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Volume Fourteen - Issue Four
Endurance champion David kaden uses new technology for better saddle fit
By Elaine Macdonald
Riding trail with the horse may be able to carry
Avoiding Back Injuries
as a means to help people
your horse is one of the most up to 300 pounds on shorter
The Force Sensor
understand accurately what
satisfying experiences in the pleasure rides. But what the
Array, or (FSA) pressure pad
degree their saddle actually fits
world of horses. While riding owners need to know is how
is a diagnostic tool used to give
the horse.
the great outdoors, your horse does this weight, over a pe-
people a visual effect of exactly
“The pressure pad
is expected to climb ragged, riod of time; affect the horse’s
how their saddle fits the horse
is a problem-solving device,”
rocky hills, cross unpredictable back?
and how it applies pressure to
Kaden said. “I purchased
creeks, and be versatile on most A little investigative
the horse’s back. Originally
the pressure pad program to
any terrain. homework is always advisable
developed by Vista Medical of
help people understand the
An average riding before purchasing a saddle for
Ontario, Canada to study the
saddles impact on a horse’s
horse weighs about 1,000 your horse. Buying the wrong
cause of bedsores on human
health, movement and how to
pounds. The basic rule is that saddle can be an expensive les-
patients and to help devise a
keep from injuring the horse’s
the hard working horse can son, and may be unpleasant for
solution to the problem. Vista
easily carry 20% of his weight, the rider and/or painful for the
modified the pressure pad and
“For an accurate
or 200 pounds of rider and horse.
designed a mat specifically for
reading, the pressure pad is
saddle. Through today’s
the horse’s back.
placed between the horse and
However, depending modern technology there is
Endurance rider Da-
saddle blanket with the rider
on the make-up of the horse’s help to determine a better
vid Kaden purchased a pressure
astride the saddle,” said Kaden.
bone structure and condition, saddle fit.
pad and its computer program
“The pad is attached by an
electronic cable and interfaced
From cutting to driving...texas style
with its computer program. The
computer program indicates
competitive driving with team texas
the hot pressure points on the
horse’s back, and how many
By Ingrid Edisen
pounds per square inch and
where the weight is applied.”
Jerry and Mike
search for the three drivers that a cow in the 2.5 minute run of
The visual effects
McLennan said, “I do” in
will win a team gold medal for a cutting competition. We just
are displayed in colors. A good
color of blue on the computer Kaden is accom-
1967 and then embarked on a
the US. happened to use the Quarter
reading indicates distribution
screen. A poor reading would plished in the sport of endur-
horse-laced adventure that has
In November the horses we bred and trained as
of pressure throughout the
show bright red or orange pres- ance. His home bas is located
taken them to the best of the
McLennans and “Team we started our adventure in
saddle resulting in a uniform
sure points.
(Continued on Page 8.)
driving. With the exception
of one horse and the five
Quarter horse cross driving
Equine Piroplasmosis Disease
horses, everything we own are
registered Quarter horses.
What are the
Investigation Continues
caveats of the sport (driving)...
for instance I’ve heard that
Canada and a number states provide entry restrictions
contacted, if their horse needs
if a owner handled a horse
of U.S. states have imposed and requirements, the docu-
to be tested by animal health
incorrectly and spoiled that
movement restrictions or ments are posted on the TAHC
horse’s confidence, it was
additional entry requirements web site at http://www.tahc.
Dr. Hillman refrained
extremely difficult--if not
for horses from Texas after Dr. Hillman urged
from speculating on how many
impossible--to get that horse’s
equine piroplasmosis, a tick- equine owners and veterinar-
equine animals will be tested
confidence back (I’m talking
transmitted blood disease ians to call state animal health
or how many may be exposed
specifically about driving).
of equine animals, such as officials directly before haul-
or infected. “Until the epide-
Why the blinders?
horses, donkeys, mules and ing, as many states have not yet
miological work and testing of
In the sport of
zebras, was detected in South distributed entry requirement
potentially exposed horses is
driving, the horse must have
Texas in mid-October. Equine information. Contact informa-
completed, there is no way to
confidence in the person
piroplasmosis may be carried tion for state veterinarians may
predict how many horses may
attaching him to the carriage. and transmitted by as many as be obtained from the TAHC at
be affected with this tick-borne
In the event that confidence 15 species of ticks. Although 800-550-8242, ext. 710, or by
illness,” he said.
is diminished due to faulty ticks have been collected from emailing ceverett@tahc.state.
Dr. Hillman said
equipment, faulty mechanics the South Texas ranch for horses infected with equine
or an incapable driver, the testing, final results are not
“We are continu- piroplasmosis may appear well,
result is almost always more complete, and it is not known
ing the equine piroplasmosis while others may exhibit a host
catastrophic than someone
whether any of the ticks can disease investigation initiated
of non-specific clinical signs,
falling off a horse. Once a
serve as a host for the disease. in October in South Texas.
such as fever or anemia. These
horse has been through this
“Before moving No horse movement is be-
clinical signs also could be
experience, no amount of
horses from Texas, we urge you ing allowed from or to the
attributed to a variety of other
blinders will restore their
and your veterinarian to check
cutting, combined driving, and
ranch where the infection was diseases or causes. Blood tests
Texas,” as a representative of confidence in a short period of
with animal health officials
breeding worlds. Jerry had
detected,” said Dr. Hillman. are needed to diagnosis the
the driving component--one of time. Most horses are started
for any state of destination, to
been raised around horses.
“While this tick-borne disease
the seven equine disciplines without blinders and they are
Once Mike graduated from
ensure the animals have met has not been considered en-
competing at the WEG--will used to avoid distractions in
“Equine owners
Baylor University and tied the
all entry requirements,” said
stage an exhibition as they the horse’s focus during road
demic in the U.S., cases of the should talk with their pri-
knot with Jerry, he went on to
Dr. Bob Hillman, Texas’ state
team with the United States work or in a competition. For
disease, scientifically known vate veterinary practitioners
work in oil and gas exploration,
veterinarian and head of the
Equestrian Federation (USEF) instance, we close the blinders
as Theileria equi, and previ- about complying with inter-
later to run his own company.
to promote driving and the in dressage to keep the horse
Texas Animal Health Com- ously called Babesia equi, have
state movement requirements,
He was a cutting horse judge
WEG to the Quarter horse straighter and we open the
mission (TAHC), the state’s been detected in the U.S. Our
testing recommendations and
for fifteen years. When on
enthusiasts at the AQHA World blinders for the marathon so
livestock and poultry health epidemiologists are tracing the
protecting their horses from
a trip to France in 1968 they
Championship in Oklahoma the horses can see the elements
regulatory agency. “Regula- movement of specific equine
ticks. If a horse appears to
were introduced to the sport
City. Mike McLennan took and adjust themselves without
tory requirements can be fluid animals. Blood tests will be
be ill, it should be evaluated
of combined driving. The
a moment to answer some having to be told.
as disease situations evolve, conducted, and the animals
by an accredited private vet-
challenges interested them and
questions. What are they
so it is essential to call each will be examined for ticks. In-
erinary practitioner,” said Dr.
after 25 years of competing
What made you looking for in your sport?
state each time you haul.” As dividual equine owners will be
they began to breed some
switch over to driving from (speed? rhythm? accuracy?)
of their Foundation Quarter
Quarter horses? The sport requires
horse mares to Friesian
We did not switch speed, rhythm and accuracy
stallions, producing what is
from Quarter horses. We with rhythm being the first.
informally called a “Texas
cob.” Their Friesian/Quarter
horse crosses are totally
designed, bred, raised, trained,
and competed by them. In
2003 and 2005 Mike, Jerry
and “Team Texas” represented
the U.S. in World Pairs
Championships in Europe.
This spring, they traveled to
the Federation Equestrian
Internationale (FEI) World
Equestrian Games (WEG)
qualifying shows in Florida
and in October competed
switched to driving from The key ingredient is relaxation
in Lexington, Kentucky, at
cutting because the adrenalin and once established, speed is
the first selection trial as the
rush lasts three days rather than
selection committee begins its
the 40 seconds you are working
(Continued on Page 16.)
exas 78240 T Antonio, San TX ONIO, ANT SAN
AID P 6395 Mondean Street
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