Friday, January 30, 2015

Changes to Washington State's Equine Interstate Travel Rules

The following changes go into effect on January 30, 2015

The Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health Program would like to make all horse owners aware of recent import regulation changes that will become effective January 30, 2015.

Revised Code of Washington: 16.36
Washington Administrative Code: 16-54

96 Hour Certificate of Veterinary Inspection Exemption

The biggest change that horse owners need to be aware of is the 96 hour Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) exemption is being removed for horses entering Washington State. The exemption allowed out of state horses to enter Washington State for no more than 96 hours without a CVI.

Reasons supporting this amendment:

 There is no reciprocity with our neighboring states. Washington horse owners are required to obtain a CVI to enter our neighboring states; however, the exemption allowed for out of state horses to enter Washington without a CVI. This posed a problem when horse owner’s returned to Washington from an out of state event, as it was essentially an illegal entry.

 An increased effort to protect our Washington equine industry. Taking measures to protect Washington horses from the threat of Equine Herpes infection is very important. The neurological form of this disease has become a significant issue in the show and event circuit since this rule was adopted. By removing the exemption and requiring a CVI we can take a major step forward to ensure that horses entering Washington State are healthy.

One option for horse owners traveling to the western states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico is the Equine Certificate of Veterinary Inspection and Movement Permit (Horse Passport). The horse passport is good for an entire show/event season and is recognized by many of our neighboring states. A couple of important notes when using the horse passport, Montana requires a lifetime brand inspection and an itinerary must be completed and returned at the end of the show/event season.

Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA) Testing

We no longer require Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA) testing on intact male horses entering Washington State. We still require an entry permit on semen imported into Washington State and an entry permit on a known EVA positive stallion.

Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA)

We have added an EIA test exemption for Idaho horses entering Washington. The regulation now exempts the EIA test requirement for horses from Oregon and Idaho entering Washington.

The mission of the Animal Health Program is to protect and enhance animal health and animal well being, promote the economic vitality of the livestock industry by minimizing exposure to animal diseases, and safeguarding the citizens of Washington State by identifying and limiting the exposure to zoonotic diseases (transfer from animal to human).

The State Veterinarian has the authority to impose emergency regulations in the face of an outbreak of disease if there is determined to be a threat to the resident animals in the State of Washington.

Compliance with state import requirements is vital for the maintenance of the health of Washington State’s equine population.
Please visit the Animal Health website at for import requirements, disease information, important resources, and contact information.

Is it Bad for Horses to Stand in the Mud? - Listen

January 14 2015

Dr. Nancy Loving weighs the pros and cons of keeping horses inside vs. turning them out in the mud. Listen to the podcast:

Nancy S. Loving, DVM, owns Loving Equine Clinic in Boulder, Colorado, and has a special interest in managing the care of sport horses. Her recent book, All Horse Systems Go, is a comprehensive veterinary care and conditioning resource in full color that covers all facets of horse care (available at or by calling 800/582-5604). She has also authored the books Go the Distance as a resource for endurance horse owners, Conformation and Performance, and First Aid for Horse and Rider in addition to many veterinary articles for both horse owner and professional audiences.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Psyllium, Magnesium Sulfate's Sand Clearing Ability Studied - Full Article

By Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc
Jan 15, 2015

A simple combination of psyllium and magnesium sulfate appears to be both safe and effective for helping horses evacuate sand from their colons, an international group of researchers recently reported.

“The accumulation of sand in the large colon of horses is relatively common in some areas of the world,” said lead researcher Kati Niinist√∂, DVM, Dipl. ECEIM, director of the University of Helsinki, Finland, Equine Hospital. "Affected horses are at risk of colicking; chronic, intermittent diarrhea; and weight loss..."

- See more at:

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Creating an Equine Diet: What to Remember - Full Article

By Karen Briggs
Jan 4, 2015

You know the basics of feeding horses, but now it’s time to take all of that information and formulate some balanced diets for our horses. At this point most people freeze in fear!

Relax. It’s true that there are all sorts of complicated calculations you can do to determine optimum levels of every essential nutrient, but it’s also true that often times you don’t need to perform too much math to ensure your equids’ good health. Your horse will tell you if he’s receiving good nutrition—by his shiny coat, good appetite, pleasant outlook, and appropriate energy level...

Read more here:

Is Early Detection of Arthritis in Horses Finally a Reality? - Full Article

By Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc
Dec 28, 2014

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive deterioration of joint health with no known cure. Not only does OA negatively affect athleticism and quality of life but it is also a major cause of economic loss throughout the equine industry.

