Tuesday’s with Tony December 22, 2015


Tony Coggins Equine Clinic

Seriously, the things they ask me to supervise around here.  Today I had to supervise Dr. Lacher and Charly while they pulled a Coggins on Scout from Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses.  The humans seem to think Scout is tiny and cute and adorable.  Meh, he’s a tiny horse.  I will take a tiny mouse instead any day.  What I can say is adorable is how Scout helps the humans.  We animals, being superior in every way to the humans, must look for opportunities to give back to those less fortunate than us whenever possible.  And let’s face it: pretty much any human is less fortunate than I am.


Scout is a (very small) part of Gentle Carousel.  This group of very dedicated humans and horses go into hospitals, nursing homes, rehab facilities, and pretty much anywhere children in need exist.  They use the horses to help people heal emotionally and physically.  Those humans will do all kinds of stuff to pet us cute cats, pat a dog on the head, or be near a horse.  This means someone who has been reluctant to stretch that arm, crack a smile, or take a step will make tremendous progress when animals are around.


I have my own selfish motivations for loving Christmas, mostly involving the decorations.  I get told I should be more generous with the poor homeless kittens that show up around here.  I don’t see that happening, but I will tell you about local programs you can help.


Your local animal shelter, Gainesville Pet Rescue, Alachua Humane Society, and Operation Catnip (just to name a few) are always looking for volunteer help.  From fostering animals, to helping in the office, there is a place for you to help no matter what.


The Retirement Home for Horses.  This beautiful farm in Alachua is dedicated to retired horses.  Their residents include many retired police, military, and forest service horses, along with some that have been confiscated for mistreatment.  Saturdays are open to all who bring the required carrot admission fee.  While there you can find out about all the volunteer opportunities available.  From grooming horses to mowing fields, there is always something to do on this enormous farm.   While I love a good crowd, I know some of you may be looking for opportunities to get out of the house and have some fresh air between you and crazy Uncle Joe.  Go visit the Retirement Home for Horses.  This enormous farm will give you plenty of opportunity to turn left when everyone else turns right.  Only problem is the entire place is fenced in so Uncle Joe won’t get lost.


HOPE-Horses Helping People.  This group in Archer use horses for a wide variety of therapies.  People with mobility disorders find riding gives them increased movement, balance, and endurance.  Hippotherapy uses the horses as a tool to work on all kinds of stuff from movement to communication (as a cat I should probably be there working on my communication).  They have programs for Veterans and directed psychotherapy programs.


I think Operation Catnip is pretty awesome myself (hard to support the nip part, but I support the goal of helping cats) and they are seriously in to helping cats. Moral of this Tuesdays with Tony:  When the giving mood strikes you, there are great local options! And if none of these floats your boat, come give me treats and ear scratches.

Tuesday’s with Tony-The Christmas Wish List

Tuesday’s with Tony-The Christmas Wish List

Being the jolly cat I am, it is my favorite time of year. Bright, shiny stuff called Christmas decorations to play with, the Castration Clinic at the Hospital, paper and boxes from presents delivered to the Hospital, and general good cheer among all. In keeping with the season, I have spoken with many of our patients, and our Docs and technicians and compiled Springhill Equine’s Top 5 list of things your horse wants from Santa.

1. Fly Sheets: Mosquito Mesh Flyshield Sheet
Why this one? It is super light for our hot summer but the mesh is fine enough to keep those dangs gnats away. For added airflow, trim out the lining at the shoulders and mane. Removing the lining hasn’t created any rubbing issues and has kept the horse cooler. This sheet also held up well to horseplay and fit a wide variety of horses. Beware of the similar non-Flyshield version. It fit no horse well.

mosquito mesh

2. Grazing Muzzles: Tough 1 Grazing Muzzle  or Harmany Grazing Muzzle
OK, so a grazing muzzle may not be on your horse’s wish list, but it is at the top of your veterinarian’s wish list. Our poor Docs see lots of horses with a weight problem. I can sympathize. My large stature caused me to have diabetes until a diet and exercise program helped me reverse it. While horses don’t get diabetes, they do get laminitis, or founder, when overweight. Obese horses are also pretty much guaranteed to develop Cushings later in life. These two grazing muzzles provide the best combination of comfort, breathability, and portion control.

grazing muzzle

3. Socks for your horse: Equiflexsleeve or Silver Whinnys
Tired of wrapping legs? Worried about all that heat under quilts and wraps in the summer? Need to decrease swelling or cover a wound, but you still want to turn your horse out? Seriously, the greatest things since sliced tuna (humans say bread, but I really don’t like bread very much). Equiflexsleeves reduce swelling in the lower legs, your horse can wear them inside or out, they breath, and they are stupid easy to put on and take off. Oh, and they make a lot less laundry than all those quilts and wraps! Sox for horses is the name of the silver impregnated bandages Coby is wearing. These work similar to Equiflexsleeves but, go higher and lower on the leg and have the added advantage of being antibacterial. If you need to cover a wound, or if your horse is prone to scratches, dew poisoning, greasy heel, or whatever you want to call it, then you need a pair of these!

silver whinnys



4. Fly Mask: Nag Horse Ranch fly masks. Dr. Lacher owns the Queen of Fly Mask destruction. And while these don’t last forever with her, they certainly hold up pretty darn well. In addition, when they do lose a right ear (and they do, it just takes 3 months instead of 3 minutes), back they go for repair. They block more UV light than any other mask on the market and can be custom made for your horse pretty easily.


5. Small hole hay nets: HayChix or Big Bale Buddy
Save yourself a ton of money, reduce waste, and help control your horse’s weight. Small hole hay nets for your big bales are AAHHMAZING. Added bonus: your horse won’t have their entire head stuck in the hay bale breathing in all that dust and mold.