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A number of years ago the issue of hypersensitization in show jumpers was brought to the attention of the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) by several national riding federations. The practice involved injecting or rubbing irritating or caustic substances into the skin above the coronary band to make the horse more sensitive and less likely to touch a jump. This is similar to the illegal soring practices used by several gaited breeds.
“Thermography has since been used in some competitions to detect hypersensitization,” says Sharon Spier, a University of California-Davis equine veterinarian and a 2008 Olympic veterinarian. “When coupled with a veterinary clinical examination at the time of inspection, horses that are too painful or sensitive from any cause to jump can be identified and eliminated from the competition.”
A recent American Farriers Journal Web site poll indicates that 50% of shoers supply their own spray or insect repellent to control flies and other insects during trimming and shoeing. Some 21% of readers expect clients to have fly and insect repellents on hand or control insects through other means. Another 24% of readers rely on a combination of sprays and fans while 5% use other control methods such as eye masks and blankets to reduce insect concerns during trimming and shoeing. (See Pages 42 to 47 for the latest ideas on fly and insect control.)
Even after lameness issues…