Mid-South Eventing & Dressage Association

MSEDA News

  • 06/04/2018 8:56 PM | Anonymous

    Most equestrians give spring and fall shots to our equine counterparts religiously, but few of us take the time to understand what diseases we are safeguarding against. Here we delve into Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis and why it is considered a “core vaccine” with the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP).

    By Sarah E. Coleman



    Many of us give “combo” shots, typically four- or five-way combinations of vaccines given in one vial so our horses don’t have to get stuck multiple times with individual needles. These combinations typically include what the AAEP dubs “core vaccines” – those that all horses, no matter their location or occupation, should be vaccinated for to protect their wellbeing.

    These core vaccines include:

    • Eastern/Western Equine Encephalomyelitis
    • Rabies
    • Tetanus
    • West Nile Virus

    Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis

    Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE), is one of the core vaccines recommended by the AAEP. EEE was first recorded in the Northern hemisphere in 1831. Similar to West Nile Virus, EEE is transmitted by mosquitoes, so horses that live or spend time near ponds or other still bodies of water have a higher risk of contracting the disease.

    Horses (and humans) are a dead-end species for EEE, meaning they cannot pass it on; horses become infected when they are bitten by a mosquito that has picked up EEE from wild birds or rodents, which are “natural reservoirs” for the virus; this means they can carry EEE, but are not affected by it.

    EEE causes severe encephalitis in horses; it has a 90 percent mortality rate in horses that are not vaccinated. It is most prevalent in the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states in mid-summer to fall. Evidence suggests that young horses are particularly susceptible to the disease.

    Signs of EEE

    EEE comes on in a hurry and can be confused with other diseases that affect the central nervous system, like bacterial meningitis, rabies, tetanus, Western Equine Encephalitis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis and West Nile Virus. This disease is also sometimes confused with poisoning. To definitively diagnose a horse, blood must be tested in a lab to see if there are antibodies to the virus present.

    Time is of the essence with EEE cases as most affected horses die within three days. An animal that survives may have permanent brain damage.

    Signs of EEE include:

    • Anorexia
    • Fever
    • Depression
    • Heat tilt
    • Impaired vision
    • Muscle twitches
    • Staggering gait
    • Irritability
    • Head pressing
    • Limb weakness or paralysis
    • Coma
    • Sensitivity to light

    Controlling EEE

    EEE tends to appear in “outbreak form,” meaning that the infected horses are generally in close proximity to one another. EEE occurs when horse owners don’t vaccinate their horses or don’t vaccinate so the proper coverage is attained. Horses vaccinated for the first time must receive an injection of EEE followed by a second dose of the vaccine three to four weeks later. This two-dose series is essential to establish an effective immune response. A “booster” is then given in the spring each year thereafter. Veterinarians in some areas may recommend a fall booster, as well.

    Vaccination is the No. 1 way to prevent EEE. It is unusual to see EEE in a horse that has been vaccinated for the disease. There is no treatment for EEE; horses are offered only supportive care, including fluids and corticosteroids.

    Controlling mosquitos is also key in preventing EEE. This can be done in a number of ways, including:

    • Eliminate standing water, including in wheelbarrows, gutters, tarps and other easy-to-forget areas.
    • Use larvicidal products that kill mosquito larvae.
    • Change drinking water regularly in buckets and troughs.
    • Keep horses inside at dawn and dusk, when misquotes are most active.
    • Turn on fans to keep mosquitos at bay.
    • Encourage predators, including insects that feed on mosquitos and their larvae.
    • Apply flyspray and investigate the use of a fly sheet and mask on horses that are outside.

    EEE Fast Facts

    • In 2016, there were 116 cases reported nationwide to the USDA.
    • 24 cases of EEE were in Florida, but cases were reported in every coastal state from Virginia to Texas, as well as in Tennessee and Arkansas.
    • Isolated cases in New Jersey and Michigan, plus an outbreak of 19 in Wisconsin, also occurred in 2016.
  • 05/21/2018 2:51 PM | Anonymous

    Though formerly described as a “sporadic” disease affecting horses that lived near the Potomac River, Potomac Horse Fever (PHF) has now been identified in multiple other geographic areas in the United States and Canada. While not dubbed a “core vaccine” with the American Association of Equine Practitioners, many veterinarians recommend their clients vaccinate for the disease.  

