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    Interview with Anna Bergenstrahle Msc Exercise Science, Msc Equine Science. Anna is the creator of the facebook page Riding Without Back Pain. Here we discussed my recent article on Handedness in Horses . We also talked about problems created by asymmetries of both horses and riders. Enjoy!

     

     

     

     

    Starr Vaughn Equestrian Center Show 2017

    Dexter and I won Third Place in a pretty large open class, and received our second  qualifying score at 1st level. Looks like 2nd level is in our plan for 2018. 

     

     

    Rancho Murieta Horse Show 2017

     Dexter my barefoot TB, rehabilitated from a bout or two of upward fixation of the patella and a superficial digital flexor tendon strain. He and I put out a very nice 1st level test at this lovely show and received our first qualifying score towards a bronze medal. 


     

     

     UC DAVIS REASEARCH STUDY  Fall 2016-2017

    Matt Seitzler and I began to create specially machined racing shoes which will be used in a UC Davis Study to benefit the racing industry. This study is being conducted by Vanessa Dahl at the Sue Stover Research Lab. It will look at plate heel length's effect on the caudal foot. Hopefully this data will be used to prevent injury and trauma to the heel and navicular region in race horses. It is a privilege to participate!


    March 18th. 2016, Dressage Show

            

     Dexter and I at Rancho Mureita for Golden State Dressage. We had a lot of fun with friends and family. Off the Track Thoroughbreds are amazing! I love showing a barefoot TB, (they do exist). 

     

     

    February 27th 2016, Kirk Adkins Clinic

    What a great opportunity to learn from Kirk Adkins, one of the greatest farriers in North America. Kirk received his masters degree and was the hospital farrier for UC Davis for about 20 years. The number of horses he's helped and the depth of knowledge he's gained over the years in simply incredible. This clinic lead to a 9 month internship at Kirk's shop where I watched him weekly and had amazing discussions about equine distal limb disease. 


    This was a wonderful anatomy and dissection clinic by master farrier Kirk Adkins. Kirk was the farrier at UC Davis for almost two decades. We x-rayed cadaver feet , trimmed them and learned to apply plastic horse shoes called sneakers or "equithotics". Kirk designed and manufactures these composite shoes which have been a great tool for horses with hoof pathology. The sneakers also work well for Tevis competitors.  

     

     

    January 25th, 2016 Continuing Education at UC Davis

    I had a blast at the annual Charles Heumphres Memorial Lecture. Sue Dyson gave an incredible talk about treatments for navicular. Grant Moon, journeyman farrier gave an interesting talk about the history of farrier work in the UK and US. 

     

    Nov. 7th, 2015, NYC Central Park Carriage Horses

    The NYC horses in festooned harness and street carriages were quite the sight. But I couldn't ignore the controversy that surrounds the horses working in Central Park. Many people feel this should end and there is proposed legislation to ban it. Though the horses I saw were in good weight, and appeared calm and obedient, a closer investigation of their living conditions was concerning. Horses are allowed to work 9 hours a day, 7 days a week on pavement. When they are stabled at night, the average stall size is only 8x10 feet, small when you consider most are draft crosses. There is no turn out in the city, although each horse gets a mandatory 5 weeks off in pasture a year.  The stall size explained the smell coming off the horses.  I officially love the smell of horses, (as most of us do), but this was different; They smelled decidedly like urine...from several blocks away. Their hooves, as you can see in the lower photo have their working id number dremeled into the outside of the hoof.

     I can't say what the right answer is regarding ending the tradition in NYC. The horses themselves are often wastage from the standard bred racing industry and many people argue that they would wind up at auction and ultimately go to slaughter if not purchased by the carriage drivers. Maybe the tradition could continue if stable and working conditions were improved. Less hours on the street, some turnout and much larger stalls would be a start. It was special to see beautiful horses right in the middle of NYC.

    Nov. 6th, 2015   Ancient Horsemen exhibits in the Natural History Museum, NYC

    Below are photos from exhibits of horse equipment from several ancient Asian cultures including Tibetan, Turkmen Uzbeck, and Yakut Peoples, (a tribal pastoral group in Siberia). All of these groups had snaffle bits and ornate iron stirrups and saddle fixtures. Horses were the primary vehicles used for herding livestock, defending territory, and launching raids on neighboring groups. All three societies lacked iron horse shoe technology. They rode their horses barefoot for centuries which raises a lot of questions. Such as, what was the environment like? The horses' diet? Was there hoof protection either in leather or cloth? How well and how long were horses able to work? And what was their genetic make up? They must have had satisfactory success as working animals barefoot. What could we learn from this?

    Right, is a Tibetan horse saddle, bridle, and breast collar

    Painting of a Horseman form Tajikistan USSR 7th century A.D.  depicts unshod horses as working animals.

     

    The snaffle bit is better viewed in this photo above of the Yakut tack.

     

     

    Oct. 24th,2015, UC Davis Day of the HorseNancy Martin DVM, demonstrated Equine Acupuncture and talked about the beneficial effects for healing and pain control. She gave an excellent description of what an acupuncture treatment does on a cellular level. It made me think about the acupuncture points that can be stimulated with cold laser. I also came away with a greater understanding of the definition of Meridians in horses and humans. Just a great demonstration and lecture!

     

     


      Kirk Adkins gave a fascinating lecture about glue-on shoes and alternatives to using nails and steel. Adkins made it clear he still prefers to nail on his patented plastic shoes Equithotics, most people call them "sneakers." The lecture focused on the origins of horse shoe technology, which started with the Vikings. They had ships which were nailed together with clinched nails, and the technique was applied to horse shoes. Before that, horse hoof protection (used by the Romans) was secured with leather ties around the fetlock. 



    August 3rd, Ann Ramsey Teaches At B.A.E.C, Vet Science Camp

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had a great group of Kids ages 13-21 all interested in pursuing careers in Veterinary medicine. This is a high tech, science rich week where kids are immersed in the latest Vet Science and technology. I taught anatomy of the distal limb, spine, shoulder and hoof capsule. We discussed rehabilitation protocols for injuries common to race horses. What a day! www.baeclub.com

     

     August 5th, Behind the Scenes At UC Davis

     Dr. Jamie Texter DVM,Phd offered an exclusive tour of the Veterinary Medicine Teaching hospital. With the vet camp students, we visited several departments including the Clinical Pathology department and the Materials Testing lab of Susan Stover, DVM, Phd where limbs, horse shoes and track surfaces are mechanically tested. It was a fascinating experience and a great way to learn about the interplay between biomedical engineering and Veterinary Medicine. 

     

    We visited the Treadmill! where research horses are kept fit and studied on the treadmill at walk, trot and canter.    In the Specimens lab we saw skeletons of many species, but my favorite was of course the horse.