Thursday, December 29, 2016

Selenium Status in Horses - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · September 29, 2016

Finding just the right balance of nutrients can be challenging for horse owners. Take selenium, for example. Too much selenium causes alkali disease, or seleniosis, while too little may cause muscle problems or white muscle disease. But how do you know where your horse stands on the selenium front?

“According to a presentation at this year’s Australasian Equine Science Symposium, some New Zealand horses maintained on pasture had selenium blood levels below the laboratory’s normal limit but appeared completely health,” relayed Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., an equine nutritionist for Kentucky Equine Research (KER).

Many parts of the world, including regions of the United States and New Zealand have low soil selenium levels. This translates into reduced levels in forage, which is the primary source of selenium for horses maintained on pasture or fed hay-based diets.

To determine selenium levels in horses maintained on pasture in New Zealand in healthy, adult horses, Erica Gee, B.V.Sc., Ph.D., a senior lecturer at Massey University, and colleagues measured monthly selenium levels for one year. They found:

• All horses had low blood selenium concentrations over the study period. Average blood selenium levels were 342 nanomoles/liter, which was approximately 5-10 times lower than the normal levels;
• All horses appeared healthy during the study period despite those low selenium levels; and
• The levels of selenium in pastures varied from month to month, and supplemental hay was also low in selenium...

Read more here:

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Science Behind 'Licking and Chewing' in Horses - Full Article

By Sue McDonnell, PhD, Certified AAB Oct 5, 2016

Q. What does “licking and chewing” really mean? Submission? Processing? Relaxing?
Lisa, California

A. Licking and chewing behavior is probably one of the most misunderstood horse behaviors. It simply reflects a change in autonomic nervous system tone that results in salivation that stimulates licking, chewing, and sometimes a big swallow. And that can happen in a number of situations following a threat or disturbance of some sort. To better explain, when an animal or a person is relatively relaxed and engaged in ordinary maintenance activities, such as feeding and resting, the parasympathetic nervous system (the part of the nervous system responsible for the “rest and restore” response) is more or less in control. When an animal or a person is threatened or acutely stressed, the nervous system switches into alert or fight or flight mode with the sympathetic nervous system. Pain, fear, or confusion can all turn on the sympathetic system. When that which turned on the sympathetic state resolves, nervous system control switches back to the more relaxed parasympathetic state.

Horses show some observable behavioral signs of this back-and-forth switching. This cluster of licking, chewing, and sometimes swallowing that you have asked about occurs right when switching back to parasympathetic after a period of sympathetic. That’s because when sympathetic control switches on, salivation ceases and the mouth and lips quickly dry. When the disturbance resolves and relaxation returns, salivation also returns. So the licking and chewing is just that simple reflexive response to deal with the salivation resuming after a period of dry mouth and lips. So, in a sense, licking and chewing do reflect relaxation, but specifically as a result of returning from a spell of acute stress or pain. People often refer to this moment as “relief.” Another medical term for it is sympathetic attenuation...

Read more here:

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

How to Increase Your Horse’s Winter Water Consumption - Full Article

December 22 2016

We all know that colic is the number one noninfectious health risk for horses. There are a number of types of colic but the one we see the most in winter is impaction colic.

Impaction colic is essentially constipation and most often includes the accumulation of hard, dry fecal material in the colon. The usual signs of impending impaction colic are depression, a decreased appetite and decreased production and dryness of manure. Although poor hay quality, lack of exercise, internal parasites and dental problems are all predisposing factors for impaction colic, decreased water consumption is thought to be the primary predisposing factor for the condition, especially in the winter when most horses drink less water.

We’ve always advised our clients to provide warm water during winter months, as we’ve thought it increased the amount of water horses would drink. This is true, but the issue is a bit more complicated than it might appear at first glance...

Read more here:

Monday, December 26, 2016

What to Watch for When Buying a Saddle - Full Article

Saddlefit 4 Life | December 19, 2016
~ Jochen Schleese CMS, CSFT, CSE, courtesy of Saddlefit 4 Life

This being the Christmas season with presumably at least some riders hoping for a saddle under the tree I thought it would be worth repeating some key points I have previously touched on. In essence you may use the “9 points of saddle fit as a guide”, but here are a few extra pointers.

The art of fitting a saddle to both horse and rider is something which is not explained in a few sentences; indeed something new can be learned every day, as each client brings with him or herself something different to consider. It’s not rocket science, but it is a science, combined with the artistry of actually building the saddle. It is important to work closely with veterinarians and physiotherapists and other equine professionals to constantly ensure the most optimal combination of horse, rider and saddle. Anatomical considerations of both horse and rider are a key determinant in how to choose the correct saddle. Hopefully if you have such a generous benefactor in your life who is thinking of getting you a saddle for Christmas they will know to involve both you and your horse and not just go for a ‘pretty saddle’. (Which I have to say – unfortunately many of them are, including one really high end prestigious company whose saddles are not really all that equine-friendly at the end of the day!)

“A well-designed and correctly fitted saddle is vital to the performance of both horse and rider. Whatever type of saddle is chosen, the main consideration is that it should fit both horse and rider. To check that it does so, not only must the rider sit on it, but it should be put on the horse and its fit must be studied before it is bought. A badly fitting saddle not only causes discomfort to the horse and rider, but can actually stop a horse from moving properly. The tree and panels of a saddle should be chosen to fit the horse, and the seat and flap length should be chosen to fit the rider.” (Julie Richardsen’s Horse Tack (Complete Equipment for Riding and Driving). (New York, 1981). But that’s not all, as I have written about previously – there are so many other parts of the saddle that need to be taken into consideration when ensuring proper fit and comfort for both horse and rider...

Read more here:

Monday, December 19, 2016

Winter riding and horse care tips - Full Article

by Karen Chaton

If you live in an area with real winters or just have a horse that grows in a super heavy winter coat you know that riding and conditioning this time of year can be a challenge. It’s hard to get in good rides not just because of the shorter daylight but because you don’t want to bring back a sweaty horse that is going to stay wet for hours, often past dark if you aren’t able to ride early in the day.

Those of you that have indoor barns are sure lucky but since I know many don’t here are a couple of tips from an endurance rider on how to manage keeping or getting your horse conditioned through the winter months.

Horses with heavy winter coats can easily heat up so be sure to keep an eye out for that. They sweat, but the sweat doesn’t dry quickly so that can add to the problem with the horse overheating, losing electrolytes and then possibly becoming chilled. It can be quite tricky to find the right balance to keep your horse comfortable.

I try to plan to not bring a wet horse back to the barn after around 3 p.m., otherwise I know they’ll still be wet for several hours...

Read more here:

Friday, December 16, 2016

American Horse Council Celebrates National Day of the Horse

December 13 2016

The American Horse Council (AHC) is pleased to continue to recognize December 13th as National Day of the Horse.

In 2004, Congress designated December 13th as National Day of the Horse, and has been celebrated each year since. The day was established to encourage U.S. citizens to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history, and character of the United States.

“Horses have been inextricably linked to U.S. history and culture since its beginnings,” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “They have contributed greatly to the advancement of our society from tilling the fields to grow crops for early settlers, rounding up livestock on ranches, and contributing $9.2 billion to the U.S. economy.”

“The AHC hopes that people will continue to recognize not only the importance of National Day of the Horse, but also the critical role that the AHC plays on their behalf here in Washington, DC,” said Ashley Furst, AHC’s Director of Communications. “As such, we have a released a short video detailing the work the AHC does daily on behalf of all equines and equine owners in the United States.”

The short informational video can be viewed here.

The AHC encourages everyone to post on social media using the hashtag #NationalDayoftheHorse to continue to tell their personal stories of their equines and the joy they bring to people’s lives daily.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Think With Your Head About Your Riding Helmet - Full Article

By Riders4Helmets
Sep 2, 2016

You’ve seen those commercials talking about replacing your mattress after every eight years—after all, that’s a lot of dead skin cells, dirt, dust mites, etc., that gathers every night. And when it comes to your favorite pair of riding pants, you don’t think twice about replacing them when they’re starting to be wear thin. But do you even think about how old your riding helmet is?

Go ahead—take a moment to find your helmet and look at the tags inside.

Could you see the date? Or is it so faded you can’t tell if that’s a three or an eight? Can you remember when you purchased it? It might just be time to buy a new helmet...

Read more here:

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Acid test: Scientists review what we know about stomach ulcers in horses - Full Article

December 11, 2016

Scientists who reviewed dozens of research papers dealing with stomach ulcers in horses have laid out key management strategies they believe can benefit affected animals.

Equine gastric ulcer syndrome is common, yet important elements around the troublesome condition are not yet fully understood. Its prevalence has been estimated at 25 to 50 percent in foals and 60 to 90 percent in adult horses, depending on age, performance, and evaluated populations.

The horse stomach has two distinct regions. The upper third is lined by the esophageal tissue (squamous mucosa). It has no glands to produce hydrochloric acid or mucus. The lower two-thirds of the stomach contain glands that secrete, among other things, hydrochloric acid and mucus, the latter designed to protect the stomach wall. Horses are continuous acid secretors. Acid production occurs regardless of whether feed is present.

The review team, Frank Andrews, Connie Larson and Pat Harris, writing in the journal Equine Veterinary Education, said ulcers in the lower part of the esophagus and upper non-glandular region of the stomach were probably caused by hydrochloric acid, because this region lacks protective mucus secretion.

Ulcers in the lower acid-producing glandular part of the stomach, and the upper duodenum, were likely caused by a breakdown in the mucus-based defense mechanisms...

Read more:

A Deeper Look at Metabolic Syndrome, Insulin Resistance and Diabetes - Full Article

Metabolic syndrome is a name applied to a collective group of risk factors that raise the risk of other health conditions. In humans, we see a rise in the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, vascular disorders, neurodegenerative conditions and many others. In horses, we generally see an increased risk for insulin resistance, Cushing's disease and laminitis. The term 'metabolic' actually implies an alteration in cellular metabolism or biochemical processes, but is often quickly associated with a state of increased body weight or obesity. The syndrome is actually complex, involving many pathways, but as with other conditions, with a more indepth understanding comes better management.

Metabolic syndrome in both people and horses is on the rise, not to mention companion pets. In the United States, the rates of obesity have doubled in the past 10 years, as have the increased incidence of associated medical conditions. The cause is complex and often attributed to hereditary factors, highly processed foods, overconsumption of fat calories and lack of exercise. In horses, the rise is similar with more metabolic patients being diagnosed every year, again often attributed to diet, low exercise levels and hereditary factors. In my equine consulting practice, metabolic syndrome plays a role in about 50% of cases, whether the owner is aware of the condition or not. Overall, the condition of metabolic syndrome is becoming more prevalent in both humans and animals.

In humans, it has been estimated that 25% of adults have metabolic syndrome to some degree, which increases the risk of developing diabetes by 5 times. It has also been estimated that 80% of all diabetics actually succumb to cardiovascular disease, which is a common consequence of metabolic syndrome. In humans, risk factors for developing metabolic syndrome include:

Large waistline
High triglycerides
High blood pressure
High fasting blood glucose...

Read more here:

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Blue-Green Algae Poisoning in Horses - Full Article

By University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment
Jun 25, 2014

Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, poisoning is a condition caused by the ingestion of water containing excessive growths of toxin-producing blue-green algae species. Of the more than 2,000 species of blue-green algae identified, at least 80 are known to produce toxins poisonous to animals and humans. Many more species and toxins have yet to be identified. Heavy blue-green algae growth or blooms occur when water sources are contaminated with excessive nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus, and weather conditions are hot and dry. In farm settings, stagnant ponds contaminated with fertilizer run-off or direct manure and urine contamination are prime places for blue-green algae blooms to occur...

Read more here:

The Tolerable Club Foot - Full Article

By Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc
Aug 17, 2016

Is it worth taking a chance on a horse with a "clubby" foot?

It’s the classic horse-buying dilemma. The prospect you’ve been eyeing for some time (and, let’s face it, that you’ve already fallen in love with) has a clean prepurchase exam report except for one small thing: radiographic evidence of a club foot in his right front. It’s not like you’re planning to compete in the Olympics this summer, but can this horse still do what you want athletically and stay sound?

Veterinarians diagnose club feet pretty frequently, says Stephen O’Grady, DVM, of Virginia Therapeutic Farriery, in Keswick. In fact, in a 2012 study, researchers found that almost one-third (116 out of 373) of Thoroughbred foals developed a club foot during a four-year observation period.

In an attempt to solve this club foot conundrum (i.e., to buy or not to buy?), we will briefly review its appearance, how and possibly why it occurs, and, most importantly, what you can do about it. We will also address the potential complications associated with a club foot...

Read more here:

Friday, December 09, 2016

Photos Capture a Young Girl’s Journey to Iran to Learn Horseback Archery - Story and photos

Dec 05, 2016
DL Cade

It started with a Facebook message.

"Mr. Ghoorchian, I just found some pictures online of you practicing horseback archery and I was wondering if you were willing to teach me your techniques.

Kind regards,

Not long after, 21-year-old Anna was on a flight from her native Finland to Iran, where she would train to become a champion horseback archer. This personal journey—the quest to master a 9th century B.C. skill in the 21st century A.D.—is what photographer Brice Portolano captured in his documentary series Persian Rush...

Read more and see photos here:

Meet Equisense Care: The Lifesaving Sweater Vest for Your Horse - Full Article

by Editorial Staff

It doesn’t take an expert to know that horses are fragile creatures. No matter how much time you spend with them or how many preventative measures you take, horses can still become stressed. They can colic unexpectedly. They often injure themselves in the silliest of ways.

As horse owners, many of us have lost untold hours of sleep fretting over our animals’ well-being, especially overnight, when we can’t be there, and during changes in their daily routine—trailer transport, for instance, or while stabling at a show grounds or a new location.

Most of us don’t have the luxury of being with our horses 24/7 during these periods, but now, at least, we’ll have the luxury of our peace of mind. Enter Equisense: a French startup company that’s created a connected bodysuit for your horse. The suit links to a mobile application and can evaluate your horse’s well-being and state of health in real-time thanks to 3G connectivity...

Read more here:

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Performance Horse Nutrition Book Available Online

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · December 5, 2016

Kentucky Equine Research (KER) has created a free 90-page guide titled Nutrition of the Performance Horse that broadly covers the best ways to manage equine athletes, regardless of discipline, and includes practical management strategies and effective solutions for nutrition-related problems.

In-depth discussions are also included regarding common issues such as gastric ulcers, hindgut acidosis, joint care, electrolyte replacement, and tying-up in its many forms.

Access Nutrition of the Performance Horse here.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

50 things to know before your first 50 mile endurance ride - Full Article

December 4, 2016
Posted by Melinda Newton

Fifty miles involves a little more homework and preparation than an LD, but it’s worth it.

Here we covered the 25 things you needed to know before doing your first LD ride.

Now here’s 25 more things to get you to your first 50 miles.

26. Different regions have different “norms”.
When traveling outside your normal region take some time to find someone familiar with the region and ask some questions about what you can expect and what “customs” might be different.

27. Spend some time before the ride listening to gut sounds.
Know what’s normal for your horse – don’t rely on the letter grades from the vet cards.

28. Learn how to back your own trailer.

29. Figure out the best horse containment
...for you, your horse, and the ride you will be attending. Every system has it’s pros and cons. Not every ridecamp can accommodate all systems. As something as simple as “tie to the trailer” can work!...

Read more here:

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Fat in the Equine Diet - Full Article

By Nettie Liburt, MS, PhD, PAS
Jul 25, 2016

Fat is an energy powerhouse in the equine diet that packs twice the caloric punch of carbohydrates or protein and is the body’s most abundant energy source. Horses can consume and use fat from the diet, or they can store fat in their bodies for later use.
What is fat?

Fat belongs to a broad group of compounds called lipids, which are either glycerol-based (phospholipids and triglycerides) or non-glycerol based (cholesterol or sterols). Dietary fats are usually triglycerides, meaning they contain three long-chain fatty acids and one glycerol group...

Read more here:

Camp Nelson National Cemetery Caisson Horse Euthanized After 180 Funerals - Full Article

by Paulick Report Staff | 11.28.2016

The Camp Nelson National Cemetery Honor Guard recently said goodbye to the horse that gave active-duty personnel and veterans a fitting send-off: In a single horse-drawn caisson.

Kosmios was a regal grey Arabian gelding who participated in 180 funerals since 2012. Saddled with empty boots placed backward in the stirrups to symbolize the fallen soldier, Kosmois was led behind the caisson, which is a horse-drawn hearse. Kosmios had a more important role than simply carrying the symbolic saddle and boots; he acted sweetly to those who were attending the funeral, including kids who may be confused and out of their element...

Read more here:

Friday, December 02, 2016

Horses4Heroes’ Two-Time Champion of Time to Ride

Cowboy Christmas * Donated Tractor * Boots on the Ground

Las Vegas (December 1, 2016) --It's Rodeo Week and it's a busy time for Las Vegas' own national non-profit Horses4Heroes. Here's a look at what Horses4Heroes is doing this month in the community, for the community.

Two-Time Champion: Horses4Heroes was named the two-time champion of the American Horse Council's Time to Ride Challenge, large organization division! Horses4Heroes will celebrate its victory with community partners, including Findlay Honda, US Bank and Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada, during the City of Las Vegas' annual free Cowboy Christmas open house, 10 am to 2 pm, Saturday, December 3, Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs. Activities during the open house include FREE horseback rides, free tractor-pulled hay rides and free admission to the barnyard.

NV Energy donates tractor: Thanks to a generous donation from NV Energy, Horses4Heroes purchased a 1980's John Deere Tractor, which gives hay ride tours of historic Floyd Lamb Park and is used to drag the community arena for events and daily use.

Boots on the Ground during Rodeo Week: Horses4Heroes has assembled a dedicated team of combat veterans, Active Duty service members, and local ropers and barrel racers to provide "boots on the ground" support to Group W, producers of Stetson's Country Christmas and the All in One Barrel Race, located this year in the Pavilions at World Market Center. The team is directing vendors, parking horse trailers, picking up after horses, and serving as "barrel setters" during the barrel race. At the conclusion of the event, Group W will be transporting dirt to the Horses4Heroes Community Arena, located within the Horses4Heroes Community Equestrian Center, now open in Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs.

Winter Break Camp: Registration is now open for Horses4Heroes' two-week Winter Break Camp, December 19 and December 26, Monday-Friday, 8 am to 5 pm. Activities include horseback riding, ranch chores, Horse 101, games, arts and crafts and a daily campfire. For more information or to register, email

$5 Friday: Fridays are fabulous in Floyd Lamb Park and every Friday is $5 Friday at the Horses4Heroes Community Equestrian Center. The center is open from 10 to 2 pm for $5 horseback rides, and includes barnyard admission.

Saddle Up! Every Saturday and Sunday, the community is invited to ride horses, visit barnyard animals and take a tractor-pulled hay ride tour of historic Floyd Lamb Park. Hours are 10 to noon and 1:30 to 3:30. Cost is $10 to ride a horse for ages 2 and up; $5 for Horses4Heroes members, military/veterans, and Floyd Lamb Park Pass Holders.

For Saddle Up Saturday/Sunday and $5 Fridays, admission to the park is $6 per car, but can be waived if guests RSVP at least 24 hours in advance. Park admission is free for those with military ID or existing park pass holders. The weight limit for all riders is 185 pounds. To RSVP, email

"Make it your New Year's Resolution to learn how to ride a horse, spend more time with family or get outdoors and explore Las Vegas, starting with Floyd Lamb Park and the Horses4Heroes Community Equestrian Center," said Sydney Knott, founder of the Las Vegas-based non-profit.

"These fun, family-friendly affordable activities are designed to introduce horses to beginners and our programs to newcomers," explained Knott. "We offer horseback riding lessons, camps, birthday parties and field trips. All fees support operations at the Horses4Heroes Community Equestrian Center, including caring and feeding for 22 horses, and more than a dozen farm animals. The fees also support our free workshops for veterans with PTS, victims of domestic abuse and violence, recovering addicts and at-risk youth. We are proud of our partnerships with US Vets, The Shade Tree and Solutions for Recovery."

To make a reservation or for more information, email The Horses4Heroes Community Equestrian Center is located within Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs. The center is open, by appointment, for riding lessons and other activities, Tuesday-Sunday.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2016, Horses4Heroes is the nation's premier non-profit equestrian support group for the military, veterans, First Responders and their families. Through its growing national network, the organization provides low-cost recreational and instructional activities for all ages and all riding levels and free health and wellness programs for veterans with PTS/MST/TBI, victims of domestic abuse and violence, at-risk youth, and foster children and teens. The organization operates its flagship facility, the Horses4Heroes Community Equestrian Center, located within Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs. For more information, visit or call 702.645.8446.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Researchers Study Plant-Based Treatment for Equine Melanoma - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA
Aug 16, 2016

A new, plant-based anti-cancer treatment is showing promising signs in horses with melanoma, German researchers have learned.

Betulinic acid, already used for treating human melanomas, could become an effective and safer alternative for treating equine melanoma compared to traditional chemotherapies, said Reinhard Paschke, PhD, Prof. Dr. habil., of Martin Luther University, in Halle, Germany.

Betulinic acid comes from the bark of white birch and similar trees. It attacks cancer cells by breaking down the membranes of the mitochondria—the cell’s “energy factory.” If a cancer cell’s mitochondria malfunctions, it lacks energy and, therefore, will die...

Read more here:

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Equine Fitness: How to Build Muscle - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · November 14, 2016

Twiggy, John Candy, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. What do these three people have in common? Infamy perhaps, but definitely not muscling! And neither do most horses and ponies. Nonetheless, maintaining appropriate muscling among individual horses is vital to overall health and athleticism.

“Athletic horses need appropriate muscle mass to support their rider’s weight, perform the task at hand, and protect their joints and support soft tissues, such as tendons and ligaments,” explained Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a Kentucky Equine Research (KER) nutritionist.

Amino acids, which make up proteins, are the basic building blocks of muscle. Horses must consume at least nine essential amino acids in their diets, and the remainder they can make on their own.

Feeding to build muscle, however, does not mean that we feed excessive protein to horses, attempting to flood their systems with the essentials to maximize muscle building...

Read more here:

Friday, November 25, 2016

Equine Navicular Syndrome and Heel Pain; New Perspectives - Full Article

Navicular syndrome is a very common problem in the equine industry, likely impacting 30% or more of horses, dependent on the breed and discipline. We see this condition commonly in the western disciplines but also to varying degrees in other sports, including jumping, dressage and even racing. There are many factors that contribute to the problem, which can make it difficult at times to manage. All too often, though, we tend to wait until the condition has progressed, with irreversible damage, before we properly intervene. With a better understanding, hopefully we can recognize the condition sooner, see contributing factors and produce better results for the patient in the long term.

When we mention the words "navicular disease", we really have to define what we are referring to in the patient. The condition is quite complex, having various stages of development, some more readily recognized than others. Given this, we often use the term 'navicular syndrome' as this can be more accurate, encompassing the many stages of progression. In some horses, we use the term 'caudal heel pain', which is not far removed from 'navicular syndrome', as it is likely just a general categorization for the patient.

Overall, the situation in which we have heel pain and lameness is quite common in equine practice, involving many structures within the caudle hoof including the navicular bone, associated ligaments, joint capsule, navicular bursa, deep flexor tendon and even collateral cartilages of the coffin bone. Due to progression or stage of the condition, localization of the exact source of pain can be difficult as many other areas are impacted due to compensation. This is often seen more in chronic cases, evident not only by heel pain, but also stiffness higher up in the limb, including the shoulder and even neck region. In some cases, we will see toe sensitivity, due to improper loading and landing of the foot. In others, especially with progression, we may see compensatory lameness even in a rear limb or lower back...

Read more here:

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Back to Barefoot - Full Article

By Natalie DeFee Mendik, MA
Jun 1, 2016

Going barefoot can benefit hoof health, but consider management realities and athletic circumstances before pulling those shoes.

With today's hectic lifestyle, it's no wonder many people pursue a return to a more natural state--from the food they eat to the products they purchase. This desire for simplicity helps account for the back-to-barefoot trend many horse owners embrace, yet a one-size-fits-all approach rarely applies to hoof care. So what are the pros and cons of barefoot? How should owners best manage their barefoot charges? Let's take a look at the ins and outs of going sans shoes.

To Shoe or Not to Shoe?

To answer this question, we'll start by looking at how structures within the hoof are impacted. When the hoof contacts nonsandy ground, the footing that packs into the hoof (known as the dirt plug) stimulates the frog and sole and helps dissipate energy produced by the hoof's impact with the ground, says Robert Bowker, VMD, PhD, a professor in Michigan State University's Department of Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation.

"When barefoot and on a conformable surface, the dirt plug loads the solar part of the hoof," he explains, noting that biomechanics transfer the load directly to the frog, digital cushion (the soft tissue mass at the back of the foot responsible for shock absorption), and bone. In the shod hoof, on the other hand, the majority of the horse's weight often (but not always) loads the perimeter hoof walls...

Read more here:

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Forest Service Is Using Wild Mustangs Trained by Inmates - Full Article

By: Joe Whittle

Oregon’s Hells Canyon and Eagle Cap Wilderness areas are some of the most rugged, wild land in the Lower 48. Home to the continent’s deepest gorge, the nearly 600,000-acres of federally designated wilderness is managed under the Wilderness Act of 1964, which means no cars, trucks, or motorized tools. To comply with that mandate, the Forest Service’s Eagle Cap Ranger District has always used horses and mules to pack in the heavy equipment necessary to build and maintain trails within the wilderness. But the herd is aging rapidly, and the budget for replacing the animals is small.

Enter the wild mustangs...

Read and see more here:

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

6 Ways to Feed Performance Horses for Greater Achievement - Full Article

By Edited Press Release
Aug 7, 2016

Much like human athletes, performance horses have special nutritional needs. And with all athletes, it’s important for diets to match activity and athletic level, to reach the highest level of achievement.

“These six tips may help you to supply your horse with adequate energy to support optimal performance,” says Katie Young, PhD, an equine nutritionist for Purina Animal Nutrition.

1. Know if your horse is performing anaerobic or aerobic exercise.

Physical activity is broken into two general categories—aerobic and anaerobic—and it can be helpful to understand the science...

Read more here:

Monday, November 14, 2016

Is it Okay to Ride My Ulcer-Prone Horse After Feeding? - Full Article

By Clair Thunes, PhD
Jul 25, 2016

Q. I’ve always been taught to not ride a horse right after it’s been fed. However, I have a mare who has gastric ulcers, and my veterinarian recommended that I feed her prior to riding (specifically, alfalfa). So which is it—feed or don’t feed before riding?

A. While it’s true that it is typically best to avoid feeding horses concentrates (especially those high in starch) within a couple of hours of riding due to the effect this can have on available metabolites during exercise, allowing access to forage has a number of benefits. Remember horses are designed to eat fibrous plant material almost constantly, while at the same time traveling considerable distances...

Read more here:

I'm Selling My Horse. What Should I Disclose? - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor
Jul 16, 2016

You’ve listed your horse for sale, and you’ve already gotten an inquiry! You read the questions the potential buyer has asked, but slowly your excitement turns to trepidation.

Does the horse have any vices?

His cribbing and stall walking don’t count, do they?

Would he be suitable for a novice child rider?

Sure... if the child is on a lead line.

Does he have any existing health issues?

Not aside from the presumptive Cushing’s diagnosis he got last year...

Ugh, I’m never going to sell this horse!

You don’t really have to answer all those “self-incriminating” questions, do you? Actually, you should. Misrepresenting a horse could land you in some serious legal trouble...

Read more here:

Friday, November 11, 2016

Prebiotics and Probiotics for Horses: Beneficial or Benign? - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · July 5, 2016

Manufacturers of prebiotics and probiotics suggest that these supplements benefit horses by maintaining or restoring the health of the bacteria, parasites, fungi, and yeast that make up the equine intestinal microbiome. But does science support the use of prebiotics and probiotics in horses? According to recent reviews on the subject, the answer is, unfortunately, not exactly. *,**

“The intestinal microbiome serves several important functions in horses, including producing short-chain fatty acids that serve as a horse’s primary energy source,” explained Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a Kentucky Equine Research nutritionist...

Read more here:

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Heroic Marine War Horse Sgt. Reckless Honored at Camp Pendleton with Monument Unveiling - Full Article

by Elizabeth Kaye McCall • November 1, 2016

The one-time racehorse-turned-Marine whose heroism in battle earned her the Purple Heart with Gold Star and a spot in Life magazine continues to receive well-deserved accolades.

Sixty-four years to the day after a little Mongolian mare was bought to carry munitions for the antitank division of the 5th Marines Recoilless Rifle (“Reckless”) Platoon in the Korean War, some 600 people gathered on October 26, 2016, at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California, to witness the unveiling of a monument of Staff Sgt. Reckless, the one-time racehorse-turned-Marine whose heroism in battle earned the Purple Heart with Gold Star and landed her on Life magazine’s “Celebrating Our Heroes” list alongside George Washington and Martin Luther King.

“When this cover is taken off [the statue], you will see a rendition of Reckless climbing a steep hill about 30 miles north of Seoul. ... She’s under heavy enemy fire, carrying ammunition,” said Col. Richard Rothwell, USMC (Ret.) and president of Camp Pendleton Historical Society, in his opening remarks at the monument dedication ceremony at the base’s Pacific Views Event Center, where the 12-foot statue stands. “What you won’t see is her coming down that same hill — still under fire — carrying wounded Marines,” he added. “She symbolizes the thousands ... who fought in what has been called ‘America’s Forgotten War.’ My hope is it will be forgotten no more...”

Read more here:

Monday, November 07, 2016

Managing a Horse's Underrun Heels - Full Article

By Sarah Evers Conrad
Jun 15, 2016

The long-toed, low-heeled hoof is a common and difficult-to-manage hoof abnormality

It can be a struggle to maintain our horse’s hooves so that they look the way we want, while also keeping them as healthy and sound as possible. We’re usually fighting against a genetic predisposition for problems, the local climate, the footing a horse has been raised on, poor hoof care at an early age, feet that have been previously shod inappropriately, excessive softening of the foot due to moisture, type of work, or problematic foot and limb conformation. And once hoof problems start, sometimes they can be challenging or impossible to fix. Such is the case with what is known as underrun heels, sometimes described as the long-toed, low-heeled hoof.

Stephen O’Grady, DVM, MRCVS, owner of Virginia Therapeutic Farriery, in Keswick, says underrun heels are one of the most important and common foot abnormalities the horse industry faces today. He was a professional farrier for 10 years before earning a degree in veterinary medicine from the University of Pretoria, in South Africa, in 1981, and he now focuses solely on podiatry with his practice. He says any of the items listed above can cause underrun heels...

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Sunday, November 06, 2016

Dietary Fat's Role in Equine Athletic Performance - Full Article

By Karen Briggs
Aug 14, 2014

Grains, the “traditional” feed for high-level physical activity, supply carbohydrates and starches—versatile energy substrates that fuel the horse’s muscles for athletic endeavors of all kinds. Fat is also an energy substrate which, while not as flexible as carbohydrates in terms of the types of activities it can fuel, might in many ways help the horse’s body use itself with more efficiency and less fatigue.

Two main energy pathways fuel a horse’s muscle cells to do work. (A third pathway, called “anaerobic alactic” metabolism, is a “startup” system that only comes into play for extremely short bursts.) The predominant energy pathway is aerobic metabolism, which the muscles use whenever they can, for all low-intensity and endurance activities, especially those requiring a continuous effort of longer than two minutes (and possibly lasting many hours)...

Read more here:

Dietary Fat's Role in Equine Athletic Performance - Full Article

By Karen Briggs
Aug 14, 2014

Grains, the “traditional” feed for high-level physical activity, supply carbohydrates and starches—versatile energy substrates that fuel the horse’s muscles for athletic endeavors of all kinds. Fat is also an energy substrate which, while not as flexible as carbohydrates in terms of the types of activities it can fuel, might in many ways help the horse’s body use itself with more efficiency and less fatigue.

Two main energy pathways fuel a horse’s muscle cells to do work. (A third pathway, called “anaerobic alactic” metabolism, is a “startup” system that only comes into play for extremely short bursts.) The predominant energy pathway is aerobic metabolism, which the muscles use whenever they can, for all low-intensity and endurance activities, especially those requiring a continuous effort of longer than two minutes (and possibly lasting many hours)...

Read more here:

Forage-Only Diet for Performance Horses Evaluated - Full Article

By Casie Bazay, NBCAAM
Aug 1, 2012

With countless types of grains and concentrated feed available for performance horses, some horse owners might wish for a simpler approach to feeding their equine athlete. Well here’s some good news for these owners: According to recent study results, a diet devoid of concentrates and entirely based on forage could be suitable for some high-performance equine athletes.

"There is an urgent need for diets that support the natural digestive function and behavior of horses," said Anna Jansson, professor at both the Swedish University of Agricultural and Sciences and Holar University College on Iceland.

"We thought that a high-fiber diet (forage-only) would improve the aerobic energy metabolism and thereby improve VLa4 (velocity when plasma lactate concentration is 4 mmol/l)," reported Jansson...

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Top Straight Egyptian Arabian Stallions Featured in the Pyramid Society’s Egyptian Breeders’ Challenge Auction

Lexington, KY – October 20, 2016 – The Pyramid Society recently announced that enrollment for the 2017 Egyptian Breeders’ Challenge (EBC) Auction is now open. The EBC showcases some of the world’s top Straight Egyptian Arabian stallions and provides breeders the opportunity to compete for outstanding prize money and international prestige. 
The EBC program includes a Straight Egyptian stallion service auction held each year at the Egyptian Event, with the resulting yearlings competing in the internationally acclaimed ATH Egyptian Breeders’ Challenge classes. In 2017, the two EBC classes will pay out over $57,000.00+! Stallions enrolled by October 27th, 2016 will also receive year-round promotion in the upcoming December issue of The Pyramid Society’s Yearbook, published within the Arabian Horse World magazine. Enrollment will remain open until May, 2017 for the June 10th Auction at the Egyptian Event.
For over 20 years, the Egyptian Breeders’ Challenge has promoted stallions on a worldwide basis, as well as incentivized breeders to continue breeding the highest quality Straight Egyptian Arabian horses. For more information about The Pyramid Society and The Egyptian Breeders’ Challenge, visit
The Pyramid Society is devoted to the preservation, perpetuation, and promotion of the Straight Egyptian horse as the premier source of classic Arabian type in the world. As a leader of an international community of breeders and owners, The Pyramid Society strives to unite its members in the breeding of superior quality Straight Egyptian horses and to encourage the use of their blood as a source of the classic refinement necessary for the Arabian breed at large. Its offices are located at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.

For more information, contact:
The Pyramid Society
4067 Iron Works Parkway, Suite 2
Lexington, KY 40511
Ph: (859) 231-0771

Time to Ride Challenge Introduces Over 28,000 New Enthusiasts to Horses; Awards $100,000 in Cash and Prizes

Three grand-prize winners take home $10,000 each in the grassroots contest designed to grow the horse industry.

Georgetown, TX, October 26, 2016 - The Time to Ride Challenge concluded its 2016 year by awarding $100,000 in cash and prizes to top stables, clubs, and businesses in three tightly competitive divisions who excelled at introducing new people to horses. A total of 38 hosts will take home cash prizes ranging from $100 to $10,000, plus products and awards provided by American Horse Council Marketing Alliance organizations, for their successful efforts in bringing new enthusiasts into the horse industry through the Challenge. Time to Ride congratulates every Challenge host who participated and worked hard towards growing their businesses and the horse industry!

The third annual Challenge took place June 1st - September 30th and saw a record number of events, 1,004, held by competing hosts. By providing fun, safe, beginner-friendly horse experiences, competing hosts not only introduced new enthusiasts to the benefits of horse activities but gained new leads and clients for their businesses and clubs. A total of 28,175 newcomers, who previously had little to no experience with horses, enjoyed a hands-on introduction to horses and riding in the 2016 Challenge. This comment on Facebook from 7th place winner in the Small division, Jenn Gay of Heavenly Horse Stables, says it best: "Thank you so much for this Challenge! We opened our barn doors in February 2016 and your Challenge has directly brought in 10 of my lesson students and has giving me a large email base to help keep people connected with horses! Your marketing toolkit is perfect and just what we needed."

Champion of the Small Division is KarMik Acres, of Woodstock, Illinois, a private facility that hosts clinics and other horse events. Owner Karen Boso stated that at first they were interested in the prize money offered in the Challenge, but quickly experienced the joy of introducing people to horses for the very first time. “We were able to change the minds of families who had never had a positive experience with horses, and really enjoyed seeing both kids and parents meet a horse for the first time,” she said. While KarMik Acres doesn’t offer beginner riding lessons, Boso worked with a network of local stables to which she referred interested newcomers to sign up for lessons and camps, boosting the local horse community. KarMik Acres’ most successful event was held at a local orchard in prime apple-picking season, where they knew hordes of families interested in health, fitness, and outdoor activities would already be congregating. They set up stations near the entrance with two horses and connected with over 700 newcomers who learned about horses and where to get involved in riding locally. “Overall the more people we can bring into the horse industry, the better,” said Boso, and with a total of 1,429 newcomers introduced to horses throughout the Challenge, KarMik Acres certainly accomplished their goal.

Promenade Horsemanship Academy of Brighton, Colorado is the winner of the Medium Division. Promenade offers boarding, riding lessons, a variety of horsemanship classes, and is active in horse agility, catering to all ages and levels of riding. Owner Kim Gieseke was overcome with emotion when she learned of their win and shared how hard her staff and volunteers had worked all summer to introduce an amazing total of 2,495 people to horses. Promenade originally heard of the Challenge through the Colorado Horse Council and was second place winner in the inaugural Challenge, in 2014. Gieseke stated that her stable capitalized on events that attracted large groups of her target market, moms and families, and also promoted events by riding in parades and utilizing walking assistants to hand out fliers to spectators. After the parade concluded, spectators could come meet the horses up close and learn about opportunities available at Promenade. Another successful partnership was with a local elementary school, which netted six new horsemanship students from a single event! “The Challenge has opened my eyes to see that a lot of people are apprehensive about horses, but simply by meeting them up close can quickly become comfortable and really enjoy the experience, opening the doors to further involvement. It’s been a great avenue for getting to know our community better,” said Gieseke.

The Large Division saw a repeat winner in Las Vegas, Nevada-based Horses4Heroes, which was champion of the Large Division in 2014. Through its community equestrian center in Las Vegas and national network of stables, Horses4Heroes’ mission is to “make horseback riding affordable for, and accessible to, our service members, veterans, survivors, First Responders and their immediate families, as well as other heroes in our communities including, but not limited to, nurses, special needs teachers, and others who service and sacrifice keep us safe and free.” After limited participation in 2015, the non-profit came back strong in 2016 with several community partnerships that helped boost their efforts to put new people on horseback. “This year we really wanted to involve our whole community,” shared Horses4Heroes president, Sydney Knott, saying that “connecting with local Girl Scout troops helped tremendously” as many troops took up the opportunity to complete horsemanship badges at Horses4Heroes events. Horses4Heroes also partnered with the Trail of Painted Ponies through effective cross-promotion: newcomers could register for a $5 ride pass, redeemable at Horses4Heroes, on the Trail of Painted Ponies website, while entering to win a statue from the Patriotic Ponies collection. “We hope that our efforts create a more educated and aware consumer, and potential horse owner, which will benefit horses in the long run!” said Knott.

Each champion won $10,000 cash; in all three divisions cash prizes were awarded to winners through 10th place. New in 2016, two winners were awarded Wild Card prizes: Harmony Horse Equestrian Center won $500 as the top-performing host that did not win a divisional prize, and Alpine Animal Hospital was awarded $250 as the runner-up Wild Card. To view full results, please visit

To view photos from the 2016 Challenge, please see the album on Time to Ride’s Facebook. For more info, please call 512-591-7811 or contact

The American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance

Time to Ride is an initiative of the American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance, formed to connect people with horses. It is designed to encourage horse-interested consumers to enjoy the benefits of horse activities. The AHC Marketing Alliance is made up of the following organizations: the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Active Interest Media, the American Quarter Horse Association, Dover Saddlery, Farnam, Merck, Merial, Morris Media Network Equine Group, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, Platinum Performance, United States Equestrian Federation, and Zoetis. Program Partners are Absorbine, the American Paint Horse Association, Equibrand the National Cutting Horse Association, the National Reining Horse Association, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, and the Texas A&M University Equine Initiative; Lumina Media, Pyranha Inc., the America’s Mustang Campaign, and Colorado State University Equine Sciences Program.

About the American Horse Council

The American Horse Council is a non-profit organization that includes all segments of the horse industry. While its primary mission is to represent the industry before Congress and the federal regulatory agencies in Washington, DC, it also undertakes national initiatives for the horse industry. Time to Ride, the AHC’s marketing alliance to connect horses and people, is such an effort. The American Horse Council hopes that Time to Ride will encourage people and businesses to participate in the industry, enjoy our horses, and support our equine activities and events. The AHC believes a healthy horse industry contributes to the health of Americans and America in many ways.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Chinese whispers: Far east horse owners introduced to gentle training methods - Full Article

October 26, 2016

Horse whisperer, animal communicator and energy healer Anna Twinney has reached out to horse owners in China and Mongolia to share her equine experience.

Although Twinney is booked solid up to 18 months in advance, she accepted an invitation from the Chinese branch of the American Quarter Horse Association to visit Beijing and Mongolia.

“It’s truly a country of contrast,” Twinney said. She traveled from the metropolis of Beijing, with its economic success and high energy, to areas in the Mongolian countryside where indoor plumbing was an absolute luxury.

One topic that particularly interested the people in the Mongolian crowd was the difference between Twinney’s “Reach out to Horses” methodology and their traditional style of “horse breaking” (ie, taking hold of the horses’ ears, turning their necks and manhandling them). The entire village, vet, farrier and endurance team came to watch the training...

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Mending Tendon and Joint Injuries with PRP - Full Article

By Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief
Feb 17, 2015

What makes recommendations for regenerative therapies such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) inexact is that these approaches are based in biology, not chemistry, said Lisa A. Fortier, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, of Cornell. Each preparation is just as variable and unique as one horse is to the next. Recognizing this can go a long way in setting clients’ expectations for treatment success using these therapies and also in understanding the controversy that surrounds the best ways to use them. All veterinarians can do for the moment is choose cases carefully, extrapolate from current evidence when formulating treatment plans, and be sure to use traditional rehabilitation techniques as well.

“These are not drugs, they are not perfect, and they are not going to work when all of your other approaches fail,” said Fortier, who is professor of large animal surgery at the university’s vet school, in Ithaca, New York. She summarized current research on PRP and what she’s learned using it at the 2014 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 6-10 in Salt Lake City, Utah...

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

The New Reality: Microchipping Horses - Full Article

By Elizabeth Barrett, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS
Oct 13, 2016

It never crossed my mind to skip microchipping my cat or dog. For me identification was just a part of their routine health care, and for that I was grateful when four years ago my cat, Simon, escaped from my apartment when I was traveling out of state. Simon was missing for two weeks before he walked up to a good Samaritan, who picked him up and took him to a local clinic that scanned him and found his microchip. Irresponsibly of me, I hadn’t updated his contact information with the microchip organization in more than a year, but they were able to contact the veterinary clinic where it had been implanted and help reunite me with Simon within 24 hours. It wasn’t our Facebook posts or “Lost Cat” posters or trips to local shelters that did the trick. It was the simple and relatively inexpensive microchip.

Why, then, is it so much less instinctive to microchip our equine companions? A horse is less likely to “run off,” but there are many situations where having a way to positively identify a horse would come in handy. The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has been using microchips for years to verify that horses entered in various high levels of sport are who the owners say they are. It was only a matter of time before the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and other organizations followed suit...

Read more here:

Friday, October 21, 2016

Equine Smartbit, LLC Announces the First Hi-Tech Horsebit Since the Bronze Age

Imagine Horse Owners and Trainers having the ability to communicate with their horse to see how they feel in real-time.


“It’s about time that animals have the ability to tell humans how they are feeling” according to Ann Sears, one of the owners and investors of Equine Smartbit, LLC. Equine Smartbit, LLC has successfully developed and will be soon launching a comprehensive equine kit which aims to revolutionize the Equine Industry. Ms. Sears, an attorney, C.P.A. and investor says, “when I saw the horse’s metabolism (Blood O2%, Temp., BPM and more) being accurately read by the smartbit developed by the company, my jaw dropped and I realized the implications for all animals.” Equine Smartbit strives to increase the odds of winning horse races, endurance racing and equine performance in all sports.

The Equine Smartbit will improve equine health through giving the human an understanding of how feed, digestion, injury and other physiological set-point measurements impact one particular horse. “I also loved that the fact that the horsebit is designed to accommodate all bit sizes and uses. The difference is now it’s smart and has the ability to communicate between the horse and human.”

“Our company is in the position to be a dominate leader in the multibillion dollar biometric and wearable space and we have the core patents to prove it,” says Ms. Sears.

Equine Smarbit LLC has made device that:

• Analytically matches a horse’s performance with the horse’s biometrics through a network of advanced wearables, including the world’s first smart (horse) bit
• Allows real-time or near-time biometric data streams
• Gives you a composite of the horse’s energy level
• Sends alerts when a racehorse's physical condition is less than optimal
• Significantly improves an equine’s physical safety through communicating the horse’s biometrics in real time during training/performance.

Equine Smartbit, LLC is a high growth merger of hardware, software, and tool kits that aim to revolutionize future equine training and performance. Equine Smartbit, LLC is in an alliance with Sports Guidance Technologies (SGT) advanced biometrics for human sports and Wearable Networks, LLC advanced biometric for health.

Our company is developing and launching a comprehensive developer’s tool kit which will give users a decisive advantage over current recreational devices on the market. According to Ms. Sears, “the system will enable professional equine trainers to achieve a new level of excellence during both the equine’s training and performance.” For example, the system includes a patented equine smart bit for a racehorse that will measure the horse’s physiology as it compares to the horse’s race times.

“We are proud to license and implement the patents and visions of Mike Saigh, one of the premier inventors in the World” says Ms. Sears. Mike Saigh’s past inventions include the first electronic book, video on demand and many others. Please view Inventor Saigh’s bio at

Please visit the company’s website at

for additional information. Please contact us at phone: 850-476-1040 or email: ESB.PublicRelations(at)gmail(dot)com

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Pump up the volume? Heart performance in endurance horses explored - Full Article

October 11, 2016

Researchers have explored the heart performance of endurance horses with Arabian bloodlines, finding only a weak relationship between career kilometers and the dimension of the left ventricle – the powerful cardiac chamber that pumps blood out to the body.

The study team in France focused on 340 endurance horses, of which 201 were purebred Arabians, 100 were part-bred Arabians, 24 were Anglo-Arabians, and 15 were categorized as “others”.

Echocardiographic measurements were recorded between 2011 and 2014 during field exercise tests and at the annual finals of the French National Championships for young endurance horses.

The field tests were organised by the research group for all interested endurance horse owners four times a year. Only horses aged between four and six and with at least one purebred Arabian parent were included in the study.

The researchers wanted to examine the relationship between body dimensions, body weight, and other parameters on heart dimensions in the horses as assessed through the imaging. Their findings have been reported in the journal, BMC Veterinary Research...

Read more:

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Pros and Cons of Feeding Horses Beet Pulp - Full Article

By Clair Thunes, PhD
Oct 3, 2016

Q. I have some questions about feeding beet pulp.

• Is it a forage or concentrate? Should it have added molasses or should it be plain?
• Should it be in flake- or pellet-form?
• What’s the correct water to beet pulp ratio?
• How much should a horse eat per pound of body weight, and do you measure it with the beet pulp soaked or un-soaked?
• What supplements should be included if any to ensure balanced nutrition?

I’d appreciate any input you have on the pros and cons of feeding beet pulp.
Ginger Wisseman, via e-mail

A. Beet pulp has long been a mainstay in many feed rooms, especially during the winter months. People often incorrectly think of it as a concentrate because in many cases it is fed instead of or alongside grain; however, in reality, it is actually a forage. Relatively high in hemicellulose, a fermentable fiber, beet pulp digestion relies on microbial fermentation in the hindgut. This makes it a feed closer to pasture and hay than traditional concentrates such as oats, which are high in starch and require enzymatic digestion in the small intestine. Yet, when it comes to the calories supplied per pound it compares more closely to oats than hay. This is what makes it such a good choice for hard-keeping horses...

Read more here:

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Harry and Snowman: Opens in Select Theatres Sept 30

Harry and Snowman opens in select theatres September 30. Find yours here.


Dutch immigrant, Harry deLeyer, journeyed to the United States after World War II and developed a transformative relationship with a broken down Amish plow horse he rescued off a slaughter truck bound for the glue factory. Harry paid eighty dollars for the horse and named him Snowman. In less than two years, Harry & Snowman went on to win the triple crown of show jumping, beating the nations blue bloods. They were famous for their day and traveled around the world together. Their chance meeting at a Pennsylvania horse auction saved them both and crafted a friendship that lasted a lifetime. Eighty-six year old Harry tells their Cinderella love story firsthand, as he continues to train on today's show jumping circuit.

Harry deLeyer

Harry deLeyer grew up working on his family farm in Holland. After World War II, Harry and his wife immigrated to the United States where he was offered a job as a riding instructor at the exclusive Knox School in Long Island New York.

Harry's career was catapulted by Snowman and he went on to become one of the most successful riders and trainers in America. He represented the United States at the World Championships in Sweden in 1983 and was recognized by the United States Equestrian Foundation with a Pegasus Medal of Honor in 2002 for his lifetime contribution to the sport.

Now 85, the "Galloping Grandfather," as he is known around the world, still rides and trains, based out of his farm in Virginia.


Less than two years out of the Amish plow fields, Snowman won the 1958 horse show jumping Triple Crown — the American Horse Shows Association Horse of the Year, Professional Horseman's Association Champion and Champion of Madison Square Garden's Diamond Jubilee.

Snowman appeared on the most popular game show of the 1960's, "To Tell the Truth" and on "Who Do You Trust" with Johnny Carson. He had his own fan club, he was profiled twice in Life magazine and was the subject of three best-selling books, including the 2011 NY Times Best-Seller, The Eighty-Dollar Champion.

Snowman retired from competition in 1962 to Harry's farm in Long Island where he lived until he died in 1974. He was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 1992.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Movie review: 'Bite the Bullet' based on an endurance horse race in 1908 - Full Review

Lisa Maue, Guest columnist
September 7, 2016

Warning: Graphic scenes include what might be, for some, instances of animal cruelty.

Based on an endurance horse race that took place in 1908 and dreamed up the by “Denver Post,” “Bite the Bullet” is an epic tale that reduces several individuals to their basest selves, set against the changes resultant of the introduction of the railroad, the encroachment of the “civilizing” East and the subsequent shrinking of the West.

The real-life race started in Evanston, Wyoming and ended in Denver, Colorado, a distance of about 700 miles. The winner was to receive $2,500. In the fictionalized movie, entrants include a feisty woman, a man from Mexico with a toothache (hence the title), an old man seeking redemption, an Englishman, an upstart and a couple of Rough Riders, to name a few. With so many characters, be prepared to jump from one to another and to experience several story lines with frequent cutaways.

The quick back-and-forth pacing of the film is juxtaposed with numerous slow motion shots meant to heighten emotional impact. Some of the slow-motion scenes involve horses undergoing obvious distress consistent with such a grueling race as well as the outcome of the desperation of those who need the prize money. The back-and-forth format also pivots to show some characters caring for an animal on which they depend to others abusing the animals for personal gain. It is not an old story; nor is the plot line of man versus nature. In this case, New Mexico is the backdrop and its high altitude forests and seemingly endless deserts provide a joint formidable foe; one that tests even the most battle-weary and rugged individualists and forces many to join forces...

Read more here:

Sunday, September 18, 2016

New Thoughts on Gastric Ulcers in Horses - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · August 26, 2016

Equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) describes horses with erosions or other compromises of the stomach wall. Some horses show few signs of EGUS, whereas others colic, develop diarrhea, and have poor appetites, dull coats, decreased performance, and even behavior changes. Many ulcers develop in the squamous or nonglandular part of the stomach. According to the research team behind a new study*, EGUS should no longer be used as an all-encompassing term. Instead, horses with ulcers affecting the glandular region of the stomach, where stomach acid is produced, should instead be described as having equine glandular gastric disease (EGGD).

“Not very much is known about EGGD, including risk factors, how they develop, or whether or not the same treatment and management options work for EGGD as EGUS,” explained Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., an equine nutritionist with Kentucky Equine Research (KER)...

Read more here:

Electrolyte Oversupplementation: A Real Risk for Horses? - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · August 30, 2016

Routine electrolyte supplementation is part and parcel in the diets of performance horses. Intricacies of electrolyte nutrition are sometimes not well understood, especially the implications of oversupplementation.

Wait, is it possible to oversupplement electrolytes?

“Oversupplementing electrolytes on a daily basis would be difficult to do, particularly if products are given according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and only fed when the horse has access to water,” explained Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a longtime nutritionist for Kentucky Equine Research (KER).

If more electrolytes are given than the horse requires, healthy kidneys will filter the excess sodium and other electrolytes, and excrete them in the urine.

“As you can imagine, in order to flush large amounts of sodium, the body would need a lot of water. If too much salt or electrolyte is fed, a horse will drink more water because its body will attempt to dilute higher concentration of sodium in body cells,” expounded Crandell. “If there is not enough water in the body, it could present a problem, especially if a horse is dehydrated. If electrolytes are given without water to a dehydrated horse, further dehydration will occur, causing significant fluid-balance problems, including the possibility of salt toxicity...”

Read more here:

Thursday, September 15, 2016

International Helmet Awareness Day 2016


International Helmet Awareness Day 2016

Would You Know If Someone Was Suffering From A Concussion?

Lexington, KY (September 14, 2016) – As we prepare to celebrate the seventh annual Riders4Helmets International Helmet Awareness Day on Saturday, September 17th, we ask "Would You Know If Someone Was Suffering From A Concussion?"

Did you know that the average amount of traumatic brain injury-related deaths in equestrian sport is more than seven times that of traumatic brain injury-related deaths in contact sports (such as American football)? That’s an average of 60 deaths in equestrian sports each year.

Much of those deaths can be due to an inaccurate diagnosis of a concussion.

Concussion Basics

According to the Center for Disease Control, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, which causes the brain or head to move back and forth rapidly. When that happens, inside your head your brain will bounce or twist around, damaging the brain cells, thus creating chemical changes in the brain.

Concussions cannot be captured on any imaging because there are no abnormalities, says Dr. Lola Chambless, a neurosurgeon at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and longtime eventing rider. “The symptoms are purely a clinical diagnosis—you will not see anything on a CT scan or MRI.

Signs and symptoms of a concussion are:

· Appearing dazed or confused

· Headache

· Nausea or vomiting

· Balance problems or dizziness

· Feeling groggy or sluggish

Is It a Concussion?

Because most falls can happen when you’re not at a sanctioned equestrian event, most concussions can go undiagnosed.

“Things like that happen all the time, and most people generally are not going to seek medical attention unless they are very symptomatic,” says Dr. Chambless.

Dr. Chambless has worked with the National Football League to help come up with a concussion protocol to be used along the sidelines at the games to help diagnose players with concussions. And while the protocol’s questions are football specific, they can be modified for any sport. She strongly encourages trainers, instructors and riders to all learn to ask these questions any time a fellow rider has come off their horse.

The series of questions are fairly simple to essentially test immediate and short-term memory of the person in question. Questions may include: Where are we riding today? What color is your saddle pad? Where did you last show your horse? What’s your horse’s name? If she/he cannot answer one of these questions, it is recommended to have a physician see them to make a further diagnosis.

And it’s the aftercare for concussions that are just as important. Someone who has suffered from a previous concussion should try to avoid taking any unnecessary risks with training, but most importantly prevent secondary injury. Secondary injury is when a rider returns to the saddle before they’ve fully recovered from a concussion, putting them at a much greater risk for long-term or permanent issues from a concussion.

Can a Helmet Prevent a Concussion?

While approved helmets do reduce the chance of a lethal head injury and can save your life, they do not prevent concussions.

Helmets are designed to limit the types of forces that cause skull fractures and intracranial hemorrhage, which are things that are going to kill you or leave you with neurologic problems. Unfortunately, they are not designed to affect the forces that generally we believe can cause a concussion.

“Unfortunately, there is no safety gear out there currently that really reduces your chances of concussion from a fall of 6 feet, which is basically what you're assuming you’re going to fall from in most equestrian injuries,” says Dr. Chambless. “We can’t prevent people from falling off, but we can make it a lesser risk by wearing a helmet and riding in safe situations.”

To find out more about International Helmet Awareness Day, visit and learn how leading helmet manufacturers around the globe are offering special discounts to help keep you safe in the saddle this year.

Tack Shops who wish to register to participate in the event, may email and will then receive an email with information on how to sign up. Only tack shops who register will be eligible for restocking discounts from the 15 participating helmet brands (please note - participating brands vary by country).

Media Contact:
Lyndsey White

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Is Selenium Deficiency Deadly to Horses? - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor
Aug 28, 2016

The warnings are nothing new to owners: Too much selenium in a horse’s diet—even as little as 5 mg per day—can cause signs of toxicity or even death. But did you know too little selenium can also be life-threatening?

Andrew Allen, DVM, an assistant professor at Washington State University’s (WSU) College of Veterinary Medicine, in Pullman, reviewed several recent cases of death due to selenium deficiency in adult horses at the 2016 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, held June 8-11 in Denver, Colorado.

In equids, Allen said, the muscle disease nutritional myopathy (also referred to as white muscle disease), resulting from a selenium deficiency, generally presents itself in young, rapidly growing foals. Affected foals can show a variety of clinical signs depending on disease severity, including painful hind limb, back, or neck muscles with increasing weakness, stiffness, trembling, and recumbency (the inability to rise); difficulty swallowing; an irregular heartbeat; generalized weakness; and sudden death. This condition, however, is rare in adult horses...

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Special Cash Prizes Offered for September Time to Ride Challenge Events

Hosts of the top two largest single events of the month will win additional cash.

Washington, D.C., August 29, 2016 – To kick off the final month of the 2016 Time to Ride Challenge, a special September incentive will award an additional $400 in cash to stables that excel at introducing new enthusiasts to horses. The top two largest single events, by number of newcomers attending, will win $250 and $150, respectively. The incentive is part of $100,000 cash and prizes that the Challenge will award to the top stables, clubs, and businesses nationwide that are competing to grow their businesses by introducing new people to horseback riding throughout the summer.

By focusing on welcoming newcomers to horses, stables are growing their client bases by reaching an untapped market of families that are interested in horses, but have minimal horse experience. Fun events such as “Friendfest: Beer and Wine Tasting” (Heavenly Horse Stables, Pinckney, MI), “Moms and Tots” (Hideaway Farm, Etowah, TN), and “Jumpstart Equestrian” introduction to horses classes (Ashwood Farm, St. George, KS) are already scheduled to provide fun, safe, beginner-friendly horse activities.

The 2016 Time to Ride Challenge has 218 active hosts across the nation that have already introduced nearly 13,000 individuals to horses. Stables are encouraged to be creative in providing first-time horse experiences will help hosts convert leads to lifetime equine enthusiasts and participants in the horse industry. To view photos from past events, visit the Facebook page,

In 2016, enrollment is open throughout the Challenge. Becoming a Challenge Host is free and simple. With over a month remaining, there is still plenty of time for businesses to register, host events, and grow their businesses while taking a shot at cash and prizes. The Time to Ride Challenge continues through September 30th. To find an event, visit the map on To become a Challenge Host, visit the website and create an account to get started. For more info, please call 512-591-7811 or contact

The American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance

Time to Ride is an initiative of the American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance, formed to connect people with horses. It is designed to encourage horse-interested consumers to enjoy the benefits of horse activities. The AHC Marketing Alliance is made up of the following organizations: the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Active Interest Media, the American Quarter Horse Association, Dover Saddlery, Farnam, Merck, Merial, Morris Media Network Equine Group, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, Platinum Performance, United States Equestrian Federation, and Zoetis. Program Partners are Absorbine, the American Paint Horse Association, Equibrand the National Cutting Horse Association, the National Reining Horse Association, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, and the Texas A&M University Equine Initiative; Lumina Media, Pyranha Inc., the America’s Mustang Campaign, and Colorado State University Equine Sciences Program.

About the American Horse Council

The American Horse Council is a non-profit organization that includes all segments of the horse industry. While its primary mission is to represent the industry before Congress and the federal regulatory agencies in Washington, DC, it also undertakes national initiatives for the horse industry. Time to Ride, the AHC’s marketing alliance to connect horses and people, is such an effort. The American Horse Council hopes that Time to Ride will encourage people and businesses to participate in the industry, enjoy our horses, and support our equine activities and events. The AHC believes a healthy horse industry contributes to the health of Americans and America in many ways.