See You Around! Draper Therapies Fall Event Schedule

Lainey Johnson riding Eskadeur (wearing her Draper Therapies pad)

Fall is our favorite time of the year – the leaves change, the weather gets cooler, pumpkin-flavored everything comes back into season… and then there’s fall events! Here’s where we’ll be this fall.

New England Dressage Association Fall Festival – Sept. 17-20   Saugerties, NY
Woofstock Dog Festival – Sept. 26   Hudson, MA
Western New England Professional Horseman’s Association (WNEPHA) Finals  – October 11   Holyoke, MA
New England Dressage Association Fall Symposium with Robert Dover – October 17-18   Gloucester, ME
Equine Wellness Symposium 2015 at Riveredge Dressage – November 12-14   Chesapeake City, MD

Draper Therapies will have booths/set ups at all these events. Stop by and see what’s new, enter our contests (we’re going to try to do something fun at each event), and get a jump start on your holiday shopping (yep, we said it, but you’ll thank us later!).

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5 Things to Bring When You’re Camping With Your Horse

I’m getting ready to leave for a camping trip with my horses, and this year in addition to my seasoned 20 year old trail horse, I have my two younger boys in tow to give Ridge a much-needed break after some long days on the trail. In addition to updating my packing list to take into consideration the wide range of ages and breeds (20 year old Arab that doesn’t sweat much, 6 year old warmblood that is a bit nervous on trails, 5 year old QH/Morgan cross who’s solid on trails but still not used to trailering far), I also wanted to make sure my packing list had the stuff we needed to ensure we all have a safe, comfortable, and relaxing trip.

Here’s 5 things to bring when you go camping with your horses:

  • First aid kit. This should be a no-brainer and go with you everywhere you go. I keep one in my trailer and one in my truck, with the one in the trailer including specific equine emergency items such as banamine, dexamethasone, and topical wound treatments.
  • Water jug (full). Even when hauling a trailer with LQ, you don’t want to have to struggle with getting a horse bucket in a small camper sink if you have a horse that starts to overheat or dehydrate on the road. Depending on where you’re camping, water isn’t always readily available so it’s a good idea to always be prepared.
  • Sponge in net bag. This is a good one I learned from some friends who do endurance riding. Take a sponge, put it in a mesh or net drawstring bag, add a simple carabiner and some string and clip to your saddle or tack. Then when riding through water crossings, you can extend the cord and drop the sponge in the water and cool your horse’s neck and back and shoulders even if the water isn’t that deep. This is great for all-day rides! You can buy one here, or easily make your own.
  • Equi Cool Down everything. Not even kidding – it’s going to be in the 90s during the day where I am going (and I am going north!), and while my Arab deals with the heat incredibly well, I’m a bit more like my warmblood – we prefer the cooler weather. To keep from overheating, I’ll ride with a towel around my neck and shoulders, and beanie under my helmet. My horses will have the full body wrap, leg wraps, and neck wrap to cool out in after we ride to ensure that when we’re back at camp, they are comfortable as soon as possible. And if we are on trail and get too warm, we can use the sponge to re-wet the products and keep us cool on the ride.
  • Draper everything. Also critical. If you’ve never trail ridden 6+ hours up and down the Adirondacks, it can be an amazing experience, with breathtaking views, great trails, and even the chance to ride in – and cross! – the great Hudson River. But if you’ve never trail ridden 6+ hours up and down the Adirondacks, it can also leave you and your horse very, very sore. Things like Anti-Monkey Butt Powder help (love it!) but nothing makes a difference like putting my horses in Draper anti-sweat and stable sheets, then throwing on a Draper tee, and curling up in my trailer on my Draper sleep liner with my Draper blanket. Even the dogs have Draper blankets to help them cool off and relax! You could say I’m a little obsessed…and I know we all wake up the next morning, rested, relaxed, and recovered ready to hit the trails for another day.

So there you have it – my 5 Things to Bring When You’re Camping With Your Horse. Now back to packing for me. Check for updates when I’m back in August! Have items you love to bring on trail? Share your tips with us in the comments below.


We hope to see you out on trail!

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A Clear Victory for Todd Minikus at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ in Hickstead

Todd Minikus and Babalou 41 provided the US show jumping team with it’s only consistently clear performance to earn Team Bronze today in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ at the Longines Royal International Horse Show in Hickstead, Great Britain (Photo courtesy of Todd Minikus)

Todd Minikus and Babalou 41 provided the US show jumping team with it’s only consistently clear performance to earn Team Bronze today in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ at the Longines Royal International Horse Show in Hickstead, Great Britain (Photo courtesy of Todd Minikus)

Courtesy of JRPR Inc.

