Friday, November 20, 2020

Road to the Tevis Cup Post #19: Prerequisites for riding the Sierra Nevada - Full Article

by Jessica Black
November 19, 2020

Well.. I suppose technically I mean prerequisites for riding the Sierra Nevada foothills. I’m about 10 miles from Sequoia National Forest. The training barn is at an elevation of ~770 feet. The gate to the cattle ranch adjacent to us is at ~890 feet. My closest riding loop rises to 1860 in a mile (a bit more than half a mile as the crow flies). My current riding (climbing) goal is Hatchett Peak, at 3,261 feet, 2.50 miles as the crow flies.

Yesterday I got about halfway to Hatchett Peak, in the distance it will really take us. I rode about 2.5 miles along our eventual trail, and then headed home. Fantazia is not yet fit enough to go the whole way. Yesterday’s ride was 5.50 miles in 2 hours. Total elevation gain = 1,650 feet. We weren’t in a hurry, we explored trails and rocky ravines. I managed to scare myself many times… Fantazia had to back up, turn leaving a specific foot on the trail, and let me get off and lead. She scrambled up a very steep rocky slope behind me, and did not step on me when I fell.

I was very grateful to have a smart, seasoned horse. And I thought I should make a list of the abilities a horse should possess before it is taken out on these hills. Horses vary in temperament, but you can teach them to be smart, to think, and to listen to the rider when things get scary...

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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Is There any Benefit to Feeding Oats? - Full Article

If your horse has nutrient requirements that are higher than what is being met with hay alone – particularly energy, oats can be an excellent option.

By: Shannon Pratt-Phillips, PhD | April 28, 2016

Yes – if your horse needs them! Of all the cereal grains (e.g. corn, barley, wheat, etc.) oats have the most appropriate nutritional profile for horses. They are an excellent source of calories, and have a better protein and amino acid profile than many other grains. They are higher in fat and fibre (thanks to the hull) and are, therefore, lower in non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) than most other grains. They are well digested within the horse’s small intestine, even with little processing (as long a horse has good teeth!) and, therefore, pose a lower risk of sugars reaching the large intestine and contributing to colic or laminitis. Also, because of their lower NSC content, they are not considered a “hot” feed...

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Monday, November 16, 2020

Binge Watch the Equus Film & Arts Fest from Home - Full Article

Gretchen Lida
November 13, 2020

Like many events, the 2020 EQUUS Film & Arts Fest is going virtual this year. Unlike many events in 2020, this one is perfectly suited for the at-home experience. Featuring 50 plus films, 60 books, 13 artists, six podcasts and more, it’s 10 days of jam-packed equestrian escapism—all from the comfort of your couch. And it starts now!

The EQUUS Film & Arts Fest launches today, Friday, November 13 and runs through Sunday, November 22.

Bringing together horse lovers around the world, the theme for 2020 is appropriately “Pony On,” reminding us to keep working and causing mischief even when times are hard. One common thread in this year’s submissions is the idea that horses connect us, serving as bridges across language, culture, and political divides in ways that very little else can...

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Saturday, November 14, 2020

Researchers probe the metabolic consequences of Endurance racing - Full Article

November 14, 2020

Researchers are hoping to establish a metabolic performance profile for Endurance horses, which could ultimately be used to assess their readiness to compete.

The pilot study, involving 62 horses, used molecular-based techniques to determine the effects of endurance on metabolite levels. In doing so, they painted a picture of the demands of Endurance riding in greater detail than ever before.

Endurance rising involves competitive contests over distances of up to 160km. Races are broken into a series a loops, with veterinary monitoring of horses at the completion of each loop. The elimination rate is typically 30-70 percent, with lameness, dehydration and metabolic issues being the main causes.

It is therefore crucial that horses are metabolically fit to compete.

The study, a collaborative effort between entities under the umbrella of the Qatar Foundation, used metabolomics to assess the metabolic status of competition horses...

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Thursday, November 12, 2020

Girth Aversion in Horses: Gastric Ulcers Pinpointed - Full Article

February 19, 2020
By Kentucky Equine Research Staff

Saddle enough horses and you will run into one that detests girthing. A horse that is sensitive to cinch-fitting, sometimes called a “girthy horse,” usually displays signs of protest, including tossing the head, pinning ears, wringing the tail, stomping a foreleg, kicking out with a hind leg, and worse. Is girthiness an expression of resistance, a sign of shaky work ethic, or could there be an underlying cause?

Veterinary researchers set out to determine the causes of girthiness in a retrospective study of 37 horses admitted to the University of California, Davis. Although identifying the exact cause for girth aversion remains a challenge, 12 of the horses studied were diagnosed with gastric ulceration...

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Learning Arabian - Full Article

November 5, 2020 / Ashley Wingert

In all fairness to mares, I’ve actually had to have “that” pre-ride chat with more geldings over the years. Granted, the proportion of mares to geldings is significantly smaller, but I don’t feel like I’ve been handed as many shenanigans by the mares. But then I am ardently biased towards Team Mare, so take it for what you will.

That said, last weekend involved full-blown Arabian Raptor Snorts after Liberty decided that large rocks were her mortal enemy. It was probably the spookiest she’s ever been, but even then, I can’t complain when the worst she does is stop and stare and snort, or maybe veer sideways a couple feet if the trail is wide enough. And what I really love is that she doesn’t overreact. Once she’s past something, it’s over and forgotten about, and she doesn’t hold onto worry or angst or keeping ramping up. I’ve said it before that she’s a very “thinky” horse and appreciates some time and no pressure to work something through in her brain. She is bold and brave but she’s also sensitive, and too much pressure will get her back up and make her start to resist...

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Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Remembering Sgt Reckless: USMC War Horse - See Video

Sgt Reckless was a Marine Corps Horse who served heroically in the Korean War. Sgt Reckless was featured in The Saturday Evening Post and Life Magazine for her heroic actions during the war. Sgt Reckless was promoted to Staff Sergeant by the Commandant of the US Marine Corps after the war ended and served out her final days with the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, CA.

Active rest: Three ways to keep your horse in shape while preventing burnout - Full Article

Changing up your horse’s activities can be better for his body and mind than giving him time off. Biomechanics expert Hilary Clayton, BVMS, PhD, explains why.


In Australia we have a saying that goes, “A change is as good as a spell.” It means that if you are feeling tired, don’t stop and rest---do something different. Now, if you’re exhausted from cleaning stalls, switching to cleaning water buckets probably doesn’t sound particularly restful, but the “change is good” principle is worth keeping in mind when training horses.

Developing new skills, whether they are needed to succeed in competition or to simply perform well as a trail or pleasure horse, does require a bit of work. And the best route often involves drills designed to produce incremental improvements in movement, gait or fitness with each session. It then becomes easy to adopt a mindset that makes meeting goals the priority while minimizing other considerations.

“Riders want to practice and refine their skills, and they are probably worried about disrupting the training program if they do anything but formally train,” says Hilary M. Clayton, BVMS, PhD, DACVSMR, FRCVS, who held the Mary Anne McPhail Dressage Chair in Equine Sports Medicine at Michigan State University for 17 years. “So every day they go into the arena, perform the same routine, then take the horse back to the stall.”

This kind of routine can take a toll on a horse, both mentally and physically. Not only is he likely to get bored, but his muscles, tendons and ligaments don’t have time to fully recover from the demands placed on them. If a horse is asked to exert himself in the same way day after day, then his body doesn’t have a chance to repair itself, which means that tiny injuries accumulate...

Read more here:

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Qatar: QF researchers explore technique to assess readiness of horses before race - Full Article


(MENAFN - Gulf Times) In a collaborative effort between Qatar Foundation entities, researchers from its Equine Veterinary Medical Centre (EVMC), Al Shaqab's endurance department and Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q), have been exploring the use of a technique called 'metabolomics' to assess the readiness of a horse before a race. 'Metabolomics is a relatively new technology used to measure hundreds of small molecules called metabolites, found in a biological sample. Metabolites are the products of constantly occurring and life-sustaining chemical reactions in all living organisms.

'Their production and removal from the blood stream is dependent on multiple factors including genetics, diet and lifestyle. Any change in these factors is reflected by a change in specific metabolite levels, which allows them to be used as biomarkers, said Dr Tatiana Vinardell, head of Research and Education, EVMC.

A pilot-study on equine metabolomics was inspired by Prof Karsten Suhre, director of Bioinformatics Core at WCM-Q and his desire to create a 'health and fitness passport for athletes. It turns out that horse endurance races are just the ideal test environment to explore such an idea.

'Every living organism has a metabolic fingerprint and by frequently monitoring this fingerprint, we can establish the reference or baseline metabolic readings indicative of that organism's wellness. 'Any changes in the health of the organism can be detected by comparing their metabolic state to their established baseline. If a considerable change is seen between the two, it can be indicative of a health problem that should be further investigated, said Prof Suhre.

Metabolomics research in human athletes has provided important insights into energy demands and training physiology, allowing scientists to identify novel biomarkers associated with better performance...

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Helmet Head: Why You Need to Buckle Up Every Time You Ride - full article

Riding is one of the most dangerous sports and you need to protect your noggin. Here are some important (and surprising) facts about helmets.

By: Kim Izzo | October 21, 2020

We love our horses and we love riding. But as much as we are passionate about our sport and may hold onto the glamorous image of our hair blowing in the wind as we gallop with our equine partner across a meadow, along a beach, or towards a jump, safety is also something we should be equally passionate about.

Horseback riding at all ages and levels is one of the most dangerous sports we can participate in. According to Parachute Canada (Canada’s national charity dedicated to injury prevention), our horses are fast, really fast, and some can reach speeds up to 60 km/h. Impressive, right?

This fact has another side to the thrill ‒ we’re talking the spill. There are more injuries per hour in the saddle than during motorcycle or auto racing. Parachute offers up these sobering stats: Per 1,000 injuries in equestrian activities, two are catastrophic – meaning the person has severe injuries to head or spinal cord that result in life-altering impairment or death.

Approximately 70 per cent of equestrian deaths are the result of head injury...

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Thursday, November 05, 2020

Have donkey, will travel: Woman’s intrepid 1923 journey revealed - Full article

November 3, 2020

The intrepid journey of a young woman who took on a walking tour of England and Scotland in 1923 with a pack donkey as her travelling companion has been documented in a new book.

Eve’s Journey tells the story of Eve (Doris) Brackenbury, 30, who recorded her trip in a surprisingly intimate diary. Described as a “post-WWI Bohemian”, Eve’s quirky interests, courage and curiosity, and a spark of wickedness and inclination to shock people are revealed.

Her granddaughter, Gill Brackenbury, says Eve’s story captured her imagination. “Doris, or Eve as she was also known, did not seem to comfortably fit, nor did she seem to accept, the social norms of her generation. She was very human, a determined and rather independent thinker, and controversial at times...”

Read more here:

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Things to consider before removing your horse’s shoes this winter - Full Article

Alex Robinson
26 October, 2020 16:24

Is it right for shod horses to have their shoes taken off over the winter months during a break from work? Richard Stephenson MRCVS weighs up the options…

Horses, whether shod or not, have a tough, horny hoof capsule, while human feet, unless accustomed to walking barefoot, are covered with soft, sensitive skin. However, we need to remember that many horses will struggle to make the transition from being shod to going without shoes and, in some cases, they will suffer pain and discomfort to a level which is simply unacceptable. It is fashionable in some circles to view unshod horses as “natural” and shod horses as being the victims of an outdated and harmful practice. But is it natural for a modern horse to be unshod, and what are the potential benefits and pitfalls?

While shoeing is frequently described as a necessary evil, it is important to appreciate that the modern horse is the result of many centuries of selective breeding which has rarely concentrated on hoof quality. With the possible exception of some native pony breeds, there is little “natural” about our horses. We must also recognise that even the so-called native pony has an enormous variety of different environments to cope with in different parts of the UK. One foot management approach cannot be made to fit all circumstances or all horses.

Before thinking about taking shoes off during winter, we need to ask why we put them on in the first place. Farriers will say that shoes offer protection from wear and provide grip — for the majority of horses in active work this is true, but do they really need shoes while at rest?...

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Friday, October 23, 2020

This invasive weed spells trouble for horses - Full Article

Wild parsnip, which is found throughout the United States, can cause phototoxic reactions in horses even if they don't eat it.

UPDATED:OCT 16, 2020 • ORIGINAL:OCT 15, 2020

Researchers in Utah have discovered that wild parsnip—an invasive weed found throughout the United States—can cause phototoxic reactions in horses even if they don’t eat it.

Many photosensitive skin reactions occur after a horse ingests a plant that contains photodynamic compounds. When ultraviolet rays from sunlight pass through the horse’s pink skin, they interact with the compounds in the skin and blood, resulting in painful burns with extensive blistering.

However, Utah State University and U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers recently determined that horses and goats may develop photosensitive skin reactions after simply coming in contact with the sap of wild parsnips...

Read more here:

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Want a Better-Behaved Horse? Consider Feeding a Low-Starch Diet - Full Article

A Virginia Tech researcher investigated the impact of diet on lesson horses. Here’s what she found.

Posted by Alexandra Beckstett, The Horse Managing Editor | Jul 30, 2019

The amount of starch in a horse’s diet can affect him both behaviorally and physiologically. To better understand its effects, Tanner Price, a graduate student at Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, assessed university riding program horses’ behavioral and metabolic responses to diets with varying fat and starch levels. She shared her findings at the 2019 Equine Science Society Symposium, held June 3-6 in Asheville, North Carolina. In her study, Price split 20 riding horses into five groups of four. Each group received a different starch-to-fat ratio in their diet, ranging from 7.1% to 14.3% starch. Throughout the 21-day period, all horses were fed twice daily, housed individually in stalls, and ridden in regular collegiate lessons (beginner to advanced equitation and hunter/jumper classes).

Price asked riders and instructors that were blind to the horses’ treatment groups to complete a behavior survey after each lesson. They evaluated each horses’ behavior when being caught, led, and groomed, as well as his energy levels while ridden, reaction to leg aids, relaxation, submission, and more...

Read more here:

100 Miles for Hope by mule - Full Article

By Henry Howard
OCT 19, 2020

Achieving the goal of American Legion National Commander Bill Oxford’s 100 Miles for Hope challenge was easy for Trish Carlisle.

“It’s all on my mule, Bella,” Carlisle says, adding that she has ridden a mule about 15 miles a day since 2005. “I ride all over Arizona. I lead therapy horse rides for veterans and their spouses. We just get out for a day and relax so they can get away from their stresses and responsibilities.”

Knowing that her registration went to support The American Legion’s Veterans & Children Foundation (V&CF) was an added bonus.

“It was just a good thing to do to help the veterans and families,” said Carlisle, a member of American Legion Post 94 in Sun City, Ariz., who is also the department chaplain.

The commander’s 100 miles campaign runs through Veterans Day. There is still time to register to support the Legion’s V&CF and finish the 100 miles, by walking, running, cycling, riding a motorcycle — or even a mule...

Read more here:

Monday, October 19, 2020

Road to the Tevis Cup post # 15: Books about the Tevis Cup - Full Article

October 18, 2020 / Jessica Black / 0 Comments

Fantazia is still recuperating from her smoke exposure–in fact, today (October 11) was the first day the AQI did not go over 200. So no new training updates. Instead, I will list all the books about the Tevis Cup I can find between now and when this post goes public.

Nonfiction books about the Tevis Cup
Fiction about the Tevis Cup
Books about endurance in general...

Read more here:

Still Riding at 86 - Full Story

17 October 2020
Words by Richard Mulligan

Linda Senser looks back on seven decades in the saddle...

These wonderful photos encapsulate perfectly the joy and fulfilment that come from a lifetime’s devotion to horses.

Linda Senser will be 87 years old in December, and continues to ride after 68 years in the saddle. She’s owned more than 60 horses since buying her first, Honey Pot, in 1953, the same year that Queen Elizabeth II was crowned and Eisenhower became the US President. Arthritis, a total hip replacement and back problems may have led her to give up skiing recently, but Linda has absolutely no intention of retiring from riding.

Indeed, Linda has found that at times when she could barely walk due to back pain, the agony could be alleviated through riding...

Read more here:

Friday, October 16, 2020

New Horses Are Rollercoasters - Ashley Wingert - Full Story

September 30, 2020 / Ashley Wingert

I got a bit off track this month for blogging…not for lack of content, but more getting sidetracked and before I knew it, it’s the end of September.

We’re two+ months into things with Liberty, and after the one-month honeymoon, the hamster started falling out of the wheel a little bit, and we’ve definitely moved into the period of ups and down and the testing phase.

I’ve had her out on trail twice and she’s been brilliant. She’s bold, brave, forward, thinks before she spooks (if she even bothers to spook…she’s much more inclined to stop, think, process, then move on) and seems to love being out on trail. The arena, not so much. We’ve also got a major hiccup in our trailer-loading abilities. So more of this month has been spent on ground work and arena work versus trail work. I’m not concerned about that part, I already know she’s a good trail horse, and conditioning miles are all she needs out there. But I want her solid and reliable and cooperative on the ground and in the arena as well...

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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Bombproofing the Rider - Full Article

Spooky horses can erode our confidence as riders. We get nervous, the horse gets tense and it can derail the most well-planned de-spooking program.

By: Karin Apfel | July 12, 2012

Spooky horses can erode our confidence as riders, especially after a bad experience. We get nervous, the horse gets tense and it can derail the most well-planned de-spooking program. Don’t we all wish we were as cool under pressure as Chesley Sullenberger, the pilot who carefully landed US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River in 2009, saving 155 passengers from a sure crash when the engines failed? What was his secret? What made him able to function so effectively in an emergency? Was he simply not frightened?

In a CBS 60 Minutes interview, Sullenberger was quoted as saying that in the moments before the crash he experienced “the worst sickening, pit-of-your-stomach, falling-through-the-floor feeling.” So, he certainly experienced fear. How did he manage to overcome it? Speaking with news anchor Katie Couric, he said, “One way of looking at this might be that for 42 years, I’ve been making small, regular deposits in this bank of experience: education and training. And on January 15th, the balance was sufficient so that I could make a very large withdrawal.” In other words, his competence was a combination of his rigorous Air Force training, his familiarity with safety procedures as an accident investigator, and his many hours of flight experience.

As riders, we must also educate ourselves and gain experience in order to be mentally flexible under duress. We must also have our safety procedures in place and a plan to deal with surprises...

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FAQs About Horses and Alfalfa - Full Article

When fed and managed properly, horses can benefit from alfalfa’s high nutritive value. But is it right for your horse? Learn about some common things to consider when feeding this forage in this article excerpt from the October 2020 issue of The Horse.

Posted by Chelsie J. Huseman, PhD PAS | Oct 10, 2020

Common (as well as a few less-common) things to consider when feeding this forage Alfalfa is a perennial legume forage commonly used in horse diets. Nutrient-rich, highly palatable, widely available, and affordable, alfalfa can benefit a variety of horses. While many horse owners and farm managers consider alfalfa a mainstay in their feeding programs, the forage remains a source of questions and confusion. In this article we’ll address some common, as well as less-common, considerations you need to make when feeding your horses alfalfa...

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Monday, October 05, 2020

Everything You Need to Know About LED Lighting - Full Article

LED lighting has come a long way in such a short period of time. The man who is recognized for conceiving the light bulb, Thomas Alva Edison, says that he “tested no fewer than 6,000 vegetable growths, and ransacked the world for the most suitable filament material” as part of the process of inventing the light bulb, which got a patent in 1880 (Source). Edison is said to have acknowledged that this was tedious and very demanding work, particularly on those he employed to help him. Having done its work for over 100 years, the bulb, as invented by Edison, is gradually being replaced by a light emitting diode (LED).

While LED lighting has been around for some years now, many questions about it still exist. Is it worth changing to LED lights? Are LED lights more expensive? Do they truly last as long as they are said to? Will they save energy? Do they increase the amount of heat in a room? Will they one day completely replace the traditional light bulbs we have known for over a century? In this article, we took some time to answer the most common questions about LED lighting. We start by defining what it is and its technical details, how it differs from other sources of light, how LED light works, and the categories into which it falls. We then look at the cost and efficiency of LED lighting and its advantages and disadvantages. Finally, we look at what the future of LED looks like...

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Thursday, October 01, 2020

Seven Feeding Myths Shattered - Full Article

By Karen Briggs -August 18, 2003

Despite the ability of many horse people to diagnose a strained suspensory at 30 paces, fix a faulty flying change with just a smidge more outside leg, or understand the intricacies involved in getting that recalcitrant tractor to start, a surprising number of us are baffled by the basic principles of equine nutrition. We’re content to believe the myths and misconceptions that flourished in our grandfather’s day, to feed whatever our neighbors are feeding … or to just plain get overwhelmed by the whole subject! The result is that a great many horses are fed more according to tradition than to sound scientific fact, and their overall health may suffer because of it.

But feeding horses really isn’t rocket science. It’s pretty simple to understand, if you try. It’s time to debunk some of those pervasive nutrition myths, and replace them with solid facts on which you can base your feeding program.

MYTH #1: Horses need grain in their diets...

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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Transitioning from Summer to Fall - What Should I Consider with Impaction Colic in Horses? - Full Article

September 24, 2020

Fall is approaching and with it, cooler weather and a shift in pasture availability and moisture content. When temperatures start to decrease, some horses have a tendency to drink less; coupled with eating less moisture dense pasture and more dry hay, this transition can sometimes bring on impaction colic. Diagnosed early, impaction colic usually can be treated and resolved without surgery.


Impaction colic is a drying out of intestinal contents causing a blockage in the horse’s gut. The large intestine twists and turns and has several changes of direction and diameter. These “corners” can be position for impactions, where a firm mass of feed or foreign material blocks the intestine. Impactions can be induced by coarse feed stuff, dehydration or accumulation of foreign material, like sand. Other management changes such as feed changes or decreases in exercise and water intake and long-term use of NSAIDs can also increase the risk for impactions colic.


The usual signs of approaching impaction colic are...

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Road to the Tevis Cup, Post # 11: (Not) riding in smoke from wildfires - Jessica Black - Full Story

September 18, 2020 / Jessica Black

Fantazia’s endurance training has been put on hold due the the insane fire activity in California (and much of the West coast). Riding in smoke from wildfires is a bad idea. When I got up Sunday morning, I thought I had escaped the worst of it. I had gone to Paso Robles to train in the deep sand of a riverbed (see my post on Conditioning in Deep Sand), and I extended my stay because Paso was one of the few places in California that did not have dangerous air quality.

Then on Sunday, as I was getting ready to go on a ride with my friend Laurie, I received a voluntary evacuation notice from the Tulare County Emergency Alert system. That was for where I live with my boyfriend. After an intense exchange of texts with my brother and mother, I determined that they were on mandatory evacuation. I had my boyfriend’s truck and trailer. My family needed me (my son texted as much). I didn’t want to get blocked out, if the situation worsened. I headed home. The Sequoia Complex fire

The Sequoia Complex Fire (SQF) is actually two fires. The Castle Fire started in the Golden Trout Wilderness (destroying my plan to ride in Shake Camp to Maggie Lakes). The Shotgun Fire started just south of Sequoia National Park. Now they have joined and are consuming much of Sequoia National Park. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are the land of giant sequoias, below the timberline. And a lot more, peaks, lakes...

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The benefits of active rest - Full Article

Biomechanics expert Hilary Clayton, BVMS, PhD, explains why periodically changing up your horse’s activities can be better for his body and mind than giving him time off.

UPDATED:SEP 21, 2020

In Australia we have a saying that goes, “A change is as good as a spell.” It means that if you are feeling tired, don’t stop and rest---do something different. Now, if you’re exhausted from cleaning stalls, switching to cleaning water buckets probably doesn’t sound particularly restful, but the “change is good” principle is worth keeping in mind when training horses.

Developing new skills, whether they are needed to succeed in compe-tition or to simply perform well as a trail or pleasure horse, does require a bit of work. And the best route often involves drills designed to produce incremental improvements in movement, gait or fitness with each session. It then becomes easy to adopt a mindset that makes meeting goals the priority while minimizing other considerations.

“Riders want to practice and refine their skills, and they are probably worried about disrupting the training program if they do anything but formally train,” says Hilary M. Clayton, BVMS, PhD, DACVSMR, FRCVS, who held the Mary Anne McPhail Dressage Chair in Equine Sports Medicine at Michigan State University for 17 years. “So every day they go into the arena, perform the same routine, then take the horse back to the stall.”

This kind of routine can take a toll on a horse, both mentally and physically...

Read more here: