Stable Sheet | February 2018
Stable Sheet - February 2018
An American Legacy - The Morgan Horse
From Your Board of Directors
President's Message
It is the beginning of a new year. Along with setting goals and planning the budget, it is a good time to take a look at all the things that MHAO has to offer.

This Stable Sheet issue not only updates you on what is going on, but also outlines for you all the various programs available to you. Take a look. You might be surprised.

Many people consider MHAO to only be for those that show their horses, but it is much more than that. MHAO acts as an advocate for the Morgan breed in Oregon - all Morgans & their owners no matter what they do or don't do. The club has several programs that are there to serve those that do NOT attend formal shows.

Promotion of the Morgan breed is of prime importance if the breed is to survive. To do that, we need members. We need the funds they provide by paying dues, their voice, and their help if they are able to give it. Help the club to find and recruit people who want to be part of the Morgan community. Join in and help us get the word out about this fantastic horse and about the Morgan Horse Associaion of Oregon.

Remember - if you are a member of MHAO and you sell a Morgan to a non-member, that person is eligible to become a member free of charge for the year of purchase. Our goal is to earn their membership on an ongoing basis, but we need the information the application form requests so we can introduce the club to them effectively. See Section 3 to download an application form. Have them complete the form and send it into the Membership Chair. It is also available on our club website.

This is your club! Help it grow!
We invite you to be involved and share your voice
on behalf of this wonderful breed.

Gay Adams, MHAO President

Mission Statement for your Board of Directors:
"To promote & preserve the Morgan Breed, serve MHAO members, & support the Unity of the Morgan community."
January 17, 2018
Board Meeting Minutes - Draft
Met via conference call
Meeting called to order at 7:37pm
Present: Gay Adams, Margaret Korver, Martha Woodland, Karen Breckenridge, Nancy Eidam, Carol Dombrowsky, Erin Silver, David Silver, Kathy Christensen, and Erica Trager
Not Present:   Leanne Roth, John Shaver, Diane Pixlee
Quorum Present

Purpose of meeting is for committee chairs to share plans for the year with the Board and to set their budget for the year. 
Gay announced that Erica Trager is interested in joining the Board and is willing to be the Chair of the Hi-Point Committee. Martha Woodland made a motion to approve adding Erica Trager to the board. Kathy Christensen seconded. Approved. Erica joined the meeting right after the vote.

Minutes for 11/12/17 General Meeting were previously approved via email & published in the Stable Sheet newsletter. They were provided to the Board for their reference prior to this meeting.

Board Info & changes:
Gay reviewed all Board contact info, discussed meeting dates & committee assignments. Normal meetings appear to work best on the 3 rd Wednesday of each month with Board Members present. Spring Clinic in March, June meeting follows OMC, and the Award Banquet in November are exceptions. Some meetings are optional. There is normally no meeting in October. Gay will check with Leanne Roth who indicated possible conflict with this meeting schedule. We will discuss the schedule again at our February meeting. 

Martha agreed to head up the OMC & Award Banquet Silent Auctions, and offered to help with the OMC show. Nancy will contact her after the meeting. Erin agreed to Chair Education. We still need a Stable Sheet editor and an event planner for the two General membership meetings. Erica will Chair the Hi-Point committee under the tutelage of Margaret. Nancy & Diane will help on awards on Erica’s committee. 

Gay asked all Board Members to read & sign a Code of Conduct form and mail or email them to Gay. Gay reviewed the code of conduct form with the board. This is a new procedure that has come out of our new Policy & Procedure manual which was approved last year.  
Gay went over how the internal audit works for the club and asked if the internal audit of our finances had been started. An internal review is required each year per our By-Laws. A formal audit by a CPA can be completed as deemed necessary and funds allow. One of the goals of the internal audit needs to be to make sure that funds are in the correct accounts between the general accounts (checking & savings together), the OMC account, the Futurity account, and the Restricted Fund account from the Nancy Falk Trust donation. Karen will contact John Shaver who is chair of that committee and get it going. The internal Audit is needed so we are doing our due diligence to protect club funds.
Financial report as of 12/31/2017 - Karen Breckenridge
$8,603 general checking account
$2,947 futurity account
$15,200 Nancy Falk Trust Donation – Restricted Funds
$10,595 OMC account 
$25,485 general savings account
Total after reconciliations $63,197
Net income to date is $385 for the fiscal year

Committee reports:
For this meeting we will follow a slightly different format. Committee Chairs are to talk about their plans for the year and to request the budget they need to accomplish it. Budget will be altered if needed and approved after all committees have made their presentation to the Board.
OMC - Nancy Eidam
Show dates are June 20-23, 2018 at the Oregon Horse Center in Eugene. Adding Saddlebreds, Open Classes, & Opportunity Classes. All officials have been hired. Working on show schedule. We want to get the premium book out as early as possible. Beginning to work with the Saddlebred group now. We want to be good host to the Saddlebred community. We will be asking the Saddlebred community to openly support our show with sponsorships, etc. For our part we want them to feel like they are a part of the show. The committee is working with the Youth Committee on plans for all youth at the show. The committee is also working on creating better signage for OMC. 
Current goal is 90 Morgans & 60 Saddlebreds at the show. Morgan numbers are expected to be different from last year since it is not a Regional show and there are again two shows in Oregon. We are looking for ways to offer an incentive for people to come to our show. Effort is being focused on keeping exhibitor costs down as much as we can. 
One challenge is that there are a limited number of permanent stalls at the facility. We are looking at charging a lower amount for stalls & entries prior to the close date than we do afterward (going back to post entry fees).   Tack stalls may have a higher fee than horse stalls. Goal is for people to be frugal on ordering extra stalls & to get them to get entries in early. We think we will need to add portable stalls this year. Portable stalls cost us twice as much as the permanent stalls.  Nancy requests another 30 days to present a more comprehensive budget. 
Budget estimate is currently set for breakeven. Nancy will give us a better estimate with the February meeting.
Hi-Point – Awards – Erica Trager, Margaret Korver
Gay questioned what goes into Working Western category and how it is calculated. Per discussion, categories might need to be reviewed. Discussion followed on how placing information is found. Some sources only list the first 4 placings. Suggestion was to work directly with show secretaries so the information is complete. It was also suggested that shows we tally automatically be made more evident in the info we provide on our Hi-Point system, and that in order for other shows to count – we make exhibitors more aware that they need to send in information on their placings, etc. 
Margaret brought up the importance of members letting the Hi-Point chair know about any horse leases that are in place.   Those leases also need to be on file thru AMHA. She also mentioned that in the past, the state of our membership database has been a hinderance for the Hi-Point tabulation. The state of our Membership base has been a challenge for several years, but we have a good handle on it starting now. 
Gay advised life circumstances got in the way of having our awards at the 2017 Award Banquet. All awards have now been sent to the 2017 winners previously announced. 
Hi-Point Committee request is to increase Award budget from $1,000 to $1,500. 
Education – Erin Silver
Spring Clinic subject is alternative medical care. Erin trying to reach her Vet who specializes in chiropractic, etc. She is working with David Silver & Lorraine Beaumont. Also looking at if should be a hands on training with horses present or if it should be a video presentation. Vet has been ill. If it doesn’t come together we will look at an alternate subject. Gay asked for final info prior to February 1 st so we can get info out to the members and a large spread in the Stable Sheet. 
Goal for the committee is to have subjects lined up over at least a 3 yr period so we can be more prepared with adequate time for more promotion of the events (both for Spring Clinic and the Award Banquet, and any other educational events we want to have). Where possible we would like to interest non-members in coming. Maybe we can make our clinics into fund raisers for the club. Non-members pay more than members to attend. Ranch Pleasure was mentioned as an alternative subject or future subject. 
We have a tentative reservation at Hayden’s Grill for the Spring Clinic. Per Karen, location decision needs to be made soon or we will need to make a non-refundable deposit at Hayden’s Grill.
Gay mentioned the Spring Clinic also has a General Membership Meeting and the location needs to accommodate the Stallion Service Auction. Cell phone reception is critical and needs to be kept under consideration when choosing a location. We also need tables to put out auction info. Gay asked Board for volunteers to help with the SSA phone in bidders. Tabled phone assistance until next meeting.
Traditionally, food costs at our Spring Clinic & Award Banquet are subsidized by MHAO with MHAO members paying on average about half of what it costs for food. 
Budget for Spring Clinic & Award Banquet together has been $1,500 (to cover facility, food, and speakers). Same amount requested for 2018.
Stallion Service Auction – Gay Adams
Per Gay, running behind at getting stallions in due to a late start. Goal is 24 stallions and we only have 14. Nominations close January 31 st .  Like Nancy, Gay needs another 30 days to make a more reasonable budget estimate. 
Current estimate is income to the club general fund of $3,500, up from $3,000 budget last year. That is a net figure after expenses and after the 60% to the club/40% to the Futurity split. It represents the 60% figure. Actual net income for General Fund last year with 20 stallions was $5,142. Looks like we will have fewer stallions this year.
Futurity – Gay Adams
Futurity funds are kept separate from all other MHAO funds. Goal is to payout as much as possible in prize money. Therefore, the budget is always $0 for the club. Goal is to increase the number of nominated horses from 52 to 60 by the end of 2019. Another goal is to increase prize payouts from $4,250 to $5,000. Long term goal for prize payout is $10,000, but to get there we will need to do more fundraising for the Futurity. Our mission is to keep nomination fees low so that more people will participate. We also want to create as many different ways as we can for multiple participants to win money rather than to create one large pot. Payouts are determined by the amount that is brought in. The Futurity has been a successful tool in adding members to our club and to bringing people to OMC to show their futurity horses & enter other classes.
Budget at breakeven. 
Promotion – Kathy Christensen
Kathy is looking at a possible membership drive, participation in the NW Horse Expo, helping MHCWS with the Washington State Horse Expo, repeating the Day of the Morgan event which was very successful, and maybe having an open barn day. She is considering other activities as well. People have been very supportive and she hopes that will continue to help subsidize our printing costs, etc. Shelley Bullard is creating a new 2018 sales list that we will have at all MHAO events & promotions. It will also be included in the Stable Sheet and on our website. 
Last year’s budget was $500 from the club plus use of the AMHA grant for $300. Kathy has applied for another promotion grant. We are waiting to hear if one will be granted and for what amount.  
Budget request is $500 plus whatever amount is received from AMHA Grant. We are projecting a $300 grant, so a total of $800 is earmarked for promotion expense.
Membership & Membership Directory – Kathy Christensen
Much work has been done to learn how to operate the database and to bring it current. Kathy is ready to go.  So far we have received 74 renewals providing $1,860 in income for the club. Kathy is getting ready to send out reminders. That has not been done for at least 3 yrs. Several Board members are not current yet and Kathy asks that they get their information & dues in. 
Kathy plans to do a membership drive. She will be ready at Expo’s to have people complete a membership form on the spot rather than following up with them later. She will also look to recruit members who used to belong, or who want to support the breed whether they have a Morgan currently or not. As stated earlier, Shelley Bullard is creating a new 2018 sales list which we will hand out at all our promotional & club events.
The 2016-2017 Directory is about to go to press. Estimated printing cost is $700 after the application of a 35% discount from our printer which we can utilize on one publication per year because we are registered with them as a non-profit.
In 2017 we received $2,271 in membership dues, well below our $3,000 goal.  
Kathy requests that we stay with a budget of $3,000 income from membership for 2018 and that we keep our budget for the directory at a $700 expense.
Ride/Drive Program – Carol Dombrowsky presented in Leanne Roth’s absence.
Leanne & Carol are working on badges for this program which will be given to participants when they reach different milestones. Initial enrollment is $15.  People do not need to pay an enrollment fee again unless they drop their MHAO membership.
Leanne & Carole are requesting a net budget expense of $500 this year for the purchase of badges to get the program going.
Open Incentive Program – Carol Dombrowsky
Use of this reimbursement program in 2017 was $175 against a budgeted expense of $300. Carol plans to promote the program more. She requests that the budget remain at $300. If more is needed she will come back to the Board.
Budget request is an expense of $300.
Website & Stable Sheet – Gay Adams
Both of these funtions are being delivered via the internet or email. Cost of the website should be offset by ads sold for the Stable Sheet. 
Budget request is $0
Nancy Falk Restricted Fund Account – Gay Adams reporting
A donation of $15,200 was made from the Nancy Falk Trust with funds to be dedicated to two things. 
(1) The $200 amount is to go toward a perpetual award for hi-point color horse at OMC with an additional $500 to be used as prize money. Originally it was to be drawn at $500 each year over a 15 year period (until $7,500 was spent). That has been changed to 14 years as there will likely be some minor expenses each year for engraving, etc.
(2) The other $7,500 is to be drawn at $500 per year and to be used in support of the Youth of the Year program until it is used up. It should last 15 years.
These are restricted funds and cannot be used for anything else.
Budget is $500 prize money for hi-point color horse at OMC, & $500 to be spent on Youth of the Year. Plus this year an expense of whatever it costs us to get the awards for the color horse set up. Funds will be drawn from the restricted fund account offsetting our expense.
Budget is $0.
Youth – Gay Adams for Diane Pixlee
Diane is focusing on better awards for our youth for their participation in Youth of the Year. She wants to give them more of an incentive to be involved. There will be a youth activity table at OMC as well as other activities. She is looking at educational activities thru the year before the show to help prepare our youth for the competition. Activities will follow the YOY outline from AMHA, might include cyber show activities, etc. Diane is still doing a lot of investigation on the possibilities. At OMC we will have activities going on for Morgan youth, for Saddlebred youth, and to bring the two groups together. 
Budget needs to cover the $500 from the Nancy Falk Trust donation and $400 to cover the OMC YOY Reimbursement Scholarship we offer to our YOY winner if they go to OKC & represent us there. The club wants to support our youth as well.
Budget request is $1,000 from the club (and Diane will be able to use the $500 contribution from the Nancy Falk Trust).   
If everyone gets their budget request and we add in a President’s fund of $150 and fixed costs of $2,000, our net budget will be a negative $1,650.

We cannot go forward with a negative budget goal. All Board members are to look at their budgets, Nancy & Gay will finalize their budgets for the OMC show and the Stallion Service Auction. We will then adjust the budget so it is positive and then vote on it. 

Our 3-5 yr business plan needs to be updated before our next meeting based on the plans presented. Please look at your section and plot it out. Committee Chairs are to send their changes to Gay.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:45pm.
Next meeting Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 7:30PM via conference call.
Respectfully submitted,
Martha Woodland, MHAO Secretary
2017 Hi-Point Awards Are Out!
Congratulations to All
Our Hi-Point Winners
Bridle Bags, Breyer Horses, & Plaques

Click here to see the 2017 Hi-Point winners
(previously posted in the December issue)
Anne Margaret Korver
Margaret has resigned from the MHAO Board of Directors. She has served on our Board since 2015, has been a long time volunteer, and was one of the people who stepped forward to help me on more than one occasion when family issues pulled me away.

We thank Margaret for her service and wish her the very best. We are hopeful that she will remain active on the various committees she has been on, and that she will continue to serve as a coach to Erica Parker-Trager on the
Hi-Point Committee.

Margaret, we look forward to seeing you at MHAO events.

Thank you for your service Margaret!

Gay Adams, MHAO President

Do You Know All The Programs
Your Club Offers?
This edition of your Stable Sheet
includes information on MHAO Programs
MHAO High Point Program
The High Point Award Banquet will be held
Sunday, November 11th, 2018
In combination with a General Membership Meeting
as well as Education or Entertainment
Save the Date!
More information will follow.

We will be re-evaluating our High Point Categories this year.
Any changes will be reported to you thru the
Stable Sheet & the club's Facebook page.

If you have suggestions, please contact
Erica Parker Trager, Hi-Point Chair, (360) 216-6424

Click here to download the Hi-Point Program
Click here to download the Jr. Exhibitor Declaration Form
Click here to download the Non-Jr. Exhibitor Declaration Form
2018 Oregon Morgan Classic Horse Show
Showcasing Morgan Horses &
American Saddlebred Horses
June 20-23, 2018 - Eugene Oregon
Oregon Horse Center
USEF Approved "A" Rated Show

USEF Judge: Lyle Wick, Hugo MN
Dressage Judge: Donna Richardson, San Marcos CA
Working Western Judge: Susan Muir, Lynwood WA

Email Show Secretary, Kelly McFall, to be on the show premium mailing list:
Excitement is building for the
2018 Oregon Morgan Classic.

This year the show will offer classes for Morgans, Saddlebreds, OTAB, Academy, Opportunity, and miscellaneous fun classes .

The Junior Exhibitor and Equitation sections as well as Youth activities have been expanded. Lots of "extras" are added this year to make this a "super show" for the entire family and fun loving exhibitors.

Mark your calendar for June 20-23, 2018 and plan on being in
Eugene at the Oregon Horse Center.

The show premium booklet will be ready
in early March.
Send your request to be on the mailing list to .

If you enjoyed the 2017 show, you will really like the
2018 Oregon Morgan Classic!

See you there!
Nancy Eidam, Show Chair - (541) 561-6644
Look What's New!
New Color Horse Award at OMC & an
Expanded Youth of the Year Program
Starting in 2018
$500 To Be Awarded
To The Highest Scoring Color Morgan
Competing At The Oregon Morgan Classic

MHAO Budget for Youth
of the Year Expanded

MHAO has received a donation of $15,000 from the Nancy Falk Trust to be used as follows: $500 per year for 15 years will be used to support the MHAO Youth of the Year program (to a total of $7,500), and $500 per year less award costs (to a total of $7,500) will continue for approximately 14 years to provide a new perpetual award with prize money to the highest scoring color Morgan at the Oregon Morgan Classic. Both will continue until the funds are fully disbursed.

Morgan horses eligible for the colored Morgan perpetual award shall be registered with the AMHA as a palomino, grey, pinto, buckskin, cremello, or perlino. Variations such as in eye color and/or the presence of a splash gene will not count as a horse of color.

The color award will go to the Morgan horse entered that wins the colored Morgan high point tabulation for the OMC show. There will be a perpetual award maintained on behalf of the club, a smaller award for the winner to keep plus prize money as previously stated.

Points will be calculated as follows: Five points for first, three for second, and then one point for placing in each class entered. No class will be double counted. If the class is a Championship class, points earned will be doubled.
Classes can be of any type.

The donation funds received will be restricted to be used for these two purposes only.

More information will follow soon on the Youth of the Year expansion.
We will be creating an enrollment form for the OMC Colored Morgan competition to go out in the premium booklet.
The funds for Youth of the Year and for the OMC Colored Morgan Horse Award are granted in memory of Nancy Falk.
Nancy Falk riding Gwen
MHAO Stallion Service Auction
Watch our website for more additions of stallions
as well as "Other Items"

Thank you to all our Donors & Bidders!

All Stallions and Other Items must have an opening bid
to be included in the final bid-off on March 17th

If you cannot attend the event, you must be pre-registered
to be included by phone in the final bidding.

Click here to get pre-registered
Click here to download a bid form
Get connected to our Stallion Service Auction Facebook Page:

For Questions or Assistance
Contact Gay Adams, Stallion Service Auction Chair
(503) 936-4276 -

Phone Team Needed
Saturday, March 17, 2018
Looking for volunteers to help man
the phones
for the Stallion Service Auction.

Contact Gay Adams
(503) 936-4276
Save The Date
Saturday, March 17, 2018
Noon - 5pm
Come Learn More About the
ELD Mandate & How It Will Affect the
Horse Industry
(More information will follow on our speaker)
Lunch & Networking
12pm - 1pm
General Membership Meeting
1pm - 2pm
Spring Clinic
2pm - 3pm
MHAO Stallion Service Auction
& Silent Auction
Bid off starts at 3pm
Everyone Welcome!
Come One! Come All!
Good Food, Good Info, Good Friends

Non-Members $25 - MHAO & MHCWS Members $15
18 & Under $5
Event Cost subsidized by MHAO

Hayden's Lakefront Grill, Tualatin OR just West off I-5
Tualatin-Sherwood Rd Exit
8187 Southwest Tualatin-Sherwood Road
Tualatin OR 97062
Connected to the Century Hotel for those needing lodging

RSVP to Karen Breckenridge -
(503) 580-4716 - call or text
MHAO Breeders' Cup Futurity
Click here to download the Futurity Rules.
Click here to download a Futurity Nomination Form for a 2018 Foal

For other Futurity forms or assistance
Contact Gay Adams
(503) 936-4276,
MHAO Trail Ride/Drive Program
Click here to download an enrollment form
Click here to download the Ride/Drive Program Rules
Click here to download a log form

Questions - contact Leanne Roth
(541) 619-7395,
Trailer Hitch Safety
Shared by Sandra Nichols

Today, I would like to cover two of the most important safety features on your horse trailer that are almost always overlooked. Your Emergency Breakaway Cable and your Safety Chains!

When hooking up your living quarters gooseneck you probably don't think twice about the safety chains and the emergency breakaway cable. But these two features are a lifesaver for both you and your horses when they work correctly.
I am sharing this with you because there is so much bad information floating around the towing community about how these parts are supposed to work. I can't tell you how many times someone has said to me "The breakaway cable is only for when the safety chains break and the trailer completely separates away from the tow vehicle".

Absolutely nothing could be farther from the truth!

When a gooseneck trailer is connected to the tow vehicle with the correct length safety chains and breakaway cable, the two work in tandem to ensure the trailer comes to a safe and controlled stop. This is done by performing two essential tasks. Signaling the braking system on the trailer and keeping the trailers gooseneck coupler in the bed of the tow vehicle.
My F450 is equipped with a factory installed gooseneck hitch. Both Ford and RAM trucks utilize the Reese "Elite" hitch. The Elite gooseneck hitch has four locations where safety chains can be attached. Two forward of the coupler and two just behind it. The four potential mounting points of this hitch allow you to add an additional mount for a dedicated emergency breakaway cable mount. A dedicated mount will ensure your emergency brakes engage even if the mounts for the safety chains fail.

In the second picture you can see the coupler has been lowered to the bed level and the safety chains have reached their limit without pulling the pin from the emergency breakaway switch.
Here a view from above showing the safety chain locations and the dedicated emergency breakaway cable mount. This breakaway cable is too long for it to actuate properly.
To determine the correct length for the emergency breakaway cable, measure from the breakaway switch to the mount. Make sure the coupler is lowered down to the truck bed and the safety chains are fully extended. This will tell you how long the breakaway cable will need to be in order to get it to pull from the switch. Subtract 1"-2" from the measurement so that it will engage just prior to the safety chains reaching their limits.
This shows you how much slack needed to be removed from the cable before it would actuate.
Once you have determined the correct length for the cable you need to buy a ferrule kit to crimp the cable. Ferrule kits are available from Lowes. This cable is a Fastway Zip cable and it requires a 3/32 ferrule. Lowes has ferrule kits of various sizes.
Using the swaging tool, crimp the ferrule tightly and then test the cable to ensure the crimp is good. Note the size markings on the left side of the swaging tool.
Once the pin has been pulled from the breakaway switch this should activate the brakes and you should hear the braking unit signing. Replace the plunger into the breakaway switch soon afterward as this process will discharge the battery very quickly.
Let's look at the anatomy of a gooseneck hitch failure.

There are three components that make up the hitch assembly that can fail. The under-bed hitch, the ball and the coupler on the trailer. Any failure of these components could result in the trailer de-coupling from the tow vehicle. A loose trailer could easily be deadly for those it might crash into and the equine passengers aboard.

To ensure this doesn't happen the trailer manufactures have built in two additional levels of safety. The first and foremost was the creation of the emergency breakaway cable and brake switch. This simple device actuates the trailer brakes and helps bring the trailer to a stop along with the help of the safety chains. The safety chains have ONE and only one purpose and that is to keep the gooseneck coupler from leaving the bed of the tow vehicle.
For this reason, the emergency breakaway cable needs to pull the pin out of the breakaway switch BEFORE the safety chains are fully engaged. This keeps tension on the safety chains and allows the trailer brakes to begin the process of slowing down the tow vehicle in a controlled manner.
Let's go back to the earlier myth of the "emergency breakaway system should engage only if the trailer should separate from the tow vehicle completely" statement.

Here is what would happen. If the safety chains were to snap and the emergency breakaway cable wasn't actuated until leaving the tow vehicle. Once clear of the tow vehicle the trailers jack stands would immediate hit the pavement and the violent deceleration would likely cause the trailer to roll to one side or the other. It's absolutely critical the trailer's coupler remain in the back of the tow vehicle and keep the front of the trailer from hitting the highway!

A few years ago, a good friend of mine had a trailer full of horses decouple with no safety chains or breakaway cable in place. The trailer rolled down the freeway embankment into someone's backyard, killing three of their four horses. It was a life altering event for them and the tears continued on for years afterward.

Having said that, horses have a much better chance of surviving an accident if the trailer stays in the upright position during an accident. Should a standard or reverse slant load trailer roll to the right, the horses inside roll over their backs. If they are able to scramble to their feet, they will likely be standing on what was the butt side wall and the low side of the dividers. If the trailer rolls to the left the horses roll face first into the feed manger and get tangled in the high side of the dividers.

Either way they risk having their necks or legs broken. Always use a breakaway tie if you tie your horses in. Keep in mind if you have a fixed rear tack / saddle compartment, its now horizontal and blocking the exit out. You can't climb under or over it. Your horses are trapped!

Stay with me for just a bit longer!

I have interviewed a number of people who have been in accidents with big living quarters trailers, including those that have rolled over. Consider the following, if you roll your trailer it doesn't matter if you have an escape door on the side of your trailer, it will either be trapped under the trailer or its now on the ceiling of the trailer. Either way you can't get horses out.

When first responders (Fire, Police) arrive the first thing they are going to do is to remove the propane tanks and foam any gas (Fuel) that may have spilled from your generator tank. The first rule in rescue is not to have to be rescued! So, they will make sure the situation is safe before attempting any kind of rescue.

Dont be surprised if emergency personnel refuse to go inside your horse trailer to rescue your horses. A scared or injured horse can easily kill someone during their flight / fight / panic ordeal. In cases such as these first responders will call in a veterinarian to sedate the horses so that they can begin rescue operations. Strangers in bright yellow suits, loud metal saws, sirens, flashing lights and metal tearing apart are all good reasons for a horse to panic and injure not only the rescuers but themselves.

The point is this . . . .
Here is how to ensure your setup is working correctly.
1) Hook up the truck and trailer and place it on level ground
2) Block the trailers wheels
3) Unlock the coupler
4) Put the jack stands down until the trailer clears the ball
5) Pull the truck a few inches forward to clear the ball
6) Lower the trailer down to approx. 2" above the truck bed
7) Ensure the safety chains are attached to the mounts
8) Ensure the breakaway cable is attached to a separate mount / location. One that is NOT used for the safety chains
9) Make sure your tailgate is DOWN!
10) Now pull forward slowly until you feel tension from the safety chains. Stop as they become taunt. (Don't slam the trailer and damage the jacks) Get a friend to help!
11) If the emergency breakaway cable did not pull from the breakaway switch you will need to look at shortening the cable until it does.
12) Once you have the emergency breakaway cable pulling out just before the safety chains engage you should pull the trailer, make tight turns and back the trailer to ensure the cable is not too short and pulling out or applying the brake inadvertently.
13) If it does you may have to relocate the breakaway mount until it functions correctly in both cases.
14) If you have more than one tow vehicle test them both!

I hope this clears up what these systems are for and I pray that you will take the time to check this on your truck and trailer for your sake and your horses. I hope to see you all on the road this summer!

Be safe!

Open Incentive Program
Click here to download the Open Incentive Form

Questions - Contact Carol Dombrowsky
(541) 821-2914 -
Is Your Horse at Risk of Choking?
An Educational Article from USEF
How and how often you feed can make a difference, says Dr. Luke Fallon of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. 

Choking —an obstruction in the esophagus, often involving food—can affect horses of any age or type. And it can be serious: a bad choke can cause potentially life-threatening secondary lung infection and can injure the esophagus.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to help prevent it in your horse or pony—and there are actions you can take during a choking episode, starting with an immediate call to your vet.

“All horses can be at risk,” said Dr. Luke Fallon of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, Ky. “Don’t mess around with a choke. It’s not something to sit on.”
Signs of Choking
Symptoms can vary, but signs of choke can include:

  • An appearance of distress or discomfort. 
“A lot of times they’ll be in obvious distress and have an increased respiratory rate,” Fallon said. They might lie down (or try to lie down).

  • Unusual or lower head carriage. 
“They’ll often hang their heads low, and they often will seem to be straining along the strap muscles in the neck,” said Fallon. “They might also flex their necks and tense up the strap muscles, and they might show signs that they’re having difficulty swallowing. Those can be early indicators.” The low head carriage is helpful, because it can help the horse clear the obstruction and reduce the chances he will aspirate material into his lungs, which can lead to pneumonia or other secondary infections. Fallon recommends letting the horse keep his head low; don’t tie the horse or elevate his head in hopes that the blockage will go down on its own.

  • Nasal and/or oral discharge. 
Many horses will drool from their mouths during a choking episode.  “In more advanced or pronounced cases, they’ll have nasal discharge,” Fallon said. “Your worry is that they will aspirate [inhale material, such as food particles and saliva, into the lungs]. You should always assume that a horse that has been choking for any period of time and has nasal discharge could have complications from aspiration, such as respiratory infections like pneumonia.”

  • Coughing or gurgling noises. 
“Odd oral noises, like a gurgling or growling sound, can be related to their trying to get that bolus of food to go one way or the other,” Fallon said.

  • A visible obstruction along the neck.
“Sometimes you can see the bolus of food along the neck and along the jugular groove,” said Fallon. “The esophagus is typically on the left side of the horse’s neck, although occasionally it will be translocated to the right side, but a lot of times if you watch your horse swallow normally when he eats, you’ll see that bolus migrate down the neck.”

In cases where the bolus is obvious, Fallon said he sometime suggests that the owner sedate the horse, apply a warm towel over the visible obstruction, and gently massage the area in attempt to break up the bolus. “But call your vet first,” he said. “You want to have a vet on the way.”

Your vet is likely to sedate the horse with acepromazine and/or an anti-spasmodic like hyoscine butylbromide (which can help relax the neck, lower the head to keep discharge flowing away from the lungs, and end spasms in the esophagus). Treatment can involve passing warm water through a nasogastric tube to try to gently flush the obstruction down into the stomach.

“A horse will have a propensity to repeat choking,” Fallon cautioned. That’s particularly true if the initial choke was severe or lasted a long time, which increases the potential for damage to the esophagus. "Keep your eye on that horse,” Fallon said. “And identify predisposing causes to try to prevent it from happening the first time.”

Risk Factors
There are a number things to consider when assessing your horse’s choke risk, including

  • Eating dry food
Depending on your horse’s location, the amount of dry food he eats can increase during the winter, when he might have less access to pastures with grass, which can provide a lot of moisture as he eats. “When they’re foraging on more dry matter and possibly not drinking as much, as they often are in many areas during the winter, we tend to see more chokes,” said Fallon.

  • Not drinking enough
This, too, can be more of a problem in the winter. “If you can, always keep a source of warm water to offer them,” Fallon said. “Horses on pasture don’t have to drink as much during the warm months, because they’re getting a lot of moisture out of that forage. But during the winter, you eliminate that. They’re often grazing on dry pasture and eating dry hay, and your feeding them sweet feed that has a modest moisture content. And in the winter, with the lower humidity, they’re losing even more moisture through their respiration. The only straight water intake is what they drink. “If you can feed them inside, you also can offer them electrolytes, which makes some horses want to drink more,” Fallon added. “I’ve had people add Gatorade or even Kool-Aid to get them to drink.”

  • Dental and age-related issues
Older horses often develop teeth issues that can contribute to choke, but young horses, too, can have problem teeth. “It can be a yearling that’s growing quickly and has sharp molars or who has a lot of competition for feed and bolts his food,” explained Fallon. “It can be a three-year-old who has caps on his premolars that need to be removed and is having trouble chewing his food completely.”

Also at higher risk of choking: weanlings whose diets are changing from milk they nurse to hard food or pasture grass that they eat. “If they’re kept in a group, they’re not only competing for their feed, but they might be nervous, and they’re also going from nursing somewhat to all hard feed,” Fallon explained. “They have less moisture intake in their diet, and they tend to gorge.”

In the older horse, missing or badly worn teeth are among the issues that can lead to poor chewing and choke. And a horse whose bite has changed, whether through tooth loss or through jaw or esophagus injury, can also be at increased risk for choke.

Fallon recommends having your vet check your horse’s teeth every six months from his yearling to his sixth year. “For older horses, an annual dental exam should be sufficient, unless the horse has an issue, like missing teeth or some alteration in its bite,” he said.

  • A prior case of choke
A long-lasting choke episode can injure the esophagus and cause scarring that might narrow or change the esophagus, predisposing a horse to choking again.
Feed to Prevent Choke
There are a number of management techniques that can reduce a horse’s risk of choking, starting with the moisture level of your feed. “A lot of it can be predicated on what they’re being fed,” Fallon said of choke risk. “If you’re feeding dry or dehydrated matter—like alfalfa cubes or beet pulp, for example—be aware that you’ll want to soak or saturate it. But I’ve known horses to choke on hay and regular old sweet feed, too. It doesn’t have to be dehydrated or desiccated feed matter to cause choking.”

1. Add water
Turning your horse’s nightly ration of grain or pellets into a soupier mixture can help deliver moisture and make his meal go down more easily. If you go that route, let the water-and-feed mix soak long enough to allow the feed, pellets, or cubes to expand before you feed them, Fallon cautioned.

2. Add oil
“If you’re feeding sweet feed and your horse has a propensity to want to gorge on it, especially if he won’t eat it with water in it, try adding some oil, like corn or rice bran oil,” Fallon suggested. Check with your vet to determine how much your horse should receive.

3. Slow them down
Adding water also can slow a horse’s eating down, another positive for choke-prevention.

“Some horses, like some people and dogs and other animals, might tend to bolt their food. They’ll just try to eat it in one big gulp,” said Fallon. “They’re obviously more prone to choking because of that.” If you have a horse or pony that wants to eat at record speed, there are ways to slow him down.

“I’ve had clients who have put blocks or rocks of salt or even a large stone in the feed tubs to make the horses navigate around them,” said Fallon. If a softball-sized salt rock or stone doesn’t work, there are also “slow feeder” tubs on the market that are designed to prevent horses from bolting their feed; ask your vet or feed supplier about these.

4. Smaller portions, more often
“Rather than having one or two large feedings a day, especially for horses that are up most of the time and might have the propensity to want to gorge themselves, feeding smaller amounts more frequently might help avoid choking,” explained Fallon. A potential bonus: there’s evidence, including this recent practical study led by Hagyard’s Dr. Nathan Slovis, that feeding smaller amounts more often throughout the day can help prevent gastric ulcers in horses, too.
Adding some water to feed, which softens it, can help reduce the risk of choking and also can contribute to your horse's water intake.
Putting some corn oil or rice bran oil on feed can be a good alternative if your horse or pony won't eat feed with water in it. Be sure to consult your vet first.
Dry feedstuffs like hay and sweet feed can be harder for some horses to swallow, especially those with dental issues or a history of choking. 
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USEF Had a Great Convention
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On The USEF Annual Meeting
In Section 3 of this Newsletter

Lots of discussion affecting our industry
News From Far West
FarWest Cowboy Dressage Schooling show is coming up fast!
May 19th, 2018 at Flying Flower Ranch off of Dodd's Rd. in Bend, OR.

This fun filled day will be packed full of Fun, Food and Festivities!
RV spots with power will be available, Dry camp or just haul in for the day.

Stalls and RV spots with power are limited to
first come, first serve.
Friday night will be a Spaghetti feed for only $10!
Continental Breakfast and Lunch will be available during the show.

Check out the registration form at .
Get your entry in early, as rides will be limited to 60!


Far West Cowboy Dressage Schooling Show
May 19, 2018
at Flying Flower Ranch, Bend OR. 

Far West Regional Championship
hosted by The Country Classic:
at Hunter Creek in Wilsonville OR.
July 11-14 for our traditional classes - Our judge will be Matthew Roberts
Sunday July 15 is Dressage Day.  
Dressage judge is still TBA

Far West Cowboy Dressage Gathering:  
July 27-29, 2017
at Rim Rock Riders Event Center, Powell Butte OR. 
Ride a Test is on Thursday, July 26 with 2 of our judges.  

Updates will appear on the Far West website
An Observvation Regarding the Grand National
Greetings from Santa Fe. The Morgan Grand National (GN) meeting just ended. Our leader Sherry Sparks Cole did an excellent job of keeping us on track all three days.

I am fairly new to the committee & have been astonished to learn how much time and effort goes into ensuring that all exhibitors have a wonderful GN experience. In addition to several three day meetings with a full Agenda, (all expenses are paid by the individual members), there are conference calls, visits to OKC to line up hotel rooms, restaurants, etc, plus much independent committee work. I am honored to serve with this knowledgeable & dedicated group — they are so committed to doing a great job in maintaining expenses while still providing a quality world class horse show.

All comments submitted after the GN in October are read by each committee member and discussed. While not all requests can be met due to cost or logistics, every effort is made to honor suggestions where possible.

I still have so much to learn, but want to acknowledge the care & concern this committee puts into making the Morgan GN/World Championship Horse Show a success.
Deborah Stevenson
Canadian Morgan Horse Association sets date for its 2018 Annual General Membership Meeting
The date is set for March 23 – 25, 2018 for the Annual General Meeting of the CMHA. It will be held in Toronto, ON at the Marriott Airport Hotel,
just minutes from the airport.

A judges clinic is planned with Sandy Sessink which is open to everyone! Come and meet your board and other fellow Morgan owners. 

“Share The Passion” in Toronto in 2018!
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Webinar to discuss the ELD Mandate
Breeding Your Mare Using Frozen Semen
Cold Weather Laminitis
News From Members & Friends
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Oregon Horse Country
USEF Convention Summary
2018 Horse Show Dates
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