Tuesday, April 29, 2014

No Land No horse

Tomorrow, a boarding stable will close its doors and be converted to residences. Next week, a competition venue or horse trail will exclude horseback riding. Next month, hay fields will become a shopping center.

Horses are disappearing from our cities and suburbs. Access to horses and the opportunity to ride is being lost from the everyday lives of millions of people, especially children in cities & suburbs.

Imagine a generation that will not have the ability to pet, ride or see a real horse. The possibility is becoming more real every day.

That’s why it really does “take a village” to effectively plan for horses in our local communities.

With your help, ELCR can help ensure the future of horses in your city or town through the development of a Planning for Horses in Your Community Toolkit.

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Adding Oil to a Horse's Diet

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Roy A. Johnson, MS
Apr 12, 2014

Adding vegetable oil to equine feeds or to equine diets has been a standard practice for literally hundreds of years. Old horse traders knew that adding oil could help slick up a horse for sale long before the science of measuring digestible energy was developed.

There are multiple ways that vegetable oils are added to horse diets. A common practice among horse owners is to add various quantities of oil on top of an existing diet. A cup of oil will weigh about eight ounces and contain about 2,045 Kcal. A 500 kg (1,100 pound) horse at light work requires about 20 Mcal or 20,000 Kcal, so that oil would provide about 10% of the required DE per day. For comparison, a pound of oats, as fed, provides about 1,320 Kcal, so adding oil provides a lot of calories in a small package...

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Equine Body Type's Effect on Endurance Performance Studied

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre Apr 29, 2014

If you think there’s a perfect body type for a successful endurance horse, think again. French researchers recently concluded that the precise morphology (form and structure) of typical endurance horses has little to do with their racing success.

“There are few morphological criteria that are associated with performance, and the correlations with that performance are weak,” said Céline Robert, PhD, DVM, lecturer and researcher at the National Veterinary School of Maisons-Alfort, and researcher at the French National Agricultural Research Institute in Jouy-en-Josas. Robert presented her research during the 2014 French Research Day held March 18 in Paris...

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Animal Disease Tracking Map Launched

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor
Apr 16, 2014

Infectious disease researchers in Canada have launched an interactive online map designed to track diseases in dogs, cats, and horses around the world. The "Worms and Germs Map" can be accessed for free online.

For horses, the map will display reported incidents of anthrax, Eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE), equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) abortion, EHV-1 myeloencephalopathy, equine infectious anemia (EIA), influenza, rabies, and strangles. The map can also provide information regarding when the case(s) were confirmed and, when supplied, how they were confirmed, whether the affected animal has a history of travel, and the affected horse's signalment (age, breed, sex, etc.)...

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Applying Insect Repellents

Thehrose.com - Full Article

By Marcia King
Apr 19, 2014

For many horse owners, applying fly control products to a horse involves nothing more than spritzing on a little spray before turning out or tacking up. But other owners don't have it so easy: The horse shies away from the spritzer bottle, won't tolerate fly products on its face, or breaks out in a rash from the repellents. Regardless of whether your horse is troublesome or trouble-free when it comes to fly control, there are basic do's and don'ts that every horse handler should follow in order to keep a cooperative horse cooperating, to gain the agreeableness of a difficult horse, and to maintain maximum safety for horse and handler...

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Functions Part II: The Hoof is a Roller Blade and a Nike

Easycare Blog - Full Article

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 by Holly Jonsson
In my last blog, Functions Part I: The Hoof's Memory Foam, I discussed the digital cushion. In this blog, I'll build on that and look at the functions of traction and braking.

Most of the horse’s hoof is made of a horny substance that is quite slick. Except for the frog, which can feel leathery, spongy, velvety or glossy. One of the functions of the frog is as a brake pad and traction aide. Green is for GO and Red is for WHOA.

Have you seen an image of a horse sliding to a stop? How about a “stubborn donkey”? Both postures are the same: the front legs brace and the back legs brace and all four feet are on their “heels” or…on their frogs...

