Mid-South Eventing & Dressage Association

MSEDA News

  • 01/16/2017 11:38 AM | Deleted user

    The following rules have been proposed or enacted for the 2017 competition year for the eventing discipline:


    Read more here. 


    EV172 Additional Judges [CHAPTER EV-6 RULES FOR OFFICIALS] EV172
    Additional Judges
    1. In addition to the Ground Jury, the Organizing Committee may appoint additional judges to judge the Dressage or Jumping Tests. These judges need not remain after completion of their duties.
    2. Additional judges for the Dressage Test must be selected from the current roster of Eventing Judges or Dressage Judges of the Federation. In the case of an Advanced Horse Trial, they must be either a Senior (S) Eventing Judge or a Registered (R) or higher Dressage Judge. In the case of an Intermediate Horse Trial, they must be either a Registered (R) or higher Eventing Judge or a recorded (r) or higher Dressage Judge.
    3. Additional judges for the Jumping Test must be selected from the current roster of Eventing Judges, Eventing Technical Delegates or Jumper Judges, of the Federation.
    4. All additional judges are subject to the same restrictions as the members of the Ground Jury, see EV171.1c, EV171.1d, and EV171.1e with the exception to EV171.1e, that the Course Designer may serve as an additional judge if currently licensed to do so.
    5. Guest Cards (see GR1011.16)
    The provisions of GR1304 notwithstanding, additional judges may officiate at a competition provided that they do not judge any competitor(s) or horse(s) listed in sections .2-.18 of that rule. There are no restrictions on a Judge if a competitor(s) or horses(s) listed in GR1304.2-.18 participates in the Competition HC.

    EV172.2 a) Ground Jury - Duties [CHAPTER EV-6 RULES FOR OFFICIALS]
    Ground Jury
    2. DUTIES: a. The Ground Jury is ultimately responsible for the judging of the event and for settling all problems that may arise during its jurisdiction. Together with the Technical Delegate, Course Designer and Organizing Committee, it shall endeavor to ensure that all arrangements for the event, including the arenas, courses and obstacles including deformable Cross-Country Jumps, are appropriate. If, after consultation with the Technical Delegate, the Ground Jury is not satisfied with the arrangements or courses, it is authorized to modify them.

    Proposed change to take place on April 1, 2017: Safety: Frangible Fences

    EV140 Cross-Country Obstacles [CHAPTER SUBCHAPTER EV-3 RULES FOR HORSE TRIALS]
    9. FRANGIBLE FENCES Obstacles for which approved frangible technology is appropriate shall be constructed using this technology, or shall be retrofitted using this technology. The Ground Jury for each event must approve the Frangible Technology employed. Information on the appropriate applications of Frangible Technology in cross-country fence construction is available in the USEA Cross-Country Obstacle Design Guidelines. Frangible Technology may be installed only by or under the supervision of Course Designers/course builders who have attended a USEA Seminar on Frangible fence construction.

    b. At the Modified Level and above, all frangible oxers, whether using frangible pins, MIM Clips, or any other load relieving devices, shall in all cases have front rails able to be activated by horizontal and vertical downwards forces, as well as horizontal and vertical upwards forces. Additionally, the back rails must at a minimum be able to be activated by horizontal and vertical downwards forces.

    Intent:
    The USEA Cross-Country Safety and Design Task Force has proposed an extraordinary rule change, which has been further supported unanimously by the USEA Executive Committee. Engineers, cross-country course designers, cross-country builders, eventing officials and professionals have been conducting extensive observational research in person, by video and by photograph of horse and rider impact on oxers constructed with frangible devices. Those involved in this research have determined that when a horse impacts the front rail of a frangible oxer in an upwards and horizontal trajectory there is a high probability that an oxer with a front rail that is either front pinned or reverse pinned will fail to activate the frangible device or it will activate in a less than ideal fashion to reduce the possibility of a rotational fall. With this conclusive evidence the USEA Executive Committee feels that an extraordinary rule change is necessary to help to further protect the safety of eventing horses and riders.

    This rule change would require both the front and back rails of frangible oxers using pins, MIM clips or other load bearing devices, be activated by specified forces. To be in compliance with this rule change using present frangible technology, builders must use MIMS on front rails and MIMS or reverse pin on back rails. While current technology is available to meet this standard, the language will also allow for future frangible devices. This is a change that will most likely occur in the near future through the FEI, and it is important for the U.S. to be a leader in regulations that will ultimately protect our national competitors and horses. If this rule passes, the USEA Board of Governors may also be amenable to releasing funds to offset the costs of course builders obtaining replacement frangible devices for oxers not currently meeting this standard at recognized and endorsed competitions thereby lessening the overall burden in implementation.

    Read more here.




    Extraordinary Rule Change:
    EV105 Loss of Qualification/Participation in Horse Trials [CHAPTER Chapter 1 & Appendix 3]
    EV105 Loss of Qualifications
    For certain levels of competition, horses and riders must meet qualifying requirements. Those requirements are detailed in Appendix 3. Loss of these requirements (qualifications) is outlined below and pertains to any combination of USEF and FEI Events.
    1. ESTABLISHMENT OF QUALIFICATION. When a horse and/or rider obtains a Minimum Eligibility Requirement (MER) at a level, then they are “established” (qualified to compete) at that level. This “establishment” does not expire; however, it is important to remember that in all cases, when entering an Event at the CI1* level or above, at least one MER must be obtained in the 12month period prior to the competition.
    2. LOSS OF QUALIFICATION (Preliminary/CI* Level and up) Loss of Qualification will occur when penalties have been assessed during the Cross-Country phase of competition as follows:

    a. A horse that is eliminated, for disobediences, three times within any 12-month period loses its qualification to compete at the highest level at which an elimination occurs.

    b. A horse that falls 2 times in any 12month period loses its qualification Monday, December 12, 2016 1:23 PM EV 105.0 | Tracking #418-16 Page 1 of 8 to compete at the highest level at which a fall occurs.

    c. A rider who falls from the same horse 3 times in any 12month period will cause the horse to lose its qualification to compete at the highest level at which a fall occurs.

    d. Having lost qualification, a horse may be re-qualified by achieving 2 MERs at the next lower height level within any 6 month period and no sooner than one month following the loss of qualification.

    e. Any combination of three total occurrences as outlined in a., b., or c above will result in loss of qualification.

    f. A rider who is penalized 2 times in any 12month period for Dangerous Riding loses his/her qualification to compete at the highest level at which a penalty occurs

    g. A rider who receives two watch list reports in a 12month period loses qualification to compete at the highest level for which a report was received.

    h. Having lost qualification, a rider may be re-qualified by achieving 2 MERs at the next lower height level within any 6month period and no sooner than one month following the loss of qualification.

    i. Any combination of two total occurrences as outlined in f. and g. above will result in loss of qualification.

    3. At the Advanced, CI3*and CI4* levels, riders subject to the provisions of this rule may request in writing to have their Loss of Qualifications reviewed by the USEF Eventing Credentials Committee.

    APPENDIX 3 - PARTICIPATION IN HORSE TRIALS
    A competitor and/or a horse may be entered in a Horse Trial without having fulfilled the qualifications noted below, provided the qualifications have been fulfilled at least 10 days before the Cross-Country Test of the competition for which it is needed if the MER has been achieved at a Horse Trial or CIC or at least 24 days if the MER has been achieved at a CCI. At the CI* level and above, at least one MER must be obtained in the twelve month period prior to the competition. e.g. a horse and/or rider who have achieved a MER at a CI3*/CNC3* level of competition and who have not competed for over twelve months must first achieve a MER at the next lowest height level.

    1. SECTIONS
    1.1 JUNIOR (J) - For the purpose of competing in National Horse Trials competitors may compete as Juniors through the end of the calendar year of their 18th birthday.

    1.2 YOUNG RIDER (YR) - Open to competitors from the beginning of the calendar year of their 16th birthday through the end of the calendar year of their 21st birthday.

    1.3 AMATEUR (A) The following may participate in Eventing competitions as an Amateur:

    a. Any competitor in possession of a valid Amateur card issued by the USEF, or

    b. Any Senior USEA member who competes in the Training, Novice or Beginner Novice Level who meets the requirements of Federation GR1306. Individuals declaring such status must present, upon demand, an audited financial statement in support of the claim of eligibility; failure to do so will be deemed a violation. Misrepresentation of eligibility under this provision will subject an individual to disciplinary action under GR1307.6, GR1307.8, GR1308.3 and Chapter 6. Amateur certification under this provision is valid for Eventing competitions only and does not confer Amateur status for participation in any other Breed or Discipline.

    1.4 For the purposes of this rule, in differentiating eligibility for Horse and Rider sections, FEI divisions are considered to be one level higher than the equivalent National division, e.g. FEI One Star is one level higher than a Preliminary Horse Trial. A rider who has completed an event at the Advanced Level is not eligible to compete as an Intermediate rider.

    1.5 RIDER (R) - Open to competitors who have not completed an event above the next highest level in the 5 years preceding the date of the competition, e.g. a Novice Rider may have completed an event at Training level, but not Preliminary level or higher in the 5 years preceding the date of the competition; a Training Rider may have completed an event at Preliminary level, but not Intermediate level or higher in the 5 years preceding the date of the competition.

    1.6 HORSE (H) - Open to competitors of any age, horse may not have completed an event above the next highest level. e.g. a Novice Horse may have completed an event at Training level, but not Preliminary level or higher; a Training Horse may have completed an event at Preliminary level, but not Intermediate level or higher.

    1.7 YOUNG HORSE (YH) - Open to competitors of any age, horse may not have competed above the level and meets the following age restrictions:

    a. Novice - four or five years of age.
    b. Training - four or five years of age.
    c. Preliminary - five or six years of age.
    d. Intermediate - six or seven years of age.
    e. Advanced - six or seven years of age. 1.9 OPEN (O) - Both horse and rider may have competed at any level.

    1.10 CHAMPIONSHIP (CH) - open to all qualified riders on qualified horses.

    1.11 OTHER - Restricted by breed or other designation as defined by Organizing Committee, approved by the Federation/USEA, and designated in the Omnibus listing

    2. DEFINITIONS
    2.1 Completion: means having completed the entire Horse Trial with a numerical score.

    2.2 Minimum Eligibility Requirement
    2.2.1 When achieved at a National Horse Trials an MER is achieved by completing the entire Horse Trial and scoring. -not more than 50 penalty points in the Dressage Test; and - No jumping penalties at obstacles on the Cross Country Test unless specified otherwise, and not more than 90 seconds (36 penalty points) exceeding the optimum time; and - not more than 16 penalties at obstacles in the Jumping Test. -25 penalty points received for Dangerous Riding will not achieve a National Qualifying result. Exceptions to the qualifications noted below may only be approved by the Credentials/Grading Committee.

