Rider Identification

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We are avid trail riders in southern Arizona and cover many miles through remote land. We've found a product that we think would be useful for riders of all disciplines:? RoadID.

it's marketed primarily to cyclists and runners, but we think it's a great safety measure for riders as well. The bracelet contains your identification, contact information, plus an interactive option that allows first responders to have access to a wide range of info.

We always carried ID in our saddlebags, which is great as long as you're still with your horse after an accident. A bracelet could even be useful for riders at a horse show or event, too, especially if you're there on your own and have an accident. Would you help get the word out'

Horse Journal Contributing Farrier Lee Foley responds: You?re so right! it's wise to have information, including health information (like diabetes), on your person, not the horse.? Always include ?ICE? information, which is your ?In Case of Emergency? contact person.

Many cell phones have an ICE option to fill in on the contacts list. But cell phones can be broken, lost or otherwise inaccessible. Having the information in a visible place like your wrist is perfect. it's a smart idea for everyone, as you never know when an accident may occur that may render you unable to speak for yourself.

You can purchase ID bracelets in many places, but we also like the ones from RoadID. Plus, they're nicely priced (www.roadid.com, 800-345-6336).

EUCALYPTUS WORRIES

I recently moved my mare into a large corral. There is an abundance of eucalyptus trees in the area, and several bordering her fence line. I see the leaves drop into her water bucket, and they fall into the area where she wanders. I was told by a neighbor that eucalyptus is toxic to horses. After researching the Internet, I'm finding conflicting information. Can you give me a definitive answer'

Contributing Veterinary Editor Dr. Deb Eldredge responds: My experience with eucalyptus is with small houseplants and knowing that koalas eat this, so I had to do some research too. The ASPCA Pet Poison Control Center lists eucalyptus as toxic to horses, dogs and cats, but without much detail. Basically, that site lists gastrointestinal signs along with depression and weakness, but no equine-specific info.? The Pet Poison Helpline says poisonous to cats with no more details.

My favorite poisonous plant site for equines is the Cornell University site. It has a wealth of information on eucalyptus (www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants). The eucalyptus oils appear to be the area of most concern. This plant grows as many different species and has different compounds in the leaves, roots, branches, etc.

While cases of toxicity have been shown in humans and some lab animals, the effects on livestock (including horses) don't appear to be well-researched. Eucalyptus is not listed on their ?known to be poisonous? page, but that may be due to a lack of data.

I suggest you clean the leaves out of her water bucket on a daily basis. That should keep any oils from mixing with your mare?s water. It doesn't sound like sHe's eating the leaves so you should be OK.

OSTER TENSION KNOB

I recently purchased an Oster Clipmaster. I would like some advice on setting the tension knob. The instructions are minimal. What does the tension knob do as far as the clipping is concerned' Does it change the ease as the clippers move through the hair'? Is tighter better' I've already used them on my Cushing?s mare with a two-inch long, thick coat. It was difficult. I had to go with the hair instead of against it. Please advise. I don't want to ruin the clippers or make it miserable for my horse.

Kathy Cannon, Oster Direct Technical Support Division, responds: Each ClipMaster features a tension knob, which adjusts both the upper and the lower blades. Creating the correct tension is important to the experience and effectiveness.? If the tension is too high, the blades can overheat and destroy the lap pattern.? If the tension is too low, the blades will pull.

To adjust the tension, turn the tension knob counterclockwise until resistance is felt.? Do not force the knob against the resistance.? Rotate the knob clockwise two to three turns until light resistance is felt.? Continue turning one-half turn.? When the tension knob cannot be turned any further, the blades must be sharpened by a professional or replaced.? To set the tension, turn the tension knob clockwise until snug, then back ? to ? turn.

Blade Alignment:? If not properly aligned blades will pull or not cut.

Oil Blades:? Use 20-30 weight motor oil on blades during cutting. Before use, apply oil in the two openings on the bottom of the unit head. Also oil the friction points of the blades. Repeat oiling as needed. After use, clean the blades with blade wash.

Set the Blades:? When correctly set, the top blade should be set back 1/32" (0.8 mm) to 1/16" (1.6 mm) from the ridge on the bottom blade.

Check the Air Filter: For optimal performance, the air filter must be free from hair and dirt.

Cleaning: Periodically stop use to clean excess hair from blades with a soft cloth. Blades may be warm to touch. Follow oil instructions, above.