The Proper Way to Cool a Horse

Submitted by Lisa Graf

Many owners and trainers have never been taught how to properly cool a hot exercising horse. How hard can it be? Just hose it down with water, right?

Actually, it is very important to understand how to safely and quickly cool down a hot, sweating horse. The 1994 FEI Samsung Equine Sports Medicine Conference was held in Atlanta to address problems that were anticipated because of the intense heat and humidity that was likely to occur during the 1996 Olympic Games. Research from the initiative showed that simply hosing off a horse did little good, did not significantly drop the horse’s temperature and might have been detrimental.

Researchers showed that cool to cold water poured or sprayed over a horse’s skin wets the horse, and the very thin layer of water actually contacting the horse’s skin is super -heated quickly to the horse’s body temperature. The rest of the water being sponged or dumped or sprayed on the horse merely sheets over that initial one- to two-cell water layer on the horse. The initial water actually acts like a raincoat and does not allow other water molecules to contact and cool the skin, so the horse can in fact become hotter even while being cooled off.

Therefore, clients should be shown that the best method for cooling a horse is to spray or sponge on water with one hand and to almost immediately scrape off the now super -heated water with a sweat scraper in your other hand. Spray, scrape, repeat is the cooling method of choice. This means of cooling can significantly drop a horse’s core temperature and requires less actual water.

The water can be fairly cold with this method of cooling because it does not stay on the horse’s body long enough to cause muscle cramping, which had been a previous concern when cooling horses with the application of cold water.

Increasing airflow also can help with cooling, so fans and a choice of location with a breeze can help cool an exercising horse, but researchers have shown that water is still 20 times more efficient at cooling horses

Attention Show Organizers/Potential Show Organizers!

Are you currently organizing a horse show this year, or have you been thinking about it? We have some exciting news! EDCTSA is offering a limited time special rate of $30 (normally $75) to recognize your show! Benefits of having your show EDCTSA recognized include access to our deluxe show box and kit (which includes everything you need to put on a show), all USDF recognized tests (Dressage, Western and Gaited), ribbons, and the Show Arena if needed. Proposed show dates must be approved by the club board and applications/deposits need to be submitted by September 1 in order to take advantage of the reduced rate. Download the flyer for more information.

If you have any questions, please reach out to anyone on the EDCTSA board and we will be happy to get them answered.

USEF Safe Sport Training Requirements for 2019

Submitted by Elizabeth Carr

The United States Equine Federation, is the governing agency for the United States Dressage Federation, and many other breed and competitive associations. Starting January 1, 2019, if you are a USEF competing member 18 years of age or older you are required to compete the core Safe Sport Training within 30 days of activating your membership. If you do not complete the training, you are ineligible to participate in ALL USEF activities including competitions. So for example, if you want to show in the March Magic USDF Recognized show in Williamston this spring, you need to take this course. The course is a series of videos and quizzes that take about two hours to complete. After completion you will receive a certificate you can keep for your records, and then your information will be sent to the organization you will to participate in, for for me I marked USDF, if participate in other organizations, you may have your certificate sent to those as well. Below is some information about Safe Sport and the partnership I pulled from the USEF website.

USEF screen shot

To access the required Safe Sport training, see below.

  1. go to
  2. click the log in button at the upper right hand corner.
  3. Then click on “my USEF” in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
  4. Click on the Safe Sport training icon in your member dashboard, this will take you to the Safe Sport website.
  5. Click Register to create a new account.
  6. Fill out the required fields and click next.
  7. On the second “Register” page
    1. You do not need a photo
    2. Select “primary position” with USEF , select “athlete”
    3. You Must add your membership with USEF to show up in the system as Safe Sport trained
  8. Click on the email you registered your account with to verify your account
  9. Enter your email and password and login to complete all THREE training modules; Sexual Misconduct Awareness, Mandatory Reporting and Emotional and Physical Misconduct.
  10. Print your Safe Sport Trained Certificate for your records.

If you have questions, you can reach a Customer Care agent with USEF at 859-258-2472



NCDCTA Championship Show | Nov 3rd and 4th 2018

Submitted by Lisa Graf

The NCDCTA Championship show was held Nov 3rd and 4th at the Carolina Horse Park in Raeford NC. Several Eastern North Carolina riders made the trip to the Horse Park to participate.

Lisa and Tiara PT

Lisa Graf showed her mare Tiara PT in the 3rd level musical freestyle championship and the 4th level Adult Amateur championship classes. Tiara did very well in her 4th level tests and even got a 61.667% in her 4th level test two debut! Which resulted in winning the AA 4th level championship. The 3rd level Musical Freestyle Championship test did not go as planned. It was held late in the afternoon with lots of shadows over the ring and a lot of spectators watching and Miss Tiara decided it was all too scary to handle and threw in some un-choreographed spooks in the test. Which also threw off the timing with the music. She still finished with a 60% and 8th place.

Jeanette and Whaiku

Jeanette Van Mill showed Lisa’s young New Forest Pony, Whaiku, in training level in his first ever recognized show. Whaiku handled the warmup and general show atmosphere very well for his first outing and he placed in all his classes with a couple of scores of 65%.

Heather Hamilton piloted Bianca Rosso’s mare, Hidden Treasure, to a 3rd place finish in the 2nd level open Championships. Rebecca Banta and Fools Golde finished 7th in their first level JR championships. Anna Godwin and Rock Solid also put in some nice tests and nice placings.

It was a great show with a nice friendly atmosphere.

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Williamston Spring Dressage Show

Submitted by Lisa Graf

We had several EDCTSA members participate in the Williamston Spring Dressage Show managed by Janine Malone and held at the Martin County Ag center April 14th and 15th.

Anna Godwin and Rock Solid did a great job and won three of their four classes with a high score of 67.115% with a second place finish in the other class. Well done Anna!

Kellen Edward and Jericho also had a great showing winning one of her training level tests with a 71.313%! Which should earn her the high scoring EDCTSA member award for the show! Way to go Kellen and coach Fallon Blackburn! These ladies braved some heavy rain on Sunday!

Ciara Henson did a great job showing Prince Asher’s Joyride. Ciara’s usual mount, Thunder, is still recuperating from an injury and Ciara did a really great job riding Asher! They won 2 classes with a high score of 70.313%. Great job Ciara and coach Mary Haskins!

Lisa Graf and Tiara PT also participated with a win at Fourth Level test 1 and Third Level test 2 on Saturday. Thank you Maribeth Dunlap for all the help accomplishing these wins!

The show this year was very small and Janine asked me to please ask more EDCTSA members to consider participating next year as she offers a high score award for EDCTSA members showing. Janine told me she is losing money due to the smaller number of entries and if she doesn’t get more participation next year, she will have to cancel this show in the future. So lets plan on supporting her show next year so we can keep this great show in our area.