    2.2.2 When achieved at an FEI Competition an MER is achieved by completing the entire Horse Trial and scoring. -not more than 67 penalty points in the Dressage Test; and - No jumping penalties at obstacles on the Cross Country Test unless specified otherwise, and not more than 75 seconds (30 penalty points) exceeding the optimum time for one, two and three star competitions and 100 seconds (40 penalty points) exceeding the optimum time for four star competitions; and - not more than 16 penalties at obstacles in the Jumping Test (see Article 517 of the FEI Eventing Rules).

    2.3 Uncategorized Rider: Riders who have not been categorized through proven competence at certain levels of competition i.e. A rider, B riders, etc. by the FEI per Article 520 of the FEI Eventing Rules for the purpose of determining rider eligibility for International Horse Trials and Events). All requirements of the FEI must be achieved as a combination. Where FEI requirements refer to a “CI” this may be satisfied by achieving an MER at a CCI or CIC of the level stated. When multiple Minimum Eligibility Requirements are required, one of the Minimum Eligibility Requirements can be achieved incurring 20 penalties at the obstacles of the Cross Country Test. All USEF requirements do not need to be achieved as a combination.

    2.4 Categorized Riders: Riders who have been categorized through proven competence at certain levels of competition A riders, B riders, etc. by the FEI per Article 520 of the FEI Eventing Rules for the purpose of determining rider eligibility for International Horse Trials and Events. Where FEI requirements refer to a “CI” this may be satisfied by achieving an MER at a CCI or CIC of the level stated. When multiple Minimum Eligibility Requirements are required, one of the Minimum Eligibility Requirements can be achieved incurring 20 penalties at the obstacles of the Cross Country Test. All USEF requirements do not need to be achieved as a combination.



    3. LEVELS OF HORSE TRIALS AND EVENTS
    3.1 BEGINNER NOVICE (B) - Open to competitors of any age, on horses four years of age and older.

    3.2 NOVICE (N) - Open to competitors of any age, on horses four years of age or older.

    3.3 TRAINING (T) - Open to competitors of any age, on horses four years of age or older.

    3.4 MODIFIED (M) – Open to competitors of any age, on horses four years of age or older. The competitor must have obtained an NQR at two Horse Trials at the Training Level or higher.

    3.5 PRELIMINARY (P) - Open to competitors from the beginning of the calendar year of their 14th birthday, on horses five years of age or older. The competitor must have obtained an MER at four Horse Trials at the Training Level or higher.

    3.6 TRAINING THREE-DAY EVENT- Open to competitors of any age, on horses four years of age or older. Both the competitor and the horse must have obtained ME’s at Four Horse Trials at the Training Level or higher, one of which must be attained as a combination. A competitor established at the Preliminary Level may compete on a horse which has obtained 2 MER’s at the Training Level or higher.

    3.7 PRELIMINARY THREE-DAY EVENT- Open to competitors beginning the calendar year of their 14th birthday, on horses five years of age or older. Both the competitor and the horse, though not necessarily as a combination, must have obtained an MER at three Horse Trials at the Preliminary Level or higher, plus an additional MER at the Preliminary Level or higher with no more than 20 Jumping Penalties at obstacles on the Cross Country test.

    3.8 INTERMEDIATE (I) - Open to competitors from the beginning of the calendar year of their 16th birthday, on horses six years of age or older. Both the competitor and the horse, though not necessarily as a combination, must have obtained an NQR at three Horse Trials at the Preliminary Level or higher, plus an additional MER at the Preliminary Level or higher with no more than 20 Jumping Penalties at obstacles on the Cross Country test.

    3.9 ADVANCED (A)
    3.9.1 UNCATEGORIZED RIDERS - Open to competitors from the beginning of the calendar year of their 18th birthday, on horses six years of age or older. Both the competitor and the horse, though not necessarily as a combination, must have obtained a minimum of one MER with no more than 20 Jumping Penalties at obstacles on the Cross Country test, at either a CI 2* or Intermediate Level plus three MERs at the Intermediate Level or higher.

    3.9.2 CATEGORIZED RIDERS - Open to competitors from the beginning of the calendar year of their 18th birthday, on horses six years of age or older. Both the competitor and the horse, though not necessarily as a combination, must have obtained a minimum of one MER with no more than 20 Jumping Penalties at obstacles on the Cross Country test, at either a CI 2* or Intermediate Level plus two NQRs at the Intermediate Level or higher.

    The changes to the levels of international horse trials and events, categorized and uncategorized riders can be found here. 

  • 01/04/2017 7:26 PM | Deleted user

    While every rider wants to ensure that her horse is as protected as possible during athletic endeavors, the options of what boots, wraps and other leg-protection measures can be daunting.

    By Sarah E Coleman

    While there are a plethora of equine leg protection options out there, not all of them are right (or safe!) for every application. What might be popular for a reining or working cow horse might not be the best choice for those riding out cross-country, where boots are exposed to water, dirt and debris, which could weigh them down.

    Equine leg protection has several different purposes, which are dependent on their design. Some boots are designed to protect horse’s legs while they are being ridden or turned out; other boots are designed to absorb shock from physical activity.

    Your horse may be a candidate to wear boots if: 

    • He is a big mover
    • He interferes, knocking one limb with another
    • He has sustained an injury to one of his limbs

    No matter what boots you decide to use, fit is key: You should be able to fit one finger between the boot and your horse’s leg. If the boot is too lose, it can slip down or gather dirt, causing rubs.

    Types of Leg Protection

    Here is a brief rundown of the different boot styles and their uses:

    Polo wraps:


    Made of a thick, stretchy fleece material, polo wraps can protect a horse’s legs from dings from other limbs. While they are one of the most-basic types of leg protection, care must be taken to apply them correctly; improperly used wrapped polo wraps, those applied either too tightly or with uneven pressure, may cause tendon injuries.

    Splint Boots:
    Used on horses that interfere, splint boots have a reinforced area on the inside of the leg that is designed to absorb impact from a horse’s hoof. Typically some of the most-affordable boots, they are quicker and easier to apply then polo wraps. Split boots can also be used during turnout.

    Support Boots:


    An all-purpose boot, support boots are used to provide support more than protection; they have a suspensory strap that helps provide support to the leg.

    Cross-country boots:
    Designed to protect a horse as he gallops over uneven terrain and water on a cross-country course, these boots are typically made of a strong, lightweight material. They have reinforced strike pads on the interior of the boot to provide additional protection. These boots do not absorb water, unlike polo wraps and support boots.

    Open-front Jumping Boots:


    With the front of the horse’s leg exposed, the protection these boots afford is in the back, covering the tendon area. The front of the boot is left open so that a horse “feels it” if he touches a rail.

    Skid Boots:
    Common in Western events, skid boots are used on a horse’s hind legs during ridden work; they protect the horse as he lowers his hocks and sinks down into the footing. In addition to protecting from abrasions, they also protect the legs from strikes from opposing legs.

    Bell boots:
    Designed to fit around the fetlock and protect the coronet band and hoof from being grabbed by another hoof, bell boots can be either pulled on fastened with Velcro. Designed to cover the heel bulb to prevent injury (as well as shoe removal), bell boots should also be strongly considered if the horse is wearing studs in his shoes so he does not injure himself.

    Fetlock Boots:
    These boots are used to protect the fetlocks on the hind legs. Similar to splint boots, their protection is focused on the inside to absorb strikes from opposing legs.

    Flat Work/Dressage Boots:


    Typically lined with neoprene or fleece, dressage or flat-work boots are easy to apply and easy to clean. Similar to splint boots, they are reinforced on the inside of the leg to protect from interference.

  • 12/20/2016 6:07 PM | Deleted user

    By Aubri Hostetter of Excel Equine


    One of the most common struggles I hear from horse owners is that they always have one or two horses that they are trying to put weight on.  When you feel as though you are doing everything right, such as deworming regularly, getting their teeth done, having great quality hay and feed, and consulting your veterinarian to see if there are any underlying issues, it can be easily frustrating to not notice an improvement in your horse’s body condition.  Sometimes horses are simply hard keepers…just like some people!  One practice that I have seen people have success with is supplementing with rice bran.  There are many advantages to engaging in this feeding practice and a few precautions that need to be taken into consideration as well. 

    First, rice bran is the brown layer left from when the rice seed is harvested.  So yes, it is a by-product of rice milling…which just goes to show you that by-products are not bad!  There are many by-products that make great feed ingredients.  These days, there seems to be many negative connotations associated with by-products so I just wanted to clear that up…now back to rice bran!  Being that it is high in fat and fiber, it is a good product for digestive issues related to starch.  Anyone that has horses who are struck with laminitis and colic often knows what I’m talking about.  Some ailments call for a low starch diet, but you still need adequate calories for athletes, lesson horses, hard keepers, etc.  This is where rice bran can come in and be a huge asset to your feeding program.  Rice bran is also very palatable.  Another complaint I hear is that someone has one horse in the barn who is just a picky eater.  If this sounds like one of your horses, trying rice bran could be an effective strategy for getting those that like to turn their noses up from so many things to eat better.  Furthermore, rice bran is high in vitamin E.  For horses exercising heavily, Vitamin E is required in large amounts, and rice bran is a good, available source.  From a cosmetic standpoint, you will likely notice an increase in quality of hair coat and skin condition.  Rice bran will help your horse look slick and shiny for its next big competition.

    Now for the precautions…there are several that people need to keep in mind when supplementing with rice bran.  Make sure that you purchase fortified rice bran.  This kind will have added calcium to balance an inverted calcium to phosphorus ratio.  Also buy stabilized rice bran.  If it is not stabilized, then due to the high fat content, it will go rancid quickly unless it is used within about a week.  When feeding, keep in mind to not feed more than 2 lbs of whatever rice bran supplement you are using per day.  It is very high in calories so don’t treat it like you would your regular feed! 

    So if you are one of those people out there struggling to find a solution for you skinny animal…this might just be it!  Rice bran can be purchased in pellets or in powder form.  So start taking advantage of the many benefits that a high fat supplement such as rice bran has to offer and enjoy your happier and healthier horse! 


  • 12/20/2016 6:03 PM | Deleted user

    By Sarah E. Coleman


    New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for humans. We’re sure our horses are creating their own resolutions, as well—we can only hope they involve being good, not BAD. Here are some of the resolutions we hope our horses are making for 2017:

    1. I won’t spook at the mounting block that my human just got on from.
    2. I won’t refuse to put only one ear forward for selfies, win photos or other candid shots.
    3.  I will not leave if my rider makes an unplanned dismount.
    4. I won’t try to eat from my bucket while my human is still hanging it in my stall.
    5. I won’t pretend to not hear my owner calling me on the coldest day of the year.
    6. I won’t roll in burrs when I know my owner is on a short riding timeline.
    7. I won’t become magically sound when the vet comes out to see me.
    8.  I won’t strategically step on my owner’s foot when she girths me.
    9. I won’t come in from the field looking like a mud monster, then refuse to walk through a puddle on the trail.
    10. I won’t try to jump out of the dressage ring.
    11. I won’t try to poop on my person’s head when she’s picking out my back feet.
    12. I won’t immediately shiver when my owner takes off my blanket to brush me and ride.
    13.   I will not sneeze on my human.
    14. I won’t pull off my brother’s blanket every.single.day.
    15. I won’t wipe grass on my owner’s show coat.
    16. I won’t be dramatic when I have a rock in my shoe.
    17. I will try to make it out of the show ring before I have to move my bowels.
    18.  I won’t turn up my nose at the expensive supplements my owner buys.
    19. I won’t turn feral after three days off.
    20. I won’t stand by the waterer and act like it’s frozen every 10 minutes in the winter.
    21. I won’t close one eye and pretend there’s a hair in it just to get out of work.
    22. I won’t dump over the wheelbarrow every time my stall is cleaned.
    23.  I won’t pretend I am starving if I am supposed to get ridden around feeding time.
    24. I won’t bite the farrier’s butt when he is working on my front feet.
    25. I will not pull my shoes off right after being reset just because I can. 
  • 12/20/2016 5:56 PM | Deleted user

    While many of us have heard the term “canker,” (as in “canker sores” in people), most may not know how it applies to equines. 

    Sarah E. Coleman 



    While the exact bacteria that causes canker is unknown, canker is an infection in the surface tissues of the hoof that causes rapid overgrowth. While it commonly begins in the frog, it can invade the sole, bars and hoof wall.

    The down-and-dirty on equine canker:

    -can occur in one foot or multiple feet

    -common in draft horses, but can be found in any breed

    -not always affiliated with wet, unhygienic hoof conditions; many horses diagnosed with canker are extremely well cared for

    -while in its early stages, canker may be mistaken for thrush, but there is a growth of tissue in canker (not a loss of it like with thrush)

    -initially it may look like a bunch of granulation tissue in the frog that bleeds easily when touched

    -it evolves into a cauliflower-like growth

    -left untreated it will eventually involve the majority of the hoof

    -a horse may be sound when initially diagnosed with canker, but the condition can become quite painful if not addressed immediatelyt

    -there is no one effective treatment

    -horses that get equine canker have a guarded prognosis for complete recovery. 


    Diagnosis and Treatment


    A canker diagnosis is typically made based on the appearance of the growth in the hoof, but a biopsy can also be performed. Unfortunately, there is no hard-and-fast remedy to treating canker, but several principles seem to work best. These include thorough debridement of the area (how this is accomplished is less important) to the outer edges, and methodical application of topical treatment.

    This typically includes cleaning the affected area with an antiseptic solution, applying preferred topical ointments (which vary by vet), then keeping the wound clean and dry until the area begins to heal. Many vets will use a mixture of crushed antibiotics (like metronidazole and tetracycline) directly on the canker.

    It’s imperative that affected horses be kept in a dry area while the canker heals. The application of hospital plates can be used, but it can be difficult to keep the hoof as dry as necessary with these plates on. Systemic antibiotics can be prescribed, but their use has not been thoroughly evaluated.

    Care of canker in horses can take weeks to months, but once it is cured, it is unlikely to recur.


  • 12/13/2016 9:56 AM | Deleted user

    You may have seen horses warming up for shows wearing what looks like colorful Vet Wrap on their bodies, laid out in lines almost mimicking their skeleton. Just what IS this tape and what does it do?

    By Sarah E Coleman


    The horse world has made some rapid advances in the last two decades: Acupuncture and chiropractic care are more mainstream, and herbal remedies and other techniques now have their place in most veterinarian’s toolboxes. Kenisiotape, one of the newest modalities on the block, is rapidly gaining a following among both riders and equine health professionals. 



    Dr. Anna Hichborn Dunlap of Creek Hollow Veterinary Services in Georgetown, Ky., is licensed in chiropractic care, acupuncture, laser therapy and kenisiotaping; she services Kentucky, Georgia, Florida and New York. She began using kenisiotape in 2012, but took a long break from the modality until seeing it used again on Kerri Walsh Jennings at the Rio Olympics.

    “There is really no magic or medicine [to kenisiotape] … it’s just a stretchy tape that’s very sticky. The top of the tape has a fabric-like feel and are often lycra/cotton blends, depending on the brand,” she explains. While this may not seem like a modality that would see a lot of benefits, Dr. Dunlap explains that the tape can be used for a variety of issues. “[Kinesotape] is used for pain reduction, physical and mechanical support of joints and muscles, to improve lymphatic and blood circulation, and to help patients of any species with body awareness issues (proprioception).”

    The tape is applied directly to the skin or hair, sometimes sticking with the help of spray adhesives. “Tensions are applied across the tape and the degree of tension will vary by the application, like supporting a joint versus a muscle group,” she explains. 


    But How Does It Work?

    Kenisiotape works in a variety of ways, depending on the reason for use. “For pain management, the stretch across the tape causes the skin tension to up-regulate motion sensing nerves, which will in turn decrease pain-sensing nerves,” Dr. Dunlap says. When kenisiotape is used to improve blood flow, it decompresses skin, creating an almost vacuum-like environment that encourages blood and lymph flow, she notes.

    For joint and muscle stabilization, the kenisiotape is applied to mimic the natural structure of the joint. And for proprioception, the tape increases consciousness of body parts in space.

    Results can be seen immediately for joint and muscle stabilization. The other techniques are affecting the nervous and circulatory systems, so results will be evident with time and may require reapplication of tape.

    In Dr. Dunlap’s practice, she uses kinesiotape a lot for painful cases and has had good results on neck and back pain. Recently she treated an older mare that had many foals. Her owner noticed that she wasn’t rolling anymore and looked stiff behind. I did sacroiliac support taping and she immediately went out and rolled on both sides, then took off bucking. Her tape stayed on for 12 days!

    There are not really any injuries on which she would not use the tape, but she does not recommend using the tape around malignancies because the increased circulation to the area would essentially “feed” the malignant cells, risking spreading them at an increased rate. 


    Does it Stick Well?

    Stickability of the tape depends, says Dr. Dunlap. “During the summer, sweat is a big factor and during the winter, hair is a big factor!” In all the horses Dr. Dunlap has worked on, “some tape has come off in an hour (annoying) and some has stayed on for up to 12 days (unicorn!)!”

    So, how is it removed? Most of us envision pain and hair pulling with this process! “You don’t pull it off like a Band-Aid--you roll it back over itself. Using baby oil or a silicone spray can help with the removal. Unless the horse is showing, I encourage [riders and owners to] leaving it on till it falls off and just trimming the ends if they peel up.”


    How Often Does it Need Reapplied?

    Kinesiotape is used differently in different applications. For tape used for support and to treat edema, it will likely need to be applied more than once. Tape used for pain relief typically only requires only one application, but Dr. Dunlap notes that she is usually adjusting or acupuncturing the horses, as well.

    The results seen with the tape depend on the application, says Dr. Dunlap. There is the reduction of pain and swelling, and mechanical support of joints. “The proprioceptive technique should decrease injury by increasing the body's awareness of its various parts while exercising, leading to a more-correct technique from the athlete,” She explains. “Think of using this technique on a rider's back, making them more aware of their position and decreasing the incidence of back injury while jumping,” she offers as an example.


    History of Kinesiotape

    Kinesiotaping was developed in Japan in the 1970s by Dr. Kenzo Kase, who was a human chiropractor. He was looking for a modality his patients could use in between visits to his office. “It started as an experiment by someone with a good working knowledge of anatomy that ended up helping a lot of people,” says Dr. Dunlap.

    While those who apply kinesiotape do not have to be certified to apply it, it’s necessary that whomever applies the tape have a good working knowledge of equine anatomy to be affective. Dr. Dunlap recommends working closely with your vet it you have performance concerns with your horses.



    Rider Beware

    At this time, kinesoptape can only be used on horses at rated competitions while they are in the stall. As the rules are changing (and USEF, USEA and USDF all have or had annual meetings in the last few weeks), riders will need to be up-to-date on the rule changes regarding kinesiotaping and how they apply to their level of showing.

    Additionally, though riders can buy the tape and learn how to apply it, it’s imperative that riders first consult with their veterinarian on any performance issues they are having. 

  • 12/06/2016 9:57 AM | Deleted user

    The science behind deworming horses has come a long way, but educating equine owners still has a ways to go.

    Sarah E. Coleman 

    While some of us are old enough to remember when the veterinarian came to the barn twice a year to “tube worm” the horses (literally, putting a tube into the horse’s stomach and administering the deworming medication), many horse owners have jumped on the fecal test bandwagon to ensure their horses stay healthy—but not nearly enough owners are utilizing this great tool.

    Here is a quick refresher on how the world of deworming has changed. 

    An Easy Test

    Gone are the days of dosing your horse according to the calendar. Now, many people pull fecals on their horses before making a decision as to what (if any) deworming medication their horse may need. Here in the Bluegrass, we’re very lucky to have multiple wonderful equine clinics right at our doorstep; in other areas of the county, fecal samples have to be mailed out to be tested.

    Getting a fecal sample from your horse may be the easiest, least-invasive test you ever do on him. Breaking the seal on a fecal cup, dumping in one fresh pile of poo and sending it off to the lab (either dropping it off yourself or sending it with the vet) is super simple. But it’s not a one-and-done exercise.

    In many cases, more than one sample is needed. Often if the test indicates that your horse does have worms, you’ll need to pull a fecal after treating him with deworming medication to be sure that he has decreased his worm load. 

    Do I REALLY Need to Have a Fecal Egg Count Done? 

    While a fecal sample is not required to buy a tube of dewormer, it cannot be recommended strongly enough. Though your horse may look fantastic with old-school rotational dewormer use, there is no guarantee without a fecal that he is not still carrying a significant worm load. Studies have shown that between 20 and 30 percent of the horses carry 70 to 80 percent of the worms.

    In addition, fecal tests will tell you not only if your horse is carrying a heavy worm load, but if he is a low, medium or high shedder of worm eggs, which would greatly affect other horses turned out in his field.

    Similar to antibiotics in humans, many deworming medications are becoming ineffective because of the worm’s resistance to the drugs. Because of this, you’ll need to target the specific worms your horse carries to have an effective deworming protocol. It is also important to know just how many worms your horse is carrying, not just what kind. Fecal tests primarily target strongyle and ascarid eggs. Once you know what kind of worms your horse has, and how heavily infested he is, you can create a plan of action. 

    Testing for Tapes?

    It’s important to note that most labs that perform fecal samples do not test for tape worms unless specifically asked to do so. Testing can determine if tape worms are present, but they cannot determine how heavily infested your horse may be.

    The reason a fecal test cannot detect tape worms well is that tapeworm eggs are not released in the same manner as from roundworms. Tapeworms don’t shed eggs regularly, which means they might not even show up in the fecal sample you sent to the lab, but your horse may still be infested with tapeworms.

     

    Because of this, it is recommended that you administer dewormer specifically designed to combat tape worms every 6 to 12 months (on the recommendation of your veterinarian). Dewormers that specifically target tapeworms are praziquantel (which are found in paste combos with ivermectin or moxidectin) or a double dose of a pyrantel pamoate paste.


  • 11/28/2016 5:31 PM | Deleted user

    Help your horse get a good night’s sleep with the right bedding. 

    By Sarah E Coleman


    As the weather turns colder, horses in many parts of Kentucky will be spending more time inside. It’s in a farm and horse owner’s best interest to be sure that the type of bedding they are using in the stalls is absorbent, affordable, accessible and comfortable for the horse. 


    Straw

    A byproduct of wheat and oat grain production, straw is commonly used on large breeding farms and racetracks, and in areas of the country where grains are produced, driving down cost. While this bedding composts well, it can be dusty and moldy, and it does not absorb urine well, which can lead to a strong ammonia smell in barns that use it. Additionally, some horses will eat this bedding, which can be a problem if weight is an issue. Storage can also be problematic as stalls tend to be bedded deeply and require multiple bales of straw per week.


    Shavings

    Usually made of pine, shavings are traditionally available in compressed, bagged bedding. While shavings smell terrific and lighten stalls with their bright color, they can coat the walls, horses and items in the aisle way with a fine coating of dust.   


    Sawdust

    Traditionally available in bulk for either pickup or delivery, sawdust is a byproduct of lumber mills and is widely available (though mills will shut down during times of extreme cold). The fine particles do have a tendency to be dusty and can cause allergies in horses bedded on it. It’s imperative to ensure that no black walnut was milled at the same time as the load of sawdust equine owners buy as even minute amounts of black walnut can cause laminitis in horses.


    Pellets

    Less dusty than shavings, pelleted bedding is sold in bags and is made of compressed, kiln-dried wood and sawdust. Typically made of fir, alder or pine, the super-absorbent bedding expands when exposed to moisture. Pelleted bedding works best in stalls with mats, and it can initially take quite a few bags to obtain the depth of bedding desired. After that is achieved, however, very little bedding is taken out as stalls are cleaned, though cleaning a stall bedded in pellets can be a learning curve. While manure is removed, most wet bedding (except those areas that are particularly saturated) are simply spread back into the dry bedding and allowed to dry. The soiled bedding is readily composted as it is so fine.


    Flax


    While most of us like to bed our horses deeply on some format of fluffy bedding, they really don’t need extremely deep bedding unless they have a medical reason (like Cushing’s disease or arthritis); flax bedding requires 70 percent less material than straw or shavings. Relatively new on the market in the United States, flax bedding is not dusty and non-allergenic.

    Shipped on pallets in brown bags (similar to feed bags), flax is absorbent, affordable and can be spread on fields as soon as the stalls are picked (it is pH neutral), eliminating the need for a compost area. Additionally, when picked consistently, minimal bedding is removed from the stall, so it’s very cost effective. 


    Peat Moss

    Though not as common as other bedding types, peat moss is extremely absorbent and soft, though it can be expensive to obtain. Peat moss is also dark in color, so it can look dirty, but it’s a wonderful addition to compost piles and pastures.


    Hay


    In some areas of the country, bedding on hay is common (in Kentucky, it’s commonly called Bluegrass bedding). There are no side effects to equines eating their bedding, but cleaning can be difficult and continual use can get expensive as hay prices rise. 


    Shredded Newspaper

    Though not widely available, shredded newspaper is an excellent source of bedding for horses with allergies. Torn into strips to improve absorbency, there are no sharp edges to cut horses bedded on it. Economical to purchase, users should be aware that the soy-based ink may transfer onto lighter-coated horses. Additionally, learning to clean a stall bedded in newspaper can take some getting used to. 

  • 11/24/2016 10:29 AM | Deleted user

    By Aubri Hostetter for Excel Equine

    Throughout many conversations that I have had with horse owners and professionals, one regularly occurring statement they make is that they do not want their horses to get “hot” on a certain type of feed.  Some are referring to corn making their horses excitable.  Others believe it is high protein that causes undesirable behavior.  Whatever they have heard or seen from their own experiences, there still is much research to be done that is needed to lead to a definitive answer on what dietary components make horses “hot” or not.  Often times, feed is blamed when there are other factors contributing to high strung behavior.  Some of these include environment, level of exercise, and physical pain being experienced by the horse.  Horses are greatly affected by other horses around them, so an anxious stall neighbor could easily impact the other animal.  Furthermore, ulcers are a regularly seen ailment among show horses.  Ulcers would cause pain, which often times results in unruly behavior.  Whatever the true reason for bad behavior, there still are some considerations that can be made regarding feed that can have a positive impact on your horse.

    First, an excess amount of calories will inevitably give your horse more energy than it needs…resulting in excitable behavior.  This happens the same way in humans.  We only need to consume enough energy for what we are putting out.   Make sure you are not feeding your horse too much.  Many people tend to over feed grain.  Take a good look at your feeding instructions on the feed tag or consult your local sales rep or nutritionist available through your feed supplier.   Also, there is some research that suggests feeding a lower starch feed will have a calming effect on behavior, but there is still much research that needs to be done in order for this to be definitive.  In addition, there is a rising amount of research being done on the effects of fat in a horse’s diet.  There seems to be a correlation between higher fat levels and calmer behavior.  Higher levels of fat lead to more level blood glucose and insulin levels.  Finally, mimicking how the horse was meant to live most naturally will have a great effect on behavior.  Feeding free choice hay, offering ample turnout time, and feeding frequent, small meals will all help in your horse’s attitude. 

    Since so much is still up in the air in regards to research on nutrition and behavior, I’ll just share my personal opinion on the best practices when feeding horses.  It would be a wise choice to offer a free choice, low calorie, grass hay, turn out your horses as much as you can (I know this is not possible for some disciplines), and feed more than twice a day (3-4 small meals) if you are in fact giving grain to your horses.  If you are feeding grain, due to having competition and working horses, go for a grain that has higher fat levels (between 6 and 10 percent).  A higher fat feed will allow you to feed a smaller amount, but still offer an adequate amount of calories.  This is better for the horse’s digestive system and can help you avoid ailments like ulcers.  The better the horse feels, the better the results are that you will have while training.  

  • 11/24/2016 10:27 AM | Deleted user

    By Aubri Hostetter for Excel Equine

    One of the issues that I hear often from horse owners is that they have trouble keeping weight on one or two horses in the barn.  Most barn managers have had to deal with the finicky eater or hard keeper at least a few times in their lives.  Sometimes horses start to lose weight from being introduced to a more demanding training schedule, stress, bad health care, or they are just picky eaters.  Whatever the reason, there are steps that you can take to get your horse on the right track towards achieving a healthy body condition.

    First, make sure you rule out underlying issues that could be keeping your horse from gaining weight.  Poor teeth are a common problem in older horses.  Make sure you are getting your horses’ teeth floated once or twice a year and always do a check yourself to make sure there are not any sharp points on their teeth if you are suspicious that they are experiencing mouth pain.  Also, your worming program needs to be up to date.  Make sure you are giving your horses a wormer that your veterinarian recommends.  This could change based on everyone’s different geographical locations.  Aside from teeth and worming…one of the biggest health issues that could hinder weight gain is ulcers.  Ulcers will cause the horse to have a lack of appetite and be ill tempered due to pain.  This happens more commonly with horses kept in stalls that do not have access to walking around on pasture and grazing for at least a portion of the day.  It is also prevalent in competition horses that experience stress from travel and competing at a high level.  Make sure that if your horse acts like he or she might have ulcers, to consult your veterinarian and get them on medication to alleviate this.  Also, free choice hay helps greatly with ulcers, and should really be a management practice already in place for all of your horses.  The horse naturally needs consistent fiber going through its digestive system to buffer the gut.  Horses produce acid in the stomach all the time, not just when they eat.  So when their stomach is empty, acid is still present and can cause ulcers if there is not roughage running through digestive system. 

    So after you have checked into underlying health and management issues and your horses still isn’t gaining weight what can you do?  First, Make sure they have access to fee choice forage.  Also, you can start to add some alfalfa to their forage to increase their caloric intake from a safe source.  Adding Alfalfa will increase their protein intake, which will help with building muscle, and will increase their calorie intake, as it is more energy dense than grass hay.  If a horse will not clean up all of its hay, introducing hay cubes can sometimes work.  Alfalfa is also very palatable, so if you have a picky eater, usually they will take to Alfalfa pretty well. 

    The last part of adjusting a feeding program is if all of the above mentioned methods do not provide results, start looking into the concentrates being fed.  When selecting a grain, make sure to look for a higher fat product (between 6-10%).  Fat allows for you to add calories without too much volume, which is important for the horse.  Their stomach is small compared to the rest of their digestive system, so food passes through there very quickly.  You do not want the large intestine to get overloaded with undigested starch, because this is what often leads to colic and laminitis.  So by feeding something higher in fat, you lessen the risk of overload because you do not have to feed as much.  It is like choosing a small handful of nuts over a bowl of cereal…you might be getting the same calories, but in a much different amount!  Adding fat can be in the form of purchasing a higher fat feed or adding rice bran or oil to your horse’s ration.  Remember to add all changes to a horse’s diet slowly as to not upset the microbes in large intestine.  Another good point about feeding added fat is that it often provides a slow burn type of energy that does not cause extra excitability…it can actually improve behavior instead! 

    Whether you are dealing with a health issue or simply a hard keeper, following these tips and guidelines will help in achieving the desired weight gain. At the end of the day, weight gain is about calorie intake.  We as horse owners just have to figure out how to get those calories back into your horse and why they might not be enough at the current rate being given.  Make sure to also utilize your feed company’s equine nutritionist and you should be on your way to having a happy and healthy animal that is at a good weight and thriving. 

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.



Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software