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Equestrian Traveler’s

COMPANION

Your Essential Horse-Trailering Resource Summer 2018

Complementary Care for Your Traveling Horse

Be Firewise!

• Wildfire Prep • Fireproof Your Barn An AIM Equine Network Publication

Control a Jackknife How to Save Fuel


Equestrian Traveler’s COMPANION Summer 2018

Your Essential HorseTrailering Resource

FEATURES 8 Safe Travels Wildfire!

12 Your Healthy Horse

Complementary Care

16 Hauling Hints

Fuel-Saving Tips

20 USRider Member Story A Summer of Trouble DEPARTMENTS 4 Trip Tips Expert Travel Help 6 Skill Set

Stay in Control

7 Handy Checklist

Fireproof Your Barn

22 Road Gear Hot-Weather Essentials 23 Winner’s Circle Advantage

USRider® Member Benefit Spotlight

24 Getaways Colorado Bed & Breakfast

COVER PHOTO BY CLIXPHOTO.COM

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 memberservice@usrider.org • www.usrider.org 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, EquineNetworkStore.com. 2

Summer 2018


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The new USRider® Premier Plan is the preferred plan for business or competitive equestrian travelers. This plan includes all of the Classic Plan benefits PLUS:

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• Emergency disablement expense reimbursement • 24-hour concierge service • 20% off all items in the USRider® Store • Includes fuel, oil and water delivery, tire changes, roadside repair* *excluding cost of parts and fluids

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TripTips USRIDER MEMBERTIP----------------------------

How to Report a Disablement

When you experience a disablement, the information you provide helps the service provider to correctly locate and identify you at the scene.

You’ve had a disablement and have called the emergency number on your USRider membership card. What information should you expect to provide? USRider’s Member Care Specialists are highly trained professionals who gather a variety of information to assist in facilitating a speedy and efficient service call. So be sure to have the following information ready when you call: vehicle make and model; year of both your tow vehicle and your trailer; trailer type and configuration; number of horses; and the precise directions to your current location. This information helps ensure that the service provider USRider dispatches will have the proper equipment to service your particular vehicle or trailer before heading out on a call. This information also helps the service provider to correctly locate and identify you at the scene. These factors facilitate more efficient service for you. It’s important to provide a complete picture, as a simple disablement can often turn into a situation involving multiple service vehicles, emergency stabling, and more.

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

‘Bee’ Aware Honey bees, carpenter bees, and bumblebees are all active in the summer months. Watch for hives, which may be found in dead/hollow trees and logs, and hanging from tree branches. If you encounter a swarm of bees or accidentally disturb a hive, move slowly and deliberately; bees are more likely to follow you if you’re moving fast. Don’t run unless you’re convinced that the whole swarm is chasing you, but get out of that area as efficiently as you can. If you disturb a hive, don’t stop moving until you’re at least one-tenth of a mile away—the distance bees are most

protective of their hives. At that distance, you’ll have left most of the bees behind. If your horse is severely stung by bees, call your veterinarian and follow his or her advice. Your vet will likely advise you Honey bees, carpenter bees, and bumbleto remove the stingers immedibees are all active in the summer months. ately. Scrape them away, or pull it away with tweezers. The stinger If your vet agrees, administer actually includes part of the bee’s a small dose of a nonsteroidal abdomen, and continues to pump anti-inflammatory drug and an venom for some time. If you use antihistamine to your horse. If tweezers, go in close, and grip the your horse is so badly stung that sting itself, not the venom sac at his ability to breathe is affected, the top of the sting. Squeezing the your vet might administer steroids sac will just push more venom into to reduce the swelling. your horse’s body. — Jessica Jahiel, PhD Hose the stings with cold water. (www.jessicajahiel.com)

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HEALTHTIP---------------------------------

Quick Cool-Down

PHOTO BY CLIXPHOTO.COM

After you hose off your horse’s chest, neck, and lower legs, progress to hosing his entire body. Continue hosing him until the water running off underneath his body feels cool.

Your traveling horse is at risk for overheating while riding in the trailer during warm months and as he exerts at a show or on the trail. An overheated horse needs aggressive cooling. Here’s how to cool down your horse quickly and safely. Use cold water. It’s simply not true that you can’t spray cold water on a hot horse. That’s a myth. In fact, such cooling may prevent a life-threatening condition from developing. Hose off target areas. Run cold hose water over your horse’s chest, the jugular grooves of his neck, and his lower legs. These areas have many superficial blood vessels that can be rapidly cooled by the water and will carry the cooled blood to the interior of your horse. Hose off his body. Once your horse seems less distressed and his breathing eases, progress to hosing his entire body. Continue hosing him until the water running off underneath his body feels cool. This means the water is no longer picking up large amounts of heat from the surface of the skin. Walk him. Slowly walk your horse in a shaded area. Observe him carefully to make sure his respiratory rate doesn’t climb again or that he begins to sweat. If this happens, repeat the cooling process. Offer water. Offer tepid water at frequent intervals throughout this process. If your horse is very distressed or breathing/panting heavily, he probably won’t drink. Keep trying. — Eleanor M. Kellon, VMD

