Equestic Saddleclip

I had the opportunity to try the Equestic a few weeks ago and I leapt at it!  I’ve been wanting to see it in action since being told about it by one of my clients a few months ago.  I can honestly say I was impressed! 

The app was easily downloaded to my android phone through the app store. The pairing between my phone and the clip was quick and easy too.  I can ride with my phone while reviewing data live. Or let it download after the ride for a more detailed data analysis. 

Easily download app onto your phone using the App Store or Google Play

The battery life is fantastic, allowing me to do multiple rides in a day, several days in a row.  The Equestic is always ready to go as there is no on/off button to worry about.  The data recorder for each ride regarding footfalls, how long I spent in each direction and gait, symmetry of the gaits and more is mind blowing.  I can’t wait to dive deeper into what it all means and how to use it to improve my training rides. 

Each ride tab has a place where I can add notes about what was worked on or other ride specific info.  If you are a trainer, the Equestic presents an opportunity to glean more information about your horses/rides.  If you are rehabbing a horse this tool helps you keep track of the strikeoff, symmetry and landing of the stride of each side of the horse.

The Equestic is great for amateurs that want to know more about their rides with an easy way to monitor info on their phone!

Written by Sponsored Rider, Sarah

What’s In Your Grooming Tote?

Everyone has favorite grooming products, especially for colder days to make grooming and care easier. I have three levels of grooming fun (chaos) with my geldings every fall and spring. I have an older chestnut (easiest to keep clean), an older grey (who sleeps on his poop) and a young handsome bay pinto with four white legs that he somehow manages to keep clean.

Favorite Topical Supplies

Topicals

I have a few go-to products when the leaves start turning. Surprisingly, one of them is the dac Citronella Spray. With 40 degree mornings, one would assume the flies and gnats are gone, but by noon and the temperatures more in the 60’s, fly spray is still essential. I like the light scent and weight of this spray. It’s not strong enough to use on them in the humid summer, but it’s perfect as a light coat spray to keep the remaining insects away.

My absolute favorite product (magic in a bottle as I call it) is the E3 Waterless Argan Oil Shampoo. It’s perfect for spot cleaning (poop-napping grey horse), coat conditioning when full baths aren’t possible and keeps the skin and coat healthy without stripping away body oils. In fact – it adds shine and moisture to the coat and that helps to avoid static shock when changing turnout sheets.

A final product I like to use in the colder weather grooming is the Vetrolin Detangler gel. A very little amount goes a long way in keeping manes and tails free of tangles, dirt and briars. I also wrap tails when the wet season hits my area and this helps make the braiding and wrapping process easy.

Favorite Grooming Tools and Brushes

Brushes

I always have a Tiger’s Tongue sponge in my grooming tote, around in the barn, in the bathing supply bucket – it’s that incredible! I start all grooming sessions with the Tiger’s Tongue to help break up dried mud and get the first wave of dirt removed. It’s gentle, easy to mold to whatever part of the body I’m working on and lasts a long time before needing replaced.

I am pretty biased when it comes to brushes – almost every other body brush in my grooming tote is a Haas Brush. I work out more dirt by using the Welsh Body Brush, followed by the Schmuseburste Body Brush. The last and arguably my favorite brush is the Diva Finishing Brush. It leaves the coat so silky soft. The most frequent question asked about this brush is “is it worth it”. And without a doubt, yes.

For brushing manes and tails after applying some detangler, I really prefer styles like the Oster Mane & Tail Brush. They are designed to prevent hair breakage and be as gentle as possible. I always hold the entire tail halfway down (under the tail bone) and start from the bottom up. This is the kindest way to work out tangles without pulling directly on the tail!

Barn must-haves

Medical and Special Use

Having medical supplies or just special case scenario items is always a good thing to keep on hand. One item I like to keep year-round is the Vetericyn Plus Eye Wash. My chestnut gelding gets weepy eyes in any climate – the bugs in the summer flair it up, the snow in winter causes discomfort.

I work with my vet and he is treated annually for sinus congestion along with prescribed ointment, but I can usually stop a flair up in it’s tracks if I flush his eyes as soon as I notice a slight change. It’s always good to have an eye wash ready for any horse!

The Vetoquinol Derma Gel is a new found favorite this year. I previously used a different product for bug bites near the sheath, legs and in ears. While I liked the results, it would wear off in a day or tangle up the ear fuzz. I tried Derma Gel on a whim and was blown away by the results. It creates a breathable barrier over the wound to allow it to heal, while accelerating tissue regeneration. I spray it over any and all wounds now – bug bites in ears, bite marks (gotta love those geldings), sheath protection and healing – the list goes on! It’s small size makes it easy to use in more sensitive areas or keep on the go.

The last on my list is the Horseshoers Secret Hoof Sealant. I use hoof conditioners all year, but I especially like the Hoof Sealant when used in moderation and effectively. It gets excessively muddy paddocks in the heavy rainfall months and I turn my horses out daily regardless of the weather. I use the sealant to help during those rain spurts to protect their hooves. It is a quick drying waterproof barrier that lasts several days. All three of my guys have come out of some really nasty months of moisture with nice feet – while it can be credited to several maintenance measures, the hoof sealant is a factor!

Written by Marketing Associate, Cassie

Zylkene Review

Lucas is a small quarter horse type that was purchased for rodeos.

He was having a lot of anxiety with the trailer and with the rodeo where was previously taken. He would thrash back and forth in the trailer, hitting his head on the side and pawing while throwing his body from side to side. When he arrived at the rodeo location, he would instantly get tense, paw and dig at the trailer. He also wouldn’t stand still, and started spinning when being mounted (which he had not done at other shows).

Lucas would get very reactive to other trailers driving by. We know it’s not just him since he makes his rider very nervous when he starts to get anxious. With direction in his warmup we can get him to focus enough to relax a little but his personality is very different than at other shows.

I felt as though in these situations he would be a great candidate for Zylkene since he had such a different personality at this rodeo compared to other venues, as well as assisting in his trailering anxiety. I was looking to see more relaxation on the trailer to set him up for a successful day and hopefully give him some confidence at this location.

Single Dose Packets

We used one packet hauling him to state fair tryouts just to give him some trailering ease. He enjoys this location and doesn’t have any existing anxiety like he does at the rodeo venue. We saw a noticeable difference in hauling. He hopped right on the trailer and only had one small bobble at a stop light on the way there. He stood fairly quiet the whole way to the show and came off calm and relaxed upon arrival.

Double Dose Packets

We used two packets leading up to the next rodeo since this venue is far worse in his reaction than at others. He hauled much better at a longer distance than when he traveled to state fair tryouts. Came off the trailer still a little bit anxious but far better than the last rodeo and did not come flying backwards out of the trailer. They walked him, let him graze, put on his magnetic sheet and he was as calm as can be. No pawing or digging at the trailer. Lucas stood quiet the whole time and napped at the trailer. He actually relaxed enough to stand there and munch on his hay which he would not do at the previous one.

Lucas also stood like a statue to be mounted instead of spinning around nervous and unwilling like the last time they came there. They had calm, consistent and clean runs all day! We saw no drag in performance and his stamina remained the same all while keeping his mind sharp. His owners are very pleased with the results of the Zylkene with Lucas. We saw a very positive substantial change on both dosages in two different atmospheres. We hope he continues to enjoy these rodeos more and more with the help of Zylkene!

Written by Cora, Showroom Manager

Cross Country Schooling Safety

As part of safety awareness, I though it an opportune time to share the importance of safety cross country schooling. No, this isn’t just another article about helmet safety and wearing your body protector, or divulging all the recent trends in safety devices and scientific methods of calculating and mitigating risk (although I may touch on that!), but rather some “best practices” that are easy to overlook when we are in a hurry to “do all the things” and let’s face it, we are horse people so we are always in a hurry!

Speaking From Experience

First, a story. Recently, I had the occasion to be cross country schooling a horse that I had been riding for some time, has competed through Intermediate and 3* level, and was preparing to do its first Preliminary after a hiatus from the sport due to an injury. We had competed at several recognized Events already at Training level to get him back up and going, and he and I had schooled multiple times before and were “on the same page” as far as rideability and “seeing” the questions the same way.

My coach, with whom I have ridden with for many years, was putting us through various warmup exercises and the “wheels were on “… everyone was having fun and having a good school. On a downhill approach to a low wide roll top, my sometimes overly keen horse was in beast mode and as I worked to quietly steady him we ended up wrong and had a proper wipe out over the fence. I sat up and saw we were both
okay, albeit dirty, we checked over my horse, and I got back on and finished schooling and went on to successfully compete later that week.

