Thursday, April 25, 2013

Trace Minerals for Horses: Zinc and Copper - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · April 8, 2013

A great deal of attention has been given to the requirements of broodmares and young horses for copper and zinc. The role of copper in the copper-dependent enzyme lysyl oxidase and that enzyme’s role in the formation and maturation of cartilage has obviously stimulated interest in copper as it relates to developmental orthopedic disease in young horses. Additionally, zinc has long been known to play a role in the maintenance of epithelial integrity and keratogenesis. The use of copper and zinc supplementation in modern horse feeds for all classes of horses stems from the possible role of these two nutrients in reducing physitis, osteochondrosis, wobbler syndrome, and other manifestations of developmental orthopedic disease.

It is interesting to note that in addition to its role in cartilage and bone metabolism, copper is involved in hemoglobin formation and in nerve conductivity and coordination. Copper is also involved in other enzymes such as tyrosinase and cytochrome oxidase to name but a few of the more well known of the enzymes containing a copper moiety or which need copper as a co-factor. There is a small loss of copper in the sweat of horses that may result in sweat losses of 80-100 mg of copper per day...

Read more here:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Study Evaluates Effects of Probiotics for Horses - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor • Apr 16, 2013 • Article #31697

Nutritional supplements containing probiotics are popular purchases for some horse owners, even if not all of these products' label claims are backed by research. But some researchers are working to better understand these probiotics' effects on horses. At the 2013 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 17-21, in Las Vegas, Nev., one veterinarian presented research behind a certain type of probiotic supplement for horses.

Martin Furr, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, a professor and Adelaide C. Riggs Chair in Equine Medicine at Virginia Tech’s Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, described a preliminary study evaluating the effects of using Pediococcus acidilactici and Saccharomyces boulardii-based probiotics in horses.

Probiotics are a subtype of immunomodulators, which are substances designed to enhance the body’s defense mechanisms...

Read more here:

Monday, April 22, 2013

2013 National Equestrian Trails Conference

Registration Now Available
July 18-20, 2013 
Rock Hill, S.C.
The National Equestrian Trails Conference will be held July 18-20, 2013 in Rock Hill, S.C. The South Carolina Horsemen's Council is excited to be hosting this national conference, which grew out of the Southeastern Trails Conference.

Equestrian trail conferences are driven by the goal of preserving trail riding in natural settings on both public and private land. This conference will focus on preserving cultural heritages-that is, a long-standing tradition of enjoying horse trails in natural heritage settings.

Furtherance of any movement begins with the education of advocates for a cause. The cause we serve is the promotion of land and natural resource stewardship among horsemen, guided by a deep sense of the need for ethical behavior, both ecologically and socially.

Land ethicist Aldo Leopold developed the idea of the "ecological conscience,"  i.e.  the extension of the social conscience to the greater community of soils, waters, plants and animals on the natural landscape. That idea is today universally accepted.  If that community is to survive, we must also maintain the assets critical to the environment, thus enhancing our quality of life.

In our conferences we attempt to create awareness among trail riders that we all must become ecologically conscious of the need for stewardship.  The vision of trail riders as conservationists is a key theme. The future of our trail riding heritage lies in our commitment to this cause.

We would like to recognize our proud sponsors who have already come on board to help support this exciting topic!
American Quarter Horse Association
Horse Tales TV         
Carolina Hoofbeats Magazine
Kentucky Horse Council
South Carolina Horse Council
Southeast Endurance Riders Association
Equine Land Conservation Resource
American Endurance Ride Conference
Chattahoochee Trail Horse Association
Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association
South Carolina Upstate Equine council
Start Em Right
South Eastern Distance Riders Association

Registration for NETC 2013 will be coming shortly.

The Kentucky Horse Council is a
Platinum Sponsor of NETC 2013.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Back Country Horsemen of Washington Clear Downed Trees in Alpine Lakes Wilderness

