Issue 119 | May/June 2020
A Note From Tom Seay
It is time to begin planning your next horse vacation, regardless if it is for the weekend or for several weeks.

Yes, I know there are some government officials that want everyone to stay in their homes for another month or two, but people also need to be realistic. There comes a time when outdoor travel to remote or spacious places is safe. There is a difference in recommendations and an understanding that no one can suspend the Constitution and your right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I am not ignoring the seriousness of the virus and understand it may get worse in the future, but careful planning in open and rural places will be worthwhile and as safe as you can get.

Below are several places we recommend you consider in your planning to travel with your horses. I have always said it is more important to go to places that are owned or managed by the kind of people you would invite home to dinner. If there becomes a problem, emergency at home, vehicle problems or a horse health emergency, it is important that you have a feeling of security that the location you are visiting will help you out. Aside from that, these locations are open and ready for you and are in beautiful parts of the country. 

4B Farm and Campground

Blisswood Bed & Breakfast Ranch
Cat Springs, TX

Broken Arrow Horse Camp

Brushy Creek Lodge & Resort

Crooked Creek Guest Ranch

Cross Country Trail Ride

Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch Campground

Little Lusk Trail Lodge 4B Farm and Campground

Panther Creek Trail Rides & Campground

Parrie Haynes Equestrian Center
For more information on these riding locations visit our Preferred Destinations page .

For questions on visiting us at Andora Farm in Virginia, call Lisa in our office at 540-829-9555. She will take care of you.

If we can be of help to you in any way, contact me directly at my personal e-mail,  or call our office at 540-829-9555

Tom Seay

Upcoming Trail Rides & Events
Nov 11-13
Camp McClellan, AL
Cattle Drives at Andora Farm
Daniel Boone Days and Harvest Farm Tours
Join us in Culpeper, Virginia!
Andora Farm will be hosting their 4th Annual Daniel Boone Days over the weekend of Sept 19th-20th. Along with this event, Andora Farm will also be a part of the 23rd Annual Culpeper Harvest Days/Farm Tours. Andora Farm will be among numerous farms that will be visited by at least 2,000 visitors over the weekend.
Daniel Boone Days will host a variety of vendors with crafts such as basket weaving, soap making, old time Blacksmith forging and so much more. 
New this year: Apple Pie baking contest! Bring your best pie and compete for our First Place prize. All are welcome to watch the judges taste the pies and declare a winner. If you wish to participate in baking an Apple Pie for the contest, please let Karen know at  for details.
Be sure to mark your calendar and join Tom and Pat Seay of BOABH at Andora Farm for this exciting event.
The Dandy Saddle Valet
Product Spotlight:
The Dandy Saddle Valet
My wife is only 5'2" and has trouble getting her saddle in and out of our horse trailer. I usually help her out, but now with the new Dandy Saddle Valet, she doesn't need any assistance, as it automatically lowers the saddle out of the trailer.
I can't say enough good things about this innovative product.
-Tom Seay

  Take a look at this new product that will make loading and unloading your saddles much easier.
The Dandy Saddle Valet is a Best of America by Horseback Rider Tested and Recommended Product. 
Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis,
or EPM
by Nancy Spoolstra, DVM
The Cause and Symptoms of EPM

Have you ever seen the Facebook post from the “Save the Possums” group, describing how valuable opossums can be? For instance, the article touts the fact that opossums eat many insects. Would you like fewer ticks around your barn? Feed an opossum! The trouble is, you may already be feeding your barn guest if you leave cat food out for your legitimate residents. Even more ominously, you might be increasing your horses’ risk of contracting Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis, or EPM.
I currently live in a barndominium, where my house and barn share the same roof. My horses’ shelter is an overhang off the back of the barn. Therefore, I don’t have to rely upon my stalls for their shelter. In the past, the stall doors had to remain open. That scenario allowed wildlife access to my barn. More than once, I found “possum poop” on my square hay bales. Additionally, I went through a lot of cat food above and beyond what my felines ate.


I spent the summers of 2013 and 2014 living in Estes Park, Colorado. I had two horses and a mini at the time. Kadeen, my grey Arabian, and Java, a Quarter horse, were my two riding buddies. One day, at the end of a “normal” mountain ride, Java simply collapsed with my friend on board. We were about a mile from the trailer, but thankfully, in an area where I could bring the trailer to Java. We met up with the local equine vet. A massive series of tests ensued, with no certain diagnosis. I hauled Java back to Kansas, but not before installing a camera in the trailer. I had no idea if he would be able to handle the trip.

Ultimately, he was diagnosed with EPM, although that is a difficult diagnosis to confirm. In a subsequent blog, I will describe Java’s outcome, but first, what is EPM?

The cause of EPM

A protozoan parasite causes EPM. There are two variations of the protozoan, although one is more often implicated in the disease. This parasite falls into the same class as Toxoplasmosis, the protozoa that can be shed by cats. Toxoplasmosis can create serious issues in pregnant women. Thus, doctors often warn moms-to-be to avoid cleaning the kitty litter box.

The infective stage of the parasite is called a sporocyst. It is shed in the opossum’s feces. But here’s the thing… some horses can ingest the sporocyst and develop an adequate immune response before the organism gets the upper hand. Those horses appear to be able to resist the infection. Alternatively, other horses, especially those under additional stress, cannot keep the organism in check. These horses will eventually develop symptoms, although it can sometimes be months or years before signs develop.

Symptoms of EPM

The sporocysts migrate into the nervous system where they wreak their havoc. Symptoms are related to where the sporocysts land. Typically, symptoms are asymmetrical, meaning the signs of disease are more prominent on one side of the horse. Unfortunately, EPM is often called “The Great Impostor” because symptoms can mimic many other diseases.
The brain, brainstem, and spinal cord comprise the nervous system. Spinal cord involvement might create a horse lame in one leg. Brain and brainstem involvement looks more frightening and might result in a horse that is wobbly or unable to stand. A horse might have difficulty swallowing or show evidence of facial paralysis. Due to the lack of nerve function, muscle atrophy occurs, resulting in significantly decreased muscle mass. The muscles of the topline and the large muscles of the hindquarters are most often affected. Additionally, sensory loss might occur. The video at the top of this article shows a horse with ataxia, which means loss of total control of body movements.

The symptoms vary widely and are dependent on several factors. These include the location of the protozoan, the number of organisms involved, the time between infection and treatment, and the overall stress level of the horse.

In next week’s blog, I will describe treatment options. Furthermore, I will tell you about a DVM/Ph.D. researcher who has her own theories about EPM. It was that vet that I turned to when Java became ill. I opted to follow her approach, and my horse got better. I did receive grief from my colleagues about not using the (not so) tried-and-true FDA approved approach. But more on that later…

Read more on Nancy's blog.
Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch
A Note from Candice
By Candice Gully, Director of Ranch Life

Editor’s note: The Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch is a 501c3 non-profit organization that provides housing, guidance and support for girls who are homeless or abused. The Girls Ranch recently received Best of America By Horseback’s Liz Malcolm Award, an award given to someone who has demonstrated outstanding compassion and dedication to helping others.
 Hey BOABH Famly:
I hope y’all are all staying safe and healthy! We are all doing well at the ranch. The girls are a little stir crazy, from not being able to go to school and see their friends. However, they are staying busy with activities we have going on at the ranch. There are girls riding horses almost everyday. 

We received the coupons today for horse feed donatated by Seminole Feed. That has been so helpful in helping with our senior feed, which gets expensive fast. We have found a small feed store near by that carries the Seminole brand.

We have ventured on some nice trail rides, just the staff, girls, the horses, and nature! What better way to implement social distancing that from the backside of a horse. Thank you for your consistent support and prayers.  Your families are in our prayers.
For the children,

As a non-profit, we are dependent upon donations and support from our community.

Checks can be made payable to:
Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch
174 Samford Dr. Camphill, AL
Camp Hill, AL 36850

Questions? 256 896-4864/Cell
Priefert Horse Stalls
Priefert’s Premier Stalls have been a mainstay in the equine industry for decades. Our Premier Stalls offer horse owners practical solutions for creating a safe, functional environment for their valued animals.

There are different options to choose from to suit your barn’s needs. The stall features an attractive brown powder coat finish to help the stall resist rust, scratches, and fading, adding years of life to your investment. Choose wood construction or impact-resistant poly.

No tools are required for assembly. Our stall fronts and panels join using simple pin connectors. A starter post is required for stall setup when you are not connecting to a wall or other existing structure (starter post sold separately). Priefert Premier Stall Fronts are available in 10’ and 12’ lengths.

