Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Inside the Laminitic Foot - Full Article
by: Multiple Authors
July 01 2008, Article # 11359

Learn how equine podiatrists assess, treat, and monitor laminitis

Laminitis is a terrifying mystery to many horse owners, in part because in the early stages a horse with tremendous damage can look and act much like a mild case. A great deal of damage can occur even when the horse appears to have a favorable response to treatment.

What's going on inside that laminitic foot, and how do you tell if it's a really bad case?

To answer these questions, we'll take a look inside the laminitic foot using radiographs (X rays) and venograms, because understanding the mechanical changes that occur within these feet helps us understand how to treat laminitis more successfully.

Laminitis Basics

The job of the laminae is to hold the hoof wall onto the coffin bone. The "laminae" actually include two sets of leaflike laminae--one around the inside of the hoof wall and one around the face of the coffin bone. Together, these interlocking laminae provide a very secure, yet flexible anchor that keeps the coffin bone in place...

Read more here:
Tom Quilty, boots and thermographs

Manilla Tom Quilty 2010 - Booted Horses are More Likely to Finish!
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 by Duncan McLaughlin

Last weekend saw endurance riders from all over the Australia and from around the world gather at Manilla, NSW for this years Quilty. The Quilty is Australia's oldest and most prestigious endurance ride. 11 booted horses were entered in the event and 8 were successful, for a 73% completion rate (compared to the 54% completion rate overall). The successful combinations were:

* Carol Layton on Omani Mr Squiggle;
* Deanna Trevena on Warr of the Roses;
* me on Jupiter Mikeno;
* Virginia Dodson on Qmriya Raheema;
* Ann Batt on Roxborough Nato;
* Donna Tidsdale on Karrana King;
* Jane Martin on Blake's Heaven Dubbonet; and
* Rebecca Hayes on Summerzar M'zigye.
* (Commiserations to Rachel, Colleen and Darryl)

--- (more) ---

I also spent some time playing around with the thermal camera, trying out different protocols and timings to determine the way to get the maximum amount of information about heat patterns, circulation and feet in competing horses. Here are a couple of thermograms of Mikena's feet in her Easyboot Glue-Ons, dorsal shot of near fore and lateral shot of off hind, the morning before and the morning after the ride.

[...more at]

Teaching Your Horse to Load - Full Article

by Dr. Edwin Goodwin
Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2010

You've heard it. Maybe you've even said it: "He'll load. He just doesn't want to right now!" And with that, your balky horse has saved himself the trouble of traveling to wherever it was you planned to go. He was rewarded for his disobedience by going back to his stall or paddock and doing his favorite thing-nothing.

Letting the issue of loading go unresolved violates one of the fundamentals of dealing with horses: if you ask, the horse must respond correctly. Any less, and you've taught him a bad habit. That's true when you ride him, when you work with him in his stall and when you invite him to go traveling. Not all horses are bad loaders all the time, of course.

Some horses load easily by one of several common methods.

Some can be led on. This is fine if it woks all the time ... although there are some drawbacks. If you are using a trailer with either no escape door or a half-door, he might try to keep following, smashing you painfully up against the metal wall or door.

If he's being loaded into a slantload or stock trailer next to other horses of unknown temperament or habits, it could be dangerous for you...

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Water: The Overlooked Nutrient - Full Article

by: Kentucky Equine Research Inc.
May 17 2009, Article # 14174

The most important nutrient in the horse's diet is one that is rarely added to feeds: water. Although it is often overlooked in discussions involving equine nutrition, water could be considered the first limiting nutrient of all horses, as they cannot survive for as many days without water as they can without feed.

The amount of water required by the horse is determined by the magnitude of water losses from its body. These losses occur through feces, urine, respiratory gases, and sweat and, in the case of lactating mares, milk.

These losses are affected by the amount, type, and quality of the feed consumed, environmental conditions and the health, physiological state, and physical activity of the horse. Horses will generally consume as much water as they need if given access to a palatable water source...