TRAILERINGTIP----------------------------------

Keep Rig Data Handy Do you know the type of oil your tow vehicle requires? When you come to an underpass with a low height clearance, do you know your trailer’s dimensions? If your trailer tire is low, do you know the pressure rating to safely fill up the tire with air? Stop fumbling through the manual while you’re on the road. Instead, gather all such data before you leave home. Write your tow vehicle’s oil type, the recommended pressure (pounds per square inch) for all tires, and your tow vehicle and trailer’s dimensions and weights onto a three-by-five-inch index card. Clip the card to the driver’s visor for easy checking on the road. Also keep a digital record. Take a photo of the information, and add it to your phone’s “favorites,” or enter the data into your phone’s note program. No more digging around in the glove compartment or trying to remember where such information was written down. USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion

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Collect and record all essential information for your rig—such as your trailer’s dimensions— before you leave home so it’ll be easy to find during travel. Summer 2018


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

Stay in Control Here’s how to stay in control of your rig in four high-risk situations. Trailer sway. Crosswind, drafts from large rigs, an unbalanced trailer load, and incorrect braking on downhill grades can all cause trailer sway (fishtailing). To help prevent loss of control—including a jackknife—keep forward motion and tension on the hitch. Don’t apply the brakes on your tow vehicle. Instead apply the hand brake on the controller to your trailer in brief spurts. This slows your trailer while keeping your tow vehicle going forward, which should straighten out your rig. You may apply the brakes on your tow vehicle once your trailer is under control.

Use a lower gear to travel up or down steep hills. your rearview mirror. If you see your trailer swinging out of your lane, release the brakes to gain traction. Don’t use the handbrake; the trailer brakes have locked up, causing the skid. Once the wheels grip the road again, your trailer will start to follow your tow vehicle and straighten out. Steep hills. Use a lower gear to travel up or down steep hills. If you’re on a downhill grade and feel your trailer pushing your tow vehicle, apply the hand brake to slow

your trailer. On long uphill grades, downshift the transmission, and slow to 45 miles per hour or less to reduce the possibility of overheating your tow vehicle. Parking on a grade. Avoid parking your rig on a grade, if you can. If you find yourself in a situation where you must park on a grade, minimize the risk of slipping with this technique: Apply the regular brakes. Ask a helper to chock your trailer tires. Release the regular brakes, and allow the chocks to absorb the load. Apply the regular brakes again, apply the parking brake, put the transmission into Park, then release the regular brakes. To get back on the road, leave the transmission in Park, apply the regular brakes, and start the engine. Release the parking brake. Release regular brakes, and drive forward until your trailer is free of the chocks. Apply the regular brakes, and ask your helper remove the chocks. —Tom Scheve and Neva Kittrell Scheve (www.equispirit.com)

A jackknife occurs when your tow vehicle skids on a slick spot in the road or you must brake hard to avoid a hazard, and your trailer continues to roll forward.

Jackknife. A jackknife occurs when your tow vehicle skids on a slick spot in the road or you must brake hard to avoid a hazard, and your trailer continues to roll forward. A jackknife caused by a trailer skid must be handled differently than a trailer sway. Check

On long downhill grades, downshift the transmission, and slow to 45 miles per hour or less to reduce the possibility of overheating your tow vehicle.

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------------HANDYCHECKLIST------------

Fireproof Your Barn By Jessica Jahiel, PhD

A barn fire is every horse owner’s worst nightmare. Your stalled horse is particularly vulnerable, because barns are packed full of combustibles. Follow these expert steps to lower the risk of a devastating fire in your barn. ■ Ban smoking. Make your barn a “no smoking” area—no exceptions. Post no-smoking signs in high-traffic areas in and around your barn, and enforce the ban. ■ Clean up. Keep your barn tidy, uncluttered, and clean. Eliminate cobwebs, scrap lumber, empty feed bags, gasoline cans, etc. ■ Remove flammables. Store combustible materials (hay, bedding, fuel, chemicals, paint, and gas-powered equipment) at least 50 feet from your barn. ■ Install extinguishers. Mount an all-purpose Dry Chemical ABC fire extinguisher just inside each barn door, and put one in the tack room. Keep your fire extinguishers fully charged, and be sure that everyone at your barn knows how to use them. ■ Enclose electrical wiring. Enclose all permanent wiring in PVC conduit. (Stay away from metal conduit—your barn’s humidity will lead to corrosion.) Use extension cords only when absolutely necessary, and then use only heavy-duty models designed for outdoors. Be careful with seasonal items, such as fans and water heaters; use lengths of conduit to protect these cords, too. ■ Enclose stall lights. Install wire or metal mesh cages to protect overhead lights, which will help keep your horse from contacting and breaking them. Consider replacing all your barn’s light bulbs with plastic-coated safety bulbs. Check that the bulbs are the correct wattage. ■ Don’t overload circuits. Use as few electric appliances as possible, and disconnect those not actually in use. Avoid heat lamps, which can start a fire. If you must use one, keep it away from hay and bedding, and never use an extension cord. (Adding extra sockets increases fire risk and can invalidate your fire-insurance policy.)

USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion

■ Watch fuel and fumes. Refuel your equipment outside your barn, and be careful when you drive your tractor, mower, or other machinery through it; exhaust fumes are combustible, too. ■ Manage manure. Don’t let manure build up in or near your barn; decomposing manure creates heat. ■ Manage vegetation. Vegetation is fire fuel. Keep grass mowed and weeds pulled; consider surrounding your barn with gravel instead of plantings. ■ Enhance your address. Be sure that your street number is clearly visible from the road so that your local fire department can find you in case of emergency. ■ Take action. If you notice small fire despite your prevention efforts, call the fire department immediately, then grab your fire extinguisher. Think PASS: Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep. Pull the pin, aim the nozzle at the base of the flames, squeeze the trigger, and sweep the extinguisher from side to side, covering the fire area. After the fire is out, recharge or replace the extinguisher.

