1. Coggins and Export information and timelines.
2. How to get the most out of your lameness exam.
3. How to make a good lameness video.
4. How to make a duct tape bootie.

1. Coggins and Export to US:

We recommend AT LEAST FIVE BUSINESS DAYS from the time we draw the blood until the horse has to cross the border to complete all of the required paperwork. The blood must go to a laboratory for testing and this usually takes 30 hours starting the morning after the blood was drawn until receiving the original, stamped documents in our hands. The Coggins form must then accompany the Export papers to be taken to and signed by an accredited veterinarian at a CFIA office. Unforeseen circumstances such as weather and transport interruptions can create delays beyond our control and therefore, we recommend that you begin this process as early as possible.

A negative Coggins test is good for six months, while the Export papers are valid for unlimited crossing within 30 days from the date of issue. If the horse is to be in the US for more than 30 days, a permanent Export is issued. The horse can cross back into Canada within 60 days with no additional health inspection. The horse will require an American Health Certificate issued by a USDA veterinarian beyond this time frame.

It is advised to make multiple, coloured copies of each certificate. If you are going to Texas, please be aware that there is additional testing required for Piroplasmosis in order to return to Canada. Also, stallions require a supplementary certificate regarding CEM status and their intention in the US.

Information required:


  • Owner name, address phone
  • Legal land location of horse (not address)
  • Horse’s name, age, breed, markings, brands


  • The original or copy of the horse’s negative Coggins form
  • The name of the person taking the horse across the border
  • Address of US destination
  • Address of Canadian premises of origin

2. How to get the most out of your lameness exam:

  • Start with a clean horse, including feet and hoof walls

  • Have a quiet place with even footing and little distraction to perform the clinical exam

  • Try your best to keep the horse standing square throughout the entire clinical examination

  • For the movement or “dynamic” exam, the proper facility will give us the most information

  • A hard surface with safe footing ~20m in diameter for special tests

  • A hard surface with safe footing to perform straight line walk, trot and flexions

  • Soft footing, e.g. arena, to lunge the horse in 20m circles in both directions

  • A safe environment to demonstrate under saddle issues if applicable

    • If diagnostics are required, again a quiet, flat area will make the process more efficient. If diagnostic ultrasound in particular is performed, a dark and quiet area is required to acquire the best images for diagnosis.

3. How to make a good lameness video.*

Occasionally, I will ask for a video of your horse’s lameness. You will require a length of hard, flat ground and a safe area to lunge the horse on a 20m circle.

*Please note that unsolicited videos will not be reviewed and videos will not be used to determine a definitive diagnosis of your horse’s lameness.

Please use the following guidelines.

  • Start with the walk. Stand behind the horse as it walks away and continually zoom in on the horse so that you see just the top of the hindquarters and the horses’ feet as it walks. Continue to videotape as the horse turns and walks back towards you. You will have to zoom out as it gets closer to the camera.

  • Change position to see the horse walking from the side and video tape the horse zoomed in so the whole horse fills the screen.

  • Repeat at the trot in a straight line from behind, in front and to the side.

  • Videotape lunging on a circle at the trot and canter in both directions… zoomed in!

  • Videotape the horse under saddle as well, if applicable. And you guessed it… zoom in! The way the horse is going is more important than seeing the rider itself so cut off the rider to keep horse completely visible and zoomed in. Research has shown that riders in two-point create the least amount of pressure on the horse’s back and I recommend that at least part of the under saddle portion be performed in two-point.

4. How to make a duct-tape bootie

  • Lay out overlapping, 30cm (12 inch) lengths of duct tape until it becomes a 30cm x 30cm square.

  • Reinforce the duct tape by laying a 30cm strip at the top and bottom of the square

  • Cut the duct tape from the corners towards the centre diagonally, leaving an intact ~15-20cm area in the middle of the square.

  • Place the center of the duct tape over the sole of the hoof and wrap each corner around the hoof wall like a present.

  • Try not to stick the duct tape to the hair- a layer of vet-wrap or kling can help with avoid this.

  • Finish bootie by wrapping lightplast or something similar around the top to keep shavings, etc from getting into the top of the bootie.


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