These tests draw from United States Pony Club C-2 Standards of Proficiency (level 4) and United State Pony Club C-3 Standards of Proficiency (level 5). For more information, consult any of the USPC Manuals of Horsemanship or other books on horsemanship. There are books on lunging, wrapping, safety, worming and most any other subject you can think of in the tackroom. Go check them out for further help. Four Study Guide Wrapping: Know correct application and uses of polo wraps, stable bandages and shipping wraps. Polos – start on the inside, about halfway up the cannon, come around the front of the cannon, spiral downward, covering about 2/3 of the previous wrap each time. Cup the fetlock, forming an upside-down V in the front, and spiral back up to just below the knee. Used for protection and support when exercising. Stable wraps – using an appropriate sized cotton/no-bow padding, start in the same manner as with the polos, just with the cotton. It should go from the bottom of the knee to the bottom of the fetlock joint. When the cotton has gone around the leg and is done, begin wrapping, following the same pattern as with the polos. Do not cup the fetlock, instead wrap in a spiral pattern and leave between ½ and 1 inch of padding at the top and bottom. Used for protection, support, pressure, or holding on poultices, ice etc. Shipping wraps – Similar to stable wraps. Cotton should reach from knees to heels/coronary band. Wrap in same pattern, but continue down to hooves and take one wrap underneath the heels of the horse to protect the bulbs. Practice makes perfect with all wraps. There is a book on wraps in the tackroom with excellent illustrations. Longeing – There are several books in the tackroom about longeing, and ask any upper level club member, or instructor if you want more help. Shoeing: To tell good shoeing from bad, there are many things to look at. First, the hoof and the shoe should match – the hoof should not have been rasped to fit the shoe or vice versa; they should be the same size. The angle of the hoof should be the same as the angle of the pastern to reduce the strain on the pastern joints. The frog should touch the ground to allow it to help with circulation. The clinches should not stick out, but should be smooth and even in a line. The heels should be in proportion to the foot and the whole foot should be even and smooth when moving, no twisting or rocking. A line should be able to be drawn from the center of the cannon and touch the back of the heels. Safety check- see longeing Conformation: Head: wide forehead, large, intelligent eyes, large nostrils Neck: in proportion to body, set correctly on shoulders Faults: Ewe necked: neck is concave, lacks muscle and topline; Bull necked – neck is short and too fat, restricts movement; Set too high/low – causes incorrect carriage of head, hard to come round; Long neck, makes it harder to balance; Short neck: makes it hard to flex at poll Shoulder: Broad, flat, with good slope, connects well to leg and neck. Faults: too much slope – longer stride, but can increase stress to leg; Short, upright shoulder – makes stride shorter, choppier, less shock absorber. Foreleg (side): vertical “plumb” line from center of shoulder, bisecting leg, through fetlock, to back of heel Faults: Standing under-leg set back, behind line, puts balance forward; Camped out – leg too far in front of line, increases strain on the leg; Back at the knee (calf-kneed) – knee bent backwards, lower leg in front of line, stressing knee and tendons; Over at the knee – knee slightly bent, prevents correct movement Foreleg (front): Should be parallel and spread apart correct distance (straight down) to keep movement in one plane and reduce concussion. Plumb line from point of shoulder through middle of forearm, knee, cannon bone, fetlock, pastern, foot. Faults: Base narrow – legs closer at hooves than shoulders, causes plaiting, interfering, more weight on one side of foot; Base wide – wider at bottom than top, causes ringbone and uneven weight bearing, often seen with narrow chest; Knock-kneed – knees to inside of plumb line, extra stress on knees, causes splints; Bench(Offset) knees – cannon bones not directly under knees, slightly to outside, causes stress to the inside of the leg, splints; Toeing out (splay footed) – causes winging in, interfering, lameness, uneven weight, ringbone; Toeing out (pigeon toed) – causes paddling, uneven weight, ringbone Back: Good proportion to body, strong, straight. Withers should be higher than croup. Faults: Long back – too long in proportion to body, makes weaker, harder to come round; short back – hard to bend, stiff and rigid; Sway backed – dip in back Hindleg (side) – come under body during normal stride, vertical cannons with line from point of butt to bottom of fetlock, along back of cannons. Faults: Camped out behind – leg behind vertical, harder to engage, weaker; Standing under (sickle hocked) – hock bent, lower leg pointed forward, causes stress on hocks, curbs, thoroughpins, bog/bone spavins; Post leg – leg too straight, too far under body, causes excess stress on hock and pastern Hindleg (rear) – straight, stifles point out slightly, hocks and cannons parallel