Archives 1998 Archives 1999 Archives 2000  Archives 2002  Back to home page

Click here MARCH 2001

Click here JUNE 2001

Click here SEPTEMBER 2001

APRIL 2001

Click here JULY 2001

Click here OCTOBER 2001

Click hereMAY 2001

Click here AUGUST 2001

Click here NOVEMBER 2001

Click here DECEMBER 2001

(Click on Arrow or Month and remember your Web Browser has a Search or Find-In-Page)

Welcome to the third year of The Right Lead. For those of you familiar with this column and who may have wondered where it went, we're back! The past few months have seen a lot of changes for my family as well as The Right Lead, some sad, some joyous. We now have our own website,  The Right Lead On-Line, and are expanding into other markets as well. I have been busy trying to keep up with a very precocious Quarter Horse filly MRSANPEPPYHOPENGRACE called "Sunday" who will be one year old on March 5, 2001, and focusing on my six year old Quarter Horse Appendix, HEZA BOY NATIVE called "Gryphon." But now it's time to start horsing around with the column again and get back in the "writer's" saddle! Let me tell you, it's not easy to leave the barn and swing back up, but bear with me. Here's looking forward to a great ride!

 For those of you not familiar with The Right Lead, and it's Internet counterpart, The Right Lead On-Line, this is a reader-to-reader based advice and support column. Each month you'll find questions, answers, tips, and suggestions from not only horsefolk of the Southwestern United States, but from horse people around the world. Anyone of any age, experience level and style of riding is welcome! Seasoned professional, child with his/her first horse, someone getting back into riding after years away, and people who've finally realized their dream of owning a horse- this column is meant for you. It also doesn't make a difference if you rope, team pen, jump fences, trail ride for fun or competitively, cut cattle, or participate in any number of horse related activities currently available.

While most of the questions we've received over the past two years have focussed on horse care, breeding, competing, and trailering, any horse related question is welcome and no subject is off limits. If you have a question, or can answer one, concerning any area of horse life, from breeding and bloodlines, to barn management, equine and/or rider health issues, suitability, training problems, saddle fit, Western or English, submit it. I guarantee you someone somewhere has already dealt with this same issue and can offer suggestions based on his/her own experience. It's been said that "experience is the best teacher" and I believe shared experiences benefit us all- especially if it allows you to sidestep costly pitfalls!

Submitting to The Right Lead is simple. You can write us at the address below, send me an e-mail or click on Q and A from the website's main page. Please keep your letters brief but as complete as possible, and photos or illustrations are great but only send copies as we may be unable to return them to you. Along with your questions and answers, we'd also love to know what your favorite horse related website is, which books you've found beneficial (or not!), if you've found a great product being offered for free, or a tip that's really worked for you and you'd like to pass along. We'd like to share where you're writing from, but you don't have to give your name if you're not comfortable with it. You may remain anonymous, give a partial name, or give your full name, credentials and/or the name of the farm/ranch or facility you represent- it's up to you. Depending on space in the column, your submission's content will not be edited, but misspelled words and simple grammatical errors will be corrected unless you indicate you do not want it fixed. The main thing is to have fun helping each other out and maybe learn a little something along the way.




Our first questions for the 2001 HELP WANTEDS are:

Q. Mold on stored show tack:
I just went into my storage area and found a layer of mold on my show halters, saddles and bridles! I cleaned everything with saddle soap and applied a leather preservative before I put them away and thought they'd be O.K. Now, some of it looks like it may need to be replaced and I've got hours of cleaning to do before anything is useable.

I really need ideas on how to clean the tack so the mold damage won't show, and PLEASE any ideas on how to store tack so this won't happen again?! This stuff has silver, etc., on it and is way too expensive (for me anyway) to leave out in the public use area and risk them getting scratched up or developing legs. I only need them for a few months out of the year. HELP!!! - MJJ from Houston, Texas. Click here to reply!

Q. Hoof Problems:
Hi! With all this rain, I'm having problems with my horse's feet. She's got some kind of irritation just above the coronet band and below the pasturn that's turning the skin bright red. I've shaved off all the hair and have been cleaning it with a mild soap, then slathering Corona ointment on it, but it's not helping as KC's run is a real mud pit and she loves to slog through it. Am I right in thinking it's the wet conditions causing this, and that it'll clear up when we dry out? Or is this a condition I should be worried about? - Jesse L., from East Texas. Click here to reply!



Happy Easter Everyone!!!



Q. Sexy Gelding:
We just bought a fifteen year old roping horse (gelding) and found out he was "proud-cut" after we got him home and he introduced himself to our mare. Can a proud-cut horse breed? - Steve from Mustang Ridge, Texas. Click here to reply!

Q. What are "Capped" Hocks?
Can someone tell me what "capped" hocks are and what causes them? - Lindsey. Click here to reply!

Q. Urea?
I need the real scoop on Urea. My books tell me it takes a bunch to have any negative affect on a horse, but the old timers say it kills. A good friend of mine bought a mineral lick for cattle and it contained Urea. Like I said, I have some information, but little as far as reaction in the horse and levels that may be safe. Thanks Joy. - CW. Click here to reply!



Hoof Problems (from March 2001):
R: All this wet weather has played havoc on hooves for sure. (It will dry out too much before long and we will get to deal with the hoof problems dry weather creates!) I would try Aloe Vera juice as a curative. My favorite Aloe formula is one quart Aloe Vera, plus six drops Essence of Lavender, in a spray bottle. Works like a charm!

