The Horse

FEB 2019

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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Keep in touch! @TheHorse @TheHorseMag VIEWPOINT 6 February 2019 The Horse | MICHELLE ANDERSON, Digital Managing Editor @TH_MNAnderson After 11 years on our acreage, I thought my husband and I had gotten our little farm pretty horse- safe. Our fencing is a combination of small-mesh no-climb horse fence (which keeps neighbor dogs out and our dogs in) and a high-tension electric cable system designed specifically for horses, complete with breakaway safety points, PVC- wrapped corner bracing, and plastic- capped T-posts. Our gates include small mesh panels, so no legs can get lodged in them. Water heater cords tuck safely away so they're inaccessible to lips and teeth. And the barn we built includes stall divider bars close enough that no limbs can get wedged between them. Also, there are no exposed latches that could fillet a shoulder. Because we are careful, we'd had a good run with few lacerations and fewer emergency vet calls over the years. The worst resulted from one of my other horses sticking her head under a gate and slicing her face. The next day we lowered all gates to prevent that from happening again. When 4-year-old Ann arrived from the track, I felt fairly confident our time-tested paddocks would keep her safe. I should've known better. On her first turnout Ann bolted under a tree and sliced her side on a branch. It was a deep, bloody gouge about 2 feet long. Out came the chainsaw so my husband could limb the offending tree. A week later, after another bit of Ann's hide went miss- ing, more trees sacrificed branches. But the trees aren't the only causes of Ann's ailments. A tiny scuff my other horses wouldn't have even noticed left thin-skinned Ann lame with a hot, puffy leg. And who knows how she ended up with her eye swollen shut, which resulted in an emergency vet visit that cost more than I paid for her because, as we all know, buying the horse is the inexpensive part of horse ownership. Ann and I are not alone. This month, Christa Lesté-Lasserre investigates why certain horses seem particularly bubble-wrap-worthy and offers ideas on preventing injuries (page 14). Her sources share several theories, from unsafe surroundings to herd rank to overexuberance. That last point describes Ann. And with that, I'm going to give her some much-due credit. After four months she's settled into her routine and is getting injured less often. She's no longer running in a blind panic when a neighbor revs a car engine. In general, she's learning about mov- ing her body more safely through space and dealing with off-track life. Is she ready to go without bubble wrap? Well, I wouldn't go that far. h Accident-Prone Ann I just came inside from fixing the loafing shed in Ann's paddock. Ann is my new off-track Thoroughbred, and Jack, her very bored Quarter Horse roommate, had spent a long winter's night pulling at the siding with his teeth, leaving rows of nailheads slightly raised and exposed. And if I've learned anything about Ann, it's that if I don't hammer them back into place immediately, she will find them and rip open her side or gouge out her eye. Publisher: Marla Bickel Editor-in-Chief: Stephanie L. Church Managing Editor: Alexandra Beckstett News Editor: Erica Larson Digital Managing Editor: Michelle Anderson Art Director: Brian Turner Web Producer: Jennifer Whittle Marketing Manager: Victoria Bennett EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT 2365 Harrodsburg Rd #A200 Lexington KY 40504-3331 E-MAIL All letters must include the writer's name, address, and daytime phone number for verification. ■ Letters:, or by mail. ■ Farm Call:, or by mail. ■ Across the Fence and Behavior Columns:, or by mail. ■ New Products:, or by mail. EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Scott Anderson, DVM; Sarah Barr, DVM; Anthony Blikslager, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS; Ann Dwyer, DVM; Benjamin Espy, DVM, Dipl. ACT; Jenifer R. Gold, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVECC; Kyla Ortved, DVM, Dipl. ACVS; Debra Taylor, DVM Educational Partnership Disclaimer: The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), one of The Horse's partners in equine health, has no involvement regarding editorial management or advertising content within this publication and thereby does not endorse any editorial or advertising content unless so acknowledged within the individual article or advertisement. EXPERT ADVISORS Sue McDonnell, PhD, Cert. AAB; Milt Toby, JD FEATURED CONTRIBUTORS Sarah Evers Conrad; Amanda M. House, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM; Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA; Nancy Loving, DVM; Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc; Pat Raia ADVERTISING SALES AND SERVICES West Coast Advertising Executive: Yvonne Long 859/276-6701 East Coast Advertising Executive: Mark White 859/276-6710 Sales Support: Nicol Hunt, 859/276-6740 PUBLISHED BY OWNED BY TOBA MEDIA PROPERTIES Board of Directors: Everett Dobson, Dan Metzger, Rosendo Parra, Dr. J. David Richardson, Peter Willmott

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