Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Six Hay Alternatives for Horses

Equisearch.com - Full Article

These options, including hay cubes and chopped forage, will help you stretch your hay supply.

By Elaine Pascoe

If you want to stretch your hay supply with a substitute, know how much hay you’re feeding by weight. “Substitutes don’t come in ‘flake’ measurements, so weigh the hay to have an idea of the appropriate weight to substitute,” says Rhonda Hoffman, PhD, an associate professor of horse science at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. She adds that any dramatic changes to a horse’s diet should be done gradually, over a period of one to two weeks, to avoid risk of digestive upset. Here are six substitutes, in her order of preference:

1. Bagged chopped forage. It can replace all of your horse’s hay, if necessary...

Read more here:

Rider Fitness Tip of the Month: Staying Fit as Your Body Changes

Equisearch.com - Full Article

Use these guidelines if you need to adapt your riding fitness program because of changes in your body due to injury or aging.

By Heather Sansom, Owner, Equifitt.com Equestrian Fitness

Heather Sansom is the author of rider fitness ebooks Complete Core Workout for Riders, and a regular columnist in several equestrian publications including Dressage Today. Equifitt.com offers personalized coaching through clinics and convenient online coaching available anywhere. Clinics available include fitness, yoga and fitness, and sport-psychology and fitness. You can get a free subscription to monthly rider fit tips, or download the ebooks at Equifitt.com.

In the December issue of Dressage Today, 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games competitor Bonny Bonnello (Canada) shared her comeback story as an older athlete bouncing back from major joint replacement surgery in "Back in the Game." Sometimes as riders, it seems that we find ourselves reaching the understanding we've been seeking for years, only to find our body isn't keeping up. The rules have changed. You may have prepared to ride using your body a certain way, but an injury, aging or other circumstance change the rules on you.

Sometimes I see riders at this stage getting frustrated. Often other people don’t see the changes- but you know they’re there. There is usually an adaptation curve. It looks a little like the grief cycle: denial, anger, blame, acceptance and moving on. The quicker you can move through to constructive solutions, the better.

Some people find it useful to think of changes as managing your performance effectively. You can be active as a rider well into decades most people have long ceased to practice other sports. If you are competitive or a professional rider, trainer or coach, you have very solid vested interest in doing whatever you need to do to ride, teach and train for as many years as you can. If your riding is more about developing yourself or your horse for your own sense of achievement, or because it’s your passion but you aren’t competitive, you still want to enjoy it for as long as you can...

Read more here:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Feral horse foot shape

Equinescienceupdate.co.uk - Full Article

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A natural lifestyle - freedom to roam, and the ability to choose what to eat - does not necessarily result in ideal foot conformation.

The feet of feral horses, such as the North American mustang and the Australian brumby, have been held up as examples of ideal conformation. However, not all feral horses are the same, as work carried out in New Zealand demonstrates.

A report published in the Australian Veterinary Journal documents the shape and abnormalities of the feet of Kaimanawa feral horse population.

Lead researcher was Brian Hampson of the Australian Brumby Research Unit, at the University of Queensland’s School of Veterinary Science.

"The aim of the study was, for the first time, to investigate empirically both the morphometric characteristics and the incidence of foot abnormalities in a group of adult feral horses and to determine the effect of a free-roaming feral lifestyle and lack of human intervention on foot morphology and health of the population."

Kaimanawa horses are small (133 -151cm at the withers), being descended from Welsh and Exmoor-type ponies that have been feral since the 1880's. Other bloodlines were added as the result of escapes from farms and cavalry units so that present day horses are more closely related to the Thoroughbred.

About 1500 animals live in a land of upland plateaux, with steep hills, river basins and valleys, covering an area of about 700sqkm...

Read more here:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Straight to the Horse's Mouth

Thehorse.com - Full Article

by: University of Illinois
October 12 2008, Article # 12883

To prevent your horse from developing painful dental conditions have your veterinarian do a thorough oral exam every year.

Although equine dentists cannot have their patients lie down in a reclining chair for easy access to those hard-to-reach molars, the field has progressed greatly in the past 20 years. It is now possible to perform a root canal or a tooth extraction on a horse, just as in humans.

In 1988, the American Veterinary Dental College was formed, allowing veterinarians who have already completed their degree to train further to become a board certified veterinary dentist. Carol Akers,DVM, is a dentistry resident at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in Urbana. She explains that in contrast to human teeth :the majority of a horse's 40 or so teeth are hypsodont, meaning they erupt throughout most of the horse's life, or up until age 30 or 35."

Because of this and the fact that horses do more grinding with their teeth than cats and dogs, it is imperative they receive routine dental care. In addition, horse teeth do not neatly line up as do human teeth. Their maxilla, or upper part of their skull, is wider than their mandible. This anatomical arrangement causes horses to form razor sharp points on some of their teeth that can lead to significant problems such as ulcers on their tongue and inside cheek.

Akers mentions that signs owners might see indicating a horse may have a dental problem are:

* Large fibers and whole pieces of grain in the horse's manure
* Weight loss
* Reaction to the bit
* Tilting of the head while eating
* Quidding (dropping large clumps of food on the ground while eating)

Thehorse.com - Full Article

Saturday, November 20, 2010

ECLR Reports Increased Success in Equine Land Conservation Efforts

November 16 2010

Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) is the only national nonprofit working to advance the onservation of land for horse-related activity. Striving to answer the question, “Where will you ide, drive, race, compete, raise foals and grow hay?” is an ongoing quest.

“The point where we can say, ‘We have won,’ is not easy to define,” relates CEO, Deb Balliet. “Rather than one large victory, like curing a disease or making a single legislative change, our goal can only be accomplished with thousands of small local victories. And ELCR has been adding to that victory list at an impressive rate.”

In the past three years, ELCR has been instrumental in the conservation plans for 44,237 acres and 985 miles of trail. Most of that progress has come directly from technical service calls; when an individual contacts ELCR for assistance with an issue in their area.

One such call was answered earlier this year regarding a piano key development in horse history and culture-rich Clark County, Kentucky. ELCR’s staff was able to gather a large amount of information with which to arm the residents for planning and zoning meetings. The development was halted and the horse country will stay unblemished.

Providing information is an important piece of providing technical assistance, but providing connections often proves important too. Last year ELCR worked with a landowner interested in conserving a large amount of land for riding. ELCR facilitated a partnership between the landowners, the National Park Service Recreational Trails Conservation Assistance and the Fort Harrod Back Country Horsemen to develop a lasting protection arrangement for the trail riding land they had accumulated.

Providing resources is another important facet of what ELCR does. In the past two years, ELCR has published a revised Guide to Equestrian Friendly Conservation Easements , a resource manual with examples of easement language to protect horse activity; and Horses Make Good Neighbors, a resource designed to explain the benefits of horses in your neighborhood to people unfamiliar with horses. ELCR has also launched the “Equine Activity Statutes and Recreational Use Statutes Directory,” an online resource compiling statutes from each state.

ELCR has improved its Conservation Partners program to include five CP conference calls per year, featuring expert speakers and national networking for our Partners. ELCR has also initiated regional meetings to give partners an opportunity to discuss needs. Meetings have been held in Illinois, Massachusetts and South Carolina.

All this activity has attracted notice. Both Karen O’Connor (Olympian aLyle Lovett (singer/songwriter and celebrity reiner) have provided their endorsement for ELCR and its mission.

ELCR has also strengthened partnerships with many influential groups. As a representative of ELCR, et serves on the Kentucky Recreational Trails Authority, the Recreation Committee of the American Horse Council, the Federal Interagency Council on Trails, and the Board of Directors of the Coalition for Recreational Trails.