PHOTO BY CLIXPHOTO.COM

Keep your barn tidy, uncluttered, and clean. Eliminate cobwebs, piles of scrap lumber, empty feed bags, gasoline cans, etc.

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------------SAFETRAVELS-----------

Wildfire! Are you ready to evacuate your horse in the event of a wildfire? Help keep your horse safe with these expert tips. By Rebecca Gimenez, PhD

Summer is high fire season. If you live in an area at risk for wildfires, take action now to minimize a potential fire’s impact on your horse and barn. Summer is high fire season. A wildfire threatening your barn will lead to an evacuation order—and a lifesaving trailer trip for your horse. If you live in an area at risk for wildfires, follow these expert steps to minimize fire risk, prepare to evacuate, and react safely should a wildfire strike. (For more information, go to the checklist on page 7.)

Minimize Risk Here’s how to create defensible space and minimize the risk that a wildfire will put your stalled horse’s life in danger. • Gather information. Ask your insurer and local fire department personnel to walk through your barn to identify USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion

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hazards and offer fire-risk-reduction suggestions. • Design for fire safety. Design or retrofit your barn with fire safety in mind. Install open ventilation and frost-free hydrants. Create at least 33 yards of defensible space around each structure to allow fire crews to better protect your farm from falling cinders and direct flames. Invest in a fireproof roof, such as steel or tile, rather than one made from shake or composite material. (For best practices, go to the Public Education page of the National Fire Protection Association’s website.) • Invest in a sprinkler system. Install and maintain an automated sprinkler >> Summer 2018


system. Although the initial cost can be high, note that many insurance companies will cut premiums by as much as 50 percent if you have an automated sprinkler. It’s also a depreciable expense. • Minimize fire fuel. Store hay and bedding in a separate building, keep your barn clean and cobweb-free, and enforce a strict “no smoking” policy. Spray fire retardant to limit flame spread on existing wood surfaces. • Landscape with care. Use xeriscaping (landscaping with drought-tolerant plants) and Firewise plants to reduce flammable vegetation around structures. (For more information, go to the Firewise page of the NFPA’s website.) Avoid landscaping with “kindling,” such as combustible mulch. Keep plants away from buildings. • Store water. Store enough water to keep all horses hydrated should you lose power. • Consider alternate power sources. Consider investing in generators or solar-powered sources to run pumps, appliances, and your sprinkler system in the event of a power loss.

PHOTO BY CLIXPHOTO.COM

Make sure everyone in your horsehold knows the location of barn-fire response equipment, such as emergency phones, hoses, water sources, fire extinguishers, and heavy-duty cutters. the other horses in your barn? • Train horses to load. Train all horses on your property to load into the trailer, no matter what. Practice loading each horse alone. Practice when it’s hot, when it’s raining, and at night. • Identify short-term boarding. Find an alternate place to board your horse during an evacuation, both in state and out of state. • Ready your rig. Keep your truck fueled and hitched to your trailer with everything loaded, so you’ll be ready to go within a few minutes of an evacuation warning.

• Know equipment location. Make sure everyone in your horsehold knows the location of barn-fire response equipment, such as emergency phones, hoses, water sources, fire extinguishers, and heavy-duty cutters. • Develop an escape route. Drive through every road in your neighborhood to identify escape routes. Keep in mind that officials may close off roads to enforce the evacuation order. Do you have more than one way to safety? Keep printed maps in every vehicle for reference in an emergency. • Decide where to meet. Choose in advance a place where everyone involved in your household and horsehold will meet offsite, if you’re evacuated. • Perform practice drills. Post your evacuation plan, and practice it with surprise drills. Vary the time of day and drill requirements. Practice catching all the horses and loading them into the trailer. Haul out a few miles, and return.

React Safely It’s not necessarily flames that will force an evacuation, it’s the thick

Prepare to Evacuate Make evacuation plans ahead of time. If disaster strikes, you’ll save time and quite possibly your horse’s life. Here are the steps to take now. • Plan evacuation transportation. How many trailer spaces do you have available? If you pack that four-horse gooseneck trailer with four horses, where will you put your pets and human family members? Would you have to make two trips to get

Drive through every road in your neighborhood to identify escape routes. Keep in mind that officials may close off roads to enforce the evacuation order.

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black smoke filled with toxins. If flames are so close that they threaten your barn, windblown cinders (partially burned materials) will usually ignite a fire before the flame front actually gets to your property. These can be blown in from hundreds of yards or even miles away. If you need to evacuate, follow these steps to help keep your horsehold and household members safe. • Avoid synthetics. Avoid synthetic (nylon or plastic) halters or lead ropes during a wildfire; they can melt, causing serious burns to horse or handler. Also avoid using nylon sheets, fly masks, and other synthetic tack or equipment. Very few horse-clothing items are fire retardant. • Provide water and forage. If you have to evacuate, pack several days’ worth of water and forage in your truck or trailer for each horse.

Stay back, and let the firefighters work. Untrained people without respiratory protection, proper fire-protective clothing, and training should never enter burning or smoking barn structures or zones. • Microchip your horse. Microchip each horse now, in case you become separated from them, even if they’re at an evacuation facility. If you need to evacuate, affix on each horse’s halter a luggage tag with the horse’s name and your contact information. Prepare a luggage tag for each horse now. • Stay back. Stay back, and let the firefighters work. Untrained people without respiratory protection, proper fire-protective clothing, and training should never enter burning or smoking barn structures or zones. • Shelter in place. If you can’t evacuate your horse in time, have a shelter-in-place plan. Don’t leave your horse in your

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.

PHOTO BY REBECCA GIMENEZ

If flames are so close that they threaten your barn, windblown cinders will usually ignite a fire before the flame front actually gets to your property. Shown is a fence line after a wildfire blazed through. USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion

barn; house him in a pasture with all combustible vegetation removed or plowed under. Shelter-in-place measures are considered to be very dangerous and should only be used where there isn’t time to evacuate your horse to a safer place. • Consult a veterinarian. Immediately after the emergency situation has resolved, consult a veterinarian for aftercare in case your horse suffers airway complications from smoke and toxic fumes. Toxins released during burning can severely damage your horse’s lungs and block the absorption of oxygen into the blood, causing asphyxiation. Flames don’t need to be visible for this to occur. After a fire, your horse might appear medically stable for days, then crash with severe pneumonia. USR

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Make sure you’re covered.


------------YOURHEALTHYHORSE------------

Complementary Care Consider complementary care for your traveling horse to enhance his comfort and well-being. By Jessica Jahiel, PhD

Adjunct therapies, such as equine chiropractic treatment (shown) aren’t meant to replace the work of your horse’s veterinarian, but complement them. Regular veterinary care is essential to your horse’s health and well-being.

PHOTO BY HEIDI MELOCCO

When you take your performance horse on the road, do you find that he’s not quite his best over jumps or in the cutting pen? Does your normally energetic trail horse drag his feed an hour or two into a ride? He doesn’t seem lame or ill, but he’s not quite at his best, either. Travel can be hard on your horse. He’s at risk for travel-related discomforts, such USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion

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as muscle and tendon strains, low-level aches, fatigue, low energy, mental and physical trauma, and overall travel stress. Despite your best efforts, he may arrive at your destination tired, tense, stressed, and sore. If you’ve planned an activity for the next day, you might need to take steps to help compensate for these travel effects. Fortunately, there are therapeutic mo- >> Summer 2018


dalities that can help. Your horse may benefit from forms of hands-on care that fall under the general category of “physical medicine.” In the past, some popular and effective forms of “complementary care” were considered to be “alternative care.” Wrong! Complementary care is just that—care that complements (augments or enhances) regular veterinary care. These adjunct therapies aren’t meant to replace the work of your horse’s veterinarian—regular veterinary care is essential to your horse’s health and well-being. And you should see your vet immediately if your horse shows any sign of illness, injury, or lameness. But it might be worthwhile to ask your vet about complementary care modalities he or she might recommend for your horse and for referrals to reputable providers in your area. Here, we’ll give you a rundown of four popular complementary care modalities: massage; chiropractic adjustments; acupuncture; and acupressure. We’ll also give you three steps to take yourself to help your traveling horse.

Equine Massage What it is: Equine massage in-

PHOTO BY CLIXPHOTO.COM

Equine massage involves the application of physical pressure to the horse’s body with hands (palms and fingers); experienced professionals may also use their elbows.

volves the application of physical pressure to the horse’s body with hands (palms and fingers); experienced professionals may also use their elbows. There are many different styles of massage, from an extremely light touch to long slow strokes to tapping or vibrating the muscles.

How it helps your traveling horse: Massage helps improve

circulation, relax tight, sore muscles, and restore the normal function of leg joints and ligaments. When to schedule it: A young,

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sound, fit horse might need the help of a massage professional just after travel and intermittently during multiday competitions. An older horse could benefit from pre- and post-travel massage, plus regular, routine appointments to help maintain his soundness and enhance his comfort level. A senior horse with arthritis might need all of this plus your own gentle version of massage therapy before and after your daily rides. What you need to know: Your vet or a massage professional can teach you the basics of massage to help reduce your horse’s muscle stiffness when a pro isn’t available. Use your hands only; leave the elbows and tools to the pros so you don’t accidentally misapply pressure.

Equine Chiropractic What it is: Equine chiropractic manipulations are gentle, controlled thrusts directed at the joints—not just the bones, but all related soft tissues, as well. A well-trained professional can help correct small deviations from proper alignment, but chiropractic should always be used with care. Before making an appointment with an equine chiropractor, ask your vet to perform a complete evaluation of your horse and his condition. Then ask about chiropractic, and request a personal recommendation. Chiropractic manipulations done inappropriately, especially with force or with force-multiplying instruments, are dangerous and can cause lasting damage. Your vet can recommend someone whose methods are slow and gentle.

How it helps your traveling horse: The stresses of balancing in

a trailer can cause your horse to use >> Summer 2018


What you need to know: Always protect your horse. If someone attempts to perform manipulations that aren’t gentle and controlled, find another professional.

Equine Acupuncture What it is: Equine acupuncture

PHOTO BY HEIDI MELOCCO

Equine chiropractic manipulations are gentle, controlled thrusts directed at the joints—not just the bones, but all related soft tissues, as well. his muscles in unusual ways. Tight, tense, or injured muscles often pull bones slightly out of correct alignment. When to schedule it: Whenever you and your vet feel your horse needs it, and always in combination with massage. Massage

before a chiropractic treatment can help relax, soften, and lengthen your horse’s muscles, making the treatment easier and more effective; massage after a chiropractic treatment can help ensure that the now correctly aligned parts retain their alignment.

