Monday, June 18, 2018

Saddle Fitting the Arabian Horse

TheConnectedRider.com - Full Article

TheConnectedRider.com

I never had a desire to ride a bucking bronco. If I did I would have joined the Rodeo. Instead I prefer to ride my horses safely making sure if there was a bucking fest it came from training or exuberant expression (my nice way of saying they were being a naughty pony!) and not from pain. This first and foremost means my saddle must fit. If you have ever tried finding a saddle to fit an Arabian then you have stared adversity in the face and stated “I have got this!” Why?

Let’s clarify adversity: if you have ever called a saddle fitter and told them you were having trouble finding a saddle to fit and then the word “Arabian” came out of your mouth you could almost hear the crickets against the silence. In the saddle fitter world Arabians are known for being tough to saddle fit, not impossible but tough. Some saddle fitters relish in the challenge, others slowly back away never to be heard from again. It isn’t that Arabians are not particularly suited to being ridden, quite the contrary but the modern Arabian Sport Horse has become so athletic it has some unique fitting challenges to go with that athletic conformation and quite frankly many saddle manufactures just haven’t caught up. I thought I would pass on a little bit of knowledge I gained over the years trying to fit the impossible to fit Arabians.

For starters an Arabian horse in general has a straighter top line…please note I said in general, I currently have one Arabian that has anything but a level top line. The modern Arabian sport horse also in general has wide broad shoulders, a well sprung rib cage, a short back that is also well muscled with an equally well muscled and active loin. These horses are short coupled with well laid back shoulders and being fantastic elastic “back movers” it is amazing we don’t need super glue and duct tape to keep a saddle on them. Arabians in general do not have substantial withers. The good news is all these features make a spectacular riding horse.

The first thing I learned over the years of having Arabians is: there is no such thing as an Arabian saddle...

Read more here:
https://www.theconnectedrider.com/blogging/saddle-fitting-the-arabian/

Trail Riding Equine Etiquette

By Carey Williams and Janice Elsishans

When trail riding, everyone needs to be aware of not only safety concerns for the rider and the horse, but also courtesy for other trail users. All safety precautions and tips on riding should be practiced, because trail etiquette and safety go hand in hand.

Stay on designated or marked trails. Do not ride horses at a pace greater than a walk on muddy trails. You should cross rivers, creeks, or wetland only in designated areas to guard against adverse impact on the environment and for the safety of you and your horse.

Good riding etiquette prevents land abuse and destruction.. If you ride on federal or state lands, ask the park officials for their advice on the best trails to take or if there are any map changes. Ride only on lands offered for public or private use where you have permission to ride.

If you stop for lunch, make sure your horse is resting in a safe place both for the horse and for other trail users. Stay with your horse and be considerate of other trail users.

If it is permissible to have the horses rest off the trail, do not tie your horse directly to a tree. Use two lightweight 8-foot lines with panic snaps and secure your horse between two trees. This will prevent the horse from chewing the bark and damaging the root system.

Leave what you find and carry out what you packed.

Water should be offered to a horse at any available point on the trail if the trail permits horse access. If there is no access, do not attempt to enter the water. Entering rivers or streams in undesignated areas can cause damage to the environment, be unsafe for the horse, and possibly result in the trail being closed to horses.

At the trailhead or when using a public park, be considerate of other users and clean up any manure. Do not toss manure from your trailer into the bushes unless you have asked the proper officials if this is acceptable.

Horses that are young or new to trails can learn from seasoned trail horses, so surround the novice horse with two or three seasoned horses. This is especially helpful if a novice trail horse is easily spooked.

Horses may not understand that a hiker with a large backpack, floppy hat, or a fishing rod is still a person. Speak to others on the trail to help your horse understand that unfamiliar objects do not pose a danger.

Keep your own safety in mind, as well. It is best not to ride alone, but if you do, tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to be back. Consider carrying a whistle or cell phone to use in case of an emergency. It takes less effort to blow a whistle than to yell for help.
 
Consider attaching an identification tag to your horse when trail riding. The tag should include the horse’s name, your name, and your cell phone number. Should you become separated from your horse and you are some distance from home, a cell phone number will aid anyone who has caught your horse in reuniting it with you.

Carry a current map of the area and have an idea where you are going. Study the area around you, noting landmarks. Occasionally look behind you to help recognize the trail for your return.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Riders are more stable in saddles without flaps, study finds

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Sarah Radford
15:37 - 14 June, 2018

Riders have greater stability in saddles without flaps, a new study has claimed.

US researchers collected data from five dressage horses ridden in their own conventional saddles and a flapless saddle provided by EQ Saddle Science.

