CN-MR-3-Equine Affaire 1by George Looby, DVM
For four days in November the center of the horse world in the northeast was located on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA. From Nov. 7-10 the horse and its equine cousins held center stage as thousands of spectators attended demonstrations and lectures, visited vendors, and spent an evening watching a coliseum show featuring the horse.
Health and wellness issues were covered by several traditional veterinary clinics. For those owners whose animals might be in need of longer post-surgical treatment, there were facilities offering physical therapy and rehabilitation. There were booths devoted to the whole range of ointments, salves and powders that might be used in the treatment of the usual run of nick, cuts and bruises that any horse owner might expect from his/her animal.
There has been a steady increase in number of colleges and universities offering course work or majors in all area of horse management and husbandry. Some of these institutions are offering athletic scholarships in equine competition to prospective students at all levels of experience, a fact of which many (most) students are unaware. To facilitate a better level of awareness of these programs between students and colleges will serve as a link to assist both parties in reviewing each other’s needs and expectations.
The Stroh Building was of particular interest where a number of areas were given over to representatives of a particular breed, some of which were of the more seldom-seen breeds. A group of horses that are filling a most important role are the therapy horses that are used to assist in the rehabilitation of returning veterans. Also in this building were horses that had been rescued from a wide variety of inhumane conditions.
The line of clothing designed for the horse owner runs the gamete from English to Western and everything in between. The Double M Western Store, Inc. in Ballston Spa, NY, owned and operated by Wayne and Cindy Martin features the largest boot selection in upstate New York. In addition to the boot department they also offer a full line of hats, apparel and accessories. At the same location is the Double M Tack Shop where the horse owner can find a full line of tack, Carhartt’s work clothes and workboots. This store is owned and operated by Leo and Jennifer Martin.
Serving the needs of both horses and dogs is Horse n’ Hounds of Nashua, NH. This facility is designed to meet the needs for physical therapy in both horses and dogs who are recovering from surgery, injuries or certain debilitating diseases. Jennifer Brooks, is a licensed physical therapist who was trained in the human field and became interested in applying the skills she learned in human physical therapy to animals, especially horses and dogs. After a period of training at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tennessee she became a Certified Rehabilitation Practitioner for horses and dogs. Her husband J.W. serves as Marketing Operations Manager for the business.
A unique service being offered involves the pairing up of prospective high school students with equine experience with colleges and universities searching for students interesting in competing in intercollegiate equine athletics. Bridget Imparato initiated this service after her son experienced difficulties in being granted an athletic scholarship at that level. For a modest fee, Ms. Imparato will match up prospective students with institutions seeking out qualified students with varying degrees of horse experience to compete at the intercollegiate level. Ms. Imparato presented a number of informative sessions with interested young people regarding her program.
During the four day run of the Affaire well over 100 demonstration and lectures were held featuring some of the top equine specialists in the world covering the full range of subject matter regarding that species. A great show, enjoyed by many with great expectations for 2014.