It would also help if you could get KC out of the mud. This could be accomplished by moving her to another area, or building up at least part of her run with sand, rocks, etc. Shaving the hair off is never a good idea. Nature put that hair there for a reason, so let it grow back in please. - Nanci Falley of Rancho San Francisco in Lockhart, Texas.

Mold on Stored Show Tack (from March 2001):
R: I've used a mixture of one-half natural Neatsfoot oil to one-half Lysol Mold and Mildew cleaner (not the one with bleach!). I found this "recipe" in a horse publication (Michael Plumb's Horse Journal) many, many, years ago and it's really worked for me. Use this mixture to thoroughly clean every piece of leather that's molded, but do a spot check first somewhere where it won't show just in case. Allow the leather to dry, then buff with a clean, dry, soft cloth.

Once the tack is clean, use either natural Neatsfoot oil, or something like Lexol Leather Conditioner, to soften the leather. Lexol has a cleaner/restorer as well, but I like to use Fiebing's Glycerine Saddle Soap. I've also used the whole range of Leather Therapy products and was impressed with the results.

As for storage, mold and fungus need still, dark, and damp places to thrive. You might want to consider an ultraviolet light and/or fan (ceiling or oscillating standing type) for the storage area. Some barns use space heaters to keep the air dry, but this may not be feasible in a storage area as it could be left unattended for too long a period of time. You can also cook leather if it's stored too close to a heat source. On warm, dry days, open the windows and doors to let the air circulate and allow the Sun's natural ultraviolet light in. Hope this helps! - Joy B. from Buda, Texas.

* A site I stumbled into while researching Urea is packed with information for assisting horse facilities survive natural disasters. Click here to go to the page: Managing the Farm in Tough Times: Drought, Flood and Fire - Joy B. from Buda, Texas.





Q. Lions, tigers, bears- Oh My!
Can anybody give me any advice on how to work with a spooky horse? My twelve-year-old QH gelding is wonderful in all aspects, but sometimes when we are riding he will focus on something he is unsure of, perk up his ears, stare and then take off quick in the other direction. Last time he caught me so off guard that I fell off. The territory is familiar, he is boarded and turned out there so the acreage is nothing new to him. I am wondering if it is his vision. Would a tie down help? I don't dare take him anywhere until this problem is fixed. I do talk to him and tell him it's O.K. when I see that he is really concentrating on something. Any suggestions? - Mags. Click here to reply!

Q. I ain't goin! No Way! Uh Huh! Nada! Nope!
I have a four-year-old mare that absolutely WILL NOT load in less than six hours and without four people manning the butt rope. I bought her from an auction last December and we had to tranquilize her to get her home. She's not overly spooky or head shy, and everything else is workable, but don't even think of walking her near the trailer! Thanks for the great column Joy, I hope I got this in on time for the deadline! - Lisa in Austin, Texas. Click here to reply!

(Ed. note: The deadline for each month's column is approximately the 10th, if you miss it don't worry, I'll get it on the web site and print it in the next month's issue. Thanks for the feed back!!!)

Q. Stuck on first!
I'm teaching myself how to barrel race and I'm having a lot of trouble with the first barrel. We come out of the gate O.K., but I guess we've got maybe too much speed and we keep over shooting the first barrel like by MILES! When I try to slow him down it confuses him and we get stuck. I know I'm doing something wrong, but I don't know what. I could really use some help. - CC from Buda, Texas. Click here to reply!



Hoof Problems (from March 2001):
R-1: What you described sounds a lot like scratches or dew rot. Scratches is a bacterial infection that occurs when wet, muddy conditions allow the skin to become more susceptible to bacteria and fungus. When this happens, the skin is said to appear red, inflamed and possible scaly/scabby. If this is the case, you'll want to call your vet in and get her started on an antibiotic regimen (oral and/or topical). If you aren't sure this is it and don't want to call in the vet yet, you might want to try using an antibacterial soap (such as MikorTek by Eqyss or Betadine Surgical Scrub). You might also want to consider trying a hydrocortisone crème with a antibacterial agent to ease the irritation and hopefully start healing the affected areas. Good luck! - Joy B.

Sexy Gelding (from April 2001):
R-1: Well, they can certainly be annoying! Have you had him checked? Your proud cut gelding shouldn't be able to actually breed a mare unless the vet missed the entire testicle! It's more common that a "piece" was missed, so the testosterone is still there. - Lori Savage, head trainer for Champaign Royal Arabians in Floresville, Texas.

R-2: Chances are very, very remote that he has what it takes to breed your mare! Here's a tip, which might help that was passed on to me by friends who show and take their stallions to parades. They recommend you try Mentholated Ointment. They suggest that you only put a little dab in each nostril and only when the mare is in season. It was also strongly advised that you do not use this on a daily basis as it could damage the tissues of the nostrils. - Joy B.


Urea? (from April 2001):
R: My vet confirmed what your old-timers told you! Urea is highly toxic to horses due to the way the horse's digestive system works. Cows have their first stomach to process the Urea and turn it into a highly useable nitrogen source. Horses do not have the same ability!!! Urea goes straight to their large intestines where it is passed immediately into the blood supply and carried to the liver and kidneys where the horse cannot assimilate it. In effect, it will poison the horse almost immediately and continued prolonged access will likely cause serious health problems, which could, in extreme cases, cause death. My advice would be for your friend to remove the mineral licks to a place where the cattle still have access, but the horses do not and have her vet come out and evaluate her horses. Best of luck to your friend and thanks for the great question!!! - Joy B.

What are capped hocks? (from April 2001):
R: To the best of my understanding, capped hocks occur when a horse receives an injury to it's hock, either by bumping (like in a trailer), getting kicked by another horse, or even being kept on too hard a surface (concrete without mats, or caliche). The bursa sack surrounding the joint becomes inflamed and fills with excess fluid so that it looks like it has a small (or large) balloon on it. If it's recent it might feel mushy/squishy and will probably be hot to the touch. If your horse will allow it, ice packs applied to the hock area can take out a lot of the swelling and in some cases, a vet will go in and drain it. If it's an old injury, then the excess material has become fibrous and I haven't heard of anything that can be done at that stage.

As far as preventing them, accidents that are unavoidable and horse kicks happen everyday, you can't control that, all you can do is deal with them once they've occurred. Trailer injuries are said to be a common cause of capped hocks, so padding the trailer walls and/or wrapping his legs with bandages or boots could certainly help. Keeping the horse in deep, soft bedding, removing ANY object that could cause injury, and making sure the horse has plenty of room to lay down and get up are probably your best bets for preventing stall injuries.

Best advice I can offer is if you feel the injury is recent, immediately get your horse out of the stall (or any area where it can bump or irritate the hock region), get ice on it and call your vet. Good Luck! - Joy B.



* If you want to learn more about Cremellos and Perlinos, as well as the other color genes, i.e., Palominos, Buckskins, etc., then please visit our CPEA web site (Cremello and Perlino Educational Association) and don't forget to check out our interactive color chart! We are also working on getting the AQHA to accept Cremellos and Perlinos for registration in their organization, so if you are an AQHA member, please contact us and let us know if you are willing to help! Thanks! - Wendy B. of CPEA.






Due to the Hoof and Mouth and "Mad Cow" disease crisis in Europe, demand for "alternative" and over seas (American) meat sources is on the rise along with the price of meat. I have had several warnings passed on to me by trustworthy sources, including a special report on a recent broadcast of the CBS Evening News, that horse thefts are on the rise all over the country. As the price of meat goes up, so will the number of cattle, sheep, goat, horse, emu (yes, EMU! exotics are a meat source, too), rustlings. Likewise, watch your trucks, horse and stock trailers, and look out for your neighbors, too.

These are just a few safety measures we take around our place. They have been passed on by knowledgeable horsefolk, Sheriff Deputies, Texas Southwestern Cattle Raiser's Association Ranger Keith Korenik and Texas A&M University.

Keeping guard dogs is the easiest step, but you can also use peacocks or guineas as they make a loud racket whenever ANYONE approaches. Keep the areas around your barns, stock pens, and vehicle areas WELL LIT! Keep your trailers out of sight of the road and invest in hitch locks. Padlock the back doors, too, even when not in use- don't make ANYTHING easy for a thief. If you can install vehicle alarms in both your truck and trailer, so much the better.

Freeze brands on the left hip are probably the best counter measure for theft, and most likely your single best chance of getting your horse back. Four inches or larger can be seen by a patrolling deputy and in Texas and several Southwestern States, our Texas Southwestern Cattle Raiser's Association Rangers inspect hip brands of horses taken through auctions and directly to slaughter plants. Microchip implants are good measures too. All my horses have chip implants! Sunday received hers when she was one month old so, unlike brands, chips are effective for all ages, but remember, a Sheriff and TSCRA Ranger need "probable cause" to go over a fence and check a horse in pasture, that's why brands are so important and so effective. On the same note, be sure to mark your tack and property with an identifying number, such as your drivers license or AQHA (or any club) membership number. I like to use the membership number because anyone who'd steal your best friend, probably wouldn't have a problem borrowing your identity for a while too, so don't use your Social Security Number!

Please don't keep your horses in pastures with halters on!!! Aside from the risk of injury, it increases the chance for theft. If they are easy for you to catch, then a thief probably won't have that much trouble either. Do spot checks every so often- KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN!!! Keep current photographs of your horses, especially when changes caused by age, or to the hair coat such as winter woolies or obvious scars, alter their appearance. Make a folder with these pictures and include photos of your trailer and tack to give to law enforcement officials should theft occur.

Avoid leaving your horses out in pasture overnight and/or unattended. Whenever possible, bring them in at dusk and keep them in the barn until daylight. We go one step further, there is always at least one person on our place at all times- we never leave the ranch unattended for ANY amount of time. If this isn't possible for you, talk to your neighbors and Sheriff and let them know when you're going to be gone and ask them to watch your place. Be a good neighbor and do the same for them, too. An active neighborhood watch system is a proven deterrent, talk to your neighbors and local law enforcement to see about setting one up in your area.

Patrol your fences- check for cut wires and unexplainable vehicle tracks along your fence. Alert your local law enforcement official if you see ANYTHING suspicious around your facility and/or your neighbors. NEVER assume your neighbors are aware of strange trucks or vehicles around their place. If you are unsure, and can't contact the neighbor for confirmation and don't feel comfortable with calling the sheriff at that point, at the very least, take down the time they were there and how long they stayed, the plate numbers, make and model, and get a description of the people.

 Be aware of strangers! True, a stranger is just a friend you haven't met, but he/she can also be the thief you've never met either and who is taking the opportunity to case YOUR place. Large stables are not immune to theft, it may be more difficult in some cases, but where there's a way, there's an opportunity for a willful thief.

Good luck, and please be careful right now. Until the European crisis passes and meat prices drop, ALL meat stock (horses are considered meat stock- even a delicacy, sad but true) is at risk for theft. Take a moment and jot down the phone numbers of your local law enforcement officials and find out who your Texas Southwestern Cattle Raiser's Association Ranger is and how he/she can be contacted in the case of an emergency. Every minute lost is the gain of another mile to a thief! You don't want to lose precious time trying to remember numbers so stay prepared and hopefully you'll never need them. If, heaven forbid, your horse is stolen, get on the phone and call everyone, including vets and farriers starting in your area and expanding out. Don't forget to fax pictures whenever possible and don't leave out local feedlots, auction barns and slaughterhouses. There have been several reports in national magazines of stolen horses recognized by Vets called out for pre-purchase exams, farriers called to shoe a "new" horse, and watchful slaughterhouse workers who recognized a horse from a faxed photo and called the owner.

A final warning, rustling is big business and carries serious penalties. If you suspect someone, or if you feel you have information, don't try to investigate it yourself! Call your Sheriff or Texas Southwestern Cattle Raiser's Association Ranger. You don't want to accidentally tip someone off they've been caught, and you don't want to put yourself in physical danger, or in danger of reprisals against you, your family or stock. Rustling is serious business- please don't take any chances! The website for the Texas Southwestern Cattle Raiser's Association, as well as the USDA's site for reporting stolen and lost horses and pets and HorseSafe, can be found on the Links page of The Right Lead under Horse Theft Prevention, be sure to visit them they're a wealth of information.

 Be vigilant, be safe! The Right Lead will return to its regular format July 2001, so please keep the questions and answers coming! We can be reached at, or by snail mail to The Right Lead, c/o Joy Braswell, P.O. Box 1257, Buda, Texas, 78610-1257.



Thanks for the great response to last month's column! I promised we'd be back to our regular format but, due to rodeo and show reports, some magazines will be carrying a shorter version of The Right Lead for July. Don't worry, all letters and e-mails for the column are located on the Q&A page of our website. Please send your questions, answers, tips and suggestions to: The Right Lead, P.O. Box 1257, Buda, Texas, or by the Internet through our site at or, by e-mail, to


Q. Show Jitters!
Is there any way that I can not be as nervous at shows? I mean, like little tips to make everything run smoother? Thanx - Amelia Otis. Click here to reply!

Q. Two Left Feet!
How do I teach my sixteen-month-old to pick up her feet going over ground poles? It seems she always hits them with at least one foot (usually two) and it varies from front to back- there's no clear pattern to the bumping so I don' think it is physical. Eventually, I'd like to try her in Hunter Hack and I'm concerned she'll hit the jumps and lose placings (I'm also concerned about pastern injuries from hitting poles!). - Margaret Whelan from Sarasota, Florida. (Ed. note: This is the first installment of a two-part question, look for part two in next month's column.) Click here to reply!

Q. Looking for the dotted line:
Does anyone know where I can download free contracts (boarding, leasing, selling) or send off for them? We're looking at leasing/selling a horse to our neighbor and boarding it at our place until their barn is up in about one to three months, weather permitting. Has anyone else done this? What are the potential problems we should look out for? Should we get the horse insured or should they? Thanks in advance for your help! - Pat Engles. Click here to reply!

Q. No Fly Zone:
I've been using the fly spray "Wipe" for years but it just doesn't seem to be helping this year, can anyone suggest a repellant I can use in the barn and/or on my mare??? Thanks - Mindy Lewis. Click here to reply!



Stuck on First! (from May 2001):
R-1: CC, as an ex-professional barrel racer, you need to first establish the pattern in the horse's mind at a walk, then build up to a trot pattern, and only run the horse when ready for competition. When you walk and trot, head towards the first barrel approximately three to four feet around the barrel, turn in as you have gone two-thirds around the barrel, then you will be set up at the correct angle for the second barrel. Once you've established a great pattern, repetitiously, in the horse's mind, you can gain speed. If you fail to do this, you will be teaching your horse that only speed matters and set yourself up for a lot of disappointment. Good luck! - Ava W.

R-2: First of all, CC from Buda, you do need to slow down on the whole pattern! Your horse has not learned to rate at the first barrel and is probably not rating at any of them. Trot your horse up to the first barrel and stop him, then ask him to go around it. Always make sure that your horse is focussing on the barrel. If he is not, then he needs more warm up so that he is listening and responding to you. Do not speed him up until you feel that he has got this lesson in his mind. - T. from San Antonio, Texas.

R-3: I live in Kyle and am a professional trainer, I can help you. You don't have basic control of your horse. Horses need to be taught a specific cue for each thing we want them to do on a repeated basis. Tougher bits and tie downs are NEVER the answer. I do not take in only the horse to train because when people do this they throw their money away. They (owners) won't be able to maintain the training as they don't know how the lesson was taught. Hope I can help! - Sandra

R-4: There are several things that may be wrong! The horse could be stiff and not bending right, or he does not know how to rate himself. These items need to be learned before asking for speed! Your horse may (also) have an injury that makes it hard for him to turn. These are just a few things that need to be addressed. If I can help you further, please contact me. - Campbell Quarter Horses in San Marcos, Texas. (ed. note: The Campbell's can be reached through their e-mail address located in their on-line reply.)



August 2001 marks our third anniversary in print! As we enter our fourth year, I hope it is every bit as wonderful and rewarding as the first years have been!!! All of us at The Right Lead would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has participated in the Q&A and who have offered words of encouragement and feedback. Please keep those cards, letters, and e-mails coming- we love to hear from you!!!

Joy Braswell, Editor.


