Recommended Travel First Aid Kit
1. 2 Rolls 75mm Elastoplast
2. 2 Rolls 75mm Elastic Bandage
3. 1 Roll Cotton Wool
4. Disafectant Solution (ie: Betadine)
5. Antibiotic Powder or Spray
6. Blunt end scissors
Additional Items I carry
7. Saline Solution (for eye wash)
8. Bucket, Sponge & Towel.
9. Hoof Pick
10. Emergency numbers for Vet & Home (if you are incapacitaed)
Float Emergency Equipment
1. Float Jack (will your car jack lift the float?)
2. Hammer, Pliers, Screwdriver.
3. Sharp Knife
4. Hay Band or cord.
5. Lunge Line or long Rope
6. Wheel Chock
WHEN TO START YOUNG HORSES
A great article by Dr. Deb Bennet:
"Owners and trainers need to realize there's a definite,
easy-to-remember schedule of fusion - and then make their decision as
to when to ride the horse based on that rather than on the external
appearance of the horse.
For there are some breeds of horse - the Quarter Horse is the premier
among these - which have been bred in such a manner as to LOOK mature
long before they actually ARE mature. This puts these horses in
jeopardy from people who are either ignorant of the closure schedule,
or more interested in their own schedule (for futurities or other
competitions) than they are in the welfare of the animal.
The process of fusion goes from the bottom up. In other words, the
lower down toward the hoofs you look, the earlier the growth plates
will have fused; and the higher up toward the animal's back you look,
the later. The growth plate at the top of the coffin bone (the most
distal bone of the limb) is fused at birth. What this means is that the
coffin bones get no TALLER after birth (they get much larger around,
though, by another mechanism). That's the first one. In order after
2. Short pastern - top & bottom between birth and 6 mos.
3. Long pastern - top & bottom between 6 mos. And 1 yr.
4. Cannon bone - top & bottom between 8 mos. And 1.5 yrs.
5. Small bones of knee - top & bottom on each, between 1.5 and 2.5 yrs.
6. Bottom of radius-ulna - between 2 and 2.5 yrs.
7. Weight-bearing portion of glenoid notch at top of radius - between 2.5 and 3 yrs.
8. Humerus - top & bottom, between 3 and 3.5 yrs.
9. Scapula - glenoid or bottom (weight-bearing) portion - between 3.5 and 4 yrs.
10. Hindlimb - lower portions same as forelimb
11. Hock - this joint is "late" for as low down as it is; growth plates
on the tibial & fibular tarsals don't fuse until the animal is four
the hocks are a known "weak point" - even the 18th-century literature
warns against driving young horses in plow or other deep or sticky
footing, or jumping them up into a heavy load, for danger of spraining
12. Tibia - top & bottom, between 2.5 and 3 yrs.
13. Femur - bottom, between 3 and 3.5 yrs.; neck, between 3.5 and 4 yrs.; major and 3rd trochanters, between 3 and 3.5 yrs.
14. Pelvis - growth plates on the points of hip, peak of croup (tubera
sacrale), and points of buttock (tuber ischii), between 3 and 4 yrs.
and what do you think is last? The vertebral column, of course. A
normal horse has 32 vertebrae between the back of the skull and the
root of the dock, and there are several growth plates on each one, the
most important of which is the one capping the centrum.
These do not fuse until the horse is at least 5 1/2 years old (and this
figure applies to a small-sized, scrubby, range-raised mare. The taller
your horse and the longer its neck, the later full fusion will occur.
And for a male - is this a surprise? -- You add six months. So, for
example, a 17-hand TB or Saddlebred or WB gelding may not be fully
mature until his 8th year - something that
owners of such individuals have often told me that they "suspected" ).
The lateness of vertebral "closure" is most significant for two
One: in no limb are there 32 growth plates!
Two: The growth plates in the limbs are (more or less) oriented
perpendicular to the stress of the load passing through them, while
those of the vertebral chain are oriented parallel to weight placed
upon the horse's back.
Bottom line: you can sprain a horse's back (i.e., displace the
vertebral growth plates) a lot more easily than you can sprain those located in the limbs.
And here's another little fact: within the chain of vertebrae, the
last to fully "close" are those at the base of the animal's neck
(that's why the long-necked individual may go past 6 yrs. to achieve
full maturity). So you also have to be careful - very careful - not to
yank the neck around on your young horse, or get him in any situation where he strains his neck."
Dr. Deb Bennett
ABOUT DR. DEB: Deb Bennett, Ph.D., is a 1984 graduate of the University
of Kansas, and until 1992 was with the Smithsonian Institution. She is
known as an authority on the classification, evolution, anatomy, and
biomechanics of fossil and living horses. Her research interests
include the history of domestication and world bloodlines and breeds.
She teaches unique anatomy short-courses and horsemanship clinics
designed to be enjoyable to riders of all breeds and disciplines, and
all levels of skill.
Internationally known for her scientific approach to conformation
analysis, "Dr. Deb" has made a career out of conveying a kind of "X-ray
vision" for bone structure to breeders and buyers. Her background in
biomechanics helps her clearly explain how conformation relates to
performance ability. Dr. Deb's clinics often feature real bones and
interesting biomechanical models.