Letters: 06/03

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Vinegar Worked
I found the September 2002 article on using vinegar for weed control very helpful. Having a terrible crop of thistles, I was unhappy using a chemical spray near my horses. The vinegar really works and is a much safer and cheaper alternative.

-Jennifer Young
Tennessee

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Cell Phones
Regarding your article in the April 2003 article on cell phones: Last summer I bought an inexpensive travel vest with numerous pockets. I carry my cell phone in the inside chest pocket and carry many other useful items in the other pockets. I carry: a card with my name, address and emergency contact information, a compass, a pocket knife, lip balm, tissues, house key, whistle, and waterproof matches in a small sealable bag. One large outside pocket is reserved for carrots.

I wore it all last summer and have continued to wear it throughout the winter underneath my riding coat. It’s always packed and ready to go. I bought the vest through an outdoor outlet store and only paid $20 for it.

Thanks for your great magazine. It’s the only one that I save and keep in binders. I have often looked in the index for the information I needed and found it quickly.

-Leslie Kitchin
Alaska

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Insulin Resistance
Thank you for your March 2003 article about insulin-resistant horses vs. Cushing’s horses. It certainly made me aware of the problem, and all the horses on this farm have been tested. I found five horses with blood levels over 100. It was quite a shock. But it also brought up another serious problem — feed companies that won’t give me accurate details of the ingredients on their feeds. These horses can’t have sugar or carbohydrates. I’ve placed several calls to the company, but I always get an answering machine and no reply. Please help make feed companies more cooperative in answering these questions.

-Frances Payne
Sunny Ridge Farm
Missouri

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Back Pain
I read your April 2003 article “Riding With Back Pain” with great interest, as I’ve worked for years to ride with significant lower back problems. I found the content of the article to be quite helpful. However, I was concerned about the picture that you showed with the information that “mounting blocks are a natural for saving your back . . . and your horse’s.”

This is true. However the horse in the picture is too far away from the mounting block. The rider would have to strain both her lower back and her abdomen as she leaned over to grasp the reins, shift her weight to the left stirrup, and then to swing her right leg over the saddle. What would be more helpful for her back would be to have the horse walk very close to the mounting block. Then the rider could use straight upright posture to mount her horse.

-Barbara Sparks
Michigan

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Deworming Sense
Your April 2003 deworming article was the best thing I’ve read on de-worming. I’ve subscribed to so many horse magazines just to be disappointed because, although I saw beautiful pictures, I got nothing out of it.

Your deworming article was easy to understand, with explanations that I understood. I appreciate your excellence. I didn’t understand what my vet said about rotation and the reasons for it, but your information was clear and concise.

Also, we are planning our fencing for moving our horses from a leased pasture situation to our own home! We’re very excited that there was another article in this edition that helped with those questions as well.

I do have a question concerning the dewormers. I don’t understand the term “double dose” dewormer. Does this mean we should give the horse twice as much as indicated at one time, or does it mean to give two different dewormer doses with a time period in between'

-Silvia Williams
Alabama

This idea of “double dosing” a dewormer baffled a number of readers, who couldn’t believe you can double-dose some dewormer drugs. However, note that you cannot double dose all dewormer drugs, as some have too narrow of a safety margin. If we’ve recommended a double dose of a specific drug, we mean you give twice the amount of dewormer at once. In other words, if you have a 1,000-pound horse and are using a tube that doses a 1,000-pound horse, you would give two tubes of dewormer. Be sure you check the dosages/weights on the package labeling, as they can vary between brands.

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Area Code Change
The phone number for In Motion (nutraceuticals, May 2003) has an old area code with it. The correct contact number is 434-248-9627. You can also reach them at 800-715-7652.

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