Vet Bashing'

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I wanted to comment to Eleanor Kellon, VMD, who says that vets are feeling ”challenged” by horse owners because of what we’re reading (December 2009). I get three equine magazines, including yours, and apparently there are three correct ways to deworm my horse. It’s frustrating when no two stories match. This creates many questions for horse owners who want the correct answer, and we look to the vet to get it.

I think we overworm, overvaccinate and oversupplement. I think that in some cases we could be doing more harm than good to our equine friends.

Now, referring to the second part of the article, many people use alternative therapies. I know that there are the bad people who think they can diagnose/treat and make money from it, but there are twisted people in every industry. You need to do your homework.

I treated my horse’s Lyme disease naturally and got amazing results. My vet was impressed, and my horse looks and feels wonderful!

Debra Savoie,
New York

November Hits The Mark

Thank you, Horse Journal — I loved your November issue because:

First, I have an Eartec radio and depend on it when having a lesson. When my trainer sees something to comment on, relays it to me, I can comprehend it, relay that to my body and then to my horse, I would have missed the whole thing without Eartec!

Second, the mounting block article. It would be a wonderful exercise for riders to get on all fours wearing a belt and have someone pull down one side of that belt to feel what a horse likely feels every time it’s being mounted from the ground, the same side several times a week (especially the sore backed or older ones)!

Third, I was happy to see the commentary on ”sitting straight.” Recently, I approached a dressage trainer in Santa Barbara about the possibility of having a Centered Riding clinic in the area. I received a rather curt reply to say ”not interested in learning any technique other than what my trainer teaches” and ”never heard of Centered Riding or the Alexander Technique.”

Well, as a teacher of both and having studied the Alexander Technique since 1969, I can confess to not always knowing where my balance and ”straightness” goes awry. Without these two wonderful techniques, my horse and I would be at opposite ends of the planet in the relationship department.

I think it’s a shame that some riders are opposed to learning something different. Any discipline of riding should include some kind of work off the horse and continued education in self-awareness. What are we doing to our horse, what imbalance and tension do we have that we aren’t picking up on' It’s a lifetime education, and our horses deserve our perseverance. Any technique that can teach more sensitivity should be embraced, surely'

June Chadwick,
California

Cell Phones Instead'

I’m not a horse person, but I read my wife’s Horse Journal because it’s such a thoughful, insightful work. I am something of an engineer: I look to understand what makes things tick, and that HJ does that.

OK, now for some criticism: In the November 2009 communications devices article, you might have done better to have gotten more input from techies. I’m no expert, but just from my experience as an amateur musician who deals peripherally with sound systems and sound recording, two things came to mind.

First, you talk of a crowded warm-up ring, and my immediate thought was, ”Surely, they’ll address the issue of multiple channels and possible conflicts between multiple devices (of the same or different type).” Nope. Did your research cover this' Just as a crowded warm-up ring can be a cacophony of noise, it could also be a cacophony of radio signals if these things are common.

Second, you dismiss cell phones as being awkward, but I had to wonder if you considered their use with a simple headset, earpiece or a Bluetooth' They can be purchased for as little as $5 to $150.

Stewart Dean,
New York

Associate Editor’s Note: We did look into problems with interference and no one reported having any difficulties. In fact, one instructor who used an actual walkie-talkie said she had no problems (and she was the only one who understood what we meant when we asked about channels). So, we decided that first, it was a non-issue, and second, our readers don’t want the heavy technical stuff. They just want to know what worked best and why.

With cell phones, yes, we’re aware of Bluetooths and headsets, but the instructors we talked with were pretty united in two main thoughts: 1) They don’t want to tie up their business phone while giving a lesson, and 2) No one — instructor or student — wanted to waste 45 to 60 precious cell minutes per lesson. That could add up fast, especially for instructors.