The Back Up Part 2

By Evon Montgomery

Objective:  To continue adding skill and degree of difficulty to the back up.  Learn how to get a smooth, soft, head level, pleasant to watch, diagonal pair- reverse.  Depending on your division in the ACTHA event, you will be asked to do more challenging backing tasks.  Things such as backing up hills, around turns or into noisy objects could all be requirements.

Evon Montgomery

Last month we started by giving our horse a clue to our cue.  If you went to the blog and read further you will recall the cue the rider learned taught the horse to rock back into “reverse “.  The horse then learned how to “give” to the bit pressure, or “say yes” to the bit, and take one step back for each request.

Next, the rider learned the importance of immediately releasing the cue when the horse’s HIND foot moved back.  If you have done this correctly, your horse will not be bracing against the bit.  It will be soft and responsive; its head should be level and soft at the poll.  The horse will be able to back smoothly for 3-4 steps.

Now, we can begin to use leg pressure.  As always, each horse and rider team and situation may vary.   These are basic rules that can be used with variations.  The primary people I instruct are everyday riders who want to learn to be better equestrians and have an enhanced team with their horse.   If I teach people to put leg pressure on the ribs as soon as they apply hand pressure to the bit, the horse and rider usually become confused.   Head tossing, bracing, and possibly rearing could occur.  I have found that teaching in stages create better results, both horse and rider understand what is expected of them and can remain calm.

Taressa May Rankin and Baby Girl – Photo by Aponi

Here is some homework -Make an observation:  Watch someone back up, are they first putting the horse into ‘REVERSE’ or using their legs and reins at the same time.  You may be surprised.

Okay, let’s continue the Back up.

Step 1:  Prepare.  In order for a horse to have a smooth calm back up, their mind must be in reverse as well as their body.  In the January Blog, I discussed putting the “Cue” for the back up by lifting the reins “up” and holding gentle pressure until your horse actually responded by moving backward.  We will continue and I will assume your horse is by now backing up straight 3-4 steps with no resistance, head down and mouth closed.

  1. As you graduate to an unperceivable cue, your hands should only have to lift a couple of inches above riding position to request the back up. Lift your hand gently to put your horse into reverse and soften its poll.
  2. Glance down for just a second and decide which of your horses front legs are “leading” out in front. Let’s say the Left leg is ahead for this exercise. (A better trained horse will stop “square”, in that case you can use either of your leg cues. )
  3. As you lift your reins evenly to reverse, apply your LEFT calf light and rhythmic until the horse moves the LEFT rib cage AWAY and the LEFT HIND foot moves back. Remember, horses must move AWAY from pressure, not into pressure.
  4. In the beginning only use one calf at a time. If you use both calves and the horse is not trained, your RIGHT calf will block the swing of the horse’s rib cage.   Using your calf and not your heel is important.  As you apply your calf, you will stay on your seat bone and the horse backs straight, not crooked.  Using your “heel” on your horse’s side changes the angle of your pelvis causing you to lean forward on your pubic bone and giving your horse a mixed signal that may cause a twirl or crooked back up.
  5. After the horse moves its LEFT RIB and LEFT HIP, switch to your RIGHT CALF. Apply the RIGHT calf, light and rhythmic until the RIGHT side responds.  Do NOT pull super hard on your horse’s mouth, just lift your hand lightly and steady.   Cue ALTERNATELY with Left and right calves as many steps as you want to go.  It will take a little time for you to get the “feel” of the ribs swinging.  It is best if someone can watch or film you, then you will see as the rib swings, diagonal pairs are moving.  If your timing is off, you will block the swing of the rib and stop the backward motion.

Step 2:   Now add a turn while backing up.

  1. After the horse is backing easily with both legs it is time to “turn” the horse.. Set up some sort of poles or logs as a boundary to practice this maneuver.  It will eliminate confusion for the rider as to where you are going and where you have been.
  2. Let’s back an “L”. Set up an “L” to the LEFT. First, walk into the “L” alley.   This means you will be backing to the LEFT.  But you will be using your RIGHT calf!  Horses should move AWAY from pressure.
  3. Look STRAIGHT AHEAD. Cue your horse to back straight.  Take a couple of back steps, now, you can look to the left a little bit when you think you are close to the turn.  If you look left too much, you will lean into the center and your horse will be off of balance for the turn
  4. After you have reached the corner, STOP. Look forward again to straighten yourself up.  Now switch to looking over your RIGHT shoulder.  This will align your shoulder hips and heels to back correctly to the LEFT.
  5. Apply your RIGHT CALF in position 3, just behind the girth and begin to back again. Resist the urge to look both left and right rapidly while backing, it may confuse you or make you dizzy.   In an advanced maneuver, you will use your LEFT leg to move the shoulder and your right calf to move the hip. You have to be coordinated and know the timing.
  6. Once the horse has completed the turn, STOP.  Look straight ahead of you again so you can back STRAIGHT up out of the alley.  Where your head and eyes are looking is very important.  If you look down all of the time, you will confuse your horse and yourself.
  7. Remember use RIGHT calf while looking to the RIGHT to swing horses HIP to the left. Use your LEFT calf while looking to the LEFT to swing the horses HIP to the right.    If you don’t get this.  Practice with no boundaries, until you DO get the feel of it.  There is less stress this way.

Now you can practice backing around barrels, between cones, doing figure 8’s.  Use your imagination, be creative and have fun.  If your horse is tossing its head biting your feet and looking confused, STOP.  Evaluate where the situation went awry, figure out who is confused you or your horse.  Do an ERASER* and come back.  Take it slow and spend time enjoying the journey of learning.

Evonism *- ERASER = like a chalk board.  Erase and start with a clean slate.  Some of you will understand what a chalk board is..

Please feel free to contact me and request a maneuver that is giving you trouble.

Life is an Adventure, Saddle up and Ride !    Evon

The Making of a Hoof Boot

As the President of Cavallo Horse and Rider, one of the most important aspects of my job is overseeing product development.  Creating cutting edge, market-changing equestrian products is what has brought Cavallo to the forefront of the hoof boot industry – an industry that is constantly evolving and redefining itself.  When we first tackled the challenge of making the best hoof boot on the market, we actually began with the END result as our starting point.  We asked horse owners, ranging from beginners to professional riders, what they would want and expect from a hoof boot.

Our first step was to do an informed study of our target market.  I started Cavallo in 1993, making rider garments and saddle pads, so we had an extensive database of market savvy customers, knowledgeable people who we could trust for quality feedback and market research. The one constant was the great love these people have for their horses. The comfort and well-being of their horse was paramount.  After that, it came down to a handful of essential requirements: functionality, safety, ease of use, and economy.  Not one of these points could be overlooked – a boot would have to encompass each feature in order to become the very best.  Our customers wanted a powerhouse of a boot that could tackle any rideable terrain on this continent and around the world.  Lightweight, comfortable, simple to use, long lasting with built-in drainage –  a boot that would stay on the hoof through the worst of conditions without fail.  A stylish appearance certainly never hurts, either! With this composite profile of a hoof boot; we rose to the challenge of making it a reality.

Greg Giles and Carole Herder

Although the materials I’d used in garment design were different than the materials needed to produce a hoof boot, I knew how to source them and put them together, at a cost that would work for everyone.  I was also aware of the role of quality control and rigid product testing, which are crucial in shaping a product that is absolutely fit for purpose. Cavallo’s CEO, Greg Giles, entered the picture in 2004, at a time in his career when he specialized in the development of safety footwear.  Greg provided another important addition to our team, as he was the Managing Director for Old Macs from Australia. Greg knows what it takes to make hoof boots a reality.  The products he oversaw were created for industrial use, regulated by strict material specifications and performance capacity.  Greg’s relevant skills and business knowledge in this area meshed perfectly with my own.  We were ready to make the best boot, at the best price, with the best possible delivery time – So our customers would get it when they needed it, use it easily and pay a comfortable price. Uniting our respective backgrounds with the desires of our customers was like cooking a well-balanced gourmet meal, combine just the right ingredients and viola the ideal hoof boot is born.

