Monday, February 20, 2017

Outlook: Cinnamon for Equine Health? - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · February 3, 2017

A recent flurry of research activity pertaining to the medical effects of cinnamon suggests the tasty spice could have benefits for horses.

“Cinnamon supplementation provides yet another example of a traditional herbal medicine making a comeback to benefit modern medical patients,” said Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a nutritionist for Kentucky Equine Research (KER).

Research* in this field revealed many potential health benefits associated with cinnamon, including:

• Antioxidant properties. These specialized molecules protect the body against a variety of degenerative processes caused by exuberant oxygen molecules, such as arthritis, neurodegenerative and autoimmune disorders, and cancer.

• Antidiabetic effects. Horses don’t develop type 2 diabetes like humans; however, they certainly suffer from similar glucose and insulin dysregulatory issues that contribute to insulin resistance and equine metabolic syndrome, both of which go hand in hand with laminitis.

• Antimicrobial activity. Cinnamon and other plant-derived products were used years ago to fight infections. In light of the growing population of antibiotic-resistant antibiotic strains, interest in plant products capable of warding off infection has renewed...

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Save the Date for the AHC’s Annual Meeting & National Issues Forum

February 13 2017

Theme to be “The Power of Unity”

Where can you find people involved in every segment of the equine world working together to advance our industry?

How can you find out what projects and initiatives are being worked on in every corner of the equine industry?

The answer: the American Horse Council’s (AHC) Annual Meeting & National Issues Forum, sponsored by Luitpold Animal Health! Save the Date on your calendars for June 11-14, 2017 at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, DC.

“Even if you are not a member of the American Horse Council, we encourage anyone involved in the industry to try to attend our Annual Meeting and Issues Forum,” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “This is the only meeting where every segment of the industry gets together to discuss issues of importance to not only their respective fields, but to the industry as a whole.”

Monday, June 12, will see committee meetings for the 5 committees the AHC has: Animal Welfare, Horse Show, Health & Regulatory, Recreation, and Racing. “Anyone is welcome to attend any committee meeting they like until they go into executive session. In fact, we encourage people to attend as many as they can to get an idea of what the AHC is working on within each committee,” said Ms. Broadway.

Monday will also spotlight the Van Ness Award, which is given to a member of a State Horse Council who has shown leadership and service to the horse community in his or her state.

The theme of the National Issues Forum (NIF) on Tuesday, June 13, will be “The Power of Unity,” and will feature keynote speaker Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, which is the national umbrella organization representing all segments of travel in America. “The U.S. Travel Association works to engage, connect and inform the travel industry,” said Mr. Dow, “similar to how the AHC seeks to inform and engage all segments of the equine industry. Although different in the types of businesses we work with, the AHC and the Travel Association are similar in that we both encourage working together to advance the industry.”

Additionally, a panel of researchers from the Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation, AAEP Foundation, AQHA Foundation, Horses & Humans Research Foundation, and Colorado State University’s Temple Grandin Equine Center will discuss the importance of research for the industry, as well as any research they have done and its significance. Allyn Mann, of Lutipold Animal Health, will be the moderator for the panel.

The Innovation Group will also provide a progress report on the update of the National Economic Impact Study- of which its findings are certainly highly anticipated. The AHC will also present its new strategic plan to give attendees an idea of what the AHC will be undertaking in the years ahead.

At the conclusion of the Issues Forum, breakout sessions will be set up to allow groups to have further discussion about topics they found particularly interesting.

Please check the Events
tab on the AHC website where a tentative schedule, room reservation information, and more will be posted there in the upcoming weeks.

If you have any questions, please contact the AHC at

Saturday, February 18, 2017

‘Unbranded’ character responds to accusation of ‘mustang neglect’ - Full Article

Ben Masters rebukes a recent opinion piece on his 2015 documentary.

Ben Masters OPINION
Feb. 10, 2017

Ben Masters is a filmmaker, writer, and horse hand who splits his time between Bozeman, Montana, and Austin, Texas. Masters studied wildlife management at Texas A&M University and serves as wildlife management chair for the volunteer BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. Follow him on Twitter @bencmasters

Last week High Country News released an opinion article by Libby Blanchard that portrayed the film Unbranded, in which I am a character, in a scathing manner that ultimately called for wild horse lovers to “stay away” from the film. I was shocked to hear about the criticism of a film that resulted in hundreds of wild horse adoptions, raised nearly $100,000 for the Mustang Heritage Foundation, and had an entire theatrical release centered around fundraising and press to increase wild horse adoptions.

In addition to calling for a boycott of the film, Blanchard wrote: “As wrong as it was for these young men to treat their mustangs neglectfully, it is also unfortunate for the public to accept this behavior.” While I don’t profess to be a saint by any means, the accusation that we treated our mustangs neglectfully is a remark that stings especially deep, as I spend huge amounts of time and money trying to take care of my horses as properly as possible. Did we make mistakes? Yes. Could we have done better? Yes. But hindsight is 20/20, and I don’t know anyone who’s spent a long time around horses who hasn’t experienced a horse injury, despite their best efforts, of some kind...

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Things You Should and Should Not Put on a Horse's Wound - Full Article

By Alexandra Beckstett, The Horse Managing Editor
Feb 18, 2016

Horse owners and veterinarians have been treating equine wounds for centuries. After all, horses are unabashedly practiced at the art of sustaining wounds. Over the years we’ve tried many different wound ointments and salves, cleansers and dressings, but not all of them are backed by evidence of safety and/or efficacy.

So Dean Hendrickson, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, professor of equine surgery at Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, went back to basics, describing effective and ineffective wound-cleaning agents to an audience of veterinarians at the 2015 Annual American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 5-9, in Las Vegas.

Although our intentions are good, “most wound-cleaning agents and techniques will cause chemical or mechanical trauma to the wound bed,” he said. “Weigh the benefits of cleaning the wound against the trauma that agent will cause.”

In other words, ask yourself: Is that cleaning agent ultimately going to speed up or retard wound-healing?...

Read more here:

Friday, February 17, 2017

How to Tell if Your Saddle Hurts Your Horse - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor
Feb 14, 2017

In recent years, researchers have conducted several studies that make one thing crystal clear: A properly fitting saddle is key to keeping any ridden horse healthy and performing at its best. But how, exactly, can you tell if your saddle doesn’t fit your horse?

At the 2016 American Association of Equine Practitioners’ Convention, held Dec. 3-7 in Orlando, Florida, Scott Anderson, DVM, reviewed how veterinarians and owners can tell if the saddle is causing a horse pain in six easy steps. Anderson is a sport horse practitioner and owner of Woodside Equine Clinic, in Ashland, Virginia.

“The initial examination is performed with the horse standing squarely and without a saddle pad,” Anderson said. Then, he said, place the saddle on the horse’s back so the front of the flaps don’t interfere with the scapulae’s (shoulders) movement when the horse is working. This is usually 3 to 5 centimeters (about 1 to 2 inches) behind the scapulae, he added.

Once your saddle is in place, you’re ready to start your evaluation...

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

When Winter Laminitis Strikes Out Of Nowhere - Full Article

By Eleanor Kellon VMD posted on February 8, 2017

For the insulin resistant horse, winter laminitis can strike seemingly out of nowhere, with no change in diet or management and some puzzling inconsistencies.

The horse may not necessarily have a prior history of laminitis. The pain is often severe, but the feet aren’t hot as they are in classical acute laminitis cases. The digital pulses may or may not be elevated. Radiographs tend to remain stable in most cases; without major changes with rotation or sinking. NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories) like phenylbutazone, which are commonly used any time there is foot pain similar to this, have no positive effect.

It can be confusing when the horse looks like a typical laminitis case, but without the heat and high pulses. Inadequate blood supply is the perfect explanation. The body’s normal response to cold is to constrict blood vessels in the periphery to reduce heat losses, but in IR horses the reaction appears to be exaggerated. This is because of the well-documented role of the potent vasoconstrictor endothelin-1 in IR horses, with the most recent study confirming that endothelin-1 is involved with laminitis because of elevated blood insulin...

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Author Interview with Endurance Rider Kasey Riley

MarciaWeber Blog - Full Story

by Marcia Weber Martins
12 Feb 2017

Today I welcome Kasey Riley of “Desperate Endurance”, “August Fire” and “The Skeleton Trail”

With over twenty years of horse ownership and Endurance riding to her credit, Kasey Riley (Kim) brings a wealth of knowledge to her novels. Her love of the trail, outdoors, and rural living give color and vibrancy to her books. This realism has drawn many readers to her novels. She strives to make readers see through the eyes of her characters and imagine themselves enmeshed in the plot.

Her first two novels are mysteries with romances building around them and the third is a romance, which uses suspense to draw the couple together as they strive to stay alive. She plans on each book being a stand-alone novel that can be read in any sequence without the reader missing details of the story. Her current work in progress comes from a discussion between Kasey and her husband, Jeff, in one of the several drives between Oklahoma and their new home in Tennessee. Tossing around an idea about a young woman who keeps being involved in mysterious violence. Then coming up with an idea as to why she’s involved and solving the situation kept them occupied for many miles. Kasey’s mind sees every news article as a possible story plot for her characters.

When not writing or riding, she enjoys reading a wide variety of genre novels and sounding out new plots on her husband of 40+ years. Together, they moved two horses, four dogs, two cats and all their assorted belongings from SE Oklahoma to Central Tennessee in 2016. Now able to ride out the back door, Kasey finds less time to write, but has many viable ideas to work from. Soon she will have “Do Not Assume” completed and be able to get back to the young adult work in progress she set aside when the mystery of Do Not Assume kept distracting her.

Since the horrible forest fires in the Gatlinburg, TN area in November, Kasey has committed all of her royalties to the Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund to aid the hundreds of victims who have lost everything in the wake of the fires. Details can be found on her website: Even those who choose to use their Kindle Unlimited accounts to read her works will help this effort since the royalties all are paid to the Foundation for 2017.

When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing in one form or another for years. Essays, monthly newsletters, and short stories have been submitted and even won contests since my early 20’s. I finally got the chance to really sit down and write after we sold our online catalog back in 2012. My first novel, Desperate Endurance was published in 2013.

What motivated you to start writing?

I got serious about writing after becoming very irritated at another author who completely misrepresented my sport of Endurance Horse Riding/Racing. I knew I could do better and show readers the true nature of the sport. So I did...

Read more here:

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The 2017 Time to Ride Challenge: More Winners, More Ways to Win!

The contest’s fourth year will bring significant changes, including more cash prizes than ever before.

Georgetown, TX, February 7, 2017 - The Time to Ride Challenge, a grassroots competition that offers support and incentives to businesses growing the horse industry, will return for its fourth year in 2017. This year’s contest will award more cash than ever before and introduce significant structure changes to help contestants focus on creating new long-term horse enthusiasts.

Since 2014, the Challenge has introduced nearly 100,000 new enthusiasts to horses through more than 2,000 fun, beginner-friendly, hands-on horse events that kick-start a lifelong journey with horses. In 2017, that same structure will comprise Phase I of the Challenge: $40,000 cash plus prizes will be awarded to the hosts who introduce the greatest number of newcomers through these events. New in 2017, Phase II will award an equal amount of cash and prizes to the hosts who encourage the most newcomers to return for a more personal, in-depth horse experience, such as a riding lesson. By doing so, hosts will help newcomers cement newcomers’ connections with horses, while directly building their own businesses.

While competing hosts have always cited the business-building benefits of the Challenge as a main motivation for participating, this structure shift will directly place $40,000 worth of cash and prizes behind the goal of getting newcomers regularly involved in their programs through riding and other equine activities. The 2017 Challenge will now measure not only how many newcomers have a single introductory horse experience, but how many of that population become actively involved thereafter.

“The Challenge is a unique contest that’s constantly evolving to provide the best experience for competing hosts while achieving its mission of growing the horse industry,” said Time to Ride spokesperson Christie Schulte. “It’s evolved to a point where we will be able to measure the number of new participants entering the horse industry and regularly, actively participating as riders, students, volunteers, and eventually owners, competitors, shoppers, and organization members.”

Last year, over 78% of participating businesses and groups reported that their participation in the Challenge resulted in a positive effect on their businesses - new clients, students, or members. In 2016, thirty winners across three divisions took home a cash prize; in 2017, fifty or more will!

Competing in the Challenge is free and registration opens March 1st. Stables, clubs, businesses, instructors, veterinarians, and all other horse professionals are welcome. Upon creating an account, users will receive a point on the Time to Ride map and have access to a marketing toolkit and other supporting resources. For more information, please visit 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. Since 2014, Time to Ride programs have introduced nearly 100,000 newcomers to horses and helped grow 78% of the participating horse businesses. 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, Farnam, Merck, Merial, Morris Media Network Equine Group, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, Platinum Performance, United States Equestrian Federation, The Right Horse Initiative, and Zoetis. Program Partners are Absorbine, the American Paint Horse Association, ASPCA, Equibrand, the National Cutting Horse Association, the National Reining Horse Association, Lumina Media, Pyranha Inc., the America’s Mustang Campaign, and Colorado State University Equine Sciences Program.

About the American Horse Council

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

Contact: Christie Schulte - or 512-591-7811

Positive Hoof Changes

Easycare Blog - Full Article

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 by Guest HCP

Submitted by Sossity Gargiulo, Wild Hearts Hoof Care

I was recently asked by EasyCare to write up a few words about our trimming theory and approach. This always ends up being quite difficult to be succinct with, as there are so many ways depending on the horse. But, at our foundation we believe that the hoof is a highly adaptable “smart structure” as said by Dr. Taylor of Auburn University. The hoof is capable of positive change given the opportunity with supportive trims, diet and lifestyle. We have seen it over and over and over again in our hoof care practice.

We have found that if you help the hoof a little bit with your trim, by setting it up to grow better between cycles, making sure the horse is comfortable to move properly with minimal or no compensative movement, and then get out of their way, they can develop a pretty awesome hoof. It may not be the picture in some people’s mind of The Perfect Hoof, but it can be a pretty awesome, functional, sound and improving hoof for that horse...

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Friday, February 03, 2017

The challenge of catastrophic bone fractures in endurance - Full Article

February 3, 2017
Neil Clarkson

The sport of endurance has suffered irreparable harm in recent years over catastrophic leg injuries to horses.

The images we have seen out of the Middle East over the years have been harrowing.

Followers of the sport don’t need me to tell them that the United Arab Emirates has been a hot-spot for such catastrophic failures, no doubt due to the fast desert courses and the speeds that result. The big prizes on offer and the use of jockey-style riders are hardly conducive to horse welfare, either.

I have advocated before for the grading of endurance courses, in which races on tracks that are assessed as “fast” are run under more stringent parameters. However, even that would be only part of the solution.

These leg fractures may be catastrophic, but research suggests there is a common background that sets horses on a path to these leg breaks...

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Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Australia: Latest Equine Hendra Case 'Unusual,' Veterinarians Say - Full Article

By Edited Press Release
Jan 6, 2017

Equine Veterinarians Australia (EVA), a special interest group of the Australian Veterinary Association, says the Hendra virus case confirmed in a horse near Casino, New South Wales, last week revealed unusual signs and aspects of the disease.

Ben Poole, BVSc, MANZCVS, EVA spokesman, said that this latest case in northeastern New South Wales makes dealing with Hendra even more complicated and concerning.

“The facts of the case would suggest the horse may have initially received a low infectious dose of the virus that eventually led to the horse succumbing to the disease, after an unusually protracted illness,” he said. “What’s different about this case is that the horse initially tested negative for Hendra virus after losing weight for two weeks and presenting with a sore mouth. It was given medication and the horse started recuperating while in quarantine on the farm.

“A week later the horse deteriorated rapidly and died a few days later,” he continued. “A nasal swab taken from the carcass a week after the horse died returned a positive test for Hendra virus. Further testing of tissue samples indicated that the horse had mounted an immune response to the virus.”

Poole said this demonstrates the difficulty of making an initial diagnosis of Hendra virus infection, and highlights the risk that Hendra virus poses to anyone including horse owners, veterinarians, and those who come in contact with horses displaying vague signs of illness.

“That’s why vaccination of horses against Hendra virus is important for managing the risks involved with the disease,” he said. “The summer timing of this case in the Northern Rivers is unusual and is probably due to food shortages and environmental stress on the bats in the area – so it’s really important to be vigilant all year round...”

Read more here:

Monday, January 30, 2017

Night Tips from a Pilot (and others) - Full Article

January 29 2017
by Mel Newton
The running, riding, writing veterinarian

When I was helping my husband study for his private pilot’s license, I ran across a section about night flying. Some of the recommendations made a lot of sense for riding at night on the trails too.

Unlike running when I usually where a bright headlamp (and sometimes carry a flashlight too) to illuminate the trail before me, riding at night is an exercise of trust in your equine partner.

Using a white light seriously impacts the horse’s night vision – and longer than it impacts ours because there are some physiological differences in their eye that makes the horse eye BETTER at night, but also takes it longer to adapt to the darkness once exposed to light.

Unless you were reading my blog 8 years ago, you might have missed this post where I explain how a horse’s night vision works. (a little aside – that Standardbred team pictured, Gunsmoke and Buttercup, were the BEST. That post was written at a time when *Minx was still alive, ML wasn’t even born, Farley was my back up horse, the blog had a different name, running an ultra was laughably ridiculous, and riding 100 miles was just a dream. ) *Actually, she may have died earlier in the month that post is from, but now I’m too lazy to verify.

So instead of investing in the best new headlight technology, you are going to be going down the trail with a minimum of light. Perhaps a few glowbars attached to the breast collar, a red light headlamp if you need to check something out, and if you are lucky – a moon...

Read more here:

Saturday, January 28, 2017

LDs, 50s, 100s and UGs - Full Article

By Patti Stedman | January 22nd, 2017

No, don’t worry, you haven’t slept through the sanctioning of a new AERC-sanctioned distance.

Ultimate Goals, or UGs, are a concept stolen from my friend Kathy Viele, an accomplished combined training (“eventing”) and dressage rider, and a veteran fox hunter.

Some time ago, she penned her sentiments about her Ultimate Goals for her riding and her relationship with her horses. I loved it so much, I begged her to let me use it for a sidebar for an Endurance News article I’d written. Her equestrian pursuits are in a different discipline, so her terminology may be a bit foreign to purist endurance riders, but her concepts are spot on for many conscientious horsepeople.

Here’s what Kathy had to say:

Ultimate Goal

Lots of people get stressed by competition, concerned about judging and test riding and politics and expensive equipment, get frustrated with progress (or perceived lack thereof) or scores. And often they quit having fun riding and spend more time frustrated than enjoying themselves and their horse. It many cases, the rider has lost sight of, or more often has never established, their Ultimate Goal (aka UGTM).

My ultimate goal is to have a happy, athletic horse who is a pleasure to ride and do things with. A horse who enjoys our time together, as do I. I feel I owe my horses good care and an ongoing effort to improve my riding and horsemanship. I owe them consideration (of likes and dislikes and personality and quirks) and sympathy and good care. I do not owe them Olympic-caliber riding, so I don’t go down the road of feeling guilty that I’m not a Great Rider—I am on an ongoing quest to improve and I am getting better. I try not to get caught up in a single score or a single competition. When I compete, I like it when things go well and we can show off our training and where we are, but my UG is not winning a particular class or a particular competition or even a year-end award. If those things happen, they are nice, but they aren’t my UG. And if things go poorly I try to learn from them and keep in mind my UG...

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Tips for Rehabbing Soft Tissue Injuries in Horses - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor
Jan 20, 2017

“Prevention is the best treatment” for any horse health issue, said Andris J. Kaneps, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, ACVSMR. “But we all know that we can put a horse in a padded room, wrapped in bubble wrap, and we’ll still have issues that we’ll need to address.”

Yes, horses are incredibly skilled at injuring themselves, and some of the most common ailments include soft tissues like tendons and ligaments. That’s why veterinarians must be well-versed at treating and rehabilitating such issues.

At the 2016 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 3-7 in Orlando, Florida, Kaneps, who owns Kaneps Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery, in Beverly, Massachusetts, reviewed best practices for rehabilitating soft tissue injuries...

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Friday, January 20, 2017

The Pyramid Society Announces New Egyptian Arabian Riders UP Recognition Program

Lexington, KY – (January 19, 2017) The Pyramid Society’s New Riders UP Recognition Program is now open for enrollment! The program is designed to reward riders throughout North America and abroad with prizes and recognition for spending non-competitive hours in the saddle with their Egyptian Arabian horses. This program offers complimentary enrollment for all eligible horses with no Pyramid Society membership requirements.

“This program is a direct result of the feedback we’ve received from the Egyptian Arabian horse community. The Performance Horse Award program has been a great success with those participating in open competition, and so we have taken this next step to recognize and reward those riders who are either preparing to compete or simply just enjoy riding their horses for pleasure. We invite and encourage your participation and sponsorship to help assure the continued growth of this valuable program.” states Jaleen Hacklander, Chair of the Performance Horse Award Program Committee.

Participants keep track of the time they spend riding in non-competitive activities and special awards will be presented as each level of participation is reached. Hours count in the following non-competitive activities: trail riding, lessons, parades, pleasure riding, therapeutic riding, schooling sessions & other non-competitive events and activities.

For complete program information and guidelines and sponsorship information, visit; call (859) 231-0771 or email


The Pyramid Society is the world’s leading international membership organization dedicated to the Egyptian Arabian horse. Founded in 1969, it has maintained its mission to promote and advance these unique bloodlines through educational venues, local and regional activities, international representation and an active online community. The Society’s focus culminates at the Egyptian Event, the organization’s breed showcase and competition held at The Kentucky Horse Park annually the first week in June.

The Pyramid Society
Carol Aldridge, Member Services
Phone: (859)-231-0771

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Qatar: An enduring tale - Full Article

January 16 2017

From being powerful war horses to pulling Egyptian chariots with stellar speed and thereby earning the nickname ‘Drinkers of the Wind’, the Arabian horse has spearheaded equine endurance and elegance, right from its estimated origins circa 500 B.C.
Arguably, the most popular horse breed in the world, the Arabian horse is used today in a variety of disciplines; western, saddle seat, dressage, to name a few.

In an interesting talk organised by the Qatar Natural History Group (QNHG) at Al Shaqab last week, Dr Mats Troedsson, Consultant Director of Al Shaqab Equine Veterinary Medical Centre, and Professor at the University of Kentucky, MHG Equine Research Centre, discussed at length the glorious history of the Arabian horse, its importance in the history of Qatar, and current strategies for horse breeding and equine welfare at Al Shaqab.

Qualified at the Royal Veterinary College, Stockholm, Dr Troedsson has a PhD in Reproductive Immunology from the University of California, Davis, and 40 years of experience in Equine Veterinary care and Academia, most recently as Director of the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Centre.

Community caught up with Dr Troedsson, one of world’s leading experts on Equine reproduction, for a chat...

Read more here:

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The State of the Microchip - Full Article

By Nancy S. Loving, DVM
Jan 10, 2017

More horse organizations are requiring owners to use this identification technology

Countless dog and cat owners can attest to the value of microchipping. These are the people who have spent sleepless nights agonizing over their pets’ disappearance and whereabouts until they receive that phone call with the comforting words, “Your dog is at the local animal shelter; we scanned him for a microchip and found your contact information.”

This practice of microchipping is also becoming prevalent throughout the horse world—but for reasons beyond simply IDing a lost equid. Many competitive organizations and breed registries are now requiring it for ease of identifying individual horses...

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South Africa: Mounted patrols return to KNP to help prevent rhino poaching - Full Article

January 11 2017

It has been decades since the last horses were used in KNP as they have been replaced by motorised vehicles.

LIMPOPO – The Kruger National Park (KNP) has had a long association with horses.

Merchants and explorers used horses to travel through the area but made sure to only do this during times when the Tsetse flies, which carried the deadly sleeping sickness, were less active. The Steinackers Horse Brigade was deployed to patrol the area during the Anglo Boer War. In the early days rangers were dependent on horses as their primary means of transport to fulfill their daily duties. A good horse was invaluable, especially if it had immunity against horse sickness.

History has recorded the legendary escapade of Game Warden Harry Wolhüter who was attacked by a lion while on horseback in the Lindanda area of the KNP. Wolhüter escaped miraculously by killing the lion with his sheath knife.

It has been decades since the last horses were used in KNP as they have been replaced by motorised vehicles.

This year marks the return of horses to active duty in KNP. Horses are now again being deployed for anti-poaching patrols and a pilot project has been launched to test the viability and effectiveness of mounted patrols.

Karien Keet, SANParks section ranger for Phalaborwa, is in charge of the pilot programme. Keet is the ideal person to manage the experiment as she has a long association with horses and is an experienced rider. She is a firm believer that it will not only be an effective tool in the fight against poaching, but that it will benefit conservation management too...

Read more here:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

6 Diseases you can Catch from your Horse - Full Article

Written by: Nicole Kitchener

Find out which gross and potentially fatal diseases you can get from your horse, and how to avoid them.

There are indeed some diseases that can be transmitted from horses to humans. Diseases that are communicable between animals and humans are called zoonotic. Luckily, most of those we can catch from horses are avoidable with good sanitation and biosecurity, although some can be quite dangerous.


People who work with or spend time around horses should be aware of the zoonotic diseases that exist and be ready to deal with them if necessary.


What is it?

A bacterial infection linked to abortion in pregnant mares and the chronic eye condition equine recurrent uveitis (ERU or moon blindness). The spiral-shaped bacteria, Leptospira, are highly capable of movement, allowing them to spread through the bloodstream and affect various organs.


Mild illness: fever, lethargy, loss of appetite
Rarely kidney and/or liver failure
Respiratory distress
Mid- to late-term abortion
Birth of weak foals
Eye swelling, light sensitivity, excessive tearing, discharge, cloudiness, redness, muscle spasms, blindness...

Read more here:

Sunday, January 08, 2017

The ‘Hind Gut Acidity’ Problem - Full Article

It’s the trendy diagnosis, but is it a dangerous ride?

January 3 2017

Hind gut acidity, sometimes used synonymously with hind gut ulcers, is blamed for a staggering array of signs ranging from poor appetite, cracked hooves, right hind lameness and any undesirable behavior trait you can mention. It’s bad enough that there is virtually no scientific justification for most of this. Worse yet is that the treatments suggested could be harmful.

Enteroliths are stones that form inside the intestines when minerals precipitate around a core of nondigestible material. The core could be things like a wood fragment, piece of string or bit of rubber fencing. Most enteroliths are composed of struvite—magnesium ammonium phosphate.

Several factors have been identified as risks for enterolith formation. High intake of magnesium, phosphorus or protein is certainly one. The ammonium forms from bacterial breakdown of protein. Risk factors can vary between cases but one universal finding is an alkaline environment in the large intestine. If you are feeding your horse a product to increase pH/reduce acidity in the large intestine you are increasing the risk of enterolith formation, especially if the horse didn’t need it in the first place...

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Saturday, January 07, 2017

Salt for horses: Researchers delve into this important balancing act - Full Article

January 7, 2017

Common salt is a cheap and important supplement for working horses, but how much is too much?

A German study has delved into supplementation of salt – that’s sodium chloride – in horses in moderate work and compared their findings to widely accepted recommendations.

The level of sodium and chloride in typical horse forages and feeds, especially those non-commercially manufactured, was generally low, the study team noted.

Recommended intakes of sodium and chloride for exercise performance were therefore unlikely to be met by non-supplemented diets, meaning the addition of salt to the diet was commonly recommended.

Annette Zeyner and her colleagues, writing in the open-access peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE, said that since equine sweat is rich in sodium, potassium and chloride, diets marginal in these electrolytes may disturb fluid and mineral balance, potentially sparking health problems in exercised horses...

Read more:

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Algae: The Next Big Thing for Equine Lameness and OA? - Full Article

By Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc
Oct 10, 2016

Osteaoarthritis (OA) in horses is a painful condition, frequently resulting in loss of use and economic consequences. Considering there is currently no cure for OA, affected horses are often treated with “the kitchen sink,” meaning owners and even some veterinarians are willing to try just about anything to make an OA-affected horse more comfortable and to slow disease progression … including algae extracts.

“Blue-green algae contains a protein bound pigment called C-phycocyanin that possesses both anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties and has been shown to help humans, dogs, and horses with OA in some studies,” explained Jennifer Taintor, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, from Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, in Alabama.

Because some of the currently used medications for OA are associated with potentially serious adverse reactions, researchers have focused their attention on more natural products, such as blue-green algae extracts, for ameliorating clinical signs of OA...

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The New Reality: Microchipping Horses - Full Article

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

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

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

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Monday, January 02, 2017

Are Genetically Modified Horse Feeds Safe? - Full Article

Written by: Shannon Pratt-Phillips, Ph.D.

Get the facts on genetically modified horse foods, from equine nutritionist Shannon Pratt-Phillips, Ph.D., before you decide whether to feed them or not.

The term genetically modified organism (GMO) describes an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering. This is different from organisms that have been altered through selective breeding, such in domestic animals, cattle and pigs, as well as most plant species. Genetic engineering is a process in which an organism’s DNA is altered, by mutating, inserting or deleting genetic material, resulting in a transgenic organism.

Genetic engineering has produced transgenic mice, which are used extensively to investigate human disease, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The drug Humulin, used by millions to manage diabetes, is the product of genetically engineered bacteria. Plants have been genetically engineered for decades, including antibiotic-resistant tobacco plants, and the first genetically modified food for human consumption, tomatoes, which were modified to slow down the ripening process.
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In crops, transgenic plants are most common, where genes have been inserted into the plant’s cells in effort to provide desirable characteristics, such as resistance to pests or herbicides, or to increase the nutrient content of the plant. Corn, for example, has been modified to increase the lysine content, making it a better source of this key amino acid.

Insecticidal proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are expressed in corn and other crops, which allows these plants to resist pests, thereby decreasing the need for insecticides. This also, of course, decreases residual insecticides on the plants that we and our horses consume, and decreases the impact on the environment...

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Selenium Status in Horses - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · September 29, 2016

Finding just the right balance of nutrients can be challenging for horse owners. Take selenium, for example. Too much selenium causes alkali disease, or seleniosis, while too little may cause muscle problems or white muscle disease. But how do you know where your horse stands on the selenium front?

“According to a presentation at this year’s Australasian Equine Science Symposium, some New Zealand horses maintained on pasture had selenium blood levels below the laboratory’s normal limit but appeared completely health,” relayed Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., an equine nutritionist for Kentucky Equine Research (KER).

Many parts of the world, including regions of the United States and New Zealand have low soil selenium levels. This translates into reduced levels in forage, which is the primary source of selenium for horses maintained on pasture or fed hay-based diets.

To determine selenium levels in horses maintained on pasture in New Zealand in healthy, adult horses, Erica Gee, B.V.Sc., Ph.D., a senior lecturer at Massey University, and colleagues measured monthly selenium levels for one year. They found:

• All horses had low blood selenium concentrations over the study period. Average blood selenium levels were 342 nanomoles/liter, which was approximately 5-10 times lower than the normal levels;
• All horses appeared healthy during the study period despite those low selenium levels; and
• The levels of selenium in pastures varied from month to month, and supplemental hay was also low in selenium...

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