Hickstead, Great Britain (July 31, 2015)— Two Swan Farm’s Babalou 41 has sailed over fences with Todd Minikus to prestigious victories in Wellington, Florida; at Spruce Meadows in Alberta, Canada; then on to serve as the Traveling Reserve for the U.S. Pan American Games Jumping Team in Toronto, Canada— all within the past several months. This week, the duo crossed the Atlantic to prove their show jumping talent in Europe. Minikus and Babalou 41 provided the United States jumping team with it’s only consistently clear performance to earn Team Bronze today in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup at the Longines Royal International Horse Show in Hickstead, Great Britain.

After cheering the United States on from the sidelines at the 2015 Pan American Games, Minikus and the 10-year-old Oldenburg mare Babalou 41(Balou du Rouet x Silvio I) were eager to jump into competition themselves at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain. Joining the pair to represent the U.S. were Beezie Madden on Cortes ‘C’, Laura Kraut on Nouvelle, and Charlie Jayne on Chill R Z.

Minikus and Madden were the only two U.S. riders to clear the course in round one, putting their team in third place behind Belgium and Switzerland, who tied for first. Of the eight competing teams, three— the United States, Belgium, and Switzerland— finished both rounds with a total of four faults and nominated one rider for the jump-off. Pieter Devos on Dylano helped Belgium to the Gold, while Paul Estermann on Castlefield Eclipse assisted Switzerland to Silver. The United States took Bronze, with Madden selected to ride in the jump-off. Minikus was the only U.S. rider to complete the competition fault-free.

The Wellington, Florida based jumper was proud of his European victory with Babalou 41, who he has competed for the past four years. The pair’s flawless rides came as no surprise— earlier this year, the duo helped the United States to Team Gold in the FEI Nations Cup presented by Kingsland Equestrian at the Winter Equestrian Festival’s CSIO4* in Wellington, Florida.

The Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain, presented by Longines, was the sixteenth qualifier of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping 2015 season, and the seventh leg of the Europe Division 1 League. A total of ten countries will compete in the Europe Division I throughout the season, and seven teams will qualify for the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping 2015 Final in Barcelona, Spain in September.

Minikus’s European tour is hardly over. He is already preparing to take on the Dublin Horse Show CSIO5*/CSIYH1* in Dublin, Ireland on August 5-9. Team Minikus— including his sponsors Vita Flex, TheraPlate Revolution, Neue Schule, Premier Equestrian, Charles Owen, Draper Therapies, Parlanti, Purina Mills, Veredus, CWD, and Animo— is poised for continued success. To watch Minikus and his impressive equine partners as they take on the jumping world, visit or follow Todd Minikus on Facebook.

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Travel, Rehab or Show – Keep Legs Looking and Feeling Great!

I’ve blogged about my super sensitive thoroughbred mare, Katie, a few times.  Our history is kind of interesting – she was the first horse I leased when I was young, then a friend bought her and they dabbled in dressage, trails, and jumping for a while before eventually she was given to a woman who wanted a pleasure horse.  That woman was unable to keep her, and she came back to me.  I was in a place where I had just sold my most recent project horse, and where my older goofy percheron gelding needed his workload reduced.  Katie is a very well schooled dressage horse, and she’s been helping me reach a lot of personal riding goals.  She and I are working hard this summer, showing quite a bit, and traveling to and from plenty of places.

I realized early on in our season that her sensitivity was something I would have to stay on top of to keep her in show condition.  After our weekend recognized show, her legs were stocky from staying in a stall overnight (she’s normally out 24/7) and I realized that I would need to figure out how to prevent this from happening, again.

I knew that my #1 weapon against the stocky leg fight would be to walk her more when I was on the show grounds.  After an early morning, a warm up and a test, it’s so temping to untack, plop a horse in a stall in front of a big pile of hay, and collapse on a chair or go run off to grab a bite to eat.  I’ve found that even if I keep Katie out long enough to walk her to the food stand, or have her graze on a longer lead rope while I try not to fall asleep in a chair between ride times, it helps keep her blood flowing enough to reduce the swelling she’ll get from standing around.  I still needed to address the fact that she stocks up from being in over night, though, and that’s when I decided to purchase a pair of the Draper Recovery Wraps.

I love my other draper equine therapy products, and figured I would love the recovery wraps, too.  I was right!  Goodness, I have found so many uses for my pair, and have been so happy with how they’ve performed!