PHOTO BY HEIDI MELOCCO

Equine acupuncture is a process by which needles are applied in your horse’s skin in points associated with his nervous system. USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion

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is a process by which a licensed veterinary practitioner applies needles in your horse’s skin in acupuncture points (called acupoints) associated with your horse’s nervous system, based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. This method of stimulating your horse’s blood flow, immune response, and energy meridians (channels) is used for both for diagnosis and treatment. Your vet will be an essential source of information and recommendations.

How it helps your traveling horse: Acupuncture can provide

pain relief and help counter the travel-induced reduction in your horse’s immune response. When to schedule it: If you’ve tried acupuncture for your horse and found it to be effective, your professional will be able to advise you on treatment timing and frequency. What you need to know: Only a licensed veterinarian can use acupuncture to treat your horse. To find a certified veterinary acupuncturist near you, contact the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. Note that a vet doesn’t have to be certified to perform acupuncture on your horse, but he or she does need to be qualified and experienced. Explore all your options.

Equine Acupressure What it is: Equine acupressure involves stimulating the acupoints >> Summer 2018


on your horse’s skin, but it’s completely noninvasive—no needles are involved. Consider acupressure if you appreciate the effects of acupuncture but need to help your horse away from home.

What you need to know:

Hand-walk your horse. Hand-

Although acupressure treatment is noninvasive, incorrectly applying pressure can still harm your horse. Learn the precise acupoints, as well as exactly how much pressure to use and how to apply it.

you learn how to apply acupressure to your horse at any time and for many purposes. The overall goal is to help your horse relax and become more comfortable. When to schedule it: You might choose to schedule professional treatments to help your horse to relax just before and just after a trip. While you’re away from home, you can use acupressure yourself after you’ve learned the basic principles and key acupoints.

What You Can Do

walk and hand-graze your horse to help promote relaxation and circulation. Massage your horse. If you’ve had solid instruction in massage techniques, use them gently to improve your horse’s circulation and relaxation. You may choose to use equine massage oils or an equine liniment, which allow your hands to slide more easily over your horse’s body. USR

How it helps your traveling horse: A professional can help

Here are several steps you can take at your event or ride to enhance your horse’s comfort and well-being. Arrive early. Consider arriving early for your event or ride; your horse will appreciate the chance to relax and adjust to the new surroundings. If you’ll be traveling to a significantly different altitude, give your horse several days to a week to acclimatize.

Jessica Jahiel, PhD (www.jessicajahiel.com), is an internationally recognized clinician and lecturer, and an award-winning author of books on horses, riding, and training. Her email newsletter (www.horse-sense.org) is a popular worldwide resource.

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------------ HAULINGHINTS------------

Fuel-Saving Tips Here’s how to manage rising fuel prices to stay on the road and continue enjoying your equestrian pursuits this summer. Staff Report

PHOTO BY KENT & CHARLENE KRONE

Summer is high travel season for horse owners, but today’s rising gas and diesel prices may be giving you pause. Stay on the road with these fuel-saving tips.

Summer is high travel season for horse owners. If you compete, you’re hauling your horse to shows to chase points. If you enjoy trail riding, you’re heading to trails near and far for fun or competition. This summer, rising gas and diesel prices may be giving you pause. Stay on the road with these fuel-saving tips. We’ll also give you a formula you can use to keep track of your diesel vehicle’s fuel efficiency so you can better manage your travel expenses.

Be Vehicle Smart PHOTO BY KENT & CHARLENE KRONE

If you’re a recreational rider with trip-planning flexibility, plan a two- to three-day trail-riding vacation instead of hauling out for frequent day rides. USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion

First, take these steps to improve your tow vehicle’s fuel economy. • Buy new. If you budget allows, look into buying a new tow vehicle. Newer trucks have better fuel economy than ever before.

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PHOTO BY CLIXPHOTO.COM

Ask a buddy or buddies to share the ride and split the fuel cost. If you go this route, make sure all horses load well and are quiet on the road. (When the trailer is moving, keep windows or screens closed to protect the horses’ eyes from road debris.) • Think small. Drive a smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle when you’re not hauling your horse. Don’t use your tow vehicle as a passenger car. • Maintain your tow vehicle. Work with a professional mechanic to keep your tow vehicle in top shape. Change the engine oil at the recommended intervals. Dirty oil causes engine friction, which requires more fuel. Keep your engine properly tuned. Repairs can go a long way; for instance, replacing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve fuel mileage as much as 40 percent. Regularly check and replace air filters; replacing a clogged air filter can also improve fuel mileage. • Keep tires properly inflated. Maintain optimal air pressure in your tow vehicle’s tires. Check the pressure using a tire gauge. To find out how much air pressure is required, check the tires’ sidewalls. Recommended pressure will be listed as “PSI,” for pounds per square inch. Also maintain optimal air pressure in

your trailer tires. Also, make sure the wheels are aligned to prevent tires from dragging. • Keep track of your fuel economy. A drop in your tow vehicle’s fuel economy can be a sign that your vehicle needs work. • Mind the motor oil. Check your tow vehicle’s owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer recommends. Using the wrong grade can lower your fuel mileage. Look for motor oil that touts “Energy Conserving” or “Resource Conserving” on the API (American Petroleum Institute) performance symbol; this supplemental oil category contains properties that can lead to improved fuel economy.

Before You Go Next, take these measures as you plan your trailer trips. • Get the “junk out of the trunk.” Remove unnecessary weight from your tow vehicle and trailer. The more weight you carry, the more fuel you burn. • Think longer, less often. If you’re a recreational rider with

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trip-planning flexibility, plan a two- to three-day trail-riding vacation instead of hauling out for frequent day rides. • Plan your route in advance. Find the shortest, easiest route to enhance your mileage. Avoid heavy traffic by taking alternate routes and by traveling at non-peak hours. Sitting in traffic consumes fuel. • Ride share. Ask a buddy or buddies to share the ride and split the fuel cost. If you go this route, make sure all horses load well and are quiet on the road. Have your travel buddies sign a form that releases you from liability in case of accident. (To purchase the appropriate form, go to www.equinelegalsolutions. com, click on “Forms,” click on “Buy Forms,” and search for Equine Hauling Liability Release.)

On the Road Finally, use these tips to save fuel on the road. • Keep the A/C on. The aerodynamic drag caused by keeping Summer 2018


Drive a Diesel?

PHOTOS BY HEIDI MELOCCO

Maintain optimal air pressure in your tow vehicle’s tires. Check the pressure using a tire gauge (left). Change the engine oil at the recommended intervals. Dirty oil causes engine friction, which requires more fuel (right). the windows open uses fuel. Unless you’re driving at slow speeds, rolling down the windows costs as much as, if not more than, turning on the air conditioning. And a comfortable driver is a safer driver. • Drive gently. Don’t make jackrabbit starts; it wastes fuel and is hard on your horse. Avoid aggressive driving, and observe the speed limit. Mileage per gallon decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 miles per hour. Each 5 miles per hour you drive over 60 mph can translate to an additional 10 cents per gallon. • Stop with care. When stopping, take your foot off the accelerator and coast, then gently brake to a stop. When you see a red light, slow down to give it time to turn green, so you don’t have to come to a complete stop. Starting a rig from a dead stop eats fuel. • Avoid excessive idling. Idling gets zero miles per gallon. Vehicles with large engines (such as pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles) typically waste more fuel idling than vehicles with small engines. • Use cruise control. Cruise control will help you maintain a constant speed, which, in most cases, will lead to increased fuel efficiency. • Use high gears. High gears achieve the lowest engine RPMs, or how many times the engine will rotate in one minute. This will generate adequate power to maintain road speed while hauling a load. • Use overdrive gears. Overdrive typically causes the engine speed to decrease. This saves fuel and reduces engine wear. • Minimize fuel evaporation. When fuel is heated or exposed to air, it evaporates. Buy fuel in the early morning or at night. Park in the shade, and make sure the fuel cap is tightly secured. USR USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion

PHOTO BY HEIDI MELOCCO

Do you drive a diesel truck? You probably won’t find the fuel efficiencies of diesel trucks listed anywhere, but you can calculate it yourself. Do you drive a diesel truck? You probably won’t find the fuel efficiencies of diesel trucks listed anywhere, because the regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency don’t apply to heavy haulers—a rig that weighs more than 8,500 pounds. You can calculate fuel efficiency yourself with one caveat: While some estimates say that diesel-powered trucks will decrease by 20 percent in efficiency when hauling, there’s no sure way to calculate the difference. But you can keep track of your diesel tow vehicle’s fuel efficiency from one trip to the next. Here’s what to do: • Calculate miles driven. Start with a full tank, and either record the mileage on the odometer or reset the trip meter. When you need to fill up again, subtract the old odometer reading from the new one to figure out the total distance you’ve driven. • Jot down gallons pumped. Check the pump’s meter or your receipt to see how many gallons it took to fill up your tank. • Do the math. Divide the number of miles you’ve driven by the number of gallons you purchased to calculate the miles per gallon. Here’s an example:

403 (miles driven) ÷ 31(gallons purchased) = 13 MPG

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Peace of Mind WITH EVERY MEMBERSHIP 24/7 Nationwide Roadside Assistance for You and Your Horse

Benefits includes: • • • • • •

Up to 100 miles of towing Emergency stabling assistance Emergency veterinarian referrals Emergency farrier referrals Coverage in any vehicle Service on dual-wheeled vehicles and horse trailers • Discounts on tack, travel, accessories and more!

JOIN TODAY

WWW.USRIDER.ORG (800) 844-1409

Administered by Nation Motor Club Inc., DBA Nation Safe Drivers


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

A Summer of Trouble One summer, this trail rider experienced three truck breakdowns. Here’s how USRider came to her aid. By Joan E. Bartz

After her truck broke down on the interstate, Joan Bartz still arrived in time for the 230-mile Michigan Trail Riders Association Shore-to-Shore Trail Ride, with the help of USRider Equestrian Motor Plan. I’m a trail rider who does a lot of traveling with my horse and dog. I generally travel alone. I do my best to keep my tow vehicle and trailer in good working order, but things do happen. One summer, I went on two road trips and experienced three breakdowns.

Joan Bartz was stranded in the heat on the interstate with her horse and her dog until USRider Equestrian Motor Plan came to her aid.

Interstate Breakdown On my first road trip, I traveled from Beetown, Wisconsin (where I’m from), through Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and then to Michigan. Once in Michigan, I’d planned to spend the night with horse friends whom I met while camping in southern Illinois. The plan was to continue from their place to Oscoda, Michigan, to ride the 16-day, 230-mile Michigan Trail Riders Association Shore-to-Shore Trail Ride. In my second month on the road, I was driving on the interstate in Indiana when my truck just quit. I was barely able to coast to the shoulder. The traffic was horrendous, the temperature was in the 90s, and there I was, parked snuggly next to a guardrail with a dead truck. My thoughts immediately went to my USRider Equestrian Motor Plan membership, which I’d had

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for more than two years, but hadn’t yet used in a roadside emergency. I pulled out my membership card and cell phone, grabbed my little dog, crawled out the passenger door, climbed over the guardrail, worked my way back to my trailer door, crawled over the guardrail again, got into my trailer, and tried to stay calm as I called the USRider emergency-assistance number.

Towed to Safety The USRider Member Care Specialist asked me if my horses and I were okay. I told her yes, but that we needed to get off the interstate— and soon. My rig was rocking from the traffic. Plus, it was stifling hot. I decided to have my truck towed to a dealer in the area who could accommodate me, my trailer, and my horse. And so the Member Care Specialist’s challenges began. The dealership she located was in Noblesville, Indiana. She stayed >> Summer 2018


on the line while I spoke with dealership personnel. The dealership had a grassy area for my horse and was happy to take us. I discovered that it’s not easy to locate a tow company that will pull both a truck and loaded trailer. But thanks to USRider, a tow-truck driver arrived who was able to skillfully manage this task. The driver kindly left his truck running with the air conditioner for me and my dog, then maneuvered my truck, with the trailer hooked to it, with professionalism and accuracy. He towed us about 20 miles to the dealership. Upon arrival, we realized the dealership had a roundabout entrance. I was in awe as the driver pulled around all the vehicles and backed my whole rig alongside the grassy area on the back side of the car lot. I can’t say enough about the hospitality of the dealership personnel. A staff member hooked me up to electricity, offered to shuttle me to the store, and gave me a cell phone number in case I needed anything during the night. A sales associate then called a family friend to see if she could take my horse in case I had to stay in the area for the weekend. The owner and his son stopped by several times to see if we needed anything. The service department had me on the road by the next afternoon. I was at my destination in time for the first day of the Shore-to-Shore ride the following morning. The ride was an adventure I’ll never forget. I rode across Michigan from Lake Huron to Lake Michigan.

Wedding Woes My next trip was to South Dako-

ta to attend an August wedding to be held at the lookout tower at Harney Peak. We were going to ride up to the tower on horseback and climb to the top for the wedding. Since I’m retired, I decided to take my time getting there. I When Joan Bartz experienced a truck breakdown on the headed west at interstate, the USRider Member Care Specialist arranged the end of July. As an immediate tow to a nearby dealership. luck would have it, my truck blew a tire going through and I headed to Elk Haven Horse Independence, Iowa. I know how Camp near Keystone, South Dakoto change a tire, but there was no ta, for a couple of days. When it was way I was going to get those lug time to head home, I went to hitch nuts loose. I didn’t panic—I simply up and noticed my brake light was called USRider. The Member Care on. I couldn’t believe it—I had a Specialist sent someone out to help leaking rear brake line. I’d had my track down a new spare and change brake lines replaced the fall before, the tire for me. but I guess they missed a section. While camping in Brushy Creek, The owner of Elk Haven gave me Iowa, I headed into town to get the phone numbers of a local tow a few groceries, went back to the company and repair shop. These campground, backed my truck into numbers in hand, I called USRider my spot—and everything went to arrange to have my truck towed dead. to Rapid City for repairs. After the Oh boy, here we go again, I brake line was fixed, I got home thought. But again, no panic. I just safely. called USRider, even though it was 10:00 p.m. The nice Member Care Peace of Mind Specialist gave me the number of I’m thankful for USRider, the staff, a nearby dealership and said to and my USRider Equestrian Motor call back in the morning for a tow Plan membership. Traveling is a truck, if I needed one. lot less stressful when you know The next morning, I was referred assistance just a phone call away. to a repair shop in town. The tow The peace of mind my membership truck was there before I could get provides undoubtedly makes me my lipstick on. The mechanic there feel more at ease while driving by found the problem (two broken myself. wires under the steering column) I’ll always keep my USRider and had me back on the road by membership. I highly recommend noon. the plan to my horse-traveling After the wedding, my friends friends. USR

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Summer 2018


------------ROADGEAR------------

Hot-Weather Essentials Equestrian-travel items for the summer season.

Portable Water Storage

Traveling Water Bucket

Carry 48 gallons of fresh water on your next road trip with the Half Moon Hayrack Water Caddy, created by High Country Plastics. Made from FDA-approved polyethylene, the tank is designed to fit on your trailer’s roof hay rack. An aluminum drain insert ensures the drain-attachment point will never break, sun rot, or fail. Each tank comes with a hose kit and shut-off valve for ground-level draining and refilling. Fits most standard hay racks.

Made from rugged, vinyl-coated nylon, the collapsible Outfitters Supply Water Bucket, available from the Equine Network Store, 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.

Water Enhancer

Nourishing Skin Products

Adding Equatic Solutions’ Horse Quencher—a mix of grains and flavorings—to your horse’s water will encourage him to drink more fluid on the road and at unfamiliar destinations. Pair Horse Quencher with electrolytes to mask their taste. (Electrolytes replenish salts lost in your horse’s sweat.) Made from all-natural ingredients found in most horse feeds, Horse Quencher is safe for competition. Available in apple, butterscotch, peppermint, and root beer flavors. 

USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion

Moisturizers for you and your horse: Rider Body Butter from Healthy Horse Boutique is an exotic blend of butters and essential oils to nourish your skin and decrease muscle tension on the road. The company’s Horsey Lip Balm features an organic blend of mango butter, almond oil, and flower essences designed to ease bit rubs and pinches.

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

USRider Member-Benefit Spotlight As a USRider Member, you can enjoy money-saving discounts through Winner’s Circle Advantage tailored to the active horse owner. You may access these benefits directly through the Members Area of the USRider website; plus, a brochure you’ll find enclosed in membership kits and renewal mailings provides codes to give you quick access to all

Winner’s Circle Partners. With so many discounts, you can easily save the cost of your annual membership fee, and more! This issue, we spotlight new Winner’s Circle Advantage Partners. For more information on each of these companies, and for more Member discounts, click here.

Barmah Hats Barmah Hats—The Original Outdoor Hats—are committed to using only the finest materials and producing its own Australian-made leathers. According to the manufacturer, Barmah Hats has developed the most versatile and durable range of outdoor hats on the market. Many Barmah Hats are handmade in Minnesota. USRider Members receive a 5% discount and free shipping on orders over $50.

Millcreek Manufacturing, Inc. Founded in 1985, Millcreek Manufacturing, Inc., was the first manufacturer of compact manure spreaders designed specifically for horse people, and continues to lead the industry in quality and value. The company offers eight models, including four that may be pulled with an ATV or garden tractor. Models in Millcreek’s Super Spreader package feature stainless-steel construction with an exclusive lifetime warranty against floor and body rust-through. All Millcreek Spreaders are made in the USA, are easy to use, and offer no-maintenance sealed bearings. USRider Members receive a $100 factory rebate.

The Trail Rider’s Path Map Holder/Trail Kit No more fumbling for your map while out on the trail! The Trail Rider’s Path Map Holder/Trail Kit is custom-made by the Cashel Company to fit the Trail Rider’s Path trail guides, and also holds dressage tests and other patterns and courses for practicing ease. The TRP Map Holder/Trail Kit fits on both Western and English saddles, attaches to marathon carriages for combined driving events, and can enhance therapeutic riding services. The product is hands-free, waterproof, clear on both sides, and holds small essentials. USRider Members receive a 10% discount on the purchase of the TRP Map Holder/Trail Kit.

Sweetwater Nutrition Sweetwater Nutrition makes it easy for you to select high-quality supplements for your horse with a name you can trust. Founded in 1999, Sweetwater Nutrition helps you select the right products for your horse, ranging from InflamAway joint supplements for your performance horse to RelaxForm EQ for stressed horses to Hoof Renu to promote strong healthy hooves. Sweetwater Nutrition understands the busy lifestyle that equestrians live, especially when traveling with their horses. The company also carries supplements for dogs. Made in the USA. USRider Members receive a 10% discount and free shipping on a purchase over $35. USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion

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------------ GETAWAYS------------

Colorado Bed & Breakfast Hitch up, and head to a luxurious bed & breakfast high in the Rocky Mountains. By Audrey Pavia Photos Courtesy of Tudor Rose Bed and Breakfast

Tudor Rose Bed and Breakfast in Salida, Colorado, is a once-private estate situated in the eastern Rocky Mountains, adjacent to Pike and San Isabel national forests. Looking for a bit of rustic luxury for you and your equine friend? Head to Colorado’s magnificent Rocky Mountains. Tudor Rose Bed and Breakfast in Salida is a once-private estate that sits atop a ridge in the eastern Rocky Mountains, adjacent to Pike and San Isabel national forests. “Tudor Rose provides quiet privacy on 37 secluded acres and stunning mountain views, and it’s only one-and-a-half miles to downtown Salida,” innkeeper Jon Terrell notes. For you: Six distinctive guest rooms are offered in the inn’s upper and lower levels. The main level has common areas. All have private baths. The upper-level rooms have magnificent mountain views and open to a landing that overlooks a grand, curvedoak staircase and a foyer with a waterfall. An expansive deck with hot tub allows bed >>

Within a 30-minute trailer ride from Tudor Rose property, you’ll find expansive riding on scenic national forest trails. USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion

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After your ride, your horse can relax in Tudor Rose’s comfortable equine accommodations.

“Tudor Rose provides quiet privacy on 37 secluded acres and stunning mountain views, and it’s only one-and-a-half miles to downtown Salida,” innkeeper Jon Terrell notes.

The Henry Tudor Suite offers a king-size feather bed, hot tub, and views of mountain peaks.

Luxury-style chalets (top and inset) feature accommodations for up to six guests, a full kitchen, a fireplace, a great room, and views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

& breakfast guests to savor the views of the Mosquito Mountain Range and Arkansas River Canyon. A homemade breakfast is served every morning. Luxury-style chalets are also available. Each chalet features private accommodations for up to six guests, a full kitchen, a fireplace, a great room with a vaulted ceiling, and views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains (the southernmost subrange of the Rocky Mountains). For your horse: Your horse may overnight in a lighted barn with 12-foot-by-12-foot box stalls and a tack room. Surrounding the barn is a 100-foot-by-100foot treed paddock area. Five fenced pastures are also available. Grass hay is available; you’re welcome to

bring your own feed. A Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (health certificate) and proof of negative Coggins test (for equine infectious anemia) are required for all guest horses. Trail riding: At Tudor Rose, you’ll have access to hundreds of miles of riding trails. You can access the Rainbow Trail right from the property for a day ride of about 15 miles. Within a 30-minute trailer ride from the property, you’ll find expansive riding on public lands that offer scenic vistas. You’ll ride among pinyon pines and juniper to a higher altitude where aspen and Ponderosa pine grow. Above the tree line are spectacular 150-mile views. USR

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USRider® Equestrian Traveler's Companion-Summer 2018