Thursday, July 30, 2015

Drought, Temperature, Fires Challenge Tevis Water Supply -- Full Article

By Marsha Hayes
Jul 30, 2015

With California entering its fourth year of drought and temperatures climbing to over 100°F, assuring a plentiful and palatable water supply for the 2015 Tevis Cup 100-mile endurance ride participants is a must—but a challenging one—for ride organizers and volunteers alike.

This year’s Tevis Cup will take place Aug. 1 in Northern California.

“An endurance horse, working in the heat, can sweat 3 to 4 gallons an hour or more, although the hourly average over the course would be lower,” explained head veterinarian Greg Fellers, DVM. “Natural thirst will stimulate the horse to replace about two-thirds of that water loss...”

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Performance Horse Fatigue - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · May 26, 2015

Exercise requires an integration of many systems, each containing varied elements, and any factor that upsets this integration could cause fatigue. Horse owners often have trouble identifying fatigue because its multidimensional nature varies with activity, training and physiological status of the individual, and environmental conditions.

The onset of fatigue is most often associated with either the accumulation of metabolic by-products or a decline in muscle glycogen concentration.

Key factors causing fatigue in humans parallel those factors causing fatigue in horses. In both human and horse endurance events, heat stress and substrate availability have been indicated as key factors in fatigue. In the horse, substantial depletion of muscle glycogen has been reported during endurance rides, supporting the idea that substrate availability may play a key role in fatigue...

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Conformationally Challenged Athlete - Full Article

By Nancy S. Loving, DVM
Jul 20, 2015

No horse is perfect, and many with conformational flaws go on to compete successfully. What can you live with and how?

Horse people put a lot of stock in a horse’s conformation, as far as predicting his athletic potential. After all, it’s common knowledge that certain conformational characteristics have the potential to be career-limiting.

But have you ever come across the horse that never “read the book,” doesn’t know he’s not perfect, and continues to perform soundly and successfully despite his flaws? Or, maybe you’re familiar with the pristinely conformed horse that’s a less-than-stellar performer...

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Keeping Pastured Horses Safe during Drought - Full Article

By Kristen M. Janicki, MS, PAS
Jun 25, 2015

Some parts of the country are experiencing drier than normal conditions and, thus, some horses living on pasture might soon have limited forage choices. Owners must take care to ensure pastures do not contain certain plant and weed species capable of producing toxins during stress conditions such as drought.

Horses aren't as susceptible to nitrate toxicity or prussic acid poisoning from plants as are ruminant species, such as cattle and sheep. A rumen's microorganisms facilitate toxin release from the plants into the animal's digestive tract. Horses, however, are monogastric (one- stomached) animals and are more capable of breaking down prussic acid in the stomach, and convert very little nitrate to nitrite (wherein lies the problem in cows) in the large intestine.

Nitrate and prussic acid toxicity in horses are rare, but when they do occur, they typically have serious consequences...

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Beartooth Back Country Horsemen of Montana Receives Back Country Horsemen of America’s Double Diamond Award

July 21, 2015
by Sarah Wynne Jackson
With the annual Double Diamond Award, Back Country Horsemen of America acknowledges a Back Country Horsemen chapter that has exceeded even their high standards of public service. Established in 2003 by the Back Country Horsemen of America National Board of Directors, the Double Diamond Award honors special projects and programs that best exemplify collaborative spirit, community awareness, and devotion to the mission and purpose of BCHA. Eligible projects and programs include, but are not limited to, trail maintenance, trail construction, trailhead construction, educational workshops and youth programs.
A Multitude of Skill
The Beartooth Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Montana won this year’s Double Diamond Award with their Ernie Strum Trail project, which was accomplished by one of the largest and most diverse group of volunteers and government representatives in the history of BCHA. This project ultimately involved five government agencies, fifteen private entities, and numerous individuals, which required tremendous organization and coordination by Beartooth BCH.
Formulating a Plan
The idea of a four-part trail complex to provide public access to McDonald Basin and the north face of the Beartooth Mountain Wilderness took root in 1999. Ernie Strum and other BBCH members had heard old timers talk of long abandoned hunter and sheepherder trails in this area. Despite limited access, the terrain lends itself to many recreational opportunities and was described by a Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks biologist as the most biodiverse area in Montana.
From 1999 to 2007, BBCH pitched the project to various groups and held meetings, which continually grew larger due to strong public support. In early May 2007 BBCH held a spring campout and barbecue for the coalition of government agencies and volunteers. They reviewed project plans and the proposed trail location on aerial photos, and visited possible trailhead sites.
Amazing Generosity
In the following years, Beartooth Back Country Horsemen coordinated the on-the-ground trail building as funding permitted. Volunteers worked without the use of motorized equipment to protect the ecosystem. The Bureau of Land Management guided construction while the US Forest Service surveyed, plotted and marked the trail location. Ernie was added to the BLM Resource Advisory Committee, which enabled him to coordinate the project more effectively.
Many horsemen and other organizations donated their time and labor. In the very busy spring and early summer of final construction in 2014, 480 hours of labor (valued at nearly $17,000) plus signage was donated by BBCH members and partners in assisting Montana Conservation Corps crews doing the trail building. In addition, Beartooth Back Country Horsemen shared the actual dollar costs with BLM. MCC donated 232 hours of crew labor, valued at nearly $10,000.
A Celebration of Dedication
Although the trail was first called the Lily Pad Lake Trail, it was officially re-named the Ernie Strum Trail after his passing in late 2013, to commemorate his long and tireless work on the project. Ernie, a Beartooth Back Country Horseman from the first days of the organization, also brings lasting recognition and tribute to Back Country Horsemen of America with this partnership.
By July 2014 the trail was completed with an additional side trail to a scenic overlook on BLM land called Ernie’s Point. A volunteer built wooden benches on site from timber removed from the trail corridor where visitors sit to take in the fantastic view of the north face of the Beartooth Mountains.
An Example to Emulate
The support of such a diverse group brings talent and resources to the table that made this project possible even in times of tight budgets. Back Country Horsemen of America believes a project of this magnitude, with such an array of volunteer organizations working alongside so many governing entities can only lead to more seamless collaboration in the future. This cooperation will ultimately provide sustainable trail maintenance because of the ownership gained by all participants. Back Country Horsemen of America is confident this will serve as a model for others to follow.
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!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Deer Creek land access deal a victory against insidious trend - Full Article

July 22 2015

All those involved in reestablishing access to thousands of acres of public lands south of Big Timber are to be commended for their efforts — Forest Service officials for their perseverance and private landowners for their willingness to work with public lands managers and do what’s right.

The West Deer Creek Road, about 10 miles south of Big Timber, opened earlier this month, reestablishing public access between the Boulder River Road and some 16,000 acres of Forest Service land. The opening and the deal that made it possible marked the resolution of many years of disputes with private landowners...

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

ELCR Teams Up with 'Tread Lightly!' on Respected Access is Open Access Campaign Targeting Equine Community

 Lexington, Ky. – July 21, 2015 - Equine land Conservation Resource (ELCR) announces a new partnership with Tread Lightly! and AQHA to launch a Respected Access is Open Access campaign targeting the equine community.  Tread Lightly! is a nonprofit organization with the mission "to empower generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly through stewardship to further the goals of responsible and ethical recreation." The organization started the Respected Access is Open Access program to educate recreational users of public land about responsible use and proper stewardship. The overarching goal of the program is to maintain and enhance access to public or private lands by improving recreationists’ behavior. 
The message is simple – responsible and respectful behavior leads to continued access.  This powerful message resonates in the hearts and minds of the entire outdoor recreation community.  Equine Land Conservation Resource has teamed up with Tread Lightly! to bring this educational campaign to the equine community with support from the AQHA STEP (Stewards for Trails, Education and Partnerships) program. The campaign will focus on raising awareness of the consequences of riding wet trails ranging from resource damage to increased conflict with other trail users through educational articles and placement of printed public service announcements.
“ELCR is pleased to partner with Tread Lightly! and AQHA to bring the Respected Access is Open Access educational campaign to the equine community,” said ELCR executive director Holley Groshek. “As private land continues to disappear, public land will become increasingly more important to our equine community. Creating awareness about good land stewardship is essential to keeping land open and accessible to horses and horse related activities.”
Organizations or publications interested in supporting the educational campaign by placing public service announcements can contact Abby Gates at or 859-455-8383.
About the Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR): ELCR builds awareness of the loss of lands available for horse-related activities and facilitates the protection and conservation of those lands. We work to ensure America’s equine heritage lives on and the emotional, physical and economic benefits of the horse-human relationship remains accessible. ELCR serves as an information resource and clearinghouse on conserving horse properties, land use planning, land stewardship/best management practices, trails, equine liability and equine economic impact. For more information about the ELCR visit or call (859) 455-8383
About Tread Lightly! - Tread Lightly! is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a national nonprofit organization in October 2015. Founded in 1990 through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, Tread Lightly! promotes responsible outdoor recreation through ethics education and stewardship programs. Tread Lightly! has more than 70 official partners from various industries and is likely the nation’s only non-profit holding MOUs with every federal and state agency in the U.S. Tread Lightly!’s diverse member base enjoys a wide range of outdoor activities including hunting, angling, camping, boating, biking, four-wheeling and much more. Become a Tread Lightly! partner or member today and start supporting access, education and stewardship at
For additional information, contact:
Abby Gates
Equine Land Conservation Resource
Phone: 859-455-8383

ACTHA Announces the Great American Trail Horse Festival

July 18, 2015
The American Competitive Trail Horse Association (ACTHA) has announced a first of its kind trail horse celebration, honoring the diversity of all of America’s trail horses.  The Great American Trail Horse Festival will take place November 5-8, 2015 at the Von Holten Ranch in Mora, Missouri.  While ACTHA will host the event they are welcoming all trail horses, organizations and disciplines.
An equine event not to be missed, the festival will include 3 competitive trail challenges, 3 arena obstacle challenges, both with exciting ribbons and prizes!  Celebrity Trainers will be running free clinics throughout the festival. The first 100 riders to sign up will be chosen as active participants in the clinics while their fellow riders watch on.
Additional activities are planned as well, including certified judge’s training, vendors, a barn dance, entertainment, karaoke, cash bingo, camping, great meals and more.  Von Holten Ranch, a century farm family since 1906, hosts numerous large-scale equine events and competitions.  The ranch boasts miles of scenic trails, electric hookups and covered stalls to rent as well as shower facilities. Complete and update information can be found at
ACTHA founder, Carrie Scrima states, “Part of ACTHA’s mission is to honor the Great American Trail Horse.  The Great American Trail Horse Festival is the perfect way to celebrate and promote the value in all breeds of trail horses.  This is a celebration of the trail horse and everything related to them.  Vendors, associations, riders, clubs, all are welcome to come and “tell their story” while enjoying fun, education and fellowship.  Not only can members take part in six different competitions over the course of three days, but they have the opportunity to take part in free clinics from some of the best clinicians in the business.  Plus of course ca$h, prizes and fun!”
For more information on the Great American Trail Horse Festival please visit  Sponsor packages are available as well as limited vendor space.  For more information on becoming a sponsor or vendor at the Great American Trail Horse Festival please contact Stephanie Rivers at
The American Competitive Trail Horse Association’s mission, duty and purpose is to address, educate, coordinate, and provide aid and relief to unwanted, unused, abandoned and abused equines on a national level. ACTHA’s mission to provide a venue for the trail rider to participate in the sport of competitive trail riding, focuses on educating participants on all aspects of the equine, care, training, as well as the importance of being a good steward of our natural resources (land, water, and the animals entrusted in our care). To create an enjoyable venue to showcase the wonderful attributes of the great American trail horse and granting the recognition they so richly deserve.  Leading by example, ACTHA donates 20% of its member rider proceeds from each event to registered 501(c)3 organizations (usually equine charities providing care for horses in need), and provides a vehicle for organizations to raise funds to support their cause.  Our mission focuses on creating and enabling humane treatment and employment options for every able bodied equine, reducing the burden on local, state, and federal programs to support the ever growing problem of unwanted, unused, abandoned, and abused equines. To further our mission, ACTHA will create and maintain a registry open to all breeds and a point designation system which will stay with each horse for its lifetime, thereby adding to their value and distinction.

The American Competitive Trail Horse Association
637 Soda Creek Road
Spicewood, TX 78669
(877) 992-ACTHA

Inquiries welcome at

The Sikh: The War Horse That Walked From Russia to Britain - Full Story
by Anita Lequoia

Here at The Campfire Chronicle we’ve talked about war horses on more than one occasion. There was the story of how Sir Winston Churchill saved the war horses. . .and there was the story about Warrior, the horse the Germans could not kill. But, just like snowflakes and fingerprints, no two stories about war horses could ever be exactly the same, and today’s story will attest to that. . .it is one of the most unique horse stories to come out of World War I. Today I’d like to tell you about a British war horse named, The Sihk, who served for four years during The Great War, dodged shellfire and grenades as she delivered supplies to bloodied and battered troops in the trenches, and after the war ended, she walked all the way back home from southern Russia to Devon, England...

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Equine Thermography - Full Article

By Joanna L. Robson, DVM, CVSMT, CVA, CSFT, CIT
Jul 7, 2015

Thermography presents a noninvasive, safe, and cost-effective diagnostic imaging modality (on average, $350 for a whole horse scan and interpretation) that is a valuable complementary tool in equine health care. As with other technologies, we are seeing considerable advancements in thermographic cameras’ resolution and user-friendliness, along with significant decreases in physical size and initial purchase costs. As thermography gains popularity and interest, it is tremendously important that veterinarians, technicians, and horse owners understand the advantages this physiologic imaging tool offers, as well as its limitations...

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hoof Abscesses in Horses - Full Article

By Christy M. West Jul 14, 2015

This common problem can cause sudden, severe lameness, but it often can be resolved quickly with the proper treatment approach.

Yesterday your horse was perfectly sound, but today he won't touch one foot to the ground. There's no apparent injury or sign of a problem in his leg or hoof other than the sudden, severe lameness. What could have happened?

One strong possibility for the cause of this scenario is a hoof abscess--a localized accumulation of pus within the horse's hoof. The good news is that abscesses can often be resolved quickly and easily with proper veterinary care and leave no lasting damage. Even better, they can usually be prevented by practicing good routine hoof care and management...

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Efforts to reauthorize the Recreational Trails Program currently underway

Efforts to reauthorize the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) are currently ongoing by the Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT).

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) was created in 1991, applying the "user-pay/user-benefit" philosophy of the Highway Trust Fund, returning federal gasoline taxes paid by off-highway recreationists. RTP is the foundation for state trail programs across the country. Project categories eligible for funding are many and varied, giving states the flexibility they need to administer state trail programs.

The Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) is an organization of national and regional trail-related groups, working together to build awareness and understanding of the RTP, and ensure that the program continues to receive adequate funding. The most recent reauthorization of RTP came through the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), signed in 2012, with dedicated annual funding of $85 million for Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014 as a setaside from the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP).
With the expiration of MAP-21, efforts to reauthorize RTP are once again underway. Transportation funding was recently extended to July 31 due to lack of agreement on a long-term funding fix in Congress.
A six-year surface transportation reauthorization bill was announced by U.S. Senator Jill Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, on June 23, titled the "Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act" ("DRIVE)". The legislation would maintain TAP funding at $850 million per year (currently $819 million). It also continues RTP as a "set-aside" fund within TAP. As far as RTP and trail advocates are concerned, this is a win for the program, as the proposed bill does not change anything regarding the Recreational Trails Program.
For more information and the latest news regarding RTP, visit

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Horse Trail Access: Protect It or Lose It - Full Article

June 16 2015
By Denise O’Meara

Setting out on the trail with your horse is a magic moment. The promise of quiet solitude, the beauty of nature, relaxing with friends, the companionship of a beloved horse and enjoying a bit of adventure are all part of the attraction of trail riding.

How did this inviting trail become available to you? Did you develop a relationship with the landowner or manager, or is there any relationship at all? Good relations with both public land trail managers and private landowners are imperative. Do you have a written agreement or an informal understanding? And do you show your respect for the owner/manager by using trails responsibly?

Just as trail riding contributes to your happiness quotient, treating the land with respect contributes to the durability and availability of your trail. You should know the condition of your trails before you ride, especially during inclement weather. Thoughtlessly slogging through wet areas can cause extensive damage and create unsafe conditions. And it can lead to loss of trail access.

It’s not uncommon for a private landowner to deny access to existing trails on their land, posting the dreaded No Horses Here sign. Public land managers, citing damage to sensitive lands, post Access Denied notices. Disappointing, yes; and often irreversible...

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Friday, July 03, 2015

A Long Road to Recovery: Tendon and Ligament Injuries - Full Article

Written by: Nicole Kitchener

Learn how to increase your horse’s odds of recovery following a strain, sprain or tear.

Injuries to tendons and ligaments in horses’ legs are common and are the leading cause of loss of use in horses, whether competition mounts or pleasure companions.

These injuries can be stubborn and require the owner’s patience to see treatment and rehabilitation through for an extended duration. Even then, the horse might not be able to perform at previous levels. Luckily, however, there are many treatment methods and procedures that can improve a horse’s odds of a successful – but not necessarily quicker – recovery...

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Electrolyte Primer - 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...

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Thursday, July 02, 2015

Participation Sought in Study on Collapse, Sudden Death - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor Jul 1, 2015

Researchers from the University of Bern, in Switzerland, are seeking horse owner, trainer, rider, and veterinarian participation in a study on collapse and sudden death in horses.

The researchers hope to design strategies to prevent these episodes with the information they collect.

“We are a group of veterinarians and riders affiliated to the University of Bern that love horses, equestrian sports, and are interested in improving the health and safety of our equine partners,” said researcher Cris Navas, LV, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, a clinician and lecturer at the university...

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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

In Praise of Honest Horses - Full Article

by Patti Stedman
June 30 2015

I’ve often said to riders in my Endurance 101 Clinics “beware the horse with more heart than brain.”

Horses with more heart than brain do not slow or stop when they are tired, they do not limp when they are sore, they do not say “no” when the reality is that they have no “yes” to offer.

Endurance is a tough sport, even with a horse who has a clear sense of self-preservation and honesty to say “I’m tired” or “I hurt” or “I’m thirsty.”

Ace has always been both earnest and honest.

Someone once asked me if he was stoic. I laughed and then giggled, then snorted a little bit, then wiped away my tears and said “no.”

Years ago, due to the abject stupidity of the person typing presently, he got a rope burn on a Hi-Tie. Now, before you write to me and say “but rope burns HURT!” I realize that. Ace was suitably sore, but his suffering was epic...

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25 Things to know before your first 25 mile LD ride

Bootsandsaddles4mel Blog - Full Article

by Melinda Newton
June 26 2015

Heading off to your first LD of 25 miles or more? Feeling a bit nervous? Relax! Here’s 25 of the essential must-knows before (and after) pulling into ridecamp.

1. Know where ride camp is.

Ridecamps are often in the middle of nowhere without addresses or readily GPS’ed cross streets. Sometimes you are given GPS coordinates, or step by step directions…YEAH. And sometimes you aren’t. Sometimes you aren’t even warned there are TWO streets of the same name and the SECOND one is your turnoff and you *could* result in having to backtrack through a residential section by backing your truck and trailer a quarter mile before being able to turn around. (True story). Best is to have at least 2 methods of navigation to ridecamp – written step by step directions and/or GPS and/or area map etc.

2. Know and understand the AERC rules.

It’s tricky. Gate-and-goes versus gate-into-holds, who has to weigh with tack, and finish criteria guidelines. The specifics will be discussed at the ride, but you should be very familiar with the AERC handbook before coming to ridecamp...

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