For years researchers have been trying to find ways to diagnose OA early in the course of disease to either slow or, better yet, arrest its progression. And although OA has proven a stubborn opponent, an international group of researchers recently found that radiographs (X rays) and low-field MRI appear to be useful tools for diagnosing OA...

Read more here:

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Adventure of a Horse Tattoo Blog - Full Story

by Keith Kibler

January 22, 2015 by Keith Kibler

So, I was thinking about getting a Horse Tattoo.

When many people think of horses and tattoos, they think of the replacement for a “brand”. In other words, the tattoo is a way of marking the horse to show ownership. That is not what I am thinking of when I talk about horses and tattoos.

To the surprise of some, I have a tattoo. To make a long story short, I had a trailer hitch fall on me and and crush my left foot. In an instant, I was transformed from the runner of the year in my area, to someone that was told would end up in a wheel chair and that I would never run again. I was told that amputation was what would be the normal outcome. I told my Doctor that that was not for me and that I believed through faith and hard work, I would do Ironman. He said I did not know my own limitations and that I would never make it. I told him he was right on the first thing, but wrong on the second. I did it in 13 hours 35 minutes. Then I did it again 4 minutes faster. I got the finishers tattoo. Google the Ironman symbol and you will see it. It is on my left calf behind the foot that was crushed.

It reminds me to never give up. It also seems to encourage people as they pass me in human endurance events who then invariably say as they pass, “Hey are you REALLY an Iron Man?”

After having achieved what a non insane middle aged person could reasonably expect to do in Ironman that had a life outside the sport, I turned to long distance equine endurance racing. I fell in love with it. I used the training protocols and tools that I learned and developed to train for Ironman and Marathons on horses. I used those tools on gaited horses. It worked. In fact, it worked past my wildest dreams.

I have this one Tennessee Walking Horse named Kate. I love this mare...

Read more here:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Saddle Fit and Back Pain in Horses and Riders - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · December 10, 2014

A saddle that doesn’t fit can make the horse’s back sore, but can also cause back pain in riders, according to a study conducted by British researchers at the Animal Health Trust Centre for Equine Studies.

Information was gathered by observing and assessing horses being ridden in various disciplines. The horses were thought to be sound and were in regular exercise programs. Asymmetries of the back were assessed and any signs of lameness were noted.

Later, the same riders were asked to answer an online questionnaire about lameness, saddle slip, and their own and their horses’ back problems. More than 200 riders responded to the questionnaire.

The visual assessment showed that 43% of horses had saddles that fitted poorly...

Read more here:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Setting Goals! The Difference Between Floundering and Moving Forward

EnduranceIntrospection Blog - Full Article

By Patti Stedman | January 1st, 2015

No better day than New Year’s Day to contemplate the topic of goal-setting. All over the planet, resolutions are being made, treadmills are being dusted off, vegetables and high fiber foods are being purchased, gym memberships are being renewed and juicers are being unburied from beneath cake pans.

I’m convinced that one of the key differences between successful and not-so-successful endurance competitors often lies in their ability to establish and enact realistic Ultimate Goals and the Training/Conditioning Plans and Ride Strategies that are the building blocks to achieve them. The successful riders do not get distracted by setbacks, a single competition or some bright, shiny object that draws their eye away from their intention. But they also realize that an Ultimate Goal is a flexible one, particularly given that it is hinged on the cooperation, physical and mental, of a sentient being other than our selves — our horse.

In other words, the winners keep their eye on the prize and they have a good idea what that prize is but the flexibility and discipline to forego short-term or competition goals for their Ultimate Goals...

Read more here:

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Equine Spay

Haikufarm Blog - Full Article

by Aarene Storms

Fiddle's heat cycles didn't just make her "mare-ish".

Anyone watching her work when she was cycling could see that she felt glitchy and unhappy...and she cycled all year long, often spending the warm months in an uncomfortably-constant state of almost-readiness. Her nickname "Dragon" was well-earned.


Breeding: A pregnant mare doesn't have these symptoms, because she's not cycling. And at the end of the pregnancy, you get a cute little baby! Perfect solution...not. I've dealt with foals before. They're cute, they're funny, they're wonderful...and in today's economy, they are expensive and time-consuming to produce and worth a nickel-a-dozen when it's time to sell. There are too many horses who need homes for me to want to produce another one...especially since it's entirely possible that Fiddle's daughter would inherit her "rough-cycling" symptoms. And, of course, there's the strong possibility that Fee would return to her old cycle pattern after delivering a foal. For us, breeding is not a good solution.

