsible Outfitters Supply Water Bucket is the highest-quality water bucket on the market. The 3-gallon water bucket is a great way to water a traveling horse, pack water to your trailer on the road, and store water at the trailer or campsite. $19.95.

Fergus, the world’s most popular equine, politely thanks others for not giving a horse treats with this durable plastic stall and trailer sign. Perfect for maintaining training protocol and ensuring proper nutrition. The sign measures 3.25 inches by 6 inches. Slip the new book, Fergus and the Greener Grass, into the package for a delightful holiday gift set. $4.99 (sign); $15.95 (book). USR

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USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion

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October • November 2017

------------ SAVVYTRAVELERCHECKLIST------------

Trailer-Storage Prep Use this checklist to properly prepare your trailer for winter storage. Courtesy of USRider® Take time this fall to properly prepare your trailer for winter storage. This is important not only to keep your trailer road-ready in case an equine emergency arises, but also to ensure that your trailer will be in optimal shape when you’re ready to dust it off for next year’s travel season. Use this checklist to properly prepare your trailer for winter storage.

■ Take stock. Evaluate your trailer’s tires, emergency breakaway battery, and overall condition. Make any needed repairs and upgrades. Check the contents of equine and human firstaid kits. Replace depleted and out-of-date items. ■B aby the battery. Remove the emergency breakaway battery, and store it inside. Charge the battery at least every 90 days. ■W ash and wax. Thoroughly wash and clean your trailer’s interior and exterior, and wax its painted surfaces. (For more on

cleaning your trailer, click here.) ■O il moving parts. Lubricate mechanical moving parts, such as the hitch and suspension parts that are exposed to the weather, plus hinges and jack stands. Note: On oil-lubricated hubs, the upper part on each roller bearing isn’t immersed in oil, so it’s subject to potential corrosion. ■S tore indoors or cover. If possible, store your trailer inside, out of the elements. If inside storage isn’t available, purchase a trailer cover. Cover the tires,

as well. Trailer and tire covers are available through trailer and recreational-vehicle dealers. ■O ffset weight. After your trailer is in position, jack it up, and place jack stands under the trailer frame so that the weight will be off the tires. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to lift and support the unit. Never jack up or place jack stands on the axle tube or on the equalizers. For maximum bearing life, revolve the wheels every two to three weeks during periods of prolonged storage.

If possible, store your trailer inside, out of the elements. If inside storage isn’t available, purchase a trailer cover. Cover the tires, as well.


USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


October • November 2017



FOR SPREADING THE WORD ABOUT USRIDER® • Do you attend a large number of events or horse shows each year? • Are you active in a local equine group or association?

• Do you have a large network of horse loving friends and relatives? • Are you active on social media interacting with other horse lovers like yourself?

USRider® has created an opportunity for you to put your influence to work and get rewarded for spreading the word about our industry leading roadside assistance services. With our new Silver Ambassador Program, you will earn a $25 CASH REWARD for each new Primary Member you refer to the USRider® Equestrian Motor Plan.


------------ USRIDERMEMBERSTORY------------

This Old Rig

Katrina Muga hauls her horse, Tally, to eventing rallies in this 22-year-old Ford F-250. The truck recently had problems with a new starter motor, leading to a crisis on the road.

This young eventer stays on the show circuit with a 22-year-old tow vehicle thanks to the prompt services of USRider® Equestrian Motor Plan. By Katrina and David Muga

At first, we weren’t worried. Through the local Ford dealership, my dad had installed a new engine starter motor in our 22-year-old F-250, which pulled our similarly old twohorse, straight-load trailer. But a few weeks before a summer weekend eventing rally sponsored by our local United States Pony Club chapter, there were some indications of trouble. Anyone who’s owned or driven an old truck/trailer rig knows the feeling—the sense that if anything bad can happen, it will!

‘Small Things’ Small things kept adding up. For example, one afternoon after a riding lesson, I loaded my 9-year-old Thoroughbred, Tally, into the trailer for the trip back to the barn. My dad turned the truck’s ignition key, but the engine didn’t respond. It took a few more tries before the engine finally turned over. Then the problem happened again.

USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


My dad thought it must have something to do with the battery or ignition switch, but these were checked and seemed to be okay. He never imagined that the newly installed starter motor might be the culprit.

Crisis! The crisis we’d sensed occurred the evening before departing for the weekend eventing rally. We’d just arrived back at our home barn from my last riding lesson before the event. After offloading Tally and hosing out the trailer, my dad wanted to park the rig in its usual spot, but he couldn’t get the engine to start at all. I began to sense that my appearance at the eventing rally was in serious jeopardy. It was a Friday evening, just past five o’clock, and all the auto-repair shops were closed. And the local Ford outlet was closed on the weekends, so a Saturday-morning fix was out. >> October • November 2017

A barn aide suggested pounding on the new engine starter with a rubber hammer to loosen the starter’s motor internal valve, in case it was stuck. We were suspicious, but desperate. The aide then got under the truck and pounded on the starter motor while my dad turned the ignition key. Lo and behold, on about the fourth hammer blow, the engine started right up!

Fateful Stop My dad now knew that the truck had a defective starter motor. So the next day, it was with great trepidation that we hitched up the trailer, loaded Tally, and turned the ignition switch. We were pleasantly surprised when the truck started like a charm. Off we went to the rally, about two hours away. At the end of the rally, we approached the truck with a great deal of anxiety. We were all tired and wanted to return home. So we were relieved when the motor turned over and we were on our way. But there was one small obstacle. Both of the truck’s fuel tanks—main and reserve—were low. To fuel up, we would have to shut off the engine and hope the engine would restart. My dad’s strategy was to get as far down the road as possible, then mobilize our local resources. That is, my mom could come and pick us up! We made it to the interstate’s first off-ramp just inside the city limits. Fortunately, there was a service station right there. We sailed into the service station, and my dad reluctantly turned off the engine. After refueling, the engine wouldn’t start, even after my dad pounded on the starter with a rubber mallet. Then the station attendant came out with a bigger mallet.

“A few weeks before a summer weekend eventing rally, there were some indications of trouble,” says Katrina Muga of her rig, shown here. “Anyone who’s owned or driven an old truck/trailer rig knows the feeling—the sense that if anything bad can happen, it will!” But after an hour or so, the truck still wouldn’t start. We were 17 miles from the barn. At this point, my dad called USRider. He was told a tow truck would be arriving in a few minutes. I wondered why we’d waited so long to contact USRider. It seemed so simple. And sure enough, within 10 minutes, the tow truck arrived. The tow-truck driver suggested that we first, tow the trailer to the barn to put Tally out to pasture, then return to the station and tow the truck to the local Ford dealership for repairs. We accomplished these goals with great efficiency.

fully handle the ordeal of a highway breakdown that could have had serious repercussions. We’re so thankful that we had the foresight to sign up with USRider so that we’d have the membership when we needed it. This motor plan gives us confidence as we travel to rallies and Pony Club lessons, assuring us that should anything happen along the way, USRider is just a call away. USR

Happy Ending In the end, Tally was happy to be back in her pasture after a long day, my dad was happy to have his cherished truck at the dealership for repairs, and I was most content to have had the opportunity to compete in the eventing rally—and to finally reach home safely after an exhausting and trying day. However, this happy ending never would’ve been possible without the services of our USRider membership. Literally, within a few minutes of contacting them, we had a process in place to success-

USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


Katrina Muga and her 9-year-old Thoroughbred, Tally. “We’re so thankful that we had the foresight to sign up with USRider so that we’d have the policy when we needed it,” she says.

October • November 2017

------------ WINNER’S CIRCLEADVANTAGE------------

USRider Member-Benefit Spotlight As a USRider Member, you can enjoy money-saving discounts through Winner’s Circle Advantage. You may access these benefits directly through the Members Area of the USRider website, as well as through a brochure you’ll find enclosed in membership kits and renewal mailings.

Instructions and access codes give you quick access on how to shop with all our WCA partners. With so many discounts, you can easily save the cost of your annual membership fee, and more! This issue, we spotlight four Apparel & Gift Items, just in time for the holidays. To shop for these items, and for more Member discounts, click here.

Muddy Creek Rain Gear Muddy Creek Rain Gear is washable, lightweight, breathable, waterproof, and packable. All the gear has been field-tested extensively on horseback. The Long Raincoat (shown) is designed to cover your entire saddle and saddlebags, and all the way down your legs as you ride. The coat is fully lined and features a detachable hood. USRider® Members receive free shipping on all orders.

Dark Horse Chocolates Dark Horse Chocolates are inspired by the magical partnership between horse and rider. Each chocolate is handmade from the finest ingredients and sports a unique equine design. These exquisite chocolates make elegant gifts at affordable prices. Shown is the Gold 4 Tier Cube Box. USRider Members receive 10% off; use coupon code DH01during checkout.

StayWarm-StayCool StayWarm-StayCool distributes TechNiche International’s heating and cooling products for horses and riders. Its HyperKewl evaporative-cooling products (such as the leg wraps, shown) are designed to help keep your horse cool in the trailer, in the barn, and outdoors. TechNiche also offers a complete range of heating and cooling products for the equestrian. USRider Members receive a 15% discount with free shipping on orders over $40; use coupon code USRider during checkout.

Small in the Saddle Small in the Saddle—“The Baby Western Store & More”—offers Western apparel and accessories—including boots, hats, chaps and belts—for infants and children, plus fun cowboy gifts, toys, and books; Western-themed nursery and juvenile bedding; and cowboy decor. Shown are the Double Barrel “Kolter” Tan & Red Baby Bucker Boots. USRider Members receive a 15% discount; use coupon code USRIDER during checkout. USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


October • November 2017

Horses help us in extraordinary ways...

We find our trust, our faith, our strength, our hope through horses. Hope in the Saddle is here to bring awareness to the amazing stories of horses and their people. Stories of how they inspired hope and healing, through all the circumstances of life. How has your horse helped give you hope? Share your story with us at Brought to you by:

USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


October • November 2017

------------ DREAMDESTINATION------------

Land of Enchantment

For a serene fall equestrian vacation, hitch up, and head to New Mexico’s Gila National Forest. Shown is the West Fork of Gila River Canyon.

Hitch up and head to Gila National Forest, where you can ride in peace, soak in a hot spring, and bunk down in a primitive horse camp. Story and Photos by Kent & Charlene Krone

Gila National Forest, near Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, is located 44 miles north of Silver City, New Mexico, on Highway 15. Note that the roads are very windy, and the last five miles are extremely steep, so make sure your tow vehicle is well-maintained before you go. Gila National Forest encompasses three USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


wilderness areas: the Gila; the Aldo Leopold; and the Blue Range. This area has more than 1,400 miles of trails with streams and lakes, ancient cliff dwellings, and hot springs in four life zones (a life zone is an area with similar plant and animal communities). In the fall, temperatures are mild during the >> day and cold at night. October • November 2017

Left: Gila Hot Springs Ranch is a secluded river campground with living-quarters trailer hookups, corrals, and hot springs. Below: Kent Krone rides Cowboy on the Middle Fork of Gila River. Bottom: Ruins at Cliff Dwellings National Monument.

Near Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument are two primitive campgrounds with horse corrals, TJ’s Camp and Woody’s Corral. We stayed at Woody’s Corral, which consists of four large corrals and a water tank. You can stay for free at this scenic, spacious camp. Right from Woody’s Corral, trails traverse diverse terrain, including ridge tops, deep canyons, oldgrowth forests, lush meadows, hot springs, rivers, and pictographs. The EE Canyon Loop, with an extension, is an easy 10-mile ride on a well-maintained trail with panoramic scenery.

The Middle Fork of the Gila River trail is 11-mile loop is punctuated with deep, narrow canyons, magnificent scenery, river crossings, peccary, pictographs, and a primitive hot spring. Everywhere you look, you’ll find something special—sycamore trees, flowers, birds, butterflies, flowers, rock formations, mountains, and animal tracks. The sycamores are large, uniquely beautiful trees; in the fall, their leaves turn a copper color. Stop for lunch at the junction of Little Bear Canyon and the Middle Fork of the Gila River about four miles in.

USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


Gila Hot Springs Ranch is located 3.5 miles south of the visitor center on Highway 15. Here, you’ll find a secluded, scenic river campground with natural hot-water pools. There’s an RV park for living-quarters trailers and horse corrals. Across the road is a trail that will take you downstream along the Gila River. On this trail, you can ride as far as you’d like in a deep, forested canyon. USR

October • November 2017

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