Summer’s Foot Frustrations

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“The summers are so nice here, maybe I’ll move my barn to Kentucky,” I heard a hunter/jumper trainer from Texas say–only half-jokingly–last week.

Indeed, the Bluegrass has put on a great display of weather thus far during the Kentucky Horse Park’s six-week stretch of AA-rated horse shows. Uncharacteristically cool temperatures coupled with frequent rain showers have resulted in lush green landscapes and pleasant days spent ringside. They’ve also brought with them a wealth of hoof-care woes as pastures and arenas alternate between dry and soggy.

Pastern dermatitis, or scratches, is one of several hoof-care challenges I’ve faced with my horses this summer

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Alexandra Beckstett, a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as assistant editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse. She was the managing editor of The Horse for nearly 14 years and is now editorial director of EquiManagement and My New Horse, sister publications of The Horse.

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