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.

Posted in A Day In the Life of the Draper Therapies Team, Equine Therapy | Draper for Horses, Events, Therapy Topics | Leave a comment

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!

funny-sleeping-cats-1

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.

Posted in A Day In the Life of the Draper Therapies Team, Body Therapy | Draper for You, Events, Therapy Topics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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!

Posted in A Day In the Life of the Draper Therapies Team, Equine Therapy | Draper for Horses, Events, Therapy Topics | Leave a comment

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!

IMG_8885

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

 

Posted in A Day In the Life of the Draper Therapies Team, Equine Therapy | Draper for Horses, Events, News, Rehabilitate & Recover, Therapy Topics | Leave a comment

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, http://www.shm-waldeck.fr. For more information on Cherry Knoll Farm and Rebecca Hart, please visit www.cherryknollfarminc.com.

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

Posted in Equine Therapy | Draper for Horses, Horse Shows & Awards | Leave a comment

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!

Posted in A Day In the Life of the Draper Therapies Team, Equine Therapy | Draper for Horses, Events, News, Rehabilitate & Recover, Therapy Topics | 2 Comments

30% off Our Canine Therapy Line

Canine Therapy Sale 15

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Customer Story: Morgan and Galactic

I received an e-mail from Morgan a few weeks ago about her horse, Galactic, and it was just too good not to share! Morgan and Galactic’s story is below, as told by Morgan herself.  I will never get tired or stop being impressed by the wonderful success stories of customers and their animals using, enjoying, and healing with our products :) Thank you for sharing Morgan!

-Becky

Morgan and Galactic

Morgan and Galactic

“As an active event rider, I work to produce top talent with my focus and passion lying in the Off-Track Thoroughbred industry. It is without a doubt a booming business, with more programs than ever surfacing with the focus of re-homing and re-purposing Thoroughbreds that may have failed on the track and can go on to excel in other disciplines. I, personally, was introduced to your therapies after my most recent purchase of my now 8 year old OTTB, Galactic.

Galactic came to me through a wonderful program called the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center based out of Lexington, KY. The MMSC focuses on finding sound, top-talent prospects for multiple disciplines. As an event rider of 14 years, I was looking for my future Advanced level prospect. My goals have been and always will be to become a top-level Eventing professional, and to do that, you’ve got to have the horses with the goods, and team that can get you there. Galactic was everything I’d been looking for in that type of horse. Unfortunately, just over 1 year into our partnership together, Galactic suffered what was likely deemed to be a career-ending 70% tear to his superficial digital flexor tendon when he overreached and struck his tendon. I was told he would need at least a full 12 months off and there was no guarantee he would return to any level of competition despite the best treatments available. I was absolutely heartbroken.

Naturally, I began to research the best course of treatment for him, still hanging onto hope that he would come back and be able to do all we had hoped. We ended up going the route of stem-cell therapy after his tendon was surgically split, but the bow to his tendon was obvious and large. It was then that I came across Draper therapies while doing some online research. Willing to do anything that may help my horse rehabilitate to the best of his ability, I ordered your standing wraps. They arrived before my horse had his tendon split, and I immediately replaced my regular standing bandages with them.

Within a 48-hour period, I was amazed at how drastically the edema in the leg had reduced. I was quick to provide you with an email testimony as I was that impressed with the immediate effect these wraps had on my horse, and I’m even more excited to be emailing you now with an update.

Not so miraculously, but because I believe I made the right choice in treatment and the best choice possible in using my Draper wraps as part of my daily care regime, Galactic has made a 100% recovery and has been back in full training since October of 2014. His ultrasounds are outstanding, and while he may have a permanent bump from the impact of the overreach wound, the tendon healed extremely well. We have every hope that this horse will be my first shot at an upper level career, and I would love for Draper therapies to be a part of our journey getting there!

For reference, I was able to take photographs (see below) of his healing process before and after use of the wraps and have attached them for comparison (As well as a couple of photographs from Galactic’s big comeback this past weekend). I have turned several people at my barn onto using these wraps, as we run a bit of a rehabilitation facility for horses with issues ranging from tendon and ligament injuries to housing and helping rescued Saddlebreds from the Team American Saddlebred Association. They too, have seen great success!”

Before (left) and after (right) using Draper Recovery Wraps

Before (left) and after (right) using Draper Recovery Wraps

If you have a story that you’d like to share about using our products, e-mail it to Becky@drapertherapies.com.

Posted in Equine Therapy | Draper for Horses, Rehabilitate & Recover, Tips & Tricks, Fun Facts, and More | Leave a comment

Remember the Time I Polo Wrapped the Dog? The Incredibly Diverse Polo Wrap

 

Draper Polo Wrap - Just like an ace bandage except better.

Draper Polo Wrap – Just like an ace bandage except better.

I’ve known for awhile that polo wraps can be used for so much more than protecting a horses legs from bumps. When I was a kid, my fellow barn brats and I would wrap them around our own legs if we forgot our half chaps to protect our skin from pinches and rubs. I’ve used a polo as a makeshift tail wrap to stop my horse from rubbing his tail braid out at shows. I’ll even admit to using a polo as a dog leash (it was one time at a horse show; now I keep a leash in my bag at all times!).

My Draper Polos spend most of their time doing what they were made for – protecting my horse’s legs from bumps when he jumps and helping him feel comfortable. Lately, however, I’ve been using them both on myself (a friend “borrowed” my Body Wrap and I needed a Celliant® for my ankle – see the Relief For the Achy Rider blog for a full explanation) and on one of my dogs.

My dog Blueberry, a 9 year old dachshund, came in from the yard almost a week ago with a large neck and head laceration. The origin of the wound is a mystery, though getting stuck in some sharp underbrush chasing a ball seems a likely culprit. The wounds were deep and required approximately 15 stitches to close (on a 17 lb dog, that’s a lot of stitches!). Because of the location of the neck wound, she had to have a drain put in to ensure the wound would heal infection free. After three days the drain was removed and we got the ok to start exercising Blueberry lightly, provided we could keep the incision clean.

After trying a few different ways of keeping the wound covered, I grabbed one of the freshly laundered Draper polos off the back of the couch and started wrapping. I used a technique similar to wrapping a human ankle,  criss-crossing the wrap across her shoulders so that it wrapped around her belly as well as her neck. This seemed to keep the wrap stable and made it so the wrap wasn’t too thick and restricting around her neck.   Below is the final result.

So happy to be out of the house!

So happy to be out of the house!

While at first she was less than thrilled, Blueberry realized that the polo was soft enough for her to move comfortably and, if she humored me and wore the wrap, she could come walk around at the barn with me instead of being house-bound. The polo looked secure, Blue seemed to be cooperating, so off to the barn we went.

Close up view

Close up view

Blueberry did her normal day at the barn with no problem – the polo needed to be adjusted once after she rolled in some hay. It was around 70 degrees and she didn’t appear to be too hot or uncomfortable.  The equine vet that came for a farm call that day even thought that it was a clever and efficient idea!

View from the top

View from the top

When we got in the car to go home, I removed the wrap to check the wound  and everything looked great- no dirt or irritation. In addition to keeping the wound clean, the stitches looked less swollen thanks to the Celliant in the wrap. Polo wrapping the dog was a success!

Becky

Becky is the Draper Therapies product manager. She shows in the jumper ring on her horse Calando and is mother to three dogs – Blueberry (a dachshund), Bella (a pug), and Joe Black (a mutt).  Though a skeptic at first, Becky is a firm believer in Celliant® and uses it any way she can on herself and on her animals. 

Posted in A Day In the Life of the Draper Therapies Team, Body Therapy | Draper for You, Canine Therapy | Draper for Dogs, Equine Therapy | Draper for Horses, Tips & Tricks, Tips & Tricks, Fun Facts, and More | Leave a comment

Rolex Recap #RK3DE

Rolex 2015 was an interesting year, to say the least. The weather was beautiful for every day except cross country, and the rain on Saturday certainly had an impact on horses and riders alike. The jog on Wednesday was filled with beautifully turned out horses and riders, under a sunny Kentucky spring day which made for some great photos.

Selena Jog Rolex

Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High, photo credit Cindy Lawler

 

We were there to cheer on Draper Therapies rider Selena O’Hanlon who had a lovely dressage round and a solid XC round until the slickness of the footing caught up to them and Selena opted to retire Woody on course (we agree, Selena! the footing really was deteriorating quickly as the day went on).

Selena dresage Rolex 2015

Selena and Woody sporting their Draper Therapies dressage saddle pad in the show ring at Rolex

While it wasn’t the result Selena had hoped for, it was a very wise decision as the day was riddled with slips and slides and falls of horses and riders. The wet conditions made for footing that was tricky and slick in some areas, and deep and mucky in others, and neither were ideal by any means. As huge fans of Selena’s horse Woody (Foxwood High), we’re happy that they are both safe and sound and looking ahead to the next event down the road.

Selena XC Rolex 015

Woody jumping into the water element with Selena, wearing his Draper Therapies jumping saddle pad, of course!

 

We had a chance to catch up with Selena, and I have to say that she is personally one of my favorite riders (CJ blogging here). She’s so nice and personable and always is focused on the care and wellbeing of her horses, which makes her a great horse person as well as an incredible rider. She spent much of her time between rides at Rolex meeting with fans and singing autographs all around the horse park. And of course, we believe for Selena and the rest of the Draper Therapies team, the best is yet to come! Good luck Selena and Woody as you continue on the road to the Pan Am games and the Olympics!

And just in case you weren’t sure how much Selena and her team love the Draper saddle pads, here’s a photo of some well loved equipment, for sure!

Selena saddle padsShop our full line of Draper Therapies saddle pads today and see how your horse can benefit from our incredibly products and Celliant technology!

 

Posted in A Day In the Life of the Draper Therapies Team, Draper Therapies On The Road, Equine Therapy | Draper for Horses, Events, Horse Shows & Awards, News, Therapy Topics | Leave a comment