USRider® Equestrian Traveler's Companion-Stay at Home Edition 2020

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Equestrian Traveler’s


Your Essential Horse-Trailering Resource Summer 2020

Design a Safe Fencing System Install Stall Mats Fireproof Your Barn Deworm With Ease An AIM Equine Network Publication


Equestrian Traveler’s COMPANION Summer 2020

Your Essential HorseTrailering Resource

FEATURES 10 Property Lines Nature-Scape Your Horse Property

12 Paddock Pointers Safe Fencing

14 Training at Home Deworm With Ease

18 Your Healthy Horse How to Talk to Your Vet

DEPARTMENTS 4 Top Tips Expert Advice

6 Skill Set Install Stall Mats

8 Handy Checklist Fireproof Your Barn

20 Savvy Products Health Enhancers

22 USRider Benefits USRider® Insurance Services

24 Getaways Explore Canyon de Chelly


USRider General Manager: Bill Riss Editor: René 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, Horse&Rider, Practical Horseman, and The Team Roping Journal. 2

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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!


WWW.USRIDER.ORG (800) 844-1409

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

TopTips VEHICLETIP----------------------------------------------------------

Disinfect for Health During the COVID-19 pandemic, you likely still need to venture out for essential needs and services. When you do, follow these guidelines, courtesy of (For more vehicle information related to COVID-19 from, click here.) • Fuel up with care. Keep disinfecting wipes (or main your vehicle, and wipe down the fuel pump before and after use. If you pay at the pump and touch a screen or keypad, wipe those surfaces down, as well. When you’re done, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer as soon as you can. • Disinfect your vehicle. Disinfect your vehicle regularly until the pandemic is over. You can use most PHOTO BY HEIDI MELOCCO household cleaners, such as disinfecting wipes, Keep disinfecting wipes in your vehicle, and wipe down inside your vehicle, but consider using cleaners the fuel pump before and after use. designed specifically for vehicle interiors. Be sure to disinfect the common touch-points of your vehicle, such as interior and exterior door handles, radio controls, the turn signal, and the steering wheel. • Go high-tech. Disinfecting foggers and ultraviolet lights can help keep viruses out of your vehicle. A disinfecting fogger is a canister that fogs up your vehicle while it’s parked and thoroughly disinfects the air via your vehicle’s HVAC system. UV lights have been used for medical disinfecting purposes for years; you can use a handheld unit in your vehicle to sterilize the air.


Keep Your Helmet Cool


To preserve your helmet’s integrity, keep it out of the sun when it’s not in use. USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion

After your summer ride, do you stash your helmet in your vehicle’s trunk or in your trailer’s tack room? Or, at your home barn, do you perch your helmet on a fence post or place it on a patch of grass? It’s great to keep your helmet handy, but note that helmets aren’t made to withstand high heat. Don’t ever throw your helmet in a car trunk, where temps can reach more than 160 degrees Fahrenheit—too intense for helmet materials. Intense heat can cause your helmet’s structures to break down, compromising its protection capabilities. To preserve your helmet’s integrity, keep it out of the sun when it’s not in use, and store it in a tote or carrying bag where the fabric can wick moisture from the helmet and keep it dry. — Heidi Melocco


Summer 2020

USRIDER MEMBERTIP--------------------------------

Become an EmergencyStabling Partner One valuable benefit USRider provides to its Members is emergency-stabling referrals. To enhance this service, USRider is seeking to expand its existing database of emergency-stabling facilities available for use by its Members. The call is being put out to equestrians in the United States and Canada to assist in this effort. Now more than ever, equestrians are helping fellow horse owners in need. If you would be willing to provide fellow equestrians with emergency stabling on a case-by-case basis, click here to complete the online form. Or write to USRider Equestrian Motor Plan, P.O. Box 20634, Boulder, CO 80308. When writing, please provide directions to your stable. Thank you from your friends at USRider.

USRider is seeking to expand its existing database of emergency-stabling facilities available for use by its Members.


Hot-Weather Feeding

Grass is the ideal hot-weather feed, because of its high water content.

To supplement your horse’s forage, add carrots, celery, apples, watermelon, squash, or salad greens to a mixture of soaked beet pulp and wheat bran. USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


You can help your horse stay cool this summer by providing the right feed. Grass is the ideal hot-weather feed, because of its high water content. If your horse doesn’t have enough grass available for nourishment, add carrots, celery, apples, watermelon, squash, or salad greens to a mixture of soaked beet pulp and wheat bran. Start with small meals if your horse isn’t used to these feeds. Add about 1 teaspoon of salt per pound of the mixture to improve appeal and get that needed salt into your horse. Note: It’s normal for appetites to drop off during periods of extreme heat. If this happens, don’t panic. Your horse will start eating again when he feels more comfortable. —Eleanor M. Kellon, VMD Summer 2020

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Install Stall Mats


With properly installed stall mats, you may be able to eliminate bedding entirely, especially in drier summer months. Rubber stall mats are excellent for your horse’s health, as they provide a dry, level surface for him to stand on—much healthier for hooves than holes, rocks, and wet spots. Stall mats also have a good amount of cushUSRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


ion, which is important for joints and soft tissue. They also offer a firm, level surface that allows you to easily scoop up manure and soiled bedding, leaving clean bedding behind. You might even be able to eliminate bedding Summer 2020


entirely, especially in drier summer months. Stall mats should fit snugly in a stall, from wall to wall, to avoid urine seepage underneath. Here’s how to install stall mats for optimal use and longevity.

Stall-Mat Supplies First, gather the supplies. You’ll also need a helper. Note that if you have concrete floors, you’ll just need the materials from stall mats, down. For dirt or clay floors, you’ll need enough gravel (crushed rock, sized 3/8" to 5/8") to fill the stall area up to about 1” below the desired level. Don’t use pea gravel or sand; these footing types are too mushy and won’t compact. • Two 2" x 4" boards — one that’s treated and long enough to install across the front of the stall door, and one that’s 6' to 8' long. • Metal garden rake. • Carpenter’s level. • Hand compactor (you can rent or borrow this). • Stall mats (enough to cover the entire stall). • Long-pry bar or metal T-post. • Two vice grips (four are even better). • Tape measure. • Chalk (or chalk line) to mark the mats for cutting. • Straight edge at least 3' long. • Carpet knife (also called a utility knife).

Installation Technique (If you have concrete floors, you can skip to Step 6.) Step 1. Attach the treated 2" x 4" board across the inside of the stall doorway (Note: Skip this step if your stall already has a lip or an


After the gravel is in place, leveled, and compacted, position all the mats that don’t require cutting. Use vice grips as handles to maneuver mats into position. edge at least 2½" high. Step 2. Gradually add 5/8” minus gravel (spreading as you go) up to the top of the 2” x 4”. Step 3. Use the garden rake to smooth and do a rough leveling of the gravel in the stall. Step 4. Use the 6’ to 8’ long 2” x 4” board and carpenter’s level to move the gravel around until it’s level throughout the entire stall. Step 5. Compact the gravel with the hand compactor. The compacted gravel should be about 1” below the desired finish line. Step 6. Use a long pry-bar or metal T-post to carry the mats to the stall area. Two people can carry the bar with the mat draped across it. Step 7. Position all the mats that don’t require cutting. Using vice grips as handles, maneuver the

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mats into position. Then determine how you should cut the remaining mat(s). Note: This step is critical. You want to minimize the number of cuts you have to make, and you don’t want to have small pieces of mat filling in gaps, as this won’t hold up well over time. (Less than a two-foot-square section is too small). Step 8. Measure the space remaining, and mark the mats with chalk. Leave about 1/8" to 1/4" space between mats. Step 9. Use the straight edge and the utility knife to cut the mats. (You’ll need to make multiple slices to cut all the way through the mat.) Step 10. Fit stall mats snugly together, leaving about 1/8" to 1/4" space between mats. —Alayne Bickle Summer 2020


Fireproof Your Barn Cut the risk of a devastating barn fire.

A barn fire is every horse owner’s worst nightmare.

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


Keep your fire extinguishers fully charged, and be sure that everyone at your barn knows how to use them. USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion



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Install wire or metal mesh cages to cover those overhead lights.

Don’t overload your circuits. Adding extra sockets increases fire risk.

Remove cobwebs, which are flammable and can trap dust and hay.

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.) ■ 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 ma-

nure 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. — By Jessica Jahiel, PhD

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Summer 2020


Nature-Scape Your Horse Property

Native plants and animals can serve both utilitarian and delightful functions on horse properties.

Put native plants, birds, and bats to work on your horse property to nurture the land, and help control insects and rodents. Article and Photos by Alayne Blickle

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Did you know that there are a great many wonderful ways that plants and animals can actually work for you on your horse property? Native plants and animals can serve both utilitarian and delightful aesthetic functions on your horse property—all while saving you time and money, and reducing your impact on the environment. Creating a natural habitat might increase your property value, too. The United States Fish & Wildlife Service Office of Migratory Bird Management reports that homes in neighborhoods with large trees for birds are worth more than similar homes in neighborhoods without trees. Native plants are the ones that grow in your area naturally. They generally cost less to buy than non-native landscaping plants and are equally attractive. Native plants are better adapted to local climate and soil conditions than exotics, and are more insect- and disease-resistant, than non-native ones, so you’ll be less likely to need to help them along with pesticides, fertilizers, and even extra watering after they’re established. Following are eight reasons to “go native.” >>


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Minimize mud. Native plants and trees can help dry up an annoying wet area or be the first line of defense in intercepting runoff from the hillside behind your property. A mature Douglas fir can use from 125 to 150 gallons a day. Other types of water-loving plants include willow, dogwood, cottonwood, aspen, and cedar. Vegetated swales channel away surface water. And, if placed down slope from your horse’s paddock, they can pick up excess water and nutrient runoff. Check with your local extension agent or conservation district for specific recommendations on plants suitable for your area and soils. Bust the dust. Use native plants to help cut down on blowing dust from your arena, polluting your neighbor’s property. Generally, a buffer of at least 20 feet deep is recommended. This buffer should include evergreens, deciduous trees, and shrubs. A row of evergreens makes a nice privacy screen between you and your neighbor.

Woods’ roses smell wonderful and are an important food source for certain animals. Provide timely sun and shade. Well-placed deciduous trees and shrubs around your barn and paddocks can provide cooling shade in the summer, while the bare branches in the winter allow the warming rays from the sun to reach through to your horses. Control erosion. Trees and shrubs hold valuable topsoil in place, keeping it from getting washed away by rain or blown away by wind, which can potentially cause a surface water or groundwater problem. If you’re raising pasture grass, protecting valuable topsoil is paramount. Plants need soil and nutrients to be healthy, so put those native plants to work as a filter strip to catch nutrients and hold topsoil in place. Control runoff. Native plants are also useful around streams, ponds, wetlands, and other water bodies. Trees and undergrowth are nature’s system for filtering runoff contaminants, such as nutrients from manure and sediment from mud. USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


Encourage insect-eating swallows to move onto your horse property to reduce the flying-insect population. Feed fish. Vegetation supplies food and shelter for fish and other aquatic life. The overhead canopy trees keep water cool. Cool water is able to carry more oxygen than warm water, which benefits fish. Banish bugs. One swallow consumes thousands of insects per day. During the spring and summer, violet green, cliff, and barn swallows can be seen and heard diving, darting, and chirping on horse properties throughout much of the United States. Other types of insect-eating birds include other types of swallows, bluebirds, and purple martins. Lure insect-eating birds to your property by providing a habitat for them. Help them build their nests by putting out tufts of horse and dog hair. Also, build or buy nesting boxes specific to the type of swallows in your area. Encourage bats to take up residence. One bat can eat hundreds of mosquitoes in an hour. Create a friendly bat habitat with bat houses. Place a bat house on a barn, pole, tree, and/or the side of a house, ideally within a half-mile of a stream, lake, or wetland. Note that it can take up to two years for a bat colony to find your house. Control rodents. Encourage larger birds—such as owls, hawks, and falcons, which prey on problem rodents—to be a part of your habitat. Protect large trees and snags that provide housing for these predators. Some of these bird species also do well in nest boxes. Plant trees outside of confinement areas and pastures to keep trees away from teeth and hooves. Trees inside these areas should be protected to the end of their “drip zone,” or the tips of their branches. To protect your trees, use fencing and physical barriers, such as large rocks and logs. USR


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Safe Fencing

Safe, visible, and sturdy is the game plan with fencing systems.

Safe, visible, and sturdy pasture fencing for your horse involves careful planning. Before investing possibly thousands of dollars in materials, put the effort into designing a fencing system that will work for your farm.

By Nancy Butler

Planning Tips • Watch the budget. For large areas, save money by installing fancier fencing at the front and less-expensive fencing in the back. • Think sturdy. Smaller paddocks/ pens need safer, sturdier fencing as horses who play hard—or get

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spooked—can run into a fence line before they even realize it’s there. • Determine center length. The standard is to have wood posts on 8-foot centers, but modern fencing materials allow you to extend the centers to 10 and even 12 feet. • Determine height. Fence height should be 48 to 54 inches—even higher if you have a big jumper or a good escape artist. • Provide a sight line. Provide a sight line along the top of a wire fence so the horses can see it from a distance. This can be something >> Summer 2020

as simple as colored ribbons every few feet. • Round the corners. This design will make mowing easier and keep horses low in the pecking order from being trapped in corners by more dominant herd mates. • Consider a perimeter fence. A perimeter fence around the entire property is a great safety net. • Fence ponds. Fence around any ponds to keep horses from eroding the banks or walking out on ice. • Fence trees. Fence around any trees to keep horses from stripping the bark, and killing or disfiguring them.

it won’t pop apart if a horse runs into it. Look for the words “horse fence” on the label. • Wood posts. Treated round or square wood posts are still the standard. (Avoid treated landscape ties.) Install them in a drilled hole using a tractor-mounted or hand-held auger. Or, find a con-

Fencing Materials Once upon a time, there was a limited selection of fencing materials to choose from: wire, wood, maybe pipe. While these are still used extensively, new materials/technology offer us more choices. • Vinyl. The classic wood “estate fence” is available in vinyl, but be aware that not all vinyl fencing is horse safe. Some of these rails pop right out of the posts when horses lean on them. They’ve also been known to shatter if hit. Flat, flexible vinyl strips reinforced with cables give a similar look for less money and they’re more forgiving if a horse runs into them. • Wire options. The thin electric wire of yesterday has given way to thicker, braided wire and narrow, woven mesh tapes that are more visible and less likely to cut a horse who gets spooked and runs through it. Avoid field fence or box wire; the openings are large enough for a horse to put a foot through. Better options are woven wire fences with small openings or diamond mesh. When the wire strands are woven or wrapped rather than welded, USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion

tractor who’ll drive them into the ground. Set the posts down far enough to avoid heaving if you live in an area where the ground freezes. • Metal T-posts. It’s best to avoid metal T-posts, which can impale a horse. If you must use them for budget reasons, cap them with plastic caps. Several cap styles are available.

Added Value Fencing depends on the needs of your animals, as well as your own aesthetic tastes. You’re not only investing in your horses’ needs, but you’re also investing significant capital into your real estate. You want to be happy with the results for years to come. Nancy Butler is an avid horsewoman, long-time journalist, and freelance writer based in Delaware.


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Deworm With Ease

If your horse is a moderate to heavy egg shedder, or if you’re raising a foal, you’ll likely need to deworm him in the summer. Here, top trainer/clinician Clinton Anderson shows you his stress-free deworming technique you can use all year long.

Is your horse hard to deworm? Train him to accept the process with top trainer/clinician Clinton Anderson’s proven technique. Article and Photos Courtesy of Downunder Horsemanship

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You might think of deworming as a spring and fall horse-management task. But if your horse is a moderate to heavy egg shedder (determined by his fecal egg count) or if you’re raising a foal, summer deworming is also important. (For a recommended deworming schedule for horses and foals from the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, click here; for more about foal deworming techniques and handling, see your veterinarian.) If your horse is difficult to deworm, he might have had a bad


experience being dewormed or doesn’t like the taste of the dewormer. Top trainer/clinician Clinton Anderson explains that most deworming issues aren’t the horse’s fault; it’s the approach to the process. “Avoid sneaking up to your horse and jamming the dewormer in his mouth,” Anderson says. “Also, don’t walk straight up to your horse, hang on to the halter really tight, then jam the syringe in his mouth. You’ll make him defensive. “Keep in mind that horses are prey animals,” he explains. >> Summer 2020

First, use the dewormer to desensitize the airspace around your horse’s head. Next, desensitize your horse to the touch of the deworming syringe. “If you approach him and stick the dewormer in his face, like a predator, then he’s going to stick it back in your face and say, ‘Get lost!’ “On the other hand, if you walk up to your horse and kind of act casual about it, pretty soon, you’ll notice that a lot of his defensiveness will go away, and he won’t be worried about getting dewormed.” A horse that’s good to deworm will stand still with his head down, body relaxed, and ready to accept the deworming procedure, because he realizes that you’re not trying to hurt him. Here’s a step-by-step technique to deworming the right way, all year long.

Step 1: Desensitize the Airspace Use the dewormer to desensitize the airspace around your horse’s head. If he won’t accept the dewormer in the airspace around him, then he won’t accept the dewormer in his mouth. Desensitizing works, because you’re doing the opposite

of what he expects you to do—that is, he expects you to deworm him, but you won’t in this step. Stand on your horse’s left side, so you’re out of his way if he tosses his head or strikes at you. Wave an empty deworming syringe back and forth around his entire head and muzzle, keeping it eight inches away from his muzzle. When your horse keeps his head still, immediately stop waving, retreat, and rub his head with your other hand. Repeat this step until he keeps his head still for the entire time that you’re moving the dewormer. “If he isn’t relaxed at this point, don’t go to the next step.” says Anderson. “Your horse must be relaxed for this to work.”

Step 2: Desensitize to the Syringe Desensitize your horse to the touch of the deworming syringe. You want him to understand that he can be touched by the dewormer without

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actually getting dewormed. Starting at your horse’s withers, rub an empty deworming syringe all over his body. Work back toward his withers, and onto his neck and jaw. If he throws his head or moves away from you, continue rubbing until he stands still and relaxes, then retreat. Rub the deworming syringe all over your horse’s face, continuing to use the approach-and-retreat method. As he becomes desensitized, gradually rub the dewormer down and around his muzzle. “When you rub the dewormer around your horse’s nose and face, don’t rub it real slow like you’re sneaking around him hoping that he’ll stand still,” says Anderson. “Instead, rub vigorously. He’ll think, Man, you’re an idiot, you don’t even know where my mouth is.”

“If your horse is difficult to deworm, he might have had a bad experience being dewormed or doesn’t like the taste of the dewormer.” When your horse relaxes, and keeps his head and feet still, retreat the dewormer, and rub his head with your other hand. “You’re trying to establish a starting point,” says Anderson. “You want him to realize that the quickest way to get rid of the dewormer is for him to stop moving his feet, and to relax his head and neck. “When he does so, take the >> Summer 2020

dewormer away from him, and rub his face with your other hand. Keep doing this until you can rub the dewormer all over him, and he doesn’t move.”

ringe into the corner of his mouth. Keep the syringe in his mouth; if he throws his head, raise your arms. If he steps backward, move back with him. As soon as he stands still, lowers his head, and relaxes, remove the syringe, and rub his face with your other hand. Patiently repeat this step until your horse stands still.

Step 4: ‘Deworm’ with Honey

“Deworming” your horse with honey makes him think that whatever is in a deworming syringe tastes good.

Step 3: Coat the Syringe Coat an empty deworming syringe with something sweet, such as honey, molasses, or sugar. This sweet coating will help teach your horse to accept the deworming syringe in his mouth— it’ll help him disassociate the bad taste of dewormer with the deworming process. (Give your horse a taste for the sweet coating by putting a little of it on his feed every night.) Place the syringe within reach. Repeat Step 2, then stand on your horse’s left side, and ease the sy-

“Deworming” your horse with honey makes him think that whatever is in a deworming syringe tastes good. Fill the empty dewormer with honey, then wave and rub the syringe around his nose to ensure that he’s desensitized to it. Then place the honey “dewormer” in the corner of his mouth, and slowly “deworm” him by letting him lick the honey off the syringe. Repeat this step over the course of several days.

Step 5: Deworm Your Horse When your horse accepts the deworming syringe in his mouth, you can actually deworm him. Repeat Steps 1 through 4 until he shows no defensiveness towards the dewormer. Then get a real dewormer, and put a sweet coating on the outside of the syringe. Put the dewormer in the corner of his mouth, and empty the syringe. Wait for him to digest the dewormer, and immediately follow up with a honey dewormer. “Always leave your horse with a positive taste in his mouth,” says

“In time, you should be able to walk up, deworm your horse, and walk away.”

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Anderson. “If you just give the bad-tasting dewormer and walk away, the last thing he remembers is a foul taste.”

Step 6: Follow Up Over the next three or four days, “deworm” your horse with honey to remind him that deworming doesn’t have to be a horrible experience. Each time, desensitize him by waving and rubbing the syringe around his nose before putting the honey dewormer in his mouth.

Step 7: Repeat the Process Deworm your horse with honey once per day for four days before the next scheduled deworming. Follow up by “deworming” him with honey once per day for four days after the deworming. You’ll then leave him with a positive deworming experience. In time, you should be able to walk up, deworm your horse, and walk away. USR

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 www.

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How to Talk to Your Vet

Be clear and direct. You and your vet must be able to speak directly with one another, ask questions, and get answers.

Communicate clearly with your equine veterinarian to enhance your horse’s health. By Jessica Jahiel, PhD Photos by Heidi Melocco

To optimize your horse’s health, you and your veterinarian need to work together. Good teamwork requires good communication. Here are nine communication tips. 1. Be clear and direct. Good communication requires trust. You and your veterinarian must be able to speak directly to one another, ask questions, and get answers. Your vet should take each of your questions seriously; in turn, you should feel that you can ask for and receive explanations about

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any terms, products, and/or treatments that you don’t understand. 2. Keep complete records. Record all details concerning your horse’s history in one computer file or notebook. Record his foaling date; vaccination and farrier records; any illnesses, injuries, and treatments; feed and supplements; typical water consumption; exercise routine; turnout schedule; and normal vital signs. Such accurate information will help your vet to diagnose and treat your horse. >> Summer 2020

Keep complete records. Accurate information will help your vet diagnose and treat your horse. 3. Provide first-aid. Keep a firstaid kit in the barn and another one in your trailer. Ask your vet what items you should keep in your kit. If you aren’t sure how to use the items, ask your vet to show you. 4. Make an appointment. You may believe you know what your horse’s problem is, but you can’t be certain. Don’t ask your vet to make

Make an appointment. Don’t ask your vet to diagnose your horse over the phone.

horse, and you have other horses you’d like her to examine, call and schedule an appointment for each. Don’t ask your vet to “work in” the rest of your resident equines. 6. Be ready when your vet arrives. Be prepared, whether it’s a routine call scheduled six months in advance or an emergency. Have your horse easily accessible, wear-

Have your horse easily accessible, wearing a halter. Leave on all available lights for maximum visibility. a diagnosis or suggest a course of treatment via the phone; she really does need to see your horse first. The more information you can provide in your initial phone call to your vet, the better. 5. Make separate appointments. If your vet is seeing one

ing a halter. If possible, keep his coat dry, clean his stall, and leave on all available lights for maximum visibility. 7. Be understanding. If your vet is late, avoid thinking, I scheduled this appointment six months ago; she knew she was supposed to be

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here at 10! Instead, tell yourself that your vet has a lot of clients, and she can’t help being late to regular appointments if someone has an emergency. Today, you’re the client who has to wait; next time, you might be the client with the emergency. 8. Be curious. Don’t be shy about asking questions. If you don’t know what a word means, or you don’t understand exactly what your vet is saying about a condition or a treatment, ask, then listen closely to the explanation. Some vets are better “explainers” than others, but very few vets are both brilliant explainers and mind readers. 9. Provide follow-up treatment. Know what you should do after your veterinarian leaves; if the directions are complicated, write them down. For example, make sure you know when you’re supposed to give your horse medication, check his temperature, and hand-walk him. If you follow through on your vet’s instructions, you’ll become a vet’s favorite: the compliant client. USR Jessica Jahiel, PhD, is an internationally recognized clinician and lecturer, and an awardwinning author of books on horses, riding, and training. Her email newsletter is a popular worldwide resource.

Summer 2020


Health Enhancers Top products for your horse’s health.

Metabolic Supplement Carrying too much weight may increase your horse’s risk for health issues, including Equine Metabolic Syndrome. SmartPak’s SmartMetabo-Lean provides comprehensive support for horses with EMS, which most commonly occurs in middle age and is characterized by obesity, laminitis, and insulin-resistance. SmartMetabo-Lean is designed to aid in insulin-resistant management and help horses achieve healthy weight as part of a veterinarian-supervised diet and exercise program.

Botanical Poultice

Low-Carb Feed

Finish Line’s EZ-Willow Poultice cools, draws, and tightens your sore horse’s ankles, knees, and tendons. The botanical, clay-based poultice is effective, easy to use, and safe for thin-skinned and white-legged horses. The poultice’s natural ingredients include Arnica montana, white willow, tumeric root powder, methyl salicylate, lemon balm oil, magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts), and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). The poultice aids in the temporary relief of minor stiffness and soreness of the feet and legs due to overexertion and can also be used as a hoof packing.

NuZu Feed’s Stabul 1 and Stabul 1 Plus equine diets—made by Anderson Feed Manufacturers and available on Chewy. com—are specifically designed for horses prone to being overweight or underweight, and prone to such conditions as Equine Metabolic Syndrome, insulin resistance, and Cushings’s disease. The low-carbohydrate feeds are formulated without molasses and contain less than 10 percent starch and sugar. The feeds are made with high-quality fementable fiber from soybean hulls, beet pulp, and alfalfa, probiotics, vegetable oil, flaxseed, and amino acids. Low-carbohydrate treats (Stabul Nuggets and Stabul Crumbs) are also available.

Skin Solutions Help heal your horse’s skin and pamper his haircoat with Equiderma’s equine grooming and skin-care products. Neem Shampoo is designed to improve skin condition without stripping natural oils. After shampooing, strengthen, soften, and soothe your horse’s skin, haircoat, mane, and tail with Equiderma’s Neem Conditioner. The company’s antifungal, antibacterial Skin Lotion helps remedy scratches, sweet itch, ringworm, mane and tail rubbing, and other skin issues. Use the Zinc Oxide Paste as sun protection, as well as to treat scratches, greasy heel, dew poisoning, and mud fever. USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


Summer 2020

Tractor Supply is dedicated to enriching the lives of rescue horses.

Our Farm Equine Rescue is appreciative of the continued support Tractor Supply Company provides to equine rescues through A Home for Every Horse. Their continued support of rescue and rehabilitating horses allows our rescue to put funds towards other immediate needs such as medical and hoof care. - SHARON KRESS DIRECTOR OF OUR FARM EQUINE RESCUE FIND OUT HOW TO


A Home For Every Horse is brought to you by the Equine Network and sponsored by:

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USRider® Insurance Services Trust the company you count on for being responsive and responsible with your horse on the road with all of your equine-insurance needs. USRider’s no-hassle insurance products provide you with overall peace of mind to insure your equestrian lifestyle.

Following is a rundown of equine-insurance policies offered by USRider. (Note: Not all coverages are available in all states.) For links to more information and to apply online, click here. Or call (800) 50-HORSE (504-6773), or send an email to

• Equine Mortality & Theft Coverage. For a horse owner, the loss of a beloved animal can be devastating both emotionally and financially. And while equine mortality insurance can’t diminish the grief of losing a horse, it can help to soften the economic impact. We offer several flexible coverage options, because we know that horses (and their owners) are unique. Our Equine Risk Mortality & Theft coverage is a comprehensive policy that reimburses you for the death, theft, and humane destruction of a covered horse. • Comprehensive Equine Liability. Comprehensive PHOTO BY HEIDI MELOCCO Horse Liability insurance coverage protects anyone with a horse-related business against third-party liability lawsuits, including riding instructors and independent trainers. • Equi-Farm Package. If you own a horse farm, this package combines property and liability insurance to fully protect your home, household contents, barns, sheds, owned machinery, equipment, tack, livestock, and horse operation, on and off premises. • Private Horse Owner Liability. If you own horses and aren’t involved in a commercial equine business, this insurance protects you if someone claims your horse caused their bodily injury or damaged their property, even if your horse is kept at an independently owned stable. • Horse Clubs & Associations Liability. This liability policy can provide the protection your club may need for owned or leased premises, public event days, and club functions. • Commercial Umbrella Liability. Commercial Umbrella Liability provides extra protection for catastrophic events when you’ve exceeded the limits of your commercial liability or commercial auto policy.

USRider’s no-hassle insurance products provide you with overall peace of mind to insure your equestrian lifestyle. USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


Summer 2020

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Explore Canyon de Chelly

“What began as a trail-riding adventure with friends and family became a spiritual journey through a mystical land,” writes Christine Duval-Sentry of Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Shown are Anasazi petroglyphs.

Plan now for a future equestrian adventure in Canyon de Chelly National Monument in northeast Arizona.

Editor’s note: At this writing, the

Article and Photos by Christine Duval-Sentry

National Monument is currently

Navajo Nation is reporting the highest per-capita COVID-19 infection rate in the United States. The Navajo Nation Department of Health has established a COVID-19 fund to help the Navajo Nation respond to the pandemic. To donate, click here. Canyon de Chelly closed to visitors. Check the NPS website ( for updates. For updates on the overall NPS response to COVID-19, go to coronavirus.

USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


Stunning Destination Canyon de Chelly National Monument, which is located in the heart of the Navajo Nation in northeast Arizona, near Chinle. The labyrinth monument is made up of four gorges: Canyon de Chelly; Canyon de Muerto; Black Rock Canyon; and Monument Canyon. Canyon walls rise to more than 1,000 feet above the floor. Elevation ranges from 5,500 feet to just over 7,000 feet above sea level. >> Summer 2020

“Along the way, we stopped at significant archeological sites, and gathered round to hear stories about Navajo culture and Anasazi history from our Navajo guides,” reports Duval-Sentry.

Rich History Anasazi (a Navajo word meaning “the ancient ones”) inhabited the canyon for about 600 years, from

tographs; petroglyphs; and pottery shards. Since the 1700s, the Navajo Nation has inhabited these lands. In 1931, Canyon de Chelly National Monument was established to preserve archeological ruins and their record in human history. Embracing 84,000 acres within the Navajo Reservation and comprised entirely of Navajo Tribal Trust Land, the monument is administered by the National Park Service in partnership with the Navajo Nation.

Horse Camping You can trailer in your own horse. For information on overnight horse camping and private livestock use, contact the Navajo Parks & Recreation Department (928/674-2106). For a downloadable trip-planning guide, click here. “The network of sandstone passages and beautiful sheer walls served as our backdrop for four full days of riding,” writes Duval-Sentry. about 700 to 1300 AD. Evidence of their existence can be seen throughout the canyon: homesites tucked into the canyon walls; pic-

Guide Services To enter the monument, you must be accompanied by an authorized Navajo guide. The park requires one guide per 10 riders.

Canyon Trails We rode out from camp into the

USRider® Equestrian Traveler’s Companion


To enter Canyon de Chelly National Monument, you must be accompanied by an authorized Navajo guide. canyon mouth. As we rode deeper into the canyon, the sheer cliffs got higher and higher. We rode primarily along a wash, sloshing through water. Along the way, we stopped at significant archeological sites, and gathered round to hear stories about Navajo culture and Anasazi history from our Navajo guides. Next, we rode to Standing Cow Ruins where the Navajo etched drawings into the canyon walls depicting the Spaniards’ arrival in the late 1700s. Twenty-three miles later, we arrived back at camp. The second day, we rode to White House ruins, the second largest Anasazi ruins in the canyon. Occupied about 1,000 years ago, it’s the only place in the canyon that visitors can see without a guide— after hiking down from the rim about 500 feet. Our final destination was Mummy Cave, the largest Anasazi ruins site.

Best Seasons The best times of the year to ride in Canyon de Chelly are late fall and spring. In the summer, temperatures can climb to the triple digits; in the winter, it may snow. USR Summer 2020

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