Sunday, June 22, 2008

Arabian Horses Are Widely Popular For Good Reason

Once horses used in the dessert conditions of the Arabian Peninsula by warriors who utilized their endurance for long journeys and their energy to carry them into enemy territory, Arabian horses have quickly taken their place as one of the most popular breeds in North America. The endurance and lung capacity of the Arabian horses make them a popular option for those who enjoy spending a day out on a long ride.

However, it isn't just distance riders who feel a rush of excitement when they see one of these horses for sale. Horse lovers who know the breed understand that, with an Arabian, they'll have a loyal companion. This too is rooted in history; on early battlefields with harsh conditions, Arabians and their riders often shared food and drink, as well as shelter. In many circles, it 's been guessed that Arabian horses grew to know that they relied on their owner for care - a hypothesis that asserts not only the connection between horse and owner, but also the intellect of the breed.

The high intelligence possessed by Arabian horses - coupled with their ability to bond with their owners - contributes to the breed 's ability to be trained for performance within the dressage ring, during a jump course and during a number of cutting and reigning activities. Similarly, the breed is often trained for racing, particularly for endurance events.

From trail to track, from professional riders to families with children, from the Middle East to Europe and North America, it seems as though there is a common fondness for Arabian horses that is easy to understand. The desire to care for the breed has roots that go back to the early days of Islam, when the prophet Mohammed instructed his followers to be kind to the breed - particularly to the mares that pass down the genetics of the breed - with promises of a great reward to follow.

Obviously, Arabian stallions also contribute to the lineage of the breed, and often stud services are advertised along with horses for sale. In both cases, those who are looking for Arabian horses are often able to search based on the discipline of the animal - whether it 's been well suited to dressage, jumping, endurance, racing or the horse has spent a great deal of time on the trail. Also, because the lineage of the Arabians is important, in many cases, those looking to purchase an Arabian are able to learn more about the horse 's sire or dam as well as about its general bloodlines.

Most Arabian horses fall into one of fifteen bloodlines. The bloodlines include Davenport, Russian, Egyptian, Spanish and - within the United States - domestic. To some buyers, the bloodlines and the discipline are more important than to others. An experienced Arabian owner is likely to know what he or she is looking for. An owner who intends to race his Arabian horses will be looking for more specifics than a family who understand that the breed is rarely timid or skittish, and, based on it 's bonding with human companions, a great match for their kids who want to have a horse of their own.

These days, when it comes to horses for sale, the Arabian is priced at a level that is comparable to other breeds - including those breeds developed, in part, on a foundation of the Arabian. British Thoroughbreds, French Percheron and even the American Morgan all carry on a bit of the Arabian bloodline. Despite the fact that so many breeds have been developed based on Arabian stock that are available within the United States, Arabian horses remain numerous - outnumbering all of those in other countries combined.

There are many great reasons why Arabian horses are so popular with those who are looking to buy. For the most part, Arabians have attributes that leave them suited for a wide variety of purposes. Whether you are looking for a horse that will be the envy of the stable, a winner on the track, or the horse that teaches your child an appreciation for riding or dressage, you're likely to discover that the Arabian is a breed that you should pay close attention to; it 's likely to be just what you are looking for.

by Phil Wiskell

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Endurance riders told to clean up their act

The days of the "anything goes" dress code and riding style for endurance riders may soon be a thing of the past.

Any old riding gear and tack and sloppy riding may well make way for matching team clobber and smartened up athletes in the FEI's new "Triple E" three-year plan for bringing the image of the equestrian sport of endurance up to scratch.

But riders need not feel singled out - the image makeover will also apply to officials and their support crew.

The sport's image is under discussion at the highest levels, and delegates at a recent FEI Bureau meeting looked closely at implementing a dress code for riders and their support crew. Under the "Triple E" plan, the 'E' of the dress code comes under the "Elevation of Endurance Image".

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Monday, June 09, 2008


News Release
Michigan State University
June 9, 2008


“Oh, my aching back!” It’s a complaint heard worldwide and one of
the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work. So,
it’s not hard to imagine what a horse with back pain might feel
like. Unfortunately, very few veterinarians are equipped to
comprehensively diagnose and treat back pain in horses.

In mid-June, Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary
Medicine will officially open the McPhail Equine Back Pain Clinic to
meet this need. The clinic has a unique combination of professional
expertise and state-of-the-art technology that holds great promise for
horses with back pain.

According to the clinic’s director, Dr. Rob van Wessum, at least ten
to fifteen percent of equine lameness problems can be traced to problems
in the back. “If we did more research, I wouldn’t be surprised to
find that the percentage is actually higher,” he says.
“People will often try to treat the lameness as a problem in the leg,
when the problem is really in the back.”

Other performance issues, such as bucking, rearing, stiffness, and a
general resistance to work can also be signs of a back problem, even if
there are no overt signs of lameness, he adds.

In the last three years, Van Wessum has worked with about 500 equine
back pain cases at the MSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) and
reports that nearly all are now performing at their original level or
higher. By opening a clinic at the VTH specifically devoted to this
area, he hopes to bring this success to a wider audience.

Van Wessum himself is part of the formula for success. In addition to
his 17 years of clinical expertise as a sport horse lameness clinician,
he has experience as an internationally known rider, trainer, and judge.
Combine that with the advanced technology and research available at
MSU, and you get dramatic results.

Van Wessum uses several types of imaging to help pinpoint problems and
treat them more accurately – fluoroscopy, Doppler ultrasound, bone
scans, and (soon) MRI. Treatment is followed with a tailor-made
rehabilitation program that is designed to increase the horse’s range
of motion and speed gradually.

Client education is an essential part of the program.

“We show clients anatomical models and videos of how horses move and
give thorough explanations during the clinical exam. If they understand
why we are prescribing certain rehabilitation techniques they can, and
do, become really committed partners in the rehabilitation process.”

He also will work with the client’s local veterinarian during the
horse’s rehabilitation and will provide the vet with a video of the
exam and all the information learned during the horse’s visit.

People are already bringing their horses from around the country to
meet with van Wessum, and he makes it as easy for them as possible.

“We can help arrange transportation with a certified transporter and
arrange hotel accommodations,” he says. “We do all the diagnosis
and treatment in a reasonable amount of time, two or three days, so that
clients don’t find it too hard to stay here with their horses.”

To schedule an appointment at the McPhail Equine Back Pain Clinic,
contact the MSU Large Animal Hospital at (517) 353-9710.

Judith L. Lessard
Editorial Assistant
Publications and Media Relations
College of Veterinary Medicine
Michigan State University
F-130 Veterinary Medical Center
East Lansing, MI 48824
CVM website:

Friday, June 06, 2008

Trail Riding Injuries

A little first-aid know-how and a cool head will go a long way if your horse sustains an injury on the trail.
By Jennifer Whitmire

Getting out on the trail gives you and your horse an opportunity to enjoy a change of scenery or a new challenge. But being out on the trail also means that you may be on your own if faced with a medical emergency. Are you ready for that? Would you know what to do if your horse tied up, cut himself or suffered a serious stone bruise?

Being prepared for an unexpected emergency is not only important, it's imperative. The majority of injuries that occur out on the trail are mild in nature and in many cases could not have been prevented. They happen to everyone at one time or another, so there's little point in chastising yourself for having made a mistake while your horse is standing there bleeding. Instead, deal with the incident quickly and with a clear head. Trail season is upon us, and with every trek comes the likelihood of a mishap. Rather than sitting home, prepare yourself for whatever might happen. Armed with certain first-aid supplies and some knowledge, you don't have to feel helpless if your horse gets injured.

Full Article at