Tag Archives: vet

What tests and paperwork did you need when crossing state borders with horses?

“Hi Stacy! Since you have travelled all over the US, I feel like you’d be the best person to ask this:

I’m potentially moving out of state within the next couple of years and when I move my horses, I know that they’ll need to have Coggins testing done (some states require 1 year negative result). Where there other tests that you did with the horses? What is the process like when you cross the state borders? What kind of paperwork is needed and what were some of the pre-planning things you did (horse motels, etc) to ensure a smooth travel across the country? Thank you for your time! “Jess F.

a sample of horse papers needed for travel with horses

Proof of my horses health from around the country: health papers & Coggins tests.

Generally the two documents that are needed are a current Coggins test and current health papers. “Current” is actually defined by each state. In general it is considered current within a year but there are states that are exceptions, for example, one state requires the coggins to be within 6 months AND within the current year. Quirky.

But that is where your vet comes in.

When the vet writes the ‘health paper’ they will do a physical exam of the horse and get the address of where you are headed. They will call the state you are going to and double check that states requirements. The other great thing about this is that the vets are aware of any current health ‘issues’ that may be happening in certain areas. If there has been a recent outbreak of a disease some states may not allow you to travel to them. An example of this would be someone who wanted to travel from Texas to Kentucky during a time that Texas was having an outbreak in the area. Even if the horse that wishes to travel is not at a farm that is directly affected it is possible for the health paper to be denied. Inconvenient but understandable.

Some states, such as Florida and California, have inspection areas where they will check your paperwork. On our trip from Texas to Alabama the highway took us into Florida. Although we were not traveling ‘to’ Florida as our final destination they still checked our paperwork. Kentucky is a state where it is fairly common to be randomly pulled over and asked for your paperwork. Other states will do their inspections at events.

Sometimes I wonder what I should do with all of the paperwork I have accumulated. If I bound all my horsey travel papers together I could have a book. I am looking forward to the day when Global Vet Link or a similar service is wide spread but for now I will continue to carry my many colored pages. I’m glad you asked this question…it gave me another use for all these documents!

P.S.- Here is a link to a blog I did about finding horse motels too.

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Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Video


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“You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”

You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.This quote reminds me of another by author Kahlil Gibran that says, “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.”

When I’m going through a rough or stressful time the Gibran quote is often on my mind. Today I took a trip to the vet’s with a friend and her horse. The visit reminded me of the last trip I took with Vaquero to the vet. It is a memory that is full of sadness.

When I reflect and try to see how this sadness has shaped my happiness it isn’t hard for me to see.

I remember thinking that I would be happy just to have Vaquero come home and live as a pasture pet. Gone were my hopes of more freestyle reining classes. I was quickly willing to accept less than I had been before. Suddenly the simple things in life were the things that mattered.






Posted by on March 19, 2015 in Life


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Do you know if sunblock is ok to put on a horse?

Do you know if sunblock is ok to put on a horse?“Hi Stacy! I have a overo paint with a really white face and last summer he got burnt pretty bad. Do you know if sunblock is ok to put on a horse? I put a fly mask but that only covers half his face. What would you recommend?”-Amy S.

He is very cute and I can see how that nose could be at risk. Years ago I had a horse in training that had a history of burning his nose. The vet recommend sunblock. I can’t remember what brand we used because the owner brought some with him. They basically said that if it was safe for kids it was safe for horses.
I bet there are many other people out there who have horses who have faced this same challenge. If you have ever dealt with this before please leave a comment telling us how you prevented burns. Have you used sunblock on your horse? What type?
Is there anything else you would recommend?

Posted by on March 17, 2015 in Life, Members Question


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Weight gain: horses that are easy keepers.

Popcorn is an easy keeper because he loves to eat. If his exercise and diet is managed well he is fine...but he does LOVE to eat.

Popcorn is an easy keeper because he loves to eat. If his exercise and diet is managed well he is fine…but he does LOVE to eat.

Do you have a horse that is an ‘easy keeper’?

An easy keeper would be defined as a horse that seems to gain weight when exposed to air or when they look at food.

Horses that gain weight easily usually fall into one of two categories: underworked/overfed or medical issue.

Popcorn here just loves to eat. He gains weight if I don’t watch that his intake doesn’t exceed his workload. If he isn’t being worked hard I will change the type of hay he is eating to something lower calorie and I feed a ration balancing feed that is low calorie while providing all of his vitamins and minerals. This often means that he is also turned out in the ‘diet’ pasture where he is with buddies that have the same issue.

If diet and exercise aren’t enough then I tend to suspect that the horse may have some medical issues that need to be addressed. It is possible for horses to have weight gain due to thyroid problems, Cushing’s Disease, or Metabolic Syndrome also known as insulin resistance. With proper diagnosis and treatment with a vet these horses can also achieve an ideal weight.

Have you ever had an easy keeper or a horse with a medical issue that caused weight gain? How did you handle it?


Posted by on November 1, 2014 in Life


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If a horse was injured years ago…is there still a chance he can heal?

“Hi Stacy, I met this one horse a week ago that a friend of mine has had ever since birth. Six years ago when Vick was two and a half she had a guy training/acquainting Vick with the saddle he (the trainer) got sidetracked!!! He left Vick in the roundpen alone (with all the gear) REALLY. Anyway Vick took it upon himself to dispose of his foreign attachments. Thus getting all tangled up. Ever since his hind left leg in swollen. Horses are my life in a sense. I would like to have your opinion. If there is still a chance for it to heal? And if so what to do????”-Katie S.lameness

I would recommend finding a vet that specializes in lameness. Often vets that deal with performance horses or racehorses (TB or Standardbred) are excellent leg vets. Get a professional opinion. Much like visiting your doctor vs another doctor, opinions can vary so multiple opinions are also valuable.

Sometimes even long standing injuries can be treated because the horses don’t naturally fully rest like they need. For example, sometimes stall rest can allow something to heal that has not healed in the pasture simply because the horse keeps re-injuring every time he feels better. I am not diagnosing here. I am recommending finding a vet who can take a look and I am saying, yes, there is hope.

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Posted by on October 7, 2014 in Video


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What is the best age to start a horse? Does light exercise benefit or harm growing horses?

“Hi Stacy!
I have a question that has been subject to many arguments between my mom and I. I have a 2.5 yr old QH filly that I recently started under saddle. She had all ground work done when I started her and she is a very mellow minded girl. My mom believes 2 is too early to start them and is concerned about her joints and I was wondering about your opinion on the best age to start a horse since I have never started a horse or raised a young horse? At the moment I am just doing light trail rides, no longer than 15 minutes on flat ground, with her twice a week. And note that she is around 14.3hh and is a brick house, weighing close to 1000#s. 🙂

Thank you so much in advance for an advice you can give.” H. H.

Ugh-oh…I don’t think I should get in the middle of a mother daughter thing, lol.Does light exercise benefit growing horses? How do you define light exercise?

The easiest and best way to be comfortable with it is to ask your vet when he/she is out for another call; shots, etc. They can give you the best advice because they can see and touch the horse.

I have asked this question to many vets over the years and the following points have been made:

  • there are studies that suggest that some stress is good for healthy bone and muscle growth
  • it is possible to overwork a horse of any age
  • listen to the horse, stay slow and steady, if in doubt ask a vet

The problem comes in defining what ‘some’ stress or ‘light’ work is, as each human will have a different opinion on it. I have known young horses that were raised on 17,000 acres and others that were raised in five acre pastures and it is easy to see that the amount of ‘normal’ daily activity varied greatly. Especially in smaller settings another question could be, ‘Are we raising equine couch potatoes?’

Jac was two when I started him in the videos and I am watchful when I work with any horse. I look at it very much like my own children. I want  my kids to be active because they need some stress for muscle and bone growth too…but I’m not drilling them for hours every night either.

As for settling the argument, I don’t think you will find one clear answer out there and….remember, ask your vet:)


Posted by on September 4, 2014 in Members Question, Video


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Stacy’s Video Diary: Jac Episode 39- Horse’s mouth irritated by plant material; foxtail, etc.

Jac ran into another physical issue; he ate some form of plant that caused sores in his mouth. The first suspect was foxtail, which is a grass that can get baled into hay.

The vet biopsied the sores and confirmed that the sores were caused by plant material although they were unable to determine if it was foxtail or one of several other plants that can cause the same issue.

Getting all of the small particles out of a horses mouth is not easy. Some could be removed by the vet but others had embedded like little splinters. The vet removed some of the embedded plant material. He also recommended washing his mouth out daily for awhile and we switched the hay.

The healing had to run its course and I ended up losing about a month of training time while allowing Jac’s mouth to heal. I have been planning on showing Jac at some of the bigger shows at the end of the year but a set back like this could change the plan.

I already know that I am unwilling to add extra pressure to Jac for him to ‘catch up’ in his training. I will still allow Jac to set the pace of the training and things will either come easy for him or they will not and I will scratch from the shows.

Issues and decisions like this one are part of the process I was hoping to show by following Jac. The training, just like life, always has its ups and downs.



Posted by on June 25, 2014 in Stacy's Video Diary: Jac, Training, Video


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