2017 Southern Equine Expo

I am incredibly honored to be returning to work at the Southern Equine Expo this year.  For the second year in a row, I will be introducing speakers in the Miller Club for the Expo’s lecture series.  Subjects range from gaited horsemanship to trail riding to equine dentistry.  I have to admit…  I’m kind of excited about getting to meet and talk to Julie Goodnight and Colleen Kelly!

If you’ve never been to the Southern Equine Expo, you really need to experience it!  The production team works hard to get a variety of horseman and horsewomen each year who address a range of concerns and interest, but they also take great care in selecting clinicians and presenters who exemplify the best the industry has to offer.  The event is a great opportunity for horse people across the region to come together and discuss their favorite breeds, disciplines, and training methods.

I’ve included the current tentative schedule below.  Be sure to visit their website for updates and get your tickets in advance!

RESOLVE Sweet Itch!

I recently attended the inaugural Rally for the Rescues event at Clearview Horse Farm in Shelbyville, TN. I had the pleasure of meeting one of the sponsors Kathy Anderson of Equine Safety Zone, LLC. I asked her about Resolve, and we spent some time talking about the last 6 years of combating sweet itch with my gelding Comanche. I had been volunteering and didn’t come prepared to shop, so I asked for her card and website address to order later. When I did, Kathy generously gave me a 24 oz bottle to try and review.

Let me fill you in on the saga of Comanche’s itchy summer skin… During our first full summer together, the itching started with the occasional rubbing on a tree and escalated to no tail and twoComanche Hives bald shoulders. The poor thing had scabs everywhere. I tried everything, including Vicks Vapor Rub! I spent three months scouring the internet for suggestions while every horse person I knew told me to try this or try that. By September, the itching had stopped and the fur grew back. I spent the winter looking for an answer and discovered that it was sweet itch.

I spent the next four years battling the itch. One summer, I spent over $2,000 on antihistamines, allergy shots, allergy sprays, fly sheets, and fly sprays. One year, we managed to get through the summer with a tail. Unfortunately, his back and shoulders looked like hamburger meat. 😦 Fly sheets were a complete bust. Even the most heavy duty wouldn’t last 2 days with Comanche. Fly sprays either didn’t work or further irritated his sensitive skin. I spent summers feeling awful for him and spending every dime I had to try and help. I spent every winter searching for some clue as to why nothing would work. It would literally bring me to tears.

The summer before last was a mild success. I made my own fly spray from apple cider vinegar and essential oils, and I gave Comanche an oatmeal bath every 2-3 days. He remained mostly itch free. Then I found an article that suggested that while the allergic reaction to fly saliva began the itching, it was possible that a secondary bacterial infection caused the bulk of the itching. I figured an antimicrobial shampoo couldn’t hurt. I had certainly tried EVERYTHING else!

This summer has been largely itch free. I have been using Pyranha Zero Bite natural fly spray and giving an antimicrobial bath twice a week. The antimicrobial bath takes 30-45 minutes from start to finish. We did have an incident the night before Rally for the Rescues. Poor Comanche had a welt from a horse fly bite. We began treatment with an antimicrobial bath, but switched to Resolve after meeting Kathy.

My review of Resolve? WOW!!! WHERE has this product been the last 6 years??? Not only did the welt disappear in HALF the time, I went from a 45 minute treatment twice a day to a 45 second treatment once a day.

Unfortunately, his speckled coat makes it difficult to make out bumps, but I’ve included a picture of how his allergy-ridden skin looks after 1 day with Resolve and 3 days with antimicrobial shampoo. When I find a section of his coat covered in hives, if I treat immediately with antimicrobial shampoo twice a day, it takes 5-7 days to heal. Resolve healed it in 2 days! Instead of repeated baths, which my horse HATES, I check his coat once a day and spay any hives or welts once a day for 2-3 days. This week marks the end of June, and we have a tail–albeit a little Appy tail–and a full coat. NO BALD SPOTS! We just happily ordered our second bottle.

Kathy earned a customer for life and a few good online reviews, but Comanche and I got the better end of the deal. It’s summer, and my horse isn’t miserable. We can FINALLY enjoy a beautiful summer night! If Resolve works half as well on rain rot and thrush as it does for Comanche, every horse owner should have this in their barn. Use the code ESZ25 and save 25% on your first order. You will be SO glad you did!

The “Trail Meister” Robert Eversole

20160227_113541Over the weekend, I had the great pleasure of working at the Southern Equine Expo, running the Lecture Series in the Miller Club. If you missed it, make plans early to get there next year. The Lecture Series included five sessions with “Trail Meister” Robert Eversole. Not only is he an engaging speaker but he is a true pleasure to chat with. Attendees agreed, because his crowds got bigger and bigger. He was so wonderful that the Southern Equine Expo staff has already invited him back for next year.

As a former Toastmaster, there are several things I look for from a presentation perspective, but as a horsewoman, there are a few key quality questions I ask when evaluating a lecture:

  1. Does the speaker actively participate in the discipline?
  2. Is the speaker genuinely interested in providing the audience with good, relevant knowledge?
  3. Is the speaker willing to say, “I don’t know”?
  4. Does the speaker promote other horse professionals/encourage the audience to seek out other experts?
  5. Is the speaker willing to express an opinion even if it’s unpopular?

The answer to all of these for Robert was YES. He is an experienced back country trail rider, who is generous with his knowledge and his praise of other good horsemen and horsewomen. He sought to provide his audience with knowledge relevant to their interests and experience and even boldly proclaims that he wears a helmet. As a helmet advocate, I love this!

Let me start by saying I avoid trail riding like the plague. I do it only for the benefits of (a) testing my horse outside the arena and (b) giving my horse a break from the arena. More often then not, I bribe other people to trail ride my horses. Despite that, I learned a few great tips along the way. Talking to attendees who trail ride, they took away much, much more.

His five talks included the following:

  1. The ABCs of Trail Riding
  2. GPS for Trail Riders
  3. Horse Camping 101
  4. Emergency Preparedness for Trail Riders
  5. Open Q&A about Trail Riding

If you trail ride, you should check out his website. Not only does it have great resources for finding trails, camps, and maps, but it also has useful information like how to tie a knot and reviews of products you may be thinking about trying.

As I mentioned before, if you’re in the south and didn’t attend the Southern Equine Expo this year, plan to be there next year (last weekend in February)! You do NOT want to miss out on seeing Robert Eversole a second time!

The Tennessee Stock Horse Association

Since we’re located in Tennessee, many of the organizations we feature are in Tennessee, but we hope to include information about the national organization and, as we grow, feature organizations outside our region.

The Tennessee Stock Horse Association (TnSHA) is a western riding organization focused on improving the relationship between horse and rider. With the moto “Ride a Better Horse!”, each show is preceded by a clinic to allow participants to improve their horsemanship skills.

The show format, which is encourage growth and improvement, includes four classes in which competitors perform individually:

  1. Trail
  2. Pleasure
  3. Reining
  4. Working Cow

The standardized positive scoring system is design to measure progress. Competitors may receive a zero on a specific movement or obstacle but are not disqualified. There six divisions in which a horse/rider combination can earn national points:

  1. Open
  2. Non-Pro
  3. Limited Non-Pro
  4. Novice
  5. Green Horse
  6. Youth

In addition, the TnSHA also offers an Intro division, which does not earn national points, with reduced fees to allow interested riders to try out the organization without committing to a membership and horse competition license.

TnSHA typically has four shows per year and host several clinics within the middle Tennessee area. The first event of the year is typically hosted by the MTSU Stock Horse team. The first event of this year will be the MTSU Spring Fling on Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18. Click here for the show entry form.

The second show will be hosted by Clearview Farms in Shelbyville, TN on Saturday, June 13 and Sunday, June 14. The second two shows are tentatively scheduled for July 18 & 19 and October 3 & 4. Visit tnsha.org for updates and more information.