Hoofs: Keep them dry to keep them healthy


Last Wednesday's final seminar in the Carroll County Equestrian Council's winter series of education seminars drew a crowd of more than two dozen horse enthusiasts despite less-than-inviting weather.

American Farrier Association-certified Gary Faulkner of Clarksville and Dean Geis of New Windsor brought a tray full of slides to illustrate a discussion of horse's feet and hoofs.

Faulkner demonstrated the anatomy of a horse's leg and feet with a cross-sectioned real horse leg that was a hit with the 4-H and Pony Club kids in attendance.

Faulkner's advice for horse owners included a tip on thrush (a fungus-like problem of the hoof). He said that thrush gets into the cleft of the frog (the soft and sensitive part of the horse's sole), not just on either side of the frog. He said it is necessary to get the thrush remedy in the cleft of the frog as well as down both sides of the frog.

Faulkner said that while various hoof dressings and oils may help to solve specific problems with a horse's hoofs, he does not recommend their use on a routine basis when no apparent problems exist.

He also cautioned against letting your horse's feet constantly get wet in the summer time when a horse gets lots of baths after strenuous work. Too much water can enter the hoof wall and weaken the hoof's structure.

Faulkner said that the best hoof is hard and sturdy.

The Carroll County Equestrian Council will evaluate this winter's series of educational seminars at its next meeting to determine whether it will offer them again next year.

CCEC vice president Carolyn Garber said, "The response has been positive. We've broken new ground in the county by offering these seminars. I hope that we have brought a new awareness of, and recognition to, this organization."

Hunt race rescheduled

The Howard County-Iron Bridge Hunt Race Meet, originally scheduled for yesterday, will be run Saturday. "The weather did us in" is how organizer Harvey Goolsby explained the change in dates. Time (1 p.m.) and venue (Meriwether Farm, Roxbury Road in Glenelg) remain the same.

Horsemen schedule dance

The League of Maryland Horsemen's 11th annual spring dance Saturday may be just the antidote for a case of cabin fever.

The evening, which will feature door prizes and country-western line dances, will be at the Winfields Fire Hall in Carroll County. Tickets are $10 per person or $19 per couple.

Proceeds will benefit the League of Maryland Horsemen.

Contact Barb Phelps at (410) 781-7521 for more information.

Schooling events planned

Severn Valley Stables in Arnold will conduct schooling events on April 10, July 25 and Oct. 17.

Each event offers horse trials

with green, starter and novice divisions; kindergarten and training combined tests; green, starter and novice divisions clear round cross-country tests; stadium clear round tests and training level and above dressage tests.

Call Jeannie Bergmann at (410) 757-1971 for more information.

Calendar of events

Saturday -- 50th running of the Howard County-Iron Bridge Hunt Race Meet. Post time is 1 p.m. Meriwether Farm, Roxbury Road, Glenelg. (410) 489-4642 or (410) 442-1813.

Saturday -- League of Maryland Horsemen's 11th annual spring dance. 9 p.m. Winfields Fire House (Carroll County). (410) 781-7521.

March 28 -- Mid-Maryland Horse and Pony Association show. Judge: Skip Seifert. Howard County Fairgrounds. (410) 781-6303.

March 30 -- Closing date for entries for the Carrollton Hounds Horse Trials. Five divisions: Training, Novice Horse, Novice Rider, Baby Novice Horse and Baby Novice Rider. (410) 848-3192.

March 31 -- Closing date for April 10 Severn Valley Stables Schooling Event. (410) 757-1971.

April 3 -- Goshen Spring Hunter Pace Race.

April 4 -- Mount Airy Saddle Pals English and Western Horse Show. Mount Airy Carnival Grounds. (301) 473-5709 or (301) 831-5230.

April 4 -- Carroll County Western Circuit Horse Show. Agriculture Center, Westminster. (410) 239-7885.

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