Handling Hoof Abscesse

hoof-abscess-smartpakWith the constant changes of weather – warm to cold, wet to dry – it’s a common time for horses to come up lame with a hoof abscess. A hoof abscess is a localized bacterial infection in the sensitive structures of the hoof, typically in the front feet.  Typical signs of a hoof abscess include sudden and severe lameness and pain. The horse bears little to no weight on the leg with the abscess or may walk on its toe. Most abscesses are found in the sole of the hoof, but an abscess can be found elsewhere.   Other signs include heat in the limb or hoof, an increased digital pulse, and can include a swollen leg and/or a low-grade fever. The tendons in the affected leg can become painful and swollen due to congestion of blood vessels.

Purulent fluid (commonly called “pus”) is produced as a reaction by the horse’s body to the infection. The pus accumulates between the keratinized and germinal layers of the hoof wall. Since the hoof cannot expand, the increased pressure of pus collecting within the hoof capsule causes significant pain. As the abscess progresses, the infection and pressure of purulent fluid (pus) accumulation in the hoof often cause severe pain until the infection works its way up the hoof wall and pops out at the coronary band, or the bulb of the heel or drains out the sole.

A hoof abscess can be diagnosed by examining the hoof for heat and pain, swelling in the pastern and fetlock and by the presence of a pronounced digital arterial pulse. If the horse is shod, the shoe is removed and the hoof cleaned. Hoof testers are often used to test the horses’ sensitivity to pressure in specific areas of the hoof to locate the point of origin.

A hoof abscess can be caused by a sharp object penetrating the sole of the hoof (such as a nail), damage to the corium from decreased blood flow, or by bacteria migrating in to the defects, fissures and cracks in the white line. Sole penetration by a sharp object is not a very common scenario for a hoof abscess. More often, an abscess is a result of corium or lateral cartilage area compression or most frequently due to the introduction of bacteria and moisture in to the hoof.

If the abscess is caused by bacteria in to hoof from the outside, a particle of sand or soil enters the softer white line area and becomes engrained in the sensitive lamina underneath the hoof wall, resulting in an infection inside the hoof. The infection can travel up the hoof and drain at the coronary band or stay close to the sole of the hoof. An abscess can also occur under the bars of the hoof.

The infection can also enter as a result of a nail driven too close to the white line, a hoof wall defect or hoof separation. Horses that have been shod and then go barefoot tend to have an increased chance of developing a hoof abscess until the hoof becomes stronger.

While a hoof abscess can heal on its own, this is not recommended. An abscess can be extremely painful for the horse and the healing process will take significantly longer without intervention. It is recommended that you work with your veterinarian and/or farrier to diagnose and treat an abscess.  If the horse is shod, the shoe is normally pulled. The hoof is then thoroughly cleaned and hoof testers can be used to help locate the point of entry and better determine the location of the abscess.

Often a black line is identified and the line is followed to locate the infected area. Using a hoof knife or loop knife, your veterinarian will make a very small hole in the sole of the hoof to allow for drainage and provide relief of the pressurized fluid. When the pressure built up by the trapped pus is released from the hoof capsule, often a black or brown fluid will drain from the site and the horse will experience some relief immediately.

If the point of origin and the abscess cannot be identified or the infection is too deep in the hoof, (the abscess could be deep in the heel/frog/bars region), no cutting or holes will be made. Cutting too much or going too deep can be more harmful than beneficial to treatment. If a drain hole is not able to be made or cannot sufficiently drain the abscess, then most likely the abscess will progress up to the coronary band and the pus will drain there.

hoof-abscess-polticeWhether a hole is made or not, it is important to keep the hoof as clean and protected as possible and to apply a poultice. A standard recommended protocol for treatment begins with Epsom salt added to water and soaking your horse’s hoof in a shallow pan, bucket or soaking boot for 15 minutes 2 times/day.  The soaking will “draw” the abscess, pulling the bacterial infection from the hoof.  If no hole is made, the poultice can help soften the sole. If a drain hole is made in the hoof, then it is imperative that the hole be protected and kept clean while the abscess drains and the hoof heals.

The hoof is then wrapped to help cushion and protect the hoof to ensure that dirt and manure cannot come in contact with the hole and sensitive tissues. Creating a “pad” by using a plastic baby diaper and attaching it with duct tape (both waterproof) can help keep the area clean and dry.

To help lessen the chances of your horse having a hoof abscess, maintain a regular schedule with your farrier or trim your horse on a regular basis. Often hooves with too much toe or excessive bars are more prone to hoof abscesses.

With proper treatment, hoof abscesses are no fun for you or your horse, but not dangerous.

Photo credit: SmarkPak

Will The Real Santa Please Stand Up?

Before there was Santa Claus, there were Saint Nicholas and Sinterklaas.  And, before there were reindeer, these holiday gift-givers rode horses.

sleipner-christmas-horsePrior to Christianity, people celebrated a midwinter event called Yule (the Winter Solstice). During this period, supernatural and ghostly occurrences were increased, such the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky. The leader of the wild hunt is usually the god Odin, usually seen with a long white beard. He is also known by the Old Norse names Jólnir, meaning “yule figure” and the name Langbarðr, meaning “long-beard.”  Odin rode his gray “horse” (the eight-footed steed called Sleipnir) on nightly rides and visiting people with gifts.  Years later, Odin’s white beard became part of the new Santa Claus, his blue robe was changed to red, and his eight-footed grey horse became eight reindeer!

In the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, Santa Claus is called “Sinterklaas” and the holiday for giving gifts is December 6th. He traditionally rides the rooftops on a white horse, known by various names.  Sinterklass is an elderly, stately and serious man (unlike our jolly Santa Clause) but does have the traditional white hair and a long, full beard. Also like Santa, he wears a long red cape and a red hat, but holds a long, gold-colored ceremonial shepherd’s staff with a fancy curled top. sinterklass

To keep track of who should receive presents, Sinterklass notes writes on all the children in a book – the start of the legend of Santa’s list of who was naughty or nice. Sinterklass’ was a friend to all, especially the poor.  His solution to helping the poor was by putting money in their shoes – this later evolved with Santa Claus into giving presents.

After going into hiding for a few centuries during the Reformation when public celebrations were banned, Sinterklass returned to ride over roof tops and deliver presents through chimneys to good girls and boys – but now his horse was grey.  Either people realized that whites often turned grey as they age or riding over all those roof tops turned the horse darker, but you’ll either hear Sinterklass has a white or gray horse.  Children leave a carrot, apple and/or hay as a treat for Sinterklaas’ horse.

The first known written account of reindeer in association with the legend of Santa Claus occurred in 1821 by William Gilley.  According to Mr. Gilley, the area where Santa Clause lived was far north near the Arctic.  There a series of animals exist that have hooves and antlers and otherwise resemble reindeer.  These animals are feared and honored.  Mr. Gilley claimed that his mother, an Indian from the area, told him when he was young that these animals could fly.

So to be sure you get what you want for Christmas, make sure you write to Santa Claus AND Saint Nicholas and Sinterklaas – just to cover all the bases.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Classic Equine Equipment!

christmas-horse-santa

Warm Up Your Horse To Prevent Winter Injuries

stretchingfront-prachorsemanWhether you’re a competitive rider or just go out for the occasional trail ride, warming up your horse before riding can help prevent injuries later.  Pre-ride safety can start even before you get on.  If you are working in an arena, check the area for holes that need to be filled or big rocks that can cause your horse to stumble.  When grooming your horse, make sure there are no cuts or loose shoes or other indications that your horse isn’t 100%.  Finally, when tacking up, make sure that your tack doesn’t have any weak areas, such as stirrup leathers or the throatlatch that can break while you’re riding.

Once you’re on your horse, you’re probably like many riders who don’t really have a warm up plan but just amble around the arena.  Or you’re eager to get on the trail and figure you’ll warm up as you go.  But to really make sure your horse is warmed up on both sides, at all gaits and is listening to you, you should take a systematic approach to your warm-up to ensure that your horse is really ready to go.

Warm up gradually and thoroughly, making sure you stretch and supple your horse on both sides.  Check that your horse is listening to you and your aids.  Keeping him moving will help not only help warm him up, but will help keep his focus on you as you start asking more or take off down the trail. With a systematized warm-up, you’ll know when your horse is ready to go, while if you just wander around, you can never be sure.

Start with five minutes of walking and put your horse on a 20m circle.  Always work your horse’s easier side (and they all have one) first.  Make sure he is bending around your leg to make a true circle.  While you are walking, do some stretching of your own and/or check your riding position.  You can change direction through the circle (making a figure 8) to work the other side.  Make sure you do the same sequence at the walk on each side.

Move on to 10 minutes of trotting.  Always start with a posting trot to let your horse’s back warm up as well.  At first, use the whole arena and encourage your horse to trot out down the long side or across the arena.  Later, you can put him on a 20 meter circle and start asking for him to come on the bit.  You can also start adding some canter work once your horse is on the bit, relaxed and listening to you.  Once you are cantering smoothly, work on transitions – canter to trot, trot to walk, walk to canter, etc.  Change rein often to make sure you are working both sides of your horse. 

shoulder-in-prachorsemanFinally, add in some additional bending exercises like leg yields and shoulder in.  This is a great test to see if you and your horse have it all together.  By the end of this warm-up, you should be able to feel your horse moving from behind, that he is relaxed through the back and soft in both reins.

At the end of your ride, don’t forget to cool down your horse as well.  Most of this can be done riding at the walk on a long rein.  But you may also want to add some easy bending exercises like let yielding to stretch out those muscles after a hard workout.  As always, make sure your horse is no longer sweating before you finish your ride.

Like athletes or dancers who stretch both before and after a workout, warming up/cooling down your horse each time you ride is essential to his well being.

Photo credit: Practical Horseman

 

A Few of My Favorite (Winter) Things

horse-and-barn-in-snow_stablemanagementIf you own or manage a barn, over the years you’ve come up against some challenges in doing so in winter.  Me, too.  I’ve put together a list of some of the things I’ve discovered over the years that have made my job a bit easier.

Stall mats – My favorite multi-use tool.  However, in the winter, in addition to keeping your horse off a cold concrete floor, these are great to as anti-slip walkways to the barn.  They are also indispensable for helping to keep mud from forming around barn or stall door openings.  Outdoor water troughs often become churned up and muddy -when the mud freezes, it becomes a landmine for your horse to walk over.  This helps protect him from taking a bad step on frozen mud.

Water heaters – Horses need about 10 gallons of water daily. While the optimal temperature for adequate water consumption is between 45 and 650 F, most times it more of mater of just having water instead of ice!  Heated water buckets can help with that.  Classic Equine has automatic water options for both inside and outside use.  Both come with a heater option.

 For those of you without an automatic water system, there are heated water buckets that work great.  Plug them in and the heated coils in the partitioned bottom of the bucket keep water ice-free.    If your horses use a stock tank for water, a stock tank deicer is another great option to eliminate ice.  While neither may bring the temperature up to “warm,” both are excellent at keeping ice from forming. For those bigger warm water jobs, there are portable hot water heaters. 

white-horse-with-feederAutomatic Feeders – Unpredictable winter weather can sometimes make it difficult to get to the barn at exact times to feed.  And you know what your horses can do to your stall doors if the grain isn’t delivered on time!  If you aren’t able (or don’t want to) get out to the barn to grain your horse, this may be an option. The iFeed system is an automatic grain feeding system that allows you to set up one or several stalls on whatever schedule you want to deliver grain. 

wash-bay-heaterWash Bay Heaters – this went from being a luxury to a necessity when the winters started getting colder and snowier over the last few years.  Great for both clipped and unclipped horses.  If you don’t clip, the heated lights can help dry out your sweaty horse before blanketing.  If you clip, the heated lights can keep your horse warm during the time between grooming and putting on his blanket.  Also great for riders, trainers or spectators who are frozen from too long in the arena.

Auto lights – Let’s face it: even though you know every inch of your barn, there’s still something scary about going into a totally dark barn before you hit the lights.  I like the old-fashioned automatic lights that go on an off at set times and illuminate my way to the horses.  Or you can go high tech with new smart products like Amazon’s Echo.  With Echo, you plug your lights into a special socket and then you program your phone to not only tell it when to turn the lights on or off, but you can check to see if you actually remembered to turn them off.

Good winter clothes – no one knows cold like the people who live in Maine.  There are a lot of good winter apparel companies, some specifically for horse people (though most of them are geared for riding), but by far L.L.Bean has the best assortment of warm weather clothes – from undergarments to hats rain/snow boots.  And they are all guaranteed with easy return.  Wear it all winter.  Didn’t like how it performed?  LL Bean will take it back for an exchange or refund.  For any reason.   During winter months, water should be kept between 45 to 65°F to maximize consumption. 

Please note that, except for Classic Equine Equipment, we don’t promote the listed brands of equipment.  They are only the ones I have used with success.

With Christmas still more than a week away, there’s still time for you to ask Santa for one of these winter helpers. It can help you get the best present of all – more time riding!

Horse Tales: Myth and Magic

halloweenhorse1With Halloween just around the corner, we’re sharing some of the tales of magic and horses.  Horses have figured into lore and legend for literally thousands of years – starting somewhere in the 5th or 6th century B.C. with the Greeks.  The Greek Gods “owned” some of the most famous horses.  Probably the best known is Pegasus, the immortal winged white horse. Bellerophone wanted to ride him, but didn’t know how to capture him.   He dreamed of a golden bridle and when he awoke, it was beside him.  He put it on Pegasus while the horse drank from a fountain and successfully rode the winged horse into battle.  But as often happens with Gods, Bellerophon fell out of favor and Pegasus returned to Mt. Olympus alone, where he was welcomed.  He was then given the job of carrying thunderbolts and today is a constellation in the spring sky.

The Greek sun god Helios also had immortal horses and used four to pull his chariot.  Not to be outdone, Poiseidon, the god of the sea, had eight horses to pull his chariot.  Ares, the god of war, had fire-breathing steeds.  And, of course, Zeus, the king of all the gods, not only had 4 horses pulling his chariot, but these horses were actually the four winds as well.

rhiannonWhile the Greek gods used their horses as beasts of burden during their mythical undertakings, the Celts recognized the horse as more of a spiritual being itself.  Epona, the Celtic goddess of fertility, is the protector of horses, mules and donkeys.  She is also the goddess of horse breeding.  She is most often pictured riding a white horse. Her horses also were used to guide souls of the deceased and provide safe passage to the afterlife.

Horses, especially white horses, figure in many other religions as well.  In Hindu, a white horse is believed to be the last incarnation of Vishnu. As a Native American symbol, the Horse combines the grounded power of the earth with the whispers of wisdom found in the spirit winds.  In most religions, the horse symbolizes power, grace, beauty, nobility, strength and freedom.

Horses also have their place in magic and superstitions.  Perfect to share on Halloween, here are some:

  • The tail of a horse was plaited with ribbons to keep it safe from witches.
  • In most of Europe protective horseshoes are placed in a downward facing position, but in some parts of Ireland and Britain people believe that the shoes must be turned upward or “the luck will run out.” A horseshoe found along the side of a road was particularly powerful, and was known to provide protection against disease.
  • The “Nail Test” is supposed to predict what sex foal a mare is carrying. You take a hair from the mare’s tail, and tie a nail to it. Then you hold it above the mare’s hips… and if it doesn’t swing, she’s not pregnant. If it swings in a circle, she’s carrying a filly; if it swings straight, a colt.
  • Horses standing with their backs to a hedge mean it’s going to rain.
  • If you break a mirror the misfortune can be averted if you lead a horse through the house. Same applies if you spill salt in the kitchen.
  • Gray horses and horses with four white feet are considered unlucky in racing.
  • A horse’s tail, if placed in water, will turn into a snake.
  • Copper pennies in a tank will prevent moody behavior in mares.
  • It was once thought that whooping-cough could be cured by going to the stables and inhaling the breath of a horse.
  • The deeper a horse dips his nostrils while drinking, the better sire he will be.
  • It was thought that warts could be cured by circling them in horse hair.
  • Horses disturbed and restless in the morning and with their manes and tails tangled and twisted are supposed, according to old English legend, to have been ridden in the night by the pixies.pixie-and-horse

 

Have a fun and safe Halloween!

The Pre-Purchase Exam

AHC Time To RideYour eyes meet across the barn aisle.  Your heart beats a little faster. “There’s the one I’ve been looking for, “ you think.  And, suddenly, you’re in love. But before you ride off happily together into the sunset, consider a pre-purchase exam.

One of the best investments you can make BEFORE buying a horse is to have a pre-purchase exam done by a veterinarian* of your choice. While it’s tempting to forgo the cost of another vet visit, it is in your best interest to have the checkup done by a vet that you know and trust.  It is insurance for you, the buyer, that you are protected and are getting exactly the horse you were promised.

Talk with your vet before the exam about how you plan to use your new horse.  A pre-purchase exam for a broodmare may be a bit different than one for a Grand Prix show jumper.  At the exam, the vet will want the horse to be presented right out of the stall, if possible.  Ideally, the horse will not have been recently shod.  A horse that is warmed up before the vet comes may have lameness issues that won’t be seen.  Lameness issues can also be attributed to the new shoes.

temple-vet-clinic-prepurchase-examThe vet will go over the basics of the horse – check the temperature, respiration and pulse, look at the eyes, teeth, ears, nose and many, many more places, including those specific to mares, stallions and geldings.  .The vet will also do a flexion test for soundness on all four limbs and will check hoofs with hoof testers.  She will want to see the horse move at liberty, best done by free lunging the horse, in both directions.  Afterwards, the vet may want to reexamine the horse’s vital signs or flexion.  If there are any questions, the vet may ask the owner’s permission to draw blood or take x-rays.  While some buyers routinely have x-rays done, it may not be necessary and can help keep the pre-purchase exam costs down.  Again, communicating with your vet about how you plan to use the horse is essential.

It is best if you can be present during the pre-purchase exam.   The vet will give you her findings as she goes and you can ask questions or request further investigation.  You will also be provided with a written report.  .Remember that no horse is perfect.  Any limitations noted, whether large of small, are to help the buyer find the horse most suitable for the job intended.  Remember, too, that the vet is looking at the horse as he is right now.  She can’t see into the future and cannot foretell how a particular horse will perform in years to come.  Vets don’t give horses a “pass/fail” determination, but will provide you with all the information, good and bad, about the horse’s physical condition so you can make an informed decision

The videos below offer an overview on the pre-purchase exam.

PrePurchase exam (part 1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhBI1gx1sVw

Pre-purchase exam (part 2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuHJTndLdew

*while we know there are many fabulous male veterinarians out there, for purposes of this article we are referring to veterinarians as “she.”

Photo credit:

American Horse Clinic

Templeton Vet Clinic

Guest Blog: Hopes & Dreams On The Backs of Horses

Many of us have experienced that almost spiritual feeling we have when connecting with our horses. For us, to ride is to fly, to leave our cares behind.  But try explaining that to a non-horsey person.  Most times they will roll their eyes and shake their heads when we praise our horse.  Or, even worse, sigh and ask when you’re going to “grow up and give up horses.”

Guest blogger Katie Peery is a former race horse trainer and now runs Hidden Fox Farm in Ridgefield, WA, specializing in the retraining and rehoming of off-track thoroughbreds.  For a school assignment, she had to write about something she loves. It was no surprise to her teacher that she elected to write about race horses.  With her permission, I borrowed an excerpt from it.  I think she captures the true meaning of being a “horse lover.”  This is why we are “horse people.”

♥    ♥    ♥    ♥    ♥

 

Hopes and Dreams on the Backs of Horses
The air is filled with smells of leather and horsehair, the sounds of hoof beats on the track and the feeling of excitement radiating electric in my body. I am in my element, my soul bursting with happiness in the company of horses.
harbor-the-goldGlistening flesh, flaring nostrils, muscles rippling with excitement, and a look of eagles in his eyes . . . the racehorse anticipates the moment when he gets to break from the starting gate and extend his stride as his many ancestors have done before him with a jubilant crowd to urge him on around the turns and through the homestretch to the finish line of victory. This stallion is not solely ridden by the jockey upon his back, he is ridden by people near and far, their hopes and dreams for his success ride him through every step of his race. He is admired and cherished not only by the gamblers, but by those who care for him daily, people who have followed his career as he grew and by the children who are brought to the races just for the chance to get to see a beautiful horse such as him. He is loved as a champion and as a piece of exquisite equine art. He is a Thoroughbred.
bella-cantu-9-2-06Silent is the crowd as the horses stand in the gate ready to burst from their post. Bang! The gates open and the brilliant steeds lunge onto the track, gaining a longer stride every second! They round the turns and jockey for position as they expand their speed and stamina they carry from many generations before them. Spectators and gamblers across the world ride each horse as they gallop to the finish line. Cries of excitement come from those whose horse finishes first and silence from those whose horse was bested. The adoring crowd flocks to the winner’s circle to have a photo taken with the champion to be a part of the moment in history.
girl-kissing-race-horseTime and time again the effect race horses have on people astounds me. I have been a horse lover and racing fan my whole life and only became a trainer alongside my husband a handful of years ago. These horses truly touch the hearts of the fans, the pockets of the gamblers, and the souls of those who work with them. They are athletes, friends, and a gift to all of us. I leave you with a quote from those who have witnessed some of racing’s greatest feats:
 “What the horse supplies to a man is something deep and profound in his emotional nature and need.”WILLIAM FAULKNER, while watching the 1955 Kentucky Derby (Cassidy)
Photo Credits:  Bar C Racing Stables –  Portland Meadows –  Hidden Fox Farm

 

Our 2016 Olympic Horses

Having kept up with the U.S.A. Equestrian Team Selections, I was surprised to find that not much is written about the horses who are going to Rio. So here are some basics about our “Team Equine”:

DRESSAGE

NAME:  RooseveltRoosevelt

BREED: Hanoverian

AGE: 14

SEX: Stallion

RIDER: Allison Brock

OWNER: Claudine & Fritz Kundrun


NAME: Verdades

BREED:  KWPN

AGE: 14

SEX: Stallion

RIDER: Laura Graves

OWNER: Graves


NAME: Dublet

BREED: Danish Warmblood

AGE: 13

SEX: Gelding

RIDER: Kasey Perry-Glass

OWNER: Diane Perry


NAME: Legolas 92

BREED: Westphalian

AGE: 14

SEX: Gelding

RIDER: Steffen Peters

OWNER: Four Winds Farm


NAME: Rosamund (DIRECT RESERVE)

BREED: Rheinlander

AGE:  9

SEX: Mare

RIDER: Steffen Peters

OWNER: Four Wind’s Farm


NAME: Doktor (TRAVELING RESERVE)

BREED: Oldenberg

AGE: 13

SEX:  Gelding

RIDER: Shelly Francis

OWNER:  Patricia Stempel



JUMPING

NAME: Barron

BREED: Belgian Warmblood

AGE: 12

SEX: Gelding

RIDER: Lucy Davis

OWNER: Old Oak Farm


NAME: Voyeur

BREED: KWPN

AGE: 14

SEX: Gelding

RIDER: Kent Farrington

OWNER: Amalaya Investment


NAME: Cortes ‘C’

BREED: Belgian Warmblood

AGE: 14

SEX: Gelding

RIDER: Beezie Madden

OWNER: Abigail Wexner


NAME: HH AzurHH Azur Equestrian Life

BREED: Belgian Warmblood

AGE: 10

SEX: Mare

RIDER: McLain Ward

OWNER: Double H Farm and Francois Mathy



EVENTING

NAME: Fernhill Cubalawn

BREED: Holsteiner

AGE: 13

SEX: Gelding

RIDER: Phillip Dutton

OWNER: Caroline Moran, Simon Roosevelt and Thomas Tierney


NAME: Mighty Nice (DIRECT RESERVE)

BREED: Irish Sport Horse

AGE: 12

SEX: Gelding

RIDER: Phillip Dutton

OWNER: HND Group


NAME: Fernhill Fugitive (DIRECT RESERVE)

BREED: Irish Sport Horse

AGE: 11

SEX: Gelding

RIDER: Phillip Dutton

OWNER:Ann Jones and Thomas Tierney


NAME: Veronica

BREED: KWPN

AGE: 14

SEX: Mare

RIDER: Lauren Kieffer

OWNER: Team Rebecca, LLC


NAME: Meadowbrook’s Scarlett (DIRECT RESERVE)

BREED: Thoroughbred Cross

AGE: 9

SEX: Mare

RIDER: Lauren Kieffer

OWNER: Marie Le Menestrel


NAME: Blackfoot MysteryBlackfoot Mystery Boydandsilvamartin

BREED: Thoroughbred

AGE: 12

SEX: Gelding

RIDER: Boyd Martin

OWNER: Blackfoot Mystery Syndicate, LLC


NAME: Welcome Shadow (DIRECT RESERVE)

BREED: Thoroughbred Cross

AGE: 11

SEX: Mare

RIDER: Boyd Martin

OWNER: Gloria Callen


NAME: Loughan Glen

BREED: Irish Sport Horse

AGE: 13

SEX: Gelding

RIDER: Clark Montgomery

OWNER: Holly and William Becker, Kathryn Kraft and Jessica Montgomery


NAME: Donner (TRAVELING RESERVE)

BREED: Thoroughbred

AGE: 13

SEX: Gelding

OWNER: Donner Syndicate, LLC


NAME: Super Sock’s BCF (RESERVE)

BREED: Irish Sport Horse

AGE: 10

SEX: Gelding

RIDER: Matthew Brown

OWNER: Blossom Creek Foundation


NAME: Manoir de Carneville (RESERVE)

BREED: Selle Francais

AGE: 16

SEX: Gelding

RIDER: Sinead Halpin

OWNER: Manoir de Carneville Syndicate, LLC


NAME: Simply Priceless (RESERVE)

BREED: Thoroughbred

AGE: 15

SEX: Gelding

RIDER: Elisa Wallace

OWNER: Simply Priceless Syndication, LLC



U.S. A. Horses By The Numbers:

SEX:  Stallions – 2      Mares – 4       Geldings – 16

BREED:  Thoroughbred/TB X – 5      Irish Sport Horse – 4       KWPN – 3

Belgian Warmblood – 3         Hanovarian – 1       Danish Warmblood – 1

Holsteiner – 1       Westphalian – 1       Rheinlander – 1        Oldenberg – 1

Selle Francais – 1



Photo credits:
Roosevelt – Eurodressage.com
HH Azur – Equestrian Life
Blackfoot Mystery – BoydandSilvaMartin.com

 

A Horse’s Road To Rio – The Venue

Equestrian Olympic CenterHorses will begin arriving for the Rio Olympics the first of August.  Horses for the Paralympic games will arrive the first of September.  As with all the previous travel, Peden Bloodstock will coordinate the horse’s arrival and stabling at the game.   FEI developed the Customs & Freight Manual Appendix EQUESTRIAN FREIGHT to assist them in a smooth operation.  Their goal is to have all formalities and procedures completed as swiftly and smoothly as possible to settle the horses, attendants and equipment at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center quickly. Located west of Rio in the Deodoro area, the trip to the stabling area should take approximately 45 minutes from the airport, depending on traffic.

The unloading and transportation are outlined as follows:

  • Horses are briefly inspected before unloading from the aircraft and relevant documents are collected by officers.
  • The horses and their attendants will be transferred from the aircraft, which will be parked at the freighter terminal, via the apron and a transfer ramp onto the horse trucks.
  • Every vehicle, all of which are of EU origin, can accommodate up to 10 horses, in 1.12m wide stalls in a forward, backward or sideward travelling configuration. It is anticipated that the 10 horse configuration, with 2 horses travelling sideward will only be utilized for the Jumping flights ex Europe where the maximum trucking capacity will be required.
  • Once the horses are securely transferred to the horse trucks, customs and immigration formalities will be completed.
  • Simultaneously all pallets with horse equipment, vet medicines and feed will be broken down. The authorities will inspect the consignment prior to it being loaded onto vehicles for transfer to the secure Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center.
  • Once all formalities are completed at the airport the horses accompanied by their attendants, equipment, vet medicines & feed will be transferred to the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center;
  • Horses will be inspected and relevant documents will be checked after arriving at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center

As the Official Stable Management Provider for the Rio 2016 Games, two Peden stable managers will be on site prior to horse arrival until the last horse has departed. Rio 2016 Volunteers will form the rest of the stable management team under the direction of the Peden Stable Managers. Peden will be responsible for formulating the stable plan – it has been agreed that horses will be stabled by National Federation (NF), National Olympic (NOC) and National Paralympics Committees (NPC) and not by discipline, i.e. all the U.S.A. horses will be stabled together.

Strict biosecurity measures have been implemented at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center to ensure that the status of this area is fully maintained. They include:

  • Vectors Control (ticks, rodents, pigeons, etc.) being run by experienced professionals from local universities hired by the government. It is been in place since 2007 but has been reinforced since January 2014. Reports are delivered every six months.
  • To complement the measures designed to control animal movement, the entire competition area will be fenced in order to prohibit the entry of animals that are not participating in the event.
  • The venue is completely horse free since April 2015 and will remain till the Games.
  • Foot mats with disinfectant and hand gels must be utilized on entry and exit from the horse area.

vet clinic layoutFor additional biosecurity protection, horses should not leave the venue once admitted. Therefore, Rio2016 has constructed an equine hospital for on-site emergency surgery, and the clinic will be fully equipped to deliver high quality veterinary services for the horses competing in the Games. The Veterinary Clinic will provide a 24-hour operation and provide a complement of treatment options the entire time that horses are on site at Deodoro.

The import of feed, supplements, medicines and hay will all be monitored by the Brazilian authorities.

  • No wood is allowed to be imported into Brazil.  Horses will be bedded on shavings.
  • Import of feed is permitted subject to it containing no animal origin protein and no active/inactive biological agents.
  • Rio2016 has a contract with Kentucky Equine Research (KER) who will identify potential suppliers of local products (hay and shavings), contact associations to assess needs, and work with Peden to coordinate shipment of feed
  • Hay is not permitted to be imported, with the exception of haylage

Finally, farrier services will also be available, but regulated at the Olympics. It’s no surprise that there is also a Veterinary and Farrier Services Guide. The “forge” for use team farriers, is located adjacent to the Veterinary Clinic and close to the stables area. The forge will be staffed daily and contain the following facilities:

  • Two individual shoeing bays
  • Two double-burner gas forges
  • Two work benches
  • Various forging tools and supplies

Rio 2016 farriers will be available to provide general and specialist farrier services at the forge as requested. All services may be booked at the forge or at the Veterinary Clinic’s reception and will be charged at commercial rates. Team farriers are welcome to use the forge by appointment. Times may be booked at the forge or at the Veterinary Clinic. Stock will be supplied to farriers for a nominal fee, and farrier tools may be loaned to team farriers depending on availability. For each discipline a stock of shoes, nails and other materials will be made available for teams to use.  However, it is recommended that teams bring their own stock, such as spare sets of shoes.

With the horses safely in their stalls and all supplies approved and delivered, there’s nothing left but to wait for the competition to begin.

Photo credit: Rio2016

What To Look For In A Used Trailer

true love trading horse trailersWhile we all dream of a big, beautiful, brand new horse trailer, sometimes the reality of finances has us looking at used horse trailers instead.  There are fabulous deals on great trailers out there, but you may have to look hard and long, as well as be able to compromise on your dream list. As you and your 15hh Quarter Horse going to be together for awhile? Are most of your trailer trips short and infrequent?  Then maybe a regular size trailer will work just fine.  Do you dream of owning a 17hh Warmblood. Then maybe an extra-wide/tall trailer is something you can do without.  Slant load vs. straight load? Ramp or step-up?  There are pros and cons on both, but most comes down to personal preference.

But there are certain things in a used trailer on which you absolutely cannot compromise.  Those are the things that will keep you and your horse safe on the road.

  • The horse should have enough room to move its legs forward and sideways to keep its balance while moving. The horse should also be allowed to lower its head so he may remove debris (hay dust and other contaminants in the trailer) by coughing, therefore keeping his respiratory tract clear.
  • Rubber torsion suspension is available on almost all newer trailers. This type of suspension greatly reduces the amount of shock the horse absorbs through the floor of the trailer, also reducing stress. There is also a safety advantage to this type of suspension. If you have a flat tire, the remaining three wheels will maintain the trailer until you can get to a safe place to change the tire.
  • There should be no sharp edges or protrusions anywhere on the trailer, inside or out.
  • Floor boards should run vertically (the length of the trailer), not horizontally (across the trailer) and there should be good support underneath.
  • Horse trailer mats should not be slippery.
  • Ramps should be non-slip and not steep.
  • All tie rings, center dividers, chest bars, and butt bars should be easily worked by quick release.
  • All parts should also be strong enough to hold up to the largest, strongest horse you will be hauling.
  • When considering construction material, think about how well it will hold up to a panicky horse, or a traffic accident. If you have large horses, strength, not weight should be your first priority.

Does this sound like what you’d look for in a new trailer?  It is, but in a used trailer you now  also have to look at the condition of all these following areas as well.

  • Make sure the floor and undercarriage are in good condition. This goes for both wood and aluminum floors, and structural beams under the floor.
  • Check the suspension and tires. Uneven tire wear can signify some problem in the axle alignment or balance of the trailer. Dry rot is a common problem.
  • Sometimes the coupler can be worn inside, causing the coupler to be too large for the ball.
  • Check for rust or cracks in places where there is stress. Surface rust is typically not a problem, but anything that compromised the integrity of the trailer is. Stress fractures are a special consideration for all aluminum trailers.  Make sure the frame and welds are structurally sound.
  • Don’t forget to check the roof for stress or cracks that could let rain in.
  • Know if the brakes and lights work (and find out how much it will cost to fix them if they don’t!).
  • If repairs need to be made, ask yourself if you will be putting more money into it than the trailer is worth. Spending too much money for restoration may make the trailer suitable for your own use, but do not expect to add that much value to the trailer when you sell it.
  • Know that your tow vehicle will be able to safely haul (and stop!) the weight of this trailer.
  • Finally, be sure the trailer has a valid title and b sure the vehicle identification number matches the title.

Start your used trailer search with an open mind.  There may be features that you like or dislike, but you at least need to know which imperfections are tolerable and fixable on used horse trailers – and which ones are deadly and should  be avoided at any cost.

Photo courtesy: TrueLoveTrading.com