Thursday, June 30, 2016

Choosing the Right Horse for Happy Trails - Full Article

By Connie Lechleitner
Jun 22, 2016

Tips for finding your best four-legged trail riding partner

The phrase “trail ride” brings to mind different things to different people. For one person it could be a relaxing afternoon ride sightseeing for a few hours in the rolling hills, while for another it’s a strenuous race stretching well beyond daylight hours and covering dozens of miles of sometimes-treacherous countryside. These pursuits require mounts to be sound and sure-footed, but for recreational trail riding, competitive trail, and endurance riding, certain equine traits rise to importance for each discipline, ranging from disposition to build. So how do you decide which prospects to pursue?

We asked Greg Fellers, DVM, of Seal Beach, California, who serves as a judge for the North American Trail Riding Conference, and recreational trail riding veterinarian Chris Coudret, DVM, of London, Ohio, to share their tips on picking your best trail partner.

“You really do have a whole spectrum of involvement in trail riding,” says Fellers. “You might have someone who just rides out onto their property or into a park and may not ever get past a walk. Then the next person might be doing a competitive trail ride or a 100-mile endurance race. The key is to match the horse’s abilities with the desires of that rider.” Regardless of your goals, a few tips apply across all types of trail riding, Fellers says...

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The Modern Desert-Horse: The Akhal-Teke

Classic-equine Blog - Full Article

Have you ever been lucky enough to have seen one of these unusual looking horses in real life? The Akhal-Teke is an incredible, beautiful breed, and currently there are only about 3,500 of them in the world. A great endurance horse, the Akhal-Teke has an unusual appearance and looks like it’s stepped right out of a history book.


The Akhal-Teke originated in Turkmenistan during the 8th century, making it one of the oldest horse breeds. The Akhal-Teke horses were thought to be some of the best horses in Asia at the time, and were frequent favorites for mounted guards. The horses were used in Turkmenistan’s fight against Russia, and became a part of the Russian Empire when Russia won the battle. Until that point, the Akhal-Teke’s pedigree had only been kept orally; it was the Russians who first created a stud book for the breed in 1941.

As the breed has gained popularity, the Akhal-Teke has been used to produce new breeds, including the Nez Perce Horse, created by crossing an Appaloosa with an Akhal-Teke horse. Akhal-Tekes have also been used to produce lighter draft horses with more versatility...

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

New York: Mysterious Urban Cowboy Causes Traffic Jam While Riding Horse Over Outerbridge Crossing - Full Article


Staten Island is having quite a summer. Huge sharks, the threat of secession and now here's a guy in full cowboy regalia just casually riding one horse while pulling another one behind him as he crosses the Outerbridge Crossing. Will the viral marketing for a Wild Wild West sequel never end???

A video by Twitter user Ryan Joseph showed the man jauntily crossing the bridge, while being followed closely by Port Authority police...

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Hay Loft - Feeding New Hay

June 24 2016
Last year’s hay is nearly gone from your hay lofts. The farmers have been busy growing and harvesting their hay crops, and fresh, new bales have just arrived at your farm.
It should be a beautiful sight, right? Those bright green bales riding up the bale elevator to be stacked in your loft, ready to be greedily consumed by your horses.
Yet some people have concerns about fresh, new hay. Will the horses colic or founder from the fresh hay?  We’ve all been warned against feeding grass clippings to horses, or hay that’s just been mown. So isn’t new hay dangerous too? Shouldn’t it sit for a while before feeding?
The answer is, not if it’s been properly cured. To check that new hay in your loft, simply open a bale and take a look at it, smell it, and feel it. If it is dry, and smells good, you’re fine. Dry hay is fine; if it wasn’t dry, it should not have been baled. So if it is wet, and/or smells musty, it has not been properly cured and is not safe to feed.

If the hay has been treated with a preservative, it will not have that sweet smell, rather it smells a bit like vinegar. In this case just make sure it is dry and has no mold and you will be all right.

Another thing for you to keep in mind is that it is important to properly transition your horses to the new hay. New hay is full of protein and nutrients. Mix a little of it in at a time with your old hay and gradually replace the old hay with the new. This way you can slowly acclimate your horses to the new hay.

Feed less of the new hay because of the increased protein and nutrients. It’s similar to having your horses on grass hay and switching them to alfalfa. You wouldn’t just take away the timothy and throw alfalfa at them. You would switch gradually to allow their systems to adjust.

This extra protein and nutrients could be one of the reasons that some horsemen got nervous about new hay. Their horses might have had extra energy or reacted adversely to a sudden switch. But it’s not the hay (again, if it is properly cured), it is the process of adjustment.

So feel free to use that new hay in your loft. Just be sure to check that it is dry, and feed it according to the parameters suggested above. And while you’re at it, enjoy the heady aroma of fresh hay.
Hay Loft is brought to you by Eastern Hay,

For more information contact: Eastern Hay:, 845-855 3291

Friday, June 24, 2016

How Hoof Boots Impact a Horse's Walk - Full Article

By Katie Navarra
Jun 20, 2016

Hoof boots, popular among trail riders, provide barefoot horses with hoof protection and traction. These boots also help cushion and protect the sole when used on horses with hoof wall defects, signs of foot pain, or solar puncture wounds.

Some researchers believed hoof boots could also change the locomotor forces applied to the foot, potentially offering therapeutic benefits. So, Santiago D. Gutierrez-Nibeyro, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, ACVSMR, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, and colleagues recently conducted a study on the topic to learn more.

Findings from Gutierrez-Nibeyro’s study did show that horses fitted with hoof boots had longer hoof contact time with the ground than barefoot horses. “We found that the use of the hoof boots prolonged the deceleration period of the limb, which is consistent with a slower deceleration phase during limb impact with the ground,” he explained...

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EIA-Suspect Horse Identified In Colorado

On June 23, 2016, the Colorado Department of Agriculture, State Veterinarian's Office, was notified by the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) that a non-racing horse presently located at Arapahoe Park in Aurora, CO tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). Confirmatory tests are currently being run. Arapahoe Park is currently under a hold order that restricts movement of horses until an initial investigation is completed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA). The affected horse has been in Colorado less than 60 days and came from an out-of-state track. It appears that the horse was infected prior to coming to Colorado and previously tested negative for the disease in May of 2015.  Because the disease is most commonly spread by biting flies and it is very early in Colorado's fly season, the risk of disease transmission to other horses at the track appears to be relatively low.
CDA and USDA Veterinary Services will be working with Arapahoe Park and the horse owner to gather more information to appropriately respond to the initial positive EIA test.  
FAQs about Equine Infectious Anemia
What is Equine Infectious Anemia?
Equine Infectious Anemia is a viral disease spread by bloodsucking insects that affects equine animals such as horses, mules and donkeys, which breaks down red blood cells. Horses may not appear to have any symptoms of the disease, although it also can cause high fever, weakness, weight loss, an enlarged spleen, anemia, weak pulse and even death.
How is it spread?
It is spread most commonly through blood by biting flies such as horse flies and deer flies.
What happens to an infected horse?
There is no cure for the disease, so infected animals have to be quarantined for life or euthanized.
Is there a danger to people?
No. The disease can only be spread to horses, mules and donkeys.
Is the disease common?
No. There has only been a small number of cases in the United States, although the disease exists in other parts of the world. A map of cases from the year 2015 is available at .
How is the disease controlled?
Equine Infectious Anemia is a disease for which horses must be tested annually before they can be transported across state lines. The test for EIA is commonly called a Coggins Test. The horse at Arapahoe Park last tested negative in May of 2015.
More facts on EIA:

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Hot Horse Docs - Full Article

Written by: Zoe Carter

Get the inside scoop on the latest and greatest horse films you’re going to want to watch.

The Equus Film Festival started in the fall of 2014, hosted at an elegant venue in Harlem in New York City, and concluded with awards named the “Winnies.” My friend and business partner, Jessica Fobert, and I were thrilled our television pilot Free Rein won for Best Equestrian Series. When we received invitations to act as jurors at the 2015 edition, we jumped at the chance.

In its second year, the festival received nearly double the number of submissions, and, as a juror, I was able to screen every minute of every one. They ranged from educational workshops, to art films, documentaries, dramas, commercials and music videos...

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

How to Get a Horse to Drink When Away From Home - Full Article

By Clair Thunes, PhD
Jun 6, 2016

Q. Last weekend at an event my horse stopped drinking, which has never been an issue for him before. He also doesn’t seem to be as keen to drink on the trailer as he once was. Do you have any suggestions on how I can keep him drinking?

A. Staying adequately hydrated is vital to your horse’s overall health, well-being, and performance ability. Dehydration not only increases the chances of an impaction colic but also reduces fluids available for the production of bodily fluids such as saliva, mucus, and digestive secretions. Dehydration can also lead to issues with muscle contraction and nerve conduction, thus it negatively impacts performance. In severe cases it might even lead to tying-up...

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Horses heat up 10 times faster than people – study - Full Article

Contributor | 16 June 2015

A hot humid day. One rider. One horse. Both are exercising at a moderate level. Who is more likely to overheat?

It might surprise you to know that your horse gets hotter much faster than you and is more susceptible to the negative effects of heat stress.

Professor Michael Lindinger, an animal and exercise physiologist at the University of Guelph, explains: “It only takes 17 minutes of moderate intensity exercise in hot, humid weather to raise a horse’s temperature to dangerous levels. That’s three to 10 times faster than in humans. Horses feel the heat much worse than we do.”

And the effects can be serious. If a horse’s body temperature shoots up from the normal 37 to 38 C to 41 C, temperatures within working muscles may be as high as 43 C, a temperature at which proteins in muscle begin to denature (cook). Horses suffering excessive heat stress may experience hypotension, colic and renal failure...

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Evidence of temporary cardiac fatigue found in endurance horses - Full Article | 16 June 2016

Evidence of cardiac fatigue has been found in endurance horses following races of 120km to 160km, although its cause and clinical relevance remain uncertain.

The European study involved 26 Arabian horses, comprising two stallions, 11 mares, and 13 geldings, who competed in CEI*** and CEI** events in Glimåkra, Sweden; Gartow, Germany; and Nörten-Hardenberg, Germany.

The researchers performed echocardiography on the horses before and after the rides, and the following morning. They also took blood samples to test for levels of cardiac troponin I, which is a biomarker that provides insight into damage to the heart muscle, and hematocrit and serum protein concentrations – two indicators of the hydration status of the horses...

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Friday, June 03, 2016

Chia or Flax: Which is Better for My Horse? - Full Article

By Clair Thunes, PhD
May 30, 2016

Q: I would like to see someone do a nutritional comparison between flax seed and chia seed supplementation in horses. Is one better than the other, is it a matter of preference, or do they offer the horse different benefits?

A. Chia and flax are typically added to equine diets as supplemental sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Both are rich in linolenic acid (ALA), which is a precursor to the longer chain fatty acids: ecosapentaenoic acid (or EPA) and decosahexaenoic acid (or DHA). Flax or linseed meal, the end product after fat extraction, has long been used in livestock feeds as a protein source. But more recently interest has built around the whole flax seed due to its potential impact of inflammatory conditions. Equine research has shown potential benefits in improving short-term insulin sensitivity, as well as reducing sensitivity to biting fly allergy. Other benefits might exist in mediating a number of inflammatory conditions...

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Thursday, June 02, 2016

Freak Riding Accident? Hardly. - Full Article

May 2016
by Anna Blake

The horse world has lost some good riders in the last few weeks. Sadly, it happens all too often. Horses can be unpredictable and people get hurt. Some of it is unavoidable and some of it is totally preventable.

Two of the most recent stories were especially hard: One was a 27-year-old professional barrel racer with wedding plans and the other was a professional trainer who was respected as the most experienced rider in her mounted posse. These two women had much in common: they were both professionals, both very experienced riders, and both died from extensive head injuries as the result of a fall on pavement. And now they are both profoundly mourned by their friends and families, and yes, their horses, too, I suspect.

I always feel it’s in poor taste to mention helmets at a time like this. It feels mean-spirited, no matter how well stated. And it’s too damn late for these committed horse women. The problem is that someone has always just died, so to be polite, helmets would never be mentioned.

These riders had another thing in common. News reports used the term “freak accident” in the headline. Do these reporters live in a shoe-box? There’s nothing freak about a riding accident. Emergency rooms treat about 15,000 equine-related head injuries a year. And that doesn’t count other broken bones...

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Curcumin; Bioavailability, Absorption and Efficacy - Full Article

Curcumin is one of the most heavily researched herbs due to its potential to impact the inflammatory process in several models. One key concern, in some studies, is bioavailability or absorption, which has likewise raised concerns as to its true efficacy in regards to health conditions. Are these concerns truly founded or is it all hype? Experience tells us that it is a little of both.

This bright orange, very expensive herb in pure form is something that I personally work with daily. It is used not only in clinical research, but also a staple in the middle Eastern diet, most often in the form of Turmeric. Curcumin is also used in the dye and cosmetic industry, taking advantage of its bright orange color and staining ability. It's power is strong, both medicinally and in its staining me on this. I have come to know curcumin on a personal and intimate level.

Curcumin is one of the most heavily researched herbs, impacting the inflammatory process on a more complete level compared to any medication on the open market. The mode of action is through inhibition or actually a downregulation of a transcription factor called NF-kB, which when stimulated or turned on, is responsible for the production of numerous pro-inflammatory proteins which impact pain, swelling, circulation, cell turnover, altered cellular function and cellular death or degeneration.

In 2005, I began my investigations with curcumin, being intrigued by research and seeing potential as a therapy option in my equine patients afflicted with joint disease, who were dependent on medications and injections to get them through the month. Looking over past human data, curcumin was noted to impact the inflammatory process on a much higher level than traditional medications, providing potentially higher benefits to the patient, not only in reduction of pain but also improving cellular function. This last benefit is huge, as dysfunction at a cellular level is tied in with most health conditions, pain is often just a byproduct and a symptom. The concern, as noted in human studies was that serum levels of curcumin were low, thus raising the question of bioavailability. In-vitro testing on cells proved encouraging, but this is different than using it in a real, living, breathing body. Would it work?...

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2016 Time to Ride Challenge Begins for Hundreds of Stables, Clubs, and Businesses Nationwide

June 1 2016

Horse professionals are competing for $100,000 cash and prizes throughout the summer while growing their businesses.
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 - Today the 2016 Time to Ride Challenge, a nationwide grassroots contest to introduce new people to horses, begins for hundreds of competing stables, clubs, and other horse businesses. The United States Equestrian Federation is pleased to partner with Time to Ride to bring 25,000 new youth engagements to equestrian sports in 2016 through the Time to Ride Challenge in partnership with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative.
Event hosts will compete through September 30th by hosting fun, beginner-friendly horse events designed to safely introduce horse-interested families to equine activities and encourage them to become regularly involved in riding. Hosts who introduce the greatest number of “newcomers,” those who have not been regularly involved in horse activities for the past three years, to horses will win up to $10,000 cash and related prizes in three divisions - small, medium, and large.
In preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has aligned with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to increase opportunities for physical activity among the nation’s youth, making the Time to Ride Challenge a perfect fit for partnership. Since 2014, the Challenge has introduced over 60,000 new people to horses through hundreds of stables nationwide. Horse professionals who join the Challenge work hard to plan and produce events, but their efforts are rewarded many times over - the growth in their businesses eclipsing even the coveted cash prizes. In a 2015 survey, 65.5% of participating stables saw a positive increase in their business as a result of the Challenge; 9.1% reported gaining over 15 new clients.
“Competing in the Challenge is not only about winning or placing, although that was my goal at first. It turned out to be so much more than winning the prize money. It’s about getting us, as part of the horse industry, to look differently at how we advertise and promote ourselves. It’s about securing a future for the horse industry,” said Jody Halladay, owner of 16 Acres Equine Educational Complex and 2015 medium division champion.
Hosts from 38 states have planned over 350 events so far. Family days at horse shows, Girl Scout badge work, an Arabian horse breed showcase, school field trips, and pony and carriage rides are just a few examples of the creative, accessible events that event hosts have planned already. The Challenge encourages businesses to use innovative strategies to bring horses to previously uninitiated groups.
2016 brings many updates to the Challenge, in its third year, including new cash prizes and added incentives offered by breed and discipline organizations. For details, please visit

Competing hosts receive marketing support and resources from Time to Ride upon registration, which is free. An update for 2016 is open enrollment, allowing hosts to join even now that the Challenge has begun. To learn more about the Challenge, read frequently asked questions, and sign up, visit
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; and new for 2016, I-5 Publishing, Pyranha, 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.