Hundreds of the top equine professionals around the world and in every equine discipline choose our horse stalls because the only thing more reliable than a Priefert stall is the company that stands behind it.
Caring for one another. . .
by Del Shields,
BOABH Guest Co-Host, Poet & Western Singer/Songwriter
Editor’s Note: Del appears on many Best of America by Horseback episodes performing his original cowboy music. With years of rodeo bareback riding experience, Del sings the ballads of the cowboy life with authenticity. Last month we explored Del's early years. This month he shares his more recent work.
Dear friends, what a joy it is to be able to interact with you through this article from here at the High Trail Ranch in Kansas. All of us have been affected by the onset of a world wide impact. However, it has not kept us from thinking about one another, caring about one another and loving one another. 
The bonds we have built through our horses and mules is lasting and durable. In addition, we have great anticipation of when we can join one another on the trails again. In corresponding with many of my friends, the conversation has been of campfires, trails and saddleback interaction.
I continue in my respect and love for what Tom and Pat do in leading the charge to keep people on their horses and on the trails living their dream. As they continue to set future plans for Best Of America by Horseback events, it gives us all hope, that what we are going through is only temporary.
How's your horse? Have you spent more time with your paddock pal since you're home more? Though I have been on the go as much as ever with my contractor business, I have taken the time to spend time with Misty, my Blue Roan filly, who is now three and riding well.
Ol' Naked is nursing a sore leg. He is now fifteen and looking great. However, we are looking forward to getting him past his present injury. Hopefully, your animals are healthy, happy and keeping you in great spirits.
 I continue to write a cowboy poem each week for some local newspapers in my hometown area. I'll close with sharing my most recent writing. I hope you enjoy it and God Bless.
(Del Shields)
They carried to battle.
They bore wounded home.
They're written of in history books,
From Germany to Rome.
They helped to build this world we know.
They helped to till the land.
They are talked of in the Bible,
As a help God gave to man.
Their strength and stealth, we marvel at.
In awe we watch their feats.
Then in beauty, we watch them prance,
Parading down the streets.
In heights and builds from small to great,
They fill our paddocks wide.
And deep down on the canyon floor,
They run in rhythmic stride.
They stand in stalls designed for Kings.
They harness to the plow.
They prance about to cheering crowds. 
They trail the renegade cow.
They were made in the beginning.
They will be here in the end.
They are honored for their labor.
They are cherished as our friend.
A few if us are truly blessed,
To share with them our course.
This wondrous beast God gave to us.
We know him as the horse.

If interested in acquiring any of my work, I can be contacted at: or text or phone 620-433-1819.

Look for one of Del's poems in our next issue!
Valley of Peace Christian School
Update from Belize
For the past five years, Best of America by Horseback family has been supportive to Valley of Peace Christian School and we are so grateful for all they have done for our students. With the inspiration and assistance received, our students have excelled academically and in sports at the national level. Our school has received awards from the ministry of education for outstanding performance on the Primary School Examination administered at the end of grade eight. Our female football team is currently the country's champs! None of these great achievements would have been possible without the moral support and financial contributions given by the Best of America by Horseback family. 
We have been blessed with Bibles having names of students printed in them, a projector, microscope, a keyboard, a guitar and school supplies. Our football teams got a donation of football shoes and food and traveling expenses have been covered. Many students whose parents cannot pay the school tuition have been given the financial assistance.  
In addition, our school children have been actively engaged in a school garden. This garden was actually inaugurated on Tom's first visit to our school. At that time it was just a piece of land. Tom embraced the project and it was adopted by Best of America by Horseback family. Tools and seeds were donated at that stage. Later we have received donations to fence the garden, buy more seeds, tools, a water tank and to install potable water.  
Five students who were supported by Best of America by Horseback family graduated from high school. Some of these students graduated with honors and their parents are so grateful for the financial assistance given to pay school tuition and even to buy textbooks and school supplies.  
Despite all the achievements, we continue to have challenges, but with hard work, dedication and all the support from Best of America by Horseback family we can overcome any obstacle and provide quality education to our students. We are kindly requesting your continuous support in any way possible to continue reaping success!
A million thanks to all donors and we pray for abundant blessings on you and your family.  
Jose Duenas
Want to help?
Contact or contact Tom Seay at .
100% of your donations will be wired directly to Jose in Belize. BOABH pays all wire fees.
Additional Protection for Shod Horses
By Carole Herder
You can use Cavallo Hoof Boots to protect your shod horse too. Some think Cavallo Hoof Boots are only used for the barefoot horse, but Cavallos are also popular for shod horses for a variety of reasons:
  Protecting the Shod Hoof
-          For those who compete or show their horses, Cavallo Boots can be used during turnout to protect shoes from coming off before an event
-          For any horse that’s prone to losing shoes, Cavallos can be worn to prevent costly, unplanned calls to the farrier and/or unnecessary injury
-          In the case of a shod horse going through hoof rehabilitation, Cavallos can be worn over metal shoes to offer additional comfort and full protection during healing
Extra Protection on All Terrain
-          While metal against rock or hard ground can cause vibration that can be harmful to your horse’s structure, using Cavallos over metal shoes minimizes the direct contact that produces shock. The shock absorbing boot soles take up much of impact.
-          Cavallo Boots worn over metal shoes gives full hoof protection to your horse and prevents chipping, stone bruising or any sensitivity on gravel or stony ground
-          On dry, hard Summer ground, Cavallo Boots provide a cushion to protect the hoof against tenderness and/or pain
Of course, Cavallos also make a perfect “spare tire” for a shoe lost while on a trail
For more information, please click here to see the video report by Dr. Jennifer Gill and Gabriella Lynn of the Western Kentucky University Equine Sciences department, citing the results of their 2019 study regarding the effect of Cavallo Hoof Boots on reducing hoof pressure.       

