Friday, October 30, 2015

New Training Product Under Development: Balios

The start-up company Equisense has developed Balios, a connected sensor positioned on the girth that allows the rider to move forward and perform without exceeding the red line for the horse. Indeed it will tell you the time to complete each stage, the time passing on the left foot, right foot, it will indicate a possible asymmetry of gait etc etc ... The sensor is constantly changing.

Feedback during training and alerts
Very easy to use, Balios turns itself on at the beginning of the session to analyze the intensity, the quality of the locomotion, the time spent at each gait and lead, and more. Check the data at any time during your session to better adapt your workout to your horse. Be notified of asymmetry so you never miss the early signs of lameness.

Every session, the collected data provides you with a history of your trainings and the well-being of each horse. You can also track medical care history and program reminders.
Balios offers precise analyses to help you have an objective view of your jumping obstacles, dressage tests, or any other exercise. For endurance, it indicates your speed, time spent on each diagonal or lead, and symmetry.

The app will "help the riders in their daily workout and reinforce the horse-rider complicity by taking care or the horse’s welfare and the sport pleasure, improve the performances of the horse while letting him stay in his physical comfort zone, facilitate the communication between every actors who intervene in the training and the cares (trainers, riders)."

A veterinarian, biomechanics engineer and other researchers have teamed up to develop this patented technology that analyses the horse's locomotion by reconstructing the gait with accelerometer data. "The different sensor accelerations and rotations allows us to decompose accurately the gait. From that data, we can compute all the indicators provided in the app. For example, if the propulsion is significantly higher from a diagonal biped to another, we can conclude a lameness."

It will be coming soon on Kickstarter.

For more information see

Monday, October 26, 2015

What Is The Difference Between Razer Shoes and Traditional Horseshoes?

Razer horseshoes were designed with health AND performance in mind. There are several key differences between Razer shoes and traditional horseshoes.

1. Traditional horseshoes don’t allow natural hoof movement, Razer shoes do.

Razer shoes are crafted from tempered tool steel so they flex with the hoof, unlike traditional steel or some aluminum shoes that are rigid and lock the foot in place.  Because of this bare foot movement, there is reduced strain on limbs and joints, as well as increased balance and confidence due to the foot’s ability to remain flat on uneven surfaces.

2. Razer shoes feature a unique pattern for enhanced traction.

Razer shoes are designed with a checking pattern on the interior of the shoe’s rim.  This pattern provides great traction for many disciplines.

3. Traditional steel shoes are heavy, Razers are much lighter and stronger.

Due to their design, Razer shoes are about half the weight of a traditional steel shoe and similar in weight to an aluminum shoe. Despite being thinner, they wear the same length as a normal steel shoe because they are crafted with tool steel.

4. Razer shoes help distribute weight, unlike traditional shoes which elevate the hoof and place weight on the hoof wall.
The low profile of Razer shoes provides more natural frog and sole contact. This helps distribute the horse’s body weight across the entire hoof, as it would if barefoot.

About Razerhorse

Razerhorse is a hoof care company that promotes better health and performance through science and technology. Razerhorse products are designed to mimic the natural function of the hoof while providing the protection needed for today’s performance horses. Razerhorse currently offers two products: the Razer horseshoe, a tempered tool steel shoe that allows the hoof to flex like a bare foot, and the Propad, a shock-absorbing polyurethane hoof pad that features an accordion-like frog support. To learn more about Razer shoes and Propads or to find a dealer near you, visit or call 855-95-RAZER.

Horse-riding in Oman - Full Article

October 24, 2015 | By Shruthi Nair

Traditional Omani horse-riding initially started in Sharqiyah which eventually became the Omani way of riding the horse. Traditional riding has various interesting elements to it which make it different from the riding that is practised in other parts of the world. A lot of heed is paid to intricate details like the appearance of the horse, look of the saddle, the rider’s clothes and accessories, and way of seating and riding.

The Omani saddle, known as Za’ana, is different from the contemporary saddles that are used worldwide and the most essential thing that distinguishes it from the other saddles is the absence of leg stirrups. This makes it difficult for the rider to maintain balance as they have to use their heels to embrace the horse’s body in order to maintain balance.

The Omani riders are considered to be among the best in the world which is the only reason why they can pull off such a challenging tweak in the saddle...

Read more here:

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Here's How You Can Outrun A Horse

[More ...]

October 20 2015
Adam Cole

When it comes to feats of speed and strength, Homo sapiens is a pretty pitiful species. The list of animals that can outsprint us is embarrassing. There's the cheetah, of course, but also horses, ostriches, greyhounds, grizzly bears, kangaroos, wild boars, even some house cats.

Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive, ran 100 meters in 9.58 seconds. A cheetah has done it in 5.95.

Based on the their speed unspooling fishing lines, we think black marlins can travel 80 mph. But you don't need the fastest fish on the planet to make gold medal swimmer C├ęsar Cielo look slow. He also falls behind the Gentoo penguin and the common octopus, not to mention a whole lot of species of fish.

A snow leopard easily jumps farther than world-record holder Mike Powell.

An elephant can lift more than Belorussian sensation Leonid Taranenko, and that's just with its trunk.

But there is one event where humans might best every other species: the marathon. We may not be sprinters, but we can run incredibly long distances.

The latest video from NPR's Skunk Bear explores the physiology and evolution behind humanity's secret power, and takes you to a race in Wales that pits humans against horses. Now there's one human vs. animal race where we stand a chance.

See the video:

Monday, October 19, 2015

'Unbranded' spotlights the plight of wild horses - Full Article

Documentary follows 4 friends and their 3,000-mile ride through 5 western states.

By: Gerri Miller
September 24, 2015

Thousands of wild horses roam free in the western United States, protected and growing in population. But under pressure from ranchers and conservationists who complain the mustangs are destroying cattle grazing land, the Bureau of Land Management has corralled 50,000 equines in holding pens in government facilities, awaiting adoption.

To bring attention to this problem, Ben Masters and his buddies Thomas Glover, Jonny Fitzsimons and Ben Thamer hatched a plan: they would adopt and train 16 wild mustangs in preparation for a five-and-a-half-month ride from the Mexican border north through Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana to Canada, passing through the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Glacier National Park. "Unbranded," which premieres in theaters and on VOD services on Sept. 25, documents their journey through challenging terrain and harsh conditions, with breathtaking cinematography by director Phillip Baribeau and Korey Kaczmare.

"The idea started when we were drinking tequila," says group leader Masters, who explained how it progressed from there, what the experience meant to him, and what he learned from it...

Read more here:

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Deciphering Your Feed Tag, Part 2: Performance Horse Feeds - Full Article

By Shannon Pratt-Phillips, MSc, PhD
Oct 5, 2015

In the second installment of our three-part commercial feed tag series, we take a look at working horses and their energy needs.

It probably goes without saying, but performance horse feeds are designed to meet the nutrient requirements of athletic horses. The greatest increase in nutrient requirements (other than water!) these animals experience when they work or perform is energy, which is quantified in the diet as calories. Heavily exercising horses burn more calories than they might be able to consume with hay or pasture alone. Thus, manufacturers have designed commercial performance feeds to boost horses’ calorie intake, as well as to meet additional nutrient needs that increase with work.
Essential Energy

In the figure below, you can see energy and protein requirements rising with increasing levels of work and how the horses’ elevated calorie needs are far greater than their elevated protein needs. While other nutrient requirements, such as those for calcium and phosphorus, also increase with work, calories should always be your biggest concern...

Read more here:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Utility Pants: Two-Week Test At ‘Mongol Derby’ - Full Article

October 13, 2015
By: Erik Cooper

The Mongol Derby is touted as “the longest and toughest horse race in the world,” with a course that unrolls 1000km across Mongolia. Where better to review a pair of do-all outdoor pants?

Under Armour touts its designers “thought of everything” with these pants, the Performance Utility Chino, and that they will be the “best pair of pants you’ll ever put on.”

Big claims. Last month, contributor Erik Cooper put the pants to a test, wearing them for two weeks during the Mongol Derby, an endurance horse riding event that retraces a remote route from the Chinggis Khaan empire.

The pants are fitted but also leave enough room to move. Flat-front cargo pockets keep the look clean but don’t sacrifice storage capability. “They were durable and I had a place to put everything from my SAT Phone to GPS to binoculars, and even a snack or two,” Cooper said.

Two-Week Review
Cooper wore a single pair of the Performance Utility Chinos every day for two weeks straight. He said they were “rugged and built for adventure on the outside, with a comfortable, sweatpants-like feel on the inside...”

Read more here:

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Controlling a Fast Trail Horse - Full Article

My horse always wants to take off on trails. What can I do?
April 19, 2011
by Cindy Hale

Q: I have a gelding that I bought for trail riding. Unfortunately, his previous owner used to gallop him a lot on the trails, so he constantly wants to bolt off. His mouth is dull too, which makes matters worse. Do you have any tips on how I could possibly retrain him to go the speed I want?

: A gallop or brisk canter on the trails isn’t inherently evil. A well-schooled, attentive horse should remain under the rider’s control at any speed. Without some good fundamentals in the arena (or in a round pen or even a large, flat area in an open field), a trail horse can become stiff and dull to a rider’s aids or cues. A stronger bit is not always necessary. Instead, the solution is usually to make your horse more supple (bendable) and responsive. Rather than leaning on your hands and ignoring your requests to slow down, your horse should yield (give) to pressure from the bit and your leg, and stay attentive to you...

Read more here:

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Dewormer's Effect on Scratches - Full Article

By Martin Krarup Nielsen, DVM, PhD, Dipl. EVPC
Aug 28, 2015

Q. I have read several articles about scratches this year, and I never see the solution that without fail clears up my horses’ scratches. For my horses, if I deworm a couple of times with ivermectin/praziquantel a week or two apart, their scratches disappear. I don’t have to put any topicals on or scrape them off. I’m wondering why I have never read about this.

A. First of all, scratches is a skin condition of the lower limbs sometimes caused by a pathogen, be it a virus, bacterium, fungus, or parasite. To answer your question it would help to know more about your horses. What type of environment do they live in, and how do these scratches cases present—is there a seasonal occurrence, or do they appear year-round? Where on your horses are they located? What type of horse do you have? This information would help with identifying the most likely explanation. However, here are a few possibilities for why you saw scratches relief after deworming...

Read more here:

The Connection Between Moldy Hay and Heaves - Full Article

By University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment
Sep 27, 2015

Horse owners know you can’t underestimate the power of being prepared. As such, most of us start to stock our winter hay supply in the summer, which is also the time when producers are harvesting and putting up new hay.

According to the National Weather Service, Central Kentucky experienced higher-than-average rainfall in the early summer months of 2015 (especially in April, May, and June). While that amount of rain, combined with warm spring and summer temperatures, allowed for green pastures, it also posed a significant challenge for hay producers...

Read more here:

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Fighting White Line Disease - Full Article

By Preston Hickman, DVM
Sep 26, 2015

The late famed farrier Burney Chapman long ago stressed the importance of treating white line disease (WLD) aggressively and considering the overall picture rather than just the pathology (disease or damage). The fungi involved in white line disease attack the stratum corneum’s (the outermost layer of the epidermis) intermediate layer—called the stratum medium—and digest the membrane responsible for securing the hoof wall to the sensitive areas deeper in the center of the hoof. The end result is that air and debris, instead of cartilage, line and separate the living tissue layers. Tapping the hoof wall in these cases creates a hollow sound, which is why some call WLD hollow hoof syndrome...

Read more here:

Friday, October 02, 2015

Unbranded: traveling 3,000 miles on wild mustangs - Full Article

Loretta Yerian

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - Four young adventure seekers decided to do what people say couldn't be done any longer - ride 3,000 miles, on horseback, from the border of Mexico to Canada.

The trip was the brainchild of front man Ben Masters, who after making a slightly shorter ride, decided he wanted to make a longer trip. This time he recruited three friends to help him ride and pack 16 wild mustangs they adopted and trained. Over the course of two years Masters planned the logistics and every detail of the route they would take. He also decided they would document their trip and through a kick-starter campaign that raised $175,000, "Unbranded" was born.

