Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Is Hydroponic Feed in Your Horse's Future?

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Alayne Blickle
Jun 1, 2015

Rising feed prices and drought conditions have led to a growing interest in using fodder systems to feed horses

Hundreds of years ago, people living in areas with limited farmland developed a method of growing plants without using soil. This system, called hydroponics, allowed them to produce crops quickly and en masse. Hydroponics has captured horse owners’ attention recently, thanks to the develoment and availability of products called fodder systems. Fodder refers to food grown for and fed in a living state to livestock. Rising feed prices are also responsible for the growing interest in fodder systems. They’ve become popular in Australia, for instance, due to that country’s extreme drought conditions and resulting feed shortage...

Read more here

Trail Horse Hoof Care

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Diane E. Rice Jun 3, 2015

Best trimming and shoeing practices to ensure your horse stays sound while traveling the trails

When you’ve looked forward all week to your day off, so you can take to the trails, the last thing you want to find is your horse favoring a foot as he greets you at the pasture fence. Lameness can sideline you and your horse for a day, a week, or worse, and you’re also faced with the possibility of time-consuming specialized care during your horse’s recovery and the added expense of farrier and/or veterinarian intervention.

To give you the best possible chance for hoof trouble-free trail rides, we talked with equine foot gurus Tracy Turner, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, of Anoka Equine Veterinary Service, in Minnesota, and Scott Fleming, DVM, of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, in Lexington, Kentucky...

Read more at: http://www.thehorse.com/articles/35877/trail-horse-hoof-care?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=sports-medicine&utm_campaign=06-28-2015

Monday, June 29, 2015

Seven Common Saddle Faults

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Alexandra Beckstett, The Horse Managing Editor
Jun 10, 2015

A poorly designed or damaged saddle affects not only your riding but also your horse’s comfort. In fact, he’s probably going to feel any asymmetries and defects long before you do.

During the 2015 Society of Master Saddlers Introduction to Saddle Fitting Course, held May 1-2 in Hagerstown, Maryland, U.K.-based master saddler Laurence Pearman described seven common—but unacceptable—faults found in English saddles.

Here’s what to keep an eye out for in your saddle:...

Read more here:

Friday, June 26, 2015

Blister Beetle Basics

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Kristen M. Janicki, MS, PAS Jun 8, 2015

It might be hard to imagine that an essential part of the horse’s diet could contain potentially deadly hidden toxins. But it’s a hard truth that horse owners must be aware of: Alfalfa hay can harbor an insect called the blister beetle (Epicauta spp) that can contain a harmful toxic substance called cantharidin.

A member of the Meloidae family, blister beetles live throughout the United States and Canada. Their average body length is about 0.3 to 1.3 inches. A blister beetle’s diet is mainly composed of pollen, blossoms, and leaves of flowering plants, making alfalfa the perfect meal for them. Most alfalfa infestation occurs during late summer and early fall, when the adult blister beetle population also peaks...

Read more here:

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Colorado County supports keeping federal lands public

Aspendailynews.com - Full Article

by Collin Szewczyk, Aspen Daily News Staff Writer
Thursday, June 25, 2015

Richards: Movement ‘alive and well’ to transfer public lands to state ownership

Despite two measures to transfer ownership of federal lands to the states failing this year in Colorado, a movement backing the concept is growing on the national scene and the Pitkin County commissioners are being proactive in their opposition.

The BOCC on Wednesday passed an amended draft resolution stating the county’s unwavering support to keep federal lands in the hands of the public, and to not see them turned over to the states.

Opponents have criticized the effort to transfer governance of federal lands to the states as an attempt to privatize the lands, potentially exposing them to resource extraction...

Read more here:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Another campaign seeks transfer of federal land to states

Spokesman.com - Full Article

Rich Landers
JUNE 17, 2015

PUBLIC LANDS -- I loathe this campaign just as much as I despise other greedy efforts to rob Americans of their public lands heritage.

Idaho official garners support for public lands group

GRANGEVILLE (AP) — An Idaho official is trying to garner support from counties in western states to legally challenge the government’s ownership of public lands.

The Lewiston Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1LehPkT) Idaho County Commission Chairman Jim Chmelik is traveling this week with the goal of getting 100 counties to sign on to support the Western Landmark Foundation.

The foundation was formed in March with Chmelik as the registered agent...

Read more here:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Good Vibrations

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Written by: Kimberly French

What is Vibration Plate Therapy, and does it work?

He’s known for inventing corn flakes and his penchant for healthy living, but Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was also the individual responsible for introducing a standing vibration plate in the United States nearly 120 years ago. Hailed by many as a little off-kilter for some of his stranger theories, Kellogg instituted a vibration chair and standing vibration plate for his sanitarium patients in Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1895 to alleviate or eradicate numerous maladies such as headaches, stomachaches, back pain, and constipation. He claimed the movement of the internal organs stimulated healing.

Contrary to popular belief, Kellogg wasn’t that far out in left field. Dr. Gustav Zander was the first individual to build exercise machines which incorporated vibration as a tool for physical therapy. He unveiled his creation as a World’s Fair exhibit in 1876 and 1878 and by 1900, his fitness centers – or Zander Institutes – were flourishing around the world. In fact, he is considered to be one of the pioneers of the modern health club.

There was also the 1896 article on the success of Dr. Zander’s technique in the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal. Physicians concurred with Kellogg’s notion that vibration was a catalyst for lymph to travel through the body at a swifter rate, which in turn allowed an injury to mend more completely and quickly. The doctors referred to this phenomenon as “respiration of the tissues through increased circulation...”

Read more here:

Electrolyte Primer

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Lisa Kemp Jun 22, 2015

Not every horse requires supplementation with these molecules that regulate water content, but some steeds do--here's what to consider.

The equine body requires electrolytes; their levels govern functions ranging from muscle contraction to fluid transfer between cells to hydration. The average pleasure horse or light competitor can replenish most of his depleted electrolyte stores with a balanced diet along with fresh water and loose or block salt. However, "extreme athletes" such as racehorses and endurance mounts might require help getting all the electrolytes they need to perform and recover effectively...

Read more here:

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Hydrated Horse

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Karen Briggs
May 18, 2015

Any treatise on caring for horses you’ve ever read probably includes the line, “Provide access to plenty of fresh, clean water.” Though we all understand that this is good advice—after all, all living things need this simple, essential liquid—we don’t tend to give water a lot of consideration as part of the equine diet.

The reality is that water is the most important nutrient, bar none. Without water almost all of your horse’s systems cease to function, as it:

Read more here:

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Riding Safety – Tips to Keep You Safe on the Trail

Equitours.com - Full Article


Don’t end up like this cowboy!
Basic horse riding tips that can make your riding vacation safer:

There is a great deal more to horseback riding safety than just wearing a hard hat though that is certainly a great idea. After 80 years of riding, 35 years of leading and organizing riding trips and working as an expert witness in riding accident cases, I have formed some strong ideas about the leading causes of riding accidents. They often aren’t what people think. In my experience it is rare that speed alone is the cause of an accident. I have found that the following avoidable risks account for the vast majority of serious accidents.

Not wearing a hard hat
Failure to match horse and rider
Going too fast on dangerous terrain
Failure to check cinches a first time and a second time after a few minutes of riding
A hat or coat falling from a horse in front and spooking the ones behind
A kick from a horse
On foot in the corral
Riding when overweight and out of shape
Lagging behind and catching up by speeding forward
Prematurely “bailing out” to get off a runaway
Unqualified ride leaders
Having too many riders for the number of guides
Improper mounting and dismounting
Attaching lead ropes or reins firmly at inappropriate times
Stirrups and boots
Tying a horse with too much slack
Riding with loose horses
Running Home

Wearing a hard hat

If you are enjoying your life, it makes no sense to ride without a hard hat...

Read more here:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Doc Mishler, the Coast-to-Coast Cowboy

Stargazermercantile.com - Full Story

What would you do if you were staring down your own mortality, right in the (virtual) eye? I once knew a woman who was told she only had a few months to live. In true Hollywood sitcom style, she decided to live it up while she could. She maxed out her credit cards, cashed in her 401K and had herself a humdinger of a good time! She traveled—first class, all the way! Throwing the diet out the window, she ate whatever she wanted. She knew her husband would be able to pay off the credit cards with the life insurance money and she wanted to go out with a bang. The months passed and finally her doctors said, “Oops! It looks like you’re going to live after all.” I knew her many years after her terminal diagnosis and she was still hard at work to repay her creditors and build up her retirement fund. Fortunately, she had a terrific sense of humor!

Today, we’re going to talk about a man named Doc Mishler, a man who faced his own mortality in a very different way: He saddled up his horse, and rode off to spread a message of hope and to raise money for those in need. When Doc was diagnosed with cancer in 1996, he did not think about himself, not even for a moment. He heard a higher calling . . . he became the Coast-to-Coast Cowboy...

Read more here:

Heat Stress and the Endurance Horse: Electrolytes are not the only answer!

Distanceriding.org - Full Article

Gayle Ecker, Equine Exercise Physiology

These suggestions are a combination of the results of my research (along with Mike Lindinger) as well as the result of many discussions with riders, veterinarians and pit crew people.

The recent thread on heat stress in endurance horses generated a great deal of very good discussion about optimal management of the endurance horse. Concerns have been raised about the number of horses at the PAC that needed treatment.

Electrolyte supplementation, while a VERY important part of the equation, does NOT address the heat build up that occurs with exercise. The major route of heat dissipation is through the evaporation of sweat. Note that we said the evaporation of sweat. Sweat that runs off the horse or sits on the skin without drying quickly will not contribute greatly to the heat dissipation. A high humidity level will compromise the evaporation of sweat, even if the weather is cooler. During our research, we have documented significant losses of water and electrolytes even in cool weather because the humidity level is high. The horse still generates large amounts of heat, but dissipation is compromised due to the high humidity. Water and electrolyte losses can be high with high humidity even if the temperature is around 21 d C or 72 d F.

We are fighting physics. The horse does not have as much surface area to dissipate the heat as does the human. Nor can we force the horse to drink as much as it needs to replace the water losses. Of all the horses we have included in our research studies, NONE had enough water to replace the losses. Most never came more than ½ to 2/3 of the water loss. While this may not have put the horse in a position where vet treatment was necessary, these losses were certainly at a level where circulation and cell function would be affected. This would definitely impact continued performance. For the horse that is working within its capacity, this may not have a noticeable effect, but the horse that is being pushed a little harder may have greater problems with the added stress...

Read more here:

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The Pack Horse Librarians of Eastern Kentucky

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Horses & History | June 2, 2015

From 1929 to 1939 the western industrialized nations were on their knees. The Great Depression had hit and while some men jumped off buildings having lost everything in the stock market, others rode the rails, moved from state to state and begged and borrowed in an attempt to keep themselves and their families alive. Many died.

In 1935 President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration (WPA) under his 1933 New Deal initiative. The WPA was designed to get people back on their feet, and men began to work on construction projects including schools, power plants and road building sites. It also became clear that it was time to get women back to work and off the dole so a most inventive and innovative program called the Pack Horse Library Project of Eastern Kentucky was created.

The region serviced by these pack horse librarians (mostly women) was the mining territory of Eastern Kentucky, and life was not easy for the resident families who had no chance of a different life or escape. Health and safety measures were few and far between, Black Lung disease killed men by the hundreds, and the pay was poor. In these mining regions and out of the way backwaters, people subsisted in ramshackle houses with no running water, electricity or insulation. However, in 1935 thanks to the Pack Horse Library Project, librarians making $28 a month, began to make their way to these forlorn towns and farms, and without roads, they got there riding on tough mules and horses...

Read more here:

Sunday, June 07, 2015

CREWING 100s! The Next Best Thing to Riding …

Enduranceintrospection.com - Full Article

By Patti Stedman | June 6th, 2015

There is no question that the best part of 100s is riding them.

Or more honestly, the BEST thing is talking about having ridden a hundred a few days after having successfully done so, when you’ve caught up on sleep and have triumphed over two massive hurdles — forward stair descent and lowering-self-onto-toilet-seat-without-illegal-use-of-hands.

But the next best thing is crewing, for sure.

Last year I crewed my husband and Sarge through the VT 100, their first 100, with the unfailing help of Rich’s sister, Kathy, and brother in law, Fred. Last month, it was the Biltmore 75, and I crewed (mostly) solo. Next weekend, the plan is to crew them both through the Old Dominion 100.

Hundreds hold appeal to different people for different reasons, but for me, one of the great attractions is the Rubik’s Cube brain-occupation of preparing, considering ‘what ifs’, planning and executing that plan. I have an obsessively busy brain and with 100 miles of trail to contemplate, there’s much to keep a mind occupied.

To crew for 100 means the same obsessive level of attention to detail without the actual saddle time...

Read more here:

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Cowboy Craftsmanship Creating a saddle with both rider and horse in mind

Desertexposure.com - Full Article

by Karen Ray

Can you imagine a horse with chronic back pain? Unfortunately, many of our equine companions have been doing their best to perform under just such conditions. From horn to cantle, a saddle is an integral part of the riding experience. It can be one of your best friends or can give endless grief. TW Saddlery and Specialized Saddles, two local companies under the same ownership umbrella, have developed a patented fitting and construction system to provide maximum comfort and mobility to both horses and riders.

Greenville, Texas, is recognized as the saddle making capital of the world. However, 700 miles away in Canutillo, Texas, saddle designers Dave Kaden and Tracy Webb Kaden of Specialized Saddles and TW Saddlery are making a mark on the world with their innovative designs. This large company makes nearly 1,000 saddles per year, shipping them worldwide and participating in about four major equine trade shows per year...

Read more here: