Mid-South Eventing & Dressage Association

MSEDA Blog

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  • 05/15/2017 8:36 AM | Anonymous

    Volunteer opportunities for MSEDA members abound. Each month, we will feature an opportunity for members to obtain volunteer hours and help put on a successful, MSEDA-sanctioned show.

    By Sarah E Coleman


    Wilderness Trace Pony Club Combined Test and Dressage Show, May 20, 2017 Meadow Lake Equestrian Center.

    Event History: Used as a main fundraiser for the Wilderness Trace Pony Club, the show and combined test is used to raise funds to offset expenses incurred throughout the year at camps, rallies and lesson.

    Date and Time: The combined test and dressage show will take place on May 20, from 8 a.m. until about 4 p.m., when the last rider has completed their test.

    Volunteer Opportunities: Though most positions are covered through parents of Pony Club kids, additional help is always welcomed in the form of ring stewards, registration, jump crew, runners, scorers and more. The jump course will be set on Friday evening before the show.

    Interested? Contact DC Shannon Andrews: bshannon777@yahoo.com, 859-326-7286

    Tips for Volunteers: As this is an outdoor event, volunteers will need to plan on dressing for the weather, whatever that may be. Lunch and drinks will be provided to all volunteers.

    Visit the Wilderness Trace Pony Club Facebook page here. 

  • 05/15/2017 8:26 AM | Anonymous

    Horses, especially those that compete in the upper levels of their respective sports, are true athletes. They are repeatedly asked to perform to the utmost of their physical limit, pushing their bodies in ways horses in the wild never do.

    Because of this, it’s important that riders and trainers treat their mounts like the athletes they are, playing close attention to them every, single day, and monitoring their health in the same manner elite human athletes do, taking any inkling of an unsoundness or discomfort seriously. 

    By Sarah E Coleman


    Treat them As Individuals

    John Crowell, owner of Sycamore Hill Farm with wife Dorothy Crowell in Frankfort, Ky., groomed for superstar eventer Karen O’Connor for 4 years. As such, he is keenly aware of what it takes to keep a horse happy and sound to continue competing at the upper echelons of the sport. While there is no magic recipe for keeping a horse competition ready (don’t we wish there was!), the key, he says, is to know the horse. “Each horse is an individual, so each has special needs. Your job is to know what those needs are,” he explains.

    A one-size-fits-all training and care program cannot be applied to all horses. One horse might have a foot problem while another may have an old tendon—the way you care for these animals, both preparing them for competition and after, should not be the same.

    “For me, what is done beforehand is the really important part,” John says. Paying attention to your horse at home is the key to knowing what is going on during competition, he explains. “Every time you bring your horse in, look at it, then take the 2 seconds it takes to run your hands down their tendons, feel their fetlocks, feel their feet for heat. Amazingly, when you make this your habit, then you can get ahead of about 50 percent of your issues.”

    In addition to knowing what your horse feels like under your hands, it’s important to have a baseline on what their heart rate, temperature and respiratory rate are, whether you are a groom or a rider. Knowing these three important things, as well as how long it takes your horse to recover from fitness work, will make competition days less stressful: You already know what to expect when you come off a cross-country course, and you will also be ready to care for him should he not be coming back to his baseline rapidly, John explains. “Once you know what ‘normal’ is for your horse, you can better deal with it at the competition.” And with that comes peace of mind!


    Before you Begin

    Taking good care of your horse also means knowing what he needs for protection as he works and competes. This includes protecting him from over-riding. “Don’t jump on consecutive days if you can help it,” he recommends: Keep jumping to only one day a week. “Try to be preemptive in your schooling, staying one step ahead of any problem or injury. You want them [your horse] to be happy and sound.” Riders can help keep horses that way my not overtraining and exacerbating an old or existing injury. 

    “Every time you jump your horse, you’re tearing tendon fiber; the fetlock drops to the ground and you are breaking fibers,” he says. Not overjumping is important, as is protection and support in the form of boots. “But only if you know what you’re doing,” John cautions. Proper applications of boots and wraps is essential to protecting a horse and not causing harm. If you do not know how to apply your boots, as someone who does.



    After Competition 

    While knowing your horse well is key to his health, what can be done after competition to keep your horse healthy? We’ve all seen horses booted to the hilt and standing in ice—but at what point is that necessary?

    “If you have a novice horse, I don’t tend to go crazy doing things like icing legs,” says John. “I do that at Training and above. These boots are very effective for cooling legs and tendons,” but a lower-level horse doesn’t have that much strain placed on him. But again, each situation is different, depending on the needs of the individual horse. John stresses that all of the therapies available won’t help if you don’t know your horse well enough to know what (if anything) you need to be watching for. “If you have a horse who has had an injury before, you need to constantly watch it for changes. Ask your vet to explain what the injury was and ask questions about how best to treat it and what to watch for. Be better educated. “

    “Before you can be an equestrian you have to be a horseman,” John emphasized. “That’s what is missing for a lot of people. One size does not fit all.” 

  • 05/08/2017 6:43 PM | Anonymous

    By Chelsea Smith


    The Midsouth Eventing & Dressage Association welcomed International four-star rider Kim Severson for a clinic April 1-2, 2017.

    The first day of the clinic was stadium jumping at Land’s End Farm. Kim started each session with exercises that tested the rider’s straightness. In the arena, Kim had corners, skinnys, several carefully placed ground poles which were used to direct riders indicate EXACTLY where she wanted them to land and takeoff. She also focused heavily on accurate and balanced turns and again used ground poles to make riders act quickly.

    “I loved the turning exercises on the stadium day. Even though the jumps weren't big, the questions were really hard. It made me feel really good when I got everything done.” –Robyn Munson

    Munson works on keeping her horse straight. Photo by JJ Sillman

    “Day one I really enjoyed the variety of exercises she had us do in stadium jumping, within the first half of the day she identified the issue I was having and helped me correct it by riding him straighter to the jumps and putting my leg on and really supporting him.” – Tess Utterback

    Utterback jumps through a grid. Photo by JJ Sillman

    Day two of the clinic was cross country held at Flying Cross Farm. Prior to jumping, Kim asked riders to demonstrate a gallop at a pace appropriate for their level. For example, the Beginner Novice group was instructed to gallop between two points at 350 and then 400 meters per minute (mpm). Kim discussed each rider’s accuracy and emphasized how important it is to be able to recognize what it feels like to ride the correct speed while on course.


    Smith jumps into water. Photo by JJ Sillman.

    Throughout the day, Kim had riders jump several courses that included banks and water, but again focused on straightness and turning. Both bank and water complexes had verticals strategically placed on lines that would require very straight and correct riding.

    Kim instructs Rudd and Smith. Photo by JJ Sillman.

    Tess Utterback was touched by how caring Kim was when she found herself unable to participate on the second day of the clinic.

    “Kim saw my disappointment and took the time to get us over a few fences for my confidence and then talked to me explaining how many times she had been where I was before, wondering if she was being afraid or truly protecting her horse. I was so touched that she took the time away from the clinic to help me mentally with the decision not to go on that day to do what was best for my horse. I would happily and eagerly sign up for another Kim Severson Clinic, not only was she a great clinician but a true horsewoman with a big heart!”

  • 05/01/2017 11:32 AM | Anonymous

    Routine dental checkups are just as important for our equine partners are they are for us.

    By Sarah E. Coleman


    Sasha Kone is no stranger to the Bluegrass. With a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University, Sasha completed the Kentucky Equine Management Internship program in Fall 2004. Placed on Three Chimneys Farm, Sasha learned about equine dentistry as a profession apart from veterinary medicine. Intrigued by this facet of the equine industry, she switched gears from her interest in farm management and worked for Justin Talip in Central Kentucky, attended her first equine dentistry class in 2005, and graduated from the Texas Institute of Equine Dentistry in January 2007.

    Sasha now owns Endless Mountain Equine Dentistry and travels throughout Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia and New York, providing clients with everything from basic floats through advanced equine dentistry. 


    Dental Dura

    Most equine owners are taught that their horses need to have their teeth looked at and “floated” (filed down) twice a year. Sasha agrees that this is usually the case, especially with horses that are under the age of 8. Horses lose teeth every 6 months from 2.5 to 3.5 years old, Sasha mentions, and they have an entire set shedding at 5 years old.

    All these teeth falling out and growing in means there is a lot changing in the horse’s mouth and it’s imperative that the horse be kept comfortable as he adjusts to his new teeth. As a horse ages, he may be able to have his teeth done annually, but this depends on the individual animal and his conformation, environment, diet and use. Still, even if he only needs his teeth floated once a year, he should have them checked every 6 months to be sure no issues have arisen. 


    Tools of the Trade

    Many horse people have very definitive thoughts on power tools vs. hand tools to care for their equine’s teeth. While hand tools are historically what were used to care for horse teeth, power tools have now become a common sight. Similar to bits, in the properly trained hands, they are invaluable for caring for a horse’s dental health.

    Sasha uses both hand floats and motorized instruments. “I was lucky enough to go to school when we all started with hand floats, [and] I break them out every now and then for different reasons. The motorized instruments are much more precise and are gentler on the teeth when a fine grit disc or burr is used.”

    Though the motorized tools are her preference, Sasha will sometimes finish horses with hand floats; she also may occasionally begin a horse’s care with them to build confidence. The main point to remember is that each horse is an individual and needs individualized care and a specific treatment plan, she reminds horse owners. “Considering the horse’s needs and the preferences of the owners, we can work with a variety of instruments and techniques to achieve the same level of balance.” 


    Sport Horse Woes

    When asked what the most common issues sport horses have with their teeth, Sasha said that “overgrown incisors, which in turn disrupt the three-point balance of the teeth and TMJ,” occur frequently. “Overlong and steep incisors force the horse to chew with its head elevated, jaw pushed back, to make contact with an opposing molar. This rearward shift is the reason hooks and ramps develop! If the horse can chew/ride with three-point balance in any head position, then malocclusions are far less likely to reappear.”


    So what can be done for TMJ, since it’s such a common issue with sport horses? First off, it’s key that the balance be restored between the incisors and molars—high teeth can’t be left at all—any high point will prevent the joint from functioning properly. “The joint should sit in the proper position at that point. Then, follow up with chiropractic and massage. The muscles, tendons and ligaments around the TMJ sometimes need a bit of time and TLC to rehab back to normal,” Sasha explains.


    One of the most common issues she sees in horses in general is the lack of jaw mobility because of overlong molars. “Horses will change their chewing pattern if there is a high spot [in their mouth], and it becomes a vicious cycle of malocclusions and poor biomechanics piling on each other.” This is why it is imperative that a horse have a dental checkup at least every 6 months. 


    Parrot Mouth


    We’ve all seen them: horses with a wicked overbite that make you wonder how they graze. So, how does Sasha care for these horses? “This depends greatly on the age of the horse identified with a parrot mouth and the severity of the malocclusion,” she explains. “There is a procedure called the Riedenger Procedure, where the molars are the main force in keeping the jaw forward. Contact at the incisors can be achieved this way.”

    Surgery and bite plates are also an option, she notes. “In an older horse that isn't growing any more, the incisors need to adjusted accordingly to a) not do any soft tissue damage and b) not be in the way of mastication and occlusion at any head position.” The inevitable large hooks and ramps on the first and last molars certainly need to be addressed, she says. “If maintained well, you can open a parrot mouthed horse up, look at the molars, and they can look normal!”


    The Takeaway

    Any time a horse is behaving in a way that is inconsistent with how he has behaved before warrants some additional investigation by the horse owner. This can include things like head shaking, eating poorly, head tilting and chiropractic issues—especially chronic issues, Sasha notes.

    If horse’s teeth are not cared for regularly (every 6 months), one can expect major soft tissue ulcerations and lacerations. Contact with the bit and any pieces of tack along the side of the face will involve sharp points and discomfort for the animal, leading to possible resistance and poor performance.


    “Long teeth wear down their opposing teeth. This means any adjustment will create a space in the mouth. If dentals are performed infrequently, the adjustments will need to be huge compared to smaller, more regular visits. This is harder on the horses!”

    It’s important to remember that TMJ is related to the chiropractic health of the horse and his topline, Sasha remind riders; the mouth growing out of balance will affect those aspects of the horse’s health and posture, as well as his ability to eat easily and well. 

    Learn more about Sasha here.

  • 04/12/2017 4:33 PM | Anonymous

    Volunteer at IEA

    The 2017 Indiana Eventing Association Horse Trials, Training and Novice Three-Day Events will be taking place June 1 through 4 at the Hoosier Horse Park in Johnson County, Ind.

    This MSEDA-affiliated event is recruiting volunteers for all phases and areas of the event, including: dressage, stadium, cross country, three-day endurance and vet box, hospitality, set up, and office help. Jobs are listed by day and phase/area. For example, volunteer jobs for Friday are split between two tabs, Friday (Dressage) and Friday (Prep & Hospitality).

    Can’t help during the actual weekend, but still want to volunteer and gain hours? No problem! There are a few jobs not listed on the website that still need filled in the weeks and days prior to the event, including: footing maintenance, procuring fence sponsorships, selling ads in the program, program design, stuffing packets, labeling radios, labeling packets, labeling dressage tests, etc.

    To sign up for the event, create a volunteer account at www.eventingvolunteers.com and then search for the event in the "Open Events" tab or follow this direct link: https://www.eventingvolunteers.com/events/103/signup. This site allows volunteers to sign up for position(s) themselves, sign in/out during the event, and track hours for inclusion in local and national volunteer leaderboards.

    Please include any relevant information (e.g. if you are bringing your child with you, dietary information such as vegan/vegetarian/gluten free, who you'd like to pair with as a jump judge, your level of experience, etc.) in the "notes" section when you sign up.

    If you are interested in helping with a position not posted online, or if you have any questions, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Dorie Mayfield, at dlmayfie@gmail.com with inquires.  

  • 04/12/2017 4:19 PM | Anonymous

    The majority of equestrians understand the need to permanently identify their horses: in case of natural disaster, in case of theft, in case a horse gets lost. But what options are available? 

    By Sarah E. Coleman


    We have all heard horror stories of horses that have dumped their rider and gone missing – sometimes for days on end (remember Lemon?) or horses that are victims of natural disasters, ending up far from home with no way to identify who they are or whose they are. 

    But what can a horse owner do to ensure that their horse will have a higher chance of being returned should they part ways? 

    Tattooing

    While many riders of Thoroughbreds are familiar with tattooing as a method of identification, a tattoo is not fail-proof. In the United States, racehorses are tattooed on their upper lip. While clear and easy to read when first applied, as the horse gets older, his tattoo may fade and become blurry. 


    Hot Branding

    Horse Hot Branding

    Another option for tattooing your horse is hot branding, which involves heating a metal brand and applying it to the neck, shoulder or flank (or other area) of a horse. A hot brand works by destroying the hair follicles where it is applied, creating a pattern. Hot brands can become distorted over time by hair growing over the brand; they are also not as visible on light-skinned horses. 


    Freeze Branding

    Freeze Branding

    Freeze branding is a method of identification that doesn’t cause discomfort like hot branding or tattooing does. Freeze brands are made by chilling a metal brand in liquid nitrogen, then applying it to the horse (usually under the mane). This type of branding leaves a white brand on darker-colored horses and a pink brand (the color of the skin) on light-skinned horses. It’s important to note that both hot brands and freeze brands can be altered. 

    Microchips

    Horse Microchip

    Relatively new on the scene, microchips are a permanent, unalterable way to identify your horse. However, to positively ID the animal, a microchip reader must be available. Nicknamed “VIN numbers for horses,” a microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. It is implanted relatively painlessly into the nuchal ligament in the horse’s neck.

    The chips itself is sealed in a biocompatible glass and covered in a sheath to prevent migration. The chip emits a low-power radio frequency identification (RFID) signal when activated by a scanner. The scanner then displays the information associated with the chip. The person reading the scanner must then contact the appropriate registry or database to get the info attached with that chip number (so it will never display all of your contact information on a scanner).

    There are a few potential downfalls to microchipping. These include:

    • Not all scanners can read all chips. As new microchip companies are established, they create chips with different frequencies, meaning that not all scanners can read all the microchips on the market. This can create a problem for positively identifying an animal
    • There is no national registry for the storage of microchip ID and retrieval of owner information
    • Microchips can migrate. Though unusual, microchips can migrate from their original insertion site, making them unable to be found and read

    The Jockey Club is now requiring microchipping of all foals registered in 2017 and later, and the United States Equestrian Federation is requiring that all horses competing in classes that required USHJA horse registration be chipped, as well. The industry is trending toward microchipping as way of permanent identifying horses. 

  • 03/29/2017 7:50 PM | Anonymous

    By Sarah E Coleman

    It can be hard to get your horse looking show-ring ready this time of year, especially if he lives outside all or most of the time.


    In the spring, most horses, whether they live outside 24/7 or are only turned out for a few hours at a time, are masters at plastering as much of their body as possible in mud. If you have an extremely adept Pig-Pen, he may even be able to get it in the creases of his eyelids and down into his ears! Added bonus if he can find burrs to weave into his forelock.

    So, how should you make your horse look a little less homeless this spring season? We asked Shannon O’Hatnick, working student for Allie Knowles and a phenomenal groom, for some tricks of the trade.

    What is Shannon’s top trick to sparkling clean, amazing looking horses? “Curry, curry, curry,” she says. “If there's one thing I've learned, currying every inch of a horse every day helps to encourage a healthy coat and works to get any dirt loosened to brush off.” She also recommends having baby wipes and a towel on hand to flatten any ruffled hair or quickly wipe off a bit of dirt you might've missed!

    For those of us unable to body clip our horses (and some of these beasts get HAIRY!), Shannon reminds readers that you can always make a horse look presentable, no matter what coat he has. A quick bubble bath with some Ivory soap will do wonders, she says, leaving you with only the need to touch up any places that can be shinier. Shannon likes to use Face Glow around the eyes and muzzle, and coat gloss and olive oil for a magnificent shine. For a really put-together look, Shannon makes sure every steed in her charge wears hoof dressing!

    Must-have Grooming Goodies

    What are Shannon’s go-to grooming products, you ask? Here are some she can’t live without:

    • Silverado Coat Gloss
    • Silverado Face Glow
    • Olive oil spray
    • Fiebing's Hoof Dressing
    • Miracle Groom
    • Ivory soap
    • Baby wipes

    Show Ring Prep

    How does Shannon prep the horses so they look their absolute best?

    “Prepping a horse for the show ring always begins with a bath involving lots and lots of scrubbing. Every inch [including their private parts] get cleaned. From there, they'll be braided with a Sleazy over the braids to stay in the night before the show.

    Once I'm tacking the horse up before his or her ride, I brush over them while spraying with coat gloss and/or olive oil for a gorgeous coat shine. I wet the top of their tail and throw a tail wrap on to flatten and tame the hair on the top of their tails. [The tail wrap is pulled off on the way to warm up.] Then I use my hand to wipe on some face glow around their eyes and muzzle. A towel or baby wipes [I prefer the wipes] can be used to wipe off poop and dirty noses. Then all you have left is to brush on some hoof dressing for a nice, polished look!”

    Shannon also has some tips for those of us whose horses live outside. If you have a dark horse, try to keep on a sun protection blanket to prevent a coat from bleaching, she suggests. Also, regular currying promotes healthy skin, but be prepared for a scrubbing bath if a horse shows any signs of fungus.

    Remember, Shannon reminds those of us who aspire to have horses who look half as good as hers: “You can never use too much coat gloss or hoof polish, and make sure you clean everything, on them -- even under their belly and between their legs!”


    Clipper Extraordinaire


    If you’ve never seen Shannon’s work, you’re missing out. In addition to amazing full-body and trace clips, this girl has mad skills with a set of clippers (just check out these pictures!). Be sure to follow her on Instagram – we promise you won’t be disappointed! @radiant_clips (seriously!).

    While it may seem like these skills had been honed over years and years of work, in the grand scheme of things, Shannon is quite new to her trade: She was handed a pair of clippers last year and told to clip her horse—and everything took off from there.

    Shannon’s history with horses is quite varied—and she tells us where she really learned how to groom: “I started riding when I was 6 at a western horse camp where I rode for 4 years and then decided to switch to English. I played in hunter and jumper land and did IEA [Interscholastic Equestrian Association] for 7 years until I fell in love with Eventing. I'm also an avid Pony Clubber, which is where I learned how to REALLY clean up a horse!”

    Throughout high school, Shannon worked as a working student for a Thoroughbred breeding and training facility (Benchmark Farm) and a Warmblood breeding and training facility (Broad Hill Run Farm), before becoming Allie Knowles’ (Alexandra Knowles Eventing) working student in August of 2016.

    Amazingly, Shannon doesn’t clip full-time; she fits it in around working for Allie.


    While most of us will never have the clipping skills Shannon does, we can put her tips to use in getting steeds show-ring ready.

  • 03/16/2017 9:36 AM | Anonymous

    It has definitely been an unusual year in the Bluegrass. While we were all prepared for a super cold and snowy winter, Mother Nature threw us a curveball and we ended up with mostly mild months.

    People in many areas are already seeding or prepping to seed pastures and fields, as the warmish weather seems like it is here to stay. While it may seem early to be readying for a long summer, it really is never too early to begin pasture prep. 

    By Sarah E Coleman



    Soil Sample

    Before you add anything to your soil, it’s in your wallet’s best interest to collect a soil sample if you have not done so in the last three years (the best months to do this are February to April and September to December for most accurate results). By submitting only a few ounces of soil, you will find out what fertilizer (if any) your pastures need.

    To test the soil, you’ll need a soil probe, shovel, garden trowel or spade and a clean, dry plastic bucket (be sure not to use a rubber bucket as it will contaminate the soil with zinc). If your pasture is generally the same topography, you can take one (total) sample for every 20 acres. You’ll walk in a big “W” pattern, stopping every time you change direction, digging about 6 inches into the soil with your digging tool, scraping off the sod and putting the soil in the bucket.

    Once complete, you’ll mix the soil together and then take about 2 cups of that sample to your county extension agency for testing (which generally costs about $7). The results of this test will list phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, pH and organic matter levels. Based on this information, you can have an accurate fertilizer mix and application made. The majority of healthy fields in the States will need additional potassium, lime and phosphorous applications.  


    Tips for Tracking Pasture Problems


    Many boarding barns are restricted on how much pasture they have available. Even if you’re not a boarding barn, there are some things you can do to care for fields that have more horses on them than they can sustain. Try these tricks for healthier fields this spring:

    • Top-dressing your fields with nitrogen may be the way to go. Nitrogen can help fields recover more quickly from the rigors of winter turnout. Be aware that there may be a
    • Don’t plant cool-season grasses in the spring. These grasses do best when seeded in the fall when there is better weather and less pressure from weeds.
    • While it may seem impossible, keep horses off soggy pastures for as long as possible. Hooves (shod or not) compact soil and plant roots, making it impossible for grasses to grow.
    • In areas that are very bare, consider hand seeding grass seed to encourage grass growth.
    • Though not always possible, consider rotational grazing if you have the room.
    • If you don’t have the ability to rotate pastures, consider at least temporarily fencing horses out of extra-boggy areas.
  • 03/16/2017 9:23 AM | Anonymous

    Volunteer opportunities for MSEDA members abound. Each month, we will feature an opportunity for members to obtain volunteer hours and help put on a successful, MSEDA-sanctioned show.

    By Sarah E Coleman

    Paul Frazer Paul Frazer Memorial Combined Test and Dressage Competition, March 25, 2017 Kentucky Horse Park 


    Event History: Central Kentucky Riding for Hope (CKRH), is an organization dedicated to enriching the community by improving the quality of life and the health of children and adults with special physical, cognitive, emotional and social needs through therapeutic activities with the horse. This wonderful organization is housed at the Kentucky Horse Park and hosts the Paul Frazer Memorial and Combined Test and Dressage Competition each year.

    The event is named in honor of a former CKRH board member, Paul Frazer, who was dedicated to removing the physical barriers to handicapped students in Fayette Country schools. His interest with students and horses began in the 1980s, when accompanying a friend to a riding lesson. Paul was so impressed with CKRH that he became the consummate volunteer. This event is held each year in his honor.

    Date and Time: For 2017, the event will take place on March 25, beginning at 8 a.m. and usually lasts until about 5:30 p.m., when all riders have completed their tests.

    Volunteer Opportunities: Event organizers are still in need of help stringing the dressage rings on Wednesday, March 22, in the morning. Additional opportunities include cleaning and moving jumps, setting up jumps, hanging banners, being the hospitality crew, running gates, helping in schooling areas and acting as jump crew.

    Interested? Sign up here or contact Vickie Palmer volunteers@ckrh.org859-231-7066

    Tips for Volunteers: As this is an outdoor event, volunteers will need to plan on dressing for the weather, whatever that may be. Lunch and drinks for volunteers are provided.

    For more information, please visit the Paul Frazer Facebook page here.

    You can read more about the history of Paul Frazer here.

  • 03/01/2017 9:59 AM | Anonymous

    With the release of the NSAID Equioxx in the form of a pill, many horse owners are distressed to find out they can no long legally purchase Previcox from their vet. Find out why. 

    By Sarah E Coleman



    If you own horses long enough, it’s likely they will develop some old-age joint malady, whether it’s arthritis or other joint pain and inflammation. Almost without fail, every horse owner has had to administer a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to help comfort their aging equine at some point. Thought veterinarians have a long list of NSAIDs they could choose from to recommend to clients, one of the most popular has long been Phenylbutazone (Bute).

    Though effective, this drug must be used with caution as it can cause gastric ulcers in horses. Because of this, long-term use of the NSAID is not recommended, much to the dismay of horse owners. But in 2009, a new drug came on the market: Equioxx. Labeled for use in horses and safe for long-term use, Equioxx in a clinical setting is delivered by IV; it was also made available in a paste format, which could be administered more easily in barn settings. 


    The Cost of Comfort

    However, while everything about the new drug should have horse owners cheering, they weren’t: The cost of one tube of Equioxx when it first hit the market was between $12 and $15, and each tube held only one dose (now you can find it for around $6/tube). Additionally, after multiple days of administering Equioxx, horses may begin to resist having the tube placed in their mouths. (For reference, a bottle of Previcox, which horses can be administered anywhere from ¼-tab to 2 tabs, costs $80 for 60 tablets.)

    Because of both the cost and the fight to administer Equioxx, Previcox was soon offered by veterinarians as an alternative. A canine product, Previcox is used “extra-label” for horses, meaning it is legally allowed to be used to treat horses though it was not originally developed for them.


    By law, this is permissible because: 

    • The animal may suffer (or die) if not treated AND there is no approved drug with the same concentration, effectiveness, active ingredients or dosage form
    • There is a valid veterinarian/client/patient relationship
    • The drug is not prohibited from extra-label use
    • The animal drug is only compounded with an approved human or animal drug

    Merial makes both Equioxx and Previcox, both of which are fibrocoxib. Equioxx is an NSAID that works to control joint pain and inflammation caused by equine osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. Previcox, which is available in pill format, can control the same symptoms and is much easier to administer than its sister drug. (It should be noted that most likely the mode of administration—paste vs. pill—added to the cost of manufacturing Equioxx.)

    Many veterinarians have prescribed Previcox to their clients, but this is a bit of a grey area as there was truly a comparable product on the market (Equioxx)—generally medications used extra-label are prescribed when there is no comparable product. In theory, Previcox was only prescribed for horse owners who “struggled to get the paste into them” – and not solely for financial reasons. This terminology brought about the potential for a conflict with veterinarians who must follow the law.


    And Then Came Equioxx Tablets


    In October of 2016, Merial released Equioxx tablets, retailing them at the same price as their sister drug, the Previcox tablets (though depending on the dosage a horse takes, the Equioxx tabs may be more expensive). With the creation of Equioxx in tablet format, veterinarians can prescribe the equine-only formula, eliminating the potential conflict of using Previcox off-label.

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Midsouth Eventing & Dressage Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

MSEDA’s mission is to promote and preserve the sports of Eventing and Dressage in the Mid-South area, by providing leadership and education to its members and the community at large. To further these goals, MSEDA will provide educational opportunities, fair and safe competitions, promote the welfare of the horse and rider and reward the pursuit of excellence from the grass roots to the FEI level.

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