Mid-South Eventing & Dressage Association


  • 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. 


    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.


    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.   


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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. 

  • 11/03/2016 10:12 AM | Deleted user

    Winner of the National USEF CCI* Champtionship Meghan O'Donoghue on Rehy USA. 

    PC: Point of View Photography/- Darlene Shantz

    Held on October 19-23 at the Kentucky Horse Park, the Hagyard MidSouth Three-Day Event and Team Challenge was once again a success, hosting a CCI One-Star and Training Three-Day along with Preliminary, Training, Novice and Beginner Novice horse trials competition. The longest running horse trials team challenge in the United States, the 2016 event was graciously supported by Kentucky Performance Products with a Gold Level Sponsorship. This horse trial is our largest annual fundraiser for the Midsouth Eventing & Dressage Association and we are so thankful for everyone who participates as a competitor, volunteer, vendor or sponsor!

    MSEDA sponsors a team at each level and provides its members with an MSEDA saddle pad and ear bonnet. It's always a great time and as always, our teams fared well!


    Beginner Novice- 5th Place Team Overall

    - Chelsea Smith, Marty Riney, Robyn Munson, Kristen Brennan

    Novice- 3rd Place Team Overall

    -Caroline Greathouse, Madison Nichter, Whitney Morris, Zoe Zanides


    -Jeannine Buhse, Debbie Iezzie, Pam Kimmel, Lauren Kolegraff

    Preliminary- 8th Place Team Overall

    -Elissa Gibbs, Katie Hensley, Leah Snowden, Tiffany Smith

    The MSEDA Beginner Novice Team. L to R: Chelsea Smith, Marty Riney, Robyn Munson, Kristen Brennan

    A neat statistic from the weekend: the horses that competed in the event were lucky enough to enjoy 600 peppermints, 500 packages of Mrs. Pastures Cookies for Horses, 400 pounds of carrots and 250 apples. Lucky ponies!

    Complete results can be found here

  • 11/02/2016 9:20 AM | Deleted user

    We know we need insurance to cover everything from catastrophic accidents to routine health care. But what do our equine partners need, if anything? 

    By Sarah E Coleman

    Equine insurance options can be quite overwhelming, but can offer horse owners incredible peace of mind. While the most commonly purchased equine insurance policies are mortality and major medical, there are lots of other option.

    These two types of insurance are best explained in terms many people may be more familiar with: life insurance and health insurance. Typically mortality insurance (“life insurance”) is paid out if the horse dies. Owners are paid for the full or partial value of the horse. Medical and surgical policies (“health insurance”) can cover the costs associated with treatment of injuries or illnesses.

    Mortality Insurance

    The most popular equine insurance Kristin Detwiler sells in Girard, Ohio, is mortality and major medical. Detwiler, an Agribusiness and Equine Specialist with Gibson Agri&Equine Insurance, explains that “every policy is required to have mortality coverage and then anything else that is added is added as an "additional" endorsement.”

    So, she says, major medical, loss of use, surgical expense, extended renewal protection, accident, sickness and disease coverage, third party liability, and stallion infertility (among others) are all insurance options in addition to mortality coverage.

    Mortality coverage generally covers any cause of death, including colic or fatal injuries. A horse’s age will limit his mortality insurance; many insurance companies can insure horses that are 24 hours old up to about 17 years old. Detwiler notes that 15 years old is about when it becomes more costly to insure the horse and when medical packages are restricted.

    A horse can be insured later in life; but, for every year the horse ages after 15, the rate debits making it more expensive,” She explains. “Often, veterinarian examinations are required each year for older horses as well.

    Many factors are taken into account to determine a horse’s value; these can include age, sex, breed and discipline. A mortality policy can cover 100 percent of the horse’s value, but the premiums will be more expensive. While it can be very hard to objectively define what a horse is worth, it’s imperative to ensuring you have the adequate policy in place on your horse. 

    Major Medical

    Major medical insurance covers a lot of medical and surgical treatments that may be cost prohibitive for owners. This coverage can include things like medications, diagnostic tools, surgery and care after surgery.

    Major medical policies do not cover routine care like vaccines, teeth floating or sheath cleaning; many alternative treatments like acupuncture, chiropractic and massage are also not covered. Many policies also do not cover any cosmetic surgeries or surgeries on things that took place before the insurance policy took effect (think about things like birth defects).