and straight, set under horse, not too far apart or too close Faults: Base narrow – causes lack of muscles, interfering; Base wide – causes short stride, can’t reach under body; Cow hocks: hocks point in, cannon bones point out, causes stress on inside of hocks, bog/bone spavins, thoroughpins; Bowed hocks; hocks point outward, cannon bones point in, causing stress on outside of hocks and legs, bog spavins, thoroughpins Lower leg and joint: clean, defined, short cannons, wide, flat joints, pasterns have right slope Faults: Tendons tied in – tendons come in right below knee, means smaller and weaker; Long sloping pasterns – weak and injury prone, stress tendons; Short, steep pasterns – cause poor gaits and rougher movement, less shock absorption, navicular, ringbone, and sidebone. Hoof: large, strong, wide heels, prominent bars, large frog, touches ground, concave sole, strong, smooth wall. Faults: Too small feet – more concussion, contributes to navicular; Contracted heels – narrow, frog is pinched and small, above the ground; Flat soles – weight on soles, not on wall, causes feet to be sore and tender; Shelly hooves - bad quality growth. Blemishes/unsoundnesses: Unsoundness causes lameness or pain, blemish is a cosmetic defect. There’s a chart on the med room wall that shows many of them. Navicular disease – degeneration of the navicular bone, soreness, short stride, landing on toe Sidebone – cartilage on side of foot ossifies and becomes bone, becomes a blemish Ringbone – arthritis in the pastern or coffin joints because of concussion or uneven weight bearing Splint – bony protuberance on side of leg, generally below knee, when splint bone separates from cannon bone, turns to blemish Bowed tendon – strain of tendon that tears fibers and sheath, with a permanent “bow” shape in the tendon Bucked Shins (shin splints) – inflammation and swelling of the periosteum, causes lump on front of leg, caused by concussion Curb – Sprain of plantar ligament from strain on back of hocks, associated with sickle hocks, turns to blemish Bog spavin – excess synovial fluid in the front of the joint capsule because of stress, turns to blemish Bone spavin – arthritis in small bones of hocks because of conformation or stress, causes bones to fuse Thoroughpin – excess synovial fluid in the upper portion of the joint capsule because of stress or poor conformation Vaccinations Botulism – An original series of three shots, a month apart, and a booster every year after. Prevents disease caused by bacteria found in food from decomposing animals that causes severe illness including paralysis and respiratory distress. Eastern, Western, Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyletis (sleeping sickness, EEE,WEE,VEE) – every 6 months booster shots, high fever, neurological symptoms and permanent damage, blood transmission through insects Influenza – every 2 to 3 months booster shots, Viral infection with cold like symptoms, very contagious, transmissible via sharing or droplets Potomac Horse Fever (PHF) – annual vaccine, Bacterial infection spread by ticks causing diarrhea, colic, high fevers, and possibly laminitis Rabies – annual shot, transmitted via saliva of infected animal, causes neurological disease, fatal, transmissible to humans Rhino(EHV) – boosters every 2-3 months, comes in three forms, respiratory, reproductive or neurologic, very contagious, causes fever, cough, abortions, and neurological symptoms Strangles – annual shot, distemper, causes lack of appetite, coughing, nasal discharge, swelling of the lymph nodes, especially behind the jaws Tetanus – annual shot, bacteria found in the soil, causes paralysis, lives in punctures and anaerobic environments Ailments For any serious medical problem suspected with any of the horses in the club, first call the farm manager, Herd Health and/or Horse Usage, or one of the advisors or other people on the contact list. Unless you absolutely can’t get in touch with someone else, do not call the vet unless instructed to do so. Colic is the term used to describe digestive disturbance. It can result from impaction of food, excess gas, a twisted colon, dehydration, excessive food intake, worms, stress, and many other related factors. It is often exhibited as an increased pulse, respiration, lack of gut sounds, and behaviors such as kicking and biting at the stomach. Often times a horse will want to roll or lie down. Prevention includes making sure that a horse has adequate access to water, a low stress environment, clean hay and grain, regular feeding times, a clean environment, and proper health care. For any horse suspected to be colicking, call the vet. Sometimes treatment is as easy as giving banamine, sometimes it requires a tube passed into the horses stomach to give them mineral oil or to take out reflux and sometimes it requires surgery. Outcomes can vary from returning to normal in a few days to death. Tying up syndrome(Azoturia) is a term used to describe severe muscle pain in horses that often results in immobility and muscle damage. It is often caused by a genetic disorder causing incomplete carbohydrate metabolism in the large muscle groups, basically causing a huge muscle cramp, often in the large