Thursday, January 30, 2014

Back Country Horsemen of America Welcomes New Advocacy Partner

January 28, 2014

by Sarah Wynne Jackson
Back Country Horseman of America preserves our right to ride horses on public lands across the country. They know that joining forces with other groups strengthens our voice and our influence. They proudly introduce their latest Advocacy Partner, the Lake Ray Roberts Equestrian Trail Association. LRRETA is an affiliate of the Greenbelt Alliance of Denton County, a not-for-profit organization that promotes recreation and preservation of the Greenbelt of Lake Ray Roberts State Park in Texas. 
The Best Trail in Texas
Located just outside the city of Pilot Point in North Texas, the Lake Ray Roberts equestrian trail system is 20 miles of multi-use trails that runs north from Highway 380 to Pilot Point. This unique trail corridor meanders along the heavily wooded banks of the Elm Fork Branch of the Trinity River. Equestrians, hikers, and bikers can access the trail at three trailheads.
This popular trail is shaded from summer sun and shielded from winter winds. Considered one of the best trails in Texas, it offers riders beautiful scenery and varied terrain, including undulating hills and flat stretches, woods and meadows. The highly prized sandy loam soil provides excellent footing, regardless of the weather. 
Coming Together to Get It Done
In 2010, local flooding washed out a bridge in the middle of the trail, significantly impacting the trail experience by breaking it into two shorter trails. Park Rangers proposed collapsing the equestrian trail into the biking trails due to the wash-out, but over 200 equestrians responded to a call to action and expressed their support for separate and expanded horse trails. The equestrian community volunteered to clear trails and attended various meetings to resolve the damaged section. 
In June 2013, the Lake Ray Roberts Equestrian Trail Association formed to restore the trail to its original condition. In short order, they voted in officers, created a Board of Directors, and appointed folks to oversee various committees. Their goal is to raise $60,000 to $120,000 to replace the bridge through construction of a new one or placement of a used one.
LRRETA’s long-term mission is to maintain and enhance the Lake Ray Roberts equestrian trail system. Certified horse country, Denton County and the Pilot Point area are home to many riders of different disciplines, all of whom enjoy taking their horses on the trail. In the future, LRRETA would like to add additional and enhanced horse camp sites and put Lake Ray Roberts on the map as a destination for trail riders from across the country.
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 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!
Peg Greiwe

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Swirlology, The Study of Hair Swirls or Whorls in Horses - Full Articleby Charlotte Cannon
Updated 11/11/12

From the most ancient times, man has studied the world around him for signs and clues. Horses have been a huge fascination since 30,000 BC when they were first drawn on the walls of caves. Ancient students of the horse may have studied things and made conclusions that we find foolish today. But as with everything that is old and becomes new again, the study of swirls, although rarely shared insights, experiences and knowledge, has always has had its believers. Here we will uncover some of the ideas and help you better understand how they work and influence who and what your horse is and who and what he may become.

I have studied everything about horses in great detail from conformation - form to function; to horse personalities - which jobs suit which personality. Thinking horsemen are always striving to understand and maximize their horses more fully. Studying the swirls or whorls (trichoglyphs) of hair on a horse's face, head and body can offer many important clues to both personality and performance. Swirls and their placement give us a greater understanding of the energy flow through the horse. By accurately reading the swirls, one can choose the horse partner that is best suited to his or her goals, or reject an unsuitable horse before time, money and emotion are invested. Swirls can lead us to a deeper understanding and acceptance of our horses...

Read more here:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Feed Recommendations for 100 Mile Endurance Horse - Full Article

Can you recommend which feeds would be best during a 100-mile ride for holds at vet checks? Which feed you would recommend for the two to three weeks after a ride when my horse is running around the pasture on rest and recovery but not being ridden?

Feeding during a ride. The most important thing about feeding at rest stops during a ride is to keep the horse eating—whatever it takes. Their taste choices can change dramatically at this time and what the horse normally eats on a daily basis may seem unappetizing during a race. The key is to have a variety of feed choices to keep the horse interested in eating. Sometimes it is the neighbor’s meal that appeals and not what you have brought for him. The important thing is to offer what is appetizing so he does get something in his stomach during his time at the stop.

On the forage side, good-quality grass hay and alfalfa (lucerne) would be available for the horse to nibble on. Sometimes they will want the alfalfa, sometimes the grass hay. It is hard to predict which will be most enticing, so have both. The forages can be in the form of regular hay or chopped hay (chaff) or hay cubes/pellets. Because water intake is of the utmost importance, the forage can be served wet, or the chopped, cubed or pelleted hay can be made into a mash with something like beet pulp and wheat bran. If there is green grass available, the horse will truly benefit from grazing or being offered some fresh-cut grass because it not only supplies the horse with beneficial fiber but it is also 70-80% water...

Read more here:

Friday, January 24, 2014

Designing Shared Use Trails to Include Equestrians

Anne M. O'Dell shared a presentation on ways to include horse riding in multi-use trail projects. She covers horse behavior, space needs for trailers, signs and courtesy, trail tread design, surfaces and water crossings, and other facilities. The 56 slides are illustrated and make a good starting point for examining ways to include equestrians in a variety of trails and recreation facilities.

Download a pdf of the presentation here:

Monday, January 20, 2014

Bill Would Extend Equine Industry Tax Benefit - Full Article

By The Blood-Horse Staff
Jan 14, 2014

During 2013 horse owners, breeders, and businesses enjoyed a number of favorable tax provisions that have now reverted to lower levels or expired.

The American Horse Council (AHC) reported Jan. 13 more than 60 tax provisions expired; some applied to all businesses, including the horse industry, and one specifically applicable to racehorse owners...

Read more here:

2014 Fiscal Bill Could Defund USDA Horsemeat Inspections - Full Article

By Pat Raia
Jan 14, 2014

Horse processing in the United States could stop again even before it begins if both houses of Congress pass a comprehensive funding bill that deprives the USDA of funds to carry out horsemeat inspections.

Prior to 2007, USDA personnel carried out horsemeat inspections at U.S. horse processing plants. In 2007, Congress voted to strip the USDA of funding required to pay personnel conducting such inspections at the last two operational domestic equine processing plants...

Read more here:

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Congress Blocks Domestic Horse Slaughter

Media Contact: Stephanie Twining: 240-751-3943,
Congress Blocks Domestic Horse Slaughter

WASHINGTON (Jan. 16, 2014) — The spending bill passed this evening by the Senate, and that cleared the House yesterday, includes a provision that halts any efforts to resume slaughtering horses for human consumption on U.S. soil. The legislation, which President Obama will sign in the coming days, forbids spending by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on inspections at U.S. horse slaughter plants, reinstating a ban on domestic horse slaughter for the fiscal year and saving taxpayers an estimated expense of $5 million. The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund now call on Congress to pass a permanent ban on domestic horse slaughter with the Safeguard American Food Exports Act, H.R. 1094 / S. 541, which would also end the export of American horses for slaughter abroad.
Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, said: “We Americans care for horses, we ride horses, and we even put them to work.  But we don’t eat horses in the United States.  And we shouldn’t be gathering them up and slaughtering them for people to eat in far-off places.”
“We stopped slaughtering horses on U.S. soil in 2007, and it’s the right policy to continue that prohibition. We hope that all parties associated with this issue can agree to stop the inhumane export of live horses to Canada and Mexico, and protect all American horses from a disreputable, predatory industry.”
The HSUS also thanks the sponsors of the amendment addressing horse slaughter, Reps. Jim Moran, D-Va., and the late Bill Young, R-Fla., and Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
• A similar spending prohibition had been put in place in 2005, however it was not renewed in 2011, opening the door for horse slaughter plants to reopen on U.S. soil. Efforts underway in to open horse slaughterhouses in New Mexico, Missouri and Iowa have been met with strong public opposition.
• The Humane Society of the United States joined with several animal protection organizations and individuals to file suit against USDA to block those facilities from opening.
• American horses are raised to be companions, athletes and work horses. They are often treated with drugs, both legal and illegal, that can endanger the food supply. There is currently no system in the U.S. to track medications and veterinary treatments given to horses throughout their lives to ensure that their meat is safe for human consumption.
• The methods used to kill horses rarely result in quick, painless deaths, as horses often endure repeated blows to render them unconscious and can remain conscious during the slaughtering process. When horse slaughter plants previously operated in the U.S., the USDA documented severe injuries to horses, including broken bones and eyeballs hanging from a thread of skin.
• The Safeguard American Food Exports Act, H.R. 1094 / S. 541, introduced this year by U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Reps. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., is a bipartisan measure that would outlaw horse slaughter operations in the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat.
• Polling from 2012 shows that 80 percent of the American public opposes the slaughter of horses for human consumption, and this opposition spans across all partisan, regional, and gender lines.

