Monday, August 22, 2016

Heat Stress in Horses

August 21 2016

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

Brought to you by Eastern Hay
845 855 3291

Sunday, August 21, 2016

What's New in Treating Pastern Dermatitis - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor
Jun 24, 2016

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

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

Read more here:

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

No Shortcut for Diagnosing Equine Gastric Ulcers - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · May 23, 2016

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

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

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

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Friday, August 05, 2016

Detecting Upper Body Issues - Full Article

By Tracy Gantz
Aug 1, 2016

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

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

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

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Probiotics; Are they necessary? - Full Article

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Six ways to feed performance horses for greater achievement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

American Horse Council to Update National Economic Impact Study

State Breakouts to be Included

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Understanding pH in the Equine Digestive Tract

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Erin Ryder Hsu
888-873-1988 ex. 42

Monday, July 18, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance

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

About the American Horse Council

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

Contact: Christie Schulte – or 512-591-7811

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Horse Foot Bruises - Full Article

By Tracy Gantz
Jun 21, 2016

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

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

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

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

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Friday, July 08, 2016

Researchers probe metabolic performance in young endurance horses - Full Article

July 8, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday, July 07, 2016

Managing a Horse's Underrun Heels - Full Article

By Sarah Evers Conrad
Jun 15, 2016

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

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

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

Read more here:

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Time to Ride, Microchipping and Putting Horsepower in Congress

July 5 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Solving Your Shoeing and Trimming Worries - Full Article

Posted on July 3, 2016 by Doctor Ramey in Hoof Care

The horse’s foot is so important that they’ve even come up with a cliché about it. You know, “No foot, no horse.” Yada yada yada. But, as another cliché goes, “The devil is in the details.”

The horse’s foot is very important. The problem – when it comes to your horse’s hooves (feet) – is that everyone has their own strong opinions. So, you’ve got barefoot trimming advocates and natural hoof advocates and “equine podiatrists” and those who love pads and those who hate pads and aluminum shoes and steel shoes and weights and mediolateral balance and reverse palmar angles and all sorts of other vernacular thrown out by devotees of this or that particular approach. And, besides the fact that they think that the horse’s foot is really important, they also generally agree on one other thing: they are right, and everyone else is wrong.

So, to help make things easier for you, I’m here to help sort it all out for you. Here are a few rules to shoe/trim by.

1. There’s no such thing as one “natural” foot. When it comes to health, there’s this big push for “natural.” Honestly, natural is one of the words that I hate...

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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Choosing the Right Horse for Happy Trails - Full Article

By Connie Lechleitner
Jun 22, 2016

Tips for finding your best four-legged trail riding partner

The phrase “trail ride” brings to mind different things to different people. For one person it could be a relaxing afternoon ride sightseeing for a few hours in the rolling hills, while for another it’s a strenuous race stretching well beyond daylight hours and covering dozens of miles of sometimes-treacherous countryside. These pursuits require mounts to be sound and sure-footed, but for recreational trail riding, competitive trail, and endurance riding, certain equine traits rise to importance for each discipline, ranging from disposition to build. So how do you decide which prospects to pursue?

We asked Greg Fellers, DVM, of Seal Beach, California, who serves as a judge for the North American Trail Riding Conference, and recreational trail riding veterinarian Chris Coudret, DVM, of London, Ohio, to share their tips on picking your best trail partner.

“You really do have a whole spectrum of involvement in trail riding,” says Fellers. “You might have someone who just rides out onto their property or into a park and may not ever get past a walk. Then the next person might be doing a competitive trail ride or a 100-mile endurance race. The key is to match the horse’s abilities with the desires of that rider.” Regardless of your goals, a few tips apply across all types of trail riding, Fellers says...

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The Modern Desert-Horse: The Akhal-Teke

Classic-equine Blog - Full Article

Have you ever been lucky enough to have seen one of these unusual looking horses in real life? The Akhal-Teke is an incredible, beautiful breed, and currently there are only about 3,500 of them in the world. A great endurance horse, the Akhal-Teke has an unusual appearance and looks like it’s stepped right out of a history book.


The Akhal-Teke originated in Turkmenistan during the 8th century, making it one of the oldest horse breeds. The Akhal-Teke horses were thought to be some of the best horses in Asia at the time, and were frequent favorites for mounted guards. The horses were used in Turkmenistan’s fight against Russia, and became a part of the Russian Empire when Russia won the battle. Until that point, the Akhal-Teke’s pedigree had only been kept orally; it was the Russians who first created a stud book for the breed in 1941.

As the breed has gained popularity, the Akhal-Teke has been used to produce new breeds, including the Nez Perce Horse, created by crossing an Appaloosa with an Akhal-Teke horse. Akhal-Tekes have also been used to produce lighter draft horses with more versatility...

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

New York: Mysterious Urban Cowboy Causes Traffic Jam While Riding Horse Over Outerbridge Crossing - Full Article


Staten Island is having quite a summer. Huge sharks, the threat of secession and now here's a guy in full cowboy regalia just casually riding one horse while pulling another one behind him as he crosses the Outerbridge Crossing. Will the viral marketing for a Wild Wild West sequel never end???

A video by Twitter user Ryan Joseph showed the man jauntily crossing the bridge, while being followed closely by Port Authority police...

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Hay Loft - Feeding New Hay

June 24 2016
Last year’s hay is nearly gone from your hay lofts. The farmers have been busy growing and harvesting their hay crops, and fresh, new bales have just arrived at your farm.
It should be a beautiful sight, right? Those bright green bales riding up the bale elevator to be stacked in your loft, ready to be greedily consumed by your horses.
Yet some people have concerns about fresh, new hay. Will the horses colic or founder from the fresh hay?  We’ve all been warned against feeding grass clippings to horses, or hay that’s just been mown. So isn’t new hay dangerous too? Shouldn’t it sit for a while before feeding?
The answer is, not if it’s been properly cured. To check that new hay in your loft, simply open a bale and take a look at it, smell it, and feel it. If it is dry, and smells good, you’re fine. Dry hay is fine; if it wasn’t dry, it should not have been baled. So if it is wet, and/or smells musty, it has not been properly cured and is not safe to feed.

If the hay has been treated with a preservative, it will not have that sweet smell, rather it smells a bit like vinegar. In this case just make sure it is dry and has no mold and you will be all right.

Another thing for you to keep in mind is that it is important to properly transition your horses to the new hay. New hay is full of protein and nutrients. Mix a little of it in at a time with your old hay and gradually replace the old hay with the new. This way you can slowly acclimate your horses to the new hay.

Feed less of the new hay because of the increased protein and nutrients. It’s similar to having your horses on grass hay and switching them to alfalfa. You wouldn’t just take away the timothy and throw alfalfa at them. You would switch gradually to allow their systems to adjust.

This extra protein and nutrients could be one of the reasons that some horsemen got nervous about new hay. Their horses might have had extra energy or reacted adversely to a sudden switch. But it’s not the hay (again, if it is properly cured), it is the process of adjustment.

So feel free to use that new hay in your loft. Just be sure to check that it is dry, and feed it according to the parameters suggested above. And while you’re at it, enjoy the heady aroma of fresh hay.
Hay Loft is brought to you by Eastern Hay,

For more information contact: Eastern Hay:, 845-855 3291

Friday, June 24, 2016

How Hoof Boots Impact a Horse's Walk - Full Article

By Katie Navarra
Jun 20, 2016

Hoof boots, popular among trail riders, provide barefoot horses with hoof protection and traction. These boots also help cushion and protect the sole when used on horses with hoof wall defects, signs of foot pain, or solar puncture wounds.

Some researchers believed hoof boots could also change the locomotor forces applied to the foot, potentially offering therapeutic benefits. So, Santiago D. Gutierrez-Nibeyro, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, ACVSMR, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, and colleagues recently conducted a study on the topic to learn more.

Findings from Gutierrez-Nibeyro’s study did show that horses fitted with hoof boots had longer hoof contact time with the ground than barefoot horses. “We found that the use of the hoof boots prolonged the deceleration period of the limb, which is consistent with a slower deceleration phase during limb impact with the ground,” he explained...

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EIA-Suspect Horse Identified In Colorado

On June 23, 2016, the Colorado Department of Agriculture, State Veterinarian's Office, was notified by the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) that a non-racing horse presently located at Arapahoe Park in Aurora, CO tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). Confirmatory tests are currently being run. Arapahoe Park is currently under a hold order that restricts movement of horses until an initial investigation is completed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA). The affected horse has been in Colorado less than 60 days and came from an out-of-state track. It appears that the horse was infected prior to coming to Colorado and previously tested negative for the disease in May of 2015.  Because the disease is most commonly spread by biting flies and it is very early in Colorado's fly season, the risk of disease transmission to other horses at the track appears to be relatively low.
CDA and USDA Veterinary Services will be working with Arapahoe Park and the horse owner to gather more information to appropriately respond to the initial positive EIA test.  
FAQs about Equine Infectious Anemia
What is Equine Infectious Anemia?
Equine Infectious Anemia is a viral disease spread by bloodsucking insects that affects equine animals such as horses, mules and donkeys, which breaks down red blood cells. Horses may not appear to have any symptoms of the disease, although it also can cause high fever, weakness, weight loss, an enlarged spleen, anemia, weak pulse and even death.
How is it spread?
It is spread most commonly through blood by biting flies such as horse flies and deer flies.
What happens to an infected horse?
There is no cure for the disease, so infected animals have to be quarantined for life or euthanized.
Is there a danger to people?
No. The disease can only be spread to horses, mules and donkeys.
Is the disease common?
No. There has only been a small number of cases in the United States, although the disease exists in other parts of the world. A map of cases from the year 2015 is available at .
How is the disease controlled?
Equine Infectious Anemia is a disease for which horses must be tested annually before they can be transported across state lines. The test for EIA is commonly called a Coggins Test. The horse at Arapahoe Park last tested negative in May of 2015.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Hot Horse Docs - Full Article

Written by: Zoe Carter

Get the inside scoop on the latest and greatest horse films you’re going to want to watch.

The Equus Film Festival started in the fall of 2014, hosted at an elegant venue in Harlem in New York City, and concluded with awards named the “Winnies.” My friend and business partner, Jessica Fobert, and I were thrilled our television pilot Free Rein won for Best Equestrian Series. When we received invitations to act as jurors at the 2015 edition, we jumped at the chance.

In its second year, the festival received nearly double the number of submissions, and, as a juror, I was able to screen every minute of every one. They ranged from educational workshops, to art films, documentaries, dramas, commercials and music videos...

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

How to Get a Horse to Drink When Away From Home - Full Article

By Clair Thunes, PhD
Jun 6, 2016

Q. Last weekend at an event my horse stopped drinking, which has never been an issue for him before. He also doesn’t seem to be as keen to drink on the trailer as he once was. Do you have any suggestions on how I can keep him drinking?

A. Staying adequately hydrated is vital to your horse’s overall health, well-being, and performance ability. Dehydration not only increases the chances of an impaction colic but also reduces fluids available for the production of bodily fluids such as saliva, mucus, and digestive secretions. Dehydration can also lead to issues with muscle contraction and nerve conduction, thus it negatively impacts performance. In severe cases it might even lead to tying-up...

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Horses heat up 10 times faster than people – study - Full Article

Contributor | 16 June 2015

A hot humid day. One rider. One horse. Both are exercising at a moderate level. Who is more likely to overheat?

It might surprise you to know that your horse gets hotter much faster than you and is more susceptible to the negative effects of heat stress.

Professor Michael Lindinger, an animal and exercise physiologist at the University of Guelph, explains: “It only takes 17 minutes of moderate intensity exercise in hot, humid weather to raise a horse’s temperature to dangerous levels. That’s three to 10 times faster than in humans. Horses feel the heat much worse than we do.”

And the effects can be serious. If a horse’s body temperature shoots up from the normal 37 to 38 C to 41 C, temperatures within working muscles may be as high as 43 C, a temperature at which proteins in muscle begin to denature (cook). Horses suffering excessive heat stress may experience hypotension, colic and renal failure...

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Evidence of temporary cardiac fatigue found in endurance horses - Full Article | 16 June 2016

Evidence of cardiac fatigue has been found in endurance horses following races of 120km to 160km, although its cause and clinical relevance remain uncertain.

The European study involved 26 Arabian horses, comprising two stallions, 11 mares, and 13 geldings, who competed in CEI*** and CEI** events in Glimåkra, Sweden; Gartow, Germany; and Nörten-Hardenberg, Germany.

The researchers performed echocardiography on the horses before and after the rides, and the following morning. They also took blood samples to test for levels of cardiac troponin I, which is a biomarker that provides insight into damage to the heart muscle, and hematocrit and serum protein concentrations – two indicators of the hydration status of the horses...

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Friday, June 03, 2016

Chia or Flax: Which is Better for My Horse? - Full Article

By Clair Thunes, PhD
May 30, 2016

Q: I would like to see someone do a nutritional comparison between flax seed and chia seed supplementation in horses. Is one better than the other, is it a matter of preference, or do they offer the horse different benefits?

A. Chia and flax are typically added to equine diets as supplemental sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Both are rich in linolenic acid (ALA), which is a precursor to the longer chain fatty acids: ecosapentaenoic acid (or EPA) and decosahexaenoic acid (or DHA). Flax or linseed meal, the end product after fat extraction, has long been used in livestock feeds as a protein source. But more recently interest has built around the whole flax seed due to its potential impact of inflammatory conditions. Equine research has shown potential benefits in improving short-term insulin sensitivity, as well as reducing sensitivity to biting fly allergy. Other benefits might exist in mediating a number of inflammatory conditions...

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