Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Expert Horse Tips and Essential Gear for Trail Riding with Jodie Morton of Green, Gold and Blues

Standlee Forage podcast - Listen

New Beyond the Barn Podcast Episode

Episode 78: Expert Horse Tips and Essential Gear for Trail Riding with Jodie Morton of Green, Gold and Blues On this part two episode, co-host Katy Starr continues her conversation with long distance trail rider, Jodie Morton of Green, Gold and Blues about:

• One item that she will never, EVER leave home without for a trail ride
• Her process for planning a safe and successful trail ride on big trails
• A brilliant strategy she uses with her horse Thelma, to make elevation gains the most efficient

Riding horses cross country has taught her she can do things she never thought were possible and just how much goodness exists in the world when you ride in a saddle. Join us for some vital trail riding tips before you hit the trail for your next horseback adventure.


Thursday, March 14, 2024

Long Rider Gillian Larson’s Spirit of Adventure - Full Story

By: Kim Izzo | March 12, 2024

If you’ve ever dismounted after a long day in the saddle and cracked open a cold one, maybe a certain iconic ad campaign came to mind. In the advertising world it’s all about creating a memorable moment to associate with a product and when it comes to beer and horses one brand has turned the combo into event television – Budweiser Clydesdales we’re looking at you.

A bottle and a can of beer.Now there’s a new draft in town: 805 Beer from Firestone Walker Brewing Company. The brand is also seeking must-watch status with its latest campaign released on International Women’s Day featuring a diverse cast of women athletes and creators, which Firestone Walker has dubbed “Authenticos.”

One of the women is American thru-rider Gillian Larson, who became the first solo thru-rider of the Pacific Crest Trail, as well as the youngest and only woman, when she completed it in 2014...

Read more here:

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Expeditions team retraces steps of Snowshoe Thompson's mail route in 1856 - Full Story

Expeditions team retraces steps of pioneer mailman's route in 1856

Lia Carotta
Mar 09, 2024

The Auburn State Theatre invites the public to come meet the History Expeditions Team – comprised of local endurance athletes – as they share stories and video of their newest adventure and participate in a Q&A at 7 p.m. Friday, March 15, at the Odd Fellows Lodge #7 in Auburn, 1226-1/2 Lincoln Way.
To honor John “Snowshoe” Thompson, pioneering mailman of the Sierra, the History Expeditions Team was scheduled to set out March 6 on a never-before-attempted 100-mile trek across the Sierra Nevada mountains from Placerville to Genoa, Nevada. This route retraces Thompson’s inaugural 1856 mail route, where the legendary mailman weathered huge snowdrifts on massive 25-pound skis, carrying his 100-pound load of mail and ore.

This event is a fundraiser for the History Expedition's publication of TEVIS - The Places We Ride - Celebrating Seven Decades of American Endurance Riding History.

History Expeditions co-founders Bob Crowley and Tim Twietmeyer, veteran ultra-distance trail runners and amateur historians, accompanied by Jennifer Hemmen, a versatile ultra-distance and adventure athlete; Elke Reimer, a veteran ultra-distance runner, backpacker and trail steward; and Hal Hall, an accomplished endurance equestrian rider and historian, will trek and ski the rugged Sierra terrain, following Thompson’s mail route...

Read more here:

Friday, March 01, 2024

On the Road: Walking Coast to Coast With 3 Mustangs - Full Article

Stan Hough,
Feb 22, 2024

When I caught up with Jake Harvath on a cold February night, he was in Bentonville, Arkansas, having just spent a long day navigating about 20 miles in the saddle on unfamiliar county roads, bike trails, highways and main streets far from his Utah home.

And he had just finished with what is essentially the golden rule for horsemen: Horse care comes first; his needs second. It’s likely that credo will never be more important given Harvath’s present circumstances.

In September, he gathered his small string of three adopted mustangs, filled his pack saddles and set out on a 7,200-mile, 30-state journey that will take him from Utah to New Jersey to California and then back to his home in Heber City, Utah.

He’s named it the “Year of the Mustang” and he has using YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook to chronicle the journey, posting updates and videos once a week.

Harvath’s improbable attempt to traverse the country on horseback was designed to raise awareness of the plight of America’s wild horses, mustangs who are struggling to keep their place and relevance in the West, while some 60,000-plus sit in federal holding pens as part of a flaring controversy that has no end in sight...

Read more here:

Thursday, February 29, 2024

The Forgotten Story Of The Horse That Conquered A 20,000 Mile Trek - Full Article

by Stacey Lorton | Mar 27, 2018

In a story that has been lost to history, a group of horseback riders embarked on a 20,000 mile trip across the United States in 1912, searching for fame and money. A horse named Pinto would turn this “ride of the century” into a reality.

George Beck, a part-time Washington logger, and his three closest companions decided to embark on this huge trek after Beck convinced the others that there was more money to be earned in the saddle than at the jobs they possessed at the time. Taking the group name of Overland Westerners, the foursome began their adventure… but it did not go as planned.

“With five horses and a 60-pound, one-year old Gordon Setter and Newfoundland named Nip, the enthusiastic quartet began their journey on May 1, 1912 from Shelton. Their first stop was Olympia, Washington 18 miles away where Governor Marion E. Hay awaited. For the next three years averaging 22 miles a day, these travelers would stop at each of the 48 state capitals in the United States, rendezvous with the state’s governor or his surrogate, and endure numerous disappointments and hardships including hunger, theft, weather extremes, and rugged trails. Moreover, financial woes came when The Westerner folded before the trip was half completed leaving them bereft of corporate sponsorship.” – Chuck Rand...

Read more here:

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

How to Overcome Your Fear of Trail Riding Alone: Part 1 - Full Article

January 30, 2024
by Tamara Baysinger

Reader Sara asks: Can you talk more about getting over fear? I want to try endurance riding but I work weekends, so I’d have to do most of my training rides by myself during the week. The problem is that I’m terrified of trail riding alone!

I hear you, Sara. As you know, I had quite a journey through fear myself after a bad wreck. Riding horses is inherently risky, and being alone does make it harder to get out of a sticky situation. Respecting your fear is prudent, but it needn’t be paralyzing.

As I gathered my thoughts about dealing with fear, I found myself putting possible solutions into two buckets: practical strategies and psychological strategies. Step one is to identify which of these should be your focus.

This article will help you step back to better understand your experience of fear. Additional posts in this series cover practical and psychological strategies for overcoming your fear of riding alone. Finally, we’ll consider some safety gear that goes way beyond helmets...

Read more here:

Monday, January 29, 2024

Horsemanship Around the World: Exploration with the Argentinian Gauchos - Full Story

By Gillian Warner on Jan 26, 2024

As I stood on top of the cliff, overlooking the Gatorade blue water of Lago San Martín, it felt like my horse and I had truly found the end of the world. And it wasn’t far off, with Patagonia edging its way close to that title.

As my horse caught his breath, I took a moment to soak in the postcard beauty of the landscape before turning back to the terrain so intensely unique to the Andes to continue on our exploration.

Pursuing this trip wasn’t for the faint of heart, consisting of 15 hours of flying to get to Buenos Aires, another 3 hours to arrive in El Calafate, and then a 5 hour drive to the beautiful Estancia El Condor, where our ride began. While daunting, I was surrounded by a group of explorers who were well equipped to handle anything that came our way — adventurer extraordinaire Erik Cooper, Argentinian gauchos Andy and Morita, and a diverse group of incredibly capable and skilled horsemen and women from around the world as crazy as I am to pursue something this wild...

Read more here:

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

From 0 to 160km: Training Horses for Endurance - Full Article

24 January 2024
Words by Stacey Stearns

Get your horse ready for long-distance competition...

Picture a ribbon of trail unfolding in front of your horse’s perked ears. You are rhythmically trotting down the trail, around the bend, and then cresting the next hill. This is Endurance riding, an equestrian discipline that covers long distances on trails while emphasizing horse welfare. Horses enjoy the trails and sport as much as the riders.

Endurance athletes have unparalleled bonds with their horses. Countless hours together in training and competition forge strong bonds. Years of work lead to that moment on the trail, and horses’ fitness and nutrition are carefully managed to achieve and maintain peak condition.

FEI offers multiple levels of Endurance competitions with distances ranging from 100km to 160km. A gradual qualification process over many years leads to each successive distance, helping the horse go from zero to 160km...