In addition to wrapping Katie when she’s in a stall, I wrap her on our way home from events and from intense clinics. She trailers well, but I know that after hard work she is fatigued, and the wraps support her so well that I no longer worry about long hauls after long days.  I use linimint that is safe to use under wraps, and her legs have never looked tighter and cleaner.  I can also be confident that any lower leg soreness from working hard is addressed by the fantastic draper fabric and materials in the therapeutic leg wraps.

I’ve used them for my big horse Gali who has wind puffs, and for my cuter-than-words project pony, Rowdy, who has a fat leg from an old splint bone fracture.  Both of their puffy legs have improved significantly with the Recovery wraps, and I know that these will have a spot in my tack trunk for a long, long time.

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We Put the “Nap” in “Nap Blanket”

True story. I have several Draper blankets, including the travel blanket, the neck blanket, and my favorite the nap blanket (in couch size please!). Of course I love all of them, but recently I figured out just how great the nap blanket really  is.

I’ve used it when I’ve been sick or sore from riding or whatever athletic event I recently overdid it at pretending to be much younger than I actually am, and it’s always helped me feel warm and cozy and less tense. Then in recent weeks, I’ve used it a few times just because I had it on the couch, the windows were open, and up here in the mountains even in a warm spring and early almost summer, it gets chilly at night. In just a matter of minutes, every single time….bam! I’m asleep. Just like that.

While falling asleep on the couch wasn’t the intention, it seems when it comes to the Draper Nap Blanket, I have no choice. And I wake up warm all over (even in my fingers and toes and face which tend to be chilly due to my thyroid issues) and feeling great – even though it’s the couch and not my bed.

So, finally, after this happening multiple times, I got smart, and….are you ready?

Yup, I brought the blanket to bed! And you know what? You guessed it, I slept like a baby! This coming from a night owl insomniac. Really. Looks like I’ll have to order the sleep liner and pillow case liners next!


This is pretty much how I sleep when there’s a Draper blanket on me

If you have problems sleeping – with our without aches and pains – I can’t say enough good things about the Draper Nap Blanket. Try it, and you’ll love it. I haven’t slept this well in years! And if you’re not sure, you can always start with the travel blanket or the neck blanket and feel their effects for yourself.

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Keeping Your Horse Cool and Loose in Summer

As the days are getting longer, the temperatures are rising and we’re starting to feel the difference in the sun. Pretty soon we’ll be in the middle of summer, and keeping horses cool as well as their muscles loose and helping them warm up and cool down for exercise and horse shows becomes a challenge.

We’ve tested numerous products to help horses loosen up and recover faster after workouts, shows, long days on the trail or trailer, and it always comes back to the Draper Anti-Sweat Sheet. Call me biased, but I’ve used similar therapeutic products, and Draper just blows away the competition. Lightweight and durable, it’s also comfortable for my horses in even the heat of summer, which is great for when I need the therapeutic benefits of Celliant that Draper Therapies products offer, but without adding more heat to the already hot summer days.

I often throw my anti-sweat sheet on for trailering on mornings when it’s a hair too warm for a stable sheet, but I still want to keep my horses comfortable and loose on the ride over to whatever show, fox hunt, or trail head we are hauling out to. It’s great also for after a workout, and I love to use it in place of a traditional Irish knit sweat sheet, to help my horse cool out after being hosed down. The mesh allows for great air flow, while helping to relax muscles and reduce recovery time after a hard workout, long day on trail, or out at shows.

I’m in the process of ensuring I have both an anti-sweat sheet and a stable sheet for every horse in my stable, as I really do use them that often. I have a few horses that can share, but love that I can order anywhere from a size 70″ – 86″ which is great considering my smallest trail horse is between a 70 – 72, and my field hunter Clydesdale cross is an 84 – 86. And of course there’s my WBs, OTTBs and my Arab, coming in somewhere in between.

My oldest anti-sweat sheet is going on 2 years old, and still going strong. It was one of my very first Draper Therapies purchases, and used on almost every single one of all 8 of my horses (yes, I have eight horses….don’t ask lol!). The fact that it’s been left on overnight (you’re not supposed to – that’s why they make stable sheets, whoops!), shipped in, washed (over and over and over again), packed and dragged to shows, hunter paces, hunts, and even gone camping with me and is still in one piece is impressive in itself! AND because Celliant is a part of the fabric and washer and dryer safe, it still has the same great therapeutic products it had when I first bought it.

Do you currently use an anti-sweat sheet? If so, do you use it year round or only in certain seasons? Whether you’re a traditional Irish knit person, or  a fellow Draper Therapies Anti-Sweat sheet believer, share your story with us too!

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Returning Horses to Work in Rehab

Some of you may have read and followed the stories of my two OTTBs last year when they had suffered major injures in our Rehabilitate & Recover series of blog posts. Since winter has finally broken here in the Northeast, we’re getting back to riding with a focus on rehabilitation now that the initial phases of recovery are over. Lucky has returned to being the (rather expensive) pasture ornament he was before his latest leg injury, and Sky has been cleared to start light riding and strengthening those suspensories so that we can return to jumping later this year!

When reviewing options for leg protection, there were a lot of things to consider. Everything from support, impact and strike protection, how the boots or wraps affect joint motion, and more. In Sky’s case, support and some limitation of flexion was the most important factor, as I wanted to make sure that his hind suspensories were supported and had some limitations so that we reduced the risk of overflexing and re-injuring the damage he experienced last year.

In reviewing the options on the market, of course Draper Therapies was one of the first places I looked. Boots for impact and strike protection weren’t as important at this phase of riding, because we’re limited to walk with just a little bit of trot. We started on hard ground (pavement or hard pack gravel roads) to keep the flexion in the hind legs limited as the suspensories got used to going back to under saddle work. Eventually we worked our way up to ring riding where the footing is a little softer and deeper than the roads (traditional stone dust horse arena footing). While the footing in the ring is great for sound horses, for suspensory injuries, the softness can actually put more strain on the ligaments and joints in the fetlock, so supporting the lower leg became even more critical.

For Sky, we used the Draper Therapies Perfect Polos. Because of the Celliant, the polos help increase circulation which is critical in ligaments which have less blood flow than muscles or other areas of the body. This keeps things moving and reduces risk of strain or reinjury. Coupled with the support of the Saratoga-style bandages, Sky was able to have more support than with a traditional boot, wrap, or even polo bandage.

So far we’re on our second month under saddle, and first week working in the arena again and things are going well! He’s rarely stiff or puffy after a workout and even the day after his legs look great. I’ve been using our Draper Therapies Recovery Wraps after rides to give him additional support and keep the circulation going overnight so that his ligaments can continue in the healing and strengthening process. Next steps are to work on our fitness so that we can increase the timing of our trot sets. Fingers crossed things continue to go well and we’ll post some more updates in the weeks ahead!


Riding down the road as we start our rehabilitation under saddle. And yes, that’s a Draper Therapies head cap prototype!


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Draper Therapies Advisory Board Update: Rebecca Hart and Schroeter’s Romani Consistent at Mulhouse CPEDI3*, Kicking Off European Tour With Triad of Top Three Finishes

Draper Therapies is proud to support both riders and horses competing  in a variety of disciplines worldwide. Our Advisory Board helps us spread the word about Celliant®, educate new people about Draper Therapies products, and even design new products. We are always happy to see our board members doing well in all their equestrian endeavors. Congratulations to Rebecca Hart on a successful start to her summer season in Europe!

Rebecca Hart and Schroeter’s Romani Consistent atMulhouse CPEDI3*, Kicking Off European Tour With Triad of Top Three Finishes

Mulhouse, France – June 23, 2015 –Consistency is key for two-time Paralympian Rebecca Hart (Grade II) and Schroeter’s Romani who kicked off her European tour this past weekend at the Mulhouse CPEDI3*, representing the United States well with no less than a trio of top finishes.

U.S Para- Dressage riders with their coaches at the Mulhouse, CPEDI3* Left to Right Rider Deborah Stanitski with ribbon and trainer Lauren Palmer Rebecca Hart (sitting) with Todd Flettrich; and Annie Peavy with Heather Blitz. Photo By: Rebecca Reno.

U.S Para- Dressage riders with their coaches at the Mulhouse, CPEDI3* Left to Right Rider Deborah Stanitski with ribbon and trainer Lauren Palmer Rebecca Hart (sitting) with Todd Flettrich; and Annie Peavy with Heather Blitz. Photo By: Rebecca Reno.

“Basically what we’ve been working on is getting the consistently and the strength, which is what we’ve always been working on,” Hart described. “Because she is so dynamic of the horse we want to show off that brilliance, but keep it consistent at the same time, which is always challenging for every rider. I’m very excited to say we’ve finally got the program and everything straightened out, and figured out what really works for her. It’s so important for my own body and for her to figure out what we need in the warm-up, and what we need to shine in the ring. I think we’ve got the system down that works for both of us, and its nice because the timing is working out for us.”

