BE­YOND THE BA­SICS: SPE­CIAL FEA­TURES

Horse & Rider - - Conformation Clinic -

Do you run a breed­ing pro­gram or house a barn­ful of per­for­mance horses? If so, there are some spe­cial fea­tures you might con­sider adding to your fa­cil­ity to make your vet’s life even eas­ier. Here are just a few.

STOCKS. If you’ll be breed­ing mares, your vet will spend a lot of time work­ing in a dan­ger­ous po­si­tion di­rectly be­hind those mares to per­form rec­tal ex­ams, in­sem­i­na­tions, or other di­ag­nos­tic pro­ce­dures. While these pro­ce­dures can be per­formed with a well-be­haved mare in a stall or barn aisle, your vet is still forced to func­tion in a fairly dan­ger­ous po­si­tion. And if your mare isn’t feel­ing co­op­er­a­tive, your vet’s job is even harder and more haz­ardous. A set of stocks will not only help keep your vet safe, it might also save you money in the long run by re­duc­ing the need for your horse to re­ceive tran­quil­iz­ing med­i­ca­tions.

DEN­TAL SETUP. Many vet­eri­nar­i­ans fa­vor a padded head-ring hung from above to sup­port your horse’s head dur­ing den­tal pro­ce­dures. To hang this ring cor­rectly, make use of an un­ob­structed beam (no wa­ter pipes, please), ide­ally over a stall door in a quiet cor­ner of your barn. Con­sider asking your vet what he or she prefers to have avail­able for per­form­ing den­tal pro­ce­dures, then do what you can to set it up ahead of the ap­point­ment.

HEAT LAMPS. Do harsh, cold win­ters hap­pen where you live? Con­sider in­stalling heat lamps over­head in your des­ig­nated vet/far­rier area. Not only will this keep your health-care pros more com­fort­able, it’ll al­low them to work on your horse with­out shuf­fling blan­kets back and forth to ex­pose body parts. Heat lamps can be es­pe­cially use­ful for acupunc­tur­ists or ther­a­pists who may be work­ing on your horse for ex­tended pe­ri­ods of time; lamps may also en­able bet­ter re­sults by keep­ing your horse’s mus­cles warm and soft.

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