Read more here:

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

The Hardy Horse: How Horses Handle Winter - Full Article

December 21, 2021
Posted by Heather Smith Thomas

From growing a thick winter coat to producing heat as they digest forage, here’s how horses are inherently designed to cope with cold weather.

How horses are inherently designed to cope with cold weather.

After a ride across the mountain to check my horses on winter pasture, the sun had set and the temperature was dropping toward zero. I didn’t want to leave my mare wet and chilling; she needed her coat dry and fluffy for it to be effective insulation. My fingers were stiff with cold, but I had to rub her sweaty long hair dry with towels and turn her out in her pen before I could go indoors and soak up the welcome heat of a wood stove.

Our horses handle winter much better than we do, and my ranch horses in Idaho have managed nicely outdoors, even at 40 below zero. They have several unique ways to stay comfortable in severe weather and do well if allowed to adapt to colder temperatures gradually.

Winter Hair Coat

As days get shorter and nights become cooler, horses grow a new, longer hair coat. These winter hairs stand up, trapping tiny air pockets between them. The effect is like that of a thick, down-filled comforter, with tremendous insulating quality...

Read more here:

Tuesday, January 09, 2024

Ride of Passage Podcast

NPR Podcast Ride of Passage - Listen

From Michigan radio, it's a podcast about a true American adventure story about one young man's solo ride across the country on horseback.

Twenty years ago, a young man from Michigan set out to do something no one had done before. Matt Parker rode across the country on a horse. The horse was named Smokey, and the two of them used a system of trails known as the American Discovery Trail. That journey is the subject of the Michigan Radio podcast Ride Of Passage.

Listen to the podcast:

Wednesday, January 03, 2024

The Best Next Step - Full Story

January 2 2024
by Tamara Baysinger

I think I’ve finally figured it out. How to approach 2024, I mean.

My usual proclivity for outcome-based goal-setting just didn’t sit right this New Year.

Get to 12 endurance rides, enter a 100 late in the season, blah blah blah.

Of course, I’d love to do those things…but I’d have loved to do them last year, and the year before that, and all the years going back to 2015, which was the last time it actually happened.

Interestingly, all these years of not getting far in endurance haven’t kept me from going places with the horses. I’ve trained and learned, hacked and explored, and it was pleasant. It was fun. It meant something.

Very slowly, as I learned to look past what should have been and rest in what is, it dawned on me that I enjoy those things, too — in and of themselves, completely disconnected from the endurance trail.

Perhaps I have finally arrived at a place where I can let go of endurance as the primary goal...

Read more here:

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Could You Be Missing the Signs of Gastric Ulcers in Horses? - Full Article

August 20, 2021
Posted by Edited Press Release

Behavior and performance changes that could be associated with gastric ulcers in horses should prompt further veterinary investigation.

Sometimes a training ride or a show doesn’t go well. You wonder, “Is my horse just having a bad day?” But before riders place blame on any variety of causes—from the weather and the environment to the horse’s athletic ability or even their own errors—they should consider another potential problem: equine stomach ulcers.

Less-than-optimal performance, resistance to work, and training difficulties are all common issues associated with gastric ulcers, which can develop in as few as five days. If you have noticed behaviors such as your horse pinning his ears while being groomed, or kicking out when the girth is tightened, equine stomach ulcers could be a possibility, and it might be time to contact your veterinarian...

Read more here:

Monday, December 25, 2023

Your Trail Horse Threw You Off…Now What? - Full Article

By Alycia Bardon
June 29, 2021

On August 12, 2017, Trina Ockenfels and her horse Tiger went on an average trail ride with a group of friends in Ionia State Recreation Area, which spans 4,500 acres. Unfortunately, their normal trail ride ended in tragedy when Tiger panicked due to some ground bees, threw Ockenfels off, and fled the scene. Tiger appeared to be in a frenzy, trying to get something off his foot before taking off. Despite long searches, both on the ground and in the air, Tiger’s remains weren’t found until almost four years later.

Many equestrians enjoy trail riding with their equine partners, as it is a great way to relax and enjoy nature. Having both the training and the know-how to handle such a situation as a loose trail horse is important before saddling up and hitting the trails. But sometimes tragedy can still strike, even with preparation...

