Saturday, August 31, 2013

Disease Outbreak Alert tracks outbreaks and disease information in your area and around the country.

Use this site to see which diseases - West Nile Virus, Rabies, Influenza, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Western Equine Encephalitis, Potomac Horse Fever, and Equine Herpes Virus have been reported in your area. Once you get the interactive map, you can click on an alert for details of a disease to see exactly where it was reported in a human or horse. You can forward the alerts and you can sign up for outbreak alerts in your inbox.

Friday, August 30, 2013

GAO Gov. Report: Public Access Threatened by Inadequate Trail Resources

Wilderness Society and Backcountry Horsemen say 21st century trail investments should match value of recreation
Paul Spitler, The Wilderness Society (202) 360-1912,
Jim McGarvey, Back Country Horsemen of America (706) 669-1015.
WASHINGTON (June 27, 2013) -  The National Forest System contains the largest network of trails in the world but lacks the resources and staff to keep up with growing recreation demands according to the first government study on the topic in nearly twenty-five years.
Two national public lands groups who requested the study say the results clearly spell out the need for improved investments for the Forest Service trail system, including more reliable funding and a more systematic approach to organizing volunteers.
According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a non-partisan government research wing, Forest Service trails are receiving more use than ever even as the maintenance and reconstruction backlog ballooned to $524 million in 2012.  That figure has increased by more than half since 1989, the last time the GAO analyzed the National Forest trail system.
While more people than ever are heading into National Forests in pursuit of exercise, relaxation, and adventure, only one quarter of all trails are maintained to standard. According to the report, this backlog prevents public access, poses dangers to public safety, and degrades clean water.
The Wilderness Society and Back Country Horsemen of America originally requested the study from several prominent members of Congress including Rep. Simpson of Idaho, Rep. Lummis of Wyoming, and Rep. Moran of Virginia. The groups say the report's findings present cause for concern but are not an insurmountable challenge.
According to The Wilderness Society, the most straight-forward solution is more reliable trail funding to better match the benefit recreation provides back to the public and economy.
National Forests receive over 165 million visitors each year but only about $80 million each year is dedicated to maintaining the trails these visitors use. That works out to be less than 50 cents of on-the-ground dollars per visitor. 
"Trails contribute over $80 billion each year to the outdoor recreation industry but they receive a paltry investment in return," said Paul Spitler, Director of Wilderness Campaigns.  "In this era of budget-constraints, additional funding for trail maintenance may be difficult to acquire but it's incredibly important. At the same time we need to investigate other creative solutions to help supplement limited funds and stretch every dollar further," he said.
Volunteers are the biggest free resource available to help tackle the problem according to the Back Country Horsemen of America, one of the largest volunteer-based trail organizations in the country. 
 "We've seen first-hand how partnerships with the Forest Service brings people together and can leverage more resources more effectively,"said Jim McGarvey, chairman of the Back Country Horsemen.  "Congress and the Forest Service should encourage the use of more creative partnerships whenever possible to get more out of every dollar, empower our volunteer networks, and ensure existing resources are used more efficiently."
A shining example of volunteer power is found in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests in Georgia, where the Forest Service convened a collaborative trails program and leveraged volunteer contributions to the equivalent of twenty-one full time employees in 2010.
"Our trails won't take care of themselves, so collaboration and leveraging resources and volunteer power is the name of the game now," said McGarvey. "Until we can get more dedicated trail dollars from Congress, these partnerships represent our best path forward."

Grandin on Keeping Horses Calm During Handling - Full Article

By Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief
Aug 26, 2013

Paying attention to details is crucial when considering unusual equine behaviors, their causes, and how to manage them.

Case in point: A new addition to the Louisville, Ky., zoo’s zebra herd had been skittish and generally experiencing a tough time acclimating to his new home.

Temple Grandin, PhD, featured speaker at the 2013 American College of Theriogenology (ACT) Symposia and Conference, held in Louisville Aug. 7-10, stopped in at the zoo, observed, and asked some questions. She recognized that the zebra had reason for not relaxing: an adjacent lion exhibit.

"Only a certain zebra had trouble," Grandin explained to a veterinary audience in her Aug. 9 presentation, in which she emphasized the importance of factoring in such specifics when handling livestock. "There is individual difference in animal behavior. It was one particular zebra; he had lived in a much more wild (situation with) less human contact..."

Read more here:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Equine Land Conservation Resource Releases Best Management Practices Guide for Horse Keeping

August 26, 2013
Contact: Holley Groshek, Director of Marketing and Communications
Equine Land Conservation Resource

Horse facilities come with many unanticipated costs and challenges. Changing local regulations, damage from storms and other weather events, and limited resources interrupt day-to-day operations. Best Management Practices (BMPs) are practical tactics designed to mitigate the cost and impact of these challenges.