Cavallo-Simple-bootsIn 2006 we created the boot we’d envisioned. The funny thing was that after testing, trialing, and making all of the improvements we could ever foresee our customers wanting, our new hoof boot was still unnamed!  We were about to attend the WESA trade show in Denver (the largest Western and English equestrian trade show in the world) and a name was needed – and FAST. Much like naming a long awaited puppy, it had to be right, had to describe what the boot really was, had to capture its essence.  At home at our ranch, Greg and I we were playfully tossing our new, nameless hoof boot back and forth to each other across the room, trying to brainstorm by calling out its features.  The thing that kept escaping our mouths, again and again was how refreshingly simple it was – and it occurred to us – why would we need any other name than that?  Hence the name “Simple Boot”…… and we never looked back.

trekLast year we launched our new Cavallo Trek Boot. As in this case, new development can be brought on by external factors. Trek’s conception was fueled by an introduction to “Pro Mesh”; a technically advanced material. The developer of this new and technically advanced material suggested that TPU Pro Mesh would translate to a perfect hoof boot upper.   We liked the idea right away. We already knew what our TPU soles were capable of and were excited that this strength could be extended to a boot upper.  When we fully investigated the material, we found it to be durable, lightweight, flexible and incredibly hardy – taking the existing benefits our boots already offered to an even greater level. We successfully forged an agreement for Pro Mesh to be used exclusively, worldwide, for Cavallo Hoof Boots.  For a product to truly succeed around the world, strong relationships must be cultivated.

Greg always says there is a new invention under every rock – but how do you extract it, produce it, and make it readily available?  It requires knowledge, expertise, AND financing – a perfect storm, where all factors must come together at just the right time, and in just the right way to produce dynamic results.  A company must also have total confidence in their product to be able to offer a solid warranty to inspire trust and confidence for the customer. Only this can create a relationship that lasts many years. Cavallo offers the Best Boot Warranty on all of our hoof boots, taking the stress and uncertainty out of a purchase.  There are many products on the market that don’t meet the criteria of what a horse owner needs in a hoof boot, and in the end the consumer(and their lovely horse!) pay the price. They end up stuck, unhappy, with their money invested in a product that is not fit for purpose.  With Cavallo, we’re not just fulfilling the consumer’s need for a product; we are committed to education that highlights the health and financial benefits of keeping horses natural and barefoot.

ELB-Reg-Hi-Res2-452x402And, as all we do is in constant effort to grow, expand, develop and improve; we now announce the new ELB (Entry Level Boot). An exciting, game-changer: ELB is perfect for those still “nervous” about making the shift to becoming ‘barefoot and booted’. We wanted to offer easy access for riders to get into boots without a huge financial commitment.

Make no mistake; the ELB remains Cavallo consistent – uncompromising in quality and specification.  The ELB upper material is our 1680 count Denier industrial grade nylon – the same material used on Cavallo Sport style hoof boots, which have been ‘tried and tested’ in all terrains since 2008. The replaceable Velcro closure extends the working life of the ELB in the event of Velcro fatigue.  Easily fastened by 8 and 80 year-olds alike, the strap does not require any tools or extra physical strength. The ELB is offered on both Cavallo soles – Regular Sole, (hoof length and width are equal) and Slim Sole (hoof width is ¼” (5mm) narrower than length). Both soles incorporate the unique Cavallo patented front closure system and built in side drainage slots – which drain mud, water and sand effortlessly.

Available in 7 sizes (0 – 6 ) and sold individually, the ELB is available now at favorite tack stores or equine catalogues in the USA only, at the special launch price of ONLY $49.95 per boot.  As testimony to quality, the ELB is included in Cavallo’s Best Boot Warranty coverage – 180 day ‘repair or replace’.

Shop online:

Cowboy Distress – by Jeff Wilson

“My horse is irreplaceable, there isn’t another like him,” are thoughts that can echo through our minds whenever we face losing them. Yes, I hate that topic too. Our fantastic riding partners are so unique, that without them, we have a void. Make sure you enjoy your own extraordinary horse today.

I was greeted by my horse, Black Willow Orion, as he emerged from the pasture the other morning. He looking as if his belly was saying, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.” I reasoned with him that it was just a little too much grass as I led him back to the barn. I finished feeding everybody else and returned to him. I could see his distress, and his coat had begun to glisten with sweat. “OK, tough dude, you’ll be fine.” I murmured, trying to convince myself. But I knew, yes I knew… that hated killer, Colic, was payin’ us a visit today.Cowboy Distress - Jeff Wilson

Orion just stood there, motionless, dealing with it. My mind began to whirl, “This can’t be happening on the threshold of releasing our new promo video,”—a video that featured Orion. In my mind’s eye, I could see the video ending with his epitaph. I moved into his stall, the same stall he had been born in 17 years ago, and snapped a lead to his halter. “Let’s go walk around the arena.”

Some days it’s hard to rise to the occasion, it’s just easier to slide over to deal with it. Trying to keep my own guts from twisting, I hurriedly called my medical team. “It’s Orion,” I blurted, I had no words to downplay it. My team is exceptionally good, but serious challenges stomped in right along beside them. Orion’s veins would not stay open to administer fluids. He refused to swallow any mineral oil, and we weren’t able to tube him successfully. Did you know banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour? Did I mention that by this point that I was outta my mind and not coming back soon?

There aren’t words to describe your feelings towards people who stand with you; I was fortunate and grateful to have competent people working all day to evict that dirty, ole’ rotten scoundrel, Colic, from the premises. Despite their efforts, Orion’s temperature dropped, his body cold to the touch, and his gut sounds on the right side remained deadly quiet.

By the end of the day, there was nothing more for us to do. Facing the next tier of care, I recognized that he and I were heading towards our last moments together. As surreal as it was for me, I prepared myself to do what was necessary—for him. I wasn’t going to allow his suffering to escalate.

You can picture that moment, can’t you? What do you say and do to make everything better? Nothing. It was in that moment—with nowhere to run—that someone had the conviction to bring me a single dose of a product called SayWhoa which is the focus of this article. SayWhoa is a relatively new product designed to clear impactions using the power of osmosis—sending water back into the digestive system to clear the impaction and relieve the gas.

We administered the bottle, in truth, without much hope of recovery as Orion was so far gone. Time had been against us. Strangely, the SayWhoa was the only thing he cooperated with and swallowed. We waited; by now there was a small crowd of concerned people standing with us awaiting the outcome—the tension in your belly really does make you hold your breath.

Within 15 minutes of administering the product, Orion’s temperature began to rise and, like turning a switch, his temperament returned. Within a half hour his guts sounds returned (strongly), and, after drinking a half bucket of water, he strolled to the other side of the arena and began eating hay. Within 45 minutes he passed manure. Yes, a miracle occurred.Cowboy Distress - Jeff Wilson #eliteequestrian

We all stood stunned, in disbelief, at what we just witnessed. The transformation, had it happened any other way, may have left some skepticism behind in us (we are all so marketed to), but we were unanimously convinced. This product actually had done what it said it would do.

If you want to keep your horse around, you need to have a bottle of SayWhoa on hand all the time. The makers of this product are very accessible and willing to help you through your 911 emergency colic squatter eviction situation. You can find SayWhoa here: or their website

Check out this fantastic horse of mine on YouTube. Search ‘Orion the Star Morgan Stallion’ and thank you SayWhoa for making this video not an ‘in memoriam.’

Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you wanted. Fortunately, this time, I got both. (Keeping Orion actively moving continued on that day, maybe to make us feel better. Moving around me in a circle, I did not ask for a routine, but Orion swooped in with all his big moves. He absolutely felt great.) Hi Ho Silver!

If you want to learn more about what I talked about here, or wish to ask a question, you can contact me at: Jeff@JeffWilsonCowboyDressage. com  or on FACEBOOK. I have been training horses for over 30 years and valued the western horse lifestyle in my approach to training. I give clinics and seminars on how to reach your full potential with your horse through the training foundation of Cowboy Dressage.

ACTHA Member Perks! Half Price Sale at Cavallo!

We LOVE our Sponsors!

Not yet an ACTHA Member?  Join today and qualify for our member’s only savings from one of ACTHA’s longest and most generous sponsors; Cavallo Horse & Rider.  Whether it’s time for a new pair of Hoof Boots, or you’ve been anxious to try the new Treks, or possibly ready for a new top of the line saddle pad or other accessory offered at Cavallo, take advantage of this HOT HOT HOT special receiving 50% off any full priced product from Cavallo! Cavallo will even pay the shipping for you!

Hurry!  Offer is good only through September 4th!


How to receive your 50% off:

Shop and place your Cavallo branded products in your shopping cart.  Enter your name and billing information.  When you reach the final step to “Review Order” enter “ACTHA” and your ACTHA membership ID eg. “ACTHA123456” in the promo code field.  You will then see the 50% off discount applied to your order total.


