Thursday, December 31, 2009

More clues in the case of the horse with no name - Full Article


Thursday, December 31, 2009

The mystery of a decades-old horse skeleton found complete with a saddle and tack in a North Bay state park is drawing attention within equestrian circles because it is so unusual.

"Of all the horses we have dealt with since 1997, I can't think of any that have had saddles on unless they were lost or threw the rider, all of the others were bareback," said Debi Metcalfe of Stolen Horse International, Inc., a registry for stolen horses.

It's also intriguing for Penngrove saddle-maker Jay Palm, who thinks his father, the late Jim Palm, may have worked on the saddle that was found.

"It's interesting, it's like a treasure hunt," Palm said.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Controversial BLM Roundup of Wild Horses Underway - Full Article

Opponents, including celebrities, attempted to block the roundup, but the gather was declared legal in federal court and is expected to continue through February.

December 30, 2009

In an effort to reduce environmental strain due to overpopulation in the Calico Mountains of Nevada, the Bureau of Land Management is rounding up thousands of wild horses for relocation.

Currently there are over 3,000 wild horses and burros roaming the 542,100 acre Calico Mountains Complex. Extreme drought in the region has resulted in inadequate water and grazing for the horses and other local wildlife. According to a BLM press release, the roundup will remove the majority of the population, leaving a more sustainable population of 600-900 mustangs in the complex. The BLM will also use fertility control in the mares they release back to the Complex after the roundup.

The horses collected by the BLM will be given veterinary care, then offered for adoption. Those that are not adopted will be sent to large Midwestern ranches used by the BLM as long-term holding for wild horses and burros.


Wintertime Dehydration and Your Horse - Full Article

Story by Eleanor M. Kellon, VMD, photos by Christina Handley

Learn ways to keep your horse hydrated— as important an issue in the winter as in the summer.

When temperatures get frigid, dehydration is probably the last thing on your mind. After all, that's really only a problem in the warm-weather times of year when your horse sweats heavily, right? Wrong! Your horse can become dehydrated at any time of the year—even in the winter—with some predictable health consequences.

Winter Water Needs
It's true that sweating in warmer weather increases your horse’s water and electrolyte losses, but horses have baseline requirements for hydration that need to be met all year long.

Your horse loses water from his body in manure and urine, and even in the air he exhales. The very dry air that develops all around the country during the fall and winter months increases water loss from the respiratory tract and lungs.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Annual Dental Exams Important for Horse Health - Full Article

by: Agricultural Communications, Texas A&M University System
April 22 2008, Article # 11711

Going to the dentist annually is not only necessary for humans; it is an important part of equine health. Annual dental exams are extremely important for horses young and old to help ensure the animals' comfort and performance.

Cleet Griffin, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, a clinical assistant professor at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine Biomedical Sciences can testify that horses are known to develop a number dental problems that may cause pain and lead to poor performance. But how will a horse owner know when the animal is experiencing dental problems, and when they need to call the veterinarian? Griffin stated that dental problems may be subtle or obvious, but the following are a few cardinal signs that a horse may need to have its teeth examined: dropping quite a bit of feed while eating, holding its head tilted to the side while chewing, eating slowly, spitting out large balls of poorly chewed hay, presence of excessively long fibers in the stool, or foul breath.


Monday, December 21, 2009

What’s it like… to train and ride endurance horses for Sheikh Mansour

Ali Khalfan al Jahouri

December 18. 2009

When you start out in the sport you can make a lot of mistakes.

Endurance riding, if you compare here to other countries, is a relatively new sport for the Emirates.

I was about 19-years-old when I started competing in endurance races. I’m 34 now.

At first I spent time learning the rules and watching other competitors, then I started competing on my own horse. I loved the challenge of long-distance riding. At first I did make a lot of mistakes, because it takes time to learn how to judge your horse and judge the race. My first good result came about 10 years ago, when I came second in a local event. A year later I won my first race. A 100km race here in the UAE.

After that win, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed came to me and said he wanted me to train his horses, which I obviously accepted. I cannot express how that made me feel. It’s something very big. It is always in my mind and encourages me to push for good results.

I’ve won in the UAE and competed abroad, even in the USA where I’ve ridden in the Tevis Cup in California. It is a very challenging race over 160km. Not many riders finish because it is over such tough terrain and it is easy for your horse to tire or go lame. After being unplaced on my first attempt in 2001, I finished fifth in 2004.

The race I’m most proud of is when I won the 2009 160km Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum Endurance Cup in January.

