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Longevity for Your Performance Horse


at the Biltmore Challenge part II, July 11 and 12, 2014


What are the essential factors to enjoy a decade partnership with your horse?

bc horsesThis clinic will provide insights from leading equestrians that are applicable whether your aspirations are eventing, endurance, competitive trail riding, pleasure riding, ride and tie, hunt field, or other equine activities that require performance year after year.
Each afternoon features two talks at the big tent by the outdoor arena followed by Q and A.  Clinicians will also be available for extensive one-on-one Q&A each afternoon.  Participants will also be able to observe the vet checks for the 25, 30 and 55 mile endurance competitions held in conjunction with the clinic.




1:30 PM

3:00 PM



 Stagg NewmanOverview: selection, training, management (30 min.)

Presentation is the Overview.

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 Jeff Pauley – The Farrier’s Perspective (30 min)

Presentation to be forthcoming

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 Ann Stuart, DVM –The Veterinarian Perspective (30 mins)

Presentation outline is here

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 Meg Sleeper, DVM –The Rider / Breeder / Trainer Perspective (30 min plus demo)

Presentation is here

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With Lynn Kenelly on Sonny for demonstrations


About the Clinicians:

Stagg Newman – Overview: selection, training, management (30 min)

Jeff Pauley – The Farrier’s Perspective (30 min)

Ann Stuart, DVM –The Veterinarian Perspective (30 min)

Meg Sleeper, DVM –The Rider/Breeder/Trainer Perspective (30 min plus demo)

Lynn Kenelly with Sonny


I. Selection:
· Range Bred, not Farm fed – i.e. a horse that spent its first few years running over large acreage like a horse in the wild would do is a much better prospect that a show Arab that has been confined. .
· Horse history may be the most important part of “pre-purchase” exam:
· Conformation – static, dynamic
· Disposition – many miles together – sane
· Horse for your goals and your weight, riding skill, …
II. Long, slow, careful development; before your first competition and an overall career strategy
· The successful long term endurance horse is likely to move in rhythm, balance, and alignment. This puts far less stress on the horse. So equitation training is critical.
· Tendons, ligaments, bone, skin tissue – cardio later, muscle specificity last
· Mental
· Distance before speed
· Make sure the horse has a high quality nutritional program, high quality hoof care, and high quality veterinary care. Dollars spent on early prevention pay great dividend.
· Horses for courses, conditioning for what you will do
III. Careful management
Two principle causes of lameness in horse are rider on back and farrier who does the feet – not meant to disparage just to recognize challenge
· Best: hoof care, veterinary care, equitation, saddle fit, basic food (then worry about money on fads, fashion, supplements, ….)
· Long term goals, carefully planned seasons, modification as necessary. Select course consistent with your long term goals and your training. Mountain horses cannot readily go fast in sand and vice versus.
· Constant assessment and reassessment
o At the beginning of each competition season, do a through evaluation of your horse with your farrier and your veterinarian. Plan out your shoeing cycle versus your competitions.
o mini-vet exam at end of every training workout
o assess your balance (pictures, friends, riding instructor)
o regularly assess the weight, way of going, brightness, attitude, appetite
o After every competition, assess the soundness of your horse. Learn to recognize subtle lameness and/or find a friend with a great eye or enlist your veterinarian.
o At the end of each competition season, do a through evaluation of your horse with your farrier and your veterinarian.
· Rest and Recreation – at the end of a competition period (at least once and ideally twice a year) or when the horse has a problem, let the horse see “Dr. Green”, i.e. turn them out and pull the shoes if their hoof structure will allow.
· Never take the horse too close to its maximum potential.
· Rider fitness – a tired rider makes a tired horse. And a tired rider makes career limiting mistakes.
May you and your horse enjoy many years together.

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