The Meds Maze - Full Article

By Jennifer O. Bryant
Jan 13, 2014

Got a headache? You probably pop a pain reliever. That achy knee bothering you today? Perhaps you reach for a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). While you might not give your own remedies much thought, you’d better do your due diligence when it comes to your horse’s aches and pains, particularly if you plan to compete.

Our national governing body (NGB) for equestrian sport, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), is responsible for ensuring a level playing field is maintained at its recognized competitions. That means running a tight ship and enforcing rules pertaining to what substances owners, trainers, or veterinarians may and may not administer to horses...

Read more here:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Four Months of EasyShoes

Easycare Blog - Full Article

Amanda Washington
Chronicles of the Pink Helmet

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Is everyone sick of hearing about the EasyShoe from me yet? If so, I apologize, but the EasyShoe has truly been a game-changer for myself and this particular horse. I don't believe it's a one-size-fits-all miracle, but for my situation, it has bridged the gap between barefoot/shod and sore/sound. In the past few months, while the product has been prepared for launch, there has been much ado. There has been criticism, judgment and some nasty words. I chalk the nastiness up to misdirected passion, from people who believe so strongly in keeping horses barefoot and as natural as possible. I truly believe the naysayers feel any form of semi-permanent hoof protection is a sure demise in the integrity of the bare hoof. They say any horse can be "fixed," with a better, more competent trimmer, a more natural environment, a lower sugar diet, more exercise, less civilization, magical lotions, potions and more. In reality, most of us ride the horse we have. We do the best at providing the horse with good, if not superior-to-most hoof care, we make improvements to living conditions, we consult other trimmers, friends, veterinarians. We stuff slow-feeder hay nets, feed three times the amount of grass hay when we could be feeding much less alfalfa and diligently read and learn all that we can. Yet, sometimes, our horse fails to read the book, and doesn't thrive the way we think they ought to...

See more at:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Feeder Facts - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre
Jan 06, 2014

This one overeats, chewing at a round bale day and night while his belly grows. That one likes to pick up a mouthful, shake it around, eat two strands, and stomp on the rest. The rest rain mouthfuls of perfectly good forage onto the ground. And all the while you’re asking yourself, “This isn’t the way horses naturally eat in the wild; am I doing the right thing?”

If your horse overeats, undereats, or wastes his food, it might be time to consider installing a hay feeder in his stall and/or pasture. And lucky for you, researchers are well at work to get feeders right. The Horse has been following their progress, and we’ve come up with 10 “feeder facts” you’ll be happy to know about...

Read more here:

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Equine Influenza Overview - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · December 9, 2013

Equine influenza is a contagious viral respiratory disease that can affect all equines including horses, donkeys, mules, and zebras. Signs of infection may include high fever, a dry cough, discharge from the eyes and nose, loss of appetite, and depression. Some horses develop swollen lymph nodes under the jaw; other horses may show swelling and stiffness in their legs. The disease is spread between horses by contact with nasal discharge, and infected horses can spread the disease to other equines for seven to fourteen days.

Any horse can develop equine influenza, though very young foals and senior horses are somewhat more susceptible. While it is rarely fatal, influenza can cause significant illness and usually requires the horse to be out of training or work for several months. Diagnosis is often made from exposure history and clinical signs, and blood tests and nasal swabs can confirm the diagnosis...

Read more here:

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Troxel Launches Fashion-Forward Headliners

Helmets get a new look with bold graphics and animal prints

January 10th, 2014
San Diego

Troxel LLC, the worldwide leader in ASTM/SEI-certified equestrian helmets, is excited to announce the introduction of trendsetting helmet headliners to its best-selling Rebel and Liberty helmets.

Cheetah and zebra animal prints are wildly popular in the equestrian world of boots, belts, blankets, and now helmets with Troxel’s introduction of the new headliners.

“We are truly thrilled to be the first company to introduce fashionable headliner options for equestrian helmets. These colorful headliners are a fun, new territory for Troxel and we are excited to see what our customers think of them,” said Troxel’s CEO, Shay Timms.

The new headliners will be available in Troxel’s Rebel western helmet series, which includes four edgy graphics: Rocker, Cross, Star and the soon-to-be-released, Rebel Rose. The Rebel Rose western helmet, featuring a western-inspired rose and horseshoe design, will be available in two colors: Turquoise Rose with a turquoise zebra print headliner and Pink Rose with a pink zebra headliner. The Rebel Rocker and Rebel Cross western helmets will showcase new zebra and cheetah headliners.

Troxel’s Ruby and Fuchsia Liberty schooling helmets will also get an update with cheetah headliners and the inclusion of Troxel’s popular GPS II dial fit technology.

The new headliners for the Rebel and Liberty helmets will be available for pre-order at the Denver International Western/English Apparel & Equipment Market, January 10th-14th, 2014.

AAEP Applauds Passage of Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act in U.S. Senate

Contact: Sally J. Baker, APR or 859.233.0147
Veterinarians who travel to their patients are now closer to having the complete ability to transport and administer controlled substances to provide pain management, anesthesia or euthanasia.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners applauds the U.S. Senate for its Jan. 9th passage of the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act (S. 1171), which removes a loophole from the Controlled Substances Act that prohibits veterinarians from taking controlled substances beyond their registered premise.
“Most equine veterinarians provide care to their patients at farm or event locations, not in a clinic setting,” explained Dr. Jeff Blea, 2014 AAEP president.  “Our ability as doctors of veterinary medicine to relieve pain and suffering is essential to basic animal health and welfare. The passage of this bill in the Senate is extremely important to the animals we treat.”
Since November 2009, the Drug Enforcement Administration has informed the veterinary profession that the Controlled Substances Act does not permit veterinarians to take controlled substances beyond their registered location, such as a clinic or a home.  The DEA indicated that without a statutory change to the Act, some veterinarians may be practicing in violation of the law.
The Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act must now pass the U.S. House of Representatives in order to become law.  H.R. 1528 has more than 140 co-sponsors in the House.
# # #
The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, the AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its more than 9,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Back Country Horsemen of America Celebrates 40 Years with 100 Miles of Volunteerism

January 2 2014

by Sarah Wynne Jackson
This year marks Back Country Horsemen of America’s 40th year as the leading organization keeping trails open for horse use. Their state organizations have been celebrating this milestone in many unique ways. Back Country Horsemen of Utah combined their love of traveling by horsepower with their dedication to caring for the land. From July 27 through August 4, about 130 people on 10 authentic Conestoga-style wagons and horseback rode over 100 miles across central Utah, doing trail projects along the way.
100 Miles of Camaraderie and Service
Traveling 12 to 15 miles each day, BCHU followed the Skyline Drive Trail through the high mountain valleys of central Utah above Sanpete and Emery counties. Riders, hikers, and packers joined at different places along the route and traveled with the group as long as their schedules allowed.
At various points along the trail, they stopped to complete projects for the local Forest Service units. In addition to general trail clearing and maintenance, they clipped seed heads from noxious weeds near Potter’s Pond and removed an old wood and wire pen at Grassy Lake. They also assisted with reseeding efforts and trail rehabilitation in the canyons descending into Sanpete and Emery counties, which were ravaged by the wildfires of summer 2012.
Back Country Horsemen of Utah members learned more about America’s great western heritage, thanks to the teamsters, who generously shared their knowledge and even taught folks how to drive a wagon. Dutch oven dinners around the campfire were accompanied by Leave No Trace presentations and entertainment by cowboy poets, storytellers, and musicians. Near the end of the trek, BCHU members formed a parade down Main Street in Ephraim and Spring City.
In the News
Back Country Horsemen of Utah were joined on their journey by two teams of reporters. Deseret News ran their story on the front page on Monday, August 5. Read it on their website, (search for Back Country Horsemen of Utah). KSL 5 Outdoor Show’s Adam Eakle devoted an entire show to BCHU’s trek, which aired on August 24. You can watch the 30-minute show via podcast on (search for Outdoor Show August 24).
On behalf of Back Country Horsemen of America, BCHU accepted a plaque and a letter of appreciation for 40 years of service and partnership from US Forest Service Regional Supervisor Sean Harwood and District Ranger Kevin Draper.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert sent a letter of gratitude for the public service BCHU provides on the state’s trail system. In part, he wrote, “I understand the United States Forest Service estimates that 40 percent of all volunteer hours donated to maintain trails in our nation are contributed by members of Back Country Horsemen of America. On behalf of the residents of Utah, I express our appreciation for the more than 7,100 hours of volunteer labor members of Back Country Horsemen of Utah donated in our state last year… Your valuable volunteer service equated, in fact, to more than $168,800 in cost savings.”
About Back Country Horsemen of Utah
Formed in 1993, BCHU has 13 active chapters in the state of Utah encompassing every geographic region. To commemorate this exclusive event, Back Country Horsemen of Utah posted a video collage of photos from the trek on their website,; on Back Country Horsemen of America’s homepage,; and on You Tube.
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 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!

Peg Greiwe

Trailer Load the Right Way - Full Article

By Heidi Melocco

Safely load and unload your horse from the trailer with this seven-step technique from top trainer and clinician Julie Goodnight.

As an avid trail rider, you're accustomed to loading and unloading your horse most every weekend. You travel to find and frequent the most scenic trails and add some variety to your rides.

Before your next trailering excursion, learn the safety steps that will keep you and your horse safe as you load and unload. Respected trainer and clinician Julie Goodnight works with trail riders and "trailerers" at many of her clinics. She's seen horse owners skip important safety steps and trust that their horses will be safe.

But even the calmest horse can spook, step back, or slip, causing a harmful chain reaction if the loading, tying and untying process isn't done in order. If your horse is tied in the trailer, but knows the back door is open for escape, he might pull back and panic when he can't get free. The panic session compounds when he hears the trailer's loud echo and slips on a metal floor...

Read more here:

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Back Country Horsemen of America Teams Up with Tennessee Walkers

January 2, 2014
by Sarah Wynne Jackson
Back Country Horsemen of America leads the fight to save trails for horse use and the Tennessee Walking Horse is one of today’s most popular trail horses. It makes sense that BCHA and the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) form a partnership to recognize Tennessee Walking Horses and their riders that best exemplify the mission of Back Country Horsemen of America.
A Unique Partnership
The innovative TWHBEA/BCHA Tennessee Walking Horse Recognition Program will present awards each year to the Tennessee Walking Horses and their riders/owners who best exemplify the mission of Back Country Horsemen of America. One horse and rider/owner will be recognized from each state in which BCHA has a formal organization. The rider/owner must be a member of TWHBEA and of the state BCHA organization. Among those recognized from each state, one horse and rider/owner will be selected for national recognition.
Although the Tennessee Walking Horse is most known as a show horse, more TWHBEA members use them for pleasure than competition. The breed’s smooth gait and quiet disposition make it an ideal trail mount. In fact, some estimate that more than half of the horses participating in Back Country Horsemen of America activities are gaited, and many of those are Tennessee Walking Horses. Gaited horses travel with a more level motion than non-gaited horses, resulting in a less bouncy ride. This quality is particularly attractive to adults new to riding or those experiencing the stiffness of age.
To find out how you can get involved with the TWHBEA/BCHA Tennessee Walking Horse Recognition Program, e-mail Back Country Horsemen of America ( or see the Programs page at
About the TWHBEA
The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association (TWHBEA) is the oldest and most prestigious organization devoted to the promotion of the breed. Founded in 1935, the breed registry was established to record the pedigrees of the Tennessee Walking Horse. Its goal is to maintain the purity of the breed, to promote greater awareness of the Tennessee Walking Horse and its qualities, to encourage expansion of the breed, and to help assure its general welfare.
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 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!
Peg Greiwe

Online Equine Nutrition Course Offered

January 9 2014

Coursera is offering a free online course in equine nutrition presented by the University of Edinburgh College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. It will begin on January 27.

Equine Nutrition

This course will cover many aspects of equine nutrition ranging from anatomy and physiology of the gastrointestinal tract to dietary management of horses/ponies affected with nutrition-related disorders. This is course is designed for self-directed study with minimal tutor input, and as such emphasis is placed upon peer discussions of the topics presented in each section of the course. This course is not designed to have a large amount of tutor input as this is an open access course that attracts tens of thousands of participants. However, tutors will endeavour to answer the main queries relating to the understanding of the lecture materials and to provide a summary of the key questions raised in each of the weekly topics and clarification of any misunderstandings.

About the Course

This course is designed to provide knowledge of equine digestion and nutrition for those with an interest in this area. The anatomy and physiology of the equine alimentary canal will be studied to provide students with an understanding of the equine digestive system. Nutrient sources for horses will be discussed, with emphasis placed on the health and welfare issues surrounding the inclusion of various types of feedstuffs in equine diets. Students will also discuss recommendations on rations for horses and ponies performing various activities and should feel better equipped to make judgements on rations for horses and ponies, in health and disease.

Course Syllabus

Week 1: Anatomy and physiology of the equine gastrointestinal tract
The expectation is that the course participants will come from varied backgrounds in relation to their previous experience of gastrointestinal tract anatomy and physiology. Consequently, this course begins with consideration of digestive anatomy and physiology in equids and will consider nutrient digestion in the various segments of the equine gastrointestinal tract.

Week 2: Feed Composition
The learning materials during this period will focus on the composition of feedstuffs for horses and the factors that affect the composition of feedstuffs. There will also be information on how feedstuffs are evaluated. Discussion should focus on how the composition of feedstuffs affects their digestibility.

Week 3: Equine nutrient sources
This part of the course will consider various nutrient sources for equids. Various feedstuffs that are used in equine diets will be discussed, with emphasis placed on the health and welfare issues surrounding the inclusion of these in equine diets.

Week 4: Equine dietary management
This week of the course will explore the dietary management of equids. Discussions should focus around considering how modern feeding practices do not always consider the anatomy and physiology of the equine digestive tract.

Week 5: Equine clinical nutrition
This part of the course will focus on feeding strategies for the management and prevention of some nutrition-related diseases/disorders in equids; for example, obesity, laminitis, older horses with dental issues etc. Discussions should focus on the dietary management of individuals affected with nutrition-related problems.

For more information see:

Horse Manure on Hiking Trails: A Nonissue - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · December 23, 2013

With humans and horses sharing use of trails in parks and on national lands, a question has arisen in the minds of some hikers. As they dodge piles of manure, should they be concerned about any possible health impacts? Apparently not, according to information on the website of the Equine Land Conservation Resource.

An article on the site refers to several studies that have found no evidence of a threat to the health of humans who encounter horse manure while hiking. While feces from dogs, cats, or other domestic pets can be a reservoir for transmission of various infections like toxoplasmosis, equine waste is virtually free of the types of microorganisms that can infect humans. Parasites that infect horses are not a threat to humans, so parasite eggs that may be contained in horse manure are not dangerous to hikers...

Read more here:

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Great Britain Beefs Up Equine Anti-Doping Policy - Full Article

By The Blood-Horse Staff
Dec 25, 2013

Steroid scandals in Great Britain earlier this year have prompted the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) to review and amend its Anti-Doping and Medication Control Policy.

"The objective is that via enhancements to our testing program and strategy, as well as the significant penalties handed to those who have breached the rules this year, we increase the deterrent against the use of prohibited substances," said Paul Bittar, chief executive of the BHA. "A review of the existing policy was instigated in May 2013 and considered all aspects, including the overall strategy towards doping control, budget allocated, number and balance of each method of testing, screening techniques, the contract with HFL, and the direction of research and development..."

Read more here:

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Could Stress Cause Gastric Ulcers in Performance Horses? - Full Article

By World Equine Veterinary Association
Jan 05, 2014

By Vincent Gerber, PhD, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, ECEIM, FVH, WEVA Treasurer

It has long been recognized that the majority of Thoroughbreds in race training are affected by gastric ulcers; however, less is known about the prevalence of equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) in sport and pleasure horses.

Recent studies from the United States and Europe, including research performed on Swiss endurance and eventing team horses, revealed that lesions in the gastric mucosa are far more common in nonracehorses than previously assumed: Veterinarians found evidence of ulcers in 42% of top-level three-day eventers, 63% of show jumpers and dressage horses, and 48-73% (pre-season) to 93% (during racing season) of endurance horses...

Read more here:

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Study: Barefoot Trimming Can Impact Hoof Conformation - Full Article

By Natalie DeFee Mendik, MA
Jan 03, 2013

A team of researchers at Michigan State University's (MSU) McPhail Equine Performance Center offers hope to horse owners facing underrun heel and flat-footed woes with a 16-month study examining the short-term and long-term effects of a specific barefoot trimming technique on hoof conformation.

In the study, seven previously barefoot horses were trimmed every six weeks with a technique that leveled the hoof to the live sole, lowered the heels, beveled the toe, and rounded the peripheral wall. The sole, frog, and bars were left intact...

Read more here:

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Top Ten Reasons to NOT Join or Renew With AERC - Patti Stedman - Full Article

By Patti Stedman | January 3rd, 2014

[I'm a horrible recruiter, and would have been a horrible used car salesperson, so thought a little tongue-in-cheek list was in order a la my good friend, David Letterman. Written with the help of some chums, who indicate they are ashamed to have me list their names ... ]


10. I have a serious Starbucks Vente Caramel Frappucino habit and cannot afford the $75 membership fee …

Boy, do we have great news for you! First off, EasyCare Inc. ( sponsors a new member discount of 10% for new members or members who have left us for a few years, which means that a 2014 membership will cost you only $63.75.

Secondly, at $4.25 a pop and 530 calories per tall, icy, sugary caffeine fix, if you just make Tuesday “AERC Dues Tuesday” and order a Vente Starbucks Coffee instead, at $1.75 and 15 calories, by Memorial Day you will have made up the funds (even without the discount) as well as lost four pounds. Seriously, do the math.

Your horse will thank you. As will AERC.

9. I don’t have an Arabian and figure I can’t really compete without one...

Read more here:

Friday, January 03, 2014

Endurance and the Risk-Averse - Patti Stedman - Full Article

By Patti Stedman | January 2nd, 2014

Having done some expos and endurance clinics, a couple of interviews and a bit of mentoring over the last year or so, I find that riders contemplating our sport fall into one of two categories: One group believes it is all about racing and they want to know how to get out there and win as quickly as possible (a tiny minority, thank goodness, who quickly move on to a mentor other than me) and the ones who are scared to death that this is an extreme sport and that they could hurt their horse in attempting to compete.

This is no big surprise.

When I take a gander at the people coming to the clinics or coming to the table at the expo, they are predominantly women and mostly of a certain age. When I say “certain age” I mean the age at which they’ve worked hard, perhaps raised a family, have earned the time and money and resources to be able to consider dipping their toe into our sport. It is an adventure that they are contemplating, in many cases a big bold leap of faith, and it is very exciting indeed. I am empathetic, having reached a certain age myself.

Many of them are concerned that their breed of horse is not ideal for endurance competition. I wave my hand dismissively when they bring this up and shake my head, having started my distance career with a very drafty draft cross mare (“Bertha Butt” as she was known to horses using her as brakes at a few rides). I reassure them that if their horse is sound, biomechanically, and metabolically capable of eating, drinking, peeing and pooping their way happily down the trail (perhaps not all at the same time), they probably have exactly the right horse, as long as their goal is “to get around.” Almost always they nod vehemently. “Oh I just want to finish — do you think we CAN?”...

Read more here: