Monday, July 30, 2012

Tevis Preparation: Misc. Musings - Karen Chaton

Enduranceridestuff Blog - Full Article

It’s interesting how much more effort it takes to prepare for the Tevis Cup than any other ordinary ride. The easiest part is getting the horse ready, it seems. That’s because I’m always riding anyway! Then there is the paperwork, crew arrangements and all of the other organizing and planning that goes into getting ready for the Tevis.

Most of the rides that I attend take little preparation ahead of time especially since I go by myself — I just pack up and go!

Tevis is one ride where there are a lot of details, some big, and some small... that all have to be attended to especially if you want to have a stress free ride on ride day.

So far I’ve got my crew arranged. I’ve got lists made up for each of the stops including checklists for what to pack. I got my entry in late, so I didn’t get a stall at the fairgrounds. As it turns out that is okay as I can keep Bo on the trailer in a dirt lot after the ride is over which will allow me to keep a closer eye on him.

I’ve been going through all of my tack and equipment making sure everything is in good condition and clean. I’m still deciding what headgear to use on Bo for the start of the ride. He goes so well in this one Myler bit, however it has shanks on it that he just HATES if they hit the side of a water bucket, and I don’t want to cause a delay in him drinking because he is bothered by that. I know I’ll be able to change him over to the S-hack but he’s much too strong and fit to start him in that...

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Beyond Bran: Other Wheat Byproducts for Horses - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · June 22, 2012

Wheat bran is often fed to horses in a warm mash, but horse owners may not be as familiar with other byproducts of wheat milling. Wheat byproducts were an integral part of the beginning of the feed industry. Many of the earliest feed companies were flour milling companies looking for an outlet for their byproducts. Since wheat byproducts are so important to the feed industry, it is essential that proper terminology be used to differentiate between the various types of byproducts.

Wheat bran is the coarse outer covering of the wheat kernel that is separated from cleaned and scoured wheat in the usual process of commercial milling. Wheat middlings, known also as wheat midds, refers to the fine particles of wheat bran, wheat shorts, wheat germ, and wheat flour produced in the milling process. Wheat midds must be obtained in the usual process of commercial milling and must contain no more than 9.5% crude fiber. Wheat mill run is similar to wheat midds but tends to contain somewhat coarser grades of the same ingredients. These terms are often used interchangeably, but the actual byproducts are not the same.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Use of Alfalfa or Lucerne and Its Effect on Gastric Ulcers - Full Article

By Dr. Clarissa Brown-Douglas · May 10, 2012

There has been recent hype in the feed industry about the possibility of improvements in gastric ulceration when feeding ensiled (fermented) chopped lucerne (also known as alfalfa) to horses, and many horse owners have increased the amount of ensiled fiber fed to their horses.

What might surprise you is that this capacity of fiber to protect and support a healthy digestive tract, from the stomach to the large intestine, is the basis behind almost every aspect of sound equine nutrition. This is not new knowledge!

It is commonly known, accepted, and promoted in the equine nutrition and veterinary world that the capacity of feeds and forages to counteract changes in gastric pH (stomach acid) plays an important role in the prevention of gastric ulcers in horses. This ability to resist changes in pH is called buffering capacity. Lucerne hay has been shown in multiple studies to be effective in reducing the severity of ulcers in horses by providing superior buffering capacity compared to other forages.

Gastric ulcers are very common in performance horses, affecting more than 90% of racehorses and 50 to 70% of other performance horses. The occurrence of ulcers is related to work, reduced forage intake, meal feeding (no grazing), and high starch (from grain) intake. The high incidence of ulcers seen in performance horses is a man-made problem resulting from the way we feed and manage these horses, since ulcers, are much less prevalent in unexercised horses maintained solely on pasture...

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Elite, Non-Elite Endurance Horse Hearts Compared - Full Article

by: Erica Larson, News Editor
July 22 2012, Article # 20341

Editor's note: This article is part of's ongoing coverage of topics presented at the 2012 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, held May 30 - June 2 in New Orleans, La.

Many equestrians agree that it takes a horse with a special heart, mind, and athletic ability to reach the upper echelons of their sport. But now scientists have confirmed at least one part of this theory: Recent study results indicate upper level endurance horses have some different cardiac specifications than their lower level counterparts.

Mary M. Durando, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, of Equine Sports Medicine Consultants, in Newark, Del., discussed the results of a study that compared elite and non-elite endurance horses' echocardiographic measurements at the 2012 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, held May 30 - June 2 in New Orleans, La.

"In Thoroughbred racehorses an association has been made between caliber of racehorse, maximal oxygen consumption, and certain echocardiographic variables in longer, more aerobic races," Durando explained. "The purpose of this study was to determine if performance ability is related to echocardiographic indices of cardiac dimensions or function in endurance Arabians, because the sport has such a large demand on aerobic function..."

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012 One Minute Disaster Tips

One Minute Disaster Tips - When a disaster strikes it sends victims into a confused sate of frenzy in the aftermath. I speak at public events on many topics but one is the importance of ID and being able to prove ownership at a moment’s notice.

One of the things I ask people to do ahead of time is to make an ID prevention packet. The packet includes copies of important papers such as registration papers, ID registrations (microchip, brand, tattoo etc.) vet records pictures (winter, summer, dirty clean & all four sides with special markings) copy of current coggings, and any other kind of paperwork that can ID you as the owner of the horse. Seal the information in a big brown envelope. Mail the envelope to yourself. When you receive the copy file it in a safe place until you need the information. You may want to put a copy in your safety deposit box for safe keeping for situations where a house may be lost. Hopefully you will never need to use the ID packet.

Once you have completed this process you will have a Poor Man's copyright that if not opened (so that chain of custody is not broken) may be used in court of law if needed.

Most importantly in a disaster situation you have all of your information at hand for each horse so that you do not have to look it up when you are not thinking straight.

We do have disaster tips on Go to the tool bar, click on the SERVICES tab and then RESOUCES, DISASTER TIPS. You will find a PDF document that you can easily download.

Hope this helps.

Debi Metcalfe
Stolen Horse International

Processing Improves Grain Digestibility in Horse Feeds - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · May 21, 2012

The grains in most of today’s feeds are processed in some manner before being fed. Although some grains can be fed whole, processing, even if it is only grinding, usually makes the nutrients more available to the animal, thus improving digestibility and feed efficiency.

Grinding is done using either a hammermill or roller mill. Hammermills grind primarily by the impact of free-swinging hammers on the grain as it falls through the grinding chamber. Screens with specifically sized holes surround the grinding chamber and as the grain particles become small enough, they pass out through the holes. Roller mills have pairs of rolls, often two or three pairs per mill, that crush the grain as it passes between the rolls. The space between rolls can be adjusted to give various particle sizes.

Popping is achieved by rapid, intense heating of grain. Rapid heating with 700 to 800° F (371 to 427° C) hot air makes the moisture in the kernel turn to steam, thereby expanding the grain. Most feed grain does not pop like popcorn, but grain does expand and starch is gelatinized, resulting in the grain being much more available to digestive enzymes or organisms. Because popped grain has a larger volume per weight, it also contains a lower level of nutrients than the same volume of unpopped grain and sometimes an animal cannot consume sufficient feed, resulting in reduced gains. Many users roll the popped grain to increase the bulk density and to help flatten the grain for easier handling...

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Pigeon Fever in Horses: A Re-emerging Disease - Full Article

by: Equine Disease Quarterly
July 07 2012, Article # 20273

Infection in horses caused by the Gram-positive bacterium Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis can assume many forms. Deep intramuscular abscesses in horses caused by C. pseudotuberculosis were first reported in San Mateo County, Calif., in 1915. Since that time, the disease commonly referred to as "pigeon fever" was considered one of the most frequent infectious diseases in the western United States.

Infections tend to occur as sporadic cases on a farm or as outbreaks involving hundreds of horses in a region. Disease incidence is increasing, possibly in association with climate change. Unprecedented epidemics in the past decade have affected tens of thousands of horses in Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and British Columbia, Canada--regions historically low in prevalence. High environmental temperatures and drought conditions preceded all reported outbreaks of this soil-dwelling organism.

The most common clinical form of the disease is characterized by external abscesses in the pectoral or ventral abdomen, hence the term "pigeon fever" due to the swelling of the horse's pectoral region resembling a pigeon's breast. Two other clinical forms of the disease include internal organ involvement such as liver, lung, kidney, or spleen abscesses, and infection of the limbs, termed "ulcerative lymphangitis," which appears as a severe cellulitis with multiple draining ulcerative lesions...

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Sunday, July 01, 2012

Secrets of the Arabian Horse

Standard of Ur, southern Iraq, circa 2600-2400 BC - Full Article

Equestrianism through the ages

In the year of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee comes The Horse: From Arabia to Royal Ascot, the title of a major exhibition at the British Museum.

How many courtly poems have been written to the Arabian horse? How many evocative Bedouin songs have risen into the night sky above a desert encampment in praise of this noble animal? These petite-but-tough galloping champions of the sands have been treasured in the West, too. This horse, the most iconic symbol of Arabian romance and pride, has been as much admired for its sensitive beauty as it has for its speed and powers of endurance in the inhospitable territories in which it has been bred since at least 3,500 B.C.E.

Entire peoples and cultures have been characterised by the horse and its central role in society—in peace and war, in mythology and literature. As travel is one of the defining features of human development, so the history of the horse is in essence the history of civilisation, a force for change in ancient cultures. Both pure Arabian bloodstock and its descendant thoroughbreds continue to win world-famous races today.

The Horse: From Arabia to Royal Ascot is the title of a major exhibition at the British Museum and its accompanying book. This is the year of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, and the exhibition is organised this year, no doubt because the Queen so loves horses. She rides them, breeds them and cheers her own on to win so many classic equestrian events.

The exhibition shows the influence of horses in Middle Eastern culture from their domestication around 3,500 B.C.E. to the present day, with Olympic trophies on the horizon. Famous pieces from the British Museum and Saudi Arabian collections demonstrate this ancient history, such as the cylinder seal of the Achaemenid Persian King Darius, dating from 522-483 B.C.E., showing him hunting lions in a chariot. The ‘breaking’, or training, of wild horses for domestic use probably took place on the steppes of southern Russia, with horses introduced into the Middle East around 2,500 B.C.E.

Another thesis is that the Arabian horse originated in the Sabean kingdom of what is now Yemen. With the frankincense trade routes linking so much of the Middle East, King Solomon (r. 970–931 B.C.E.) obtained horses from the Queen of Sheba and gave one to some visiting Omanis. In just a few decades this stallion had 157 descendants, which were famous all over southern Arabia. In subsequent centuries countless numbers were exported to India...

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