Self-confidence; that ever elusive necessity for peak performance. It gives us the courage to push ourselves to extremes, allowing us to achieve beyond our wildest expectations. How can something that makes such an impact be so fragile? Some days you feel like you are on top of the world and can do anything; other days you're wondering if you can manage to get out of bed without messing up.
Is it really that time of year again? It seems like just last month I was writing an article on preparation for last year's futurity and here we go again. Stress Management keeps popping up but it is particularly relevant this time of year as everyone heads to Fort Worth and Oklahoma City to battle it out.
Equine Guelph has launched a new 2 ½-minute video to help horse owners with parasite management. When a growing resistance to dewormers is cited as a major issue concerning horse owners today, a fecal exam to see if your parasite control program is working makes sense. Collecting a manure sample is easy, but it must be done properly to ensure accurate test results.
Get connected at the joint junction with Equine Guelph's interactive online "Journey through the Joints" tool. Put the "fun" in function when it comes to learning what is normal and what is not - in equine joints! Sponsored by Zoetis, the visually striking healthcare tool helps horse owners achieve well-rounded knowledge regarding causes of joint disease and stages of arthritis.
When it comes to deworming horses, the message has been confusing. After all, for more than four decades, horse owners heard the same one: rotate. But now, rotating is old news. What’s the new message? Be strategic about your deworming.
Horses are great animals for many reasons, but if you think about it, they are excellent teaching tools for people. Now I have as much appreciation for horses as anyone, but I am convinced they are not the smartest animals on the planet. They do, however, have great memories. This is one of the main reasons they are such teachable/trainable animals.
As a veterinarian, I really have to work so I don't develop tunnel vision when it comes to the horses I get to work with. My examinations are not that different from any other vet. They revolve around whatever problem the horse is presented for – lameness, colic, a wound, eye injury, you name it. The owner or hauler brings them in, or I take a look at them wherever they may be. Haltered and on the end of a lead rope, we go through the formalities of an exam.
I was at a show recently and overheard a verbal exchange between a trainer and his customer following an unsuccessful performance by the customer. Far from supportive or encouraging, I witnessed a brutal degradation on a personal level with little helpful critique to the actual performance. Rather than walking away with a valuable learning experience, I suspect the customer was left with a bruised self-esteem and little motivation to come back for more.
Top performance requires top condition. Whether a car, a horse, or ourselves, if we hope to achieve peak performance, we have to ensure the vehicle to success is well maintained. Most elite athletes are aware of the need to take care of themselves to produce consistent results in competition. Those of us involved in equestrian sports, however, tend to neglect our own needs with the assumption that our horse must be in peak condition for success in the pen.