“The past few years have been productive for ELCR,” adds Balliet, “and we have made significant progress, but there are still trails, hay fields and farms in jeopardy. ELCR will continue to work diligently and tirelessly to ensure the future of equine sport, industry and culture, but it is not a battle that can be fought by a single organization. The goal directly in front of us is to develop an equine land conservation curriculum so that we may train leaders to be equine land conservation experts in every equine trail, breed and discipline organization and every horse community in the country. ”

ELCR recognizes that all land is conserved locally and it takes committed individuals to make that happen. “Get involved in your local land use planning and conservation efforts,” advises Balliet. “Organize your concerned neighbors. Assist local trail riding organizations, land trusts and other committed organizations. And call ELCR if you need help with any of your land-related endeavors.”

Please contact Deb Balliet at dballiet@elcr.org or (859) 455-8383 for more information or assistance or if you would like to help us enable horsemen in your community or organization.

About the Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) The Equine Land Conservation Resource is the only national not-for-profit organization advancing
the conservation of land for horse-related activity. ELCR serves as an information resource and clearinghouse for land and horse owners on issues related to equine land conservation, land use planning, land stewardship/best management practices, trails, liability and equine economic development. If you want to know more about ELCR, visit our website at www.elcr.org or call (859)455-8383.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Preventing Laminitis in At-Risk Horses

Thehorse.com - Full Article

by: Tracy Gantz
November 15 2010, Article # 17230

Even though veterinarians and farriers are making progress in developing laminitis treatment techniques and researching the causes of laminitis, prevention is still the No. 1 defense against a disease that plagues all too many horses. During the Sept. 17-18 Laminitis West Conference in Monterey, Calif., Bob Agne, DVM, an equine podiatrist at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, in Lexington, Ky., discussed how to recognize individuals that are at risk for laminitis and how to manage them to reduce the risk of the disease.

Several pre-existing conditions can put a horse at risk for laminitis, Agne reported. He noted risk factors and preventive treatments for each, but he cautioned that every case is different. Not all horses will show all clinical signs or respond similarly to preventive measures.

Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS)

* Typical clinical signs: Horses that are easy keepers, are overweight with cresty necks and discreet subcutaneous fat deposits and have high insulin and glucose levels. Horses with EMS are also more likely to show signs of previous bouts of low-grade laminitis...

Read more here:

Understanding the Snaffle Bit

Ridemagazine.com - Full Article

By: Richard Winters
November 3, 2010
This snaffle is adjusted just below where it would cause a wrinkle in the corner of the horse’s mouth.
This snaffle is adjusted just below where it would cause a wrinkle in the corner of the horse’s mouth.

This snaffle is adjusted just below where it would cause a wrinkle in the corner of the horse’s mouth.
Snaffle bits are ideal for teaching lateral flexion.
These are just a few snaffle bit variations available.

Click an Image to Enlarge

Hanging in your tack room is probably some form or style of snaffle bit. Perhaps you use it everyday. Or maybe it’s unused and gathering dust. There is probably no bit that is more widely used, regardless of the riding discipline, than the snaffle bit. Even though it is a commonly used piece of equipment, there are still many misunderstandings regarding its use. Here are some of my thoughts regarding the snaffle bit.

Generally speaking a snaffle bit has a broken mouth piece connected to rings on either side. There are different mouth pieces such as plain smooth, extra thick, extra thin, twisted wire, and a handful of other variations. The cheek pieces can be a simple ring, egg butt, o-ring, or full cheek. Most snaffles will be 5” to 5½” wide. This size will fit the vast majority of horses. In the last few years some performance horse trainers have been using 6” to 6½” snaffles with extra heavy rings. They believe there is more “pre-signal” and “feel” with those larger bits.

Snaffle bits are lateral mechanisms and are made to be used laterally - side to side...

Read more here:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Variety is the Spice in Training

Horsecity.com - Full Article

By Bob Jeffreys & Suzanne Sheppard
Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Motivating ourselves and our equine partners is a key aspect of achieving consistency in our training. Because repetition and practice are crucial, but can be boring, an important element in making training fun for both is variety. Several aspects of training can be varied, including length of training session, location, goals and exercises.

One of the most asked questions we receive is "How long should a training session be?" There really isn't a single correct answer to this question. A major consideration is your training goal on each particular day. Are you teaching the horse to "give" to the bit at the walk or are you working on perfecting your circles at the canter? Obviously you can work a lot longer at the walk than at the canter or the lope. You would also need to factor in the condition of your horse and the weather.

When we do have acceptable weather conditions and a physically sound horse, we like to vary our training times from day to day. We really try to avoid having the horse anticipate that he only has to work for, let's say, one hour each session. If you fall into this routine it won't take long for your horse to just quit as soon as his internal clock says this hour is over...

Read more here:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Feeding Hay for Horse Health

Equisearch.com - Full Article

Learn how to adjust your hay feeding for horses with health issues such as heaves, HYPP and equine metabolic syndrome.

By Rhonda Hoffman PhD, with Elaine Pascoe

Hay choice and feeding methods are especially important for horses with certain health problems.Hay choice and feeding methods are especially important for horses with certain health problems.

Heaves: Heaves, also called recurrent airway obstruction or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is similar to human asthma. Hay dust and mold aggravate it.

* Buy only hay harvested under the best conditions, and keep it inside and dry to avoid mold formation. Vegetative and early bloom hays generally have less dust than late bloom, mature hay.
* Feed hay on the ground or in a low bunk that allows the horse to eat with his head and neck in a naturally low position. This helps to keep any dust from the hay low to the ground and out of his airways.
* Wet the hay before feeding to reduce dust. You don’t need to soak for long—a dunk in water or spray with a hose should be enough...

Read more here:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Famous Riders Join Forces with ELCR

Myhorse.com - Full Article

November 1 2010

Renowned three-day event competitor and Olympian Karen O’Connor, along with show reiner and Grammy award winning singer/songwriter Lyle Lovett are showing their support for the Equine Land Conservation Resource.

Ten-time US Female Equestrian Athlete of the Year, Karen O’Connor, is best known for her performances in the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics. Her career and numerous achievements have made her a familiar face in competition, while her dedication to giving back to the equestrian community has made her a fan favorite.

Four-time Grammy Award-winner Lyle Lovett is known throughout the world for his music and feature film acting, but he is also a popular rider in reining events. Lovett breeds and raises Quarter horses for reining and racing, as well as working cow horses. He has also been active in championing equine causes in his native Texas.

Although these equine enthusiasts may seem to have little in common, both recognize the threat to land conservation for horse activity and how it has affected the horse sport, industry and lifestyle...

Read more here:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remember Fallen Horses on Veterans' Day

Thehorse.com - Full Article

by: Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc
November 11 2010, Article # 17231

Armistice Day, more commonly known as Veterans Day, provides us with an opportunity to commemorate the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany at the end of World War I and marks the day when millions of people worldwide stop to remember those who have served and died for their countries in military conflicts throughout history.

This Veterans Day, spare a few extra seconds to remember the countless number of horses that lost their lives in combat alongside the brave men and women who served their nations.

Equine disease and casualties were not light during World War I:

* More than 1 million horses and mules served for Britain alone--only 67,000 of those survived the war;
* Horse deaths were attributable to battle injuries, disease, and exhaustion;
* Some of the major equine diseases and ailments that plagued the horses were equine influenza, ringworm, sand colic, fly bites, and anthrax; and
* More than 725,500 horses were treated by the British Army Veterinary Corps hospital during war--more than half a million of those treatments were successful.

Historically, horses were an important part of the military, and their use in conflict dates back as far as 4,000 B.C...

Read more here:

Clogs to Treat Laminitis

Thehorse.com - Full Article

by: Christy West, Digital Editor/Producer
November 10 2010, Article # 17206

These wooden shoes help a horse treat himself

Who ever heard of shoeing a horse with plywood, screws, and a drill, especially a laminitic horse? It might sound like the worst kind of backyard farriery, but this method is finding favor with a growing number of veterinarians and farriers. The procedure has been presented twice at the American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, three times at the International Hoof Care Summit, United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, the International Laminitis Symposium and it was published in the April 2010 Laminitis issue of Veterinary Clinics of North America-Equine Practice.

They aren't high-performance shoes by any means, but these wooden clogs seem to provide the healing environment that many damaged feet need. "If sole impression material, screws, and cordless drills were readily available in 1887, this shoe design (suggested in Magner's Classic Encyclopedia of the Horse, 1887) and technique possibly would be standard procedure in the therapeutic treatment of laminitis," says Micheal Steward, DVM, of Shawnee, Okla., inventor of the clogs.

What Does a Horse Clog Look Like?

There are up to four components of the clog shoeing system: Plywood, deck screws, sole impression material, and glue or casting tape for further anchoring the wall to the shoe, if needed. These materials are easy to find and relatively inexpensive, which is one of the reasons why Steward came up with the concept. In his Oklahoma practice, he has had many clients come to him with laminitic horses, but not a lot of money to treat them...

Read more here:

Monday, November 08, 2010

Equine Nutrition With No Grain

Thehorse.com - Full Article

y: Kimberly S. Brown
August 26 2008, Article # 12179

A three-year study by nutritionist Sarah Ralston, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACVN, of Rutgers University in New Jersey, and her collaborators involved feeding draft cross weanlings and yearlings total mixed rations (TMRs) that contained processed forages, a vitamin/mineral suplement, and wheat bran, but little to no grain. This ration was designed to meet or exceed all of the nutrient requirements for growth while avoiding the negative effects of high-starch diets on insulin sensitivity and potential correlation with developmental orthopedic disease.

Insulin resistance has been documented in young horses fed high starch/sugar feeds and has been correlated with an inceased incidence of developmental orthopedic disease, according to Ralston.

Total mixed rations are not new to animal feeds; cattle, dogs, and cats all are commonly maintained on these types of diets. The problem with horses has been to develop a TMR that can be delivered free-choice without causing the animal to become obese or develop behavior problems if fed in restricted amounts.

"I believe TMRs, such as the ones we have been investigating, are the wave of the future," said Ralston. "These are forage-based rations can be formulated to be a consistent and healthy source of nutrition that horses can munch on all day. It avoids the uncertainties of finding good-quality hay and the problems associated with feeding large amounts of grain-based concentrates. We had no wood-chewing or other diet-related issues with horses on the TMRs...."

Read more here:

Three Steps to Removing Easyboot Glue-Ons

Easycareinc Blog - Article and Photos

Monday, November 8, 2010 by Christoph Schork, your Bootmeister

For many of the endurance riders, this riding season is coming to an end. A lot of riders in northern latitudes have already seen the first snow on the ground. A good time to revisit the removal of Easyboot Glue-Ons so we can all safely remove the boots and let our horses enjoy some bare hoof time.

The Tools
Useful tools are a very large flat-headed screw driver and a rubber mallet.

Step One
Insert the screwdriver at the quarters first. That area might already have seen some weakening of the adhesion and display a small gap between hoof wall and boot...

See more here:

2010WEG: Extreme project management means no horsing around

By Bart Perkins
November 8, 2010 06:00 AM ET

Computerworld - How would you like to be responsible for an IT project in support of a world-famous sporting event? Much of the hardware and software will be chosen, supplied and installed by vendors that are also event sponsors (selected to meet long-term site needs, even when in conflict with the event requirements). The site covers 600 acres, and though major upgrades to the infrastructure are needed, you can't get access to the site until 19 days before going live. Oh, and the whole world will be watching. Want to sign up?

These challenges, and others, faced IT support for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG), the World Cup for horses. The 2010 WEG was held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. As the first WEG held outside Europe, it had to be flawless. But the IT challenges were monumental:

No playbook. The WEG has no formal procedures or process to share lessons learned from past events. (The Olympics, in contrast, have standardized IT operating procedures.) Unlike European WEGs, the 2010 games were held in a single location, necessitating versatile reuse of event sites, which added logistical complexity.

Limited infrastructure. Although power, cell coverage and Internet access were upgraded prior to the WEG, existing systems were still insufficient for an event of this size. WEG IT expanded the Horse Park's network to include most of the park. It was partitioned to support credit card transactions, large-photo transmission and broadcast television without interfering with the ground crew and security radio-frequency networks. Seventy generators provided additional power during the games.

Decentralized organization. The WEG relied heavily on volunteers, contractors, vendors and sponsors. IT systems facilitated information-sharing across these semi-autonomous silos.

Unique requirements. Jumping events were held in one ring, requiring reconfiguration of physical jumps between events. Corresponding power and fiber-optic cables had to be physically relocated; new ditches were dug before each event, and cables laid and buried. For the first time, GPS devices were attached to saddles to track horses on the 100-mile cross-country endurance ride. If a horse stopped moving, help could be dispatched quickly. In addition, judges and spectators could monitor the progress and relative standings of the horses, even while they were out of sight.

Scheduling and tracking 5,000 volunteers was complicated because many worked only two or three days. All systems had to be highly intuitive, requiring virtually no training.

High security. Many owners, riders and visitors were royalty or wealthy people from Europe and the Middle East. Over 40 federal, state and local agencies worked together in a joint operations command center. WEG IT systems had to interface with command center protocols.

IT organizations are expected to complete projects on time, on budget and with high quality. But many fail to meet these expectations. IT support for the 2010 WEG was highly successful, demonstrating that IT projects can succeed even under extremely difficult circumstances.

Such projects can inspire IT organizations everywhere. So add a horse photo to your desktop, as a symbol of creativity, versatility, grace under pressure and teamwork. Let the can-do spirit of the World Equestrian Games inspire you and your organization to achieve the nearly impossible.

Bart Perkins is managing partner at Louisville, Ky.-based Leverage Partners Inc., which helps organizations invest well in IT. Contact him at BartPerkins@LeveragePartners.com.

full article at http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/352552/Project_Management_No_Horsing_Around?taxonomyId=73

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Big Trot: Joe Rich Ramblin Blog

JR-Cash.blogspot.com - Full Article

Friday November 5 2010

Nothing says endurance like a line of horses moving down the trail with that big extended trot that is the face of the sport as we know it. But just how good is this gait. In my opinion, not so great.
I'm not saying I have no intention of ever putting my endurance horse into an extended trot- but lets consider how hard a typical horse works. The reason I specify typical, is because most (not all) but most endurance horses have a specific 'look' when they get into this trot.
Usually what you see, is a head high, hollow back, big front end swinging trot. This unfortunately doesn't bode well for your horses muscle structure, or energy efficiency.

Muscle issues:
Hyper extension. When moving into this typoe of trot, essentially what your horse is doing, is hyper extending their body to trot BIG. Now consider how many miles you cover in the big trot over a season, or a competitive lifetime of a horse - that is a lot of wear and tear -IE - how many horses do you know that have been retired for front end issues. I know a lot.
And thats not all - consider how far in front of the main body mass a hoof needs to land. Skeletal issues (arthritis in the fetlocks and knees sound familiar anyone?) the further the hoof lands away from the body, the more braking motion required on downhills, the more time spent with that hoof supporting weight.

Tempo also is forced to decreased in conjunction with how much time that hoof is required to spend on the ground because of extension. IE less energy efficient...

Read more here:

Friday, November 05, 2010

Troxel Receives 2010 Partnership in Safety Award

October 29 2010

San Diego, CA – Oct 29, 2010 – Troxel LLC, the worldwide leader in ASTM/SEI-certified equestrian helmets, has been recognized for the 2010 Partnership in Safety Award from the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA).

The Partnership in Safety Award is given annually to an organization or individual for outstanding efforts in helping not only the equine industry and CHA, but also the community at large to promote safety and awareness. Troxel was presented with the award at the 43rd Annual CHA International Conference held in Lake City, Florida.

“We are truly privileged to receive such an esteemed award,” said Shay Timms, CEO of Troxel. “I am proud of our team and the recognition of Troxel's commitment to the promotion and education of wearing certified helmets while riding. Over the years, Troxel has distributed many injury products and we've learned that changing perspectives on helmet use comes from trainers, riders, and leaders like CHA that make a personal difference."

“We were pleased to award Troxel for constantly striving to improve their headgear for the equestrian sport by keeping it as safe and affordable as possible,” said Christy Landwehr, CEO of CHA. “Troxel has worked closely with CHA to kindly donate product for our silent auction, TEAM CHA youth awards, and event giveaways.”

Internationally respected trainer and clinician Julie Goodnight accepted the award on behalf of Troxel.

“It was an honor and a pleasure to accept the safety award on Troxel’s behalf,” said Goodnight. “I admire and appreciate Troxel’s commitment to safety and to promoting the use of equestrian helmets in our sport. I have seen firsthand, in every arena that I work in, the remarkable results of our efforts to make wearing a helmet both stylish and cool.”

About CHA
The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces how-to DVDs and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA-ahse.org or call toll free 1-800-399-0138. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you visit www.CHAinstructors.com.

About Troxel
Troxel is the world's leading provider of ASTM / SEI certified equestrian helmets for competitive, schooling and recreational riding. Established in 1898, Troxel is recognized for its innovative design and research leadership in helmetry. Based in San Diego, California, Troxel now dedicates all its resources to equestrian helmets and related accessories, and has provided over three million helmets to the equestrian market.

Karisa Dern

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Mixed Signals: How Acupuncture Works

Thehorse.com - Full Article

by: Marie Rosenthal, MS
September 06 2009, Article # 14849

Although acupuncture is frequently used in human and animal health, it needs to be described in terms that most people accept and understand, said Narda G. Robinson, DO, DVM, MS, who recently authored a report on the topic.

Traditional Chinese medicine explains that the invasion of environmental agents, such as cold, wind, dampness, and heat cause pain, and an upset in Yin and Yang disrupts organ function. Acupuncture is supposed to correct this, but to today's modern mind that sounds like superstition.

"We shouldn't be selling mysticism as medicine," Robinson said.

"Acupuncture is real medicine, based on anatomy and physiology," she explained. "Getting the best results comes from seeing what's right in front of us--muscle tension, imbalances in the nervous system, and the health impact of stress, malnutrition, and under- or over-exercise. Belief systems imported from China only muddy the message."

In medical terms, "Acupuncture appears to work because it dampens pain transmission in the nervous system, which means it turns down the 'volume' of painful impulses entering the spinal cord and brain, and changes our emotional state and reaction to painful stimuli," she said. "Sophisticated brain imaging techniques have told us which parts of the brain are responding to acupuncture and when, providing a 'real time' window into brain function during and after acupuncture."

Owners who want to use acupuncture to treat their horses should choose a veterinarian who approaches acupuncture scientifically, she said...

Read more here:

Managing Insulin Resistance Through Diet and Exercise

Thehorse.com - Full Article

by: Tracy Gantz
October 31 2010, Article # 17166

Insulin-resistant horses are prone to laminitis, but owners and veterinarians can often successfully manage them through strict diet and exercise regimens so that they don't develop laminitis. Ray J. Geor, BVSc, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, professor and Chair of the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Michigan State University, outlined some of those regimens at the Sept. 17-18 Laminitis West Conference in Monterey, Calif.

"We've got two opportunities for intervention," said Geor. "First, we've got animals that we know have had laminitis and also show evidence of obesity and insulin resistance (also called equine metabolic syndrome, or EMS). Second, we may identify a horse or pony with clinical features of EMS, even though laminitis has yet to be detected—in both situations, the goal is to manage the obesity and insulin resistance so that episodes of laminitis are avoided."

In designing a diet and exercise program, Geor first stressed the importance of a thorough baseline clinical assessment. That includes not only checking body weight and body condition score and blood-insulin levels, but also evaluating the horse's current feeding program, its level of physical activity, and whether or not it is sound for exercise.

Set realistic goals for weight loss and develop a monitoring plan...

Read more here: