Due to the Covid19 Emergency we are not attending any horse shows through November 2020. Some shows are canceled until next year and some are postponed until later in the year. We will post changes as we know them here.
We really enjoy getting out on the road and meeting with customers that have been with us for a long time and those customers that are brand new too! We love talking with you and hearing your stories about the new inventive ways you’ve found to use Bye Bye Odor and seeing how we can help you get fewer and fewer flies at your place each year. We have been overwhelmed with the great response to our new spray Bye Bye Insects, if you have not had a chance to try it come by and see how great it smells and feels on your skin.
These are great events and we hope you’ll make it to some. Please stop by and say hello! We have a gift for our customers we see.
ZAA- From September 7th to 11th we will be attending the Zoological Association of America’s annual conference in New Orleans. We enjoy helping zoos keeping their animals fly free and happy. From Rhinoceroses to Zebras to Monkeys we can keeps the flies away. This year it will be in Montgomery, AL.
Cowboy Dressage World Top Hand Finals- From October 6th to the 11th we be attending the Cowboy Dressage World Top Hand Finals at Rancho Murrieta equestrian center. We are proud to be sponsoring this organization and the discipline. Come join us for a fun event. If you have not heard of Cowboy Dressage World please check the cool things they are doing. https://cowboydressageworld.com/
Equine Affaire – From November 12th to 15th we will be at the Eastern State Exposition Center, West Springfield Massachusetts. This is the largest equine event in the country with dozens of presenters. Come by our booth to get your FREE 2021 Cowboy Art and Cartoon Calendars that will be fresh of the press. While at the booth check out the new best smelling fly spray for people and animals, Bye Bye Insects spray. Come try it and see why it is quickly becoming the must have fly spray. More information at www.equineaffaire.com
AAEP – From December 5th to 9th we will be at the American Association of Equine Practitioners 64th Convention, in Las Vegas. This is the show that many equine Veterinarians attend each year for seminars and education. As Lyle Lovett said a few years ago when he performed here… “This is the week that horse owners say a little prayer for their animals. Please don’t get sick during AAEP”. More information at http://www.aaep.org/
We blinked and summer happened. Right!? Well, hello fall! Here are 5 tips to help you get your horses ready for the winter months ahead. Burrrr!
It's officially fall! Time to start getting ready for winter! In this episode, Jenni Grimmett DVM explains her practice's winter healthy horse check list to get your horse ready to go into the colder months. Watch Fall Veterinary Horse Check List With Equine Veterinarian Dr. Jenni Grimmett.
Dr. Jenni Grimmett is an incredibly approachable veterinarian, a wonderful teacher, and talented Cowboy Dressage horse woman. You can watch her series at On The Road with Jenni Grimmett with new episodes every week!
When I was young, starting previously unhandled colts on summer jobs for cattle ranches in several states, the term “colt” usually referred to 4 or 5 year old horses. Occasionally, one was older, maybe 6 or 7, or, rarely a 3 year old.
The exception was at the racetrack. Racehorses and only racehorses were started as 2 year olds. The term “futurity” was limited to racehorses.
Today horses are usually started under saddle as 2 year olds, in all breeds and all disciplines, and I see an increasing tendency to ride them even younger, at 22 months of age for example.
There is a popular misconception that, if the growth plates (the epiphyses) of the leg bones are closed, as revealed in radiography, that the colt is “mature”.
That simply is untrue. It just means that the end of the bone, which has been x-rayed is no longer growing, but other bones plus soft tissue structures such as tendons, ligaments and muscle may still be quite immature.
In my long career as an equine veterinary practitioner, I found that the most frequent cause of lameness in horses was damage done by excessive work at too young an age. And, this is increasingly true. How many times, examining a qualified performance horse, which moves soundly at 5 to 7 years of age, have I found that when I flexed a limb, the horse winced with pain. Subsequent radiographs revealed the very early signs of joint deterioration.
A very generous client who had become a good friend once offered me and my wife a free reining horse, a mare who had competed successfully until the age of 5. Then she had been bred and I was told that we could have her as a gift, as soon as her foal was weaned.
She moved soundly, but, when I flexed her right fetlock, she said, “Ouch!” And, after sustained flexion, she walked out lame. I turned her down and, two years later, I was asked to examine her for chronic right fore lameness.
Horsemanship, in our society, has greatly improved in most ways during the last four decades with one exception. We are starting colts younger, working them harder (one reason being that we have selectively bred for better performance; faster, more agility, and all of this damages the immature body.)
Selling younger horses is profitable for the breeder, training younger horses is profitable for the trainer and easier than waiting for full maturity, but it is a disaster for too many of these young horses.
The epidemic of young horses becoming unsound is also a disaster for the owner, who too often defers to what the breeders and trainers recommend. Only the veterinarian and the pharmaceutical industry profit by this increasing phenomenon. Too much stress at too young an age.
You may hear deceptive results from “scientific studies,” that exercise is “good for growing colts”.
Of course! Exercise is good for all horses. But reining, cutting, jumping, etc. an immature horse is damaging.
I never started one of my own colts under three. Most were 6 to 12 months older. And, I never overworked them. At 5 I would turn them over to a selected trainer to begin their discipline training.
The one time I failed to do this was with the first mule I raised. Because I mistakenly believed that mules were “tougher” than horses, I broke her to ride at 2 and turned her over to one of my clients to be trained as a hunter-jumper.
She had a very successful career, winning English and Western shows, often beating horses, going on pack trips and round ups, and even cutting cattle without a bridle.
Great! Right? But she went lame in middle age, prematurely, because of too much, too soon.
I have a library of books written by famous horsemen. A while ago I went through every book looking for the colt starting ages they recommend.
Why does the Spanish Riding School recommend starting their Lipizzaners at age 5 and not subjecting them to really hard work until age 7? Here’s why: The horses evolved on the Plains of North America. They survived successfully despite the constant presence of carnivorous predators, mostly of the cat and dog family. This included huge species like the cave lion and the primitive wolf.
They survived because of an effective defense. They were fast, agile, bonded in herds, and had very, very perceptive senses to detect possible predators and respond with high-speed flight. They could outrun most big cats and canines.
Also they are a precocial species, able to run, follow mom, and escape and learn, soon after birth.
So, obviously, exercise is beneficial for the young horse. Indeed, it is essential for normal development.
However, “exercise” does not mean excessive sprinting, longeing, or twisting and turning or sliding stops. It means walking, trotting here and there, and running and playing once in a while.
Excessive exercise, which unnaturally stresses the young body is damaging: a common problem seen in human athletes, talented but not yet mature enough for competition they can survive when older.
So, if you love horses, if you care about them, if you want them to still be sound and working at 20 or 25 years of age, wait. You can do so much valuable training on the ground. Don’t rush them.
I am presently, as I write this, 90 years of age, and I treasure Scooter, whom I started at 4 years of age. She is now going on 30! (Together we are almost 120 years old.) I am so glad I waited. So glad I periodically worked her on the ground, producing such a calm, reliable, trustworthy, patient, capable old mount. I love riding her and hope we have more time together.
Incidentally, I was a gymnast at 16, a pole vaulter at 17, a rodeo contestant at 20 and have endless orthopedic problems. That’s one reason I still ride. It hurts to walk.
I opened my practice in rural California in 1958, hoping to establish a group practice. By the end of the first decade I had two practice partners, Dr. Bob Kind and Dr. Larry Dresher, both Kansas State University graduates.
It was July, and I was on a call to Bell Canyon Stables, a large and impressive facility at the Northeastern corner of our practice territory.
I was examining the left hind foot of a mare. It was noon and the temperature was 105 degrees, Fahrenheit, when I suddenly realized that there were no flies around, annoying my patient or me.
It was so unusual during the summer heat that I decided to ask the stable manager, a young woman named Jennifer, what kind of chemical spray they were using to obtain such impressive results.
I will never forget her answer:
“No spray! No chemicals! We have been using Spalding Fly Predators since last summer and we are getting fantastic results. There are only a couple of homes in this canyon and we have the only animals here at our stable, so we are getting excellent results with the Fly Predators.”
When I returned to our veterinary hospital at the end of the day, Dr. Dresher came in shortly after I did and I told him what I had learned. I had seen ads for Spalding’s Fly Predators, but because we vets are deluged with advertising, I had not been convinced of their efficacy.
My practice partner said, “Bob, I live in the Santa Rosa Valley, surrounded by small horse properties. I’ve been using Fly Predators since last year, and I see a noticeable reduction in our fly problem.”
The next day I placed my first order for Fly Predators. That was half a century ago, and I am still using them. I also convinced my neighbors, who had horses, cattle, goats, emus and, of course, dogs, to become Fly Predator customers.
We still use insect repellents on our horses, because the results, although very significant, are not 100 percent.
Before I bought my little horse farm in 1978, I remember it because the owner was a client with a couple of horses. When I got a call from him during the summer, I remember having to spray myself with insect repellent, the fly population was so severe. His horses were covered with thousands of flies, to the point where fighting them was of no avail. They just stood there, heads down, no tail switching, no foot stomping, just surrendered to the bugs.
I hope this explains my allegiance to Spalding Labs, and why I advocate their products.
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