from the Vet Corner Archives

Part of Horse Previews Magazine website. Posted on 04/02/99; 2:00:00PM.

Veterinary Corner 4/99: Getting Ready for Spring and Summer Riding

by Frosty Franklin, DVM
Edgecliff Equine Hospital
S. 1322 Park Road, Spokane, WA 99212 * 509/924-6069

Spring is once again upon us and I am so excited about saddling up my horses and getting out into the beautiful weather. As you prepare to get your horse ready for the upcoming spring and summer seasons, take a quick look at our Spring Checklist. We have compiled a list that discusses several important steps to take in order to ensure your equine companion is safe and healthy during the upcoming spring and summer months.

Visit with the Veterinarian- It is important to start out on the right foot by having your veterinarian perform a thorough examination of your horse. You can discuss any concerns you may have regarding your horse's health and upcoming activities, while the doctor can make sure that your horse is sound and healthy. It is essential that appropriate vaccinations be given. Make sure that your deworming program is providing the necessary protection for your horse. Your veterinarian is an excellent resource and can advise you about what your horse's specific level of activity will require.

Coggins Test- If you plan on doing any travelling with your horse, you will need to have your veterinarian draw blood for a Coggins Test. This test checks for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). A negative Coggins Test is required for interstate travel. Even if you aren't planning on travelling outside of Washington many horse shows within the state require a negative Coggins Test as well.

30 Day Health Certificate or 6 Month Horse Passport- If your travel plans are not extensive (1 or 2 trips out of the state), you will need to secure a 30 day health certificate from your veterinarian prior to your trips. If, however, your summer schedule is quite full and you will be travelling out of the state frequently with your horse, you might want to consider a 6-month passport. This type of certificate is good for travel in the following states: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, California, and Nevada.

Visit with the Farrier- Talk with your farrier about your spring and summer plans and what type of shoes will best serve your horse's needs as well as develop a time schedule for resetting the required shoes.

The Brand Inspector- Before you begin your out-of-state summer travel, you must secure a brand inspection card from the local brand inspector. You have two options. A yearly brand inspection is available, but needs to be renewed each year. The lifetime brand inspection is a bit more expensive, but offers fewer hassles in the years to come.

First Aid Kit- It is always important to have a first aid kit available when you are travelling with your horse. The kit should include: flashlight, rectal thermometer with case, vet wrap, gauze sponges, roll cotton, small bandage scissors, Neosporin, betadine solution, and an easy boot. Talk with your veterinarian about the items in your first aid kit and make sure you know how to use each one. Your veterinarian can help you master basic first aid skills.

The Inland Empire Backcountry Horsemen have made this preparation process easy. On April 24th, they will host the 2nd annual "Get Ready to Ride" at the Deer Park Fairgrounds. The following services and activities will be available: health passport veterinary inspection and Coggins test, brand inspection, and vaccinations. The Backcountry Horsemen will also provide free demonstrations on dutch oven cooking, packing techniques, camping techniques, knot tying, saddle fitting, and much more. For more information on this event call 238-4718.

Taking the time to properly prepare for a spring and summer of riding can greatly reduce your chances of misfortune. I am looking forward to an exciting season of riding and I hope you are as well.

Until next time, Happy Trails!


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