To help horse owners and facility managers with these issues, ELCR, with support from the Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation, has developed a BMP guide. The guide, entitled Best Management Practices Can Help Your Bottom Line, is a series of articles that introduce the basics that any horse facility manager needs to know. The articles are designed to serve as an introduction and include links to local resources for more specialized information. Individual articles cover the following topics:

Managing Soil
Pasture Management
Pasture Edges and Gateways
Manure Management
Soil Conditions and Soil Protection
Sacrifice Lots
Managing Water
Infiltration Basins and Rain Gardens
Vegetated Buffers
Natural and Engineered Wetlands
Healthy Streams for Water Quality
Planning and Managing Horse Facilities
Site Planning
Paving Surfaces
Wildlife Friendly Fencing
End of Life Issues
The complete BMP guide, Best Management Practices Can Help Your Bottom Line, is available on the ELCR website by using the following link

Monday, August 19, 2013

Back Country Horsemen of America Announces New Chairman

For Immediate Release: 
August 15, 2013
Contact: Peg Greiwe
Back Country Horsemen of America Announces New Chairman
By Sarah Wynne Jackson
Back Country Horsemen of America has been keeping horses on America’s trails for 40 years. An organization that began with a handful of members in one western state has spread clear across the nation to include 26 states, 11 of which are east of the Mississippi. It seems fitting that the new Chairman in their 40th year is Jim McGarvey, a horseman from Calhoun, Georgia, BCHA’s first Chairman from east of the Rocky Mountains.
A Track Record of Success
He comes to Back Country Horsemen of America as an accomplished businessman. As co-founder and CEO of BenchMark Consulting International, Jim built “the smallest company with the biggest clients in the world.” Its fifty professionals specialized in bank operations consulting to major financial institutions on six continents, identifying and implementing world class best practices. These clients included 48 of the 50 largest U.S. banks and the lending arms of the 15 largest automakers and other industrial corporations. After twenty years, BenchMark Consulting International was acquired in August of 2000. 
Jim served as Executive Director of Auction America Corporation, which grew to be the second largest antique automobile auction company in America, with over a dozen auctions annually across the United States. At age 28, he helped put the company together from scratch, managing day to day operations including advertising, financial settlements, event preparation, and buyer-seller satisfaction. The company even held a thousand car auction in Los Angeles that was recorded for television. Auction America, one of whose important shareholders was Russ Jackson, is now part of the historical development of the Barrett-Jackson Auctions as seen on the Speed Channel.
One of Their Own
A trail rider for the last three decades, Jim also takes his new position with a wealth of leadership experience in Back Country Horsemen of America. It began when he became a founding member and Vice President of Back Country Horsemen of North Georgia and, in the following year, took on the role of President. With the help of BCHA leadership and alongside numerous trail riding organizations, he led a several months-long effort of positive discussions with the US Forest Supervisor to reinstate cross-country access to horses in the one-million acre Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest.
Jim then became Chairman of Back Country Horsemen of Georgia, and then served two years as a member of the Back Country Horsemen of America Executive Committee. These progressive leadership roles give Jim a unique understanding of BCHA as a national service organization whose goals benefit individual equestrians.
Plan for a Bright Future
Working with the BCHA Executive Committee, Jim has outlined a plan for moving BCHA into new expanding accomplishments in the next 40 years. This year, Back Country Horsemen of America has over 13,000 members, the highest in the history of the organization. Jim wants to see that number continue to climb. Along with more members, he expects an increase in BCHA’s already astounding contribution of volunteer work.
But it takes more than fixing trails and removing fallen trees to keep horses on our public lands. Equestrians need to work with the US Forest Service, speak with our congressmen, coordinate with land managers, team up with other trail groups, and attend planning meetings to be sure horses are included. BCH folks across the country already do this extensively in many ways, and Jim encourages members to step up their efforts on the local, state, and national levels.
Back Country Horsemen of America groups boast some very skilled crews who spend their own money on equipment, fuel, and travel to put their expertise to work maintaining trails for the benefit of all trail users. BCHA’s new Chairman recognizes that those skills are becoming more valuable as federal and state budgets shrink. It would be easier but far too costly to deliver workers and equipment by helicopter to the remote areas that need maintenance. The ability to pack equipment and materials on horses is sometimes the only way in areas where motorized vehicles are prohibited. Jim wants to see more members learning those skills, adding to the skills they already have, and putting them to use where our trails are in most need of repair.
Jim’s plan also includes spreading the word about how Back Country Horsemen of America works for you, and for every individual who enjoys our beautiful land by horseback. It’s hard to believe, but there are still horse folks who haven’t heard of BCHA and all the ways they’re keeping horses on trails from coast to coast. Back Country Horsemen of America extends an invitation to equestrians across the nation to join them in protecting our right to ride horses on public lands.
About Back Country Horsemen of America
BCHA proudly welcomes Jim McGarvey as new Chairman and looks forward to achieving new accomplishments under his leadership.
BCHA is a non-profit corporation made up of state organizations, affiliates, and at-large members. Their efforts have brought about positive changes regarding the use of horses and stock in the 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!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Positive, Negative Reinforcement in Horse Training Compared - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre
Aug 14, 2013

As the concept of positive reinforcement gains popularity, researchers are trying to confirm its effectiveness at a more baseline level. According to a group of Midwestern equitation scientists, training young horses to load into a trailer is equally effective and stressful whether they’re trained using positive or negative reinforcement.

“Both methods (positive and negative reinforcement) proved equally effective in young, inexperienced horses with limited prior experience to handling,” said Kristina Hiney, PhD, associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, who described her study on the topic at the 9th Annual International Society for Equitation Science, held July 18-20 at the University of Delaware, in Newark...

Read more here:

Friday, August 16, 2013

Botulism in Horses: An Update - Full Article

By Michelle N. Anderson, Digital Editor

Rising hay prices and the financial crunch caused by 2009's Great Recession drove many horse owners to seek less expensive forage sources, including large round bales, haylage, and silage. But according to Amy Johnson, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, compromising on hay quality and feeding from half-ton bales led to a larger problem: an uptick in reported cases of equine botulism.

Johnson, who studies the disease at the University of Pennsylvania’s National Botulism Reference Laboratory and treats horses at the university’s New Bolton Center, presented a lecture on “Advances in Diagnosis and Treatment of Botulism” at the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, held June 12-16, 2013, in Seattle, Wash.

So, what advances have taken place in the diagnosis of botulism in horses?

“The short version: Not as many as we’d like,” Johnson said lightly, before giving an overview of the bacterium, its toxin, the neurologic disease it causes, and current recommendations for diagnosis and treatment...

Read more here:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Maintenance Diet for my Endurance Gelding - Full Article

I own a seven-year-old Arabian gelding that weighs about 875 lb (400 kg). He is an endurance prospect that I ride five days a week, with three of those rides being 10-mile (16-km) training sessions at the trot. He is stalled four to six hours per day, and the remainder of the time is spent at pasture. When I first got him, he was underweight so he was given free feed until his weight was at an acceptable level. Now, I would like to taper him to a maintenance schedule. How much pelleted feed should he be given per day to maintain weight?

Read answer here:

Adequan Could Return to Market Later this Month - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor
Aug 05, 2013

Luitpold Animal Health, manufacturers of Adequan products, issued an update Aug. 1 on the drug's current and future availability. The company announced in May that they expected supply shortages due to factory renovations at their Shirley, N.Y., facility, and supplies have been limited throughout the late spring and early summer.

"Luitpold has been working closely with the Food and Drug Administration to assure that Adequan is made available as soon as possible," the Aug. 1 statement read. "As a result of these efforts, we have been able to revise our target date for product availability from our original estimate of the first quarter 2014. We now anticipate release of Adequan products to the market beginning in late August 2013..."

Read more here:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Excitement, Feeling, and Attachment's Impact on Training - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre
Aug 02, 2013

Horse training techniques range from positive and negative reinforcement to clicker training, food or scratching rewards, vocal commands, and more. But if you can't get your horse to respond to any of these methods, you might not be taking into consideration how the horse feels.

According to two leading equitation scientists, the success or failure of training has a lot to do with the horse’s state of “arousal” as well as his level of “attachment”—as in, attachment to you, his person...

Read more here:

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Short Time Discount on Registration for Horses 2 and Older

June 17, 2013
Contact: AHA

Aurora, CO (June 17, 2013) - Beginning July 1, the Arabian Horse Association will offer a discount on registration for horses 2 and older. Members who register their horses during this period, which ends December 31, 2013, will save $100 on purebred registration, paying only $250, and $40 on Half-Arabian or Anglo-Arabian registration, paying only $75. A discount on registration has only been offered a handful of times in history - do not miss this opportunity!

By extending this offer, the Arabian Horse Association hopes to capture horses that have gone unregistered past the age of 2. By adding these horses to our records, we continue the legacy of pedigree record keeping started thousands of years ago for Arabian horses.

"Registering your Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian connects them to their breed's legacy; a very long-lasting, full and rich legacy, every horse has a right to that connection," says Debbie Fuentes, AHA Registrar and Sr. Director of Customer Service. "The discounted registration price allows owners to register their older horses and give them a connection to their lineage, raising the horse's value and confirming their identity, which helps to ensure they have a better life."

Registering horses ultimately provides a more thorough genetic picture for breeders and owners to produce the highest quality animals in the future. Registering your horse and transferring its ownership after sale is also helpful in keeping horses out of situations where their health and welfare is compromised.

If you are new to registering horses, call an AHA Customer Service Representative at (303) 696-4500 to get all your questions answered. Horses eligible for this short-time discount must be 2 years of age or older and meet registration requirements. You may also visit for more information.

See more at:

Equine Pastern Dermatitis: A Pathologist's Perspective - Full Article

By Equine Disease Quarterly
Jul 12, 2013

Inflammatory conditions of the pastern will be appearing with increasing frequency during the summer season. But as a diagnosis, “pastern dermatitis” leaves much to be desired. When this alone is noted on a biopsy report, it leaves the clinician and client with little useful knowledge.

Other names for this condition, with slightly varying clinical appearances, include scratches, mud fever, grease heel, dew poisoning, grapes, canker, and verrucous pododermatitis. But again, these colorful descriptors do not indicate the root of the problem. For that, pathologists rely on a series of modifiers describing the more subtle histologic (microscopic) variations on the theme of “dermatitis,” and, just as importantly, a detailed history...

Read more here: