Monday, October 15, 2018

How to Handle Wild Animal Encounters With Your Horse

Thehorse.com - Full Article

Before you hit the trail, make sure both you and your horse are prepared for any wildlife encounters that might occur.


Posted by Tracy Gantz | Sep 28, 2018

Joan Burlingame has access to 27 miles of trails adjacent to her property in Ravensdale, Washington. It’s the perfect place to go riding on her Tennessee Walking Horse or her mule. However, it has also led to encounters with just about every type of wild animal in the area, including dive-bombing owls.

“They are totally silent, and they approach from the back,” says Burlingame. “Barred owls tend to be the most aggressive, and they’re huge. They will go after your head. The joke is that one of the barred owls here has a baseball cap-collection.”

Though owl attacks are rare, it’s one more good reason to wear a helmet. Wildlife encounters can be spectacular at a distance. But dealing with them up close and personal can cause problems, from your horse spooking to an attack that could injure and even kill you or your horse.

As with any facet of equine safety, taking precautions in advance can help you avoid wild animal encounters and perhaps save you and your horse from injury if and when they do occur...

Read more here:
https://thehorse.com/18132/how-to-handle-wild-animal-encounters-with-your-horse/

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Horse Hoof Sole Packing Reduced Impact Vibrations in Pilot Study

Thehorse.com - Full Article

The theory is that when the polyurethane pour-in packing absorbs the shock from the hoof impacting the ground, it prevents it from traveling further up the musculoskeletal system, where it could cause wear and tear injuries.

Posted by Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA | Oct 10, 2018

Some work on hard surfaces can help increase the loading rates of a horse’s internal structures, but too much or repetitive hard-surface work can lead to musculoskeletal damage. Ideally, horses should work on a variety of surfaces with minimal hard-surface exercise, most researchers agree. But sometimes, that’s not an option.

“Police horses spend a majority of their time on city streets and other hard roads, for example,” said Amy L. Barstow, MRCVS, PhD candidate, of the Royal Veterinary College in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, the U.K. “So do leisure horses sometimes, especially in periods of drought like the U.K. is having right now. Not all owners have access to soft arena surfaces. So, finding a practical solution to this problem was necessary.”

Barstow and colleagues recently investigated a pour-in polyurethane sole packing materials for that purpose. They found that it helps reduce certain forms of vibrations and forces in the hoof, at least in their introductory study. The theory is that when the polyurethane absorbs the shock from the hoof impacting the ground, it prevents it from traveling further up the musculoskeletal system where it could cause wear and tear injuries...

Read more here:
https://thehorse.com/161573/horse-hoof-sole-packing-reduced-impact-vibrations-in-pilot-study/

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Know Thyself (Reinventing the AERC?)

AwareWelfare.net - Full Article

by John Crandell
October 3 2018

I do understand the facts and sentiment driving Patti Stedman’s recent essay “Enough is Enough” as well as the many similar statements and calls to action. There are some subtle but very important distinctions that are consistently being missed in this kind of perspective. There is important background that keeps getting swept under the rug during the distraction of such rhetoric.

I have long been critical of the way AERC submitted to FEI/USET(USEF) demands in the very beginning. The AERC was once an organization with a boarder-blind, multi-national(continental) identity and a global outlook. Its influence expanded rapidly from its origins in California because of the broad demand for a standardized set of rules and record keeping, as many different events inspired by the integrated veterinary control system of Western States (Tevis Cup) began to propagate across North America.

In the early expansion of the discipline it was recognized that standardized rule and recording of performance, applied over as wide an area as possible, was a vital foundation for equestrian sciences and particularly of maintaining a vibrant and healthy gene pool. This consistency in competition also enhanced the disciplines appeal as a sport with global potential. This in turn promoted greater interest in quality breeding and research, so to this extent the economic development of the competitive sport and supporting industries was also in the best long-term interest of equines. We had a very healthy form of globalization underway, and the AERC was the principal supplier of rules and recording standards behind it all.

Then after some initial resistance, the AERC submitted to FEI/USET assertion that the AERC should be a single nation governing body, thus subordinate in the FEI’s INTERNATIONAL system. In complying with this externally imposed definition of itself, the AERC disrespected its non-USA members by forming only one committee to interface with one national federation, creating unequal representation among its membership. “International” is not the same as “global”. International competition is mock wars between sovereigns. In this environment the athletes, and especially their mounts, are inherently little more than solder pawns of a sovereign power.

Those sovereign powers may be autocracies seeking to popularize and secure the power of it’s nobles, or they may be a democratic representation of a million couch potatoes looking to see a new type a sensational sports drama, like watching NASCAR to see the wrecks. Either way, the populist influence is not good for horses. For each person that is excited by the drama of the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat”, there many more that are appalled at having horses involved in such human follies. Since the most vocal are only equipped with reference that is supplied to them in the form of the anthropomorphizing caricatures of popular media, they really can’t be expected to clamor for any solution more complex than an empathy driven demand for complete shutdown of the sport. Empathy is not the same as compassion (1), so in the end, horses will suffer more in this outcome too.

However big a juggernaut FEI is globally today, there is good reason to question how much longer the world will continue support any animal sports business model that must leverage nationality as the core of its power structure. If the FEI doesn’t undertake major efforts toward a very fundamental change soon it will be to late for this Titanic of an organization of maneuver sustainably into the future. We should all hope that the FEI will have an epiphany soon, but we should do more than just complain about the FEI or withdraw from interaction altogether and wait for it. There is much that can be done to create positive change with or without FEI cooperation. We all need to prepare for the void that will eventually be created if the FEI does not wake up, and in doing to so we create the strongest incentive of all for FEI to awaken from its nostalgic slumber and change.

Our horses can benefit immensely by global standards in endurance tests, but they have suffered enough in the quirky wars and political games of man. In learning how to support horses more globally, without dragging them into our petty tribal rivalries and politically stacked bureaucracies, we will exercise wisdom that is important for our own welfare.

It’s impossible to accomplish anything globally without paying basic respects to the various legal structures of the nations that quilt the planet. However, it is not essential that the business models be based on license to economic monopolies in each sovereign, or against governance entities that are represented in several sovereigns.

In summary, standardization and globalization of practices in sports is of vital importance to the welfare of equines, but we should be critical about the degree to which nationalism needs to be a part of globalization.

Whenever the AERC posts new proclamations about what it dislikes about the FEI or International competition, what it “cannot tolerate” the FEI is allowing to happen, that it should not ratify the terms the FEI has drafted for it, that it will stop diplomatic relations and withdraw into its own more limited domain; the AERC is effectively defining itself in subordinate relation to the FEI and international competition.

It is unfortunate that this FEI-reactive definition of its own identity has also resulted in other unhealthy changes in the AERC community. In the absence of popular understanding of details behind the issues in international competition, there arose a popular rejection of many aspects of the pursuit of excellence itself. Notable exceptions to this popular dismissal of achievement in the AERC have largely centered around the completion of mileage and the softening of reward standards that enhance the enlistment of new entry level membership. It is no coincidence that this pattern aligns with AERC’s own limited business model and its most immediate avenues of cash flow.

In its own way, the AERC has created its own unhealthy bias toward a very constrained scope in the pursuit of excellence. This has also depressed its support of the economy of associated industries and endeavors. While the U.S. economy has been blamed for the recession of participation and the withering of our major breeders, the same activities have been expanding in other nations with weaker economies. This economically oppressive and short-sighted outlook has impacted the character of the new applications for membership, disenchanting youth with aspirations toward long range, full time commitment to the discipline; and attracting older, recreationally oriented participants who shared in the limited view of excellence. Thus, the AERC fell into a classic self-fulfillment feed-back loop of populism, complete with its oppression of creativity and achievement, and the declining spiral dynamics of a pursuit of mediocrity.

There is a better way. There is a way for the AERC to become more honorable and resolute in its mission, and to respectfully allow other organizations the opportunity to decide if they would like to interact on AERC’s terms. I will point out how the AERC can re-secure and even expand its own identity, independent of what is going on in the world elsewhere, and still be diplomatically open for contact, ready to cooperate with change for good.

The world needs examples governance organization that endeavors to EXCEED what is available today. We need governance that has the capacity to be objective, self-examining and creative, such that it never stops looking to improve itself. We need to continuously refine best practices. We need to support the pursuit of excellence in our systems of governing and the definitions we doctrines we base them upon, just as we support the broad pursuit of excellence in horses and horsemanship.

To do this the AERC needs to begin by becoming precise in its understanding of itself, and more explicit in its projection of its mission. We must learn to do better than to quote oxymoron and other rhetoric that is in abject conflict with the written word of the AERC’s own by-laws and rules.

The AERC needs to resolve many conflicts of logic in its policies. We need to ask questions of ourselves such as: Why does the AERC continue to maintain by-laws that prohibit it from sponsoring anything but races when so many of its participants do not want to race? If we really take this thought exercise seriously and contemplate how we might correct this conflict, it unravels a long string of non-sensical affronts of logic. (I’ll save further expansion in this area for another time)


Say what you mean, mean what you say

Would not a rose by any other name…….
We shouldn’t depend on creating our own definitions of words in defiance of Webster’s dictionary to explain ourselves. This only make us appear less credible in the end. It doesn’t need to be this way. We can fix this and be better off for it.
As I just indicated, many of the changes that need to be undertaken must begin with a formal revision of AERC by-laws. For the most part, the by-laws have been a useful document, but many clauses that seemed appropriate or harmless in 1972 don’t accurately reflect the long term best interest or values of the membership; and the environment of the distance riding discipline today.

We came into the quirky rhetoric of defining the races that AERC was formed to promote as “Endurance Rides” because of the nature of competition for market share with competitive trail ride organizations that once dominated the distance riding scene in America. The win the most new members AERC needed to capitalize on its races potential for excitement and yet appear as temperate as competitive trail rides when needed. The AERC adopted a somewhat disingenuous approach for playing both sides at once to the market, attracting potential members away from competitive trail riding and in into its projection that its all-race catalog was a complete entry level to elite program for a distance riding discipline. It exclusively offered more entertaining and exciting races but also promoted the use of language to describe those races by more general terms which rhetorically avoided explicit association with the history and potential hedonism of “jackpot racing”. People then could actively support racing by their participation dollars, and simultaneously distance their egos from association with any heinous behavior with their rhetoric. How convenient! Thus trite, misdirecting and inaccurate statements became the norm. The practice was an immediate marketing success for the AERC, but it has left us with a deeply embedded conflict that tortures the soul of the discipline everywhere to this day.
Take a moment to look at the AERC by-laws at 4.01(a)...

Read the rest at:
https://awarewelfare.net/2018/10/03/know-thyself/

Thursday, September 27, 2018

7 Characteristics of a Great Endurance Horse

PerseveranceEnduranceHorses Blog - Full Article

POSTED BY PERSEVERANCE ⋅ 1 SEPTEMBER 2011

Endurance riding is a team sport. The team is the horse and rider and their support crew at the vet checks. The challenges they face are distance, variations in altitude and terrain, difficult going such as rocks, mud or sand, extreme weather fluctuations, time limits and passing the vet checks every 30 km or so. Only the fittest horses with natural talent make the grades…

The vet checks require hydration, soundness and good heart rate recoveries. For the novice and developing endurance horses it is a process of growing as an athlete. For the advanced endurance horse it is a race requiring great fitness and resilience coupled to speed. There are no judges to determine the winners, only the clock ticking off the seconds and the vets giving the nod or not to the horse being fit to continue.

What makes a great endurance horse?

1. Willing and eager, but calm

In my book, character is the number one criteria. The horse must enjoy what he does. The ideal endurance horse loves to run, loves to see what is over the next hill. It must be competitive and want to win, but yet still be controllable. A runaway horse never wins, it will exhaust itself too early in the race. The lazy horse never wins, you cannot force a horse to run that well, and whipping and spurs are rightly forbidden.

In ultra distance events such as 160 kms the horse will feel tired, yet must be willing to go out from base again and again when you ask it. Highly strung horses are undesirable as they stress too much and go off their feed. Endurance horses are transported long distances to compete at rides and are exposed to traffic, strange environments, different water and sometimes feed and frequent changes in temperature. They need to be able to cope with all that, and continue to eat, drink and sleep to keep up their strength...

Read more here:
https://perseveranceendurancehorses.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/7-characteristics-of-a-great-endurance-horse-september-2011/

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Points scale developed by researchers predicted performance of endurance horses

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

September 23, 2018
Horsetalk.co.nz

Researchers have developed a points-based system for assessing the abilities of endurance horses based on biochemical and physical parameters, saying it measured up well against their performance in competition.

Mohd Adzahan Noraniza, Lawan Adamu, and A. Rasedee suggest their system could be used to predict endurance horses’ performance in an actual race.

The trio have described their ranking system in the Journal of Advanced Veterinary and Animal Research...

Read more here:
https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2018/09/23/points-scale-researchers-endurance-horses/

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Feeding Honey to Horses

Thehorse.com - Full Article

Including honey in the equine diet is common in some countries, but is it safe?

Posted by Clair Thunes, PhD | Sep 17, 2018

Q. I recently learned that feeding honey to horses is a common practice in some Eastern European and Middle Eastern countries. Why would you feed honey and is it safe?

A. One tablespoon of honey (21 grams) contains 17 grams of sugar. Therefore, the main reason behind feeding honey to horses is that it’s a readily available energy source. Honey’s sweetness might also entice picky eaters to consume their rations.

Honey 101
Like table sugar, honey is made up of glucose and fructose; however, where table sugar contains almost equal amounts of glucose and fructose, honey is about 40% fructose and 30% glucose. Honey also contains small amounts of other more complex sugars, as well as trace amounts of protein, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.

As an unrefined food source, honey contains more antioxidants, flavonoids, and alkaloids than refined sugar and raw honey contains small amounts of pollen. These differences, combined with the higher fructose content, lead to honey having a lower glycemic index (GI) than sugar, meaning blood sugar levels rise more quickly after sugar consumption compared to honey. However, both compounds have high GI making them unsuitable for horses with poor insulin sensitivity or that are sensitive to readily available carbohydrate, such as those with polysaccharide storage myopathy...

Read more here:
https://thehorse.com/160523/feeding-honey-to-horses/

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Deadly Eastern equine encephalitis virus found in mosquito in metro Atlanta

Journal-news.com - Full Article

September 18 2018
By Tia Mitchell, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

DEKALB COUNTY, GA. —
The DeKalb County health department announced Tuesday that a mosquito tested positive for the deadly Eastern equine encephalitis virus.

Humans rarely become infected and cases are uncommon in Georgia, Ryan Cira, the environmental health director for the DeKalb Board of Health, said. However, 33 percent of people who are infected with EEE die and others experience significant brain damage.

“It’s a very serious illness if it is to infect a person,” Cira said...

Read more here:
https://www.journal-news.com/news/national/deadly-eastern-equine-encephalitis-virus-found-mosquito-metro-atlanta/MFL7ggMRuHZp4ybx7Q01pJ/

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Michigan finds human Eastern equine encephalitis case

Freep.com - Full Article

Associated Press
Published 7:48 a.m. ET Sept. 18, 2018

ALLEGAN, Mich. — Health officials say a resident of western Michigan has been infected with Eastern equine encephalitis.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Allegan County Health Department announced Monday that the person was hospitalized in late August.
Eastern equine encephalitis is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S. It can be fatal and often leaves survivors with brain damage...

Read more here:
https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/09/18/human-eastern-equine-encephalitis/1343583002/

Monday, September 17, 2018

First Cardiac Ablation in a Horse Successful

Thehorse.com - Full Article

Belgian veterinarians have successfully completed the first cardiac ablation—a procedure used to correct irregular heartbeats—performed in a horse. Diamant, a 5-year-old Norwegian show jumper, came through the four-hour operation with no difficulties.

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA | Sep 8, 2018

Belgian veterinarians have completed the first cardiac ablation in a horse ever performed. The procedure, used to correct irregular heartbeats, was a success.

Diamant, a 5-year-old Norwegian show jumper, came through the four-hour operation with no difficulties.

“It’s very exciting to see that there’s now a way to offer this therapeutic treatment—which has shown great success in human medicine—to equine patients, while creating many new opportunities for the future of equine cardiac medicine,” said Gunther van Loon, DVM, PhD, Dip ECEIM, Assoc. Member ECVDI, president of the Belgian Equine Practitioners Society (BEPS), head of the Equine Cardioteam, and professor in Ghent University’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, in Belgium...

Read more here:
https://thehorse.com/160323/first-cardiac-ablation-in-a-horse-successful/

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Endurance: A Phoenix Rises from Ashes

15 September 2018
By John Crandell

For decades of endurance racing, and even centuries of endurance testing by military programs and industrial interests, mankind has been examining equines unique ability to traverse distances across terrain and climate as diverse as the earth that first bore the species. In examining the horses on tests that adequately represent the full spectrum of natural challenges that formed them, we gain the most accurate insight to influence the overall health and integrity of the gene pool. The smallest errors in our concepts in this regard will have greater and more lasting impact on the welfare of the horse than anything happening in this moment in time. Examining equines in tests based on the physical abilities that afforded their species its original niche for survival is more then just humane, it is an essential element for the sustainability of a healthy gene pool as we have known.

Testing that effectively mimics this broad spectrum of natural challenges that were integral to the development of the equine species is not only humane treatment, it is an opportunity for us to develop and refine our very concepts of humane treatment for the equine species. What performs successfully in truly natural functional tests defines humane treatment of equines.

Endurance testing has the potential to afford us vital opportunity to enhance the overall level of happiness and quality of life for equines now and into the future, or it can lead us to the cruelest of unsustainable dead ends, all dependent on the wisdom of our governance of the discipline.

In endurance racing prior to FEI’s adoption of the sport, and continuing today in events outside of FEI rule, endurance riders have been proud to bear the primary responsibility of rating their willing horses according to the course ahead, and all the elements that nature-based tests present along the way. We embraced the full spectrum of terrain and weather because we understood adapting strategy to meet these flexuous challenges of nature to be a core element of the rider’s role. There are few conditions common to this earth that a horse cannot navigate safely and sustainably for long distances, it is largely a matter of guiding our mount at its own appropriate pace through the test event.

Assertions that the race of 12 September in Tryon had to be stopped due to “hot and humid” conditions are therefore deceptive. Such deflective statements only serve to distract from fundamental dysfunctions of our governance system that precipitated this tragedy. Nature is the inherent baseline of the test, and is as inherently blameless, always.

Certainly, it was a warm and humid day, and damp footing conditions on the clay loam soils added to the workload, but these were not extraordinary circumstances in the history of endurance racing. The weather parameters of the day were little more than typical of the Old Dominion 100 mile test, which has been held annually in the same region since 1973; on a significantly more arduous course as well. Furthermore, in the Tryon race several riders demonstrated their talents to be genuinely worthy of the title “elite” by navigating the course in a manner that was well within their mounts ability; a proof that there was nothing so challenging about the day that it could not be mastered with appropriate judgment.

So why then did such a large percentage of the field of competitors, all of which had completed FEI’s qualification system to the highest level, fail so distinctly that the race had to be cancelled to protect the welfare of the horses? We should be questioning the efficacy of this qualifying system, including the fundamental definitions of its levels. We should be questioning this system, and the entire supporting body of rules, for the ethos it nurtures.

During that day of mixed rain and strong sunshine, as international endurance racing fell hard on its face in mud, there was a rainbow. Perhaps this is sign that we have at long last muddied ourselves badly enough to acknowledge that we erred in the path we have taken some distance back. There are no quick shortcuts to the better road now, we’ve tried all those paths. There can be no more band-aid adjustments and augmentations of the current rules. More levels on a flawed foundation does not a create sturdy house. We have run false and incomplete philosophy to its end.

Already I am hearing encouraging realization at many levels that the restructuring of the CEI definitions and rules we need is problematic while we are locked into closely repeating cycles of qualifying for the next world championship. We may need to accept a suspension of world championships as we have known them for a period as we reconstruct our systems, more wisely and carefully this time. We first need to create an environment and a plan that allows us to take the few steps back required for us to put the discipline back on a healthier path.

A Qualification System is a form of Academic Institution

We need a thorough re-conception of international endurances hierarchy of performance levels. This must recognize that current definitions based on completion of races at increasing distance is a very incomplete and unreliable measure of genuine readiness to advance to greater challenges and responsibilities. Worst of all, advancing participants in such an overly simplistic system squanders vital opportunities to instill respect for thorough learning. It is very hard to convince a student to take skipped lessons once you have already handed him a doctorated degree.

This new set of definitions will need to support non-race qualifying events at the lower levels, such that they better serve as educational experiences for both horse and rider. This should particularly support the development of longer distance qualifiers, to ensure that horse and rider development in the future includes experience completing distances in a fixed pace environment before license to race such distances at freely chosen pace is granted.

We need to never again apply speed standards that are unreferenced to the technical difficulty of the course. There is no real possibility to re-integrate more technically challenging, natural and athletically diverse courses into international endurance racing unless we utilize performance standards that are referenced to the performance of peers on the same course. This is the primary conceptual flaw that effectively shut our most established, more technically diverse courses out of international endurance racing. This created bias toward participation in faster courses of monotonous athletic exercise; which focus physical stresses in the pattern of a single repetitive motion and cadence.

Protecting the Quality of Course Design from Ourselves

Great endurance courses seek to challenge the horses with many forms of natural challenge in the day, resulting in horses that are a little tired, all over. Lesser courses result in horses that are fresh in some respects, and yet are pressed to the breaking point in others.

We need to better shield the selection, design and certification of endurance courses from the pressure of other wants of the governing organization. It is a nuanced and challenging endeavor to create technical courses with a full spectrum of natural challenges worthy of international championships. Good organic course design requires a blend of fine art and science to create a test that provides clear resolution between skills of elite athletes while being free of unavoidable pit-falls and traps. This development process is easily foiled.

When the day of the race comes, quality of the course design is paramount to fair competition; to scientific measure of equine quality; to the measure of good equine husbandry; and ultimately to equine welfare. All other features of the event are only accessory details in comparison.

Ensuring Standards of Temperate Judgment in Pacing

We need finally, once and for all, to adopt rider completion rate standards that more effectively honor and support temperance and good judgment in pacing, genuinely recognizing that the rider is the primary one responsible for keeping a horse within its sustainable limits. For a long time in endurance racing peer pressure to perform honorably and consistently, pride in demonstrating preparedness and in completing a challenging task once started, was enough to ensure a sufficiently temperate judgment in pacing. In the high-stake environment of modern endurance racing this is no longer enough balance of incentive for temperance. A firm and effective system of demerit against consistently reckless performance by riders is required. Without this we place an excessive burden on the veterinary control system as the first and only line of the horse’s defense.

A moderate measure of restraint does not effectively reduce the pace all the much. To use myself as an example, for many decades I maintained an 82-87% completion rate in both national and FEI sanctioned endurance races, while winning a respectable number of those races and setting some course records that stand to this day. My own completion rate fell considerably as I pursued more FEI races, and particularly major championships, as there is no chance to get on the scoreboard amongst a large field of all top-level competitors unless you are willing to push the risk envelope at least nearly as far as next competitor. So, when put against a large group of riders who are accustomed to riding at a very high- risk rate, such that their personal completion rate is only 25-30%, even the most careful riders who wish to see the results of the day accurately reflect the quality of the horses, will feel pressured to push the risk envelope a little harder than they normally would.

Without setting a minimum standard for rider completion rate the performance of the race as a fair and scientific test of equine quality is compromised. Instead we have fomented a larger and larger group of reckless pacers as even those riders who might otherwise pace more conservatively get sucked into the vortex. Appreciation for fine skills in reading the mount beneath us is diminished more and more as time goes.

The skilled and temperate riders we should support the most will have no trouble maintaining a 65% or better personal completion rate. This standard would force the more reckless riders to stop the practice of mindlessly pacing to an externally determined winning rate until the veterinary control system disqualifies them. They will be forced to practice skills in pacing more independently according to the ability of their equine partner.

When all riders exercise these skills of awareness and temperance, they will appreciate the more civil character of the field of competitors and will once again be afforded the presence of honor that comes hand in hand with accountability.

The Phoenix Rises

Once we have achieved all these improvements we will be in position to begin examining the performance of our endurance events with the same statistical evaluation methods a teacher or scientist would use to score the effectiveness of the tests they design. It is difficult to conceive this today in international endurance because the results of our tests are so randomized and skewed to one extreme that such detail analysis is fruitless. There is no need to sharpen a pencil to establish that few courses are well matched to aptitude of the field of participants. Good endurance courses, when supported by better rule structure and governance, can be statistically evaluated for their suitability to the skill level of the participants, which will improve the quality of endurance courses both as a test instrument of learning, and as a competitive sport.

A highly detailed “independent” analysis focused on the catastrophe at Tryon may not produce the information we need to focus on most. Endurance racing has been near the edge of such a break-down for a long time. For an equally long time we have had abundant evidence that issues with endurance racing precipitate from conflicting policy at the highest levels of the organization. We could attempt to correct specific middle and lower level dysfunctions a thousand times over with targeted corrections of rules and event organization policy, but new dysfunctions will continue to arise instead.

Most of the ideas I have just expressed have been promulgated by myself and others for decades now. What we need most of all is not just the specific implementation of such ideas, but the awareness that the formative concept behind the rule system needs to advance in its philosophy.

We need to explore why it is that FEI has been so unresponsive and dismissive of the contributions and philosophy of those with experience in endurance the predates the FEI’s involvement by decades. We need to better explore what is preventing FEI’s most fundamental philosophies from evolving. This a matter that is important all equine sports. Failure to evolve is recipe for extinction, and often for just reason. The public awareness and demand for humane treatment grows every day. Well managed endurance testing could be the best instrument we have to generate naturally grounded insight to educate and defend against naïve and misguided beliefs regarding equine welfare.

The FEI needs to recognize that it has an ethical a responsibility to do more than simply act on its awareness of the public perception of equine welfare. We need the FEI reach beyond simply defending its economics by responding to a public that has received it definitions of humane treatment from the entertainment industry, which the FEI is a part of itself. This is a vicious spiral of declining wisdom, a positive feedback loop into self-destruction.

There is no other organization with the position of FEI to champion public education in definitions of humane treatment based on natural sciences specific to equines. It is certainly much more profitable in the short term to avoid the cost and effort of public education, to play into and enable public perception wherever it drifts, but this will lead to equestrian sports eventual demise. If we want to have an environment that supports equestrian sports into the future, we need organizations like FEI to play an active role in guiding public awareness with knowledge grounded directly to natural sciences and the soundest of philosophies.

Though less evident on the surface today, other disciplines have their own growing issues of unsustainability. There is an inherent conflict with laws of nature looming as horses in closely managed genetic lines associated with highly specific athletic disciplines exist more and more in their own isolated genetic selection bubble. They will eventually require more broadened natural references to sustain genetic soundness.

Endurance, current black sheep of international equestrian sport, will yet one day provide insight and reference that benefits the whole of equine sports, all of equines, and even mankind itself.

John Crandell



Sunday, September 09, 2018

Storm prompts North Carolina State of Emergency

**Note that the World Equestrian Games Endurance will be held in Tryon, NC on September 12.
The following week, the AERC Nat'l Championships will be held Sept 20-22 in Asheville, NC.**



wcti12.com

by The Associated PressSaturday, September 8th 2018

RALEIGH — North Carolina’s governor has declared a state of emergency as Tropical Storm Florence approaches the U.S. East Coast.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced the declaration in a news release Friday evening as the storm neared Bermuda.

Cooper says it’s “too early” to know where the storm will go, but he says residents should use the weekend to prepare for the possibility of a natural disaster. Some forecast models have shown Florence slamming into land by late next week, while others indicated the storm would curve away from shore.

Cooper also waived transportation rules to help farmers harvest and transport their crops more quickly...

More at:
https://wcti12.com/weather/hurricane-stories/storm-prompts-north-carolina-state-of-emergency-09-09-2018

Colorado: “It’s a hell of a mess”: Sick Weld County horse ignites multi-state quarantine involving hundreds of animals

DenverPost.com - Full Article

Colorado officials think 240 horses were on the premises with the infected horse and were sold to people in 20 states

By ANNA STAVER | astaver@denverpost.com | The Denver Post
PUBLISHED: September 7, 2018

A sick horse from Weld County is the reason hundreds of horses in 19 states need to be tracked down, tested and potentially euthanized or live the rest of their lives in quarantine.

And what frustrates horse owners the most is Colorado law prohibits the Department of Agriculture from releasing the name of the lot that sold the sick horse.

“We all know already,” Old Glory Ranch owner Brittnee Woodward-Whithead said. “I don’t know why it’s a big secret.”

What Colorado State Veterinarian Keith Roehr could say is that a gelding (a neutered male) tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia on Aug. 24. The viral disease, which is spread by bloodsucking insects like horse flies, has no cure. Federal law requires an infected animal spend the rest of its days at least 200 yards from any other horse if the owner doesn’t want to euthanize it.

The rules also require any horse that came into contact with the infected animal be held in quarantine for 60 days because that’s how long it can take from exposure to show a positive test.

And that’s where the problem started...

Read more here:
https://www.denverpost.com/2018/09/07/sick-weld-county-horse-starts-multi-state-quarantine/

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Moldy Hay for Horses: Causes and Avoidance

KER.com - Full Article

August 21, 2018
By Kentucky Equine Research Staff

Cultivating good-quality hay is no easy task and is dependent on cooperative weather for optimal success. Hay farmers must keep a keen eye on plant growth, the moisture content at harvest, and other baling considerations. Mold forms on hay because of excessive moisture, which is why it is so critical to harvest hay under the most conducive conditions and then store it properly once baled.

Moisture content is a crucial measure when it comes to hay production. Once hay is cut in the field, it needs to dry. Length of drying time varies based on geographical region and weather. Humidity or rain will slow this process, leaving the crop vulnerable to mold and fungus. If hay is baled at 12-14% moisture or less, the likelihood of mold is reduced.

If a preservative is not used on cut hay, mold will grow if moisture concentration above about 14%-15%. In addition to nutrient loss, mold growth produces heat. If moldy hay is stored in tight stacks or in areas of poor ventilation, there is a risk for spontaneous combustion...

Read more here:
https://ker.com/equinews/moldy-hay-horses-causes-avoidance/?utm_source=KER+Newsletter&utm_campaign=cd7765a2fb-KER_Equinews_9_5_18&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0d95781dfc-cd7765a2fb-11166&mc_cid=cd7765a2fb&mc_eid=6283eb0e4a

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Tips for Managing Gastric Ulcers in Performance Horses

Thehorse.com - Full Article

Up to 93% of performance horses suffer from gastric ulcers. Is yours one of them? Here’s how to manage the condition.

By Nettie Liburt, MS, PhD, PAS | Aug 24, 2018

It’s not a secret that many performance horses suffer from gastric ulcers. In fact, said Frank M. Andrews, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) is present in up to 93% of performance horses. What’s worse, this condition is a real problem for training, nutrition, and overall health. Thus, successfully managing EGUS is key to ensuring horses can perform at their best.

Recently, Andrews, LVMA Equine Committee professor and director of the Equine Health Studies Program at Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, reviewed advances in treating and managing gastric ulcers in performance horses during the University of Maryland’s Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ 2016 Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Conference, held March 23-24, in Hunt Valley, Maryland.

Gastric Ulcer Basics
Most ulcers occur in the non-glandular mucosa (the upper portion of the stomach), which lacks protective elements to keep it safe from acid, such as thick mucus and bicarbonate layers...

Read more here:
https://thehorse.com/17675/tips-for-managing-gastric-ulcers-in-performance-horses/

Monday, August 27, 2018

London cavalry counting down to commemorative First World War trek

LFPress.com - Full Article

London’s Europe-bound troop is counting down the days to a monumental trek to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

JENNIFER BIEMAN Updated: August 26, 2018

Ten riders, five crew members and three weeks to go — London’s Europe-bound troop is counting down the days to a monumental trek to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

The local group is joining at least 50 other riders from across the globe Sept. 14 to trace the path Allied forces took when pushing the Germans back from Cambrai, France to Mons, Belgium during the final 100 days of one of the deadliest conflicts in human history.

The riders will cover the same distance in only 10.

“We’ve been training every day or every second day for the past three weeks. Out doing a lot of distance riding, endurance riding,” said Maj. Allan Finney, the officer in command of the cavalry troop. “It is three weeks away and everyone is so excited...”

Read more here:
https://lfpress.com/news/local-news/london-cavalry-counting-down-to-commemorative-first-world-war-trek


Friday, August 24, 2018

Siberia: Preserved paleolithic baby horse emerges from permafrost

CNet.com - Full Article

Scientists unveil a 40,000-year-old foal found in Siberia's "Mouth of Hell."

by Amanda Kooser
August 24, 2018 11:41 AM PDT

A crater in Russia known as the "Mouth of Hell" has regurgitated a highly unusual find: a perfectly preserved baby horse whose kin roamed Siberia around 30,000 to 40,000 years ago. The state of the tiny horse is remarkable. You can even see the individual hairs on its body.

The Siberian Times first reported on the foal's discovery earlier this month and covered the detailed unveiling of the body this week. Semyon Grigoryev, head of the Mammoth Museum in Yakutsk, estimates the horse was just two months old when it died.
siberianhorsehooves

The horse belonged to an extinct group known as the Lena Horse (Equus lenensis). The Siberian permafrost is responsible for the foal's impressive state of preservation...

Read more here:
https://www.cnet.com/news/preserved-paleolithic-baby-horse-emerges-from-permafrost/

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Taking pictures in dangerous places

Trailmeister.com - Full Article

August 21, 2018
by Robert Eversole

I recently received a private message on facebook about taking pictures while in dangerous places. The sender said that she had seen accidents firsthand and that she felt that taking pictures detracted from the full attention that we should be placing on riding. I agree wholeheartedly. I’ve seen firsthand what can happen if a rider is inattentive (Remember my accident last August!)

However, I’m still going to take as many photos of awe inspiring areas as I can. My job is to try to inspire horse and mule owners to escape the arena and take the trail less traveled. A glorious photo can help get more people out onto the trails and into horse camps, much better than any words that I could write.

That being said after having my own traumatic riding event I have become much more careful about when and where I take my pics...

Read more here:
https://www.trailmeister.com/taking-pictures-in-dangerous-places/

Monday, August 20, 2018

Adventures on the trail: An essential guide to life in the saddle

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

August 20, 2018
Neil Clarkson

The Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration, hardcover, in three volumes, by CuChullaine O’Reilly. Published by the Long Riders’ Guild Press. Reviewed by Neil Clarkson.

CuChullaine O’Reilly is proof that great feats of equestrian endurance are not limited to the saddle.

His three-volume Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration is a literary tour de force and an important contribution to the collective wisdom of equestrianism.

We should never forget that much of the world was first explored on foot and on horseback. Frontiers were tamed thanks to our partnership with the horse.

Our relationship with these remarkable animals has been recorded through the millennia. They are depicted in ancient cave drawings and described in some of our earliest texts.

It is a rich and varied history.

O’Reilly, in what can only described as a Herculean feat, has distilled the wisdom of more than 400 equestrian explorers, known as Long Riders, into his three-volume encyclopaedia, comprising some 1750 pages...

Read more here:
https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2018/08/20/adventures-rail-guide-saddle/

Friday, August 17, 2018

Riders4Helmets International Helmet Awareness Day 2018 Set to Break Records

Riders4Helmets.com

July 21, 2018 by lyndsey

The 2018 Event is On Track To Have More Than 700 Participating Retailers in 19 Countries

Six hundred retailers in 17 countries have already registered to participate in the ninth Riders4Helmets International Helmet Awareness Day, to be held August 18th and 19th. With two weeks to go before the event, Riders4Helmets is on track to exceed the 680 retailers in 19 countries that participated in 2017, with 20% more retailers having already registered than by the same time last year.

“It is a testament to the continued need for educating equestrians on all aspects of helmet wearing that sees this year’s event on track to be our biggest event to date,” said Lyndsey White, Riders4Helmets. “I am absolutely overwhelmed at the continued support shown to the Riders4Helmets campaign by helmet manufacturers, retailers, and equestrians around the globe.”

“Back in 2010 when Riders4Helmets was founded and we hosted the first International Helmet Awareness Day, I never imagined that the campaign would inspire tens of thousands of equestrians to wear a helmet for the first time, and serve as a continued reminder to those who were already wearing a helmet, to ensure it is fitted correctly and that they replace it when appropriate.”

Riders4Helmets.com has teamed up with 22 helmet manufacturers this year, that will offer discounts on their helmets for two days only, via their global retailer network. The helmet brands that have committed involvement are Champion, Charles Owen, Dublin, EQ3 by Back On Track Canada, Eurohunter, Gatehouse, GPA, International Riding Helmets (IRH), Jin Stirrup, JPC, Kask, KEP Italia, Kwesta, LAS helmets (Leslie Sutcliffe UK), One K, Ovation, Samshield America, Tipperary, Trauma Void, Troxel, Uvex and Zilco.

Retailers in Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, USA, and Zambia have already registered to participate in this year’s event.

International Helmet Awareness Day was founded in 2010 as a direct result of US Olympian Courtney King Dye’s accident, with the aim of educating equestrians on the benefits of wearing a properly fitting, secured and certified helmet.

Retailers around the globe who wish to register to participate in the event may register free of charge at this link and will then be added to the participating retailer map. Only retailers who register with riders4helmets will be eligible for restocking discounts from the participating helmet brands (please note – participating brands vary by country). You must register with riders4helmets and not with the helmet brands. Further information for retailers and rules with regards to participating can be found at this link.

Equestrians may visit this link to learn more about International Helmet Awareness Day and can search for participating retailers by “Name” or “Geographic Location”. Equestrians are encouraged to visit the site on August 18th and 19th, 2018, to view the most current update, as participating retailers will continue to be added on a daily basis.

For more information on the Riders4Helmets campaign and more information on rider safety, visit www.riders4helmets.com. You can also follow the campaign at www.facebook.com/riders4helmets, www.instagram.com/riders4helmets, and www.twitter.com/riders4helmets.

Media Contact:
Lyndsey White
lyndsey@equiseen.com

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Feeding the Ulcer-Prone Horse

Thehorse.com - Full Article

Learn how to craft a diet for the horse with painful lesions in his stomach.

By Kristen M. Janicki, MS, PAS | Aug 13, 2018

How to craft a diet for the horse with painful lesions in his stomach
Which horses would you traditionally consider “ulcer-prone”? Racehorses in training? Western pleasure horses showing competitively on the American Quarter Horse Association circuit? Pony Clubbers’ games ponies? Injured horses on stall rest? Truth is, you could be right with any one of these.

Equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) can plague any age, breed, or sex, and the risk factors are many—certain types of training and exercise, nutrition, feeding practices, and stabling, to name a few. Let’s take a look at one very important aspect of preventing and managing ulcers: diet...

Read more here:
https://thehorse.com/19510/feeding-the-ulcer-prone-horse/

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Dramas in the saddle: Encountering a crazy, chaotic world

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

August 9, 2018 CuChullaine O’Reilly

Armed escorts, roadside shootings, searing temperatures, chaotic traffic and mind-blowing bureaucracy. Despite it all, Filipe Leite completed a two-year 10,000-mile journey on horseback from Canada to Brazil. He chronicles his journey in his new book, Long Ride Home. The founder of the Long Riders’ Guild, CuChullaine O’Reilly, talks to Filipe about his remarkable journey, and the many challenges the Long Rider describes in his new book, which even included the need to befriend drug lords to get through.

You contacted the Long Riders’ Guild is 2011 in search of advice on how to make an equestrian journey from Canada to Brazil. You subsequently completed a 10,000-mile ride that lasted two years and took you and your horses through 10 countries. Can you explain how a childhood story sparked your desire to become a Long Rider?

The first story I can remember as a child is Tschiffely’s epic equestrian journey across the Americas. In the beginning of my book, Long Ride Home, I explain how I was a very scared child and when my dad turned off the lights in my room, many nights I cried, afraid of the dark. My dad would come in and tell me a part of the book Tschiffely’s Ride and use it as an example of how fear is a monster we create in our minds that we must learn to push aside. I loved the story so much. I remember sitting on my horse as a kid imagining what it would be like to cross all of those countries with the same animals. I spent the rest of my life dreaming of going on my own Long Ride...“

Read more here:
https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2018/08/09/dramas-saddle-crazy-chaotic-world/

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Senate Passes One-Year ELD Extension for Livestock Haulers

Drovers.com - Full Article

Wyatt Bechtel
August 2, 2018

An amendment added to the Senate’s “minibus” spending bill would grant livestock haulers another year-long extension to implement Electronic Logging Devices (ELD).

The amendment was proposed by Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) to delay implementation of the ELD mandate until Sept. 30, 2019. Fischer says the legislation is important because livestock haulers face different challenges from other transporters who are currently using an ELD under regulations from the Department of Transportation.

“With this extension, we will have more time to bring common-sense to these rules and provide additional flexibility,” Fischer says...

Read more here:
https://www.drovers.com/article/senate-passes-one-year-eld-extension-livestock-haulers

Monday, August 06, 2018

Veterinary Toxicologist Warns of Blue-Green Algae Dangers

Thehorse.com - Full Article

Health problems can arise when animals—including horses—and people come into contact with the various toxins produced by blue-green algae.

By Edited Press Release | Jul 8, 2018

Summertime is known for its heat. Add some rainy days to the mix, and this combination can be the recipe for the development of blue-green algae, says a toxicologist at the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, a part of Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, in Manhattan.

Also known as cyanobacteria, blue-green algae can bloom in fresh water where environmental conditions—warm weather, lots of sunlight and the presence of nutrients in the water, which often are the result of agricultural runoff—make it possible for these organisms to grow and replicate rapidly.

Steve Ensley, DVM, PhD, a clinical veterinary toxicologist at Kansas State, said health problems can arise when animals—including horses—and people come into contact with the various toxins produced by cyanobacteria...

Read more here:
https://thehorse.com/159222/veterinary-toxicologist-warns-of-blue-green-algae-dangers/

Friday, August 03, 2018

Looking Beyond Frequent Hoof Trimming as the Magic Fix for Hoof Rehab

Easycare blog - Full Article

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 by easycare admin

By Hoof Care Practitioner David Landreville of Landreville Hoof Care

If you’re struggling with hoof issues, don't fool yourself into thinking that merely trimming more frequently is going to be a magic fix. There’s always a learning curve and there are often kinks in that curve.

The key to lameness prevention, rehabilitation, and continued development is keeping the outer wall off of the ground.

To accomplish this, I believe that optimum weight bearing is when the inner wall is loaded at the Four Pillars. I don’t try to make it happen in one trim. It’s built over years of frequent trims. After trimming to the inside of the inner wall, it takes three weeks for the inside of the outer wall to make it to the ground (with this kind of trim), which is why I try to keep them on no more than a 3-week trim schedule. The second and third weeks are the optimum comfort weeks for the horse. The inner wall, through its attachment to the sole, is set up to support the weight of the horse. The strength of the outer wall is not in its ability to support the weight of the horse, but in its ability to contort while simultaneously resisting the forces of contortion.

Frequency is only part of the equation...


Read more here:
http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/easycare-admin/looking-beyond-frequent-hoof-trimming-as-the-magic-fix-for-hoof-rehab

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

10 Things to Remember on International Helmet Awareness Day

Lexington, KY (July 31, 2018) - The weekend of August 18th and 19th, 2018 marks the ninth annual Riders4Helmets International Helmet Awareness Day — a campaign event designed to educate people about the importance of wearing a hat, following dressage Olympian Courtney King-Dye’s accident from which she suffered a brain injury.

To mark the occasion, the campaign’s Lyndsey White shares 10 important messages that all riders should remember on a daily basis:

• If you have a hard impact blow while wearing your hat, immediately replace it with a new hat. There may be damage to the hat that is not visible to the naked eye.
• Hat manufacturers generally recommend replacing your hat every four to five years. Hats take a beating over time from sweat, heat, dust and rain, and the Styrofoam in the hat relinquishes its ability to protect the head over time. “So, replacing your hat sooner than four to five years may in some circumstance be necessary,” says Lyndsey.
• A ponytail or different hairstyle can affect the fit of your hat. When you try on hats prior to purchase, wear your hair in the style that you expect to wear it when riding.
• If you purchase your hat online, check the date of manufacture. Purchasing a used hat can be very risky and is NOT recommended. The hat may have sustained previous damage that you aren’t able to see.
• There is no statistical correlation between skill level and injury likelihood. Professional riders are just as at risk to sustain injury due to a fall as less frequent riders.
• Even a fall from a standing horse can be catastrophic. Your injury risk depends on the height from which fall, as well as the speed at which you’re traveling.
• Head injuries are cumulative. An original head injury can be made much worse by additional concussions.
• Riding is considered more dangerous than downhill skiing and motorcycling.
• Approximately 20% of accidents which result in head injury happen while the person is on the ground.
• It is best if you invest in your own hat regardless of whether or not you own a horse. “It is a personal purchase. Your hat is designed to fit your head,” says Lyndsey. An incorrectly fitting hat offers very little, to no protection. In addition to wearing a correctly fitting hat, you must have the harness correctly fastened on your hat. If the harness is not fitting snugly, the hat can rotate should you have a fall and it won’t be able to protect your head to its fullest intention.


To celebrate International Helmet Awareness Day, Riders4helmets has teamed up with leading manufacturers to offer special discounts on safety headgear around the globe, via their retailer networks.

Retailers around the globe who wish to register to participate in the event may register free of charge at this link and will then be added to the participating retailer map. Only retailers who register with riders4helmets will be eligible for restocking discounts from the participating helmet brands (please note – participating brands vary by country). You must register directly with riders4helmets and not with the helmet brands. Further information for retailers and rules with regards to participating, can be found at this link.

Equestrians may visit this link to learn more about International Helmet Awareness Day and can search for participating retailers by “Name” or “Geographic Location” on our participating retailer map. Equestrians are encouraged to visit the site on August 18th and 19th, 2018, to view the most current update, as participating retailers will continue to be added on a daily basis.

For more information on the Riders4Helmets campaign and more information on rider safety, visit www.riders4helmets.com. You can also follow the campaign at www.facebook.com/riders4helmets, www.instagram.com/riders4helmets, and www.twitter.com/riders4helmets.