Top 5 Ways to Protect your Horse from Disease in a Horse Camp

We are forever grateful to know many people that know so much about our equine friends.

Here, Dr. Brooke D. Martin, DVM, share her secrets for keeping your horse healthy when traveling with other people and animals. Have your own tips to share? Leave them in the comments! Thanks, Dr. Martin!

  1. Proper Immunization:  Keeping your horse current on vaccinations is number one in my book, because respiratory disease is the most common disease your horse may contract when placed in an environment where there is close contact with other new horses.  Vaccinations are very effective when given appropriately.
  2. Wash your hands!  Yes, you.  Your hands potentially spread communicable disease from horse to horse. Simply wash your hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds.
  3. Don’t share community water sources if at all possible.  Use your own water bucket or trough if you can.  Most diseases are spread via oral and nasal secretions which can contaminate a community water trough very quickly.
  4. Monitor your horse’s vital signs and attitude:  If your horse demonstrates lethargy or loss of appetite check its rectal temperature, pulse, and respiratory rate.
    1. Normal rectal temperature – 99.0-101.5 F
    2. Normal heart rate – 36-44 beats per minute
    3. Normal respiratory rate –  8-12 breaths per minute
  5. Avoid sharing tack and grooming equipment: Things such as ectoparasites (lice, mites, etc.) and fungal dermatitis can be spread via brushes, combs, or saddle pads.  Upper respiratory disease and diseases such as vesicular stomatitis could be spread by sharing bits.
– Brooke D. Martin, DVM
Associate Veterinarian – Strain Equine Services. Like them on Facebook here.
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Our Featured Product: Endurance Style Breast Collars

3c7c0bb3-a7fa-4c7f-a703-bfcb189d9df8The Endurance Style Breast Collars (EBC) are our most popular style of Breast Collar.  This style has become a favorite of Trail Riders, Barrel Racers and other riders that want to achieve increased performance from their horses, while simultaneously providing extra comfort for their horse. The over-the-shoulder configuration of an EBC frees up the shoulder movement as compared to a traditional Western Style Breast Collar.  Endurance riders have known this for years – hence the namesake.

Endurance Style Breast Collars are one area where our unique design patterns coupled with careful attention to detail really stand out. How? Through very intentional design patterns and meticulous selection of materials that are crafted with the horses comfort on the forefront. Yet the rider use, ease and fashion are not compromised.  And yep – they are beautiful too.

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Borium Horseshoes

If you choose to shoe your trail horse, you may want consider Borium horseshoes for better traction. Traditionally shoed horses don’t do well on snow, asphalt, or even large rocks. I’ve seen skinned up horsey knees & worse.  Our horse keeping property contained a lot of slippery asphalt surrounding it. Our friends suggested Borium shoes as a solution. On the downside, I was worried that it would disrupt my horses gait and possibly cause leg damage – I took that seriously. However, for my situation, the benefits outweighed the risk of a horse tumbling – my horse needed traction.  Our horse’s first set of Borium horseshoes was 14 years ago and is now the only kind we use.  It turns out my horses’ gaits weren’t altered and thankfully they still have sound legs.  I’ve also discovered important traction benefits on the trail too.  For instance, have you ever had your horse slip on a rock, encounter a paved walking path or cross a rocky river?  Borium shoes would help. Are they right for you & your horse?  They’re something to consider; spring is here!!

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Dog Collars!

unnamedWhat do you think? If you visited our booth at Equifest, the Illinois Horse Fair or the Midwest Horse Fair, then you know we have done a soft launch of our line of Dog Collars & Leashes. We wanted to see what you thought, and we are thrilled to report – it looks like you love the new SpecTACKular Woof! Canine Line.
We will be launching our Canine line, as well as our Belt line to be made of the same superior materials that that our Tack is comprised of – carefree BioThane and Stainless Steel. We will let you know when they are available on our website, but in the meantime – call or email us for more info or to order.
More NEW designs are coming soon – like BLING options for Browbands, Breast Collars and Dog Collars too. There’ll be New Horse Tack Items too. Stay tuned and watch for our next Tack Talk Newsletter for more new product details.

Be sure to become a fan of SpecTACKular on Facebook to see the latest news and special offers!

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A Must-Have Gadget for Camping With Horses

We love our gadgets, don’t we? But we’re especially fond of those that make horse camping easier.  The best ones come from our fellow campers (so if you see us snapping pictures of your camp-site you’ll know what’s up).

This is one of our favorite new finds – a Dual Faucet Adapter with big on/off levers.

Faucet_AdapterWe found this first at a friend’s camp-site. Our friends always have the best stuff! When we looked around for our own, we found the Nelson brand adapter at Home Depot (sku 457-026) for about $13.00 or find it at their on-line store. What are your camping must-haves?

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SpecTACKular Is Three!

It’s hard to believe SpecTACKular just celebrated its third anniversary.  Thanks to you – our SpecTACKular customers!  The three years has flown by.  We are grateful to each of you that have selected our BioThane products for your horseback riding experience and shared our company with another.  You inspire us daily.  We look forward to serving you for years to come…..  Sherry

We love seeing your SpecTACKular horse photos! To submit your horses SpecTACKular photos

Email photos to us:
Upload photos to: Our Web-Site Photo Gallery Upload

Visit our Photo Gallery to see even more of your photographs

Below are a few recent pics you have sent. Thanks for sharing!  Recognize anyone?
Our Models: 1) Hank & Boogie, 2) Renie & Cash, 3) Stormy 4) Black Jack & 5) Aspen



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A Sign of Spring


Ah…the horsey signs of spring-shedding blades, spring storms and green, green grass.

We are fortunate to have pasture for turn out.  In the winter we are able to simply let Sophie roam the pasture and graze at leisure.  We watch her run, play and eat all day.  She comes in each evening for a bit of grain & her supplements and goes right back out to the pasture.  It seems natural.

 And then…suddenly – It’s Spring.  The pasture grass turns lush & green almost overnight-and quickly can become hazardous to a horse.  Founder, weight gain & laminitis loom. One of our early solutions was shutting her in a dry lot. However this is “dry-lot” is often a mud -lot in the spring, plus… she receives no exercise locked into a restricted space.

A solution that has worked well for me is a Grazing Muzzle. Our favorite brand is Best Friend Equine. It has a little hole at the bottom to limit the grass intake.  With this “tool”, she can roam around the pasture all day. Run, Play, Roll & eat – a little.  It’s great.

Head Shot

However there is “Adjustment Day” the first day of each Spring when she first adorns her seasonal Grazing Muzzle. We feed a treat through the hole when putting the Grazing Muzzle on, so she thinks initially that little hole at the bottom is a “treat-delivery-device”.  Then the pasture gate is opened.  She bursts out of the gate.  Drops & rolls – scratching to combat the itchy long winter coat & attempting to loose the Grazing Muzzle.  And then…she begins to graze.  Not getting a full bite of lush grass can be frustrating to a girl.  So she paws, eats, paws and then finally just eats.  Each time she see us outside, she hurries to the fence to show us up close her predicament. She knickers, to be sure we have seen her situation.  She pokes her head over the fence – just in case we would like to take it off…  All a part of the spring ritual for Sophie & I.  However I know after years of experience, it is for her own well-being.  Its tough being a horsey Mom sometimes.

Head 4-8-13

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Love horses & have kids? Check out this

Love horses & have kids? Check out this book.

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Do you “Google” when you or your horse

Do you “Google” when you or your horse have an ailment? Stop it!!

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Watch westerns? You might enjoy this. :)

Watch westerns? You might enjoy this. 🙂

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