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posted: 2/24/2013 4:40 AM

Horse care could improve at Danada

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Horse care could improve at Danada

In October 2012, after almost three years as a volunteer, I left Danada Equestrian Center due to time constraints as a result of other horse commitments. In that time I experienced what I consider a decline in the care and health of the horses.

Danada is an educational facility that our tax dollars pay for, and as such, it should be a leader in best care practices. To achieve this requires continuing education, which is not required of the employees. Horse nutrition in particular is not as simple as it seems, and one size does not fit all. Proper exercise is also critical, including how to implement it after any break in work. It was my observation that the nutritional and fitness levels of the herd were not being met as well as they should be.

I believe the absence of a trainer is a major problem. An experienced trainer observes both behavioral and fitness issues when they start and are easier to correct. It is important that horses be worked consistently and properly. As prey animals, horses are expert at hiding injuries, so it takes a careful eye to spot these things before they become a big problem, and knowing when to call the veterinarian. The Danada herd needs and deserves a trainer.

Some might argue that horse care at Danada is adequate. I would argue that barely adequate is not good enough. Our county's horses deserve the best care; after all, we are paying for it.

The office hours were changed to weekdays only, closing at 4:30. Additionally, evening and weekend times that trail rides and group lessons were offered were cut, making it difficult for working taxpayers to participate. Danada should be made more, not less accessible to the residents of DuPage County.

Cindy Oleynik

Wheaton

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