Thursday, November 23, 2017

Duvall traveler returns from five month journey across Mongolia - Full Story

By Evan Pappas
Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Not everyone has the urge to go on a months-long trips to different countries, but one local traveler did just that earlier this year.

Duvall’s Lynnea Zuniga recently returned from a five-month journey into and across Mongolia. She made it through several landscapes and provinces in the country, all between May and September.

A trip like that was made possible through experience. This wasn’t her first long-term, long-distance travel. Zuniga said she grew up adventuring in the back woods of Duvall, dirt biking and horse riding. Being so close to the outdoors and away from some of the larger urban areas informed her personal interests when she went to Northwest University where she studied environmental science, international development and sustainable agriculture.

When she was 17, Zuniga went on her first trip to the island of New Guinea, where she lived with two native tribes. A few years later she completed a solo bike tour from Hungary to Germany and Switzerland. Her experience travelling inspired her to keep finding new places. Traveling to Mongolia, however, was recommended to her by a friend.

“One of my good friends said in passing ‘wouldn’t it be amazing to ride a horse across Mongolia?’ and from that instant I knew that I was going to do it some day,” she said.

In 2015, she began research and preparation into traveling Mongolia, and used the time to save up some money to fund her trip. In her research she came across a subculture of long-distance equestrian exploration, The Long Riders’ Guild. The group provided her with resources and access to other riders who had done similar trips across the country. After asking questions and finishing her research, Zuniga left for Mongolia in May...

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Got Bots? - Full Article

by Les Sellnow
Oct 10, 2017

Bots are pesky creatures, capable of causing irritation and physical damage to horses. They aren't categorized as being the worst of internal parasites, but they can cause problems externally and internally.

The external aspect is primarily one of irritation to the horse. The botfly is about the size of a honeybee, and its prime purpose in life is to lay eggs on the hairs of equine legs, necks, faces, and other parts of the anatomy.

And although we will talk later about "deworming" as a weapon against these parasites, they are not really worms, such as ascarids and strongyles. Instead they are flies, and like other flies their life cycle involves four distinct stages—egg, larva, pupa, and adult fly.

As is the case with other parasites, bots need a host to carry out their life cycle. They are specialists, in that they only attack horses, mules, and donkeys—perhaps zebras as well—and do not seek to use cattle or other livestock as hosts.

When attacking equids, the botfly is a pest supreme. Botflies generally lay only one egg at a time, but depending on the species, one female is capable of depositing 150 to 500 eggs...

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

South Africa: Horse Riding on the Wild Coast - Full Article

January 19, 2017

Words: Grant Hollins. Images: Julie-Anne Gower.

Wild Coast Horseback Adventures has been offering horse riding trails along the Eastern Cape’s spectacular eastern coast for more than a decade and is listed as one of the top beach riding destinations in the world. Grant Hollins went to Kei Mouth to meet with owner Julie-Anne Gower to find out more.

The Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast, which stretches some 280km from the Mtamvuna River in the north to the Great Kei River in the south, has a rich history of adventure and is renowned for its rugged beauty. It forms the coastal heartland of the Xhosa people whose cattle often roam unattended along vacant beaches or graze on grass covered hilltops with cliff faces that plummet directly into the ocean. Notorious in the seafaring community as one of the world’s most treacherous stretches of coastline, the region is home to numerous shipwrecks and with about half of the area comprised of indigenous forest, it supports a myriad of fauna and flora. This largely untouched coast is also interspersed with quaint hotels, which make it an ideal destination for nature-loving, adventure-minded travellers to visit...

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Fantastic Tips for Endurance Riding - Full Article & videos

Endurance riders have a great many Endurance Riding events to choose from, each with its own particular set of challenges. Many riders learn the ropes via their local Endurance GB, ILDRA or SERC group or similar clubs overseas. With respect, but novices don’t always get advice from the most accomplished riders. This page aims to help you to several fantastic tips for Endurance Riding which make Endurance Riding more enjoyable and successful for you and your horse. These videos feature Sally Toye and her horse Emira Bint Letifa. Kindly note that the number of videos in this page will grow, we have lots more tips for you! Like our facebook page so you won’t miss out on the next video tip. Aloeride is very proud to sponsor Sally Toye who is a very experienced and successful Endurance rider both in the UK, Ireland and the US. She also qualified for the 2017 Mongol Derby.

Tip 1 for Endurance Riding: Sponge


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Friday, November 17, 2017

Oops! My Horse Stumbles! - Full Article

Stumbling in horses is serious business. Here's advice from a veterinarian and a trainer on dealing with this dangerous problem.


Your horse suddenly pitches forward and drops out from under you. For a split second, his balance and yours teeter on the brink. Few things are more alarming than a horse stumbling, even for an experienced rider: Will he go down and take you with him?

Horses usually manage to stay upright when they trip, and (after you catch your breath) it's tempting to quickly laugh these incidents off. Even when a horse stumbles repeatedly, you'll hear people dismiss it: "He's just lazy," or "That's just him."

Yet it takes only one misstep for Twinkletoes to go down and flip over, with results that we'd all rather not contemplate. But let's, briefly, contemplate them: You could be killed. So could your horse.

This is a problem you can't ignore.

Stumbling in horses can be a training issue, but it can also have physical causes. We asked equine veterinarian Duncan Peters of Lexington, Kentucky, to explain those causes and what you can do to correct them. For the training angle, we went to longtime Massachusetts eventer Mark Weissbecker...

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Four Ways to Save Your Life - Full Article

As published in The Northwest Horse Source, November 2017 edition.

My summer of trail rides and horse camping was wonderful. Until it wasn’t.

You might have heard that I took a tumble recently. It’s true. I was riding in the Three Sisters Wilderness in central Oregon when I joined the unplanned dismount club. Although I don’t remember all of it, I got to visit the hospital ER, met some great doctors, toured the surgery, and now I have a shiny new shoulder! Fun times.

I can’t tell you with certainty what went wrong, although I think it was bees. One moment I was in the saddle taking pictures and the next my head was impacting a tree followed by proof that Newton’s law of gravity is true. As I’m finding that narcotic-fueled dreams are anything but pleasant, I’ve had plenty of time to ponder what went right during my misadventure....

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Fat Options to Help Your Horse Hold Weight During the Winter - Full Article

By Clair Thunes, PhD
Nov 13, 2017

What is the best use of fats to help horses maintain weight during the cooler winter months?

Julie , Hawaii

A. Fat sources are often used for weight gain because they’re significantly more calorie-dense than carbohydrates. There are numerous products that can add fat to a horse’s diet, including:

• High-fat commercial performance feeds, which typically have 10-13% crude fat and when fed correctly provide all the necessary vitamins and minerals to complement the forage in the ration;
• High-fat feeds, such as rice bran (which contains approximately 18% fat and might or might not have added vitamin E, calcium, and other minerals) or flax seeds (which might have up to 40% fat content);
• Fat supplements either in feed form—which might have as much as 30% crude fat—or a dried vegetable oil at 90% fat; and
• Oils, which include everything from common vegetable oils such as canola oil to less well-known vegetable oils such as camelina. Fish oil is even an option.

But First…

Before you reach for your preferred fat source, though, first try to determine why your horse isn’t maintaining weight...

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Back Country Horsemen of America Cares for the Front Country Gems Outside Your Back Door

November 11 2017

by Sarah Wynne Jackson

Back Country Horsemen of America formed over 40 years ago to protect our right to ride horses on public lands. The original founders cherished the wide swaths of wild land that encompass hundreds of thousands of acres with trails inaccessible to nearly anything but those on foot or hoof. Today, we still treasure those vast areas, but we also highly value the smaller public lands nestled between cities and highways, the few hundreds or thousands of acres that give us a respite from our busy daily life.

These front country gems may not sit on mountaintops where the worst of weather pulls down trees and washes out trail treads, but they still need consistent maintenance due to the heavy use we give them. In fact, this is a strong argument for creating more local public lands. Easy accessibility to the few that we have attracts recreationists of every kind, including hikers, dog walkers, bicyclists, equestrians, and more, in numbers higher than most lands can sustain. Instead of limiting use at individual public lands, creating more recreation opportunities would spread our use across more lands.

Back Country Horsemen chapters across the nation carefully plan their resources to attend to the places with the highest needs and the heaviest use first. At least once yearly, the Olympic Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Washington reviews its work budget to determine where its effort is most badly needed. Members realized that they tend to return to Green Mountain Horse Camp in Green Mountain State Forest several times each year to repeatedly perform the same repairs. To reduce this inefficient use of their limited time, the chapter decided to overhaul the horse corrals, the biggest maintenance need in the camp.

A Big Job

The land surrounding the popular corrals collected rainwater, making the corral area muddy and difficult for campers to clean, and the wood rails had rotted from exposure to the elements. To overhaul the corrals, the Olympic Chapter drew on the skill within their membership: landscape designer Brian Sundberg created the plan, former Chapter President Jim Davis served as liaison and procured materials, past BCHA Chair Jim Murphy wrote up the specifications, and other chapter members provided tools, equipment (including a Bobcat), hard work, and rations.

Chapter volunteers began by removing all the soft and rotten posts and rails. To reduce the level of maintenance required after renovation, they hardened the corral footing, which would allow water to drain away while providing a firm surface that would be easier to keep clean. After excavating the 100-foot-by-30-foot footprint of the corral area about 8 inches deep, they installed a drainpipe system to carry water away from the camp, then filled in the area with crushed rock. They then installed corral posts and rails, using pressure treated and metal materials for durability.

An Expensive Job

Anyone who has done landscaping or similar construction knows that these materials aren’t cheap, making a project like this pricey, even when the labor is free. Including over $6000 for footing materials, nearly $2000 for weather-durable gates and posts, and over $500 for heavy equipment fuel along with other miscellaneous costs, the final price tag came to almost $10,000 for the sixteen 12-foot-by-12-foot corrals.

The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) donated the pressure treated posts and rails, but the rest of the cost was carried by the Olympic Chapter Back Country Horsemen. How did they do it? They organize the Western Dream Ride at a dude ranch in the stunning Cascade Mountains. Horse lovers spend three days living in rustic ranch cabins, eating authentic back country meals, and riding amazing trails. The Olympic Back Country Horsemen also provide western style entertainment, Cowboy Church, a silent auction, and even a swimming pool.

Offering this well-loved event to up to 130 riders every year takes the full commitment of the entire chapter, but participants and volunteers know that it makes funds available to perform maintenance and improvements to trails, trailheads, and camps in Green Mountain State Forest.

A Job Worth Every Effort

Although northwest Washington boasts many horse trails that traverse its awe-inspiring mountains, riders still enjoy front country trails for day rides and when mountain trails are closed. Managed by the state DNR, Green Mountain State Forest is an undeveloped working land that provides habitat for native plants and animals, water retention, and water quality benefits. Its 6,000 acres provide diverse recreation opportunities to more than 150,000 people each year.

The Olympic Chapter has a volunteer contract with the DNR to maintain the trails and the horse camp. As part of the contract, the chapter also provides a friendly Camp Host at the horse camp on weekends from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

When recreational trail riders started using the horse corrals renovated by the Olympic Chapter Back Country Horsemen, compliments and rave reviews began coming in. People love the new corrals as well as the minor repairs and grooming the chapter completed on the 17 camp sites.

About Back Country Horsemen of America

BCHA is a non-profit corporation made up of state organizations, affiliates, and at-large members. Their efforts have brought about positive changes regarding the use of horses and stock in wilderness and public lands.

If you want to know more about Back Country Horsemen of America or become a member, visit their website:; call 888-893-5161; or write 342 North Main Street, West Hartford, CT 06117. The future of horse use on public lands is in our hands!

Innovative wheelbarrow seat could help horsey parents - Full Article

Rachael Turner
15:55 - 12 November, 2017

An endurance rider and her husband have developed an innovative way of keeping toddlers safe and involved at the yard.

Gloucestershire-based Adam Farley thought up the idea last October when he was looking after his then 18-month-old son Ollie while his wife Rachael Claridge was in Australia.

Adam was kept busy looking after the family’s four horses and two dogs, as well as working full-time.

“He was thinking of a way to keep our toddler safe,” Rachael told H&H.

“He bought a bucket, cut a couple of holes in it, fixed it to the wheelbarrow and stuck Ollie in it.


MT. BIKERS vs EQUESTRIANS: An explanation of horses to bikers – written by a biker - Full Article

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

You have all heard me rant about bikers that seem to have no regard for equestrians.

I’ve had an accident caused by a biker and many near misses since we live in a hilly and curvy landscape… Hilly and curvy makes for great riding and also many blind and speedy corners.



I know that I always thank cyclist who are kind towards equestrians. But, what do you say to those who aren’t respectful?

Usually, I yell something like, “It wouldn’t be funny if this was your kid on board!”… but they’re so far down the trail they never hear me.

So, when I saw this posted on our Equestrian board today, I thought some of you out there might find this handy if you get the chance to offer a cyclist’s explanation to other cyclists about equine safely.
The Silicon Valley Mountain Bikers, an International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) affiliate, has posted information for mt. bikers on their shared trails that is thoughtful and informed. Please share with other horse and bike groups and with your friends who mountain bike so they can understand how to keep everyone safe on our multi-use trails:

Getting on with Equestrians...

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Dangers of Overtraining - Full Article

It’s important to keep your horse fit, but overdoing it can cause problems.

By Nancy S. Loving, DVM | August 7, 2017

You’ve been working hard on getting your horse into peak condition for the competitive season and have been taking him to multiple competitions. In the early part of the summer, everything was going fine, but now you’re noticing that he isn’t putting out as much effort as usual under saddle and seems irritable and less cooperative. He doesn’t seem as interested in food or in goings-on in his surroundings. These are all signs of overtraining.

Signs of Fatigue

In any equine sport, accumulated stress of training and competition can lead to fatigue if overdone. Whether your horse is trained in eventing, dressage, competitive trail, endurance, polo, or western performance sports, the signs of chronic fatigue will be similar to those displayed by an over-trained racehorse. However, horses engaged in performance and sport horse activities are more likely to experience a less severe syndrome called "overreaching.”

The key difference is that a horse that is overreached recovers within days or, at most, a two-week period when given time to rest. In contrast, the horse that is chronically overtrained in high-intensity exercise like racing is one that may not recover for months or even years due to extreme stresses on his physiology; in some cases, the consequences may be career ending...

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Friday, November 10, 2017

Giving to Honor Human and Equine Veterans - Full Article

by Glenye Oakford | Nov 7, 2017, 3:00 PM EST

The military and horses have a long shared history, starting with their partnership on the battlefield. Today, there’s still a deep connection through a number of charities. In advance of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, we highlight two that bring horses and veterans together and one that honors equines’ military service while supporting today’s working horses, donkeys, and mules.

The Man o’ War Project

The Man o’ War Project presented the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Perpetual Trophy for the $50,000 International Speed Class during the Washington International Horse Show’s Military Night on Oct. 27. The Man o’ War Project is supporting the first clinical research study in partnership with Columbia University to determine equine-assisted therapy’s effectiveness for post-traumatic stress disorder and to establish guidelines for using equine-assisted therapy to treat veterans with post-traumatic stress. In the course of equine-assisted therapy, a horse specialist and a mental health professional assist veterans in drawing connections between what the horses might be doing, thinking, or feeling, and their own symptoms. As they increase emotional awareness and the ability to regulate their emotions, they relearn how to build trust and how to trust themselves, keys to success in family, work, and interpersonal relationships...

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Monday, November 06, 2017

National Equine Health Plan Published

October 31, 2017

Valuable resource will help curtail risk of disease spread

The American Horse Council (AHC), in conjunction with the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and state animal health officials, is pleased to announce that the National Equine Health Plan (NEHP) is now available at

“The horse industry is unique because horses are transported with more frequency than other livestock. We have seen firsthand how disease outbreaks cost the industry millions of dollars for the care of sick horses, implementation of biosecurity, and lost revenue in the form of cancelled or restricted commercial equine activities such as horseshows,” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “Back in 2013, the industry felt it was time to step up and address the issue of the handling of disease outbreaks and the dissemination of information surrounding the outbreaks. This gave way to the creation of the NEHP that will outline the issues surrounding the prevention, diagnosis and control of diseases and the responsibilities and roles of the federal and state authorities and the industry.”

The goals of the NEHP are to protect the health and welfare of the U.S. equine population, facilitate the continued interstate and international movement of horses and their products, ensure the availability of regulatory services, and protect the economic continuity of business in the equine industry.

The NEHP also functions as a roadmap for coordinating horse owners and industry organizations with veterinarians and state and federal animal health officials to prevent, recognize, control and respond to diseases and environmental disasters. The plan facilitates horse industry preparedness, effective rapid communication, and owner education, which make up the foundation for preventing diseases and disease spread. Links to information and resources are included in the NEHP document, including a list of “Roles and Responsibilities” for all stakeholders in the industry.

“The Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) is a key element of the NEHP and provides critical communication of information during disease outbreaks,” said EDCC Director Dr. Nat White. “Additionally, provides information about diseases, vaccination, biosecurity, state health regulations, state animal health official contact information and links to USDA-APHIS veterinary services. By integrating the roles of regulatory agencies with industry stakeholders, equine health and welfare are improved.”

The NEHP provides immediate access to resources and communications needed to optimize disease mitigation and prevention. It serves as a guide for regulations and responses needed to mitigate and prevent infectious diseases. The AHC and the AAEP encourage sharing this document as it will help educate horse owners about how veterinarians and state and federal officials work together to decrease the risk of disease spread.

If you have any questions about the NEHP or the EDCC, please contact Dr. Nat White at or Cliff Williamson, Director of Health & Regulatory Affairs at the AHC at

Friday, November 03, 2017

Aloe Vera vs. Omeprazole for Equine Gastric Ulcer Treatment - Full Article

By Natalie DeFee Mendik, MA
Oct 31, 2017

Check the supplement stash at any performance stable, and you are likely to find a bottle of aloe vera juice, which some horse owners reach for to prevent or treat ulcers. But is it effective? To shed some light on this practice, a team of researchers at the University of Adelaide, in Australia, conducted a randomized, blinded clinical trial comparing the efficacy of aloe vera inner leaf gel to omeprazole for treating equine gastric ulcer syndrome, the first study of its kind.

The team studied 40 horses with Grade 2 or higher ulcer lesions (confirmed via gastroscopy) in the upper portion (squamous) and/or lower portion (glandular) of the stomach, randomly assigning them to one of two groups. One group received 17.6 mg/kg body weight of aloe vera inner leaf gel twice daily (a dose they settled on using data from similar studies performed in rats), while the other group received 4 mg/kg body weight omeprazole once daily. After four weeks of treatment, the team performed a repeat gastroscopy. Horses with persistent ulceration received a course of omeprazole and were re-examined after four weeks.

The team found that while horses treated with aloe vera leaf gel did show squamous lesion improvement, those on the omeprazole regimen showed greater improvements overall...

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Thursday, November 02, 2017

Heritable Heart Traits Can Help Endurance Horses Succeed - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA
Nov 1, 2017

When it comes to breeding good endurance horses, many traits aren’t heritable or have little to do with performance. But French researchers said one feature does matter: the heart.

“An ‘athletic’ heart is a heritable characteristic that’s favorable for performance in endurance,” said Céline Robert, PhD, DVM, professor and researcher at the National Veterinary School of Maisons-Alfort and researcher at the French National Agricultural Research Institute in Jouy-en-Josas, France.

Unlike Thoroughbred racehorses, Arabian and Arabian-cross endurance horses start training at around age 4 or 5 and reach high-level (160-kilometer) races starting at about 8 years old. “If you have to invest eight years of training and maintenance into a horse before you know if you’ve got a champion, you want to be sure you’re starting off with the right horse,” Robert said.

But success doesn’t always pass down through the genes. That’s why Roberts and her fellow researchers set out to determine what genetic factors affect performance and how heritable they are.

They found that most measurable traits—whether related to morphology, gaits, or cardiology—have little to do with success on endurance rides. And that’s consistent with her 2014 findings, which were limited to morphology alone.

“Few traits are related to performance, and few of those have strong heritability,” she said.

However, several heart parameters did appear to affect performance and were also more or less heritable. The most significant were related to the size of the left ventricle and the volume of blood ejection...

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

India: All the Pretty Marwari Horses - Full Article

At the Haryana Swaran Jayanti indigenous horse show, they dazzled and charmed viewers with their manoeuvres, speed and style

The Marwari horse was the star at the Haryana Swaran Jayanti indigenous horse show, conducted by the Equestrian Sports Academy in Gurgaon which is a part of the Haryana Equestrian Sports Association.

Located next to Sohna Road, Bhondsi, Gurgaon, the NGP Horse Show Ground saw these indigenous beauties participate in various competitions, such as the dance, the rawal gait and flat race, on Sunday.

Use of whip and metal bits were prohibited. In fact, as HESA secretary general Col RS Ahluwalia (retd) said, this was the first time a show of indigenous horses was organized in accordance with all rules pertaining to avoidance of cruelty to animals...

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Monday, October 23, 2017

Saving Horses From the Northern California Wildfires - Full Article

By Clair Thunes, PhD Oct 17, 2017

Sunday, Oct. 8, Santa Rosa Junior College animal science instructor Amy Housman did something unusual for her: She put her phone on “Do Not Disturb” to enjoy a quiet evening away from her electronics.

“When I turned it on Monday morning, I had 15 texts that read from, ‘Are you okay?’ to ‘I’m out!’ ‘Hope you are up and aware.’ And, finally, one that simply said, ‘Fire,’” she says. “I walked to the front door, looked outside, and it looked like the eastern horizon was on fire. All of it.”

Then came the text that said: “We’re evacuating the barn.”

“I threw on my clothes and ran,” she recalls. “Driving to the barn was a blur, I couldn’t make a phone call, there was no internet, and the radio was saying Kmart was on fire. The only thing that made sense to my sleep-logged brain was terrorism. How could there be fire to the east and west of me? At that point, I realized I had no idea what was on fire, how I could get to the barn, and that I had also left my cat and house with no idea if they were in danger.”

On the morning of Oct. 9, the Tubbs fire spread quickly through Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, California, and had already devastated homes, reportedly traveling 12 miles in its first three hours. By day’s end hundreds of homes and businesses in the city would be destroyed and tens of thousands of people evacuated. As of Oct. 12, this fire alone had burned an estimated 2,834 homes and firefighters had it less than 40% contained...

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

DMSO (don’t you know) - Full Article

osted on September 1, 2017 by Doctor Ramey in Drugs and Medications, General Information, Lameness, Lameness Therapeutics, Medicine
DMSO is the much quicker and easier way to say, “Dimethyl sulfoxide.” About that, pretty much everyone agrees. It goes downhill from there.

Although it was first synthesized way back in 1866 by a Russian scientist, DMSO first started being touted in medicine in the 1960s, I remember first hearing about DMSO in the 1970s. In fact, I remember hearing about it on a “60 Minutes” program, on a Sunday evening. Here’s the introduction, featuring the late, great Mike Wallace.


QUICK ASIDE: This whole DMSO thing had a bit of a culty feel to it. There were charges about the “medical establishment” keeping DMSO under wraps, of wanting to suppress a miracle cure, and that sort of thing. That was about 50 years ago, and now you can pick it up at tack stores. In what may not come as a great surprise, Jacob Lab still sells the stuff, too. (Dr. Jacob passed away in 2015, at the age of 91.)

I recall being swept up in all of this enthusiasm. In fact, as a student, I – apparently much less worried about nuances such as science and proof – was fairly certain that all of my teachers in veterinary school had missed the boat when it came to treating tendon injuries in horses. All I thought you had to do was rub DMSO on them, and, “poof,” the inflammation in the tendon would be gone and the tendon would be better. Naivete is a wonderful thing when it comes to promoting therapies.


DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide, which is also the last time that I am going to type this out) comes from a substance found in wood. It’s a by-product of paper making. DMSO is an organic compound – that is, it contains carbon – that also contains sulfur. It’s colorless, but definitely not odorless. It’s been used as a solvent since the mid-19th century, and it can dissolve many other substances: in the case of DMSO, a whole lot of other substances, such as herbicides, fungicides, plant hormones, and even some antibiotics. It also mixes well with many other substances, which is one reason why it gets mixed into so many substances.


Two things, mostly. First, since sometime in the mid-20th century, researchers have explored its use as an anti-inflammatory agent. It’s also sometimes used to try to increase the body’s absorption of other medications. Which means:

1. People slap the stuff into or onto horses that have any condition of which inflammation can be a component (which are many), and,
2. People frequently mix the stuff with other medications in hopes that you can get more medicine into the horse, particularly when those medicines are applied to the skin...

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Friday, October 20, 2017

New Zealand: Those Arabian Days Stories

2 October 2017
Story, photos and video by Kendall Szumilas

I went across the world, on my own, to live with a stranger I’ve never met.

I’ve always been curious of what lies outside my little town in Maine, and this sense of curiosity led me to another quiet town on the South Island of New Zealand, Gore.

Another fact about myself is that I enjoy saving money. Yes, I know, this trait is a hard one to stay loyal to, especially when working with horses.

However, I found ways. I found out about a program called WWOOFing. The acronym stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. I could discuss the whole process of how the site works, but in order to avoid boredom, I will keep it short.

Basically, you work on farms in exchange for free accommodation and food. The site allows you to find and interact with hosts.
I cheated a little bit, and keyword searched the word “horse”.

Raking weeds for 5 months didn’t sound so appealing, so I filtered those right out. By doing this, I found a wonderful stranger.

His name is Trevor Copland, owner of Cosy Dell Arabians. Little did I know, this stranger would shape my life, and my understanding of horses greatly.

I was scared, nervous, and questioning my decision to go to the farthest possible point from home. This all disappeared seconds after meeting Trevor. He picked me up from the airport smiling and barefoot. Quite honestly, he seemed more like family. Upon arrival, I thought I would be helping at a barn, similar to how the American equine industry works. It was entirely different. The Arabians ran freely, on many hectares of land. I also believed I would be handling, for lack of a better word, “normal” horses. However, these horses were special...

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How you feed hay can have a major influence on your horse’s wellbeing - Full Article

October 20, 2017

The behaviour and welfare of stabled horses can be drastically changed by the way in which they are offered their hay, researchers have found.

The study team in France found that the way in which hay is fed not only had the potential to influence behaviour and welfare, but the horse-human relationship.

Researchers Céline Rochais, Séverine Henry and Martine Hausberger set out to examine how different devices for feeding roughage affected horse behaviour.

Their study involved the observation of 24 geldings and 14 mares at the French National Stud in Saumur, each housed in 3-metre by 3-metre straw-bedded stalls. Each stall had an automatic drinker and each horse received commercial pellets, distributed by an automatic feeder. The horses each received a daily ration of 9 kilograms of hay.

The researchers, writing in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, noted that devices such as hay-nets/bags and “slow-feeders” had been developed in a bid to increase the time horses spent feeding on roughage, mimicking their natural grazing behaviour...


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Why We Love Endurance Riding - Full Article

18 Oct 2017
By Andreia Marques

Endurance riding is not for the faint of heart. But there is so much more about this sport than meets the eye. In this article, we will explore a little about the trails and rewards of endurance horse riding, and what it takes to go on and do it.

Why We Love Endurance Riding
What we know as endurance riding (or endurance horse riding) is new, as a sport, but its roots go far back in time. The sport began in the United States, but the source of inspiration lies elsewhere — European military. In special, the Russian and Polish cavalry.

The history of endurance horse riding
Before it was a sport, it was a means to an end. Ever since humans first domesticated the horse, one of the main purposes behind it was transportation. From nomads travelling commercial routes to the Pony Express, the need to cross long distances is what made horses useful in the first place. Before automobiles and railroads, the horse (and the camel) was the only way to travel long distances on land.

It is because of this that breeds such as the Arabian and the Akhal-Teke exist. In a time before trucks and veterinary science, this ensured the horses could live to ride for a long time in harsh conditions. Desert races still exist in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Like a great many other horseback riding sports, endurance riding as a sport began as a military exercise. Before, it was a way to test the conditions and capabilities of horses for war — an equally dangerous, demanding arena for horses. Then, it began as a challenge among military officials, and eventually between the cavalry of different countries.

In the Americas, several challenges and trail races, some practical and some not, appeared around the 1800s...

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Electrolytes and Muscle Function: What's the Connection? - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · September 27, 2017

Electrolytes are necessary for normal muscle contraction and relaxation. “When electrolytes become depleted or imbalanced, fatigue and muscle cramps can result,” says Catherine Whitehouse, M.S., a nutritionist with Kentucky Equine Research (KER).

Muscles contract with the help of an electrical charge. This contraction, in physiological terms, is called an action potential and is essential to create movement. Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals that facilitate action potentials. Electrolytes can carry a positive (cation) or negative (anion) charge, and dissolve in body water to create a solution that can conduct electricity, although the solution itself is electrically neutral. Sodium is the major cation found outside of cells, while potassium is the primary cation found inside of cells, along with calcium and magnesium. Major anions in the body include chloride, bicarbonate, and phosphates. The body tightly regulates the concentration of each electrolyte. Because electrolytes help conduct electrical charges, balance is a key component of proper muscle function.

A horse’s sweat is heavily concentrated with electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium). For this reason, heavily sweating horses lose substantial amounts of electrolytes during prolonged exercise. If losses are great enough, a disruption in the balance of electrical charge both inside and outside of a muscle cell can upset normal contraction and relaxation processes...

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hagyard Equine Medical Institute Releases Study on Gastric Ulceration

October 18 2017

Lexington, KY –– Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, the oldest and one of the largest private equine veterinary facilities in the world, submitted a study that was peer reviewed and published in the March 2017 Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, showing treatment with a polysaccharide blend reduced gastric ulceration in active horses.

Ten horses underwent gastroscopy for diagnosis and scoring of existing ulcers. For the duration of the study, each participant was administered 1 to 2 ounces of a polysaccharide blend. The study reveals that a polysaccharide blend of high-molecular-weight hyaluronan and schizophyllan, a beta-glucan, administered daily for 30 days demonstrates ulcerative healing.

Of the horses treated with the blended therapy, 90% showed complete resolution and/or improvement in ulcerative areas, increased appetite, weight gain, and positive behavioral changes. The study suggests that a polysaccharide blend represents a novel means to enhance gastric healing in the active horse. The study’s long-term results could be impactful to the entire equine community, giving horse owners and veterinarians an all-natural alternative to current therapies.

“Ulcers can be found in as many as 80-100% of horses," said Dr. Nathan Slovis of the McGee Medical Center, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, "Our objective in this research was to determine whether a natural treatment would help in the healing process. From the data gathered, we were able to determine that horses can be successfully treated with a naturally safe and effective polysaccharide blend of hyaluronan and schizophyllan."

Since its inception in 1876, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute has been at the forefront of equine medicine. Its reputation is built, in part, on a continued effort to increase veterinary knowledge and thereby improve the state-of-the-art treatments and surgeries offered to its diverse equine clientele which represent international breeding operations, world-renowned racehorses as well as performance and pleasure horses.

For more information on this unique polysaccharide blend, call 859-685-3709 or visit

About Hagyard Equine Medical Institute

With more than 50 veterinarians and 141 years behind it, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute is the oldest and one of the largest private equine veterinary practices in the world. Based in Lexington, Kentucky, the institute offers a staff with qualifications unparalleled by any single non-university veterinary group in the equine industry, with 13 board certifications in specialty areas of Medicine, Surgery, Critical Care and Theriogenology. The facility, located across the street from the Kentucky Horse Park, boasts superior ambulatory services, the world-renowned Davidson Surgery Center, McGee Medicine and Fertility Centers, Hagyard Laboratory, Hagyard Sports Medicine & Podiatry Center, hyperbaric medicine facilities and equine rescue services. For more information, please visit

Monday, October 16, 2017

Iggy is a Millennial — and other anthropomorphic theories - Full Story

by Patti Stedman | Oct 16, 2017 | Patti's Blog

[Warning: This blog is full of smarm and stereotypes. I won’t apologize for that because, as those who know me in real life would likely confess, I am a wee bit cheeky that way.]

A week or so ago I found myself with a day with no client meetings and a forecast that screamed for an autumn ride.

So off we went to Allegany State Park with Iggy and Sarge, with Richard hoping to get in his last hilly, fast conditioning ride before Fort Valley, and me, it was less about seeking a conditioning goal with Iggy than attempting to find a common ground.

We climbed up Trail 1 together and I sent Richard off to do his own loop, planning to meet up again in an hour or so after a workout that was more in tune with the fitness level and psyche of our mounts.

I’ve only had Iggy about six months. In July, he turtled the Moonlight in Vermont 50. And since then, we’ve hit a stalemate in our relationship, some push/pull which I’m trying to figure out, inclined as I am to believe that horses are in many ways like jigsaw puzzles, some complex and with a million pieces, others designed for toddlers, with primary colors and only a dozen or so pieces.

Yesterday, as we walked along, just the two of us, I decided that our misunderstandings were much like a ‘generation gap...’

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103 Years Ago this Month, America’s Horses and Mules Began their One-Way Journey to the Battlefields of World War One

October 12 2017

Brooke USA’s Horse Heroes Campaign is Remembering Those Animals by Helping Today’s Working Equines

Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 12, 2017 – This year marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entering World War One. For three years prior to that, America’s horses and mules were being shipped to England and on to France and other countries for the war effort, the first having left the shores of the U.S. 103 years ago this month. Brooke USA’s Horse Heroes campaign is honoring the memory of those American war horses by raising funds to improve the welfare of working horses, donkeys, and mules around the world.

Once purchased for the war effort, America’s horses and mules endured a strenuous journey that included traveling to a seaport and shipping in cargo holds across the Atlantic. After several weeks at sea, the animals were admitted to quarantine upon arriving in England. They were shod and kept at remount stations to recover from their trips overseas before they began their formal training as war horses.

The contributions of equines in World War One were immeasurable, and the number of equine lives lost was just as significant. Equines were a crucial part of the war effort, as they carried soldiers into battle and injured men to safety. Horses also hauled military supplies such as medicine, food, water, ammunition, guns and other necessary resources to the front lines. The horrific smells, sounds, and sights, and the suffering that they endured alongside their soldiers can only be imagined.

Sadly, most of the horses and mules who survived the war were later sold for slaughter or hard labor in the foreign countries where they served. As a result, Dorothy Brooke, the wife of a British Army officer stationed in Cairo, began her lifelong mission to rescue these equine war heroes, and start the organization that is now the world’s largest international equine welfare charity, Brooke.

Today more than 100 million horses, donkeys, and mules in the developing world have similar jobs and suffer similar fates as yesterday’s war horses as they labor to provide a livelihood for 600 million of the world’s poorest people. The majority of these equines experience chronic suffering and early mortality rates. Exhaustion, dehydration, crippling injuries, lameness, and disease take their toll on nearly 80 percent of working equines in the developing world.

Brooke USA’s Horse Heroes campaign, an official Centennial Partner of the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission, will fund equine welfare programs to assist many of those animals and families. To date the campaign has raised nearly $900,000 toward their goal of one million dollars – one dollar in memory of each of America’s horses and mules who served in World War I.

From now through the end of the year, each Horse Heroes donor of $250 or more will receive the book, “Warrior: The Amazing Story of a Real War Horse,” by General Jack Seely, with illustrations by Sir Alfred Munnings.

For more information, please go to