For me, the amazing thing was that I was riding a new horse – nine-year-old purebred Arabian, EO Jaras, which I had just brought into the country.

It takes time to train a new horse, especially one from abroad as they need time to adjust and reach form. But, in three months I got this grey gelding in good enough shape to win the 160km race.

There is no big secret about how to ride a race, you just have to stay focused and keep cool. There may be a lot of horses in front of you, but you cannot be distracted and start hurrying. You have to concentrate on going a good average speed and know the horses going faster will soon tire and fall back. That’s when you can gain control of the race.

Keeping your horse healthy is the most important thing. You can’t push a horse, because that’s when injuries happen.

Ali Khalfan al Jahouri has ridden and trained purebred Arabian endurance horses from the Al Wathba stables for nine years.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Pony Express - Seduced By History blog - Full Story

...Six hundred broncos, especially chosen for fleetness, toughness and endurance, were purchased. Seventy-five men, none of them weighing over one hundred and ten pounds, were engaged as riders, being selected on account of their bravery, their capacity for deprivation and their horsemanship, as well as for their shooting abilities and their knowledge of the craft and the manner of attack of the Indians. One of these, Henry Wallace**, was selected for the signal honor of inaugurating the Pony Express on April 3, 1860. In one of the laced pockets of his mochilla (Mexican saddlebags) he carried a message of congratulation from President Buchanan to the Governor of California, the words having been telegraphed that very morning from Washington to St. Joseph...


Friday, December 18, 2009

History of WEG - More...

Prior to 1990, each FEI (Federation Equestre Internationale) discipline held separate international championships. This fragmented practice came to an end in Stockholm, Sweden (1990) when all six FEI disciplines (show jumping, dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, and vaulting) gathered in one venue to compete in the first World Equestrian Games (WEG). The international championship not only exceeded both attendance and financial estimates but also established equestrian sport as a dominate force on the world’s stage.

After the resounding success in Stockholm, the 1994 WEG in The Hague, Netherlands came as somewhat of a disappointment. Despite top showings from the elite competitors, the Games rapidly became mired in logistical and administrative problems which eventually led the event into bankruptcy.

In 1998, the responsibility to recreate the triumphs of the first WEG was initially awarded to Dunlin, Ireland, but after a late cancellation, Rome, Italy became the official venue for 5 of the 6 FEI disciplines, endurance being held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Once again, the Games proved a tremendous success, a fact made all the more astounding considering that Rome had merely two of the allotted four years within which to prepare.

The fourth Would Equestrian Games took place in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain in 2002, and again proved to be an international sensation. Much credit for the success must go to the decision to include the discipline of Reining into the roster. The sport received extensive air-time and was enthusiastically received by spectators.

After an impassioned contest between Lexington, Kentucky and Aachen, Germany, it was the latter's bid which finally won the day for the 2006 WEG. The Games maintained the seven discipline structure, commencing with endurance. Despite seemingly endless rains, the awe-inspiring skill of the athletes and raw enthusiasm of the crowds set the tone for the rest of the competition. With a record 61 nations competing before a total of 576,000 spectators, and unparalleled media coverage, Aachen became the most successful World Equestrian Games to date.

The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, the self-proclaimed Horse Capital of the World, promises to rival, if not better, its once German rival. The newly renovated and expanded Kentucky Horse Park will be the site of many WEG firsts, including the debut of the para-equestrian discipline and the first time the championship will be held outside Europe. Some 800 athletes (1000 horses) will represent the 60+ countries participating in the event. Estimated attendance stands at 600,000 with a worldwide TV audience of 5 million.


The world’s longest, toughest horse race, The Mongol Derby, returns for a second year

December 18 2009

After the triumphant inaugural edition of the 2009 Mongol Derby, the epic 1000km multi-horse race across Mongolia returns for a second time in August 2010. With 35 places available and a more gruelling course being planned, this second Derby is set to be even tougher than last year.

The 2010 Derby will start on August 7 and officially end on August 18, giving riders 12 days to complete the 1000km course. Last year’s winners, Charles van Wyck (South Africa) and Shiravsamboo Galbadrakh (Mongolia) completed the course in eight days.

The 1000 km race is based on the postal system of Chinggis Khan, which could relay messages thousands of miles in a matter of days. Like the ancient postal system the Mongol Derby relies on a network of horse stations. These are being built at 40km or under intervals stretching along the course. With the rider’s changing steed at each horse station, the Derby is not a test of the horses’ speed, but of the rider’s skill and endurance.

The Mongol Derby is one of the most ambitious equestrian events on the planet with over 1000 Mongolian horses selected and trained for the event. Animal welfare is once again the top priority of the organisers. All the horses will be subject to a series of rigorous veterinary checks before, during and after the race. In 2009 less than 2% of the horses required any first aid and they were all minor.

The 35 selected riders will attend a three day pre-race training session in the Mongolian steppe before taking on the 1000km course. The session will be taken by Maggie Pattinson, Chef d'Equipe of the British Home International Endurance Team since 2007 and endurance expert extraordinnaire. The session will also include medical training from Prometheus Medical.

As with all The Adventurists’ events, the Mongol Derby is not only about having an amazing adventure, it's also about raising lots of cash for charity. Each rider will raise a minimum of £1000 so the second Derby is set to raise at least £35,000 for the official charity. The 2009 Mongol Derby raised a fantastic £71,000; £41,000 of this for Mercy Corps and a further £30,000 for the riders’ chosen charities.

For more information on the Derby and how to apply for one of the coveted 35 places please visit Applications will be open until January 22 2010.

For more information, hi-res photos, or to arrange interviews with the founder of the Mongol Derby and The Adventurists Tom Morgan, please contact:

Dan Wedgwood / Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent
The Adventurists Press Office
+44(0)7966 911 917
+44(0)117 329 0884

Official website of the Adventurists Mongol Derby:

About The Mongol Derby

Hosted in a country where the horse is part of the fabric of the nation, the inaugural Derby will take endurance horse racing to a new level. The innovative model of staging posts to ensure the horses only travel distances of 40km each will allow riders to race across a course with a gargantuan scale that hasn’t been seen for decades.

The welfare of the horses will be paramount to the race organisers and riders. Semi-wild and smaller than the racing horses the public are used to on television; they will be looked after every step of the way, from months before the race begins, until long after the riders’ buttocks have recovered. In total over 1000 horses will be used to stage this audacious race.

The cost will be $9,500 per rider and all the details and further general information can be found on the official website:

About The Adventurists

The Adventurists is run by the League of Adventurists International Ltd, an award winning company based in the UK with gangly tentacles that stretch around the world. They organise unusual and difficult adventures that raise money for charity. To date participants on their adventures have raised well over 1 million pounds for great causes around the world.

About Tengri Group, Mongolia

Tengri Group are one of the biggest companies in Mongolia, with interests in tourism and hospitality, agriculture, property management, IT and energy. For more see

About Maggie Pattinson

Maggie Pattinson is Chef d'Equipe of the British Home International Endurance Team and endurance expert extraordinnaire. Maggie has more feathers in her endurance bow than you could shake a stick at. She has trained, ridden and crewed at International Level and as well as her esteemed position as Chef d'Equipe she runs her own endurance training company On the Hoof and trains a number of high profile individuals. One of her protege, Chris Baker, became the highest placed British rider ever in the 2009 Tevis Cup. With On the Hoof Maggie trains all levels of riders in every aspect of the sport from pacing to fitness and map reading.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tasty Holiday Treat Recipes for Your Horse - More

Peppermint-Stick Bran Mash
1 cup crushed candy canes
3 to 5 cups bran
1 tablespoon salt
1 carrot, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 cup molasses
2 cups sweet feed

Dissolve crushed candy canes in 2 to 3 cups of boiling water and let water cool to warm. Then...


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

32 Dos and Don'ts for Dealing With Colic - Full Article

by: Marcia King
October 01 2009, Article # 15172

Every decision you make--from the first moment you notice something wrong to postoperative care--can impact your horse's colic recovery.

The changes were subtle, but nevertheless concerning. Rufus, a Thoroughbred/ Warmblood jumper, wasn't himself, recalls owner Sydney Durieux of New York City. "Rufus was always attentive, playful almost, wrapping his neck around you and giving you a kind of hug, straining his neck to reach you," she describes.

But that evening Rufus ignored Durieux and just stared, looking distracted and vaguely uncomfortable. "He wasn't swaying, pawing, or looking at his stomach, but when the trainer listened to Rufus' belly, she couldn't detect any sounds."

After a half-hour, Durieux trailered him to a veterinary hospital an hour away. "Both the trainer and I thought we might be overreacting, but our hunch was right: The veterinarian said Rufus had colic and needed immediate surgery," she says. "I was shocked, because every other horse I'd seen with colic had been very distressed."

Is it, Or Isn't It Colic?

That's the trouble with colic: You just can't tell what you're dealing with.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Consider the Source - Full Article

by: Kentucky Equine Research Inc.
December 02 2009, Article # 15382

The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for horses are believed to be numerous: decreased inflammation in various tissues, increased immune response, maintenance of healthy membranes, and an upsurge in sperm production, to name just a few.

Flaxseed and flaxseed oil have been fed to horses for decades, primarily to improve coat condition of sales or show horses. Both flaxseed and flaxseed oil are rich sources of the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is thought to convert to the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

For many years, the conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA was believed to be efficient. Now, however, a summary of omega-3 research by the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) has questioned the ability of ALA to be changed in the body.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Australian Stock Horse - Full Article
By admin | December 9th, 2009


The Australian Stock Horse evolved through selective breeding in response to the demands of the environment. The history of the breed began in 1788 with the arrival of the First Fleet which brought the first horses to the colony of N.S.W., as the whole of eastern Australia was then known. These horses were of English Thoroughbred and Spanish stock; later importations included more Thoroughbreds, Arabs and Timor and Welsh Mountain ponies.

Horses arriving in the colony needed strength and stamina - not only to survive the long sea voyage (which took between nine and twelve months) - but also to work in foreign, untamed environment which had become their

home. After the crossing of the Blue Mountains as settlers ventured inland, strong and reliable horses became a necessity. Explorers, stockmen, settlers, bushrangers and troopers all relied on horses which could travel long distances day after day. Weak horses were culled, and only the stronger types were used to breed the sturdy saddle horses essential for the colony's development.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Modality of Movement: Chiropractic - Full Article

by: Les Sellnow
October 10 2001, Article # 720

Chiropractors have been treating human patients on a professional basis in this country since before the turn of the century, but it has only been in recent years that this alternative form of therapy has been applied to a substantial number of horses and other animals.

The word chiropractic is derived from the Greek words cheir meaning "hand" and praktike meaning "business or to practice." Thus chiropractic literally means to use the hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent disease. Chiropractors use specific, controlled forces or thrusts applied by their hands or with an instrument to a joint or bone to cause a change in joints, muscles, or nerve reflexes.

Perhaps the earliest form of chiropractic adjustment involved Orientals who were skilled in walking on an individual's back with bare feet. In this country, the "father" of the modality was Dr. D. D. Palmer, who back in 1895 gave his first adjustment to a patient. Convinced that there was a need for this form of treatment, he established the Palmer College of Chiropractic and began teaching students how to apply his methods.


Thursday, December 03, 2009

Treating Navicular Disease From Inside the Bone - Full Article

by: Susan Piscopo, DVM, PhD
July 01 2004, Article # 1527

Healthy bone undergoes constant metabolic change to prevent bone loss or abnormal remodeling (cell turnover) that can occur with loading. Horses with navicular disease can have abnormal remodeling and formation of osteolytic lesions (areas of broken-down bone) within the navicular bone. This might be due to an imbalance in bone metabolism, with increased bone resorption. Dominique Thibaud, DVM, of Ceva Santé Animale (CEVA), in Libourne, France, with colleagues in France, Italy, and Germany, set out to evaluate a drug to target abnormal bone metabolism. The drug, tiludronate, inhibits excessive bone resorption, allowing bone metabolism to become balanced once again. The study aimed to assess tiludronate's effectiveness against navicular disease. (The drug is not approved in the United States for use in horses, so any clinical use would be considered off-label).

Fifty horses with moderate to severe navicular disease were studied. Radiographs and videotaped lameness examinations were collected prior to treatment. Horses were randomly assigned to receive either 1 mg/kg tiludronate intravenously (IV) daily for 10 days; 0.5 mg/kg IV daily for five days, followed by five days of placebo; or 10 days of IV placebo. Lameness exams were performed (and videotaped) one, two, and six months after treatment. Radiographs were repeated six months after treatment, and independent examiners reviewed all radiographs and lameness exam tapes. Horses which didn't respond to tiludronate or the placebo by two months, based on clinical examination and owner evaluation, were removed from the study as treatment failures and treated as needed with tiludronate.

Horses responded best (based on improvement of lameness and ability to return to work) to the regimen of 1 mg/kg tiludronate IV daily for 10 days. More recent cases of navicular disease (less than six months duration, 33 horses, no treatment failures) responded better than chronic cases (17 horses, 11 treatment failures). Of recent-case horses, 67% showed a positive response to treatment, and 75% returned to normal activity by six months.