Saturday, March 28, 2015

West Nile Virus in U.S. Horses - Full Article

West Nile virus has infected more than 25,000 horses since its 1999 entrance into the United States.

By Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc

Imagine a foreign disease making its way steadily across the country, killing horses one mosquito bite at a time. This disease isn’t easily spotted; after all, horses aren’t dropping as they’re bitten. Rather, development of the illness is an insidious, slow process that has you wondering what’s wrong with your horse for hours or maybe even days. The horse acts a little depressed, then eventually starts to tremble and twitch. Then he can’t get up. And, finally, with the help of your veterinarian, you’re forced to say goodbye.

The disease has no cure. No vaccine. No clear path of transmission.

Today, West Nile virus (WNV) might seem like just another preventable disease and a shot your horse gets once or twice a year—a single vaccine listed among several others in the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ (AAEP) core recommendations. But, a little more than 15 years ago, this virus and the severe neurologic disease it causes—which affects many species, including humans —posed the biggest health threat the horse industry had seen in the 20th century. This is the story of WNV in North America. It’s a story of a real risk to our country’s horses, as well as rapid spread of fear and irrational rumors. It’s also a story about how the veterinary community, the U.S. government, and animal health industry joined forces to find a way to protect our horses...

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Fit for the Trail - Full Article

By Maureen Blaney Flietner
Mar 24, 2015

How recreational riders can condition and protect their weekend warriors

After a long work week, your schedule is wide open and the weather is riding-perfect. You pull your horse out of his field, groom him quickly, tack up, and head off down the trail. While the average recreational horse with a basic fitness level might be able to go for a short (less than 5 miles) walk or trot safely and comfortably, asking for more might put him at risk of injury. Then there are the health risks—from bites to bruises—that the very nature of trail riding poses. Here’s how to prepare your weekend warrior for whatever adventures lie ahead on the trail.

Taking it Slow

Jenifer Nadeau, MS, PhD, associate professor and equine extension specialist with the University of Connecticut and an avid trail rider, says one of the most important things to work on with trail horses is conditioning. She says ring work (“A lot of walk, trot, and some canter”), gradually building up to longer durations under saddle, can help condition these horses. In the meantime, start with slow, easy routes on the trail, and build up to longer distances and faster speeds...

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Colorado Horse Owners Reminded to Get Brand Inspections - Full Article

By Edited Press Release
Mar 22, 2015

This time of year sends many Colorado equestrians outside to enjoy our warm days and cool evenings, and the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) is reminding owners that state statutes require a brand inspection if they plan on buying, selling, adopting, gifting, or selling horses. The inspection is necessary whether or not the horse is branded.

“Horse owners may purchase permanent horse travel permits for horses that are shipped frequently more than 75 miles within Colorado or across state lines,” said CDA’s brand commissioner Chris Whitney. “This can be a great financial savings since the permit is good for travel purposes for as long as the applicant owns the horse. There has also been an increase in the number of horses in urban communities and folks need to remember to contact us for a transfer of ownership inspection...”

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Researchers Study Supplement's Effects on Gastric Ulcers - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor
Mar 1, 2015

Horse supplements are a funny thing—equestrians spend millions of dollars each year on them, but only a small percentage are backed with scientific studies showing their efficacy. So recently, a team of researchers set out to put some science behind one digestive health supplement.

At the 2014 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 6-10 in Salt Lake City, Utah, Nicola Kerbyson, BVMS, Cert. AVP (EM), MRCVS, presented the results of a study evaluating one supplement's effects on gastric ulcer severity compared to the current gold-standard treatment: omeprazole. Kerbyson is a PhD student at the University of Glasgow, in Scotland...

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Buddy System Shape-up Program - Full Article

Want to get fit, exercise your horse, and squeeze valuable training into your busy schedule? Try equi-cizing!
May 01, 2008

Many of us lament that we need to lose weight, get in shape, and tone up-especially after a long, cold winter. We may also gripe that exercising is boring or find we don't enjoy a good workout day after day.

Those of us who love to ride often complain that we never have time to do ground work, so our horses' basic manners are sorely lacking.

And those of us who own young horses may grumble that we don't know what else to do with our weanlings, yearlings, and 2-year-olds beyond daily care and teaching them some basic ground skills.

I'd like to suggest that we can solve all these issues-and have fun doing it. The name of the game is "equi-cizing." But heed this warning: This is an addictive activity. It will attract your friends...

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Monday, March 16, 2015

The Equine Hock: What Horse Owners Should Know - Full Article

The “hock” is a horseman’s term for the tarsus, an anatomic region of the horse’s hind limb. Horses of all breeds, types, and disciplines can suffer from hock-related lameness problems, especially those that work heavily off of their hind limbs. This article discusses basic hock anatomy and function, describes desirable hock conformation, and discusses common lameness problems associated with this area.


A horse’s hock is the evolutionary equivalent to the human ankle. When looking at a horse from the side, the point of the hock is the backward-pointed part halfway down the rear limb. Over millions of years of evolution, the ankle and part of the foot of the early horse raised off the ground, leaving the horse walking on the tip of its third toe. This evolved into the hoof. The other toes and several of the metatarsals (foot bones) were lost in the process. This lower limb change was part of the adaptation that allowed the horse’s lower limb to become lighter and better adapted for explosive speed. Horses were heavily selected for great speed as they occupied the prehistoric plains. At that time, there was a great assortment of effective predators that culled any individuals that were slow...

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Lawsuit over quarter horse's clone may redefine animal breeding - Full Article

March 14 2015

Lynx Melody Too, a clone of a renowned quarter horse, is at the center of a lawsuit that could change the world of animal breeding and competition.

Texas horse breeder Jason Abraham and veterinarian Gregg Veneklasen sued the American Quarter Horse Assn., claiming that Lynx Melody Too should be allowed to register as an official quarter horse.

A Texas jury decided in their favor in 2013, but a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that ruling in January, saying there was "insufficient" evidence of wrongdoing by the association.

Abraham and Veneklasen are now seeking a rehearing before the full 15-judge circuit panel.

The suit is among the first to deal with the status of clones in breeding and competition, and its outcome could impact a number of fields, including thoroughbred horse racing and dog breeding.

The quarter horse association is adamant that clones and their offspring have no place in its registry...

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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Nutrition as a Component of Equine Dental Care - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor
Feb 8, 2015

The old adage says "you are what you eat"—but that's only if your teeth are up to the job! A horse might be offered a diet of high-quality hay, for instance, but if he's unable to chew and digest that food properly, he could look ribby. As a result, it's important to consider your horse's dental status when planning his diet.

At the 2014 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 6-10 in Salt Lake City, Utah, Caroline N. Niederman, VMD, FAVD/Equine, described how veterinarians can incorporate both nutritional assessment and dietary modification into a regular equine dental care program...

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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

The Truth About Equine Hoof Abscesses - Part One

Easycareinc Blog - Full Article

Monday, January 26, 2015 by Guest HCP

Submitted by Patricia Morgan Wagner, Hoof Rehabilitation Specialist

Hoof abscesses can be much more serious than most of us realize. Abscesses usually are misunderstood, misdiagnosed, mistreated and cause our horses unnecessary suffering, loss of use and too often loss of life. The following is a brief explanation of White Line Abscesses of the hoof wall.

It’s commonly believed that a horizontal crack appearing in the hoof wall is caused by injury at the hairline (coronary ridge) that treks down the hoof with the wall growth. However, a crack or rather split in the wall that develops as a result of trauma at the hairline will typically be vertical and will nearly always become a permanent fixture of the wall to some degree.

Conversely, horizontal cracks in the hoof wall are most often caused by abscesses affecting the white line (WL) that rupture at the hairline and migrate with wall growth to the ground where it should be trimmed off. Abscess rupture sites may be any width; from a hole the size of a match head, to several inches wide. Multiple abscesses can affect the same hoof at the same time or in very close succession. More than one hoof can be affected at the same time due to duplicate conditions. WL abscesses generally affect hooves that have been neglected, or that are trimmed regularly, but incorrectly, shod or unshod...

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Monday, March 02, 2015

A Conversation with Buck Brannaman - Full Article

October 10, 2011
by Annette Venteiche

Buck has been my friend and mentor for more than 18 years. He has changed the course of my life and the way I think and feel about horses and people. It was a privilege and an honor to interview Buck on behalf of Arabian Horse World.

I didn’t know there was a better way to train horses until I watched Buck at a clinic in 1993. While my sister was attending Buck’s clinics, she kept telling me how great he was with young horses. At that time I was working in Kentucky at Paramont Arabians. I was winning some pretty good prizes and thought I had it all figured out. So I flew out to Buck’s clinic just to appease my sister. I was flabbergasted.

I took my first colt IXL Premier Edition (VF Premonition x Raya Royale by *Bask) to him in late 1994. I bawled the whole week. Buck was pretty tough on me. My colt was spoiled and Buck had to be pretty firm to get ahead of this colt’s naughty energy. Buck held me completely accountable for it. He said, “I’m having to be this firm with the colt because for three years he’s been allowed to be a tyrant. It’s your responsibility to help them be better from the time you halter break them so they don’t have to go through this.” And he spent five days roping that colt’s hind legs. He got him to come out the other end, but it was a lot of work.

I left that clinic and as soon as they became available I bought every Buck Brannaman book and video I could get my hands on. I took that colt back to Buck’s clinic the following year and he was stellar. Buck was pretty proud of what had taken place during that year with that horse.

Another Arabian Buck helped me with was the Half-Arabian mare LBC Isabeaux by MHR Nobility. I later sold her to Molly Purdy and the Rookers took her from there and I think between Carmel and Shawn riding her and Molly riding her, and even other amateurs, she’s gone on to win at least 15 National championships in the open, the amateur, and the youth division as a Half-Arabian Park Horse.

I brought her along using the methods I’d learned from Buck. I rode her in a stock saddle and a McCarty rein. When I took her to Louisville she’d never been to a horse show. I was worried about that, but Buck just encouraged me to cover country with her. He said, “Give her every reason to be afraid and then come out the other end.” We’d come up on deer and all kinds of scary things out in the woods and because I’d get her through all those things she learned to believe in me.

At Louisville she won her first section unanimously and ended up Top Ten. When I was waiting for them to call the Top Ten, Jim Stachowski and Molly Purdy were there trying to buy her. Sheila Varian walked over to me and said, “Girlfriend, you just gave the boys a riding lesson.”

Buck changed me. At a recent roundtable discussion in Montana, Buck said, “When I first met Annette, she was pretty difficult to be around — just like her horses, really uptight. And over the years I’ve watched a transformation take place, not just with her horses but also with her kids and her other relationships.” He’s right.

I caught up with Buck recently when he was here at the McGinnis Meadow Cattle and Guest Ranch in Libby, Montana, where I work, and he shared his thoughts about the film, his horses, and life.

How has the film changed your life?
Not at all. Except in one big way: I hoped that the documentary would spark interest in making a film based on my book “The Faraway Horses.” I have been trying to get this done for over ten years but producers felt that my story wouldn’t be interesting to the general audience. This documentary changed all that. It seems it was compelling to people whether they were horse people or just plain folks — a story that anyone could relate to...

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