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Orthopedic Pads: Are They Worth It'

No pad can correct serious saddle misfits, and back injuries heal best with rest. However, a pad may make a horse in heavy work more comfortable. Our Western testers rode in the arena, traveled trails on day-long and overnight rides in steep terrain, and did some packing. We took inexperienced riders, weighing up to 260 pounds, out on steep mountain trails. We taught others to ride, posing more challenges for our horses’ backs. Our test horses included chronic back problems, tendencies to get sore, and every shape of back and type of saddle fit.We looked for a pad

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The Basics of Nerve Blocks

Grant Miller, DVM

Many horse owners become confused when their veterinarian uses nerve blocks in their horses to localize lameness. This post reviews the basics of what the vet is doing when he or she places a nerve block. read more

Urgent Care: Leg Swelling

Deb M. Eldredge, DVM

Swelling on your horse’s leg may be as simple as lower leg edema from standing in his stall to a bowed tendon to a serious infection. Look at the conditions surrounding this swelling to decide if it’s a veterinary emergency and to get an idea of the prognosis. An acute swelling that’s warm and tender to the touch suggests a recent injury or a developing infection. With infection, the area may feel hot. Check your horse’s temperature. A fever suggests infection. If so, look carefully for a small puncture wound site or any area with drainage.  An read more

A Lesson in Shortening Your Reins

Margaret Freeman

Thoughts about how we shorten our reins and how the horse might react to our technique. read more

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