Pat Reynolds of Reynolds Insurance in Walkersville discussed the hot topic of equine insurance at the November educational seminar sponsored by the Carroll Council Equestrian Council.
Reynolds' advice is "read everything in that policy and pay special attention to any conditions and exclusions."
Insurance companies have been thorough in finding ways to avoid paying off on mortality claims. If you know your policy backward and forward, you can avoid problems.
"Be especially careful of the part where it says that you must notify the insurance company immediately when there is any injury, illness or accident that affects your horse," Reynolds said.
Another thing to be aware of is that many policies will be voided if anyone other than a veterinarian administers medication to your horse. Some policies give a little leeway on this by specifying that medication may be administered under the direct supervision of a vet.
Reynolds said that mortality insurance has changed during the past few years -- mostly to the benefit of horsemen.
"Believe it or not, rates have generally come down," she said. She attributes this decrease to several things: a price war among insurance companies to attract new policyholders, advances in veterinary care for horses and a crackdown on fraudulent claims.
Two other recent advances extend mortality insurance to horses up to 15 years old and add surgical and major medical coverage.
Surgical and major medical coverage is a boon, but it requires scrutiny.
"Some policies assess one deductible amount per occurrence and some assess per vet visit, so you must understand this and be very careful,"
You also must be careful about how you use your horse. Some policies specifically limit horses' activities, and you will not be covered if you are engaged in some other activity when there is an accident.
Clearing Piney Run trails
It is a classic case of bad news/good news. The bad news is the Carroll County Equestrian Council's final trail-clearing session drew only three workers to the Piney Run Equestrian trails site. The good news is that they got a lot of work done.
"I brought the riding mower and did a lot of mowing," said Finksburg resident Janet Breeding, "and Judy and Allan Taylor came with their clippers."
The Taylors clipped one of the area's new trails so that the newest loop at the area is now very clear. And the tireless workers added three new jumps on the trail. Breeding said the Piney Run area never draws many workers on trail workdays.
"It is very windy today," Breeding said, "but the weather isn't always bad when we work here. I don't know why we don't get a very big turnout at this place."
Trail workdays are an important part of the mission of the CCEC. Carroll County has one of the most extensive trail systems in the country, and volunteers are integral to the maintenance of the system.
Clinic on longeing
If you need to brush up on your longeing skills, check out the clinic next Sunday at the Equilibrium Horse Center. There's nothing like spending hours being longed for improving your seat and balance. Call (410) 721-0885.
Bringing home awards
Maryland riders brought home plenty of honors from the recent 110th National Horse Show at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.
Among the highlights for Marylanders: Elizabeth Solter of Upperco was reserve champion in the Regular Conformation Hunter Division aboard Rox Dene. She also rode Northern Rollick to the reserve honors in the Green Conformation Hunter Division.
Mary Lisa Nicholson of Brookville and Legend Has It captured the reserve championship in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-30 Division. She also was Reserve Champion Amateur/Owner Grand Champion.
Melanie S. Wright of Gaithersburg and quarter horse stallion Remy Martin placed second in the recent Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic, Central Conference at the Meadowlands.
Calendar of events
Today -- Hunter Schooling Show. Equilibrium Horse Center, Gambrills. (410) 721-0885.
Tuesday -- Carroll Council Equestrian Council general meeting. East Middle School, Longwell Avenue, Westminster. (410) 833-4593 or (410) 857-2103.
Tuesday -- Bill Lower Driving Clinic. Hunter's Creek Farm, Mount Airy. (301) 570-0099.
Saturday -- Charter Oaks Winter Series English Show. 2021 High Point Road, Forest Hill. (410) 836-0186.