How To Keep Your Equine Specimens Like New

Proper care will keep your skeletons and limb models in tip top shape

Pictured Above: The skeleton limbs are mounted on wooden blocks for display and stability. “You should keep them as you would furniture in your living room,” Walter Varcoe says. Photo: Walter Varcoe

natomy models and skeletal limbs are invaluable tools for educating clients about their horses and the pathologies they might be facing. These specimens will prove helpful for years to come with proper care.

Allie Hayes of Horse Science in West Boxford, Mass., and Walter Varcoe of Equineskeletons.com in Port Jervis, N.Y., are two of the foremost experts in the field of anatomical models and skeletons. While their products are relatively different, they share some of the same common problems that come with owning a specimen. Hayes and Varcoe offered their insights about caring for your educational investment.

Environmental Problems

Since the specimens that both Hayes and Varcoe offer are organic, moisture can be a problem.

“It boils down to whatever is bad for leather or wool is also bad for the models,” Hayes says. “If you’re in a humid environment and your saddle gets mildewed, so will your hoof model.”

Adds Varcoe, “Excessive moisture can be a problem if they don’t get to dry completely. They can grow mold or fungus if they’re in intense moist conditions for a prolonged period. The limbs also should be kept away from grease and grime when possible. Greasy dirt can be difficult to clean, but will not harm the bone. You should keep them as you would furniture in your living…

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Jeff cota 2023

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the editor of American Farriers Journal.

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