Travel & Outdoor
Horse & Rider

Horse & Rider

H&R Monthly October 2020

In every issue of Horse & Rider you'll find articles on training by the country's leading experts, the latest on equine health care from top veterinarians, trail riding tips from savvy back country riders, and much more!

United States
Active Interest Media
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4 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
senior horse care checklist

Senior horses—those in their mid-teens and older—can continue to live healthy, productive lives if given the special care they need. We asked Barb Crabbe, DVM, Horse&Rider’s consulting veterinarian for her advice. She stressed that older equines need all the same basic care other horses do, including regular vaccinations and deworming, plus routine hoof care. Beyond that, here’s what she recommends you do to keep your senior horse going strong. Keep him moving. As with humans, exercise benefits an aging horse in multiple ways, including keeping muscles strong and joints operative (which preserves his ability to rise from the ground after resting). Full-time turnout (with appropriate pasture mates that won’t haze or injure him) is ideal. With under-saddle exercise, keep expectations realistic. A 25-year-old horse is roughly comparable to a 75- to 100-year-old…

9 min.
euthanasia: when it’s time to say goodbye

People always ask me how I do it. “Isn’t that the hardest part of your job?” they wonder. Sure, it’s hard. And sad. But honestly, when I euthanize a horse I often feel like I’m doing a great kindness especially when I know that it’s a beloved horse whose owner has agonized for days, months, or even years about making the decision to end that horse’s life. It’s a choice that doesn’t come easily. In this article, I’m going to help you through the process of ending your horse’s life with veterinary-assisted chemical euthanasia, beginning with a hard look at the scenarios you’re likely to face that would cause you to consider that decision. I’ll help you decide when it’s the right time and will outline the planning steps you’ll need…

1 min.

When you’re in the middle of a difficult euthanasia decision, it’s easy to forget about some of the simple things that can help create lifelong memories of your equine friend. Consider some of the following suggestions. Lock of hair: In our practice, we always cut a handful of tail hairs from every horse we euthanize. We wash and condition the locks and braid them with colorful ribbons to send to our client as a memento. You can even have your horse’s hair braided into fancy bracelets or fired into pottery pieces. Shoe: If your horse is wearing shoes at the time he’s euthanized, ask your vet to pull one for you to keep. Name plates from halter/bridle: If your horse is wearing a halter with a nameplate at the time of euthanasia, and…

8 min.
the equine 401(k)

“Smokey’s slowing down,” my client tells me. “I just don’t understand it; he’s only 25. Last year we rode mountain trails all summer long and he never missed a beat.” “You’re really lucky!” I respond. “Smokey is the equivalent of an 80-year-old man. Imagine taking your grandpa on a long mountain hike! I’m sure you’ve been building up your 401(k) and have your own retirement plans in place. Have you thought about a plan for your horse as he grows older?” Believe it or not, this is a common conversation. And while a rare 80-year-old man is still running marathons, most have slowed down—at least a little bit. The same is true for horses. While a rare 25-plus-year-old horse is still out there competing or doing hard mountain rides, most have turned…

2 min.
seven steps to a happy retirement

Are you ready to make the move toward your horse’s retirement? This seven-step plan can help you make the transition from performance horse to pasture pet. Step 1: Evaluate your retirement options and decide what works best for you. If you intend to keep your horse forever and retire him yourself, begin thinking where he’ll go and how you’ll make it work. Step 2: Start setting up your horse’s personal 401(k). If finances are limited, set aside some funds along the way to his retirement to help support him as he grows older. Step 3: Consult your veterinarian to decide when retirement day should come. Whether due to lameness, disease, or old age, your vet can help you determine when your horse is ready to retire. Step 4: If your horse has spent his…