Saturday, October 22, 2016

The New Reality: Microchipping Horses - Full Article

By Elizabeth Barrett, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS
Oct 13, 2016

It never crossed my mind to skip microchipping my cat or dog. For me identification was just a part of their routine health care, and for that I was grateful when four years ago my cat, Simon, escaped from my apartment when I was traveling out of state. Simon was missing for two weeks before he walked up to a good Samaritan, who picked him up and took him to a local clinic that scanned him and found his microchip. Irresponsibly of me, I hadn’t updated his contact information with the microchip organization in more than a year, but they were able to contact the veterinary clinic where it had been implanted and help reunite me with Simon within 24 hours. It wasn’t our Facebook posts or “Lost Cat” posters or trips to local shelters that did the trick. It was the simple and relatively inexpensive microchip.

Why, then, is it so much less instinctive to microchip our equine companions? A horse is less likely to “run off,” but there are many situations where having a way to positively identify a horse would come in handy. The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has been using microchips for years to verify that horses entered in various high levels of sport are who the owners say they are. It was only a matter of time before the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and other organizations followed suit...

Read more here:

Friday, October 21, 2016

Equine Smartbit, LLC Announces the First Hi-Tech Horsebit Since the Bronze Age

Imagine Horse Owners and Trainers having the ability to communicate with their horse to see how they feel in real-time.


“It’s about time that animals have the ability to tell humans how they are feeling” according to Ann Sears, one of the owners and investors of Equine Smartbit, LLC. Equine Smartbit, LLC has successfully developed and will be soon launching a comprehensive equine kit which aims to revolutionize the Equine Industry. Ms. Sears, an attorney, C.P.A. and investor says, “when I saw the horse’s metabolism (Blood O2%, Temp., BPM and more) being accurately read by the smartbit developed by the company, my jaw dropped and I realized the implications for all animals.” Equine Smartbit strives to increase the odds of winning horse races, endurance racing and equine performance in all sports.

The Equine Smartbit will improve equine health through giving the human an understanding of how feed, digestion, injury and other physiological set-point measurements impact one particular horse. “I also loved that the fact that the horsebit is designed to accommodate all bit sizes and uses. The difference is now it’s smart and has the ability to communicate between the horse and human.”

“Our company is in the position to be a dominate leader in the multibillion dollar biometric and wearable space and we have the core patents to prove it,” says Ms. Sears.

Equine Smarbit LLC has made device that:

• Analytically matches a horse’s performance with the horse’s biometrics through a network of advanced wearables, including the world’s first smart (horse) bit
• Allows real-time or near-time biometric data streams
• Gives you a composite of the horse’s energy level
• Sends alerts when a racehorse's physical condition is less than optimal
• Significantly improves an equine’s physical safety through communicating the horse’s biometrics in real time during training/performance.

Equine Smartbit, LLC is a high growth merger of hardware, software, and tool kits that aim to revolutionize future equine training and performance. Equine Smartbit, LLC is in an alliance with Sports Guidance Technologies (SGT) advanced biometrics for human sports and Wearable Networks, LLC advanced biometric for health.

Our company is developing and launching a comprehensive developer’s tool kit which will give users a decisive advantage over current recreational devices on the market. According to Ms. Sears, “the system will enable professional equine trainers to achieve a new level of excellence during both the equine’s training and performance.” For example, the system includes a patented equine smart bit for a racehorse that will measure the horse’s physiology as it compares to the horse’s race times.

“We are proud to license and implement the patents and visions of Mike Saigh, one of the premier inventors in the World” says Ms. Sears. Mike Saigh’s past inventions include the first electronic book, video on demand and many others. Please view Inventor Saigh’s bio at

Please visit the company’s website at

for additional information. Please contact us at phone: 850-476-1040 or email: ESB.PublicRelations(at)gmail(dot)com

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Pump up the volume? Heart performance in endurance horses explored - Full Article

October 11, 2016

Researchers have explored the heart performance of endurance horses with Arabian bloodlines, finding only a weak relationship between career kilometers and the dimension of the left ventricle – the powerful cardiac chamber that pumps blood out to the body.

The study team in France focused on 340 endurance horses, of which 201 were purebred Arabians, 100 were part-bred Arabians, 24 were Anglo-Arabians, and 15 were categorized as “others”.

Echocardiographic measurements were recorded between 2011 and 2014 during field exercise tests and at the annual finals of the French National Championships for young endurance horses.

The field tests were organised by the research group for all interested endurance horse owners four times a year. Only horses aged between four and six and with at least one purebred Arabian parent were included in the study.

The researchers wanted to examine the relationship between body dimensions, body weight, and other parameters on heart dimensions in the horses as assessed through the imaging. Their findings have been reported in the journal, BMC Veterinary Research...

Read more:

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Pros and Cons of Feeding Horses Beet Pulp - Full Article

By Clair Thunes, PhD
Oct 3, 2016

Q. I have some questions about feeding beet pulp.

• Is it a forage or concentrate? Should it have added molasses or should it be plain?
• Should it be in flake- or pellet-form?
• What’s the correct water to beet pulp ratio?
• How much should a horse eat per pound of body weight, and do you measure it with the beet pulp soaked or un-soaked?
• What supplements should be included if any to ensure balanced nutrition?

I’d appreciate any input you have on the pros and cons of feeding beet pulp.
Ginger Wisseman, via e-mail

A. Beet pulp has long been a mainstay in many feed rooms, especially during the winter months. People often incorrectly think of it as a concentrate because in many cases it is fed instead of or alongside grain; however, in reality, it is actually a forage. Relatively high in hemicellulose, a fermentable fiber, beet pulp digestion relies on microbial fermentation in the hindgut. This makes it a feed closer to pasture and hay than traditional concentrates such as oats, which are high in starch and require enzymatic digestion in the small intestine. Yet, when it comes to the calories supplied per pound it compares more closely to oats than hay. This is what makes it such a good choice for hard-keeping horses...

Read more here:

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Harry and Snowman: Opens in Select Theatres Sept 30

Harry and Snowman opens in select theatres September 30. Find yours here.


