Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Keeping a Healthy Horse...

Americashealthyhorse.com - Full Article

...starts with routine wellness exams.

Nearly every horse owner has experienced the anxiety of an equine medical emergency. But did you know many emergency calls never have to happen?

Certain kinds of colic, lameness, some foaling conditions and nearly all common equine diseases are examples of “potential” emergencies that may be prevented through twice-a-year wellness exams, routine vaccinations and year-round parasite control. Here’s why twice-a-year wellness exams can reduce frightening and costly emergency calls—and help your horse live a longer, healthier life:


Successful Endurance Riding with Jill Thomas, Part 2

Brightcove.tv - Endurance video

Part 2 of 3. Endurance riding training series with champion Jill Thomas. Episode 1 begins an in depth introduction to set speed rides for beginners.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

AAEP Releases Updated Equine Vaccination Guidelines

The Infectious Disease Committee of the American Association of Equine Practitioners has issued revised guidelines for the vaccination of horses. The Committee, chaired by Mary Scollay, DVM, has made recommendations for the use of vaccines based on the age of the horse and its previous vaccination history. The guidelines are intended to serve as a reference for veterinarians as they employ vaccines in their respective practices.

Highlights of “Guidelines for the Vaccination of Horses” include:

· The identification of tetanus, Eastern/Western Equine Encephalomyelitis, West Nile virus and rabies as “core” vaccines. Core vaccines have clearly demonstrated efficacy and safety, and exhibit a high enough level of patient benefit and low enough level of risk to justify their use in the majority of patients.

· The addition of a vaccination protocol for anthrax.

· Recommendations for the storage and handling of vaccines, as well as information on vaccine labeling and adverse reactions.

· Inclusion of the AAEP’s Infectious Disease Control Guidelines, which provide an action plan for the containment of infectious disease during an outbreak.

The Committee stresses that veterinarians, through an appropriate veterinarian-client-patient relationship, should use the vaccination guidelines coupled with available products to determine the best professional care for their patients. Horse owners should consult with a licensed veterinarian before initiating a vaccination program.

“The goal of the guidelines is to provide current information that will enable veterinarians and clients to make thoughtful and educated decisions on vaccinating horses in their care,” explained Dr. Scollay. “The vaccination schedules are complemented by supporting information on topics including vaccine technology and disease risk-assessment, allowing veterinarians to customize vaccination programs specific to the needs of an individual horse or group of horses. The impact of infectious disease has been felt across the equine industry in recent years, and the Committee hopes that these guidelines will be a useful tool in preventing or mitigating the effects of equine infectious disease.”

The Committee, comprised of researchers, vaccine manufacturers and private practitioners, updated guidelines that were established by the AAEP in 2001.

The complete document, along with easy reference charts, is available on the AAEP Web site at Aaep.org/vaccination_guidelines.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, the AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its 9,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.

Feeding the Endurance Horse

Article by T. O'Brennan

1. The 1st nutritional requirement of the horse is water, the 2nd is roughage (fiber), the 3rd is energy—carbohydrates (grain) or fats (unsaturated vegetable oil). They are of importance in that order; that is the order in which a lack will cause problems up to and including death.

2. A horse should consume approximately 2% of its body weight in feed per day—so a 1000 lb horse needs 20 lbs of feed. At least 50% (and preferably 60%) should be roughage, so at least 10 lbs of hay, the rest grain. i.e, for a 1000 lb horse, grain should never exceed 10 lbs/day, and should ideally be less, with more hay or grass. Protein is not particularly necessary to the adult horse—10% dietary is sufficient.

3. Grass has more Calcium (Ca) than Phosphorus (P). Since the horse evolved eating grass, we consider this ratio “ideal”. Grain has more P than Ca, therefore the ratio of hay to grain needs to keep the diet balanced. Nutritionists are now recommending a ratio of 1.5-2 Ca/1 P. The various feed types need to be fed in a proportion that sustains this balance.

GrassAlfalfaOatsCornBeet Pulp
1.2 : 15:1 to 8:11:31:97:1
4-as% 15-22%11-12%8-9%10%

4. Grass is much higher in Potassium (K) than Sodium (Na), so the equine kidney evolved to retain Na at the expense of K. This is why most endurance horses ‘in trouble’ due to electrolyte imbalance require increased K—it is fed in equal amounts as Na, but not retained as well by the body.

Submitted by T. O'Brennan

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Basic Horse Care - Avoid Bute When Possible

Full Article

by Fran Mullens

If you have an equine athlete or just an occasionally ridden pleasure horse you probably have this basic horse care product around your barn. Phenylbutazone or by its common name Bute, is an economical and popular non-steroidal anti inflammatory (NSAID). It can supply relief for horses for more than twenty four hours. It can be a god send for both the horseman and horse. There is however a down side when using Bute.

Common side effects seen with Bute toxicity can be dorsal colitis and oral ulcers. Dorsal colitis is a serious ulcerative inflammatory condition of the horse's colon. It can be a life threatening situation for the horse. Oral ulcers are lesions or open sores in the horse's mouth.

There are still other side effects associated with the use of this product...


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Antibodies to WNV Common in Arab Emirate Horses - Jan 18 2008

Thehorse.com - Full story

by: Christa Lesté-Lasserre
January 18 2008, Article # 11186

Researchers found antibodies to West Nile virus (WNV) in nearly 20% of horses recently tested in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to Ulrich Wernery, DVM, PhD, scientific director of the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory in Dubai and author of the Dubai-based study published in Wildlife Middle East.

The testing was initiated after one horse showed clinical signs of encephalitis.

"We were really astonished, especially to see only one clinical case," Wernery said. "That means to us that we are dealing with a very mild strain."

The horse that showed clinical signs...


Monday, January 21, 2008

USA: A Country Without Horse Slaughter

Some Things I See Coming - Full Article

Juli Thorson, Horse & Rider's lifestyle editor, has some interesting thoughts on what might happen if horse slaughter is outlawed in this country.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Great Britain: Endurance riding to start non-racing rides

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full story

Abigail Butcher, H&H news editor

27 October, 2007

British endurance riding is to introduce two new categories in the sport in a bid to offer more to existing members and develop interest in the UK.

John Yeoman, chairman of Endurance GB (EGB), told H&H that the new campaigns answered members' requests.

"We want to bring people in at the bottom of our sport, and that's pleasure riding," he said. "A number of our members wanted to have a pleasure riding championship or ride without racing."

The 2008 Pleasure Ride Championship...


Use Caution When Transitioning to Alternative Forages

Thehorse.com - Full article
by: Karen Donley-Hayes
January 11 2008, Article # 11149

Hay is at a premium. Whether it is the result of weather conditions making forage scarce or prohibitively expensive, or if there's some other reason, there could come a time when horse owners need to consider alternative sources of forage. Equine nutritionists say that when this is necessary, you should change a horse's diet gradually to avoid stressing his digestive system.

Horse owners can turn to the conventional forage substitutes, including hay cubes, alfalfa pellets, sugar beet pulp, and haylage, or they can try total mixed rations (TMR). These products are cubes containing all of the horse's nutritional requirements, and they can be offered free choice. Forage-based TMR cubes could be a viable alternative for owners faced with inconsistent or nonexistent forage sources. Such feeds have been available for some time for other species, but they are relatively new for horses and aren't widely available.

Sarah Ralston, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACVN, assistant professor at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, said...


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Values - Lynn White

I read with interest the kvetching about how the UAE
Sheiks have changed International Endurance riding.
What is rarely mentioned is that these guys have
untold wealth, and for the past 10-15 years have been
scouring the world for the best horses, vets,
farriers, and trainers. They spend millions building
facilities and hire platoons of riders to condition
their horses. Is there any reason why one would
expect them NOT to be the fastest?

What will eventually happen to FEI endurance is that
horses will be bred for this asymptotic speed and that
will be it. For a while we will see records broken
until horses get as fast as they can be bred to be.
And then "speed endurance" will just become
predictable and boring. I think the source of
lamenting is in knowing that there is no way in hell
any regular person would ever have the wherewithal to
compete with these guys on their turf (excuse me,
“sand”), or any were else for that matter. Those days
are long gone.

I think the biggest source of rancor of the American
riders lies in difference of values. We Americans
value making due with what we are given and making the
most of it. We value overcoming adversity. Esteem is
given to people who start with nothing and make
something of themselves. We American riders take a
great amount of pride in rescuing a horse bound for
slaughter and turning him into a trusted competitive
mount by our own sweat and hard work. We don’t
understand the concept of royalty and we don’t want

I really don’t see how a 6.5-hour 100-miler is going
to change how I ride or how AERC operates. I am going
to continue to see what my “thrifty-nickel” horses are
capable of and have a darn good time doing it. I am
going to keep meeting new people and see the back
country. I don’t see FEI ever wanting to change any
of this…there would be nothing in it for them if they
were to try.



Saturday, January 12, 2008

Great News for Serious Horseback Riders

Content4reprint.com - Full article

January 8 2008

Motivated and inspired horseback riders often fall into the perfectionism-trap. Whether you are into show-jumping, dressage or endurance riding, it is easy to become obsessed with perfection, always pushing yourself and your horse further and harder.

Equestrian perfectionism often leads to micromanagement. Micromanagement refers to the need to be in control of every movement that your horse (or children, or employees, or students) makes.

Ever heard of descente de la main? It is a classical riding term. I have heard many theories about the exact meaning of descente de la main, and several heated arguments too.

Descente de la main is the exact opposite of micromanagement...

More ...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tropical horses could win the Olympic equestrian events - Jan 11 2008

By Elmer

Hong Kong's hosting of the equestrian events might give an idea to teams that unless horses are used to the tropical climate, it will be a monumental task to win the Olympic equestrian events, which will be held in a hot and humid August. But I guess since it's summer Olympics, many cities in the past shared a bit of this experience, though milder than Hong Kong's summers. Now, there are even teams pulling out of the competition, notably Team Switzerland.

The organizer of the Beijing Olympics equestrian events said yesterday the pullout by a Swiss team would not trigger a collapse of confidence in Hong Kong's ability to host the competition.

"We are not worried at all. It will have no effect whatsover," said Mark Pinkstone, a spokesman for the Equestrian Company, the body overseeing the equestrian events.

The Swiss dressage team announced on Tuesday it would not compete in this year's Olympic equestrian events in August, citing Hong Kong's heat and humidity as dangerous for its horses.

It also said the 11-hour trip from Switzerland to Hong Kong could affect the horses' ability to perform.

"We have all the evidence that heat is not a factor," Pinkstone said. "All the other federations throughout the world understand that."

The Swiss withdrawal was sparked by the decision of the country's lead rider and world No 4 Silvia Ikle not to risk the health of her horse, Salieri CH.

Her decision was made after consulting veterinarians.

According to the Hong Kong Observatory, the highest recorded temperature in August last year was 35.3 degrees Celsius.

Cloudier and wetter then usual, the month also saw six tropical cyclones in the western North Pacific and South China Sea.

Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong president Timothy Fok Tsun-ting said the decision to participate or not is up to individual athletes.

Christopher Yip, media manager of the Equestrian Company, said he did not expect other teams to pull out.

Andrew Dart, a professor of veterinary science at the University of Sydney, said that while Hong Kong could provide some of the most challenging climatic conditions, the experience and skill of the veterinary team should provide all the equestrian teams with confidence.

Trials in the last two years to study transportation, stable, cooling, veterinary and equestrian services passed without problems.

A final workshop has been scheduled for next month in Lausanne, Switzerland, to complete preparations for the games.

The International Olympic Committee accepted Hong Kong as the venue for this year's equestrian events because of the city's history in managing race horses and the absence of some 17 equine diseases that are prevalent in the mainland.

More ...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Flower Essences and Reiki: Worth a Try?

Equisearch.com - Full article Alternative therapies flower essence and Reiki--what they are and how they purport to work.

By Elaine Pascoe

Alternative therapies can sometimes be a complement to--never a replacement for--conventional veterinary care. Here are two of the more unusual ones.

Flower Essence Therapy
Bach flower essences and similar products are produced in a similar way to the method used for homeopathic remedies, says veterinarian and holistic practitioner Dr. Joyce Harman. (However, flower essences are not homeopathic remedies.) The essences contain plant extracts diluted beyond the point where you can detect the original ingredient.

Treatment: You put a few drops of the remedy in your horse's mouth or in his food, or mist it on his nose.

What they do:


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Keeping Stable on the Trail

by horsewoman

Innside Montana-Your Home at the Range

January 6 2008

I’m absolutely enjoying bonding with GaZi , Both riding him and giving Picken her time off are teaching me lessons in finding the “line”. I can sum it up best by the Serenity Prayer….

When it comes to riding lessons and endurance riding, there are a lot of rules that can help you stay safe around horses. Horses are, after all, a lot bigger than we are. The following tips are designed to help you make the most out of your barn and trail time and most of all to help you not get hurt. Our set up is horse friendly to accommodate guests and their horses. We make sure they follow our checklist more for them than us. It’s easy to get careless in a different barn or when you’re in “vacation ” mode.

Avoid Getting Stepped On

While this tip may seem obvious, after all, you wouldn’t put your foot under your lawn mower, a lot of people forget how large a horse really is. If a horse steps on your foot, you run the risk of broken bones, crushing and severe bruising. You should always wear proper boots around horses, but be mindful of where their feet are and where yours are.

Avoid Being Kicked

Yes, this is another fairly obvious piece of advice. While a lot of people may worry about being kicked, they don’t always employ common sense about dealing with horses even well trained ones. For example, don’t make sudden movements near the horse and never back one into a corner. Avoid threatening gestures and striking at the horse. A horse by nature, is a prey animal, they are biologically inclined to flee from danger. If they cannot flee, they will strike out. When moving around a horse, keep a running commentary going and a light hand motion on their side so they know where you are. Avoid stepping behind a horse, especially in a boxed in area that forces you to go too closely to their hindquarters. You need about 12 feet around the back of the horse if you plan to go that way.

Wear a Helmet

Helmets are not always comfortable, but take the time to find one that is. The helmet you choose should follow the ASTM ANSI guidelines. That shows that it has been approved by the Safety Equipment Institute and will protect your head if you fall, strike an overhead object or may get hit by a traveling object. Believe it or not, I have seen someone hit by a ball when riding. Trust me, I dont leave home without it. First thing I do when I go down to the barn to tack up.

Avoid Getting Careless

We all get a little sloppy about doing things in a particular order when we are comfortable. This can be especially dangerous around horses. Confidence isn’t a problem, but a confident horse person also understands how to stay safe. Even the safest animal can be startled and speaking from experience, the one time I dashed out to the barn in a pair of canvas shoes to do just one thing was the one time a horse stepped on my foot. Trust me when I say you don’t want your foot crushed.

Leave a map of your route when riding out on trail and the approximate time you will return. That way the folks back home will know when to start worrying and where to look if you are overdue. Take a GPS as well so you can track direction

Always ride out with a buddy. As an extra precaution carry a cell phone or two-way radio. Tip: keep the cell phone on your person rather than in your trail bag; in case of an unforeseen dismount and separation from your horse.

Help our environment. Be aware of how repeated horse traffic can cause erosion over time. Spread out on hills instead of making a deep single track. Not everyone takes horse manure for granted like horse lovers do Clean up after your horse in the parking lot if you’ve trailered in. Don’t leave manure, urine puddles, or old hay lying about. Bring a muck bucket and a manure fork to clean up with. Heck, that’s standard operating procedure even at shows.

In a group ride the speed of the least experienced rider. Most of all, happy trails

Innside Montana-Your Home at the Range

Thursday, January 03, 2008

O.C.E.A.N. Syndrome

Living with O.C.E.A.N. Syndrome

Just recently, after years of research, I have finally been able to give a name to what my wife and I have been living with for years. It's an affliction, for sure, which when undiagnosed and misunderstood can devastate and literally tear a family apart. Very little is known about O.C.E.A.N. Syndrome. But it is my hope this
article will generate interest from researchers involved in the equine and psychological sciences.

You will, no doubt, begin to identify similar symptoms in your own family and hopefully now be able to cope.

Obsessive Compulsive Equine Attachment Neurosis Syndrome (O.C.E.A.N.S) is usually found in the female and can manifest itself anytime from birth to the golden years. Symptoms may appear any time and may even go dormant in the late teens, but the syndrome frequently re-emerges in later years.

Symptoms vary widely in both number and degree of severity. Allow me to share some examples which are most prominent in our home.

The afflicted individual:

1. Can smell moldy hay at ten paces, but can't tell whether milk has gone bad until it turns chunky.

2. Finds the occasional "Buck and Toot" session hugely entertaining, but severely chastises her husband for similar antics.

3. Will spend hours cleaning and conditioning her tack, but wants to eat on paper plates so there are no dishes.

4. Considers equine gaseous excretions a fragrance.

5. Enjoys mucking out four stalls twice a day, but insists on having a housekeeper mop the kitchen floor once a week.

6. Will spend an hour combing and trimming an equine mane, but wears a baseball cap so she doesn't waste time brushing her own hair.

7. Will dig through manure piles daily looking for worms, but does not fish.

8. Will not hesitate to administer a rectal exam up to her shoulder, but finds cleaning out the Thanksgiving turkey cavity for dressing quite repulsive.

9. By memory can mix eight different supplements in the correct proportions, but can't make macaroni and cheese that isn't soupy.

10. Twice a week will spend an hour scrubbing algae from the water tanks, but has a problem cleaning lasagna out of the casserole dish.

11. Will pick a horse's nose, and call it cleaning, but becomes verbally violent when her husband picks his.

12. Can sit through a four-hour session of a ground work clinic, but unable to make it through a half-hour episode of Cops.

The spouse of an afflicted victim:

1. Must come to terms with the fact there is no cure, and only slightly effective treatments. The syndrome may be genetic or caused by the inhaling of manure particles which, I propose, have an adverse effect on female hormones.

2. Must adjust the family budget to include equine items - hay, veterinarian services, farrier services, riding boots and clothes, supplements, tack, equine masseuse and acupuncturist - as well as the (mandatory) equine spiritual guide, etc. Once you have identified a monthly figure, never look at it again. Doing so will cause tightness in your chest, nausea and occasional diarrhea.

3. Must realize that your spouse has no control over this affliction. More often than not, she will deny a problem even exists as denial is common.

4. Must form a support group. You need to know you're not alone - and there's no shame in admitting your wife has a problem. My support group, for instance, involves men who truly enjoy Harley Davidson's, four-day weekends and lots of scotch. Most times, she is unaware that I am even gone, until the precise moment she needs help getting a 50-pound bag of grain out of the truck.

Now you can better see how O.C.E.A.N.S. affects countless households in this country and abroad. It knows no racial, ethnic or religious boundaries. It is a syndrome that will be difficult to treat becausethose most affected are in denial and therefore, not interested in a cure.

So, I am taking it upon myself to be constantly diligent in my researchin order to pass along information to make it easier for caretakers to cope on a day to day basis.

Katrin Klemm

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Ginseng aids vaccination response in horses - Jan 1 2008

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full story

Ginseng, revered as a human tonic for centuries, has been found to have beneficial properties in horses.

Work undertaken at the Equine Research Centre at the University of Guelph in Canada has shown that low doses of ginseng in the lead-up to an inoculation improves a horse's antibody response when they receive a vaccination for equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1).

The American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium) made the vaccination more effective.