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b IN THIS ISSUE

EARLY SUMMER 2018

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74

SPECIAL FEATURES 30 Design a Better Horse Stall

Why and when to introduce your horse to lateral work.

52 Pushy Horses, with Jonathan Field

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Learn how a properly-fitted saddle can help your horse develop correctly and become stronger.

62 Winding Through Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park

Turn pushy horses around with three simple lessons. www.HORSE Journals.com

58 Divergent Theories on Saddle Fitting

A memorable ride through hoodoos, coulees, rock art, and rattlesnakes in southern Alberta.

74 How to Shop for a Horse

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Key features include comfort for the horse, convenience for the handler, and safety for both.

46 Moving Sideways, or Moving Mindfully?

30 Photo: Canstock/Irina88w | 52 Photo: Angie Field | 62 Photo: Tania Millen

52

A step-by-step guide to help you find the horse of your dreams.

ON THE COVER “One who believes that he has mastered the art of horsemanship has not yet begun to understand the horse.” — Author Unknown PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK/HORSEMEN


b IN THIS ISSUE

EARLY SUMMER 2018

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43 DEPARTMENTS

HORSE HEALTH 10 Equine Sports Medicine: New Ways to Heal

From elite competitors to weekend trail partners, any riding horse can benefit from the latest advances in equine sports medicine.

18 Equine Metabolic Syndrome: Diagnosis and Management

How to help the horse with EMS, and the complicating factors of Equine Cushing’s Disease.

24 Defying Age

2 Celebration of Horses

43 Getting Ahead of Strangles

8 Editorial 42 To Subscribe 70 Horse Council BC News 72 Manitoba Horse Council News 73 Canadian Therapeutic Riding

Good management is crucial to keeping the senior performance horse in top form.

Managing this challenging bacterial disease calls for stringent controls and extraordinary biosecurity protocols.

Photo Contest

Association News

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Country Homes & Acreages

80, 81, 84

Industry Products

81, 83

Hitchin’ Post, Index to Advertisers

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10 Photo: Dreamstime/Mreco99 | 24 Photo: Shutterstock/Nicole Ciscato | 43 Photo: Shutterstock/Sharon Morris

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HEALTH

Equine Sports Medicine

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By Steve Chiasson, DVM, CVMA


New Ways

It’s been a gruelling season but the end is in sight. Looking back, training camp seems so long ago, so

to

many months of hard work, of getting in shape.

Heal

Last season certainly took its toll on the team. Coaches, trainers, and even the owner commented on the past year’s success and the hard work that went into it. The off-season months were a time of some well-deserved rest. This year it seemed as if we were destined to repeat our performance. Some early successes had things looking optimistic, but then the setback… A leg injury, a sore back during rehab, and the emotional and psychological toll felt by everyone involved. The doctors, trainers, and coaches worked tirelessly to make sure we made a full recovery and finished the season strong. The many doctor exams, rechecks, and rehabilitation sessions were worth it. We’re going to have a successful and exciting ending to the season after all. If you’re reading the above paragraph in Canada in late spring, chances are you might think it’s describing your favourite NHL player in the middle of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Go back and read it again from that perspective. You can imagine that high-performance athlete having incredible tools at their disposal for their health and well-being as an athlete. But really, all of those same things can be said for the equine athlete in your life. If you read the opening paragraph from the standpoint of your horse, all the same things apply. We are fortunate to live in a time when there have been tremendous strides in equine sports medicine, and the services available to benefit horses and their riders are getting even better.

PHOTO: DREAMSTIME/MRECO99

What is Sports Medicine?

Human sports medicine is defined as a “branch of medicine that deals with physical fitness and the treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise.” When we transfer that definition to the veterinary world, there is really no need to change anything about it. Typically veterinary medicine has fallen into two categories: Companion animal medicine deals with household pets and livestock where the main goals of veterinary care are maintenance of good general

health with a pain-free and enjoyable life. Most companion animals don’t have a “job” other than living with and being loved by their owners. Production animal medicine deals with livestock that are raised as food animals. This would include dairy and beef cows, poultry, pigs, and even aquaculture. While maintenance of health and animal welfare is important, there is also emphasis on production and efficiency of the industry. Veterinarians work with both individual animals and as broader consultants for the industry. Sports medicine deals specifically with animals that have a performance aspect to their job in life. Primarily, this aspect of vet medicine deals with canine and equine patients, with a tip of the hat going out to the rodeo bulls, of course. The scenarios these athletes find themselves in are exactly the same as those we humans encounter, and as such they are equally deserving of the top quality medical care given to the weekend warriors or the all-star hockey player. Fortunately, there is no shortage of great options for providing this care to your horse.

What Horses Benefit from Sports Medicine?

What first comes to mind is the highperformance equine athlete competing in dressage, eventing, Western performance, jumping, racing, and other activities. But horses of any discipline can take advantage of the various advances in equine sports medicine, including the casual-use trail horse, the pleasure dressage horse, the hunter– jumper who shows occasionally, or the older companion horse who gets some regular lunging to keep in shape. While the budget and intensity of the medical attention may differ for these horses, the same aspects of sports medicine still apply if they are doing some type of performance.

The Approach to Sports Medicine

Like the human side of things, the approach to equine health and peak athletic performance is moving from reactionary to preventive. It used to be that athletes, even professionals, would show up for the start of the season 30 pounds overweight, smoking a cigarette, with a lazy attitude about getting back in shape. In situations like that, it wasn’t hard to predict poor success with a high risk of injury. Fortunately that approach just isn’t tolerated anymore. Similarly with our horses, it’s well understood that poor preparation for the season will likely lead to less than ideal results, or, even worse — serious injuries. EARLY SUMMER 2018

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Defying Age

By Dr. Kirby Pentilla

Maintaining and Managing the Senior Performance Horse When you have finally found the perfect horse to take you to the winner’s circle, it’s tough to realize that he or she might be getting old. Many horses are now competing well into their late teens and early twenties, especially in certain disciplines such as dressage or show jumping where it takes many years of training to reach an elite level of competition. However, from a veterinary perspective, horses are considered geriatric as they reach the age of 15 to 20 years, which is when their physiological functions start to decline. The management of these horses becomes crucial to keep them competing at their best. We have a lot to offer the aged athletic equine these days with all of the advances in diagnostics, therapy, and medications 24

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that have come about over the years. For the most part, all of the same considerations that you would think of for maintaining a young performance horse are still relevant to our senior performance horses, with a few additional factors that should be considered.

Fitness and Conditioning

As any human athlete will confirm, the importance of a good fitness and conditioning program cannot be overstressed. This is especially true for horses who are getting older because the time it takes to get them fit and in shape is longer than it is for young horses, and older horses are more prone to injuries if they are not fit when they compete. Aging horses are prone to losing muscle

mass and to muscle stiffness. They also have cartilage that is becoming stiffer and more brittle, making it more prone to damage during exercise. The goal of any conditioning program is to stimulate adaptations within your horse’s body systems to improve performance while minimizing the risk of injury. Your horse needs to regularly perform the type of activity that will be performed in competition, and at an intensity that will induce the physiological changes necessary to permit optimal performance. To reach this goal, careful thought should be put into designing exercise sessions and rest periods to ensure that they are sufficient and balanced. This typically means that the horse needs a period of about 90

PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK/NICOLE CISCATO

HEALTH


Big Ben, the Belgian Warmblood gelding partnered with Ian Millar, was one of the greatest show jumping horses in the world. After competing successfully into his senior years, his long and illustrious career was crowned at age 18 with a nation-wide “Big Ben Retirement Tour” in 1994, giving Canadian fans a chance to say goodbye.

Uneven wear of cheek teeth, such as the severe step shown in the above photo, is a relatively common finding in senior horses. PHOTO: CLIX PHOTOGRAPHY

days to get back into performance shape after being idle for any length of time. Maintenance of condition usually means consistent riding five days per week.

Health Care

Senior performance horses are susceptible to most of the same ailments as younger performance horses, but there are three areas in particular where senior horses tend to have more problems than young horses. RESPIRATORY HEALTH Exposure to airway irritants, such as dust, molds, and pollens, is a known risk factor for the development of respiratory disease. Unfortunately, exposure to these agents has a cumulative effect over the lifetime of the horse and can lead to small

PHOTO: KIRBY PENTTILA, DVM

PHOTO: KIRBY PENTTILA, DVM

PHOTO: KIRBY PENTTILA, DVM

Joint injections are often necessary to help manage the pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis in senior performance horses.

A thorough lameness exam can help to pinpoint the source of your horse’s pain and discomfort, allowing formulation of the most appropriate treatment plan to keep them competing for as long as possible. EARLY SUMMER 2018

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DESIGN A

Better

Horse Stall By Eileen Wheeler, Ph.D., Professor of Agricultural Engineering

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he stall is the basic functional unit of a horse stable or shelter. A simple backyard pleasure horse stall may at first appear different than a stall in a full-feature boarding operation, but they both provide a suitable environment for the horse and handler. Safety for handlers and horses should be a primary consideration in stall design. Comfort for the horse is very important, as is convenience for the handler in performing chores associated with good horse care. No matter what your management style or needs, the basics of

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a safe horse stall are the same. Many options that affect function and cost are available for horse stall features. This article provides an overview of some basic stall features for a typical 1,000-pound horse. The dimensions can be adjusted for significantly larger stall occupants.

Dimensions

The size of the horse and the amount of time the horse spends in the stall help determine stall size. Larger horses require more square footage than do smaller ponies to be able to turn around, lie down, and get up comfortably. A 12-

foot by 12-foot stall is the standard recommendation for a 1,000-pound horse. Many stables are successful with stalls slightly smaller than this, but walls less than 10 feet in length are not recommended. Generally, the stall wall length is one-and-a-half times the horse’s length. A larger stall size is justified if the horse spends more time in the stall, or is more active. A divider between two standard stalls may be removed to allow more space for a mare and foal or a stall-bound horse. An eight-foot-high stall partition is standard. Partition height needs to be at


A bright and pleasant stable, with stall fronts featuring sliding bars that open in the top portion to allow horses to look out, and ventilation vents between boards in the bottom portion. Skylights and stall windows provide ample natural light.

An artist’s depiction of tie stalls in a horse stable in Gdansk, Poland, 1773.

PHOTO: WIKIPEDIA/HORSEEXPERTS

PHOTO: CANSTOCK/IRINA88W

least seven-and-a-half feet to prevent horses from getting legs over the wall. Most horses can kick as high as seven feet. An eight-foot-tall by four-foot-wide stall doorway opening has been the recommendation for years, although this is not often seen in stables. Stall door manufacturers typically supply a doorway opening of slightly over seven feet with a 42- to 45-inch width. These are the dimensions of the actual open area that the horse can pass through. These smaller doorway openings are adequate for horse and handler safety. Horse barns are commonly built

PHOTO: WIKIPEDIA

with a ceiling height of ten to twelve feet with eight feet being the minimum. A low ceiling not only inhibits air circulation, but also increases the chance that a horse may strike its head. In fact, many stables have open truss or rafter construction with no ceiling. In this case, the minimum height is the clearance to the lowest item on which a horse may strike its head, such as a light fixture or truss bottom chord.

Doors

Doors come in a wide variety of materials and configurations, although swinging and sliding doors are

common. Doors can cover the full length of the doorway opening, be divided into two panels (Dutch door), or partially cover half to three-quarters of the opening, which is more common with metal mesh doors. Swing doors should open into the aisle rather than into the stall. Open swing doors decrease aisle workspace but may be latched open to alleviate this problem. They also require less hardware to function properly, but heavy-duty hinges are needed to prevent sagging. Sliding doors, in addition to the overhead track, need a stop to prevent EARLY SUMMER 2018

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TRAINING

Moving Sideways, or Moving Mindfully? Why and when to introduce your horse to lateral work By Jec A. Ballou

The shoulder-in, haunches-in, and half-pass (shown) increase strength in the muscles that improve the horse’s posture during all other areas of performance. 46

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PHOTO: CLIX PHOTOGRAPHY

W

hile they used to be predominantly the domain of prancing dressage horses, lateral movements like shoulder-in and haunches-in offer unrivaled conditioning effects for almost any equine athlete. Exercise science has shown them to be on par with gymnastic routines like hill repeats and cavalletti routines in terms of muscle recruitment, with a bonus of altering motor sensory patterns. Below I will explain how and why you might consider incorporating them. Depending how they are performed, these lateral movements offer two main purposes for horses: bodybuilding or physical therapy. When used outside these goals, the exercises fail to have positive physical benefits. In fact, they can act negatively on a horse’s wayof-going. This most often happens when riders start practicing shoulder-in or haunches-in for reasons like boredom, to modify a horse’s behaviour, or confusion about when and why to use them. When you begin to use these tools in your training, ask yourself what purpose will they serve — bodybuilding or therapy? If bodybuilding, how do we confirm the horse is prepared for the effort of these exercises without straining? If physical therapy, what kind of changes can you expect, and how much should you challenge your horse?


When you can trot a ten-metre circle with steady rhythm and inside bend through the horse’s spine, and he stays consistent in his body posture and round over his topline, your horse is ready for the challenges of lateral exercises.

PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK/ROLF DANENBERG

Lateral Work as Bodybuilding

For most horses, shoulder-in and haunches-in, and later halfpass, are tools to increase strength in the structures that facilitate traveling with more weight on the hindquarters. During lateral strides, the horse alternately engages and stretches his gluteus medius, while the tensor fascia lata muscle stabilizes forces around the hip. Elastic strength here increases both flexion and extension of the hip and stifle joints. Equally important, the pectorals and inner leg muscles like the groin pull the leg sideways and then stabilize the torso over it. Difficult to access with other exercises, these muscles improve his posture during all other areas of performance by toning the sling muscles that suspend his trunk. When trained consistently, these exercises result in the horse being able to move across the ground looking — and feeling — both super-charged and effortless at the same time. Admittedly, the horse gains these results only when he performs the maneuvers correctly, which is no small feat. We will cover the specific cues in a future article, but for now the following tips will help you avoid common mistakes and figure out if these tools should be part of your repertoire. TEST IF YOUR HORSE IS READY If he has not yet achieved foundational balance, the horse will muddle his way through these exercises using

After each round of lateral work, straighten the horse and ride forward in a good working trot to refresh his energy.

compensating muscle patterns, which will strengthen him in the wrong ways. How do you know if your horse is ready to start challenging with lateral exercises? Use a ten-metre circle test. When you can ride him at trot around a ten-metre circle with perfect geometry, all the while maintaining an absolutely steady footfall rhythm and an inside bend through his spine, and he stays round over his topline and consistent in his body posture, then you are ready. If there are small hiccups at all in rhythm, bend, or posture you will want to wait before jumping in to lateral work. Be especially patient to start lateral exercises if your horse’s body posture gets unsteady or he gets sluggish on the circle. KEEP THE BALANCE Little is gymnastically gained from the exercises if the horse travels in an incorrect posture. A horse that is prepared for lateral movements needs to be comfortable and secure moving in a markedly uphill balance, meaning his topline remains rounded and he carries his poll, fluidly arched, EARLY SUMMER 2018

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Divergent Theories on

PHOTO: DREAMSTIME/ARTHUR VAN DIEST

Saddle Fitting

By Jochen Schleese, CMS, CSE, CSFT

I

have often heard riders say, I have been using my saddle for x number of years. It fits me perfectly and fits every horse I use. Never had to get it fitted. I have to really bite my tongue when I hear this, but usually manage to smile and just say Lucky you. Perhaps these riders do not realize the possible damage they may be doing to themselves and their horses. The fact is that there are still saddles on the market that actually inhibit the development of the horse, and as such these riders may actually be right. Their saddle may still fit the same as it did when they first bought it, which is not unlike the Chinese custom of binding the feet so they will not grow. There are several major problems

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arising in today’s modern saddle construction because of the following factors: a) People are getting heavier/larger; b) Compared to years past, there are more horse owners today than true horsemen/women, and much of the inherent knowledge about horse husbandry is being lost; c) The horse’s saddle support area is getting smaller; d) Panels are generally much too soft to afford any real support. Panels must be firm for support. The above factors work together to result in more and more back issues for both horse and rider.

My theories on saddle fit are substantiated with the use of various diagnostic tools, and supported by the fact that the horse’s conformation will change as it matures, especially at ages three, five, and eight (see Figure 1). It would be doing the animal a huge disservice to not have the saddle adjusted to ensure continued health, comfort, and performance, which is why we recommend at least annual checkups for saddle fit. Joyce Harman’s The Horse’s Pain-Free Back and Saddle-Fit Book states that, depending on the discipline, saddle model, and riding style, adjustments may need to be made as often as monthly (although once a year is pretty much the minimum requirement for most saddles).


PHOTOS: SCHLEESE SADDLERY

The saddle should sit in the saddle support area, with the tree points behind the shoulder and no further back than the 18th lumbar vertebra.

In addition to two to three fingers clearance on the top of the withers, a saddle must allow enough clearance on the sides of the withers to accommodate the shoulder rotation and allow full and free range of motion.

Theory One

Some saddle manufacturers and their trained saddle fitters still maintain that a saddle is fine with a relatively narrow channel (width of one or two fingers) and therefore sitting on the spinal processes and ligaments. I call this the “clothespin fit” or the “Wizard of Oz” fit (the wizard told Dorothy to ignore the man behind the curtain). The tree is long and flat, resting on the shoulder and lumbar area, and sits with minimal weight-bearing surface on the musculature. In this scenario, the saddle barely moves because it is sitting on the spine, other than perhaps to twist during motion as it is “kicked back” by the bigger shoulder. This saddle actually rarely needs to be adjusted because bone structure and ligaments do not adapt and change their conformation through training the way muscles do — and the muscles really won’t change much because the horse simply is not able to use his muscles properly with a saddle that fits like this. The people who say “my saddle always fits” or “my saddle fits any horse” are semi-right, because one advantage to this is that they do not have to have the

saddle fitted or modified. The horse doesn’t really change because, quite simply, he can’t. These saddles are fitted to sit on the cartilage of the shoulder and on the ligaments of the spine. We see many dressage and jumping saddles that carry the most weight in an area with little to no blood circulation or nerves (the ligaments and the cartilage). The damage to the horse shows up later. Even though veterinarians may counsel against the saddle sitting on the ligaments and the cartilage, the saddle fitters may tell their clients to ignore what the vets say (i.e., ignore the man behind the curtain). This type of fitting is often used by companies who claim one saddle fits all types of horses with only variations of narrow, medium, and wide trees. This type of fitting seems to be widely accepted because the riders don’t feel what they are doing to their horses, the saddles don’t need to be constantly refitted, and damage doesn’t show up until much later on. The disadvantage is that the spine and ligaments will not tolerate prolonged compression and the horse’s

back movement is restricted. To protect the shoulder, lumbar, and spine, the horse will get tighter and tighter in its back and especially in the lumbar area, which leads to cramping in the gluteus maximus muscle. The horse will then develop a dip in front of its sacroiliac (SI) joint and the glutes will seize up. Between the SI joint and the tail, the gluteus will become atrophied (see Figure 2). The front end of the horse will then push down the base of his neck and he will “break over” at C3 in order to get on the bit (see Figure 3). At this point it will become difficult for the rider to get the horse supple through the poll, and to have his highest point at the poll and not at C3. The “Bridge Fit” is another type of fit that follows the theory that saddles are built for contact only at the front and the back of the saddle support area, and the belief that by increasing the pressure at the front and the back, the saddle becomes more stable and the horse will bring up his back during movement to result in full panel contact. This is a false assumption, as multiple diagnostic tools have proven. EARLY SUMMER 2018

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HOLIDAYS ON HORSEBACK

Winding Through

Writing-on-Stone

A view of the Milk River, with the North-West Mounted Police outpost buildings on the right. Originally constructed in 1889, the outpost was closed in 1918 and soon after fell victim to arson. The park was created in 1957, and outpost was reconstructed between 1973 and 1975 as part of the NWMP centennial celebrations and is now one of the attractions in the park.

The lunch spot was home to numerous prairie rattlesnakes. 62

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Story and photos by Tania Millen

“Rattlesnake!” “Where? Where? Where?” “Right here in the grass!” “Over there in the water!” “Be careful where you step.” I scanned the tall grass in front of me and the puddle lurking in the dark recesses of our lunch spot. “Hey, look, there’s one climbing the wall!” I called out.

The Writing-onStone Provincial Park is home to the largest assemblage of rock art in North America, believed to be up to 5,000 years old. There are over 50 petroglyph sites and thousands of works, among them this indigenous horse petroglyph (ABOVE), and what is possibly a NWMP horse petroglyph (LEFT).

O

ur group of 17 horses and riders had taken shelter from the brutal midday sun beneath a massive overhang created thousands of years ago when water roared through the valley, and our chosen lunch spot was also home to several rattlesnakes. It was mid-July, and we were riding through Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park in southern Alberta. The park had been on my must-ride list for a long time; however, horseback access to the park is restricted, and riders must be escorted by one of two authorized guides. So, when Southern Alberta Trail Riders — a fun group that rides Alberta’s trails — planned a trip, I became a member and tagged along. Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park and Áísínai‘pi National Historic Site are located along the Milk River near the Alberta-Montana border, and are best known for First Nations rock art. The name Writing-on-Stone is the English name for the site, while Áísínai‘pi means “where the drawings are” in Blackfoot. Visitors come from all over the world to visit, camp, take walking tours, plus learn about the First Nations, North-West Mounted Police, hoodoos, desert-like flora and EARLY SUMMER 2018

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By April Ray-Peterson

Shopping for a horse can be one of the most exciting activities, yet it can often be frustrating, too. With a little planning and lot of fore-thought, you can make it more of the first and less of the latter. Help ensure that you end up with the right horse for your needs by having your coach or an experienced person you trust help you in the process. Regardless of whether you are working with a professional or going it alone, here are a few steps to take to make the process more enjoyable for everyone involved.

ISO

Determine your ISO

Located in Victoria, BC so would prefer something on the island but willing to look on the mainland if necessary. Will be a loving family home in a consistent program. Up to $12k to spend on the right horse.

Figuring out your ISO — in search of — should be your first step. This means determining exactly what you are looking for in a horse or pony, and the budget you have to work with. I like to make a wish list of age, height, level of training, and temperament, and decide how far you are willing to travel. Depending on your budget, you might have to sacrifice a little of that wish list. They say you can’t have sane, broke, and sound for cheap. Recently when looking for a horse for a client of mine, we created the following ISO:

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PHOTO: ISTOCK/ANNAELIZABETHPHOTOGRAPHY

HOW TO Shop For A Horse

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All-around H/J horse for a young rider. Between 6-10 years old, 15.2-16.3hh give or take. Must be easy to handle on the ground and an uncomplicated ride that could help the rider build her confidence on the flat and over fences. Bonus if it goes trail riding and is easy to haul out and about.

Please comment or PM if you have anything that might be a fit. I posted this in various Horse for Sale groups on Facebook, and it helped attract more leads on horses.


PHOTO: ISTOCK/ANNAELIZABETHPHOTOGRAPHY

Buying a horse is an exciting process, and finding your perfect equine partner can be a dream come true. Aside from the emotional investment, your new horse represents a significant long-term commitment of money and responsibility that should only be entered into after careful consideration of all relevant factors.

Trying Horses Out

Start Searching

Once you have created your ISO, start searching for horses for sale. Facebook is an excellent tool for doing this and I was able to join multiple groups dedicated to horse sales in various regions, sticking to ones within our buying area. Technology has dramatically changed the landscape of horse sales in recent years, and it’s so much easier now to find horses, get pictures and videos, and communicate with sellers. It should be noted that while Facebook has been and continues to be a great tool for buying and selling horses, selling animals on Facebook has recently been designated as prohibited content and against their policies. Because of this, posts may be reported or deleted, and this will likely continue in the future as these policies are enforced. When speaking to sellers, ask lots of questions to weed out the horses that might not be suitable. Ask for photos and video before making any try-out decisions. Be upfront about your riding ability and exactly what you are looking for; overselling your skills won’t do anyone any good. If something seems off, trust your gut; I always approach horses for sale with a certain level of skepticism. For the most part, people selling horses have everyone’s best interests at heart, but there are some who only care about selling the horse at any cost.

Many people have successfully purchased horses sight unseen, but I strongly recommend seeing and trying the horses on your shortlist. If you are traveling far, arrange to see multiple horses to make the trip more worthwhile. It can be hugely beneficial to have your coach along for the trip, and they can help you make decisions with your head, not your heart. Sometimes it’s easy to fall in love with a horse and ignore red flags or signs that something might be amiss. Take notes and videos for every horse, especially if seeing multiple horses. It’s very helpful to see the horses in their home barn, watch as they are caught and tacked up, and watch them being ridden by someone else before deciding to get on yourself. Often the seller will have the horse tacked up and ready to go by the time the buyer arrives, so don’t be afraid to ask them to wait for your arrival before catching the horse and getting him ready. This will give you an opportunity to see how the horse behaves on the ground and in the barn, which can be just as important as how he behaves under saddle. Some sellers may be open to a trial and allow you to take the horse for a short period to see if he is a good fit for your needs. While this can be an excellent opportunity to learn more about the horse, it’s not always possible and is not without risks. A seller may be reluctant to allow the horse to go on trial due to risk of injury should the potential buyer not follow instructions for the horse’s care and workload. If the seller is willing to allow the horse go on trial, make sure you are aware of the horse’s regular feed schedule, any EARLY SUMMER 2018

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PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM / GREGORITA KO

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Canadian Horse Journal - SAMPLE - Early Summer 2018  

Canada's Leading All Breed, All Discipline Horse Magazine

Canadian Horse Journal - SAMPLE - Early Summer 2018  

Canada's Leading All Breed, All Discipline Horse Magazine