Okeechobee County Extension hosted a ranch horse seminar in January at the Buck Daniel Ranch. The event featured several regional speakers with expertise in horsemanship, husbandry, or veterinary. The day started with a keynote speaker, Gene Cox, who spoke on improving the equity of your horse. His take home message was that you put in what you get out, be patient, be consistent, and use appropriate tools and gear. A panel of experienced horseman were introduced next and were asked a variety of questions based on horse type, training type, confirmation, and tack. The members of the panel were Billy Adams, Gene Cox, Jason Hanchey, Randy Barthle, and Cliff Coddington, moderated by Flint Johns. In the afternoon, the first speaker was a horse nutritionist discussing changing the feed energy levels based on your horse energy levels. Then, Bob Haberlandt, a local farrier, talked about ways to maximize your farrier when they come to care for your horse’s feet. He was followed by a local veterinarian, Dr. Paul Bryant, he discussed ways to keep your horse healthy. He encouraged horse owners to keep vaccinations and coggins tests up to date. He also wanted to stress certain situations in which it is necessary to call a veterinarian and not wait. The final speaker was Wil Croncich. Wil is a horse dentist who has traveled all over the world advising and tending to horses teeth. He stressed that teeth are not to be ignored and play a huge role in nutrition and behavior. The last presentation was another panel. This panel was moderated by Joel Mcquagge from the University of Florida Animal Science Department. He asked several questions referring to saddle design, fit and care. Members of the panel included saddle makers; Rabe Rabon, Rowdey Flamm, Mike Wilder, and Dr. Todd Thrift.
The day offered a great information for novel and practiced horseman alike. The goal of the event was to offer information that was practical to a working horseman.