Letters: 01/02

Adoption Article
What a wonderful surprise to see the Horse Protection Association of Florida in Horse Journal (October 2001). HPAF is grateful for the wonderful article on adoption criteria. I am certain this article will give people a better understanding of what rescue agencies are about. As always, Horse Journal is informative and extremely useful for horse lovers.

-Morgan Silver, HPAF


Prescription Thrush Remedy
I was disappointed you didn’t mention the best and most economic thrush product on the market in your October issue: oxytetracycline. Of course, the use is off-label for this prescription drug, but it has worked for us for over 20 years. We have ponds that make it impossible to keep the horses out of water, so we do experience thrush. We pull the drug up into a syringe and put it in all the cracks and crevices twice a day. The worst case clears up in days, even without a farrier.

-Jackie Ray

We didn’t have a scratches/rain rot remedy with this drug in it. However, used full-strength, it’s thick and syrupy and would likely coat the tissues well, creating a barrier effect. It does have antibacterial activity, but it’s somewhat irritating to exposed tissues so may chemically debride them to some extent. While technically a prescription drug, we know it’s available in many farm-supply stores. That said, however, we still recommend that readers stick with our advice of choosing the mildest thrush remedy that will do the job and to always consult a farrier.


Woody Pet Dust
I have come to depend on your articles for being true and honest inyour product reviews, and you have never steered me wrong.?? But yourcomments on Woody Pet bedding (August 2001) were so far from my experience I had to write.?? Last year I tried Woody Pet in one stall because my friends told me to try it.?? The stall has rubber mats, and my horse spends most daytime hours outside.?? The first couple of days were great.?? Stall cleaning was a breeze.?? But then the Woody Pet began to break down into a fine powder.?? The powder still absorbed well and cleaning was quick, but dust got everywhere.??Then the more moisture the bedding absorbed the heavier it became, and my stall cleaning time got longer. Meanwhile, my horse was covered in a fine powder.?? I went back to my shavings.

-Emily Welsh

We didn’t experience dust problems in our field trial, but we asked the manufacturer about your experience. Woody Pet said that usually when they investigate similar problems they find the user didn’t follow the instructions to the letter. In addition, they said, “Air movement can dry out the top of the bedding very quickly in the summer heat, so under circumstances where it dries quickly it may have to be misted and mixed more than usual. . . . Keep the bedding damp to the touch. But if you kneel in it, it should not transfer onto the knee of your blue jeans.” In addition, Woody Pet said it is sometimes necessary to use a process of elimination to solve problems occurring in specific circumstances.


Satisfied Subscriber
As a new horse owner, your magazine has been a godsend. We’ve changed our bedding, fly repellent and supplements based on your articles and have been completely satisfied with every change.

-Ann Garrett


Compact Tractor Comments
In reference to your November 2001 compact tractor article, I’ve been around tractors for years and I currently own a year 2000, model 4600, John Deere 4×4. I’m a bit confused by the statement that a mid-point PTO is required to run a loader.

All late-model loaders that I’m familiar with run off the hydraulics of the tractor, not off the mid-point PTO. The mid-point PTO is mainly for the operation of a mid-mounted mower deck. The only reason I can think of that a mid-point PTO would be required to run a loader is if the tractor’s hydraulic system didn’t provide sufficient pressure and an optional PTO powered pump was required.

Second, on the choice of transmissions, it’s true that the hydrostatic is the easiest to operate in most conditions. But if someone plans to do any field spraying, pellet-fertilizer spreading, or seeding, the gear transmissions are a better choice. The reason is that learning to set the proper application rate for these takes time, trail and error. But once you learn which engine RPM and gear it takes to obtain your desired result it is much easier to return to the exact same setting with a gear transmission then to try and guess where you had the pedal set on a hydrostatic transmission.

Plus, most gear transmissions are synchronized for ease of shifting and have a shuttle shift lever option that allows for clutch-less shifting from forward to reverse.

Another option for horse owners to consider is hiring a tractor service to come and do the work for them. With the cost of a tractor running above $10,000 and the needed attachments running thousands more, hiring an experienced operator with his own equipment to come in and do what’s needed can be more economical to a small-property owner.

My business evolved out of the need for small-property owners to get farm work done, but they either didn’t have the money to buy their own equipment, the skills to operate the equipment, or the time to do the work themselves.

One of my top references for jobs is the local John Deere dealer. After people come in and find out what a tractor and attachments cost, they suffer sticker shock and ask if the dealer knows anyone who has a tractor and hires out for work. For either an hourly rate or a set bid, I can do most farm work required and save the property owner the expense of purchasing and maintaining their own equipment.

Other then these points, I feel you had a very informative article. I hope these suggestions will be of help to someone.

-Paul G. Hagquist