muscle groups like the gluteals. Extreme stress, not warming up or cooling out a horse properly, eating a lot of carbohydrates when not in work can cause this to happen. Management includes proper exercise, diet management, and health care. Horses who are tying up often exhibit reluctance to move, very tight, hard muscles that often are quivery, sweating, elevated temperature, pulse and respiration. Brown/red urine can indicate kidney damage. Horses that have tied up once are more likely to tie up again. Call the vet and don’t make the horse move. If the weather is cold, blanket him. He will go back to normal use, but will always have a tendency to tie up. In severe cases, there can be muscle damage. Founder and Laminitis are conditions of the hoof where the interior lining has become inflamed. These laminae attach the coffin bone to the hoof wall. There is no outlet for the swelling as the hoof is a closed structure, so it causes extreme pain. The condition may be due to excessive pounding (kicking a stall wall, jumping, riding on hard ground…etc.) or due to physiology (pH change in the blood due to sickness or too much food). Founder sets in when the laminae become so inflamed that they begin to die and the coffin bone begins to separate from the hoof wall. It can sometimes rotate all the way through the sole of the hoof. Horses in the midst of laminitis or founder often appear lame, and try to keep weight off the affected feet; they have increased digital pulses, and elevated respiration and heart rates. Horses with laminitis should be taken out of work immediately and put on rest to avoid further injury, cold hosing feet will reduce inflammation, and a veterinarian should be notified. Anti-inflammatories will often aid in recovery. Laminitis requires intensive veterinary and farrier care for any hope of recovery, in severe cases euthanasia is recommended. A horse will often come back from laminitis, but rarely to the same caliber they were beforehand. Often their hooves will be permanently damaged and they will generally be prone to reoccurrences. Prevention is the best treatment, keeping a horse healthy, sound, in good weight and out of the grain bin or really good grass. Shock is usually due to massive vasodilation, caused by tissue trauma (internal or external bleeding) and results in severely decreased blood flow to all body tissues. It can also be caused by a change in pressure within the blood vessels due to an infection or an acute change in cardiac function. Signs include a weak but rapid pulse, diminution of heart sounds, pale, cold, dry mucous membranes and low CRT and possibly collapse. Treatment requires veterinary care and includes massive fluid transfusions. Keep the animal warm, calm and comfortable as much as possible. Outcomes vary depending on the original cause of the shock. Heat exhaustion is the condition whereby an animal is unable to cool itself. This usually occurs during the summer time when heat indexes are high. Animals will appear lethargic, apathetic, weak, and profusely sweaty, have a rapid pulse and respirations, and may be unresponsive, dehydrated, or even collapse. It is important to cool the horse down immediately, move to a shady area, hose off with cool water, ice or rubbing alcohol, or use cold wraps to bring body temperature down. To prevent heat exhaustion make sure you provide a horse with adequate water and ride only lightly when the temperature exceeds 95F. With good treatment and veterinary attention, a healthy horse should recover without any long-term effects. Choke is when a horse suffers from a blockage of the esophagus. It is caused by eating something too large to pass through, eating too fast or eating dry food (pellets or hay) without adequate water. A horse who is choking will look very upset, possibly exhibit similar signs as a colicking horse, possibly keep trying to eat, and stop. Food may be coming from his mouth and nose. Take away food and call the vet. Let the horse drink if he wants. A horse that chokes can build up scar tissue, increasing the likeliness of another choke. Lameness is the term used to describe unevenness of movement or limping in a horse. It is usually demonstrated by a lack of desire to keep weight on the affected leg. It can be caused by damage to the leg caused by riding on too hard surfaces (concussive injuries or bruising), poor hoof trimming/shoeing (quicking, pricking, contracted heels), or injuries to soft tissues acquired during exercise or turnout. Injuries can include soft tissue damage like bowing(spraining or tearing) of tendons, or things like bone or cartilage injuries. Things like arthritis can also cause lameness. Treatments include rest, wrapping, poulticing and cold hosing, depending on the injury. Worming Parasites are smaller organisms that rely on a host creature for survival. There are two main types in horses, internal and external. The external parasites generally are blood- suckers, like ticks or lice. There are many varieties of internal parasites, most living in the digestive system. Strongyles – known as blood worms, both large and small varieties, most common cause of colic, live in the intestinal lining Ascarids – known as roundworms, mostly found in young horses and can cause coughing and even rupture of the intestines Pinworms – Live in large intestines, cause horse to rub tail and have a discharge from rectum Tapeworms- large worms that can cause severe weightloss Bots – flies that leave small yellow eggs attached to the horse’s legs, which are swallowed, mature, and are deposited in the manure to hatch into more botflies Like with antibiotics, you should rotate dewormers every time you worm, about every 6- 8 weeks. This kills more species and keeps them from developing resistance. Some of the chemicals used in wormers are Fenbendazole (Panacure), Ivermectin (Ivermectin, Zimectin, Equimectrin), Oxibendazole (Anthelcide Eq.) Pyrantel pamoate (Strongid), Praziquantel (Equimax) and Moxidectin (Quest). FIVE STUDY GUIDE Nutrition The six basic nutrients are water, carbohydrates, protein, fats/lipids, vitamins and minerals. Horses need free choice to water and salt. Vitamins and minerals are usually adequate in their grain and hay, but can be increased through additional feed supplements if necessary. They derive the extra protein needed from working from their concentrate ration, as well as the carbohydrates. The roughages are broken down by the microflora in the gut to produce more useable protein, carbohydrates and vitamins. Horses need some fat, but not much, as they do not have a gallbladder and cannot emulsify a lot at once. They need all the nutrients in moderation. To increase weight, you want to increase the amount of protein and fat in a horse’s diet. You can add additional concentrates, forage or a fat supplement, like oil. Things like rice bran, alfalfa or beet pulp are often used to promote weight gain instead of adding more concentrates. You want to be sure not to increase the protein and carbohydrates too much and make the horse “hot”. To decrease weight, you want to increase the horse’s forage, decrease their concentrates, so their carbohydrate, protein and fat intake. This allows them to still be full and not colic, but have decreased nutrients, so they will lose weight. Exercise is an important component as well. Teeth: Horses’ teeth grow continuously and wear unevenly when they grind down while chewing. This creates hooks and waves on the teeth, causing the horse to have trouble eating. A horse may be reluctant to eat, drop food (quid), be fussy about accepting the bridle or people touching his face, lose weight or not go on contact. You should get the teeth checked every 6 months or so. Medications Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – NSAIDS, pain relievers and inflammation reducers such as Bute (Phenylbutazone) or asprin, given to control pain or soreness in small doses, but can cause intestinal upset with prolonged use. Bute is the most common Tranquilizers – used to calm a horse to make it easier to work with and less upset during stressful situations, clipping, trailering, floating teeth, Ace (Acepromazine) is a mild one, also Xylazine (Rompun) and Dormosedan Analgesics – Pain relieving drugs that work by suppressing the nervous system to reduce pain sensation, such as Banamine (Flunixin Meglumine) and Torbugesic. Used more for acute pain relief, such as colic. Banamine is most common. Topical – There are lots of topical medications used. Some, like Betadine (Iodine) or Nolvasan (chlorhexidine) are used to clean and disinfect wounds. Others, like Furazone, or Nolvasan (cream) are used as a protectant or dressing for a wound. Ichthammol, poultice or other sorts of hoof dressing are used to draw out bruises and abcesses in the hooves. First Aid Be sure you know how to do the following. As a Level 5 SOP, you may be called upon to do any of the following to the horses if necessary. As with anything else, feel free to ask or look up more info if you are not comfortable with any of it. Know how to worm a horse (much like dosing them) and how to find correct amounts to give. Worming should be done on a regular schedule, every 6-8 weeks. Know basic idea of how to give injections (IM and IV) to a horse, ask an upper level club member if you have questions. You will probably only do this to club horses in the case of vaccines. Do NOT give injections to horses, especially IV, unless expressly directed to do so. When a horse is injured, there are several different types of wraps you can do to try to reduce the severity and aid healing. Poulticing is used underneath wraps instead of liniment to keep the leg tight, unswollen, and prevent soreness after hard workouts. You apply it thickly to the leg, wrap Saran wrap over top of it, and apply a standing wrap. Sweating is done by applying a drawing agent, like DMSO or Furazone, to the leg, and then applying Saran wrap and a standing wrap. This helps to draw out inflammation, heat and swelling, reducing the injury and aiding healing. It also heats up the area, increasing bloodflow and aiding healing that way, and is usually used for injuries that are not fresh. For an ice wrap, you either use commercial ice bandages, or wrap over a bag of frozen vegetables or chopped ice. It is used on an acute injury to reduce swelling and inflammation. If you leave it on too long, it becomes a sweat wrap, after