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Changes in haemostasis in endurance horses: detection by highly sensitive ELISA-tests

full Equine Veterinary Journal article:
Equine Veterinary Journal
Volume 27 Issue S18, Pages 120 - 123

Published Online: 10 Jun 2010

1Experimental Unit of Thrombosis, College of Veterinary Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193-Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.
Correspondence to *Experimental Unit of Thrombosis, College of Veterinary Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193-Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.
Copyright © 1995 EVJ Ltd
horse • coagulation • fibrinolysis • endurance • exercise • ELISA-tests

Exercise induced variations in coagulation and fibrinolytic activities were evaluated in 25 endurance horses competing in a 80 km ride. Venous blood samples were collected before exercise, after 40 km and 30 min after 80 km. Haematological parameters, fibrinogen, clotting times (aPTT and PT) and the main inhibitors (AT-III and α2-antiplasmin) activities were determined. Furthermore, we assessed thrombin-antithrombin complexes (TAT) as a marker of coagulation activity; and fibrinogen degradation products (FgDP) and fibrin degradation products D-dimers (FbDP) as markers of fibrinolytic activity using immunoenzymatic tests. Significant changes in all haemostatic parameters were found after endurance exercise. A significant (P < 0.001) increase of TAT values was found when comparing pre-race (mean ± s.d. 2.28 ± 0.9), at 40 km (3.45 ± 1.2) and 30 min after 80 km (4.0 ± 1.9 ng/ml). Values of FgDP before, at 40 km and after 80 km showed a significant (P < 0.0001) decrease (mean ± s.d. 445.0 ± 144.4, 210.0 ± 111.1 and 177.7 ± 77.2 ng/ml) and the values of FbDP showed a slight but significant (P < 0.001) increase (mean ± s.d. 875.4 ± 230.9, 1062.0 ± 310.0 and 737.2 ± 305.3 ng/ml). These changes confirm a hypercoagulable state, a marked hypofibrinogenolysis and a slight hyperfibrinolysis during endurance exercise. No significant differences were found between the results from horses that finished (n / 19) and those eliminated because of fatigue (n = 6).

------- footnotes by Endurance.Net:

Thrombophilia or hypercoagulability is the propensity to develop thrombosis (blood clots) due to an abnormality in the system of coagulation.

hypofibrinogenolysis below normal inactivation or dissolution of fibrinogen in the blood.

hyperfibrinolysis The fibrinolysis system is responsible for removing blood clots. Hyperfibrinolysis describes a situation with markedly enhanced fibrinolytic activity, resulting in increased, sometimes catastrophic bleeding

Active vs Passive Leadership - Full Article

by Randy Byers
Posted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

In a world full of horse trainers, clinicians and equine professionals competing to make a mark for themselves, many find new ways to reinvent the wheel; however, several try to put their knowledge into some package where we may identify with it all. In the equine world, leadership is the key to survival and many of these professionals communicate their opinion of equine behavior and how we should cope with this dynamic.

Leadership in a Human Sense

The question now becomes, what form of leadership is right for us? In the human world, some people define leadership simply as getting people to work to achieve common goals and giving people a reason (motivation) to work (active leadership). Other people hold that leadership is the ability to influence the behavior of others, to set up goals, to formulate paths to those goals, and to create and guide toward good behavior (passive leadership).

Isn't that what we want to accomplish in the equine world? To influence and motivate safe behaviors?

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Endurance Riding Etiquette - Full Article

Jun 20, 2010 - Wendi Gibson

Whether a newbie or an old pro at endurance rides, everyone should take the time to observe a little endurance riding etiquette.

Endurance riding is a sport shared by thousands of people year round. Everyone has a different goal in mind when riding endurance. Some ride for the fun of seeing new trails, some ride as a form of exercise to stay physically fit, and some ride competitively to win. There are just as many non-riders at endurance rides who show up to help volunteer and meet up with friends.

A little common courtesy can go a long way to make the weekend enjoyable for everyone participating. Most endurance riding etiquette is common sense, and there are several articles about basic endurance riding etiquette. However, there are still some things worth mentioning. Whether a newbie or an old pro at endurance riding, the following lists a few tips on endurance riding etiquette.

Endurance Etiquette in Camp

Camping during an endurance ride is part of the endurance riding experience. It’s a great way to meet new people, share ride tips and tricks, and hear a few amazing stories. The first people a rider will meet will be his camping neighbors. As soon as the trailer is parked and horses are unloaded, neighbors are often greeting one another, shaking hands, and deep into conversation about the next day’s ride...

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Study Explores How Horses View the World - Full Article

by: Multiple Authors
June 14 2010

On the trail, in the dressage arena, at the racetrack, on the cross-country train--wherever horses may be, we've all seen it: the "Spook"--that sudden, bolting reaction of shock so particular to our equine friends. It might be because some animal runs up, or some object is blown in by the wind, taking the horse by surprise. But sometimes it's just something you're sure they've seen many times before--so why spook about it now? New research at the Aptos, California-based Equine Research Foundation (ERF) now has answers to that question.
Horse Explores

According to Evelyn B. Hanggi, MS, PhD, co-director of the ERF, one theory about spooking is that objects appear different to horses when viewed from various angles...

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Brooks Equine Genetics Lab at Cornell University : EMS and ECD genetics study

Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Department of Animal Science

Do you have an Arabian horse with a history of Equine
Metabolic Syndrome/Insulin Resistance (EMS) or Equine
Cushing’s Disease (ECD)?

The Brooks Equine Genetics Lab at Cornell University is currently studying the
genetics of EMS and ECD. We are in need of Arabians affected by either of the disorders
as well as unaffected horses kept on the same property. If you own a registered Arabian
horse, at least 10 years of age, that has a history of EMS or ECD or you and your vet
suspect has either disorder, the Brooks Lab wants to hear from you!

If your horse is chosen to participate in the study, we will send you a kit in the mail
asking you to submit the following information for your horse:

1) Brief health history, especially as it pertains to EMS or ECD.
2) Seven body measurements (a measuring tape is included with the kit)
3) Full body profile photo of your horse
4) A copy of their pedigree
5) Hair sample pulled from the mane or tail for DNA

We need the same information for any available unaffected Arabians that are kept on
the same property. Some endocrinology testing may be required for unaffected horses, but
all testing fees will be covered by our lab. There will not be any specific genetic results for
your horse, but we will notify owners of our overall results at the conclusion of the study.
All information is kept confidential.

If you are interested in participating in our study, please contact:
Cassy Streeter – M.S. student
Dr. Samantha Brooks – Supervisor

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Challenges of Endurance Exercise: Water and Electrolyte Depletion - Full Article and Video

Hal Schott, D.V.M, Ph.D., a professor at Michigan State University, spoke next. His talk, titled "Challenges of Endurance Exercise: Water and Electrolyte Depletion," discussed the most popular endurance trials in the horse world, primarily endurance rides and the speed and endurance phase of three-day events, and the performance problems associated with hydration and electrolyte balance.

He discussed the role of dehydration on performance and in the development of metabolic problems and exhaustion. A syndrome known as "involuntary dehydration" is quite common among endurance athletes and results in a significant change in body mass...

Read more here:

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Making Your Horse a "Good Citizen" - Full Article

by Bob Jeffreys & Suzanne Sheppard
Posted: Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Does your horse evade you by raising his head when you're trying to bridle him, or give you a dirty look when you tighten the cinch? Does he walk into you, step on your feet, push you around while trying to scratch his head, refuse to let you pick up his feet, or pull you over to the next patch of grass against your will?

If you answered "Yes!" to any of the above questions, then you need to ask yourself why you are accepting this behavior. If your honest response is something like, "He's so good at everything else!" or "He really didn't mean it," or " It's the only thing he does wrong!" then you need to know that you can and should expect more from your horse. Good manners are an important part of any partnership, included the one between the two of you. Improving his manners while you feed, groom, lead or saddle your horse will "trickle up" and improve his performance under saddle, whether on the trail, or in the show ring. Your horse can learn that you expect him to pay attention to you whenever you are around him!

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Observations and Recommendations for Feeding the Endurance Horse - Full Article and video

Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a nutritionist with Kentucky Equine Research, shared her extensive knowledge of feeding endurance horses with the audience at the 17th KER Nutrition Conference.

Crandell gave a brief overview of endurance riding before launching into the nutritional management of these equine athletes.

Forage is a major source of energy, and provides essential nutrients and bulk for the gastrointestinal tract. Most of the endurance horses in the United States are on pasture 24 hours a day, with free-choice access to forage. Another advantage of full-day turnout is the freedom of horses to move about as they choose, which is best for muscle and joint health...

More at:

Monday, June 07, 2010

Warmer Weather Calls for Close Monitoring of Stored Grain - Full Article

by: University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture
April 21 2010, Article # 16176

With the early onset of warm temperatures this spring, stored grain operators need to closely monitor their inventories to stay ahead of any problems that might result in a loss of grain quality. Any sudden changes in temperature and moisture levels in the bin could be a sign of mold or insect activity, said agricultural engineers with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

Growers dealt with exceptionally wet weather during the 2009 harvest, and much of the grain never dried enough for safe storage through the spring or summer. "Cooler temperatures provided a margin of storage life last fall, but grain moisture must be controlled as the crop is held in warmer weather," said Sam McNeill, UK extension agricultural engineer...

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Is Dietary Fat Really Healthy? - Full Article

by: Ray Geor, BVSc, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM
November 01 2002, Article # 3895

Marketing claims regarding the virtues of fat in equine diets are plentiful. Statements such as "Added dietary fat for improved performance," "Increased stamina," "Calm energy," or "Improved coat and hoof condition" abound. Indeed, at times it is easy to conclude that an increase in dietary fat is the solution to anything that ails a horse--the proverbial "best thing since sliced bread." Contrast this sentiment with the prevailing attitude toward dietary fat among human nutritionists and physicians. Diets high in saturated fat and cholesterol have long been associated with the development of coronary heart disease (when deposits of fat and cholesterol cause a narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the heart, resulting in damage to the heart muscle). High-fat diets have also been blamed for the current epidemic in obesity throughout the Western world. However, this issue is hotly debated, and there now is evidence that consumption of excess sugar, rather than fat, underlies the tendency to gain weight.

Should we have similar concerns regarding dietary fat for horses?

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The Relationship Between Heel-First Landings and Breakover - Full Article and Photos

Sunday, June 6, 2010 by EasyCare Customer Service Team

I found an interesting article about heel-first landing and breakover on barefoothorse.

The barefoot movement and its veterinary researchers have come up with a reliable way to determine whether a hoof is well-trimmed overall. The indicator of a good trim is that when going on level ground, the front feet land heel-first. Just before the heel lands, you can see the foot "flip" forward as all joints in the leg go into complete extension.

In a horse with an imbalanced hoof, the toe lands first, or the foot may land flat. With toe-first landing you will see a little "wiggle" in the pastern bones-- you can almost hear them go "ka-chunk" as the horse puts weight on the foot...

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Friday, June 04, 2010 Poll: Wish I Could Afford to Go to WEG, but It's Too Pricey - Full Article

According to a new poll on this site,, horse lovers from all over would love to attend the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, this September and October, but they cite high ticket prices and perceived hotel-room-rate gouging as reasons they're going to give the event a pass.

Of the 450-plus respondents, fully 76 percent say they're not attending the WEG in person. About 17 percent say they're going. The rest are undecided...

Read more here:

Thursday, June 03, 2010

How Old is Too Old for Colic Surgery?

by: Press Release
May 31 2010, Article # 16424

Veterinarians at the New Bolton Center have made some surprising discoveries concerning older horses and colic surgery. Survival rates for older horses undergoing surgery did not differ significantly from younger horses in a recent study.

Just like their human counterparts, horses are living longer. With the increase in longevity comes an increase in the opportunity for colic. Veterinarians at the New Bolton Center at University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine studied the responses of mature and aged patients presented at the hospital with symptoms of colic and treated surgically for the condition. The goal of the research study was to give owners more accurate information on the likelihood of survival and complications that they might encounter with older horses following colic surgery.

For the purposes of the project, survival rates and post-operative complications of colic patients were studied retrospectively. The sample included 300 geriatric horses, defined as 16-20 years of age, and 300 mature horses, 4-15 years old, admitted to New Bolton Center's George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals in Kennett Square, Pa.

"Gastrointestinal tract problems and signs of colic are among the most common reasons for admission of geriatric horses to referral hospitals," said Louise Southwood PhD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Critical Care at New Bolton Center. Southwood, who is board certified in surgery as well as emergency and critical care, led the study.

"Owners are often concerned that performing surgery on their geriatric horses might not be in the best interest of the horse," she said. "We wanted to be able to give them the information with which to make an informed decision."

While the geriatric horses seemed no more critically ill than their mature counterparts, the odds that their colic was caused by a strangulating small intestinal lesion, a condition that requires surgery, were twice that of the mature horses. What surprised the research team was that the difference in the survival rates between geriatric and mature horses that underwent such surgery was negligible—86% to 83%. Similarly, the short-term survival rates for geriatric and mature horses with large intestinal strangulating lesions, such as a twisted colon, was 78% and 70%. Large intestinal simple obstruction, such as an impaction or displacement, was 80% and 97%, respectively.

These figures reflect pre-discharge data only. The numbers didn't change significantly if the horses classified as geriatric were 16 years or 20 years of age. Researchers did note, however, that the geriatric horses were more likely to have a short period of loss of appetite following surgery.

"The results of this study are important for horse owners," said Southwood, "because they can help owners make a decision regarding whether or not to undergo surgery."

The same team of researchers plans to look at the long-term survival of horses from ages 20-25 in the future. The Equine Veterinary Journal has just published the research study online.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

What Causes Stocking Up and How to Prevent It - Full Article

Steve Soule, VMD, answers a Practical Horseman reader's question about why her horse is stocking up and what she can do to prevent it.

By Steve Soule, VMD

Question: My horse is usually turned out 24/7, but I’ve been leaving him in his stall during the day because of hot weather. When I bring him out of his stall in the evening, his hind legs are swollen from his coronary band to just above his fetlock. I’ve been told he is “stocking up.” Why does this happen, and what can I do about it?

Answer: Stocking up is a very common problem caused primarily by stabling. In the wild, the average horse is on the move 20 hours a day, grazing, walking to water, fighting (or play fighting) and--when necessary--fleeing from predators. This nearly constant motion serves as an integral part of the circulatory system. Here’s how...

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Collagen Shown More Effective for Arthritic Horses - Full Article

by: Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc
May 26 2010, Article # 16378

Not only is the joint supplement ingredient type II collagen effective for arthritic horses, it also might be more effective than glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, reported Ramesh C. Gupta, DMV, MVSC, PhD, DABT, FTAS, professor and head of the Toxicology Department from Murray State University in Kentucky.

Type II collagen is the predominant form of collagen in the cartilage that lines the ends of the bones inside of moveable joints. The type II collagen Gupta used in the study was isolated from chicken sternum (breastbone) according to good manufacturing practices (GMPs)—a set of guidelines that ensure products like nutritional supplements are produced safely.

Horses were selected based on signs of lameness, joint effusion, reduced joint flexibility, crepitation (a crinkly feeling) of the joint on manipulation, and increased lameness upon flexion...

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Plain Facts on Heat Stroke - Full Article

Story by Eleanor Kellon, VMD

When you understand conduction, convection, and evaporation, cooling your horse makes sense.

Summer's heat and humidity can be much more than just uncomfortable. They can be deadly. Horses lose their lives every year to heat stroke. Countless others struggle through anything from weakness to colic as a result of inadequate care in hot weather. Don't let this happen to your horse!

How Your Horse's Body Cools Itself
The business of simply being alive, breathing, digesting, producing manure, processing foods, etc., keeps your horse's body temperature in a range between 98.5 and 101 degrees Fahrenheit. When your horse begins to work, an inevitable consequence of increased energy generation and movement is for the body temperature to increase. To avoid reaching temperatures that can damage the brain and organs by interfering with enzymes, your horse must have a way to get rid of that heat.

Some of the heat is transferred to air exiting the lungs, but this is not enough for efficient cooling in an animal this size. The remainder of the extra heat is carried from the interior of the horse to the skin surface by the blood stream. Blood vessels very close to the surface of the skin dilate and heat is lost from the skin's surface by several mechanisms:

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