    Detwiler notes that a pre-existing condition could limit insurance coverage. “If a horse has a history of lameness in a specific leg or a history of colic, the company is typically going to exclude coverage for that condition The horse can still be insured for coverage for other conditions, but that specific condition would be excluded. For example: If a horse is diagnosed and treated for EPM in writing the policy, all claims related to EPM would not be covered. However, a colic claim or an unrelated injury or sickness could still be covered.”

    “Insurance is designed to cover more ‘catastrophic’ accidents and injuries,” she says. “Though each company is different, there is always a deductible [around $300] for medical claims that are made. This helps to deter claims being made against routine procedures.”

    Colic Insurance Programs

    The American Association of Equine Practitioners estimates that 900,000 horses will colic in the United States each year. That number is staggering to think about! Gibson Agri&Equine Insurance is partnered with SmartPak to raise awareness of and education horse owners about colic. Detwiler explains that SmartPak has “a program in which if the horse is on SmartDigest Ultra [a SmartPak supplement] and is (strictly) following basic veterinary recommendations (up to date on shots, etc), SmartPak will cover up to $7,500 worth of veterinary expenses if the horse colics while on their supplement.”
    But this is all the policy will cover, she expounds. “Their program ONLY covers expenses related to colic, whereas if you also have an equine policy with major medical coverage, any other kind of accident, injury or sickness or disease would be covered as well. And, if the expenses exceed what is paid by SmartPak the equine insurance would kick in if the horse colics.” 

    The Application

    Be prepared to answer a lot of questions when it comes to insuring your equine. It will ask you everything from your name, address and phone number to details on where the horse is housed, who cares for him and what his intended use is. They will also ask his age, breed, sex and for a registration, tattoo or ID number. You will be asked to provide photos of your horse if it is not registered with an organization. You will also need to answer his date of birth and date of purchase. You will then be asked a series of question on the horse’s health and its history. These questions could include is he sound, has he colicked, has ever had joint injections or been nerved, does he have any conformational issues, and more.

    Additional questions may include who the primary veterinarian is, is the horse co-owned, is he leased and is he covered by any other insurance. 

    So, Who Really Needs Equine Insurance?

    “I would especially recommend equine insurnace for high-profile horses that were costly to purchase; this will protect the investment. And, these types of horses tend to be at greater risk as they are moving around--going to shows, races, in training, etc.. However, I would recommend it to any other horse owner as well. Even if the initial investment in the horse wasn't costly, the medical bills for any kind of accident or sickness can easily add up,” Detwiler says. “This is when it is beneficial to have the insurance to afford such expenses.” 

  • 10/12/2016 9:14 AM | Deleted user

    Keeping a horse on stall rest can lead to unexpected health and behavior issues in response to being cooped up for days on end. Here are some ways to prevent these unwanted changes in your injured equine. 

    By Sarah E Coleman

    Keeping a horse confined to a stall is sometimes a necessary evil if he is ill, injured or recovering from surgery. While not the most desirable treatment management-wise, minimal movement is sometimes required for a horse to fully heal.

    If your horse is used to living outside, being worked every day or even just having a few hours of turnout on a regular basis, switching to being stalled 24/7 could be problematic. This transition can make even the most mild-mannered horse so upset that he develops some health or behavior issues, which could include everything from forming gastric ulcers to kicking at walls and acting unruly when handled.

    Here are some ways to help your horse handle stall rest as easily as possible:

    Adjust his diet.

    If your horse is not in work, he won’t need all the calories he usually gets when he is ridden or shown regularly. You will still need to ensure that he gets adequate vitamins and minerals, but backing down on his grain may help prevent him from having too much energy and gaining too much weight.

    Provide a small-hole haynet.

    Once your horse has eaten his grain, he needs to have something to occupy his time and his tummy. As equines are designed to constantly move and forage, providing access to hay at all times can help prevent ulcers if he’s not able to constantly nibble grass. It will also prevent him from eating his bedding, which some horses will do if they’re bored.

    Consider changing stalls.

    This option can work two ways: If your horse gets anxious while watching horses go out to pasture or work in the arena, moving him to a quieter area of the barn may be a good bet to keep him calm. Conversely, if your horse gets lonely and bored, moving him to a stall with a window where he can watch horses in the field, see his buddies being groomed or engage in a high-traffic area of the barn might help to keep him mentally happy. If he enjoys (and respects) a stall guard, consider letting him hang his head out and feeling like a part of the activity.

    Leave a buddy in with him.

    Is it possible to keep another horse in a stall close to your stall rester to keep him company? Many horses don’t do well if they’re the only horse in the barn, but are typically OK if they can see another horse next door or across the aisle. If it’s not possible to keep a horse in with yours, could you get him a (horse friendly!) goat or chicken to pass the time? If all else fails, consider installing a shatter-proof mirror in his stall so he thinks he has some (very handsome!) company.

    Give him some toys.

    There are loads of horse toys on the market and each is designed to keep a horse occupied and happy while confined to a stall. Whether they are balls your horse can kick and bite, toys designed to be hung and licked or homemade items like milk jugs filled with stones (without their caps), it’s important that each is used safely, without any way for a horse to get trapped or stuck in them. Large stuffed animals can also be used to keep a horse happy; tying one to a stall door or placing a large one in the back corner of a stall can make a horse not feel as lonely.

    Administer drugs to take the edge off.

    It can be helpful to use veterinarian-prescribed drugs to take the edge off an extremely rambunctious horse. Whether it’s to ensure the safety of barn workers handling the horse or to keep him quiet enough to heal, a variety or drugs or herbal supplements may be key to keeping him quiet.

    Spend time with him.

    We all know how boring it is to be sick or injured, and stuck at home with no one to talk to--your horse feels the same way! Spend as much time as you can with him, whether it’s a delivering a good grooming session, teaching him clicker training or simply sitting with him in his stall while he eats or hangs out. While stall rest is no fun, you can deepen your relationship with him if he knows that every time you come to see him, it’s not just to work.

    Hand walk or graze him.

    If the vet gives the go-ahead for your horse to hand walk or graze, take him out as much as you are able. Some horses tend to like a few shorter sessions outside a stall versus one longer time spent in the fresh air. As always, your safety is most important, so if he’s too overly eager to get outside, make sure you can handle him safely. 

    Ease the ache of confinement.

    As your vet if chiropractic, acupuncture or massage might help your horse feel more comfortable during his confinement. Like people, the more cooped up a horse is, the more likely he may be to develop aches and pains from not being able to stretch and move. Additionally, read up on stretches and basic massage techniques (if your vet OK’s it) to add in to your grooming sessions.

    Ask others to stop by and say “hi” as well.

    Most horses love attention, whether it’s in the form of treats, a scratch in those hard-to-reach places or a simple soothing word. Ask your fellow barn mates to stop by his stall and check on him when they’re at the barn so he doesn’t feel as isolated.

  • 10/12/2016 9:02 AM | Deleted user

    Equine liability insurance options can seem daunting, but whether you own a boarding barn or keep horses in your back yard, they’re necessary to keep you safe from legal action. And even if you don’t own a farm, carrying some form of equine liability insurance may help keep you safe lawsuits. Read on to find out why.  

    By Sarah E Coleman

    Investigating insurance of any kind can be overwhelming, whether you’re looking at health insurance, life insurance, truck and trailer insurance or equine insurance. And as equine insurance is something many horse enthusiasts feel they don’t have to have, it can easily fall by the wayside (it can be hard enough to remember to renew our equine association memberships at the end of the year!).

    However, being uninsured or under-insured can be even scarier: The thought of losing your farm, your home, your horses and most of your assets is enough to make any horse owner quiver in their muck boots. While you may feel that your clients are stand-up people who wouldn’t sue you, it’s important to remember that many times, the injured do not have an option in whether or not legal action is taken—their insurance company makes that call.

    So, what insurance is best for you? 

    Liability Insurance: Who Needs it?

    Sadly, in the litigious world we now live in, having liability insurance is more than just peace of mind--it can be key to protecting yourself and your assets should you be brought to court.

    One term of importance, says Kristin Detwiler, an agribusiness and equine specialist with Gibson Agri & Equine Insurance in Girard, Ohio, is to make sure you’re working with someone who truly understands the equine operation and what needs to be covered.

    For example, some home owner’s insurance policies will cover the liability for a few horses kept in the backyard, but will not cover someone who owns a large farm with boarded horses (owned by other people) on the property. For those people who board horses, they need a different policy: a farmowner’s insurance policy.

    The easiest way to tell what type of insurance you need is to ask yourself this question: Is someone making a profit from this operation? If they are, this becomes a "commercial" exposure and a commercial farm policy would be needed, as opposed to a personal policy (meaning you make your income elsewhere).

    Insurance Options

    There are many different types of liability insurance, but agribusiness and farm owner’s policies are typically what is used to cover a farm property and the liability that comes with it, notes Detwiler. Each liability policy is then tailored to the individual based on their needs and their operations.

    For example, the liability insurance a boarding barn owner carries will be different from that carried by a trainer who travels to various farms to give lessons, but insurance is necessary for both. What differs for each is what is specifically covered under each policy.

    The most popular liability insurance options for those involved in the equine industry are Equine Personal Liability and Equine Professional Liability.

    Generally speaking, for someone who just owns a few pleasure horses in their backyard, equine personal liability would be a good fit, explains Detwiler. This type of policy would include coverage for things like damage to another person or to another person’s property. Equine personal liability insurance would cover episodes like a horse getting into the road and then getting hit by a car, damaging the car or injuring the people in the car.


    A more-specific policy targeted to professionals in the equine industry, an equine professional liability policy also covers those who may not own a farm or barn from which they provides these services.


    When dealing with equestrian professionals who give riding lessons, board, breed, train, offer clinics, riding camps or something similar, a Commercial Farm Owner’s Package would be a better fit as it could cover all these endeavors. A specific policy would again be tailored to the individual, farm or corporation to cover all of the exposures from their equestrian involvement.

    This package insurance policy is the most comprehensive (and often the most affordable) way to cover the entire exposure of the farm to those who may try to sue the farm owner—and it’s done on one policy, says Detwiler.
    This policy would cover the actual farm property itself (dwellings, barns, machinery, hay and animals) and provide liability insurance. This liability can include liability for boarding, breeding, training, lessons, clinics and more. 

    Personal Liability Policy

    That being said, stand-alone equine personal liability policies for horse owners who do not own their own farm and aren't covering their liability on a farmowner’s policy are also available. This type of insurance is best suited for horse owners who board or lease a horse that is not housed on property they own.

    Some homeowner’s insurance policies will cover the liability from owning a horse, but some will not, so it’s worthwhile to call your current carrier to see if they would extend liability to one owned horse, explains Detwiler. 

    If your current insurance carrier doesn’t extend coverage, equine personal liability insurance should be considered. These policies are generally very reasonably priced. This policy would provide liability insurance for the horse named in the policy, no matter where it goes. For example, if you were to take your horse to a horse show and the horse bit someone who then tried to sue you, this insurance policy would protect you and your assets.

    What is NOT Covered With an Equine Insurance Policy

    While there is no “blanket” insurance policy, it’s important that any farm with commercial exposure (think boarding, riding lessons, training, etc.) have liability release waivers and hold harmless agreements, which can be drawn up or reviewed by a lawyer. It’s also important that each farm abide by state-specific equine laws, which could include the posting of equine activity awareness signs. (In Kentucky, you can get yours through the Kentucky Horse Council www.kentuckyhorse.org)

    “Insurance agencies do not provide such documents,” notes Detwiler. “It is advised that a person meet with an attorney to draft up such paperwork as it will pertain to them and their farm specifically. In writing a commercial farm policy or general liability policy, these waivers are typically required to be used and copies must be sent to the insurance company prior to beginning coverage.”

    Insurance in a Nutshell

    “If someone owns their own farm, a good catch-all insurance would be an actual farmowner’s policy,” explains Detwiler. “This policy would cover all of the property and the liability based on the liability exposure on the farm itself. For someone who might not own their farm, but is leasing or travels to different barns to give lessons, someone who is doing some boarding, breeding, clinics, or other equine endeavor, a Commercial General Liability policy with equine personal liability and professional liability along with any of the other exposure coverages would be a good catch all.” You could never cover everything on one policy and it can be changed as the exposures change, she notes.

    Keeping this in mind, once you have insurance, it’s a good idea to go over your policy each year with your agent when the renewals come due. A lot can change over the course of a year, and you might not think to call your agent every time you offer a new service or hire new employees, but it’s imperative that he or she know exactly what is being done on the farm so they can make sure you’re protected to the very best of the insurance company’s abilities.

    It boils down to this: No matter how you are involved in the equine industry, you need to have liability insurance—it depends on what you are doing with the horses that will determine what type of coverage you will need.  

  • 09/27/2016 12:15 PM | Deleted user

    Nori Scheffel has long been a fixture at MSEDA sanctioned events, course designing and setting fences, as well as coaching kids and adults, and lending a hand wherever needed. 

    By Sarah E Coleman

    Originally from Calgary, Alberta Canada, Nori Scheffel’s introduction to horses was a bit different than most. Instead of being exposed to horses by a classmate or a babysitter, “I actually started riding because of my school bus driver in Canada: Ruth Ohlmeyer.”

    Scheffelridge Farm hosts two hunter/jumper horse shows a year: one in May and one in July. They have a variety of classes and recently added one near to Nori’s heart: the Ruth Ohlmeyer Equitation Challenge. Ruth passed away last year. “If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be riding at all,” Nori says.

    Nori’s background is deep and varied. “I grew up not knowing there was English riding; being from Calgary, I grew up with the Stampede. I began in the Canadian pony Club, evented through my formative years and then turned into a hunter who rode some dressage.

    “My first was a pony named Sugar that Ruth gave my family for Christmas. All three of us [Nori has two sisters] rode and showed her; we did pony club and hunters. She was a 14 hand bay Quarter mare. After that, Ruth gave me her horse Sunny, who was a Saddlebred/Arabian cross that challenged my horsemanship every day. After that, my mom and dad bought us better horses, so I got Gully, Pacific Fire, who was a Thoroughbred I did the hunter jumpers on.

    A Change in Country

    Nori ended up in the States for a great reason: “We actually moved to California because my dad didn’t want to shovel snow anymore. He bought a house and said ‘we are immigrating to California!’” However, Nori and her sisters refused to leave Canada until they got to show at Spruce Meadows, which was back when the show still hosted hunters.

    Nori completed her first year of college at at Palomar College in California, then she needed to leave the country while my Visa paperwork came through. She then attended Yorkshire Riding Centre, where she got a BHSAI (British Horse Society Accredited Instructor). “After school, I worked in Yorkshire and Salisbury for 8 months, then I went to Germany to work at a Grand Prix dressage stable for 7 months. Then I came back  to California, where I freelanced teaching and riding. I also started teaching at a local Pony Club.

    Life is Better in the Bluegrass

    So how DID Nori end up in Kentucky? “I met Dave Scheffel, my husband, when I came back to the States—my mom had hired him and Jim Boyce to shoe my horses when I was overseas. We bought the farm in Paris in 1996, got married and moved to Kentucky the next day. We started building on the 44 acres we originally had bought, then purchased an additional 75 acres 7 years ago.”

    Scheffelridge Farm is now home to about 50-odd horses, and the clientele is everything from casual riders, junior, pony kids, hunters, jumpers, dressage, eventing riders and western horses and riders as well; Nori’s husband Dave is a farrier who ropes. Additionally, the Georgetown College Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team trains out of Scheffelridgem as well.

    Of all the horses on the farm, Nori owns just one: Secret Madison, or Maddie. She’s a retired 24-year-old Warmblood mare Nori raised and competed in the jumpers. 

    Delving Into Course Design

    So with such varied boarding clients, how did Nori get into course design, as well? “I had a student 16 years ago who worked for Central Kentucky Riding for Hope, which hosts the Paul Frazer dressage show and combined test. At the time, they were lacking a course designer, so she asked me if I would be interested in helping. That’s really where it all began! After that I began building Spring Bay when I was asked by Stanley Wiggs. It’s really grown from there.”

    Nori designs everything from unsanctioned events like mini trials and her own jumper shows at the farm to one-star events at the Kentucky Horse Park. “Course designing is my creative outlet. I love fitting the necessities into a pattern that’s smooth but challenging,” she explains. 

    A Passion for Teaching

    When asked what she is most passionate about with regards to her job, Nori explains that “my passion isn’t really riding—it’s seeing my students grow and learn as riders. My specialty is talking people off the ledge!” she says, smiling. “No, in all honesty, my specialty is building confidence in my riders, whether they are timid beginners or adult amateurs who can’t afford to get hurt.

    I love when I can teach something well enough that my rider walks out of the ring with a smile—I know they have really learned something—a lightbulb came on and they GET it. And that feeling can come with the smallest thing—any sort of breakthrough makes me feel like I have accomplished something meaningful.

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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