Masters, Thomas Glover, Jonny Fitzsimmons and Ben Thamer - all recent graduates of Texas A & M University are free, untamed mavericks themselves and taking the wild Mustangs back into the wilderness of their ancestors, turned into an epic journey they will not soon forget.

Deciding to cover five states and 3,000 miles in just over five months these recent graduates decided the film would not only document the ride but also raise awareness about wild Mustangs...

Read more here:

Reading Feet - Full Article

Your horse’s feet have a story to tell. Learn to read between the lines and determine whether that story’s telling you ‘I’m OK’ or ‘Help me now!’

By Barb Crabbe, DVM
Photographs By Jim Bortvedt

I was called to do a lameness exam. “My mare’s just not right,” my client told me. “One day she’ll seem fine, and the next she’s downright lame. Sometimes it seems like the right front, other days it’s the left. Most of the time she just comes out stiff and gets better after I warm her up. It’s been going on for months. What could be wrong?”

One look at the poor horse standing in the barn aisle, and I already had a pretty good handle on the problem. “Her toes are really long,” I commented, “and see how her heels are drawn forward under the back of her shoe? When was she last shod?” I wasn’t surprised to learn that it had been 10 weeks since she last saw the farrier.

By the end of my exam, we’d confirmed that the mare was extremely sore in both front feet, and didn’t have any significant problems on radiographs other than terrible hoof balance. In fact, her 10-week interval between farrier appointments may have been the primary underlying cause of her frustrating, intermittent lameness.

So how did I know that her feet were the problem before I ever saw her take a step? Simple observation of those long toes and crushed heels was all it took to tell me that her feet were likely to be killing her...

- See more at:

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Great American Trail Festival Offering Cash Awards for Regional Riding Clubs

September 30 2015

Competitive fun comes in many forms. The American Competitive Trail Horse Association (ACTHA) announced today that the Great American Trail Horse Festival, to be held November 5-8 at the Von Holten Ranch in Mora, Missouri will also include cash awards for riding clubs and associations to compete for including a High Point Club Award and a Spirit Award.

ACTHA is offering a $500 cash prize for the riding organization earning the most points. The High Point Club Award is open to any club, organization, state or local association, saddle club or 4-H group. The more riders from your club who ride increase the odds of your club winning. Riders can participate in either the competitive trail challenges or the arena obstacle challenges offered at the Festival. The more events the organization competes in also increases their odds.

Smaller clubs or organizations have the opportunity to vie for the $250 Spirit Award, an award given to the organization showing the most “team spirit”. Decorate your trailers, wear fun costumes or matching attire, show us why your club knows how to have the most fun out on a ride. The Spirit Award will be judged by our nationally renowned clinicians including Guy McLean, John Lyons, Scott Purdum and many more.

ACTHA President Robin Tilgman states, “This is a great opportunity for local organizations to join us in our tribute to the great American trail horse while having a chance to win funds to benefit their club. ACTHA realizes that many of our nation’s top equestrians and trail riders began their equestrian journey with the small organizations across the U.S. that usually operate on a limited budget, and this is one small way for us to assist them.”

All breeds, disciplines and levels of riding are welcome. Membership to ACTHA is not required to participate in the Great American Trail Horse Festival. For information and registration please visit


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

Does My Horse Need Salt? - Full Article

Written by: HPG

Q: Does my horse really need a salt lick?

A: The short answer is yes. Both the sodium and chloride found in a typical ‘salt lick’ (or more commonly, a mineral block) are vital to regulate body fluids, help cells function properly, create electrical impulses to fire nerves and make muscles contract, and aid in digestion. Horses lose salt through sweating; fatigue and other problems can arise if it is not replaced. Signs of salt deficiency include a rough hair coat and loss of appetite – even lowered milk production in broodmares. A 500-kg (1,100-lb) horse getting light work would need about eight to 10 grams of sodium per day; intense work would require 24-30 grams per day...

Read more here: