Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Virginia Tech Releases Highly Anticipated Helmet Ratings - Full Article

By: Melissa Wright
Dec 6, 2022 - 9:09 PM

The Virgina Tech Helmet Lab has released its much-anticipated equestrian helmet ratings. Taking the top spot in the rankings is the $460 Champion Revolve X-Air MIPS helmet, but in good news for riders who are both frugal and safety conscious, the rest of the top three slots were filled by sub-$60 helmets, the Tuffrider Carbon Fiber ($58) and the IRH Equi-Lite ($50).

The ratings are the culmination of a research project that began in 2019 to add horseback riding helmets to the roster of sport helmets the lab evaluates. It was helped along by grants from the U.S. Equestrian Federation, U.S. Hunter Jumper Association, U.S. Eventing Association and Jacqueline Mars.

For a decade, the lab has been translating its independent research into what it calls a STAR (“Summation of Tests for Analysis of Risk”) rating system for consumers...

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What Research is Saying About Supplements for Horses - Full Article

Scientists are studying the safety, efficacy, mechanisms of action, and pharmacokinetics of equine nutritional supplements.

Posted by Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc | Dec 5, 2022

Would you like a side of science to go with your horse’s supplements?

Every year equine nutritional supplements continue to increase in popularity. Verified Market Research reported that the global nutritional supplement market for horses was valued at $73.61 million in 2018. The data used to generate that report projected a steady increase in supplement sales, potentially reaching $96.18 million by 2026.

As we’ve reported in previous years, science continues to lag behind the popularity of nutritional supplements … but not for want of trying.

“While the amount of scientific information on veterinary pet supplements and nutraceuticals is increasing, there remains a paucity of quality control, safety, and efficacy data for the majority of both the substances marketed in pet supplements and the resulting products for purchase currently available,” Carrie J. Finno, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, of the University of California, Davis, (UC Davis) School of Veterinary Medicine, wrote in a 2020 edition of Nutrition Today. “Despite this lack of evidence, the use of veterinary supplements and nutraceuticals continues to increase...”

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Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Does Your Horse Need Probiotics? - Full Article

By supplementing horses with the same kind of beneficial microorganisms that colonize their guts, probiotics might help reestablish healthy balances in the gut microbiome without causing harm.

Posted by Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA | Sep 2, 2022

If your horse’s gut microbiota is out of whack, microorganism-packed products might get him back on track

Inside the digestive system live millions of microscopic organisms that play vital roles in the horse’s digestive—and general—health. Many of these of bacteria, protozoa, archaea, and fungi help break down food and usher nutrients efficiently into the bloodstream. They play a role in metabolizing fiber, generating energy, and promoting proper intestinal transit.

While scientists still don’t know what makes up the ideal equine gut microbiota, they do know it’s a question of balance. “All these microorganisms live in a kind of symbiotic relationship when they’re in balance,” says Kathleen Crandell, PhD, a nutritionist with Kentucky Equine Research, in Versailles...

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Monday, November 28, 2022

Does your horse need this super fiber - beet pulp? podcast - Listen

Ep. 048: Beet Pulp – What Is It and Why Do Horses Need It?

On this episode, co-hosts Dr. Tania Cubitt and Katy Starr discuss anything and everything you'd ever want to now about beet pulp including:

- What is beet pulp and where does it come from?
- What type of horse shold and shouldn't be fed beet pulp?| - Can beet pulp swell in a horse's stomach? - this answer may surprise you!

How much do you know about beet pulp? Go on this deep dive with us to really understand what this super fiber is all about!


Friday, November 25, 2022

Feed Tevis Winners

Developing an endurance horse requires proper training and conditioning, but without a solid feeding program, even the best-trained horses can struggle. Gabriella Blakeley and her 13-year-old Arabian gelding (also known as “Pyro”) won the 2022 Tevis Cup, with Christoph Schurke and the GE VA Blizzard of Ozz coming in second. “Ozzy,” the 13-year-old Arabian gelding, was also awarded the Haggin Cup, which is an award for the top 10 horse in best condition in the morning after finishing a ride.

Both riders know that feeding their horses well is critical to their long-term success and well-being. Carrie Williams, Ph.D., equine extension specialist and professor at Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, who also has experience feeding endurance horses, shared her advice with the horse.

Endurance Nutrition Program Overview

Williams said owners of endurance horses need to prioritize fats in their nutritional programs. “It is best to have them on a high-fat, forage-high fat diet because this is the primary fuel source they use for endurance exercise. It helps sustain their energy for long periods of time during exercise...”

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Monday, November 07, 2022

Selecting a Horse Trailer to Fit Your Needs - Full Article

If your horse needs a new ride, walk through this decision process so you end up with the perfect horse trailer.

By Stacey McKenna
May 14 2022

Many of us depend on trainers or friends to haul our horses to competitions, trailheads, or emergency veterinary appointments. That’s a sufficient strategy for some, but there’s a particular sort of freedom that comes from taking the leap and selecting a horse trailer of your own, especially if an emergency arises and a friend’s horse trailer is not available.

With an overwhelming array of options on the market, you won’t be starved for choice. Most trailer owners are glad to share their preferences, but it’s essential to choose the rig that’s right for you and your horse. Download our trailer-buying guide to help you navigate the market as you begin selecting a horse trailer...

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Friday, November 04, 2022

Transport Effects on Endurance Horses - Full Article

A study on transport effects on endurance horses concluded that equine athletes can experience significant changes in electrolyte concentrations prior to the start of competition during trailering and stabling.

By Nancy S. Loving, DVM | November 3, 2022

Equine athletes undergo considerable stressors even prior to competition. This is especially due to transport over significant distances to a venue. Horses that compete in long-duration sports, like endurance riding, are particularly at risk for dehydration and loss of electrolytes before and during competition. A study of horses competing in the July 2016 Tevis Cup 100-Mile One-Day Western States Trail Ride evaluated the status of horses prior to and during competition. The study aimed to determine transport effects on endurance horses. More specifically, it looked at how transport to the venue might affect their ability to compete successfully. [Fielding CL and Magdesian KG. Changes in electrolyte concentrations and hydration status in endurance horses following transport and an overnight stay prior to competition. American Journal of Veterinary Research Dec 2021, vol. 82 # 12]

Participating Horses

Researchers obtained blood samples on 19 equine participants in the Tevis Cup ride...

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Tuesday, November 01, 2022

Careful monitoring of endurance horses urged by researchers - Full Article

November 1, 2022

Endurance horses in more exhausting races should be carefully monitored, according to researchers who investigated the acute phase response of equines competing in the discipline.

The study by Karla Mihelić and her fellow researchers centered on 23 horses competing at one national competition held in April 2021 in Croatia.

Three races were held at the event, over distances of 43km, 67km and 86km. The races of 67 and 86km distances were classified as long while the race of 43km was considered short.

Blood samples were collected before the start and within 30 minutes after the end of the races.

Blood and biochemical tests were performed to investigate acute phase biomarkers changes...

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Friday, October 14, 2022

Why Should You Test Hay? Podcast - Listen

Episode 45: Why Skipping a Hay Analysis Could Cost More Money in the Long Run with Sarah Fessenden

On this episode, co-hosts Dr. Tania Cubitt and Katy Starr have an enlightening conversation with special guest Sarah Fessenden, Business Development Manager for the forage and soils laboratories of Dairy One and Equi-Analytical about:

• Why it’s critical to get a representative hay sample when testing
• The difference between ‘as sampled’ and ‘dry matter’
• What to do with the results you receive from a hay test

Learn more about how to understand what you’re feeding your horse!


Friday, October 07, 2022

Horse returns home after lost, running with wild mustangs for 8 years in northern Utah - Full Article

by Heidi Hatch, KUTV
Wednesday, October 5th 2022

FIELDING, Utah (KUTV) — A horse returned home after eight years of being lost and running with wild mustangs.

Shane Adams lost his horse Mongo while camping in Utah’s West Desert - and just this week the two were reunited.

Early on a spring morning, when there was still snow on the ground Mongo made a run for it.

The horse was tied up outside Adam’s tent, but not tight enough. A herd of wild mustangs ran past the camp and Mongo took off with his newfound friends.

Adams scrambled out of his tent in a state of half undress and tried to stop him, but he was too late...

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Saturday, September 24, 2022

In the ranches of B.C.’s Cariboo Chilcotin, I gained a deeper understanding of the connection between human and horses - Full Article

With more than a dozen guest ranches, the region offers many opportunities to get back in the saddle.

By Claudia LaroyeSpecial to the Star
Fri., Sept. 16, 2022

At Historic Hat Creek Ranch, about an hour west of Kamloops, B.C., guide Reni Lind wears the snappy garb of a 19th-century saloon keeper as he tells tales of the Cariboo Wagon Road, and the American Gold Rush miners who flooded this region in the 1850s.

“More than 700 kilometres of road were built over three years [between 1862 and 1865], from Fort Yale to Quesnel and Barkerville,” says Lind. Once a crucial route to the Fraser River’s precious metal, the gravel road still runs through the ranch, where the well-preserved Hat Creek Roadhouse, built in 1861, once serviced miners and watered stagecoach horses en route north. Today, the ranch is a heritage site with costumed interpreters bringing the past to life...

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Friday, September 23, 2022

Wyoming: The 50 Million-Year-Old Treasures of Fossil Lake - Full Article

In a forbidding Wyoming desert, scientists and fortune hunters search for the surprisingly intact remains of horses and other creatures that lived long ago

September 2022
By Richard Conniff
Photographs by Taylor Glenn

One morning in September 2003, Jim E. Tynsky was working on the tip of a ridge above a canyon in southwestern Wyoming. That point of land had become known as “Tom’s Folly” because of a previous fossil hunter’s inability to find anything in the quarry there. Tynsky wasn’t doing much better. With the season racing to its snowy end, he had little to show for a summer of hard work but the commonest sort of fish fossils. Heaps of discarded stone slabs lay around like broken pottery.

Other quarries on this ridge were known for producing extraordinarily detailed and complete fossils, all from the bottom of an ancient lake. Tynsky, the third generation of his family to eke out a living from finding fossils there, knelt down beside a slab still embedded in the ground. He chose a spot along an exposed edge and started to work at it with his chisel and his geological hammer. A fragment of stone broke away above the split. He was expecting to find fossilized fish underneath. Maybe some good ones. What caught his eye instead was a foot.

He cleared a larger area, and the fossil began to take shape as a ghostly shadow across the newly exposed stone surface. It was humpbacked, and the size of a border collie, but with details obscured by the limestone matrix, as if painted over with cake batter. “I got something really cool over here,” Tynsky called out to a helper. “Might be a turtle, I don’t know.” He cleared a bit more and saw that the ordinary cracks in the stone had miraculously spared the fossil. The helper came over to look.

“Oh my God,” he said, after a moment. “You got a horse!” He started jumping up and down. “You got a horse! You got a horse!”...

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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Competition history a useful predictor for lameness eliminations in endurance – study - Full Article

September 18, 2022

The competitive history of endurance horses is important in predicting their likelihood of elimination from a competition, especially in relation to lameness, researchers have found.

Endurance is an internationally recognised equestrian sport in which horse-and-rider combinations compete over distances of up to 160km in a day.

The discipline is governed globally by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), and by Endurance GB in Britain.

Protecting the welfare of the horse is a key strategic priority within the discipline. However, horse injuries and fatalities in high-profile races have led to a negative public perception of the sport.

This has resulted in calls for increased safeguards around the welfare of endurance horses in order to reduce the risk not only to the horse, but also to the discipline and its social licence to operate...

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Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Tasmanian man's tales of trail riding hope to address mental health issues at work - Full Article and video

ABC Northern Tasmania / By Sarah Abbott
September 5 2022

Dakota Wolf can spend a month in a saddle without getting sore.

Since leaving his nine-to-five job of 21 years, Mr Wolf has dedicated himself to long-distance trail riding.

"I'm that used to it these days that it doesn't bother me at all," he said.

"But I struggle getting into a soft bed after [a long ride]. It takes me a couple of weeks to get used to that again."

He says riding is a childhood dream come true...

Read and watch more here:

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

My Nomadic Life Part 1, Traveling with Horses - Listen

July 5, 2022
by Jess

Part 1 of the My Nomadic Life Series covers the ins and outs of traveling with horses in our fulltime digital nomad lifestyle.

I’ve spoken about our lifestyle on the podcast before and it always makes people curious. I decided to dedicate an entire episode to answering questions that I’ve received from podcast listeners, blog readers, and social media fans. It turned out to be so extensive that I broke it into a series...

Listen to the podcast here:

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Film review: The Long Rider goes the distance

Mythic Productions Photo - Full Article

Documentary follows a man who made a trek from Calgary to Sao Paulo on horseback

Author of the article: Chris Knight
Publishing date: Jun 24, 2022

You can get from Calgary to Sao Paulo by plane in about 14 hours. Or you can do what Felipe Masetti Leite did, and go on horseback. It took him two years, but it’s a helluva story.

Leite was born in Brazil but moved to Canada with his parents when he was nine. In Canadian director Sean Cisterna’s new movie we watch as Leite, inspired by Aimé Félix Tschiffely’s solo ride from Argentina to New York in 1925, decides to make a similar trek southward. In equestrian circles, any journey of 1,000 miles or more constitutes a “long ride.” This one certainly qualifies.

Leite first goes through months of training and planning, although he decides to park the question of how to cross the Panama Canal until he gets there. That almost proves his undoing – as do traffic accidents, horse colic, sketchy border officials, extreme weather and that time a jealous hotel owner seemed on the verge of trying to kill him...

Read more here:

Sunday, August 07, 2022

The All-Important Equine Prepurchase Exam - Full Article

What to expect when a veterinarian performs a prepurchase exam on a prospective equine partner.

Posted by Chris White, DVM | Jul 13, 2022

Prepurchase exam steps, ethics, and best practices

You’re in the market for a new horse and find one across state lines that checks all the boxes; he’s the right age, within your budget, and you love what you see in the seller’s videos. Why spend time and money performing a prepurchase exam (PPE) on this unicorn? In this hot market, you want to snatch him up right now!

“I think of prepurchase exams as an information-gathering mission for the prospective buyer prior to making the decision of purchasing a horse,” says Rachel Roemer, DVM, owner of Great Bay Equine, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. “I perform them to look for any indication of existing issues that may limit performance in the future for whatever desired job...”

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Saturday, July 23, 2022

Feeding Tevis Winners - Full Article

The first and second place finishers in the 2022 Tevis Cup describe their feed strategies.

Posted by Shoshana Rudski, The Horse Digital Editor | Jul 23, 2022

Developing an endurance horse takes correct training and conditioning, but without a solid nutrition program even the best-trained horses can struggle. Gabriela Blakeley and her 13-year-old Arabian gelding LLC Pyros Choice (aka “Pyro”) won the 2022 Tevis Cup, and Christoph Schork and GE VA Blizzard of Ozz came in second. “Ozzy,” 13-year-old Arabian gelding, also took home The Haggin Cup, the award for the Top 10 horse in the best condition the morning after completing the ride.

Both riders know feeding their horses well is paramount to their success and long-term well-being. Carey Williams, PhD, equine extension specialist and professor at Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, who also has experience in feeding endurance horses, shared her advice with The Horse...

Read more here:

Friday, July 22, 2022

Feeding the Anaerobic Equine Athlete - Full Article

How do you build a nutritional program that supports your high-­intensity equine athlete? Three experts share their advice.

Posted by Katie Navarra | Jul 21, 2022

At the National Cutting Horse Association World Championship Futurity, the final seconds of competition can determine the champion. The winning horse stays with the last cow, preventing it from returning to the herd. Another horse loses its last cow just before the buzzer sounds, only to go home without placing. In many cases, the latter horse has simply run out of gas, says Karen Davison, PhD, an equine nutritionist and director of equine technical solutions for Purina Animal Nutrition, in Gray Summit, Missouri.

“Both horses are incredibly talented elite athletes,” she says. “One just didn’t have enough energy to sustain the high-intensity workout and make that final big move to hold the cow.”

Nutrition in the form of fats and carbohydrates (sugars, starches) is the fuel that sustains performance. However, the body uses these energy sources differently depending on a workout’s duration and intensity. Take aerobic exercise, for instance: During this longer-lasting, lower-intensity work such as endurance riding, the muscle tissues use oxygen to convert fat into energy...

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Thursday, July 07, 2022

Feeding the Foot: Nutrition For Equine Hoof Health - Full Article

Two equine nutritionists shed light on the do’s and don’ts of feeding your horse for strong and healthy hooves.

Posted by Lucile Vigouroux | Jun 13, 2022

How to feed your horse for strong and healthy hooves

Nutrition impacts everything from performance and temperament to growth and metabolic rate. Hoof quality is no exception. It can take up to a year for a full new hoof to grow, so what your horse eats today could impact his soundness much further down the road. In this article two equine nutritionists—Lynn Taylor, PhD, and Ashley Wagner, PhD—shed light on the do’s and don’ts of feeding for optimal hoof health. The Recipe for Healthy Hooves

Your horse’s diet plays a crucial role in the quality and durability of the horn that makes up his hooves. Horses require certain nutrients in specific amounts and ratios to grow and maintain strong hooves. However, even the perfect diet is not enough by itself to grow good feet—­several other factors come into play. Management, exercise, metabolic rate, hoof care including trimming and shoeing, overall health, genetics, and climate (moisture levels, in particular) can all affect the appearance and strength of horses’ feet—and not always for the better. The bottom line is hoof health requires a very holistic (whole horse) approach...

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Friday, July 01, 2022

Fueling the Endurance Horse - Full Article

Going the Distance

Endurance riding is very popular and continues to gain the interest of horse enthusiasts throughout the world. The discipline began in the United States in 1955 when Wendell Robie, an avid California horseman joined by a group of friends set out to disprove the notion that no modern-day horse could cover the rugged trail from Lake Tahoe to Auburn in a single day. Now called the Tevis Cup Ride, this 100-mile California feat winds along much of the historic Western States Trail from the Lake Tahoe area through the Sierra Nevada mountain range to the finish line in Auburn, located a half-hour northeast of Sacramento. In 1982, the Fédération Equestre Internationale, or FEI, the international governing body of equestrian sport, recognized endurance racing as an international sport. Despite its U.S. roots, the discipline has evolved into a very competitive sport worldwide — particularly in Europe, the United Arab Emirates, Australia and New Zealand. Any horse is welcome to compete, but the Arabian breed has dominated the sport since its inception due to their incredible natural stamina and durability.

The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) is the governing body for long-distance riding in the U.S. and offers over 700 races annually throughout North America for riders of all ages and ambitions, including shorter 25-mile courses. Most competitive endurance rides are 50, 75 or 100 miles long with different maximum times allowed depending on mileage length. Championship races are 100 miles completed in one day. There are also endurance rides that cover longer 150-mile trails over multiple days. Race courses can be set, such as the Tevis Cup, with horse and rider combinations traveling from one location to another, or more commonly in championship settings, courses have set “loops” that are completed several times in a race. The terrain is often undulating requiring uphill and downhill maneuvering over different types of footing and even through water crossings. Horses are checked before, during and after the race — known as “holds” — by qualified judges and veterinarians verifying that each animal is “fit to continue” both physically and metabolically. Historically, the sport required long distances at relatively low speeds but is now trending toward faster racing speeds. Today, some top-placing elite endurance horses average upwards of 12 to even 15 miles per hour — the equivalent of a medium canter — over 100-mile international tracks. The increase in pace over huge distances poses several challenges for the contemporary endurance horse, and feeding this elite equine athlete has become critically important and a significant focal point for competitive endurance riders.

About the Sport

Most competitive endurance rides are 50, 75 or 100 miles long. Championship races are 100 miles completed in one day. The terrain is often undulating requiring uphill and downhill maneuvering over different types of footing and even through water crossings.