The Mulhouse CPEDI3* began with the Team Test on Friday, June 19, where Hart and Romani earned a 69% to capture the third place finish. She duplicated her efforts during the Individual Test on June 21, where they once again finished in the third place with the score of 68.371%. Although Hart was disappointed with the score, she admitted that she felt more confident when riding the test, and that they showed more expression.

The Mulhouse CPEDI3* Ground Jury included Kathy Amos-Jacob (FRA) 4*, Jan Holger Holtschmit (GER) 4*, Sarah Leitch (GBR) 5*,Eva Maria Bachinger (AUT) 5*, Sarah Rodger (GBR) 5*, Jose Baud (FRA) 4*, Marco Orsini (GER) 5*, and Genevieve Pfister (SUI) 3*.

Hart returned Sunday afternoon to put in an impressive 71.9% Freestyle-score, earning the high percentage from Pfister on “E” who scored Hart the highest during the Freestyle with a score of 76.750. Hart is excited to use the feedback from their first show to grow as an international contingent as they prepare for Rio 2016. Hart was joined by trainer Todd Flettrich, and Margaret Duprey of Cherry Knoll Farm, Inc. will join the team at the Iberherrn, Germany CPEDI3*, scheduled July 2-5, 2015.

Hart said, “These are both the 3-star events as well as Olympic qualifiers. They help give you ‘street cred,’ which I think is important in getting you seen by the international judges while also giving you confidence with your horse. I think it’s really important to experience those things before you get to a major championship such as Rio.”

Hart’s name is a familiar one in the dressage sphere, earning the title of National U.S. Paralympic Champion in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010. She competed last year at the World Equestrian Games for the United States Equestrian Team, and has also shown in two Paralympics for the USA. She now has her sights set on the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

For more information about the Mulhouse CPEDI3* please visit, For more information on Cherry Knoll Farm and Rebecca Hart, please visit

Press release written and distributed by Phelps Media Group. Photo credit Rebecca Reno

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Easing the Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Horses

Recently, my Selle Francais gelding was diagnosed with long-term, low-grade chronic Lyme disease. We knew he had been infected for a minimum of 5 months, but think it could have been as long as 2+ years. He was never really symptomatic, but his negative personality traits had become more pronounced over the years. We had chalked it up to his stubbornness, laziness, and the effects of age, but as it progressed, things just didn’t add up. He went from a “10” mover with championships in Pony Club Nationals for eventing and dressage, multiple hunter derby wins, and a past history of Grand Prix jumpers along with being a game field hunter, to becoming grouchy and irritable.

Jumps looked like they took him more and more effort, and while he could still do 3’6″ from a trot, the “with ease” part started to look more cumbersome and uncomfortable than with that effortless strides of the past. Rides lasting longer than 40 minutes were likely to result in you getting dumped, badly. And then this spring he started to throw shoes all of a sudden – all of the time, and his winter coat didn’t shed quite right, and his new coat was duller than usual. So I had him tested for Lyme and that’s when we got the news.

Chronic. Ugh.

Thirty days of doxy in, I got a glimpse of the horse he used to be – floaty huge trot, easy canter that seems to just cover ground, and a happy, nickering boy. And then three days later, he was far worse. Tripping at the walk, an attempted ground pole had him stumble hard, and the little bit of canter he attempted was heavy, disjointed, and felt overall disconcerting. I got off, patted him, and pulled more blood. We just finished the 60d and got the results back – still low grade lyme. Lower than before, but not low enough, so we’re upgrading to minocycline which is much stronger and supposedly more effective then doxy, it’s weaker counterpart. It’s also a lot more expensive, but I want my horse better.

In the meantime, I also want him to be as comfortable as possible and do whatever I can to boost his immune system, circulation, and overall well being. For immunity, we’ve added SmartProtect to his regular SmartPak of SmartFlex Senior and with the recent developments (still positive, still symptomatic), decided to add SmartImmune. For comfort, he’s on 24/7 turnout so he can move around, with shelter for shade and to get away from the bugs when he wants a break, with a round bale to keep hay in front of him whenever he wants. And for overall comfort, when he comes in for a break, I toss my Draper Anti-Sweat Sheet on him to promote circulation and help soothe his achy joints.

While we’re just about to start the minocycline, we’re hoping that with all of this careful management he can return to being the happy horse he used to be! Stay tuned for more updates, and share your stories of what products you love to help your horse stay happy, healthy, and comfortable!

Tyler GP

Tyler in his Grand Prix days (not me riding…I wish!). Wish us luck on the road to recovery!

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30% off Our Canine Therapy Line

Canine Therapy Sale 15

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