FREE SEMINAR: Understanding Your Riding Fears






 Comments from Participants of the Letting Go” Workshop:

Barbra Schulte is a Professional Cutting Horse Trainer, Personal Performance Coach, Author, Clinician, and Equine Consultant.
Barbra Schulte is a Professional Cutting Horse Trainer, Personal Performance Coach, Author, Clinician, and Equine Consultant.

“It is impossible for me to express in words what this group has meant to me. The lecture and content was astounding . But the power it instilled in all the participants is awesome. We came together and shared our deepest fears and worked together with Barbara’s leadership to conquer them. And we did conquer them! I can only hope and pray that the next group has this magic. I believe they will. This is great stuff and everyone should be exposed to it at some point in their life.”

My horse and I have traveled a long road that resulted in my family and friends becoming more frustrated than me. I thought this course would help me deal with them better. It did but it also gave me the inspiration, encouragement and support that I needed in both my personal life and my horse life. I have a whole new support group, new friends, and a place to share experiences. Thank you, Barbra.”

Truly, I believe this is a life altering workshop! Grateful! Thank you Barbra!”

Links for the Free Seminar, Free Video Series and Workshop Registration:

1. FREE Online Seminar and Q&A on the topic of Understanding Your Riding Fears

2. There’s tons of free training on the video page and workshop registration detail: Free Videos and Online Workshop

Palm Partnership Training Hosts Western Dressage Week March 11-17 in Ocala, FL

3600Lynn Palm and Cyril Pittion-Rossillon offer Western Dressage training for horse and rider at their Fox Grove Farm in Ocala, FL throughout the year. March 11-17 is a week devoted to this fastest growing new discipline. Palm’s and Pittion-Rossillon’s ultimate goal is to develop willing horses and happy riders! “That is exactly what the beautiful progression of dressage does for the horse and rider”, says Palm.

The Palm Partnership Training fundamentals follow the same logical progression as that of classical dressage, or more recently accepted, western dressage. This training, and all Palm Partnership Training events, are for all levels of riders and all breeds of horses. The rider and willing, happy horse become a harmonious pair beginning with proper rider’s form, followed by natural aids communication, then studying horse’s natural balance and control of that balance. This progression allows the rider to gain more understanding of the horse’s natural behavior, anatomy and positive control whether competing in a western dressage test or cross training for other western disciplines or for those riding down the trail.

The Western Dressage Week begins March 11 with a 4 day all inclusive clinic at the beautiful Fox Grove Farm in Ocala. Sunday morning riders can test their skills in the first in a series of five Western Dressage Association of Florida qualified shows. Monday and Tuesday, March 16-17 brings the Discover Western Dressage Symposium which is 2 days of classroom sessions and live demonstrations designed for the professional Judge, Trainer, Coach and Competitor. The Symposium is hosted by the Western Dressage Association of Florida and Palm Partnership Training.

Clinic riders and their horses can take advantage of the all-inclusive package with 4 days of instruction, convenient, on-site lodging, healthy meals prepared by Lynn, plush stabling and fun evening activities. Riders can plan an entire week of training with all 3 events, or participate in one or two.  For more information about the Western Dressage Clinic, Show and Symposium visit

About Lynn Palm
Palm’s career highlights include 2007 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Horsewoman of the Year, a record four AQHA Superhorse wins, AQHA Female Equestrian of the Year by the Women’s Athletic Association, named one of the top United States clinicians by Horse & Rider magazine, over 34 AQHA World and Reserve World Champions, over 50 bridleless dressage exhibitions at events including the National Horse Show, 1989 World Cup and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, and World Cup. Palm and Cyril Pittion-Rossillon are co-founders of three horse industry companies: Palm Partnership Training, Women LUV Horses, and Alliance Saddlery USA. Palm is the author of the new release, The Rider’s Guide to Real Collection.  Being the first female with an equine educational TV show, Palm’s training show airs on HRTV Dish 404 Tuesday evenings with additional airings throughout the week and on demand at

About Cyril Pittion-Rossillon
Pittion-Rossillon hails from Paris, France, where he earned his Riding Master Degree from the French National Equestrian School. With his extensive equine background and thirty years of experience, Cyril brings an ideal background to his instructor duties. His credentials include: Trained under members of French Olympic Team • French Junior Jumper Circuit • French Open Jumper Circuit (Levels 5 and 6) • Eventing Preliminary Division • AQHA & USEF Hunter Division • Youth & Amateur Coach for USEF & AHSA competition • Co-Director and Instructor Palm Partnership Training Clinics • Co-Founder and Managing Director of Alliance Saddlery

Palm Partnership Training
9445 NW 60th Ave
Ocala, FL  34482
352.629.3310 Phone
352.629.3470 Fax

It’s Monday-that’s Cruddy- but don’t let it ruin your week- Skin Discharge and Dry/Itchy Tails

mud+caked+copyDon’t let creeping horse crud ruin your week! Dr. Rose is here to help with her weekly Skintervention. Today, we are talking about SKIN DISCHARGE AND DRY/ITCHY SKIN AND TAILS


Horses with sensitive skin, such as Thoroughbreds and Arabians, are more prone to this complaint than other breeds; however, seborrhea (skin discharge) can develop in any horse as a secondary condition to skin infection or allergy, or it could be a signal of poor overall health. Seborrhea takes two forms, either dry or oily. Dry seborrhea exhibits dry, flaky scales that look similar to dandruff, and is found in the mane or tail. Thick, viscous crusts usually affecting the elbows or hocks are signs of oily seborrhea.

To treat, wash the area with a sulfur-based shampoo once or twice a week to manage dry seborrhea, although recurrences are common. For oily seborrhea, depending on the severity of the case, wash the area at least twice a week using a drying shampoo (that contains tar or benzoyl peroxide, for instance), followed by a protective ointment to soften the crusts.


If a horse’s skin becomes excessively dry and scaly, it can be pruritic, i.e., itchy. I recommend thoroughly washing the horse using appropriate shampoos, and apply sprays or lotions, such as Dr. Rose’s Treatment Spray ( After shampooing your horse with a soapy lather, make sure you rinse well. Shampoo or soap residues that remain on skin or tail can also cause itching.

Horses respond to physical or mental irritation with obvious behavioral quirks, sometimes inflicting harmful trauma on their own bodies. While a variety of problems can cause itching, a horse might concentrate his itch behavior on tail rubbing. There might be a couple of health issues going on simultaneously, so your veterinarian should rule out all possibilities of tail rubbing behavior with a diligent exam.

Once he or she addresses the primary problem along with appropriate behavior modification, the horse’s rubbing should rapidly resolve and his tail will return to its fullness and sheen.

Cruddy Mondays- Don’t let creeping horse crud ruin your week- “Scratches in horses”



Clean meCruddy Mondays- Don’t let creeping horse crud ruin your week! Dr. Rose  is here to help with her weekly Skintervention. Today, we are talking about SCRATCHES and RAIN ROT


“Scratches in horses” refers to a common equine fungal skin condition, which is generally found on the lower legs of a horse. It results in the creation of cracked, crusted, scabby areas and can lead to open sores. At times horse scratches will progress to the point where the horse’s legs swell and it could become lame.

Scratches in horses should be taken seriously and must be treated. Treatment for horse scratches generally includes cleaning the affected area thoroughly with an antibacterial or antifungal wash followed by isolation of the area by wrapping the afflicted skin in surgical gauze to keep it clean. The dressings of the wounds should be changed regularly and should be accompanied by regular application of a salve to work to continue to clear and cure the scratches.

I highly recommend using Dr. Rose Remedies, as our treatment salve and spray are all-natural products which are anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal, antiseptic, and anti scarring. They work to promote the healing of skin rashes, relieve inflammation and irritation, promote the healing of wounds, and moisturize the skin of the horse. Because it has so many healing qualities and uses all natural ingredients, Dr. Rose’s Remedies Skin Treatment is effective at treating, clearing, and curing scratches in horses.


While spending as much time as possible at pasture can be good mentally for your horse, if you live in an area with wet or very humid conditions, your horse might be at risk of contracting a bacterial skin disease commonly known as “rain rot.” Rain rot or rain scald is caused by bacterial infection, and it often is mistaken for a fungal disease.

It’s easy to diagnose rain rot, generally on visual confirmation of the skin lesions alone, but a more definite diagnosis can be made by examining a skin scraping for Gram-positive bacteria under a microscope or by culturing the bacteria. Horses with long winter coats will develop paintbrush lesions (raised, matted tufts of hair) along their dorsal surfaces, which include the neck, withers, back, and croup, as well as on the lower limbs. Light-skinned areas are usually more severely affected. As the lesions get larger and join together, they will progress to a crust or scab formation that when removed will expose yellow-green pus between the necrotic and living skin layers. If rubbed, the ‘bumps’ might rub off in the form of scabs with a small, hairless spot of skin showing.

Most acute cases of rain rot can heal on their own; however, I recommend treating even minor cases because the lesions can spread and worsen. The lesions also interfere with use (especially if they are located along the horse’s back or withers) and they can be painful for the horse.

Cruddy Mondays- Don’t let creeping horse crud ruin your week-Ringworm and Hives

Dr. Rose's Remedies-Cruddy MondaysCruddy Mondays- Don’t let creeping horse crud ruin your week! Dr. Rose  is here to help with her weekly Skintervention. Today, we are talking about RINGWORM and HIVES


Contrary to its common name, ringworm is not a worm but a fungal infection. It assumes the form of round, crusty patches, which when removed leave reddened, scaly skin and hair that comes out in clumps. It usually appears first around areas where tack comes into contact with the skin, although the disease can be found anywhere on the body. Highly contagious, ringworm can be transmitted directly from horse to horse, or through inter-species contamination. Dogs, cats, cattle, and even people are often the hosts. It also easily adheres to inanimate objects like tack, blankets, or grooming equipment. And with the spores remaining dormant in the environment for up to a year, everything from your stall and barn to the soil in your paddock can become infected.

Like all fungi, ringworm is happiest in dark, warm, moist conditions; therefore, outbreaks generally occur in the fall and winter months when there is less sunshine and more moisture.

If you suspect that your horse has ringworm, isolate him as best as you can and call your veterinarian to make sure you have the appropriate medications to treat it. Before using a topical medication, like Dr. Rose Remedies Salve, start by clipping about a two-inch portion of hair around each outbreak so that any medicated shampoo and cream will be sure to penetrate that portion of skin most likely to become affected before the fungus is contained. Proper disposal of potentially infected, clipped hair is essential to prevent further contamination of the premises.


Hives are probably the most common immunological equine skin disorder. A systemic reaction to a number of triggers, hives is seen as localized, soft, pitting swellings most commonly found on the neck and chest, although they can appear anywhere on the body. The resulting lesions might emit a clear fluid when pierced. To identify the source is key to the elimination of the problem; however, the task might be challenging as anything from the ingredients in feed or feed supplements to insect bites to pollen, molds, or compounds found in dewormers or antibiotics are all suspect. Contact allergens can even be found in bedding; heat, light, or exercise also could be contributing factors.

If your horse has developed hives, it is best cured by removing the irritant once it is recognized. In order to do this, you or your veterinarian might have to conduct a series of tests, either by exposure to the possible cause or through intradermal testing.

Hives are symptoms and should be treated immediately even if the cause is unknown in order to prevent further skin deterioration. If the problem is not immediately resolved, a prescription for antihistamines or steroids might be needed to help speed recovery.

See you next week- Dr. Rose

Horses, Barn Cats and Farm Dogs… music from one of our talented sponsors!

Enchanting, brilliant and talented Singer/Songwriter

The perfect music to fill any horse lover’s home, barn or arena.  Mary Ann Kennedy’s love and passion for horses, barn cats, farm dogs and all the other critters we are accustomed to seeing around the farm, is delightfully entwined into each of her songs. Music horse people can truly appreciate and enjoy!  Purchase for yourself or as a treasured gift for someone you care about.
Buy The Mary Ann Kennedy Stable Special Edition Box Set this Holiday, and get a FREE DOWNLOAD of her Christmas song: HOOFPRINTS IN THE SNOW

CLICK HERE to listen and order NOW!  Only $40.00 for the entire set.  

Mary Ann is a 2 time Grammy Nominated Hit Songwriter, Singer and Natural Horseman from Nashville, TN.  If You Love Horses, This is YOUR MUSIC !

In the boxed set

<< click to listen or buy >>