These tests draw from United States Pony Club C-2 Standards of by bhz15729


									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

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


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

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
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

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

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.

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
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).


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.

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.

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

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 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.

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.

 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.

Be able to look around the barn and identify safety hazards and safety measures there and
in the paddocks.

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

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