Monday, June 05, 2023

The Great Endurance Horse Race of 1908 - Full Article

June 3, 2023

The 1975 movie, Bite the Bullet, with Gene Hackman, Candice Bergan and James Coburn, was about a 700-mile endurance horse race. The inspiration for the movie was a 600-mile horse race held from Evanston, Wyoming to Denver, Colorado, in 1908.

Western author, Jack Schaefer author of Shane and Monte Walsh, wrote a small book titled, The Great Endurance Horse Race, published in 1963, about the race. The race was started to prove the superiority of the western bronco over the Thoroughbred as a horse for the Army.

Although the race took place between Evanston and Denver, there were a couple of Sheridan connections...

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Monday, May 29, 2023

On long-distance horse rides, Nevada’s beauty and hospitality are unveiled - Full Article

by Grace Da Rocha
Monday, May 29, 2023

It was a blazing day in central Nevada — much hotter than usual for May, it seemed — when long-distance horse rider Samantha Szesciorka came upon a sole paintbrush wildflower while traveling along the California border.

The wildflower, which was the first she’d seen since leaving Las Vegas on horseback earlier that week, was a welcome sign: She had reached the Great Basin.

Szesciorka said the change from the Mojave Desert’s Joshua trees to swaths of sagebrush was sudden as she rode over the hill, watching the landscape “transition” in a way she had never seen before while driving on any of the state’s highways.

“I literally did get to see how Nevada changes between those two desert systems, which is really cool (and), in fact, one of the best memories from this ride,” Szesciorka said. “When you’re driving on the highway, you don’t get to see all that...”

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Thursday, May 18, 2023

Pre-race enzyme level in blood linked to lameness elimination in Endurance horses – study - Full Article

May 18, 2023

A link between the levels of an enzyme in the blood of Endurance horses and their risk of elimination because of lameness has been identified by researchers.

The study, reported in the journal Animals, centred on 49 Endurance horses who competed in the 160km ride at the 2016 World Endurance Championship in Samorin, Slovakia.

Blood samples were taken before the event for analysis. For statistical evaluation, horses were categorized into three groups: finishers, lame horses, and metabolically eliminated horses.

Risk factors were calculated for each group.

Researchers in the Free University of Berlin study found that elevated pre‐ride levels of superoxide dismutase were shown to have an effect on lameness elimination...

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Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Man riding cross-country on horseback responds to critics who say he's abusing his horse - Full Article

Katie Balevic

• Cyril Bertheau, 24, purchased a horse on Craigslist and is riding it from Austin to Seattle.
• His viral journey has stirred anger among the equestrian community, which is concerned about his horse's welfare.
• Bertheau declined to answer questions about his horse's health and complained about "busybodies."

A Texas man who has gone viral for his plan to ride on horseback from Texas to Washington dismissed criticism from equestrian experts, who want him to get off his high horse and address health concerns about his steed.

Cyril Bertheau, 24, purchased a horse on Craigslist and charted a path from Austin to Seattle, planning to make the 2,300-mile journey in 100 days. After a send-off with extensive media coverage in April, Bertheau promised to keep his followers updated about his journey on Instagram and TikTok. He chose the handle, "2raw2ride."

He also set up accounts on Venmo and Cash App. He said any donations "will go to beer."

But shortly after his journey began, he started seeing comments on those social media accounts from people concerned about the welfare of his horse, Shiok. A petition launched earlier this month accused Bertheau of "horse abuse" and demanded he quit his journey...

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Tuesday, May 16, 2023

How to Assemble a Kickass Ride Camp Sleeping Quarters - Full Article

May 11, 2023
by Tamara Baysinger

If you’re an endurance rider without a living quarters trailer or truckbed camper, you’ll need to be creative when it comes to ride camp sleeping quarters. Your two, main options are: 1) set up a tent or 2) sleep in your horse trailer. You’ll also need to choose a good sleeping bag and pad. This post will cover pros, cons of each, and gear tips drawn from my decades of outdoor adventuring. Set Up a Tent

Ah, the tent, that eternal favorite of Boy Scouts and wilderness wanderers! Tents can provide remarkably robust shelter in all weather, but they can also be intimidating to the uninitiated. Here’s what you need to know about this ride camp sleeping quarters option: Tent Components

Most tents come in either two or three main parts: the tent itself, a rain fly, and a ground cloth made to protect the floor of the tent from moisture.

Depending on weather and privacy needs, you can usually choose whether or not to use your rain fly for any particular event. Using the fly with keep your tent’s interior warmer than going without. If precipitation or heavy dew is in the forecast, you’ll need to use it regardless. In a dusty camp situation, you might want to use the fly to help keep your belongings inside the tent clean...

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Friday, May 12, 2023

Horse missing for a week found alive in Wind Cave National Park - Full Article

Journal staff
May 9, 2023

he horse missing in Wind Cave National Park since last Tuesday, May 2, was found Tuesday walking along Highway 385 near the Wind Cave Canyon Trailhead.

Custer County Dispatch notified the park at 7:55 a.m. of a dropped call from that area. When park rangers responded, they saw the horse. Park personnel led the horse into the park’s maintenance yard where it was soon reunited with its owner. The horse appeared to be in good shape after spending a week in the backcountry...

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Sunday, May 07, 2023

May 10 is Buy A Horse Book Day!’s distance riding book shelves at gives you many fun choices!

May 7 2023

Piggybacking on the idea of national Buy A Book Day (September 7), and the equestrian media company Heels Down have teamed up to encourage people to read about horses for pleasure and education.

The idea is about all horse books and horse book authors. They are hoping to continue to generate lots of excitement for the day, encourage people to buy a horse book on May 10, post selfies and pics of their favorite horse books, support local tack shops and bookstores that carry horse books, and celebrate equestrian literature in other ways, all tagged #buyahorsebookday.

If you do post anything on social media, don’t forget to tag @HorseandRiderBooks and @HeelsDownMag. They will share everyone’s posts in as many ways as possible! We all look forward to building excitement for what we hope can be an annual event together that gets bigger and better every year.


Friday, May 05, 2023

Study explores use of calcium in resuscitation fluids in horses - Full Article

May 5, 2023

Questions remain around the addition of calcium to resuscitation fluids in horses, after a study involving endurance horses in Australia.

The addition of calcium to resuscitation fluids is a common practice in horses, but studies evaluating the effects of calcium supplementation are limited, Langdon Fielding and his fellow researchers noted.

In healthy horses, decreases in heart rate and changes in serum electrolyte concentrations have been reported.

The study team set out to determine whether calcium gluconate administration at a rate of 0.4 milligrams per kilogram per minute (mg/kg/min) to eliminated endurance horses with metabolic problems would affect heart rate, gastrointestinal sounds, and serum electrolyte concentrations.

Their study, reported in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, was centered on the Tevis Cup 100-mile (160km) endurance ride. Any horses eliminated from the ride for metabolic problems and requiring intravenous fluid therapy were eligible...

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Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Fats and the Performance Horse - Full Article

Fat can be a smart addition to the performance horse’s diet if you choose the right source and add it to the diet slowly.

Posted by Janice L. Holland, PhD | Apr 14, 2023

Fats and oils have likely been used in equine diets for more than a hundred years, with the earliest mentions being for the benefit of adding shine or luster to the hair coat. More recently, owners have sought additional benefits of adding fat to horses’ diets, including weight gain, improved reproduction, milk quality, behavior, and performance.

Types of Fats to Feed Horses

Fats for equine diets can come from both animal and plant sources. Kathleen Crandell, PhD, equine nutritionist for Kentucky Equine Research, in Versailles, recommends fats from plant sources, such as canola and flax. “Corn oil used to be one of the most recommended supplements, but some recent studies have shown potential inflammatory issues within the body, possibly due to its high omega-6 content,” she says...

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Thursday, April 13, 2023

Texas man upholds 'family tradition' by riding a horse across the US - Full Story

Sana Ameer, Hearst
April 12, 2023

A Texas man is keeping a family tradition alive by quitting his six-figure job to travel across the country on a horse.

“In my family, there’s a tradition that the eldest son of each generation does a great, big adventure,” Cyril Bertheau said. “It’s kind of my turn.”

Bertheau is following in the footsteps of his father who backpacked around the world in 1984 and his grandfather who traveled the desert on foot. For his adventure, Bertheau bought a 13-year-old Tennessee Walking horse for $3,000 off Craigslist and plans to ride about 2,300 miles from Austin to Seattle in just around 100 days...

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Monday, April 10, 2023

Used Horse Trailers and Liens: Buyer Beware! - Full Article

Be careful when purchasing a horse trailer from a private seller, or you may find it being towed away by the bailiff.

By: Tracy Dopko | April 5, 2023

In your quest to find a used horse trailer, you come upon the perfect one. It ticks all the boxes and is exactly what you’ve been looking for. You make sure to lift the mats and inspect the floorboards, ensure all the running lights are in working order, and that the brakes and tires are good. The seller provides you with a bill of sale and signs the back of the registration. You hand over the money and proudly take your newly-purchased trailer home.

You obtain insurance and have the registration changed, put on your new license plate, and start heading on the road for show season. Four months later, a licensed bailiff with repossession orders shows up at your property and takes your trailer away, stating there is a lien on the trailer that hasn’t been paid.

This may sound like a far-fetched story but could happen if the trailer you are looking at has a lien on it and no effort was made to complete a lien check before purchase...

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Saturday, April 08, 2023

Horse Vaccinations 101

Photo by Clix/Shawn Hamilton - Full Article

Learn which vaccinations are important for your horse, depending on his situation.

By Moira McGhee
March 17, 2023

Horse owners often find it challenging to keep up with the latest vaccination recommendations, and some may not grasp their importance in keeping horses healthy and strong. Your horse needs certain “core” vaccines, and may also need non-core vaccines based on his usual activities, geographic location, and other considerations.

Although you might be hesitant to get your horse poked, it’s for his protection, and vaccines are generally safe. They have been well-tested, and many have been used for decades. Vaccination should be routine, so read on for current recommendations, potential side effects, and the overall importance of having your horse vaccinated.

Core Vaccines

One of the best measures to protect your horse’s health is a vaccination program...

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Friday, March 17, 2023

Equestrian Adventuresses Podcast: Featuring Claire Eckhard's Race Against Time Book podcast - Listen

February 1, 2023

If you love books, this is the perfect place for you. Once a month, Heather, Ute, and sometimes Krystal, will talk about their favorite horsey book. In today’s episode of the EQA Book Club, Ute is talking with Claire Eckhard about her recently published book Race Against Time, a book about a girl, a pony and their race against time in the toughest 100-miles endurance race in the world, the Tevis Cup.


Thursday, March 16, 2023

Welcome Swallows Back to Your Horse Property! - Full Artice

March and April mark the return of these little birds that play a big role in horse-property insect control.

Posted by Alayne Blickle | Mar 15, 2018

Horse people love spring for many reasons: Longer days to ride, mild weather, and more. But what gives me, personally, hope that spring is right around the corner is the return of swallows to North America. Not only do swallows mark the change of season, they also offer their natural insect control services on horse properties.

Depending on where you live, you should begin seeing swallows in March and April. Their cheery twitterings, which can brighten even a gray spring day, mark their return from their winter home in Central America...

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Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Researchers Have Found The Earliest Evidence of Horseback Riding Yet - Full Article

06 March 2023
By Michelle Starr

The bones of nomads who lived in what is now southeast Europe thousands of years ago have just yielded humanity's earliest evidence of equestrianism.

According to an analysis of wear on the bones of individuals of the Yamnaya culture that lived across the Eurasian steppe between 3021 to 2501 BCE, these people didn't just keep horses for their milk but rode them to get around and help herd cattle and sheep.

This is an important piece in the puzzle of human development, as the introduction of horse riding dramatically changed the speed and distance with which we could move through the world.

"Horseback-riding seems to have evolved not long after the presumed domestication of horses in the western Eurasian steppes during the fourth millennium BCE," explains archaeologist Volker Heyd of the University of Helsinki in Finland. "It was already rather common in members of the Yamnaya culture between 3000 and 2500 BCE..."

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Inspired by AlUla and Gaudi, sculptor explains process behind Endurance Cup trophies - Full Article

by Marco Ferrari, Al Arabiya English

Prize money and the glory of victory were not the only things that the winners of AlUla’s Endurance Cup took home on Saturday.

Three ornate sculptures inspired by the landscape of northern Saudi Arabia were also presented as trophies to the first three riders to cross the finish line after the 120 kilometer Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup.

The bronze, silver, and gold pieces were created by sculptor Marco Gusto, who has created statues for the Vatican...

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Sunday, February 19, 2023

The Vitals: Know Your Horse’s Numbers

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA

DULUTH, Ga. (January 30, 2023) — A horse’s vital signs offer early clues into his overall health. Get to know your horse’s main vital signs and practice taking them. The earlier a potential issue is identified the better the chances for responding and preventing a larger issue from developing.

Temperature: 99 to 101.5 F
Like humans, horses are individuals and may have a slightly higher or lower resting temperature and it may vary with ambient temperature and exercise. Therefore, knowing your horse’s baseline is essential.

Take and record the horse’s temperature several times a month to establish what is “normal.” Exercise and weather can create fluctuations. Measure while the horse is at rest, after work, and in other common scenarios.

How to measure: Use a rectal thermometer and lubricant. Digital thermometers are available at local drug stores, tack stores, and farm supply stores. The inexpensive thermometer provides easy reading but requires batteries, which can be sensitive to cold weather. Check and change batteries as needed.

Mercury thermometers are another option but can be more challenging to read and aren’t readily available for purchase. The benefit is no batteries are required. With either model, you can attach a string to the end and clip it to the horse’s tail to avoid it getting lost.

What it means: A slightly elevated temperature can suggest a horse is fighting a mild infection or having an inflammatory reaction that could be the equivalent of a cold in humans. A mild fever after vaccination can be normal and just shows that the immune system is responding. Mild fevers can just be monitored while watching for any other clinical signs. If the fever persists and the horse stops eating, consult with a veterinarian about treatment with cold hosing or an NSAID.

“Bringing the fever down can help the horse resume eating and drinking but it’s important to remember that fevers have a purpose in terms of fighting infection so we don’t want to just mask them with drugs,” said Sarah Reuss, VMD, DACVIM, Equine Technical Manager, Boehringer Ingelheim.

Fevers that climb to 105 F or greater could suggest several different infections from Equine Herpesvirus to Potomac Horse Fever, influenza, etc.

“If your horse has an increased temperature, contact your veterinarian,” said Dr. Reuss. “They can guide you through the next steps based on the horse’s condition.”

Pulse: 28 to 44 beats per minute
The average pulse rate can vary based on the age and size of the horse. For example, a fit racehorse may have a resting pulse of 30, whereas a nervous pony may be closer to 40. Foals also have higher pulse rates at birth and through the first few months of life.

How to measure: Along the jawline and at the fetlock are the easiest places to locate a pulse. Place two fingers in either location and feel for pulsing. Count the pulsations for 15 seconds and multiply the result by four.

“If you have a stethoscope, you can listen for the pulse just behind the horse’s left elbow,” said Dr. Reuss. “Listen for a ‘lub-dub’ sound. Count for 15 seconds and then multiply by four.”

What it means: It’s normal for a horse to have an elevated pulse after exercise. However, if the horse has not worked or takes more than a few minutes to return to normal depending on the intensity of exercise, it’s time to call the veterinarian. High pulse rates can point to pain, dehydration, illness, and distress.

Respiration: 10 – 24 breaths per minute
How to measure: Count the number of breaths for 15 seconds. Watch the horse’s sides as he inhales and exhales. Again, multiply by four. Then, hold one hand or a mirror by the horse’s nostrils to feel for breath out of each nostril.

What it means: Horses in heavy work can take as many as 150 breaths per minute. In addition, heat, humidity, exercise, and fitness level can influence respiration rates. “Get to know how long it takes a horse to recover after exercise to establish a baseline for what is acceptable and to signal a potential issue,” said Dr. Reuss. “Continued rapid breathing can suggest respiratory disease, pain, or discomfort, and it is essential to work with your veterinarian.” Horses with fevers often have an increased respiratory rate as well, so be sure to check all vitals if you notice any one of them being abnormal.

3 additional vitals to know
In addition to T-P-R other physical clues can offer insight into a horse’s health.

Mucous membranes: Healthy tissues are pink and moist. These tissues are visible when the skin meets an opening on the body. The most common are the gums and the conjunctival sac of the eyes.

Capillary refill: This is how quickly blood returns to an area after applying pressure. This is best observed on the horse’s gums. Apply firm pressure to the gum and release. It should return to pink within one to two seconds.

Gut gurgles: Stand beside your horse and listen for intestinal sounds. Gurgling, growling, and rumbling-like noises indicate all is well. If it’s silent, the horse may be colicking or may have just not eaten for awhile.

“Knowing a horse’s vital signs make it possible to catch and diagnose a problem early, which allows for quick intervention,” said Dr. Reuss. “It’s always prudent to contact the horse’s veterinarian if they are off. Sharing the horse’s vital signs can help determine how quick the response must be and the next steps.”

About Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health is working on first-in-class innovation for the prediction, prevention, and treatment of diseases in animals. For veterinarians, pet owners, producers, and governments in more than 150 countries, we offer a large and innovative portfolio of products and services to improve the health and well-being of companion animals and livestock.

As a global leader in the animal health industry and as part of the family-owned Boehringer Ingelheim, we take a long-term perspective. The lives of animals and humans are interconnected in deep and complex ways. We know that when animals are healthy, humans are healthier too. By using the synergies between our Animal Health and Human Pharma businesses and by delivering value through innovation, we enhance the health and well-being of both.

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health has deep roots in the U.S. From a start in St. Joseph, Missouri, more than 100 years ago, it has grown to encompass seven sites. Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health’s portfolio contains widely used and well-respected vaccines, parasite-control products and therapeutics for pets, horses and livestock including NexGard®, Heartgard®, Pyramid® + Presponse®, VAXXITEK®, Ingelvac CircoFLEX® and Prascend®.

Learn more about Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA at ©2023 Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc., Duluth, GA. All Rights Reserved. US-EQU-0129-2022.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Electrolyte losses in endurance horses linked to comfort index - Full Article

February 16, 2023

The importance of weather conditions in terms of electrolyte losses among horses competing in endurance competitions is highlighted in a just-published study.

The research centered on equestrian competitions in Uruguay, known as the Raid Uruguayo. Rides include distances of 80, 90, 95, and 115 kilometres. Horses must cover two-thirds of the required distance in the first phase, and the rest in the second phase.

There is one mandatory rest period, with veterinary controls, between both phases. Winning horses average speeds between 24kmh and 34kmh.

Although it is a competitive sport, the primary goal for most competitors is the completion of the ride.

Gonzalo Marichal and his fellow researchers, reporting in the journal Animals, examined the hydroelectrolytic parameters of 900 horses that participated in such rides in a calendar year under different climatic conditions...

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Thursday, February 16, 2023

Ovation Protégé Helmet Recall Notice

February 13, 2023/in Press Release, Recall Alert
by Ashley Harkins

February 2023

There has been an important fast track recall from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (UPSC) and English Riding Supply.

On February 9, 2023, English Riding Supply recalled about 55,000 Ovation Protégé equestrian helmets for failure to meet the impact requirements of ASTM F1163-15. These helmets pose a risk of injury to someone who falls while wearing the helmet.

This recall involves Ovation Protégé model equestrian helmets manufactured from December 2020 through December 2022 and sold in multiple colors and finishes. The Ovation Protégé is an equestrian helmet that is certified by the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI) to the ASTM F1163-15 standard. An SEI certification label, which includes the model name and date of manufacture, is located inside the helmets. “OV” is printed on the front of the helmets.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Ovation Protégé helmets and return them to the retailer they were purchased from or to any Ovation authorized dealer for a free replacement Ovation Deluxe Schooler helmet or contact English Riding Supply for a $60 refund.

The replacement helmet or refund will be provided upon return of the recalled helmet OR proof of destruction of the recalled helmet. (Consumers are not required to return the physical helmet to English Riding Supply.) To destroy recalled helmets, consumers should cut off the harness straps. Consumers should email a photo of the cut harness and a photo of the interior manufacturing label, clearly showing the manufacturing date and serial number, to The manufacturing label is located on the interior foam liner underneath the comfort liner, so consumers will need to remove the comfort liner to access the manufacturing label.

To learn how to destroy your helmet and receive a refund, or learn more about the recall, you can visit

Monday, February 13, 2023

Microchipping Your Horse - Full Article

Find out everything you need to know about microchipping your horse.

By Moira McGhee
January 11, 2023

Having your horse stolen right out of his paddock, get lost during a natural disaster or wander out through a broken fence are some of a horse owner’s worst nightmares. Making a bad situation even worse is locating your missing horse and not being able to prove he’s yours.

Like the VIN on a car, microchipping provides permanent identification for your horse that’s much less painful than branding or tattooing, and it helps link you as his owner if properly registered. Although microchipping got off to a slow start in the equine world, primarily due to miscommunication and technology issues, it offers a wide array of benefits and increases the chance of lost or stolen horses being returned to their rightful owners...

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Friday, February 10, 2023

Exploring the wilds of Kyrgyzstan on horseback - Full Story

Endurance rider Alexandra Tolstoy leads a trek through verdant woodlands, vertiginous paths and flower-filled meadows

Sarah Siese story and photos
Feb 09, 2023

Archaeological evidence of horses in the Middle East stretches back about 4,500 years, but it was probably on the steppes of southern Russia and Kazakhstan that the animals were first domesticated — and then introduced to the ancient Middle East in 2300BC.

So, an equine adventure led by renowned endurance rider Alexandra Tolstoy across the unspoilt wilds of Kyrgyzstan seems only fitting for adventurous horse lovers.

From the offset, the scenery is exceptionally appealing and, as a journey, there’s a twist of storybook romance and escape. The area is beloved by Tolstoy for its extraordinary geographic diversity, cultural richness and gentle people; along with its cerulean lakes and virgin landscapes speckled with wild iris and multitudes of giant purple alliums, hollyhocks and foxtail lilies...

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Saturday, February 04, 2023

10 Horse Sales Fraud Warning Signs - Full Article

Learn how to protect yourself when buying your next horse with these tips from an experienced equine-industry attorney.

Posted by Rachel Kosmal McCart | Oct 21, 2016

Dishonest and unlawful sale practices permeate every level in the horse industry, from $500 horses at the feedlot auction to private sales of Olympic-level horses. Horse sale fraud is so rampant that shopping for a used car seems practically risk-free by comparison.

Although clever fraudsters can dupe even experienced equine professionals, nonhorsey parents buying a horse for their child and first-time horse buyers are particularly vulnerable.

Here are some warning signs that a horse deal might be shady:...

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Monday, January 30, 2023

Winter Drinking Water Temperature - Full Article

Horses’ overall water consumption decreases as its temperature drops.

Posted by Clair Thunes, PhD | Jan 23, 2023

Q: Should I give my horses warm drinking water in the cold weather? What are the pros and cons of warm drinking water versus cold during the winter?

A: Drinking water is one of the most important aspects of horse care in any season, but during the winter, providing fresh water can be particularly challenging due to freezing temperatures. Horses do not seem to mind drinking cold water: however, research shows that overall consumption decreases as water temperature drops. Researchers have also noted that if given the choice of cold and warm water, horses will preferentially drink the cold water. This becomes a problem if, through their choice, they are drinking less than they would have if only warm water been available. The ideal temperature for drinking water is 45-65 degrees Fahrenheit, but it can be made warmer if consumption remains low...

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Saturday, January 28, 2023

The Wildest Kind of Trail Running You’ve Never Heard Of - Full Article

Ride ‘n’ Tie racing was the precursor to the Western States 100, but its cowboy roots persist in a niche sport that’s thriving today.

January 26, 2023
Martha Nelson

The morning sun blazed over “Fair Hill,” a 5,000-acre fox-hunting estate built by Delaware’s famous du Pont family. The estate’s pristine wooded trails, open meadows, bubbling creeks, and 17 horse barns offered an ideal venue for last fall’s Chesapeake Endurance Ride.

On the morning of September 17, 2022, the barn was abuzz with riders and horses dodging between rows of chrome horse trailers in search of curry combs, electrolytes, and the rest of the pre-race checklist. Anxious horses whinnied across the meadow.

I arrived the night before with neither a horse nor a trailer, just a belly of nerves and a pup tent I pitched between beefy pickup trucks. I was a trail runner who, earlier that summer, barely survived my first “Ride ‘n’ Tie,” a topsy-turvy trail race where two runners share one horse and switch back and forth between riding and running. But like a moth to a flame, I kept coming back. When Chris lost his partner to COVID-19 and asked me to fill in at the last minute, I couldn’t say no...

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Friday, January 27, 2023

Australia: There’s nothing standard about these versatile ex-racehorses

Donna Crebbin photo - full article

By Fran Cleland, The Regional
27 January 2023

The honest Standardbred was once the poor relation of the racehorse world.

While the Thoroughbreds had a chance of finding a life after racing, the Standardbred was far less likely to get that opportunity.

In the past 20 years – and especially since 2015 when Harness Racing Victoria set up its “HERO” rehoming program – things have really changed and they can be found in any number of occupations, without a sulky in sight. They are cherished by pony club kids and can be found every weekend at a club, playing games and doing their lessons. Those who work with them are quick to praise the generous animals.

Professional trainer Mitch Fox, who is currently campaigning the Hero champion Kasbah Kid says they are “trainable, sensible, willing and well-exposed”.

“Some trainers canter their horses as part of their race training regimes, this is something Kasbah Kid did and it’s meant that his transition to saddle has been easy,” he said.

“He’s the most reliable horse we have on our show team. We can always count on him to put his best hoof forward and not be overwhelmed by atmosphere...”

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