Florida Equestrian Develops Life Saver for Horses with Summer Sores in Sheath Area

Newsdate Thu 14 August 2014 – 7:45 am

Location: PLANTATION, Florida

Entrepreneur and dressage rider Ashley McClure is now marketing and selling a revolutionary product that solves all of a horse’s sheath problems, especially hard-to-treat summer sores, also known as Florida Sores.

Protecting and caring for horse's sheath area

Protecting and caring for horse's sheath area

The patented Alpha Sheath Shield protects gelding and stallion’s sheaths from flies and parasites that lay eggs in wounds and worsen the condition and discomfort for the horse.
© 2014 byAshley McClure

The patented Alpha Sheath Shield™ was designed by McClure to protect a gelding and stallion’s sheath when caring for problems related to the sheath, such as sores, cuts, abrasions, and wounds.

This effective innovative solution protects the sheath from flies and parasites that lay eggs in wounds and worsen the condition and discomfort for the horse.

A Florida or summer sore is a common skin problem in horses in which a parasite carried by the typical house fly or stable fly causes swelling, ulceration, redness, itching, or a lesion of exuberant granulation tissue.

The lesions can occur anywhere, but the most common areas are the legs, lips, around the eyes, abdomen, and the genital area of geldings and stallions, which is one of the hardest areas to treat. But not anymore with the development of the Alpha Sheath Shield™.

The design came about in 2006 when McClure was trying to help a Miniature Horse suffering from a really difficult-to-treat Florida Sore. The Miniature Horse, Prankster, was part of the program at Holistic Therapy Solutions (www.holistictherapysolutions), a therapeutic ranch in Plantation, FL, owned by McClure’s mother and aunt.

Holistic Therapy Solutions uses a wide range of techniques and therapies, with and without horses, including speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, hippotherapy, etc., to help individuals with developmental delays, autism/PDD, cerebral palsy, and other neurogenic disorders. Prankster had been donated to the program.

Treatment of Prankster’s sore by the veterinarian was only helpful to a point since flies could still get to the area, and Prankster’s Florida sore returned more aggressively than ever after the first round of treatment. “For months we couldn’t get rid of it,” said McClure. “He was actually going to need surgery, and vet bills were piling up. I felt so terrible for him that he was suffering from all of this, so I tried to figure out ways to try to get rid of it. Several prototypes later, I finally came up with the sheath shield design with the help of my mother.”

“The vet saw it and loved it,” McClure continued. “He was actually one of the people who said that so many horses have the same problem. So he actually started to refer it to local people to whoever he saw that had the same issue. And that is how everything fell into place.”

Prankster recovered, all thanks to McClure’s innovative invention. And McClure, an animal lover with an interest in medical and veterinary care, made her first sale in 2007. Since then, sales have been through veterinarian and farrier recommendations and word of mouth, and many have found the product indispensable.

Some customers even purchase two Alpha Sheath Shields™ for the same horse so that one can be worn, in the stall or during turnout, while the other is drying after being cleaned.

“I’m just getting calls left and right from people who are having the same issue. I never thought this product would take off the way that it has. I love it. I love that I’m able to help out other horses that have the same ailment,” McClure said.

The easy-to-use Alpha Sheath Shield™ consists of a sheepskin padded sleeve, which encases and protects the sheath. A sheepskin strap encircles the horse’s body to help anchor the clip-on shield in position, and a second strap wraps around the hindquarters. All straps are adjustable, allowing the Alpha Sheath Shield™ to fit any size horse. Sizes range from miniature horse size up to draft horse size. Price ranges from $90-$110, and the product pays for itself over and over since the horse owner saves on vet bills.

Customers should allow one to two weeks for delivery of their American-made Alpha Sheath Shield™. Each one is hand-crafted by developer Ashley McClure to meet individual specifications. The Alpha Sheath Shield™ should be removed daily so that the horse owner can evaluate the health and healing of the horse’s sheath.

It is also recommended that the Alpha Sheath Shield™ be cleaned daily with water and mild disinfectant soap. Bleach, ammonia, and other chemicals should not be used on the Alpha Sheath Shield™ or damage could occur. However, veterinary ointments, gels, and oils can be used on the sheath for healing while the shield is in place. Please consult a veterinarian for instructions on a horse’s individual care and for any necessary prescription medications.

To learn more about Alpha Sheath Shield™ visit www.sheathshield.com or call for information at 954-804-7727.

About the Author

Flossie Sellers

Author picture

As an animal lover since childhood, Flossie was delighted when Mark, the CEO and developer of EquiMed asked her to join his team of contributors.

She enrolled in My Horse University at Michigan State and completed a number of courses in everything related to horse health, nutrition, diseases and conditions, medications, hoof and dental care, barn safety, and first aid.

Staying up-to-date on the latest developments in horse care and equine health is now a habit, and she enjoys sharing a wealth of information with horse owners everywhere.