Mid-South Eventing & Dressage Association

MSEDA News

  • 08/16/2016 8:08 PM | Deleted user

    By Sarah E Coleman

    By now, everyone in the state of Kentucky has heard of the equine neglect case involving Chuck Borell and his daughter Maria, a Breeder’s Cup-winning trainer, who, as of early August, had a warrant out for her arrest. With 43 counts of second-degree animal cruelty against her, she has not yet been served, as she has not returned to Kentucky.

    There were 43 horses involved in the case on the 121-acre farm in Mercer County; 28 of the horses in the best physical shape were left on the farm. Eight horses were moved to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Blackburn Correctional Facility and several others that were not Thoroughbreds were taken in by the Kentucky Horse Park (but are not on Park grounds). Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farms took in two Thoroughbreds.

    Though the horses are now being taken care of, those passionate about equine welfare felt that it took much too long for the horse’s health to become a priority. Adding to the confusion, it was clear before the horses were moved to the Mercer County farm that they were being neglected—so how did 43 horses slip through the cracks?


    Why Did it Take So Long to get Anything Done?

    While many people were unhappy with the how long it took for the horses to receive care, the state had to play by the rules—which, like most animal welfare laws in the state, seem to be subpar.

    Trainer Ken Summerville, who used to keep horses with Borell before losing them in a legal dispute, stopped at the farm in Mercer County in hopes of seeing his old horses. What he found was overwhelming; the horses were in poor condition and a volunteer at the farm let him know that neither Borell had been to the farm in weeks.

    Summerville alerted the local sheriff, Ernie Kelty, and waiting for the sheriff to begin to investigate the case. That step alone took weeks, though they did provide the horses on the farm with a limited supply of hay. Once Summerville called again, saying that the horses were now in dire straits, and when the press got ahold of the story, things began to move.

    The state veterinarian in Kentucky, Rusty Ford, became the point person in the case. The first that had to be tackled before anything else could be done was discovering just who WERE the horses on the farm? As they were having no luck reaching either Borell, the onus fell on the state to determine who each horse was who was on the farm.

    Thankfully, The Jockey Club stepped in to help determine who the Thoroughbreds were. DNA samples were taken for every horse on the Mercer County farm and The Jockey Club has worked diligently on identifying the horses. Work was also done to not only identify the horses, but their owners, as well.

    In some cases, however, the horses had not been registered, so there was no way to locate an owner. So what happens to these horses? 


    What Happens to These Horses?

    Previously, in Kentucky, any horse that was a “stray” had to be held for 90 days before anything could be done with it (given away, sold, etc). This means that if a horse was abandoned at a boarding barn, the barn owner had to feed and care for the horse for at least 90 days before he or she was allowed to take possession of the animal; from there they could do with it as they wished.

    Thankfully, in 2015, this stray hold period was cut from 90 days to 15 days—a huge boost for those working to save horses from dangerous situations. This law, while helpful for potentially cash-strapped communities without the resources to care for stray horses, also is helpful to farm owners who must care for a horse for a shorter period of time before trying to recoup some of their losses.

    The horses involved in the Borell case are now listed on the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s website on the “Stray or Abandoned Horses” page. This page is searchable by both county and breed; every effort is being made to locate the owners of the horses that are not registered.


    Why Didn't More Thoroughbred Entities Step Up?

    While it would seem like a logical choice for Thoroughbred aftercare organizations to rally around the horses abandoned on the Mercer County farm, it’s not that simple. Very few Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance-(TAA) accredited organizations could provide shelter to the Mercer County horses because of the way the organizations operate: To take in a horse, the horse must transfer ownership to the accredited organization; the organizations are not entities that provide foster care. Transfer of ownership was not an option in the Borell case as it was still under investigation; horses rightfully owned by someone could not be given away without the proper protocol having been followed.

     But the equine industry didn’t let the case go unnoticed. They quickly rallied, with multiple veterinarians and shipping companies offering aid; donations rolled in to local feed companies and volunteers willingly gave up hours upon hours to care for the horses at the farm. 


    So What Happens Now?

    While the horses in this care are gaining weight and being cared for, their owners are still sought. While things seemed to move slowly in this case, it has shed light on some of the inadequacies in the equine welfare system, and things are in the works to change them and strengthen equine welfare laws.

    The Kentucky Equine Health and Welfare Council unanimously approved a motion to examine changes to animal welfare laws. The council is chaired by Ford, who has first-hand knowledge of how poorly the system has worked in this case in particular. It is hoped that Kentucky laws will be clarified so that officials might take control of abandoned horses more easily. As a comparison, law enforcement officials are able to more-easily take possession of smaller animals like dogs and cats.

    Also suggested for additional changes are increased sanctions for those who have committed crimes as well as a possible emergency fund safety net for horses that are in dire situations. 

  • 08/05/2016 8:17 AM | Deleted user

    By Excel Equine Feeds

    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.

  • 07/28/2016 12:20 PM | Deleted user

    Taking place on Oct. 19 at the Kentucky Horse Park, the Hagyard Midsouth Three-Day Event and Team Challenge offers a unique format for MSEDA member competitors: the opportunity to ride on a team. Teams are available at the following levels: Beginner Novice, Novice, Training and Preliminary.


    Riders interested in riding on a MSEDA team should email Martha Lambert at landsendfarm@hotmail.com and ask to be placed on a team. If the team is not full, they are added to the team roster.

    Riders will need to send in their entry and fee (on opening day, by mail) to the show secretary—but the check for their entry fee should be made out for $100 less than the traditional price, as MSEDA will “sponsor” the team.

    All MSEDA-sponsored team members get an embroidered ear bonnet and saddle pad.

    This is a great way to ride in a team environment and for MSEDA to give back to their members!

  • 07/25/2016 12:32 PM | Deleted user

    While many people think those of us who are horse-obsessed are crazy to ride when it’s so blessedly hot outside, we all know better: the horse world doesn’t stop, whether for heat, rain, cold or wind (or anything in between!). Though riding through August in the Bluegrass can bring its own set of challenges, whether it’s hydration, proper clothing or finding time during the coolest part of the day to ride, we wouldn’t change it for the world.

    By Sarah E Coleman


    Not all riders have the ability to ride before work before the heat really comes on, whether because of unusual work hours, the distance to the farm or because the farm amenities don’t support riding while it’s dark outside. If you’re forced to ride during the heat of the day, there are some precautions you can take to get the most out of every ride—even if it’s brutally hot outside.

    One thing to note, however, is that there are going to be some days that are truly too hot to ride. While none of us like to lose training days, it’s more important that both you and your horse stay safe. Heat stroke—horse and human--is no joke and can have dire consequences.


    The National Weather Service says that a heat indices of 102-124 degrees F are “dangerous”--so you should begin to contemplate not riding at all. If the heat index is 125 degrees F or higher, you shouldn’t ride at all, as both you and your horse become at risk for heat stroke, which is where the body loses the ability to regulate its temperature because of excessive heat.


    Keeping Your Cool

    So if you’re in the “safe” temperature zone to ride, but it’s still uncomfortably hot, consider these tricks to make your hack a bit more comfortable.

    • Hack in the woods. It can be up to 20 degrees cooler in the shade, so consider taking your horse out of the ring to walk on shady trails. A long hack, or one that involves hills, can make your horse exert himself physically, making him use his back and hind end, while not having the sun beating down on him.

    • Consider investing in clothing that’s made of technical fabrics. While it can seem silly at first to spend in upwards of $60 on a shirt you will get filthy at the farm, there really is something to be said about the wicking properties of the fabrics. More breathable than cotton, they can help keep you cooler; shirts with mesh under the arms also increase airflow. And don’t think you have to buy these shirts at a tack shop—Dicks, Target and even Wal-Mart usually have some clothing options in their athletic wear sections (might be a good excuse to check out the new outlet shops!).

    • Wear loose-fitting clothes and consider dampening your shirt before you get on if you’re not ready to take the splurge on a technical riding shirt. While this might not necessarily appropriate for group lessons, if you generally ride by yourself, wetting your shirt before you get on can be a lifesaver. And really, no one will know after about 10 minutes if your shirt is wet from water or sweat!

    • Investing in cooling vests and bandanas is also an option, though they, too, will wet the shirt you’re wearing. While helpful, they may warm up before you ride is over if you’re hacking for a longer period of time.

    • Purchase smaller summer wardrobe upgrades. While new, lighter-weight breeches may not be in your budget right this second, you can purchase breathable summer socks and even lighter-weight gloves to help get you through the dog days of summer.

    • Consider a vented helmet, if you’re in the market to buy a new one. While traditional black velvet caps are always in style, you’ll be amazed at how much cooler your head is if you wear a vented variety. If a new helmet isn’t in your budget, contemplate purchasing a helmet visor to keep the sun from beating on your face and chest.

    • Wearing lighter-colored clothing can help keep you at least a few degrees cooler, so be a bit picky about what you wear to the barn for a ride.

    • Take water to the arena with you and be sure to sip it while you take walk breaks. While many sports drinks tout their hydrating properties, some of them are so sugary as to make you feel sick if you guzzle it while overly hot. Cut these drinks with straight water or a flavored water to dilute some of the sweetness.

    • Consider adding fruit to your barn diet if you can’t seem to drink enough water. Watermelons, peaches and even cucumbers will help you stay hydrated during hot days.

    • Turn on the sprinkler system in your arena while you ride, if your horse is quiet. It’s sure to make you feel like a kid again!

    • Place a personal misting fan near your water and use it when you take walk and water breaks. These tiny-but-mighty tools may also help your steed stay cool.

    • Place a bucket full of cold water and old towels on the side of the arena. Pull one out (don’t wring it out) and place it over your horses neck as he takes a breather. Swipe of the excess water with your hand before you go back to work.

    While there are many options to help keep your cool, there’s bound to be some days where it’s just too hot to ride. Chilling out in front of a fan with your horse isn’t a wasted day—it’s simply more time for you to bond.


  • 07/14/2016 7:56 AM | Deleted user

    It can seem a bit daunting to ride under a Big Name Trainer whom you don’t know, but clinics are wonderful ways to get a new set of eyes on your riding and add additional insight into ways to make your horse even better. 

    By Sarah E Coleman


    We all have equestrian idols, those we admire for their partnership with their horse, the way they get the job done and even the grace with which they accept a less-than-stellar outcome at a horse show or event.

    Lucky for us, many of these equestrian superstars offer clinics as a way to supplement their training and riding income and as a way to give back to the equestrian community. If you’ve never given a second thought to riding in a clinic, now is the time to rethink your decision.

    Erin Strader

    Erin Strader, Barn Manager and Trainer for the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center, tries to attend between two and three clinics a year, depending on what her work schedule will allow. She finds clinics helpful as they can help her refresh her riding and look at how her horse goes differently. “They allow me to get a lot of quality instruction in a short amount of time,” she adds. Erin currently has a 5-year-old Irish Sport Horse she got in the fall of 2015 who is ready to move up to Novice.

    Though many clinics are typically in a one- or two-day format, Erin prefers the two-day format as she feels that the first day is more of an evaluation period for each horse and rider combination. By the second day, the instructor can really hone in on some key areas that need improvement, she notes.

    To prepare for a clinic, Erin ensures that both she and her horse are fit and ready for any jumping or galloping that is asked of them. She also makes sure that her horse is fit to jump the height at which she is entered. She goes into the clinic with a good idea of where the horse will be headed in competition and what specific things she needs to work on. Erin recommends that it’s best to bring up and concerns or issues with your horse at the beginning of the clinic, so the clinician has an idea of what troubles you have been facing and how you have been dealing with them at home.

    And don’t think the learning stops when you step off your horse. To get the most from her clinics, Erin tries to bring a notebook with her to jot down phrases and explanations while auditing other lesson groups. “I also try to write a recap of my own lessons at the end of each day, specifically noting what did and did not work for me and my horse. I will also draw diagrams of any jump grids/courses with distances so that I can recreate them at home.”

    No matter with whom you decide to clinic, “you can always find at least one takeaway from a clinic, and if nothing else, it gets you and your horse off the farm and used to riding in front of other people in a new place!” Erin says.

    Jody Cattell

    Jody Cattell clinic between two and four times a year for a few reasons: “It is one of the only ways I hasve of getting comprehensive cross-country instruction,” she notes. Jody lives in Columbus, Ohio, where event barns are virtually non-existent. “I am usually the only eventer where I board and/or take lessons, so clinics are one way of meeting other event riders--I know more event riders in Michigan than any other state because I’ve attended so many clinics over the years at Hunters Run in Metamora!” she says.

    In addition to the camaraderie, Jody appreciates that clinics are typically relaxing environments; there are “no boots to polish or coats to wear. Often there is a group dinner, which is a good opportunity to ask the clinician questions about conditioning, bits, favorite boots, etc.  Plus, they usually have interesting stories to tell,” she explains.

    Like Erin, Jody appreciates riding under a different set of eyes. “However, they may say things a little differently that brings on the ‘aha’ moment or have a helpful exercise you have never tried before.” She, too, will address any issues she and her horse are experiencing with the clinician beforehand if the clinician is interested in tailoring the lesson for them specifically. Jody has cliniced with Leslie Law, Kim Severson, Kyle Carter, Doug Payne, and Buck Davidson, as well as Cathy Wieschhoff, Diana Rich and Robin Walker.

    Jody has this advice for people who are looking to clinic:

    •  Ask around about the instructor. If you are a beginner novice rider, ask if this person is appropriate choice.  There are some clinicians who have more patience than others. If you have not participated in an event (recognized or unrecognized), you might be better off putting your money toward regular lessons instead of one shot with someone whom you may never see again.
    • Even if you are an experienced rider, you need to know the instructor’s idea of the appropriate degree of difficulty at each level.  For example, when I was thinking about moving up to Preliminary with my current horse, I still rode with Buck in a Training group, knowing full well that we would be jumping a lot of Preliminary fences. With another trainer, a Preliminary group might be more like a Training group.
    • Find out how many riders are going to be in a group.  To me, four riders or less is ideal.  I won’t ride in a clinic with six riders--the wait time is too long.
    • If possible, find out from the organizer how the groups are going to be arranged. I think this is an important factor that many people, including organizers, overlook. Ask other people if the organizer arranges the groups properly. Many years ago, I took a clinic from Jimmy Wofford at Training level. No one in my group had ever gone Training. Only one participant had ever been to a recognized event (at Novice). We spent the day jumping 18-inch logs! It’s even worse if you are over faced in clinic--chances are that both you and your horse will lose confidence.

    Jody also recommends watching the sessions both before and after yours while you’re at the clinic. The “sessions before yours will help you understand the exercises and what the instructor is looking for. The sessions following your ride will solidify what you learned,” she notes. Jody, also, makes notes as soon as she can to help remember what she has learned.

    To make the session enjoyable for others as well, Jody suggest that those riding in a clinic “ask questions, but be careful and be considerate. Don’t ask every question that pops into your head and don’t interrupt the flowing of the session with questions.” 

    Clinics are great ways to ride your horse under a new set of eyes, meet new friends and gain new tools for your riding toolbox. 

  • 07/10/2016 5:08 PM | Deleted user

    As the heat keeps coming and the grind of the show season wears on, it can be hard to keep your heart in the show ring game. While many riders can’t afford the luxury of weeks of downtime for either themselves or their mount this time of year to get their heads back in the game, there are some easy tricks to try to keep you from getting burnout on horses and showing. Here are just a few tips to keep things interesting and lively for you and your horse. 

    By Sarah E Coleman


    Every rider knew that one lesson pony when they were younger: The sour steed would pin its ears every time it was saddled, try to scrape an inattentive rider off on the rail or turn and bolt for home while out on a trail ride. While now you can probably assess each of these actions as a sign of burnout and stress for that lesson pony, sometimes determining that your show horse is burned out is a bit harder to do. 

    Signs of Stress

    While your steed may not try to bite you every time you tack him up, more subtle signs like shifting weight away from the saddle or refusing to be bridled may indicate that there is more going on than simply a bad day. Barring health issues (which should be investigated by your vet), your mount might be trying to tell you he is simply done for a bit.

    If you mount outside the arena, does it take more encouragement than normal to get your beast to the arena? Does he have a harder time paying attention while in the ring? Is he sticky to go forward or has he lost his crisp changes? Conversely, has he turned into a fire breathing dragon that anticipates everything and adds drama to every request? Any of these could indicate that your horse needs a break from the ring. 


    Combatting Equine Burnout

    While it can be easy to mount up, walk for a few minutes and want to get down to business, to keep your horse from getting tired of his work week, you might want to consider a long, leisurely warmup, maybe even outside of the ring, before asking for more-intense work. Additionally, adding in frequent walk breaks on a loose rein, especially as the heat of summer intensifies, can keep him happy and more eager to work.

    Though it’s most likely difficult to work in extended vacations with show season at its height, consider stringing together three or four days where your horse can be just that: a horse. Letting him play outside, roll in dirt and hang out with his friends can do loads for his state of mind. Asking nothing of him but to be groomed and maybe hand graze will hopefully let him return to the ring refreshed and ready to work.

    If you’re worried about maintaining fitness, try hacking on trails or even taking him off the farm to new environments to trail ride or play. Knowing that every time he gets in a trailer he won’t be asked to show will also help him maintain an eager attitude. Though long lining and lunging is really “work,” if it’s not part of your horse’s routine, alternating these in with mounted work may be a way to keep him from feeling overworked. 

    If you really are feeling that the show ring is no longer calling your name, in theory there should be no issue with simply walking away for a while, or in stepping down your competition level to give both you and your horse a mental break. But we all know riders are competitive—that’s why we horse show. It can be hard, but important, to remember that you are not in competition with anyone but yourself. Taking time off, or even stepping down a level, does not mean in any way that you have failed. Actually, it means the exact opposite: you’re acutely in tune with both your horse and yourself.

    So what can you do to make riding seem like less of a chore? Consider a lower-key horse show or event, or even taking time to do events like Summer Bird Dressage or some cross-country schooling at Masterson with less pressure.

    Instead of going hot-and-heavy with 5 to 6 rides a week, contemplate sitting on your horse three times a week or so, dimply to keep him fit. Riding should not feel like a job (unless it is!) – and it certainly should not be one more thing on an ever-growing to-do list.

    Consider finding an additional passion, if you don’t have one already. Kayaking or hiking may be just as fun for you as riding, especially if you can share the time with friends. It’s easy to get trapped in the workworkworkriderideride mentality and not leave room for other fun activities like dinner or drinks with friends or a leisurely walk through the park.

    Reassess your goals. While most of us make yearly riding goals in the winter before the show season starts, now is not a bad time to take a step back and reassess if your original goals were on-target or so lofty that you’re pushing yourself and your horse. Though it might be hard to conclude that you may not be making a move up this year, making the determination now may save you months of stress through the remainder of the show season.


    Burnout isn't Permanent


    That being said, if you’re overwhelmed in additional areas of your life, your horse is being a stinker and you just aren’t feeling the show ring—don’t fret. Your riding mojo will return—it just make take a bit. Don’t make any rash decisions when you’re in a state of unhappiness, like putting your horse for sale or giving away all your show clothes.

    Sometimes a few days away from the stresses of the showing ring, as well as some distance from a bad ride, can lend a perspective that’s hard to find when you’re in the throes of show season. 

  • 07/07/2016 7:32 PM | Deleted user

    By Mandy Alexander

    Are you interested in getting year-end awards with MSEDA? All members still need to achieve eight (8) hours of volunteering. Four of those hours have to be at either the MSEDA Dressage at the Park show or at Midsouth Team Challenge Horse Trials. There are a couple of awards that need a little extra to achieve. We have put together a list of these awards to help all of our members get the most out of their MSEDA Award experience! Get your information and needs in NOW to have a chance to win these fabulous year end awards!

    The FEI Certificate of Achievement

    What is it? This award is given in Dressage to any member who completes an FEI test with a minimum score of 57% at a USEF/USDF recognized competition.

    What to do to be eligible? You need a copy of YOUR qualifying dressage test from the FEI show. It must have a judge’s signature (but if it’s from the FEI show, it will have it because judges have to sign every test). This must be submitted to the MSEDA Points Secretary along with information on date and location and name of the FEI show you competed in.

    ßThe Eventing High Point Adult Amateur Award

    What is it? This award is given to the adult amateur (over the age of 21) who has amassed the greatest number of points competing in eventing during the competition year

    What to do to be eligible? Submit a copy of your amateur card to the MSEDA Points Secretary!





    The Pony Club Award ---> 

    What is it? This award is given to the MSEDA member in good standing who accumulates the highest number of points and is also a member of Pony Club.

    What to do to be eligible? Notify the MSEDA Points Secretary of your Pony Club status!

    Important Note Points on this award don’t start accumulating until the Points Secretary is notified!


    The Hall of Distinction Award

    What is it? It is awarded to any MSEDA member who completes an FEI competition (Dressage or Eventing). A trophy plaque will be presented in the initial year of induction. Each subsequent completion will be recognized with a new brass plate to be added to the plaque.

    What to do to be eligible? Members must self-report for this award. Proof of FEI completion must be sent to the MSEDA Points Secretary

    ßThe Grasshopper Award

    What is it? Awarded annually to the high point OTTB in the Eventing division.

    What to do to be eligible? The horse must be tattooed and nominated for eligibility. Members must notify the MSEDA Points Secretary.







    So, if you think you would like to apply for any of these awards please notify the MSEDA Points Secretary, Mary Margaret Sterling as soon as possible! Imagine, you could have a lovely perpetual award or certificate or plaque to show off as a reminder of your achievements for the year! Good luck and happy competing MSEDA!


  • 06/21/2016 10:34 AM | Deleted user

    By Sarah E. Coleman

    There are many options to keeping your horse in top condition—here are three more of the most commonly used techniques.

    Myofascial Release


    Myofascial release is a hands-on technique that uses sustained pressure on restricted areas in the horse to eliminate pain. It focuses on the fascia, the web of three-dimensional connective tissue that surrounds every cell in a horse’s body. This technique is also used to restore motion in the horse.

    Similar to a spider’s web, the fascia is literally one structure that runs from head to tail in the horse’s body, covering every bone, muscle, nerve, vein and artery. The constant pull of the fascia provides stability to the horse’s body. Healthy fascia is wavy and relaxed; it can stretch and move easily. When there is damage or inflammation, however, the fascia becomes restricted and a source of tension and pain.

    Myofascial release treats this fascia dysfunction. The use of sustained pressure on the area of restriction for 90-120 seconds allows the tissues to release. The practitioner then follows the release down the horse’s body to make all tissues soft and pliable once again, taking the pressure off sensitive tissue, and restoring alignment and mobility.

    Myofascial release is typically used in conjunction with other modalities to treat horses. It differs from chiropractic care as it does not directly manipulate the bone structure of the horse. It also differs from massage therapy as massage therapy providers shorter-term results by addressing the elastic components of the fascia. Myofascial massage provides longer-term results as it engages the entire fascial system.

    Myofascial therapists need not be veterinarians, but many have taken classes to learn techniques. The laws about if they need veterinarian supervision vary from state to state. 


    Lower-level Laser Therapy


    Low-level laser therapy (also known as LLLT, therapeutic laser or cold laser) uses monochromatic and coherent light to stimulate healing in equine injuries. This laser is not the same as thermal or surgical lasers. The use of this modality aids in pain relief, reducing inflammation and increasing the strength of tissues.  These lasers cannot damage living tissue.

    “Laser” stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Lasers supply energy to the body in the form of photons of light, which transmits through the skin and fat, increasing cellular metabolism, which assists in healing

    While traditionally known for their ability to heal acute injuries, these lasers also help stimulate the body’s repair processes for chronic conditions. Some of the most common applications for laser therapy include tendon injuries, back issues and osteoarthritis, in addition to wound healing. A laser’s effect is cumulative, and is usually used in conjunction with other modalities.

    Some cold lasers are available for purchase with no training (most just have an on/off switch), but it is wise to work with a veterinarian or other practitioner who is familiar with both equine anatomy and the machine. Programmable lasers that have varying power levels typically require classes and a certification to purchase and use.


    Osteopathic Care

    Osteopathy is based on the idea that tissue that has a sufficient blood supply, nerve supply and lymphatic drainage will be healthy. Osteopathy uses physical manipulation to remove tension and restrictions in the horse’s body, restoring and maintaining health.

    Osteopaths use their hands to identify problem areas in the horse’s body, then use gentle stretches and adjustment techniques to manipulate joints to facilitate healing. Osteopathic care in horses is not relegated to the spine; it can also help with stiffness, rehabilitation and chronic conditions.

    Osteopathic care is traditionally used in conjunction with other modalities to keep a horse in peak condition.  While an osteopath need not have a DVM, they typically work in conjunction with primary care veterinarians, though the laws vary from state to state.


  • 06/17/2016 11:22 AM | Deleted user

    The MSEDA Awards Committee is conducting a survey on your Year-End Awards! We invite all MSEDA members to participate & are grateful for your feedback.

    Please click here to take the survey! 

  • 06/16/2016 9:18 AM | Deleted user

    We invite everyone to attend the upcoming Area VIII Town Hall Meeting! This is a great place to connect with the USEA. 

    From the USEA's website 

    "Area VIII is next up in a series of 11 town hall meetings being hosted around the country this year. The town hall meetings are a continuation of the Eventing 2016-2026 Summitwhich was held at the 2015 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention.  Those in attendance will be invited to discuss the issues facing the sport and their recommendations on how the USEA can address them.  Members of the USEA Board of Governors, USEA staff and local leadership will be present to listen and take notes on the input provided. All town hall meetings will be free and open to all people with a stake in U.S. Eventing. Food will be served to all attendees. "


    Please click here to read more.

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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