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HCBC 2015 Equine Education Summit By Stephanie Kwok

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CBC was once again a gracious host for the Equine Education Summit, held this year in Richmond over the weekend of March 14/15. It was a tremendous opportunity for learning from experts in the fields of equine nutrition, equine dentistry, hoof health and biomechanics, sport conditioning, saddle fitting and emergency preparedness. Veterinarian and equine surgeon Dr. Antonio Cruz, DVM MVM, spoke on the subject of equine sport conditioning which is the preparation of the entire body to optimize performance and minimize injury. We learned that, in order The attentive audience at the HCBC Equine Education Summit to decrease risk of injury, we must avoid fatigue. factor affecting the horse’s back health; proper fit is necessary to avoid Fatigue can occur when we overtrain, whether it is by working at too high of an exercise intensity level too soon, or neg- long-term, irreparable damage to the nerves, spine and shoulder cartilecting to warm up properly, or failing to provide sufficient rest days. His lage. But, as Certified Master Saddler and Equine Ergonomist Jochen key message was that “everything starts with the training of the cardio- Schleese showed during his presentation, saddle fit for the rider is vascular system.” Conditioning for the requirements of a specific disci- equally important. Improper fit for the rider can lead to back, joint and pelvic pain and recurring bladder infections. Women riders, in particular, pline comes AFTER that, whether it is for speed, strength or stamina. We cannot be reminded enough that saddle fit is an important suffer these effects as many ride in saddles designed for men; as a continued on page 6

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Horse Magazine, Western Canada, English and Western, Club News, Equine