- See more at: http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/if-the-shoe-fits/functions-part-ii-the-hoof-is-a-roller-blade-and-a-nike#sthash.z9zBpnyL.dpuf

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Warning: You Might Need to Post Signs at Your Horse Facility

Thehorse.com Blogs - Full Article

9 April 14 2014

In the equine context, warning signs can serve several important functions, including preventing injury or death, fulfilling a legal duty to warn potential victims about danger, keeping unauthorized personnel out of restricted areas, and fulfilling the requirements of a state equine activity statute. Here are some guidelines.

When to Post Warning Signs

Your State’s Equine Activity Statute Requires It. As of April 2014, all U.S. states except California, Maryland, New York, and Nevada have "equine activity statutes" designed to limit liability for horse-related activities. Some equine activity statutes require horse facilities to post warning signs on the property that meet very specific requirements and include exact wording. Unless horse facilities in those states post the signage exactly as the statute requires, the statute won’t protect them...

- See more at: http://cs.thehorse.com/blogs/horses-and-the-law/archive/2014/04/09/warning-you-might-need-to-post-signs-at-your-horse-facility.aspx#sthash.YajTqvzx.dpuf

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Saddle Study Reveals High Degree of Lameness in Sport Horses

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Edited Press Release
Apr 07, 2014

Hind-limb lameness is a common cause of saddle slip in horses and there is a high frequency of lameness in the general sports horse population, reveals a new study on the relationship between lameness, saddle slip, and back shape.

Saddle slip is usually blamed on poor saddle fit, a crooked rider, or asymmetry in the shape of the horse’s back, but the first phase of a long-term research project (which was first published in 2012) showed that in fact hind-limb lameness is frequently the culprit...

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The Hindgut: Understanding Its Role in Equine Digestive Health

Equinews.com - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · March 27, 2014

Horses rely on fermentation for optimal digestion of feedstuffs and energy production. Hindgut digestion, which occurs in the cecum and large colon, progresses most efficiently when horses are allowed continual access to forage and limited access to feedstuffs that could upset the pH of the cecum, including large grain meals.

Fermentation is achieved through the machinations of billions of protozoa, fungi, and bacteria. Together, these microbes convert carbohydrate-based contents, essentially plant-based fiber, into volatile fatty acids (VFA), which provide energy to the horse. If soluble carbohydrates, such as those found in large supply in grain meals, find their way into the hindgut, some lactate might be produced...

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Horse Racing Industry Told to Drop Hammer to Force Reforms

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Tom LaMarra
Apr 08, 2014

Horse racing regulators and other industry officials were told April 7 they should use existing tools to push states to adopt the National Uniform Medication Program.

Breeders' Cup president Craig Fravel, in comments made on the first day of the Association of Racing Commissioners International's three-day conference in Lexington, Ky., offered his thoughts on the Thoroughbred industry, particularly in the area of integrity and uniformity. He urged regulators to adopt the uniform model rules for equine medication use, drug testing, and penalties.

"What I need you to worry about is the integrity of the game..."

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Alfalfa Hay for Horses May Contain Toxic Blister Beetles

Equinews.com - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · March 26, 2014

After a long and unusually cold winter, some horse owners are running low on hay and may pick up whatever type of hay is available in order to keep forage in front of their horses until the pastures begin to grow. All hay should be checked for mold before it is fed, and it’s best to introduce the new hay gradually, mixing a little more of the new batch into decreasing amounts of the older hay over the course of several days. This is especially important if horses have been eating grass hay and are going to be switched to something quite different, such as alfalfa.

Alfalfa (lucerne) hay is classified as a high-quality forage for horses, providing significant levels of both energy and calcium. Most horses like the taste and will enthusiastically eat alfalfa when they may only pick through hay of lesser quality. However, owners offering alfalfa to their horses need to be aware of a potential danger: blister beetles. These insects may be picked up as mowed alfalfa is baled. Blister beetles typically inhabit semi-arid regions of the western United States. The hay-producing states known to have the biggest problems with blister beetles are Texas and Oklahoma. To date, blister beetle poisoning has not reportedly been a problem for hay grown in the Treasure Valley region of Idaho...

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ELCR Launches Crowd Funding Campaign to Support Planning Tools for Horse Friendly Communities

Lexington, KY - April 21, 2014 – The Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR), feels that effective community land use planning is one of the fundamental cornerstones to keep land open and accessible for horses. To help horsemen across the country better understand and become more actively involved in the planning process, ELCR has just launched its first crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo with support from many of our Conservation and Corporate Partners including: Active Interest Media, American Quarter Horse Association, American Competitive Trail Horse Association, Equineprofessionals.com, Equitrekking, Kentucky Performance Products, National Cutting Horse Association, US Equestrian Federation, US Eventing Association, US Hunter Jumper Association and US Pony Clubs.
The campaign will support the development of a Planning and Zoning Guide for Horse Friendly Communities. The guide will provide resources to horsemen, community leaders and planners to help them understand how to successfully include horses and horse-related activities in their community planning efforts, and why they should. To find out more about this exciting project, please visit our campaign site at https://www.indiegogo.com/project/preview/b784f9aa
A significant portion of our population lives in or near urban areas. This, combined with continued development and urban sprawl, is putting pressure on horse land.  As a result, access to horses and the opportunity to ride is being lost from the everyday lives of millions of people, especially children in cities & suburbs. 
Since land is saved locally, it is vital that horsemen understand the basics of planning and zoning and how they impact horse keeping, breeding, competing and recreating, as well as equine related businesses in order to have access to horses and enjoy their benefits. Planning and zoning decisions can affect how land is taxed, what it may be used for, and which standards and regulations are applied to it.  These decisions determine not only whether individuals may keep horses on their own property, but also whether horses have access to community parks and trails.
Please support this important equine community effort. With your help, the future of horses in our cities or towns will be ensured.  It really does “take a village” to conserve and protect our cherished equine places and spaces!
About the Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR): The Equine Land Conservation Resource is the only national not-for-profit organization advancing the conservation of land for horse-related activity. ELCR serves as an information and networking resource for land and horse owner, organizations, agencies and all equine enthusiasts on issues related to farm and ranch land conservation, land use planning, farm and ranch land stewardship/best management practices, trail access and sustainability, liability and equine economic impacts.  For more information about the ELCR visit our website at www.elcr.org or call (859) 455-8383.

For additional information, contact:
Holley Groshek, Executive Director
Equine Land Conservation Resource
Phone: 859-455-8383
Email: hgroshek@elcr.org

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mini-Microchips for Horses Get Thumbs Up

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre
Apr 07, 2014

The techie trend toward tinier-than-tiny micro-anything has now hit the world of equine identification. Horses necessitating microchip identification—a requirement in many countries, including the entire European Union—can now receive a “mini-microchip” implant.

Roughly 70% the size of the standard microchip, the mini-microchip “obviously works very well” and has clear benefits for the horse, explained Christine Aurich, DVM, PhD, Head of the Graf Lehndorff Institute for Equine Science in Neustadt, Germany...

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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Osteochondrosis in Horses

KER.Equinews.com - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · March 17, 2014

As young horses grow, their skeletons develop and mature through a process in which most of the soft, flexible cartilage is replaced by mineralized bone. Osteochondrosis was initially defined as a disturbance of growing cartilage cells. While this normally proceeds smoothly, in horses with osteochondrosis, the cartilage or growth plates do not mature into bone as normal. Retention of the cartilage can then lead to osteochondritis dissecans or subchondral bone cysts.

The current view is that osteochondrosis may lead to osteochondritis dissecans or subchondral cystic lesions. Bone cysts also sometimes develop secondary to a defect. Osteochondrosis was originally suggested to be a generalized condition, occurring in multiple sites. However, osteochondritis dissecans and lesions may be found in one particular joint, but may not occur elsewhere. Certain biomechanical factors, perhaps including injuries during development, may also be important factors...

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Sunday, April 06, 2014

Recognizing Pain on a Horse's Face

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Michelle N. Anderson, TheHorse.com Digital Managing Editor
Apr 01, 2014

Humans, other primates, and even dogs share a common feature: We express ourselves, including our physical pain, through our faces. Horses, maybe not so much. At least not in a way researchers have quantified until recently.

To investigate, researchers in Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom worked together to develop and test a standardized pain scale based on equine facial expressions...

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PETA Makes Case; Medication Reforms Touted

Thehorse.com - Full Article

March 27 2014

By Tom LaMarra and Esther Marr

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said it will "go away" if horse racing addresses its medication issues, and industry officials who have spent countless hours trying to do just that suggest progress is evident but not recognized.

Recent PETA allegations of racehorse abuse and mistreatment have stepped up calls from industry organizations for passage of uniform model rules for equine medication, penalties, and drug testing. But it hasn't made the endeavor any more urgent, said Alan Foreman, chairman of the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association...

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Friday, April 04, 2014

5 Facts about Flax

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Kristen M. Janicki, MS, PAS
Mar 31, 2014

Flaxseed is quickly becoming a popular nutritional supplement for horses, and many feed companies incorporate this grain as a caloric component in their products. But what exactly is flaxseed and how does it benefit the horse? Here are five things to know about flaxseed.

What is flaxseed? Flaxseed is produced by the flax plant, commonly grown in cool, northern climates, such as North Dakota and Montana. Canada is the No. 1 flaxseed producer due to its ideal climate conditions. Flaxseed is also known as “flax” or “linseed...”

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Groups Step Up Call for Model Racehorse Drug Rules

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Tom LaMarra
Mar 24, 2014

Racing industry organizations have stepped up their call for swift adoption of national model rules on medication and drug testing in the wake of investigations into allegations of mistreatment and over-medication of Thoroughbred racehorses.

Trainer Steve Asmussen and assistant trainer Scott Blasi were the subjects of a 2013 undercover investigation by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which alleges over-medication and mistreatment. Documentation of the allegations, as well as video, were turned over to regulators in Kentucky and New York...

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Thursday, April 03, 2014

New Legislation Would Protect Horse Abusers, Not Horses

Media Contacts: Stephanie Twining, 301-258-1491, stwining@humanesociety.org
New Legislation Would Protect Horse Abusers, Not Horses
(April 2, 2014)—Federal legislation introduced by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-TN, with Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, Rand Paul, R–KY, and Johnny Isakson, R-GA, as original cosponsors, would weaken protections for horses under the federal Horse Protection Act by placing enforcement authority in the hands of individuals with ties to the Tennessee walking horse industry. This would codify – and actually make worse – a scheme of self-regulation that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Inspector General called a failure and recommended be abolished. The bill, S. 2193, is intended as a companion to H.R. 4098, which was introduced in February by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-TN, and has been widely condemned by the horse industry, veterinary community and animal welfare groups.
Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, said: “This new bill will do nothing to end soring of Tennessee walking horses. It amounts to a prescription for continued abuse of horses by the ‘Big Lick’ faction of trainers who seek to gain an advantage in competitive shows by intentionally injuring the animals. It puts a criminal faction of the industry in control of oversight.”
Keith Dane, vice president of Equine Protection at The HSUS and an owner of Tennessee Walking horses and a horse show judge, added: “Lawmakers sincerely interested in combatting the criminal practice of soring should get behind the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act, H.R. 1518 and S. 1406 – which collectively have more than 300 cosponsors.  We call on House and Senate leadership to swiftly move the PAST Act to the floor for a vote, and end the unconscionable suffering of these horses.”
The Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 1518/S. 1406, would eliminate the failed system of industry self-policing, prohibit the use of “stacks” and chains (devices used to inflict pain on horses’ front limbs and produce the “Big Lick” gait) on horses in the Tennessee walking, racking and spotted saddle horse breeds, and increase penalties to finally provide an effective deterrent. The PAST Act is endorsed by the American Horse Council, the American Veterinary Medical Association, all 50 state veterinary medical associations, the American Association of Equine Practitioners and dozens of leading horse industry organizations (see full list). It is cosponsored by a majority of both the House and Senate – 269 Representatives and 51 Senators.