Monthly Archives: August 2013

How To Diagnose Stomach Ulcers In Your Horse - Stomach ullcerDoes your horse kick at you, or turn to bite you, when you tighten the girth? Is he sensitive around his withers? If so, he could have stomach ulcers.

Gastro-intestinal erosions – stomach ulcers – are the most common cause of intermittent colic, gas and diarrhea. Studies have shown that a horse can progress from having no gastric irritation to having a perforated ulcer in as little as 5 days. This progression will occur even faster if the horse is being treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as bute. Stomach ulcers are the single most preventable syndrome that are treated by vets.

Endoscopy is commonly used to diagnose ulcers. However, scoping can only identify ulcerated tissue in the esophagus and stomach and can’t get down into the intestine and cecum.

A less invasive diagnostic method, and one which you can learn to do yourself, uses palpation of acupuncture points that are closely associated with digestion. This can be a great indication of the presence of painful and debilitating ulcers.

In the video below, Mark DePaulo DVM, demonstrates how to find these acupressure points – it could explain why your horse is so cranky!

If you want to know more about stomach ulcers and how to treat them, here is a link to Dr. DePaulo’s website.

Now There’s Driving For The Disabled! - Driving For The Disabled

This is a stock photo – Click on the link in the article to see the actual vehicle modified for wheelchairs

Wheelchair-bound horse lovers who find it difficult to be lifted out of their wheelchair to ride astride now have a new way to interact with the horses they love – driving!

Some people with disabilities up until now haven’t been able to benefit from the normal therapeutic riding programs – perhaps they lack the balance to sit in the saddle; they’re too heavy or unfit to ride; their medication prevents them from staying in the saddle; or they simply have a fear of heights.

A new therapeutic driving program about to start in Britain will allow people who can’t actually sit on a horse be able to be a part of the action, using a special vehicle that unfolds at the back, allowing a wheelchair to be pushed up the ramp and putting the occupant right in the driver’s seat!

Read all about it here …


By Nancy Jaffer/For The Star-Ledger on July 14, 2013 at 12:17 AM, updated July 14, 2013

A very clever carriage made its debut last week at Somerset County’s Lord Stirling Stable, where it will be part of a therapeutic driving program set to begin in the fall.
The back unfolds, enabling a wheelchair to be pushed up a ramp and then moved into place at the front of the vehicle, a procedure that will offer people with special needs a chance to be in the driver’s seat, both literally and figuratively. There’s no need for an awkward “wheelchair transfer” that involves lifting someone out of the chair and into the carriage.

Therapeutic riding serves its clients well, with more than 20 such programs in the state, including one at Lord Stirling. But not everyone who could benefit from a special equestrian connection can take advantage of the opportunities they offer. Some people with disabilities simply don’t have the balance to sit in a saddle; others are too heavy to ride, often a result of medication and lack of exercise; perhaps they have a fear of heights or physically just can’t manage being atop a horse.

“This is a way to get wheelchair people off the sidelines and make them part of the action,” [Article continues here…]

[Source: New Jersey News]

Kudos for those developing these programs and working so hard to get the funding and following it through to completion. You are making a lot of people’s lives a lot brighter – may these programs continue to flourish!

The Eventer’s Nightmare – Dressage!

Dressage arena.jpgI don’t know too many eventers who luuurve dressage.  Most dislike it in varying degrees, from it being simply a nuisance to manic hatred – dressage is considered to be boring, time consuming and unbelievably hard.

However, eventing is made up of three compulsory phases –  cross country, showjumping and DRESSAGE – and even the worst haters of dressage eventually have to concede that they have to take dressage training seriously.  Gone are the days where you could fudge the dressage phase and make up your score by good, fast, clear cross country and showjumping rounds.  Today, more often than not, the placegetters finish on their dressage score, which makes getting a good dressage score vitally important.

Kate Samuels, writing for Eventing Nation, recently posted her experience of attending a dressage show in an attempt to improve her dressage score for her eventing.   We thought you might enjoy reading about her Day with the Dressage Divas and what she learned from her tests …


By Kate Samuels on 

Anybody who knows me will tell you that dressage isn’t my strong point. I’ve blamed it on a lot of things throughout the years, namely that it’s “boring”; that my upper-level horse isn’t a very good mover anyway, so it doesn’t matter since he’s not going to win that phase; and that studying dressage was for weenies. All of these are really legit reasons, right? No … not really.

Nyls also struggles with dressage, which is partly my fault and partly a symptom of his personality. Characteristics that make him an unbelievable cross-country horse, such as having wicked fast reactions, an ability to anticipate the next step in a combination and a bull-headedness that will conquer any scary horse-eating jump, also make him more than a little difficult to ride on the flat. He is the king of memorizing movements in a test and therefore just anticipating like heck and not even waiting for the cue (ahem … lead changes).

However, I finally, finally, finally took the plunge this year and told myself that I had to buckle down and learn this stuff. I was sick of having the casual throw-away score, and despite Nyls’ disliking of the phase, I knew he could do better. Eventing lets you forget sometimes that your dressage wasn’t great, because you can end on the high note of a brilliant cross country or a clean show jumping, but I’m on a mission to change that.

So, yesterday, I competed at my very first recognized dressage competition … [Read more here …]


Eventing is a tricky sport in that it involves so many individual disciplines.  Which aspect of eventing do you like best? What problems do you have with your eventing horse and dressage training?  Tell us about it in the comments below.

Tips For A Shiny Coat - Shiny coatHave you every watched other people’s horses and wondered how they got their horses’ coats so shiny?

We all know that a shiny coat is the outward sign of a healthy horse, and the article below explains in great detail how you, too, can achieve that bright and shiny coat with your horse.

Learn how a shiny coat comes from knowing about the following:

  • Grooming – equipment and technique
  • Dull coat – reasons for and solutions
  • Oils – for a health shine
  • Infections, Fungus & Hygiene – common problems and how to deal with them
  • Winter grooming – the long hair horses grow for warmth in winter can also lead to skin problems
  • Rug hygiene – why you need to keep your rugs clean
  • Tails – how to look after your horse’s tail so it stays long and shiny
  • Washing your horse – tips for best results
  • Tail rubbing – what can cause it and how to handle it
  • Feeding for colour – tips to enhance your horse’s colour and what to avoid
  • Stain removal on white markings – helpful hints
  • Insect protection – simple solutions


Published on Wednesday, July 31, 2013
From the July Issue of The Stable Magazine

A shiny coat is a sign of a healthy horse – every horse owner wants to see their horses happy and healthy, so a bright and shiny coat is extremely desirable. Here are our top tips on achieving a shiny coat –and recommended products to make your horse glow with health!


Achieving a shiny coat starts with the basics.

Your brushes and combs need to be clean to be able to clean your horse effectively. Keep your brushes together and ensure you clean them regularly.  Keep your brushes in good condition. Replace your brushes when needed. If your brush has missing or flattened bristles it will be much less effective in giving a good end result. Always buy the best quality grooming tools you can afford – and get stuck in with the elbow grease! Regular grooming is one key element to a shiny coat. Grooming thoroughly at least a few times a week will assist in keeping the coat clean and healthy. Regular grooming will also help to remove dead hair from the coat, and as an added bonus, the very action of grooming will stimulate the horse’s circulation.

The most effective way to groom your horse is to [article continues here …]

[Source:  Horse Zone]

Here is an informative video that demonstrates a basic grooming routine:

Do you know why dark horses look shinier than grey horses?
The shine on your horse is the coat (and hair’s!) ability to reflect light. Horses of solid dark colors – like blacks and bays – can shine brilliantly, but it’s much more difficult to see the shine on the coat of a grey horse!

It is important not to be rough with your horse’s tail – it can take two years to grow right out, so you don’t want to damage it when you groom your horse:

The Correct Way To Bandage Or Wrap Your Horse’s Legs [Video] - Polo bandages.jpgThere are many reasons you may want or need to bandage your horse’s legs, and many different types of bandage or leg-wraps are available to do the job.

Polo bandages are generally made of a thick fleece material and are used mainly for protection:

  • For ridden work;
  • For lungeing;
  • When the horse is turned out in a yard or pasture.

Leg wraps are thick pads that must be worn under all bandages except polo wraps.  They spread the pressure of the bandage and thus prevent damage to the horse’s leg (especially the tendons) from bandages that are too tight, or are put on with uneven pressure.

It is vital that you know how to safely and correctly put on polo wraps and standing wraps on horses.

Wrapped too tightly, a horse’s leg can suffer a bowed tendon or other injury;  too loose, and the bandage can slip down and may be stepped on and torn.  Poorly applied work bandages could cause injury to the horse and/or the rider if they come loose during exercise.

After the bandages have been removed, the horse’s legs should be given a brisk rub in an upwards direction to stimulate circulation.

Always wash your horse’s bandages after use. Never use dirty bandages, as soiled material is stiff and hard.

Watch this how-to video for the proper leg-wrapping technique from the Certified Horsemanship Association:

Other types of bandages

Stable bandages are used:

  • For warmth and to keep the circulation active;
  • To assist in the drying-off of wet legs;
  • For keeping poultices in position;
  • To protect legs while travelling;
  • To prevent the legs from filling.

Exercise bandages are used:

  • As a protection against injury during work.

Surgical bandages are used:

  • To cover and protect wounds;
  • For poulticing of the leg when there is a likelihood of swelling;
  • For wounds on joints.

All of these bandages require leg wraps underneath them to help spread the pressure of the bandage.

Horse bandages of all types and colors can be purchased at all tack stores and some feed stores, but here is a selection available at Amazon to get you started: