Thursday, January 28, 2016

Paying homage to the horse in the deserts of Dubai - Full Article

Robin Marshall | 28 January 2016

Stepping off the plane in Dubai marks the arrival into a land of heat, horses and high-rises.

While the bustling city itself is no place for the real thing, the Al Qasr hotel at The Madinat in Jumierah gives an indication of just how important the horse is to the United Arab Emirates.

The equine fountain at the front of Al Qasr was created by South African sculptor Danie de Jager, as were the above golden arabian horses.
The equine fountain at the front of Al Qasr was created by South African sculptor Danie de Jager, as were the above golden arabian horses.
The hotel’s sweeping entrance way is lined with 18 larger-than-life bronze arabian horse sculptures, both stallions and mares, and all in dramatic poses. These beautiful golden horses are 1 1/4 life size, and shine like the sun.

And at the hotel’s entrance is an elaborate fountain with eight double life-sized bronze abstract horse torsos...

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Horse Training: No-Go Mounting

Photo from AQHA’s Fundamentals of Horsemanship. - Full Article

January 26, 2016

Tips to keep your horse standing still while you get on.

From AQHA’s Fundamentals of Horsemanship

Can you barely swing your leg over your horse’s side before he starts to walk off?

If you’re envious of those horses who stand still as a statue until their riders are ready, these instructions are for you.


• To get onto your horse without him moving or becoming disturbed.

• To have your horse “await further instructions” once you have mounted

• To ensure the mental, emotional and physical connection between you and your horse is not disrupted when you get on his back...

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

5 Common Equine Eye Injuries - Full Article

By Lindsay Keller
Jan 26, 2016

Equine ocular insults are painful and sometimes unsightly, but with proper diagnosis and treatment most heal remarkably well

Did you know the horse has the largest eyeball of any land mammal? Did you know his eye magnifies everything he sees 50% larger than our eyes do? Or, that he can see almost 360 degrees around him?

“The horse’s eye is a beautiful structure that tells us so much about them,” says Rachel Bourne, DVM, a practitioner at Wisconsin Equine Clinic & Hospital, in Oconomowoc. “By looking at the eye, we can often tell how the horse is feeling, what they are thinking, and more. The eye really is a window into the horse’s soul...”

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Alfalfa for Horses: Know When to Pass on This Forage - Full Article

Uncertain if alfalfa hay should be part of your horse’s diet? Have a complete diet evaluation by a Kentucky Equine Research (KER) nutrition consultant.

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · October 26, 2015

When grown, cured, and baled with care, alfalfa (lucerne) hay proves appropriate for many classes of horses. Because of its high energy content and nutrient density, alfalfa is fed extensively around the world. Management situations arise, however, that preclude the use of alfalfa for certain horses.

Circumvent alfalfa hay in these circumstances:

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Chase Endurance: Racing to Keep Up - Full Story

Chase Endurance | January 17, 2016

Packing for a trip to go endurance training in Humble, Texas as well as running (on my own two feet, which haven’t been running in four years) a 25km half marathon in Hitchcock requires more than my usual one piece of carry-on luggage. This required a trip to Mountain Equipment Co-op to supplement not only my wardrobe, but luggage with smooth rolling wheels as light as a feather.

From reading the previous derby blogs on The Adventurists website, one of the recommended items was a comfortable backpack that would hold a minimum of three liters of water. I picked up the Deuter Trans Alpine 30 with a weight of 1.25kg, which wasn’t the lightest, but was definitely the most comfortable and the tag said it was suitable for “rollercoaster type of rides,” which sounds like a ride on a Mongolian pony.

As I was walking by the luggage area, I literally stumbled upon a suitcase with big blue wheels. When I picked it up to move it, I was astonished by how light it was and it was divided up into sections which was perfect for my helmet, riding boots and gloves among other items that really shouldn’t mix with well used riding gear. I highly recommend it and once the company decides to sponsor me, then I’ll let you know the name. (hint hint).

I spent the rest of my Sunday evening packing and thinking about my trip to Humble, Texas to train with the most famous Darolyn Butler. Darolyn was actually just flying back to Texas from Dubai where one of her horses was entered into Sheik Mohammad’s 100 Mile Endurance Race...

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Protein's Role in Fueling Performance Horses - Full Article

By Kristen M. Janicki, MS, PAS
Dec 11, 2015

Protein is arguably the most misunderstood essential nutrient in the equine diet. Protein is made up of amino acids, and its main function is in muscle, tendon, and ligament development and repair. But, how do protein needs change in the equine athlete? Here are three key points to remember about protein's role in fueling the sport horse.


An equine athlete's energy requirements depend on his activity level. The most common forms of energy in the horse's diet are carbohydrates and fats, which are provided via forage and grains or concentrates. Energy from carbohydrates and fats is easily digestible for horses and doesn't require excessive amounts of further energy from the horse's body to digest...

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Feeding Horses for Optimal Recovery After Exercise - Full Article

By Drs. Peter Huntington and Kathleen Crandell · December 4, 2015

Feeding for recovery after exercise is vital when horses compete in multiday events, especially those that encompass an endurance phase. Such competitions include three-day eventing, combined driving, endurance, and show-jumping events.

Nutritionists have identified three key considerations when feeding for recovery: rehydration, replenishment of muscle glycogen stores, and muscle repair and recovery.

Rehydration. Horses lose both water and electrolytes when they sweat during and after exercise. This needs to be replaced after exercise to avoid the negative consequences of dehydration on recovery. Though it is hard to estimate the amount of sweat lost in an exercise bout, pre- and post-exercise weight can provide a guide.

Plasma sodium levels drive thirst, so supplementation of sodium with other electrolytes is an important strategy at this time. If electrolytes are given in a paste or a stomach tube, the reliance on feed consumption is removed. Irritation of gastric ulcers can occur from electrolyte boluses or concentrated saline drenches. Kentucky Equine Research (KER) developed Restore Paste (available in the U.S. and Australia), an electrolyte supplement that contains gastric antacids and coating agents to minimize the gastric irritation.

Water replacement is vital and water should be offered after exercise. The taste of water often varies, and the horse may be reluctant to drink away from home even if thirsty. Mixing molasses with water can encourage consumption, or Drink-Up, a product developed by KER and available in Australia, can be added to water to encourage the horse to empty the water bucket. When horses eat hay, they will usually drink afterwards, so feeding hay after exercise is one way to boost thirst...

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

“Move it or lose it” to keep horses sound, but ignore the judging scorecard - Full Article

Jean Luc Cornille | 14 January 2016

Mechanical stresses (movements) are critical for the control of tissue form and function. Muscles and bones actively remodel in response to changes in exercise and response to mechanical stresses. This is actually a fundamental feature in all living tissue.

Experiments with cultured cells confirm that mechanical stresses can directly alter many cellular processes, including signal transduction, gene expression, growth, differentiation, and survival.

To understand this process of mechanoregulation, we must take into account that living organisms are constructed from tiers of systems within a system within a system. For instance, a limb is composed of bones, muscles, blood vessels, nerves, etc. These in turn, are constructed from muscle fibers, vascular endothelium, and connective tissues, which are composed of groups of living cells and their associated extracellular matrix...

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In which we meet another Endurance Standardbred: welcome, Eli!

Haikufarm Blog - Full Story

by Aarene Storms
January 12 2016

In my not-even-vaguely subtle attempt to promote Standardbreds in endurance,
I'm writing a series of posts spotlighting some of the fabulous competitors.
This is Part 2 of the series.

Today's featured Standardbred is a SouthEast region horse:
East Meets West, owned and ridden by Patricia Clark.

Eli is a 15.3 hand, 2005 model so he is 11 this year. He raced 21 times, won once and earned $7,000 (to non-race fanciers, $7000 isn't a huge amount of money).

He is registered with the United States Trotting Association, a son of Western Paradise out of MD Has for those who pay attention to pedigrees.

Here's what Patricia has to say about Eli:

In 2009, I applied to be an adopter for New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program. After seeing this video clip I adopted him in less than two hours and had him shipped home to me in NC:

We hit it off immediately. He is honest and works so very hard. He picked up trail riding quickly. He has legs of iron from years of jogging on the racetrack. He can trot for hours at 10-13mph and his bursts of speed dazzle the imagination. His arsenal of gaits include a 5mph walk, the trot, the pace, the stepping pace and a slow rack...

Read more here:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Supplementing Selenium - Full Article

By Clair Thunes, PhD
Jan 11, 2016

Q. I live in an area that’s selenium deficient. Why is selenium important for my horse’s health, and what is the best way to supplement it in his diet?

A. Selenium is a trace mineral, meaning that it is required in the horse’s diet in trace amounts measured in milligrams. Examples of other trace minerals include copper, zinc, iron, manganese, and iodine. In comparison macrominerals—such as calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium and potassium—are needed in gram quantities.

Even though selenium is needed in tiny quantities it plays a number of very important roles...

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Monday, January 11, 2016

10 Learning Theory-Based Horse Training Principles - Full Article

By Alexandra Beckstett, The Horse Managing Editor
Sep 28, 2015

Andrew McLean, PhD, BSc, Dipl. Ed, renowned horse trainer and head of the Australian Equine Behaviour Centre, in Victoria, first presented his evidence- and learning theory-based principles of horse training in 2006. Since then he’s been refining and retooling them as he discovers more ways to promote equine welfare.

“It’s not about turning horse training into a science,” he explained, “but, rather, understanding, defining, and measuring what we possibly can.”

McLean presented a revised version of his training principles at the 11th International Society of Equitation Science Conference, held Aug. 6-9, in Vancouver, British Columbia. They are as follows:

1. Train according to the horse’s ethology and cognition...

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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Your horse - Shave and a haircut ...should you? - Full Article

Lauren Fraser on May 08, 2012

Do you prefer your horse clean shaven, and tackle every stray hair with scissors, pulling comb, or clippers? Or are you in the “wild and wooly” camp, whose members sport shaggy beards, hairy fetlocks and whiskery chins? Whichever grooming club you belong to, you may want to reconsider trimming a certain part of your horse’s body the next time the urge to tidy things up overcomes you.

The horse is a highly perceptive prey animal, that relies on the information he receives from all of his senses to survive. Even though the majority of us are working with horses that have been domesticated, they still retain all of the instincts of their feral and wild cousins, and understanding how they perceive their world gives us valuable information to interpret their behavior. In addition to their other senses, horses rely heavily on their sense of touch to survive as a species. As many horse owners can attest, horses make quick decisions (and sometimes have fast reactions) when something unexpected touches them. The sensitivity along their sides is even greater than that of our own fingertips. Nature tends to not create superfluous items on animals, so seemingly everything on the horse probably serves a purpose. To many people, those wiry, long hairs that protrude from around the horse’s eyelids and muzzles are considered an eyesore or a nuisance. Some over-zealous owners attack them regularly with clippers or scissors, without a second thought. But perhaps you should, as their function matters to the horse...

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Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Blister Beetles and Alfalfa: A Potentially Lethal Mix - Full Article

By Equine Disease Quarterly
Jan 2, 2016

Blister beetles belong to a family of plant-feeding insects (Meloidae) that produce cantharidin, a toxic defensive chemical. Contact with it in the blood of live or dead beetles causes blistering of the skin or mucous membranes of sensitive mammals, especially horses. Cantharidin is stable and remains toxic in dead beetles for a long time, so animals can be poisoned by eating crushed beetles in cured hay.

The severity of the reaction depends upon the amount of cantharidin ingested and the size and health of the animal. The lethal dose for livestock is estimated to be 0.45 to 1.0 mg of the chemical per kilogram of body weight...

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Tuesday, January 05, 2016

The innovators: the Irish entrepreneur putting design in the saddle - Full Article

Shane Hickey
Sunday 3 January 2016

In a sport steeped in tradition, Martin Ryan has seen the occasional raised eyebrow at first sight of his new design for a horse’s saddle. Unlike other sports, such as golf or cycling, where new technologies have been embraced, the world of equestrian events has remained largely static, resulting in a saddle that has not changed for centuries, he says.

His attempt to bring horseriding into the 21st century comes in the form of the lightweight Bua saddle, a new take on the seat that uses modern materials and production techniques. In effect, it creates two saddles: one that fits the rider, and a second that both better fits the animal and allows it to move more freely.

“I was using perfectly good saddles, but they weren’t particularly comfortable. People didn’t really ask questions of them because they were there for so long that they had just become a norm,” the Irish designer says...

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