the start of pleasure riding season, when we get out on the
trail, or find ourselves inspired to ride in parades or rodeos,
or bareback in lakes or at the beach. The kids are off
from school, and may be spending a lot of time on horseback, as
well. Itís all a great break in routine for both horse and
rider, and the exposure to different landscapes and stimuli can
make for a well-rounded riding animal. But donít forget that
these activities all have their inherent dangers: wildlife
darting across the trail, electrical storms, slipping off while
your horse is swimming, animals bolting after being spooked by
waving flags or fireworks. Take advantage of these
potential hazards by preparing for them- always wear a helmet
and carry a cell phone or GPS on the trail, learn basic rules
for wilderness safety and first aid, and know your horseís
quirks and fears.
Using techniques such as those described in my book,
Understanding the Ancients secrets of the Horses Mind or or
demonstrated in my video, Influencing the Horses Mind and the
DVD Understanding Horses, you or your trainer should work with
your horse to desensitize it to frightening stimuli. If youíre
riding an unfamiliar horse, always be prepared for a
fight-or-flight response, so you can remain in control- even if
youíre separated from your animal. Itís called pleasure riding
for a reason, but thatís not an excuse to forget about safety. Debby and I wish you a wonderful and safe summer season.
send any comments or suggestions to
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2010 Light Hands
It was a
for me to share
the same arena
with such great
The 100 plus
front of a more
horse lovers. It
was truly an
the 2011 LHH,
or contact Debbie
SUMMERTIME PROBLEMS FOR THE CASUAL PLEASURE RIDER
A majority of todayís pleasure horses are kept in rather
confined areas, and our busy lives often do not allow us to take
long rides, except perhaps on weekends. For these reasons, many
horses, although basically healthy, are quite out of shape. As a
result, a lengthy ride, especially on a hot summer day, can
cause them physical damage. Veterinarians see heat stroke, ďtied
upĒ horses, lameness, and other problems resulting from
out-of-condition animals. There are several things you can do to
minimize the chances of injury to your horse:
- Donít allow overweight. This is easily controlled by
limiting calorie consumption. Donít overfeed. Horses used only
once or twice a week and who donít have large areas to roam
donít need grain. Feed mostly grass hay, with perhaps 25%
alfalfa for its protein and calcium content. A good all-around
supplement made by a reliable company is okay, but donít overdo
- Horses need access to salt all summer WHY? TO BALANCE
ELECTROLYTES?, and a regular supply of fresh water.
- If you keep your horse barefoot, thatís fine. But if
you go on a long ride, it might be a good idea to carry
along a couple of hoof boots - itís better than risking
- Use common sense. Allow an out-of-shape horse to cool
out on a hot day. During the ride, allow him to rest up and
catch his wind, as needed. If itís really warm, dismount,
and lift the saddle to make sure no saddle sores are
Eitan and Debbie
Have a question for Dr.
Send it to
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Q. What can I do
about those tiny flies
that annoy my horseís
ears as soon as the warm
A. When youíre not
riding your horse, use a
fly mask that has
pouches for the ears.
Before riding, apply an
insect repellant to, and
inside of, the ear.
There are many good
liquid brands on the
market, such as
ďTri-Tech,Ē or fly
repellant ointments like
horse owners know that
overeating grain can
(ďfounderĒ), a common
and devastating disease
of the animalís feet.
not as well known that,
especially in the
too much new green grass
is an even more common
cause of laminitis.
Prevent it by getting
horses used to green
grass very gradually,
and by limiting the
amount eaten. This can
be accomplished in
* Limit the number of
hours in pasture
* Put a ďgrazing muzzleĒ
on the horse
* Put the horse in
pasture when his stomach
is already full of hay
The sooner a
chances are to
daily; if you
soreness in the
it an emergency.
Remove the horse
and call a
Hours can make
between a prompt
provided by Dr.
Mark Your Calendars!
Interested in catching one of Dr.
Spring and Summer Schedule:
July 31-August 4:
147th annual AVMA Convention, Atlanta, GA: For the
first time, AVMA will include a two-day symposium on
the ďArt & Science of Handling Horses.Ē All
veterinary students planning to do equine practice,
or practitioners who see equine patients should not
miss this opportunity.
Click Here for details.
Want a working vacation? Check out the Hawaii
Horse Expo, August 20-22, on the Big Island:
This annual event features workshops, presentations
and exhibitions from the nationís leading clinicians
and equine industry experts. For info, go to
www.hawaiihorseexpo.com, or call organizer Nancy
Jones at (808) 887-2301.
For information on appearances and other dates and locations
Coming in our August newsletter:
A preview of Dr. Miller's new book: A Passion for Horses & Artistic Talent: An Unrecognized Connection. Go to
www.thepassionforhorses.com for more information on this first-of-its-kind exploration of the link between horse lovers and creativity."
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