April 17, 2013
Peg Greiwe
by Sarah Wynne Jackson
No matter how often we maintain our trails, they are subject to the whims of Mother Nature. The hard working folks of Back Country Horsemen of America are always ready to work together to clean up the messes Mother sometimes makes.
If you live and ride in Washington State, you probably remember the late spring windstorms of 2011 that left behind extensive damage, including countless downed trees. Some popular trails in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness were left completely impassable to horses.
At approximately 390,000 acres, the Alpine Lakes Wilderness is the largest wilderness area near the population centers of Puget Sound, Washington. The wilderness spans the Cascade Mountain Range, encompassing parts of Wenatchee National Forest and Snoqualmie National Forest.
Many Hands Get the Job Done
The Alpine Lakes Trail Riders Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Washington did some small log-outs that summer. But they quickly realized the immensity of the downfall would require more equipment, more volunteers, and more horsepower. Then they learned from the Cle Elum Ranger District of the US Forest Service that some of their favorite riding trails might stay closed for a couple of years due to a shortage of staff to clear the downed trees.
With BCHA’s typical “can-do” attitude, the Alpine Lakes Trail Riders Chapter applied for a grant from Back Country Horsemen Foundation of America. Not only did they obtain the grant funds, the chapter also received substantial support from fellow Back Country Horsemen of Washington chapters.
Before the clearing could begin, they needed specialized crosscut saws and other equipment necessary for removing large downed trees. Through members of other BCHW chapters, the Alpine Lakes Trail Riders found everything they needed. From John Starling, a knowledgeable saw man, they purchased two saws suitable for the task. Lewis County Chapter member Jim Thode supplied plastic scabbards for the saws, and the skillful folks at Don Bacon’s Leather Shop made straps and quick release hooks to hang the scabbards from a saddle.
A 6000-pound high-lift jack was modified so it could be used to pull the cut log sections off the trail. A few chopping axes, wedges, and a peavey (a hook made specifically for handling logs), and the Alpine Lakes Trail Riders, led by member Jason Ridlon, were ready to get the job done.
Although the work was scheduled to begin on Waptus Pass Trail #1329 in mid-July, winter stayed late. Not to be deterred, a group of Alpine Lakes Trail Riders rode to snow line, then snow shoed in with the saws and other equipment on pack frames. They cleared about two miles of the trail, leaving the saws and equipment for the next weekend.
After a week of warmer temperatures, the Alpine Lakes Trail Riders were able to get their horses deeper into the wilderness. They worked alongside members of the Northwest Youth Corps on Waptus Pass. Three ALTR members stayed on the first two miles of Polallie Ridge Trail #1309  for three days and logged out 80 trees. Working closely with the US Forest Service, other members cleared Escondido Lake Trail #1320, removing 30 windfall trees by day’s end, once again opening the trail to stock.
Back Country Horsemen of America recognizes the resourcefulness, organization, and hard work the members of BCH Washington invested in getting this accomplished. This monumental project benefited equestrians and other trail users alike, but it could not have taken place without horses. The Alpine Lakes Wilderness area is one of the most popular outdoor recreational areas in the State of Washington, but because of its wilderness designation, no wheeled or motorized equipment such as off-road vehicles, four-wheelers, motorbikes, or even bicycles are allowed. There is no substitute for good old-fashioned horsepower!
About Back Country Horsemen of America
BCHA is a non-profit corporation made up of state organizations, affiliates, and at-large members. Their efforts have brought about positive changes in regards to the use of horses and stock in wilderness and public lands.
If you want to know more about Back Country Horsemen of America or become a member, visit their website:, call 888-893-5161, or write PO Box 1367, Graham, WA 98338-1367. The future of horse use on public lands is in our hands!

Botulism and Horses

FREE Ask The Vet LIVE Q&A Thursday, April 25, 8 p.m. EDT

Botulism bacteria cause “shaker foal syndrome” and can be deadly in adult animals as well.

Join on Thursday, April 25, at 8 p.m. EDT for a FREE Ask the Vet Live audio and Q&A event on botulism in horses. Our veterinary experts answer your questions about the causes, clinical signs, prevention, and treatment of botulism in horses, sponsored by Neogen Corporation.

Submit your questions now to be answered during the live event!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Feeding After Exercise: Effect on Glucose and Glycogen Responses in Horses - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · April 1, 2013

Carbohydrates, especially muscle glycogen, are key sources of energy for working muscle. When muscle glycogen is depleted during exercise, fatigue occurs rapidly.

Because glycogen is a valuable energy substrate during exercise, replenishment of its stores is extremely important. Diets high in soluble carbohydrate should have a positive effect on muscle glycogen repletion, but some studies have noted that glycogen resynthesis in horses is slow even when high-grain diets are fed. If repletion to pre-exercise levels does not occur, subsequent performances may be negatively affected. In humans, feeding carbohydrates soon after exercise affects the uptake of glucose by muscle and increases the synthesis of muscle glycogen as compared to feeding a carbohydrate source several hours after exercise. Typically, horses are not fed the grain portion (soluble carbohydrate source) of the diet during the early (< 1.5 hours) post-exercise (PE) period. However, feeding the grain meal closer to the end of exercise may be more beneficial for the horse, if muscle glycogen resynthesis can be effected. Enhanced glycogen resynthesis after exercise could be important for horses that compete on consecutive days, such as three-day eventers... Read more here:

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Rain Gardens on Horse Properties - Full Article

by Alayne Renée Blickle

11 April 2013

Rain gardens are a bright new idea for dealing with an age-old nemesis on horse properties - too much water and MUD! And they are a fun way to deal with April showers.

Rain gardens can do many things, such as:
• Reduce flooding;
• Reduce mud and erosion;
• Filter polluted runoff;
• Recharge groundwater;
• Provide wildlife habitat; and
• Provide an attractive, low-cost landscaping feature.

If you’re a horse person and you’ve never heard of a rain garden, stick with me here. A rain garden is simply a planted shallow depression in the ground that captures and temporarily holds rainwater from downspouts and from rain running downhill across the ground (called surface runoff). It is sort of like a miniature pond that drains, planted with native plants that don’t mind getting their feet wet. In more urban environments the surface runoff is from hard surface areas like parking lots, roofs and driveways...

Read more here:

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

CHRB Okays Purina Feeds Based on Investigation - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor • Apr 04, 2013 • Article #31647

Based on the results of an investigation by Purina Animal Nutrition, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) has announced its licensed feed vendors can once again deliver some of the manufacturer's sweet feed products previously found to contain the drug zilpaterol.

On March 22, the CHRB reported that a number of sweet feed products containing a molasses base produced by Purina at its Turlock, Calif., mill contained zilpaterol (a beta-2 agonist used to promote weight gain in livestock), which is prohibited in racing and many other equestrian sports. The CHRB subsequently dismissed 48 zilpaterol-positive drug tests from March 1 to March 26, citing feed contamination.

In an April 3 statement, the CHRB said, "The California Horse Racing Board has received assurances from Purina that feed produced at their Turlock plant no longer contains zilpaterol...

Read more here:

Friday, April 05, 2013

Plan Now for National Trails Day on June 1st

4 April 2013

National Trails Day is coming up quickly on June 1, 2013. This is a day celebrated by horseback trail riders, as well as a variety of other trail user groups.

National Trails Day is a great opportunity for trail groups to put together fun events and activities to promote and enjoy the trails they love.

If your group would like to host an event, or you as an individual would like to participate in an event, please be sure to visit the American Hiking Society's National Trails Day website. On this site, you can register to host an event and you can search for events in your area to attend.

Another great way to promote your event is to add it to the Kentucky Horse Council's online calendar. This further ensures that equestrians in Kentucky will know about it, as they will find it on the website and in our weekly eNews.

If you would like to read more about Kentucky statistics in regards to outdoor recreation, click here.

Here's a more elaborate explanation about National Trails Day from the American Hiking Society:

When is National Trails Day®?
This year National Trails Day will occur on June 1, 2013. National Trails Day is always the first Saturday in June.

What is National Trails Day®?
American Hiking Society's National Trails Day® (NTD) is a celebration of America's magnificent Trail System, occuring annually on the first Saturday in June. NTD features a series of outdoor activities, designed to promote and celebrate the importance of trails in the United States. Individuals, clubs and organizations from around the country host National Trails Day® events to share their love of trails with friends, family, and their communities. NTD introduces thousands of Americans to a wide array of trail activities: hiking, biking, paddling, horseback riding, trail running, and bird watching and more. For public and private land managers alike, National Trails Day® is a great time to showcase beautiful landscapes and special or threatened locales as thousands of people will be outside looking to participate in NTD events.

National Trails Day® evolved during the late ‘80s and ‘90s from a popular ethos among trail advocates, outdoor industry leaders and political bodies who wanted to unlock the vast potential in America’s National Trails System, transforming it from a collection of local paths into a true network of interconnected trails and vested trail organizations. This collective mindset hatched the idea of a singular day where the greater trail community could band together behind the NTD moniker to show their pride and dedication to the National Trails System.

View the National Trails Day historical timeline.

Why Celebrate Trails?
America's 200,000 miles of trails allow us access to the natural world for recreation, education, exploration, solitude, inspiration, and much more. Trails give us a means to support good physical and mental health; they provide us with a chance to breathe fresh air, get our hearts pumping, and escape from our stresses. All it takes is a willingness to use them!

National Trails Day® also aims to highlight the important work thousands of volunteers do each year to take care of America's trails. Trails do not just magically appear for our enjoyment; their construction and maintenance takes hours of dedicated planning and labor. So give thanks to your local volunteers and consider taking a day to give back to your favorite trail.

Who Can Host a National Trails Day® event?
Anyone can host a National Trails Day® event. If you need help with programming ideas or would like more information, take some time to read through the materials on the host information page. There you will find all the information you need to host a successful event. Once you've planned the event, remember to register it!

Who Can Attend a National Trails Day® event?
Anyone is allowed to attend public NTD events, unless otherwise noted. All public events are listed under the event search page. Events registered as "private" will not appear on the event search page.

What Kinds of Events are Included?
National Trails Day® events involve a broad array of activities, including hiking, bike riding, trail maintenance, birding, wildlife photography, geocaching, paddle trips, trail running, trail dedications, health-focused programs, and children’s activities. Whatever you like to do outdoors, there is bound to be an event to fit your interests. If you don't find the type of event you want, then plan it yourself -- and be sure to register it.

How do Trails Make You Healthy?
Trails give you the opportunity to get your heart pumping, lungs expanding, and muscles working at various levels of difficulty, thereby improving your physical as well as mental well-being. With obesity rates skyrocketing, exercise is increasingly important, and trails provide a wide variety of opportunities for being physically active.

Are You Driving on Safe Tires?

4 April 2013

Are you driving on safe tires? Just how often do you need to replace your tires?

There are 3 times you need to replace your tires- when your tires are worn, when they are damaged, and when they are old.

Tires degrade over time, especially with salt, chemicals, and UV light. The generally accepted rule of thumb is to replace your tires when they are 5 years old, regardless of how much wear they have. Many Tire manufacturers recommend replacing them after 3 to 4 years.

If a tire manufacturer recommends replacing them in a shorter period than 5 years, the manufacturer's recommendations should always be followed. The date of manufacture is stamped on the sidewall to determine the month and year.

Every time you trailer however, you should inspect your tire for damage. Tires should be replaced if there is any bulging at the sidewalls or tread, if there are chunks chipped out of the tire, or if there are any signs of dry rot- such as cracks emerging in the tire. If you are storing your trailer outdoors with exposed tires, consider tire covers to protect against UV exposure.

Trailer tires rarely wear out and typically are replaced for age or damage- however; the trailer tire life is only around 10,000 miles, shorter than most car and truck tires.

The Penny test is an effective tool for determining if the trailer tire has worn past its safe life. Place the penny in the tire head first. If you can see the entire head of the penny, its time to replace the tire! if not, you still have enough tread!

Trailering Tips from: TowPal

The TowPal Trailer Safety Communication system is available to Kentucky Horse Council members at a discounted price. For more information, visit

Prevalence of Horse Behavior Problems Under Saddle Evaluated - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre • Apr 04, 2013 • Article #31640

We read about researchers studying behavior problems in horses. We hear about trainers and “horse whisperers” that can fix these problems. But we really didn’t have a clear idea of how prevalent these problems in riding horses are—nor how frequently riders use special tack and equipment to help control them. We do now, thanks to a British researcher.

As many as 91% of leisure riding horses in the United Kingdom exhibit some sort of behavior problem under saddle on a regular basis, said Jo S. Hockenhull, PhD, of the School of Veterinary Science at the University of Bristol, England...

Read more here:

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Biomechanics and Hoof Problems, Treatment (AAEP 2012) - Full Article

By Nancy S. Loving, DVM • Apr 02, 2013 • Article #31630

Lameness caused by foot problems is common in the horse, and it can significantly impact how well a horse can perform. Hoof bruising, heel soreness, hoof cracks all create discomfort that alter a horse’s gait and prevent him from giving his utmost to an athletic task. Nearly all equine foot diseases have their root in biomechanics, noted a University of Georgia veterinarian at a recent in-depth podiatry seminar, and veterinarians and farriers must take a biomechanical approach to treating these problems.

Andrew Parks, MA, VetMB, MRCVS, Dipl. ACVS, professor of Large Animal Medicine at the University of Georgia’s School of Veterinary Medicine reviewed important elements of equine foot anatomy during the session, which was held during the 2012 American Association of Equine Practitioners’ Convention, held Dec. 1-5 in Anaheim, Calif.

Parks started with a bit of biomechanical anatomy review: While the long bones of the skeletal system, such as the radius (forearm) or the cannon bone, effectively transmit force from one end to the other, the distal phalanx (coffin bone, a short bone) , acts as a shock absorber, transferring weight-bearing forces from the hoof to the skeletal system. This bone is also well-adapted for attachment to soft tissues (tendons and ligaments) that aid or resist movement. “The principle forces acting on the foot are the weight of the horse, the ground reaction force (GRF), and the tension in the deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT, which runs from the underside of the coffin bone to the flexor muscles higher in the leg),” he explained...

Read more here:

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Exercise, Nutritional Supplement's Effects on Inflammation - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor • Mar 29, 2013 • Article #31598

Researchers are a step closer to helping owners and trainers identify whether a horse is at risk for soft tissue injury. A simple blood test could reveal inflammatory mediators indicating the animal has sustained tissue damage and could be vulnerable to further harm.

David Horohov, PhD, William Robert Mills Chair at the University of Kentucky's Gluck Equine Research Center, described the usefulness of detecting pro-inflammatory cytokine mRNA at the 2012 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Dec. 1-5 in Anaheim, Calif.

"The expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine mRNA post-exercise is an indicator of the body’s response to tissue damage that has occurred during the exercise," Horohov explained. "While we normally associate inflammation with a disease state, the fact is that some inflammation is necessary to begin the healing process...

Read more here: