Willow, Back on Track, and the Unplanned Product Test

Willow is my 25 years old horse and she came up very lame a week ago. “3-willow_bot_wlegged, could hardly hobble about” lame. Her left front fetlock was slightly swollen so I gave her the “Bute” and ice routine. We do not advocate being your own veterinarian. Professional medical care is the best choice. But I have been through this before.

One of the fun things about my job at Action Rider Tack is the product testing. It is vital that I know how a product performs before I can help a customer make their choice. This testing challenge was certainly not one that I planned, but I could hardly wait to try the Back on Track Leg Wraps on poor Willow.

This is what happened:
Sunday afternoon: Very 3 legged lame…Bute and Ice…no improvement.

Monday evening: According to directions the Back on Track Leg Wraps were to be applied for only a few hours for the first few days. Willow wore the wraps for 3 hours. No improvement.

Tuesday evening: No improvement. I felt so sorry for her that I decided she could really use some relief and applied the wraps with a polo bandage on top and left them on all night.

Wednesday morning: Removed the wraps and was thrilled to see that the swelling was gone and her legs had a healing warm feel to them. Both legs were wrapped as the sound leg would be experiencing great fatigue.

Thursday: Started leaving the wraps on for 16 hours overnight.

Friday: Noticed that she was actually walking more comfortably and getting around her turnout in a faster manner.

Saturday: She had been lying down in the night and was up and walking about in an almost normal manner.

Sunday: (1 week later) I would almost call this a miracle. Willow can walk normally and move about comfortably. I still wrap her every night and plan to for another week or so. Her legs are tight and clean looking.

I definitely stand behind the Back on Track Leg Wraps and will be bringing more product reviews to you.


Gambler, The Yellow Jackets and Banamine

In our newsletter, we asked our readers to submit trail riding stories for a section in our newsletter called Horse Trials Trails. The stories can be funny, inspiring, outlandish or just plain old interesting. Here’s a story sent in by one of our readers and was highlighted in our October 2010 newsletter. If you would like to receive our newsletters, click here.


We were about halfway down this mountain on an old logging road. The logging road had been cut out of the side of the mountain, so that on one side, it was straight up, and on the other side, it was straight down. There are 10 of us, and I’m the third one from the back. The fellow right behind me is named Joe on his horse Gambler. Behind him is a woman named Deb.

My horse started doing his “bee dance” that he does when we’ve stirred up Yellow Jackets. I start to get out of there and look back and see that Gambler is stopped and is trying to buck. He’s got Yellow Jackets all over his face…so he stopped to rub his face…in the Yellow Jacket nest. His rider, Joe, can’t get him to move because Gambler is frantic to get the Yellow Jackets off his face. So, in desperation to get OUT of there, Joe jumps off and starts pulling Gambler. Problem is, when he jumped off, Gambler was half bucking, half rubbing his face, and the reins flipped over Gambler’s head and UNDER one leg, so now they are tangled around a leg.

Somehow, though, Joe gets the horse moving, and NOW, once Gambler gets started, he goes into the flight/panic mode and is running overtop of Joe, who’s trying to hold onto the reins and not lose his horse. This means that Joe is stuck (trying to run, mind you) up under Gambler’s head and neck because the reins are still tangled around one front leg.

Joe is nearly pushed off the edge of the cliff, throws his weight into Gambler’s head to turn him, Gambler, in his panic, changes his trajectory but now runs straight UP the cliff on the other side, dragging Joe with him who will not let go of his horse (bless his heart). Gambler loses his footing, turns and begins to fall onto Joe. Somehow, Joe manages not to get killed and gets Gambler back onto the road.

By then, I had swung my horse around and positioned him in front of Gambler and blocked him (Gambler did actually stop – thankfully, he’s much smaller than my horse). I yelled for Deb to ride past us since there was no sense in her staying and getting stung and her horse possibly freaking out too. She gets around us and goes on down the trail. At that point, Gambler throws his head down again to rub his face (now covered in welts) and Joe had enough slack to get the reins untangled. I shouted at him to throw me the reins, he does, and I take off with both horses.

Now that Gambler is untangled, he’s really moving and it’s easier to lead him off of another horse who can keep up, rather than from the ground. Joe is running down the trail behind us, also making better time because he’s not in danger of being trampled or drug off the cliff. We stopped after a minute to try to get ourselves together, and here comes the bees down the trail after us.

We take off again.

We stop again, and a few seconds later, here come the bees again. I felt like we were in a friggin’ cartoon! Finally, the third time, the bees are no longer following us and we were able to assess the damage. My horse was stung twice, me none, Deb’s horse stung a couple of times, and Deb none, but Gambler is a mass of welts, all over his face and front legs, down his sides and some on his haunches. Joe’s got stung on his temple and the back of his neck.

We get down to the bottom of the mountain (about another half mile) and stop. I carry bee sting stuff for people that is a very strong topical anesthetic and antihistamine. It literally numbs the skin as soon as it touches it. Great stuff. We also had some stuff for horses, but of course, the horse can’t tell us how good it might be…but we used it on Gambler anyway. He’s just covered with welts. We stay there for about an hour to let them recover and make sure there is no reactions. Not that much could be done, we are a good hour away from help by car (there was a gravel road, but we’re pretty far back). Joe is okay, not feeling too bad because of that stuff I had, and Gambler seems okay, so we decide to ride back.

My friend Stacy told me later, back at the trailers, that at one point during that episode, she looks back and sees me careening down the trail with one arm out behind me and all she could think of was the scene from “The Man From Snowy River.” She said she could not see Gambler behind me because he is smaller than my horse, so it looked like I was doing the Snowy River ride. Then she caught sight of Joe running along behind us…by the time we got back to the trailers, and knowing that everything was okay, it WAS a funny image and we were all giggling about how it must have looked from in front.

Rode about a total of seven hours.

Ended up that Joe was fine, Gambler got a shot of banamine when he got home and we now have ANOTHER riding story to tell.

As told by Laura Martlock, another Action Rider!


If you have an interesting story that you would like to share, please send it to deidre@actionridertack.com and remember, Be One With Your Horse!TM

Barefoot Saddle – Arizona Nut

To the staff at Action Rider Tack.image005

Received my new Arizona Nut and gave it a three hour ride right away. Felt more like a well seasoned saddle than a new one.

Snowy, our Fjord, standing at 13.3 hands is showing off her new saddle. She is not a small horse just short and stocky. Until we placed the Barefoot saddle on her, she was very hard to find a saddle that fit. She moves much easier with her new saddle, it does not get in the way of her shoulders. And, as her rider I feel more comfortable during and after a ride.

Dave in California

Water in the Winter for Your Horse

Winter poses new problems when it comes to keeping your horse hydrated. winter_horseMany horse owners find it easy to be vigilant about hydration when the temperatures are high, but it’s just as important to watch your horse’s intake during the winter months. In fact, the combination of colder temperatures, frigid winds and fresh blankets of snow may cause the reduction of fresh water supplies available for your horse.

With the increasing demands that the decreasing temperatures have on their system, horses will increase their food consumption in order to maintain their body temperatures and weight. However, at the same time, horses also tend to decrease their water intake during the winter.

One of the greatest concerns of this decrease in water intake along with the increase in consumption leads to a greater occurrence of impaction and colic. So the question remains, how do you ensure that your horse is getting enough water?

In a research project conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, ponies were offered warm water and near-freezing water. When the ponies were offered the warm water, they drank a significant forty percent more water. They also found that the statistic remained the same whether the ponies were offered water that was kept warm constantly, or if their drinking buckets were simply filled with warm water twice daily. The ponies drank the most water within three hours of feeding or after their water containers were refilled.

Water should be maintained between 45 and 65°F and any ice crystals should be removed. Water should be checked twice daily and provided at all times, as horses will drink 8 to 12 gallons a day.

Snow is not a good substitute for fresh clean water. 6-10 more snow must be consumed for an equal amount of water and calories are used by the horse to melt the snow.

Placing a stock tank or barrel in the barn on top of straw or shavings while surrounding the sides with bales of straw can help to insulate the container and provide a reservoir of water to be replenished regularly.

Moving, filtered water stays fresher and warmer as well. Action Rider Tack offers a product called Farm Essentials Clean Flow Stock Tank Filter which can be used in conjunction with your stock tank.

Please offer any information or tips that you may have about keeping your horses hydrated during the winter for the readers of this blog.