The conventional, treed saddles featured two flaps — a sweat flap next to the horse’s ribcage where the girth straps lay and a second flap over which the stirrup leathers hang.

The flapless saddle goes one further than a monoflap design, separating the rider’s legs from the horse with a saddlepad only.

The horses used in the study were three European warmbloods, one thoroughbred-warmblood cross, and one Lusitano, all of which were ridden by their regular professional riders to reduce variability in the data.

Each horse was ridden in the flapless saddle twice in the three days prior to the study to allow them to get used to the feel...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/riders-stable-saddles-without-flaps-study-finds-656370#tHVrK0c1ISr4IWbj.99

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

All the Wild Horses review – hills, hooves and unhinged competitors

TheGuardian.com - Full Article

Ivo Marloh’s documentary about the Mongol Derby captures the beauty and bedlam of the 1,000-km cross-country race

by Peter Bradshaw
@PeterBradshaw1
Fri 8 Jun 2018

To non-horse-riders the subject of this looks like the most extraordinary exercise in masochism and self-harm, and yet there is a kind of fascination in it. The film is about the Mongol Derby, a brutally punishing 1,000-kilometre endurance race across Mongolia, recreating Genghis Khan’s 13th-century horse-messenger trail.

Riders have to use the wild horses they’re given and ride all day for about 10 days, changing mounts every 40 kilometres. They are intensively tracked and monitored with GPS, with hyper-alert support teams of doctors and vets, although psychotherapists would probably also be a good idea. The contestants face tough terrain, the possibility of encountering wolves and probable/inevitable injury – or, as someone cheerfully puts it: “faceplanting”, which could lead to broken necks. It looks as terrifyingly dangerous as the TT races in the Isle of Man...

Read more here:
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/jun/08/all-the-wild-horses-review

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Long Riders' Guild Press publishes 3-volume Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration

May 25 2018

After years of uninterrupted labour the Long Riders’ Guild has helped usher in a new age of equestrian exploration. With Members in 46 countries, the Guild has mentored equestrian expeditions on every continent except Antarctica.
 
Subsequently, to mark the 400 year anniversary of the birth of equestrian travel literature, the Long Riders’ Guild Press is writing to announce the publication of the three-volume Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration, the most extensive study of equestrian travel ever created.
 
Robin Hanbury-Tenison is a Founding Member of the Guild and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society who was awarded the Patron’s Gold medal. In the Preface, Robin declared, “CuChullaine O'Reilly is a phenomenon. In these magnificent volumes all the great equestrian experiences throughout history are recorded and, above all, the love that can exist between humans and horses is revealed.”
 
Noted equestrian author and Founding Member of the Guild Jeremy James stated in the Foreword, “If the Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration isn’t a Magnum Opus, then nothing counts. I believe CuChullaine O’Reilly has written the most astounding book in equestrian historical literature. CuChullaine, you’ve joined the Immortals.”
 
The first and second sets of the Encyclopaedia were presented to Great Britain’s reigning monarch, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, and to the future king, His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, both of whom exerted a profound influence on the creation of the books.
 
The famous British explorer, John Hare, reviewed the Encyclopaedia for England’s most prestigious magazine, Country Life. He described “the masterly volumes as a comprehensive work that will be treasured by future long riders and seen as a unique treasury of horse and human wisdom.”
 
The Encyclopaedia is not the limited personal view of the author. It is not the recollections of a single traveller. It does not promote the superiority of one race or culture. It contains the collective wisdom of more than 400 Long Riders. The pages document their neglected role in equestrian history and reveals their gallant struggles against inconceivable odds
 
For the first time in history the books written by Long Rider authors are honoured in an extensive Bibliography which includes more than 200 titles dating back hundreds of years. The 1,800 pages are enriched by nearly a thousand images, drawings and photographs.
 
Volume 1 consists of The Preparation, The Horses and The Equipment, Volume 2 consists of The Challenges and Volume 3 consists of The Journey, The Aftermath and The Epilogue. Thus the Encyclopaedia’s three volumes contain hundreds of pages of practical wisdom gained from the travels of the greatest equestrian explorers.
 
It is also a guidebook that explains that state of mental tranquillity described as The Long Quiet. A few books have addressed the practical aspects of horse travel. But no one has examined the philosophical side. The Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration doesn’t just tell you how. It reveals why. HRH Prince Charles provided the spiritual inspiration for the Encyclopaedia.  His profound influence can be seen throughout the book, and he is specifically quoted and thanked in the Epilogue, which addresses issues that confront us all as human beings.
 
To augment the study of equestrian exploration, the Long Riders’ Guild previously released The Horse Travel Handbook. This smaller cavalry style manual has already accompanied a number of Long Riders during their journeys in the Americas, Asia and Australia.
 
Taken together, the Encyclopaedia and the Handbook represent an equestrian Rosetta Stone that chronicles the ancestral story of the Long Riders and ensures that humanity’s collective equestrian travel heritage is preserved for posterity.
 
Kind regards,
CuChullaine O’Reilly FRGS
Founder, The Long Riders’ Guild
 
Advance Reviews
 
“CuChullaine O’Reilly is unquestionably the most gifted equestrian writer of the 21st century. Except for his abbreviated version – The Horse Travel Handbook, there has never been a guide written that is in any way comparable to this unusual tour de force.
Canadian Long Rider Bonnie Folkins
 
“The Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration was authored by CuChullaine O’Reilly, the foremost expert, scholar and gentleman of horse back travel and exploration. It represents a vast collection of wisdom brought together for the first time.”
New Zealand Long Rider Ian Robinson
 
“CuChullaine O’Reilly is the lore-master of the Long Riders’ tribe. After decades of amazing research, his wonderfully written Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration represents a literary landmark in the study of horse travel.”
Russian Long Rider Vladimir Fissenko
 
“The Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration is not about one nation. It represents the collective wisdom of humanity’s travel on horseback. This is a book of marvels that includes precious stories, valuable ideas, forgotten history and endangered practical knowledge.”
Lithuanian Long Rider Gintaras Kaltenis
 
“No one has written about equestrian travel as CuChullaine O’Reilly has. The author misses nothing. His breadth of knowledge is astonishing. I was amazed at the skill of the writing. This book is not only vital to equestrian travelers, it is essential to our human history.”
American Long Rider Lucy Leaf
 
“The Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration is the Bible for Long Riders. These books will guide you, inspire you, and show you right from wrong.”
Argentine Long Rider Benjamin Reynal

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Am I doing enough training for a 50-miler?

KER.com

Question
I endurance-ride a seasoned, 13-year-old Arabian gelding. Because of work commitments, I only train him on weekends, about 12.5 miles (20 km) a day. With this minimal training, he has done beautifully in 25-mile (40-km) rides. Although he has completed a 50-mile (80-km) ride in the past with his previous owner, I have not. Am I doing enough training for a 50-miler? I don’t want to overdo or sour him.

Answer
Arabians hold their fitness amazingly well, particularly if they have 24-hour turnout. Working two days per week is usually adequate training for an endurance horse, as this schedule allows for plenty of time for the body to repair itself between the workouts, thus promoting soundness.

If the horse has done 50-mile races before and you are keeping him is steady work, he should have no problem with stepping up from a 25-mile to 50-mile rides, even if you are only doing shorter training sessions...

Read the rest here:
https://ker.com/equinews/answer/qa-fitness-endurance-competition/?platform=hootsuite

Monday, May 21, 2018

Nutrition and Recovery for Eventing (and Other Hard-Working) Horses

Thehorse.com - Full Article

Restoring muscle glycogen, rehydrating, and ensuring a horse’s diet offers enough vitamin E all help with recovery after strenuous exercise.

By Clair Thunes, PhD | Apr 30, 2018

Q. I am an avid event rider and enjoyed watching the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event this past weekend. What kinds of nutritional support can you give horses competing in this level of competition to help them recover?

A. This is a great question. Any post-competition recovery effort starts with the base diet, which meet the horse’s daily requirements leading up to the competition. No long-term deficiency is going to get fixed in the short period during competition, so a balanced diet appropriate for the horse’s discipline and work level is crucial.

Part of that is ensuring the horse is getting the right kind of fuel to support the type of work that he’s asked to do. Event horses won’t only be utilizing stored carbohydrate on cross-country day but hopefully their reserves of fat stores, as well. Cross-country efforts will deplete glycogen stores (stored carbohydrates) in the horse’s muscles. The horse will need glycogen again for the show jumping phase, so restoring those stores is an important component of recovery...

Read more here:
https://thehorse.com/157545/nutrition-and-recovery-for-eventing-and-other-hard-working-horses/

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Check Horses’ Alfalfa Hay for Blister Beetles

Thehorse.com - Full Article

Blister beetles in your horse’s alfalfa can be deadly. Here’s what to watch for and how to keep your horses healthy.

By Kristen M. Janicki, MS, PAS | Apr 9, 2018

It might be hard to imagine that an essential part of the horse’s diet could contain potentially deadly hidden toxins. But it’s a hard truth that horse owners must be aware of: Alfalfa hay can harbor blister beetles (Epicauta spp), which can contain a harmful toxic substance called cantharidin.

