V7I3 (Jun/Jul 2012)

Page 1

Equine wellness


Your natural resource!


special issue:

performance horses


tame the clipping

Teach your horse how to clip


Thermography Coloring the world of equine lameness

Sweet Home Home

Our top 8 tips for selecting a boarding barn

keep your


Manage your horse’s hydration this season

What’s behind

Shockwave therapy Wow Factor!

Get that show ring shine – naturally VOLUME 7 ISSUE 3

Display until August 14, 2012 $5.95 USA/Canada



More Than


Shoeing options for transitioning horses equine wellness



equine wellness


Your natural resource!


Volume 7 Issue 3 Editorial Department Editor-in-Chief: Dana Cox Editor: Kelly Howling Editor: Ann Brightman Graphic Designer: Dawn Cumby-Dallin Graphic Designer: Kathleen Malloy Cover Photography: Dawn Cumby-Dallin Columnists & Contributing Writers Anita TenBruggencate Liv Gude Joyce Harman, DVM, MRCVS Bob Jeffreys Jenny Johnson, VMD Tonya Johnston, MA Stephanie Krahl Michael I. Lindinger, PhD Anne Riddell, Certified Natural Hoof Care Practitioner, AHA Joanna Robson, DVM, CVSMT, CMP, CVA, CSFT, CIT Suzanne Sheppard


Advertising Sales Equine National Sales Manager: John M. Allan (866) 764-1212 ext. 405 john@redstonemediagroup.com

Submissions: Please send all editorial material, advertising material, photos and correspondence to Equine Wellness Magazine, 202-160 Charlotte St. Peterborough, ON, Canada K9J 2T8. We welcome previously unpublished articles and color pictures either in transparency or disc form at 300 dpi.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. Email your articles to: submissions@ equinewellnessmagazine.com. Dealer or Group Inquiries Welcome: Equine Wellness Magazine is available at a discount for resale in retail shops and through various organizations. Call 1-866-764-1212 and ask for dealer magazine sales, fax us at 705-742-4596 or e-mail libby@redstonemediagroup.com.

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Publisher: Redstone Media Group Inc. President/C.E.O.: Tim Hockley Associate publisher: John Allan Office Manager: Lesia Wright Communications: Libby Sinden IT: Brad Vader


US Mail: Equine Wellness Magazine, 6834 S University Blvd PMB 155 Centennial, CO 80122 CDN Mail: Equine Wellness Magazine, 202-160 Charlotte St., Peterborough, ON, Canada K9J 2T8. Subscriptions are payable by VISA, MasterCard, American Express, check or money order. The material in this magazine is not intended to replace the care of veterinary practitioners. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editor, and different views may appear in other issues. Refund policy: call or write our customer service department and we will refund unmailed issues.

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© 2012. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, without prior written permission of the publisher. Publication date: June 2012

Topics include: disease prevention natural diets and nutrition natural health care

product recommendations integrative Vet Q & A gentle training, and so much more!

Call or go online today – your animals will thank you!


9am– 5pm E.S.T.


On the cover photograph by:

Dawn Cumby-Dallin Thermography is reemerging as a helpful, non-invasive diagnostic tool for horses. Check out the article by Dr. Joanna Robson on page 41 to learn more.

Improving the lives of animals... one reader at a time.

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57 features 12 Shave and a haircut

Teaching your horse how to clip doesn’t have to be a dramatic task. Learn how to tame the “clipper monster”.

16 Bit of a shock Many of us have heard the term shockwave therapy, and some have used it to treat injuries in horses. But how much do we really know about the principles behind this innovative treatment?

20 Keep your cool

Managing hydration and thermoregulation in warm environments is crucial to your horse’s health and performance.


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24 More than metal

When making the transition to barefoot, or riding over certain terrains, your horse may benefit from a little extra support. Let’s review some alternatives to traditional metal shoes.

28 The truth about training tools

Before condemning bits, spurs and other devices as cruel, consider this: tools are neither good nor bad. It’s how they’re used that makes the difference.

32 Home sweet home Selecting a boarding facility doesn’t have to be traumatic. Here are our top 8 tips to help you through the process.

36 Ring sour

Have show nerves have taken the fun out of competitive riding? These tips can help you return to the ring with a smile.

41 Coloring the world of lameness

Equine thermography is gaining attention from equine professionals and riders alike – could it help your own horse?

50 Wow factor

Getting your horse show ring ready doesn’t have to involve harsh shampoos and shine sprays. Check out this professional groom’s tips for getting the perfect look, naturally.

57 Driven to help

How one adoption organization is putting the horse before the cart.

62 What a show!

Odysseo pushes the boundaries of live performance to a spectacular new level.



Columns 8


Neighborhood news

6 Editorial

53 Hot to trot

27 Product picks

58 Book review

46 Equine Wellness resource guide 54 Holistic veterinary advice – Talking with Dr. Joyce Harman 59 Marketplace 61 Classifieds 62


41 equine wellness


editorial It’s

Show Time I

t’s that time of year again – show season is upon us! I’ve particularly enjoyed working on this performance horse themed issue – mainly because, for the most part, I’ll probably be living vicariously through everyone else this show season. My mare and I are just easing ourselves back into the show ring after a hiatus of a few years. And while I miss being at the horse shows, I don’t particularly miss the ridiculously early mornings (is 3 am even considered morning?) to bathe, braid, trailer, warm up and so on. I think my wallet appreciates it, too. I have a couple of clients who are thinking of showing this year, and we’ve had some interesting conversations over the last few months. One abhors any type of “beautification” required for her horse to show – including, but not limited to, mane tidying/pulling, braiding and trimming/clipping. Another struggles with the attitude of some competitors that horses in this sport are somewhat of a means to an end. When it comes to natural horsekeeping and being competitive, you may often feel that you are walking a fine line between what is best for your horse, and what is necessary to meet the goals you have set for the two of you, as well as the pressures of some competitors and coaches. Over the years I’ve come to realize there are no concrete answers – each horse/rider combination is different,


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and what works for you may not work for someone else. Stay true to your horse, and pursue what works well for the both of you. Be open to new ideas and concepts. And above all, remember to have fun! If you are returning to the show ring this season after a break (maybe you got soured to competing), you’ll want to read Dr. Johnston’s article on page 36. You can also learn more about keeping your horse in tiptop shape with two equine therapies that are increasing in popularity – shockwave (page 16) and thermography (41). To keep your horse looking and feeling his best in the show ring, check out a professional groom’s tips on achieving that show ring look, naturally (page 50), as well as a fascinating two-part series on equine hydration and cooling techniques (page 20) – this is a must read for every rider, not just those who are showing this year! Ride safe, and have fun! Naturally,

Kelly Howling Editor

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Neighborhood news A wine with a cause

Record-setting funding

RustRidge Winery, the world’s only winery that trains racehorses in its vineyards, recently partnered with the Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (CANTER) to fund racehorse retirement programs.

Last year, the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) awarded a total of $1,682,352 in the form of 183 grants to support equine rescue groups in 38 states. This number represents a $600,000 increase over 2010, the first year equine grants exceeded the million-dollar mark.

Beginning with the Kentucky Derby and continuing throughout the 2012 Triple Crown racing season, RustRidge will donate 10% of sales revenues from Racehorse Red and Racehorse White to CANTER programs. Jim Fresquez, co-owner and horse trainer at RustRidge, has been training horses for over 30 years. He says Rustridge has “17 retired racehorses and one foal living on the property, and the work that CANTER does is very close to our hearts.” There are thousands of thoroughbreds that don’t make it to the top of the sport. At least 3,000 of these are retired every year, usually no later than age six. Unfortunately, more than half of racetrack retirees are euthanized, abandoned, or exported to Canada and Mexico for slaughter. rustridge.com/canter

Over 25% of the equine grant money was distributed to 13 thoroughbred rescue organizations as part of the Million Dollar Rescuing Racers initiative, a program to save retired racehorses from neglect, abuse and slaughter. In addition, 70 equine organizations received 23% of the funds to provide emergency feed support, including funds distributed through the “Hay BaleOut” program for horses impacted by the high cost and low supply of hay in droughtstricken Texas and Oklahoma.

OLG gamble to cost jobs The Government of Ontario’s plan to cancel the OLG Slots at Racetrack Program will prove costly, warns the President of the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association (OHRIA). Ontario’s horseracing industry employs over 60,000 Ontarians, supports rural economies by spending more than $2 billion a year, and generates $1.1 billion per year in slot machine profits for the government. The OLG Slots at Racetrack Program is the most profitable form of gaming for the province, generating more profit than casinos and lottery tickets combined. The OHRIA has launched value4money.ca to encourage Ontarians to write MPPs in support of the Slots at Racetrack Program.


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Neighborhood news SRT’s international conference This past February, leading researchers gathered at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England for the Saddle Research Trust’s (SRT) first international conference. The purpose of the conference was to discuss how current research and scientific techniques can be used to improve the welfare and performance of ridden horses. The first event of its type worldwide, the conference drew a wide range of industry professionals including veterinarians, physiotherapists, saddlers, trainers and riders. Attendees were treated to an overview of current research by several high profile speakers, including Professor Hilary Clayton, holder of the McPhail Chair in Equine Sports Medicine at Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The event highlighted the need for scientists and industry to work more closely together. Priorities were improving communication, along with the development of an evidence-based industry training strategy.

Lending credibility to equine-guided leadership education Winning With Horse Power is partnering with the Center for Leadership Development at the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture in Lexington to raise funds for a pilot study in equineguided leadership education (EGLE). The Center for Leadership Development is launching a sixmonth study to provide preliminary data on the effectiveness of collaborating with horses to teach emotional intelligence and leadership competencies, a process known as equine-guided leadership education.

competencies,” said Lissa Pohl, the Center’s co-investigator and project lead. “However, for this promising field to become even more credible in the eyes of those who want to utilize this powerful learning method, there needs to be academic research conducted and published in peer reviewed journals showing this to be the case.”

Florida-based Winning With Horse Power is a global umbrella organization of equine experiential learning providers, dedicated to advancing awareness of the field and connecting businesses, organizations and individuals with providers around the world. “There is an abundance of anecdotal evidence that suggests experiential learning with horses is effective at building

equine wellness


Neighborhood news Honoring Hickstead The HBO TV drama series Luck has been cancelled after a third horse died during production. The first episode of the series starring Dustin Hoffman aired on January 29th. The HBO series, which involved the horseracing industry, also starred Nick Nolte as a veteran trainer and Dennis Farina as an excon and former chauffeur and muscle for tough guy Chester Ace. In a statement HBO stated: “It is with heartbreak that executive producers David Milch and Michael Mann together with HBO have decided to cease all future production on the series Luck. Safety is always of paramount concern. We maintained the highest safety standards throughout production, higher in fact than any protocols existing in horseracing anywhere with many fewer incidents than occur in racing or that befall horses normally in barns at night or pastures. While we maintained the highest safety standards possible, accidents unfortunately happen and it is impossible to guarantee they won’t in the future. Accordingly, we have reached this difficult decision.”

Equine artist Mary Sand was commissioned to create a bronze sculpture of the late show jumper, Hickstead, in recognition of his significant contribution to equestrian sport in Canada. As part Hickstead’s legacy, this trophy will serve to recognize Canadian horses who have made an outstanding achievement in sport. Hickstead and his rider, Eric Lamaze, won individual gold and team silver medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, individual bronze at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, and team silver and individual bronze at the 2007 Pan American Games. Together, they won several major grand prix show jumping titles including Calgary (2007 and 2011), Geneva (2008), Aachen (2010), La Baule (2011) and Rome (2011). Tragically, Hickstead passed away on November 6, 2011.

Photo courtesy of Robert Young

Out of luck

New pain point release workshops As riders, occasionally we come across a horse in pain that just seems unexplainable. There is always a reason that a horse is sore. The horse’s problem can be a muscle misalignment, and minor problems that go unrecognized often end up creating major ones. Twelve years ago Lorrie Bracaloni, C.H.P., lost her beloved Thoroughbred, Romeo, to colic at three years of age. Devastated, Lorrie looked for answers and was lead to a workshop on nutrition and pain reflexology. There Lorrie found the answers she was looking for on equine health and nutrition, and it is now her aim to share that knowledge with other horse owners. She has been practicing natural remedies for over 12 years with herbal, homeopathic, essential oils, acupressure, and energy bodywork certifications. Lorrie will be doing workshops in August on Equine Pain Point Release and Equine Acupressure to complement her new book/DVD release: How to Recognize and Release Your Horse’s Pain Points. happynaturalhorse.com


equine wellness

equine wellness


by Bob Jeffreys & Suzanne Sheppard

Te a c h i n g y o u r h o r s e h o w t o c l i p d o e s n’ t h a v e t o b e a d ra mat ic t as k . Lea r n how to ta me the “cl i ppe r mo n ste r ”. As you read this, we’ll be into the warmer weather, and like everything else, your horse will probably need a good “spring cleaning”. You may also wish to clip excess hair around eyes, nose, ears, bridle path, fetlocks, coronary bands, or even do a trace or full body clip. Before you can begin, however, you must teach your horse to accept clippers. Approaching a horse with a set of clippers in your hand can be very menacing to him if he’s not used to it – and very dangerous you.

Training vs. force It’s important to focus on the “teaching” and “accepting” part of the previous paragraph. By definition, we are eliminating the use of twitches, ear twisting or even sedation as a means to accomplish this task. The goal is to teach the horse to calmly and comfortably accept clipping anywhere on his body. We’ll begin by developing a lesson plan, breaking down the steps needed to reach our goal into a logical, manageable


equine wellness

process. We’ll implement these steps gradually, thereby building the horse’s confidence as we move along. This step-by-step plan will help him succeed, rather than test him to failure.

Preparing for success Start at your desk or kitchen table, and make a list of things to rub on your horse’s body, especially his head, which is usually the most challenging part to clip. These items should familiarize him with both the physical contact and noise element (remember clippers buzz!) involved in the clipping procedure. Your list might include the following items: q w e r t y u i o a

Your hand Sponge Washcloth Towel Candy wrapper Aluminum foil Crumpled newspaper Plastic bag Brush Clippers

There are obviously hundreds of different objects you could use, but most horses only require five to ten in order to learn the lesson properly. After you compile your list, rearrange it sequentially, starting with what you think would be the easiest item for your horse to tolerate, and ending with what would be the most difficult for him (as in the list at left). The first item on your list must always be your hands, because if you can’t even touch his ears (for example) you shouldn’t even be thinking about clipping them! The last item on the list should be the actual clippers.

Approach and retreat Your horse should not be tied during these first sessions; just have him outfitted in a halter and either wrap the lead rope around his neck, or let it fall to the ground in front of him. Begin by rubbing your hands all over his head and body. He must be completely

comfortable with you rubbing his nose, ears, feet, body, etc. If he resists being touched in a certain spot, use the approach and retreat method until the resistance is eliminated.

Increasing his comfort zone As an example, let’s say your horse doesn’t want you to touch his ears. Rub his head between the eyes with your hand, then move your hand one inch towards his ears and immediately retreat to the area between his eyes. Continue rubbing there, then allow your hand to briefly move two inches upward (closer to his ears). Keep repeating this approach and retreat method until you get closer and closer to his ears. When you think he’s ready, quickly and smoothly move your hand over his entire ear and onto his neck. Remove your hand and pet your horse in his favorite spot. He may not have been comfortable with what just happened, but by the time he figured out that you actually touched his ear, it was already over and done. It’s important you do not become apprehensive and creep your hand towards his ear, using the same type of body language some people show when they’re about to stick the horse with a needle.

Adding the “buzz” Repeat the procedure several times before eventually slowing your hand speed as you rub over his ear. In time, the horse will be comfortable having his ear touched, then cupped, then stroked. Now you can begin to rub your thumb inside the ear and quickly remove it. When he’s comfortable with that, advance the lesson by making verbal buzzing sounds as you rub around and inside his ear with your hand. Repeat this procedure on all body parts that you eventually wish to clip.

Using your objects When your horse is completely comfortable with your hand anywhere around his head and body, try all the other items on your list, beginning with number two, then number three, and so on, until all the items have been used and your horse doesn’t mind any of them.

When teaching a horse, rushing never helps – be sure to allow him the time he needs to feel successful every step of the way. Introducing the clippers The next step is to use the actual clippers on your horse – but without turning them on and without the blades. Rub him equine wellness


…advance the lesson by making verbal buzzing sounds as you rub around and inside his ear with your hand. all over his head with the clippers, while you verbally “buzz”. If your horse is fine with this, try turning the clippers on (still without blades) and desensitize him to both the sound and feel of the vibration. You might want to start this while off to the side of your horse and up by his shoulder. Turn on the clippers, and just begin petting his neck with them. When he’s very comfortable with this, you’ll be ready to insert your blade, turn on your clippers and give him his first haircut.

Start with your hand -- if you can’t touch his ears, you shouldn’t be thinking about clipping them!

Now you can begin to desensitize your horse to some of the objects on your list.

Once your horse is comfortable, you can introduce him to the actual clippers.

You can progress and apply this method to any part of your horse’s body, nose to tail!

While this lesson from beginning to end may take multiple sessions, remember to make his first actual clipping session a relatively short one. Just do one small section and when you’re done, pet him and give him a treat on this special occasion as a reward for being so brave. You must always let him know when he does something right. As always, when teaching a horse, rushing never helps – be sure to allow him the time he needs to feel successful every step of the way. In the end, you’ll have a more confident horse, and clipping will take less time overall. © Two as One, LLC, April 2012. Bob Jeffreys and Suzanne Sheppard, founders of Two as One Horsemanship, North America. Their mission is to teach horses and people how to bring out the best in each other. Visit TwoasOneHorsemanship.com or call 845-692-7478 for their horsemanship clinic schedule, DVDs, books, Horsemanship Education Courses, ProTrack™ Trainer Certification Program, and to find a Wind Rider Challenge™ near you. appear at expos and clinics across


equine wellness

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Bit of a


Many of us have heard the term shockwave therapy, and some have used it to treat injuries in horses. But how much do we really know about the principles behind this innovative treatment? At first glance, many people have trouble understanding how a shockwave can be therapeutic. After all, a shockwave is often destructive. An earthquake is a shockwave. A tsunami is a shockwave. But so is the ripple you see in water when you throw a rock into a pond. A shockwave is simply a pressure wave, or a high frequency sound wave. Any action that displaces the surrounding medium is a shockwave.

Therapeutic shockwaves With that knowledge, how can shockwaves be therapeutic? Those used in veterinary medicine can be generated in three different ways: electrohydraulically, piezoelectrically, or through an electromagnetic field. The shockwaves are focused in the transducer head of the machine, and can be directed to a precise area of an injury. The shockwaves are transmitted readily from the transducer head, through ultrasound coupling gel and


equine wellness

soft tissue, and the energy of the wave is released at a specific depth, depending on the transducer head being used. Shockwave therapy can be involved in the healing process on many levels and has a role in a myriad of different metabolic processes important to healing. It has been shown to stimulate new bone growth in fractures, stimulate the in-growth of new blood vessels (neovascularization), increase cell permeability, and possibly stimulate fibroblast formation (the cells important in repairing tendons and ligaments). In addition, it stimulates stem cells occurring naturally in the body to migrate to the area being treated. Shockwave therapy has a potent anti-inflammatory effect, has been found to have antibacterial capabilities, and has a transient analgesic effect as well. One of the most exciting recent findings (Moretti, et al) has been that shockwave therapy can actually interrupt

by Jenny Johnson, VMD

the progression of arthritis and alter the process of cartilage degradation. It does this by down-regulating two mediators that play a central role in the cyclical death of chondrocytes and the breakdown of the cartilage matrix that occurs in osteoarthritis. The finding that shockwave therapy can actually reduce these mediators of chondrocyte breakdown to levels found in normal joints is a major breakthrough in the study of osteoarthritis. It means shockwave may provide a protective effect against the progression of osteoarthritis.

Shockwave applications This therapy has been used extensively in Europe, Asia and South America to treat a wide variety of soft tissue and orthopedic injuries in people. It is the treatment of choice in many areas of the world for non-union fractures. It is also very effective at treating chronic, infected wounds that have not responded to traditional therapies, and has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat tennis elbow and plantar fasciitis in people who have not

responded to conventional treatment. Shockwave therapy has been used in the U.S. in veterinary medicine for approximately 12 years. It has been successfully used to treat soft tissue and bony problems, both acute and chronic, including suspensory ligament injuries, with or without avulsion fractures, tendon injuries, arthritis, collateral ligament injuries, navicular syndrome, impar ligament injuries, ringbone, joint inflammation and pain, back pain, neck pain, and muscle tears and strains. While treating suspensory injuries is one of the most common applications, shockwave therapy is also very valuable for treating injuries to soft tissue structures within the hoof when there are few other alternatives for treatment.

added benefit of being non-invasive. This means shockwave therapy may be indicated earlier in the disease timeline to protect the joint and slow the progression

and their energy levels. For example, in the case of an acute tendon injury, the energy and number of impulses would be reduced from those used to treat an injury that was a month old. Most conditions are treated a total of three times, spaced at two to three week intervals.

Any action that displaces the surrounding medium is a shockwave. of osteoarthritis, leading to a more active life, better quality of life, and fewer treatments with intra-articular injections and NSAIDS. Using shockwave therapy more proactively is likely to provide benefits well beyond pain management in these cases.

Treatment protocol In terms of treating osteoarthritis, the Moretti et al study has now placed shockwave in the forefront of joint therapies for treating the early stages of degenerative joint disease, with the

The treatment protocol for shockwave therapy depends on the diagnosis of each individual patient. Treatment varies with the number of shockwaves

After treatment, a reduction in pain and/or swelling may occur within hours. This may last for two to four days before the animal returns to close the original status. Over the next two to three weeks, actual healing will take place. It is important to note that shockwave therapy does not necessarily speed up the healing process, but will generally lead to a higher success rate and a better end result. In competing horses, it can be an important noninvasive adjunct to help keep them comfortable. For example, it can be very useful in helping a horse with a sore back to achieve comfort and freedom.


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Still other studies are looking at the role of shockwave therapy in the migration and activation of stem cells, peripheral nerve repair, wound healing, and burn injuries. Growing potential

Not all machines are created equal It’s very important to recognize that not all shockwave machines are created equal. Some that are marketed as shockwave machines do not generate a true shockwave. They generate what is called a ballistic or radial wave. The physics of this type of wave are completely different from that of a true shockwave. These machines look like a small jackhammer. The problem with this type of wave is that most of the energy is deposited at skin level, and the energy drops off rapidly as you move into deeper tissues. These units can be useful for treating skin lesions or wounds, but deeper injuries are not likely to receive the energy necessary to help the healing process. Additionally, the entire area around the treatment site receives the wave, which can potentially have harmful effects. Treatment with this type of machine is generally considerably less expensive than with a true focused shockwave, but is not comparable in terms of technology or results. 18

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Shockwave therapy holds potential in many different areas. Current research projects include evaluations of shockwave treatment to stimulate repair of the heart muscle after myocardial infarction; to enhance spinal fusion in rabbits; to modulate physeal (growth plate) growth; to treat osteonecrosis (bone death) of the femoral head; and to investigate its effects on bacteria and on periodontitis (inflammation of the gums). Still other studies are looking at the role of shockwave therapy in the migration and activation of stem cells, peripheral nerve repair, wound healing, and burn injuries.

there were new blood vessels visible at the burn edge, the smell was gone, and the pus that was oozing through the scabs was markedly reduced. In addition, the horse was significantly more comfortable.” The healing of this large thermal injury was significantly enhanced through the use of shockwave therapy, and the horse gained an excellent prognosis as a direct result.

Burn treatment In human medicine, the newest frontier in shockwave therapy is its use in wound healing and treating burn injuries. Numerous case reports have shown it can successfully treat patients with longstanding infected wounds. Many of these patients were poor surgical candidates or already had several unsuccessful surgeries aimed at treating the wound. In several cases, amputation of a limb was the next step. Shockwave therapy has successfully treated these wounds with generally no reoccurrence of the infections. Burn injuries in horses, while thankfully relatively uncommon, can be devastating. Shockwave therapy may provide an important adjunct to the support and rehabilitation of the animal. In 2010, I published a case report in the peer-reviewed veterinary journal, Equine Veterinary Education, detailing the treatment with shockwave therapy of a horse that had suffered severe burns over more than 25% of his body. “Within 24 hours of treatment,

In summary, shockwave therapy is an important component in the treatment of many musculoskeletal injuries in the horse. A significant amount of research is being conducted internationally, and as a result, new applications are being developed. It can be used for so much more than just suspensory injuries – it is a non-invasive therapy that essentially helps the body heal itself in ways we never knew of or understood before. Dr. Jenny Johnson is a 1986 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, where she also completed an internship in large animal medicine and surgery. She owned a Standardbred racetrack practice in Florida and Pennsylvania for a number of years, but in the early 90’s returned to her true passion of show horses. She had a solo practice in Wellington, FL, specializing in high performance hunter, jumper and dressage horses for approximately 10 years. Now based in the Los Angeles area, Dr. Johnson owns Oakhill Shockwave and Chiropractic, a practice dedicated to helping horses achieve their highest level of comfort through innovative and noninvasive therapies.

Dr. Johnson

is also an active

competitive showjumping rider and truly understands the physical and mental demands placed on equine athletes. equineshockwave.com

equine wellness


Keep your

Managing hydration and thermoregulation in warm environments is crucial to your horse’s health and performance.

cool Part One

By Michael I. Lindinger, PhD

It’s a wonderful morning and you’re eager to load your horse into the waiting trailer, which was painted a nice dark blue this spring. The sun is shining and your horse is full of pep and therefore not eating and drinking well. Wearing a blanket, the horse loads willingly, and since there’s a bit of a chill in the air, you batten down the hatches. It’s an hour’s drive to the one-day eventing site where you will participate in dressage, cross-country and jumping courses throughout day. You are off to a good start. Or are you?

Red flags How many things did you identify above that aren’t so good? Most importantly, the horse isn’t eating or drinking well. Add to that the fact that the sun is shining, the trailer is a dark color, the transport time is a whole hour, and the horse is wearing a blanket/“cooler”. How many horses eat or drink well at events? Most are at least a bit off their feed and water unless they have been well trained. How does all this affect their well being and performance? This article series will introduce you to the importance of hydration for optimizing equine health and performance. We will start by considering the importance of gut fill in hydration, the negative effects of heat stress and exercise on hydration, the importance of avoiding heat strain, and strategies for maintaining hydration status.

Gut fill and hydration The gastrointestinal tract can hold up to 25 liters (6.6 gal) of fluid in a normal, well hydrated horse. Much of this fluid is in some kind of balance with the rest of the body’s fluids – this balance takes place by the transport of water and electrolytes (ionized minerals) across the wall of the intestinal tract. The main electrolytes are chloride, sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. These are also the main electrolytes lost via the kidneys in urine and through the skin by sweating.


equine wellness

Now 25 liters may seem like a lot, but it needs to be put in some perspective. It is important to keep the gut well hydrated to minimize risk of colic. Also, urine losses average 16 liters (4.2 gal) per day. This is not of concern as long as the horse continues to drink well, but if he isn’t drinking, continued kidney function will contribute to dehydration. Your horse, just like you, is always sweating, even when it’s not obvious. When not obvious, sweating rates are very low. But even mild heat stress can increase sweating rates to between five and ten liters (1.3 to 2.6 gal) per hour; high levels of heat stress (such as with exercise or transport) can result in sweating rates of 20 liters (5.3 gal) per hour. So realistically, gut fill can at best provide up to ten liters of fluid and electrolytes to the body to replace losses occurring through the kidneys and skin.

High levels of heat stress (such as with exercise or transport) can result in sweating rates of 20 liters (5.3 gal) per hour. It is important to have good gut fill and hydration prior to transporting horses because transport places moderate stress on them. Considerable muscular activity is required during transport to maintain balance and posture, and this generates heat in the muscles. This heat is lost by various means, but mostly by the evaporation of sweat. Dark trailers absorb solar radiation, and can become hot inside, especially when the horse is already producing heat. The heat stress of muscle activity coupled with the radiant heat load of a hot, closed trailer can produce sweating rates of 20 liters per hour. If good ventilation is maintained in the trailer (all windows/vents open) then sweating rates can often be kept between five and ten liters per hour. Therefore, good gut fill before one hour of transport in a well ventilated trailer is adequate to replace fluid losses. Of course this fluid should be fully replaced before your horse starts to warm up or show.

Heat stress and exercise cause dehydration Heat stress is normal, and is any stress that will raise the body temperature of the horse, even a little. Heat stress is caused by any level of activity (exercise), by standing in the heat, or by being excessively blanketed. Increases in body temperature (heat stress) are sensed by both the skin and a sensory region of the brain called the hypothalamus. When the hypothalamus detects an increase in temperature, signals are sent from the brain to the skin to cause an increase in blood flow to the skin and an increase in sweat production. The body tries to maintain heat balance (thermoregulation) at all times. When it is cold, heat is conserved within the body so that blood flow to the skin and sweating rates are low. Exercise, however, results in large increases in skin blood flow and sweating. Sweating is desirable for cooling because the evaporation of sweat produces a cooling effect – we notice this when a fan blows air over a wet part of our skin. There are also other ways to get rid of heat: • Radiation – passive loss to the environment, i.e. the “steam” you see coming off a horse’s body or mouth after a workout in cool weather • Conduction – direct transfer through surfaces, i.e. feet on the ground

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• Convection – wind/air movement over the surface of the body • Respiration – heat loss from the respiratory tract through normal breathing or panting. If the rate of heat production is greater than all the routes of heat dissipation, then the horse is in positive heat balance and will “store” heat – the body gets warmer and there is an increase in body temperature. In cold conditions, it is possible for the horse to go into periods of negative heat balance, during which he will increase heat production through shivering, or you will decrease heat loss by putting a blanket on him. Exercise, including the activity of transport, always results in heat stress – an increase in muscle and body temperature. Why does body temperature increase with muscular activity?

equine wellness


It’s because the conversion of food energy to the mechanical energy of locomotion within muscles is not efficient. On average, 20% to 25% of food energy is converted to the energy that drives movement. The remaining 75% to 80% becomes heat generated by cellular metabolism. Therefore, exercising muscles generate a lot of heat. This heat is moved away from exercising muscles by increases in blood flow (internal convection) and by transfer of heat to surrounding tissues (internal conduction). Body temperature rises. Ultimately this heat must be lost from the body to prevent excessive increases in body temperature, and heat strain.

Understanding heat strain Putting all this together involves many systems in the body. These include everything from the muscular system that is producing heat and movement; the cardiovascular system that moves blood to/from muscles, skin, lungs and kidneys; and the skin that produces sweat and loses heat. How fast do horses store heat when they are heat stressed, as compared to people? Researchers at the University of Guelph performed research to provide expert advice to course designers and equine practitioners for the Atlanta Summer Olympics. This research showed that even when exercising in normal (cool, dry) conditions (see right), horses stored heat about three times faster than people.

Rate of heat storage during exercise in cool dry (CD; 22°C (71.6°F), 35% relative humidity), hot dry (HD; 35°C (95°F), 35% relative humidity) and hot humid (HH; 35°C, 85% relative humidity) conditions.

Our (and a horse’s) normal body temperature is 37°C (98.6°F). Heat strain occurs when body temperature is greater than 41°C (105.8°F), only a 4°C margin! Moderate exercise in cool dry conditions increases human core temperature by about 0.025°C each minute, which is equal to 4°C (thus a core temperature of 41°C) in 160 minutes. Horses, however, will reach 41°C four times faster, in only 40 minutes! When exercising in hot and humid conditions, or as dehydration increases, the situation becomes worse. The critical temperature of 41°C can be reached in as little as 15 minutes. The take-home message is that what seems normal for us will not be normal for horses – horses are at a big disadvantage when it comes to getting rid of heat. Compared to us, they have only 1/5 the skin surface area per kilogram of working muscle mass to get rid of heat; horses are like a huge engine with a relatively small radiator.

The importance of avoiding heat strain Heat strain is not normal. It occurs when the body cannot get rid of heat fast enough, and body temperature exceeds 41°C for more than a brief time (say 15 minutes). When the temperature of the body’s cells gets too high, they malfunction and may start to die. It’s usually the contracting muscles that are at greatest risk, and heat strain can result in muscle damage. This can take months to fully recover from and should be avoided at all costs. You may be familiar with the warning signs of heat strain. Any one of them should set off your alarm bells:


• rapid breathing rate (panting) • rapid heart rate • high rectal temperature • listless behavior • loss of appetite and desire to drink • glazed eyes • poor mental and physical performance equine wellness

There are three important strategies for avoiding heat strain.




Be knowledgeable about and recognize signs of heavy stress and early strain in your horse – each animal is different, so additional care is needed when looking after two or more horses. Do everything that you can to maximize the ability of your horse to get rid of heat – this includes hydration to maintain good cardiovascular function and high sweating rates, as well as cooling strategies. Stop! Do not continue in the show or event if your horse is approaching heat strain. Save him to compete another day.

Strategies for maintaining hydration Maintaining hydration is one of the most difficult things to do well for horse owners, riders and grooms. But it is also the most effective strategy for maintaining horse health and performance. Hydration must be tended to all the time – when in training, before transport, during transport, after transport, before the event, during the event, after the event, and so on. A horse whose hydration is well maintained recovers quickly and is ready to train and compete after some rest and food. The only way to maintain hydration status without veterinary care is by having your horse take in enough electrolytes and water, together. The best way to do this is to train him to drink a good electrolyte supplement. This can be very challenging, but it’s trainable just like everything else you want your horse to learn.

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• Find a good powdered electrolyte supplement that tastes great when dissolved in water according to label directions. Try it yourself – if you hate it, your horse will likely not drink it. • Start small: begin with a tenth of the amount of powder per liter or bucket of water. Do not give the horse a choice between water and the dilute electrolyte supplement. The horse may not drink at first, and maybe not even for a whole day. But persist and he will drink it. • Over a period of days to a week or two, gradually increase the amount of powder until the label recommendation is reached – never exceed it. Clearly this is something you do at home, all the time. You cannot expect the horse to do this at an event or show if he is not doing it at home. Another big advantage of this approach is that you will know how much water and electrolytes were taken in. Join us in the next issue as we discuss strategies for recovering hydration status and cooling your horse to prevent over-heating, selecting an electrolyte, and approaches for hydration monitoring. Dr. Mike Lindinger has been studying hydration and fluid balance in horses for 20 years. He has published numerous scientific articles and book chapters on this topic. He was involved in the development of Perform’N Win electrolyte supplement for horses, the Equistat hydration monitor, and the On to Atlanta heat stress research studies at the University of Guelph.

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More thaN


When making the transition to barefoot, or riding over certain terrains, your horse may benefit from a little extra support. Let’s review some alternatives to traditional metal shoes. by Anne Riddell, Certified Natural Hoof Care Practitioner, AHA

The barefoot movement is steadily growing worldwide. As new research on the detrimental effects of metal shoes reaches more and more horse owners, equestrians in every discipline are asking for alternatives to the traditional nailed-on horse shoe. While some people are still skeptical that horses can perform well in certain disciplines without shoes, it is possible. Whether you are making the transition to barefoot, or just looking for a little more support for your horse’s performance, here are some ideas.


• Brilliant coat colors • Stronger hooves

The best intentions Shoeing originated in an effort to protect the horse’s hoof. Taking horses out of their natural life in the wild and bringing them into the confines of domestication and unnatural feeding practices brought on negative changes to their hooves. Today, the metal horse shoe is losing its popularity and the stranglehold it once had. We now know that the metal shoe, when nailed to the hoof, interferes with the true mechanism and function of the horse’s foot. This reduces blood flow and shock absorption, putting stress not only on the internal structures of the hoof but the horse’s entire system – his heart, lungs, joints, ligaments and lymphatics. Shoes peripherally load the hoof because they force the horse to bear all his weight directly on the hoof wall and laminae. The laminae consist of the epidermal and dermal layers, connecting the outer hoof wall to the internal structures. The laminae on their own were never meant to bear all the horse’s weight. Peripheral loading causes tension on the bones (coffin and navicular) inside the hoof capsule. This tension causes bone loss, setting the horse up for a multitude of hoof pathologies. Ideally the whole foot (bars, frog, sole and outer wall) is meant to support the horse’s weight.

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There are many new ways to protect the hoof that don’t require a shoe – metal or otherwise – to be be nailed into the hoof wall. Glue-on plastic shoes are slowly replacing the metal shoe, and can be helpful during transition or for therapeutic purposes. Although the flexible plastic allows for better hoof mechanism, they do still tend to peripherally load the horse’s hoof. Some plastic shoes have a built-in soft pad that makes

sure there won’t be any pressure points on the frog and sole, and this also gives some support to the frog and internal structures. Most models can be glued on, but there are some concerns with regards to the use of acrylic glue – do pay attention to the ingredients in various products. As with any type of shoe, they need to be reset at regular intervals (typically every four to six weeks). Plastic alternatives can be more costly than metal – but the benefits can outweigh the cost for some.

A bit about boots There are many varieties of hoof boots on the market today – most of the time you can find something to suit each horse and rider. Boots are a great hoof protector because they can be removed after performance. In my experience, the boots most often used in high level performance are the Cavallo Sport, the Renegade, the Easy Care Glove, and the Fusion. All boots can be used with padding to prevent peripheral loading.

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We now know that the metal shoe, when nailed to the hoof, interferes with the true mechanism and function of the horse’s foot. You do have to pay attention to the rules for your discipline, however, as many disciplines require any hoof protection to be below the coronet band. This can often deter performance riders from using boots. Glue-on boots like the ones made by Renegade have helped eliminate this issue, and work well for the endurance rider requiring protection for long periods without the worry of rubbing. They were developed for high performance events in speed and long distance. They are cost efficient and you can learn to apply them on your own. Without the use of some padding between the sole and boot, the glue-on boots will peripherally load the hoof – in this case, hoof packing can alleviate the problem for the short term. It is recommended that glue-on boots not be left on any longer than ten days, and again, be aware of the type of glue used.

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On guard For those who would still rather go barefoot with their high performance horses, but want a little more protection during competitive events such as racing, there are several protective products on the market, including Sole Guard by Vettec, and Hoof Armour. Many of these are great for the

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short term only and give protection to the sole while allowing the hoof mechanism to work properly. Hoof Armour is a tough and durable yet abrasive adhesive coating that is applied to the bottom of the hoof to protect the sole from excessive wear. Since it is flexible, it does not restrict the natural expansion and contraction of the hoof. According to the Hoof Armour company, the secret ingredient is a non-toxic epoxy base, which contains a natural anti-microbial and anti-bacterial agent. Sole Guard by Vettec is a fast setting liquid urethane which adheres directly to the sole and frog, sealing out moisture and debris and providing an instant pad that stays soft in cold temperatures. Do keep in mind that epoxies can be toxic, and that for the best results, some products recommend the sole be trimmed into live sole before the product can be applied.

All boots can be used with padding to prevent peripheral loading. The simpler, the better In my opinion, the best alternative to a shoe is a bare healthy hoof. The use of plastic glue-on shoes, boots or sole protection will definitely help the horse make the transition to barefoot more easily, working towards a natural, healthy hoof. It is and always will be my goal as a Natural Hoof Care Practitioner to achieve and maintain a healthy well-connected hoof. This is achieved through a correct diet with sufficient, well-balanced nutrition, and enough continuous movement to keep a bare hoof in top form and function. A high performance barefoot horse should be given lots of opportunity to live and work on the same terrain he will compete on. Only then can he develop the correct hoof for high performance: a well developed frog that provides traction, stability and shock absorption, a tough toe callus for further traction and easy breakover, a naturally developed concaved hoof that provides suction, and a thick calloused sole for protecting the internal structures. Every part of the natural hoof plays a critical role and all must be allowed to work together. Any horse can develop high performance-level bare hooves when given the correct tools for developing the same strong, functional hooves their wild friends have. Anne Riddell is a Certified Natural Hoof Care practitioner who specializes in Founder, Laminitis, Navicular lameness, and High Performance Barefoot Horses. She offers trimming instruction to horse owners and other professionals. www.barefoothorsecanada.com


equine wellness

product picks Nix summer itches Stop The Itch Spray from Zephyr’s Garden is perfect for rubbed tails and manes, ear and face rubs, and horses suffering from sweet itch. It is composed of eight different herbs and essential oils, all in a skin-soothing aloe vera liquid base. It can be used daily or as needed, and is compatible with the Stop The Itch Salve and Shampoo. Available in 16 oz, 32 oz, and 1 gallon bottles. ZephyrsGarden.com

They Deserve To Shine! Your horses give you their all – why not given them the best? Made with 100% natural silk fibers and amino acids, Liquid Silk Serum is the perfect finisher for all breeds. Brush it through your horse’s mane, tail and coat to moisturize, detangle and shine! For best results, use it after any Equisilk shampoo and conditioner. equisilk.com

Squeaky clean!

Bite back

New EcoLicious sheath cleaner Smeg-U-Later uses natural ingredients that are gentle, safe and effective. With calming natural aromatherapy benefits, the product can make an often unpleasant task a little less daunting for horse and handler, leaving behind a squeaky clean undercarriage. ecoliciousequestrian.com

This kit from Riva’s Remedies contains an amazingly effective program to aid your horse in resisting insect bites and healing allergic reactions. Topical products alone won’t do it – immunity against insects must be addressed from the inside out. These products will help build your horse’s immunity, ward off insects, and nourish the skin. Each kit contains an herbal Summer Tincture, Vitamin C, and topical Riva’s Healing Oil. rivasremedies.com

equine wellness


THE TRUTH ABOUT by Stephanie Krahl

Before condemning bits, spurs and other devices as cruel, consider this: tools are neither good nor bad. It’s how they’re used that makes the difference.


hat’s the root cause of abuse in the horse industry today? It’s a horse owner who lacks knowledge of the horse’s true nature, leaving an animal whose dignity and spirit have been taken away. If you’re like me, you have a difficult time enjoying events that don’t put the horse’s noble nature first. What you see is not harmonious or beautiful, and it’s not about adhering to one’s core values – it’s more about competition and winning.

This quote from Xenophon, an ancient Greek general, statesman, philosopher, horseman and author of The Art of Horsemanship, is often used to describe this type of human behavior: “Anything forced and misunderstood can never be beautiful.”

Developing communication When you seek true unity with your horse, it should be beautiful, magical and filled with understanding – it should be a dance between two willing partners. But where do you start? And how can it become a dance? How can it materialize into something beautiful where communication is clear and without force? This transformation doesn’t appear


equine wellness

out of thin air, nor does it happen overnight. We are humans; they are horses. There are many differences between the two. Understanding equine behavior comes into play here, but you must also choose and use tools that line up with your core values. These tools must result in a level of communication between you and your equine companion that’s beautiful, clear, precise and easy to understand.

Are training devices cruel? Horse guardians often shun certain equine training devices. This is a valid reaction because many of these devices are used in a cruel manner – and some are intended to be cruel by design. However, if you understand the horse’s true nature, you know these artificial devices are usually not needed. True horsemanship is about simplicity, and understanding a horse from her point of view first. It shouldn’t be based on winning a blue ribbon or futurity money. The real horseman knows most training devices are simply a way to make up for poor feel and timing, bad hands and lack of knowledge.

I’m not implying you should never use training tools. Some are needed so you can more effectively communicate with your horse, and stay safe. Safety is number one.

Sticks, bits and spurs As you know, a horse’s body is shaped differently from yours – hers is long, and yours isn’t. This means you may need to use tools to extend your body so you can communicate as if you were like another horse. For example: You may prefer to use a fiberglass stick or dressage whip to help you more effectively communicate your message. The length of either tool can allow you to extend your body.

horse. It’s similar to holding hands, or dancing closely with another person. You more accurately understand each other, because you’re being held in an intimate manner. That kind of intimacy is a privilege, not a right – much like putting a bit in a horse’s mouth. That intimate dance is beautiful. It radiates an energy like no other. It mesmerizes you.

Some tools are needed so you can more effectively communicate with your horse and stay safe. Safety is number one. Signs of ineffective communication

When riding, most spurs are usually unnecessary and perceived as cruel. You can still achieve high level maneuvers without them. But what if they could refine your communication and help it become more accurate and precise? Your horse would understand more quickly and be less resistant. For example, using only the blunt area of your riding boot is not as precise or effective as using a humanely designed spur, which becomes an extension of yourself. When taking a discipline to an art form, you may use a certain type of bit to achieve more accurate communication with your

Someone who is exceptional with horses has a connection with them that appears almost invisible or magical. This type of connection is not forced. You won’t see the horse foaming at the mouth, her tongue turning blue or hanging out. She won’t be overextended at the poll, jerked by the rider’s hands or spurred to the point of having indentations in her sides. Nor will she swish her tail; and if she does, the rider should immediately recognize it as feedback. A swishing tail is not necessarily disobedience. Instead, it usually means the rider is

equine wellness



An object or tool is not what’s evil or good. It’s just an object. It doesn’t possess any power until the human comes into the equation.


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asking too hard or fast, or the horse flat out doesn’t understand. It’s your responsibility to read the signal, understand it, and communicate more clearly. Sometimes it may be a learned behavior caused from previous mental and emotional baggage – it depends on the situation and the horse.

Training devices don’t equal bad intentions People who say training tools are bad or cruel demonstrate an ignorance of a pretty basic concept. It’s like this: guns don’t kill people…people kill people. What that means is that an object or tool is not what’s evil or good. It’s just an object. It doesn’t possess any power until the human comes into the equation. It’s not the tool or device that’s cruel – it’s what you do with it and how you use it that makes the difference. Allow me to give an example. You can use a belt to hold up your pants or take it off and hit your kid with it (not that I’m suggesting this). In the end, it’s just a belt – it doesn’t know what it’s doing. It has no power until you give it power and put intent behind it. An






different – it’s not the tool that’s cruel or evil, it’s the attitude and intention behind its use.

Knowledge and intent People, not tools, are the ones who have intentions. Those intentions can be good or bad. The common denominator is not the training device; it’s how you use it. Many times, abuse is the result of ignorance rather than deliberate cruelty. It’s up to you to choose what tool to use, how to use it, and what your intention is when you use it. You must also be knowledgeable. Your decision must be based not only on the result you want; you must also respect your horse’s noble nature and stay true to your core values. The truth is, it’s all about having integrity. This means no matter how much peer pressure you encounter, you must stick to your moral and ethical principles when selecting a communication tool to use with your equine partner. In the end, it’s not about the horse or type of tool you use, as much as it is about you. If you want true unity with your horse, you have to develop into the type of person who can earn it.

Stephanie Krahl is a natural horse care specialist, writer, teacher, coach, all-round web geek and co-founder and CEO of Soulful Equine. She teaches horse guardians about natural concepts that help their horses thrive. Combining her passion for horses with her software engineering background has helped her become a better problem solver for her equine partners.


she’s not with horses,


loves watching movies, reading and going to the gun range. soulfulequine.com


equine wellness

Launches the NEW EW Magazine



Congratulations to Anna Barrows for winning the Mare & Foal photo contest with her picture of Rembrant and his mother Cabaret’s Marlena or “Lena”. Rembrant is a Friesian Warmblood. His Sire is LSH Cadence in Color (AWS Sire of Year 2011) owned by Mystic Oak Ranch and his Dam is Cabaret’s Marlena owned by Carbondale Farms. “Lena” is a Baden-Wurttemberg mare who is also registered with the German Oldenburg Verband and the Rheinland Pfalz-saar.


includes 2 free issues

Photo was taken by Michele Dodge of Mystic Oak Ranch


equine wellness


Selecting a boarding facility doesn’t have to be traumatic. Here are our top 8 tips to help you through the process. by Kelly Howling

If you’ve been around the horse world any length of time, you’ve heard the boarding barn horror stories. The boarder who realizes her horse is never brought into the stall at night, or isn’t getting fed as much as promised…barn owners who aren’t quite your brand of crazy…staff errors… fellow boarder drama. It’s no wonder the thought of looking for a new facility to board your horse at might make your stomach turn. While shopping for a new boarding barn isn’t always fun, here are some tips to help make the process a little easier.

Barn shopping

q Start with a phone call

Find Out

W hat to ask On Page 34


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A quick chat on the phone can sometimes tell you a lot about a barn owner/ manager, their communication style/skills, and whether or not you might hit it off with them. It will also help you answer some basic questions that may save you time in the long run. For example, if it turns out board at a particular facility is more than you have budgeted for, or you aren’t allowed to bring your own coach in, you don’t need to bother driving to the farm for a visit.

w Check online reviews The Internet can be a wonderful resource. The horse world is small – news gets around. Do a search on the facility you are considering and see what comes up. Keep in mind that anyone can post anything online, and unhappy clients frequently post much more than satisfied ones. So take what you read with a grain of salt. But do take from the posts some specific questions to ask, or things to keep an eye out for when you visit the farm. You can also post and ask for comments/recommendations from current and previous boarders.

Hint: Check out equestrian rating websites such as ratemyhorsepro.com, which also include boarding facilities.

difference in the level of care and attention to detail when the staff did not know a prospective client was stopping by.

e Visit the facility

u No barn is perfect

Make an appointment to visit the facility and meet with the barn owner/manager. Before you go out, compile a list of questions you would like to ask. See the sidebar (next page) for some examples.

It is very rare to find a facility that meets all your criteria (and if you do happen to find one of those rare gems, never move!). So make a list of what is important for yourself and your horse, going from most important to least, and be prepared to compromise on a few things. As long as your core needs are met, you should be able to give and take on some of the other points.

r Take it at face value One of the biggest things I’ve discovered that’s important to do is to take the facility as it is on the day you visit. If they tell you about all the fantastic upgrades and improvements they are planning to make – great. But there are no guarantees. How many of us have moved into a facility banking on X or Y being done, and years later, it still hasn’t been done. Something else took precedent in terms of time and/or finances – the runin shed that blew down, the hay crop that got rained on, the tractor that broke. So I always move into a facility knowing that the way it is now is how it might always be. I never count on that new rubber crumb arena footing going in, or the fancy automatic waterers. I simply ask myself – can my horse and I be happy with it the way it is right now?

i Have a contract Inquire as to the type of insurance the facility carries, what insurance they like you to carry, what forms you will be required to sign, and so on. Make sure they have a boarding contract, and look it over before you sign it! Barn shopping can be a lot of work – you might feel like you’re interviewing people, which essentially you are! But if you do your homework and research, you will be one step closer to finding a great place for your horse to call home.

t Talk to current boarders While you are at the facility, talk to some of the current boarders if you get the opportunity. Not only can they offer insights on the farm itself, but it allows you to get a feel for what the community at the barn is like. After all, you might be spending quite a bit of time around these people!


Drop in

If you are serious about a particular facility, drop in unannounced at some point (during regular barn hours). See if there is any

Shelters are a necessity for 24/7 turnout in colder climates.

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Boarding? Heres what to ask 1 What is the ratio of staff to horses?

Saddle fit tips

Photos courtesy of: Dr. Joanna L. Robson, DVM From her book: “Recognizing the Horse in Pain and What You Can Do About It!” ©2009 Inspiritus Equine Inc. and Joanna L. Robson DVM. All rights reserved.

Tip #8 -- Saddle tree angle

You probably know that trees come in narrow, medium or wide -- but did you know those designations refer to both the width and angle of the tree? If a saddle fitter tells you your saddle is a “wide narrow”, this means it has a wide tree width and a narrow tree angle. In previous tips, we learned why it’s so important for the saddle to stay behind the horse’s shoulder. If it doesn’t, and constantly moves forward, the tree points of the saddle will drive into the horse’s shoulders, first producing a buildup of scar tissue on his scapula, then chipping away cartilage and bone. This is irreversible long term damage, and can lead to persistent unsoundness and premature retirement.

The importance of proper tree angle

What does the tree angle have to do with all of this? In order to avoid this kind of damage, it’s crucial that the angle of the tree be adjusted to match the angle of the horse’s shoulder. Think of two sliding doors. If they are properly aligned, one will slide freely past the other. If they aren’t, one will jam into the other. It’s the same with your horse’s shoulders and the angle of his saddle’s tree. As the horse moves, his shoulder rotates upward and backwards, as we learned in Tip #2. If your saddle’s tree angle does not match the angle of your horse’s shoulder, his shoulders will be unable to rotate freely under the saddle, compromising his movement, sometimes severely. At the very least, a saddle with a tree angle that’s not correctly adjusted is extremely uncomfortable for your horse. At worst, it can lead to the damage mentioned above.

Measure and check

2 Is there always someone on the property? 3 What are the barn hours? 4 How much turnout do the horses receive? 5H ow many horses are there per field? What happens if my horse does not fit into the herd? 6 Do you offer individual turnout? 7 How is water offered in turnout? 8 How is hay fed in turnout? 9 In what weather conditions are the horses kept inside? 10 Are horses led to turnout individually, or does the staff lead two or three horses at once? 11 Do you remove halters for turnout? 12 Will you put on blankets, boots, flymasks and/or fly spray? Is there an additional charge? 13 What, specifically, does the board cover in terms of services and use of facility? 14 How often does the board increase? 15 Is there a coach/trainer on site? 16 What type of riders do you cater to? 17 Can I bring in my own coach & what are the booking rules?

How do saddle fitters determine if the tree angle matches the angle of the horse’s shoulder? They use the Sprenger gauge to measure the horse’s shoulder angle. They put the Sprenger behind the shoulder blade, and set it so that the upper arm of the device is parallel to the angle of the horse’s scapula. Then they adjust the tree of the saddle so that it matches that of the horse’s shoulder.

18 May I use my own vet/farrier?

How can you tell if the tree angle on your saddle is correct for your horse? Put your saddle on the horse without a saddle pad. Check if the angle of the piping on the saddle matches the angle of your horse’s shoulder. If it does, the angle of your saddle’s tree is correctly adjusted for your horse (assuming you have an adjustable saddle tree).

21 What is the procedure in the event of an emergency relating to my horse?

Warning signs

If you’re still uncertain if the angle of your saddle’s tree is correct for your horse, observe his behavior under saddle. If the tree angle is too wide, there may be clearance on the top of your horse’s withers, but the saddle will pinch the sides of his withers. It will also hit the reflex point (cranial nerve 11) that restricts movement in his shoulders and make him unwilling or unable to freely move forward. The horse will raise his head or hollow his back, or exhibit other forms of resistance until the reflex point/nerve becomes numb. If your horse behaves in this manner, it may be because the tree angle of your saddle is incorrect for him. It is important to understand that your horse doesn’t want to be bad, but if the saddle keeps hitting that reflex point, he really has no choice: he cannot engage the muscles you’re asking him to engage. This article was provided courtesy of Schleese Saddlery Service, partner in Saddlefit4Life and the United States Dressage Federation. Saddle tree angle is one of the 80 points analyzed in a Schleese saddle fit session. The company offers onsite personal saddle fit evaluations and demonstrations, trainer education days, female saddle design, saddle fit to the biomechanics of movement, and comfort and protection against pain and long term damage.

schleese.com or info@schleese.com


equine wellness

19 Will you hold my horse for the vet/farrier (and is there a charge), or do I need to arrange to be there? 20 What is your herd health protocol (deworming/vaccination)? Do you arrange this, or is it on an individual basis?

22 Do you have a trailer, or is there someone on the property who can trailer in the event of an emergency? 23 Am I permitted to keep my trailer on the property? 24 Is the staff able to deal with basic health emergencies? Can they take vitals, give IM injections, etc.? 25 What is the daily schedule? 26 How often are stalls, water buckets and feed bins cleaned? 27 What type of hay is fed, how much and how often? 28 What type of grain is offered, and how often is it fed? 29 Will you feed supplements? 30 How is staffing/chores handled on holidays? 31 If my horse becomes injured, do you charge additionally for stall rest? Wrapping, handwalking, giving medications? 32 What do you have available for tack and equipment storage? 33 How does the owner/manager handle boarder conflicts and problems?

equine wellness


by Tonya Johnston, MA

Have show nerves taken the fun out of your competitive riding? These tips can help you return to the ring with a smile.


egan hasn’t been to a horse show in a very long time. She never regretted her decision to stop competing when the stress started to drastically outweigh the fun. She always loved working with her horse, training, taking lessons, and paying careful attention to all the details that went into preparing for a show. Over time, though, it began to feel like she and her horse were going straight from the trailer into a pressure cooker whenever they got to the show grounds. Not only was success fleeting, but the more success Megan and her horse had, the more pressure she felt. Ribbons, points and “the next show” always seemed to take precedence over having fun and being happy with her and her horse’s development and progress together. Although Megan couldn’t quite put her finger on when and where things changed, or why, the only solution that felt right was quitting altogether.

Getting back into it Now it’s ten years later, and Megan is in the barn talking to some friends about an upcoming horse show they’re attending. Smiling, she is almost startled by the feeling flooding through her: she wants to start showing again! She feels inspired to take her new, athletic, super-fabulous horse Leo to a local show and have some fun. How exciting, she thinks. We could work towards some new goals, go ‘off campus’ with everyone to a new place we’ve


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never been, and show off all the terrific progress Leo and I have made recently – it sounds so great, I want to go! As Megan starts to reel with all the happy possibilities, her thoughts suddenly come to screeching halt as a key question occurs to her: Is it possible for a horse show to be fun? The answer is yes. For someone like Megan, or even someone relatively new to showing, specific attitudes, strategies and mental skills can help make the experience an enjoyable one. The following are some of the very best ideas that you (and Megan!) can use to get back to showing while taking pleasure in the process.

Revisit your best memories In order to reawaken your belief that horse shows can be fun, think back to the times when you enjoyed yourself most while competing. Where were you? What were you focused on? What did you enjoy the most? What goals did you and your horse accomplish? Rest assured that no matter how long ago or how big or small the memories feel, taking the time to remember these experiences will be helpful. Think through them in detail and jot down the times, places, people, horses and circumstances highlighted by your memory. This is a fantastic exercise to get yourself centered

on the idea that showing can be a tremendously good time. The other benefit of this exercise is that you’ll be reminded of details you can plan for and add into your new horse show routine. Let’s say you remember playing cards with barn mates while waiting for your classes, going on trail rides around the show grounds when your classes were over, or giving your horse a hug and a sugar cube as you came out of the ring – all are examples of fun and relaxing things you can integrate into your routine at your next show.

In order to reawaken your belief that horse shows can be fun, think back to the times when you enjoyed yourself most while competing. Focus on performance goals Horse shows can often get you obsessing about the blues – as in blue ribbons! Ribbons, championships and year-end awards are all examples of outcome goals, things that result from competition,

evaluation and comparison with other riders and horses. Setting performance goals for each show can be an excellent way to ease the potential stress of focusing on the “outcome” (always remember that results are ultimately out of your control). A performance goal focuses on you or your horse’s progress with a particular mental or physical skill. For example, let’s say you set a performance goal for your next show to keep your eyes up and ahead of you during each ride. You can come out of the ring and acknowledge the fact that your eyes were up for much of the class, and notice how it helped you and your horse’s overall performance. This goal gave you something to plan for, reflect on, and feel good about after each ride, no matter if you won the class or not, got eighth, or received no ribbon at all. Performance goals will keep you in the driver’s seat regarding your effort and progress, and allow you to see moments of success in the midst of many potential distractions.

Appreciate the journey Brainstorming all the reasons you want to go to a show can help you uncover your core motivation and help you trust that enjoyment will be part of the experience. Someone like Megan may not have taken the time to appreciate the little things she loves about showing, and this process can both refresh and remind her of what she truly enjoys about competing. As you

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create a motivation statement specifically for competing, include all the things you do in the days and weeks leading up to the show in order to prepare yourself and your horse. To create a motivation statement, follow these steps: Ask yourself the following questions: • What specific things do you love about showing? • At your best, what type of competitor are you? • What positive things happen when you prepare for a show? • What skills, qualities and abilities does showing bring out in you?

1 2

Give yourself about 30 minutes to write down any answers that occur to you, being careful not to censor yourself. No matter how big or how small, everything is important.

3 4

Step away from your brainstorming notes for one or two days. When you come back to what you’ve written, choose the top two or three items that are so important they seem to jump off of the page at you.


Using these specific items, write a short and dynamic statement or motto that encapsulates why you compete. Remember that it needs to make sense to you alone, so use powerful language

that makes you smile. An acronym is also a good idea – be creative and have fun! Examples include: “Facing new goals = fabulous, fun focus!” or “Our teamwork brings me joy; it is thrilling to come through when it counts.”

Setting performance goals for each show can be an excellent way to ease the potential stress of focusing on the “outcome”.


Place your motivation statement in strategic places where you will see it often during your training and competition routine and be reminded of your passion to show. Write it on an index card and place it inside your tack trunk or in your coat or boot bag. Jot it in your training log or on your calendar – the ideas are endless!

Remembering your best horse show memories, setting performance goals and uncovering your core motivation to show are all ways to ensure your return to the competition ring is fun as well as successful. Enjoy! Tonya Johnston, MA, is an equestrian mental skills coach with a master’s degree in sport psychology. A hunter/jumper horseshow competitor herself, her clients have attained success at every level, from local to international competitions. Tonya’s new book Inside Your Ride: Mental Skills to Be Happy and Successful with Your Horse is available through HorseBooksEtc.com and as an e-book. She conducts “Mental Skills for Riders” clinics throughout the country as well as phone consultations with individual clients. Contact Tonya at 510-418-3664, TonyaJohnston.com, facebook.com/pages/ Tonya-Johnston-Mental-Skills-Coach/289185784470668 or twitter.com/ tonya_johnston.


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Performance horses Shake it off! Does what it says on the bottle! Does your horse’s head twitch, shake, or nod during the pollen season? Is standing quietly in the crossties or steady riding a thing of the past? Think Shake No More! The natural answer for non-irritated airways and a steady head this summer.


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On guard! Sole-Guard is a fast (30 second) setting liquid urethane material that provides durable protection and support, and retains its shape and flexibility indefinitely. Sole-Guard is designed for use without shoes, and adheres to the sole sealing out moisture and debris, and protecting the frog and sole. Sole-Guard leaves the sole in excellent condition.


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Cast it Equicast is a hoof wear protection system, promoting soundness for all types of horses. Equicast provides the added support to help grow stronger, healthier hoof walls and soles. It is designed to assist nature in effectively restoring healthy hooves and the proper biomechanics necessary for sustainable and healthy growth.

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Cycle of life ENDUROlytes is a minimal (15%) sugar electrolyte balance to help replace losses through sweating. It contains a rich source of the ions potassium, sodium, and chloride in the ideal ratio to replenish fluid loss in competitive horses. Fructose is added to aid the transport of the ions across the cell walls. Also available in a sugar free format.

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Performance horses Does your horse have a drinking problem?

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Optimum hydration is vital for horse health, and for top-level performance. When added to a bucket of water, Horse QuencherTM will entice your horse to drink whenever and wherever you are – in the trailer, in competition, or on the trail.

Chill Wraps are a great addition to your everyday routine for both injury prevention and recovery after a race or event.

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Good health from within Supplement smartly This properly balanced electrolyte supplement is designed to help provide the daily sodium chloride your horse needs, in addition to the other electrolyte minerals that are lost through sweat. With no added sugar, SmartLytes® are available in a cherry-flavored powder, or apple bananaflavored pellets!


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equine wellness

Coloring the

world of

lameness Equine thermography is gaining attention from equine professionals and riders alike – could it help your horse? by Joanna Robson, DVM, CVSMT, CMP, CVA, CSFT, CIT

It’s nine in the morning and I pull my FLIR T400 thermal imaging camera out of its case and switch it on to warm up and calibrate. My patient, a young Warmblood gelding with an acute right hind limb lameness, is appropriately prepared and ready for his imaging. The conditions are perfect: warm but not hot, no wind, we’re in a protected barn, and Vic is clean and dry. As I move carefully around my patient, setting up my shots, I’m suddenly drawing a crowd of onlookers – not unusual when the camera comes out. Comments like “Oh! That’s so cool! What is that?” or “Is that the camera that sees the hot spots?” or “What’s the red area mean?” echo through the barn aisle. What’s old is new again

Most people think thermography is a new diagnostic tool for horses, but thermal imaging was introduced to the equine industry in the 1970s, primarily as a screening tool for racetracks and performance horses. However, due to expensive and rudimentary cameras, little knowledge of correct imaging techniques, and a lack of understanding about how to correctly interpret the images, the technology soon fell out of favor both with veterinarians and human medical professionals.

Riders and trainers are well educated, and many expect the same quality of care for their animals that they would for their human family members. “At the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, where there was millions of dollars worth of equipment available to the equestrian teams, the most-requested diagnostic tool was thermography. It was fast. It was portable. It was noninvasive. It could detect injury sites before they became lameness problems, and could guide practitioners to specific anatomic areas for study using other diagnostic techniques. And it was extremely accurate when used by an experienced practitioner.”1 The demand for thermal imaging has boomed with the industry’s economic surge and with the desire for rapid, safe, non-invasive diagnostic tools. Anatomic vs. physiologic

The major difference between thermal imagery and traditional diagnostic modalities such as ultrasound is that one is physiologic while the other is anatomic.

A demand for non-invasive Alternatives

• An anatomic diagnostic modality will show a specific lesion or problem in an anatomic structure at a static moment in time (e.g., a radiograph will show a bone spur in a hock). • A physiologic modality such as thermal imaging cannot show a specific anatomic lesion, but does show a physiologic change in blood flow that helps localize a lesion and more easily shows changes over time (e.g., showing whether the bone spur in the hock is causing inflammation).

The equine industry has undergone a major transformation over the past three decades. Now a multi-billion dollar industry with huge financial stakes, there is a great demand for the latest and greatest in diagnostic equipment. There is also more emphasis on alternative medicine and non-invasive modalities.

See the chart on page 42 for a comparison of the typical diagnostic tools available to horse owners. Based on this table, we can see that thermal imaging stands out as one of only two whole body imaging modalities, and is by far the most cost effective whole body imaging technology available.

Nowadays, the use of thermography is steadily growing again in human screening for cancer, work-related injuries, and other physiologic processes, and its use is also increasing in the equine industry. So what has changed?

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Preventative maintenance

A successful imaging session

Thermography is non-invasive, and is also the most effective “preventative” modality due to its ability to detect temperature changes indicative of early inflammation or circulatory disruption. Though the images are not able to tell the interpreter the specific nature of the lesion, the sensitivity of the camera for detecting temperature changes related to disease is key to its success. Changes greater than 1ºF to 2°F are considered significant. In fact, thermal imaging has repeatedly revealed signs of soft tissue injury, such as tendon or ligament damage, up to two weeks before any clinical signs of lameness, heat or swelling were detected. Thermal imaging should be considered as much a diagnostic tool as a preventative maintenance tool. Also, equine insurance companies will often cover thermographic imaging, which makes it more accessible to horse owners.

Standardization and correct patient preparation are imperative to minimize artifacts and maximize gain through blood flow and residual inflammation (or lack thereof). Artifacts such as moisture and sweat, dirt, caustic substances, bandages and blankets, can and will immediately destroy the correct interpretation of a scan. Long haircoats, feather (draft horses and Friesians), and unbraided manes or tails may interfere with imaging.

While thermography shows great success in many applications (see sidebar) it is important to recognize it as another tool in the box and not a be-all-end-all diagnostic device. The camera detects surface heat, so deeper, smaller lesions may be missed, or chronic changes not currently affecting circulatory patterns may go undetected. But correct patient preparation and environment can maximize the potential outcome of a scan. So what are the most important factors for success with equine thermal imaging?

Environmental control cannot be over-emphasized as critical to a successful scan. Sunlight, radiant heat from metal roofs or barn siding, fans and breezes, and flooring in the barn (mats, dirt, concrete, etc.) can significantly alter a scan. Having a clean dry patient in an environment free of drafts, direct sunlight or moisture, are keys to the success of your imaging scan, and to the repeatability and reliability that thermal imaging requires for continued acceptance in the veterinary and equine industries. Interpretation of the images is the other half of a successful imaging equation. It’s all in the interpretation

In keeping with veterinary practice laws, thermal imaging interpretation must be done by a licensed veterinarian –preferably one who is certified and/or experienced with thermography.

Comparing diagnostic tools Modality






Soft tissue and bone


Specific, anatomic

Expensive, requires anesthesia


Soft tissue and bone


Specific, anatomic

Expensive, requires anesthesia

Nuclear scintigraphy

Bone and some soft tissue structures


Whole body, sensitive, physiologic

Not specific, will require follow-up diagnostics; usually three days in hospital, invasive


Soft tissue, some bone

$100-$300 per region

Specific, anatomic

Limited by region, may require sedation and clipping


Bone, some soft tissue


Less expensive, good quality now with digital radiographs

Limited by region, may require sedation, radiation exposure

per image or region

(if swollen or affected)


Bone and soft tissue


Full body evaluation, non-invasive, early detection of problems before clinical signs, physiologic

Correct preparation is necessary for a good evaluation, artifacts may alter images, typically requires follow-up diagnostics

Veterinarian’s lameness evaluation



Considered the standard “first step”, important general baseline

Often requires follow-up diagnostics, not always sensitive or specific


equine wellness

for total body scan, often includes veterinary interpretation plus regional blocks



for your horse

for your body ®

Left: Vic’s hoof abscess. Right: A horse with nerve damage.

Just as a radiology technician’s job is to take excellent pictures, the thermographer must also take excellent thermal images, but neither should be making diagnostic calls unless they are also the veterinarian. Ask where your technician was certified, if he/she has a standardized patient preparation and imaging series, and if he/she has a veterinarian experienced in thermal imaging to interpret the images. To learn more about becoming a certified equine thermographer or to find a technician in your area, please visit equineir.com or ieinfrared.com.

In keeping with veterinary practice laws, thermal imaging interpretation must be done by a licensed veterinarian – preferably one who is certified and/or experienced with thermography. And what about Vic?

Vic’s images showed an asymmetry in the hind limbs. There was increased blood flow throughout the right hind leg. Possibilities for the cause included a muscle strain, joint injuries, hoof infection, or tendon-ligament injury, but based on his complete history a hoof abscess was suspected. The veterinarian and farrier evaluated his foot carefully and found a deep pocket of infection. The owner was pleased to avoid flexions and nerve blocks, radiographs, and an expensive work-up. While not every case is as straightforward, Vic’s case is a good example of lameness localization and a successful outcome using this whole horse non-invasive tool. Standardization and correct interpretation are crucial to the continued acceptance of thermal imaging as a diagnostic modality. Thermal imaging failed during its inception in the equine industry because of a lack of standardization and understanding of the technology and its correct use. Thermal imaging was compared to radiographs

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and ultrasound, which could show specific lesions; and was therefore discarded because of its lack of specificity. Now, with significantly better technology, and recognition of the importance of standardization, thermal imaging is taking its Saddle-fitting problems. rightful place in equine diagnostics. 1. Brown, K. Thermography: Diagnosis tool for horses. The Horse, Oct 2001, 490

Applications for thermography Some specific applications in the equine industry include: • Whole horse baseline scans – may prevent problems through early detection • Pre-purchase evaluations – whole horse scans often find otherwise missed problems • Saddle-fitting evaluation – pressure, balance, uneven flocking, bridging, rider imbalance • Back health -- kissing spine, muscle inflammation, saddle-fit problems • Farriery and hoof health – abscess, bruising, laminitis, imbalanced trimming/shoeing/loading • Lameness localization – detection of changes in circulation or nervous system function • Monitoring healing of soft tissue over time – easy serial imaging of tendons, ligaments, muscles • Pre-race or pre-competition screening – preventing breakdowns or catastrophic injuries • Ethics in sport – anti-soring of gaited horses, anti-rapping • Research and development – footing surfaces, mats and pads, therapeutic equipment

Joanna Robson, DVM, CVSMT, CMP, CVA, CSFT, CIT is the owner of Inspiritus Equine, Inc. (InspiritusEquine.com) in Napa, California, and a co-founding member of HIPPOH Foundation (Horse Industry Professionals Protecting Our Horses). Her practice is dedicated to a whole horse approach combining acupuncture, chiropractic, thermography, and saddlefitting with like-minded industry professionals for the best healing approach for the patient. She is a national and international lecturer and clinician, and the author of a book and DVD entitled Recognizing the Horse in Pain and What You Can Do About it!


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a bit about

Bitless Bridles D

r. Robert Cook can pinpoint the day in 1997 when he realized the effects bridles could have on horses.

“The ‘light’ dawned when I rode a Thoroughbred, first in a snaffle bridle and then, immediately after, in a crossunder bitless bridle,” says Dr. Cook. “Experiencing how the horse’s character and performance improved led me to ask myself, ‘What does a bit do to a horse?’” Dr. Cook was surprised he hadn’t noticed it before. “Though my research had focused on diseases of the horse’s head since 1958, I was blind-sided by 5,000 years of tradition.”

thousands of times with the BitlessBridle and obtained similar results. Dr. Cook hopes to see bitless bridles adopted sooner rather than later. He suggests lobbying your local 4H, Pony Club, USEF, USDF, and FEI administrators, and filing rule change proposals. Or try riding dressage bitless and competing, but showing hors concours. Even better, make a bitless video and compete online at horseshow.com. In all disciplines, horses can be trained bitless for at least part of the week. Even though an oral foreign body may be required for competition, Dr. Cook says some of the benefits do carry over. For more information visit bitlessbridle.com

After extensive research, Dr. Cook developed the Dr. Cook BitlessBridle™, an invention he says was inspired by the Grimsley bridle. George Grimsley, a bull-dogger from the 1950s, made these special crossunder bitless bridles for his friends on the rodeo circuit in New Jersey. Dr. Cook is proud of his patented bridle. “It represents a continuation of my work as a veterinarian,” he says. “By providing a more humane, safer and more effective reinaid, I am improving the quality of life of horses, preventing disease and reducing accidents.” Other riders would agree. Since the year 2000, equestrians worldwide have repeated Dr. Cook’s 1997 ‘experiment’

The illustration above shows how the straps of the Dr. Cook BitlessBridleTM distribute mild, painless pressure over a large surface area. The pressure diminishes from E to A as indicated by the color gradation. For steering, a squeeze on one rein (arrow) nudges the opposite half of the head. For slowing and stopping, a squeeze on both reins hugs the whole of the head.

equine wellness


Equine Wellness

Resource Guide • Associations • Barefoot Hoof Trimming

• Chiropractors • Communicators • Equine Naturopathy

• Equine Shiatsu • Iridology • Massage

• Photonic Therapy • Reiki • Thermal Imaging

View the Wellness Resource Guide online at: EquineWellnessMagazine.com


Liberated Horsemanship - CHCP Warrenton, MO USA Phone: (314) 740-5847 Email: BruceNock@mac.com Website: www.liberatedhorsemanship.com


Natures Barefoot Hoofcare Guild Inc. NBHG Woodville, ON Canada Phone: (705) 374-5456 Email: kate@natureshoofcare.com Website: www.natureshoofcare.com


Equinextion - EQ Lisa Huhn Redcliff, AB Canada Phone: (403) 527-9511 Email: equinextion@gmail.com Website: www.equinextion.com


Association for the Advancement of Natural Hoof Care Practices - AANHCP Lompoc, CA USA Phone: (805) 735-8480 Email: info@aanhcp.net Website: www.aanhcp.net


Equine Science Academy - ESA Derry McCormick Catawissa, MO USA Phone: (636) 274-3401 Email: info@equinesciencesacademy.com Website: www.equinesciencesacademy.com Advertise your business in the Wellness Resource Guide 1-866-764-1212


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Danny Thornburg Shelby, AL USA Phone: (205) 669-7409


The Horse’s Hoof James Welz Litchfield Park, AZ USA Toll Free: (877) 594-3365 Phone: (623) 935-1823 Email: jim@thehorseshoof.com Website: www.thehorseshoof.com

BRITISH COLUMBIA Christina Cline Abbottsford, BC Canada Phone: (604) 835-1700

Dave Thorpe Lumby, BC Canada Phone: (250) 938-3486 Email: barefootandbalanced@hotmail.com 250-938-3486

Lone Pine Ranch Bruce Goode, AANHCP Practitioner Vernon, BC Canada Phone: (250) 545-6948 Email: lonepinehorse@yahoo.com Website: www.hooftrack.com

Non-invasive natural hoof care Custom hoof boot fitting services


Kimberly Ann Jackson - LH & AANHCP Calabassas, CA USA Phone: (818) 522-0536 Email: KAJ@kimberlyannjackson.com Website: www.kimberlyannjackson.com Serving Agoura to San Diego

Second Heart Hoof Care Cohasset, CA USA Phone: (530) 343-7190 Email: secondhearthoofcare@yahoo.com Serving Chico to Redding area

Natural Hoof Care Alicia Mosher - PHCP Cottonwood, CA USA Phone: (530) 921-3480 Email: alicia@hoofjunkie.com Website: www.hoofjunkie.com Serving Shasta & Tehama County

Heart n’ Sole Hoof Care Jennifer Reinke - PHCP El Segundo, CA USA Phone: (310) 713-0296 Email: HeartnSoleHoofCare@gmail.com Website: www.heartnsolehoofcare.com Serving Los Angeles County

Dawn Jenkins Hoof Coach Frazier Park, CA USA Toll Free: (611) 703-6283 Phone: (661) 245-2182

From CA to HI: Practical hands-on-hoofcare. Trimming/shoeing instruction. 16 yrs hoofcare experience. Private workshops

California Natural Hoof Care Aaron Thayne - AANHCP Laguna Hills, CA USA Phone: (949) 291-2852 Email: californianaturalhoofcare@gmail.com Website: www.californianaturalhoofcare.com Dino Fretterd - CEMT Norco, CA USA Phone: (818) 254-5330 Email: dinosbest@aol.com Website: www.dinosbest.info

Barefoot Hoof Trimming – Wellness Resource Guide


Cindy Meyer Carbondale, CO USA Phone: (970) 945-5680 Sarah Graves - CHCP Pueblo, CO USA Phone: (719) 406-9945 Email: msbarefootequine@yahoo.com


Phyllis Gregerman North Stonington, CT USA Phone: (860) 599-8766 Sarah F. Block Shelton, CT USA Phone: (203) 924-5644


Dawn Willoughby Wilmington, DE USA Website: www.4sweetfeet.com


Jeff Chears Natural Hoof Care Dade City, FL USA Toll Free: (813) 967-2640 Phone: (352) 583-2045 Email: jchears@founderrehab.com Website: www.founderrehab.com

Servicing the central Florida area and willing to travel.

Hoof Nexus Daniel E. Hofford Ocala, FL USA Phone: (352) 502-4384 Email: equsnarnd@gmail.com Website: www.hoofnexus.com


All Around Horses Andrew Leech Dahlonega, GA USA Phone: (706) 867-4890 Website: www.geocities.com/ andrewsallaroundhorses/

ILLINOIS No Hoof - No Horse Cheryl Sutor, M.H.G. Kirkland, IL USA Phone: (630) 267-0357 Website: www.NoHoof-NoHorse.com Dr. Bonnie Harder - AANHCP Ogle, IL USA Phone: (815) 757-0425 Email: drbonniedc@hbac4all.com Website: www.holisticbalanceanimalchiro.com


Mark’s Natural Hoof Care Martinsville, IN USA Phone: (317) 412-2460 Official Easycare Dealer


Randy Hensley Natural Equine Hoof - AHA Orient, IA USA Phone: (641) 745-5576 Email: randy@naturalequinehoof.com Website: www.naturalequinehoof.com

KENTUCKY Ann Corso London, KY USA Phone: (606) 878-0466 Email: naturalhorsecare@earthlink.net

MANITOBA The Naked Hoof Trimming Services The Parkland Region and Surrounding Areas Ochre River, MB Canada Toll Free: (204) 572-0866 Phone: (204) 572-0866 Email: thenakedhoof.herrenbrueck@gmail.com Natural Barefoot Hoof Care for all breeds by Equine Soundness Practitioner expected to graduate in spring 2012


Coreen Harris Emmitsburg, MD USA Email: alboradapasos @ aol.com


Gwenyth Santagate Douglas, MA USA Phone: (805) 476-1317 Website: www.barefoottrim.com


Larry Frye White Cloud, MI USA Phone: (231) 652-3505


Cynthia Niemela Minneapolis, MN USA Phone: (612) 481-3036 Website: www.liberatedhorsemanship.com Liberated Horsemanship Trimming Instructor


Jeff Farmer, AANHCP Certified Practioner 927 Abe Chapel Rd. Como, MS USA Phone: 662-526-0821 Email: hooffixer@msn.com Website: www.paintedhillranch.com Also serving West Tennessee & East Arkansas


Hoof Authority Asa Stephens, AHA, PHCP Las Vegas, NV USA Phone: (702) 296-6925 Email: asa@hoofauthority.com Website: www.hoofauthority.com Serving Nevada


Luke & Merrilea Tanner Milford, NH USA Phone: (603) 502-5207 Website: www.lmhorseworks.com


Carrie Christiansen Browns Mills, NJ USA Phone: (609) 992-3889

Natural Trim Hoof Care Hopatcong, NJ USA Phone: (973) 876-4475 Email: info@naturaltrimhoofcare.com Website: www.naturaltrimhoofcare.com

Serving NJ, central to eastern PA, and lower NY state


Amy Sheehy - Natural Hoof Care Professional IIEP Certified Equine Podiatrist Clinton Corners, NY USA Phone: (845) 235-4530 Email: hoofgal@naturestrim.com Website: www.naturestrim.com

Specializing in natural trimming and rehabilitation of all hoof problems.

Better Be Barefoot Lockport, NY USA Phone: (716) 432-2218 Email: sherri@betterbebarefoot.com Website: www.betterbebarefoot.com

Natural balance trimming, rehabilitation, and education centre.

Jeannean Mercuri - PHCP Ridge, NY USA Phone: (631) 345-2644 Email: info@gotreeless.com Website: www.gotreeless.com Serving Long Island, NY


HossHoofHo Sandra Judy, Hoof Care Professional Gibsonville, NC USA Phone: (336) 380-5543 Website: www.hosshoofho.com

Hoofcare Professional Trimmer for performance & rehabilitation, providing education and clinics

Natural Hoof Care Lisa Dawe, AANHCP Practitioner Oriental, NC USA Phone: (508) 776-6259 Email: Lisa@ibarefoothorses.com Website: www.ibarefoothorses.com

Natural barefoot hoof care; specializing in pathologic hoof rehab


Lost July Natural Hoof Care Nina Hassinger Bridgetown, NS Canada Phone: 902-665-2151 Email: nina@lostjuly.ca

OHIO Natural Barefoot Trimming Emma Everly, AANHCP CP Columbiana, OH USA Phone: (330) 482-6027 Email: emmanaturalhoofcare@comcast.net Website: www.barefoottrimming.com Barefoot Trimming


Becky Goumaz Tulsa, OK USA Phone: (918) 493-2782 Email: pulltheshoes@yahoo.com

equine wellness


Barefoot Hoof Trimming – Wellness Resource Guide


Anne Riddell - AHA Anne Riddell, Certified Natural Hoofcare Practitioner Barrie, ON Canada Phone: (705) 427-1682 Email: ariddell@csolve.net Website: www.barefoothorsecanada.com Barefoot Horse Canada.com Anne Riddell, Certified Natural Hoofcare Practitioner Barrie, ON Canada Phone: (705) 427-1682 Email: ariddell@csolve.net Website: www.barefoothorsecanada.com

8Wh[\eej with 8WhdXeeji Johanna Neuteboom,

Natural Hoof Care Practitioner Port Sydney, ON Canada Phone: (705) 385-9086 Email: info@barnboots.ca Website: www.barnboots.ca Cottonwood Stables Chantelle Barrett - Natural Farrier Elora, ON Canada Phone: (519) 803-8434 Email: cottonwood_stables@hotmail.com Serving Ontario

Vanderbrook Farm and Natural Horsemanship Center Marie Reaume CEMT - Natural Trim Specialist Killaloe, ON Canada Phone: (613) 757-1078 Email: barefootvbf@gmail.com Website: tba Serving Eastern Ontario, Ottawa Valley

Back to Basics Natural Hoof Care Services Carolyn Myre, CBHA, CP, FL Renfrew, ON Canada Phone: (613) 432-3620 Email: carolyn@b2bhoofcare.com Website: www.b2bhoofcare.com

Servicing Greater Ottawa Area, Upper Ottawa Valley and some areas of Quebec.

Natures Hoofcare Kate Romanenko - NBHG Woodville, ON Canada Phone: (705) 374-5456 Email: kate@natureshoofcare.com Website: www.natureshoofcare.com The Hoof Whisperer - NBHG Woodville, ON Canada Phone: (705) 341-2758 Email: info@thehoofwhisperer.org Website: www.thehoofwhisperer.org

Serving York, Durham, Brock & Kawartha Lakes, Ontario


equine wellness


The Veterinary Hospital Nancy Johnson Eugene, OR USA Phone: (541) 688-1835 Email: thevethosp@aol.com Windhorse Creations Mavis Pas Oakridge, OR USA Phone: (541) 782-3561 Website: www.windhorse-creations.com

PENNSYLVANIA Bellwether Farm Katrina Ranum Shady Side, MD USA Toll Free: (443) - 223-0101 Phone: (410) - 867-0950 Email: info@ladyfarrier.com


Catherine Larose CBHA CP, Rigaud, QC Canada Phone: (514) 772-6275 Email: servicesequus@hotmail.com Website: www.servicesequus.com

Hoofmaiden Performance Barefoot Hoof Care Elizabeth TeSelle, EQ Leipers Fork, TN USA Phone: (615) 300-6917 Email: hoof_maiden@hotmail.com Website: www.blue-heron-farm.com/ hoofmaiden Servicing Middle Tennessee and online

TEXAS G & G Farrier Service London, TX USA Phone: (325) 265-4250

27 years exp. as Farrier and I promote Natural hoof care. I am a field instructor and clinician for AANHCP in Texas


Autumn Mountain Sue Mellen Danby, VT USA Phone: 802-293-5260 Barefoot & Balanced Natalie Gombosi, AANHCP CP E. Poultney , VT USA Phone: (802) 287-9777

Servicing ST. Lazare, Hudson, Rigaud,Greater Montreal and area


Certified Hoof Care Professional Miriam Braun, CHCP Stoke, QC Canada Phone: (819) 543-0508 Email: Hoofhealth13@yahoo.com Website: www.soinsdessabots-hoofcare.com

Natural Hoofcare Services Anne Buteau Shipman, VA USA Phone: 434 263 4946 Email: annebuteau@yahoo.com



Cori Brennan Horsense - Hoof/Horse care that makes sense Sharon, SC USA Toll Free: (704) 517-8321 Phone: (803) 927-0018 Email: brombie1@yahoo.com Natural barefoot trimming serving the Carolinas


Cynthia Niemela Rapid City, SD USA Toll Free: (612) 481-3036 Phone: (612) 481-3036 Website: www.liberatedhorsemanship.com Liberated Horsemanship Trimming Instructor

TENNESSEE Mary Ann Kennedy Fairview, TN USA Phone: (615) 412-4222 Email: info@maryannkennedy.com Website: www.maryannkennedy.com Trac Right Indian Mound, TN USA Phone: (931) 232-3071 Email: tracright@aol.com Website: www.tracright.com

Quality Barefoot Hoofcare in Middle Tennessee.

Kel Manning, CP, Field Instructor, NTW Clinician Knoxville, TN USA Phone: (865) 579-4102 Email: naturalhoofcare@me.com

Have faith in the healing powers of nature

Maureen Gould Stanwood, WA USA Phone: (360) 629-5153 Email: maureen@forthehorse.net Website: www.forthehorse.net

WISCONSIN Scott McConaughey Houlton, WI USA Phone: (715) 549-6380 Triangle P Hoofcare Chad Bembenek, AHA Founding Member Prairie Du Sac, WI USA Phone: (920) 210-8906 Email: chad@trianglephoofcare.com Website: www.trianglephoofcare.com Equine Sciences Academy Instructor

The Natural Hoof Monica Meer Waukesha, WI USA Phone: (262) 968-9499 Email: monica@thenaturalhoof.com Website: www.thenaturalhoof.com


Dr. Bonnie Harder, D.C. Ogle, IL USA Phone: (815) 757-0425 Email: drbonniedc@hbac4all.com Website: www.holisticbalanceanimalchiro.com

Barefoot Hoof Trimming, Communicators, Equine Shiatsu, Iridology, Massage, Reiki, Thermal Imaging


V IRGINIAWellness 1/24th Equine Wellness Equine

!NIMAL 0ARADISE Animal Paradise #OMMUNICATION (EALING ,,# Communication & Healing LLC

JanetDobbs Dobbs Janet Animal communication • Reiki Consultations • Classes


Your Health 321, LLC Merritt Island, FL USA Toll Free: (321) 432-0174 Phone: (321) 432-0174 Email: lrubin@yourhealth321.com Website: www.yourhealth321.com


www.AnimalParadiseCommunication.com • 703-648-1866


1/24th Animal Wellness


Animal Paradise

#OMMUNICATION (EALING ,,# Cassie Schuster, ND, MH Communication Waller, TX USA & Healing LLC Janet Dobbs Phone: (713)Janet 502-0765 Dobbs Email: Animal cassie.schuster@yahoo.com communication • Reiki

Website: Consultations www.wellranch.com • Classes

www.AnimalParadiseCommunication.com • 703-648-1866



Kristina Fritz Catasqua, PA USA Email: equishi@gmail.com



Equi-Lutions Niagara Falls, ON Canada Phone: (905) 394-0960 Email: equi-lutions@live.ca Website: www.equi-lutions.com EQmassage.ca Peterborough, ON Canada Phone: (705) 872-2526 Email: lindsay@eqmassage.ca Website: www.eqmassage.ca Horses2go Queensville, ON Canada Phone: (905) 251-0221 Email: horses_2go@hotmail.com Website: www.horses2go.com


Michelle Collins Galway, NY USA Phone: (518) 275-3260 Email: balancedbarefoot@yahoo.com Thermal Equine New Paltz, NY USA Phone: (845) 222-4286 Email: info@thermalequine.com Website: www.thermalequine.com


Equine Wellness Canada ON Canada Phone: (905) 503-0549 Email: ann@equinewellnesscanada.ca Website: www.equinewellnesscanada.ca Thermal Bridge Kirkton, ON Canada Phone: (519) 709-4071 Email: info@thermalbridge.ca Website: www.thermalbridge.ca

Double Check Inspections

Serving Ontario - York Region

Sierra Acres Rockwood, ON Canada Phone: (519) 856-4246 Email: anneporteous@sympatico.ca

Including Acupressure - Complete health assesment to locate trouble areas

Professional Edge Equine Massage Southwold, ON Canada Phone: (519) 652-2789 Website: www.professionaledgeequinemassage.com Serving Southwest Ontario


Natural Horse Power LLC Eaton, CO USA Phone: (970) 590-3875 Email: janet@naturalhorsepower.net Website: www.naturalhorsepower.net

ONTARIO, NEW YORK & FLORIDA ThermoScanIR Toronto, ON Canada Phone: (416) 258-5888 Email: info@ThermoScanIR.com Website: www.ThermoScanIR.com


Yoga with Horses Pemberton, BC Canada Phone: (604) 902-4556 Email: yogawithhorses@gmail.com Website: www.yogawithhorses.com

Serving Colorado and surrounding area


Dayment Ranch High River, AB Canada Phone: (403) 988-8715 Email: tobi.mcleod@backontrack.com Website: www.backontrack.com/ca

Equine Wellness Resource Guide Promote your holistic business inexpensively to a targeted market!



equine wellness


by Liv Gude

Getting your horse show ring ready doesn’t have to involve harsh shampoos and shine sprays. Check out this professional groom’s tips for getting the perfect look, naturally.

Grooming in a more “natural” way is really about addressing the basic needs of the horse, and going from there. It also means grooming your horse from the inside out as well as the outside in.

From the inside out Horses need a healthy, balanced diet that matches their exercise routine. High quality forage alone is not enough if they do not have access to quality pasture, salt and water. • Pasture contains plenty of vitamin E in that moisture-rich grass. It also ensures your horse eats as he was designed to – small amounts over long periods, with his head lowered. Being on pasture creates an environment for true relaxation, bonding with herd mates, and just generally “being a horse”. • Salt is a trace mineral required by all living creatures in order to survive. It can be provided by a block or in the horse’s rations. Either way, for your horse to be groomed from the inside, you need it! • Fresh water is also a must-have – it keeps the horse hydrated, which is crucial to digestion. Another upside to changing his water daily is that you can measure how much he drinks, and thus be able to tell if something is amiss.


equine wellness

• Supplementation may be necessary for some horses, depending on their forage and pasture routines. For example, most horses are missing necessary Omega fatty acids. And no pasture means no vitamin E. Selecting quality supplements and additives creates that “bloom” no amount of elbow grease can generate. It’s best to consult with an expert in equine nutrition to make sure your horse has what he needs. Remember, supplementation varies with your horse’s weight, lifestyle, exercise routine, forage and pasture, and even what region of the world you are living in.

Getting that “bloom” As a professional groom, I know “bloom” is what we strive for with each horse. Bloom means a shiny coat, a sparkle in the eye, and a generally upbeat attitude – perhaps even a bit of naughtiness sprinkled in for good measure. Grooming naturally means finding that bloom naturally, with simple tools and lots of hard work. You can’t buy a real bloom in a bottle. So how do you go about grooming from the outside in? And what does that really mean? It means paying attention to the outside of the horse, and in doing so, strengthening your relationship with him.

The best way to groom from the outside in is to use your hands. I love to use both hands when I curry my horses, for a few reasons. You can feel for any unusual lumps or bumps, it’s easier to move your horse around, and you can look for any tension or soreness. By being in direct contact with the horse, you may also get a millisecond warning before a spook.

Get currying The curry comb is responsible for so many critical things, and not just getting the dust up out of the coat. When done properly to your horse’s liking, it can be a great massage for him, and a tool to get to that “sweet spot” most horses seem to have. There are many different styles of curry combs, so choose one with the flexibility your horse enjoys. • I love to use a jelly scrubber – the kind with two types of nubs – on the lower legs, f a c e and ears. It’s so flexible you can fold it like a taco to get into smaller areas. • I use the traditional oval-shaped curry for my horse’s body. • Sometimes I’ll bust out the so-called pimple mitt to go over everything for some added shine. All three curry combs are super to use in the wash stall on shampoo day (which I really like to limit, since shampoos can strip the coat of its natural oils).

Grooming naturally means finding that bloom naturally, with simple tools and lots of hard work. You can’t buy a real bloom in a bottle. The most important job of the curry is to bring up and distribute your horse’s natural oils (yes, these are the same oils you have lovingly created with a well balanced diet). Frequent curry sessions, infrequent stripping of oils with harsh shampoos, and high quality finishing brushes all nourish these oils. Now that you have curried and massaged your horse until your elbow is about to fall off, it’s time for the next brush. I prefer to use natural bristle brushes only. The cost is higher, but the quality is amazing and the bristles definitely do the job well. After the curry, a nice natural bristled hard brush with longer bristles can easily flick off dust, dander and hair. equine wellness


Follow up with a softer brush with dense short bristles to lay the hairs down and create an almost waterproof seal.

Head to toe That’s the hair coat taken care of; now let’s address the mane, tail and hooves. These are all affected by genetics, nutrition and environment, so their quality and strength is a direct reflection of those factors. There are a few schools of thought on mane and tail care – not everything works for everyone.

q The

first is the “leave it alone” scenario. A brush never touches the mane and tail, and you only pick out any shavings with your fingers.

w The other camp suggests you keep the tail so conditioned,

oily and slick that nothing can ever possibly get tangled in it. This method does require some brushing.

e Then you have the tail bag method, in which the tail is

always contained in a bag, either with or without conditioner. If you choose to use a tail bag, please be sure to check it every single day and do not attach it anywhere near the tail bone.

r Most

grooms use a combination of the above methods, using detanglers as needed and doing a lot of picking by

hand, followed by a brush when needed. The best way to naturally care for your horse’s hooves is to pay attention! Check growth, the medial/lateral balance, the heels, sole, collateral grooves and so on. Maintaining the correct moisture level is also critical, so work with your farrier to add or remove moisture as needed. This will also vary according to the climate you live in. Sometimes in the spring with rain and wet grass you will not need to do anything, compared to a hot and dry summer/fall. If you want to add some polish to your grooming routine, a nice natural hoof oil for creating shine is olive oil – it’s great to use just before you enter the show ring.

If you want to add some polish to your grooming routine, a nice natural hoof oil for creating shine is olive oil – it’s great to use just before you enter the show ring. Now you have a great routine for a naturally groomed horse. Start with the basics of good nutrition, add some elbow grease, use high quality grooming tools, and pay attention to any changes. You will end up with that “wow” factor in no time!

Liv Gude

Professional Equine Grooms website, Facebook page of the same name started to grow overnight. After many years of grooming full- and parttime for several Olympians, Liv saw the need to bring Professional Grooms of all disciplines together in a supportive, informative community in an effort to acknowledge them as skilled individuals, deserving of all the rights and respect that other professionals earn. Liv now works fulltime on Pro Equine Grooms, and enjoys Miguel, her Grand Prix Dressage horse, and her hunter, Comet. proequinegrooms.com is the visionary behind the

which she launched last summer after her


equine wellness


It’s show time! Stand out in the ring with these trendy new fashions.

Hot seat

Stay cool

Contrasting fullseats are all the rage this year. These stylish, lightweight Arista Pro Breeches are made from an innovative fabric that’s water resistant and naturally self-cleaning. They come in several color options including white with a white, gray or black seat, and gray with a gray or black seat.

Just in! Machine washable equestrian show jackets for the hunter, jumper, eventer, and dressage rider. Designed with classic and contemporary lines, Hayward’s jackets are lightweight and fashionable. Offered in a wide range of styles, colors, and lining options, these jackets are a must have this show season. Choose from existing inventory, or create your own jacket at no extra charge.

Available in sizes 24-36, regular and tall SRP $299-$329. aristaequestrian.com


Classic in the ring

Check out these new Cheval Fashions show shirts! Handmade in Canada from 100% cotton/100 thread count, these high quality natural fiber shirts feel wonderful while being strong and breathable. They’re fitted and extra long with fun details like the unique roll-up sleeve tab and pearl snaps on the cuffs. Available in white, cream and patterns, all with gorgeous inset materials. Sizes 4-18 SRP $189. chevalfashions.com

Cowgirl up!

Wrangler has just released a new style in their western fashion shirts – the turquoise long sleeve metallic print shirt. This fantastic shirt features princess seams and waist darts for a great fit, and is 98% cotton/2% metallic reactive print. Sizes XS-XXL $49.97 wrangler.com

Not just made for walking

The Presidio boot from Ariat is all about high quality style for the woman who doesn’t have to compromise. It combines exquisite details with superior craftsmanship for the upper echelon of western fashion. Details include pinch-toe with exaggerated toe spring, ornate and elaborate leather cutout foot and color overlay, premium fullgrain leather foot and leatherlined 13” shaft, and hand-nailed leather outsole and heel. $329.95 ariat.com

Want to see your line featured in Equine Wellness? Tip us off to any new trends at

kelly@equinewellnessmagazine.com equine wellness


Holistic Veterinary advice

Talking with Dr. Joyce Harman Joyce Harman, DVM, MRCVS, graduated in 1984 from Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. She is certified in veterinary acupuncture and chiropractic, and has completed advanced training in homeopathy and herbal medicine. Her practice in Virginia (harmanyequine.com) uses 100% holistic medicine to treat all types of horses. Her publications include The Horse’s Pain-Free Back and Saddle-Fit Book – the most complete source of information about English saddles – and The Western Horse’s Pain-Free Back and Saddle-Fit Book.

Send your questions to: Holistic veterinary advice. email: info@equinewellnessmagazine.com Our veterinary columnists respond to questions in this column only. We regret we cannot respond to every question. This column is for information purposes only. It is not meant to replace veterinary care. Please consult your veterinarian before giving your horse any remedies.

Q: My horse is a head shaker. It has been suggested we try a figure eight noseband on him, as this puts less pressure on the facial nerves. Is there any truth behind this?

To help treat head shakers, I have had many successes with homeopathic medicine. A well-trained veterinarian should prescribe these remedies, as it is difficult to treat just by looking in a book. On some occasions, Chinese herbal medicine has been helpful, and the Western herbal formula Shake No More (Hilton Herbs) can sometimes be supportive.


Q: I have a gelding recently diagnosed with ulcers. I was doing some research, and noticed that incorporating papaya into the horse’s diet to soothe the stomach is increasingly recommended. What are your thoughts on this?

Some. The exact reason for a good response may be unknown, but due to the location of the branches of the trigeminal nerve (which crosses the face in several places), it is possible the pressure of the noseband actually changes the sensation the horse feels. Pressure in this location may deaden the overactive sensation, or trigger the nerve to respond less well to the stimulation that triggers the pain response. Whatever the reason, for a small percentage of horses, a figure eight noseband can be helpful. It will either work or not, so you can try it, and if it doesn’t work, there is no need to continue. For a few horses, I have seen an old-fashioned drop noseband do the same thing. Some horses do well with a mask that covers the nostrils, or a fly mask that cuts the light. A simple stocking over the nose can also work for some. It is worth trying any of these mechanical ideas, since they can’t hurt, and if they do work – great.


equine wellness


Papaya contains enzymes that can enhance digestion, as well as compounds that increase mucous production in the digestive tract. Papaya has been successfully and safely used for equine ulcers for many years. It can be fed for long periods without side effects. The one precaution pertains to horses that are insulin resistant and sensitive to carbohydrates. The sugars in papaya are

moderate on the glycemic index scale (a measure of how fast carbohydrates are released into the blood stream as glucose, and consequently how much of an effect they have on insulin and carbohydrate metabolism). Horses with laminitis, insulin resistance or obesity would be better using a low sugar product, such as distilled aloe, herbal digestive balancers (Hilton Herb’s Digest Support) or Chinese herbal formulas.

Q: Do you have any suggestions for maintaining an easy keeper’s weight while on stall rest? My mare is an air fern, and on strict stall rest for at least three to four months. I would like to be able to keep hay in front of her to keep her occupied and her digestive system moving. However, I know she will gain a fair bit of weight if I do this. A: One of the great new inventions in the horse world is slow hay feeders. Search the internet for designs that would fit your situation and your horse’s personality. Some can be placed on the floor, which is the most natural location, but if she plays with it too much and gets caught in it, you may be best with one that hangs on the wall. Try to hang it as low as possible without risking your horse getting a foot caught in it. Using one of these feeders can help keep hay in front of her, but will limit intake and keep her busy all day. Supplements can be used to help her insulin and carbohydrate metabolism. Most “air fern” type easy keepers are either insulin resistant or will likely become that way. Simple additions like flax, chia or hemp seeds can be used, at about eight ounces per day. OB Formula (Harmany Equine Products) is a balanced formula that helps control weight. Do not use formulas that contain cinnamon, since it’s a warming herb and can increase heat or inflammation in many horses. It is useful for certain horses, but not most, yet it is being added to many products.

Q: I am looking at purchasing a horse whose tail has been blocked. Is there any chance he will regain feeling in his tail over time? A: A lot will depend on how and what his tail was blocked with and how skilled the person doing it was. Unfortunately, many methods are not reversible, despite what the seller may claim. In many cases, the owner/seller may be unaware of the exact method used, and may have been told that it is reversible; so they in turn will tell you in all honesty that they also believe it to be reversible. It may or may not be possible for the veterinarian doing a pre-purchase to determine the exact way the tail was blocked, particularly if there are few marks/scars present. Depending on your management situation, a blocked tail may pose risks. The more a horse without tail function has to swat flies and deal with heat and humidity, the worse the problem. A horse stalled during the day in a dark barn with few flies will do much better. Other management issues and problems may arise with fecal material that collects under the tail, possible abscesses, or other problems with treatment sites. Be cautious. equine wellness




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Q: We are booking our horses’ spring vaccinations (unfortunately mandatory due to showing), and are wondering if we should work the horses the day they get vaccinated, or give them a day off. Some people suggest that working them helps move things through their systems, and prevents soreness – others say they should have the day off to rest because they will likely be sore/tired anyway. Thoughts? A: The first question is, who is requiring the vaccinations? Though any private show facility can require certain vaccines, there are no universal requirements in most states. I have heard barn owners, trainers and veterinarians say that vaccines are required for showing, but check each state’s requirements for Coggins and vaccines by searching the web. The show rules will give you the individual facility’s private requirements. Any vaccine is stressful to the immune system. So the short answer to your question is: no work on the day of a vaccine. In fact, I would prefer not to work the horse hard for several days afterwards. Never vaccinate just before going to a show. A vaccine takes ten days to two weeks to take effect and the stress of the show may cause the horse to feel worse. He will also have a suppressed immune system for those ten or more days and could be more susceptible to becoming sick at or just after a show. It can be useful to give the homeopathic remedy Ledum 30 just after the vaccine, and for a day or two after, to counteract some of the negative effects.


equine wellness

Driven to help by Kelly Howling with Anita TenBruggencate

How one adoption organization is putting the horse before the cart.

An idea is brewing After spending a winter in Florida as a groom with Artandi Stables, Anita learned about the Standardbred Retirement Foundation and felt that Ontario should have something similar to offer. So in 1996, she founded the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society (OSAS, osas.ca). Supportive and enthusiastic board members assisted in the start-up, including Laura Barker, Don McNiven of Killean Acres, Garry Phillips and Paula Wellwood of Wellwood Stables. The Ontario Harness Horse Association was also instrumental in the organization’s launch, providing office space, mailing and financial support.

The myth of the racehorse OSAS horses are fostered in approved foster homes. “Horses accepted into the program must be completely sound, healthy and well behaved,” says Anita. “All our horses have ‘downtime’

from the track. This allows us to retrain them for riding when they are in our foster homes.” When people hear the terms “off the track”, or “racehorse”, an image of a hot, unruly performance athlete often seems to come to mind. This is not typically the case with Standardbreds, Anita explains. “Anyone who has ever worked with or ridden a Standardbred will know they are not a “hot” breed. On the contrary, they are known for their level-headedness, patience with learning, and willingness to please.”

A bright future Retraining these horses for riding can be fairly straightforward, though it can also present with some unique challenges along the way, due to the animals’ main working gait being a trot or pace up to that point. “Standardbreds are most often quite accepting of a saddle and generally accept a rider calmly during their initial rides,” says Anita. “All Standardbreds can naturally trot and canter, they just need to be taught that it is okay to do so when working in their new jobs. They are not allowed to go into a run when racing, unlike Thoroughbreds. Time spent on collecting the horse, teaching leg aids, and working on transitions is very similar to starting other breeds as riding horses. Some pacers are apt to still fall back into that familiar gait, but it is generally easy enough to get equine wellness


Photo courtesy of Carrie Clarke Scott Photography


nita TenBruggencate was keeping a couple of retired Standardbreds at a farm she and her husband had leased. She was inspired by how wonderful these horses were to ride and handle. And working as a groom in the Standardbred industry, she saw a great need for other career options for horses that were retired or just did not make it to the races.

Our featured OSAS horse

carriage horses, as they are used to the harness and generally comfortable with vehicular traffic.

Name: Forest Lily (Lily) DOB: March 23, 2002 Breed: Standardbred Physicaldescription: Flashy 15.1hh dark bay mare with a star and one white sock. Background:Lightly raced (pacer), retired sound. Her last race was in 2009. Suitable for: Would make a wonderful English, hunter or pleasure horse. She is comfortable under saddle at the walk and trot, and is improving with her canter work. She would be best suited to an intermediate rider. Adoption fee: $500 Location: Orangeville, Ontario

them to switch over to a comfortable trot with a little retraining. Working on getting Standardbreds to drop their head and engage their hind end is an important key to a comfortable ride.” Standardbreds can be popular as family and pleasure horses, due to their often calm and patient demeanour. Many OSAS horses are placed with families who have small pleasure farms and want to do some trail riding or 4-H. Retired Standardbreds have also gone to mounted police units, therapeutic riding/ driving, English and Western pleasure and showing, dressage, endurance and even jumping. They can also make great pleasure

How you can help With many small town racetracks struggling financially, many more Standardbreds will be needing new careers. OSAS is currently looking for adoptive homes and sponsors. “Right now we have an abundance of companion/senior horses who need to be placed into permanent homes so we can open up more spots in foster care to the younger, rideable horses on our waiting list,” says Anita. “Over the past 16 years, we have had to take a number of adopted horses back into our care due to financial or health related concerns of adoptive owners. Monthly sponsorship is also very helpful in assisting with foster expenses for over 45 horses.”

Standardbred organizations and adoption American Standardbred Adoption Program, 4thehorses.com BC Standardbred Horse Adoption Society, greener-pastures.ca Maritime Standardbred Pleasure Horse Association, mspha.ca Morningstar Acres, morningstaracres.webs.com New Vocations, horseadoption.com Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society, osas.ca Performance Standardbreds, p-standardbreds.org Standardbred Retirement Foundation, adoptahorse.org TROTR, trotr.org

Book review TITLE: Dressage Naturally AUTHOR: Karen


In some circles, there continues to be debate as to whether competitive dressage and natural horsemanship can go hand in hand to enhance each other. Karen Rohlf, USDF ‘L’ level judge and competitive Grand Prix rider herself, is the only Associate Parelli Professional for Dressage, and she shares what she has learned in her new book, Dressage Naturally. Described as “a guide to the basics of dressage from a natural horsemanship perspective”, the book (with DVD) offers insights, exercises, and illustrations to get you started on your own journey. From groundwork preparation to ridden work, step-by-step instructions and troubleshooting are included. “Dressage and Natural Horsemanship may seem like a strange combination, but it is what I have always done, I just didn’t know it.” writes Karen. “…what you must realize is that the two systems are not pointing in opposite directions. They are coming from opposite places but both are pointing at the same thing … the horse.” PUBLISHER: Temenos Fields, Inc.


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Classifieds associations THE CANADIAN ANIMAL MASSAGE & BODYWORKERS ASSOCIATION (CAMBA) – Mission is to network, encourage and maintain a high standard of business practice within this growing industry & take advantage of the more affordable premiums of a group rate insurance. Canadian Inquiries: www.c-amba.org, bootcamp147@orilliapronet.com INTERNATIONAL ASSOC. OF ANIMAL MASSAGE & BODYWORK/ ASSOC. OF CANINE WATER THERAPY – Welcome trained practitioners of Animal Massage & Bodywork. The IAAMB/ACWT supports and promotes the practitioners of complementary care for animals through networking, continuing education, website, online referrals, newsletters, insurance, annual educational conferences, lobbying and credentialing of schools. www.IAAMB.org

Bare Hoof TRIMMING THE HOOF WHISPERER – Barefoot trimming for your equines – horses and donkeys. We trim to promote hoof function and hoof health. Member of Nature’s Barefoot Hoofcare Guild, Inc. Serving York, Durham, Brock, Kawartha Lakes and Oro-Medonte. www.hoofwhisperer.org ● info@thehoofwhisperer.org or Call Paola di Paolo (705) 341-2758

COMMUNICATORS JANET DOBBS – WORKSHOPS AND CONSULTATIONS. Animal communication, Animal/Human Reiki. Deepening the bond between animals and humans. For information about hosting a workshop in your area. janet@animalparadisecommunication.com, (703) 6481866 or www.animalparadisecommunication.com

Equine Events – Exhibitors Wanted HOLISTIC HORSE AFFAIR – Over 15, 000 attendees in 3 days? Where? The Holistic Horse Affair at the 2012 Rocky Mountain Horse Expo in Denver, CO from March 9-11, 2012. Join us as a vendor. www.Holistic-Herd.com info@holistic-herd.com ● (970) 631-7812

natural products ARENA DUST CONTROL – “Just Add Arenas” #1311 is a DIY, all natural dust control for indoor arenas. Simply spread the granular product and let the horses work it in. No more watering or oiling. Free footing assessment testing. www.justaddhorses.ca for video. (800) 563-5947 ECOLICIOUS EQUESTRIAN – Detox your grooming routine with natural earth friendly horse care products so delicious, you’ll want to borrow them from your horse. 100% Free of Nasty Chemicals, Silicones & Parabens. 100% Naturally Derived & Organic Human Grade Ingredients, Plant Extracts & Essential Oils. www.ecoliciousequestrian.com letusknow@ ecoliciousequestrian.com (877) 317-2572

FOR LOVE OF THE HORSE – Natural Herbal Horse Health Care. Contemporary Chinese Herbal Solutions precisely formulated to target the root of the issue; Immune Health, Insulin Resistance, Laminitis, Hoof Abscesses, Gastric Ulcers, Allergic Skin Reactions, Pain Relief, Uveitis and more. Nourish your Horse’s Health at the Source. (866) 537-7336 ● www.forloveofthehorse.com GOLD NUGGET: Superior Support for the Senior Horse – Formulated by Nationally Board Certified Naturopath, Dr. Cassie Schuster. Real relief for the horse you love. Joint & digestive care your horse will feel. Blended especially for the palate of the senior equine. Ingredients: Organic Turmeric, Fenugreek, Parsley, Pumpkin Seeds, Milk Thistle, Eleuthero, Spirulina, Pro-biotics and Hemp. www.wellranch.com HEALTH-E is the most potent equine vitamin E in the country at over 16, 000 units/oz. Contains all 8 forms of vitamin E including the natural form for complete protection. Lowest price per unit in the USA. www. equinemedsurg.com ● equimedsurg@aol.com ● (610) 436-5154

SEABUCK CANADA – Seabuck is a natural equine health product and performance product for all classes and breeds supporting healthy digestive function, maintain health skin and coat, and promote healthy reproductive function. www.professionaledgeequinemassage.com ● ronkjones@yahoo.com ● (519) 652-2789 THE PERFECT HORSE™ - Organic Blue Green Algae is the single most nutrient dense food on the planet with naturally-occurring vitamins, minerals and amino acids; all are provided in The Perfect Horse (E3Live® FOR HORSES) Our product sells itself; other make claims, we guarantee results. Join a winning team at www.ThePerfect-Horse.com ● (877) 357-7187 ● sales@e3liveforhorses.com

schools & training INTEGRATED TOUCH THERAPY, INC. – Has taught animal massage to thousands of students from all over the world for over 17 years. Offering intensive, hands-on workshops. Free brochure: (800) 251-0007, wshaw1@bright.net, www.integratedtouchtherapy.com

STALL BIO-SECURITY – Just Add Horses “Stall SecureSpray” #1317. Instantly any stall can be like a hospital. Also use for buckets, tack, equipment and trailers. A must for shows! Leading Tack shops, Country Depot, System Fence, Spectrum Nasco. www.justaddhorses.ca, (800) 563-5947 VETTEC HOOF CARE – Equi-Pak Soft (46118) is about 2x softer than regular Equi-Pak, Stays soft (even in cold temperatures), Durable with a strong bond, Perfect for deep commissures and thin soles, 40 second set time. www.vettec.com, (800) 483-8832, info@vettec.com

Retailers & Distributors Wanted EQUINE LIGHT THERAPY – Many veterinarians and therapists offer their clients the healing benefits of photonic energy with our Equine Light Therapy Pads! Contact us to learn more about the advantages of offering them through your practice! According to “Gospel”…Equine Light Therapy/Canine Light Therapy. www.equinelighttherapy.com, questions@ equinelighttherapy.com, (615) 293-3025 HORSE & DOG TREATS – Canadian made – no additives or preservatives. Your horses and dogs will love it! We work closely with and support our retailers – check us out @ www.barnies.ca or call (905) 767-8372 HORSE QUENCHER™ - the “official hydration product” @ the 2008 Olympics - contains 100% natural grains and flavors that will entice your horse to drink! Prevent dehydration - your inexpensive “health insurance”. Seeking Canadian Dealers! Contact: kara@horsequencher.ca ● www.horsequencher.ca

ORDER YOUR CLASSIFIED AD 1-866-764-1212 or classified@equinewellnessmagazine.com

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It’s Show Time

Odysseo pushes the boundaries of live performance to a spectacular new level. During his 40-year career in the performing arts, Normand Latourelle has been involved in all aspects of the industry. He has occupied every position from lighting designer to agent, production manager, director and artistic director. Since 2003, however, Latourelle has been fully dedicated to Cavalia, pouring his talent, passion and imagination into the company’s two ground-breaking productions – Cavalia, and the latest creation, Odysseo.

Percheron, Quarter Horse and PRE.

Horses have played a bigger role in human history and progress than any other animal. They have taken us to the ends of the earth, enabling us to build bridges between cultures and expand civilization. It’s the beauty and harmony of this ancient relationship, this meeting of two worlds – those of horse and man – that inspired the creators of Odysseo.

To give life to this extraordinary equestrian adventure, Cavalia created a 27,000-square-foot stage, in the middle of which rise two hills that are each three storeys tall. Some 15,000 tons of rock, earth and sand are trucked in and sculpted to create the vast space where humans and horses come to play together before the crowds. Odysseo presents a “live 3-D” voyage through landscapes we usually see only in the movies. High-definition computer graphic images transport the viewer from the Mongolian steppes to Monument Valley, from the African savannah to Nordic glaciers, from the Sahara to Easter Island.

As friends, partners and inseparable performers on stage, 61 horses and 49 artists lead the viewer on a great journey to a world of dreams, where together they discover some of the planet’s most unforgettable landscapes. Of the equine performers, 21 are stallions, and 40 are geldings. The breeds represented include the Appaloosa, Arabian, Ardennais, Canadian, Lusitano, Oldenburg, Paint,

Events Everything Equine Expo and Trade Show 8th Annual show featuring over 80+ vendors, equine demonstrations and breed & equipment information. This year introducing “Bulls & Barrels” - live bull riding for the first time and a real live Rodeo event with Cowboys and Cowgirls. $15 Adult, $12 Seniors/Students

For more information: Margaret Langlands (905) 852-9471 info@uxbridgehorsemen.com www.uxbridgehorsemen.com July 6 - 15, 2012 – Calgary, AB Calgary Stampede The Calgary Stampede is made up of sights, sounds, tastes and feelings that create a lifetime of memories. A century of tradition is distilled into 10 days of music, food, excitement, education, friendship, and community. Whether you’ve walked across the street or flown around the world, you’ll enjoy an eventful and unique experience.


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For more information on where and when shows are playing, visit cavalia.net.

Post your event online at: equinewellnessmagazine.com/events

Saturday, June 16, 2012 – Uxbridge, ON (Elgin Park)

(800) 661-1260 info@calgarystampede.com www.calgarystampede.com

With this new creation, Cavalia brings together the equestrian arts, stage arts and high tech theatrical effects in ways that have never been seen before. A veritable revolution in live performance, Odysseo features the world’s largest touring big top, the biggest stage, the most innovative visual effects, and the greatest number of horses at liberty.

July 6 - 21, 2012 - Moreland Hills, OH Chagrin Valley Hunter Jumper Classic The Chagrin Valley Hunter Jumper Classic, one of Northern Ohio’s annual summer traditions, will be returning to the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field in Moreland Hills, Ohio, Friday, July 6, through Saturday, July 21, 2012. This exciting event features three rings of horse show jumping competition, including all levels from lead line to Grand Prix. Rain or shine, the show begins daily at 8 a.m. This family-friendly event is fun for all ages and also includes food, shopping, family activities and canine events. (330) 903-9915 info@clevelandhorseshow.com www.clevelandhorseshow.com July 9 - 21, 2012 – Tulsa, OK Appaloosa National Championships/Youth World Show Competitors of all ages from around the country will come together to challenge themselves and their Appaloosa horses as they compete for cash prizes and prestigious awards at the 65th National Appaloosa Show and World Championship Appaloosa Youth Show. The excitement begins July 9, 2012 and continues for 13 days at the Built Ford Tough Livestock Complex at Tulsa Expo Square. The show is free to the public and draws more than 10, 000 visitors per year. Ashleigh Hennigar (208) 882-5578 ext 273 promotions@appaloosa.com www.appaloosa.com

Jul 21 - 28, 2012 – Albuquerque, NM Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show Initiated in 1993, Youth Nationals has been AHA’s premier youth event. Family members accompany the young competitors for a week of competition and fun-filled activities. Competition in English, Western, Side Saddle, Native Costume, Working Cow, Dressage, and Hunter disciplines combined with leadership training, games, contests and parades make this junior rider event one of the best in the nation. (303) 696-4500 www.arabianhorses.org Aug 13 - 18, 2012 – Brandon, MB Canadian Nationals: Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show Canadian Nationals stands alone as the only AHA championship show offering a full range of competition with Canadian flair. Spectators can enjoy 187 different classes in Youth, Western, Dressage, Hunter and English disciplines. For more information: (303) 696-4500 www.arabianhorses.org

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equine wellness