Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Weighty Issues

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By: Pat Raia
December 01 2009, Article # 15460

Being fat increases a horse’s risk for several life-threatening obesity-related complications; fight the flab with strategic dietary changes and exercise.

While a dozen horses pass the afternoon grazing outdoors, Rose is being readied for a workout. But the normally cooperative Quarter Horse is fussy, and she's calling to the pasturemates she can see through an opening in the barn door.

"She's on a diet," says Rose's owner, Kari Sullivan, "and she's not happy about it."

For Rose, "dieting" means spending more time in a stall than outdoors picking sweet pasture grass. It also means Sullivan is boosting her activity to include daily workouts beyond her regular schedule as the stable's school horse.

In old-school terms, Rose is an easy keeper: It doesn't take much in the way of feed to keep her in good flesh all winter long. But after few days munching on spring- time's high-calorie pasture grass, Rose begins to pack on pounds and becomes vulnerable to a number of life-threatening obesity-related complications...

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Understanding Carbohydrates in Equine Diets

Thehorse.com - Full Article

by: Erica Larson, News Editor
February 04 2011, Article # 17729

When it comes to managing the carbohydrates in a horse's diet, knowing the basics of how horses digest food is half the battle. Laurie Lawrence, PhD, an equine nutritionist from the University of Kentucky's Department of Animal and Food Science who gave a presentation at the University of Kentucky's Breeders' Short Course, held Jan. 22 in Lexington, confirmed that managing a horse's carbohydrate intake is easiest with an understanding how the digestive tract functions and how different types of feed contribute to equine nutrition.

Nutritional Goals

"The main dietary goals related to carbohydrates are to provide the horse with adequate digestible energy (or adequate calories), to keep their GI (gastrointestinal) tract healthy, and to provide adequate energy stores (or enough energy to perform their required actions)," Lawrence said...

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Sunday, February 06, 2011

Random thoughts on "Conditioning the Endurance Horse"

Equine Athlete - Ambrose
Chris Martin

Conditioning is what you do after your horse is legged up and you have a few miles on them. But the same principle follows almost every thing you do with your endurance candidate. A "slice of work at a time", never increase speed or distance at he same time. That goes for conditioning or legging up. You just follow the process all the way to the "fit horse". You will ALWAYS race slower then you train..... I think lots of people make that mistake, racing faster then they train, hence injuries and metabolic issues. The horse that wins the ride, and looks they just jumped out of the trailer is how you want your horse to look.

You are not going to go out and train for 50 miles, so you need to have shorter harder works that will help the horse get in condition for that first 50 miles. After you start doing some 50 mile rides then you can throw that into your training mix.

In order to get a "fit horse" , at least what my view of what a fit horse it, you have to stress that horse. So, what that means is that if you ride every day for 10 miles, just the same everyday, you have not accomplished much in the way of increased fitness. Now you can do 10 miles and you can do 10 miles.... You can break it up into mini sprints, pick up the trot, canter some etc etc.., so there are too many ways to count that you can do that 10 miles. So, what you have to determine is when you are stressing your horse a little. I don't believe in riding to failure, like in the human conditioning, but you do need to find the happy medium.


Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Deworming Delimma

Thehorse.com - Full Article

Martin Krarup Nielsen, DVM, PhD
January 31 2011, Article # 17650

Q: I need advice about deworming our horse. He lives alone in a two-acre pasture, but he is hauled to a public barn for exercising. Our vet has advised us to cut back on the every-other-month worming schedule after a manure sample evidenced no worms. How often should we deworm? Would you please recommend which medication we should use?

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Cold Weather Colic in Horses

Thehorse.com - Full Article

by: Agricultural Communications, Texas A&M University System
January 28 2011, Article # 17625

Cold winds and changing winter weather might not seem like contributing factors for equine colic; however, these conditions can foster changes in routine and eating habits that could affect your horse's well-being.

"A common wintertime equine health concern is colic," notes Glennon Mays, DVM, clinical associate professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. "Colic is a symptom of abdominal pain and can take the form of digestive problems, intestinal blockage, or a twisted intestine among other possibilities.

"There are several reasons why horses tend to colic more as the winter months linger," explains Mays. "Lack of quality grazing, too cold water, and reduced exercise time can contribute to equine colic..."

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