Tack & Apparel Inspection

Back at the barn I inspected everything a bit more closely, as I do on a frequent basis, to ensure that all my equipment is safe and up to task, and found that there was a slight “fold” at the front of the skull of my UVEX Perfexxion helmet. My helmet was covered in dirt and grass was
stuck in it, and while I don’t believe I hit my head, there was a force great enough to crack the front of it. It was barely discernible and you could really only feel it with your finger.

When I removed the inner liner the helmet did not appear damaged anywhere else, but when I put pressure on it, there was a slight give. My helmet was definitely cracked, and it was so miniscule that a person would not even know it was there unless closely inspecting it. I immediately felt a sense of gratefulness that I was wearing a UVEX, because for one, it clearly prevented me from having a head injury, and two, that they have a replacement program for
instances such as this to help riders replace a damaged helmet in the event of a fall.

Rider Safety Practices

Everyone talks about “best practices” and had I not inspected my equipment after, I would have been riding around with a cracked helmet, putting myself at risk without even knowing I was doing so. Checking your equipment on a regular basis is of utmost importance, and I would
venture to guess that most of us don’t take the time to evaluate the wear and tear on all the tack we use on a daily basis.

We have all heard the stories of the rein or billet strap that broke mid ride, and how the rider inevitably made a miraculous escape from doom and kept their horse under control. I mean, all of us adrenaline junkies love a good story of wild chaos and how we thwarted disaster. But, maybe, just maybe we shouldn’t. Maybe we should check our bridles, stirrup straps, billets, helmets, boots (we’ve all had those zippers fail us time and again!), saddles, martingales and breastplates with the same care that we use when we go over our horse with a fine-tooth comb to make sure there is no bump, cut, swelling, or scrape on them.

Furthermore, we need to REPLACE these worn-out items because the cost of the replacement is much less than an injury that could be caused from a failed piece of equipment.

A few other best practices when cross country riding:
  1. Know your venue. Check the place out and look before you leap. Check the take offs and landings at the fences to make sure they are safe and inviting.
  2. Allow your horse time to relax. Event horses live for cross country. They love their jobs and most of them are looking for those goal posts at every fence. Give them time to settle down and get used to the area you are schooling in so that you are accessing their minds, and not using adrenaline to “get around”.
  3. Warm up sufficiently. Get your horse working forward and back, turning and moving off the leg so they are thinking of rideability and really on the aids before jumping your first fence.
  4. Jump smaller fences out of a normal canter and progressively work up to bigger jumps at a faster pace. Cross country jumps don’t need to be jumped at speed, and while we need to practice galloping and jumping, we also need to make sure that we are on the same page with our horse and work out any miscommunications or rideability issues over a smaller more forgiving obstacle at a normal rate of speed.
  5. Don’t be afraid to call it day. None of us are perfect, we all have “off” days, and so do our horses. If you are having “technical difficulties” and not seeing eye to eye with your horse, get a few good jumps and call it a day. Don’t press on and try to do “all the things” just because you are trying to get ready for a competition. Try to work through the issues and then when you have a positive result stop there. Moreover, when schooling we don’t have to jump every jump, question, or combination out there. Pick something you want to work on just like you would when riding in the ring and tackle that item for the day.
Science & Technology For Safety

Thankfully science and technology is doing a lot to increase safety in the sport of eventing with innovations to obstacles, helmet and body protector design, course design, and rules to help keep us all out there competing and having fun. If we also employ a few of the best practices I
have discussed, I believe we can mitigate accidents and become better riders with more well trained, confident horses. Let’s do our part to keep ourselves, our horses and the people around us safe. Check your equipment regularly, and have fun out there schooling in a
responsible and thoughtful manner. Cheers!

Written by Sponsored Rider, Therese

Helmet Certification Standards

Helmet Certification Standards

Riding helmets provide an indisputable reduction in the potential of traumatic injury.  While no helmet can prevent serious injury under select or all circumstances, the use of well-fitted protective headgear can greatly reduce the likelihood of serious head injury.  The use of certified SEI ASTM protective headgear is compulsory within many United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) sanctioned divisions including but not limited to Dressage, Eventing, Hunters, Jumpers and Driving.  In addition, the Federation Equestre International (FEI) also requires certified protective headgear to be worn.

What does it all mean?

But hard hats have been worn for decades across all horse sport disciplines, what is different about the now compulsory rules?  Well…the cornerstone of the protective headgear conversation comes down to the helmet’s certification.  More so, in order for a riding helmet to be deemed “protective” it must meet or exceed stringent certification standards, issued by national governing or 3rd party bodies such as SEI ASTM, CE, BSI and Snell.  If the alphabet soup of helmet certification standards is not confusing enough independent third-party certification such as MIPS are also thrown into the mix. 

While it is easy to presume that all helmets of today must be certified, such is not the case.  Our noggins need protection and USEF and the FEI think so too.  Most helmet companies have gone through significant research and design to ensure their helmets meet or exceed certification standards.  But what exactly are those standards and what do they mean? 

SEI ASTM

Often countries or regions such as the United States or European Union have standards by which safety protocol is defined.  Within the US, the SEI or Safety Equipment Institute, affiliate of ASTM International, is looked to as an independent third-party certification provider. USEF certified headgear must meet or exceed ASTM SEI standards.  The EU has a similar standard notated by a CE marking.  Helmets with the CE marking indicate they have been tested and meet or exceed EU safety protection requirements.  Regardless of where the helmet is manufactured, if it is to be marketed in the EU it must bear the CE certification. 

Additional Safety Standards

Some additional nationally and internationally recognized safety standards for equestrian headgear are the Snell E2016, GS, Kitmarked PAS 015 and Kitmarked VG1.  The Geprüfte Sicherheit or GS indicates that the helmet meets or exceeds German safety standards.  The Snell certification is internationally recognized and certifies that the helmet meets or exceeds what is commonly accepted as the most ridged safety standard.  Let’s not forget the British, the BSI or British Standards Institute will designate helmets, which meet or exceed their standards as VG1 or PAS015, a more stringent standard.  In addition to safety standards recognized by member organizations, regional and national governments, there are also popular industry-leading safety technologies such as MIPS or Multi Directional Impact System that can add additional protections to headgear.

We have introduced a variety of helmet safety standard certifications of varies organizations and regions but what is the difference between these standards and what criteria does each of these standards certify?  More so, how exactly are our heads protected when we wear a helmet with any of these certifications? 

Standard Measurements

Standards measure numerous impact types including Flat Impact, Hazard Edge Impact, Round Impact, Spike projectiles and Crush Resistance at a variety of levels.  For example, SEI certified helmets to ASTM standards require helmets to meet or exceed a 1.8m Flat Impact and 1.3m Hazard Edge Impact test. The Kitmarked VG1 standard requires helmets to meet or exceed a 1.8m Flat Impact, 50cm Spike projectile and 630N Crush Resistance test.  Kitmarked’s additional standard, PAS015, requires helmets to meet or exceed a 1.8m Flat Impact, 1.3m Hazard Edge Impact, 75cm Spike projectile and 800N Crush Resistance test.  The Snell certified helmets must meet or exceed the most extensive standards to the highest levels including 1.9m Flat Impact, 1.3m Hazard Edge Impact, 1.5m Round Impact, 100cm Spike projectile and 1000N Crush Resistance tests. 

MIPS

MIPS is a bit different as it is not a certification standard but a notation of specific technology most easily understood as slip plane technology which mirrors and increases the natural protection provided by the dynamic relationship between the brain and skull.  Below are two diagrams that help outline the variety of safety certifications and MIPS technology.

While we can talk about the multitude of standards and helmet technologies available to consumers, often made compulsory by organizations; it is critical we remember fundamentals of helmet safety.  No helmet can protect its user from trauma all of the time in all scenarios however, the use of a certified well-fitting helmet will greatly reduce the chance of traumatic injury when compared to no helmet use in the same incident. 

Know the Terminology

Throughout this discussion a few terms are repeated when referencing certification and helmet fit, those are “meet or exceed” standards and a “well fitted” helmet.  It is important to note that helmets are tested in a controlled environment with a variety of drop and impact tests.  Certification standards do not test helmets in real-life horse-riding situations.  Maintaining uniformity in real life is a significant undertaking and the drop/impact standards used in the laboratory best simulate the real-life situations in a test environment. 

For a helmet to receive a specific certification, it will meet and often exceed standards.  More so, certified helmets will absolutely meet certified requirements but may also exceed them.  A well-fitted helmet with the chinstrap securely fastened is critical when assessing a helmets ability to protect its user.  While some innovative helmet technologies such as MIPS are great additions to helmets which third party tests have shown to reduce the likelihood of head trauma, MIPS is not currently evaluated or certified by any of the major international safety standard certifications.

Choosing Your Helmet

Choosing the correct certified riding helmet is a personal choice with numerous options that can be confusing at times.  However, it is important when making an educated decision to understand the criteria of helmet certifications.  Certified helmets will note their relevant safety certification standards on their helmets as well as make it available in literature, marketing and at time of purchase.  The above information does not make any expressly or implied claims that any safety headgear will protect its user in all situations.         

Written by Suzanne, Web Products Specialist

How do you know what size helmet to purchase?

Considerations for finding your new helmet when you cannot go to the shop to be fitted…. 

One of the most important items you will purchase for the safe enjoyment of horse sports is your riding helmet – the top priority is proper size and fit. But how do you know what size to purchase?  

Start With Basics

Start with the head measurement taken, ideally with a soft measuring tape. (Don’t have one? A length of ribbon or hay string will work in a pinch to compare with a yardstick.

  • Measure the circumference starting 2 fingers or approximately ¾” above the eyebrows. Place the tape just above the ears and over the “bump” at the back of the head. The tape should be snug (like a nice hug). But not so tight that you might end up with a headache from the squeeze. 
  • Hair can make a big difference so measure twice if you have different hairstyles for just riding vs showing with your hair up. 
Write Measurements Down
  • Write the measurement down ideally in both inches and in centimeters.  Helmets can be sized typically in 4 ways: small, medium ,large etc;  in inches (example 22”);  in centimeters (example 57) or hat size (example size 7). Each helmet brand has a size chart to compare with your measurements.  If you are between sizes, you should typically size up. You should not “size for future growth”, but there are some systems that allow for SOME adjustment if the rider is growing. Or your hair styles are different from day to day.  

I have included a size chart from Charles Owen Helmets for reference below (check your specific brand for the proper size chart): 

Charles Owens Size Chart
Rider Head Shape

This is also a good time to consider the shape of your head. Are you more round or more long oval? Look in the mirror to see if you have a long length from the top of your ear to the top of your head or not so much? Most helmets tend to be more oval than round because most heads follow that too. If most helmets feel tight from front to back you might need a specific long oval model. If they are tight on the sides or push up toward the top of your head, look for a round helmet model. The depth of the helmet relates directly back to how much height you have from the top of your ear to the top of your head. This aspect does not really relate specifically to the circumference or helmet size, but it does impact your helmet comfort and stability. 

A great way to tell what shape your head is from a birds eye view! Have someon look down on your head to see what shape you are!
  • When your order arrives, you should try it on with the hair style you had when you measured your head. Whether up for the show ring, pulled back for comfortable daily use, or my own method (short hair).  
  • How does it feel? Is it snug like a nice hug all the way around? It should be snug, not loose but not so tight that you give yourself a headache. It should be deep enough – sitting just above your ears and not so low that the brim blocks your vision. Nor so far from you ear that the helmet “pops off” of your head. If you have loose areas or the helmet can be easily rocked around on your head, this is not the helmet size for you. In general if you gently move the helmet front to back and size to side, your scalp should move with it. 
Adjusting Your Helmet
  • The harness is not designed to hold your helmet on your head if it does not fit. Ideally the V of the harness sits close to your earlobe. It should be snug enough when fastened that you can fit no more than 2 fingers underneath it. If you yawn moderately,  the strap should not be able to slip over your chin. 
  • If the helmet is equipped with a dial system of adjustment, loosen (open) it before you put on the helmet. Remember – righty-tighty, leftie loosy! Tighten (close) the dial to secure it below that “bump” you measured over in the beginning. Some helmet brands provide for some shape adjustments. A thick and thin foam insert, or a fold-up flap to create a more long oval fit. Or even an adjustment to make the fit more shallow or more deep in addition to a dial fit. 
Helmet Life

If the helmet feels securely snug;

  • Allows for the adjustment of the harness as I have described above
  • Does not interfere with your vision (sits too deeply on your head and perhaps too low over your ears
  • Does not feel like it is popping off your head or is only secured by the harness cinched tight below your chin

You have found a helmet that should serve you well for the life of the helmet, which is 4-5 years from the time the helmet is worn!

Remember that all ASTM-SEI Safety Helmets provide single impact protection, which means that if you fall and hit your head the helmet needs to be replaced, even if you do not see outside damage.   

Helmet Fitting with Cora

I have tried to provide an easy do-it-yourself guide to properly measure your head for a correct helmet fit, when you do not have access to a store with trained helmet fitting staff.  Remember that helmets only work when you wear them. This particular safety item is not something you should purchase with “room to grow” for a youth rider. Always remember to register your purchase with the maker (or distributor). That registration will save you money if you suffer a fall and find yourself in need of a replacement in the first couple of years after making your initial purchase! 

Enjoy the Ride (Safely)! 

Vetoquinol Flexadin Advanced UC-II

Joint Health with Vetoquinol Flexadin Advanced

Flexadin Advanced’s unique formula helps to promote healthy cartilage as well as maintaining the integrity of joint overall. It is one of the few on the market that I can say has made a difference in my horse’s health. If you have picky eater when it comes to powdered supplements, the banana flavoring of this product is quite palatable! It’s also another unique ingredient that sets this product apart from the competitors.

A key ingredient used in this joint supplement is brand collagen (chicken cartilage). Through research and scientific studies chicken cartilage has been a proven and safe effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.   It also aids in the progression of pre-existing arthritis within the joint. Any horse can benefit from joint care supplements. Whether a show horse, broodmare or mature aging horse – supporting joint health is a common concern with many horse owners.

Most Unusual Art “Sunday”

Over the years I have probably tried close to 20 different joint products on my horses. I have a retired Quarter Horse that I had shown on the Quarter Horse circuit in Hunter Under Saddle as well as Jumping. I have owned him for 18 years of his life.  When he was only 8 years old, he was involved in a serious jumping accident that led him to 8 months of stall rest, lots of stitches and a lot of TLC along the way. Since he had so much trauma caused to his hind legs during his accident, I have always kept him on some type of joint supplement or anti-inflammatory. His one hind leg has quite a bit of scar tissue in it, and I’ve always battled a bit of swelling in it when he is stalled.

(Most Unusual Art) “Sunday” back in his showing days

Since I put him on Flexadin Advanced  I have noticed a tremendous amount of improvement in his overall health. Flexadin Advanced is the only product that I feel has made him 100 % sound in his old age. I have noticed him running and playing more in the pasture then he used to. I know not all 25-year-old horses do that, so seeing this has really made me happy to see him feeling and moving so much better! He is not nearly as stiff as he once was.

Sunday now age 25 enjoying the retirement that he has earned with the help of Flexadin Advanced

Overall, I am very pleased with all this product has done for my horse. I will continue to use this on my boy for many years to come!

Written by Customer Service Associate, Sam

Big Dee’s now carrying the Equestic SaddleClip Equine Motion Sensor

Exclusive provider in the United States!

The Equestic SaddleClip is designed for every rider who is serious about training and improving their horse’s performance. Basic measurements such as training structure, number of jumps, training on the left and right hand, training at each gait and symmetry show the actual load of the horse and are analyzed in real time. Qualitative analysis, such as of rhythm and power of its push off, gives an insight into the horse’s development over a longer period of time. Train your horse to become a “Happy Athlete” and raise your own awareness of progress made.

The Equestic SaddleClip is an equine motion sensor that attaches to your saddle and records all of your horse’s movements during your ride.

The Equestic app classifies the data and counts the time spent for a horse standing, walking, trotting, or cantering, and per each direction – on the left or right reins and the number of jumps.

Data is quickly analyed by artificially intelligent online service to get insights about rhythm, impulsion, and symmetry metrics of the ride.

Key functions of the Equestic SaddleClip and Equestic App

  • Logbook – automatic log of date, time, duration, personal comments for each ride
  • Time balance – measure the time for gaits on the left vs right reins or the time spent straight
  • Transitions – track all transitions from halt to walk, all the up to canter, and back down
  • Intensity – relative comparison of energy consumption between different rides
  • Jumps – number of all jumps with a distinction by approach from the left and right
  • Structure – visualization of training time spent by seconds on each rein
  • Impulsion – measure of elevation force in walk|trot|canter with per second details
  • Rhythm – clocking of steps per second and consistency measure in walk|trot|canter
  • Symmetry – calculation of forces symmetry in landing, push-off, and rhythm cadence in trot
  • Warnings – alert notifications of asymmetry patterns
  • Benchmark – statistical reference of rhythm and impulsion by discipline and horse profile
  • Insights – trend analysis of all measurements over the last 20 rides with deep insights

Train more effectively across all disciplines

With the Equestic SaddleClip you can now track your training activity and measure your horse’s progress on key indicators.

Injuries – How to spot them with the Equestic SaddleClip

Research shows that horse owners often do not realize that their horse is irregular. In a UK study, irregularities were found in 47% of the horses, while the owners had reported that their horse was regular.

Some common sport horse injuries include joint inflammation, suspensory ligament injuries, DDFT damage (Tendinitis) and sore muscles.

Each of these injuries will most likely result in your horse moving differently. The Equestic SaddleClip makes it easier to spot these injuries at an early stage. After professional care and rest, the Equestic SaddleClip will show that you horse has improved or not.

Jumpers, Hunters and Eventers have a higher risk of causing injuries on the forelimbs as they land. Often creating issues with the deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT) either through inflammation or as an actual tear in the tendon. Suspensory ligament injuries as well as issues in the navicular bone and ligaments in the hoof often occur as well. Due to the nature of their work these horses are highly prone to foot injuries, hind leg injuries and knee swelling.

Dressage horses more often experience injuries more related to repetitive stress. The nature of the sport does create injuries to the legs, neck and spine. The horse must hold its own weight and injuries can often be joint and muscle issues and lead to degenerative joint disease (arthritis) in the fetlocks, hocks, neck and spine.

Click here to shop the Equestic SaddleClip Equine Motion Sensor

Shedding Tools

It’s that time of year when you run your hand over your horse, and it comes back looking like you are wearing a mitten!

I love shedding season! It is so satisfying to brush and brush and have a shiny horse after all your hard work!

I have always thought that shedding happened when the weather got warmer. I was wrong. It happens as the days get longer!  The pituitary gland knows when there is more daylight, this produces hormones that cause your horse to shed its long winter coat.

There are so many great reasons to help your horse shed out their winter coats. I think that my favorite part is the time you spend with your horse. I’m not going to lie – I talk to my horse the whole time. They never answer but I know they get what I am saying! 😊

I recently tried 4 different kind of shedding tools and here are some of my thoughts ..

Electro Groom Vacuum – Our horses love a good vacuum, the little nubs on the vacuum end give a little massage while sucking out the hair and dirt! I love the Electro Groom Vacuum. It has been in the barn for years and keeps on going! Easy removable filter bag to catch all of the dust and debris! The vacuum comes in handy all year long!

Equigroomer – This tool has smaller teeth to really get into the hair. It was great for pulling dirt and dander up from below the coat. The Equigroomer was very effective on the hair as well. When the teeth get full, the hair comes off easily. Highly recommended for very hairy, dirty horses.

Metal Shedding Blade – this is the old school tried and true shedding blade. The teeth on this shedding tool are a bit bigger than the Equigroomer. Works great for those extra hairy, dirty horses. The handle can come apart if you would like to get more area done quickly. I also like that this can double as a sweat scraper when your horses aren’t shedding!

Betty’s Best StripHair Groomer – I love this tool for my horse that has sensitive skin. She doesn’t really love the teeth on the other groomers, so this is perfect. There are little rubber nubs that are great for hair removal, bathing, massaging and more. It bends so it is easy to get to places that the stiff groomers can’t get into. Love this for an everyday groomer!

Hands on Grooming Gloves – These are great grooming gloves! They fit my hands perfectly and I can really get into a great grooming/massage! There are little nubs on palms and on the fingers. The nubs are bigger than the nubs on the StripHair so you may be able to get a bit deeper down into the coat. You can use these for bathing as well!

So, at the end of the day, I would love to have all of these tools in my grooming bag. They are all great, depending on what you would like to accomplish that day.

I had a great time spending time grooming my horses and letting them know all my thoughts! I left the barn knowing that they felt loved, and I felt loved by them.

Happy Grooming!

Hoof Injury Recovery

We often hear the No Hoof, No Horse mantra, and it can apply to so many different aspects of the horse’s hoof. I have been lucky enough to never have a horse with “really awful feet”. I’ve had some that needed to be shod, ripped out shoes, cracked toes or grew too fast/too slow. A lot of those problems could be remedied with a better diet or supplement like Hoof Secret and a little extra topical and environmental care.

One issue I had not dealt with extensively prior to my horse’s recovery, was a serious injury to the hoof itself. My Quarter Horse, Copper, always had good feet. He managed to make a handful of not great choices in his life that left him a little banged up, but otherwise, is a very healthy horse that maintains barefoot year round exceptionally well. When I moved him onto my property a few years ago, he was officially retired from being a little Sport Show Pony and now enjoys leisurely trail rides with twelve hour days in the field.

Discovering the Injury

When I went out to the barn one brisk September morning in 2019, I immediately knew something was wrong. First, his gate was open. And second, he was actually standing in his stall. He is notoriously impatient and would live outside 24/7 to gorge himself if allowed. Seeing him remain in his stall, quiet and head down, I was extremely worried. First glance over he seemed spotless…. And then I saw the hoof. He had a deep gash in his coronary band that looked like it fully separated the hoof from his leg.

I will never known exactly what happened, but we think he got his leg stuck between logs from a tree we cut down in the pasture. He never had an interest in the logs prior, but if he escaped his stall at night, he might not have seen the logs before he stumbled into them.

A lot of cold hosing ensued, followed by vet and farrier calls. Initially, there was a lot of “well, we’ll see how this goes” and some tentative “he can recover, but he might have a weaker leg” which to me translated to – hope, but also the chance of never riding him again. While our days of showing were done, I had hoped we would have years of trail riding ahead of us.

I shelved my stress about his future to stay in there here and now. Following both vet and farrier advice, we simply had a long road ahead of us and it required patience, time and occasionally some extra help.

First Stage [ Rain Season ]

The first several months were the hardest, I had to keep his wound both clean and open to the air during the fall rain season. In Northeast Ohio, that rain turns the dry lots into mud. I was diligent in cleaning the wound every day using warm water and cotton pieces, I would wipe out the dirt and debris, pat dry, then spray with Alushield.

After the initial few days of heat in his leg, he never took a lame step, and he didn’t get an infection (thankfully). I kept his stall extra clean to give him the best environment for recovery (after a full day in a muddy pit followed by the cleaning routine above). This was the most touch and go time, with follow-up vet appointments and farrier care to make sure we caught any problems early.

Second Stage [ Spring ]

By the following Spring, I started noticing rapid growth, and that meant seeing just how deep his wound really went. It started peeling back in places to the point I used a stiff hoof brush to clean out the grass that got stuck in it every day.

I also bought Back on Track bell boots to assist with the blood flow and hoof growth. At that point, my farrier was surprised just how well the coronet band healed. She had prepared me for the possibility that there would be an indent in his coronet band, and that it could be very sensitive and weak. Despite this, he kept healing stronger each day – and I snuck in a few easy rides without issue!

Third Stage [ The Ugly Part ]

By far the most “gasp” worthy phase were the summer months. For a time, I wasn’t sure I would be able to ride him, but we plugged along anyway (with the approval of his equine professionals).

The hoof kept growing out, and with that, chips and chunks from the old wound were pealing away. I kept the hoof moisturized with Farrier’s Fix and kept thrush at bay with Koppertox. That combination along with his bell boots brought us to the final part of his healing journey.

Final Stage [ One Year Later ]

After a full year of meticulous care, treatments and regular trimmings – his old wound grew out and his new hoof growth was just as healthy as it had been prior.

I attribute a lot of his success to both the genetics of being a hardy breed as well as his diet. He has been fed Buckeye Gro N Win for years now, and he just glows. Without the proper nutrition, he wouldn’t have been able to grow out a new hoof. I fully expected a longer process with bigger bumps along the way. But his recovery is proof – sometimes you just have to give it time.

He’s back to his mostly retired life – looking sharp in his LeMieux!

Copper continues to have solid, healthy hooves, nearing the two year anniversary of “the day he decided to give his mom a near-heart attack”. It wasn’t always easy, sometimes it was downright terrible. But by following the guidance of his care team, using supplies as need and giving him time to heal, he came back better than ever! If someone were to take a peak at him in the field right now, they would have no idea what hoof had the injury!

Written by Marketing Associate, Cassie

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