At the end of each year, we look back on the products that we’ve used in our test barns. We consider what various manufacturers have brought to the market and how those products make taking care of our horses easier. We select items that have improved our ability to optimize health care especially in ways that we can undertake ourselves. We look for products that keep safety in mind, work economically and/or simply solve problems. Above all, we look for products that make the biggest a difference in our barns.
Farnam TapeCare Plus
The FDA’s approval of this deworming product moved pyrantel pamoate from an off-label tapeworm dewormer to full status. And it was about time. Veterinarians have been recommending its use for years, but manufacturers were prohibited from stating that on the product labels. This lead to confusion and horses with tapeworms. Some horses may need a repeat treatment in three to four weeks.
Eskadron Climatex Polo Wrap
This all-in-one wrap provides both padding and strong support in a one-piece wrap. Extremely strong material provides better support than standard polos. Breathable, but the tight weave helps resist water logging in wet conditions. Ideal when extra support is needed for an injured leg or in demanding disciplines.
Available at Dover Saddlery, www.doversaddlery.com, 800-406-8204.
Best Friend Bareback Pad
Available in English, Western and pony, this pad gave us cushion without interfering with feel. We liked the non-slip neoprene bottom, breathable suede top and neoprene girth. It felt secure.
Eskadron Vet-A-Pren Wrap
Lightweight, flexible foam that will not wrinkle, conforms to the leg extremely well, and provides excellent protection from pressure from other bandaging materials. Can be cut to size or excess folded over the top of the bandage if too long. Eskadron.
Available from www.eurosaddlery.com, 888-762-3353.
The Anivac Lynx Animal Cleaning System makes bathing a one-step process. Much like a home carpet steamcleaner, it cleans dow to the skin and uses little water. We found it easy to use and an excellent solution to cold-weather bathing. This technology definitely beats bucket, sponge and hose, but it does come with a big price tag at $1,199.
EasyCare took their well-known Easyboot and made it even better, adding a gaiter to the top. This addition makes the boot stay in place better than ever. Horses easily became accustomed to wearing the boot, and it stayed secure. Lightweight and flexible.
For trail riding, schooling and tight budgets, Tipperary offers its Sportage helmet. It’s cute, well-ventilated but covered with mesh to prevent debris from entering the helmet and lightweight.
Keratex is a hoof hardener that changes the chemical structure of the hoof proteins to make them more rigid. It does make the hoof and sole harder. It will help hooves that chronically chip, are too soft and horses that suffer from tender soles. It is not meant to replace proper nutrition and regular farrier care, but it is an excellent aid to troublesome hooves. It does not produce a shine.
EquiMedic First-Aid Kits
We all know we’re supposed to have first-aid kits in the barn for both humans and horses. But putting them together can be a headache. That’s where we felt EquiMedic comes in, with a variety of sizes of first-aid kits to fit virtually every need and every budget. We especially like the EquiMedic Trailer Kit as a good starting point.
Over the years, we’ve used literally hundreds of different fly-control solutions. Sprays are a necessity for horses who are bathed and exercised regularly, but War Paint has been a consistent solution for us to use on horses who are at pasture. This spot-on insecticide can be applied weekly, which is about how long we found its effect to last.