Monday, July 28, 2014

The Bond Between Man & Horse - Full Story and video

By Angel Russell
Created: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 04:34:00 MST

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- As part of News Channel 5's Wild West week, reporter Angel Russell explored the bond between man and horse with the Back Country Horseman.

Long before man's best friend was a dog, every good cowboy had one best companion. A famous quote says, "A dog looks up to a man, a cat looks down on a man, but a patient horse looks a man in the eye and sees him as an equal."

Two Back Country Horse members helped explain the secret bond between man and horse and the beauty of enjoying Colorado's nature. As volunteers of this organization, they are passionate horse lovers who help keep the country, country.

"Our primary job is to keep trails open for equestrian use. We have trails that we’ve adopted. We go out on those trails and we trim, put in water bars, bog drains,” said Penny Ackerman, a Back Country Horsemen member...

Read more/see video here:

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Energy and Carbs in the Equine Diet - Full Article

By Karen Briggs
Jul 7, 2014

If forages provide the “maintenance” energy horses need for the workings of everyday life—grazing, sleeping, wandering from pasture to pasture, maintaining internal temperature—then cereal grains are the turbocharged portion of the diet. Their main function is to provide higher concentrations of energy, in the form of carbohydrates and starches, so that the horse can do the work we ask of him.

The amount of energy your horse needs rises in proportion to how fast, how long, and how hard you expect him to perform. At the lowest end of the spectrum are horses that are idle, or perhaps work only a few times a week at a very slow pace. Most pleasure horses and school horses fall into this category. At the opposite end are racehorses, which many believe work harder than any other category of equine athlete (particularly because they’re often asked for peak performance while they’re still physically immature)...

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hoof Anatomy, Part 2: Outer Structures - Full Article

By Christy M. West
Jun 25, 2014

The hoof's external health affects the bones and soft tissues within, and vice versa

Many horse owners go their whole lives caring for horses’ hooves with little knowledge of the hoof capsules’ inner workings—the interaction of the bones, tendons, ligaments, and other parts that lie beneath. They might be aware of how the hoof’s outer condition reflects its external health, but the hoof’s appearance also provides a wealth of information on its internal well-being. It’s much more than just a covering for the end of the limb or the equine equivalent of the human fingernail.

Long-term hoof imbalances put excess strain on the bones and soft tissues, potentially compromising the structures’ shape and sturdiness long-term. Conversely, damaged or misshapen internal structures can effect congruent changes in hoof shape...

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Vesicular Stomatitis Confirmed in Boulder Co., Colorado

By Edited Press Release
Jul 21, 2014

A Boulder County premises is under quarantine after equine vesicular stomatitis (VS) was confirmed there, and a number of other premises in the surrounding area are being investigated.

Last week, four horses on two Weld County premises were placed under quarantine after testing positive for VS. Colorado is the second state in the country to have VS; previous positive cases in 2014 have been diagnosed in Texas.

“Strict fly control is an important factor to inhibit the transmission of vesicular stomatis," said Colorado State Veterinarian Keith Roehr, DVM. "One of the most important disease prevention practices … is insect control for both the premises and the individual animals.”

Equids, mules, cattle, bison, sheep, goats, pigs, and camelids are all susceptible to VS. The clinical signs of the disease include vesicles, erosions, and sloughing of the skin on the muzzle, tongue, teats, and above the hooves of affected livestock. Vesicles are usually only seen early in the course of the disease. The transmission of VS is not completely understood but components include insect vectors, mechanical transmission, and livestock movement.

While rare, human cases of VS can occur, usually among those who handle infected animals. In humans the disease can cause flu-like symptoms and only rarely includes lesions or blisters.

Veterinarians and livestock owners who suspect an animal could have VS or any other vesicular disease should immediately contact state or federal animal health authorities. Livestock with clinical signs of VS are isolated until they are healed and determined to be of no further threat for disease spread. There are no USDA approved vaccines for VS.

Additional information regarding the current location of cases and other important updates is available online.

Colorado Reports First Equine WNV Case of 2014

By Edited Press Release
Jul 21, 2014

Colorado animal health officials have confirmed the state's first reported equine case of West Nile virus (WNV) for 2014 in an Adams County horse.

This case was diagnosed by Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Fort Collins.

Disease transmission from year to year and depends on a number of factors, including mosquito numbers. The WNV can be amplified and carried by infected birds and then spread locally by mosquitoes that bite those birds. The mosquitoes can then pass the virus to humans and animals.

Clinical signs for WNV include flulike signs, where the horse seems mildly anorexic and depressed; fine and coarse muscle and skin fasciculations (twitching); hyperesthesia (hypersensitivity to touch and sound); changes in mentation (mentality), when horses look like they are daydreaming or "just not with it"; occasional somnolence (drowsiness); propulsive walking (driving or pushing forward, often without control); and "spinal" signs, including asymmetrical weakness. Some horses show asymmetrical or symmetrical ataxia. Equine mortality rate can be as high as 30-40%.

The clinical signs of WNV can be consistent with other important neurologic diseases such as equine encephalitis, rabies, and equine herpesvirus; therefore it is important to work with your veterinarian to get an accurate diagnosis through laboratory testing.

Horse owners should also consult their private practicing veterinarian to determine an appropriate disease prevention plan for their horses. Vaccines have proven to be a very effective prevention tool. Horses that have been vaccinated in past years will need an annual booster shot. However, if an owner did not vaccinate their animal in previous years, the horse will need the two-shot vaccination series within a three to six week period.

In addition to vaccinations, horse owners also need to reduce the mosquito populations and their possible breeding areas. Recommendations include removing stagnant water sources, keeping animals inside during the bugs’ feeding times, which are typically early in the morning and evening, and using mosquito repellents.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How To Stay On Trail

Black Dog Studio presents "How To Stay On Trail", an AERC Educational Video.

View video on YouTube

AERC, American Endurance Ride Conference. AERC Website

Top 5 Endurance Horse Health Issues

With the prestigious Tevis Cup Ride just two weeks away (Aug. 9, to be exact), I figure it's only fitting I devote a blog post to a sport I know hardly anything about: endurance trail riding. During this 100-mile event, nearly 200 horses will attempt the trek across rugged California mountain terrain within a 24-hour time frame. The best of the best will be able to complete their ride on a healthy horse in approximately 14 or 15 hours, but half of the starters likely won't even finish. Why? Because this type of grueling ride can take its toll on horses. - See more at:

Read full article...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Fuels for Energy Production during Equine Exercise - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · June 12, 2014

Carbohydrates and lipids are the major fuels used by the muscles of working horses during exercise. Although there are alterations in protein metabolism during exercise, data from several species indicate that protein is used minimally for energy production.

The main endogenous fuel reserves are present in the horse’s skeletal muscle, liver, and adipose tissue. Glycogen present in liver and skeletal muscle represents the storage form of carbohydrate. During exercise, additional glucose is provided by hepatic gluconeogenesis. Two major sources of fat are oxidized during exercise. These are non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) released from triacylglycerols stored in adipose tissue and transported by the bloodstream to skeletal muscle, and NEFA derived from triacylglycerol deposits located within skeletal muscle fibers...

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Friday, July 18, 2014

What’s the Scoop on Carbohydrates in Horse Feeds? - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · June 9, 2014

From a plant perspective, carbohydrates fall into three categories: simple sugars active in plant intermediary metabolism; storage compounds such as sucrose, starch, and fructans; and structural carbohydrates such as pectin, cellulose, and hemicelluloses. For the horse, however, it is more appropriate to classify carbohydrates by where and how quickly they are digested and absorbed.

Carbohydrates can be digested and absorbed as monosaccharides, simple sugars (primarily glucose and fructose), in the small intestine, or they can be fermented in the large intestine to produce volatile fatty acids (VFA) or lactic acid. The rate of fermentation and types of end products produced are quite variable and can have significant effects on the health and well-being of the horse...

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Pigeon Fever: Myths and Misconceptions

Photo: Kristen Slater, DVM - Full Article

By Christy Corp-Minamiji, DVM
Jun 20, 2014

As pigeon fever spreads across the United States, so does information--and misinformation--about it.

As equine diseases spread geographically, fueled by changing climates and animal and vector movement, horse owners and veterinarians can no longer afford to ignore a disease, leaning on the excuse “we don’t see it around here.”

Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis infection, commonly called “pigeon fever” or “dryland distemper,” is one of those conditions, once relegated to a handful of U.S. states and now making its way across North America. As a disease spreads, so does information—and misinformation—about it. In this article we will look at some common misconceptions about this condition...

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Managing my endurance horse Bo post colic surgery - Karen Chaton blog - Full Article

I’ve only made a few small changes to how I manage Bo on a day to day basis after his colic surgery in April. While the veterinarians and surgeon were not able to come up with a reason for the cause of Bo’s colic it was suspicious that the morning he went off of his feed (he was still eating, just not all of it like normal) he was also broken out in hives. It’s possible that something he ate disrupted his gut just long enough to create the problem that led to him getting a 180 degree twist.

For the next year Bo will have a slightly higher chance of having another colic episode. So far (knocking on wood) he has not had any signs of being uncomfortable or acting colicky. In the past Bo has had a couple of instances of gas colic, one was over five years ago and the other at the end of last year. The vets didn’t think that what happened was related and do not consider those two instances to be anything more than a coincidence. Of course, as an owner I have to consider that I am going to need to be extra careful and attentive with Bo as I will be from here on out. If I hadn’t noticed that he wasn’t right and gotten him to the vet (I took him to two different clinics as he was not presenting as anything but as a mild colic) in time it could have easily been too late...

- See more at:

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Congress Passes Veterinary Meds Mobility Act - Full Article

By Blood-Horse Staff July 8, 2014

The U.S. House of Representatives July 8 passed the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, which allows veterinarians to transport, administer and dispense controlled substances and medications outside of their registered offices and hospitals.

The bill, passed by a voice vote, is sponsored by Representatives Kurt Schrader of Oregon and Ted Yoho of Florida, who are both veterinarians. The measure was passed earlier this year by the U.S. Senate. The American Horse Council has strongly supported the bill...


Monday, July 07, 2014

Back Country Horsemen of America Expands Their Reach to Benefit Equestrians Across the US

June 30, 2014
By Sarah Wynne Jackson
Back Country Horsemen of America, the organization that works hard to protect our right to ride horses on public lands, is bigger than ever. Membership now totals over 13,300 members nationwide, with chapters in 27 states. In 2013 alone, those members contributed 368,000 volunteer hours valued at $14 million aimed directly at keeping trails open for horses and other users. Over 30,247 miles of trails were maintained. They’ve welcomed several new State Organizations that carry their benefits to equestrians across the country, and even re-designed their popular website.
BCH in “The Natural State”
Arkansas Back Country Horsemen, previously an Affiliate Organization, has met the requirements and was recently accepted as a BCH State Organization. Equestrians in Arkansas enjoy many miles of trails that meander through the state’s wild landscapes.
The 6,911 acre Village Creek State Park is its second largest state park and includes Crowley’s Ridge, a landform of rolling hills in eastern Arkansas' Mississippi Alluvial Plain with unique geology, topography, and unusual plant communities. Riders also return frequently to the 75 photogenic miles of trails along the running rapids and quiet pools of the Buffalo National River, which passes decades-old farmsteads and other historic structures.
BCH from Coast to Coast
For the first time in history, Back Country Horsemen of America now has a state presence from the Pacific to the Atlantic since Back Country Horsemen of Kansas became a State Organization. Equestrians in the Sunflower State ride across the plains, prairies, hills, and forests in a variety of public lands.
In the southwest corner of Kansas, the Cimarron National Grasslands encompass 108,175 acres, the largest area of public land in the state. These wide open plains showcase rock cliffs, cottonwood groves, yucca, and sage, along with native grasses and riparian vegetation along the Cimarron River. Eisenhower State Park, located 30 miles south of Topeka, includes 1,785 acres of tall grass prairie and woodland in addition to the 6,930-acre Melvern Lake. Horse trails offer a variety of terrain and scenic lake views.
BCH in the East
Although Back Country Horsemen of America was founded in the west, their vision has caught fire and is steadily spreading across the country. BCHA is pleased to welcome Florida Forever Back Country Horsemen, previously an Affiliate Organization, as a new State Organization. FFBCH has always had the characteristic “get it done” attitude of all Back Country Horsemen.
Over 30 members logged a total of more than 300 volunteer hours clearing 10 miles of the Withlacoochee State Trail for equestrian use near the town of Nobleton. Previously, this stretch of trail was badly overgrown and nearly impassable. They also worked with a number of other equestrian groups to perform trail maintenance on the Bear Head Hammock Horse Trail in the Two Mile Prairie Tract, part of Withlacoochee State Forest.
Stay Informed
Back Country Horsemen of America recently unveiled a new website This is your one stop spot to keep up with BCHA’s many projects, learn more about responsible equestrian recreation, and find out how you can get involved with protecting our right to ride horses on public lands. You’ll find their updated brand, front and center on the home page. Their virtual storefront makes it easy to purchase books, bumper stickers, CDs, patches, and more while supporting a cause you stand behind.
Get Involved!
The folks at Back Country Horsemen of America are humbled and thrilled to have experienced such growth in recent years. This is an exciting time to be a part of BCHA! Don’t miss out – join now! Go to to find a chapter near you, or contact BCHA directly and they’ll tell you how to start one. Every new member makes a difference in their efforts to preserve this historical use of public lands.
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 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!

Friday, July 04, 2014

Understanding Fructans in Equine Diets - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · May 30, 2014

Fructans, one class of fermentable polysaccharide stored in cool season grasses, can be digested in the horse’s stomach and hindgut by bacterial fermentation but not by enzymatic hydrolysis in the small intestine. Unlike the relatively stable level of starch in a particular cereal grain, grass fructan levels are immensely variable, making up from 5 to 50% of the grass dry matter (DM). Horses also vary somewhat in their sensitivity to the fructans they consume. These factors help to explain why one horse can freely graze fresh spring pastures with no problem, while another horse may develop warm, painful hooves after only a few hours or days of grazing...

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Wildfire Smoke and Horses' Respiratory Health - Full Article

By University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine
Jun 10, 2014

Recent wildfires in Southern California and Oregon have raised concern among horse owners regarding the potential impact of persistent smoke and related air pollution on their equids. And their concern is justified: Smoke can cause serious health problems for horses, as it can in people, notes an equine veterinarian from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), School of Veterinary Medicine.

Smoke is an unhealthy combination of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, soot, hydrocarbons, and other organic substances. Smoke particulates, which are a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets in the air, can irritate horses’ eyes and respiratory tracts, and hamper their breathing...

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