Mare Magic: Adding Mare Magic (dried raspberry leaf) to Fiddle's food seemed to help with the grouchiness, but the discomfort remained. When Fiddle is in heat, she could barely move--instead, she would stand, apologetic, peeing. She would try to move forward a few steps, but would then have to stand and pee again. Mare Magic didn't help with that at all...

Read more here:

Equine Traveling Papers - Full Article

By Rebecca Gimenez PhD

Here’s a rundown of key documents you need when you travel with your horse.

When you travel with your horse, you need to carry a number of documents, especially if you're crossing state lines.

Some documents show your horse is healthy. Some will help you if you're in an emergency situation. Others are proof of ownership and registration of your horse, your tow vehicle, and your trailer. Some states require an entry permit and brand-inspection certificate, as well. Do your research well ahead of traveling!

Here's a rundown of key documents you should have when you travel with your horse. Keep the originals of these papers with you, and the copies at home, in a safe place, where someone there can locate them.

In addition to these documents, be sure to carry your driver's license, proof of insurance, and registration papers for your tow vehicle and trailer...

- See more at:

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Possible Answer to Horse's Death Found in Hay - Full Article

by Erica Larson, News Editor
Jan 11, 2015

There are arguably few things more devastating than watching an animal die suddenly, unexpectedly, and of an unknown cause. One Pennsylvania horse owner had this experience last year and decided she needed to find out what happened. So she reached out to some industry professionals for help.

Kathryn Watts, consultant at and founder of, first learned of the case when the owner contacted her, asking whether a shipment of straw bedding from a reliable longtime supplier could have been responsible causing her mare’s death.

"The horse developed some problems walking, then was down and unable to rise, and eventually died, gasping for breath," Watts said of the mare's rapid decline. "When she died, the horse was very swollen through the throatlatch area. And then (the owners) discovered that the horse's lips were completely filled with ulcers, and there were awns (common in foxtail and other related plants) stuck in her lips...”

Read more here:

Endurance Riding and Racing - by The Duck - Full Article

Endurance Racing and Riding – a discussion by F.W. Duck

Apparently there are many who are unable to understand the difference between Endurance Riding and Endurance Racing. While the fine points of the definition can be argued forever, a race is an event where the first entrant across the finish line is the winner. I suggest that a ride is an event where the entrants set their personal goals and only those entrants know if those goals were realized during the event. The XP Rides have catered to those who enjoy long distance riding and the personal challenges offered. We have placed little emphasis on winning or going fast on any given day, feeling that true endurance champions are proven over years and many different conditions. Events like the AERC National Championships, the Race of Champions and FEI sponsored events are Endurance Races. There is a place for both and the sooner we stop arguing about it and appreciate that both venues offer a place for horses and riders to enjoy the great outdoors, the better off we will all be. I suggest that ride managers have the prerogative to set the tone for the type of event that they desire to conduct and that they have the responsibility to design their event accordingly...

Read more here:

Monday, January 12, 2015

Good and Bad "Bugs" In the Equine Gut - Full Article

By University of Kentucky College of Ag, Food and Environment
Jan 05, 2015

Researchers at the University of Kentucky have been studying the flora (good and bad bacteria) and colonization of the GI tract of foals and adult horses. In this article, Laurie Lawrence, PhD, of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences, and Michael Flythe, PhD, a Research Microbiologist with USDA-ARS at the University of Kentucky, help you understand the "bugs" in the equine GI tract.

In foals the colonization of the GI tract by pathogenic organisms can lead to diarrhea. Considerable research has focused on identifying the organisms responsible for neonatal diarrhea, but less effort has been made to identify the factors that allow the pathogenic organisms to become established. Additionally, very little is known about how or when the normal GI flora becomes established in the foal.

Researchers at the University of Kentucky have been studying the development of digestive capacity in foals for several years. An initial project indicated that very young foals have a low capacity for fiber digestion but older foals have a capacity similar to their dams. Because fiber digestion is performed by specific bacteria in the large intestine, these observations suggest that foals develop a normal microbial population in their GI tract by at least 1 or 2 months of age...

- See more at:

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Could Your Horse Have Gastric Ulcers?

By Edited Press Release
Dec 22, 2014

The stress horses endure when training, competing, and traveling can take a toll on their health. One of the most common health problems for horses in strenuous performance or show activities is the presence of gastric ulcers. Studies have shown that up to 90% of performance horses and 60% of show horses have gastric ulcers.

Ulcers develop when stomach acid damages an unprotected portion of the stomach lining and dissolves the tissue, causing pain, irritation, and blood loss.

“(Stressors) cause an increase in the amount of acid secreted by the stomach, and intensify the splashing effect of gastric contents on the upper, unprotected portion of the horse’s stomach lining, which is called the nonglandular region,” explained Southern States equine nutritionist Marty Adams, PhD. “The splashing effect of gastric contents onto the upper stomach region occurs whenever the horse moves from a walk to a faster gait (trot, pace, canter or gallop).”

Risk factors for gastric ulcers in horses include:

Transportation (especially to new locations);
A high-grain/low-fiber diet;
Stall confinement;
Intermittent feeding (not feeding on a regular schedule and not feeding at least twice daily);
Intense exercise;
Stress, illness, lameness, or pain of any kind;
Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as phenylbutazone or banamine; and
Management changes (movement to new stall, barn, change in training schedule or training intensity, etc.).

Gastric ulcers can be life-threatening, so it’s important to monitor your horse or foal regularly for signs of a problem, including weight loss and/or poor appetite. Other clinical signs include:

Mild, chronic colic;
Lying down more than normal;
Not finishing hay or grain;
Poor performance;
Decreased stride length;
Behavioral or attitude changes;
Inadequate energy;
Chronic diarrhea; and
Poor hair coat.

Currently, there is only FDA-approved drug for gastric ulcer treatment, available in two products. Work with your veterinarian to treat ulcers should they develop, and consult him or her regarding ways to reduce ulcer risk in the future.

Ten of the Basics by Bruce Weary

Far and away, most horse owners care deeply about the health and welfare of their horses, even at the highest level of demanding activity. I feel that there may be more inadvertent harm that comes to horses through lack of experience and know how than through intentional abuse, and I think the greatest impact we can then have on preventing harm to our horses is through education. This is why I am working toward greatly increasing our mentor activity amongst newbie endurance riders--to usher new riders and their horses into the sport more safely. I think it will add to the enjoyment and longevity of our members, as well. Below is a little something I wrote a few years ago that attempts to sum up some of the things I learned from mentors. I hope it is still valid.

My favorite aspect of endurance riding is "building a new horse." By that, I mean I love the process of bringing a horse to fitness, in all aspects, and successfully campaigning him. I have learned a thing or two from mentors along the way:

1) Julie Suhr told me to always look in my horse's eyes to see how he's feeling at any given time. I list this as #1 for a reason. It's that important. His eyes can tell you when he's vibrant, when he's ready for more, when he's tired, when he's done for the day, when he needs prolonged rest, and what he thinks of you.

2) Jim Holland reminded me of the difference between "training" and
"conditioning." Training involves handling, shoeing, trailering, ground
manners, dealing with fears, camping, tying, etc.,. Conditioning refers
to the actual physical fittening of the horse. They are equally important.

3) Bill Bohannon taught me not to fret when a horse first shows some signs of overuse from overzealous conditioning. We have to be able to recognize how much a horse can take, and back it off a bit, so as to always keep him in a safe zone. Ya gotta know where the "edge" is, so you don't go over it. I have always honored this lesson, and it has served well in keeping my horses from injury.

4) I don't remember who taught me the principle of "The Three D's" of conditioning rides.They are "distance, duration, and difficulty." A good rule of thumb is to only increase one of these at a time, even then by only 10%. This helps assure time for the horse's tissues to super compensate in response to exercise, with less risk of injury.

5) Horses are animals, and, as such, subject to emotion. They may
have a bad day every now and then, or get sour with extremely regimented exercise. Let them have a fun day from time to time. Chase some cows, hike with them, pony a buddy horse, run some barrels--anything to break up the monotony. They will get their mojo back quicker.

6) Matthew Mackay-Smith writes about not feeding the horse heavily in
anticipation of work. Rather, put back into the horse what you took out
of him that day. It works. Or, as Tom Ivers would say, "Work the feed, and feed the work."

7) Don't work the horse if his legs aren't cold and tight. Ever.

8) Working on hills is an excellent way to teach the horse to use
his back end, and build impulsion, strength and wind without stressing his

9) My friend Ron Barrett taught me "Horses get stronger with rest."
In fact, I think horses do better with more rest days than work days.

10) Before, during and after all workouts and competitions, please
see #1.

Bruce Weary

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

DIY: Checking Hoof Balance

Easycare Blog - Full Article

Monday, December 29, 2014 by EasyCare Customer Service Team

As horse owners, there are a few knowledge pieces that are worthy to keep stashed in our minds for a particular situation or in the case that a riding buddy might be in need. A couple of great examples of these emergency kit references include Rebecca’s blog, The Basics of Taking Your Horse’s Vitals-How and Why and Digital Pulse – Not Just for the Disco. A fun exercise to practice at home is determining if your horse’s hoof is balanced. All you need is a ruler and a permanent marker.

Remember, your hoof care practitioner has the first-hand knowledge and experience regarding your horse's hoof. If something doesn’t seem analogous in your findings, please discuss with your farrier or trimmer. Different hoof care professionals have different methods of determining the medial/lateral and anterior/posterior balance of a horse’s hoof. The style below has served to be accurate on most occasions and it’s a fun tool to have in the box...

- See more at:

Benefits of Equine Assisted Therapy in Doubt Due to Lack of Research - Full Article

Canadian Thoroughbred January 5, 2015
by: Horses and Humans Research Foundation

In response to a paper published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, the Horses and Humans Research Foundation is seeking help to fund research into equine assisted therapy.

The following is an excerpt from a recent Horses and Humans Research Foundation newsletter:

The paper, titled Equine-related Treatments for Mental Disorders Lack Empirical Support: A Systematic Review of Empirical Investigations, concludes: “The current evidence base does not justify the marketing and utilization of ERT (EAP and THR) for mental disorders. Such services should not be offered to the public unless and until well – designed studies provide evidence that justify different conclusions”. The authors also recommend; “in view of the current evidence base, individuals in need of mental health services avoid seeking out ERT and treatment centers avoid practicing this approach. We further urge major organizations, such as the United States armed forces and United States department of Veterans Affairs, to hold off on the implementation of ERT (EAP and THR) programs on a wide scale basis unless and until a strong research foundation for this treatment emerges.”

To have this published in a highly regarded peer reviewed journal challenges all of us...

Read more here

Monday, January 05, 2015

USEF Allows Use of Helmet Cameras

The Eventing Radio Show

Lexington, Ky. - Following the careful consideration regarding the use of helmet cameras, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has updated protocol concerning the devices.

Effective immediately, please be advised of the following:

1. The USEF does not prohibit the use of helmet cameras.
2. A competition organizer may prohibit use of a helmet camera and the competitor must comply with such prohibition.
3. The decision to wear a camera while competing is voluntary and at the rider's own risk.

This policy is effective as of January 5, 2015 for all USEF competitions. It is advised that athletes consult with the helmet manufacturer before mounting a camera on a helmet. The USEF will continue to monitor information and research on helmet cameras as it becomes available.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Small Square Bale Feeder Economics, Hay Waste Evaluated - Full Article

By Casie Bazay, NBCAAM
Dec 19, 2014

Some owners prefer their horses from small square hay bales over round bales for a variety of reasons, one being that horses seem to waste less of it. But if you’re feeding hay from small bales on the ground, your horses might be wasting more than you think. Fortunately, there's a fix: Researchers from the University of Minnesota (UM) recently determined that using a feeder designed for hay from small square bales produces less waste and will save horse owners money in the long run compared to feeding on the ground...

Read more here:

Coming to a Trail Near You: The Green Machine

Endurance Granny Blog - full article

January 3 2014

As the year (2014) progressed I had set some goals, alternated some goals, had not abandoned the primary goal (OD) and still hold it that God willing I'll get there. However, the goal for 2015 should be fun. Enter The GREEN MACHINE. We are one of 13 teams currently signed up for The Green Bean Team competition.

This competition is very unique within the sport of endurance riding, new, and fresh...we are piloting the project, and though I expect a number of hiccups along the way we are devoted to the idea of giving it all we've got.

So how does Green Bean Team work?...

Read more here:

Friday, January 02, 2015

Choosing Grains for Your Horse's Diet - Full Article

By Karen Briggs
Dec 27, 2014

Although many grains can have a valuable place in your horse’s diet, no single grain will provide all the nutrients a working horse needs, even when fed in combination with premium-quality hay.

Of all the grains commonly fed to horses, oats are generally considered the closest to the “perfect” feed, but even oats fail to supply sufficient quantities of some vitamins and minerals, and their relative energy density is low...

Read more here:

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Getting a Handle on Scratches - Full Article

By Anthony Yu, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVD
Dec 16, 2014

Scratches, or equine pastern dermatitis (EPD), is not a disease but, rather, a cutaneous reaction pattern. Veterinarians and owners must address the primary, predisposing, and perpetuating causative factors for a successful outcome. Note that treating the predisposing and perpetuating factors is just as important as addressing the primary cause.
Clinical Signs and Pathogenesis

Scratches can affect any breed, but is most prevalent in draft horses due to long pastern hair (“feathers”). It most commonly affects the rear aspect of the hind pasterns and especially nonpigmented skin...

Read more here: