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OTH Feature



Ice-Vibe offers everything I am looking for when needing to cool down legs. The vibrations help increase the circulation which, as research shows, is a must when trying to be effective as possible in cooling down tired legs. Anyone can use these boots and any busy competition barn should make them a must have!

Phillip Dutton Two Time Olympic Gold Medalist Olympic Bronze Medalist




Equipment for English and Western riders of all levels! custom blankets stall drapes leather goods harness equipment

blanket cleaning services custom horse shelters hay feeders feed supplements

Come and experience the Brubacher’s difference! Shop online 24/7 at www.BrubachersHarness.ca Quality, service and price! 519 - 669 -2064


CONTENTS 30 March/April 2017


By Sierra Sneath, a professional braider on the A Circuit, and also the owner of Twisted Tails.

OTH FEATURED RIDER 14 Lindsay Farrow

OTH SERVICES 8 Have You Booked Your Spring Vaccinations? MP Equine

OTH EDUCATION 20 The “X” Factor: How to Talk to Your Horse in His Language“ Horse Speak, Trafalgar Square Books.

OTH PRODUCTS 12 Butet Saddles 16

Spring Products From Noble Outfitters


Purica’s Newest Equine Supplement: Equine H.A 300

OTH VET & EQUINE HEALTH 46 Posture And Performance Julia Merritt


OTH Spring Product Guide



Have You Heard About the HoofJack®?


Equi-Pak™ Pour-In Pad: Your “Go To” Product For Comfort, Protection, And Therapeutic Support VetTec


Enjoy Yums: Why Do We Use The Ingredients We Do?


ParaVet: A Dewormer? VetCur


Why You Need Tack Insurance BFL Canada


The Scoop On Free Radicals And Antioxidants Seabuck

Pain In The Butt Gut: Egus Equine Gastric Ulceration Syndrome Dr. Dieter Oberbichler

OTH RIDER HEALTH 50 How Endurance Cross-Training Can Help Your Performance Sarah Cuthbertson & Ashley Tomaszewski

OTH DRESSAGE 57 The Big Picture Karen Rohlf

OTH EQUINE HOROSCOPE 62 The Pisces Horse/The Aries Horse Samantha Marshall

OTH PUZZLES 64 Crossword Samantha Fawcett


The March/April Featured Rider: Lindsay Farrow Photo by Olivia Jordan Photography


KNOW THE HEALTH AND FINANCIAL COSTS OF EQUINE INFLUENZA VIRUS Talk to your veterinarian about your horse’s risk, and how to protect it with regular vaccination and good management.

Zoetis® and Fluvac Innovator are registered trademarks of Zoetis or its licensors, used under license by Zoetis Canada Inc.


Take pride in how far you’ve come. Have faith in how far you can go. But don’t forget to enjoy the journey.

EDITOR Samantha Fawcett SALES Tyler Saik tyler@onthehorse.com / 289-270-0906 DESIGN Navy Blue Stripes Paper Co.


Although the author and publisher have made every effort to ensure that the information in this publication was correct at press time, the author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause.

CONTRIBUTORS Dr. Dieter Oberbichler Dr. Melissa Mckee Samantha Marshall Sierra Sneath Lindsay Farrow Karen Rohlf Julia Merritt PUBLISHER Horseback Media Inc. Milton, Ontario, Canada www.onthehorse.com






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EDITOR’S NOTE the first of a two part series that will have you braiding like a pro in no time! Many horses and riders are starting back into more serious work in the Spring as the weather gets warmer. Knowing how to properly fit your horse up is something that all riders should be aware of. Whether or not you are an Endurance rider, you are going to want to check out the great article provided by the girls from Eat Sleep Ride Repeat on how Endurance Cross-Training can help boost your horse’s fitness and performance! Samantha with her mount “Tucker.” Photo credited Ashley Harris Photography


pring has sprung! I can see green grass starting to grow and I can almost hear the birds chirping. We

are so close to summer days of riding outside in the ring and on the trails while perfecting our farmer tans! For many of us, this also means that show season has either already started, or is just around the corner! I thought it would be a great time to take a look at some topics that are relevant to this time of year! Such as the feature article, “How to Prepare Your Horse’s Mane and Tail for Perfect Braids!” This is 6 | ON THE HORSE MARCH/APRIL ‘17

Another exciting feature in this issue is the Spring Product Guide! We found some great new products for this season that you are sure to LOVE! Also, a little birdie told me there is going to be several flash giveaways throughout the month of April for these fantastic products! Make sure you are following us on social media, as well as checking into our website daily to make sure you don’t miss a single one! Until next time, I hope you all enjoy the warmer weather and spend lots of time with your horses!




Springtime is the natural season for vaccination since the transmission of infectious diseases is highest when conditions are warm, horses are moving around and mixing at competitions, and mosquito populations are thriving. Here is a primer on recommended vaccines for horses in Southern Ontario. Rabies This virus is transmitted in saliva through bites from an infected animal. It is 100% fatal in humans, horses, and just about any other mammal, and we see cases every year in Southern Ontario due to an active wildlife reservoir. Vaccination is very effective and economical. Encephalitis (EEE, WEE, West Nile) These diseases are carried mainly by birds and transmitted to horses by mosquitos. We see cases of EEE and WNV every year, with a peak in the late summer/early fall season. The EEE/WEE and WNV vaccines are quite reliable and well tolerated.

posed to this virus early in life and can become contagious again when stressed. It can cause respiratory disease, abortion, and severe neurologic complications. Vaccinated horses tend to get less sick and there is preventative value against abortion, most importantly it cuts down on the amount of infectious particles shed in nasal secretions. Unfortunately no vaccine protects against the neurologic form of this disease. It’s increasingly common for horse show facilities to insist on proof of vaccination for “Flu-Rhino” to gain entrance to the grounds. For more information on EHV visit the OAHN website fact sheets at oahn.ca/resources/equine/equine-herpesvirus-

Tetanus Horses are highly sensitive to this fatal disease, caused by a bacteria that is ubiquitous in farm environments. Annual boosters are recommended because exposure can occur any time there is a puncture wound in the foot or body. Influenza Influenza is a viral respiratory disease that causes fever, depression, and general respiratory signs. It is very contagious and it is mandatory for any horse competing at the FEI level to have documented boosters every 6 months. Vaccination provides some short-term protection and reduces transmission rates of this disease, recommended twice annually for competition horses. Rhinopneumonitis/Herpes (EHV-1) You may be surprised to hear that most horses are ex8 | ON THE HORSE MARCH/APRIL ‘17


Strangles Strangles pops up every year in Southern Ontario, outbreak control is heavily reliant on good biosecurity whenever a case is diagnosed. The intranasal vaccine provides the best protection against strangles, but does have to be handled very carefully and carries a higher complication rate compared to typical intramuscular vaccines for other diseases. There are other vaccines in use for Leptospirosis, Rhinitis, and Potomac Horse Fever. Appropriate selection and expected level of protection varies by region and should be discussed with your local vet to determine if your horse is a candidate for vaccination.

Equine Services Equine Veterinarians

Serving You & Your Equine Partner

• 24/7 Emergency Care • Farm Visits • Lameness Exams • Pre-Purchase Exams • Dentistry • Standing MRI • Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy • Acupuncture

Campbellville (866)856-3260 Newmarket (855)898-0370 Caledon (905)898-9010

info@mpequine.com • www.mpequine.com

EVENT LISTINGS April 2017 SCHOOLING SHOWS 23 • Jumper Schooling Show @ Meadowlark North 30

• Hunter Schooling Show @ Meadowlark North

TRILLIUM SHOWS 31-2 • JD Leap Into Spring Trillium @ Iron march Horse (CW)


• Peter Gray Clinic @ Sprucehaven Farm


• Bronze & Silver Dressage Show @ RCRA


• Elaine Ward Dressage Clinic @ Glenaura Farm • Tina Busse-Irwin Dressage Clinic @ Dressage Niagara


• JD Leap Into Spring Trillium @ Iron Horse (CW)


• Joker’s Hill Winter Trillium 3 @ RCRA (CE)


• Hamilton Hunt Trillium Show @ Iron Horse (CW)


• Josh Lyons Rider Clinic @ Five Star Ranch


• Hamilton Hunt Trillium Show @ Iron Horse (CW)


• Gail Cook Rider Clinic @ Five Star Ranch


• English Instructor of Beginner Evaluation @ Myrddin Equestrian Centre


• Knights of Valour “From Bronze to Steel” @ REACH Huron


• Caledon Horse Tack Swap


• 2nd Annual Niagara Region Equine Health & Wellness Expo

A CIRCUIT SHOWS 7-9 • Spring Series (Hunters Only) @ Caledon Equestrian Park 21-23

• Spring Series (Hunters Only) @ Caledon Equestrian Park

EVENTS 23 • Ian Roberts Clinic @ Glenarden Farms

MISCELLANEOUS CLINICS & EVENTS 7-9 • Josh Lyons Symposium @ Five Star Ranch

EVENT LISTINGS May 2017 SCHOOLING SHOWS 7 • Twinholm @ Iron Horse Challenge Series Show 13

• Rockton Saddle Club Show Series


• Oak Ridges Equestrian Centre Hunter Schooling Show


• Hamilton Hunt Hunter Series


• Meadowlark North Schooling Series Show

“Make your comebacks stronger than your setbacks.” -ROB MOORE

TRILLIUM 5-7 • Joker’s Hill - Spring Trillium 4 (CE) 6-7

• Highland Green Trillium Show (SW)


• Highview Farms Trillium 1 (GB)


• Fox Run Trillium Show (CW)


• Meadowlark North Trillium Show (CW)


• HSE Stables Trillium Show 1 (SW)


• Willowind Eventing Test CT (PE-P)


• OHTA @ Grandview (E-I)

DRESSAGE 1-3 • KLDA Gold, Silver, Bronze Springtime Dressage @ Saddlewood 26

A CIRCUIT 9-14 • Classic at Palgrave Phase 1 @ Caledon Equestrian Park 16-21

• Caledon National CSI2* @ Caledon Equestrian Park


• Classic at Palgrave Phase 2 @ Caledon Equestrian Park

EVENTS 6 • SOCTA @ Twisted Pine CT & XC School 6 • Ian Roberts Clinic @ Hopewell Creek Stables 7

• SOCTA @ Twisted Pine HT 1


• OHTA @ Cherrylane (PE-T)

• Peter Storr 3 Day Classical Dressage Clinic @ Holly Oaks Farm

MISCELLANEOUS CLINICS & EVENTS 12 • Mane Event Equine Education and Trade Fair (London) 20-21

• Jason Irwin Clinic @ Parkeridge Stables


• Hamilton Hunt Spring Wine Ride june


• Jason Irwin Clinic @ Glenaura Farm




utet saddles have been made for over 30 years in our workshop located in the city of Saumur, France.

The making of our saddles remains very much a handcraft. Of course our saddles have evolved over the course of the years with the help of technical research, but we still offer identical looking saddles as per what we did our very first year. Butet saddles bring comfort, safety, and performance to horses and riders alike. Our product line addresses all levels of all disciplines. No matter if the saddle in production is meant for a professional or an amateur rider, the same care and craftsmanship is always put forward during the making. We are extremely proud to bring exceptional service to our customers. We are always available for consultation in order to find the perfect saddle to meet specific goals and/or requests. Our technicians are trained to advise you on the best product available to you while following your needs. Our service and the quality of our product remains our #1 focus. We distribute our saddles in over 30 countries across the world. At this time, we are available from coast to coast in Canada. You can see us during one of the many equestrian events to which we partake every year. We also offer individual appointments in the comfort of your own barn to discover our products. Many International riders have trusted our brand for years, such as George Morris, Tiffany Foster, Kara Chad, etc. Why not offer yourself a high end saddle that is adapted to your every day needs. A gift that you will get to enjoy for many years to come. To arrange a saddle trial, please contact Alan Le Loudec at 1-519-215-1474 or alan.lelouedec@butet.fr


BUTET SADDLES CANADA ALAN LE LOUEDEC alan.lelouedec@butet.fr (1) 519 215 1474 www.butet.fr


Photo Credit Olivia Jordan Photography (left, right)

LINDSAY FARROW March/April Featured Rider

DATE OF BIRTH February 17, 1991

HOMETOWN Fenwick, Ontario

BASED OUT OF Waterloo, Ontario

FAVOURITE INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE “Everything happens for a reason”

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS? I hope to be married and starting a family, while continuing to be surrounded by horses through work and competing.


first sat on a horse at the age on 2 in Saskatoon at my uncle’s farm. It is an ongoing joke in my family that, “this is all his fault,”. At the age of 8, my parents finally caved and I started taking lessons and eventually began competing at the age of 10. First at local schooling shows, then I did a few years at the Trillium level, which eventually lead me onto the ‘A’ circuit. On the ‘A’s I started out in the Hunter divisions, which lead me to qualify for the Royal Winter Fair in 2012 with my horse, 14 | ON THE HORSE MARCH/APRIL ‘17

Armani. After that I wanted to transition into the jumper ring. I purchased my first jumper named Cat in 2013 as a 4 year old, and I purchased Naphea de Coilly in 2014. Naphea was a very seasoned jumper who gave me a lot of confidence and taught me a lot in a short amount of time. She is currently living out her retirement, and hopefully she will be expecting a foal next year! Together we won the OHJA Junior/Amateur 1.10 division in 2014. I was able to go on and win the 1.10 division again in 2015 with Cat, and in 2016 we won the 1.20 division. My coach, Heather MacInnis competed with Cat’s Mother (Drift Wood) in the High Junior Jumpers. Once she found out one of her babies was available, she convinced me to buy her because Cat reminded Heather so much of her mother (hence her show name Carbon Copy). Since then it has been literally, a wild ride! Cat is an extremely quirky horse that knows how to keep me on my toes. She is small and fine boned, but don’t let that fool you! If she hears a noise she doesn’t like, sees a big

horse cantering towards her, or hears a rail drop; she will spin on a dime and bolt the other way! The warm up ring can be really stressful if it is busy with lots of loud horses, trainers, and grooms. She doesn’t like a lot of people standing by the jumps, and I always need to hold on extra tight if the liverpool is moved. All that aside, I am so thrilled Heather convinced me to buy her because all is forgotten as soon as we enter the ring. She quickly reminds me why I love her so much and why I put up with her wild side. Once she jumps that first jump, nothing can break her focus. She is extremely careful, quick, and willing. She gives me 110% every time she competes. I swear she just enjoys being the centre of attention. For the last year and a half, I have been working at BFL Canada on the Equine team as a Registered Insurance Broker. I have been able to put my Business Degree and years of working with Heather MacInnis to good use! I love being able to work in a business environment, but also talk about horses all day. I currently service the bloodstock and farm accounts. I feel very lucky to work with such great people who understand and support my showing career. The biggest highlight so far with Cat was my second place finish in the Junior Amateur 1.20/1.30/1.40 Pam Am Challenge

Photo Credit Lindsay Karr

at Caledon Equestrian Park last September. It was really special to me because not only did I have two great rounds, but I was also competing against riders I really admire. This year I am hoping to be successful in the Junior/Amateur 1.30 division with Cat. My goal is to also try some 1.35 Modified GrandPrixs. I am extremely grateful for every champion ribbon we have ever won, and I am really excited to see how far Cat and I will be able to go together!

CARBON COPY aka cat or kitty BIRTHDATE July 26, 2009 PEDIGREE Warmblood/ Thoroughbred (Cabardino x Driftwood) HEIGHT 16.1 h LOVES Snorting at everything, cuddling in her stall, and jump-offs

HATES The warm-up ring IF HE/SHE WERE IN HIGH SCHOOL, HE/SHE WOULD BE The girl that doesn’t really listen to the teachers and does things her own way but still gets straight A’s. Photo Credit Lindsay Karr


SPRING PRODUCTS from Noble Outfitters

The New Noble Outfitters 5 Pocket Balance Riding Tight is designed for a super flattering jean-inspired styling with two front and two back pockets plus a hidden pocket inside the back waist. High-recovery Booty Boost Technology fabric holds and moves with you with no sag and no bag, while the Never Fade Fabric is engineered to never fade with wash and wear. With Opti-Dry Technology and UPF 50+ sun protection, these are the perfect riding pants for a hot summer day. Lightweight stretch hem reduces bulk inside a boot, and silicone knee patches keep you secure in the saddle.     If you’re looking for the ultimate coverage, comfort and breathability, the Noble Outfitters Ashley Performance Shirt is your go-to riding apparel piece. Made with UPF 50+ rated fabric, to keep you cool and yet protected from the sun’s harmful rays. Designed to be ultra-breathable with stretch mesh back, power mesh detailing under the arms, flattering princess seam side panels and dropped back hem — stay cool, protected from the sun and achieve a flattering fit all in one.  The Opti-Dry Technology keeps you even cooler by pulling moisture away from the skin. Available in a range of styles, from fun colourful patterns to classic black or white.     The Classic Equine Legacy System Boot® has been trusted by thousands of professionals over the span of decades. Mimicking the horse’s own support structures to provide protection and support without sacrificing flexibility is the key. Developed to be lightweight, breathable and flexible, with the patented Cradle Fetlock System for natural suspensory support without inhibiting movement. Horses are naturally designed to stop, turn, and accelerate, and the Legacy System® reinforces these motions to provide protection to the critical structures within the leg. Available in multiple solid colours, and exciting limited edition patterns. 16 | ON THE HORSE MARCH/APRIL ‘17


Purica’s Newest Equine Supplement

Equine H.A 300

What is Equine H.A. 300? Equine H.A. 300 is a high potency Hyaluronic Acid product that also features high levels of Vitamin C (in the best form), with a small dose of Tasty Fibre. Generally, H.A supplements have 100mg of H.A per maintenance dose, although some may contain 200-300mg per serving. Equine H.A 300 has excellent value as it contains 300mg of H.A per serving, as well as 7000mg of Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid). Equine H.A 300 is a powder supplement that is available in two sizes 330g (30 day supply) or 990g (90 day supply). What is Hyaluronic Acid? Hyaluronic Acid is a substance that is naturally present in both the human & animal body. It is found in the highest concentrations in fluids of the eyes and joints. In humans, the amount in the body is 50% less than optimal by age 40! This is why it is a key ingredient in Recovery Extra Strength. H.A is safe as it is naturally occurring in the body, and is especially beneficial as we age, or if we are under a heavy workload/prone to injury. Benefits of H.A. include: • Cushioning joints and nerve tissue • Stabilizing fluid breakdown within joints Everything Purica does is based on Nature, but also backed by Science. A few recent studies on the benefits of oral administration of H.A. have been published on pubmed. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3512263


Why add Vitamin C? Vitamin C is well known for it’s immune benefits. But did you know it is essential in the production of collagen, which is the main structural protein found in skin and other connective tissues? It is also widely used in purified form for cosmetic surgical treatments. Vitamin C is another key ingredient in Recovery, and is the best available human grade Ascorbic Acid form. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that blocks some of the damage caused by free radical substances that damage DNA. The build up of free radicals over time may contribute to the aging process and the development of health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and arthritis. Benefits of Vitamin C include: • Essential for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body • Needed for healing wounds, and for repairing and maintaining bones and teeth • Helps the body absorb iron from non-heme sources 18 | ON THE HORSE MARCH/APRIL ‘17

w ne

fr om


h.A. 300 Extra strength hyaluronic acid Supports joint health and function each serving contains:

hyaluronic acid 300 mg

Natural lubricating compound for joint and skin health.

vitamin c 7000 mg

Necessary nutrient for the development, maintenance and healing of connective tissue throughout the whole body. Vegan



Available in 30 or 90 day supplies.





Nature. Science. Your Horse.

A healthy horse is a happy horse


The “X” Factor How to Talk to Your Horse in His Language “Horse Speak” is not a training method or a technique to make you ride better. It is a practical system for “listening” and “talking” to horses in their language instead of expecting them to comprehend ours. Horse Speak can be used by any individual who works with horses, whether riding instructor, colt starter, recreational rider, or avid competitor. It promises improved understanding of what a horse is telling you, as well as providing simple replies you can use to tell him that you “hear” him, you “get it,” and you have ideas you want to share with him, too. In their bestselling book Horse Speak, horsewomen Sharon Wilsie and Gretchen Vogel explain the “X” factor that resolves all kinds of communication issues we have with our horses:

the Back-Up Button. The Button is low on the outside of the horse’s shoulder, located where the very top of the leg comes into the shoulder muscle. There is an inverted triangular indentation here that can help you identify this Button. Touching it can make a horse flinch. This is a good time to start exploring how sensitive your horse is to your Core Energy. Your true “center,” your balance point, is located behind your belly button. This place in the human body is called the Hara in martial arts, which believes that energy broadcasts from your core. If we assume the horse has similar Core Energy, we should note that it is expressed through his chest as it radiates through from the depths of the center of his body. It doesn’t matter whether you believe there is an “energy expression” from your core or not—you can still observe the horse’s response to it every day.

When you want the horse to yield space by moving back, rather than just moving his head or front feet to the side, you can use the Button on the front of the horse’s shoulder I call 20 | ON THE HORSE MARCH/APRIL ‘17

One of lessons of Horse Speak is that “O” is a Beckoning Posture. Its counterpart is “X.” When you face a horse directly—eyes, shoulders, hands, belly button, and feet—you are in the beginning formation of the “X” Posture.

Raise your hands or spread your feet and you begin to make a big “X” with its center at your belly button and your Core Energy.

Making an “X” communicates, “Go away.” When a horse flattens his ears, arches his poll, spreads his front feet or hind feet or both, and seems to get taller, he is making an “X.” His posture is not welcoming. When you make your own body into an “X,” you are mirroring this communication. Try This Horse Speak Conversation: Back Up

Most of the time just pointing your Core Energy at the Back-Up Button (aim your belly button at it) is enough to move a horse backward. You will find you really don’t have to muscle most horses around to make them back up. There are some stoic horses that have shut down to people, and with them you can reach out with your hand to actually tickle or scratch this Button. Some horses that won’t back up don’t want to give you the space in front of them because they are questioning your rank as leader in the same way they would question another horse. When you ask for a back up with these horses, it is not a matter of how far they back up. Praise their effort even if they just lean or show intention to move, thus creating success you can build on later. Learning to observe your horse’s micromovements will alert you to many things, including the moment when he changes from “braced” to “thoughtful.” Rewarding for the thoughtfulness encourages him to realize you want him thinking, not reacting.

I like to do this in the horse’s stall to begin, and only later try it outside.

This excerpt from Horse Speak by Sharon Wilsie and Gretchen Vogel is reprinted with permission from Trafalgar Square Books. WWW.HORSEANDRIDERBOOKS.COM




PRODUCT GUIDE THE HANDS ON GROOMING GLOVE | retail: $39.99 Grooming your horse is a very important daily activity! Checking for cuts, scrapes, irritations, bumps, stones in the feet, etc. is necessary for your horse’s health and well-being! Not to mention, spending quality time with your horse will help strengthen your bond! HandsOn™ Gloves are a revolutionary concept that reaches far beyond the traditional curry combs, mitts, and scrubbers on the market today! These gloves are perfect for use both wet and dry, and will not slip off your hands while bathing your horse! The gloves tactile touch gently cleans sensitive areas like legs, faces, ears, and tight body contours; while massaging muscles, stimulating circulation, and helping to distribute natural oils for healthy skin, and a shiny coat! With a flick of the wrist, all of the hair is gone from the gloves! Perfect for shedding season! Get your HandsOn™ Gloves atwww.handsongrooming.ca 22 | ON THE HORSE MARCH/APRIL ‘17



THE TAPESTRY COMFORT GIRTH | retail: $149.99 The new, patented Tapestry Comfort Girth is the first girth of its kind to offer comfort, symmetry, and expansion where it matters. Pressure points and stress are minimized, improving well-being and performance in your horse. The Tapestry Comfort Girth has a 6” Sternum pad with non-slip neoprene that keeps the girth and saddle in place with elastic on either side that breathes with the horse where it matters and helps to relieve pressure behind the elbow. The girth is made of premium leather, complete with a “D” ring for attachment of a breastplate or martingale, stainless steel buckles, and beautiful stitch detail! The Tapestry Comfort Girth comes in brown genuine leather from sizes 38” to 54” in the English style, and sizes 30” and 32” in the Western style.

Western Style

English Style




Peterlitzau.com serves as the creative extension of Peter Litzau and his desire to communicate a visual and design philosophy into the lives of a broader community. The eponymous business is a workshop for Litzau to explore his ideas on texture and craftsmanship. “There needs to be a balance in beauty and intellect. There needs to be a dialogue between color, form, and materials. Most importantly, there needs to be an emotional connection with the customer.” Printed on blends of the finest silk, these scarves are perfect for adding an equestrian flair to your wardrobe! To purchase an equestrian silk scarf or stole visit www.peterlitzau.com MARCH/APRIL ‘17 ON THE HORSE | 23




Equine Omega Complete is a specifically formulated blend of soybean and fish oil with allnatural Vitamin E. Composed of only human-grade ingredients, using Non-GMO mechanically expelled soybean oil, deep water wild caught fish oil, and all-natural non-synthetic Vitamin E. Equine Omega Complete is a great all-in-one supplement for all horses that provides support to many aspects of the horse’s health such as: • • • • • • • •

Builds a strong immune system Assists in proper cell development and function Reduces joint and tissue inflammation, as well as delays lactic acid build up in muscles May reduce stress, anxiety, and depression Promotes a healthy digestive system Help to grow stronger hooves, and a shiny, healthy coat Maintains oxygen/blood flow to aid in conditioning and stamina Promotes a healthy reproductive system in stallions and mares

For more information on how your horse could benefit from Equine Omega Complete, visit www.southernequinedistributing.com.




The Ashley Performance Long Sleeve Shirt is incredibly comfortable, breathable, and figure flattering! Show off those biceps you’ve earned from grooming, mucking, and riding! Made with UPF 50+ fabric to protect you from the sun, and Opti-Dry Technology that wicks away moisture to keep you both cool and dry! The power mesh under arms and stretch mesh back panel of this shirt creates maximum ventilation and breathability! If you’re looking for coverage and comfort, the Ashley Performance Shirt should definitely be your new go-to riding apparel piece! With lots of colours to choose from, in both solid colours and fun prints, you can get a shirt for every day of the week! To find a retailer nearest you or to order online, visit www.nobleoutfitters.com. 24 | ON THE HORSE MARCH/APRIL ‘17

PUP & PONY TAG CO. retail: browbands start at $99.99, and bath bombs are $19.99 The Pup & Pony Tag Co has a couple hot new products on the market this spring! You can now order fully customized browbands that are buttery soft, yet sturdy; and padded for your horse’s comfort! They are made with the highest quality crystals, and come in any colour your heart desires! They are handmade and delivered within 3-4 weeks. The most exciting new product is our bath bombs that are artisan-ally crafted, and come with a little surprise inside of each one! These bath bombs do double duty! Not only will they allow you to experience a luxurious, spa like bath, but they can also be used as a soak for your horse’s hooves! The Doterra essential oils contained in the bombs, such as Lavender will even help treat hoof ailments like abscesses. The best part of all - when you’re done, you can collect your unique, handmade bridle charm! To order, please visit www.pupandponytagco.com and Like us on Facebook!

VIVID HORSES: AN EQUINE COLOURING COLLECTION | retail: $21.99 Whether you are an adult or a kid, colouring has been proven to be very beneficial for emotional, mental, and intellectual health! And if you’re an equestrian, what better way to relax and de-stress than picking up a colouring book full of horses? Vivid Horses: An Equine Colouring Collection is full of authentic and captivating illustrations of friendships, rolling hills, and unique moments of connection with horses; just waiting for you to bring them to life with colour! With every Vivid Horses book sold, $1 will be donated to horse rescue services and sanctuaries! Immerse yourself in the pasture of your own imagination, and let your creativity run wild! To purchase your very own copy, please visit www.northernskycreative.com MARCH/APRIL ‘17 ON THE HORSE | 25


Have You Heard About the HoofJack ®?


ne year into Kevin Keeler’s career as a farrier while working on the hind foot of a horse, the horse collapsed. Kevin’s right knee was damaged to the point of having to remove the cartilage in that knee. As the years passed, Kevin worked away on the idea of creating a hoof support system that would support the horse while working on the hind foot. Then, in 1997 while being flown into the Idaho backcountry to shoe horses at a ranch, the airplane crashed. Kevin was rescued after 5 hours of hiking in waist deep snow, suffering from a bruised heart, broken ribs, and many strained muscles. During recovery, Kevin designed the cradle portion of the stand to make it possible to support the front foot of the horse, as well as the hind. This enabled him to return to work earlier than would have been possible as it was no longer necessary to place the hoof between his knees and bear the weight of the horse. They say necessity is the mother of invention; and due to his circumstances, Kevin invented a safer and easier way to do his work for not only himself, but the horses too. The horses loved the stable, comfortable support; fussy horses settled down, and babies stood still. Truly a win-win situation! Uses FOR THE HOOFJACK® include: • Pull a shoe, trim, rasp, and nail on a new shoe without ever putting the hoof between your knees, or supporting the horse with your body • Supports the hoof for daily care, treatment, bandaging, etc. • Use the straight post for clipping or applying hoof polish • Apply and remove studs with ease • Accommodates older horses with a limited range of motion Hoofjack® is a product for anyone involved in hoof care. Whether it is the horse owner, trimmer, farrier, or veterinarian! The HoofJack® allows the horse to stand in an anatomically correct and comfortable position. A comfortable horse will be more compliant, making your job both easier and safer! The cradle and straight post can be used on both the front and hind feet, meaning you never have to support the weight of the horse with your hands or body ever again!

Contact us today at 1-208-278-5283 or hoofjack.com to find a dealer near you. 26 | ON THE HORSE MARCH/APRIL ‘17

I’m not coming out

until you get me a

what are you

waiting for!



Your “Go To” Product for Comfort, Protection, and Therapeutic Support EQUI-PAK™ Equi-Pak™ is a clear liquid urethane that sets in 30 seconds and bonds with the sole and foot, so it can be used with or without a pad. It absorbs shock and concussion, and can help provide support and protection for thin soled, flat-footed horses. It can also be filled to the ground to provide added support in less than one minute! Equi-Pak™ will not break down, and is impervious to debris and moisture. The sole and frog is left in great condition, and even improves the depth of the sole! EQUI-PAK™ | SOFT Equi-Pak™|Soft is best for sensitive situations as it is about 2x softer than Equi-Pak™, and remains soft even in cold weather. Equi-Pak™|Soft provides a strong bond to soles that seals out debris and moisture better than silicone products. It absorbs shock and concussion, and can be filled to the ground without a pad for lameness cases (with limited turnout). For use in working horses, use with a pad. EQUI-PAK™ | CS Equi-Pak™|CS is infused with Copper Sulfate to effectively manage mild and moderate cases of thrush. It is great to use as a preventative measure during wet seasons! By bonding directly to the sole, it eliminates the need to pick out the feet daily and apply medication. The uniform support provided also allows for faster, thicker hoof wall and growth support. It provides the same protection and shock absorbtion as Equi-Pak™, and is green in colour. Pour-In Pads Offer These Advantages: • The adhesive immediately bonds to the sole, sealing out moisture and debris. • Pour-in pad material can be filled to ground level for maximum support and effectively absorbs concussion, instead of sending it up the leg. • A pour-in pad supports the bony column of the leg by loading the entire hoof area and positions the weight-bearing load over the entire ground surface, not just the hoof wall. LEARN MORE Ask your farrier if your horse needs more support in its internal hoof cavities, if the soles are thin, and which pour-in pad materials are best for your horse! Visit our website for more information! WWW.VETTEC.COM 28 | ON THE HORSE MARCH/APRIL ‘17


Vettec provides innovative products that help with: sore feet, low heels, broken walls, thrush, laminitis, navicular and founder. We also provide free educational materials, training and technical support.



Have a hoof problem? Contact us to talk it over. 1.800.483.8832; info@vettec.com US Customer Care • 1.800.483.8832 • www.vettec.com | EU Customer Care • +420 800 260 001 • www.vettec.net


HOW TO PREPARE YOUR HORSE’S MANE AND TAIL FOR PERFECT BRAIDS PART I of II To quote George Morris, “Preparation, Preparation, Preparation!” Good braids require proper preparation well in advance! We spoke with one of the most sought after professional braiders in North America and Owner of Twisted Tails, Sierra Sneath, to find out how she prepares a horse’s mane and tail to be braided! MANE PULLING/BLADING Firstly, the mane must be correctly trimmed and pulled for uniform length and thickness. Sierra advises, “If you can’t pull a mane well, then DON’T! And DON’T take the scissors to it and give it a blunt cut. Too long is better than too short!” If you hire a braider, then it is best to let the braider prepare the mane. Give them plenty of notice so they can arrange to do it a week or so before if possible. Firstly, the mane must be clean and dry. Thoroughly comb the mane, and run your fingers through the mane along the entire length of the neck to find any particularly thick/thin parts. Sierra suggests to pull the thick parts of the mane, and blade thin sections or entire manes if they are very thin.

Fun colours for the Derby ring! Braids by Sierra.

Tucker’s BEFORE photo.

MANE PULLING Starting at the base of the neck near the withers and working towards the poll, grab a small chunk of mane, and back comb (tease) so that there is 10-20 hairs still being held. Do not try to pull out large chunks of mane at a time, or else your horse may become very unhappy! Wrap these hairs around the comb as close to the roots as possible, and pull straight down to remove them. Work your way up to the poll, checking for uniform thickness along the way. Pulling the mane will help to reduce the thickness, so it should not be overdone on particularly thin manes! If your horse is difficult to have their mane pulled, try brushing their mane on a daily basis and pulling a few hairs out here and there when they are relaxed. This will help to make them more confident having their manes handled, and will also help in the long run when they need to stand to have their mane braided! BLADING Blading the mane with a large body clipper blade works great to shorten the length once the desired thickness has been achieved by pulling. Blading can also be a good option for horses that do not like to have their manes pulled. You can cut closer to the roots if you need to thin the mane, or closer to the ends to shorten. Sierra recommends using an Oster 84AU clipper blade for blading manes. Hold the blade with the flat side towards you and tease the mane until there is about 10-20 hairs being held, and then cut straight downward.


Once the length of the horse’s entire mane has been gone over once, Sierra advises combing it all back out again and repeating the process until you have reached the desired length and thickness. Working this way along the neck in small amounts helps to ensure that you don’t accidently pull/cut too much, leaving you with a shorter/thinner mane than you desired!

This mane is fairly thick, and will be used for both hunter and jumper braids; it is about 5-6 inches long.

Note: For hunter braids, manes should be about 4-6 inches long; shorter for thinner manes, and longer for thicker manes. For jumper/dressage braids, 6-7 inches long is an appropriate length.

Once the desired length and thickness has been reached, there may still be some stragglers! Sierra’s trick is to comb the mane over to the wrong side of the neck, and then back again to find the random long hairs that need to be trimmed. Then she uses scissors to finish the mane off at the ends for any random long hairs by cutting upwards.

As with anything, practice makes perfect when it comes to both pulling and braiding manes! Just make sure you don’t leave practicing until the last minute in order to avoid any major mishaps before the big show day! Tucker’s AFTER photo.

CLEANING THE MANE AND TAIL BEFORE BRAIDING It is very important to have a mane and tail that is properly washed for braiding! It can help keep the hair healthy and dandruff free, and also makes the whole braiding process easier! 32 | ON THE HORSE MARCH/APRIL ‘17

Wash the entire length of the mane with shampoo and make sure to massage the roots to get rid of dirt and dandruff. Rinse the mane THOROUGHLY, a soapy mane is just as bad, if not worse, than a dirty mane! When shampooing the tail, make sure to wash the roots of the tail as well - not just the length! Many people neglect this part of the tail, which results in dandruff and itchy tails! Itchy tails will get rubbed out, and will be difficult to braid! If a braider says the tail is dirty, they mean by the roots! Black hair will look grey, and white tails will look brown/yellow.

A lovely Twisted Tails custom fake tail, made by Sierra. Also braided by Sierra!

Do not use show sheen on the manes, as they will be slippery and difficult to braid. For the same reason, make sure that when you apply Showsheen, it is only to the bottom of the tail, just the tips! If the tail is properly cleaned, it should be easy to brush out. When brushing the tail, always start at the bottom. Hold the tail to your thigh so that you have a backing for brushing. This helps to avoid unnecessary casualties due to breakage! Start at the bottom of the tail, and slowly work up as it becomes easy to brush. Taking care of the tail properly will ensure less damage for a full, thick tail! In the second part of this series, Sierra will provide a How-To on braiding manes and tails, as well as important information when selecting fake tails for your horse!

Sierra Sneath is the owner of Twisted Tails, and a Professional Braider on the A Circuit. For more information on braiding at shows or purchasing a custom fake tail, contact Sierra through her Facebook page, Twisted Tails @CustomTwistedTails.



Why Do We Use the Ingredients We Do? Human-Grade Rice Bran: The central ingredient in Enjoy-Yums provides high levels of top-quality natural vegetable fat (20%), high quality protein, Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids, and fiber. Fats are a slowmetabolizing energy source that gives the horse cool-headed, sustained energy. It has a nutty, subtle sweetness horses love! Oat Groats and Oat Flour: Hull-free oats are a delicious source of easily digested carbohydrates and soluble fiber. It is in fact, the most bio-available source of grain energy for horses. And a taste they have loved for centuries!   Oat Bran: Bran is an excellent source of dietary fiber for the horse, providing bulk to encourage the flow of foods through the gut. Compared to other bran sources, oat bran is particularly high in soluble fibers which have heart-healthy properties.  

Apples: A good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C (added). Horses love the smell and taste, too. Water: Nature’s most important nutrient provides moisture needed to set the cookie.   Equine Enjoy-Yums are a delightful little treat that both you and your horse will love. He will be thrilled by the taste, and you will be comforted knowing he’s benefiting from Enjoy-Yums’ premium human-grade ingredients. Plus, you will be supporting his nutritional program, Yum! Enjoy Yums are available in Canada at select retailers, with more locations coming soon.


Exceptional Horse Treats

+ No Sugar + ONLY 6 Ingredients + Developed by Veterinarians



A Dewormer? No, at least not in the traditional way. When we talk about dewormer or anti-parasitic products, they are medicines that require a prescription from a veterinarian. The reason why is to ensure that the active chemical ingredients used to kill the parasites are being used only when necessary, and in the correct dosage. This is because parasites are quick to find ways to survive and become resistant to the active chemical ingredients, which means, that the anti-parasitic product/medicine will no longer have any effect.   So Why Use ParaVet? ParaVet is a supplement based on organic syrup combined with a mix of 9 different plants. ParaVet can be given in conjunction with a traditional dewormer treatment, or on its own in order to optimize the intestinal environment and gut flora. Indirectly, this will have an effect on the parasitic activity, as the improved gut flora will support the over all parasitic pressure in the body. This will also increase the animal’s quality of life!   ParaVet can be given as an intensive support for 5 days to promote a strong healthy gut or as a supplement in conjunction with traditional dewormer for good intestinal health and to maintain optimal intestinal environment and gut flora.   Imagine being able to help our horses and pets heal their bodies naturally. VetCur does just that by providing the body with the essential nutrition that it needs to heal itself. No chemicals or GMOs, just natural herbs!



THE BIG PICTURE Not missing the forest for the trees — keep the Big Picture in mind when advancing with your horse! K AREN ROHLF cre ator of dres s age n at ur a l ly

IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME... We start an activity or passion or hobby because we are attracted to it, we love it, we are fascinated by it. We find ourselves daydreaming about it, and going through the motions of it in elevators or while sitting at our desks. We often can’t even believe that we are so lucky to be doing this. In times of trouble, we tend to be humble and curious, rather than egotistical and blaming. But then over time, perhaps there are certain things about it that become like work, or we are now at a level where the steps are smaller, slower, and harder coming. We need to update our equipment, we expect more of ourselves

and our tools. We get frustrated when it doesn’t go as well as we believe it ought to. When people compliment us, we may find ourselves saying things like: “Ugh, that was terrible today”, when the other person is still new and would pay anything to be able to do what we do. It may happen that we find ourselves at a very advanced level, but we suddenly realize that everything is difficult and it simply isn’t as much fun anymore. We are able to get advanced maneuvers done, but somehow the most simple things are difficult or of decreasing quality. MARCH/APRIL ‘17 ON THE HORSE | 39

Horses are developed that reflect this: They are high level, but no one can ride them or handle them unless they are experts of control. Horses, rather than the technique are blamed.

is: “Creating stronger partnerships and healthy biomechanics through combining the principles of natural horsemanship with the art of dressage.”

WHAT HAS HAPPENED? Often it is because we are “missing the forest for the trees”. We have lost track of the big picture of what we are doing. We have lost track of the most basic principles and lessons.

Then I make sure I know what I mean by “natural horsemanship” and “dressage”, so I have those definitions in the front part of my consciousness: • Natural Horsemanship: To understand horses so we can develop partnerships with them by using psychology, understanding and communication rather than fear, mechanics, or force. • Object of Dressage: The development of the horse into a happy athlete through harmonious education resulting in a horse who is calm, loose, supple and flexible but also confident, attentive and keen, thus achieving perfect understanding with his rider. (FEI rule book)

Training Scales and systems with levels can make horse training appear to be linear and sequential; we complete step one on the checklist and move on to the next. But the reality is that training is an amorphous multidimensional endeavor separate from time and space. A Grand Prix horse should still have excellent Training Level inside him and a Training Level horse should be performing in a way that will lead to Grand Prix. But how many times have we seen Grand Prix horses who have a decreased quality of gait through their training process, or a horse’s exuberance and freedom restricted in order to appear steady and polished enough to win a Training Level competition? Whether we are talking about preserving the freshness of passion for our horses, or if we are simply trying to preserve excellent basics as we advance our upper level prospect, we have to bring our foundation forward with us. The trick is to recognize a foundational problem from an advanced problem. Does our horse have a problem with extensions because he needs a bigger half halt or because he is bored out of his mind? PRINCIPLE OBJECTIVES What are we trying to do? If we don’t have a simple “mission statement” for our riding, it is easy to get off track. For example, the mission statement for Dressage, Naturally, 40 | ON THE HORSE MARCH/APRIL ‘17

LAYERING OF PRIORITIES There are different priorities at different levels of development. Once a quality is gained, it is taken with us as we begin to put a different quality as the priority of focus. Priority Layer 1: Partnership: Mental and Emotional Harmony; setting the horse up for a healthy and safe time in our world by understanding their world. The most basic conversations need to be learned, and most importantly we need to know how to keep our horse calm and thinking. For me, this has to be the first, most important part of all our horsemanship, and it is the context for everything we do with our horses. If there is a problem here, it will affect everything. If partnership is good with your horse, everything else has the best chance for success. At this layer our priority will be to focus on establishing qualities such as Communication, Leadership,

Calmness, Understanding, Lightness, and Motivation. Priority Layer 2: Healthy Biomechanics: Biomechanical Freedom and Harmony. Finding the sweet spot for quality of gait through conversations about Relaxation, Energy and Balance. Our partnership is established, and our foundation, or “playing field”, is now large enough that we are able to shift our focus to the priority of biomechanics. Here the goal is to help our horses realize what they can do in their bodies that will enable them to carry us firstly without pain, and secondly so their physical potential is unleashed. Establishing and refining our ability to communicate with our horses to make adjustments in their Relaxation, Energy and Balance is key. No matter how advanced we get, the adjustments we make when riding are related to these three areas. We either need them to add more or less energy, or to adjust their balance longitudinally or laterally. We also need them to understand the concept of relaxing, especially under pressure. Power is a combination of Energy plus Relaxation, while energy without relaxation is just... tense energy! Remember, if anything becomes frustrating, or tense at this stage, we know we are getting near the limit of our partnership/foundation. It doesn’t mean we don’t still “go there” (training is not always smooth and easy) but we need to be conscious of when we are near the limit so we can make decisions of taking a step back, or moving forward knowing we had better improve our skills of partnershipbuilding as we do. As with a plant, if you are not constantly nurturing the Partnership aspect of your horsemanship, then your Partnership is shrinking.

Priority Layer 3: Gymnastic Development The artful development of the gymnastic abilities of the horse through excellent ridermanship to create greater suppleness, straightness and carrying power via Flexibility, Mobility and Collectibility exercises. This should be done in such a way that we take the Objects of Dressage forward with us. Flexibility exercises will lead to greater suppleness, Mobility exercises will lead to greater straightness, and Collectability exercises will lead to greater carrying power. At this layer of attention, we are taking the sweet spot of our gait that feels good, and making choices of patterns and transitions to perform that will result in improving our horse. Although no training process is free of bumpy moments, the goal should be to challenge the horse in order to develop him. This layer is the real art of dressage. The exercises we can choose from are well documented and easy to find. The art part comes from choosing them well and from staying inside our foundational box at the same time. I like categorizing the exercises in this way because it reminds me of the purpose of the exercises. For example: I am not doing shoulder-in and haunches-in just because it says so in Second Level, I am doing so because if I do lateral work artfully my horse should become straighter over time. If my horse is not becoming straighter over time, then I am missing something in how I am doing my lateral work. The maneuvers of dressage, the “fancy stuff”, can become consuming and addicting. We can get incredibly narrowly focused on the precision at hand. There is a magic at this level where if we diligently and wisely choose the MARCH/APRIL ‘17 ON THE HORSE | 41

maneuvers we ask of our horse, we can groom our horse one day and suddenly think, “Wow, where did all these muscles come from?!” My trainer, Anne Gribbons, always said that if the horse wasn’t becoming more beautiful as we trained, we were doing something wrong. Wise words. I would add: “If our horse isn’t becoming more beautiful and more of a partner with us, we are doing something wrong.” Unfortunately, sometimes by the time riders pick their heads up out of the sand, the only thing to think is: “Whoa, how did I get here?” This once beautiful young prospect “suddenly” has no walk, has sore hocks, a blue tongue and is impossible to catch in anything larger than a stall. Sadly, this is not an exaggeration of many horse’s experience. The key is to not miss the forest for the trees. Being aware of the forest means to be aware that these are living creatures who were not born dressage horses. They were born horses. We have a great responsibility to them. It needs to be about helping them recover from our weight sitting on them, by showing them the way.

The key is to be conscious. The Training Scale and other methods of organizing information are also great tools to try and understand this difficult process. The more I look at different systems of describing information, the closer I feel I am to the truth that is in the middle. I believe that thinking of the development of you and your horse in this way can help you to diagnose issues as they appear, to prepare prerequisites for each stage, and to help eliminate the possibility of looking at your horse one day and wondering how things could have gone so wrong.

Karen Rohlf, creator of Dressage Naturally, is an internationally recognized clinician who is changing the equestrian educational paradigm. Karen is well known for her student-empowering approach to teaching and her ability to connect with a wide range

The goal is to ease their burden. From there we are a team to see just how far we can go, to do things they may never experience grazing in a pasture, to be super-natural. I have had the honor of observing, riding, and developing horses in such a way that they become truly proud of themselves. They certainly seem “happier” being able to do these interesting and powerful things! The layers I described are stages we pass through, but are also different attentions or focuses. At any given time, at any level, we are having some sort of partnership with our horse, are moving with some sort of biomechanic, and are choosing some sort of pattern or choice of transition to be doing.

of horses. She believes in getting to the heart of our mental, emotional, and physical partnership with our horses by bringing together the best of the worlds of dressage and partnership-based training. For more information on Dressage Naturally and online virtual courses, please visit www.dressagenaturally.net

Karen and Hot Shot!



WHY YOU NEED TACK INSURANCE BFL CANADA If your tack is regularly stored within your residence buildings, your homeowner’s policy will respond to theft, loss, or damage; subject to the policy deductible and all terms and conditions of the policy. Also, if you specifically schedule your tack on your homeowner’s policy, it is insured under that policy, regardless of where you store it (again, subject to the terms and conditions of your policy). Most people, however, do not schedule their tack on their homeowner’s policy; nor do they usually store their tack in their home, even if they live where their horses are kept. Most often, it is stored in the barn, or even in a vehicle or horse trailer. If your tack is kept outside your residence buildings for more than 30 consecutive days, it is unlikely to be insured under your homeowner’s policy, and separate coverage must be purchased in order to provide protection. There are two main ways to protect your investment in Tack and Horse Equipment: 1. Schedule your tack under your home or farm policy; or 2. Purchase a specific Tack Insurance Policy. The first method will get the job done, but may be quite expensive, and you will have to remember to keep your insurance company current with your inventory. The second method can be done very reasonably in one of two ways: 1. As an add on to the BFL CANADA Classic Horse Mortality Policy (the first $2,500 is included free of charge); 2. If you are a member of the Ontario Equestrian Federation, by purchasing the Optional $3,500 Tack Insurance, available to members for only $29 per year ($26.85 premium plus 8% PST). With either of these scenarios, there is no need to provide an inventory to the insurance company unless a claim is made. Note that in the event of a theft claim, your tack must have been stored securely in a locked tack room, vehicle, tack box, or other secure means in order for your claim to be valid. Also note that rider equipment, such as clothing, helmets, boots, etc. is not considered to be Tack or Horse Equipment. These items should be insured easily under your home or farm policy as personal contents. 44 | ON THE HORSE MARCH/APRIL ‘17

WE INSURE MORE THAN JUST HORSES! BFL CANADA offers outstanding products for: • Farms • Coaches • Clubs • Competitions • Farriers • Grooms • Horse trailers

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BFL CANADA is a registered trade-mark of First Lion Holdings Inc. used under license by its subsidiaries, which include BFL CANADA Risk and Insurance Inc., Financial Services Firm, BFL CANADA Risk and Insurance Services Inc., BFL CANADA Insurance Services Inc. and BFL CANADA Consulting Services Inc.



Certified Equi-Bow Practitioner

Recognizing compensatory postures that horses take on, and their related performance and behavioural effects is important to being able to keep horses physically and mentally healthy. A horse’s posture will frequently indicate what area of their body is sore, crooked, or compensating. They also assume abnormal postures when they are mentally compromised due to trauma or stress.



ne of the core skills in a horse person’s “toolbox” is the ability to recognize when a horse is uneven or uncomfortable. The horse can then be addressed with the appropriate methods: if mild, often a change in gymnasticizing exercises, or an adjustment to foot balance or saddle fit; if severe, veterinary intervention plus all of the above may be required. The standing posture is a valuable assessment tool, and is something that all horse people can learn. Before exploring what abnormal postures are, it is important to define what normal equine posture is. When standing in neutral posture, all four cannon bones are perpendicular to the ground. The horse’s centre of gravity and body weight is thus stabilized and able to move with the most ease. The head and neck will be lowered, and the muscles will appear rounded and relaxed.

To accurately assess all of the abnormal postures, we assume that the horse has been asked to stand squarely, with front feet and hind feet even with each other, and with limbs as close to perpendicular to the ground as the horse will permit. Taking photographs will often assist in assessing the posture, as it allows for a closer analysis of the details than is possible in the moment. Neutral posture - Draw an imaginary line down the middle of the cannon bone to see that this horse’s limbs are perpendicular to the ground. His body is being carried in basic neutral posture. However, a horse will choose to stand in the way that is the most efficient and comfortable for his body at the time. So, if an area of his body is uncomfortable, he will choose to compensate for it by modifying the neutral posture. It is interesting to observe a horse’s chosen stance in various situations: in the stall, field, or when tied before and after work. There are usually patterns which can be used to help identify and correct the horse’s weak areas. Of particular note: posture and conformation are not the same! Conformation refers to the skeletal structure of the horse, which forms the basis of functional movement and support. Posture refers to the stance that the body adopts as a result of muscle development, injury, and habit. However, many of the things commonly identified as conformational may in fact be related to posture. Posture can be changed; conformation cannot. For example, an ewe neck or cow hocks are considered to be conformation faults. However, the ewe neck may be the result of neck muscles that are short and tight, while the appearance of cow hocks may be the effect of underdeveloped hindquarters. With changes in exercise, hoof balance, and bodywork, these faults may appear lessened or disappear altogether.

ABNORMAL POSTURE 1: LIMBS ARE NOT PERPENDICULAR TO THE GROUND In this position, the horse’s limbs will appear to be held either closer to the centre of gravity (camped under), or in front of/behind the shoulders/hindquarters (camped out). These horses will have difficulty carrying a rider in balance, and may be inverted, behind the leg, or one-sided. Quite commonly, a horse that is camped under in front or behind is demonstrating discomfort in response to imbalanced feet, particularly long toes and low heels. The lack of heel support places additional tension on the suspensory ligaments, which in turn strains the muscles of the limbs and torso. Typically, the head and neck will be raised in order to counterbalance the displacement of the limbs. Dysfunction may then be noted in the muscles or movement.     ABNORMAL POSTURE 2: UNWILLING TO STAND WITH LEGS SQUARE. When a horse is asked to stand squarely, how quickly does the horse comply? Can he do it at all? Horses that are uncomfortable or unable to stand squarely will typically evade by engaging in a back-and-forth dance, resulting in: inability to square up front feet and hind feet simultaneously; repeatedly resting a hind foot even if encouraged to put weight on both limbs by gently pushing the hip or pulling the tail; or, taking uneven steps that result in the pairs of feet being placed out of alignment. MARCH/APRIL ‘17 ON THE HORSE | 47

The inability to stand squarely is a clear indicator of significant imbalances. Common limb positions include: one leg that is positioned further underneath or behind the body, feet that are positioned very closely together, or feet placed very widely apart. A leg that is in front of or behind the other will be carrying more weight than the others, which, when observed while moving or under saddle, will translate to a restricted range of motion. The horse will be stiffer on one side, and have difficulty with lateral work. Limbs that are held very closely or very widely apart will affect the horse’s balance and ability to move freely.

Spinal asymmetry will affect the entire body, but the rider may specifically notice that they feel as though they are leaning to one side in the saddle, or that the horse leans into or falls out of corners and turns. The horse’s balance will feel compromised.

Spinal asymmetry - A straight line drawn through this horse’s spine shows that the spinal sections in the hindquarters, shoulders, and neck are all angled differently.

Limbs not perpendicular - The front limbs are camped under quite noticeably. The hind limbs are also camped in to a lesser degree. ABNORMAL POSTURE 3: SPINAL CURVATURE OR TWISTING To determine if spinal asymmetries exist it is necessary to check from two main viewpoints: from above and in front of the horse. If safe to do so, stand on a stool behind the horse and observe the entire length of the spine (pictures are helpful here). Look for a curve in the midsection whether the ribcage appears larger on one side. Also check whether the neck and/or hindquarters are in alignment. For the second angle, stand in front of the horse, several feet away. Examine whether the horse’s eyes and ears are level. Then crouch down and assess whether the neck or ribcage is shifted. 48 | ON THE HORSE MARCH/APRIL ‘17

ABNORMAL POSTURE 4: “HUNTER/JUMPER’S BUMP” In this posture, the horse appears to have a large “bump” along the spine where it joins with the pelvis through the sacroiliac joint. Frequently described as a conformational fault, “hunter’s bump” or “jumper’s bump” is actually an abnormal posture adopted in response to discomfort in the hind limbs or pelvis. One or both of the tuber sacrale of the pelvis appears very prominent, indicating that the ligaments are strained or torn, and the joint may be damaged. There may be swelling and the muscles surrounding the bump may be atrophied. Long toes and low heels behind will frequently be the cause of this posture. Horses with hunter’s bump will typically struggle with engaging the hind end and being able to demonstrate self-carriage. Under saddle they will feel heavy and uncoordinated. One hind leg will stride shorter than the other, and may swing towards the midline of the body when walking. The tail will often be held to one side.

Hunter’s bump - Note how high the tuber sacrale is in relation to the point of hip, the lean muscling over the croup, and the dip in the spine where the midsection joins to the pelvis and hindquarters. COMMON CAUSES OF IMBALANCE Other than acute injury, there are several major causes of postural compensations • Imbalanced hooves, especially long toes and low heels. This issue can affect both the front and the hind limbs. To detect long toes, run a finger down the coronet band and along the hoof wall to the ground. Compare the angle of the new growth at the coronet band to the older growth lower down: if the hoof wall begins to angle outward, this is an indicator that the toe has flared and there is too much hoof in front of the hoof’s centre balance point. Seedy toe is also an indicator of long toes. Under-run heels can be identified by comparing the angle of the heel growth to that of the toe: under-run heels show an angle that is less than that of the toe. Under-run heels are compromised in their ability to support the horse’s body weight, which then increases the amount of concussion incurred by the rest of the skeleton and soft tissue. •

Crooked saddle and/or rider. Repetitive exercise with an imbalanced saddle or rider will create asymmetrical muscle or movement patterns that exacerbate existing conformational or soundness issues.

Imbalanced dentition. Uneven teeth will cause the temporomandibular (jaw) joint to be misaligned, which causes significant discomfort. Horses experiencing dental problems and TMJ dysfunction will have difficulty accepting the bridle, shake or toss their heads, or exhibit behavioural problems. Due to the way the TMJ interacts with the surrounding neck muscles and the anatomy of the ear, a TMJ issue may translate into a balance issue or gait abnormality as well.

MAJOR EFFECTS OF POSTURAL IMBALANCE Although horses can demonstrate their discomfort in many ways, postures that restrict the body’s athletic ability will have two main effects. First, the posture will reduce the body’s functionality to the point that the horse demonstrates resistance under saddle. What appears to be “this horse won’t try” may actually be “this horse physically can’t”. Second, the postural restrictions become severe enough that the horse appears lame. Gait abnormalities such as rein lameness, cross-cantering, or ropewalking appear and the horse is unable to perform to its full potential. Fortunately, bodies are remarkably resilient, and when imbalances are corrected, the body is able to restore normal functional movement and posture. Horse owners can work with their horse care professionals to address hoof imbalances, saddle fit, and bodywork needs. They can also help the process enormously by tailoring their horse’s fitness program to incorporate poles and cavaletti patterns, hill work, core strengthening exercises, and gentle stretching.

Julia Merritt is a Certified Equi-Bow Practitioner based in Southwestern Ontario, with 20 years of horse experience, including showing and rehabilitation. You can reach her at firehorseperformancebodywork.ca MARCH/APRIL ‘17 ON THE HORSE | 49



Cross training has proven its benefits in human athletics but did you know it’s good for your horse too?! Like a human, horses need cardiovascular and muscular endurance to be able to perform, especially in equestrian sports like eventing, jumping, and dressage. Although, every horse benefits from a good exercise program! Endurance riders seem to have this down to a science and it’s not uncommon to hear of horses competing well into their 20’s.By incorporating endurance training into your program, your performance horse will benefit in a number of ways. LONGEVITY Time is something we all seem to lack but need in endless amounts. Most Endurance riders have time to condition and campaign only one horse, which means we want to do whatever it takes to keep a sound, happy horse working for a lifetime. Longevity is one of the greatest honours in competitive distance sports with many local and national organizations giving special awards for Decade Teams, and some riders have even reached the rare, but possible achievement of a Double Decade Team. So how do these distance riders do it? The secret, is LSD. Yup, you read it right. Ok, well you interpreted it wrong. Long Slow Distance is the greatest building block in young horse development and continuing trail success. Take a look at the below chart. ADAPTATION


Increase in VO2 MAX

1-2 weeks

Increase in plasma volume

1-2 weeks

Improved sweating response

1-2 weeks

Increase in red blood cells & haemoglobin

2-4 months

Increase in muscle capillaries

3-6 months

Increase in muscle mitochondria

4-6 months

Increase in bone density*

4-6 months

Strengthening of tendons and ligaments*

4-6 months

*Available research on training adaptations of supporting structures is limited From “Is Your Horse Fit? The Physiology of Conditioning”, Lori Warren, PhD, PAS MARCH/APRIL ‘17 ON THE HORSE | 51

As you can see, it takes a significantly longer period of time from when your horse becomes “cardio fit” to when the muscles, bones and tendons develop. So while your horse may be raring to run, their legs are not ready! By taking a conservative approach early in your horses’ career like a good Endurance rider, you are building solid structures that will help them stay sounder in their later years. Competing in lower level distance events can set a good foundation for your youngster. FITNESS Does your horse lose a bit of pizzazz after your second dressage test of the day? Does your jumper lack that little extra “vroom” in the jump-off? One of the main reasons that humans utilize cross-training is to increase strength and aerobic fitness so that they can maintain athletic performance over a longer period of time. Endurance horses benefit from cross-training in dressage as it improves their coordination, increases suppleness, and improves their ability to carry themselves properly over miles so that risk of injury is reduced. A show horse that trail rides regularly or does the occasional distance ride will build up its aerobic capacity and endurance which help them last over the long show weekends. Horses that are at a good fitness level will fit up better and faster after time off as well, giving you a head start on show season preparation. By using the same “long, slow distance” conditioning that endurance riders use, muscles are worked in a different way slowly over time which reduces overworking and overloading the structures of the horse. Cardiovascular fitness and musculoskeletal strength are also enhanced. Just hacking out benefits the performance horse by assisting in avoiding injury resulting in a longer career, and the mental break helps prevent “ring sour” behaviour. 52 | ON THE HORSE MARCH/APRIL ‘17

MENTAL HEALTH Training at any level is stressful, and prolonged mental fatigue can lead to an increase in evasive behaviour. Imagine if you were only allowed to run on a treadmill. Not only would it get boring after a while, you’d probably start to resent it. If you were allowed to run outside occasionally, you’d probably look forward to running and where you were going to go that day. Taking your horse out of the ring will not only prevent arena sourness, but it can rejuvenate your horses work ethic. Trail riding is a great way to still give your horse a workout, just in a different mental environment. Hacking is a great way to expose your horse to new things and get them used to being in unfamiliar situations. This can carry over to show day as your horse will be more confident and relaxed and your warm up can be better spent on warming up muscles and preparing your horse, rather than just trying to relax them. Getting out of the groomed footing of the ring and on to varied terrain also teaches a horse to think about where he is putting his feet, which will come in handy if your horse gets a tricky distance coming into a jump. HORSEMANSHIP The more you ride, the better you get to know your horse. You get to know what is normal for him and you become a better judge of his fitness. You can also take those hours spent on trail and use it to improve your riding. Set a focus for the ride. It could be an improvement on equitation, or perhaps a skill you would like to master. You have hours on the trail to keep coming back to it and work on bettering yourself as a rider. Then you add in the competition element, which adds more dimension. Get out to an

OCTRA ride this year and you will learn so much so fast – electrolytes, cooling, nutrition, pacing. The list is truly endless. There are millions of techniques competitive riders and vets have studied and developed because they want to be better – better than their competition, but mostly better than they were last time; and Endurance is the perfect testing grounds. On that note, taking on a distance challenge is a great way for you to take responsibility for your horses’ care. This is not a sport for the lazy or closed-minded and adding some pressure will give you a chance to rise to the occasion. Your success in this sport has nothing to

do with the price tag of your horse or the colour of your jodhpurs, but the sweat equity and education you put into making it happen. Whether you think Endurance might be your “Thing” or are just looking to add a little extra to your training program, the Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association (OCTRA) hosts several events across the province in a wide range of distances. As a novice rider dabbling in the sport, you can enjoy “Set Speed” rides of 10km to 40km with maximum and minimum speeds to help gauge your training progress, and veterinary judges to help ensure your horse’s safety and that you are well equipped to achieve your goal.

Sarah Cuthbertson and Ashley Tomaszewski are Canadian FEI endurance riders who are the faces behind EatSleepRideRepeat.com, an equestrian adventure and endurance blog.

Teams must receive veterinary approval throughout competition, recorded on their score card. Photo courtesy RocketHorse Racing




hether you are a performer, trainer, breeder, or weekend rider, you want your horse to be healthy and performing at its peak. As a horse’s body functions on a daily basis, it is continually breaking down the nutrients from what it eats to obtain the energy it needs. This process is called oxidation. The level of activity determines the rate of oxidation. As the horse rests, the rate of oxidation is at its lowest level. However, the rate of oxidation increases dramatically during times of stress, exercise, competition, growth, pregnancy, lactation, illness, and old age. During these times of rapid oxidation, the horse’s body more quickly breaks down nutrients to produce the energy it needs. This is where free radicals come into play. Think of them as bandits that wreak havoc on the horse’s body. Without getting too technical, they are molecules in the body that can be destructive to healthy cells. Free radicals are generated as the horse’s oxidative process becomes overwhelmed by the stressful activities referred to above. In reasonable amounts, free radicals are necessary to the proper function of the immune system, as they help destroy invading foreign organisms. In large amounts, these circulating free radicals can cause tissue damage and cell death by destroying proteins, DNA, and fatty acids. It can also lead to illness due to a decrease in immune function. Antioxidants are the soldiers that combat the serious damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants such as Vitamin E, Vitamin C, flavonoids, carotenoids, glutathione, and selenium, to name a few, all have protective action against this damage! The best way to prevent serious damage is to continuously provide the horse with sufficient antioxidants to keep it healthy. This includes a balanced diet with all the essential vitamins and minerals that a horse needs to function properly. In many cases, supplementation is necessary to give the horse all of these essential nutrients. SeaBuck7 Complete is a natural equine health and performance product that provides many of these powerful antioxidants! Made from the nutrient-rich Sea Buckthorn Berry, it is easily absorbed and promotes long-term health! To find out more about SeaBuck7 Complete and its many other benefits, visit www.seabuck.ca or call 1-519-494-5789 54 | ON THE HORSE MARCH/APRIL ‘17

THE POWER OF SEABUCK 7 A Natural Equine Health Product

Numerous studies have confirmed that the easily absorbed SeaBuck 7 supplement promotes healthier internal functions, maintains optimum weight, and improves skin texture, coat shine, and luster. SeaBuck 7 liquid supplement contains only the goodness of the entire Sea Buckthorn berry, purified water, and nutrient stablizer. There are no additional additives, just natural food-based nutrition!

“I am truly excited and impressed with the results I and my clients have experienced with the introduction of Sea Buck to the feeding program. From foals, to horses in training/ competition, I have seen significant results to the overall health of these horses – they look better, feel better and perform better. There is a ton of research behind this product so perhaps I should not be so surprised with the results I am seeing.” Vet – Kentucky



Pain in the BUTT GUT EGUS Equine Gastric Ulceration Syndrome BY DR. DIETER OBERBICHLER


ou may have heard that term before. Maybe not, but I am sure you have heard about stomach ulcers in horses. EGUS stands for Equine Gastric Ulceration Syndrome, the term has been widely used since 1999 in order to describe gastric ulceration in horses. Further research has shown that not all ulcers are created equal; it has been suggested by scientist and specialist groups to distinguish between EGGD (Equine Glandular Gastric Disease), and Equine Squamous Gastric Disease. While this might sound confusing, it is important to know and differentiate between these two similar, but so different presentations of EGUS. Here are a few numbers to think about: Several studies (Eg. Hammond 1986, Murray 1996) have found gastric ulcers in approximately 80% - 90% of show and race horses. In the rest of the equine population, the prevalence of EGUS has been estimated to be around 50% in apparently healthy horses!! In order to understand equine gastric ulcers, we need to understand some anatomy first, because the equine stomach has some unique differences compared to ours.


The overall volume compared to the size of the horse is small (8-15L). It basically has two compartments. The dorsal part lined with squamous mucosal cells (a flat, smooth layer of cells stacked over each other); this lining is very similar to the lining of the esophagus, which ends actually in that part of the stomach, near the lesser curvature. The lower (ventral) part is separated by a prominent line called the Margo Plicatus. Below that line starts the glandular mucosa in the ventral fundus leading to the area called Antrum, ending at the pylorus, the opening into the duodenum - the first part of the small intestine. The glandular mucosa is lined with cells that secrete the gastric acid and digestive enzymes, which help to digest food, especially proteins. This part is coated by a layer of mucus that helps to protect the stomach from digesting itself. The top, squamous layer does not have this protective mucus layer. Ulcers that occur in the lower glandular part are very similar to the human peptic ulcers (causing PUD- Peptic Ulcer Disease) and cause EGGD in horses. ESGD is the proper term of use if ulcers cause disease in the top squamous part. Researchers looked into the nutritional risk factors for the development of ulcers and came to some interesting conclusions. No Ulcer



Risk for EGUS increases when: • Straw is the only forage • • More than 2g/kg BW starch/day or • More than 1g/kg BW per meal is fed • • When water is not available in turnout paddocks •

The interval between forage feeding is more than 6 hours Horses are stabled and fed more than 1% BW grain No turnout

Clinical signs of EGUS include: • Poor appetite, picky eating • Weight loss, poor body condition • Abdominal discomfort • Poor coat condition • Teeth grinding

“Girthiness” Behavioral changes – aggression or nervousness Recurrent colic Poor performance

• • • •

In a consensus statement regarding EGUS by the European College of Equine Medicine published in 2015, the committee concluded that a wide range of clinical signs might be present in individual cases of EGUS with varying degrees of reduced appetite and poor body condition, behavioral changes are not uncommon, and poor performance might be a result. But, they also acknowledged that there might be numerous factors involved in poor performance. They stated that the differences in clinical signs between ESGD and EGGD are unknown and warrant further investigation. Due to the wide variety of clinical signs and their unspecific nature, their recommendation was to not base the diagnosis on “characteristic signs”, but they suggested that EGUS should be confirmed and diagnosed with gastroscopy. In an ideal world, this would be my preferred way, however due to several limiting factors in the everyday practice, this does not always happen and horses are often put on a trial period of Gastroguard™ or Omeprazole, and monitored for signs of improvement.. My deal with clients is, that if there is no significant improvement and we have ruled out other conditions, the horse will have the stomach scoped as the next step. During gastroscopy the ulcers are graded according to their severity, however lesion grade does not necessarily correlate with clinical signs. WHAT CAUSES ULCERS? As far as ulcers in the dorsal squamous area of the stomach are concerned, we have quite a good understanding. A variety of management factors contribute to the development of ulcers, their common denominator is that they expose the squamous (because they are flat) cells of the stomach lining in that area to the hydrochloric acid in the stomach, thereby damaging the cells. This is increased due to byproducts of bacterial fermentation of the sugars in a concentrated diet. Because there is no protective mucus layer in the top part, the only protection against splashing 58 | ON THE HORSE MARCH/APRIL ‘17

of gastric acid on the wall above the Margo Plicatus is a layer of fibrous forage on top of the pool of caustic acid. If this layer of fibrous material is disturbed due to exercise or lack of forage, then gastric acid will spill on the unprotected stomach wall, damaging the cells and creating ulceration. This explains the high prevalence of EGUS in performance and race horses. In contrast the development of EGGD is not well understood, the glandular mucosa is normally exposed to the gastric acid and much better protected. However, if the defense mechanisms of the cells break down, they are exposed to the acid, and the formation of a peptic ulcer starts. Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium well-known in human medicine has been identified in some cases. We know that NSAIDS like bute can also contribute to ulcer formation. However, only after given at much higher than recommended dosages. WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP AND WHAT CAN WE DO TO PREVENT EGUS? In humans, the quote “ no acid – no ulcer “ is used quite frequently – and acid suppression is also considered the essential step in order to fight both ESGD and EGGD, regardless of the underlying cause. So-called Proton Pump-Inhibitor drugs like Omeprazole, are considered the most important line of defense in the fight against stomach ulcers. The development and availability of the drug Gastroguard™ has been a game changer in our fight against EGUS. Omeprazole is a tricky substance and numerous studies have shown that if the molecule is not protected properly against the gastric acid, it will lose its efficacy and its bioavailability becomes unpredictable. The other substance group that is still commonly used are so-called H2-receptor antagonists, such as Ranatidine (Zantac™) might sound familiar. Cimetidin belongs to the same class of drugs and does not reduce acid production reliably in the horse. Misoprostol, a synthetic prostaglandin, is the third drug that can be used in order to suppress acid production in the stomach, often in combination with Omeprazole. The same drug can cause abortion in humans. This does not seem to be the case in horses, nevertheless I would be careful. As an adjacent treatment, Sucralfate can be used. It binds to the ulcers and coats them, therefore protecting the ulcer from acid exposure and also has some neutralizing effect. It is not meant to be a stand-alone treatment in the horse. Calcium Carbonate (TUMS™) has a very short lived neutralizing effect on gastric ph, so while it might seem like a cheap and easy solution, it is not worth the effort. In contrast to humans and dogs, the horses stomach produces gastric acid continuously, and this might explain the short-lived effect of “TUMS™” and other similar products. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR ULCERS TO HEAL? We know from recent publications that 21 days might be long enough in many cases, but the usual recommended period is 28-30 days. My personal preference is to use Omeprazole for 25 days at full dose, and then keep them on a lower dose for long term while we sort out the cause and contributing factors. If that is not addressed, the ulcers will re-occur within a few days!!! That is why certain changes in the feeding and “lifestyle” of the horse should be addressed. Feeding: Ideally free choice of hay, with alfalfa being the preferred roughage! Alfalfa helps to MARCH/APRIL ‘17 ON THE HORSE | 59

buffer the gastric acid. The amount of starch should be reduced and can be replaced with oils. Supplements and Nutraceuticals have their place in the treatment and recovery plan. PectinLecithin supplements have been around for a long time now, and we have enough supporting evidence that there is a beneficial effect, especially in combination with probiotics and antacids (magnesium hydroxide). Seabuckthorn berries and pulp have shown some promising beneficial effects on the gastric lining as well. Lifestyle: Quality grass pasture, minimum 1.5 kg/hay per 100kg and lots of turnout. One quite interesting finding was that concentrated electrolyte paste and concentrated electrolyte solutions given orally increase the risk of ulcers. However, this is not the case when it is mixed in feed or given in lower doses into the water. AND AS ALWAYS: TALK TO YOUR VET ABOUT IT! Dr. Dieter Oberbichler (Dr.O) was born in Styria, but grew up in the Austrian mountains of Tyrol. Dr.O graduated from the University of Vienna in 1988, and was one of the first adopters of Ultrasound in Austria for reproduction and diagnostic purposes. An avid horseman, he has trained in Dressage, Show Jumping, and Eventing. When he gets time, he loves to fly planes and compete in triathlons! See more at www.oberbichler-equine.ca



Day Before shipping to competition

3 a.m. wake up & groom

Grade 1 Ulcer

3:30 a.m. feed & muck out


4 a.m. braiding

6:30 a.m. back to barn to polish up

5:30 a.m. warm up

Use GASTROGARD to stop ulcers before they become a problem.2

GASTROGARD® is the only Health Canada-approved product proven to aid in improving, healing and preventing equine gastric ulcers.2,3 And it’s only available from Merial.

¼ dose per day for prevention.

McClure SR, Carithers DS, Gross SJ, Murray MJ. Gastric ulcer development in horses in a simulated show or training environment. JAVMA. 2005;227(5):775-777. 2 GastroGard Canadian product label. 3 Canadian Compendium of Veterinary Products. 1

®GASTROGARD is a registered trademark of Merial. ©2016 Merial Canada Inc. All rights reserved. GAST-16-7000-AD XCE249351.

8 a.m. to 6 p.m. show time


THE PISCES HORSE February 21 – March 20


hat we have here is a very sensitive, intuitive, sweet being. They will go out of their way to make everything pleasant and will avoid confrontation at any cost. These horses need to feel closely bonded to the people who are their human partners in order to feel secure. They require your time, and will feel lonely and anxious if left alone. You will have to be gentle and kind. Even a harsh tone in your voice can be taken as abusive behavior in their minds. They are clever enough to be the escape artist if they feel abused, and in truth they really do not require a heavy hand. All you need to do is to connect with your heart, and ask for what you want. They are so perceptive that they understand, especially if you send mental pictures of your requests. However, you must show them that you are a strong leader that they can rely on for this kind of trust to develop. This is not a horse you can just jump on and go, or try to force your will, without making that heart connection first. When he/she feels that deep connection, and has been given the time and gentle caring love, they will do anything to please you and anything you ask. 62 | ON THE HORSE MARCH/APRIL ‘17

I will warn you that routines and boredom are a big no-no for them. These are the worst punishments you can give, second only to abandonment. If you want to have a happy, healthy horse you will want to win them over with love. Attempting to force them or bribe them with food just won’t cut it. They can see right through all of the games and insincerity. They are instantly aware of any change in your mood or attitudes toward them, and mirror it back to you. These horses are acutely aware of everything around them because of their highly developed intuitive nature. They are sponges and take everything in and express it back out. If you become angry or are afraid they will give you more of the same. You must stay calm and centered at all times. The times these horses will give you trouble will be if they are unhappy, afraid, feeling unsafe, or if they have been with other horses who have bad habits. There is not a cruel or mean bone in them naturally; if their life is loving, calm, safe, and secure you will enjoy the best horse possible. Oh, one last thing they love music and will often dance to it, so bring it into their world!

THE ARIES HORSE March 21 – April 20


hese horses have plenty of forward motion! They are always ready at the drop of a hat to get out and go! They are the pioneers, willing to fearlessly explore new territories. They are brave, outgoing and respond to the signal to charge. Since we no longer use them in battle, or in battle-type competitions - I picture them as the horses used by the police to create order in unruly crowds of protesters. That said, keep in mind that they are amazing, enthusiastic competitors. The one caution is that they can act in haste and be accident-prone because they leap before they look. Their brain and body moves so quickly that they can take you on quite a ride. Hopefully you are of the same nature and up for the adventure! They love a challenge, can initiate action, and are competent leaders. Truthfully they really must be given their head and be in the front position in any activity, or you may experience having your hands full with a battle of them trying to get there. These guys and gals are well suited for a number

of sports like polo, racing, team penning, cross country, jumping, anything that requires speed, agility, and has enough freedom for them to initiate their own moves! They can be extremely impatient, especially if they are required to stand still for long periods of time as they need to stay moving. Also, as implied earlier, they can be impulsive and are prone to cuts and bruises as a result, especially on their heads. It is most common to find a scar on their head somewhere. Please remember that boredom and confinement are a couple of the worst enemies for the Aries horse! Aries is a fire sign and shares this challenge with fellow fire signs Leo and Sagittarius. They are the ones you see weaving, windsucking, and cribbing when held in a stall for long periods of time - they are reacting to boredom! They must be let out to have some free time in a large area to stay healthy both physically and emotionally. A lack of exercise can bring out a restless nature that may display aggressive behavior, or a horse who is jumpy and spooks at everything. All this shows that their needs are not being met - their high energy is suppressed, and unable to be let out!

My website is: equineastrology.com and email is samantha@equiserene.com. For information about the coaching I do with horses as co-facilitators go to equiserene.com. Look for an upcoming article to explain the process of Equine Gestalt Coaching. MARCH/APRIL ‘17 ON THE HORSE | 63





























DOWN 1. Where your foot goes in a saddle 2. Belgians, Clydesdales, and Friesians are examples of this breed. 4. Used to clean out a horse’s foot daily. 5. Anna Sewell’s novel “_____ Beauty” 6. Riding your horse at leisure in the fields, trails, etc. 9. A type of show coat most often worn by Dressage riders, but also used in some Hunter classes. 10. A short, flexible whip. 11. A horse’s favourite type of mint. 13. Long piece of leather attached to the bit on a bridle. 15. Also known as a figure 8. 17. A type of hunter class that rewards brilliance of pace, and handiness. 19. Hanton Horse shoes are applied with this. 20. A piece of tack that on a bridle that helps keep the mouth closed and hold the bit in place. 21. These may be found as jumps in the hunter ring, or act as a door to paddocks and fields. 22. A version of Equi-Pak that helps to manage thrush. 23. “Enter __ __” 24. Your trainer may frequently tell you to add more ___.



ACROSS 3. A breed best known for its racing ability and heart. 7. Another term for a jumping rail. 8. Too much hand riding can cause this: “False _____” 9. Most riding boots have a “____ rest” on the heels. 10. Type of jump often seen in hunters and eventing. 12. A shade of bay. 14. May be placed in a horse’s hooves for relief after an intense workout. 16. Training performed with a horse in hand may be referred to as “_____ work”. 18. A verbal cue that may be used to ask a horse to move forward. 22. Also known as “corks”. 25. Lateral work requires the ability to “_____” off the leg. 26. Material used for horse shoes. 27. “___ back on the horse!” 28. Worn under a show jacket.




JACQUES FERLAND 514.912.7976 jacques@delgrangesaddles.com

WENDY GOOD 416.574.8709 wendy@delgrangesaddles.com

Profile for Equestrian Ontario

ON THE HORSE - March/April 2017  

Featured Rider: Lindsay Farrow Featured Article: Prepare Your Manes For Show Season!!

ON THE HORSE - March/April 2017  

Featured Rider: Lindsay Farrow Featured Article: Prepare Your Manes For Show Season!!