Q. Two Left Feet- Part II:
Are there any books or videos to teach a yearling to turn on the haunches or forehand for AQHA Showmanship/Halter Classes? - Margaret Whelan from Sarasota, Florida. Click here to reply!

Q. Unhealthy Abcession!
I'd like to know if there is a way to prevent abscesses in a chronic founder case. Not treatment- prevention! The horse has a damaged coronary band (I imagine from sinking during the acute founder phase) and his hoof wall is weak. Any ideas on how to stop the abscess routine? He's almost fine when he's not busy abscessing! - Lori in Floresville, Texas. Click here to reply!

Q. Not all rings are golden!
In all our years with horses, we've never had one diagnosed with Ringbone and now we need to know as much as possible. This horse is one of our best roping prospects! We'd like to know how best to treat this disease and what it could mean to his future as a roping horse. Thanks. - x2heels. Click here to reply!


Uh-huh, No Way, Nada, Nope (from May 2001):
R: I am a professional trainer who lives in Kyle, Texas, I would like to help you. First, lose the butt ropes, feed buckets, etc. You have a leading problem, NOT a trailer-loading problem. If you can lead your horse's nose to the back of the trailer, then the rest will follow. A horse needs to be taught a specific cue for each action we want it to repeat for us on a continuing basis. So your horse goes in because he's been fed in it? What happens when its your friend's trailer and there's no feed around, you are all alone and the horse doesn't WANT to go in and has just planted it's feet?! You must teach a specific cue that the horse will respond to no matter what the circumstances are. Contact me if you are interested in my help. - Sandra W, Kyle, Texas.

Two Left Feet (from July 2001):
R: In my opinion, sixteen months is way to young to be doing serious work with this filly- she's going to burn out on you before she's old enough to ride. She'll learn to carry her weight and pick her feet up in time, but let her have her "fillyhood" first. She needs to be in a natural setting where she can walk over logs, around rocks, and develop like Nature intended. - Nanci Falley, Owner/Instructor of Rancho San Francisco in Lockhart, Texas.

No Fly Zone (from July 2001):
R: Your problem has probably lessened with the onset of dry weather, but you might try some of the feed additives that repel flies- garlic is probably the best and comes in various forms that can be added to the feed. Apple cider vinegar is another natural additive that horses like in their feed. There are also fly predators that feed on fly larvae that can be ordered in the winter and early spring. If you like eggs, chickens are a good "additive" for the barnyard! Not only are they fun critters, but they love to dig around in manure piles where flies breed and eat the larvae (you also get eggs on the side for your table!). - Nanci Falley, Owner/Instructor of Rancho San Francisco in Lockhart, Texas.

Show Jitters (from July 2001):
R: Make a list and check it off as you pack! Make sure any helpers check off the list, too. Don't put everything off until the last day. Whatever saddles, tack, outfits I'm taking I start getting ready early in the week. As it's ready it's loaded in the trailer so it's packed and done. For at the show- get there early enough so you don't have to rush. Better to be ready too soon and have to stand around and get a little bored then to be rushing around. Rushing only creates more nervous energy and aggravates your horse besides. Picture your ride and be positive! Don't think what if I fall off? Much of this game is mental! Lastly, remember nobody really notices if you goof! - Lori Savage, head Trainer/Instructor of Champagne Royal Arabians in Floresville, Texas.



* Raul Hernandez recommended a great web site for Team Ropers! The site Spin To Win is hosted by Jake Barnes and Clay O'Brien Cooper- renowned Hall of Fame, and seven time World Champion, Team Ropers. You can find their site on The Right Lead's Links Page under Horse Publications, or can click on their site name above for a direct link. This is a great site and worth bookmarking! - Joy B.





Q. Overexposure:
Any ideas on how to prevent sunburn in horses, especially around the eyes? Any suggestions for healing salves or lotions to use when your horse is already burned? - Debbie. Click here to reply!

Q. Gettin' a lickin'
Re: Strange Behavior. I just bought my first horse and she is a fourteen months old. I got her from my neighbor who didn't feed her or her mother, he simply let them graze. Anyway, when I go into the stable with her, she licks me a lot. She never licks me outside the stable unless I'm hand feeding her. Why does she do this? - David. Click here to reply!

Q. The right lead?
What various techniques do you use to teach a young horse the proper leads? What hand/rein action is involved? This does not refer to lead changing! - Clint. Click here to reply!

Q. Dish hoof?
My horse's front right foot has what the farrier calls a "dish hoof." It dips a little in the center of the hoof in the front. It doesn't hurt him yet, but the farrier said it might cause problems later when he gets older. I've tried hypoxy, springs in the frog, cutting the toe back, letting the heel grow and so on and nothing is working. I would like to get the hoof to grow naturally and even again. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to go about that? Please help! - Devon. Click here to reply!



Not all rings are golden (from August 2001):
R-1: How old and how bad? Have you had the joints x-rayed? As I understand it, ringbone itself isn't bad once it's done forming, as long as it's not coupled with arthritis and gone into the joints. Lori Savage, head Trainer/Instructor of Champagne Royal Arabians in Floresville, Texas.

R-2: As Lori mentioned in her on-line post, sports that call for sudden maneuvers may be out of the question for a horse with severe ringbone, you'll have to work closely with your vet and farrier to determine the degree of damage and what corrective shoeing he may need. As I understand it, Ringbone is very similar to Degenerative Joint Disease and there are medications on the market that can be used to help slow down the progression of the degeneration such as Adequan and Legend. There is a new product called Hylartin V that is worth looking into as well. Applications of DMSO may help by increasing the blood flow to damaged tissues, however, I would talk with my vet first. Marcia King wrote a highly informative article in 1998 that provides, in my opinion, excellent information as to cause and treatment, you can access her article on line through The Right Lead's Q&A board in my response to your question, or send a SASE to The Right Lead at P.O. Box 1257, Buda, Texas, 78610. - Joy B.

Bad Abscession (from August 2001):
In response to queries about the nature of the founder and possible solutions, Lori wrote: (Easy) boot really isn't an option as one of the abscesses blew at the coronary band, so it would just press on it. He does have shoes on, with the plasticon supports. As opposed to just frog support, the plasticon supports all of P3 with the exception of the right front where we cut out under the abscess to get to it and drain it. Right now I'm soaking his feet in hot water, epsom salts and betadine solution, then slapping diapers over shoes to keep it clean and dry. Diapers are easier than wrapping all the time. I would really like to figure out how to prevent any more abscesses. If I can find someone who knows, I would like to try the homeopathic/herbal route. - LAS.

* Lori Savage, head trainer for Champagne Royal Arabians, sent this recipe for a cooling rinse that leaves a glossy shine. Take one bucket of water, a couple of capfuls of Listerine Gold (or generic equivalent) and a big squirt of tanning oil and mix well. Splash it on the horse and just leave it. If you've just worked the horse, add a little squeeze of liniment for a nice body wash! It really helps cool them down in this heat, too!


* For a free subscription to his on-line newsletter and one month trial issue of the magazine, "RIDE with Bob Avila," visit his website or, if you're not on-line, call 1-800-317-3682 to have your free issue mailed to you.

* Clint, on-line in the TRL's Q&A board suggested a great website to Tim Wilson for posting classified ads for buying or selling horses. When I checked out the site I was impressed with everything they had to offer. This site is not your ordinary classifieds site, they also offer secure, horse records/management (free up to four horses) on-line. Check them out!




 HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM THE RIGHT LEAD! We're holding our 2nd Annual Holiday Poll and want to hear from you! As horse-people, what do you do for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years? What are your favorite places to shop for horse buddies (two legged AND four! Both on-line and at your local stores), and what are your favorite gifts to give and receive? You can respond on-line through our website, just click on Holiday Page, or mail it to us at P.O. Box 1257, Buda, Texas, 78610. Your replies may appear in future columns and/or on the Holiday Page of TRL.


Q. Looking for a better bucket of grain!
Since Magic and I are no longer in the Walking Horse Competition, I thought our better "bucket of grain" would be endurance riding. I have competed in the Walking Horse arena, Dressage, Hunter/Jumper and the Arabian show circuits, but Endurance seems to encompass what I love to do most- trail riding! I was wondering if anyone out there currently does this, or has in the past, and has any pointers for me. Any kind of advice from saddles, clothes, bridles, seat cushions, horse leg protection, training, etc., would be great! I've done my research on the net, but would really like some "real world" experienced riders to give me a heads up on what to do and expect as I start out. Thanks! - Devon. Click here to reply!

Q. Battle of wills or failure to communicate?
We bought a twenty-year-old Peruvian Paso that is very gentle. My ten-year-old son is learning to ride him but the last few times, the horse will go about fifty feet from the lot gate and then wants to turn around and come back. I am not sure if (A) we are turning him right or (B) if this is considered "buddy" or "barn" sour. My son is getting really upset. I can ride him and he still wants to come back to the house. After reading some of the information on The Right Lead tonight, I'll start making him walk back to the house and not letting him go right after we ride- I'll tie him up and let him stand a few minutes. What else can I do? Thanks for all your help! - Scott from Springfield, Missouri. Click here to reply!



Overexposure (from September 2001):
R-1: I have a thin skinned paint gelding that burns every year during summer months, both around his eyes, nose, and even under the mouth. I first apply Desitin baby diaper rash crème, and then apply my human kids waterproof sunscreen lotion. The Desitin crème is thick and keeps the lotion attached, instead of it melting so quickly off their skin. It really works well! - Ava W.

R-2: Try Corona crème or Vaseline for soothing around the eyes. You can use any good PABA free, hypoallergenic human sunscreen lotion on horses (my favorite is No-Add found at Wal-Mart or H.E.B.). Even simpler than lotion and what I'd do, is put a fly mask on the horse. The ones that screen out most of the UVA/UVB rays to protect their eyes would work, and some have a dropped nose area designed to repel flies, but it would also help block the sun. Good Luck! - Sandra W, Field of Dreams Farm in Kyle, Texas.


Getting' a lickin' (from September 2001):
R-1: Your horse needs salt. Go to the nearest feed store ASAP and buy a fifty pound block of plain white salt, not the brown mineral ones because most of them are not formulated specifically for horses but for cattle. Horses require about two ounces of salt a day, and mare's milk does not have salt in it so even small foals need access to a block. Set the block by the water trough. Also, contact your veterinarian to help you properly feed your growning horse, vaccinate and start it on a worming program (daily Strongid types are best). Get salt soon and don't worry if you start to see dried salt on its back from the evaporation of sweat. Your horse should only eat what it needs unless there is an underlying problem, which, I doubt is the case. Good luck! - Sandra W, Field of Dreams Farm in Kyle, Texas.

R-2: In conjunction with what Sandra just mentioned, watch your filly's mouth closely. If she attacks the salt block (which is not uncommon so don't worry unless it becomes excessive) she might get sores on her tongue and on her lips which could cause her to quit licking the block. If this happens, check with your vet to be sure of what caused the sores, and then ask him about adding about a tablespoon of table salt to her feed until the sores heal to help encourage her to drink. Also, youngsters need to learn manners around humans, so you might want to reconsider hand feeding her for now. Feeding treats from a bucket is considered a better idea than feeding from your hand as, with some horses, hand feeding encourages nipping and biting as well as the possibility making them pushy. Good luck with your baby! - Joy B.


The Right Lead (from September 2001):
R-1: I (we) really need more information on your horse and what lesson you are specifically trying to teach. But here it is in a nutshell, if you would like me to explain more, please e-mail me. You teach any horse to pick up leads from the ground at a walk. (1) Teach the horse to yield to bit/halter pressure using one rein/lead rope. (2) Teach the horse to move diagonally across the ground. That's as simple as it can get. Just one rein/rope and one cue. (This is) easy for you both to learn and do. Works with every single horse, everytime, regardless of past experience. Good luck! - Sandra W, Kyle, Texas.


* If you haven't checked out The Right Lead lately, you've missed a lot! TRL has been recently been overhauled and updated. We've also added three new pages, Press Releases, Event Calendar and a Holiday page!


Gobble, Gobble!


Q. Barefoot Boots:
Does anybody have any experience with "Old Mac's Horse Boots?" They are protective boots for unshod hooves, like "Easy Boots." Thanks in advance! - Sandra. Click here to reply!

Q.Stubborn Proudflesh:
I have a filly that scrapped her back right pastern in the trailer on the way to the trainers and has had a problem with proudflesh crop up as a result. We've cut off the proudflesh and have been using the Wonder Blue powder, which has helped, but it's taking longer to heal than I would like. Any ideas and suggestions would be appreciated! - BAK. Click here to reply!

Q."a stitch in time"
I recently bought a five-year-old mare that has been "sewn up." Can someone please tell me how this works (what's taken out, tied off, or whatever), and if this process can be reversed so she can have babies. Approximately how much would this "procedure" cost??? ANY information would be greatly appreciated!!!! - Thanx - Aly. Click here to reply!



Battle of wills or failure to communicate (from October 2001):
R: Please keep in mind I am not a professional trainer, but here's what I would suggest: First, have a vet come out and double check the horse's physical condition. Given his age, I would double check teeth for problems that may be aggravated by contact with the bit, or he might simply need to be floated- either condition could make the best horse cranky and unwilling to cooperate. Also check saddle fit while the vet is there. Old injuries, soreness, uncomfortable pressure points, any number of saddle problems could make him appear to be barn sour simply because it hurts to work and he wants to stay in the lot, especially after such a long lay off. As a Peruvian Paso, I would pay close attention to the whithers- does your saddle allow him enough clearance, or is it resting on top of them causing discomfort when you lean forward or change your position when asking for the turn? Check for white patches of hair around the whithers as these are indications of damage done by an ill-fitting saddle in the past and could be a valuable clue in correcting his behavior now. Is he shod? If not, are you walking him from soft ground onto hard stones or gravel? He could just be tenderfooted.

Second, even if the horse vets out O.K., I would contact a local horseback riding instructor/trainer (ask around to find out who has the best reputation) and have them come out and work with you, your son, and the horse. If there is any doubt in your minds as to whether or not you're turning him correctly, then I feel you would all benefit from professional advice. A little help from a qualified professional can get you off and running in no time flat and greatly reduces the frustration and opportunities for you, your son, and the horse to get hurt. Also, because of the extended lay off the horse has had, he may have become slightly buddy/barn sour. I also believe, as an older individual who's been around the pasture a time or two, he may be smart enough to know you're unsure and he's taking advantage of the situation! I feel you need someone with a practiced eye to help you evaluate what's really going on with this horse. Whatever the problem turns out to be, I believe your vet and an instructor can work you through it so you'll be able to spend more time enjoying the horse than trying to get him out of the lot! Good luck and please keep us posted!- Joy B.




The Texas Animal and Health Commission is looking for a Charolais bull last seen at the Dublin Livestock Market on May 18, 2001. This bull bares the pitchfork brand and the number "500" on it's left hip and has a Texas ear-tag number of 74-ENE9321. This bull was apparently co-mingled with a herd of cattle infected with tuberculosis. If this bull is not found, it could jeopardize Texas' USDA TB-Free status and negatively impact our ability to ship animals out of state freely. If you have any information as to the location of this bull, please contact Dr. Thurman Fancher in TAHC Area 6 office in Lampasas, Texas, at (800) 658-6642. The TAHC will negotiate to purchase this animal for diagnostic evaluation. To view this advisory in its entirety, go to The Right Lead and click on "Press Releases." Joy B.




You don't need reindeer in Texas!!!


Merry Christmas from The Right Lead family to yours!

I hope the blessings of the Season grace your homes and stables with good friends, happy moments, and lots of carrots! Don't forget the Holiday Poll! It's still in progress and we'd love to hear from you- stop by and take a peek at what others have shared so far! There are several ways to participate in the poll and this column. You can go to our website at and click on Q&A, or you send it by e-mail or "snail" mail to The Right Lead, P.O. Box 1257, Buda, Texas, 78610. Remember, while space in the printed column is limited, ALL letters and e-mails can be found on the Q&A page of the website! Not on-line? Not a problem! If you would like to see the on-line responses, send a large, self-addressed, stamped, envelope for each topic and we'll mail them to you.



Barefoot Boots:
We had a great response to this question so check out January 2002's column for a detailed product review. If you can't wait, stop by the website and check out the replies! Joy B.

Stubborn Proudflesh:
R-1: The lower down a limb the injury is, the more likely proud flesh will develop. Keeping the wound bandaged and wrapped with, say, VetWrap, will help to stop it from forming. It's the pressure that does it. Of course, don't wrap it any tighter than any other bandage. You don't want to cause more problems! If you need help, call the vet. In my experience, these types of wounds do take longer to heal and the proud flesh powder wound coatings do help to stop it. Good luck! Sandra W, Field of Dreams Farm, Kyle, Texas.

R-2: (Allen Pogue sent the following information via e-mail. Thanks Allen! JAB.) "&ldots;The medication is Triamcinolone Acetinide- it is a steroid ointment. I had an 80-gram tube (like toothpaste and it has lasted since the middle of July when the horse got cut). It (the injury) has been reduced now to a spot smaller than a nickel. It (the wound) started out being almost three inches long and well over an inch and a half wide- a gaping hole.

I have monitored it closely, kept it wrapped, changed the bandage every two days- no antibiotics, just the crème and hydro. I used a clean piece of muslin to cover the wound, then wrapped with gauze, then VetWrap&ldots;" Allen Pogue, Austin, Texas.


&ldots;"a stitch in time&ldots;":
R: Aly, sounds like what your mare has is called a "Caslick." A vet sews up the vulva lips, leaving enough open for urination. This is done once a mare has been confirmed in foal to reduce the chances of a uterine infection that might compromise the pregnancy. About three weeks before she's due to foal, the vet will remove the stitching to allow parturition to proceed as normal. Now then, here's my two cents worth of experience as a breeder and trainer. First off, if a mare doesn't have a horribly tipped vulva (most common in TB horses) a Caslick is NOT needed. FYI, a tipped vulva is where the anus is set back further into the mare's butt and the vulva ends up getting bathed in manure because the vulva isn't perpendicular to the ground, but is set at an angle to the ground. Second, standard practice is once a Caslick is done, the mare will always need one because stitching ruins the natural seal of the lips due to scaring, torn edges, etc. I have mares that previously have had numerous foals and Caslicks. I have not sewn them up and have had no problems. It appears that over time the lips heal up. It's sad that this is such a common, routine, practice because most of the time it's simply not needed and only done for "insurance." Yes, they (stitches) can be taken out. The vet can do it. It's not different than removing stitches from surgery. Will cost next to nothing and takes about sixty seconds, very simple. Then after breeding her, see what the vet thinks about leaving her open. A Caslicks isn't a bad thing, it's just another hassle that's nice to avoid, especially since you'd better remember to take them out before she foals or you'll have a mess on your hands! Good luck! Sandra W, Field of Dreams Farm, Kyle, Texas.



Here's a sample of what can be found on-line from The Right Lead's Horses 'n Holidays Page! Merry Christmas!!!

(Note: Because this column was submitted November 5, 2001, more stores and ideas have been added! Click on the Horses 'n Holidays Page link above to see all the great places to shop and keep checking back as this page will be updated all the way until Christmas! Happy Shopping! Joy B.)

· My favorite places to shop for horses and humans in Austin are Callahan's General Store on US Hwy 183, The Leading Rein at 7739 Northcross Dr., and Seven Bar at 13030 W. Hwy. 290. Joy B. from Buda.

· Catalogs are another great place to find gifts. My favorites are Back in the Saddle, Country Supply, and State Line Tack. In our Central Texas area, we have some great stores like Sheplers and Callahan's in Austin and D&D Farm and Ranch in Seguin- all great places to find unusual and horse oriented gifts. Nanci Falley, Rancho San Francisco in Lockhart, Texas.


If you're wanting to shop on-line, over the phone,or would like a catalog,
check out:

* Back in the Saddle - (800) 865-2478, for gifts for the horse person on your list. Clothes, jewelry, accessories, and precious toys!

* State Line Tack - (800) 228-9208, for show apparel, gifts, accessories for both horse and rider!

* Videoranch General Store - (On-line only) horse, and non-horse, related gifts. Figurines, wrought iron, candles, glass, leather jackets, coats, vests, etc., at great discount holiday prices!

* National Ropers Supply - (800) 467-6746. Ropes, saddles, apparel, instructional books and videos for the roper(s) in your family!

* Sierra Trading Post - (800) 713-4534 of Cheyenne, WY. Outdoor apparel for both men and women. Working clothes and footwear, as well as equipment for sports and camping/hunting.

* Rod's Western Palace - (800) 325-8508 for show tack and apparel, beautiful sweaters and jewelry and great novelty gift ideas like bucking horse PJ's!

* Wild Heart Ranch - Delightful, plush, stuffed pony toy/nightlight that will charm child and adult alike!

* Drysdales Western Wear - Western casual and show apparel, boots, hats, and jewelry, etc.

* Dressage Extensions - (800) 541-3708 Dressage riding apparel, tack, and jewelry, etc.

* Kreature Keepers - (800) 446-0324 Nifty tack and grooming products, etc.

* Valley Vet Supply - (800) 356-1005 Casual, work, and show apparel, boots, tack, supplies for horse and ranch, gift items, etc.


Merry Christmas!!!


Texas Barbed Wire


January's Column will be up around the 1st!
Have a happy and safe Holiday Season! Y'all come back!

Let us know you were here! Please take a moment to sign the guestbook and/or send me an e-mail. Thanks!!!


Archives 1998

Archives 1999

Archives 2000

Archives 2002


e-mail TRL
Contact TRL

Back to Home Page
TRL Home Page

Mr Typey