News & Notes


(January 20, 2015) Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, one of the world’s premier veterinary institutions, is proud to partner with the Masterson Equestrian Trust Foundation as a 2015 Premier Corporate Sponsor.

Masterson Equestrian Trust (MET) Foundation is a non-profit foundation dedicated to the preservation of Masterson Station Park for use by all equestrian enthusiasts and to the improvement and enhancement of facilities and services available to the equestrian public. MET acts as an advocate for all MSP equine enthusiasts, thus strengthening Lexington’s distinction as the “Horse Capital of the World”.

“The Lexington equine community is so privileged to have Masterson Station Park, which offers equestrian facilities for all disciplines. It is free, open to the public, extremely well maintained, and has something for all levels of horses and riders,” said Rhonda Rathgeber, DVM and Member of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. “We are honored to be a Premier Corporate Sponsor of Masterson Equine Trust to continue to provide the community with such a wonderful resource!”

Founded in 1876, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute is one of the oldest and largest veterinary facilities in the world. Based in Lexington, Kentucky, Hagyard has more than 50 veterinarians and a well-educated and experienced staff of support personnel. Their facility boasts superior ambulatory services, the world-renowned Davidson Surgery Center, McGee Medicine and Fertility Centers, Hagyard Laboratory, Hagyard Sports Medicine & Podiatry Center, hyperbaric medicine facilities, MRI, and equine rescue services.

For more information, contact:
Hagyard Equine Medical Institute
Nicole Tomlinson (
(859) 255-8741


Feeding Horses in the Winter: Fuel for warmth

equine-horse-supplements-kentucky-performance-products (626) (Large)Amy Parker, MS

To stay warm in cold temperatures, the horse has to burn energy, which can come from stored sources (e.g., body fat) or from the diet. Horses in good body condition have some body fat stores to burn for energy, but thin horses have little to no body fat stores from which to draw. In cold weather, fat reserves can be rapidly depleted and need to be constantly replenished. Therefore, supplying energy in the diet is essential to avoid weight loss.

While most nutrient requirements will remain unchanged or increase only slightly in the winter, the digestible energy (DE) requirement will increase significantly. On average, a horse requires 1.4% (0.23 Mcal) more DE for every 1o F drop in temperature. That means if the lower end of the comfort zone is 30 o F, then a 10 o F drop in ambient temperature would mean an average size horse (1,100 pounds) at maintenance would require 14% more DE. Generally, this means the horse has to increase intake (either grain or forage) to satisfy the energy requirement; however, some horse are unable or unwilling to eat more (horse is at maximum intake). In such cases, increasing the calorie-dense feedstuffs in the diet (e.g., grain, oil) and feeding excellent quality hay is necessary. However, caution should be taken not to overfeed grain and/or reduce hay so as to put the horse at risk for digestive upset. Always keep the forage intake equal to or (preferably) higher than the grain intake.


Compliments of MET Corporate Sponsor McCauley Bros. Inc.

Established in 1938, McCauley Bros. is headquartered in the heart of the Bluegrass country. Devoted to the care of these special animals, this company is engaged in the manufacture of premium quality feeds and nutritional supplements exclusively for the horse. The goal of McCauley Bros. is a simple one:  to help produce sound, healthy horses by manufacturing the finest horse feeds in the world.  In order to achieve this goal, McCauley’s manufactures only horse feed, adopts an uncompromising insistence in using only the very finest ingredients available, and applies the most stringent of quality control measures to all aspects of production. The result of these efforts is feed of exceptional consistency and value. McCauley’s also has two equine nutritionists on-staff and available for consultation. For more information, please visit


Preparing Your Older Horse for Winter

equine-horse-supplements-kentucky-performance-products (516) (Large)Gina G. Tranquillo, VMD, CESMT

Fall is here. The leaves are changing colors. It is time to prepare your barn and your aging equine for winter. There are several major considerations when preparing your older horse for winter. The most important categories are: body condition, vaccination status, parasite control program, dental care, hoof care, nutrition, shelter, and addressing any ongoing health issues. Below is a checklist with additional points to consider when preparing.



Twelve Point Checklist

Body condition scoring

    • Too fat? Too thin? Or just right? Involve your veterinarian in body scoring your horse. The ribs should be felt if applying mild pressure while running your hand over the rib cage. Having a little bit of insulation on your horse going into winter is good. Adipose tissue is an excellent insulator and provides energy in stressful situations, but, your horse should not be overweight.


    • Your horse should receive 1‐2% of its body weight (BW) in hay (or forage) per day. Body heat generated by eating and digesting hay will keep your horse warm. For example, a 1,000 lb horse eating 2% of its BW per day and enrolled in moderate exercise, should consume approximately 20 lbs of hay per day.
    • Stored hay should be free of mold, weeds, dust, and discoloration. Be sure to accurately weigh your hay and grain using a scale. Just estimating by your eye alone can lead to under or over feeding your horse.
    • Remember to care for your pastures now in the fall. If they are over grazed in the fall, they may be subjected to winter damage and be slow to flourish in the spring.
    • Provide a salt/mineral lick and be sure these are always available and not covered by snow or ice.

Vaccination program

    • Winter can set older horses up for respiratory illness. Plan to have adequate ventilation and a well managed vaccine plan.
    • If it’s been greater than 90 days since your horse’s last flu/rhino vaccine, you may consider a booster.

Parasite control program

    • Older horses tend to harbor parasites, usually secondary to other diseases that weaken their immune system. It is recommended to deworm after the first frost and it is wise to involve your veterinarian in your deworming program.
    • Due to the growing parasite resistance to deworming products we use, it is wise to follow a targeted deworming program whereby fecal egg counts in the spring help guide the deworming program of your horse throughout the year.

Dental care

    • Geriatric (15 years or older) horses should be examined at least twice per year.
    • Schedule a comprehensive dental examination with your veterinarian in early fall.
    • Normal dentition will allow your horse to adequately chew and utilize the energy sources you are providing to stay warm and maintain their weight.
    • A well‐managed mouth also prevents problems such as choke (esophageal obstruction) and colic.

Shelter repairs and preparation

    • Shelters should provide a dry, clean, and well ventilated area .
    • Manure management is very important in outdoor and indoor areas. Plan to have a good manure removal system and storage area that can be covered.
    • Repair drafty areas, repair drain spouts that may collect ice/water and become hazardous, securely fasten all buckets so the clips are facing away from the horse’s head to prevent injury especially to the eyes, and remove foreign objects that could cause injury.

Health Watch

    • Respiratory illness
    • Skin conditions
      • Monitor daily for any developing skin conditions.
      • It is important to address skin issues, such as ringworm, early in the course of disease to prevent spreading to the herd.
    • Colic (impaction colic)
      • Painful signs to watch for include: pawing, rolling, looking at the flank, kicking at the belly, curling the upper lip, sweating, depression, lack of manure output, or lack of appetite.
      • *Remember some older horses are very stoic and do not show severe signs of pain when the consequences are severe. Know your horse well and watch them closely.
    • Arthritis
      • Consult your veterinarian and get your therapy plan on track prior to winter so you can optimize your horse’s mobility throughout the cold season.

Hoof care

    • You may consider pulling the shoes to prevent slipping on winter ice, or adding borium, and/or snow pads.
    • Keep your horse on a schedule when it comes to hoof care. Waiting 1 week too long may lead to a poor outcome.
    • Clean the foot daily to remove ice accumulation, “the snowball effect.

Water sources

    • Be sure buckets do not freeze readily and water sources are plentiful.
    • Consider offering a bucket of plain water and one with electrolytes. The water will take longer to freeze if powdered electrolytes are added. Keep water sources clean and check at least twice per day for freezing.
    • If using heated water sources, be sure all connections are safe and no electrical hazards exist.
    • Remember – adequate water intake prevents forms of colic such as impaction colic.

Riding and exercise

    • Prepare with ample warm up and cool down periods. Cool the horse out completely.
    • Have coolers clean and ready.
    • If needed, body clip your horse to allow for heat dissipation.
    • Use common sense when judging riding conditions.
    • Warm the bit before bridling your horse.
    • Arthritis pain or discomfort? This should be addressed prior to winter so that your horse can be as mobile as possible to stay warm.
      • A variety of therapies exist depending on the severity of your horse’s arthritis from oral nutraceuticals (ie., Hagyard Flextra HA), to intra‐articular injections.


    • Great for warming muscles prior to a ride.
    • Helps keep the coat clean and free of debris that may accumulate and cause skin disease such as rain rot.
    • Groom horses at least three times per week. Inspect the skin for problems and consult your veterinarian.


    • Consider using a blanket on horses with special needs such as – clipped horses, older horses, sick horses, thin horses, rescue cases, and horses without shelter.
    • If you start the season using a blanket, you must continue. The horse adapts its temperature regulation to wearing a blanket.
    • Do not blanket a wet horse.
    • Most horses don’t need blankets if allowed to create an adequate haircoat. They can tolerate 20‐30°F as long as they are dry and have shelter from the wind.

In conclusion, there are many considerations for optimizing your older horse for the cold winter months ahead. Due to the advancements in medical care and knowledge of disease, it is no surprise that many horses thrive into their geriatric years. However, the reality is that due to progressively debilitating medical issues in aged horses, not all of them should be expected to manage yet another year of winter conditions. Take into consideration your horse’s current health status and the severity of the winter conditions in your area. Be sure to consult your veterinarian with questions and schedule a physical examination and consultation to determine if your horse may or may not be a candidate for the winter months ahead. Work closely with your veterinarian throughout the winter to optimize your horse’s body condition, nutritional requirements and care, to be sure you can enjoy your older equine partner in the springtime ahead!


Compliments of MET Corporate Sponsor Hagyard Equine Medical Institute

The talent of Hagyard’s veterinarians and dedication of its staff provide to client and patients alike a level of care unequaled anywhere in the equine industry.

Hagyard Equine Medical Institute

4250 Iron Works Pike

Lexington, Kentucky 40511-8412


2014 Newsletter

Check out the 2014 newsletter here.

Join Us for the MET Hunter Pace Nov. 2nd!

masterson-station-park-hunter-pacelr(September 28) A Hunter Pace is meant to be FUN for all types of riders. It’s like a Foxhunt without the hounds. Competitors will ride in teams of 2, 3 or 4 riders each. It is a timed event that replicates the pace riders would use to keep up with hounds in their respective ‘fields’ on a Foxhunt. It is a great chance to get out and ride with your friends.

There is no need to pre-enter; entries are accepted the day of the Pace. Registration opens at 9:00am. Teams will be sent out at intervals during the day staring at 10am. The awards ceremony will follow the last ride (last ride will start at 3:30pm). Jumpers have the right-of-way at all times. Dress may be formal hunt attire, informal hacking attire, casual attire or COSTUMES to represent the theme of your team. ASTM approved helmets are recom­mended for all divisions.

There is an official optimum time set for the course. The optimum time varies for each division. The competitors do not know the optimum time. The team that finishes closest to the optimum time without going faster than that time is the winner. Ribbons will be given for 1st through 6th place in each division. First place winners will receive a julep cup and other prizes.

There will be three divisions. All of the divisions will follow the same course. Competitors that are jumping will go over the fences and non-jumpers just “go around” the jumps! There may be a variety of other obstacles to negotiate such as creek crossings or gates to open and close.

Download the MET Hunter Pace Flyer for more information. 2014_Hunter_Pace_flyer


MET Annual Work Day is Sept. 21!

MET_WorkDay_2013(August 21) MET’s annual work day is right around the corner!  Grab some friends and come out to Masterson Station Park on Sunday, Sept. 21, from 2 – 5 p.m. to help with weeding, trimming, scraping, painting and repairing.

Snacks and drinks have been generously donated by Kentucky Performance Products and McCauley Bros., and there will be great door prizes for our volunteers!

More information is available here.


Have You Schooled the NEW Corner Jumps Yet?

IMG_2320(July 29) We promised you schooling corners in last year’s newsletter – have you schooled them yet? Thanks to the generosity of our many donors, we were able to fund the building of two schooling corners this Spring. One is training/prelim size and one is a “nada corner” which is novice size. They are both located on the Novice side of the Park at present, one out near the BN/Novice water and one at the top of the Hunter Course.

Let us know what you think!

corner jump

MET Purchases Mower to Aid in Park Maintenance

GallopingLane(July 10, 2014) On April 21, the Masterson Equestrian Trust purchased an Exmark Lazer Z S-series with a 60-inch deck. This zero-turn riding mower will allow us to maintain galloping lanes on the cross country courses, as well as enable closer mowing near cross country fences, drastically reducing the need to weed eat around fences, saving both time and fuel. This tractor holds 12 gallons of fuel at a time and can travel up to 10 mph, allowing the operator to quickly mow galloping lanes in just two passes.

MET is very excited about this purchase as it will allow us to assist Parks and Recreation in upkeeping the cross-country portion of the Park. Big thanks go to Board member Joey Clark for so graciously maintaining both the paths and the mower! Thanks to Janet Eaton for the photo from horseback. 

Additional photos courtesy Sarah Coleman.

photo 1

photo 3photo 5

MET Receives Grant to KEEP the Pace Going Strong

KEEP_Low_res(July 9, 2014) Masterson Equestrian Trust recently received a generous gift of $500 from the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) in partnership with Fasig-Tipton.

As KEEP’s mission is “to educate Kentucky’s general public about the value of the horse industry to every citizen of the Commonwealth,” providing a monetary grant to MET for their Hunter Pace falls directly in line with their goal.

This year the Masterson hunter pace will be held on November 2 and promises to be even bigger and better than last year. The pace is designed to be a fun outing for all types of riders; it’s like a foxhunt without the hounds. Competitors ride in teams of two, three or four riders.

For more information on the hunter pace as it becomes available, the Park or becoming a donor to MET, please visit


Masterson Station ‘Jump Around’ Show Jumping Schooling Night

(May 29, 2014)

Come to Masterson for a fun evening of jumper schooling. Perfect for young, green horses and beginner riders. Great schooling opportunity for horse moving up or those that need a little tune up.


4-8 PM, Wednesday Evening, June 18, 2014


4-5 PM: Starter Level 2′ – 2’3″

5-6 PM: Beginner Novice Level 2’3″ – 2’6″

6-7 PM: Novice Level 2’9″ – 3′

7-8 PM: Training Level 3’3″* (* or higher on request)


First Trip-$10.00 Second Trip, same course -$10.00


Scheduling will be strictly adhered to in order to allow riders at all levels an opportunity to compete.

No memberships to anything needed, no advance sign up. Just show up.


Create your own informal Combined Test: ride a dressage test at Summerbird Nights and then ride the corresponding level at the “Jump Around.”


Summerbird Nights Dressage is held at the Masterson Station Park Dressage rings at top of hill, starting at 4:30PM. $10/ride any test you want. We have all tests.

All tests judged and scored and returned to rider.