Taking the Shock out of Jumping
  Cavallo Boots are proven to absorb impact and minimize pressure on the hoof. For a horse that is jumping repetitively with the additional weight of a rider, the reduction in hoof pressure offered by Cavallo soles can add up to a lot of relief in the short AND long term.
 Wise Words from Dr. Robert Bowker
  "Is Barefoot Better? The blood in horses' feet does much more than provide nutrients to hoof tissues. It also enables the unshod foot to function as a hydraulic system, in much the same way that gel-filled athletic shoes do. We need to be trimming hooves so that more of the back part of the foot -- including the frog -- bears the initial ground impact forces and weight. Horseshoes provide a much smaller surface area to absorb shock. So, if a bare hoof landing after a jump experiences, say, 1,000 pounds of loading per square foot, then with a traditional shoe, there's going to be 2,000 pounds per square foot."
- Dr. Robert Bowker, DVM - From Horse & Rider, Feb. 2006
Inspiring Stories from the Shod-and-Booted:
  "Hello, just wanted to let you know we are so pleased with our Cavallo Trek Boots! Our horse used to throw a front shoe at least once or twice a month. We tried every bell boot available, to no avail. Last Winter, he wound up tearing off his shoe and clipping the heel of his front foot so badly that he needed daily bandaging and stall rest for two months.
I spoke with Krystle at Cavallo and she suggested we try Cavallo Trek Boots. They've worked out perfectly; he has not thrown a shoe since. We use them for turnout. He’s gone through deep snow and thick, sticky mud, yet he always comes with his boots and, most importantly, his SHOES ON as well. Love the quality of boots, durability through all conditions and the fantastic service we got from Cavallo. Would highly recommend the boots as an overboot for shod horses, certainly worked out well for us!"
- Diane V., Ontario Canada
Boots over Metal Shoes? YEP!

"Tommy, my paint, is 24 years young and loves going places to ride. We left him at home for a year before we found these boots. He is so glad to be out riding again! Tommy has VERY tender soles. He wears metal horseshoes, but I put Treks (with pads to protect the Treks), on him to ride trails. They have been great! They stay on, and he never gets poked or becomes lame now. Thank you for a great product!"
- Jamie Doup
Did you know Cavallo has designed a special pad to help protect Cavallo soles from metal shoes and keep your boots lasting for ages? The Cavallo Protection Pads are made of a Kevlar-type material: /
Cavallo Hoof Boots
This Month's Giveaway Winner!
Suzie Wilson

is the May-June 2020 Winner of
one pair of Trek Hoof Boots from

How to Win:
To enter to win your own pair of Trek Hoof Boots, email Lisa your name and state with the subject line "Enter Me to Win!"
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