Senior & Young Horses With Tanya Moths, Presented by Draper Therapies
Tanya Moths and her husband Nick own and operate Lone Star Farm in Kiel, Wisconsin, a multi-disciplinary facility offering boarding, training and lessons. The Moths purchased Lone Star Farm in 2015, developing the property into a 20-stall facility. Tanya has a degree in Occupational Therapy, but runs the farm full time without barn help — so she does it all, from feeding, turnout and mucking to teaching and training! Nick fills the roles of maintenance crew, trailer driver, hay delivery man, chief encourager and as Tanya describes, comic relief — plus his own full-time job in sales.
This team certainly knows a thing or two about working hands-on in the barn to make sure their horses are feeling their absolute best. We caught up with Tanya to chat about a few key products in her tack room that keep both her seniors and her young horses happy and healthy.
Horse Nation: What are some considerations for keeping seniors feeling their best, especially if they’re still actively riding/competing? What are some of your favorite products for “the old guys”?
Tanya Moths: Personally, I believe that prevention and daily management is key when keeping older horses happy, sound, and working. My training level partner, Romeo, will be 18 in the spring and has arthritis in his hocks, along with old set osselets up front. Romeo’s daily routine consists of a joint support supplement, time on our TheraPlate, and stretches before and after working. After hard schools we do ice his legs also. I absolutely LOVE the Draper Therapy Quick wraps, hock boots, and their new anti-sweat sheet. I usually use all three of those products on him while he stands on the TheraPlate. I’ve found this combination especially helpful for loosening stiff joints before work, and letting his muscles repair and recover after.
HN: What unique challenges do you face with a young horse, and what are your favorite products to help tackle those challenges?
TM: The young horses are just a total blast to work with! Getting to place the day to day building blocks that slowly stack up to form an awesome, willing partner is just so rewarding! Youngsters can be tricky though, with growth spurts, awkward movements and wiggly bodies; sometimes you end up with a bit of soreness or find that one side is developing faster than the other.
I really love using the Draper saddle pads, they keep those developing back muscles soft and loose, making my job a bit easier while we work! I usually open the pad all the way, and lay it over their lower back and rump while I groom, to get those awesome Celliant benefits (improved tissue oxygen levels, ie: better blood flow!) for the big hind end muscles also. After working, I use the anti-sweat sheet, and the quick wraps to aid in recovery. I often do a quick massage with a hand held massager, then apply some sort of liniment for any residual soreness.
HN: Do you have any favorite products that have applications for both senior and young horses?
TM: Young or senior, all my horses get treated like the athletes they are, and the entire line of Draper products helps me give them the quality treatment they deserve, without destroying my budget! I think a lot of the issues the seniors face — the stiffness, some weakness from old injuries, the sore muscles — the young horses also experience. I rely on the quick wraps, anti-sweat sheet, and the saddle pads for any horse I work with, and the benefits are definitely evident in my happy, willing partners!
HN: You’re based out of Wisconsin — so what are some considerations for keeping your horses happy and healthy heading into colder weather?
TM: Being in Wisconsin without horses has enough challenges, but running a boarding and training business here in the winter can be brutal. Water freezes, fingers freeze, sand freezes… even boogers freeze! Haha… not kidding though! But in the winter I make sure the horses stay as comfortable as possible by heating waters, making sure they all have access to hay several times per day, and of course blanketing each horse appropriately! If the weather is too terrible, the horses stay inside for the day which also means more stall cleaning, etc.
Working horses in the frigid temps means longer, slower warm ups no matter the age or fitness of the horse. I sometimes use a heated blanket set on low, and lay it over their backs while I groom and tack up, making sure to hang the cord above the horse to avoid any tangles and accidents! I follow that with a Draper saddle pad to keep muscles loose, then when I’m all tacked and ready, I throw a cooler over the horse and we head up to our indoor. After working the cooler goes back on, and the horse is walked until their breathing is normal. Back in the barn the Draper anti-sweat sheet goes on, and normal post exercise routines are followed. Horses are towel dried before they get their normal rug put back on for turnout — a wet horse is a cold horse in the winter!
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