How to make LUNGING FUN again
Choosing a BARN DOG
Creating & maintaining
How and when to COMPENSATE FOR FAILING PASTURES
SPLINT BONES: Why itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vital to keep them healthy
VOLUME 12 ISSUE 4
DISPLAY UNTIL SEPT 31, 2017
MUST-KNOW barn safety tips for
you The 500 MILE PROJECT
Helping combat veterans and wild horses find clarity, together
EquineWellnessMagazine.com Equine Wellness
August/September 2017 EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Dana Cox EDITOR: Kelly Howling EDITOR: Ann Brightman STAFF WRITER: Emily Watson SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Kathleen Atkinson SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Sylvia Flegg SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Dawn Cumby-Dallin WEB DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT: Brad Vader SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER: Maddie Maillet DIGITAL MEDIA SPECIALIST: Theresa Gannon COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: Chris Douglas COLUMNISTS & CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Cathy Alinovi, DVM Laura Batts John Blackburn Lindsay Day, MSc, REMT Melanie Falls Jane Myers, MSc (Equine) Stuart Myers Denise Y. O’Meara Sherri Pennanen Tom Scheve Karen Scholl Amy Snow Jenifer Vickery Richard Winters Nancy Zidonis ADMINISTRATION PUBLISHER: Redstone Media Group Inc. PRESIDENT/C.E.O.: Tim Hockley CIRCULATION & OFFICE MANAGER: Libby Sinden ACCOUNTING: Anne Sloggett SUBMISSIONS Please email all editorial material to Lindsay Day, Editor, at Lindsay@RedstoneMediaGroup.com. We welcome previously unpublished articles and color pictures either in jpeg, tif or disc form at 300 dpi. We cannot guarantee that either articles or pictures will be used or that they will be returned. We reserve the right to publish all letters received. You can also mail submissions to: Equine Wellness Magazine, 160 Charlotte St., Suite 202, Peterborough, ON, Canada K9J 2T8. Please direct other correspondence to info@RedstoneMediaGroup.com.
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EquineWellnessMagazine.com Equine Wellness Magazine (ISSN 1718-5793) is published six times a year by Redstone Media Group Inc. Publications Mail Agreement #40884047. Entire contents copyright© 2017. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, without prior written permission of the publisher. Publication date: July 2017.
Improving the lives of animals... one reader at a time.
Bonded through their 500-mile journey on the trail, a combat veteran and a wild mustang take a moment to rest. The pair are part of the Heroes and Horses Program, which matches veterans and wild horses to help both find clarity and purpose. Read more about this incredible education and rehabilitation program, and the short film it inspired, on page 26. Equine Wellness
FEATURES 10 MAKING THE MOST OF
YOUR LUNGING SESSIONS
Lunging doesn’t have to be boring for you or your horse. Here are some fun ways to switch up your lunging routine!
14 YOUR HORSE’S SPLINT
BONE His splint bone may be small and apparently without function, but lack of proper support can lead to painful and frustrating injuries in your horse. This article focuses on the splint bone’s true function, and how to keep it healthy.
18 CREATING AND
MAINTAINING EQUESTRIAN TRAILS Most horses and their riders
enjoy a relaxing ride out on the trails. Good trails are a privilege, and how we treat them can make a big difference to their sustainability.
20 HOOF CLEANING BASICS
Cleaning out your horse’s feet is one of the first things you learn as a rider, but many people neglect it after a while. Get back to basics with this vital horsekeeping task!
Conte 26 24 ACUPRESSURE TO THE RESCUE! Acupressure can be a
lifesaver for your horse in emergency situations such as colic, shock and/or injury.
26 THE 500 MILES PROJECT
The Heroes and Horses program addresses the challenges facing both combat veterans and wild horses by empowering them to work as a team.
DESIGNING THE PROTECTED EQUESTRIAN FACILITY
Preventing the spread of disease is a constant concern among equestrians, especially at busy barns where horses are always coming and going. Here are some ways to make biosecurity more manageable when building or renovating your facility.
34 HOW TO HIRE A
With so many breeds to choose from, selecting your next barn dog can seem daunting. Here are some tips to help you pick the perfect pup!
38 COMPENSATE FOR
FAILING PASTURES Your horse’s pasture is important to him, and its quality can greatly affect his health and happiness. Help your pastures thrive with these maintenance tips.
42 BARN SAFETY – IT’S
IMPORTANT FOR YOU, TOO! Working with horses can be
rewarding and enjoyable, but barn chores can take a toll on your body over time. These essential barn safety strategies will help you protect yourself.
48 NEW INNOVATIONS
AND SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUR HORSE TRAILER
Your trailer carries some very precious cargo – help keep your horses safe with these tips and equipment.
DEPARTMENTS 6 Editorial
41 Product picks
8 Neighborhood news
46 Equine Wellness resource guide
45 Herb blurb
52 Business profile:
53 Green acres
Glacier Peak Holistics
55 Heads up
54 Acupressure at-a-glance
56 To the rescue
62 Minute horsemanship
60 Book review 61 Events
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Time for a change A lot more goes into the equestrian hobby than just riding horses. Our sport requires a significant amount of investment and resources, including barns, pastures, rings and trails, trucks, trailers and farm equipment, tack and feed, not to mention all the professionals needed to keep our horses healthy and happy. It’s really amazing, when you take a moment to think about it – so many factors contribute to your ability to go out and enjoy your horse for an hour or two each day! This issue is dedicated to all things barn and farm, because a well-maintained and smoothly-running farm means happy horses and riders! Learn how to help heal and promote healthy pastures on page 38, and how to build and maintain sustainable trails on page 18. John Blackburn joins us on page 30 with his tips on barn biosecurity – something everyone needs to think about with transmittable diseases on the rise. And Tom Scheve’s article on page 48 presents some neat new trailer innovations that will help keep you and your horses safer on the road. I’m also very excited about our cover story on The 500 Miles Project! It features the amazing work Heroes and Horses does by pairing combat veterans with wild horses to empower positive change and growth. Check out the full story on page 26. Speaking of barns and farms, I am looking forward to the opportunity to spend more time with my own horses this summer. After ten fun years (time flies!) as editor of Equine Wellness, I have decided to “retire”. I have learned so incredibly much over my years with the magazine, and cannot give enough thanks to all those who have been part of the journey – everyone at Redstone Media Group, all the fantastic writers – and you, our readers! It has been an honor to be part of sharing the message of integrative equine wellness. The editorial reins are now in the capable hands of Lindsay Day. Lindsay is an accomplished registered equine massage therapist, an award-winning writer and a lifelong horse enthusiast. She is passionate about promoting equine health, wellness and welfare, and I am very much looking forward to the fresh perspective and voice she will bring to Equine Wellness!
Naturally, Kelly Howling
Food security NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS
FOR EQUINES IN CRISIS
Last year, Brooke launched their Innovation Fund (BIF) – it was designed to tackle the challenging situations faced by working horses, donkeys and mules, and their owners. With nine successful projects in the UK and the developing world now under their belts, Brooke has announced they’ll be re-launching BIF for a second year. The fund focuses on disaster preparation to ensure food security for equines in times of crisis. As part of this effort, BIF developed a hydroponics pilot project in India to help provide sustainable high quality food to donkeys. As a result, families unable to afford land for crops are able to grow cost-effective green fodder – 1 kg of seeds produces 8 kgs to 10 kgs of fodder – all in trays. The pilot is still underway, with 200 satisfied families in the state of Maharashtra. Brooke has reported very positive feedback from donkey owners excited that their animals have become healthier and happier due to their improved diet. Visit thebrooke.org for more information.
FREE CORE FOR HORSES IN NEED Equine rescues and retirement facilities across the United States are severely overburdened. But the Unwanted Horse Veterinary Relief Campaign (UHVRC) is helping. It recently provided 3,200 core vaccines to horses in need. Donated in partnership with the American Association of Equine Practitioners and Merck Animal Health, the vaccines will help protect horses against eastern equine encephalitis, western equine encephalitis, equine rhinopneumonitis (EHV-1 and EHV-4), West Nile virus, equine influenza, tetanus and rabies. Since its inception in 2009, the UHVRC has helped numerous non-profit equine facilities, delivering more than 25,000 doses of core vaccines to horses in need. In 2017 alone, 175 facilities have so far received core vaccine donations, helping to reduce medical expenses and associated costs. 8
UNIFORM DRUG-TESTING ENFORCEMENT
Throughout the United States, the regulation of horse racing – including anti-doping and medication control rules, testing and reinforcement – is poorly enforced. Frank Stronach, founder and honorary chairman of The Stronach Group, has announced his support for the Horseracing Integrity Act. This legislation will create a uniform drug-testing enforcement program for horse racing across the nation. According to The Jockey Club, the Horseracing Integrity Act was formally introduced in the House of Representatives this spring, with Congressmen Barr and Paul Tonko as the co-sponsors. “Like Congressmen Barr and Tonko, Frank Stronach realizes and appreciates that this industry sorely needs a national uniform anti-doping and medication control program that would be developed and enforced by a private, independent, self-regulatory nonprofit organization,” says Shawn Smealie, executive director of The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity. “We also expect a Senate version of the new bill to be introduced in the near future, and are heartened by the growing support for this approach. not only in the halls of Congress but throughout the horse racing industry.”
As part of their Human Sports Science Medicine Program, US Equestrian is developing a network of physiotherapists as a go-to resource for its athletes. Practitioners who meet the below criteria will be added to the US Equestrian’s Therapists Network list. While there is no cost for participating therapists, they must: • Have three years’ licensed experience as a physical therapist and work in some form of sports; • Complete an application, pass a background check, and complete SafeSport training (background checks and SafeSport training must be recognized by US Equestrian and any other NGB); • Complete one course with experienced physiotherapist Andy Thomas. The first course with Thomas, which took place in May, included ten participating therapists and focused on topics
such as anatomy, assessment of common asymmetries and imbalances, and development of rehabilitation pathways. Plans are in motion for two more courses to be offered in the fall. Contact email@example.com for more information.
make the most of your
By Karen Scholl
Lunging doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to be boring for you or your horse. Here are some fun ways to switch up your lunging routine! 10
You might love it or hate it. You might think it has nothing to do with your own equine activities. But almost anywhere you go in the horse world, you will see horses being lunged in circles. Dressage horses, western pleasure horses, recreational horses, ponies and mules â&#x20AC;&#x201C; every type of horse in every discipline typically learns how to be lunged. But what is this technique really all about? Is it of any real value, and if it is, how can we make the most of this time with our horses?
EXPAND YOUR SKILLS If you have an interest in expanding ground skills with your horse, I recommend receiving qualified instruction from an individual trained in these techniques; or consider the two DVDs, Cornerstone for Communication and Riding From the Ground, available through my website. I wish a short article like this one could safely describe my technique, but I’d be remiss to even attempt it! These two DVDs provide a safe, sensible and effective approach that has helped thousands of people create a bond with their horses that most only dream of. It’s difficult to pinpoint the origins of lunging horses, but until recent years the technique was more common among English disciplines. Lunging is commonly viewed as just another chore, something that must be done to take the “edge” off before riding. It’s not uncommon for especially “hot” horses to require an hour or two (maybe more) of lunging just to keep them manageable in the show ring!
OBSERVATIONS ON TRADITIONAL LUNGING While every horse benefits from physical conditioning, traditional lunging does very little for conditioning his mind. Horses may become physically stronger from lunging in circles, but many remain mentally detached or confused simply because not much is being asked of them except to go forward in both directions, reaching their cardio fitness goals or expending excess energy. Then they’re done and off to the next thing. If we consider that the easiest direction for a horse to go in is forward, and that flight from fear is the primary survival mechanism for prey animals, the sight of someone lunging a horse looks similar to a predator nipping at the heels of its prey. I’ve even seen the person doing the lunging get almost as much cardio as the horse during the session, with both finishing in a sweat and sometimes frustration if things didn’t go well. Please know that this observation is not meant to be critical. I received the same traditional instruction for lunging horses, and used it for many years. It’s what I knew at the time, and my horses were quite impressive in their level of fitness. What I didn’t know was that this time could also be spent developing a horse’s mental fitness, with sessions both the horse and myself could look forward to! Continued on page 12.
As with any approach to shaping horse behavior, safety is the highest priority! I cannot emphasize this enough. If you do not feel confident at any time when attempting the techniques described in this article, please hire a professional who understands this approach and will take the time to help you and your horse to a stage where you feel confident enough to take over. Equine Wellness
Continued from page 11.
ADD SOME INTEREST TO YOUR GROUNDWORK ROUTINE When I’m in a session with a horse on the ground, I like to think of it as having an interaction or engaging in conversation with my horse. It’s my time to see how he feels that day and observe how he’s moving. I may start off on a circle (lunging), then add a change of direction, back him up, move sideways, direct him over an object, pole or small jump, move the hindquarters, and go off in another direction. I might try walking with the horse or standing in place as he carries the lunge line out to the distance I choose. I might back him between two safe objects, under a hanging tarp, through water or around bushes, or up/down hills or other natural objects.
GROUNDWORK TRANSFERS TO RIDDEN WORK
I can imagine people saying: “But why?” If it’s a challenge just to stay on a simple circle, why on earth add variation to the maneuver? There are two valuable reasons. First, horses are just like us – they get bored with the drill, and end up paying attention to everything but us! Second, by orchestrating the horse’s movement in direction and speed with variable transitions, he becomes more attentive as it demonstrates the qualities of leadership found in herd dynamics!
Another valuable benefit to expanded ground
DEVELOPING LEADERSHIP QUALITIES
skills is that we further develop the “feel” in our
Watching horses in a group, we can observe the interaction as lead horses move and posture among others to cause movement. It’s important to recognize that this ongoing herd dynamic (it never stops) creates harmony and confidence within the group by enforcing the leadership roles of certain individuals. It’s also a key survival mechanism for horses.
hands, which will transfer to the reins when riding. The Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria has been using long-lining techniques for generations to teach students to communicate effectively through their hands before they ever ride even the gentlest schooling horse. Once astride a 1,200-pound prey animal in motion, our awareness of and ability to move our hands effectively is much more difficult, especially when the horse or rider – or both – becomes confused! Because every transition of movement on the ground translates to what will be asked of the horse while mounted, riding becomes a further extension of the communication already established on the ground. It’s not uncommon for people to report that expanding their ground skills results in a more
Horses are designed by nature to follow the individuals that effectively direct the herd’s movement. A mental bond forms when a horse watches our every move – not from fear, but pure interest – just as he remains aware of every movement of the leaders within his herd. When we take the time to condition both the body and mind of a horse, ground skills become an engaging challenge that goes far beyond the chore of just taking the edge off before a ride. By nature, every horse is capable of bonding with those benevolent leaders who will forever earn their trust, loyalty and willingness, regardless of the activity we ask of them.
confident and relaxed horse, which allows them to feel the same. Even individuals with an extreme fear of riding find themselves able to rebuild their confidence with horses, with lasting results.
Karen Scholl is a horse behaviorist and educator, presenting her approach “Horsemanship for Women” throughout the United States at Horse Expos in the U.S., Canada and Brazil. Though she has recently retired from conducting hands-on clinics to dedicate herself to expanding her library of resources, extensive information is available on her website, KarenScholl.com or by calling 888-238-3447.
YOUR HORSE’S SPLINT By Cathy Alinovi, DVM
His splint bone may be small and apparently without function, but lacking proper support it can lead to painful and frustrating injuries in your horse. This article focuses on the splint bone’s true function, and how to keep it healthy.
If your horse has ever “popped a splint”, you’re familiar with this little bone in your horse’s lower leg. We are often told the splint bone doesn’t serve a purpose, but for a structure without a purpose it certainly gets injured easily and often. By taking a look at this bone’s true function, we can help support it and prevent frustrating injuries to our horses.
ANATOMY OF THE SPLINT BONE The embryologic changes that modify a five-toed foot or hand into an equine limb are impressive. The equine “knee”, also called the carpus, is equivalent to the human wrist. The horse’s hock, or tarsus, is the ankle in humans. It’s below the level of the carpus/ tarsus that the species-specific differences between humans and equidae become most apparent. The thumb and pinky finger that are part of the human hand completely disappear in the equine limb. The first and third fingers recede into vestigial bones known as the splint bones – the only remaining finger being that from the center of the hand. The middle digit hypertrophies and develops into the large, weight-bearing cannon bone of the equine limb, along with the long and short pasterns and coffin bone as you move distally from the carpus.
THE FUNCTION OF THE SPLINT BONES Because the splint bones are vestigial and not weight-bearing, it’s logical to question whether they have any function. A splint bone can certainly fracture, causing great pain. If the bone has no 14
biological function, one wonders if it really needs to remain on the limb, thereby avoiding that potential pain. While it’s true the splint bones are vestigial, they do have a kinesiological function. The splint bones essentially act as placeholders, maintaining the position of the carpal/tarsal bones, those of the knee/hock. It’s the interplay between the multiple rows of carpal/tarsal bones that allows for the wide freedom of movement in the carpal/tarsal joints. While the splint bones do not have a direct physiological function, they remain critical to joint mechanics. The splint bones also have a secondary function – that of anchoring fascia and other tendon/ligamentous attachments to the limb. For this reason, a horse may be in severe pain when one of these attachments is “merely” strained. Tendons attach muscle to bone, ligaments connect bone to bone, and both the tendons and ligaments contain nerve receptors which detect processes that will present as “pain” if damaged or inflamed; therefore, a strain can be exquisitely painful.
COMMON INJURIES TO THE SPLINT BONE The most common reason for splint bone pain is fracture; strained ligaments and tendons are the second most common cause. Because horse limbs are incredibly modified adaptations of the five-toed foot, balance is critical to maintaining strength and function in the equine limb. Therefore, something as “simple” as an improper hoof angle is enough to result in a fractured splint bone, resulting in great pain to the horse. The best way to prevent a fractured splint bone is to maintain excellent angulation in the hoof and limb.
ANGULAR LIMB DEFORMITY AND ITS EFFECT ON THE SPLINT BONES Sometimes additional factors can result in improper angulation of the hoof and limb. One of these is angular limb deformity (ALD), which presents as a limb, or limbs, which deviates to either the inside (pigeon-toed) or outside (splay-footed). There is some argument as to whether angular limb deformity can actually be prevented or if it is solely a birth defect; regardless, once it appears, the negative effects of ALD can be minimized through good nutrition, moderate exercise and excellent hoof care. Furthermore, not
CHIROPRACTIC CARE FOR ANGULAR LIMB DEFORMITY Overly “hot” rations and creep feed can lead to unequal limb growth and development – angular limb deformity (ALD) is not only a birth defect, it can also arise during development. Slow growth is ideal. Feeding quality grass/hay and a whole food ration balancer is the best way to achieve slow limb growth in foals, along with keeping a growing foal in trim body condition. However, if a foal begins to develop a bow in his limbs, there are also surgical methods that can help. Surprisingly, early intervention with chiropractic care may head off deformities and potentially avoid costly and painful surgical procedures. Animal chiropractors familiar with inter-osseous faults can provide a great service to these animals by keeping the body in balance and possibly avoid worsening of bone growth imbalances and ALD. An inter-osseous fault is a condition known best to practitioners using applied kinesiology techniques. These practitioners understand that tissues that attach to bones can make microscopic changes in the microcrystalline structure of the bone; these microscopic changes can develop into deformities over time. Some human and animal chiropractors are trained in advanced techniques that include identification and correction of inter-osseous faults. (These faults may also be involved in abnormal jaw development in miniature horses.) Equine Wellness
all farriers have the same level of expertise when it comes to limb deformities; therefore it’s good to ask many questions. The sooner a potential ALD is noticed to be developing, the better the foal will respond – and perhaps even grow out of it. Once an angular limb deformity has developed, chiropractic care, acupuncture, balanced nutrition avoiding “hot” rations, and excellent hoof care are a must to prevent damage or fracture to the splint bones. “Hot” rations not only promote rapid bone growth, but are also often inflammatory, which will worsen any physical condition, including ALD. Ration balancers made from whole foods, like flax seed and mushrooms, are much less likely to cause rapid growth and/or inflammation. While less common, it is possible to feed home-prepared diets to horses. Horse owners typically feed carrots and apples, but how about cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and pears? Early introduction to novel foods is important to the development of a wide dietary palate in the horse.
The best way to prevent a fractured splint bone is to maintain excellent angulation in the hoof and limb.
While vestigial, the splint bone is critical to proper carpal/tarsal joint function. Slow growth, balanced whole food rations, and chiropractic care, coupled with other alternative health care modalities, will keep the splint bones, and the rest of the horse, healthy and strong.
Dr. Cathy Alinovi is a retired holistic veterinarian, animal lover, frequent media guest and nationally celebrated author. She is quickly gaining national recognition for her integrative approach to animal health. After graduating from veterinary school, she realized conventional medicine did not meet enough of her patients’ needs, and became certified in Animal Chiropractic, Veterinary Acupuncture and other alternative modalities. While in practice, Dr. Cathy treated 80% of what walked in the door – not with expensive prescriptions, but with adequate nutrition. Now retired from private practice, she spends her time writing and helping pet owners feed their animals the best food for best health. DrCathyVet.com 16
CREATING and maintaining
equestrian trails Most horses and their riders enjoy a relaxing ride out on the trails. Good trails are a privilege, and how we treat them can make a big difference to their sustainability. By Denise Y. O’Meara Photo courtesy of Caroline Young
ere’s an equine wellness aspect you may not have considered – the condition of your horse trails! A poorly designed or maintained trail can lead to that most dreaded of situations: denial of equine access. In order to remain available to horseback riders, trails need respectful treatment. From design to maintenance, concept to long-term preservation, careful thought and action are paramount so that equestrians can preserve their access to riding trails. The relationships you have with landowners and managers also need to be nurtured and maintained. Lack of respect for these relationships will likely lead to angry landowners, and that can result in closed trails.
Things to think about • Whether public or private, trail landowners and managers have a stake in the value and condition of their land. Trail abuse by equestrians makes them very unhappy.
• Landowners and managers are always concerned about liability. A lack of understanding about liability protections can prevent a trail from ever being built, or close an existing one. For more information on liability, see elcr.org/assurethereluctantlandowner/.
• Horses are tough on land. The torque of pointy feet leads to churned soil and plants, creating conditions for erosion. 18
• Storm water runoff makes trail erosion possible. Once erosion starts, it needs to be corrected quickly. Clay soils are especially prone to erosion.
• Rider behavior on the trail can result in enjoyable outings – or it can undermine trail owner/manager relations. Contributing to erosion by riding off the trail, riding in wet weather conditions, leaving trash behind, not watching out for other users, and not reporting trail damage are examples of bad rider behavior.
• Community planners make decisions about land use in your trail areas. In fact, they probably already have. Research current and future decisions that may affect your trail access. Without this knowledge, you may miss the chance to prevent trail closings and to help guide recreational and equine accessible trail planning to your community. For more information on what to be aware of, check out elcr.org/three-words-everyequestrian-should-know/.
combination of bad rider behavior, poor landowner/ manager relations, degraded trail conditions and uninformed equestrians will eventually result in loss of trail access.
Preserving equine trail access
Seven steps to preserve existing trail access: 1. Start with assessing the condition of existing trails. Are they too steep? Do they have ruts that make people ride outside
the trail edges? Are surfaces washed away? Is soil and plant loss contributing to erosion? Are stream crossings too dispersed, or stream banks eroded? If any of these conditions are seen, talk to the landowner or manager about improving trail alignments and slope conditions. A professional trail designer can help create an improvement plan and/or make the needed trail changes.
2. Organize. Initiate a riding club or organization if you don’t
belong to one already. See elcr.org/successful-trail-organizationmodels-to-protect-endangered-trails-2/ for tips on creating an organization. This will give you several advantages: • An advocacy group for your trail needs • Identified leaders who will drive action • A regular source of information • Planning capabilities • Help for developing rules for trail behavior • A resource for riders facing new or recurring trail challenges
out to landowners and managers! Develop friendly relationships and work to keep them. Help private landowners understand liability protection through state recreational liability laws and liability insurance, which may be provided by your riding club through group or individual policies.
about easements. Educate your club or organization members. Approach private landowners about creating a trail easement across their property. This will help assure longterm access and connectivity in your trail system.
5. Participate in the community planning process through your local planning or town council office. Comprehensive plans express how the community wants land to be used in the future. Learn how your community’s plan addresses equestrian uses. Ask if an equestrian trails plan can be added to the comprehensive plan, or if an existing plan can be adjusted to include your specific trail needs.
Seven steps for developing new trails – starting with your own land:
a trails plan. Consider soil conditions, vegetation, wetlands, streams and ponds, slopes, etc. A professional can help design your trail alignment surface.
for funding. Sources may include farm/equine operation income, loans, donated materials and volunteer labor. Can you derive income from your trail? See elcr.org/ finding-funds-for-your-private-land-trails/ for more information on possible funding.
3. Check your own liability insurance. Research your state’s recreational liability laws.
4. Look for outside trail connections, including adjacent parks, trail easements, open fields and roadways. Get permission to traverse these areas and check them for safety and condition.
yourself with community land use plans. (See point 5 under Existing Trails).
good relationships with adjacent landowners or managers, especially if you are looking to connect your trail to their land.
7. Pursue easements for private land trails. You should work with a land use attorney specializing in trail easements. Having nice trails to use is important to many equestrians. By building and maintaining good relationships with landowners, respecting the trails, and pitching in to maintain and create new trail systems, we can ensure that we have lovely, safe equestrian trails for years to come!
6. Create a set of trail user rules and regulations. Use riding liability waivers. Limit access if that is needed or required. Get to know and cooperate with other users, if any, to avoid conflicts.
for trail maintenance activities! This is good for safety, owner/manager relationships, and reducing costs for needed improvements.
Denise O’Meara is a landscape architect, with over 20 years’ experience in the sustainable design and implementation of a wide variety of projects, including parks, trail systems, institutional site design, master planning, and low impact stormwater systems. Denise has worked with ELCR since 2011, providing technical and educational assistance for the nation’s equine community, and frequently writes for equine publications. Denise previously worked in the thoroughbred breeding and racing industry. She is passionate about protecting open land and trail corridors to help communities safeguard their natural resources, recreational places and wellbeing, especially that of equestrians!
PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR Mike Riter (Trail Design Specialists) will be joining Equine Land Conservation Resource and My Horse University in October 2017 for a new Sustainable Trails Webinar. Check out elcr.org/event/fall-2017-webinar/ for more information.
HOOF CLEANING BASICS Cleaning out your horse’s feet is one of the first things you learn as a rider, but many people neglect it after a while. Get back to basics with this vital horsekeeping task! By Sherri Pennanen f you ask horse owners what they consider the most important jobs they do for their horses every day, you will get a variety of responses. As a farrier, I was surprised at the number of horse owners who feel that cleaning their horses’ feet is my job. While it is an important step in trimming and balancing your horse’s hooves, cleaning them is one job that should be at the top of your list of daily duties. In fact, it may well be the most important thing you can do for your horse.
Cleaning hooves is not glamorous. And the results are not as readily apparent as a good brushing or bath. But without healthy hooves, your pretty pony won’t be very happy. It may be that your horse is not well-behaved enough for hoof cleaning, which could be one reason why you “overlook” this necessary task. So let’s make it easy and safe!
Make sure you don’t surprise your horse. He needs to know where you are when you are close to him. I recommend that you position your body by his shoulder, facing his rear. Touch him and talk to him in a confident way. Then run your hand down his leg to the ankle area and take hold of the back of his leg. Ask him to “pick up”. If he does not readily comply, squeeze his leg with your index finger and 20
thumb and keep asking him to pick up. When he does, tell him he is a good boy! So far, so good! Once he has picked his foot up, lean in a bit and cup his foot in your hand, flexing him at the ankle. This allows you to see the bottom of his foot clearly, and helps with control. It also makes the horse feel more secure. If you are right-handed, support and cup the foot in your left hand so your right hand is in control of the hoof pick. The reverse is true for lefties. We don’t want any clumsy moves with the hoof pick!
The cleaning job
There are lots of hoof picks on the market, all claiming to be perfect! Select one that is not too sharp and that is easy and comfortable to hold in your hand. The tip doesn’t need to be pointed or sharp. It needs to be functional for removing debris while avoiding injury. Place the cleaning end of the hoof pick into the cleft of the hoof and run it down one side of the frog, then the other. This will remove caked dirt, manure and such. For safety, I recommend that you move the pick tip away from you, or toward the toe. If hooves are not routinely cleaned, the material can become very tightly packed in this area, requiring more force or repetition. This may be why some horses don’t like having their feet cleaned – it hasn’t been part of their routine. Next, put the cleaning end of the pick gently into the cleft in the center of the frog. This is a tender area, so be gentle. If a horse is going to have a condition like chronic thrush, this is where it will show up, and he may be sore. Clean the area carefully. If your horse is wearing shoes, you need to clean around the inside rim of the shoe to make sure nothing is stuck there. Dirt, small stones and debris can work their way under shoes and create issues if not cleaned out. Continued on page 22.
HOOF OBSERVATIONS In my practice, I find that people will often call me between trims for a crack or chip in their horses’ hooves. Depending on several factors, I may or may not come for an extra visit. In this day and age, it is so easy to snap a picture of the hoof to send along to your farrier. Take some good pictures and text a message describing your concern. It always helps to know what happened and when, and if the horse is lame at all. You can even take video of your horse moving around to send to your farrier. I generally don’t recommend that you take matters into your own hands and start rasping or trying to trim the hoof. It may be easy to make a cosmetic repair, but end up sacrificing balance or integrity of hoof contact in the process.
Should you find what you think is a foreign body in the hoof – don’t remove it! Try to stabilize the hoof and the foreign body (in place) and call your vet. Be sure to specify that you have a foreign body in your horse’s hoof. In the majority of cases, x-rays will show the vet what he or she needs to know about the foreign body, and then it can be removed. If the vet wants help from me, I will surely respond and help with the care of an injured horse.
Continued from page 21. If your horse wears boots, make sure to clean the feet before and after use. If he gets a stone or debris in the boot, it usually cannot escape until you take the boot off.
Moving from hoof to hoof
When you finish with the first front foot, set it down. Don’t just drop the leg. Take the time to let your horse know you are done with that foot. Then move to the back hoof by running your hand along the horse’s side and down his back leg. Picking up his back leg is when you are most likely to get kicked if your horse is ill-humored or not used to this routine. Additionally, many horses have more difficulty lifting and holding their back legs up – so support it well and with confidence. You may find it helpful to lean in and move your leg close so he can rest his lower leg on yours while you flex his ankle, giving you very good control. Repeat the same cleaning procedure for the hoof and set it down. 22
I generally recommend that you go directly back to the front of the horse without walking behind him, where he might choose to kick if he is surprised or unhappy with this activity. Repeat the same steps on the other side of the horse. Some owners have told me that their horses prefer I start on a particular side. I will honor that request in many cases. It might stem from a horse having had a sore foot or the need for intense attention in the past. Starting with a foot that goes well or easy can set the tone for the session.
What you get out of this
This is a great time to inspect your horse’s legs for any tenderness, heat or swelling. You will free him of any stones or debris that could harm his hoof integrity or cause him pain. You will also have an opportunity to inspect for thrush, abscesses and foreign bodies.
Watch videos, read articles, look at horses’ feet, and clean, clean, clean! Ask your friends to let you clean their horses’ feet. The more feet you see, the better you can observe and help your own horse. Once you see thrush, discover an abscess, or feel heat in a foot, you will not forget it. You may be able to prevent serious problems with competent early recognition. Plus, you will be providing a really valuable preventative measure for your horse.
You may become aware of cracks, chips or sloughing frog. All can be considered quite normal or at least benign, unless extreme. If you are concerned, contact your hoof care professional. By doing a good job of hoof cleaning, you may prevent more serious issues. Cleaning your horse’s hooves every day is not a high-tech skill and will not get your horse noticed in the barn – but it will keep him healthier and ready to do what you want. Your horse will appreciate you because while others may not notice, he most certainly will!
Sherri Pennanen of Better Be Barefoot is a veteran natural trim farrier serving western New York and southern Ontario. She offers balanced barefoot trims, lameness evaluations, and holistic/rehabilitation services on her farm (betterbebarefoot.com).
to the rescue! By Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis
Acupressure can be a lifesaver for your horse in emergency situations such as colic, shock and/or injury.
ny horse on earth can get hurt, experience colic, or fall victim to any number of other emergency situations. Some of these health events are a matter of life and death, whereas others require immediate attention but aren’t as dire. Acupressure can help calm and stabilize your horse while you’re waiting for help to arrive.
1. Colic is the number one cause of death in horses. No matter what, call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your horse is about to colic, or is already in some stage of colic. There are many different types of colic and your veterinarian needs to diagnose and treat it promptly. The early signs include lying down more than usual, lack of appetite, resisting activity, lack of gut sounds, standing “camped-out”, changes in manure (less, dry, loose or decreased quantity) and possible weight loss.
would be smart. Your veterinarian can evaluate what further treatment is necessary when s/he arrives.
ACUPRESSURE FOR COLIC Colic is potentially fatal, but performing a brief acupressure session on your horse while waiting for your veterinarian to arrive can help him. Though acupressure is not a substitute for veterinary care, there are acupoints known to relax the gastrointestinal tract and move toward balancing and restoring the natural internal activities of your horse’s bodily functions.
If the colic progresses and the abdominal pain becomes more severe, horses tend to paw the ground with their forelegs, kick or bite at their flanks, lie down and get up repetitively, exhibit rolling, sweating or groaning, and present with elevated respiratory and heart rates. Hopefully, your veterinarian has arrived before your horse’s condition reaches this level of severity.
is only one of many dangerous situations horses can experience. When feed obstructs the horse’s esophagus and he is unable to swallow, he will desperately try to choke up the obstruction. This causes green fluids to pour from his nose and mouth. It is scary to see a horse choke. Thankfully, the fluid helps dislodge the feed bolus from the horse’s throat so this situation is less likely than colic to be life-threatening.
3. Injuries can occur at any time. Punctures, lacerations, tendon or joint injuries, and over-exertion are just a few; all need immediate attention although are rarely life-threatening. Learning first aid techniques is a good idea, especially in the case of excessive bleeding. Having a dry bandage available so you can apply direct pressure to the wound to stem blood flow 24
After following any instructions your vet may have given over the phone, and while waiting for him/her to see your horse, take a deep breath and continue to breathe evenly so you are calm and confident. Also, please remember to protect yourself if the horse is extremely anxious and violent. Your safety is important – do not attempt to offer acupressure if your horse may injure
you. The horse needs to be relatively calm to benefit from an acupressure session. To perform the point work shown in the “Acupressure for General Colic” chart on page 24, see the hands-on instructions at the end of this article.
ACUPRESSURE FOR OTHER EMERGENCY SITUATIONS Acupressure can help your horse remain calm in any emergency, as long as you won’t be putting yourself at risk. The acupoints shown in the “Acupressure for Emergencies” chart can help support the horse’s respiration and heart rate as well as reduce fear and enhance calm. These acupoints have been used for horses in emergency situations for thousands of years.
DON’T PANIC! Even though an emergency with your horse is scary, it is very important that you don’t panic. Once you’ve called your veterinarian, you can practice this acupressure technique to help you stay calm until he/she arrives. The acupoint Large Intestine 4 (LI 4), (He Gu in Chinese, known as “Adjoining Valley” in English) is located in the webbing between your thumb and forefinger. Place your thumb and forefinger on each side of the webbing on the opposite hand while taking three deep breaths in through your nose. Exhale through your mouth down to the bottom of your breath before taking the next breath. Repeat holding Large Intestine 4 on the opposite hand while performing deep, slow breathing three more times. Now you are ready to offer your horse help.
HANDS-ON ACUPRESSURE SESSION One hand performs the acupoint work while the other can rest comfortably on the horse to feel any reactions and help ground him. Place the soft tip of your thumb on the acupoint indicated at about a 45° to 90° angle and press gently. If the horse exhibits any adverse reaction, stop pressing immediately. When your horse is calm, continue to the next acupoint. Stay on each acupoint for a slow count of 20, then move on to the next point. Repeat this procedure on the opposite side of your horse. All the acupoints shown in the charts with this article are to be stimulated on both sides of the horse’s body. When it comes to horses, the possibility of colic and other injuries is always present. It’s up to you to be ready to handle what happens in the best manner possible. Learning basic first aid and practicing hands-on acupressure techniques are good ways to be prepared.
Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis are the authors of Acu-Horse: A Guide to Equine Acupressure, Acu-Dog: A Guide to Canine Acupressure and Acu-Cat: A Guide to Feline Acupressure. They founded Tallgrass, offering books, manuals, DVDs, apps, and meridian charts. Tallgrass also provides a 300-hour hands-on and online training program worldwide. It is an approved school for the Department of Higher Education Vocational Schools through the State of Colorado, and an approved provider of NCBTMB and NCCAOM Continuing Education courses. 303-681-3030, animalacupressure.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
MILES PROJECT By Kelly Howling
The Heroes and Horses progra m addres ses the chal lenges facing both combat vetera ns and wild horses by empowering them to work as a team. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a very real challenge for combat veterans. Statistics show we need to do a better job of assisting veterans with this complicated disorder. Heroes and Horses, a program for veterans based in Montana, takes a unique approach towards addressing PTSD. Micah Fink, a ten-year member of the Navy SEAL Teams, founded the program in 2014. “The mission and goal are twofold – education and rehabilitation,” says Micah. “On a larger over-arching scale, we feel it is incredibly important to change the story of PTSD, and most importantly, how we address it. There are over 600 non-profit organizations focused on veterans, billions of dollars are spent every year, and yet suicide rates for these individuals are on the rise – clearly, something isn’t working. That is why I created Heroes and Horses.” The three-phase program is available to qualified veterans at no cost, and involves wilderness survival training, pack trips, 26
and eventual integration into a working program at a cattle ranch or wilderness outfit. The veterans learn valuable skills, leadership and teamwork, and are empowered for personal growth by challenging the things that challenge them.
THE 500 MILES PROJECT Over the last year, Micah and his team have been hard at work developing The 500 Miles Project. It’s a short film that explores the universally-applicable themes of purpose and change. People, nature – and in the film, horses – change in two ways: through pressure and time. “Our goal with this film was to show the parallels between the un-purposed Mustang and the un-purposed veteran, and how intertwined their lives become through our program,” says Micah. “The wild Mustangs in the film are the same horses that our veterans will use during the upcoming program, and it’s amazing to see the transformation from what these animals are like at the beginning of the 500 miles, to how they are at the end.” “The inspiration for creating this film was to tell a human story that everyone can relate to,” Micah continues. “This isn’t necessarily a veteran story, or a wild Mustang story; this is a story about how each and every one of us is searching for purpose, and that it’s through pressure, time – and sometimes pain and suffering – that we figure out what our path is.”
HORSES AS MIRRORS Horses act as mirrors for humans, and can give us an enormous amount of insight into who we are and what our struggles are. Horses often react according to what is happening inside their human counterparts, giving those humans insight into the various emotions that they may be avoiding or pushing aside. “The humans and horses involved in our program are being asked to build an enormous amount of trust in each other, and the shared intensity of experiencing massive mountain switchbacks, remote wilderness, and multi-weeklong expeditions quickly results in an intense bond,” says Micah. Continued on page 28.
W hy Mustangs?
Why did Micah and his team choose wild Mustangs to pair with combat veterans? “Mustangs are the toughest horses on the planet,” explains Micah. “They grow up traveling as many as 20 miles a day just getting feed and water. They are born and live in the elements and are adapted to rugged wilderness environments. The parallel between the wild horse and the combat veteran is very real. In both cases, big mismanaged budgets paired with ineffective processes lead to greater and more complex issues in which each ‘solution’ creates another problem. Wild horses are sent off to longterm holding facilities, given injections to block fertility, and die of starvation on overgrazed ranges – and yet the problem keeps growing. So, just as with American veterans, it’s a process issue. Wild horses are not the problem, nor is combat – it’s the approach we take to ‘fix’ these issues.”
Continued from page 27. Over the course of The 500 Miles Project, an intense pack trip through New Mexico and Arizona, the horses are ridden approximately 500 miles, hence the name of the film and project. “I came up with that number based on my years of experience developing and building the Heroes and Horses herd from 0 to 40,” shares Micah. “From my experience, it can take roughly 500 miles to train a wild horse. Add the breaking and small trips we took to ‘shake out’ any problems, and the horses are all pretty much in the 700-mile club”. Through both Heroes and Horses and The 500 Miles Project, Micah and his team are hoping to help increase awareness of the issues facing both combat veterans and wild horses, and shed light on the fact that current
How you can help
The 500 Miles Project is looking for a corporate film title sponsor, which would allow it to reach a larger audience. If you are interested in sponsoring this unique and ground-breaking film, please email admin@heroesandhorses. org. You can also help by donating funds, horses, trucks and trailers, in addition to supporting their mission by sharing it on Facebook and Instagram. For more information on Heroes and Horses, please visit their website at Heroesandhorses.org.
methods of assistance are not working. They also want to change the way people view veterans and PTSD. “Combat does not make you sick or give you a disease; it changes you like any life experience,” Micah says. “That is what life is supposed to do. It’s these challenges that provide us with the opportunity to make choices that either lead us to a greater
understanding of ourselves, or take us further away. People, horses and the environment all change the same way. When you begin looking inward for answers, instead of relying on the external, you find a true authentic purpose – and this is what allows you to overcome your external circumstances.” Thanks to the fantastic work Heroes and Horses is doing, veterans and wild horses are doing just that.
BIOSECURITY: designing the protected equestrian facility
Preventing the spread of disease is a constant concern among equestrians, especially at busy barns where horses are always coming and going. Here are some ways to make biosecurity more manageable when building or renovating your facility. By John Blackburn Biosecurity is a hot topic among equestrians. As an architect specializing in the design of healthy equestrian facilities, I know that with deliberate planning, owners can rest easy knowing they are protecting their valuable equines to the best of their ability.
BIOSECURITY GUIDELINES The US Department of Agriculture guidelines for privately 30
owned horse quarantine facilities provide a starting point for ensuring disease-protected barns. The agencyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s basic standards address requirements for fencing, entrances and exits, windows, lighting, loading docks, horse stalls, aisles, isolation stalls, showers, storage space, restrooms, ventilation, climate control, fire alarms and communications systems. Furthermore, quarantine facilities must have separate drainage and heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems, and physical
barriers between animals. As expected, horses must be protected from physical contact with one another, their manure or other discharges. Sounds like a lot, right? Let’s break it down. To limit the spread of disease, we need to manage: • Farm entrances and exits • People and equipment • Horse spaces (outside and inside the barn)
BIOSECURITY OUTSIDE THE BARN Property access and signage
Ideally, there should be only one way to get to your stable. It should be marked as the main entrance, or the design and layout should make it clear. I recall being taught in architecture school that “good design does not require signage,” but signs are a practical “must” for most farms. Multiple entry points make it difficult to control who visits your barn. When we limit the number of access points (sometimes by locking unused gates), and direct visitors to designated parking areas, we’re gaining more control, which is what we want.
Equipment storage Since equipment can carry diseases, pests and weed seeds, it’s important to regularly clean and disinfect tools and equipment before and after use on crops or livestock. In barn designs, my creative team typically includes an equipment wash area with the equipment storage area. To be safe, we isolate it from the barn and equine areas. Continued on page 32.
Continued from page 31.
Manure storage Manure carried with stall bedding can spread disease on shoes, tractor tires, muck rakes, etc., and is, of course, a potential source of infection. We typically do not specify open-air manure piles/ pits. Likewise, we do not encourage the spread of manure from horses onto pastures unless it has been adequately composted. Poorly handled manure can affect the quality of surface and groundwater because the piles contain phosphorus, nitrogen and pathogens. That’s why we carefully consider a property’s flood plain and slope during the design phase.
Fencing If your horse escapes, he might run to meet your neighbor’s (possibly sick) horse. Likewise, open fencing can permit nonequine animals from off site to gain access to your horses, paddocks and barns. Vegetation offers one attractive option for natural windbreaks. Double-fencing paddocks to isolate physical contact between horses can also be a good preventive measure, although we suggest you maintain auditory and visual contact for social well-being. To be mentally as well as physically fit, horses need to be able to see and hear one another.
BIOSECURITY INSIDE THE BARN There are many ways to incorporate natural biosecurity into barn designs. I think it’s the cheapest (in the long run) and most efficient way to go. For example, we specify light colors for building materials for better reflectivity and to expose areas in
sanitize the barn’s interior. Sunlight, in combination with good natural vertical ventilation, helps eliminate dark dank stall conditions that cause ammonia gases that in turn cause odors. Those ammonia gases and dank surfaces breed harmful bacteria that can affect the health of horses, particularly young foals.
Stalls It almost goes without saying that cleaning and disinfecting stalls is critically important for a secure and healthy horse environment. We know that a 1,000-pound horse produces a lot of manure and urine. It’s not a big leap to conclude that a significant organic load exists in the average horse stall. This brings up the challenge of disinfecting horse stalls. There are many variables to consider, including the type and concentration of the disinfectant, its duration of contact with the surface, the air temperature and more. Essentially, the more organic material present, the harder it is to eliminate toxins. Non-porous smooth wall surfaces are the easiest to clean and disinfect. On the other hand, a porous floor surface such as “popcorn” asphalt allows moisture to drain through, and permits a “flush down” of the stall when cleaning to help disinfect the area. A subsurface drainage system may also be considered (depending on the quality and nature of the subsoils).
Feed storage Keeping feed in a clean, dry storage area and regularly inspecting it for insects, pests and mold is basic practice, but it always bears repeating. Rodents and pests can squeeze though very small openings, so make a habit of closing the door. Feed storage and delivery systems need to be designed to work with your budget and your operation. Whatever you do, pests will eventually find a way to get in, but there’s a lot you can do to make it very difficult on them. Rodents are not only annoying, but can carry and spread diseases. A hyperactive barn cat is not a bad backup system.
QUARANTINE Quarantine is not just for sick or new horses – those that have left the farm for showing or breeding can bring home germs. These horses should be isolated for at least two weeks, with no nose-tonose contact. Additional management practices include: •L imiting shared airspace between quarantined horses and the general population. We encourage placing isolation stalls in a separate building, if possible. Vertical ventilation is a way to reduce the spread of infectious diseases. need of cleaning. We want as much natural sunlight as possible to flood the barn. By using skylights, and exterior Dutch doors that can be left open when weather permits, we allow sunlight to move across the stall floor and interior surfaces, helping to 32
•M anaging insect populations by screening doors and windows and using insecticidal sprays. •S eparately equipping the quarantine facility. •S iting your quarantine barn downwind of your main barn, if possible.
NONTRADITIONAL BEDDING ALTERNATIVES When talking to clients about barn design, one of the things we discuss is what type of bedding will be used in the stalls. We’re seeing all kinds of new bedding types on the market, including wheat straw, barley straw, oat straw, paper fiber, recycled wood fiber and crushed wallboard. The properties of these and other materials are not as well known as the more traditional straw and sawmill sawdust or shavings. While some nontraditional bedding types have their upsides, others can pose health risks due to contaminants. As always, we want stall bedding to be free of dust and mold.
BIOSECURITY AS PART OF YOUR BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES By keeping vaccinations up-to-date, maintaining a clean facility, implementing biosecurity precautions, and regularly disinfecting your barns and stalls, you will be better able to prevent and control equine disease on your farm. But with proper and creative design techniques, you may be able to build in good biosecurity practices that will help reduce your dependency on maintenance practices. John Blackburn and his team used green building principles to develop Blackburn Greenbarns™, a line of pre-designed horse barns that provide aesthetics and functionality while emphasizing the safety and health of horses, humans and the environment. They are naturally lit and ventilated, use low VOC paints and finishes, recycled materials and FSC-certified lumber. They also offer additional green add-ons, such as solar panels and hot water tanks, and rainwater collection systems (blackburnarch.com). Blackburn’s book, Healthy Stables by Design, can be ordered through Amazon.com or healthystablesbydesign.com.
We’re also seeing biosecure mats on the market. These disinfectant-filled foam and polypropylene mats seem to provide some help with the spread of hoof and foot problems, and hold up well under extreme use. But they require proper maintenance and cleaning so they remain effective, and depending on your choice of product, could have a wide-ranging impact on your budget. Equine Wellness
HOW TO HIRE A CANINE FARMHAND By Jenifer Vickery
WITH SO MANY BREEDS TO CHOOSE FROM, SELECTING YOUR NEXT BARN DOG CAN SEEM DAUNTING. HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO HELP YOU PICK THE PERFECT PUP!
Everyone is excited! Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to welcome a new dog to the farm. But with nearly 200 AKC-recognized breeds, the choices can be overwhelming. Choosing the perfect farm dog goes beyond a quick trip to the local shelter, finding the cutest puppy on PetFinder, or searching for a beagle breeder just because your family always had beagles.
For lifelong success, you need to start by asking yourself this question: which dog will you enjoy owning today, tomorrow and for many years to come? To answer, you must honestly assess what traits and qualities you like and need from a dog, and what you are capable of providing him or her. You may also need to rein in your impulses and invest in some research time to minimize the risk of bringing the “wrong” dog home. That said, don’t overlook the emotional and aesthetic appeal of breeds that catch your eye. Though looks aren’t everything, they do matter – to a point. Pre-purchase or preadoption, there’s a lot to consider! Let’s take it step-by-step so you’re prepared to start your search.
WHAT MAKES YOUR TAIL WAG? Not to be superficial, but what canine looks catch your eye? Let’s make a fun list. At this point, you have permission to throw sensibility to the wind. Flip through dog books. Watch some funny online dog videos. Don’t worry about descriptions; simply write down the top ten breeds that make you smile. We’ll narrow your choices and discuss their appropriateness later. For now, the pet store is wide open! Have your list? It probably includes some of the more traditional barn breeds like confident Pembroke Welsh Corgi or feisty Jack Russell Terrier. Maybe the “smarter than your fifth grader” Border Collie, the athletic Australian Cattle Dog or the loyal Australian Shepherd is on your list? You might even be considering natural livestock guardians like the impressive Great Pyrenees or the majestic Maremma. Perhaps you chose traditional favorites such as the Labrador and/or Golden Retriever. There are probably a few surprises thrown in too, breeds not stereotypically regarded as classic Continued on page 36. GREAT PYRENEES
AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOG
LABRADOR BORDER COLLIE
Continued from page 35. barn dogs. Great idea – the more dogs you consider, the happier you’ll be with your ultimate choice.
THE CANINE JOB DESCRIPTION Now that you have your top ten picks, let’s put our adult hat on and put attraction aside. It’s time to ask yourself what you really need (not just want) from your barn dog. Is he going to be a pet, a working dog or both? What’s your definition of “work”? Will he primarily be a companion to you and your horse(s) at your small barn? Or might he become your “assistant barn manager” at a busy training farm with lots of activity? Perhaps he will travel the show circuit with you and hang out ringside. Will you expect him to be more suspicious and guard your animals and the farm from predators and intruders? Can he be counted on to help work the cows or herd the sheep? Will your dog be asked to perform a variety of jobs?
THE RESUME Each of the above roles requires different mental and physical skills: some acquired through targeted training, and some genetic inclinations that can be fine-tuned to more precisely meet your needs. For your new “farmhand” to be the dog you want and need, it now becomes important to get serious – to dig deeper and narrow down your breed choices.
Purpose, potential and ability take center stage. While environment plays a large role in dog behavior, genetics drive that behavior just as much, or even more. Physical conformation and natural instinct can make or break the success of your dog in the years to come. Knowing not only what you want from a dog, but what each breed is designed for, will help you cut your initial list by at least half. Read up on the individual selections you made and become an educated consumer. This is crucial. You don’t want to end up with the wrong match. For example, a dog with a high prey drive who likes to chase will never be an appropriate guardian dog whose primary job is focused on serving and protecting your animals. Conversely, you cannot expect a guardian dog to be the sociable barn mascot who welcomes everyone to the farm. Matching the natural skill set with the job at hand is essential.
WHILE ENVIRONMENT PLAYS A LARGE ROLE IN DOG BEHAVIOR, GENETICS DRIVE THAT BEHAVIOR JUST AS MUCH, OR EVEN MORE.
EVALUATING THE CANDIDATES At this point, your list of potentials should be shrinking, but there is still more investigating to be completed before the choice is made. Now is the time to reach out to those who own the breeds on your list. Ask about their experiences, what jobs they are using their dogs for, their likes and dislikes about their chosen breed, and if they would own the same breed again. If their favorite breed is also in the running for you, ask for breeder referrals, especially from a farm dog breeder. That gives your dog a foundation that money can’t buy. The best farm dogs are raised by proven farm dogs that were also raised by successful farm dogs. If you don’t have multiple dog owners to talk to or are looking for additional information, consider calling a professional dog trainer (one who has been in the industry full-time for a decade or more) and ask for a breed consultation. You’ll get accurate and unbiased descriptions that go beyond what you’ll find in any book.
THE JOB OFFER You’ve now narrowed your decision down to a final couple of choices. The next step is to see what’s available. Do you want to adopt, purchase a puppy from a breeder, or buy an already trained dog? What is your timetable? Is the dog you are considering within driving distance? Affordable? Is it the right fit for you? Do you have a qualified trainer who can help set you and your new addition up for success? 36
KNOWING NOT ONLY WHAT YOU WANT FROM A DOG, BUT WHAT EACH BREED IS DESIGNED FOR, WILL HELP YOU CUT YOUR INITIAL LIST BY AT LEAST HALF.
If you have never owned a dog and there is no local trainer or educated dogs and owners to guide you, you may be better off purchasing a dog already trained for the work you need. If you have assistance (both human and canine), a less educated dog may be a good choice for you. Dogs are often the best teachers for other dogs, and what better way for a farm dog to start learning than from other dogs who already know the drill? Whatever breed you choose, puppy or adult, purchased or adopted, be sure to meet the dog in person and evaluate his temperament before making this important ten-plus year commitment. If possible, take your trainer or a knowledgeable and objective friend along with you. While breed stereotypes are very true to form, each canine is an individual and they often have unique personality traits that you may or may not have time to address. For example, levels of sound or sight sensitivity, physical tolerance, prey drive and reactivity can vary tremendously, even within the same litter. Remember what it is that you are looking for, know what personality traits are needed for the job, and choose accordingly. Your dog, your farm family, and your other animals will thank you. Jenifer Vickery, owner of The Pawsitive Dog in Boston, MA, has been a professional dog trainer for over 20 years. She is also the founder and president of Tomten Farm and Sanctuary, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing peace, protection and possibility to all varieties of farm animals in need. thepawsitivedog.com, tomtenfarmandsanctuary.org
Compensate forfailing pastures Your horse’s pasture is important to him, and its quality can greatly affect his health and happiness. Help your pastures thrive with these maintenance tips. By Jane and Stuart Myers, MSc (Equine)
Good quality pastures are key to equine well-being. When your horse’s pasture starts to fail, his health is negatively impacted. So how and when should you compensate for a failing pasture? The second part of this question is easy to answer, while the first part is a little more difficult. So let’s get the easy part out of the way first – when to compensate. The answer is “yesterday”, or failing that, “right away”. The longer you leave the pasture, the harder and more expensive it will be to fix. In fact, once your pastures start showing signs of failure it’s already too late, and you have a long road ahead of you back to recovery.
OVERGRAZING IS NEVER A GOOD THING
The “how” aspect is more complex. We can only touch on a few basic principles in this article, but the simple answer is that you have to reduce the “grazing pressure” on your pastures. Horses are said to have five sets of teeth. This means that each of his four hooves does as much damage to the land as his mouth does. So a horse standing around in a gateway, even if he’s not grazing, is still exerting four mouths’ worth of pressure on your land through his feet.
Overgrazing is made worse by set stocking, a very common practice among horse owners. Set stocking means all the land is being used by the horses – all the time. Pasture plants and grazing animals such as horses evolved alongside each other, to ensure they both thrive. In other words, pasture plants actually evolved to be grazed; but they did not evolve to be overgrazed. They thrive on just the right amount of grazing pressure, but then need a period for rest and recovery. Pasture
One of the biggest mistakes we see people make with regard to their pastures is letting their horses overgraze the land. Overgrazing leads to less and less pasture, and also reduces its biodiversity. It destroys the plants’ root systems and leads to soil compaction, dust and/or mud. This in turn leads to unhealthy degraded soils, which results in weeds and/or erosion. A general rule of thumb is that any bare soil marks an area under far too much pressure. The simplest thing you can do is remove that pressure by taking the horse out of the pasture.
In order to give your pasture time to rest and recover, you need to employ a rotational grazing system. plants have a couple of defence mechanisms that they use in the wild to ensure they get the required rest. The trouble is, when horses are confined to the same pasture on a daily basis, their need for fiber overrides the plants’ defence systems. The plants become stressed and try to maximize their sugar and starch content to help them recover when the pressure is lifted; but if the pressure doesn’t lift, it becomes too much and the plants die. Eventually, if any pasture plants do survive, it is only the species capable of coping with high levels of grazing pressure, resulting in less diversity.
IMPLEMENTING ROTATIONAL GRAZING When we deliver talks on this subject, we raise the idea of horse owners becoming “Grass Farmers” and trying to create the best, healthiest pastures on their land, which in turn leads to healthier and happier horses. In order to give your pasture time to rest and recover, you need to employ a rotational grazing system. Rotational grazing involves some of your land being rested while other parts are being grazed. You should aim to have only about 30% of your land being grazed at any one time, with the other two-thirds being rested. If you can reduce this to 10% or 20%, that’s even better. If your initial reaction is “I don’t have enough grass/space now”, you need to understand that once you implement rotational grazing you will actually have more plants with increased biodiversity and healthier soils. As well, your available grazing will last longer throughout the year.
REPAIRING DAMAGED PASTURES I have talked very briefly about how you can avoid failing pastures, because prevention is always better than cure – but how can you repair already damaged pastures? As mentioned earlier, two things are happening when a pasture is failing, both of which are linked. You have a reduction (sometimes an elimination) of certain pasture species, and you have soil degradation. The good news is that when you start to improve one, you also start to improve the other. Let’s start with the soil. In a healthy pasture, what you see above ground (i.e. the length and health of the plants) is very roughly repeated below ground in the volume and health of the root systems. Short overgrazed pasture plants have short unhealthy root systems. The root system does several jobs – it prevents soil compaction, exchanges minerals and nutrients, and provides a suitable environment for earthworms, beetles, fungi and other microflora and fauna. When pasture is overgrazed, the soil becomes compacted and often becomes deficient in minerals and nutrients. Compacted soil repels rather than absorbs water, which means a good rain shower can actually harm rather than benefit it. Bare compacted soil also attracts weeds. This is because nature does not like bare soil and attempts to protect it with something – Equine Wellness
One of the biggest mistakes we see with regard to pastures is overgrazing. usually weeds. Many weeds are opportunists and respond to the soil conditions, and many are actively trying to repair the soil. Once you can identify the weeds on your property, you’ll have a good indication of what is happening with the soil. So to improve the soil, have a soil test done, identify the weeds and learn what they are trying to tell you, and reduce the compaction. You can reduce soil compaction using mechanical methods, or you can employ a more natural method that also improves your grass species – we call it round bale mulching. Feed hay in large round bales on the bare patches of your land, and allow the horses to “waste” a certain amount. This so-called wastage covers and protects the soil the same way garden mulch does. It creates a cool, moist environment for microorganisms to begin repairing the soil; equally important, the leftover hay contains many “free” seeds that will hopefully germinate. Our Facebook page (Equicentral Central) features many examples of people who are very excited about the huge improvements they’ve seen in their land thanks to this simple method. The very best way to compensate for failing pastures is to ensure they don’t become overgrazed in the first place; this is done by following good pasture management practices. If it’s already a too late for that, you can begin to repair your pastures by taking a look at your soil and the state of the plants. With a little work and a lot of patience, you can bring your pastures back to a healthy state – and keep them there!
CREATING A DRY LOT What happens when you employ a rotational system but the grass is still unable to catch up with the horses? This issue leads to what we believe is the best investment you can make on a horse property – an all-weather holding yard (dry lot or sacrifice area). A surfaced dry lot enables horses to be kept off pasture when the land is too wet or dry and pasture plants are too short or long. We have developed a system (called The Equicentral System) in which horses voluntarily use these holding yards, vastly reducing grazing pressure without you having to do anything else. I wrote an earlier series of articles on The Equicentral System and its advantages, which can be found in EWM V10I4 and EWM V10I5.
Jane Myers, MSc (Equine) and Stuart Myers have been involved in the horse industry for over 30 years and are the authors of a number of books: Managing Horses on Small Properties, Horse Safe and a series Sustainable Horse Keeping and more recently published three more books, The Equicentral System series. Jane is also co-author of Horse Sense. Their business, Equiculture, promotes responsible horse ownership through education and workshops. equiculture.com.au 40
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– IT’S IMPORTANT FOR YOU, TOO! By Lindsay Day, MSc, REMT
Working with horses can be rewarding and enjoyable, but barn chores can take a toll on your body over time. These essential barn safety strategies will help you protect yourself. From the riding school I grew up at, to A-circuit show barns, Standardbred yearling sales, and even a trail-riding stable in Ireland, I’ve spent my fair share of time scooping poop and taking care of horses. Not much can take the place of all the learning you experience when you spend that much time around horses. But between the physical demands of the work, and the wear and tear of riding or other horse-related activities, it’s essential to make barn safety a priority for you as well as your horses.
ERGONOMICS Proper ergonomics are key to avoiding repetitive strain injuries related to daily barn chores. Barn work is physically demanding, so it’s important to avoid making it harder on your body than it needs to be.
Lifting and carrying
When heavy lifting is required, always lift from your legs, not your back. For example, if you are lifting a full muck bucket to dump in a manure spreader, squat down to pick it up, then lift with a neutral spine. Bending over with a curved spine and extending your back to lift something heavy is a recipe for herniated discs – definitely to be avoided! If you are carrying heavy objects, like water buckets, be sure to load your spine symmetrically by carrying two at a time (one in each hand). A full five-gallon water bucket can weigh in excess of 40 pounds, so carrying two half-full buckets is often a wiser strategy for protecting your back. If you are not used to carrying heavy loads, make sure you build up to it over time so your muscles and ligaments have time to strengthen and adapt. While making a few extra trips to complete a task may mean it 42
takes a little longer, you’ll save your body in the long term. You only have one body, so it’s important to take care of it.
Mucking stalls and sweeping require a stooped body posture in which you are bent forward and down from your waist, while maintaining the position with relatively straight legs. For some folks, this can cause pain in the sacroiliac (SI) joint, particularly when maintained for extended periods of time. Using pitchforks, brooms and other tools that are of an appropriate length is important to avoid stooping further than is necessary or comfortable. Straw brooms that wear down over time should be replaced regularly, not only because they become less effective (requiring more time and effort to get the job done), but also because they become shorter, contributing to greater strain on the back. Some pitchforks and rakes are designed with a bend in the shaft, allowing the user to maintain a more upright body position. Personally, I find regularly-shaped pitchforks easier to work with as they offer better leverage, but for those with SI pain, these modified tools may help reduce strain on the back. In the winter, working with gloves that offer a good grip is also important; without them, you’ll find you have to hold the pitchfork tighter, putting extra stress on muscles and connective tissues in your forearms.
SAFELY HANDLING MEDICATIONS Appropriately storing and handling medications is also important for barn safety. Medications for the care and treatment of horses should always be handled with caution, using veterinary instruction. Accidental exposure through inhalation, ingestion or absorption through the skin can put you at risk of adverse health impacts. Always pay attention to product details and precautions. Some medications, such as prostaglandins and other hormonal therapies like Regu-Mate, used to regulate or modify the estrous cycle in mares, can significantly affect a woman’s reproductive system if she’s exposed to them. Pregnant women and those with asthma or bronchial disease should not handle prostaglandins (e.g. Estrumate or Lutalyse) at all. Regu-Mate contains altrenogest, a synthetic progesterone that can be absorbed through the skin and can penetrate porous gloves. The product should be handled using non-porous gloves, along with caution to avoid any skin contact. Exposure in women Equine Wellness
FAVORABLE FOOTWEAR When spending the better part of your day on your feet, well-fitting supportive footwear is key. Certainly, open-toed shoes and horses are never a good mix, but it’s also important to consider the soles of your footwear. Check for uneven wear, can alter menstrual cycles and result in hormonal imbalances. Pregnant women, those with coronary disease or reproductive system-related cancers should avoid handling Regu-Mate. DMSO is an anti-inflammatory containing dimethyl sulphoxide, and is applied topically to reduce swelling. To protect your own health, DMSO should be applied using non-porous gloves, and in a well-ventilated area. Human exposure results in garlic-like breath, and may cause headaches, skin irritation and nausea. Pregnant women are advised to avoid any contact. Washing your hands thoroughly after using any type of medication can help reduce your risk of accidental exposure through any residue remaining on your skin.
RESPIRATORY HEALTH Stables are notoriously dusty environments. From bedding and hay to arena footing, dried mud and muck, there are many potential sources of dust when you’re working with horses. Not only can dust pose risks to a horse’s health, but excessive exposure is not good for people either, especially over the long term. Ideally, low-dust bedding, hay and arena footing should be used for the health of everyone, horse and human alike. Arena footing can be oiled, or calcium-containing products may be applied, while hay and bedding should be chosen selectively.
which often occurs on the heels over time. This uneven wear undermines balanced support, and can place undue strain on your knees, hips and back. Investing in a new pair of boots at this stage is worth it – your joints will thank you! Good barn ventilation is also essential, and keeping barn doors and windows open – weather permitting – can help with airflow, particularly when mucking stalls and sweeping. Using absorbent (and sufficient) bedding, and cleaning stalls thoroughly and regularly are also important for managing the potential build-up of noxious ammonia fumes. When it comes time to sweep the barn, using a watering can to sprinkle the aisles with water first will significantly reduce the number of dust particles that become airborne. It’s important to recognize that it’s not just the dust you can see that is problematic – it’s the tiny particles that cannot be detected by the human eye that pose the biggest threat. If you find yourself working in a situation where dust remains an issue, wearing a protective face mask during dust-producing tasks (e.g. mucking, bedding and stacking hay) is better than jeopardizing the long-term health of your lungs.
HEALTHY HUMANS, HEALTHY HORSES Prioritizing barn safety is important not only for horses, but also for the people who dedicate their time to caring for them. Being proactive and taking steps to avoid potential health hazards before they present a problem will go a long way to ensuring that you, or those working in your barn, can stay in it for the long haul.
GROW YOUR OWN “PEST BE GONE”
By Melanie Falls
for vegetable gardens because its strong smell not only repels flies, but also beetles, ticks and other insects, as well as dogs and cats. Rue can grow very tall, likes well-drained rocky soil, full sun and little water. However, please use caution as rue can cause irritations or skin rashes.
MARIGOLD: Have you ever heard of pyrethrum? It’s a
common ingredient in many equine fly repellants, and actually comes from the flowers of marigold. In addition to deterring flies, marigolds make a cheery sight around the barn, attract bees, and can also be used for topical wound care. These flowers prefer sunny areas with fertile soil.
At some point, every equestrian has used fly masks, fly sheets, fly sprays, and maybe even fly predators to mitigate summertime insect infestations. Even so, most people just accept that with horses come flies and other annoying pests. But what about using a different tactic? What about planting herbs around the barn to repel those pesky insects? Some of the most popular, easy to grow, and aesthetically pleasing plants make wonderful insect repellants – so while you’re working on your barn beautification project, know that you’re also protecting your four- and two-legged friends alike.
TOP INSECT-REPELLING PLANTS Here is a list of my favorite insect-repelling plants, and some tips on how to grow and maximize their benefits for you and your horses:
LAVENDER: With its highly-coveted scent used in perfumes
and calming tinctures, lavender is a popular flower with humans and horses alike. Flies and fleas, however, not so much. Both these pests find the scent of lavender repulsive. Plant these beautiful purple-blue flowers around the barn in a sunny area with welldrained soil.
PEPPERMINT: We all love a little mint in our lives – but did you know peppermint oil repels adult flies, and also kills fly larvae and eggs? Peppermint loves lots of water and sunshine, spreads rapidly, and is most effective when leaves are crushed and placed around the barn to release maximum scent.
WORMWOOD: This herb is effective at repelling intestinal
worms, ticks, moths, earwigs, mice, flies and slugs. It is best known for its use in absinthe, but also contains compounds known to deter internal parasites. Plant in a sunny location with well-drained soil, and be careful not to over-water.
SAGE AND ROSEMARY: Two of the most popular cooking herbs, sage and rosemary grown around the barn not only liven up your meals, but also diffuse their pungent smells. They’re a common ingredient in natural fly sprays. Both herbs prefer sunny areas with well-drained soils. LEMON THYME: This is a beautiful plant with citrus-scented leaves and pale pink flowers. Lemon thyme contains citronella, which mosquitoes and other insects find repulsive. This herb can also be used in cooking, is an effective digestive aid, and will make a lovely addition to your barn garden. Plant in full sun with well-drained soil. Happy planting and insect-repelling!
HOW DOES IT WORK? It’s all that odor! Thankfully, most of us find the strong odors of these herbs very pleasant, while insects find them repulsive. In addition to planting them around the barn, also consider crushing leaves to release the oils and placing in bowls around the barn to further ward off insects.
CATNIP: Catnip contains nepetalactone, which has been shown
in past studies to be nearly as effective as DEET for deterring mosquitoes. Part of the mint family, catnip also has beneficial digestive properties, and grows well in poor soil and full sun.
RUE: Crush up the leaves of your rue, and you have a very effective fly repellant. Rue makes a very good companion plant
Melanie Falls is a holistic health aficionado and advocate, having healed her own horse, 21-year-old Desario, with natural methods. Melanie writes articles for various equine publications and online blogs and is the owner of Whole Equine, an online store featuring a large catalog of top quality, all-natural horse care products including supplements, fly sprays, first aid and much more. She offers free nutritional consultations to all her customers and is passionate about improving the lives and health of our large four-legged friends. wholeequine.com, email@example.com, 844-946-5378
RESOURCE GUIDE • Associations • Barefoot Hoof Trimming • Chiropractors
• Communicators • Insurance • Integrative Therapies
ASSOCIATIONS Equinextion - EQ Redcliff, AB Canada Phone: (403) 527-9511 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.equinextion.com Canadian Barefoot Hoof Association - CBHA Renfrew, ON Canada Phone: (613) 432-3620 Email: email@example.com Website: www.cdnbha.ca American Hoof Association - AHA Ventura, CA USA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.americanhoofassociation.org Association for the Advancement of Natural Hoof Care Practices - AANHCP Lompoc, CA USA Phone: (805) 735-8480 Email: email@example.com Website: www.aanhcp.net Pacific Hoof Care Practioners - PHCP Ventura, CA USA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.pacifichoofcare.org Equine Science Academy - ESA Catawissa, MO USA Phone: (636) 274-3401 Email: email@example.com Website: www.equinesciencesacademy.com Liberated Horsemanship - CHCP Warrenton, MO USA Phone: (314) 740-5847 Email: BruceNock@mac.com Website: www.liberatedhorsemanship.com
BAREFOOT HOOF TRIMMING Gudrun Buchhofer Judique, NS Canada Phone: (902) 787-2292 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.go-natural.ca Lost July Natural Hoof Care Nina Hassinger Bridgetown, NS Canada Phone: (902) 665-2151 Email: email@example.com
• Massage • Saddle Fitters • Schools and Training
Anne Riddell - AHA Barrie, ON Canada Phone: (705) 427-1682 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.barefoothorsecanada.com Barefoot Hoofcare Specialist Kate Romanenko Woodville ON Canada Phone: (705) 374-5456 Barefoot with BarnBoots Johanna Neuteboom Port Sydney, ON Canada Phone: (705) 385-9086 Email: email@example.com Website: www.barnboots.ca Natural horse care services, education and resources Certified Hoof Care Professional Miriam Braun, CHCP Stoke, QC Canada Phone: (819) 543-0508 Email: Hoofhealth13@yahoo.com Website: www.chevalbarefoot.com Natural Horse, Natural Hoof Sarah Graves Boone, CO USA Phone: (719) 557-0052 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cynthia Niemela - Barefoot Hoof Trimming Minneapolis, MN USA Phone: (612) 481-3036 Website: www.liberatedhorsemanship.com Better Be Barefoot Lockport, NY USA Phone: (716) 432-2218 Email: email@example.com Website: www.betterbebarefoot.com Jeannean Mercuri - The Hoof Fairy, LLC Long Island, NY USA Phone: (631) 434-5032 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.neanpiggy.com, PHCP Mentor & Clinician, AHA Certified Member, Area Served. Margo Scofield Tully, NY USA Phone: (315) 383-6429 Email: email@example.com Website: www.hoofkeeping.com
46 Wellness ViewEquine the Wellness Resource Guide online at: EquineWellnessMagazine.com 46 Equine Wellness
• Thermography • Yoga
Natural Barefoot Trimming Emma Everly, AANHCP CP Columbiana, OH USA Phone: (330) 482-6027 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.barefoottrimming.com ABC Hoof Care Cheryl Henderson Jacksonville, OR USA Phone: (541) 899-1535 Email: email@example.com Website: www.abchoofcare.com The Veterinary Hospital Nancy Johnson Eugene, OR USA Phone: (541) 688-1835 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Horsense Natural Hoof Care Cori Brennan Sharon, SC USA Phone: (803) 927-0018 Email: email@example.com Charles Hall Elora, TN USA Phone: (931) 937-0033 Hoofmaiden Performance Barefoot Hoof Care Elizabeth TeSelle, EQ Leipers Fork, TN USA Phone: (615) 300-6917 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.blue-heron-farm.com/hoofmaiden Kel Manning, CP, Field Instructor, NTW Clinician Knoxville, TN USA Phone: (865) 765-9632 Email: email@example.com Marie Jackson Jonesborough, TN USA Phone: (423) 753-9349 Mary Ann Kennedy Fairview, TN USA Phone: (615) 412-4222 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.maryannkennedy.com Icicle Equine Services Katie Garrett Leavenworth, WA USA Phone: (425) 422-4799 Email: Kegarrett88@yahoo.com
Equine IR Bonsall, CA USA (888) 762-2547 Phone: info@equineIR.com Website: www.equineIR.com Thermal Equine Eric Flavin New Paltz, NY USA Phone: (845) 222-4286 Email: email@example.com Website: www.thermalequine.com
COMMUNICATORS Claudia Hehr Animal Communicator To truly know and understand animals. Georgetown, ON Canada Phone: (519) 833-2382 Website: www.claudiahehr.com
The Oasis Farm Cavan, ON Canada Phone: (705) 742-3297 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.animalillumination.com Animal Energy Lynn McKenzie Sedona, AZ USA Phone: (928) 282-9800 Email: email@example.com Website: www.animalenergy.com
Dr. Bonnie Harder, D.C. Ogle, IL USA Phone: (815) 757-0425 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.holisticbalanceanimalchiro.com
Yoga with Horses Pemberton, BC USA Phone: (604) 902-4556 Email: email@example.com Website: www.yogawithhorses.com
SADDLE FITTERS Happy Horseback Saddles Vernon, BC Canada Phone: (250) 542-5091 Website: www.happyhorsebacksaddles.ca Action Rider Tack Medford, OR USA Phone: (877) 865-2467 Website: www.actionridertack.com
SCHOOLS AND TRAINING Equinology, Inc. & Caninology Gualala, CA USA Phone: (707) 884-9963 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.equinology.com Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute Amy Snow & Nancy Zidonis Larkspur, CO USA Phone: (303) 681-3033 Email: email@example.com Website: www.animalacupressure.com
INTEGRATIVE THERAPIES The Happy Natural Horse Lorrie Bracaloni Boonsboro, MD USA Phone: (301) 432-6216 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.happynaturalhorse.com
Virginia Natural Horsemanship Training Center Blacksburg, VA USA Phone: (540) 953-3360 Email: sylvia@NaturalHorseTraining.com Website: www.NaturalHorseTraining.com Healing Touch for Animals Drea Robertson Highlands Ranch, CO USA Phone: (303) 470-6572 Email: email@example.com Website: www.healingtouchforanimals.com Double Check Inspections Inc. Ottawa, ON USA Phone: (613) 322-3682 Website: www.doublecheckinspections.ca
View the Wellness Resource Guide online at: EquineWellnessMagazine.com
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Equine Wellness Equine Wellness 4747
By Tom Scheve
INNOVATIONS and safety tips for your horse trailer Your trailer carries some very precious By Tom Scheve cargo – help keep your horses safe with these tips and equipment. It’s sad to say, but over the last 20 years there have been few innovations in horse trailers, as compared to the auto/truck and RV industries. Cars can now park and drive themselves, automatically slow down when approaching obstacles, vibrate steering wheels if the center line is crossed, and even display icons that tell you to “take a rest” if the system detects erratic driving. The fact that the entire horse trailer industry comprises only a fraction of the auto/truck/ RV industry is probably behind the lack of new trailer developments. There are ten million horses in the United States, owned by about four million horse owners; meanwhile, 8.9 million people own RVs and $570 billion is spent on cars every year. Some RV dealerships sell more retail units in a year than the largest horse trailer manufacturer will even build. But thanks to the auto, truck and RV industry, quite a few new safety innovations are being implemented by the more safety-conscious horse trailer manufacturers, and many can be added aftermarket.
TIRE MONITORS When a trailer tire blows, the consequences can range from an inconvenience to a major accident. At the very least, a blown tire can take out a trailer fender and perhaps leave you in the tenuous situation of having to deal with it out on the road. Tires can blow from age, dry rot, imperfection, or from an un-level trailer, but mostly they blow from improper inflation. There are now systems that monitor trailer tire pressure and temperature on a screen in your tow vehicle. Some monitors such as Tire Linc will sense rapid pressure fluctuations, providing a window of time to pull the vehicle over and visually inspect the tires, possibly preventing an accident. These systems typically run from $280 to $325.
Tips for reducing tire failure:
Make sure the trailer is level so its weight is sitting on all four tires. An un-level trailer will overload one of the axles and its two tires, causing the tires to heat up and blow. • Check the tire pressure before you leave the barn, and before you head back. You’re more apt to pick up a nail on the road than at the barn. • Tires last about six years no matter how good they appear to be. The integrity of the tire changes and glues weaken. • eep the psi (pounds per square inch) K at or near maximum. They will ride cooler, flex less and lengthen the life of the tire.
TOWALERT In an age when time is a premium, the use of cell phones and tablets while driving has become the norm even though it’s illegal in most states and provinces. As a consequence, the incidence of rear end collisions has grown dramatically. This has become a major concern for those who haul horses. TowAlert is a highly visible strobe light designed to activate more quickly than your brake lights, warning drivers in back of you that you are slowing down. Although your brake lights provide the same function, TowAlert gives you one or two seconds’ safety margin by operating independently of the brake system – this can mean the difference between getting hit or not. It has been tested in the trucking industry and statistics proved that it reduced rear end collisions significantly. TowAlert is an option on some model horse trailers (standard on EquiSpirit) but can be easily installed aftermarket. It’s distributed by Equispirit for $249. Continued on page 50.
Tips to avoid rear end collision:
Check the trailer brake lights when heading out and before coming back to the barn. • If possible, have an extra set of brake lights installed on the rear of the trailer for greater visibility. • dd a set of turn signals to the fenders so they are visible A to those at the side of you. • Add a large “Caution Horses” sign to the rear of the trailer. • Make sure the rear of your trailer is strong enough to withstand impact; e.g. have full height doors with a ramp over them, instead of a ramp with upper storm doors.
Continued from page 49.
GPS TRACKING SYSTEM
WIRELESS CAMERA MONITORS
Horse trailers disappear more often than you might think. If your trailer leaves without your knowledge or permission, a GPS tracker will let you know exactly where to find it. A quality tracking system is easy to install and use. The battery life is an important factor on a GPS tracker, and the better units will have a five-year battery life. The higher quality ones will be reliable in any weather conditions. A small device with magnets is hidden in your trailer and can be monitored from your cell phone. Avoid those with monthly fees. The TTU-72GPS from GPS & Track is battery powered with no fees. The price is around $279.
You are driving down the road and all of a sudden your trailer starts shaking. You can feel there’s a problem with your horse, but don’t know what’s happening. Remote cameras will give you “eyes” in your trailer. Cameras wired into a horse trailer have been around for a while, but wireless cameras have not, because the reception has been iffy at best. However, advanced technology has solved most reception problems. You may pay a bit more, but the higher quality wireless cameras are easy to install and are reliable. Many horse owners will install one in the stall area and one on the outside rear to have a view for backing up. A good quality wireless camera is offered by RanchCam for around $625 for one camera, $800 for two.
Tips to avoid theft:
Tips for camera installation: Specialty trailer locks for both gooseneck and bumper pulls can be expensive but are very effective at deterring someone from hooking up your trailer and heading down the road. A basic padlock and key will deter the causal thief, but a serious thief can remove the lock with a bolt cutter. • If you are without a lock for your gooseneck and it has an adjustable coupler, you can remove the coupler with a couple of wrenches and put it in your truck. • Have a very large unique decal, such as a number, placed on the roof of your trailer that can be seen from the air.
Place cameras out of reach of your horses If this isn’t possible, a horse-friendly guard should be placed over them. • Place more cameras in longer, larger trailers so you can monitor all the horses.
AIRRIDE GOOSENECK HITCH A horse that arrives at your destination rested and stress-free is a happier and safer horse to ride. Rubber torsion suspension, which is standard on 99% of all new horse trailers, takes most of the shock out of the road and reduces stress on your horse’s
When a trailer tire blows, the consequences can range from an inconvenience to a major accident. legs. But what about the third axle, the one holding up the front of your gooseneck trailer and is not rubber torsion – your truck axle? You obviously can’t change out the axle on your truck, but you can easily compensate by replacing your coupler with an AirSafe gooseneck coupler, lessening the front bounce and giving a much smoother ride. These are priced at around $1,800.
Tips for safer gooseneck hauling:
Don’t tow your gooseneck trailer with an undersized truck. Make sure the towing capacity, curb weight, and wheel base are a good match for your loaded trailer. • Don’t overdo the tow vehicle. Too much truck can give your horses a pretty rough ride. • Always use the safety chains. They not only keep the trailer from falling off the back of the truck in case of ball failure, but will keep the trailer from being thrown forward into the cab if you have to slam on the brakes.
Nothing beats prevention when it comes to safety. Adding some of the new safety features to your existing or future horse trailer means you’ll be much better equipped to enjoy a fun day out with your horses, without mishap.
Authors of the Complete Guide to Buying, Maintaining, and Servicing a Horse Trailer and Equine Emergencies on the Road, Tom and Neva Scheve are nationally recognized for their clinics on horse trailer safety and are the developers and owners of EquiSpirit Trailer Company. For more info, contact Tom at 1-877-575-1771, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit equispirit.com.
HERBS FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE AND HEALTH In today’s horse world, it’s hardly a stretch to say that natural alternatives are the new conventional medicine. Terms like “organic” and “homeopathy” have become commonplace, and more and more people are seeking natural solutions to everyday equine health issues. And it’s no wonder – with fewer side effects and countless benefits even in cases where mainstream solutions have failed, the natural route often boasts far more pros than cons.
Healing herbs Even before it became common knowledge, Deb Gwynn understood the benefits of holistic medicine. She began formulating herbs in 1996 for herself and her horses, then subsequently used her experience to create Glacier Peak Holistics, a company dedicated to the health and wellness of canine, feline and equine companions. “We use only natural, 100% organic herbs to provide animals with safe, effective alternatives,” says Deb, who creates all the company’s healing blends using her practical knowledge as an herbalist, with just a pinch of intuition.
has grown exponentially in the past 20 years. The company offers formulas to ease inflammation, boost immune system health, and battle common ailments such as girth itch, rain rot, minor wounds, itchy bug bites and much more, and the products are now shipped worldwide. “This is the first year we have actively pursued the horse industry,” adds Deb, “so it’s really exciting to get back to what started it all in the first place – horses and what we can do to help them.”
“Our first and bestselling product is Inflapotion,” Deb continues. “It was originally created for my horse who had mud fever. It was so bad his legs resembled tree trunks due to the swelling. He got his first dose for dinner that evening, and two doses the following day. By the morning of the third day, there was no swelling and his skin was pink instead of red and angry. By the end of the week, the hair on his legs had already started to grow back. It was then I knew I had something special.” Today, Deb still sources all her product ingredients herself, and all Glacier Peak Holistics formulas are made in-house to ensure quality.
As part of their mission to boost health and relieve pain, Glacier Peak Holistics uses a biofeedback scan to measure physical and energetic imbalances in dogs and horses. This test can identify over 200 food and environmental factors that may disturb a horse’s energy balance, and lays the groundwork for Deb and her team to determine which of their formulas will best benefit each animal. In dogs, the scan assesses over 300 food and environmental factors. Currently, 150 veterinarians are also using this scan as a tool to help their patients. “Horses, being natural grazers, will instinctively seek out herbs to keep them in balance,” explains Deb. “I love being able to
Balance and growth Thanks to Deb’s ongoing dedication to excellence, along with word of mouth from happy pet parents, Glacier Peak Holistics 52
offer them what they would otherwise be missing.”
GREEN By Laura Batts
HORSE BEDDING FOR BETTER COMPOSTING If you are a regular reader of this publication, then you are probably familiar with the many benefits of composting horse manure. It decreases the volume of waste on your farm, reduces flies and pathogens, kills weed seeds, minimizes odors, and improves the quality of your soil when applied to pastures after being composted.
BEDDING FOR YOUR COMPOST HEAP When deciding what you will bed your stalls with, it’s good to know the best bedding to use for composting. Of course, any bedding you choose should be absorbent, non-toxic, dust-free and comfortable to your horses. For strictly bedding purposes, your primary focus should be on absorbency, as the more absorbent a bedding is, the less you will have to use. • If you are choosing bedding for composting, you might be surprised to learn that typical bedding materials aren’t always the best option. For example, many farm owners use straw, which is a great choice if you live near mushroom farms as they will pay you for your manure; but for the rest of us, straw is not very absorbent and it doesn’t compost well. • Shavings are another popular choice in barns, and are very absorbent. Unfortunately, the types of wood used for shavings have components in them (e.g. tannin, lignin and resins) that make them very resistant to composting. Sawdust is another popular option and generally lacks the negative properties of shavings, so it is considered more compostable. But it can be dusty.
• There are some unusual options you might consider for bedding if you want to compost. Shredded cardboard (as in boxes) is highly absorbent, low in dust and good for composting. Hemp is another option; it’s a renewable resource, and grown without pesticides, which is nice if you are adding your compost to your vegetable garden. Hemp is also dust-free. • Another unusual bedding material that’s great for composting is shredded paper. It’s very absorbent, dust-free and breaks down easily in the compost bin. It can be more difficult to locate, but you can begin by asking a local document shredding company if they have any paper with non-toxic soy-based inks.
• Wood pellets are making their mark in the bedding industry. They are made from wood or wheat and are very absorbent. They reduce the volume of bedding you need to use and remove, which is nice, plus the C:N (carbon to nitrogen ratio) is great for composting.
As you can see, not all stable bedding is created equal when it comes to composting. If you compost, or are planning on starting, you not only need to factor in absorbency, availability and cost, but also the material’s suitability for composting. If you would like more details on any of the bedding ideas mentioned above, contact Laura@horsehippie.com and check out her blog EcoEquine (ecoequine.wordpress.com).
ACUPRESSURE AT-A-GLANCE By Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis
JOINT HEALTH AND EQUINE ACUPRESSURE Every sport horse needs strong healthy joints. We ask a lot of our horses – whether it’s jumping, climbing mountains, stopping short, spinning, or pulling a cart – and the risk of short-term injury or long-term damage is always there. Taking an integrative approach can help you maintain the strength and flexibility of your horse’s joints. Horse people know that breeding plays a huge role in a horse’s overall structural development and soundness. Trainers tell us about proper training and conditioning techniques, which are essential during every stage in the horse’s life. Diet is of the utmost importance, while veterinary assessment and early detection of joint issues are critical. Experts in all these fields can give you a treasure trove of information about how to best care for your horse’s joints and prevent injury. Giving your horse an acupressure-massage session twice a week is something you can do on your own to support his joints. Acupressure is non-invasive, safe, always available, deceptively gentle, yet powerful. Horses are highly receptive to acupressuremassage. For over 3,000 years, these bodywork techniques have been proven through clinical observation to enhance equine health and performance.
CLINICAL SIGNS OF JOINT TRAUMA • Lameness • Exercise avoidance • Gait changes • Swelling • Heat • Audible clicking of the joint • Pain response to touch Note: If any of the above conditions occur, immediately seek veterinary assessment and recommendations. Acupressuremassage is not a substitute for veterinary medical care.
By offering your equine athlete acupressure-massage sessions two times a week, you will support his ability to stay sound, preventing injury while extending his years of comfort and wellbring, and your enjoyment of your chosen sport.
EQUINE JOINTS The horse’s joints are made up of at least two bones covered by smooth, interfacing cartilage, synovial fluid, and ligaments binding the joint together. The equine athlete’s joints must articulate properly and withstand a huge amount of impact. Miraculously, these joints are structurally designed to flex, and serve as amazing shock absorbers. However, repetitive wear and tear, a sudden impact injury, a ligament tear or instability, and/or joint disease can put an end to a horse’s career and to your enjoyment of equine sports or even leisurely trail riding. As tough as horses are, we are responsible for protecting them and preventing as much pain and suffering as possible.
ACUPRESSURE-MASSAGE FOR JOINT HEALTH Specific acupressure points, also called “acupoints”, help nourish and balance the structural components of the horse’s joints – including bones, cartilage, synovial fluid and ligaments. By gently placing your thumb on the acupoints shown in the chart, you are bringing chi (life-promoting energy) and blood to the tissues. The ligaments need nourishment to remain supple and strong enough to flex and hold the joint in alignment. The cartilage covering the surface of the connecting bones, along with the synovial joint fluid, must receive nutrients and chi to sustain their capacity to move smoothly and absorb impact to the joint. 54
Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis are the authors of Acu-Horse: A Guide to Equine Acupressure, Acu-Dog: A Guide to Canine Acupressure and Acu-Cat: A Guide to Feline Acupressure. They founded Tallgrass, offering books, manuals, DVDs, apps, and meridian charts. Tallgrass also provides a 300-hour hands-on and online training program worldwide. It is an approved school for the Department of Higher Education Vocational Schools through the State of Colorado, and an approved provider of NCBTMB and NCCAOM Continuing Education courses. Contact 303-681-3030, animalacupressure.com or email@example.com.
Need a larger slow feeder? The Slow Bale Buddy has a patented safety fastener so that hazardous drawstring fasteners are not a worry. It is made out of heavy duty preshrunk 100% nylon netting with 1” and 1/2” openings. All seams and openings are double bound for durability. It’s available for bales of every size and shape, and comes with a one-year warranty.
DAILY DOSE EQUINE Give her a little “boost”. GI THRIVE ™ used once a day allows a horse to function naturally inside, even during active training and competition. Based on a whole food, non-GMO recipe, GI THRIVE neutralizes stomach acid. Ingredients such as papaya and oat flour soothe digestive tissues, while prebiotics promote efficient hindgut fermentation.
BIG BALE BUDDY
Good news for horses! The Ontario Equestrian Federation (OEF) has earmarked a portion of its registration proceeds to help fund equine research. The OEF Member Equine Research Fund, aimed at helping improve the overall health and well-being of horses, will help drive research projects at Equine Guelph (part of the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada). The OEF, which represents more than 22,000 individual members from all sectors of the horse industry, has issued a challenge to other provinces to follow suit.
Does your horse need a little help after vigorous exercise? Finish Line has introduced Willowcin-X™, a bute-like herbal paste that offers relief from minor stiffness or soreness due to overexertion. Formulated to be gentle on the horse’s digestive tract, Willowcin-X™ can be given before or after feeding and in conjunction with other Easy Willow products on a recurring basis.
Cinchjeans.com Photo courtesy of Royal Veterinary College
OEF ISSUES RESEARCH CHALLENGE
Finally the perfect blend of form and fashion! Breathable, quickdrying ARENAFLEX shirts are made of lightweight moisturewicking stretch fabric, providing increased range of motion and ease of movement for every summer activity. Available in a variety of button-down and polo shirts, they’re a must-have for the sweltering days of summer.
USE OF ELASTIC RESISTANCE BANDS IN REHABILITATION AND TRAINING
Rehabilitation programs for horses suffering from lameness and back problems often aim to improve core muscle strength and dynamic stability of the spine. To this end, new research by the Royal Veterinary College examined a specific system of elastic resistance bands in a four-week exercise program. The study found that the use of the elastic band system in the training program was correlated with greater dynamic stability of the horse’s back. Equine Wellness
TO THE RESCUE
AMARYLLIS FARM EQUINE RESCUE Equine Wellness will donate 25% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA005 to Amaryllis Farm Equine Rescue.
YEAR ESTABLISHED: 1989 LOCATION: Bridgehampton, NY TYPES OF ANIMALS THEY WORK WITH: Amaryllis Farm intercepts slaughter-bound horses, rehabilitates them and finds them loving homes. The horses live in peace and dignity, and are granted sanctuary when needed. For those horses that remain as residents due to old age or ailment, the focus is on their quality of life, and much time is spent trying to achieve what each horse would consider his or her dream life.
NUMBER OF STAFF/VOLUNTEERS/FOSTER HOMES: A 100% volunteer-run equine rescue. FUNDRAISING PROJECTS: Fundraising efforts go to equine housing, care, and maintenance.
FAVORITE RESCUE STORY: “Aragorn was about as much of a mess as you get doing horse rescue,” says founder Christine Distefano. “He was waiting for the slaughter truck as an emaciated, sick, unsound and bewildered ex-racehorse. The rainrot he was covered in was coated with a tar-like substance, something like cow feces. “I saved him because of his eye. It clearly showed that this horse had a most tender soul.” Aragorn spent three months in quarantine during his recovery, during which jellybeans became his favorite treat, and still are today. “Partnering with a horse is the most extraordinary experience. Helping them heal and bloom is magical.”
BEAR VALLEY RESCUE Sundre, AB Rescue Code: EWA038 www.bearvalleyab.org
JOURNEY’S END RANCH ANIMAL RESCUE Kingman, AZ Rescue Code: EWA021 www.jersanctuary.org
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FORGOTTEN HORSES RESCUE INC Homeland, CA Rescue Code: EWA056 www.forgottenhorsesrescue.org NATIONAL EQUINE RESOURCE NETWORK Encinitas, CA Rescue Code: EWA030 www.nationalequine.org THE GENTLE BARN Santa Clarita, CA Rescue Code: EWA180 www.gentlebarn.org DREAMCATCHERS EQUINE RESCUE Fountain, CO Rescue Code: EWA059 www.dcerinc.org SUSAN G. KOMEN FOR THE CURE Farmington, CT Rescue Code: EWA067 www.KomenCT.org HORSE RESCUE RELIEF & RETIREMENT FUND INC. Cumming, GA Rescue Code: EWA060 www.SaveTheHorses.org STAMP OUT STARVATION OF HORSES INC. Clarksville, GA Rescue Code: EWA033 www.sosofhorses.com BLACK HILLS WILD HORSE SANCTUARY Hot Springs, ID Rescue Code: EWA085 www.wildmustangs.com SOCIETY FOR HOOVED ANIMALS’ RESCUE & EMERGENCY Champaign, IL Rescue Code: EWA018 www.s-h-a-r-e.net/ SOUTHERN WINDS EQUINE RESCUE & RECOVERY CENTER Udall, KS Rescue Code: EWA010 www.southernwindsequinerescue.org
OUR MIMS RETIREMENT HAVEN Paris, KY Rescue Code: EWA184 www.OurMims.org RAINHILL EQUINE FACILITY INC. Bowling Green, KY Rescue Code: EWA095 www.rainhillequinefacili.wix.com BLUE STAR EQUICULTURE St. Palmer, MA Rescue Code: EWA027 www.equiculture.org EQUINE RESCUE NETWORK Boxford, MA Rescue Code: EWA093 www.equinerescuenetwork.com GENTLE GIANTS DRAFT HORSE RESCUE Mount Alry, MD Rescue Code: EWA094 www.GentleGiantsDraftHorse Rescue.com SAND STONE FARMS RESCUE EFFORT Ortonville, MI Rescue Code: EWA062 www.sandstonefarm.info SAVING GRACE MINIATURE HORSE RESCUE Emmett, MI Rescue Code: EWA196 www.sgminihorserescue.com BIT O’ LUCK HORSE RESCUE Huntersville, NC Rescue Code: EWA053 www.bitoluck.org LIVE AND LET LIVE FARM RESCUE Chichester, NH Rescue Code: EWA187 www.liveandletlivefarm.org HORSE RESCUE UNITED Howell, NJ Rescue Code: EWA049 www.horserescueunited.org AMARYLLIS FARM EQUINE RESCUE Bridgehampton, NY Rescue Code: EWA005 www.amaryllisfarm.com ANOTHER CHANCE EQUINE RESCUE Columbia Station, OH Rescue Code: EWA022 www.acerescue.org
PASO BY PASO EQUINE REHABILITATION Bend, OR Rescue Code: EWA055 www.pasobypaso.org L.E.A.R.N. HORSE RESCUE Ravenel, SC Rescue Code: EWA190 www.learnhorserescue.org FERRELL HOLLOW FARM Readyville, TN Rescue Code: EWA054 www.ferrellhollowfarm.org CROSSFIRE RESCUE Bacliffe, TX Rescue Code: EWA052 www.crossfirerescue.org
EQUINE CANCER SOCIETY Mansfield, TX Rescue Code: EWA182 www.equinecancersociety.com THE PEGASUS PROJECT Ben Wheeler, TX Rescue Code: EWA002 www.mypegasusproject.org CENTRAL VIRGINIA HORSE RESCUE Brodnax, VA Rescue Code: EWA058 www.centralvahorserescue.com PAINTED ACRES RESCUE & SANCTUARY, INC Winchester, VA Rescue Code: EWA075 www.paintedacresrescue.web.net SERENITY EQUINE RESCUE & REHABILITATION Maple Valley, WA Rescue Code: EWA028 www.serenityequinerescue.com THE DAVEY JONES EQUINE MEMORIAL FOUNDATION Seattle, WA Rescue Code: EWA064 www.djemf.com SPIRIT HORSE EQUINE RESCUE Janesville, WI Rescue Code: EWA083 www.spirithorseequinerescue.org HEART OF PHOENIX Shoals, WV Rescue Code: EWA096 www.wvhorserescue.org
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BOOK REVIEW TITLE: The Rider’s Edge AUTHOR: Janet Sasson Edgette If you handle and ride horses, chances are you have dealt with some degree of fear, nervousness or anxiety. Janet Sasson Edgette specializes in helping equestrians overcome such challenges, and has spent years working with riders of all levels and disciplines. “Riders and trainers often assume that equestrian sport psychology concerns itself only with performance nerves,” she writes in The Rider’s Edge – Overcoming the Psychological Challenges of Riding. “They overlook many of the other issues this sport can bring up that can’t be remedied by a new bit, a new horse, or extra lessons.” Her book features personal stories from real riders with real challenges The Q&A format offers an easily-relatable reading experience. Janet tackles issues such as performance nerves, confidence building, overcoming fears, good sportsmanship, relationships in the equestrian world, balancing life and riding, buying and losing horses, advice for younger riders, and more. “Fears, performance anxieties, and peculiar thoughts become problems only when a person believes she shouldn’t be having them, or that they are stupid, or that she will ride more effectively only when they go away,” writes Janet. “None of those is true.” The Rider’s Edge has something for every equestrian – no matter your age, discipline or riding level.
PUBLISHER: Equine Network 60
EMAIL YOUR EVENT TO: info@EquineWellnessMagazine.com the next week’s material, the answers to the questions from the week before will be at the front.
This show features exhibits, a market party, educational roundtables and much more!
For more information and full course details: (707) 884-9963 Equinologyoffice@gmail.com www.equinology.com
Exhibitors and buyers will spend 3 days viewing English and Western merchandise, networking with each other and learning the latest in equestrian products and services at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center!
For more information: email@example.com www.aeta.us
American Saddlebred World’s Championship Horse Show August 19–26, 2017 Louisville, KY This prestigious Saddlebred horse show attracts spectators and competitors from across the world. More than 2,000 horses compete for over $1 million in awards during this seven-day event. Horses compete in divisions such as Three-Gaited, Five-Gaited, Fine Harness, Saddlebred Pleasure and more. Horses and riders who win earn the title of world’s champion. A second place finish is given the title of reserve world’s champion and horses may also earn the world’s grand championship or world’s championship of champions title.
Canadian Equestrian Equipment & Apparel Show September 23–25, 2017 Toronto, ON Established in 1972, the Canadian Equestrian Equipment and Apparel Association is Eastern Canada’s premier trade event for Equestrian Retailers. With both Spring (February) and Fall (September) markets, the CEEAA offers retailers a chance to connect with over 40 specialized equestrian wholesalers in one easy-to-access venue. CEEAA markets are a great opportunity to speak directly with manufacturers and their representatives, to see what’s new and exciting in the industry and to pick up new merchandising tips and techniques. Additionally, store owners and their staff members are invited to take advantage of the on-site seminars and training opportunities.
For more information: (519) 821-9207 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ceeaamarket.ca
For more information: (270) email@example.com http://www.kystatefair.org/wchs/index.html
2017 International Dressage at Devon Horse Show September 26–October 1, 2017 Devon, PA
Equine Nutrition: NRC Plus with Dr. Eleanor M. Kellon, VMD September 17–November 19, 2017 Distance Learning
This event opens with the 3-Day Breed Division which judges horses on movement and conformation. More than 29 breeds will be represented. The combination of breed classes and performance classes should not be missed! As well, the festival shops offer
This course fulfills the requirement for the Nutrition course component of the Master Equinology® Equine Body Worker Series. However, this is an excellent course for anyone to take at any time whether they are a horse owner, trainer or student. Health starts with nutrition. The material for each section of the course will be posted on the internet weekly as a pdf file. It will include the material Dr. Kellon wishes to cover, links for further reading, and a series of review questions that will emphasize the most important points. When students receive
exclusive apparel, fine arts, antiques and collectibles from more than 65 vendors. Families can enjoy the weekend, with plenty of activities for the youngsters! This is an event you won’t want to miss!
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org www.dressageatdevon.org
Centered Riding/Holistic Horsemanship Open Clinic October 14–15, 2017 Bath, NH
AETA International Trade Show August 12–14, 2017 Oaks, PA
This clinic is designed for horse enthusiasts wishing to develop a better understanding of their horse and improve their riding skills. We welcome all breeds and all levels of riders, from walk/trot pleasure riders to seasoned competitors. Equestrians of all styles of riding are invited to discover how the Centered Riding Basics leads to improved comfort, relaxation, confidence, communication and balance.
For more information: Melissa Hamlet (603) 838-5318 email@example.com www.heidipotter.com
The Mane Event: Chilliwack October 20–22, 2017 Chilliwack, BC Some of North America’s top clinicians provide quality information on a variety of different disciplines at the largest indoor equine trade show in Canada! Explore the best selection of equine products and services available from bits to boots and tack to trailers.
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org https://chilliwack.maneeventexpo.com/
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MINUTE HORSEMANSHIP By Richard Winters
PREPARING YOUR HORSE
for a successful ride
recently watched a short video clip on Facebook. It involved a rider mounting his horse. It ended in disaster. The rider was seen quietly lunging his saddled horse in a round pen. He then walked up to the horse, stepped on and was immediately and violently bucked off. As I watched this video, it was evident to me that the rider had not prepared his horse properly. It’s true that you cannot prepare for everything when it comes to horses. There is an inherent risk in dealing with these animals. However, 90% of the wrecks I’ve seen, or have been involved in, could have been avoided with better preparation. Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing your mount for a successful ride.
1. Ask yourself – when was the last time this horse was ridden?
You can leave some horses out in the pasture for weeks. You can pull them out and get on and it’s as if you never missed a day. But this kind of horse is the exception and not the rule. The longer it has been since the horse was last ridden, the more diligent you should be in taking the time to warm him up properly before mounting.
2. Do the majority of your groundwork and warmup with your horse saddled. I see people mistakenly spending a lot of time lunging their horses on the ground unsaddled. Then they saddle the horse, step on and get bucked off. If you need to work your horse on the ground before saddling, that’s fine. But you must continue to work your horse with the saddle on to truly have him prepared.
3. Know that whether you are lunging your horse on
a line, or free lunging in the round pen, he must go through the full range of motion.
That means you need to send your horse out at the walk, trot and lope. He also needs to change direction with some energy 62
and impulsion. The saddle on his back feels different at the trot than it does at the walk. It also feels different at the lope than it does when trotting. And when your horse turns, pushes off and goes in another direction, it’s an entirely different sensation.
4. Consider your environment and conditions. When I conduct clinics, I have had people tell me, “My horse doesn’t act like this at home.” I am convinced it’s true. He’s not at home! Horses are creatures of habit and being outside their familiar surroundings can be enough to at least distract them, and at most have them buck you off. Also know that if it’s 40°F and the wind is blowing 20 miles an hour, there’s a chance your horse is not going to act as nice and gentle as he did on that warm, quiet summer afternoon. This is only a partial list. It’s up to you to read your horse and know what it takes to have him prepared for mounting. Don’t let your riding experience be the next to go viral online! Richard Winters has dedicated himself to honing his horsemanship skills, and passing this knowledge on to others, for over 35 years. His horsemanship journey has earned him Colt Starting and Horse Showing Championship titles. He obtained his goal of a World Championship in the National Reined Cow Horse Association in 2005. He is an AA rated judge. Another of Richard’s horsemanship goals was realized with his 2009 Road to the Horse Colt Starting Championship. He has returned as the Horseman’s Host for five consecutive years. Richard was also a Top Five Finalist at the Cowboy Dressage World Finals in 2015. wintersranch.com