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After Dark

Quarter Horses Congress

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Publisher Jim Hargrove Editor John Hawfield Advertising Sales Manager Colt Williams

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• Horses Magazine has no liability for content, representations in advertisements, and articles may not express the opinion of the editors/publishers/owners. It is the buyer’s sole responsibility to clarify any and all advertising representations. We cannot be held responsible for any representations concerning a horse’s health, eye status, disposition, gait or any other aspect of the horse. Any burden of proof rests solely on the advertisers. • Horses Magazine reserves the right to edit or refuse any advertising or articles submitted for publication. We do not assume any liability for errors, but will correct it in next issue or a credit will be negotiated. Designs by Horses Magazine are the property of Horses Magazine. • Articles, editorials opinions in Horses Magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff of Horses Magzine or the publishers. • Address changes must be sent in 6 weeks in advance, magazines are not forwarded by the U.S. Post Office. • Copyright 2017 by Jim Hargrove Creative, Inc. All or part of Horses Magazine, including logos, cannot be reprinted without permission. • Horses Magazine is published twelve times a year by Jim Hargrove Creative, Inc., 2730 Lansing Rd., Bancroft, MI 48414

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Richard Winters

Let’s Talk

Horsemanship With Richard Winters When I can, I am always anxious to help young people as they pursue their passion and education in horsemanship. Recently a young college student of equine studies asked for my help in regard to her research project. I believe that some of our correspondence could of interest to you as well. The following is a list of questions I was asked along with my responses. Q How long now have you been working with horses? A I have worked professionally with horses for over 30 years.

Q What inspired you to use these methods of working with horses? A As a young man I had the opportunity to work for a horseman who introduced me to the higher levels of horsemanship. It was at that time, in 1980, in which I realized that horseback riding and horsemanship are two very different things. Horseback riding can be simply mechanical. Horsemanship is an art. It is a craft that can be studied for a lifetime.

Q My love of horses is foreign to my parents; there is no history of horses in their families. I would be interested to know where your passion for horses started and is it still as strong today? A My situation is similar. No one in my family was involved with horses. My parents knew nothing about horses or the industry. I have one sister and she had no interest in horses. Ever since I was a little boy, all I wanted to be was a cowboy. I never wanted to be a fireman or policeman. It seems like this is a passion and interest that you are either born with, or you are not. My interest is just as strong today as it was when I was a little boy.

Q My horse, Texas, works in a bitless bridle and an English saddle – are there any tips that would make a difference? A Good horsemanship is universal. It really makes no difference whether you are an English rider or Western rider. All horses still learn in the same manner. Whether you ride in a snaffle bit, hackamore or a bitless bridle the principles of training are the same. Your horse needs to learn how to yield to pressure rather than

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resist. That’s why our feel, timing and balance is so important. We are trying to condition our horse to follow the feel much like a dancing partner follows the leader. It is important to remember that horses do not respond to the pressure that we apply. Rather, they respond to the release of pressure. A rider needs to be aware that it makes a difference every time you pick up on a rein. And it makes a difference every time you release.

Q Unfortunately I cannot work with Texas daily, But I am there 3-4 times a week. What should I notice in the first hour or what should I see to acknowledge I am making progress? A You are the leader. You are the one who must have confidence in every situation. Horses are prey animals. Their instincts tell them to be perceptive and aware of any kind of changes in people, places or things. Some horses are born more laid-back. Others are born with a more fractious nature. Just like people

have different temperaments. Ultimately, you want to teach your horse to have more confidence in your leadership than the fear he has of things around him. Some riders often inflate situations. In other words, don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. It is your job as the leader to make a molehill out of your horses perceived mountain.

Q Would you recommend a time limit for each session I spend with Texas, i.e. an hour, less or more?

A Five minutes of the wrong this is too much. Three hours of the right thing could be just fine. That is why you cannot put specific time frames on training. Horses are learning from the moment they wake up until the moment you take off their halter and walk away. Twenty minutes of productive training could be more than enough for that day. Tomorrow, a three-hour trail ride could be just right.

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Q Watching your DVD’s, it is clear that one of the keys to training a horse in our situation is repeating exercises over and over again until they understand the principle of ‘right things easy, wrong things difficult’. We have been advised to undertake training exercises (i.e. the Desensitizing with Flags’) before riding. Will this make the horse lose focus when I do something different, i.e. will he be more focused on the training exercise rather then the riding?

A Your question refers to groundwork before riding. This can be a very important step in the training process. Much like a pilot goes through a preflight checklist before taking off. Preparing your horse mentally, physically and emotionally before getting on can be very valu“ Five minutes of the wrong able. Many people have gotten hurt because they’ve gotten on their horse prematurely, this is too much. Three hours before the horse was mentally and physically of the right thing could be just warmed up. Not all horses need extensive fine. That is why you cannot groundwork before riding. However, many put specific time frames on valuable lessons can be taught from the ground that will help you be more successful training.” when riding. Everything should be done in a balanced manner. Although groundwork can be very good, there is no substitute for riding. At some point we need to get on and be the confident leader our horse need us to be.

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Lynn Palm

Trailer Loading By Lynn Palm Trailering is a big step. Not only are we dealing with loading our horse into a trailer, we will be driving and maneuvering a large vehicle (like a truck or SUV) and towing our precious cargo behind. Once trailering is mastered, it opens up many new opportunities for fun with our horses. We have the freedom to go to shows, trailer to a friend’s house to trail ride, and have the mobility to take our horse with us almost anywhere! I want to point out some important trailer safety tips and while driving. This is not an exhaustive list of safety considerations, but ones that I want to share with you based on my experience. How and where a horse is tied in the trailer is an important safety issue. It isn’t necessary to always tie a horse in the trailer. Rather than tying a youngster or green horse I often just loop the lead line through the hay bag. This gives the horse the feeling of being tied, without the constraint of really being tied. Young or green horses can be startled when they are first learning to stand and ride in the trailer. If they are

tied, they may pull back and react in fear at being restrained. We want this experience to be stress free for our horse. Only when I am sure that a youngster or green horse is comfortable with trailering, will I tie him. I like to tie my horses to the trailer tie ring that is above the chest bar and just above his head. Tying there does not create a lot of excess lead line between the horse and the point where he is tied. Every trailer is different, but select a tying point that is secure, above your horse’s head, and as close as possible to him. Tie your horse with enough slack in the lead line so that he if he would be startled and back up, he has enough freedom of movement to touch the butt bar with his rump. This will give him security and a place to balance himself against while the trailer is moving. I use a lead line to tie my horses. It allows me to vary the tying length between different sized horses I am hauling. I have found the best way to tie is using a quick release knot with the end of the lead looped through it. Many people like breakaway trailer ties. I do not

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have a problem with them as long as the horse can keep his head in a natural position and they are not too short or constricting. If you are using them make sure they are long enough to let your horse have enough freedom of movement that he can touch the butt bar. Make sure that your vehicle and trailer are road ready before leaving on a trip. The vehicle should be rated to pull the weight of both horse and trailer. Check all tires to make sure they are properly inflated and that wheel lug nuts (the bolts that hold the wheel on the axle) are tight. Be sure that you are using the proper size trailer ball. Some trailer hitches require a larger ball than others. The correct size should be indicated on the trailer. Make sure the trailer hitch is correctly coupled with safety locking device engaged. Hook the trailer’s safety chains in a criss-cross fashion to the vehicle. There should be enough slack in them to allow the trailer to turn without binding them, but they should not drag on the ground. Plug in the trailer lights and electric safety brake harness (if the trailer is equipped with one). If you are using electric safety brakes, make sure that you have set them properly for the trailer’s loaded weight and road conditions. Check that the trailer’s brake lights and turn signals are working. Latch all doors and windows so that they won’t swing open while underway. Make sure all gear inside the trailer is secure so it cannot fly around in case of a sudden stop or turn. I also like to carry a trailer emergency kit with me. Emergency items include flares, flashlight, tire changing equipment, a can of “fix-a-flat”, wheel blocks, fire extinguisher, a set of tools, and extra fuses. Make it a habit to take one last walk around your truck and trailer to inspect it for safety before departing. Driving a vehicle with a horse trailer behind is much different than driving a passenger car. The entire unit is at least twice as long and often twice as heavy! Here are some good driving tips I’ve learned from years of hauling my show horses across the United States. The weight of a truck with a horse trailer behind it requires a much greater stopping distance. Look further ahead down the road and anticipate when you may have to brake. This gives you time to brake gradually and slowly. Slow changes in speed and direction help your horse keep his balance in the trailer. Accelerate slowly. Slow acceleration also makes it easier for your horse to keep his balance and from being slammed backward against the butt bar. It also is much kinder on your vehicle’s transmission. Two road conditions create the most difficulty for the horse to maintain his balance in a trailer. They are turns or curves and going downhill to a curve. Here’s how to safely handle both situations. Always turn your rig slowly. After proceeding through an intersection or turn, let the trailer straighten out before accelerating. Too many drivers forget that the trailer is behind them and accelerate

