Several top equestrians and practitioners convened in Wellington, FL, to offer insight on how they maintain soundness in equine athletes. Dubbed the Masterclass Innovation Series, it was created by Equine Tech Collaborative to support equestrian education to aid in equine care, welfare and management.
“The Soundness Spectrum: Maintaining Horses' Soundness Through Proactive Management” panel included the United States Team Veterinarian Dr. Tim Over, veterinarian Dr. Sheila Schils, Olympic showjumper Daniel Bluman and FEI groom Danny Ingratta. The speakers discussed the importance of education in learning how to assess soundness in horses, the impact of stress on horses, how to define and maintain soundness, and how to improve soundness in horses.
Feeling a horse's legs every day was recommended, as was understanding how muscles got stronger: through small tears. Schils said that as long as pain doesn't become chronic, a horse should be asked to move. One of the worst things to do with a sore horse is put them on stall rest, she noted. Keeping a horse in work, but not to the point of fatigue, is key.
Planning a horse's work schedule is also important, noted Ingratta and Bluman. Routines make it easier for horse owners and managers to notice subtle differences, which may be precursors to lameness. Education was a resounding theme from all panelists. All proceeds from the Masterclass Innovation Series went to the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund.
Watch the panel at USEF Network.
Read more at HorseTalk.
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