Thursday, November 29, 2012

Equine Protein Requirements - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · January 21, 2010

Horse owners want to provide their horses with adequate nourishment, but they may be confused about the best way to meet the protein requirements of animals with different workloads or ages.

While each horse needs to be considered as an individual, these basic guidelines may help to answer many questions.

How much protein does a horse need?

A horse's requirement for protein is determined by the animal's stage of development and workload.

Some general recommendations are listed below (please note, intakes mentioned are merely for the purposes of illustrating what is needed to meet protein requirements alone, but will likely not meet requirements for other nutrients).

A mature horse (average weight of 1100 pounds) needs about 1.4 pounds of protein a day for maintenance, early pregnancy, or light work. The horse usually ingests at least this much protein by grazing or eating grass hay (dry matter intake of about 22 pounds).

A mature horse doing moderate to heavy work needs about 2 to 2.15 pounds of protein a day. An owner could feed 22 pounds of grass or hay and add 2 to 4 pounds of fortified feed to meet the protein requirement...

Read more here:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pre- and Probiotics for Horses - Full Article

By Kristen M. Janicki, MS, PAS • Nov 26, 2012 • Article #30918

Feed digestion in horses is largely accomplished by microbial fermentation in the hindgut. The cecum and colon provide an environment that promotes the digestion and absorption of nutrients from fibrous products such as hay and beet pulp. Disrupting the microbe balance, due to mismanaged feeding practices or illness, can have detrimental effects on the horse's health. Thus, some horse owners and veterinarians use pre- and probiotics to help keep the microbial balance in check and the horse's digestive tract functioning properly.

Prebiotics are food components that stimulate hindgut microflora activity and growth. The horse does not digest these ingredients; rather, hindgut microbes do. These include carbohydrate fibers such as fructo-oligosaccharides and manno-oligosaccharides. Premium feed products include several prebiotics, including yeast cultures and fungi, to aid in digestion...

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Monday, November 26, 2012

New headshaking study - Full Article

Headshaking syndrome is an intermittent, apparently involuntary, movement of the horse’s head. It may occur at rest or at exercise. The signs may be so severe as to prevent the horse being ridden.

It is not an uncommon problem, and proves very frustrating to treat. It is thought to be due to pain in the sensory nerves supplying the face (trigeminal nerve).

Although some progress has been made towards both diagnosing and treating the condition in horses, the pathology of the disease remains unknown and further research is needed.

Caudal compression of the infraorbital nerve currently offers the best prognosis for a successful outcome compared with other treatments...

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

History of the Barefoot Trim

Farrierscorner Blog


In this article I identify seven people that have been influential in the “Barefoot Movement”.

· Dr. Hiltrude Strasser; Proper Trimming of a Sound Horse
· Lyle Bergeleen; Hoof Talk Natural Trim
· KC La Pierre; High Performance Trim
· Dennis Manning; AFA trim
· Gene Ovnicek; Natural Balance trim
· Dr. Ric Redden; Four Point Trim
· Michael Savoldi; Universal Sole Thickness UST
· Natural hoof care

Dr. Hiltrude Strasser; Proper Trimming of a sound Horse

Strasser is an advocate of “Natural Boarding” conditions. These conditions include plenty of natural movement (no box stalls), no legwraps bandages or other clothing, no greases, oils or hoof dressing. She advocates daily exposure to water, no horseshoes (ever). Strasser trims the foot to what she describes as a slanted cone...

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Dietary Yeast Has Some Benefits for Horses - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · November 1, 2012

Various studies have investigated the benefits of feeding yeast to horses. Among the positive results of dietary yeast supplementation are better digestion of fiber; limitation of undesirable changes in the intestinal ecosystem; and reduction in variations in lactic acid concentrations and pH levels after large grain meals.

In growing horses, yeast increased the digestibility of ADF, NDF, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc. Some studies showed an increase in wither height and weight gain in yeast-supplemented weanlings, though the results of other research did not support these findings. Some research in yearlings indicated yeast supplementation led to higher plasma level of lysine and methionine, supporting the production of muscle tissue...

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Assessing Elimination Rates of International Endurance Rides - Full Article

By Alexandra Beckstett, The Horse Associate Managing Editor • Nov 22, 2012 • Article #30904

Editor's Note: This article is part of's ongoing coverage of topics presented at the British Equine Veterinary Association's 51st annual Congress, held Sept. 12-15 in Birmingham, U.K.

Endurance riding became an official Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) discipline in 1982 and has since been the organization's fastest growing sport. Before, during, and after these long-distance rides veterinarians examine horses' general attitude, metabolic state, soundness, and presence of sores, wounds, or other problems.

They might then eliminate horses (most often for lameness and metabolic reasons) if they don't deem the horses fit to continue. However, very little evidence-based information exists on reasons and rates of elimination from competition.

Annamaria Nagy, DrMedVet, FRCVS, of the Animal Health Trust, in Newmarket, U.K., recently conducted the largest scale epidemiologic study of endurance rides and presented her findings at the British Equine Veterinary Association's 51st annual Congress, held Sept. 12-15, in Birmingham, U.K.

In their retrospective study, Nagy and her colleagues documented the number of horses that started, completed, and then eliminated due to lameness or metabolic reasons at all FEI endurance events ranging from 100-160 kilometers per day (roughly 60-75 miles per day) between 2008 and 2011. They used data obtained from the FEI to evaluate risk factors for elimination as well as winning speeds...

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Minnesota EHV-1: Additional Cases from Index Farm Suspected - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor • Nov 20, 2012 • Article #30915

Five of seven horses residing on the Wright County, Minn., horse farm that recently confirmed three cases of neurologic equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) infection have developed clinical signs consistent with the disease, according to a statement on the University of Minnesota (UM) Equine Center Facebook page.

"Three of these are being managed in isolation at the Large Animal Hospital, and their conditions are gradually improving," the statement, which was posted late Monday night (Nov. 19), reads. "To date no cases have been identified beyond the original farm but it will take an additional two weeks until this can be ruled out with confidence..."

Read more here:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Could Endophyte-Infected Fescue Cause Lameness in Horses? - Full Article

By Casie Bazay, BS, NBCAAM • Nov 06, 2012 • Article #30825

Endophytes--fungi that benefit some grasses such as fescue by acting as a natural insect deterrent--have proven harmful to grazing animals, such as cattle and horses.

Endophyte-infected tall fescue, for example, has long been associated with reproductive problems and abortion in mares. But new research indicates it could also cause some forms of equine lameness.

A group of researchers from Kansas State University (KSU) recently set out to evaluate the effects of endophyte-infected fescue--a common forage found in horse pastures throughout the United States--on horse digital circulation and forelimb lameness...

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Barefoot. The Secret of the Floating Boots

El Raid blog - Gabriel Gamiz

November 13 2012

[google translation]

Since contact Florentino Pereira, one of the leaders of Floating Boots, to tell me the developments and results of the types of boots for horses Barefoot system, referred me to your site and these are the evolutions of the boots and large results achieved with this shoe, shoes, boots or as you want to call, but they are getting great results as the horses shod with these products.

I put some pictures of horses that have these boots and shoes that have achieved such good results.

Here's the memo:
The Secret of the FLOATING BOOTS

Any impartial observer will have noticed, by now, of the benefits of competition FLOATING BOOTS. Since the 2012 Absolute Championship of Spain, with victory Alex Luque and Louteiro EO, wearing shoes FLOATING competition, many were interested in this new way of arranging the hulls and to train and compete with one type of hardware or footwear allow the town to fulfill its role as a buffer.

In Porrúa could see as 100 100 participants were classified FLOATING shod, and two of them also earned their tests. In Porrúa were 52 registered of which 41 were classified, but the nine who were with FLOATING have classified all. In CEI1 * had 5 and ranked among the top 8 ranked 15 and 20 enrolled: ADAL-nomadic, winner; Omali, third and Best Condition; Gamon, sixth; GLOBERTROTTER 75, seventh, and Agent 67, eighth.
In CEN0 ZE'PEQUEÑA was in the eighth and won TOXA CETP and JERSIK RUBIO Bugati and 50 were classified both.

With an iron horseshoe (or aluminum) protects the hull of erosion on impact with the ground, but while the hull remains completely immobilized by the rigidity of metal itself and loses its damping function. As a result of this non-hull damping, damping must endure the bones, joints and tendons, when released this function is shared between hooves, bones, joints and tendons.

well with iron But the impact of each stride is much higher, as the iron horseshoe did act as if the effect of a greater impact hammer and they have to cushion the joints, tendons and bones all by themselves. And so more than 30,000 times, each foot in a raid of 80 kilometers.

The problem with many plastic shoes or synthetically manufactured was complex to date. We had to find a material that was neither slick nor to be worn too, and then find a type of glue to hold the hull. Now with FLOATING BOOTS, and more after the success in the Championship of Spain, it seems that all the pieces fit and you can enjoy a novel system that helps the horse to regain the natural functions of your helmet to improve their welfare and their capabilities sports career. As always, there will be many skeptics who will discuss and seek to continue shoeing thousand excuses as before. And not all be as Porrúa raids, with a success rate of 100 per 100, as there are many other factors that come into play in our careers. Of course. But those who want to test it properly and with patience to their mounts to adapt to this new hardware, no doubt will be rewarded handsomely."

Greetings from Gabriel.

See more photos:

Drought Causes Spike in Equine Pigeon Fever Cases in Missouri - Full Article

By University of Missouri • Nov 14, 2012 • Article #30867

The long summer drought in Missouri has ruined a large portion of this year's crop harvest, and one University of Missouri (MU) equine veterinarian says the negative effects of the dry weather can still be seen across the state.

Philip Johnson, BVSc(Hons), MS, Dipl. ACVIM, Dipl. ECEIM, MRCVS, a professor of equine medicine and surgery in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, says he has seen a large spike in the number of Missouri horses infected with Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, a bacteria that can cause painful swelling, abscesses, and inflammation in the legs, chests, and abdominal cavities.

"Under normal conditions, this disease is uncommon in Missouri," Johnson said. "However, likely because of the extremely dry weather Missouri has experienced in the last six months, we have seen an abnormally large number of cases pop up throughout the state. The disease is contracted through abrasions in the skin, as well as by bites from flies and ticks..."

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Diagnosing and Treating Gastric Ulcers in Horses - Full Article

By Center for Equine Health Horse Report • Nov 09, 2012 • Article #30850

By Jorge Nieto, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS--Reprinted from The Horse Report with permission from the Center for Equine Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis (UC Davis).

A common case of heartburn can bring intense discomfort, even pain, to a person. Imagine your horse trying to perform with a stomach ulcer. Did you know that the clinical signs of ulcers in horses are subtle and nonspecific and might be reflected in a slight attitude change, a decrease in performance, or a reluctance to train?

Gastric ulcers are common in horses. Their prevalence has been estimated to be from 50% to 90%, depending on populations surveyed and type of athletic activity horses are engaged in.

Gastric ulcers can affect any horse at any age. Foals are particularly susceptible because they secrete gastric acid as early as 2 days of age and the acidity of the gastric fluid is high. Foals that have infrequent or interrupted feeding, or are recumbent for long periods have been found to have lower gastric fluid pH (aqueous solutions with a pH less than 7 are acidic), suggesting that milk has a protective effect against ulcers and that recumbency increases exposure of the stomach to acid...

Read more here:

Friday, November 09, 2012

Added Fat Improves Behavior

November 8, 2012
Added Fat Improves Behavior

by Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D.

Diet affects behavior. This makes sense. A well-fed horse is healthy. And a healthy horse feels good. Conversely, a poorly-nourished horse is suffering. A variation in hormone levels, for example, can have a temporary effect on how the horse sees the world. Just as reaction to sugar intake varies in humans, so it does in horses. Horses may feel ill or “off” from an overindulgence in sugar/starch, and they certainly have been reported to exhibit “sugar highs and lows” caused by the sudden surge and subsequent drop in blood glucose from a high carbohydrate (sugar/ starch) meal. Although there is, in fact, little scientific evidence that proves a sugar/starch-driven behavioral component, many horse owners will attest to their own horses showing adverse behavioral responses and will therefore avoid feeding anything that contains starchy cereal grains or is sweetened with molasses.

There are plenty of good reasons beyond the scope of this article to avoid high sugar/high starch diets, but in terms of behavior, what alternative does a horse owner have if the horse simply needs more calories? Hay and grass simply cannot provide enough energy (calories) to support the additional requirements created by exercise, work, and performing. The answer is fat.

Gram for gram, fat provides more than double the calories of carbohydrates or protein. And it is well digested. But there’s an added bonus! Fat has a calming effect on horses' behavior.

Researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute1 noticed that horses fed a high fat diet are less reactive to startling stimuli and had lower levels of excitability and anxiety than horses fed a more traditional grain-based diet. The horses in their experiment received 15% of the total calories from fat, which is high for most horses. However, the study reveals that fat is worth trying if you have a sensitive horse who may become easily excited by everyday activities.2(Please note: Ponies, minis, donkeys, and mules should not receive high fat diets.3)

What type of fat?

All fat has the same number of calories, regardless of the source. But from a health perspective, it is best to steer clear of animal fats, as well as oils that are have too many omega 6s (which increase inflammation) in relation to omega 3s (which have an anti-inflammatory effect). Oils high in monounsaturated fatty acids are a good source since they neither increase nor decrease inflammation.
Below are some commonly fed oils:
·        Flaxseed oil: Has a 4:1 ratio of omega 3s to omega 6s, making it an ideal choice
·        Canola oil: 10% omega 3s and relatively low in omega 6s. Also contains monounsaturated fatty acids (no harmful impact on inflammation)
·        Rice bran oil: Only 1% omega 3s but low in omega 6s and high in monounsaturated fatty acids
·        Soy lecithin: Only 4% omega 3s but also contains choline, a helpful component of neurotransmitters
·        Soybean oil: Only 7% omega 3s and mostly omega 6s (less desirable choice)
·        Corn oil: No omega 3s and higher in omega 6s than soybean oil (poorest choice)
How much?

I prefer to limit fat intake to no more than 10% of the total calories, though some athletes are fed levels as high as 20%. For the lightly exercised, mature 1100 lb (500 kg) horse, the National Research Council recommends a minimum total diet of 20 Mcals per day to maintain body condition. Ten percent would be 2 Mcals per day from fat. One cup (8 fluid ounces or 240 ml) of oil will meet this requirement. It weighs 240 grams and at 9 kcals/g, provides 2.16 Mcals.
How to add?
When adding any amount of oil to your horse’s feed, start with a small amount (say, one tablespoon or 15 ml). Most horses do not like oily feed, but more important, it takes several weeks for the horse’s cells to become accustomed to metabolizing more fat.


Short attention span, spookiness, reluctance to work, excessive sensitivity and alertness to surroundings, irritability, and “hot” behaviors can be reduced by adding fat to the diet. Fat is high in calories, so limit the amount you feed based on the horse’s weight and his caloric need. Omega 3s need to be in balance with omega 6s, so choose oils carefully. And finally, build up to desired intake by starting slowly and increasing over 4 to 6 weeks.
Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D. is an internationally respected equine nutritionist available for private consultations and speaking engagements. At, sign up for her informative—and free—monthly newsletter, Forage for Thought, read articles, search her nutrition forum, enroll in upcoming teleseminars and purchase previously recorded events. Contact Dr. Getty directly at Permission is given to reprint this article with credit given to Dr. Getty; please let her know when and where it is republished.
1 Source: Holland, J.L., Kronsfeld, D.S., and Meacham, T.N. 1996. Behavior of horses is affected by soy lecithin and corn oil in the diet. J. Animal Sci. vol.74, no 6, 1252-1255.
2 Find more dietary approaches for improving horse behavior in “Feeding and Behavior,” #13 in the series: Teleseminars on Nutrition Topics that Concern You, available
3 “Ponies, minis, donkeys and mules metabolize fat more economically than horses and are prone toward weight gain and the insulin resistance that results from obesity. Therefore, it is best to avoid adding large amounts of fat to their diets.” This and more information on special feeding for these types of equids can be found in Feed Your Horse Like A Horse by Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D., published 2009, available at and

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Mustang Million Offers $50,000 in Prize Money for Talented Youth Trainers


For more information: 
Jennifer K. Hancock or (512) 869-3225
Mustang Million Offers $50,000 in Prize Money for Talented Youth Trainers 
Youth ages 8-17 are invited to change the life of a wild horse.

Georgetown, Texas, November 1, 2012 – America’s wild horses are protected today because of a campaign by Wild Horse Annie and thousands of American school children that raised awareness of their plight. The Mustang Heritage Foundation is inviting youth between the ages of 8-17 to change the life of a wild Mustang yearling through adoption and training at Mustang Million. The new training competition will take place at the Will Rogers Equestrian Center in Fort Worth, Texas, September 16-21.

The youth division is open to horse enthusiasts between the ages of 8-17 as of the entry deadline on July 15. The youth will be competing for $50,000 in prize money. The top 10 youth finalists will be competing for more than $31,000 with the youth champion being awarded $10,000. An additional $3,000 will be distributed to the top 10 exhibitors in each of two age divisions – 8-12 and 13-17 as of time of entry. Also, $2,500 will be distributed to the top-five placing youth in each of three classes. Youth will train and compete with yearling Mustangs. The yearlings are shown in-hand and are not ridden during the competition.

In addition to the youth division, an adult division and 12 specialty classes will be offered for adults at Mustang Million. The winner of the Legends division will drive away in a new 2014 Ram Truck and also receive a $200,000 check. The specialty classes will offer something for everyone – from western to English and the choice of riding or showing in-hand. 

With the larger purse available, the Mustang Million event follows a different format than other Extreme Mustang Makeovers, and Mustangs are adopted prior to the competition. The Mustangs, who are virtually untouched by humans, will be available at eight live adoption events. Adoption auctions will be held in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 26, April 28, May 10 and May 12; Burns, Oregon, on April 27; Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on May 4; Norco, California, on May 5; and Elm Creek, Nebraska, on May 11. An adult, 18 years old or older, must adopt the yearling for the youth to show.
The trainers have to gain the Mustangs’ trust before they can make the first steps toward preparing for competition. The youth and yearlings will compete in three preliminary classes – a handling and conditioning class, a pattern class and a trail class. The top-10 from the preliminary classes will compete in a clean slate finals which will consist of a compulsories class and a freestyle. for the latest Mustang Million information.

With more than 40,000 American Mustangs waiting to be adopted in BLM facilities, the Mustang Heritage Foundation is stepping up its efforts to help these American legends find adoptive homes. The Mustang Heritage Foundation’s Extreme Mustang Makeover events continue to showcase the talents of the American Mustang. 

Since the first Extreme Mustang Makeover event was held in 2007, the Mustang Heritage Foundation has facilitated the adoptions of more than 3,500 gentled American Mustangs. In 2012, the Foundation in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management will continue to increase its efforts to raise awareness of adoptions of America’s Mustangs. Visit for more information about the Mustang Heritage Foundation’s adoption programs.