through the turn, curve, or bend in road. This “whips” the trailer, and their horse, around the corner. On highways, curves are usually “banked” meaning the outside edge of the curve is higher than the inside edge. Drive toward the “high” or outer side of a curve. This allows the horse to balance himself better. Some older roadways do not have banked curves. When encountering this situation, you need to be more cautious. Slow down and cover the brake with your foot. Be ready to regulate speed to balance your rig using the brake or coast until you have passed through the middle of the curve before accelerating. The hardest situation for the horse to balance through is a curve after a downhill. Here the “live” weight of the horse and the trailer moving downhill will push you into the curve. It is easy to build up too much speed to safely negotiate the turn. To be safe, as you crest a hill, assess how steep it is and if there is a curve at the bottom. Take your foot off the accelerator, cover the brake, and coast. The trailer’s weight will push you down hill. Minimize any acceleration by either braking or coasting until you are safely into the curve. Once you feel that the weight of the trailer passing through the curve, slowly accelerate. This will give your horse his best chance to safely balance in the center of the trailer stall. Practice driving your trailer before taking your horse for a ride. Good trailer driving skills means a safer, less stressful experience for you and your horse. He’ll learn to love the trailer, not to fight it. You’ll have the freedom of going almost anywhere with him and the satisfaction that you are doing it together safely. Backing Tips… Backing up a trailer does not have to be a confusing, intimidating situation. Here is my best tip for trouble free backing. Try this simple procedure and I guarantee that you’ll be able to back your trailer from now on! 1. When you are ready to back your trailer, place one hand (either hand will work, but I prefer my left so I can look over my right shoulder when backing) on the bottom of your steering wheel. 2. Whichever way you want the tail end of your trailer to go, move your hand and the steering wheel in that direction. For example, if you want to back the end of your trailer to the right, with your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel, and rotate the steering wheel to the right. The end of the trailer will go in that direction. That’s all there is to it! Watch how the trailer is reacting using your mirrors or looking over your shoulder. Just make sure you do not turn so sharply that you jack-knife the trailer so that it gets pinched in a 90-degree angle with the truck. If you get in that situation, just pull forward and straighten the truck and trailer, and try again. Knowing how to back up a trailer takes a lot of stress out of trailering and gives you greater freedom to do more with your horse!

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Do You Have A Question?

Equine Law Topics What is an “Inherent Risk” With Horses?

Texas - A horse’s violent reaction to the bite from a fire ant was deemed an “inherent risk” under the Texas EALA.

Nationwide, 47 states now have some form of an equine activity liability act (“EALA”). All of these laws differ, but most share common characteristics. EALAs often provide that “equine activity sponsors,” “equine professionals,” or “another person” are not liable if the “participant” sustained injury, death, or damage as a result of an “inherent risk of equine activity.” Georgia’s EALA, for example, defines “inherent risk” this way:


‘Inherent risks of equine activities’ . . . means those dangers or conditions which are an integral part of equine activities or llama activities, as the case may be, including, but not limited to: (A) The propensity of the animal to behave in ways that may result in injury, harm, or death to persons on or around them; (B) The unpredictability of the animal’s reaction to such things as sounds, sudden movement, and unfamiliar objects, persons, or other animals; (C) Certain hazards such as surface and subsurface conditions; (D) Collisions with other animals or objects; and (E) The potential of a participant to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to injury to the participant or others, such as failing to maintain control over the animal or not acting within his or her ability. A frequent issue is whether the EALA bars an injured person’s claim because an “inherent risk of equine activity” caused the injuries. Numerous courts around the country have grappled with this issue. Let’s review a sampling of the cases. AN “INHERENT RISK” CAUSED THE INJURIES AND WARRANTED DISMISSAL Here are a few cases where courts dismissed lawsuits based on a state EALA, finding that an “inherent risk” caused the injuries under the facts of the case. Ohio - A horse’s reaction to a dog, which jumped at the horse’s back legs, was deemed an “inherent risk” under Ohio’s EALA. Indiana - Getting trampled by a loose horse at an event was an “inherent risk of equine activity” under Indiana’s EALA. Kentucky - A horse spooking from the sound of an opening gate was an “inherent risk” under Kentucky’s EALA. Texas - A horse spooking during a trail ride, while riding across muddy and swampy terrain, was an “inherent risk” under the Texas EALA. New Jersey - A horse backing and tripping over a cavaletti in the riding lesson arena was an “inherent risk” under New Jersey’s EALA.

Wyoming - The risk of a saddle slipping during a trail ride was an “inherent risk” under Wyoming’s EALA.

In these cases, courts ruled that a jury needed to decide whether an “inherent risk” caused the injuries and would not dismiss the cases outright. Wyoming - Court found that a trail ride staff’s alleged failure to saddle a horse with even stirrups was an issue of fact for the jury. CONCLUSION Equine activity liability acts have been credited with dismissing some equine and equestrian-related cases, but the issues can become complicated, and there is never a guarantee that a court will dismiss a case based on the facts and the applicable law. Plan ahead, stay properly insured, and comply with state EALA requirements that apply to you.

Half Lease - Whole Problem The words “half lease” seem unique to the horse industry. In law school, this lawyer never heard the phrase mentioned, and the authoritative legal dictionary, Black’s Law Dictionary, nowhere mentions it. Yet, people in the horse industry, with greater frequency, are entering into arrangements they call “half leases” through which one or more persons (the “lessees”) pay a horse owner (the “lessor”) for shared use of the horse. “Half lease” arrangements might seem budget-friendly, but without careful planning, they could be quite the opposite as disputes could follow. PAYING FOR ROUTINE UPKEEP Without a written agreement specifying who pays routine expenses, such as veterinarian and farrier, and how these expenses will be split, the parties may be left to guess. Also, if one party to the half lease wants costly attention for the horse, such as equine massage or acupuncture, can that party automatically obligate the others to share the cost? YOU INJURED THE HORSE – CAN YOU WALK AWAY? If the leased horse becomes injured while under the lessee’s control, who must pay ongoing expenses for veterinary treatment? What if the time frame for treatment, such as a lay up, is longer than the expected length of the lease? Can the lessees be relieved of their obligations? MOVING THE HORSE A party to the arrangement might want to haul the horse out of state, such as to a lengthy show circuit, which would deprive the others in the “half lease” arrangement of their time with the horse. What is an equi-

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table arrangement? LIABILITY SURPRISES All persons in the half lease arrangement could be at risk of liability if the leased horse injures someone while the arrangement is in progress. For example, let’s look at the scenario of a lessee being thrown from the leased horse, and the horse thereafter running loose into the road, colliding with a motor vehicle, and injuring a motorist. The collision also injures the horse.

Injured Motorist v. Lessee and Lessor. The injured motorist might file suit against the Lessee (claiming he or she negligently handled the horse, which caused it to run loose) and the Lessor (claiming, for example, that the Lessor negligently entrusted the horse to the Lessee). Lessee v. Lessor. The Lessee might potentially sue the Lessor under the theory that the Lessor, who owned the horse, failed to disclose known dangerous propensities that led to the horse throwing the Lessee and running off. Lessor v. Lessee. Possibly the Lessor might sue (or countersue) the Lessee, claiming that the Lessee is responsible for all damages caused in the accident because the Lessee misrepresented his or her riding experience, and the Lessor relied on the misrepresentation in allowing the half lease arrangement to proceed. Could these legal battles occur? The answer depends on the circumstances and the applicable law, but the risk is present. The parties to half lease arrangements have every incentive to protect themselves by communicating up front, using detailed contracts that address foreseeable issues and risks, and considering appropriate insurance.

Julie Fershtman is considered to be one of the nation’s leading attorneys in the field of equine law. A frequent author and speaker on legal issues, she has written over 400 published articles, three books, and has lectured at seminars, conventions, and conferences in 29 states on issues involving law, liability, risk management, and insurance. For more information, please also visit www. and www. equinelaw. net, and

This blog post does not constitute legal advice. When questions arise based on specific situations, direct them to a knowledgeable attorney.

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After Dark

Quarter Horses Congress

The sun never sets on the world’s largest horse show

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After Dark

Quarter Horses Congress

The sun never sets on the world’s largest horse show

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Clinton Anderson

Foal Training Success Taking on a young horse this spring? Follow these tips to get your relationship off to the right start.

with your foal as soon as you can, working in a small, enclosed area initially, and having someone help you in the beginning.

Be consistent. The earlier you start working with your foal, the quicker he’ll learn the right behavior and never get the chance to develop bad habits. Don’t leave him turned out in a field and wait until he’s 1,000 pounds to realize he’s pushy, disrespectful, spooky and downright dangerous. The golden rule when you’re working with horses, but especially young ones, is to be consistent. Consistency is your greatest alley. Inconsistency is your greatest enemy. Spend 15 to 20 minutes a day, or even twice a day, working with your foal, moving his feet and desensitizing him. The more consistent you are, the faster he’ll learn the right behaviors.

Don’t let the foal get pushy. Once a horse is no longer scared of human beings, he’ll see if he can dominate you. That’s when the foal will try to bite you, kick you and see if he can push you around. Remember, horses live by the rule – whoever moves first loses. That’s how they establish their pecking

Avoid chasing the foal. Don’t let the foal get into the habit of thinking he can avoid you whenever he wants. When you first go to work with him, be sure you’re in a small, enclosed space, such as a stall or roundpen, so that he can’t run away from you. I always have someone help me catch the foal for the first couple of weeks so that he never develops a habit of running away. If you let the foal run away from you, darting around his mother, ducking under her belly, etc., he’ll soon turn catching him into a game of “You can’t touch me!” And once he learns that game, undoing his bad habits will take a lot of work. Set yourself up for success by starting to work

order. The lead horse in a herd is the horse that can make everyone else’s feet move. Once the foal is over his fear of you, he’ll quickly see if he can dominate you and make you move your feet. You have to prove to him that not only can he not make you move your feet, but you will make him move his. How do you earn a horse’s respect? By moving his feet forwards, backwards, left and right and always rewarding the slightest try. Letting foals get pushy and dominant is

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the biggest mistake I see people make with young horses. Someone will raise a foal in their backyard and treat him like a big dog. That’s all well and good when the foal is little. When he rears up, nibbles your clothes, kicks out or squeals and runs away, it’s all kind of cute. That behavior soon turns dangerous when he’s 500 pounds and eventually 1,000 pounds. That’s when the owner shows up at a tour and says, “My horse bites me and attacks me. What should I do?” The answer is the same thing you do with a foal – move his feet forwards, backwards, left and right, but now that the horse is an adult, you have your work cut out for you. If you gain the foal’s respect when he’s young, he’ll never have a chance to develop those bad behaviors. He’ll never learn that it’s OK to bite, kick or run away from you. I like that people get their foals quiet, I just don’t like when they try to turn them into lap dogs with no respect for human beings. Because in that situation, it’s not if you’re going to get hurt, it’s just a matter of when and how bad. Just like adult horses, foals will quickly learn to dominate you if you let them. Be a leader that your foal respects by moving his feet forwards, backwards, left and right and always rewarding the slightest try.

Build the foal’s curiosity. The more you can just hang out with your foal in the beginning, the better connection you’ll have with him. Go in the stall with him

and the mare and read a book, talk on your cell phone, groom the mare, clean the stall, etc. The more you ignore the foal, the more curious he’ll become. However, if every time you go into the stall you approach the foal like a predator and quickly try to get your hands on him, he’ll soon start to get defensive and run away. When you go into the stall, act casual, have passive body language and pretend that you couldn’t care less about the foal. If you do that, it won’t be long before he’ll be coming up to you, sniffing you and wanting your attention. Use a little reverse psychology to increase his draw to you.

Moderation is key. It’s important that when you’re working with foals you don’t underwork them or overwork them. Be careful of falling to one extreme or the other. I recommend working with foals 15 to 20 minutes a day and giving them short, frequent breaks throughout the session. You’re not going to be working the foal as hard as you would work an adult horse because he doesn’t have the same stamina as a grown horse. With foals, you have to be conscious that you don’t run

them out of air. When you first start working with the foal, three or four laps around the stall will tire him out. That’s why I recommend giving the foal frequent breaks to catch his air. The more you work with him he’ll gradually build his stamina up so that your training sessions can last longer. Once a horse gets out of air, however, he stops thinking and quits looking for the right answer. Instead, he’s focusing on survival and finding air. At the same time, I don’t want you to think foals are so delicate and fragile that you can’t make them move their feet or correct them when they misbehave. They’re a lot stronger than what people give them credit for, and if you don’t move their feet and correct disrespectful behavior, they’ll quickly turn into problem horses. Your foal can handle exercise; he just can’t do it to the level of a grown horse.

cian, horse trainer and competitor. He’s dedicated his life to helping others realize their horsemanship dreams and keeping them inspired to achieve their goals. The Downunder Horsemanship Method gives horse owners the knowledge needed to become skilled horsemen and train their horses to be consistent and willing partners. Discover for yourself how Clinton and the Method can help you achieve your horsemanship dreams at

Working with your foal isn’t going to harm him as long as you don’t go to either extreme. You have to stay in the middle – not excessively working him and not treating him like he’s made of porcelain either. Moderation is key. Author note: Clinton Anderson is a clini-

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The Way of the Horse

Horse Microchipping By Eleanor Blazer Many years ago Don sent a good racebred Quarter Horse mare to a stallion for breeding. Unbeknownst to Don the owner of the stallion and his wife were going through a bitter divorce. One night the embittered wife had every horse on the property loaded up and taken to auction. By the time Don was informed (this was before the advent of cell phones and text messaging) the horses were gone. Don’s good mare was sorrel, with no white markings, no brand and no identifying scars. It was like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack. The mare was never located.

Identifying horses has always been a challenge. Physical description, branding and tattooing have been the common methods of horse identification, but each has its drawbacks. When identifying a horse based on color and markings a person could be talking about thousands of horses with the same description. Brands are generally not unique to each horse, can be difficult to read, or be altered. Lip tattoos are also difficult to read, can be altered and fading is a problem. A more reliable method of identification is microchipping. Microchips used for identifying dogs and cats have been around for years, and they are beginning to gain

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popularity with horse owners. Microchips used for identification emit a radio frequency signal which is activated when a scanner is passed over it. The scanner reads the unique code that the owner has registered with a database company. The database will have information leading to the person who registered the chip. Microchips are available in three radio frequencies: 1. 125 kHz – this frequency has been available in the United States for the longest and is the most common. Most scanners will read this frequency. 2. 129 kHz – this frequency became avail-

able in 2007, and not all scanners will read the chip. 3. 134.2 kHz – this frequency meets the specifications mandated by the International Standards Organization (ISO 11784/11785). These chips use a 15-digit numeric code, with the first three digits designating either the country, or the manufacturer. The remaining numbers are unique to the horse in which the chip was implanted. Older scanners will not read the 134.2 kHz frequency. The range of frequencies available for identification is cause for concern - if the scanner used is not capable of picking up the frequency the chip will not be detected. No governing body in the United States has set a mandatory standard for microchip production. In 1996 the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) voted to adopt the International Standards Organization’s specifications of the 134.2 kHz chip (ISO 11784/11785) as their recognized chip. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), World Small Animal Veterinary Medical Association (WSAVA), and American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) endorse the use of electronic identification in animals and support the use of the ISO standard 11784/11785 in the U.S. Several equine organizations have implemented mandatory use of the ISO 11784/11785 microchip. The Jockey Club is mandating all 2017 and subsequent Thoroughbred foal crops are to be implanted. By 2019 all horses competing in United States Hunter Jumper Association competitions must be chipped with the ISO 11784/11785 chip. The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) requires all horses registered after January 2, 2013 to be implanted. Louisiana is the only state which requires mandatory identification of all horses receiving a Coggins test. The identification could be brands, tattoos or microchips. Chipping is the most used method. In 1994, when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, 363 out of the 364 lost horses were reunited with their owners. The microchip is relatively easy and inexpensive to implant. The chip is approximately the size of a grain of rice, which is inserted in the nuchal ligament between

the poll and withers by a veterinarian. Most horses can be implanted without the use of a sedative, and adverse reactions are rare. The cost is about $75.00.

be tracked to the specific company. There is also the risk of implanting inferior quality chips (made in China) when purchasing from small companies.

Incorrect implantation of the microchip can cause severe and potentially life-threatening complications, and should only be inserted by a qualified veterinarian. Proper placement in the neck muscle will also lessen the chances of the chip migrating to a different location.

In January 2017 the National Institute for Animal Agriculture held a forum discussing equine identification. The results can be viewed at: http://www.animalagriculture. org/proceedings/equineidforum

Once the microchip is implanted, it must be registered. There is no centralized database in the United States. There are several independent registries, and owners are encouraged to register and update information at these, along with registering with the company who manufactured the microchip. In an attempt to bring order to the chaos, the American Animal Hospital Association operates the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool ( Several of the independent registries have linked to the AAHA tool, but it is highly recommended to register on multiple databases, as not all manufacturers participate in every database. For example, AVID Pet Microchips does not participate in the AAHA lookup tool, but they operate their own database ( AAHA will point you to the AVID website for information. Horse and pet owners should conduct research into the company providing the microchip before implanting the chip. There are five big companies, PetLink, Home Again, AKC Reunite, AVID and 24 Petwatch - each of these companies have been assigned source codes (the first three digits in the 15-digit number of the ISO 11784/11785 chip). This enables the person scanning the chip to identify the company and access the registry, making the process of finding the owner more expedient. Smaller companies share assigned 900 numbers, which cannot

Microchipping your horse may not guarantee the return of your horse if you and he should become separated, but it can increase the odds. Debi Metcalfe, of Stolen Horse International, Inc., recommends in addition to the microchip, every horse should have a packet which includes: a bill of sale; photos of your horse looking clean and dirty; photos of your horse (with you in the picture) that clearly show all markings; photos of brands, whorls, scars and identifying markings; copies of veterinary records and proof of payment. Metcalfe continues, “Put all those copies in an envelope and mail it to yourself. When you receive it, don’t open it, but place it in a safe place that’s easily accessible. That way, you will have proof of ownership with a clearly dated chain of custody. If you have microchipped your horse, that’s the extra piece that can make a difference if you ever become separated from your horse through theft, disaster, or your horse just gets loose and goes missing.” Please visit: http://www. for more information about Stolen Horse International, Inc. (They also offer microchip kits for horses and pets at affordable prices.)

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December 2017 Horses Magazine  

December 2017 Horses Magazine

December 2017 Horses Magazine  

December 2017 Horses Magazine