Kicking off a first-of-its-kind clinic series for horse owners of western Palm Beach County, several Acreage groups enlisted the veterinary team of Palm Beach Equine Clinic to provide hurricane preparedness expertise.
The Equine Hurricane Preparedness Clinic held on Aug. 15 at the Nicole Hornstein Equestrian Park garnered several dozen attendees, masked up with their horses in tow.
Kim Emmons, clinic director for Western Equestrian Shows and Trails (WEST) and a certified equine veterinary technician, is the driving force behind the event series.
“I’ve lived in and have been active in our local equestrian community for more than 20 years,” said Emmons, who led the discussion on best practices for horse owners during hurricane season. “The goal of this clinic series is to educate our local equestrian community and provide opportunities for horse owners of all ages and disciplines to become better, more well-rounded horsemen.”
Through attending equestrian events, teaching at camps and her experience as a veterinary technician, Emmons has met many horse owners who lack the correct skills and knowledge on basic horse health and care.
“I have always found it really rewarding to share my knowledge by teaching people the proper, practical skills for caring for their horses,” she said. “Things such as correct leg bandaging, taking their horse’s vitals, listening to gut sounds and teaching people on when they need to call a veterinarian are all essential for a horse owner to know. I used to teach an equine healthcare camp, and I am so proud to see those young campers grow into the smart, well-rounded equestrians they are today.”
The clinic series is free to attend, with fees for trailering in and offered membership packages, and will be based at the Nicole Hornstein Equestrian Park.
Palm Beach Equine Clinic provided special reduced rates on equine vaccinations, Coggins (equine infectious anemia) testing and microchipping services performed by Dr. Janet Greenfield-Davis and Dr. Charley McColough.
“We understand that, especially now in these pandemic times, many people are struggling to cover their horse’s expenses,” Greenfield-Davis said. “We are happy to be here for the community by providing these essential services at more affordable prices and in a more convenient location for the Acreage horsemen.”
WEST, a new subcommittee of the Acreage Landowners’ Association, is led by fellow longtime Acreage resident Dixie Thiery.
“All of our efforts are focused on promoting and protecting the wonderful equestrian lifestyle we are lucky to enjoy here,” Thiery said. “We hope that WEST and this clinic series will help strengthen our community by giving people an easy, convenient way to learn and meet their neighboring equestrians. We are also very fortunate to be supported by the Indian Trail Improvement District, which is responsible for this park, and we are working with them to update our local trail system maps and better plan for equestrian-safe roadways and developments.”
The groups plan to work together in the future by collaborating to bring horse shows, tack sales, exhibitions and other educational events for equestrians to the area. The association’s next clinic is planned for Sept. 19 and will focus on basic equine first aid.