the ice melts. Trailering Trailering a horse can be dangerous for the horse and the handler if it’s not done correctly. Safety and commonsense are paramount. One has to consider many different aspects of trailering. The towing vehicle has to be in good condition, able to pull the trailer, and safe (up-to-date on inspections, oil and tires checked etc). The trailer has to also be in good condition. One should be sure to check the tires, the floorboards (a horse can put a foot through a rotten floorboard while the trailer is moving), the ramp for defects or slipperiness, the hitch, and make sure there is nothing that is going to hurt the horse, such as sharp edges, screws or bee’s nests. Many people use protective shipping boots or wraps on the horses legs, some use tail wraps or head bumpers to further protect them. Be sure that the horse is used to it all and it fits before shipping a horse in any sort of protective gear. The horse should also be used to loading and unloading and being in a trailer. Probably you should provide hay to the horse in a hay net while trailering to keep them calm. You should be sure to have certain things with you before you leave the barn. This includes first aid equipment for both horses and people, anything you’ll need when you get where you are going (tack, grain, etc), and a Coggins or health certificate if necessary. Check your state regulations for trailering, many states require flares, a fire extinguisher, chains/tow ropes, reflective markers and/or a flashlight. Conditioning: To start to bring a horse to fitness, you first want to make sure the horse is in a physical condition that will allow it to work without pain, injury or illness. This could involve changing rations or even handwalking for some time before actually starting riding. Conditioning a horse depends a lot on the starting condition of a horse. It should take about 4-6 weeks of work to get a very unfit horse fit again. Starting from a walk, work the horse, gradually increasing the time for long, slow distances. A good measure might be work him til he feels tired or breaks a light sweat, depending on the weather. When you are up to about a half hour of walking, add trotting, gradually increasing time and distance and replacing some of the walking with trotting. Do the same thing with cantering. Hill work, when possible, is very effective for getting a horse fit. When he can work for an hour at a walk, trot, and canter without becoming too tired, then you can add other things like jumping or more advanced dressage work. As a horse increases fitness, you may have to alter their feeding to accommodate their work load and body condition. Also look at whether there are any other changes that need to be made, like type of food, shoeing, tack fit, clipping, etc. Tack: Know types of tack and bits used in the barn, and how you would adjust or change the tack to suit a different horse or a different type of temperament or a different discipline. Tack Fit: The saddle should not pinch the withers, allowing room for several fingers above the withers. The area under the cantle should allow you to run your hands easily between the horse and the saddle without being too loose or pinching. You should also be able to run your hand between the horse and the saddle under the panels, finding it evenly resting on his back. If you work a horse and find that there is a part that is dry or really sweaty, and different than the rest of his back, the tack probably fits incorrectly. Bridle: the bridle should be generally the right size, not be on the first or last hole on every buckle. The noseband should be about an inch below the cheek bones, the buckle of the cheek pieces should be just above the prominent eyebone, the browband should rest easily around the horses ears and the bit should make one or two wrinkles at the corner of the horses mouth. Safety: Be able to look around the barn and identify safety hazards and safety measures there and in the paddocks. Restraint: When restraining a horse, there are several ways you can do it. The easiest is with a chain shank. The basic method of using a chain is over the horse’s nose. Other methods include under their chin, through their mouth or over their gums. Those are much more severe than just over the nose, and shouldn’t be used for everyday handling. You can also use a twitch, which is a piece of wood with either a loop of rope or chain on the end. You slip that over the end of a horse’s nose, trapping it, and twist the handle, tightening it around the end of their nose. This should only be done for a very good reason and by someone with experience. A skin twitch is also effective, but should be used judiciously. The handler grabs a handful of the skin from the neck and twists it, getting the horse to focus on that rather than whatever else is happening. An ear twitch is the same concept, except with the handler holding the ear. It can make horses head shy, so shouldn’t be used regularly. If the situation demands it, tranquilizers can be used, usually IM or IV Ace or Dormosedan, but this should be done only under direct supervision and with vet permission.
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