Travel & Outdoor
Practical Horseman

Practical Horseman Practical Horseman Extra Volume 7

It presents step by-step training programs and showing advice from recognized experts in hunters, jumpers, equitation, dressage, and eventing, along with money- and time-saving ideas on health care and stable management.

United States
Active Interest Media
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$8.40(Incl. tax)
$28.04(Incl. tax)
4 Issues

in this issue

14 min.
a ‘wholistic’ way of training

Trust is the basis of the most successful work trainers and riders do. When it comes to starting young horses, there are countless methods, but the best of them always gain the horse’s trust from the beginning. Then throughout his training, the horse must never be put in a position where he feels threatened or vulnerable. He should never feel that there is no way out. Because of my small size—I’m only 5 feet—I need to be able to communicate with my horses in this relaxed, trusting way. Some of the horses who came our way at Peggy and Parry Thomas’ River Grove Farm, in Sun Valley, Idaho, where I had trained horses for nearly 40 years, had already been started and may never have experienced the kind of communication and…

1 min.
starting the young horse

At Peggy and Parry Thomas’ River Grove in Sun Valley, Idaho, we had a wonderful cowboy who worked the horses in a quiet way. First, he walked the babies around on the ground in a snaffle bridle and got them used to new things. He led them without pulling on their mouths. Rather, the horses were led mostly from the pressure of the bridle while, at the same time, they were getting used to having a bit in their mouths. A good cowboy will physically hold the horse’s tail and gently turn him from his nose to teach him to follow his tail. It’s similar to carrot stretches but they walk in a circle. Then they quietly change directions. This work teaches the horse to turn in a very quiet, soft…

12 min.
head to hoof: senior horse health concerns

Thanks to improvements in veterinary care, nutrition and management, horses today live longer than ever. Your favorite equine might easily celebrate birthdays into his 20s or even 30s. Still, most horses start showing some signs of aging in their mid to late teens. And, unfortunately, some studies report that 70 percent of horses 20 years old or older have some type of health problem requiring veterinary care or changes in management. Maybe that’s not surprising, since a 15-year-old horse is roughly equivalent to a 50-year-old human. At age 20, your horse is like a 60-year-old and at 25, like a 70-year-old. But senior horse health problems don’t have to mean the end of your horse’s happy days. The key is early detection, says Lisa Kivett, DVM, MS, DACVIM, of Foundation Equine Clinic…

1 min.
read the signs

Age is just a number and simply because your horse turns 15, 20 or even 25, doesn’t automatically mean he’s old. Instead of relying on the calendar, watch for these telltale signs that indicate it’s time to start thinking of and treating your horse as a senior citizen. Graying hair, particularly around the eyes and muzzle Deepening hollows above the eyes Slackening or drooping of the lower lip Elongation of incisors Difficulty eating Weight loss (or, less commonly, weight gain) Poor coat condition and/or delayed shedding Loss of muscle tone, particularly over the topline Loss of ligament and tendon strength, which could lead to lower, more sloping pasterns General stiffness and reduced overall flexibility Reduced energy level…

1 min.
routine matters

“I often hear horse owners say, ‘My [senior] horse doesn’t need any more vaccines. He’s had enough in his life,’” says Dr. Kivett. “This is completely wrong!” In fact, she adds, keeping up with a regular vaccination routine is even more important for older horses, who have decreased immune function and decreased immune response to vaccinations. That leaves them more susceptible than younger horses “to the diseases that we vaccinate against, like influenza, West Nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis,” she says. Some owners also have told her they’re less worried about vaccinating because if their horse gets one of the diseases, they’ll have the horse euthanized. “But dying of eastern equine encephalitis is a horrible way to go for a horse,” cautions Dr. Kivett. “And an emergency call and humane…

1 min.
what about cancer?

While cancer can strike at any age, and horses are less affected than many other species, the risk does increase with age. “Gray horses are particularly prone to developing melanoma as they age and horses with pink skin (especially of the eyelids, lips and genitals) are prone to squamous cell carcinoma,” says Dr. Kivett. If you see any “areas of irregular skin or masses, call your veterinarian,” says Dr. Lehfeldt. “One of the benefits to having yearly health exams done by a veterinarian is to ensure these are identified early in the course so they can be treated sooner versus later.” Benign but Serious: Strangulating Lipoma While not cancerous, Drs. Kivett and Lehfeldt note that older horses can be at higher risk for another type of tumor—a condition called a strangulating lipoma. While…