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About LauraS

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    SE Washington
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    Saddlebred horses!
  1. How Much Do You Show?

    Glad my info was helpful. Yes, the Saddlebred shows are fun and usually spent alot of time just sitting in the stands watching the classes. Usually starting three months before the first show my horse gets worked 5 days a week, not always under saddle, sometimes just in long lines and other times jogged (not as in a Western slow pokey jog but animated and up in the bridle) a couple of miles in harness. My horse always gets the day before I head to a show and 2 days after a show off to rest & relax and have some pasture time. After show season ends I usually just ride for fun 3 days a week and when weather permits I like to get out of the arena and trail ride.
  2. Breastplate?

    USEF Rulebook, Dressage Division, DR121 - Saddlery & Equipment, Rule 7 - "A breastplate and/or crupper may be used, except that a breastplate is not permitted in USEF High Performance Championships, USEF High Performance Qualifying and Selection Trials, and Observation classes."
  3. Tail Improvements

    Both of these horses show and their tails are only allowed to drag on the ground in the show ring. They are braided up, put into an old sock and then vet wrapped. No combs or brushes ever...fingers only. No tail feathers are braided in and braid is started 2-3 inches below the end of the tail bone. Tail is not taken down during the winter except maybe once because their is enough growth to warrant being taken down, washed & conditioned, hand picked until dry, and then put back up. Fly issues are handled with fly sheets and a big fan if stalled. I have never cared for tail bags except overnight at shows...saves on time and vetrap. The gray's tail is actually about a foot longer now.
  4. Copd

    COPD, depending on the severity, can be managed but never cured and is, over time, progressive and leads to total exercise intolerance. I have a mare that was diagnosed about 7 years ago and have had great success in keeping her comfortable with good environmental management. She lives outside in as much of a dust-free living space as possible and is fed grass hay in an large plastic apple bin so if the hay is a bit dusty I can water it down and the water drains through. She does well when its hot outside to be out on pasture with the sprinklers on as keeping her cool seems to make a difference. I have an inhaler for her when she has attacks and can also use one of two injectable steriods if I cannot get an attack under control...but they are short term and have to be used only once and awhile. She is for the most part exercise intolerant anymore but in the early years she was still able to be shown sparingly and on good days, usually in the spring & fall, I can still take her for short rides around the neighborhood at the walk. All depends on what you are wanting to do with this horse and what kind of living arrangements you can provide for the horse. Like anybody who has asthma or allergies, eliminating or at least greatly decreasing exposure to dust, molds & pollens makes a big difference. Remember, COPD, is blanket term that covers a number of respiratory problems and sometimes the horse has nothing more than an allergy to something in their feed, living quarters, or pasture. Most of the feed additives aren't really all that effective and giving an antihistamine when you don't know that its allergy related isn't good. I did find when my mare was showing that a dose of Wind-Aid and a touch of Vicks in each nostril was very soothing to her airways making her more comfortable.
  5. Please get your facts straight.....the tails are NOT BROKEN. And one of the two Pleasure Divisions for Saddlebreds, the Country Pleasure Division, does not allow pads...they must be plain shod but that doesn't mean they can't have a little bit more length of foot or even a bit heavier shoe if it still is basically a plain shoe. Any good farrier can make a plain plate shoe that weights a couple of ounces more than a keg shoe. As with any breed of horse that is shown with animated gaits there are abuses but not always. Length of foot and a heavier shoe do no more than enhance the motion a horse already has and a good trainer & farrier isn't going to use more than the least amount needed to accentuate the horse's natural way of going. And NO I am NOT in any way, shape or form saying what is being done to the Big Lick Walkers is acceptable...its NOT. Simply trying to educate somebody about Saddlebred tails and weighted shoes (with or without pads).
  6. Maintaining A Great Tail

    Yes we agree and have the proof but there is no need to take the tail down weekly...leave it be until it needs to be redone as in its grown out enough to warrant re-braiding. The less you handle it the better. Other than during show season my gelding's tail stays up and is maybe only re-done once or twice over a 5-6 month period.
  7. Maintaining A Great Tail?

    I agree with everything lynnehall67 says about getting & keeping a great tail, my horse has one (see my gallery and that of Desert Lane Training who has pictures of my horse & his tail) except once you put the tail up there is no reason to take it down every week or two. I used to use sheet strips too but now I just braid it using a shoe string braided in the last foot or so, loop the tail up over the braid, spirl wrap the rest of the length around the doubled tail section, put it in a guy's gym sock securing around the top of the sock w/electrical tape making sure it is below the tail bone, fold the top of the sock down over the tape and than wrap it in vetrap. Other than taking my horse's tail down when he's showing, his tail stays up until its very obvious that its grown out enough to need redone...usually this is only done once about mid-winter as show season runs from April thru September which means its taken down at least 10-12 times. His tail is never allowed to drag on the ground until he's stepping thru the in-gate and its picked back up right outside the out-gate afterwards.
  8. Another Successful Horse Show

    First and foremost he's still my Western Pleasure horse. He has such amazing extensions & float at the trot that I started letting Desert Lane (my daughter) show him Hunt since I don't ride English anymore (used to ride Saddleseat many years ago). With just a bit longer foot and some heavier half-rounds on his front feet he's got a termendous amount of animation/action. His breathing problem is due to the way he hinges in the poll and really rocked back and pulled in his airway narrows which makes him tense which narrows his airway even more. Over time and as he matured he has learned to relax and we've learned that although he can carry a more Saddleseat head carriage we can't ask for extremes (his length of neck is also a factor in how far he can ask him to carry his head up & nose in); he'll be very competitve Saddleseat at the Open Shows just not at the Saddlebred shows because of his head carriage. As for the tail, its been kept up since he was a yearling and would probably be longer if it was never allowed to drag on the ground at all.
  9. Post Your Driving Horse/pony Pics!

    Very nice...sit up straight, shoulders back! :)
  10. Post Your Driving Horse/pony Pics!

    Your shafts are hung too low...they need to be in-line/parrell with your breast collar or even slightly above. You really should have wrap straps on your shaft hangers as they are suppose to be just slightly ahead of your girth.
  11. First Horse Show Of The Year -- Pics!

    And the secret to a long full tail like my Saddlebred gelding's is that you NEVER EVER brush or comb it! You pick the entire tail from top to bottom by hand....a few strands at a time. And there is absolutely never any reason to take it down between shows for conditioning or anything else. It comes down once in the winter about half way between the last show of the year and the first show of the following year because it has grown out enough that it needs to be re-braided. The less you mess with the tail the less hair gets pulled out. The picture of his tail was taken in 2008.
  12. Unfortunately Back To Square One

    Sorry to see your post. Was your horse a show horse before you bought him? How was he kept before...pasture, dry lot, stall? If a horse has been accustomed to living a certain way...such as a smaller dry lot or stall than being turned out to pasture may not go well with the horse especially if they suddenly find themselves outside with lots of room to roam. Are there other horses out with him? Did you just suddenly turn him out or have you thought about working him into that environment slowly? Just things to consider if you like the horse in even other way.
  13. Another Newbie Post From Me Looking For Advice

    You may not find one that is actually described as a triple link but look at those that are labeled as heavyweight as what you are looked for is one that looks the most dense when it is lying flat. Look at what is called a double link chain at That would be a good one as it will definitely lie flat when it is hooked properly to the curb hooks.
  14. Another Newbie Post From Me Looking For Advice

    You are welcome. If you do a Google search for weymouth bridle fit you will also find a very good description of it as well. I rode SaddleSeat for many many years and taught my oldest daughter also.