Dutch immigrant, Harry deLeyer, journeyed to the United States after World War II and developed a transformative relationship with a broken down Amish plow horse he rescued off a slaughter truck bound for the glue factory. Harry paid eighty dollars for the horse and named him Snowman. In less than two years, Harry & Snowman went on to win the triple crown of show jumping, beating the nations blue bloods. They were famous for their day and traveled around the world together. Their chance meeting at a Pennsylvania horse auction saved them both and crafted a friendship that lasted a lifetime. Eighty-six year old Harry tells their Cinderella love story firsthand, as he continues to train on today's show jumping circuit.

Harry deLeyer

Harry deLeyer grew up working on his family farm in Holland. After World War II, Harry and his wife immigrated to the United States where he was offered a job as a riding instructor at the exclusive Knox School in Long Island New York.

Harry's career was catapulted by Snowman and he went on to become one of the most successful riders and trainers in America. He represented the United States at the World Championships in Sweden in 1983 and was recognized by the United States Equestrian Foundation with a Pegasus Medal of Honor in 2002 for his lifetime contribution to the sport.

Now 85, the "Galloping Grandfather," as he is known around the world, still rides and trains, based out of his farm in Virginia.


Less than two years out of the Amish plow fields, Snowman won the 1958 horse show jumping Triple Crown — the American Horse Shows Association Horse of the Year, Professional Horseman's Association Champion and Champion of Madison Square Garden's Diamond Jubilee.

Snowman appeared on the most popular game show of the 1960's, "To Tell the Truth" and on "Who Do You Trust" with Johnny Carson. He had his own fan club, he was profiled twice in Life magazine and was the subject of three best-selling books, including the 2011 NY Times Best-Seller, The Eighty-Dollar Champion.

Snowman retired from competition in 1962 to Harry's farm in Long Island where he lived until he died in 1974. He was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 1992.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Movie review: 'Bite the Bullet' based on an endurance horse race in 1908 - Full Review

Lisa Maue, Guest columnist
September 7, 2016

Warning: Graphic scenes include what might be, for some, instances of animal cruelty.

Based on an endurance horse race that took place in 1908 and dreamed up the by “Denver Post,” “Bite the Bullet” is an epic tale that reduces several individuals to their basest selves, set against the changes resultant of the introduction of the railroad, the encroachment of the “civilizing” East and the subsequent shrinking of the West.

The real-life race started in Evanston, Wyoming and ended in Denver, Colorado, a distance of about 700 miles. The winner was to receive $2,500. In the fictionalized movie, entrants include a feisty woman, a man from Mexico with a toothache (hence the title), an old man seeking redemption, an Englishman, an upstart and a couple of Rough Riders, to name a few. With so many characters, be prepared to jump from one to another and to experience several story lines with frequent cutaways.

The quick back-and-forth pacing of the film is juxtaposed with numerous slow motion shots meant to heighten emotional impact. Some of the slow-motion scenes involve horses undergoing obvious distress consistent with such a grueling race as well as the outcome of the desperation of those who need the prize money. The back-and-forth format also pivots to show some characters caring for an animal on which they depend to others abusing the animals for personal gain. It is not an old story; nor is the plot line of man versus nature. In this case, New Mexico is the backdrop and its high altitude forests and seemingly endless deserts provide a joint formidable foe; one that tests even the most battle-weary and rugged individualists and forces many to join forces...

Read more here:

Sunday, September 18, 2016

New Thoughts on Gastric Ulcers in Horses - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · August 26, 2016

Equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) describes horses with erosions or other compromises of the stomach wall. Some horses show few signs of EGUS, whereas others colic, develop diarrhea, and have poor appetites, dull coats, decreased performance, and even behavior changes. Many ulcers develop in the squamous or nonglandular part of the stomach. According to the research team behind a new study*, EGUS should no longer be used as an all-encompassing term. Instead, horses with ulcers affecting the glandular region of the stomach, where stomach acid is produced, should instead be described as having equine glandular gastric disease (EGGD).

“Not very much is known about EGGD, including risk factors, how they develop, or whether or not the same treatment and management options work for EGGD as EGUS,” explained Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., an equine nutritionist with Kentucky Equine Research (KER)...

Read more here:

Electrolyte Oversupplementation: A Real Risk for Horses? - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · August 30, 2016

Routine electrolyte supplementation is part and parcel in the diets of performance horses. Intricacies of electrolyte nutrition are sometimes not well understood, especially the implications of oversupplementation.

Wait, is it possible to oversupplement electrolytes?

“Oversupplementing electrolytes on a daily basis would be difficult to do, particularly if products are given according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and only fed when the horse has access to water,” explained Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a longtime nutritionist for Kentucky Equine Research (KER).

If more electrolytes are given than the horse requires, healthy kidneys will filter the excess sodium and other electrolytes, and excrete them in the urine.

“As you can imagine, in order to flush large amounts of sodium, the body would need a lot of water. If too much salt or electrolyte is fed, a horse will drink more water because its body will attempt to dilute higher concentration of sodium in body cells,” expounded Crandell. “If there is not enough water in the body, it could present a problem, especially if a horse is dehydrated. If electrolytes are given without water to a dehydrated horse, further dehydration will occur, causing significant fluid-balance problems, including the possibility of salt toxicity...”

Read more here:

Thursday, September 15, 2016

International Helmet Awareness Day 2016


International Helmet Awareness Day 2016

Would You Know If Someone Was Suffering From A Concussion?

Lexington, KY (September 14, 2016) – As we prepare to celebrate the seventh annual Riders4Helmets International Helmet Awareness Day on Saturday, September 17th, we ask "Would You Know If Someone Was Suffering From A Concussion?"

Did you know that the average amount of traumatic brain injury-related deaths in equestrian sport is more than seven times that of traumatic brain injury-related deaths in contact sports (such as American football)? That’s an average of 60 deaths in equestrian sports each year.

Much of those deaths can be due to an inaccurate diagnosis of a concussion.

Concussion Basics

According to the Center for Disease Control, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, which causes the brain or head to move back and forth rapidly. When that happens, inside your head your brain will bounce or twist around, damaging the brain cells, thus creating chemical changes in the brain.

Concussions cannot be captured on any imaging because there are no abnormalities, says Dr. Lola Chambless, a neurosurgeon at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and longtime eventing rider. “The symptoms are purely a clinical diagnosis—you will not see anything on a CT scan or MRI.

Signs and symptoms of a concussion are:

· Appearing dazed or confused

· Headache

· Nausea or vomiting

· Balance problems or dizziness

· Feeling groggy or sluggish

Is It a Concussion?

Because most falls can happen when you’re not at a sanctioned equestrian event, most concussions can go undiagnosed.

“Things like that happen all the time, and most people generally are not going to seek medical attention unless they are very symptomatic,” says Dr. Chambless.

Dr. Chambless has worked with the National Football League to help come up with a concussion protocol to be used along the sidelines at the games to help diagnose players with concussions. And while the protocol’s questions are football specific, they can be modified for any sport. She strongly encourages trainers, instructors and riders to all learn to ask these questions any time a fellow rider has come off their horse.

The series of questions are fairly simple to essentially test immediate and short-term memory of the person in question. Questions may include: Where are we riding today? What color is your saddle pad? Where did you last show your horse? What’s your horse’s name? If she/he cannot answer one of these questions, it is recommended to have a physician see them to make a further diagnosis.

And it’s the aftercare for concussions that are just as important. Someone who has suffered from a previous concussion should try to avoid taking any unnecessary risks with training, but most importantly prevent secondary injury. Secondary injury is when a rider returns to the saddle before they’ve fully recovered from a concussion, putting them at a much greater risk for long-term or permanent issues from a concussion.

Can a Helmet Prevent a Concussion?

While approved helmets do reduce the chance of a lethal head injury and can save your life, they do not prevent concussions.

Helmets are designed to limit the types of forces that cause skull fractures and intracranial hemorrhage, which are things that are going to kill you or leave you with neurologic problems. Unfortunately, they are not designed to affect the forces that generally we believe can cause a concussion.

“Unfortunately, there is no safety gear out there currently that really reduces your chances of concussion from a fall of 6 feet, which is basically what you're assuming you’re going to fall from in most equestrian injuries,” says Dr. Chambless. “We can’t prevent people from falling off, but we can make it a lesser risk by wearing a helmet and riding in safe situations.”

To find out more about International Helmet Awareness Day, visit and learn how leading helmet manufacturers around the globe are offering special discounts to help keep you safe in the saddle this year.

Tack Shops who wish to register to participate in the event, may email and will then receive an email with information on how to sign up. Only tack shops who register will be eligible for restocking discounts from the 15 participating helmet brands (please note - participating brands vary by country).

Media Contact:
Lyndsey White

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Is Selenium Deficiency Deadly to Horses? - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor
Aug 28, 2016

The warnings are nothing new to owners: Too much selenium in a horse’s diet—even as little as 5 mg per day—can cause signs of toxicity or even death. But did you know too little selenium can also be life-threatening?

Andrew Allen, DVM, an assistant professor at Washington State University’s (WSU) College of Veterinary Medicine, in Pullman, reviewed several recent cases of death due to selenium deficiency in adult horses at the 2016 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, held June 8-11 in Denver, Colorado.

In equids, Allen said, the muscle disease nutritional myopathy (also referred to as white muscle disease), resulting from a selenium deficiency, generally presents itself in young, rapidly growing foals. Affected foals can show a variety of clinical signs depending on disease severity, including painful hind limb, back, or neck muscles with increasing weakness, stiffness, trembling, and recumbency (the inability to rise); difficulty swallowing; an irregular heartbeat; generalized weakness; and sudden death. This condition, however, is rare in adult horses...

Read more here:

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Special Cash Prizes Offered for September Time to Ride Challenge Events

Hosts of the top two largest single events of the month will win additional cash.

Washington, D.C., August 29, 2016 – To kick off the final month of the 2016 Time to Ride Challenge, a special September incentive will award an additional $400 in cash to stables that excel at introducing new enthusiasts to horses. The top two largest single events, by number of newcomers attending, will win $250 and $150, respectively. The incentive is part of $100,000 cash and prizes that the Challenge will award to the top stables, clubs, and businesses nationwide that are competing to grow their businesses by introducing new people to horseback riding throughout the summer.

By focusing on welcoming newcomers to horses, stables are growing their client bases by reaching an untapped market of families that are interested in horses, but have minimal horse experience. Fun events such as “Friendfest: Beer and Wine Tasting” (Heavenly Horse Stables, Pinckney, MI), “Moms and Tots” (Hideaway Farm, Etowah, TN), and “Jumpstart Equestrian” introduction to horses classes (Ashwood Farm, St. George, KS) are already scheduled to provide fun, safe, beginner-friendly horse activities.

The 2016 Time to Ride Challenge has 218 active hosts across the nation that have already introduced nearly 13,000 individuals to horses. Stables are encouraged to be creative in providing first-time horse experiences will help hosts convert leads to lifetime equine enthusiasts and participants in the horse industry. To view photos from past events, visit the Facebook page,

In 2016, enrollment is open throughout the Challenge. Becoming a Challenge Host is free and simple. With over a month remaining, there is still plenty of time for businesses to register, host events, and grow their businesses while taking a shot at cash and prizes. The Time to Ride Challenge continues through September 30th. To find an event, visit the map on To become a Challenge Host, visit the website and create an account to get started. For more info, please call 512-591-7811 or contact

The American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance

Time to Ride is an initiative of the American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance, formed to connect people with horses. It is designed to encourage horse-interested consumers to enjoy the benefits of horse activities. The AHC Marketing Alliance is made up of the following organizations: the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Active Interest Media, the American Quarter Horse Association, Dover Saddlery, Farnam, Merck, Merial, Morris Media Network Equine Group, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, Platinum Performance, United States Equestrian Federation, and Zoetis. Program Partners are Absorbine, the American Paint Horse Association, Equibrand the National Cutting Horse Association, the National Reining Horse Association, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, and the Texas A&M University Equine Initiative; Lumina Media, Pyranha Inc., the America’s Mustang Campaign, and Colorado State University Equine Sciences Program.

About the American Horse Council

The American Horse Council is a non-profit organization that includes all segments of the horse industry. While its primary mission is to represent the industry before Congress and the federal regulatory agencies in Washington, DC, it also undertakes national initiatives for the horse industry. Time to Ride, the AHC’s marketing alliance to connect horses and people, is such an effort. The American Horse Council hopes that Time to Ride will encourage people and businesses to participate in the industry, enjoy our horses, and support our equine activities and events. The AHC believes a healthy horse industry contributes to the health of Americans and America in many ways.

Peter Fenwick to be Recognized with the Robert N. Clay Conservation Award

Lexington, Ky. – August 29, 2016 – Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) is pleased to announce that Peter Fenwick of Glyndon, Md. has been named as the 2016 recipient of the Robert N. Clay Conservation Award. The award, named in recognition of Robert N. Clay’s equine land conservation leadership in the Thoroughbred industry, will be presented at the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association National Awards dinner on September 10th in Lexington, Ky.

“TOBA is pleased to have established this award in partnership with ELCR to help increase awareness of the importance of land conservation to the Thoroughbred industry and to serve as an inspiration to others within the industry,” says TOBA President Dan Metzger. “We are thrilled to present the award this year to Peter Fenwick in partnership with Equine Land Conservation Resource.”

Mr. Fenwick, a lifelong horseman and Thoroughbred owner, has served as a board member of the Valleys Planning Council (VPC) since 2001 and as president since 2005. The VPC was started in the 1960’s by a group of individuals, many of which were horsemen, with the vision and foresight to preserve the historic character and maintain the rural feel and land uses in the valleys amidst the threat of urbanization and sprawl associated with the construction of the Beltway through Green Spring Valley. Today with over 62,000 acres of land under conservation easements, Baltimore County has more conservation easements than any other county in the state of Maryland and the VPC continues the tradition of protecting the agriculture and equestrian lifestyle and heritage of the area for the benefit of future generations with the conservation of over 30,000 acres of land.

Horses represent a significant part of the history of Baltimore County with over 10,000 horses comprising an equine inventory valued at over $121 million. Steeplechase racing and fox hunting are major activities in the VPC territory. Four major events are held in the area each year: Green Spring Point-to-Point, Grand National, Maryland Hunt Cup, and Legacy Chase. The Grand National and Hunt Cup races date back to 1898 and 1894 respectively. Peter Fenwick continues to demonstrate his commitment to conserving the land and equestrian lifestyle and heritage of the area through his dedication to the mission of VPC and by serving on the board of the Maryland Steeplechase Association and as chair of the Grand National Steeplechase and member of the Green Spring Valley Hounds.

About the Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR): ELCR builds awareness of the loss of lands available for horse-related activities and facilitates the protection and preservation of those lands. We work to ensure America’s equine heritage lives on and the emotional, physical and economic benefits of the horse-human relationship remains accessible. ELCR serves as an information resource and clearinghouse on conserving horse properties, land use planning, land stewardship/best management practices, trails, liability and equine economic development. For more information about the ELCR visit or call (859) 455-8383

For additional information, contact:
Holley Groshek, Executive Director
Equine Land Conservation Resource
Phone: 859-455-8383 /Email:

Monday, August 22, 2016

Heat Stress in Horses

August 21 2016

There’s no getting around it. This has been a miserable summer. Unless you hail from Indonesia or the Amazon basin, you’ve felt it. The heat and humidity have been unbearable and the possibility of heat stroke or heat exhaustion has been hanging over us all.
Including our horses.
Yes they, too, are subject to these conditions.
The large muscle mass of a horse generates a tremendous amount of heat, particularly when exercising. Conditions of high humidity and heat make it is hard for that heat to dissipate. In addition, as they sweat, they lose both water and electrolytes, leading to dehydration.
Dehydration untreated may then escalate to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Horse owners and riders need to be very aware of the symptoms of heat stress, and act on them immediately. A rapidly breathing, sweaty horse can progress to heat stroke, which can be fatal, very quickly. A dull expression or behavior can also signal the onset of heat stress.
Heat exhaustion is characterized by rapid breathing (over 60 beats per minute), refusal to work, and coats that are dripping with sweat, while some horses exhibit “thumping”—a spasmodic jerking of the diaphragm or flanks. In addition, the horse may move very stiffly and abnormally, similar to a horse that is tying up.
Left untreated, heat exhaustion can rapidly turn into heat stroke. Heat stroke is evidenced by hyperthermia (a temperature of over 106 degrees) and a staggering, weaving gait. Horses may fall, rear, and seem unaware of their surroundings, making them dangerous to be around as they are unconscious of others. A coma and death may follow if they are not treated immediately.
Heat stress is not confined just to horses that are exercising. Horses that are in dry lots with no shade, in trailers, or in barns with no ventilation are also subject to the condition. So don’t think that just because you are not working your horse, he won’t be affected by the weather.
So what should you do? Think ahead.
There are many things that can be done to prevent heat stress:
·         Provide plenty of clean water at all times. And remember horses need much more water during periods of extreme heat.
·         Put horses on electrolytes. A heavily sweating horse will lose not only water, but electrolytes, which need to be replaced.
·         Be sure horses have access to shade, and in a hot barn, provide fans.
·         Don’t leave horses in hot trailers.
·         Ride in the early morning or late evening.
·         Clip horses with long coats.
Overweight horses are particularly susceptible so try to keep your horses at a healthy weight.
Horses that don’t drink a lot of water may prove particularly at risk for heat stress. Hydration Hay® can be a boon in such circumstances. This block of compressed grass and alfalfa hay is mixed with water and provides hay and hydration in a tasty mix for those picky drinkers, particularly when faced with constantly changing water on the road.
But what if it’s too late and the damage has already been done? You have a dragon-breathing horse with a temperature over 105 degrees, what now?
Start with a cold, cold, shower. Studies conducted at the Atlanta Summer Olympics proved that there is no harm, only help, in applying cold water to an overheated horse.  “Application of cold water to the overheated horses helped to dissipate heat by providing more water to evaporate from the skin, and by direct conduction of the horse’s body heat into the water that runs off the horse, carrying excess heat with it,” the study concluded.
Use a sweat scraper to remove excess water and then walk the horse or let it out in a shady area or a cool stall. Do not use a sheet in hot, humid conditions; it prevents the evaporation of sweat from the skin.
For heat stroke, ice packs should be applied to the horse’s head and the large muscles on the insides of the legs. If improvement does not take place quickly, or if the horse is staggering or falling, call a vet immediately. The horse will need intravenous fluids and may need additional medication if its internal organs have been affected. Death can occur within a couple of hours so act quickly!

Brought to you by Eastern Hay
845 855 3291

Sunday, August 21, 2016

What's New in Treating Pastern Dermatitis - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor
Jun 24, 2016

Those dreaded crusty and itchy scabs are back. You know the ones. They cover the back of your horse’s pasterns, sometimes spreading to his fetlocks and further. And the worst part of this so-called equine pastern dermatitis (or EPD, often referred to as scratches) is that you know you have an uphill battle in front of you—successfully returning your horse’s affected skin to health is a notoriously difficult task.

So what’s new in diagnosing and treating EPD? Anthony Yu, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVD, reviewed how to diagnose and treat this frustrating problem at the 2016 Western Veterinary Conference, held in March in Las Vegas. Yu is a board-certified veterinary allergist and dermatologist and owns Yu of Guelph Veterinary Dermatology, in Guelph, Ontario, Canada...

Read more here:

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

No Shortcut for Diagnosing Equine Gastric Ulcers - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · May 23, 2016

Gastric ulcers occur more frequently in certain groups of horses: race and endurance horses in training, foals at the time of weaning, or any horse during times of stress. How do you know if your horse has one or more ulcers? Usually, a clear diagnosis can only be achieved if the horse undergoes endoscopic examination, which involves having the veterinarian pass a long flexible tube with a camera in the tip into the stomach to directly visualize and assess the defects.

“Despite being effective, endoscopy is expensive, invasive, and time-consuming, unfortunately,” explained Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a Kentucky Equine Research (KER) nutritionist, adding “The number of veterinarians that have the necessary equipment is limited.”

As an alternative, some owners assume their horses have one or more ulcers if they display classic signs associated with the condition: colic, diarrhea, poor appetite, dull coat, decreased performance, and possibly behavior changes...

Read more here:

Friday, August 05, 2016

Detecting Upper Body Issues - Full Article

By Tracy Gantz
Aug 1, 2016

Remember that tricky thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle, probably of a herd of horses, you put together as a kid? Now consider how much harder it would have been to assemble the puzzle upside down, with no picture to guide you.

That is sometimes the difference between diagnosing lameness in a horse’s lower limb and pinpointing a problem higher up in his body. Once your veterinarian rules out anything from the foot past the knee, the diagnostic difficulty level can soar.

Kirste Timm, DVM, of California Equine Sports Medicine, in Santa Ynez, and Carrie Schlachter, VMD, of Circle Oak Equine, in Petaluma, California, see many sport horses in their practices. They described lower-limb lameness in last month’s issue and will characterize lameness stemming from the upper body in this article...

Read more here:

Probiotics; Are they necessary? - Full Article

Probiotics are common in today's equine industry and even human health. They are heavily marketed for supporting gastrointestinal health on many levels, but are they really needed and are they really beneficial? There are many types of probiotics promoted in various products, but unfortunately, they are all lumped together and promoted as being beneficial, which can further muddy the waters. So how do we know if we need to use them and if so, what types are most beneficial? The answer to this question lies not only within research but also through clinical experience.

To open the discussion, we must first apply some basic definitions:

1. Probiotic: Live microorganisms when administered in adequate amounts provide health benefits to the host

2. Prebiotic: A chemical or food ingredient which can promote the growth of microorganisms, which can be anywhere including the gastrointestinal tract.

The two main groups or classifications of prebiotics include specific sugar molecules and fiber, which not only provide energy sources for the bacteria but can also assist in creating a more favorable environment for their growth. Specific oligosaccharides and inulin are the two main accepted prebiotics by most authorities. In other cases, we also have nutrients provided through various foods that may also serve as direct substrates for bacterial growth. Natural sources of prebiotics include chicory root, artichoke, dandelion, onion, garlic, oats and bananas. The use of prebiotics in the diet have been found to be beneficial in numerous human health conditions helping to reduce risk of hypertension, inflammatory bowel disease, immune related conditions and even colorectal cancer...

Read more here:

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Six ways to feed performance horses for greater achievement

Shoreview, Minn. [August 1, 2016] – Much like human athletes, performance horses have special nutritional needs. And with all athletes, it’s important for diets to match activity and athletic level, to reach the highest level of achievement. 

“These six tips may help you to supply your horse with adequate energy to support optimal performance,” says Katie Young, Ph.D., equine nutritionist with Purina Animal Nutrition.

1.    Know if it’s anaerobic or aerobic exercise
Physical activity is broken into two general categories, aerobic and anaerobic, and it can be helpful to understand the science.
Anaerobic exercise, characterized by short bursts of maximum effort, is primarily fueled by glycogen, a polysaccharide which is composed of sugars and stored in muscle fibers. Soluble carbohydrates from the diet provide the building blocks for glycogen.
Imagine a competitive cutting horse with its incredible agility, quick reactionsand strength. A horse like this would be primarily engaged in anaerobic exercise while they’re working a cow.  Race horses, even Thoroughbreds running a mile and a half are also highly anaerobic while they’re running the race. Such activity depends on a diet providing adequate soluble carbohydratesfor storing and replenishing muscle glycogen needed to fuel these short, intense exercise bouts. 

Aerobic exercise, characterized by low to moderate-intensity activity lasting from several minutes to several hours, is primarily fueled by fat. A slow burning fuel, fat can be perfect for keeping the horse going for the long haul.
Three-day eventing, polo, dressage and endurance riding are all examples of primarily aerobic activity. Performance horses engaged in this type of exercise may benefit from feeds with added fat sources.
Keep in mind, no performance activity is either all anaerobic or all aerobic. Each athletic activity has components of both types of work; especially when you consider the warm-up period before an actual competition.  However, fueling the horse with the dietary energy source from which they will draw the most fuel is a targeted way to optimize the horse’s ability to perform.

2.    Don’t let forages fall flat
While horses in nature may live entirely on forage, equestrians typically demand more from their horses than would ever be required of them in nature. Therefore, additional nutrients and energy are needed to sustain top-level performance in working horses.

Forage can provide adequate fuel for maintenance or low-level activity, but does not supply enough sugar and starch to maintain the glycogen stores required for a hard-working performance horse to succeed. “For horses working at a high level, a feed designed to support that workload will provide adequate soluble carbohydrates and fats to maintain the needed fuel storage for performance,” says Young.
3.    Electrolytes are essential
Horses need free choice salt, but performance horses have additional mineral requirements. “Any time a horse is working and sweating, consider an electrolyte supplement and feed as directed,” says Young.
Check the ingredients on electrolytes -they should include primarily sodium, potassium and chloride. Always ensure your performance horse has adequate access to fresh, clean water and is well hydrated. Do not give electrolyte supplementation to a dehydrated horse.

4.    Time the feed Horses should not be fed a large meal 3-4 hours before an extensive performance event. Feeding any closer to the exercise can hurt the horse’s performance as the blood used for digestion isn’t readily available to the muscle tissue.

If a horse usually has hay available, consider feeding small amounts of hay throughout the day. Feeding forages before an event may not pose the same challenges as a concentrated feed does. Generally speaking, feeding small meals more often is better for the performance horse than one or two large meals a day.
After the event, let the horse cool down before feeding and then consider feeding a small carbohydrate-rich meal 30-120 minutes after exercise to help replace the glycogen used during the event.

5.    Focus on recovery
Recovery from exercise requires the replenishment of glycogen stores as well of the repair of muscle cells damaged during exercise.  Research in humans and horses has shown that ingesting specific amino acids after exercise can decrease muscle recovery time. “Horses performing intense, repetitive work have been shown to benefit from a specific amino acid profile available in a dietary supplement from Purina,” says Young. 

6.    Rethink top-dressing
Horse owners often try to provide additional fat to their performance horses. However, simply top-dressing with oil or an unfortified fat supplement increases the fat and calorie content of the ration, but it doesn’t provide protein, vitamins or minerals to maintain the nutritional balance of the total diet. The best option is to feed a nutritionally balanced feed with a high fat content as well as the proper amount of protein, amino acids, and other nutrients essential to support optimal performance.

“Paying attention to these six areas may help your working horse achieve its true performance potential,” says Young.
For more information on feeding performance horses, contact us at:

Purina Animal Nutrition LLC ( is a national organization serving producers, animal owners and their families through more than 4,700 local cooperatives, independent dealers and other large retailers throughout the United States. Driven to unlock the greatest potential in every animal, the company is an industry-leading innovator offering a valued portfolio of complete feeds, supplements, premixes, ingredients and specialty technologies for the livestock and lifestyle animal markets. Purina Animal Nutrition LLC is headquartered in Shoreview, Minn. and a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O’Lakes, Inc.

J. Kathleen Young PhD: Dr. Young holds a doctorate in equine nutrition and exercise physiology from Texas A&M University, where her research focused on mineral requirements of resting and exercising horses. She currently owns five horses, provides riding instruction, and trains and competes in hunter/jumper and eventing.

American Horse Council to Update National Economic Impact Study

State Breakouts to be Included

(Washington, DC) – The American Horse Council Foundation is seeking to update the Economic Impact Study of the Horse Industry in 2017.

The 2005 Economic Impact Study documented the economic effects of the racing, showing, recreation and other segments of the horse industry. It established that the horse industry in all its segments, including racing, showing, and recreation, had a $39 billion effect on the US economy, involved more than 4 million Americans and 9.2 million horses, and supported 1.4 million full-time jobs. The study also provided invaluable demographic data and insights into professions and other industries that are impacted by the equine ownership.

The study has proven to be extremely helpful to the industry’s efforts in Congress and state legislatures and in documenting its size and diversity to the public, press and media.

The 2017 Study will include expanded demographic information to include the impact that youth involvement has on the industry, as well as a more in-depth of analysis of all segments of the industry—such as rescues and sanctuaries, and therapeutic riding centers.

“The 1996 and 2005 studies gave insight to an industry that operates in every corner of the country and contributes greatly to the American economy and culture,” said Julie Broadway, President of the AHC. “We are looking forward to updating this information to continue to be able to educate not only Congress and state legislatures, but also the industry itself as well.”

If you have any questions or would like to contribute to the update of the national study, you can make a tax-deductible contribution to the American Horse Council Foundation. Please email or call the AHC at 202-296-4031 with any questions.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Understanding pH in the Equine Digestive Tract

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 — In-depth discussions of the equine digestive tract invariably mention pH, especially in reference to the stomach and hindgut. What is pH and how does it factor in the well-being of horses?

In simplest terms, pH is a numeric scale used to measure acidity or basicity of any solution. The scale generally runs from 0 to 14, with 0-6 indicating acidity, 7 representing neutrality, and 8-14 signifying basicity.

The stomach. As part of the digestion process, the horse’s stomach manufactures and secretes hydrochloric acid, creating a naturally acidic environment. The pH of the stomach fluctuates based on contents, both the amount and type of feed and forage. “A range of pH readings has been recorded in the stomach; the lowest of which is less than 2, the highest of which is greater than 6. Even in the best of circumstances, the stomach is an acidic environment,” said Catherine Whitehouse, M.S., a nutritionist with Kentucky Equine Research (KER).

In nature, the horse employs two main protective strategies to maintain stomach health: (1) near-continual consumption of forages, which keeps the stomach full, thus avoiding acidic sloshes; and (2) production and swallowing of saliva, which buffers, or neutralizes, the acidic environment.

Many domesticated horses remain at a disadvantage, as they do not have access to unlimited forage, which leaves the stomach empty for long stretches. This is expressly true of stabled horses fed one or two large meals a day. Moreover, unlike humans, horses do not produce saliva when not actively engaged in chewing and swallowing feed. When both layers of protection are disabled, the stomach lining suffers, resulting in erosion and ulceration.

Several management techniques designed to keep ulcers from forming have been identified.

The hindgut. Further along the digestive tract, just past the small intestine, lies the hindgut, composed of the cecum and colon. Within these structures resides a population of microbes that aids in the fermentation of forages. Microbes work best when their environment, including the pH, remains fairly constant.

Though pH can rise and fall due to the quality and quantity of feed in the hindgut, the primary reason for a precipitous drop in pH involves the overfeeding of concentrates. “When too much feed is given in a meal, the sheer bulk overwhelms the foregut (stomach and small intestine) and passes hurriedly and only partially digested to the hindgut,” said Whitehouse. “Problem is, the hindgut is not equipped to efficiently digest the primary energy sources in feed; its specialty is fiber processing. As fermentation of grain occurs, the microbial population changes when certain microorganisms die off and others thrive. These changes cause pH of the hindgut to drop.”

Whereas a normal hindgut pH may be in the 6.5-7 range, an acidic hindgut might be as low as 5, which can bring about acidosis. Hindgut acidosis can be problematic on many levels, as horses with this condition tend to have subclinical symptoms, such as a take-it-or-leave attitude toward feed, weight loss, recurrent mild colic, unusually soft manure, or behavioral changes.

If clinical signs point to acidosis, consult with a veterinarian or equine nutritionist. Also consider a hindgut buffer. EquiShure®, a product developed by KER, is a time-released buffer that moderates the pH of the hindgut, making it more hospitable for beneficial microbes. Horses with both stomach and hindgut issues can benefit from RiteTrac™, which combines fast-acting antacids and coating agents to promote stomach health and EquiShure.


Kentucky Equine Research (KER) is an international equine nutrition, research and consultation company serving both the horse producer and the feed industry. Its goal is to advance the industry's knowledge of equine nutrition and exercise physiology and apply this knowledge to produce healthier, more athletic horses. For more information, see or call 888-873-1988.

Erin Ryder Hsu
888-873-1988 ex. 42

Monday, July 18, 2016

Families Welcomed to Connect with Horses on Upcoming National Meet-A-Horse Day

Time to Ride Challenge Hosts are holding events across the country to bring their communities closer to horses.

Washington, D.C., July 14th, 2016 – People across the country are invited to take part in National Meet-A-Horse Day on July 23rd, at any Time to Ride Challenge Host location. Families will be welcomed into stables, camps, clubs and organizations competing in the Time to Ride Challenge, in hope of creating new riders and lifelong equestrians. This is the third year National Meet-A-Horse Day will be celebrated and participating equine businesses are more excited than ever to share their unique, horse-centered events.

“National Meet-A-Horse Day is a great opportunity to focus on the importance of introducing brand-new enthusiasts to horses,” said Leigh-Anna Martinets, Time to Ride Program Manager. “Many of us were introduced to horses by either a family member, friend or neighbor. Horses inspire so much joy, wonder, and curiosity, and this day is all about making riding and connecting with horses more accessible in our communities. Our hosts have a great array of activities planned and are truly looking forward to sharing their horses with new people.”

National Meet-A-Horse Day coincides with National Day of the Cowboy and many hosts are using this opportunity to create events that incorporate both themes. For example, Horses4Heroes, located in Las Vegas, Nevada, will be celebrating the day with a Dress Like a Cowboy contest, panning for gold and trail rides. Though each event will be slightly different than the next, all will present a chance for a hands on experience with a horse or pony.

All horse owners and businesses who are not competing in the Challenge are welcomed to share equine experiences with friends who are new to horses. The hope is for anyone who wants to meet a horse to have the means to do so on July 23rd. Newcomers are encouraged to post pictures on social media of themselves at events with the hashtag, #MeetaHorse, to be entered to win a Time to Ride prize pack. The 2016 Time to Ride Challenge has 205 hosts across the nation that are eager to share their horses with the public.

National Meet-A-Horse Day takes place Saturday, July 23rd. To find an event, visit the map on There is still time to get involved: to host an event, visit the website and create an account to get started. For more info, please call 512-591-7811 or contact

The American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance

Time to Ride is an initiative of the American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance, formed to connect people with horses. It is designed to encourage horse-interested consumers to enjoy the benefits of horse activities. The AHC Marketing Alliance is made up of the following organizations: the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Active Interest Media, the American Quarter Horse Association, Dover Saddlery, Farnam, Merck, Merial, Morris Media Network Equine Group, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, Platinum Performance, United States Equestrian Federation, and Zoetis. Program Partners are Absorbine, the American Paint Horse Association, Equibrand the National Cutting Horse Association, the National Reining Horse Association, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, and the Texas A&M University Equine Initiative; and new for 2016 I-5 Publishing, Pyranha, the America’s Mustang Campaign, and Colorado State University Equine Sciences Program.

About the American Horse Council

The American Horse Council is a non-profit organization that includes all segments of the horse industry. While its primary mission is to represent the industry before Congress and the federal regulatory agencies in Washington, DC, it also undertakes national initiatives for the horse industry. Time to Ride, the AHC’s Marketing Alliance to connect horses and people, is such an effort. The American Horse Council hopes that Time to Ride will encourage people and businesses to participate in the industry, enjoy our horses, and support our equine activities and events. The AHC believes a healthy horse industry contributes to the health of Americans and America in many ways.

Contact: Christie Schulte – or 512-591-7811

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Horse Foot Bruises - Full Article

By Tracy Gantz
Jun 21, 2016

Understanding what causes foot bruises and how to treat and possibly prevent them can save your horse from sore feet.

While laminitis and navicular disease pose more dangerous threats to your horse's feet, the average horse is more likely to encounter a foot bruise than any other lameness. If you recognize the causes of foot bruises and understand their treatment and prevention, you can stave off discomfort in your horse and perhaps avoid an abscess, which is a more serious problem that can develop in a bruised hoof.

Most bruises show up on the sole of a horse's foot, although a horse can also bruise the quarters, the toe, and the frog of the foot.

"Often the location of a foot bruise is based on the purpose of the horse," says Meredith May, DVM, now a veterinarian at Terra Vista Animal Hospital, in Rancho Cucamonga, California, who studied stone bruises in the field with Don Shields, DVM, who runs Winner's Circle Ranch. The layup facility in Bradbury, California, cares for injured racehorses and show horses. Thus, Shields sees his share of foot bruises...

Read more here:

Friday, July 08, 2016

Researchers probe metabolic performance in young endurance horses - Full Article

July 8, 2016

Experienced endurance horses were better able to maintain their blood glucose than young horses in competition, a French study has shown.

The researchers, writing in the journal Frontiers in Physiology, said long-term endurance exercise was known to severely affect metabolism in both human and animal athletes, resulting in a serious risk of metabolic disorders during or after competition.

Horses up to the age of six can compete in endurance races up to 90km, they noted, despite limited scientific knowledge of energy-related metabolic responses to long distance exercise in these animals.

“There is,” they reported, “no biological or physiological data available for 4–6-year-old horses.”

The researchers noted that, during endurance races, horses ran at speeds ranging from 12kmh to 26kmh. During exercise, muscle stocks of adenosine triphosphate and creatine phosphate in muscle are quickly depleted and energy must then be derived from glycolytic and/or oxidative pathways.

“At higher speeds, horses face high metabolic stress due to the intensity and duration of muscular effort. Thus, specific metabolic adaptations are needed that may be observed in horses selected for endurance for a long time, such as Arabians.”

While Arabian horses were recognized as the best breed to perform endurance competitions, their physical development was slow and extended until the age of six, they noted...

Read more:

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Managing a Horse's Underrun Heels - Full Article

By Sarah Evers Conrad
Jun 15, 2016

The long-toed, low-heeled hoof is a common and difficult-to-manage hoof abnormality

It can be a struggle to maintain our horse’s hooves so that they look the way we want, while also keeping them as healthy and sound as possible. We’re usually fighting against a genetic predisposition for problems, the local climate, the footing a horse has been raised on, poor hoof care at an early age, feet that have been previously shod inappropriately, excessive softening of the foot due to moisture, type of work, or problematic foot and limb conformation. And once hoof problems start, sometimes they can be challenging or impossible to fix. Such is the case with what is known as underrun heels, sometimes described as the long-toed, low-heeled hoof.

Stephen O’Grady, DVM, MRCVS, owner of Virginia Therapeutic Farriery, in Keswick, says underrun heels are one of the most important and common foot abnormalities the horse industry faces today. He was a professional farrier for 10 years before earning a degree in veterinary medicine from the University of Pretoria, in South Africa, in 1981, and he now focuses solely on podiatry with his practice. He says any of the items listed above can cause underrun heels...

Read more here:

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Time to Ride, Microchipping and Putting Horsepower in Congress

July 5 2016

The AHC’s Annual Meeting wrapped up on Tuesday, June 14th with the National Issues Forum, sponsored by Luitpold Animal Health. Presentations and discussions about the successful Time to Ride campaign and benefits of Microchipping kicked off the morning. Senator Pat Robert (R-KS) also spoke on the importance of the industry and hearing from constituents.

Christie Schulte of Lead Change Management Inc. and Marketing Manager of the AHC Time to Ride campaign, kicked off the session by providing an overview of the campaign and its goal to not only grow the horse industry, but to make the equine experience attractive and accessible to newcomers. She also gave an update to meeting attendees on the progress of Time to Ride in 2016, as well as the new programs and sweepstakes that were introduced this year. Most notably, Time to Ride will be working with the United States Equestrian Federation on the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign to engage youth in as many Olympic sports as possible.

“I was delighted to share the success of Time to Ride over the last two years, which has introduced over 60,000 new people to horses,” said Christie Schulte. “With the support of the AHC Marketing Alliance, Time to Ride’s strategy continues to focus on growing the horse industry through programs that help horse professionals convert non-riding moms and families into equestrians, and eventually horse owners and participants in the industry. To meet and collaborate with the equine industry leaders present at the AHC Issues Forum was extremely valuable to the growth and success of Time to Ride.”

Matt Iuliano, Executive Vice President and Executive Director of The Jockey Club, Mary Babick, Vice President of the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association, and Summer Stoffel, who serves on the USEF Horse Recording & ID Task Force Committee, spoke on a panel about benefits of microchipping. Each has been intimately involved in their organizations move to requiring microchipping.

“With microchipping, you don’t have to worry about spelling the name correctly or what year the horse was born,” said Matt Iuliano. “This would be a lot more efficient than dragging a clipboard around saying, ‘Who is that horse again?’ and being told, ‘That’s the horse we call Skippy.’ Hospitals have leveraged this type of technology for years. You get a band and your entire history is attached to that band.” Iuliano also discussed how pedigree, performance, and breeding histories could be attached to the horse’s microchip number, creating greater ease of information transfer after sales.

“Consumer confidence was low,” said Mary Babick. “The main goal of this rule was to increase customer confidence. It is far too easy to fudge a horse’s age and/or reputation, which sometimes done very innocently and other times with the intention to conceal. Microchipping will begin the change toward more reliable horse identification, allowing horse owners and buyers to be absolutely sure of a horse’s identity.”

“The future of any industry is data,” said Summer Stoffel. “Microchipping for horses has been used successfully in Europe since 2006 to monitor horse welfare, protect against theft, prevent fraud, track competition eligibility, and for tracing in the event of a disease outbreak. It is a safe, reliable, less painful way to provide permanent, unchangeable positive identification.”

Senator Pat Roberts closed out the National Issues Forum by addressing one of the priorities that the AHC has been working on—the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act. “The Agriculture Committee intends to take action on forestry related legislation, such as the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act, which utilizes volunteers to help maintain access to priority trails on National Forest land,” said Senator Roberts. “I understand that the American Horse Council supports this legislation along with a broad coalition of stakeholders. As you can see, we clearly have our work cut out for us over the next several months, and I look forward to continuing to work with our agriculture sector constituents to find resolution on these outstanding issues.”

Save the Date for the 2017 Annual Meeting and National Issues Forum—June 11-14, 2017 at the Washington Court Hotel.