Read more here:

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Saddle up for Success Part 1: 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Entering the World of Endurance Riding - Full Article

Nov 20 2023
by McKayla

My first year in Endurance is coming to a close and I have to say I’m completely hooked! This year I’ve completed one 50-mile ride, two 25-mile rides, and one 30-mile ride. I have learned more about myself and my horse this year in this sport than any other year. So, allow me to share with you 5 things that I wish I knew before I dove in.

My very first ride this year was a 50 mile ride that my mentor and friend invited me on. I competed on one of her experienced horses. My next three rides were done on my Grade Quarter Horse mare, Sandra-Dee. These last three were technically Limited Distance (LD) races which are shorter distances than true Endurance races. Even so, I learned SO MUCH while doing these races. And now with the leg-work done I can share with you 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Entering the World of Endurance Riding...

Read more here:

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Saudi Arabia: AlUla Moments expands sporting legacy with inaugural Tent Pegging World Championship and Horseback Archery World Cup

• Both equestrian events will take place from 16th to 18th December at AlFursan Equestrian Village
• For the first time, AlUla will host competitions based on Furusiyya Arts, the Arabic term for equestrian martial exercise
• Tickets available for sale now here.

AlUla, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, December 12, 2023:

AlUla Moments is set to make new sporting milestone, as it welcomes the inaugural editions of the Tent Pegging World Championship in Traditional Sport Dress and the AlUla Horseback Archery World Cup. The events will take place on the same days, from 16th to 18th December, at the spectacular AlFursan Equestrian Village.

In collaboration with the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation, International Tent Pegging Federation, World Horseback Archery Federation, and World Martial Arts Union, the prestigious events align with AlUla’s commitment to transforming into a hub for premiere sporting events and elevating its range of offering to visitors and locals.

Ziad AlSuhaibani, Head of Sports Executive Program at the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), expressed the significance of this event, saying: “The Tent Pegging World Championship and Horseback Archery World Cup not only add to AlUla's appeal as a global sports and entertainment destination but also highlight the distinctive fusion of Arabian tradition, indigenous expertise and natural splendour of our landscape. More than just tourist attractions, these events tap into the history of equestrianism in Saudi Arabia and the broader region, captivating new audiences and preserving beloved traditions for generations to come.”

Both Horseback Archery and Tent Pegging are ancient equestrian arts cultivated by diverse cultures across the globe, and this will be the first time AlUla will host competitions based on Furusiyya Arts, the Arabic term for equestrian martial exercise.

The Horseback Archery competition draws inspiration from traditional horseback hunting, where archers navigate a 99-metre course, shooting arrows at targets of varying distances. Meanwhile, Tent Pegging involves riders galloping along a 99-metre track, spear in hand, picking up targets from the ground with speed and precision. The reigning World Cup holders in Tent Pegging are the KSA Team.

In addition to dignitaries from GCC and neighbouring countries being in attendance, ten countries (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan, Russia, Germany, South Africa and Iraq) are set to participate in the Tent Pegging World Championship, while 11 countries (Saudi Arabia, USA, Turkey, Iran, Syria, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Canada, Indonesia, Mongolia and Thailand) will take part in AlUla Horseback Archery World Cup.

Over three action-packed days, the tournament activities will unfold simultaneously, with results tallied for both team and individual performances.

The events mark a significant expansion in the equestrian and sporting events calendar in AlUla, aligning with the region's comprehensive regeneration as a leading global destination for cultural and natural heritage. Other exciting equestrian events that take place as part of AlUla Moments’ calendar of events and festivals include the Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo from January 17th to 20th, 2024, and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup in February 2024.

Both events can be attended using the same ticket, available online. General admission ticket prices for Tent Pegging/Horseback Archery are set at SAR 30 for a single day; SAR 80 for a family ticket (two adults and three children) for one day; and SAR 80 for a three-day ticket. VIP options include a single ticket for SAR 120, a family ticket (two adults and three children) for one day at SAR 280, and a three-day ticket at SAR 280.

Find out more details at

Friday, December 01, 2023

Creative Spirits Unleased Podcast: Stevie Delahunt

Creative Spirits Podcast - Listen

My guest for this next episode is Stevie Delahunt. This podcast is going to be a very different episode. When you get into it, you'll notice that we just started recording. There wasn't this moment where I went, "Stevie, welcome to the podcast," because we just started talking the minute we got on Zoom together.

Here's the background.

In the 24 hours before Stevie and I were scheduled to record, she discovered that her horse, Captain America, had severely lacerated his front left leg in the pasture. There was a big decision to be made. Was it even something that could be recoverable? She had spent the last 24 hours working with him to determine what to do.

The vets eventually took four hours to stich him up and put him back together. Given all that, I started this podcast by saying, "Stevie, we can just talk. We don't have to do a podcast; maybe you just need an ear for what you've been going through." She started talking, and I hit record because we just got right into it.

What you're going to hear in this podcast is two people having a very rich discussion about how to deal with adversity and pressure, including things like having our horse cut their leg and all the other things that we might call trauma. She calls those things productive struggle, or spicy memories.

Stevie is all about helping people deal with difficult situations. Let me tell you a little bit about her.

Stevie Delahunt graduated Michigan State University with two degrees and an intent to pursue law school at Georgetown University where she had been accepted. She switched gears and went to the French Pastry School of Chicago to learn how to do wedding cakes and set up shop in the Windy City. While in Chicago she learned of the worlds toughest horse race, the Mongol Derby, and she again let life guide her into constant change. On the other side of successfully completing the Mongol Derby she took a job with a start up company in Rhode Island and learned coding and marketing for the online business.

The endeavor in the world of start-ups gave her strong leadership skills and an education in business models she applied to starting her second and current business of horse related retreats. Stevie’s current business encompasses several facets of the horse world including beginner riding instruction, advanced Bootcamp style retreats for riders wishing to participate in difficult horse riding survival races around the world, horse shoeing, and endurance racing with horses which includes doing the worlds toughest one day one hundred mile horse race; the Tevis Cup.

Stevie believes that adversity is a necessary part of life and being prepared for adversity as well as creating it for oneself is essential and is a tool she uses in teaching both horses and humans, both young and old.

Listen to the podcast:

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Horses Affected by Short-Term Transportation Stress - Full article

A pair of studies show that there are significant changes in immune and endocrine function following even short periods of shipping.

By: Equine Disease Quarterly | November 15, 2023

Horses are commonly shipped for periods of three hours or less ‒ but even short hauls can elicit significant changes in immune and endocrine function, especially in older horses.

Horses are routinely transported for equestrian events as well as medical care. It is well recognized that long-distance transportation is a risk factor for the development of pleuropneumonia.

Results from a nationwide survey showed that horses are most commonly trailered short distances of three hours or less. The Adams Lab at the Gluck Equine Research Center within the University of Kentucky Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is currently working to investigate the impact of acute transportation stress on immune function in different groups of horses...

Read more here:

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Gordy Ainsleigh and Endurance Running: ‘The Man Who Lit the Sport on Fire’ - Read and watch video

Written by Andrew McLemore
June 29, 2022

A new mini-documentary from HOKA TV tells the story of Gordy Ainsleigh, who virtually invented endurance running in 1974.

When Gordy Ainsleigh decided to run a 100-mile course developed for horseback riding, it “was unthinkable,” according to a new documentary.

Ainsleigh had already completed the Western States Trail Ride multiple times when his horse went lame in 1974. Already known for his ability to run portions of the course, Ainsleigh decided to try the whole thing...

More at:

Saturday, November 04, 2023

Feeding Endurance Horses - Full ArticleJuly 10, 2022
Posted by Heather Smith Thomas

Feeding hard-working endurance horses is as much art as it is science. Our sources walk you through an endurance horse’s diet, from conditioning to post-race.

Make sure your horse gets the energy, nutrients, and water he needs to tackle a long ride

Athletes need fuel to work. Endurance horses, in particular, need a nutrition strategy that will allow them to travel all day at moderate to high speeds without “running out of gas” or becoming dehydrated. They need adequate energy in a form that won’t produce excess body heat and will provide enough fluid and electrolytes to maintain hydration.

Julie Bullock, DVM, of Mount Sidney, Virginia, has been riding endurance horses for over 25 years and competes in 100-mile races. She says the endurance community is growing fast, and it’s important for newcomers to the sport to understand these horses’ nutritional needs.

Kathleen Crandell, PhD, an equine nutritionist with Kentucky Equine Research, in Versailles, has extensive background in nutrition science and has trained and competed endurance horses. “When feeding an endurance horse, we think about two programs—feeding the horse on a daily basis as we get the horse into fitness, and then a plan for what we’ll feed the horse on the day of competition,” she says...

Read more here:

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Conservation of Equestrian Space - Full Article

Open space is crucial for horse owners and enthusiasts. Find out how you can be a part of the land-saving solution.

By Sarah E. Coleman
October 10, 2023

Whether you’re an avid trail rider or more comfortable in an arena, conservation of open space for equestrian endeavors should remain constantly on your radar. The loss of open space impacts the horse world in a plethora of ways, including limiting the places people can ride, allowing farms and stables to be encroached by residential and commercial developments, and making hay- and grain-growing land more difficult to keep in production.

The Urban Exodus Effect on Equestrian Space

We’ve all seen it: A farm we knew growing up or a park we used to ride in now surrounded by cookie cutter homes or strip malls, completely cut off from the countryside that used to envelope it.

“Urban sprawl” began in earnest in the 1950s, when people sought to leave city centers behind—and the noise, traffic and crime they often harbored—so they could have larger homes and yards in which to raise a family. Events like 9/11 and the COVID-19 pandemic created additional urban exoduses to more rural properties.

Often these new-acreage owners are not horse people, and they are frequently unaware of the culture of living in an equine community...

Read more here:

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Horse Boarding: Legal Rights and Responsibilities​

EquineLegalSolutions.comn - Full Article

At Equine Legal Solutions, we receive a lot of calls from horse owners and boarding stables that are unhappy with a situation and want to know what their legal rights are. In the four states where we practice, California, New York, Oregon and Washington, there are no laws governing horse boarding, other than animal cruelty statutes and local zoning regulations governing use of the property. Landlord/tenant law generally does not apply to horse boarding relationships unless the boarder lives on the stable property. Therefore, in general, the terms of horse boarding relationships are governed solely by contract (written or verbal).

What are the minimum accommodations a boarding stable is legally required to provide?

Unless the boarding contract says otherwise, a boarding stable is only required to provide the absolute minimum level of care – i.e., not violate state animal cruelty laws. State law generally requires providing access to potable water. Beyond that, requirements vary, but are usually quite minimal. For example, depending on the state and local laws, a boarding stable may not be legally required to provide shelter, and there may be no restriction on the number of horses that a boarding facility can keep on a particular piece of property. So, having a written horse boarding contract that spells out all of the important terms and conditions is essential for both boarding stable and boarder! ELS offers a downloadable horse boarding contract and forms package...

Read more here:

Monday, October 09, 2023

Great Britain Woman, 82, rides pony 600-miles with her beloved dog in saddlebag beside her - Full Article & Video

Jane Dotchin makes the journey from her home in Hexham, Northumberland, to the north of Scotland every year and has even won awards for her long-distance exploits

By Bradley Jolly
News Reporter
8 Oct 2023

A pensioner with impaired vision travels 600 miles every year on her horse with her beloved dog in her saddlebag.

Jane Dotchin, now believed to be 82, has completed the long-distance exploits with Dinky the dog and Diamond the pony since 1972. She's so familiar with the route from her home in Hexham, Northumberland, to the north of Scotland that she is now friendly with business owners and community leaders.

Jane covers 15 to 20 miles every day and then sleeps in a tent during the seven-week adventures. During these periods, the keen explorer lives on porridge, oatcakes and cheese, and carries an old mobile which has a battery which lasts six weeks – although getting a signal can be a problem...

Read more here and watch video:

Friday, September 29, 2023

The Role of Pre-, Pro- and Postbiotics - Full Article

What's the difference? A look at these popular equine dietary supplements intended to stabilize the microbiome.

By: Madeline Boast, MSc. Equine Nutrition | September 20, 2023

Despite owners trying to minimize stress in their horse’s lives, no matter what, stressors are going to exist. Some common examples include exercise, transportation, social stressors etc. This negatively impacts the equine gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and since horses have an extremely sensitive GI tract, owners are continually seeking out ways to better support it.

Dietary supplements are a popular inclusion in equine rations. Pre-, pro- and postbiotics are often supplemented in hopes of stabilizing the microbiome of the horse to maintain overall health and well-being. Defining Pre-, Pro- and Postbiotics

Pre-, pro- and postbiotics are popular terms when it comes to gut health supplements. The World Health Organization defines probiotics as live microorganisms that when consumed in adequate amounts confer a health benefit to the host. One of the keywords in this definition is “live”. This sets probiotics apart from pre- and postbiotics...

Read more here:

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

How your horse’s vision differs from yours - Full Article

If you want to shape your horse’s performance and gain his trust, you need to understand how he sees the world.

May 27, 2022
Janet L. Jones, PhD

See that sliver of light on the sand, shining through a gap in the roof of the indoor arena? Every time she goes past, Hawkeye arches her neck and skirts the boundary as if it’s a rattlesnake. The sliver changes in size and shape with the sun’s movement, and the mare seems to see each tiny difference as a brand-new snake. When a concurrent sound erupts—say, the sound of a grain of sand sliding—she leaps sideways.

These are normal behaviors that reflect the way a horse’s visual systems are hardwired into his brain. We can teach horses to overcome them, but we can’t make them go away. Nor can we make a horse see the way we do. How we respond to his fear depends partly on our own vision, which determines our expectations of what horses see.

Since the 1960s, cognitive psychologists have shown that we construct sight using information from our eyes combined with knowledge in our brains. Things can go wrong at either end—the eye or the brain. A person whose eyes become blind still sees images and dreams. One whose eyes are intact but whose visual cortex is damaged often sees lights and shadows but can’t make sense of them. In rare cases, people who are completely brain-blind can grasp a coffee cup set in front of them or navigate around objects, responding to the physical world even though they cannot consciously see it. This ability, called “blindsight,” isn’t limited to humans; cortically blind animals can do it, too.

Occasionally, a smidgen of visual cortex is impaired so specifically that its owner—having otherwise normal sight—suddenly cannot see color, shape or perhaps movement. Imagine trying to cross a busy street with eyes that function normally but a brain that can’t perceive motion. Cars travelling 60 miles an hour become a series of still images stopped along the road. At the next glance, they’re still stopped, but in different locations.

Neuroscientist Gerald Edelman said it best: “Every perception is a creation.” The trouble is that horses create their perceptions in ways that are very different from ours. Visual information travels from the eye to the brain in both species, of course. But the human brain sends back six times as much neural information in the opposite direction, transmitting messages to the sensory relay station that captures incoming views. This wiring is infrastructure for perceptual interpretation: the effect of knowledge being melded with the eye’s pictures of the outside world. So, who’s more objective in seeing reality, you or your horse? Hate to break the news, but it’s probably your horse. His brain is less prone to illusions and assumptions than yours is.

Equine vision is different from human vision in almost every way—acuity, range, eye contact and detection of peripheral motion, just for starters...

Read more here:

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Between the Ears with Endurance Rider Dr. Pamela Reband

Susan Kordish photo - Full Article

By Tyler Held on Sep 19, 2023

t seems like these days we look at each other’s lives through the lens of a highlight reel. We get to see the incredible trips, the best jumps, and the moments that we’re proud enough of to put on social media. What we don’t talk about is how much pressure this adds to athletes on both ends of the news feed.

Riders, whether professional or not, are made to feel like they ‘have to’ post something that makes them look cool and successful. Then, as we consume this content, we are stuck with the disillusioned perception that the sport is easy and that if you’re not succeeding, then maybe you aren’t cut out for it. I would like to take this opportunity to go ‘between the ears’ of some of the riders that make up our Eventing Nation and work to understand some of the real challenges this industry presents.

If you’ve stumbled upon this article, there is a pretty good chance that you love horses, which also means that there’s a pretty good chance that through your love of horses, you have also confronted injury, fear, and anxiety. The reality of a life with horses is that there are inherent risks — whether you plan to go Advanced or are simply interested in trail riding with your friends.

If you’ve been following along with my Between the Ears series, you’ve heard stories from upper level eventers, and many of those stories included setbacks related to physical injury and how these riders were able to sort through related fears and get back to Eventing.

On this edition of Between the Ears, I got to talk to Dr. Pamela Reband, who many of you eventers reading this have probably have never heard of! Pam is a retired anesthesiologist who has been riding since the 1960s. She is an endurance rider who embraces the AERC (American Endurance Ride Conference) motto “To finish is to win...”

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