Mid-South Eventing & Dressage Association


  • 08/15/2017 9:39 AM | Anonymous
    The invention of smartphones has made equestrians lives so much easier. From tracking health and vaccination records, miles logged, equine heart rates and local tack swaps (and not to mention just how easy it is to take snaps of your four-legged love!), it’s wonderful to have all equine info at your fingertips.

    By Sarah E. Coleman

    The vast majority of us are a little too connected to our phones, taking them with us everywhere we go and sleeping with them next to our beds at night. While some could see this connectivity as an issue, for obsessive horse owners (and really, isn’t that all of us?), this kind of knowledge at our fingertips is a fantastic way to help us feed our equine organization obsession.

    With this in mind, here are some apps you might enjoy:

    Hey NEIGHbor

    Find and list horses, tack, livestock, barn supplies and more. Easy uploads and searching, you can filter to find local items or those within your budget. All posts are removed 30 days after they are listed, so you know you won’t get your heart set on something that sold in 2015.

    Keep your horse’s gaits as even as possible with EquiTempo, which allows you to figure out the beats per minute (BPM) of any gait. Then set the app for the desired speed and EquiTemp ticks like a metronome.

    Horse Rider SOS
    This app will alert your emergency contacts when you have parted ways with your steed and indicate your exact GPS location for rescue. Now if only finding your horse were this easy!

    Manage individual horse’s feed, health, repro records, performance and training, or view all of the horses in your barn. You can also record expense and income and pictures of everything from receipts to injuries.

    Coach My Video
    Coach My Video allows you to upload photos and videos, and annotate them with lines (frame-by-frame) to check your alignment. You can then email the photos or videos to anyone.

    Hay Price Calculator
    Created by Regents of the University of Minnesota, this app will calculate hay price per ton, helping you choose the most cost-effective bundle.

    EquiSketch Dressage
    Help memorize your dressage test (in large or small arenas) by creating each movement of your test and then using an animated horse to perform the test.

    Healthy Horse
    Estimate your horse’s body weight for feeding and medication dosages by entering your horse’s height, girth circumference, body length and neck.

    SmartPak SmartBlanket App
    Create customized recommendations for your horse’s apparel based on the local weather conditions with the SmartPak SmartBlanket app.

    Horseware Turnout Guide
    This app gathers weather forecasts for three upcoming days and then makes recommendations on which Horseware turnout is best for your horse.

    Stable Secretary
    This app will help you keep equine business records and health records organized and get reminders about future appointments and due dates. You can add your team members (farrier, vet, etc.) and everyone can view and add info about your horse. Billing is also simplified.

    Preloaded with a checklist of standard items you would need for a horse show, including vet documents, tack and rider equipment, this app is a must-have for those riders who constantly leave at least one necessary item at home! You can add items and check things off, as well.

    Show Jumping Strides
    This app allows you to estimate the number of strides between two fences in a line of stadium jumps. Simply enter the distance (in meters) between the fences in the “distance” box, the height of the fence (in meters), the prescriped meters per minutes and the type of fence (vertical, oxer, triple bar or water) and the app will estimate the number of strides between the two obstacles.

  • 08/15/2017 9:30 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

    Park Equine Kentucky Classique Horse Trials

    Date and Time: The Horse Trial will be held September 2 and 3, but a Friday dressage is in the talks with management because of our AWESOME riders supporting Area 8. We will let riders know ASAP if we're going to make the switch, says Mary Fike.

    Event History: Kentucky Classique filled the date in the fall calendar when Mary Bayer and Stanley Wiggs discontinued doing the ever-popular Fall Ha’Penny Horse Trial.

    Volunteer opportunities before the event:

    • Stall cards
    • Labeling dressage tests
    • Setting up the office
    • Setting Dressage
    • Hanging banners
    • Roping XC

    We also can use volunteer to help set stadium, Mary noted. It’s usually on the Thursday of event week. If folks like to paint/stain, we can arrange to gift them a paintbrush and they can spend some glorious time out on XC and maybe befriend the park’s resident fox or catch sight of the newest owlets in the old Burr Oak tree.

    Volunteer opportunities during the event:  
    • Jump judges
    • Scribes
    • Score runners, etc.

    It should be noted that if anyone is interested in volunteering, please email Lynn and let her know your availability, we can work around ride times, groom schedules, crying, freaking out and drinking, says show secretary Erin Murphy.

    Volunteer opportunities after the event:

    • Thank you notes to all officials.
    • Creation of a press release, article about the event
    • Take down SJ, dressage, XC flags and decorations, etc. 

    What should volunteers know?

    We all know that weather in September can be unpredictable, so make sure to come prepared. Jacket, rain pants, boots, bug spray, sun glasses, wine (jk, but no really).  We do provide lunch. I always bring my earbuds and music and a chair and boots, says Mary.

    For more information or to sign up for a time, please email Lynn Davis at lynndavis@twc.com.

  • 07/31/2017 9:51 AM | Anonymous

    For only the second time in its history, the World Equestrian Games will be held on United States soil: This time in Tryon, N.C.

    By Sarah E. Coleman

    For those of us who lived in Kentucky in 2010, it’s easy to remember the hype that surrounded the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Game. The insistence that farms were going to be sold for well over their asking price, as well as the thought that the city would be overrun with out-of-town guests was perpetuated by every facet of Lexington commerce. In the horse world, many of equine enthusiasts were led to believe that we had to buy our tickets in discipline packages, the minute they went on sale, or we risked being shut out of the Games completely.

    Those who survived WEG 2010 were privy to a lot of things that did not go as planned; thankfully those who didn’t call the Bluegrass home never noticed. And though the horse community seems pretty evenly split about whether or not they would welcome the Games back to Kentucky, there are some things each of us can be thankful for that was a direct result of the Games being held in Lexington: The Rolex Stadium, the increase in sport horse farms in the area and a massive increase in tourism that appreciates both our horses and our bourbon, just to name a few (we won’t mention that hole that’s slowly becoming something downtown, 8 years later….)

    Here Comes the World

    The World Equestrian Games 2018 are going to be held state side once again, this time in Tryon, N.C., at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Once can only imagine that that small town is in as much of a tizzy as Lexington was 14 months out, with massive infrastructure supplementation and rumors spinning around.

    So, how prepared is Tryon for a horse show of this magnitude? Carly Weilminster, the Marketing, Advertising, and Media Relations Manager of ‎Equestrian Sport Productions and Tryon International Equestrian Center, answered some questions for MSEDA.

    Carly said that the facility currently encompasses 1,600 acres in Polk County, N.C., while external facility amenities are located in Rutherford County (a big concern of holding WEG at Tryon is where people are going to stay!). The current George H. Morris Arena comfortably seats 6,000, while a larger stadium construction has begun and will seat between 20,000 to 25,000 spectators.

    “There are currently 1,200 permanent stalls on-site, 12 riding arenas and a 12-acre state-of-the-art grass derby complex. The facility also already boasts an extensive cross-country course, which resides on the adjacent property, which was formerly an 18-hole golf course,” Carly said.

    “There will be a significant amount of construction occurring over the next 15 months. Much of the equestrian and competition components that are necessary for the event are already in existence. The construction of the stadium, several on-site hotels, and the additions to the covered arena, which will be used for vaulting and reining, will take place throughout the year leading up to the event.”

    How Do People Get There?

    A major concern among the equestrian community is just how people will physically get to the competition grounds. The Tryon venue is situated between three major airports, which include: Greenville-Spartanburg Airport, Asheville Regional Airport and Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Each airport is between 45 minutes to an hour and a half away from the venue.

    And where will they stay?

    Carly notes that the Tryon venues “currently have a significant amount of on-site housing available for competitors and spectators for our national and international competitions hosted throughout the year. We are in the process of constructing additional on-site housing, which will include four hotels. The cities of Greenville, Asheville, and Charlotte are all within an hour’s drive from the venue, which will also support the generous number of spectators traveling to watch the Games. Forest City, Hendersonville, Rutherfordton and Spartanburg will also provide additional housing and lodging support.”

    Test Events

    According to FEI rules, test events in each discipline must take place at the venue prior to the Games. In Tryon, test events will begin in October of 2017 and continue through the spring of 2018, dependent on the discipline. Eventing will take place in October 2017 (the American Eventing Championships will be held there), while the driving test event will take place in the spring of 2018.

    The endurance paths have not yet been established, but will run over the Tryon grounds as well as on adjacent property.

    A Notch Above

    “TIEC offers several on-site amenities that help to make it one of the most unique equestrian destinations in the world,” Carly says. Ten on-site restaurants are open during the competition season, with several open year-round, she notes, allowing competitors and spectators to dine and socialize on-site. “These include an iconic 50s themed diner, sushi, up-scale American grille cuisine, Italian, Mexican, pub food, ice-cream and sweets, and much more.”

    If you’re wishing to do something non-horsey during your downtime, Cleghorn Golf & Sports Club is just five minutes down the road, with a beautifully designed 18-hole golf course and newly renovated pool and sports complex. The Cleghorn Gun Club, also just five minutes away, offers a spectacular clay shooting experience with certified instructors.

    The Lodge on Lake Lure, also owned by Tryon Equestrian Partners, overlooks pristine Lake Lure, one of North Carolina’s hidden treasures.

    “We have heard and understand the feedback regarding past FEI World Equestrian Games events and are proactively planning to make this event one of the most spectator and competitor friendly events that the sport has seen!” Carly said.

    Securing Your Seat

    The discipline schedules have been set, minus start and finish times, but the days of competition have already been announced and are available for viewing at www.tryon2018.com.

    Tickets will go on sale in September. They will be available on a major ticket platform and specific package options will be available. A broad announcement marking the start of ticket sales will be released ahead of the platform launch.

    For much more information on the facility and the Games, visit http://tryon.coth.com

  • 07/12/2017 12:08 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

    Nancy F. Newton Memorial Dressage and Combined Test

    Event History: Antebellum Farm began hosting a summer combined test in 1992; this is their 25th anniversary. This is the second year that the combined test will be held in honor of Nancy Newton, who passed in 2016. The profits from the event will go to an undetermined charity in her name.

    Date and Time: July 23rd, 8 a.m. until the last test is finished, typically about 4:30 p.m.

    Volunteer Opportunities:

    • timers
    • dressage stewards
    • dressage scribes
    • jump crew
    • parking assistants
    • stadium steward
    • runners

    Interested? Contact Dylan Newton 859-489-3375; antebefarm@aol.com. Lunch, snacks and drinks are provided to volunteers throughout the day.

    Visit the Antebellum Farm website here

  • 07/12/2017 11:55 AM | Anonymous

    Many riders look at their riding time as their “gym time”—and for many of us, this is the time during the week that we raise our heart rates and really work up a sweat. However, if you ride only a few days a week or don’t really work hard enough to burn calories, there is still some calories to burn in order to stay fit to ride your horse well. 

    By Sarah E. Coleman

    MSEDA interviewed Megan Arszman, freelance writer and Communications Coordinator for the Indiana Horse Racing Commission, about rider health and fitness. Arszman believes that the main reason riders are reluctant to go to the gym is lack of time. Many horse people, even if they don’t ride every day, still make time to go to the farm and check on their horse if he isn’t kept at home. Additionally, Arszman also feels that riders believe the exercise they get at the farm is enough to keep them fit and healthy. While there’s no doubt that they burn calories while performing farm chores, it is not always enough to keep riders fit and healthy.

    Many riders are not aware of how much being unfit affects their mount. “You have to have core strength in order to be an effective rider, no matter the discipline,” Arszman explains. “I've talked with many trainers in different disciplines and that is a very important part of the rider's body position. If you don’t have the strength and conditioning to hold yourself correctly in the saddle, you can put uneven weight on your horse or you might find yourself relying on the reins to keep your balance, which means pulling on his mouth.” 

    “While farm work is a good workout, there are some things you need to work on at the gym or separately to help you stay healthy and ride better,” Arszman says. Addressing the time issue, Arszman notes that “You don't necessarily have to make the drive to the gym; you can build your own home gym with a few essential pieces.”

    Gym Time Time Out

    Arszman, a horsewoman herself, knows innately that there is simply not enough time in the day, especially to get to the gym. So what does she recommend for an overall body workout?  Body weight circuit training. “You can do a circuit of body weight exercises: air squats, push-ups and planks.”

    If you’re really in a time crunch, Arszman loves the HIIT {High Intensity Interval Training) workouts. “You basically do a series of exercises, rotating between something high-intensity [e.g., sprints, mountain climbers, jump squats, jumping jacks, etc.] and other workouts.”

    Arszman provides an example: 

    Do each exercise at a high intensity for 45 seconds, rest for 15 seconds

    1. Mountain Climbers
    2. Push-ups
    3. Squats
    4. Crunches
    5. Burpees
    6. Plank
    7. Jump Squats
    8. Tricep Dips
    9. High Knees
    10. Lunges


    You Are What You....Eat?

    Specific eating plans can be difficult for riders to follow, especially if they’re running between home, work and the farm, or if they spend multiple days at horse shows. Arszman suggests that, rather than following a specific diet plan, riders watch what they eating--increasing veggie consumption, and decreasing the carbs and sugar. Arszman aims to eat no later than 7 p.m., which she admits is hard in the summer for horse people.

    She tries to eat lean meats (fish, turkey and chicken) and increase water intake. “I've really been focused a lot on watching what I eat lately after some weight gain and it's helped. My brother-in-law has lost almost 200 pounds since last year and tracks everything he eats on his MyFitnessPal app--that's a great tool that I recommend!” 

    So what are some of Arzman’s go-to meals and snacks? I love my green smoothies! I make one every morning after my work out before I wake up my daughter so I can drink it on my way to work. I'll throw in fresh spinach, frozen cauliflower, frozen fruit, plain Greek yogurt, some milk and some protein powder. Sure the spinach and cauliflower sounds gross,” she says, “but trust me, you don't taste it and it's the easiest way to jumpstart your goal for eating veggies!”

     “I also love snacking on string cheese, hard boiled eggs, apples and peanut butter, and Lenny & Larry's Complete Cookies.”

    Prioritizing Fitness Goals

    So, how can riders make fitness a priority? “Set small goals with deadlines and know that you have to work toward them,” Arszman says. “It has to be important to you in order for you to be dedicated. Even if you only have 20 minutes, that's 20 minutes to a healthier life. Wake up 30 minutes early with your workout clothes already set out so you literally roll out of bed and into your clothes and to the gym [or garage gym] before your mind is fully awake to know what you're doing.

    Also, don't feel like you need to work out for 2 hours a day, every day--start off with 30 minutes three times a week and build up. Include your family in your goals and invite them to workout with you, or pick a buddy to help you stay accountable,” she says. 

  • 06/27/2017 2:07 PM | Anonymous

    Navicular syndrome has long been a catch-all term used on any heel pain in horses; even more elusive than a concrete diagnosis has been an effective form of controlling the pain associated with it.

    By Sarah E. Coleman 

    In the beginning of 2014, the equine community welcomed the approval of two new drugs by the U.S. Food and Drug administration: Tildren and OSPHOS. Though Tildren has long been used in human medicine, its release into the equine market is new.

    Both of these drugs are bisphosphonates intended to control the signs of navicular syndrome, which is commonly the cause of front-end lameness in horses. Navicular syndrome is defined as chronic pain arising from the navicular bone and closely related structures (like the deep digital flexor tendon, suspensory ligaments of the navicular bone, etc.). This chronic heel pain includes pathological changes to the ligaments, bone, cartilage and tendons in that area. The exact cause is unknown.

    Navicular syndrome can affect any breed of horse at any activity level; affected horses are typically between 4 and 15 years old. There is no one test that can confirm navicular syndrome; but hoof tests, X-rays, nerve blocks and other imaging modalities may be needed to determine if a horse has navicular disease. 

    Treatment Options

    In the past, navicular has been a catch-all term used for a front-end lameness that could not be definitively determined. Treatment options were somewhat limited, with Isoxsuprine (to increase blood flow to the area) and corrective shoeing being the two most-popular treatment options.

    Oher treatment options include:
    Work and rest protocols determined by the horse’s vet
    Pain management  (NSAIDs)

    What is a Bisphosphonate?

    Bisphosphonates are a class of drug that have been used in human medicine for years prior to their introduction to the equine markets, but they are used for different reasons in human medicine: mainly to decrease bone loss (osteoporosis). Bone is a living tissue that is constantly forming and resorbing in a balance; in diseased bone, this balance is interrupted. Bisphosphonates attach themselves to active sites on bones, and block the ability of the bone to regrow.

    Interestingly, Bisphosphonates were first created as industrial chemicals to prevent corrosion.

    Dr. Laura Werner, a field care veterinarian and surgeon at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, has used Osphos extensively since its introduction in early 2014. Prior to Osphos use, Dr. Werner treated cases of navicular with Tildren, as well as with corrective shoeing, joint or navicular bursa injections, isoxsuprine, shockwave therapy and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories.

    Osphos is an intramuscular injection, given in three separate sites on the horse during one treatment, so Dr. Werner typically utilizes the neck and pectoral muscles as administration sites.  Similar to Tildren, it can take up to two months to see the full effects of Osphos treatment. It can be re-administered every three to six months or longer, based on clinical signs.

    Side Effects

    Dr. Werner notes that colic or pain at the injection site are possible adverse reactions to Osphos. Additionally, she recommends that a horse that is being treated be monitored for hydration and kidney values, especially in older patients.

    The Osphos label notes that owners should watch their horses for two hours after the administration of the drug, looking for agitation, pawing, and other abnormal behavior like lip licking and head shaking. The horse may also experience cramping; if this occurs, it is recommended that the owner hand walk the horse for 15 minutes. 

    A Word of Caution

    The recommendations on Osohps is that it not be given to horses less than four years old, and Dr. Werner notes that it is contraindicated in fracture cases as the drug inhibits osteoclasts and those cells are an important part of fracture healing.

    As always, it’s important to know the USEF and FEI guidelines on withdrawal times for any drug you are administering. Osphos withdrawal time for the FEI is 28 days.

    Osphos (and Tildren) can be effective tools in managing the pain associated with navicular syndrome. As with any medication, care must be give during administration and a close eye kept on the animal being treated. 

  • 06/15/2017 10:03 AM | Anonymous

    The heat is coming on something fierce in Kentucky, and though summer is a great time to ride, horse owners must take care that they are not asking too much of their steeds in weather that is too hot and humid for them to effectively cool themselves. Summer heat can be dangerous for horses, resulting in dehydration, lethargy, and general malaise. Severe heat stress may cause diarrhea, or even colic. Following these 10 tips and using common sense will help keep you and your horse safe and comfortable during the hot days ahead.

    Dr. Janet Johnston, an Emergency and Critical Care veterinarian at Penn Vet's New Bolton Center, offers the following tips as we approach the first days of summer:

    1.  Choose cooler turnout times. If your horse has a stall, but is turned out for part of the day, provide turnout during the cooler hours. Overnight is ideal, but if that's not possible, then have the horse go outside as early as possible during the day.

    2.  Provide shade. If your horse lives outdoors, or if it must be outside during the day, provide relief from the sun. A run-in shed is best. Trees are a source of shade, but as the sun moves, so will the shade.

    3.  Move the air. Fans are a great way to help keep the air moving in the barn, but use them wisely. Your horse will benefit most if the fan is pulling the hot air out of the stall, not pushing air into the stall.

    4.  Mist your horse. If you are fortunate enough to have a system to mist your horse, use it. As the moisture is absorbed from your horse's skin, it will take away some of the heat. Frequent mistings are far more effective than a single dousing with a hose.

    5.  Provide fresh, cool water and an electrolyte source. Make sure your horse has plenty of fresh, cool water. A bucket hanging on a fence will get warm, and the water will no longer be appealing. Left long enough, the water will also become stagnant and unhealthy. If you are providing clean, cool water and your horse doesn't seem to be drinking, then encourage it by providing a salt block, or even by misting hay with salt water.

    6.  Slow down the work. Don't think that because your horse has been working intensely at 1:00 pm every day that it can take the heat when the temperature tops 90 degrees. If you have to work your horse in the heat, lighten the work or spread it out over a couple of short sessions. This is especially important when the humidity is high, contributing to the poor quality of the air your horse is breathing.

    7.  Stick to a schedule. Within the parameters of keeping your horse cool, try to stay as close as possible to a normal schedule. Too much change at one time can be an invitation to colic.

    8.  Avoid sunburn. Horses, especially white horses, can suffer from sunburn. Even those with white socks and blazes, pink noses, or hairless patches from scarring can be susceptible. Using a fly scrim can help. In addition, applying sunblock such as zinc oxide, to small, particularly vulnerable areas can be effective.

    9.  Clip horses with longer hair coats. Clipping is important, especially for horses with Cushings disease. While some coat can provide protection from the sun and insulation, a long, thick coat tends to hold heat and makes it difficult for the horse to cool down.

    10. Know your horse and signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke can happen anytime your horse is exposed to excessive heat that his body cannot handle.

    You should know your horse's normal temperature, heart and respiratory rates. To find the heart rate of a horse, simply find a pulse and count the beats for 15 seconds, then multiply that number by 4. Count the breaths per minute in a similar way.

    Signs of heat stroke can include:

    • An elevated heart rate that does not return to normal in a reasonable period of time
    • Excessive sweating OR lack of sweating
    • Temperature that persists above 103 degrees F
    • Depression, lethargy
    • Signs of dehydration: dry mucous membranes, poor capillary refill and poor skin turgor

    If you are concerned that your horse is suffering from heat stroke, call your veterinarian immediately and get your horse into a cooler environment.

    Read more here

  • 06/15/2017 9:59 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

    The Midsouth Pony Club Horse Trial, June 23-25

    Event History: This horse trial is a fundraising event for the Midsouth Pony Club Region that supports their members at Championships, in certifications and in other educational opportunities.

    Date and Time: June 23rd: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; June 24th: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and June 25th: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Volunteer Opportunities:

    Weeks leading up to event

    Painting fences


    Tuesday morning (June 20)

    Setting Dressage Arenas


    Thursday afternoon (June 22)

    Setting Stadium (with Nori)

    Office help


    Friday (June 23)

    Office Help

    Dressage (8 a.m.-4 p.m.)


    Ring Steward



    Stadium (11 a.m.-6 p.m.)

    Jump Crew


    Saturday (June 24)

    Office Help

    Dressage (8 a.m – 4 p.m.)


    Bit Check



    Stadium (11 a.m. – 6 p.m.)

    Ring Steward

    Jump Crew


    XC (8 a.m. – 6 p.m.)

    Jump Judge


    Sunday (June 25)

    Office Help

    XC (8 a.m. – 3 p.m.)

    Jump Judge


    Stadium (8am-2pm)

    Ring Steward

    Jump Crew

    Interested? Contact Erin Woodall:  gtowngrits@gmail.com502-316-3565 (call or text)

    Tips for Volunteers: It’s never a bad idea to bring a chair, raincoat, sunscreen and a great attitude!

  • 05/31/2017 10:24 AM | Anonymous

    Every horse owner would like to amount of vet bills they incur, but sometimes that’s not an option. While no one would ever expect you to stitch your horse at home or diagnose his niggling lameness, there are some things that owners and riders can do at home in an attempt to prevent unnecessary vet calls.

    By Sarah E. Coleman 

    Dr. Heather Woodruff, co-owner of Foxwood Equine Sports Medicine with Dr. Holly Schmitt (Fox), grew up in Vermont riding hunters, jumpers, eventing and dressage. She graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine and has been practicing in Lexington since 2009, when she moved here to complete a Sports Medicine Internship at Hagyard Equine Medical institute; she and Dr. Schmitt Fox opened Foxwood Equine in 2014.

    Foxwood Equine focuses on sports medicine and acupuncture, also offering high-level lameness diagnostics and treatments to horses that are in elite levels of competition all over the United States. Dr. Woodruff is called in to treat horses for both acute lamenesses and also for preventative and therapeutic care. While there is no replacement for skilled veterinary care, there are a few at-home treatments Dr. Woodruff recommends to keep high-level athletes feeling their best. 

    The Specifics for Keeping Horses Sound

    The No. 1 tool to keeping a horse sound, Dr. Woodruff says, is to keep him fit for his specific job. “It doesn’t matter if the horse is a jumper, reiner, eventer or dressage horse.  At the end of the day, the horse needs to be fit for its job. I am a big fan of lots of flat work, long-and-low work and even trot sets in a big field. This is all depending on the horse and its day-to-day environment. Fitness is not just for cardiovascular activity, it’s also for making sure the horse’s tendons, ligaments and joints are all is proper condition to do the job.”

    Another key to keeping horses fit and in competition shape is hands-on knowledge of the horse’s legs and body. “If there is an abnormal swelling, it’s important to know if that is new or old,” explains Dr. Woodruff. Knowing immediately if a new bump or bruise has arisen can minimize the chance of downtime during competition season as treatment can be started almost immediately. 

    Don't Overdo It

    While many riders (especially after cross country) will ice their horse’s legs, over icing can be a concern. Icing a horse’s legs for too long can cause localized frostbite. For this reason, Dr. Woodruff recommends cold hosing over icing. With cold-hosing, there is no way to damage the legs.

    Another option to provide support for a horse that has had a strenuous workout is to wrap him to provide some additional support to a horse’s legs, especially after extreme exertion. Cold-hosing his legs and then wrapping him correctly with standing bandages and wraps is a non-invasive way to provide a bit of additional help. Some riders use Surpass, a popular NSAID, under wraps, but Dr. Woodruff warns that this prescription medicine should be used with caution if the horse is on additional anti-inflammatories; using Surpass may also mask the beginning of an injury. Because of this, Dr. Woodruff recommends using poultice or liniment under a bandage unless Surpass has been specifically prescribed by a veterinarian.

    Also, “learning acupressure or massage is useful to help relax sore muscles, as well as recovery from injury,” Dr. Woodruff explains. No matter what riders or owners choose to do (or not do) to help support their athlete, “Being able to recognize when the horse may need a little extra cool down and attention to the muscles is important to keeping your horse sound and happy!”

    And if He's Already Injured....

    While modalities like cold hosing, wrapping and massage can be used in an effort to prevent injuries, they are also helpful when dealing with a horse that has injured himself. “Depending on what injury, we may recommend any or all of these modalities [icing, cold hosing, etc.]. Every injury is specific to the horse and needs to be treated as an individual, with treatment depending on multiple factors, including type of injury, prognosis, competition level and attitude of each horse.  [For] One soft-tissue case, we may recommend intra-lesional therapy, whereas the next we may recommend shockwave and rest.”   Proper bandaging is also  key in tendon and ligament injury, both in the effected leg and the opposite limb.

    Every injury is specific to the horse and needs to be treated as an individual, with treatment depending on multiple factors, including type of injury, prognosis, and attitude of each horse.

    One modality some people still overlook (or don’t believe in its efficacy) is acupuncture, Dr. Woodruff notes. “There are so many things we can help with acupuncture. With no medication [steroids, anti-inflammatories or synthetics], we can do so many things! [We can] Help with chronic pain, help a mare regulate her cycle to breed or help the old retired horse be more comfortable in the field. We can help the horse that has anxiety leaving the barn and the horse that does not want to do a proper lead change.”

    With all of the issues that can be helped with acupuncture, as well as how minimally invasive it is, it’s surprising that there are still owners and breeders who are reluctant to try it.

    “Most of our sport horses work very hard for us, and we try to make them feel better and do the best possible job they can do,” Dr. Woodruff explains.

    So, if preventative care is not working and your horse has to see a vet, it’s worthwhile to ask what treatment plan is best for him or her, and to be open-minded if your vet suggests a modality you are unfamiliar with!

  • 05/15/2017 8:36 AM | Anonymous

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

    By Sarah E Coleman

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Visit the Wilderness Trace Pony Club Facebook page here. 

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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