A member of the Meloidae family, blister beetles live throughout the United States and Canada. Their average body length is about 0.3 to 1.3 inches. A blister beetle’s diet is mainly composed of pollen, blossoms, and leaves of flowering plants, making alfalfa the perfect meal for them. Most alfalfa infestation occurs during late summer and early fall, when the adult blister beetle population also peaks.

Male blister beetles produce a natural defense toxin called cantharidin. This irritant can cause blisters on skin (of both horses and humans) within a few hours of contact, hence the insect’s name. When ingested, cantharidin is lethal in horses with as little as half a milligram per kilogram of body weight, equivalent to consumption of around 125 beetles for an average-sized horse...

Read more here:
https://thehorse.com/112252/check-horses-alfalfa-hay-for-blister-beetles/

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Do You Know Where Your Old Horses Are?

Chronofhorse.com - Full Article

By: Blogger Liz Arbittier
May 16, 2018 - 12:36 PM

“FOR SALE: 18-year-old papered Missouri Fox Trotter. Fancy broke! Anyone can ride, neck reins, quiet on trails.”

The Facebook ad caught my attention. I was casually looking for a babysitter horse for light trail riding. I love geriatric animals, and something about this horse grabbed me. A cheaply priced, hairy, flea-bitten gray, he stoically gaited and cantered barefoot up and down an asphalt road in his video.

Not sure why, but he lodged in my brain, and I decided to purchase him. Sight unseen. (BAD IDEA!) Off the internet from a dealer I’d never met. (VERY BAD IDEA!!) With no pre-purchase exam. (VERY VERY BAD IDEA!!!)

My feeling was that, as a vet (who ironically specializes in pre-purchase exams), I could deal with whatever he turned out to be. He was sound in the video, and I wanted to trust the seller. He assured me that the horse hadn’t come from a sale, wasn’t sick and would suit my needs. I paid for the horse and then had him shipped to me, which cost half again as much as the horse did!

He arrived after quite a long trailer ride. Forlorn and cranky, with NO interest in interacting with me, he was otherwise in good shape...

Read more here:
http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/do-you-know-where-your-old-horses-are

Monday, May 14, 2018

Training Tip: Ask Clinton: Avoiding Training

Downunderhorsemanship.com - Full Article

Q: I recently started working with my horse in the roundpen and have made decent progress. He gives me two eyes and follows me around the roundpen. But now when I first show up, if he even suspects a workout, he runs to the far end of his 2-acre turnout and won’t let me get any closer than 50 feet or so to him. What should be my strategy for catching him? – Traci R.

A: It sounds like you’re off to a great start with your horse, mate. You’re on the right track by working with him in the roundpen to establish the foundation of respect. If your horse will give you two eyes and “catch you” in the roundpen, it’ll be much easier to have the same thing happen in the pasture. I don’t think your horse’s problem is that he’s hard to catch necessarily. Let me explain...

Read more here:
https://downunderhorsemanship.com/2018/05/08/training-tip-ask-clinton-avoiding-training/

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Appaloosa Horse Club to Celebrate History at the 54th Annual Chief Joseph Trail Ride

May 7 2018

MOSCOW, IDAHO — The Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) will host the 54th Annual Chief Joseph Trail Ride, July 23 – 27, 2018. A portion of the 1,100 mile, historic trail is ridden each year, with the entire sequence taking thirteen years to complete. Its route traces, as closely as possible, the route Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce took while attempting to escape the US Cavalry in 1877. This year’s segment is the only “loop ride” during the thirteen years. The assembly and destination camps are both in the Tolo Lake area near Grangeville, Idaho. The exact route is subject to change, but this year’s participants will ride through White Bird Battle Ground, where the first battle took place, across Joseph Plains and along or over Hammer Creek, Rice Creek, Wolf Creek, Graves Creek, and the Salmon River.

Each year, participants make lasting memories and lifetime friends among fellow riders while enjoying their Appaloosa horses. The ApHC hosted the first Chief Joseph Trail Ride in 1965 to commemorate the historic journey taken by a band of Nez Perce, led by Chief Joseph and others. The ride is exclusively for registered Appaloosas and is the longest-running and most popular trail ride hosted by the ApHC.

For additional information on this year’s Chief Joseph Trail Ride and the official ride entry form, visit https://www.appaloosa.com/trail/ChiefJoseph.htm or contact the ApHC Trail & Distance Coordinator Pat Bogar at (208) 882-5578 ext. 264.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Changing with the seasons

EquusMagazine.com - Full Story

May 6 2018
BOBBIE LIEBERMAN

Even as our ranch in New Mexico starts to take shape, Kenny and I realize how much we’ll miss Texas. So we explore whether a summer-winter migration might work for us.

Kenny and I enjoyed four lovely months on our new property in New Mexico over the summer. We had as many as four horses with us along with our cattle dog Maddie. Most of our time was spent planning, building and constructing infrastructure on our new ranch---outbuildings, manufactured home, solar well, fencing ---and that didn’t leave much time for actual riding.

We would have stayed through the end of October, but the horses back in Texas needed hoof trimming, one had a mysterious lameness that necessitated intensive treatment and two nights in a veterinary clinic, and our Siamese cats were about to give up on us. (Fortunately, we have a ranch caretaker who looks after all of our critters when we’re away.)

When we returned to Texas at the end of September, autumn had not yet arrived and we found ourselves back in the heat and humidity we’d left behind and nearly forgotten. Annakate, our Morgan who had been thriving in her new environment at 7,400 feet, soon developed scratches, hives and an itchy tail once again. Our mountain ponies already had grown thick winter coats, but the additional fur wasn’t needed here, so trace clipping ensued.

However, despite all of that, it was good to be “home.” It felt comfortable and familiar. Once again, veterinary and medical services were close by, and organic fresh produce was with- in an hour’s drive. Being back in Texas was like slipping into a com- fortable pair of shoes. We had to ad- mit that we still loved our ranch here. And we began contemplating the idea of keeping it, at least for a few more years, and “migrating” to New Mexico for the summers...

Read more here:
https://equusmagazine.com/horse-world/changing-seasons


All About Feeding Horses Alfalfa

Thehorse.com - Full Article

Learn more about alfalfa and whether or not this leafy green legume is a good choice for your horse.

By Heather Smith Thomas | Apr 9, 2018

How much do you really know about this leafy green legume?

In some areas of the country, alfalfa is a regular part of life. It’s readily available and commonly fed, so it’s a logical foundation for many horses’ diets. In other areas, it is a delicacy of sorts, shipped in from different regions and bought a bale at a time on a vet’s recommendation to help certain horses that need nutritional support. For some types of horses—in either of those areas—-alfalfa simply isn’t a great choice. And, so, that fragrant green bale comes loaded with nutrients and, for some horse owners, a multitude of misconceptions.

Whatever your alfalfa experience, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about this forage, starting with a little bit of history, and clear up any confusion about it.
Alfalfa Goes Way Back

Forage for horses can be divided into two categories—grasses and legumes. Grasses you’re likely familiar with include orchardgrass, timothy, and bermudagrass and are long and stemmy. Forage legumes, such as clover and alfalfa, are members of the pea family and, so, are cousins of peanuts and garbanzo beans.

“Alfalfa is a perennial legume, grown in most regions of the U.S. for horses and other livestock,” says Krishona Martinson, PhD, associate professor and equine extension specialist in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Animal Science, in Falcon Heights...

Read more here:
https://thehorse.com/110110/all-about-alfalfa/

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Life Flight Network


Trailmeister.com - Full Article

As published in The Trailhead News
by Trailmeister Robert Eversole

April 30 2018

We’ve all heard the stories. “A horseback rider found himself in trouble after falling from a horse and had to be airlifted to safety.” A few of us have been the subject of the story and most of us have no idea how any of it works. Myself included. To remedy that I recently took advantage of an opportunity to talk with the folks at Life Flight Network, the air ambulance service that covers the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West. To say my awareness has been elevated is an understatement.

I met Dominic Pomponio, Regional Director of the Life Flight Network at their base in Spokane, WA where he educated me on what it is that Life Flight Network does and how they do it.

Founded in 1978 (Happy 40thby the way!) the Life Flight Network is a medical transport service that brings the Intensive Care Unit to you when you need it. They deliver highly trained Flight Nurses, Flight Paramedics, pilots, and aircraft to provide air ambulance transportation to seriously ill and injured patients. With 23 bases across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana housing 23 helicopters and 7 airplanes, Life Flight Network has the assets required to get you where you need to be in an emergency...

Read more here:
https://www.trailmeister.com/life-flight-network/

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Training Tip: Mount With Safety in Mind

DownUnderHorsemanship.com - Full Article

May 1, 2018 by Downunder Horsemanship

When you’re ready to mount your horse for the first few times outside the arena, play it safe by flexing his head halfway around to his side. This is a safety precaution so that if the horse takes off or bucks, you’ve already got his head bent around so the worst thing he can do is move in a tight circle. With the same hand you’re flexing with, grab some mane to give yourself something solid to hang onto as you step up in the saddle. Always step up (and step down) from the horse’s shoulder, especially with a reactive horse, in case he gets frightened and tries to kick you. Even if your horse is docile, this is just a good practice to follow for your safety.

You could let your horse look straight ahead and keep him on a big, loose rein as you got in the saddle. Imagine what would happen if...

Read more here:
https://downunderhorsemanship.com/2018/05/01/training-tip-mount-with-safety-in-mind/

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

The Challenges of Spring Grass: Laminitis and Founder

Easycare Blog - Full Article

Friday, April 27, 2018 by Guest HCP
Submitted by EasyCare Dealer, Dawn Willoughby
Original Post June 2, 2011

In most cases, owners can prevent the ravages of laminitis (inflammation of the laminae between hoof wall and coffin bone) and founder (pulling away of wall from coffin bone due to a broken laminae). During my six years as a professional trimmer, I tried to educate owners about preventing this painful situation. Here is a review of what I shared with them every spring.

I live in Delaware where we have a spring that challenges most horses. Beginning in late March, early April, our sugary spring grass starts to grow. Our worst days are cool and sunny. This combination has the effect of creating a surge of sugar in the grass. When the sun goes down, the spring night temperatures are cool, keeping the sugar in the grass, not allowing it to return to the roots. That's a double whammy for the natural herd that is out 24/7. It isn't until July that we reliably dry out and warm up every day and night. When this happens the sugar returns to the roots. I learned about forage growth and pasture management from studying materials and attending clinics by Katy Watts, www.safergrass.org, an agricultural expert and owner of founder-prone horses. She offers wonderful lectures on her site as well.

When I had a trimming practice, I encouraged owners to mark April 1st to July 1st on their calendars and prepare for spring grass for their easy keepers.

1. First and foremost, adjust the diet. Lower dietary sugar anyway you can. You will need to be especially aggressive if you have a horse prone to laminitis and founder, usually known as an “easy keeper”. Examples: draft horses, native horses and ponies and donkeys. Eliminate grain, molasses, most treats and, if necessary, add a muzzle or put the horse in a dirt pasture or on a dirt path system such as Paddock Paradise. Hay should have 10% or less sugar. Correctly soaking hay can reduce sugar by 30%; leave the sugar water on the bottom of the tub. Most horses do very well on forage diets...

Read more here:
http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/insights-from-the-inside/the-challenges-of-spring-grass%3A-laminitis-and-founder

Monday, April 30, 2018

Horses remember if you smiled or frowned when they last saw you

NewScientist.com - Full Article

DAILY NEWS 26 April 2018

By Sam Wong

Why the long face? Horses can remember the facial expressions they see on human faces and respond differently if you smiled or frowned when they last saw you.

Leanne Proops, now at the University of Portsmouth, UK, and her colleagues at the University of Sussex showed in 2016 that horses respond differently to photographs of happy or angry human faces. Now they have studied whether horses can form lasting memories of people that depend on their facial expressions.

First, they showed horses a photo of one of two human models, displaying either a happy or angry face. Several hours later, the model visited the horse in person, this time with a neutral expression. As a control, some horses saw a different model in the second part to the one they saw in the photograph.

Crucially, the models didn’t know which photo the horse had seen earlier. In the early 20th century, a horse called Clever Hans amazed audiences by appearing to answer simple mathematical problems by tapping his hoof. It turned out he was responding to involuntary cues from his trainer. Proops’ study aimed to eliminate such cues...

Read more here:
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2167423-horses-remember-if-you-smiled-or-frowned-when-they-last-saw-you/

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Top Ten Questions Endurance Green Beans Ask

EnduranceIntrospection.com - Full Article

by Patti Stedman | Sep 3, 2017 | Patti's Blog

I believe that I shall always miss David Letterman’s Top Ten lists.

After teaching so many clinics, meeting new riders or prospective riders or riders who have an inkling that they might love our sport “if only … ” — I can almost finish the questions before they are asked.

(And for the record, “green bean” is a term that the Pacific Northwest riders came up with to identify folks new to the sport … this post is not about vegetables.)

Here’s the Top Ten list — and some answers!

10.) This Sport is OVERWHELMING! Where Do I Begin?

This sport does indeed have a steep learning curve. No question. And the trickiest part of that is the first year of competing is probably your most important, so for your horse’s sake, you should probably do some homework before you leap in. (Now, let’s be clear, there are lots of experienced riders on mature horses who just show up at their first competition as a blank slate and do just fine, but the riders I meet contemplating giving the sport a whirl are rarely so confident.)

The good news is that there are tons of resources these days to help you. The bad news is that there are tons of resources these days to help you, and that can be overwhelming...

Read more here:
http://enduranceintrospection.com/wp/top-ten-questions-endurance-green-beans-ask/

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

In which I post the list of the books about riding long distances

HaikuFarm Blog - Full Article

April 23, 2018
by Aarene Storms

Recently, I compiled a list of books--there are so many new titles!--for Endurance News magazine, the publication of the American Endurance Rides Conference. It's in the April 2018 issue, if you want to hunt for it. If you don't, you've come to the right place.

IMPORTANT: I don't recommend every book on this list!

As I explained in an earlier post, not all books are suitable for all readers, and some books were obviously written by the Bad Idea Fairy.

My personal favorites are marked with an *, but use your CRAAP Criteria (it's really called that) to evaluate what you read.

Most of the links lead to Amazon.com, a few go to private websites. You can also ask your local library to order books for you...

See the list here:
https://haikufarm.blogspot.com/2018/04/in-which-i-post-list-of-books-about.html

Monday, April 23, 2018

Putting Weight on a Skinny Horse

KER.com - Full Article

November 3, 2000
By Kentucky Equine Research Staff

All the horses in the barn get the same amount of feed every day; it makes feeding time much simpler. The warmbloods look super. Their weight is good, and their coats are gleaming. However, the one Thoroughbred in the barn who arrived a little thin six months ago has not put on any weight. In fact, he has lost body condition. He is getting grain just like the other horses, so what could be wrong? A veterinarian has thoroughly examined the horse and nothing appears to be wrong. Could it be as simple as insufficient caloric intake? What kind of changes can be made to his feeding program to encourage weight gain?

Sometimes, getting a thin horse to gain weight is simply a matter of increasing the caloric density of the diet. Other times, the diet may need to be higher in calories because of a medical, psychological or environmental problem.

What makes a horse a hard keeper?

The metabolic rate determines whether a horse is an easy or hard keeper, and the variation between horses can be extreme.

Metabolism is the speed at which the body burns fuels for energy in order to maintain normal body functions. A slow metabolism can function on little input of fuel energy. Conversely, a fast metabolism needs a higher caloric intake in order to function properly. In general, members of certain breeds have faster metabolisms and need more food to maintain body condition than members of other breeds...

Read more here:
https://ker.com/equinews/putting-weight-on-a-skinny-horse/

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Condition Your Horse Like a Pro

Thehorse.com - Full Article

How to help performance horses of all types reach peak fitness.


By Nancy S. Loving, DVM | Apr 17, 2018

That competitive edge. It might look different for different disciplines, but this intangible has its roots in the same concept: conditioning. In short, conditioning develops the musculoskeletal, neurologic, and cardiovascular systems so they can perform athletic endeavors with the greatest efficiency and the least stress on the body.

In this article we’ll learn how riders from different disciplines condition their horses. While there is no magic recipe fit for all equestrian sports, the basic principles of conditioning remain the same across the board.
The Basics

To get fit for competition, your horse needs to be “legged up,” which entails preparing the musculoskeletal system to withstand a certain amount of impact, speed, and duration of work. Then you build upon this foundation in a stepwise fashion, first increasing distance at the walk and trot and then increasing intensity to include canter/lope and gallop and/or incline work. The initial exercise demand (completed at the walk, trot, slow canter) is generally known as long, slow distance (LSD) training, and it develops the cardiovascular system and aerobic energy pathways to fuel the muscles.

Aerobic metabolism occurs when muscle cells use energy sources in the presence of oxygen. Higher intensity exercise, such as sprints, gallops, difficult hill climbs, or jumping efforts, requires rapid muscle metabolism that taps into other energy sources in the absence of oxygen.

Use a heart rate monitor to assess your horse’s progress in real time; heart rates between 130 and 150 beats per minute (bpm) indicate a range that will improve fitness.

Building on this LSD foundation, many riders integrate strength-training exercises (such as hill work) and interval training (IT) speed work into their conditioning program to stimulate anaerobic efforts. Interval training involves sprints over a defined distance and/or time. To reach a training effect that taps into anaerobic fuel sources, the horse’s heart rate must exceed 165 bpm for at least two minutes...

Read more here:
https://thehorse.com/110066/condition-your-horse-like-a-pro/

Friday, April 20, 2018

Did You Know: Equine Gastric Ulcers Impact Stride Length

Thehorse.com - Full Article

Reduced performance, including a shorter stride length, is likely a consequence of pain caused by equine gastric ulcers.

By Edited Press Release | Apr 8, 2018

No matter the discipline in which you compete, your horse’s stride length is important. Longer strides can mean faster times, bigger jumps, and prettier movement. To get that edge, horse owners often focus on conditioning and joint health. Another key area to focus on is digestive health, specifically with regard to equine gastric ulcers.

The way performance horses are commonly fed, along with the stress of training, showing and traveling, causes acid levels to rise past the glandular portion of the horse’s stomach, leading to ulcers. That pain from sores on the stomach wall can cause your horse’s performance to suffer. Two out of three performance horses have stomach ulcers, and a study has shown that horses with ulcers have a shorter stride length than those without.

“Reduced performance, including a shorter stride length, is likely a consequence of gastric pain caused by ulcers,” says Hoyt Cheramie, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, senior equine professional service veterinarian for Boehringer Ingelheim. “When we ask horses for precise athletic maneuvers—to run, jump, spin, and slide—if they have gastric discomfort, they aren’t going to be able perform as well.”

Preventing ulcers is the optimal way to ensure that they don’t inhibit performance. Omeprazole (a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved product is marketed as UlcerGard) inhibits acid production at the source—the proton pumps in the lower part of the stomach.

To prevent ulcers, in addition to omeprazole, Cheramie suggests feeding management changes when appropriate, such as increasing grazing time, using a slow-feed hay net, replacing calories from cereal grains with good-quality roughage or fat, and adding alfalfa to the diet.

Finding ways to increase stride length and ensure your horse is performing to the best of his ability is challenging enough. Don’t let equine gastric ulcers negatively affect performance. Keep digestive health and ulcer prevention a top priority.

More at:
https://thehorse.com/156998/did-you-know-equine-gastric-ulcers-impact-stride-length/

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Alfalfa for Endurance Horses?

KER.com

Question:
I manage endurance horses. I have experience using alfalfa during races, but I have been told to not use it between races, when I'm training, as it could cause metabolic problems. Can you please tell me your thoughts?

Answer:
Many performance horses benefit from alfalfa. The forage can be used successfully in endurance horses with some precautions.

At a competition, there is no better forage for endurance horses because of its palatability, high-calorie content, and nutrient profile. However, it is not usually fed to endurance horses as the only forage on a day-to-day basis...

Read more here:
https://ker.com/equinews/answer/alfalfa-endurance-horses/?platform=hootsuite

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Livestock ELD Waiver Extended to Sept. 30 with Spending Bill

Drovers.com - Full Article

Wyatt Bechtel
March 23, 2018

When President Trump signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill it also passed an extension on the electronic logging device (ELD) implementation for livestock haulers. The bill passed on March 23 included a mandate for livestock and insect haulers to have a delay until Sept. 30, 2018.

Like other delays to the ELD it is believed that granting more time for implementation by livestock haulers will allow truckers to get in compliance. The extension also gives the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) additional time to reevaluate the hours of service rule which have the potential to disrupt how livestock are hauled cross-country with new enforcement from the ELD...

Read more here:
https://www.drovers.com/article/livestock-eld-waiver-extended-sept-30-spending-bill

Windpuffs: Resolving a Common Swelling in Horses

Thehorse.com - Full Article

What prevention steps can I take for my horse’s rear leg swelling after exercise?

By Jean-Yin Tan, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM | Mar 28, 2018

Q. My 3-year-old mare’s rear legs swell around the tendon and fetlock area overnight after exercise. She is not lame or sore, but I have dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)/furacin (nitrofurazone) wrapped it when it swells. This worked the first time but now it just helps a little. Is this swelling common, what it could be, and are there any prevention steps I could take?

Madison Rostykus, via e-mail

A. Fluid-filled swellings in the rear aspect of the tendon/fetlock area—called “windpuffs,” or synovial effusion of the tendon sheath—are a common condition in horses. They result from inflammation of the digital flexor tendon sheath, the structure that encases the deep and superficial digital tendons that run from the back of the knee down to the fetlock.

There are two types of windpuffs: idiopathic (of unknown cause, but they do not cause any problems) and pathologic (caused by disease).

Horses most frequently develop idiopathic windpuffs, especially when swelling is evident on both sides of the tendon and bilaterally symmetrical in both hind limbs. Idiopathic windpuffs tend to be chronic and can be worse in horses with anatomical predispositions, such as club foot, and after exercise, due to stress placed on the tendons. Lameness is not a component of idiopathic windpuffs, and this condition is not associated with -disease...

Read more here:
https://thehorse.com/114978/windpuffs-resolving-a-common-swelling/