Summer Horse Care Reminders

* Make sure your horse has access to plenty of clean water. You should check troughs and streams daily. Salt blocks should also be available at all times.

* Horses in work should have electrolytes added to their feed daily. Use the type without sugar (sucrose/dextrose).

* Ride during the coolest part of the day if possible.

* Fly control: Use fly spray, fly masks, fans, remove and compost manure, and cover wet/muddy areas with blue stone.

* Make sure your horse is sweating properly.

“* Thunder storms: Do not run out to bring your horses in during a storm. This is not safe for you or for them. If you know storms are on the way and you have time, bring them in. They are safer in the barn.

* Sun burn: Apply sunscreen to the noses of horses with white or flesh colored markings to prevent sunburn. Zinc oxide products seem to work the best.

* Potomac Horse Fever prevention: Turn off outside lights, including arena lights at night. The light attracts mayflies and similar insects that are proven to carry and infect horses with the PHF organism. Now is also the time to vaccinate for PHF if indicated.

* Foot problems: Horses may develop foot issues due to stomping flies and hard ground. Work with your farrier and keep horses in during the stomping hours”.

* Treat cuts and scraps promptly to prevent infection.

* Body clip horses that have not shed out properly due to Cushings/PPID. Some may need to be clipped several times during the summer.

The Importance Of Trust

“Trust is like the air we breathe. When it’s present, nobody really notices. But when it’s absent, everybody notices.”  ~ Warren Buffett

How does the level of trust between client and veterinarian affect the patient? Does it have any impact?

Consider a call received from a barn manager : a new boarder’s horse is displaying signs consistent with colic onset (kicking at stomach, rolling, sweating, biting at sides) and the barn manager requests the vet approve a dose of Banamine and come out as soon as possible.  The veterinarian has never met or spoken to the owner. Absent a thorough boarding agreement allowing the barn manager to approve care up to a specified dollar amount, should the veterinarian treat the horse if the owner cannot be reached?

Or assume the veterinarian has seen a horse twice for routine care (vaccines, Coggins tests, etc.) and another owner at the barn notices the horse is on three legs, reluctant to put any weight at all on a limb, and requests a visit as soon as possible.  The owner is overseas and has not responded to a message left.

In both these cases, the relationship and level of trust between the client and


veterinarian can make the difference between a quick response or a delay that may cause the horse to be in pain longer than necessary or even make the difference between life and death. The familiarity of a client and his/her feelings about treatment options, treatment occurring without the owner present, financial considerations, and accessibility of the horse’s history are all critical in delivering the most appropriate care in the shortest amount of time.

There is no substitute for a veterinarian familiar with your horse, the horse’s history and the confidence of knowing you trust them to make the best decision for your horse if you cannot be reached. Guesswork is taken further out of the equation when you have a written directive on file (basic example attached. You may wish to consult an attorney to determine legality) with the practice or your boarding facility, specifying dollar limits for work done without your consent. We have clients who we know would choose to have certain horses sent for emergency surgery and others for whom that is not an option. One is not right or wrong, but it sure makes the veterinarian’s job much easier if the owner’s wishes are known.

Like wills, medical directives, and the like, directives for equine care are not things we like to think about, but are important. If you haven’t already, consider putting in writing instructions for your horse’s medical care, including dollar limits, if you cannot be reached. Give copies to your veterinary practice, to your barn manager and anyone who cares for your horse.

Our goal is to provide the very best care for your horse, every time, in accordance with your wishes. We want to be your partners in equine health care; please let us know whenever we may be of help.



The Story Of Broadmore

Broadmore is a sweet, jet black, miniature horse. On October 5th, 2010, he was referred into the hospital by David Ordel, the owner of the farm where Broadmore was boarded. He was a quiet, 7 year old gelding, who was showing signs of persistent colic. He was diagnosed with a large colon impaction colic. This problem generally has a good prognosis but the owner declined treatment.

As Broadmore was young and had an excellent chance to be saved with aggressive treatment, we asked the owner if they would donate Broadmore and they agreed. Mr. Ordel then agreed to find a home for him if we could resolve the impaction. Dr. Paul Stephens and his team treated him free of cost with high volume fluids and electrolytes and after 36 hours the impaction was cleared. Upon Broadmore’s discharge, Mr. Ordel said; “if you know of anyone that might want him, give them my number, I will take care of him in the meantime”. I immediately called the owners of the farm where my horse is boarded to see if they might be interested and they informed me that their neighbors were actually looking for a miniature horse. I called them up and gave them David’s number. They adopted him in November 2010; that winter, their daughter, Rachel, began to work with him, doing showmanship, obstacle, jumping and Broadmore driving

They went to their first show in the spring of 2011 and have been going non-stop since then. Rachel and Broadmore have shown at the World Class Miniature Horse Show, the Virginia Miniature Horse Club shows and the Varina Rising Stars 4-H horse shows. Broadmore has been her 4-H project horse for the past 3 years. In 2012, this unstoppable pair won the driving classics at the Virginia State 4-H horse show in Lexington, Virginia.

Together, they have numerous year end Championships and Reserve Championships. In the summer of 2013, Rachel researched Broadmore’s name and found his bloodlines, they were able to contact the breeder, who was really amazing. The breeder found Broadmore’s original papers and mailed them to Rachel with transfer papers. Turns out, his registered name is Silver Plates Baccarra Broadmoor.

In January 2014, the pair, along with Rachel’s 4-H club, the Silver Stirrups 4-H club, had the honor of participating in the inaugural parade for Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe, to represent the Virginia Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development Program and the equine industry in Virginia, which also made the front page of the local newspaper.

Rachel continues to train and show Broadmore, along with her two other miniature horse additions. It feels great to have been a part of this little guy’s life and I am excited to see what else he and Rachel have to show us in the future.