    By Sarah E. Coleman

    How Potomac Horse Fever is Transmitted

    Known by other more-uncommon names like Ditch Fever, Shasta River Crud and Equine monocytic ehrlichiosis, Potomac Horse Fever is a seasonal disease seen in spring, summer and early fall on farms that are located near creeks or rivers. The disease is caused by a bacterium called Neorickettsia risticii, which is found in flatworms that develop in aquatic snails. The snails then shed the bacteria when the water warms in the spring and summer. From there, the bacteria can be ingested by horses drinking from rivers or streams, or, more likely, the bacteria is picked up by aquatic insects like mayflies, caddisflies, dragonflies or damselflies.


    These infected insects can be ingested by horses as they graze, or they may be eaten by bats and barn swallows, which may also inhabit barns; it is not known if the feces from bats and birds play a role in PHF infection.

    Signs of PHF

    PHF causes diarrhea, mild colic and fever, and may cause abortion in pregnant mares. Horses infected with PHF become depressed and anorexic before developing a fever; they will have an elevated heart rate and dark mucous membranes. Horses may sweat and intestinal sounds may be decreased; within 48 hours horses typically develop diarrhea with some mild colic signs. Some horses may become dehydrated or septic, and some will develop laminitis.

    The incubation period for PHF is 10 to 18 days, and infected horses are not contagious. Acute colitis in the small and large intestine is a possibility, but the biggest complication of PHF is laminitis, which occurs in 20-30 percent of affected horses; it is normally severe and averse to treatment. Fatality from PHF is between 5 and 30 percent.  

    Treatment

    Often confused with salmonella, a definitive diagnosis of PHF requires testing for the bacteria in blood or feces. Many vets opt to begin treatment of the affected horse before the blood work is back as the disease can progress rapidly.  

    Horses infected with PHF can be treated with oxytetracycline if they are diagnosed early in the disease progression. Horses generally begin responding to treatment within 12 hours. Responses typically include the return of appetite, a brighter attitude, a reduction of fever and an increase in intestinal sounds. If the horse is exhibiting signs of entercolitis, fluids and NSAIDs are normally given. If discovered early, signs of the disease resolve by the third day of treatment.

    Prevention

    If PHF has been confirmed on a farm or geographic area, it’s very likely that additional PHF cases will occur. Vaccinations for PHF are marginally effective; there are more than 14 strains of N ristcii, so the vaccination may not cover all strains (similar to being vaccinated for human influenza and still ending up with the flu, but with a less-severe case). There are some strategies horse owners can employ to help minimize the prevalence of insects that may be responsible for PHF. These include:

    • Turning off lights at night to avoid insect attraction

    • Maintaining barriers along bodies of water to encourage insects to stay near their home base

    • Cleaning water and feed buckets regularly to avoid accidental ingestion

    • Covering horse feed to avoid insect contamination


    PHF can have grave consequences for horses, so discussing the disease with a vet and determining the best course of action to protect equines is paramount.

  • 05/21/2018 2:39 PM | Anonymous

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

    By Sarah E. Coleman



    Date and time: May 25, 26 and 27 at the Kentucky Horse Park Dressage Complex

    Event history: The Kentucky Dressage Association (KDA) Spring Warm-Up and 32nd Annual Dressage Show is an Official Qualifying Competition for the 2018 Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North; the 2018 Children Dressage National Championship; the 2018 USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship; 2018 AGCO/USEF Junior and Young Rider Dressage National Championships; and the 2018 USEF Young Adult Brentina Cup Dressage National Championship presented by Dressage Today. It is also an Official Qualifying Competition for the 2018 Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse Dressage Championships and an Official Qualifying Competition for the 2018 FEI World Breeding Championships for Young Horses in Dressage (Five, Six,and Seven Year Olds.) This show is recognized by the following: KDA, AHA, AQHA, MSEDA, IDS, MODA, TIP, and is a National Dressage Pony Cup Partner Show.

    Volunteer opportunities before the show, May 23 and 24:

    • Set rings

    • Decorate rings

    • Clean judge’s boxes

    • Set hospitality area

    Volunteer opportunities during the show:

    • Runners

    • Scribes

    • Scorers

    What should volunteers know?
    Volunteers should wear appropriate footwear for working outside (not flipflops!) and bring raingear if the weather looks like rain.  Panera will be provided for volunteers who work through lunch and volunteers are invited to vendor parties and dinners if scheduled through the evening shifts. A T-shirt will be provided.

    For more information or to sign up for a volunteer time, please contact Sandy Kraatz (sandy@KDAVolunteers.com)

  • 05/03/2018 6:53 AM | Anonymous

    Puncture wounds can be tricky—what may look like an innocuous, small cut can rapidly become an infected, time-consuming injury if the wound turns out to be more than surface-deep.  

    By Sarah E. Coleman



    Small cuts, especially on hairy horse legs, can be easy to overlook. Though the majority of us run our hands down our horse’s legs when we see them, it’s easy to pass right over a small cut thinking it’s not a big deal. However, these seemingly small nicks can turn into something more serious in a hurry, turning the injuries into swollen, inflamed areas that are hot to the touch and infected.

    Puncture wounds anywhere are cause for concern, but those on the lower legs are especially troublesome as they can be deep enough to involve vital structures. Additionally, puncture wounds can be fatal if they strike vital organs like the heart or brain—or if they damage too deeply inside the hoof capsule.

    So what should you do if you find a puncture wound? First and foremost, call your veterinarian. Puncture wounds are usually much more serious than they appear, so getting expert attention soon after discovering it can put your horse on the fast track to healing.

    Next, you can:

    1. Clean around the injury carefully with water, but don’t spray the area directly with a hose as this will force surrounding dirt deeper into the puncture, worsening the chance of infection. Avoid caustic cleaners, but scrubbing gently with saline is appropriate. DO NOT apply pressure to a puncture wound.
    2. Determine if the wound is near a critical structure such as a tendon sheath or internal organ. While the injury may seem far away from the joint, it’s important to remember that infection can spread rapidly and reach the joint capsule.
    3. Cover the area in a water-soluble wound product.
    4. Clip the hair around the affected area, if possible. This will make it easier to see exactly what is going on.
    5. Apply a clean bandage to the area.
    6. Double check that your horse is up-to-date on his tetanus vaccine.

    If you find your horse with an object embedded n his body, leave it in place. This is especially critical if the object is protruding from your horse’s hoof; an X-ray may be necessary to determine the extent of the injury.

    How to Prevent Puncture Wounds

    While it’s impossible to protect your horse from all injury, there are some ways you can help prevent puncture wounds. The include:

    • Look over stalls and run-in sheds a few times a year, looking for protruding nails or screws.
    • Replace broken fence boards as soon as possible; many times nails stick out from broken boards and posts.
    • Keep a timely farrier schedule. The nails from lost shoes are a common source of puncture wounds in the soles of hooves.
    • Put down a tarp or drop cloth to catch nails or screws when working on projects around the farm.
    • Run a magnet through the aisle or grooming area once your farrier is done to pick up any stray nails.
  • 04/16/2018 8:49 AM | Anonymous

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

    By Sarah E. Coleman

    Sayre School Combined Test and Dressage Show


    Date and Time: May 12, 2018 at Masterson Station Park in Lexington, KY

    Event History: The 28 year for this event, the annual Sayre Horse Show is a combines test and dressage show that is both MSEDA and KDA sanctioned. Divisions include Greenie, Starter, Beginner Novice, Novice, Training and Preliminary. New for 2018 is the inclusion of fun classes for kids 10 and under.

    All proceeds from the show go to supporting the Sayre School, which was established in 1854. The school is a pre-K through 12th grade institution, with core values of wisdom, integrity, respect and compassion.  

    Volunteer Opportunities:

    Thursday Volunteer Opportunities:
    - Dressage ring set up
    - Stadium course set up

    Saturday Volunteer Opportunities:
    - Bit check
    - Dressage scribes
    - Ring Stewards

    Interested? Email Sally Lockhart at sallyire@aol.com

    Tips for Volunteers: With the crazy weather Kentucky has been experiencing, prepare for the weather, including having everything from winter coats to rain coats to having sunscreen on hand!

  • 04/16/2018 8:36 AM | Anonymous

    While warmer weather has all of us excited about the ability to ride in less layers than Nanook of the North, spring in Kentucky is not without its share of equine complications, including slightly feral steeds, abscesses from mud and the seemingly ever-persistent (and dreaded!) rain rot.

    By Sarah E. Coleman


    One of the most-common skin infections seen in horses, the technical term for rain rot is Dermatophilus congolensis. Caused by bacterial spores that invade the outer layer of skin, the horse’s body produces extra white blood cells as a response to the attack. The blood cells and protein then create tiny, pus-filled pustules on the horse’s coat. When the pustules mature, the skin beneath dies off.

    Occurring in warm, damp conditions, rain rot can manifest in multiple ways, including as individual lesions affecting only portions of a horse’s body or in broad patches. Eventually these lesions form crusty scabs, which then peel off with clumps of hair, leaving patches of the horse’s body bare and potentially painful.

    Common on the head, neck and back, some rain rot truly follows the path of the rainwater as it runs off the horse’s body.While your horse has an active case of rain rot:

    • Don’t share equipment, including saddle pads, girths, wraps and brushes
    • Disinfect the equipment used on the horse

    Healing Options

    Short of keeping a rain sheet on 24/7, it’s hard to prevent rain rot here in the Bluegrass. So what to do when your horse gets it? There are both over-the-counter options and some homemade remedies. If your horse has a very persistent case, it may be in his best interest to have a vet come out and either do a skin scraping or prescribe some other medications (shampoos that contain keratolytic agent are common) as secondary infections of the open lesions can occur.

    OTC Options:

    • Antimicrobial and antibacterial shampoo or rinse (betadine or Nolvasan are options)
    • MTG
    • Equiderma
    • Hay, Where’s That Blue Stuff
    • MicroTek
    • Chlorhexidine scrub
    • Zephyr’s Garden fungal spray
    • Tea tree oil

    Homemade Remedies

    • Clip the horse so air can get to the affected areas
    • Put a 50/50 mix of Listerine and water in a spray bottle and apply up to three times a day
    • Mix mineral oil and Betadine solution, leave on for three days
    Do you have any remedies for rain rot you swear by? Share them here!
  • 04/02/2018 11:29 AM | Anonymous

    Horse showing at a new venue can be a bit like flying blind. Find out why attending MSEDA-sanctioned shows and events can ensure you feel like you’re riding with a no-fail GPS.

    By Sarah E. Coleman

    Horse shows can be great fun no matter where you are, but attending a new event or horse trial can be fraught with doubts: What kind of judges will be there? How will the event be run? Will anything overface my horse? Will it be worth my trip down here?

    Some of these fears can be allayed with three little words: “Sanctioned by MSEDA.” When you’re looking to attend a new event, this small phrase can guarantee you a few things: that the show will be a quality event; that the officials will be licensed by MSEDA, USEF or USDF; and that qualified medical personnel will be on the grounds should you need them (we hope you won’t!).

    The Positives Behind Sanctioning Shows

    MSEDA sanctioning helps show managers in a myriad of ways, arguably the most important of which is bringing additional competitors to the venue. Fully 40 percent of competitors attending dressage shows, events and horse trials in Kentucky and the surrounding states are MSEDA members. Sanctioning shows encourages more riders to compete in their quest for year-end honors.

    Sanctioning can remove a lot of stress from show managers. Sanctioning ensures that show managers provide their competitors with a level playing field. It does so by requiring that they have a sanctioned technical delegate (TD) at the competition. There is a vast list of all the requirements a TD must do or provide at every horse show s/he attends.

    This list is extensive and includes everything from ensuring that fence heights are correct, that there is ample warm-up areas, that horse and rider behavior in the warm up is appropriate, that all the letters in the dressage arenas are correct, and much, much more. A TD’s job is critical to the smooth and accurate running of a horse show, and it can be a relief for a horse show manager to have competent, endorsed help during an event.

    Another boon for horse show hosts and managers? Sanctioning with MSEDA looks great to insurance companies. MSEDA requires that medical personnel be present during the show, a proactive preparation should an accident happen. This measure is not required by most insurance companies. In most cases, unsanctioned shows let local rescue services know they are hosting an event, but don’t have someone physically on the grounds. Sanctioning requires a medical professional be on the grounds, dedicated to ensuring the safety of riders.

    A Competitor’s Edge

    Competitors appreciate attending MSEDA-sanctioned shows as there are never any surprises, no matter where they attend an event or show. Every MSEDA-sanctioned event follows the same rules with regards to details, including fence height, types of fences offered, etc., allowing riders to bring green horses (and trainers to bring green riders) and know that they will not be overfaced—there are no surprises on unfair jump options at sanctioned shows.

    MSEDA-sanctioned shows offer exhibitors more than just a quality experience—they also offer the ability ride under sanctioned judges who offer meaningful, insightful feedback that will allow riders to improve if they take the comments to heart. “The feedback and remarks [on tests] are more meaningful if I know the type and amount of training a judge went through to get them,” says Nikki Seto, a MSEDA member who competes in Western Dressage. This is especially important in a new discipline like western dressage, she explains. “MSEDA has several local judges, officials and instructors who have taken the time and expense to learn to rules, expectations, purpose, terminology and roots of this emerging discipline.”   

    Nikki, like the majority of MSEDA members, competes to garner points toward year-end awards. Riders can only accrue these points at shows that are sanctioned. Here, sanctioning translates directly to the show manager’s bottom line: If the show is sanctioned, more riders will attend in an attempt to earn points.

    In addition to points, showing at sanctioned shows allows riders to track their progress with their horse as the show season continues—knowing they are riding under multiple judges who have worked hard to receive certifications means that the comments and thoughts truly describe how the horse-and-rider team compares with the ideal.

    Currently, Western Dressage riders can only accrue points at sanctioned, schooling-level shows under current USEF guidelines, Nikki notes. Unfortunately, the closest Western Dressage Association of American (WDAA) show is in Tennessee, forcing local competitors to travel out of state for competition.  Should more shows within Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana were to become sanctioned, their base ofrider support would grow (which, again, means more money for horse show hosts in addition to the growth of the discipline).

    How Can we Help?

    How can MSEDA encourage show managers to sanction their shows? In addition to more pushes for sanctioned shows on social media and the MSEDA website, how else can our organization serve you? Let us know by emailing Nikki Seto at nikki.w.seto@gmail.com 
  • 03/16/2018 10:55 AM | Anonymous

    Riding in a well-run clinic taught by a profession in your discipline can be an enlightening experience, allowing you a fresh take on your riding.

    By Sarah E. Coleman

    Ellen Murphy rides in a George Williams clinic.
    Photo by Veronica Ferth.

    Riding in a clinic can be extremely helpful, allowing you to not only ride under a professional with whom you may not ride regularly, it also offers you the opportunity to watch other riders as well, allowing you to glean information from their lessons and efforts.

    If you’re going to spend your time and hard-earned money, you’ll want to do your due diligence to be sure that the clinic you select is the right one for you and your horse. Doing a bit of background checking is helpful: Google the clinician if you’re not overly familiar with him or her. Look at reviews that have been posted and ask friends if they’ve ridden with the instructor before. Watching YouTube videos of clinicians you may like to ride with is a great way to evaluate their teaching style.

    Preparation is Key

    Just like a horse show, preparation or the clinic is key. Ellen Murphy of Ellen Murphy Sporthorses in Georgetown, KY, plans her week to two weeks leading up to the clinic specifically to ensure her horse is tuned up, comfortable, loose and working well, but not sore or over drilled. “If I have a chiro or my massage therapist due, I schedule that to get the most out of it for the clinic. The key is to know your horse,” she explains. “If I go to a clinic on the weekend then I will do my harder schooling earlier in the week and then maybe a day off, hack day, and then a long-and-low day leading up so my horse is stretched out and fresh.”

    Chelsea Smith, owner of two OTTBS and Smith Equine Media, prepares her horses training programs as well. “I take some extra lessons and school cross-country if it’s an eventing clinic,” she explains. “I want my horse to get out and see things before I go so that I make the most of the opportunity!”

    As you will have only a limited amount of time to ride with the instructor, you want to ensure that you arrive to the clinic venue on time and ready to ride. If you’re going to a barn or arena you have never been to before, arrive early enough that you can familiarize yourself with the facility layout, and find your way around.

    If you can, get your horse in the arena before the clinic or during breaks so you’re not wasting valuable time getting him used to the spooky corners. If you are not the first ride time of the day, watch some of the other riders go, especially if it is a new-to-you clinician—this will help you determine the tone of the clinician and his or her lessons.

    Whenever possible, stay and watch the other clinic sessions. “It’s one thing to ride and experience the lesson, but it's so much more helpful when you can watch other people experience it as well,” says Ellen. “They [riders] don't always have the exact same lesson, but it really helps with understanding the clinician’s exercises, objectives, and approach and technique!


    Chelsea Smith rides in an MSEDA Kim Severson Clinic.
    Photo by JJ Sillman.

    Stretching Boundaries

    Remember that “a clinic is NOT a regular lesson,” says Ellen. “Your regular instructor builds on things week by week. A clinic is a fresh set of eyes with two to three days to meet an objective. They [the clinicians] are going to push you out of your comfort zone most likely. And that's why you go!”

    It’s important to go to a clinic with an open mind. “Just because that isn't how you do it [a movement or technique] at home doesn’t mean it isn't right,” Ellen reminds riders. “You’re there [at the clinic] to push the limits a bit and discover new limits. I see so many people end up upset and crying at clinics, and I think that is because they expect to be told everything is great. But the point of a clinic is to really push you through to that next level. So embrace the suck and learn from it!”

    Chelsea seconds that clinics can be a stressful situation for both you and your horse. “Just be patient,” she says. “I also try to treat it like a horse show—I prepare as much as possible at home, and then just try and have fun!”

    The key to getting the most from any clinic is to approach everything with an open mind. “Be ready to learn and never assume you know anything,” says Ellen. “And check your ego at the door,” she reminds. You are not at the clinic to show off or engage in a deep discussion on training philosophies with the clinician--at least during your scheduled clinic time.

    “Be really open to trying new approaches. Just because you think you have figured out what works well for your horse doesn't mean that the clinician doesn't have an experience with a similar type of horse that is going to allow them to show you a totally different approach, which may be way more effective,” says Ellen. “It might not be effective with this horse at all at this point in time--but that doesn't mean 6 months from now or on the next horse you own that it won't be effective.” What is conveyed at a clinic is meant to help you not only on this horse at this point in time; the knowledge given you should be a tool in your training kit you can use on many horses in the future.


    Photo by JJ Sillman

    The Takeaway

    The end goal of a clinic is not to walk away with the clinician having told you everything is perfect; you should walk away with some added insight into how your horse responds to different training techniques. Be sure to ask the clinician what he or she feels you the next steps for you and your horse should be.

    After your ride, sit down and write or type notes to yourself on what exercises you did, what you learned and how your horse reacted. If you get the chance to watch other portions of the clinic, take notes on those as well, including exercise that intrigued you or those you think could benefit your horse.

  • 03/16/2018 10:03 AM | Anonymous

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

    By Sarah E. Coleman



    Photo by JJ Sillman

    Spring Bay Horse Trials: April 7-8, 2018

    Event History: Spring Bay Horse Trials is the first event of the year in Area VIII. It began as the Ha’Penny Horse Trials many years ago, then became Spring Bay Horse Trials, organized by Stanley Wiggs. In 2003, Mary Fike became the organizer. It is the unique format of dressage and stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park and cross-country at Masterson Station Park makes it a staple on many competitor’s calendars.

    Date and Time: April 7-8, 2018.  On Saturday April 7, dressage and show jumping are held at Kentucky Horse Park. On Sunday April 8, cross country is held at Masterson Station Park.  

    Volunteer Opportunities: 
    - flagging of cross-country course
    - decorating cross-country
    - putting up signage

    During the show:
    - scribes
    - ring stewards
    - scorers
    - bit check
    - show jumping timers
    - warm-up and in-gate stewards
    - cross-country starters
    - runners

    After the show:
    - cleanup help
    - social media shares
    - articles for the MSEDA newsletter (and other interested publications)
    - press release creation

    Interested? Email Bev Henson bevhenson@me.com (preferred) or text 502-220-0187 

    Tips for Volunteers

    Volunteer vouchers are provided for every volunteer.  Voucher good for discounts on merchandise or post-event schooling; these vouchers are good for an entire year. Lunch is provided, as well as snacks and drinks for all volunteers.  Dress is weather appropriate, but there is no dress code requirement.

  • 02/26/2018 3:07 PM | Anonymous

    While most of us know the signs of Lyme disease in people (a bullseye rash, flu-like symptoms and fatigue), the signs horses exposed to Lyme disease exhibit can be quite different. Interestingly, diagnosis and treatment in both horses and humans is the same!

    By Sarah E. Coleman


    Lyme disease, while the most prevalent of any tick-born disease in humans or animals in the United States, hasn’t gotten a lot of play in the horse world, at least in this part of the country. Most of the reported cases come from the Northeast, the upper Midwest and California, though this soon may change as the areas in which Lyme-infected ticks have been found spreads.

    Ticks that carry Lyme disease are slowly expanding their area, which can be cause for concern for horse owners. First identified in Lyme, Conn., in the 1970s, the Centers for Disease Control tracks human cases of Lyme; there is no body that tracks equine cases, but it’s strongly believed that they occur in the same areas as human cases.

    Lyme disease is caused by a bacterial spirochete called Borrelia burgdorferi. This disease infects dogs, cats, cattle and horses. Clinical signs of Lyme disease are caused by the inflammation of the membranes of joints and nerves.

    Signs of Lyme disease can include:  

    • Fever
    • Muscle pain
    • Swollen joints
    • Stiffness in the major joints, including hock, stifle, knee, elbow and fetlock
    • Rotating, sporadic lameness
    • Lack of energy
    • Crankiness
    • Overreaction to sensory stimuli, called hyperesthesia


    How is it Diagnosed?

    Vets will use a combination of history, blood tests, clinical signs, risk of probable exposure and antibiotic therapy to determine if a horse has Lyme disease. It’s important to remember that the results of the blood test do not always correlate to the disease status in the horse; horses will test positive for Lyme disease if they have been exposed to the organism even if the signs they are exhibiting are not tied to the disease.

    Lyme can have long-term consequences on horses, including damage to skin, joints, nervous system and vision.


    How is it Transmitted?


    Lyme disease is transmitted when a blacklegged tick (including deer ticks and Western blacklegged ticks) feeds on a wild mouse that is infected with the disease. The tick, now infected itself, then feeds on human and animals, spreading the disease via blood. It is mainly adult ticks that infect horses and they generally cause infection in the spring and fall, though horses can become infected any time ticks are active (like during an unseasonably warm winter).

    How is it Treated?

    It’s important to note that all horses that are bitten by ticks infected with Lyme will not get the disease. Horses may be infected with Lyme disease, but not develop any signs. The horse is considered to have the disease when he begins to exhibit recognizable signs of the disease.

    Like many equine diseases, early diagnosis is key to preventing the most-serious effects of the Lyme, though this may not be for five or six weeks after your horse has been bitten.

    Many horses are treated for Lyme disease each year; treatment can be expensive, span a long period of time and carry some chance of toxicity. Almost all horses that have Lyme are treated with doxycycline, tetracycline or ceftiofur. Banamine or another anti-inflammatory may also be given to ease discomfort. Treatment usually lasts for 30 to 60 days.

    There is no approved Lyme vaccination for horses on the market and there is no glimmer of one on the horizon. So how best to protect your four-legged friend? Limit his exposure to ticks that carry the bacteria if you live in an area where the disease is prevalent. This can be done by:

    • Grooming your horse daily, looking for ticks specifically at the base of the mane and tail, around ears, belly and throatlatch.
    • Using fly repellents that contain permethrins.
    • Mow grass and brush in your horse’s fields, and cut down overhanging branches where ticks like to hide out.

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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