Feeding for Endurance

Endurance is one of the most demanding disciplines of equestrian sport, and some of the nutritional nuances for these horses are unique compared to other equine athletes. With the daunting fitness work required one thing is very important — fuel. The type and amount of feed needed must meet the high-energy demands of endurance conditioning, training and on race days. Conversely, unsuitable or inadequate nutrition will significantly limit the horse’s athleticism. The most common causes for poor performance or fatigue seen during endurance riding is the depletion of energy reserves, dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, or a combination of these issues.

The Arabian breed reigns supreme in the sport of endurance and most long-distance performance horses are either full Arabian or have Arab genetic influence. While this breed is often categorized as a metabolically easy-keeping type, during endurance training, it can often be difficult to supply enough calories to meet athletic output resulting in a horse with a thin body condition. Knowing the individual horse and assessing body condition throughout training is something that endurance trainers and riders closely monitor to ensure a horse is fit and at an appropriate weight. Nutrition tailored to the individual horse will allow him to compete to the best of his ability...

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Thursday, June 30, 2022

‘The Long Rider’ Chronicles an Epic Journey - Full Article

A new documentary feature film follows Filipe Masetti Leite and his horses Dude, Bruiser, and Frenchie from Calgary to Brazil.

By: Kim Izzo | June 29, 2022

If you love trail riding and have ever dreamed of an epic ride, then The Long Rider, a new documentary feature film now in theatres, is your jam. The film, directed by award-winning filmmaker Sean Cisterna, follows Filipe Masetti Leite, who leaves his adoptive home of Canada as he sets out on quest to ride from Calgary to his family’s home in Brazil ‒ and later beyond ‒ entirely on horseback.

Filipe was inspired by Aimé Tschiffely’s 1925 equestrian journey from Argentina to New York. Filipe’s own odyssey took him and his horses eight years and over 25,000 kms across twelve international borders, where the young rider battled intense heat, drought, speeding transport trucks, nature’s wrath and corrupt border guards on his history-making long ride home.

Culled from over 500 hours of never-before-seen footage, The Long Rider deals with the issue of chronic loneliness, and the insensitive and restrictive nature of international borders, but is above all an inspirational and emotional story of the most daring and epic proportions. spoke with Filipe, who has written two best-selling books about his adventures on horseback, about his incredible ride...

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Monday, June 06, 2022

Equestrian Adventuresses Podcast: New Zealand – Riding in Middle Earth - Listen

Posted by utetonia
June 1, 2022

Ever since the screening of the Lord of the Rings movies by Peter Jackson, New Zealand’s South Island is on the map of travellers from all over the world. Horses offer an amazing way to discover the amazing mountain landscapes of what people associate with Middle Earth. In today’s podcast episode I am talking with Angie, who organises horse trails and rides on amazing Kiwi Station Horses on the South Island of New Zealand, the land of the long white cloud as it is known by the Maori, the native inhabitants of the country...

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Friday, June 03, 2022

Health News Skin readings not a reliable indicator of core temperature in Endurance horses – study - full Article

June 2, 2022

Monitoring the skin temperature of Endurance horses does not provide a reliable proxy for their core thermoregulatory response, researchers have found.

Researchers, writing in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science, believe the reason is most probably because many factors can influence skin temperature without directly affecting a horse’s core temperature.

They could find no correlation between the constantly monitored skin temperature and the core temperature in 13 Endurance horses competing in Australia.

The skin temperature of the horses in the study was continuously recorded every 15 seconds by an infrared thermistor sensor located in a modified belt. The core body temperature was similarly recorded every 15 seconds via a telemetric pill which made its way through the horse’s gastrointestinal tract...

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Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Farmer, Shires and dog embark on second epic endurance challenge - Full Article

1 June 2022 by Rachael Turner

Jamie Alcock, a farmer who drove his Shire horses from his Gloucestershire farm to Scotland in 2021 is now taking on a second challenge. Jamie, his Shires, Willam and Millie, and Boo Boo Beithe the farm dog will start their journey at MOD St Athan in South Wales today (1 June).

Travelling at an average speed of 3.2 mph, they are set to complete the 280-mile journey on Monday 20 June at Hampton Court Green in East Molesey. All funds raised are going to Police Care UK, the Royal Air Forces Association and The Shire Horse Society...

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