Joint Injections

Wouldn’t it be helpful if a horse could say “Help! Something hurts here!”? Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Galloping, leaping and sliding to a stop all can put an overwhelming amount of stress on a horse’s legs. Joints are made of up bone, cartilage, soft tissues and protective fluid- all of which can break down as joints absorb shock by bending and giving.

Sliding strains joints.

Running strains joints.

Jumping strains joints. pc: Practical Horseman

There are several reasons why equine veterinarians may need to inject medicine into a horse’s joint. One is to assist in lameness localization by anesthetizing, or blocking, a joint. In this case, the vet will inject a local anesthetic inside the joint cavity and then assess whether or not the joint is a source of pain to the horse. Another common reason is to administer medicine directly into a joint to make it feel better, or as part of proactive management to help a horse be comfortable and maximize his performance.
The former helps to diagnose a lameness. The latter helps to give relief to a painful joint condition.

The two most common conditions that are often treated with joint injections are acute arthritis and osteoarthritis. Acute arthritis implies that the injury and pain happened recently, and can usually be helped by joint injections by reducing inflammation.
Osteoarthritis involves bone and is generally chronic, meaning it has gone on for a longer period of time. Osteoarthritis can’t be cured, but can be helped. This recent study http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/evj.12383/full showed that with joint injections, 90% of the horses studied had improved within 3 weeks. Horses can expect to get a few months of relief from a joint injection, but most likely it will not be a long term fix.

Outside of joint injections, there are three types of FDA-approved injectable joint therapies used in horses. Intra-articular (IA), intravenous (IV), and intramuscular (IM). Examples of these might include Adequan and Legend. Your veterinarian may prescribe one, none, or a combination of these types depending on your horse’s use, soundness problems, and which joints are affected. There are also various supplements, oral medications, and therapeutic treatments that can help ease the painfulness of joint problems in horses.

It is important to note that a complete lameness exam, likely to include joint flexions and joint blocking (described above), should be performed prior to administering joint injections. This can help to rule out other causes for the pain which would prevent unintentionally aggravating a non-joint related underlying injury. Also, there are risks of infection and long term side-effects which must also be evaluated prior to injecting joints. In some cases, veterinarians prescribe a course of less invasive therapeutic medicines (like Adequan and Legend) or therapeutic treatments to help horses feel comfortable without undergoing joint injections. If you do pursue joint injections for your horse, it is important to remember that adequate restraint is absolutely essential for a safe joint injection, and therefore only an experienced handler should be allowed to perform a joint injection.

Stable Secretary makes it easy to track a complete history of joint injections, as well as therapies and medications, for every horse in the barn. This enables owners, veterinarians, trainers, and barn managers to form logical conclusions about the best treatments for each individual horse.

Sources:
www.thehorse.com
www.smartpakequine.com
www.dressagetoday.com
www.horsechannel.com
www.performanceequinevs.com

Rider of the Month: Amanda Steege

In December, we talked to New Jersey based trainer, Amanda Steege. Amanda is the owner and head trainer at Ashmeadow Farm. She and her students have won tricolors at all of the biggest shows in the United States – and they also have a lot of fun in general! Ashmeadow nurtures a wonderful feeling of camaraderie for the customers and staff in the barn, and it also provides the very highest level of care for the horses. Honestly, I’d love to be a horse in Amanda’s barn!

Amanda has been using Stable Secretary since 2014. We sat down with her to find out about her, her barn, and how Stable Secretary helps her care for her horses and run her business.

Amanda with Duvall, one of the horses in her stable.

Q: Why does your barn use Stable Secretary?

Amanda: We use Stable Secretary to help us stay organized, and it also saves me time and money!

Q: What do you love about Stable Secretary?

Amanda: I love that it keeps track of when my horses are due for the farrier, vaccinations, worming, etc, and that it sends me notifications. I also love that I can enter in my services right from my iPhone in the moment before I forget what I have done. Before Stable Secretary, I did everything by hand and I think that I lost a lot of money because there were a lot of things that I forgot to bill for. I also love that through Stable Secretary I can accept credit cards.

Q: What would you say to other trainers considering subscribing to Stable Secretary?

Amanda: I would highly suggest Stable Secretary for any size business. In fact, I have recommend it to several of my friends.

Q: What types of horses and riders do you have at your barn?

Amanda: We have 12-16 horses in our barn, and we focus primarily on hunters. We mostly work with young hunters and with amateur clients.

Q: We have noticed that you’re particularly talented at developing young horses. What are some techniques you use with young horses that you could share with our readers?

Amanda: The most important thing with young horses is being consistent. We spend a lot of time working on flat work and gymnastics and giving our young horses the tools and confidence they need to enter the show ring.

Q: Could you share any health and wellness practices for horses that you think are the most important?

Amanda: We have a team of people at Ashmeadow that spends a lot of time making sure our horses are happy and healthy. It all starts with our barn manager, Tim Delovich, who creates an individual Feed and supplement program for each horse based on their needs. We also rely on our vet, farrier, chiropractor, massage therapist, and dentist. By working together, we keep our equine athletes at the top of their game.
Also, I am a big believer in the mental health of the horses, so they spend quite a bit of time eating grass outside in our pastures, and going for rides on our trails and in our hayfields to balance out their training time in the ring.

Amanda with Tim and their newly adopted dog!

Q: In your opinion, what is the most rewarding thing about being a trainer?

Amanda: The relationships we build with the animals.

Q: In your opinion, what is the most challenging thing about being a trainer?

Amanda: The fact that it’s 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no downtime.

Q: What would you say is your biggest strength?

Amanda: I think that my biggest strength is being able to listen to the horses and to make relationships with horses.

Q: You have had a lot of success in hunter derbies. What is the most challenging aspect of doing hunter derbies?

Amanda: I love the derby classes… I love how each one is different and has different challenges built into the course. That is probably what makes them the most challenging – you’re never quite sure what to expect from class to class!

All About Ulcers in Horses

Did you know that ulcers can affect up to two-thirds of all performance horses? Gastric ulcers, technically known as Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS), are very common in horses of any age. This is because horses have stomachs that are much smaller than other species’ stomachs and generally cannot handle large amounts of food. Horses are, by nature, continuous grazers who eat coarse grasses 16 to 18 hours a day in natural settings. They are meant to graze and eat small portions more frequently. But for many horses, especially performance horses, this is uncommon. Many performance horses have significantly restricted grazing access and often require additional caloric supplementation to meet their energy requirements. These types of eating habits can lead to ulcer development.

Unfortunately, the signs of ulcers in horses can be subtle: a slight attitude change, decrease in performance, or general reluctance to train may be the only signs you see. Teeth grinding, poor appetite and lying down more often are also symptoms of ulcers that some horses may show. The only way to know for sure if your horse is suffering from a gastric ulcer is to have a vet perform a gastroscopy.


photo credit: ReadySupp

When it comes to keeping your horse healthy, ulcer free, and at the top of his game, prevention is key. The most effective strategy that vets have found to prevent ulcers is a combination of feeding, time management, and water. In order to decrease ulcers, many veterinarians recommend allowing free access or long periods of grazing, constant hay access when they are confined for more than six hours, feeding frequent small grain concentrate meals, replacing calories from carbohydrates with fats and fiber-based diets, offering alfalfa hay/cubes/pellets, and providing constant access to fresh, clean water.

There are also other factors to consider when trying to prevent ulcers. These include minimizing stress relative to housing, common routines and transportation. Horses that are permanently housed on pasture with light exercise are six times less likely to get ulcers than stalled, moderately exercising horses. Horses with constant access to forage are four time less likely to get ulcers. Research has also shown that installing mirror in stalls and trailers can help reduce blood cortisol, a stress hormone, thus potentially lowering ulcers.

If you think your horse may have an ulcer, have the vet evaluate the symptoms and discuss next courses of action. Typically, the two medications that work well to treat ulcers are Gastrogard and Ulcergard. These treatments are not inexpensive but have been proven to have good results and treating ulcers in horses.

Use Stable Secretary to track your horse’s activities, behaviors, and health events. Having quick and easy access to a complete overview of health history can help you and your vet determine how best to treat any condition your horse might develop.

Sources:
https://readysupp.wordpress.com/2015/05/20/how-to-keep-your-horses-stomach-healthy-and-ulcer-free/
http://www.succeed-equine.com/succeed-blog/2016/03/29/complete-guide-gastric-ulcers-horses/
http://www.thehorse.com/articles/30850/diagnosing-and-treating-gastric-ulcers-in-horses
http://www.merckvetmanual.com/digestive-system/gastrointestinal-ulcers-in-large-animals/gastric-ulcers-in-horses
https://dressagetoday.com/uncategorized/ulcers-in-horses-17804
http://www.mitavite.com/kb/gastric_ulcers_in_horses
https://www.succeed-vet.com/education/equine-gi-disease-library/gastritis/egus/

Feeding Horses

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by all of the options available regarding what exactly to feed your horse? Today’s choices and varieties of commercial feeds can make choosing your horse’s diet pretty overwhelming.

There used to be hardly any options when it came to deciding what horses should be eating. If a horse was able to maintain their weight on hay and grass alone, then that is what that horse ate. If, however, a horse could not maintain a healthy weight on horse and grass, one of the only choices available was to add oats to their diet. Now, with all the different feed companies, there are many more options for feeding horses that may need more than just grass and hay.

The first thing to keep in mind regarding horse feed is that there is no right way to feed a horse. Horses are like people in the fact that each horse has different needs in terms of energy sources and calories. But unlike people, horses are herbivores and have a unique digestive tract that is very different than ours. Their long digestive system requires specific dietary needs- a high fiber diet consumed in many small amounts throughout the day. In addition, feeding your horse depends on a the horse’s age, activity level, your budget and any medical issues the horse may have. It is recommended that a horse’s diet contain no less than 1% of body weight of roughage (hay, pasture, etc). For example, a 1,100 pound horse requires at least 11 pounds of roughage.

When we think of a horse’s natural diet, we know it should consist of pasture grass and tender plants. Pasture, when well maintained, contains almost all of the nutrition that a horse needs in order to maintain a healthy weight. Pasture also contains silica, which is essential for a horse’s dental health. Unfortunately many people don’t have the ability to let our horses graze on good pasture all year round, so when grass isn’t available, alfalfa hay is the next best option. The color of hay is an important indicator of its quality and nutrient content – good hay is bright green.

If pasture and hay aren’t always available, concentrates are where we turn next. Commercially prepared foods such as small cereal grains such like oats, barley and corn continue to be commercially available, but now many feed companies produce various specialty-feed options that are all nutritionally balanced for different types of horses. These food options are convenient, but keep in mind that they spoil more quickly than a natural whole food grain. It has been found that cereal grains don’t contain a balanced nutrient profile, so they should be paired with additional fortification for the health and longevity of a performance horse. This could be beet pulp, oil or another fat supplement. Additionally, cereal grains are high in starch, and many horses’ digestive systems simply don’t cope well with large starchy meals.

In terms of amount of feed, we have found this chart from Pennsylvania State University to be extremely helpful in deciding the correct amount to feed your particular horse.

Work Hay Grain
No Work 20-25 lbs none
Light (1-2 hrs./day) 15-20 lbs 1-3 lbs (1-1.5 lbs grain/hr. of work)
Medium (2-4 hrs. /day) 15-20 lbs 3-8 lbs (1.5-2 lbs. grain/hr. of work)
Heavy (4 or more hrs/day) 15-20 lbs 5-10 lbs (1.5-2.5 lbs. grain/hr. of work)

Most people like to give their horses treats, such as apples, carrots, handfuls of grain, sugar cubes or candies. Treats are fine, but they do need to be considered as part of the overall feeding plan and kept to a minimum, especially if your horse needs to watch its weight. Also be careful of feeding your horse meat and sugar, as they may cause discomfort to your horse’s stomach.

No matter what you decide is the best feed for your horse, it is important to not overfeed or underfeed your horse. Overfeeding can lead to obesity or digestive issues such as colic, while underfeeding can be detrimental, especially for senior horses or horses with high activity levels. It is also important to remember to provide lots of clean water to your horse, especially to those who eat primarily hay.


Use Stable Secretary to keep track of what your horse is eating. Then, add staff, owners, and health providers as Team Members in your Stable to give them easy access to what Feed and Supplements each horse should receive.

Sources:
www.thespruce.com
www.horsedvm.com
www.humanesociety.org
www.psu.edu
www.thehorse.com
www.chronofhorse.com

Deworming Horses

If you were to ask 100 people- from veterinarians to trainers- about the best treatment for deworming horses, you will most likely receive a plethora of differing responses.

How to deworm horses is a topic that has had many opposing recommendations over the years. Before we get into deworming horses, let’s first discuss the issue of worms. Horses are grazing animals; parasites- such as tapeworm, roundworm and strongyles- are part of a normal population of organisms that live in the intestines of all grazing animals.

Many years ago, before horses became domesticated, horses and parasites got along just fine. Horses developed an immune response in their intestinal lining to help keep the parasites under control, and there were hardly any parasite issues. However, when people came along and began to put horses in fenced-in pastures or small areas, there was nowhere for the horses or worms to go and so the worms all piled up in the small areas and became a much bigger problem to horses.

When these problems started to occur, deworming medications became more and more popular and many vets recommended that horses be given medications every two months, with different dewormer medications offered to make sure the horse was protected against all types of potentially damaging internal parasites.

The four most common types of internal parasites that they were protecting against are:

  • Strongyles (blood or red worms)
  • Ascarids (roundworms)
  • Tapeworms, and
  • Bots (flies)

We now know that each species of parasite affects a horse in its own way. The “traditional” approach to deworming, whereby all horses are treated every 2 months or so, was designed in the 1960’s. This program was designed to specifically target a parasite called Strongylus vulgaris, a type of parasite called a large strongyle, which at the time caused horses significant problems. Thankfully, the program pretty much worked; Strongylus vulgaris is now a rare parasite and is practically irrelevant in managed horses.

However, as a result of horses getting so many medications to deworm and protect them, there is now a worm population that is becoming increasingly resistant to all of the useful deworming agents. Therefore, the old rules about deworming have changed due to this drug resistance, and the every two month treatment is outdated. The goal previously was to rid your horse of all parasites- but we now know that that is impossible, and so the current thinking is to simply limit parasite infections, rather than rid of them completely, so that horses remain healthy.

It is now common knowledge that horses under the age of 3 are more susceptible to parasite infections than older horses, and should therefore be treated more often than older horses. Older horses, on the other hand, should be treated as individuals and not all on the same routine. The current recommendation is that they receive only one or two treatments per year, depending on the climate where the horse lives and whether the horse lives with other horses. If a horse lives alone or in a stable, the frequency of treatments would be less than for a horse who lives with other horses.

A quick internet search will show many cost effective dewormer pastes, gels and pellets. Depending on your horse’s age and living conditions, you can work with your vet on the best dewormer program to keep your horse safe. Along with the medical treatment, it is also essential to conduct fecal exams to test your deworming program’s effectiveness, and to consistently clean up manure to control the horse’s environment.

You can track deworming, fecal counts, and other health events and procedures, in Stable Secretary.

Newsletter March 2016

Dear Stable Secretary user,

Welcome to the first edition of the Stable Secretary Newsletter. Our newsletters will notify you of software updates, share tutorials, and point out other resources to help you manage your barn easily and effectively. Enjoy!

 

Referral Program: Refer someone to Stable Secretary and get money back!
Receive a $25 credit if a new user enters your name in the Referral space when they purchase a new subscription! (Please visit the Referral Page for more details.)

 

New Products and Features:

  • Check out our other products and plans. You may be eligible for savings!
  • Give your employees (and owners, if you want) access to your Stable Secretary account. You can control what they can see and do, and it will ease communication and record keeping.
  • Keep track of your Competitions and Results in Stable Secretary! Now, you can track your horses’ and riders’ results at competitions. Feedback is welcome!
  • Invite your Service Providers to login to your Stable Secretary account. Give your vet, farrier, and others the ability to view your horses’ health records.
  • Coming soon – a Breeding section to track all your breeding records.

 

Winter circuit survival tips:

It’s that time of year again!  Whether you are at WEF, Thermal, Ocala, or any other winter circuit, you are experiencing some form of the madness. Multiple weeks of showing back to back is fantastic, but it is also exhausting. As we are about half-way through the season, we here at Stable Secretary thought it would be an ideal time to compile a list of winter circuit “survival tips” from some of our top show barns across the U.S.

  • Pace yourself and your horses for longevity. Don’t show or jump too much just because it’s convenient. You are the advocate for your horses and you need to keep their best interest in the forefront of your mind. Come up with a schedule and stick to it. Different horses have different needs but a good general plan is 2 weeks on, 1 week off. Also try to vary your routine a bit; showing every day is monotonous for both horses and riders. Take advantage of other opportunities on days off from showing. Go for a trail ride or try to find a new place to hack. Use a walker or treadmill if you have one available to help keep your horses in peak fitness.
  • Involve a team of your vet, farrier, and body work person. It is a good idea to get a baseline vet check before circuit begins so you know your horse’s condition and comfort level before kicking it into high gear. Then have your vet come back mid-circuit to assess how your horse is holding up to the high demands of multi-week showing. This will help you stay ahead of potential problems, and correct them right away if they do appear. Of course if you notice any potential problems at any time during circuit, don’t hesitate to call your vet right away. Know your horses and trust your instincts; if something doesn’t feel right, it can never hurt to take a closer look.
  • Debbie Stephens suggests creating a “show book.”  Either create a binder for every show that you go to, or be sure to scan important documents and upload them to Stable Secretary. Include a photocopy of your entries, as well as the mailing receipt (Debbie recommends using FedEx or a similar service that offers tracking). Or, if you submit your entries online, be sure to print or save the confirmation page . Lost entries are something you should be prepared for. Also, keep a copy of the prizelist so that you always know where it is for easy reference. Then upload and/or assemble all documents that you will need for your trip, travel confirmations, hotel reservations, horse health paperwork, coggins, etc. It can be very easy to lose track of these documents, especially when you are busy showing over such a long period of time. It helps to have everything in one accessible place.
  • One of the toughest parts about the winter circuit is that many farms have horses stabled on the showgrounds as well as at a farm nearby. When you are competing in one location for so long, it can be fantastic to have a home base where your horses can relax, enjoy being turned out, and take a break from the hectic horse show life. However, Havens Schatt reminds us how crucial communication between all members of your team is during this time. When you have horses in multiple locations, frequently traveling back and forth with their tack and supplies, it is easy for things to get lost in the shuffle. It is important that your team works together and communicates well. Looking for things, or trying to figure out what has or has not been done, wastes valuable time that is far too precious during this busy time of year.
  • “Teamwork makes the dream work.” Remember to thank your valuable team members! Trainers, assistants, barn managers, and grooms keep the show running. Make an effort to say thank you and you’re welcome, even when things start to get tough and everyone is tired at the end of the circuit. A little bit of appreciation goes a long way.
  • Take care of yourself. The winter circuit is hard on people too! Make sure you are eating properly, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep. It is far too easy to burn yourself out before circuit is over by ignoring your basic needs. Many people spend so much time making sure their horses can perform at their best, but forget to do the same for themselves. You owe it to your horses to keep yourself in top condition as well.
  • Use Stable Secretary to keep all of your horses’ records with you while traveling. It can be invaluable to have this information available when the unexpected happens (as it often does with horses). But when all of your horses’ records are available from any phone, tablet, or computer, it makes a difficult situation much more manageable!
  • Pace yourself and remember to have fun! After all, we ride and show because we love it, so when circuit gets crazy, it’s important to remember to take a step back and remind yourself to enjoy it.

Straight from the Experts: Sage Clarke

We had the opportunity to speak to West Coast farrier, Sage Clarke, about his career and all of the knowledge he has acquired along the way. As a 5th generation horseman, Sage started as an assistant at the young age of 12. By the time he was 16, Sage was very serious about his work and started to take the necessary steps to bring him the success he has today of working on top hunter/jumper performance horses. Because of his skill level, Sage has been asked to travel all over the world to work on some of these top athletes. Sage was kind enough to answer some questions for us:

Stable Secretary– Do you have any mentors or teachers? What was so important about them?

SC– I have several mentors, but a few of the main mentors are my uncle, Allen Clarke, and fellow farrier, Tom Reed. Allen taught me about thinking outside the box and how to always see the good and bad side of things. Tom taught me how to be safe and how to run a good business. He taught me how to treat it like a real business, not just ‘shoeing horses’. He emphasized the importance of book keeping, customer service, and dealing with vets.

Stable Secretary– Now for some basics, how long do you recommend between farrier visits?

SC – It varies depending on the situation, but generally I would say for show horses, 5 weeks is a good average amount of time.

Pleasure horses can be a bit different and really depends on the farrier. The longer amount of time that passes, you will lose your angles, but If you can get correct angles from the start, it will make the job last longer. Remember, horses always look good for the first couple of weeks

Stable Secretary – How do the seasons affect horses’ hooves?

SC – Quite a bit. It really depends on what area of the country you are in and the amount of moisture that you get. The moisture really affects the growth rate.

Generally, they glow slower in the winter months. During this time you need to be more pro active about thrush and also risk of abscesses also increases.

Stable Secretary– Do you have any major tips that you give horse owners for their horses to have healthy feet?

SC – Pay your horse shoer on time. I’m serious! How you show your appreciation to your farrier is by paying them, and ultimately, they are the ones that can keep your horses feet healthy.

Stable Secretary – Are there any dietary tips that you have regarding hoof health?

SC – Best results I have seen are by giving horse biotin based products.

There are a lot of supplements out there that have extra stuff that they don’t really need, but biotin is really what is important for the feet. There are companies that you can in your horses’ blood and they will tell you if there are any other deficiencies that might be affecting the health of the hooves.

Stable Secretary – If you could give horse owners one piece of advice about their horses in general, what would it be?

SC -Be pro active about treating an ailment with a horse. Use the best veterinary and farrier services possible. By trying to save money in these areas is it likely to cost more time and money in the long run.

Stable Secretary – “Story Time”! What is the worst thing that you have seen regarding a horses’ farrier situation?

SC – When I was younger, I saw a photo of a hoof stand sticking out of a horse’s belly. This stuck with me forever and this is why I make sure to always keep sharp objects away from the horses that I am working on. Even if it is more convenient to keep these sharp tools close by, it is always better to keep the horses safe.

Stable Secretary – What is your best story of working on horses?

SC – Rich Fellers came up to me and asked me to shoe 4 horses for him. I walked to the barn and asked who he wanted me to start with and he said Flexible. I was incredibly excited. That horse is a legend!

 

Visit our Support Page for Tutorial Videos, FAQ, and more!
Did you know that our Support Page has videos and written instructions to help you use all of Stable Secretary’s features!

  • Use the Mobile App all day every day. It’s so easy to add health and service records while they happen, so you don’t forget to do it later. (view video)
  • Print or email our Reports before a Vet or Farrier appointment, or use them to see who needs a Coggins. (view video)
  • Add health records to multiple horses at a time. It’s quick and easy to use the Add Health Record form online to enter multiple vaccinations, wormings, shoeings, and more. (view video) .
  • Add team members to make communication easier in your Stable. (view video)
  • Look at our Resources page to find proven and recommended vendors and service providers to help you with the needs of your Stable.

 

What is the best strategy to keep your horses worm-free?

I received a wide range of responses when I asked some Stable Secretary users how they deworm their horses. Many barns deworm all of their horses every 6 to 8 weeks, rotating between different dewormer medications each time. It is common for people on the show circuit give a Panacur Power Pak to horses that look a little questionable (not shiny enough, not fat enough, etc). Some users have their veterinarian test a fecal sample from each horse for worms every 3 months, and then they treat any infected horses with the targeted deworming medication. A few people add deworming powder medication to their horses’ daily feed to try to prevent worm infestations; others add garlic to the daily feed to control flies and worms. Everyone seems to do it differently – what is the right way?

Keep your horses healthy and shiny!

Keep your horses healthy and shiny!

Even though I’ve worked in barns for many years, I didn’t feel like I really knew much about worms and proper deworming practices. I decided it was time for me to get some facts about this (gross) issue.
Through a little bit of (disgusting) research about worms and horses, I learned that:

  • “Parasitism” is the most common equine disease.
  • The susceptibility of any horse to worms depends on its age, location, and stress level, as well as the time of year, and the condition of its pasture.
  • Horses typically become infected with worms when they have been in contact with an infected horse, or have grazed in a contaminated pasture or paddock.
  • The four most common types of internal parasites are Strongyles, Ascarids, Tapeworms and Bots. Each parasite needs a specific type of deworming medication to terminate it.
  • Some parasites have built up a resistance against some of the more commonly-used medications, so those medications are no longer very effective.
  • It is advised to deworm often enough to keep your horses healthy, but not unnecessarily often which would increase the likelihood of resistance developing.

    I recommend the following deworming strategies:

  • Seek your veterinarian’s advice to create a deworming program that is tailored to your horses. This should take into account the age and condition of your horses, your location, and the time of year.
  • Clean your paddocks and pastures frequently. Internal parasites spread primarily through manure, so muck out your turnout areas at least twice a week.
  • If you choose to administer deworming medication based on a predetermined schedule (rather than based on results of a fecal test), use deworming medication that is specific to the time of year and to your location. Also, make sure to give your horses the full recommended dosage.
  • If possible, consider deworming your horses based on individual need. Ask your veterinarian to test fecal samples every 3 months, and then give each horse deworming medication to specifically target any parasites found.
    I encourage you to ask your veterinarian for advice on the best way to control worms.   Whatever your deworming strategy is, Stable Secretary can help you to keep track of your worming records.   Below are some web sites that present a general overview of how to protect your horse from harmful worms:
    www.horse.com
    www.drsfostersmith.com
    www.lathamdvm.coml
    www.valleyvet.com
    www.horsechannel.com
    Please leave a comment below to share your deworming strategy with our readers!

Tips from the Experts: How to Keep Horses Sound

I asked several Stable Secretary users who are respected and successful barn managers and trainers to tell me what they think are the most important elements to keeping their horses sound. Their answers were remarkably consistent. Every person cited the importance of factors such as:

– good footing;
– a proper and consistent fitness program;
– good nutrition;
– a team of experienced people caring for each horse.

pokey_show

 

Amanda Steege, a top hunter/jumper trainer based in Bedminster NJ and Ocala FL, keeps her horses sound by providing them with good nutrition, consistent exercise, and a team of people to keep them healthy and going well. She says, “Horses are a lot like human athletes – if you put the best feed, supplements, and medications into them, the sounder and healthier they will be. Instituting a good consistent exercise program for your horse will make him strong and well-muscled, which will prevent injuries and also make it easier for him to do his job in the ring. Having a great team of specialists (farriers, vets, grooms, trainers, chiropractors, massage therapists, and others) makes it possible to notice weaknesses before they turn into injuries. I have had many experiences where my chiropractor or massage therapist has found a potential problem with a horse, and has notified me to back off a little on that horse’s work while they sort it out. Between their working on the issue, and my taking it easy on the horse’s activities, we have prevented weaknesses from turning into serious injuries.”

Debbie Stephens, a top hunter/jumper trainer from FL, emphasizes how crucial it is to have a top blacksmith, a top sports medicine vet, excellent fitness and nutrition plans, and the best footing to train on. She also remarks, “You need a lot of plain old common sense, too. The rule of thumb that I use with my horses is to always assume the worst scenario possible, and to have plans b, c, and d ready. I never settle for anything but the best care, footing, nutrition, and exercise for my horses.”

Nanci Snyder, a top barn manager, also credits good shoeing, a good fitness program, and excellent footing to keeping her horses sound, besides the important factors of genetics and good luck! Nanci recommends, “Make the best decisions for your horse that your circumstances allow. For professionals, it’s about finding a balance between what is ideal for the horse, and what keeps the business thriving. It is important to create a program and manage your stable down to the smallest detail.”

Stable Secretary would like to extend a heartfelt Thank You to Jennifer Frank of Wyndsor Farm, Annie Dotoli of Tibri Horses, Amanda Steege of Ashmeadow Farm, Debbie Stephens of Centennial Farm Inc., and Nanci Snyder of Mullenders & Wylde, Inc. for sharing their wisdom with us and our readers. Hopefully, your words will help keep more horses sound!

Stable Secretary is barn management software that is designed to make it easier for barn managers and trainers to keep track of the health and service records for the horses in their stable. By keeping equine health records organized, and providing alerts for horse veterinarian and farrier appointments, it contributes to the quest of keeping horses healthy and sound.

Best Practices for Shipping South

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For a lot of horses, it’s time to head South for the winter. Sometimes, a long trailer ride from cold weather to hot weather is hard on horses – they can become dehydrated, colicky, and can get shipping fever. I asked a few respected trainers and barn managers how to avoid health problems for their horses when they ship south. Their wise comments are below.

Barn manager from PA: I give them mash and electrolytes and oil.

Trainer from NJ: The night before they travel, we give the horses a mash with lots of mineral oil. The morning of the trailer ride, we give the horses a small meal with some type of stomach medicine like omeprozale powder or gastroguard. I always check the weather for the route, and blanket appropriately. I instruct the driver when to take sheets off.

Trainer from RI: We try not to clip right before. We give the horses a mash with oil for two feedings before. And then I cross my fingers.

Trainer from NY: We give the horses a mash the morning before and the morning of departure, with a little mineral oil. If they are furry, we clip before as it’s bad for them to arrive and be hot – best is to clip 3 weeks or a month prior, then again when they arrive. And we start them on Cavalor Resist C five days before they ship.

Barn manager from MA: We bodyclip at least 2 weeks before the trip (clip before you ship). And we make sure that their fall vaccinations are done well before, 2 to 3 weeks or so. Then we give them mash with mineral oil the night before and the night before that. The morning of the ride, they get half their normal grain with a Gastrogard. Then we figure out what they should wear to depart, and when and where their clothes should come off. We take all of their temperatures upon arrival, and for the next few days.

 

Safe travels!!

Start using Stable Secretary now!

You have time now to let Stable Secretary manage all of your equine records, so that you can focus on your horses and what you do best.

Working in the horse industry can be chaotic.   Actually, that’s a huge understatement – being on the working side of the horseshow scene is much more than a job, it’s a lifestyle.  This horsey lifestyle consumes most hours of every day, most days of every week, and most weeks of every year.  You’re packing, unpacking, and repacking all the time.  You’re hopping from hotel to restaurant to show – week after week.  You’re dealing with the here-and-now while planning for the known and unknowns.  Meanwhile, your biggest job is making sure that the horses in your barn are happy and healthy.  You’re continually multitasking, and managing your business at home and on-the-go. cara_training
farm-trail November and December provide, for some, a bit of relief from this busy-busy-busy.  After indoors, but before winter circuits start, you may find a few moments to pause.  Take advantage of them!  Do something for yourself.  Whether you go to a spa, go out on the town, curl up by the fire, or exercise, do something that’s just for YOU.  Check in with friends and family.  Read a book or go to a movie.  And consider giving your horses a change of pace, too – turnout and trail rides can keep them fit while giving them a mental and physical break.

Use this time to evaluate the way you run your barn and business.  Make fundamental changes to your business like the way you do your equine record keeping.   Get started with barn management software Stable Secretary now!  With Stable Secretary, you will save tons of time by adding and viewing health records on a mobile app on your phone, or on the web app on a tablet or computer.  You will also save time and money by adding and viewing service records on your phone, tablet, or computer.  This centralized database of service records makes invoicing easy for your equine business, and you can track payments too!  Stable Secretary eliminates the nuisance of mailing multiple day sheets, med sheets, and other expense sheets back and forth with a secretary to create invoices that are often still wrong!

Take time while you can to recharge your batteries.  Also, set up Stable Secretary for your equine business to manage all of your equine health and service records, so that you can focus on the most important part:  the horses.

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