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, https://www.facebook.com/timetoridehorse/.

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 timetoride.com. 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 info@timetoride.com.

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.

Peter Fenwick to be Recognized with the Robert N. Clay Conservation Award


Lexington, Ky. – August 29, 2016 – Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) is pleased to announce that Peter Fenwick of Glyndon, Md. has been named as the 2016 recipient of the Robert N. Clay Conservation Award. The award, named in recognition of Robert N. Clay’s equine land conservation leadership in the Thoroughbred industry, will be presented at the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association National Awards dinner on September 10th in Lexington, Ky.

“TOBA is pleased to have established this award in partnership with ELCR to help increase awareness of the importance of land conservation to the Thoroughbred industry and to serve as an inspiration to others within the industry,” says TOBA President Dan Metzger. “We are thrilled to present the award this year to Peter Fenwick in partnership with Equine Land Conservation Resource.”

Mr. Fenwick, a lifelong horseman and Thoroughbred owner, has served as a board member of the Valleys Planning Council (VPC) since 2001 and as president since 2005. The VPC was started in the 1960’s by a group of individuals, many of which were horsemen, with the vision and foresight to preserve the historic character and maintain the rural feel and land uses in the valleys amidst the threat of urbanization and sprawl associated with the construction of the Beltway through Green Spring Valley. Today with over 62,000 acres of land under conservation easements, Baltimore County has more conservation easements than any other county in the state of Maryland and the VPC continues the tradition of protecting the agriculture and equestrian lifestyle and heritage of the area for the benefit of future generations with the conservation of over 30,000 acres of land.

Horses represent a significant part of the history of Baltimore County with over 10,000 horses comprising an equine inventory valued at over $121 million. Steeplechase racing and fox hunting are major activities in the VPC territory. Four major events are held in the area each year: Green Spring Point-to-Point, Grand National, Maryland Hunt Cup, and Legacy Chase. The Grand National and Hunt Cup races date back to 1898 and 1894 respectively. Peter Fenwick continues to demonstrate his commitment to conserving the land and equestrian lifestyle and heritage of the area through his dedication to the mission of VPC and by serving on the board of the Maryland Steeplechase Association and as chair of the Grand National Steeplechase and member of the Green Spring Valley Hounds.

About the Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR): ELCR builds awareness of the loss of lands available for horse-related activities and facilitates the protection and preservation of those lands. We work to ensure America’s equine heritage lives on and the emotional, physical and economic benefits of the horse-human relationship remains accessible. ELCR serves as an information resource and clearinghouse on conserving horse properties, land use planning, land stewardship/best management practices, trails, liability and equine economic development. For more information about the ELCR visit www.elcr.org or call (859) 455-8383

For additional information, contact:
Holley Groshek, Executive Director
Equine Land Conservation Resource
Phone: 859-455-8383 /Email: hgroshek@elcr.org

Monday, August 22, 2016

Heat Stress in Horses

August 21 2016

There’s no getting around it. This has been a miserable summer. Unless you hail from Indonesia or the Amazon basin, you’ve felt it. The heat and humidity have been unbearable and the possibility of heat stroke or heat exhaustion has been hanging over us all.
Including our horses.
Yes they, too, are subject to these conditions.
The large muscle mass of a horse generates a tremendous amount of heat, particularly when exercising. Conditions of high humidity and heat make it is hard for that heat to dissipate. In addition, as they sweat, they lose both water and electrolytes, leading to dehydration.
Dehydration untreated may then escalate to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Horse owners and riders need to be very aware of the symptoms of heat stress, and act on them immediately. A rapidly breathing, sweaty horse can progress to heat stroke, which can be fatal, very quickly. A dull expression or behavior can also signal the onset of heat stress.
Heat exhaustion is characterized by rapid breathing (over 60 beats per minute), refusal to work, and coats that are dripping with sweat, while some horses exhibit “thumping”—a spasmodic jerking of the diaphragm or flanks. In addition, the horse may move very stiffly and abnormally, similar to a horse that is tying up.
Left untreated, heat exhaustion can rapidly turn into heat stroke. Heat stroke is evidenced by hyperthermia (a temperature of over 106 degrees) and a staggering, weaving gait. Horses may fall, rear, and seem unaware of their surroundings, making them dangerous to be around as they are unconscious of others. A coma and death may follow if they are not treated immediately.
Heat stress is not confined just to horses that are exercising. Horses that are in dry lots with no shade, in trailers, or in barns with no ventilation are also subject to the condition. So don’t think that just because you are not working your horse, he won’t be affected by the weather.
So what should you do? Think ahead.
There are many things that can be done to prevent heat stress:
·         Provide plenty of clean water at all times. And remember horses need much more water during periods of extreme heat.
·         Put horses on electrolytes. A heavily sweating horse will lose not only water, but electrolytes, which need to be replaced.
·         Be sure horses have access to shade, and in a hot barn, provide fans.
·         Don’t leave horses in hot trailers.
·         Ride in the early morning or late evening.
·         Clip horses with long coats.
Overweight horses are particularly susceptible so try to keep your horses at a healthy weight.
Horses that don’t drink a lot of water may prove particularly at risk for heat stress. Hydration Hay® can be a boon in such circumstances. This block of compressed grass and alfalfa hay is mixed with water and provides hay and hydration in a tasty mix for those picky drinkers, particularly when faced with constantly changing water on the road.
But what if it’s too late and the damage has already been done? You have a dragon-breathing horse with a temperature over 105 degrees, what now?
Start with a cold, cold, shower. Studies conducted at the Atlanta Summer Olympics proved that there is no harm, only help, in applying cold water to an overheated horse.  “Application of cold water to the overheated horses helped to dissipate heat by providing more water to evaporate from the skin, and by direct conduction of the horse’s body heat into the water that runs off the horse, carrying excess heat with it,” the study concluded.
Use a sweat scraper to remove excess water and then walk the horse or let it out in a shady area or a cool stall. Do not use a sheet in hot, humid conditions; it prevents the evaporation of sweat from the skin.
For heat stroke, ice packs should be applied to the horse’s head and the large muscles on the insides of the legs. If improvement does not take place quickly, or if the horse is staggering or falling, call a vet immediately. The horse will need intravenous fluids and may need additional medication if its internal organs have been affected. Death can occur within a couple of hours so act quickly!

Brought to you by Eastern Hay
845 855 3291

Sunday, August 21, 2016

What's New in Treating Pastern Dermatitis

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor
Jun 24, 2016

Those dreaded crusty and itchy scabs are back. You know the ones. They cover the back of your horse’s pasterns, sometimes spreading to his fetlocks and further. And the worst part of this so-called equine pastern dermatitis (or EPD, often referred to as scratches) is that you know you have an uphill battle in front of you—successfully returning your horse’s affected skin to health is a notoriously difficult task.

So what’s new in diagnosing and treating EPD? Anthony Yu, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVD, reviewed how to diagnose and treat this frustrating problem at the 2016 Western Veterinary Conference, held in March in Las Vegas. Yu is a board-certified veterinary allergist and dermatologist and owns Yu of Guelph Veterinary Dermatology, in Guelph, Ontario, Canada...

Read more here:

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

No Shortcut for Diagnosing Equine Gastric Ulcers

KER.equinews.com - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · May 23, 2016

Gastric ulcers occur more frequently in certain groups of horses: race and endurance horses in training, foals at the time of weaning, or any horse during times of stress. How do you know if your horse has one or more ulcers? Usually, a clear diagnosis can only be achieved if the horse undergoes endoscopic examination, which involves having the veterinarian pass a long flexible tube with a camera in the tip into the stomach to directly visualize and assess the defects.

“Despite being effective, endoscopy is expensive, invasive, and time-consuming, unfortunately,” explained Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a Kentucky Equine Research (KER) nutritionist, adding “The number of veterinarians that have the necessary equipment is limited.”

As an alternative, some owners assume their horses have one or more ulcers if they display classic signs associated with the condition: colic, diarrhea, poor appetite, dull coat, decreased performance, and possibly behavior changes...

Read more here:

Friday, August 05, 2016

Detecting Upper Body Issues

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Tracy Gantz
Aug 1, 2016

Remember that tricky thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle, probably of a herd of horses, you put together as a kid? Now consider how much harder it would have been to assemble the puzzle upside down, with no picture to guide you.

That is sometimes the difference between diagnosing lameness in a horse’s lower limb and pinpointing a problem higher up in his body. Once your veterinarian rules out anything from the foot past the knee, the diagnostic difficulty level can soar.

Kirste Timm, DVM, of California Equine Sports Medicine, in Santa Ynez, and Carrie Schlachter, VMD, of Circle Oak Equine, in Petaluma, California, see many sport horses in their practices. They described lower-limb lameness in last month’s issue and will characterize lameness stemming from the upper body in this article...

Read more here:

Probiotics; Are they necessary?

Nouvelleresearch.com - Full Article

Probiotics are common in today's equine industry and even human health. They are heavily marketed for supporting gastrointestinal health on many levels, but are they really needed and are they really beneficial? There are many types of probiotics promoted in various products, but unfortunately, they are all lumped together and promoted as being beneficial, which can further muddy the waters. So how do we know if we need to use them and if so, what types are most beneficial? The answer to this question lies not only within research but also through clinical experience.

To open the discussion, we must first apply some basic definitions:

1. Probiotic: Live microorganisms when administered in adequate amounts provide health benefits to the host

2. Prebiotic: A chemical or food ingredient which can promote the growth of microorganisms, which can be anywhere including the gastrointestinal tract.

The two main groups or classifications of prebiotics include specific sugar molecules and fiber, which not only provide energy sources for the bacteria but can also assist in creating a more favorable environment for their growth. Specific oligosaccharides and inulin are the two main accepted prebiotics by most authorities. In other cases, we also have nutrients provided through various foods that may also serve as direct substrates for bacterial growth. Natural sources of prebiotics include chicory root, artichoke, dandelion, onion, garlic, oats and bananas. The use of prebiotics in the diet have been found to be beneficial in numerous human health conditions helping to reduce risk of hypertension, inflammatory bowel disease, immune related conditions and even colorectal cancer...

Read more here:

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Six ways to feed performance horses for greater achievement

Shoreview, Minn. [August 1, 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, Ph.D., equine nutritionist with Purina Animal Nutrition.

1.    Know if it’s anaerobic or aerobic exercise
Physical activity is broken into two general categories, aerobic and anaerobic, and it can be helpful to understand the science.
Anaerobic exercise, characterized by short bursts of maximum effort, is primarily fueled by glycogen, a polysaccharide which is composed of sugars and stored in muscle fibers. Soluble carbohydrates from the diet provide the building blocks for glycogen.
Imagine a competitive cutting horse with its incredible agility, quick reactionsand strength. A horse like this would be primarily engaged in anaerobic exercise while they’re working a cow.  Race horses, even Thoroughbreds running a mile and a half are also highly anaerobic while they’re running the race. Such activity depends on a diet providing adequate soluble carbohydratesfor storing and replenishing muscle glycogen needed to fuel these short, intense exercise bouts. 

Aerobic exercise, characterized by low to moderate-intensity activity lasting from several minutes to several hours, is primarily fueled by fat. A slow burning fuel, fat can be perfect for keeping the horse going for the long haul.
Three-day eventing, polo, dressage and endurance riding are all examples of primarily aerobic activity. Performance horses engaged in this type of exercise may benefit from feeds with added fat sources.
Keep in mind, no performance activity is either all anaerobic or all aerobic. Each athletic activity has components of both types of work; especially when you consider the warm-up period before an actual competition.  However, fueling the horse with the dietary energy source from which they will draw the most fuel is a targeted way to optimize the horse’s ability to perform.

2.    Don’t let forages fall flat
While horses in nature may live entirely on forage, equestrians typically demand more from their horses than would ever be required of them in nature. Therefore, additional nutrients and energy are needed to sustain top-level performance in working horses.

Forage can provide adequate fuel for maintenance or low-level activity, but does not supply enough sugar and starch to maintain the glycogen stores required for a hard-working performance horse to succeed. “For horses working at a high level, a feed designed to support that workload will provide adequate soluble carbohydrates and fats to maintain the needed fuel storage for performance,” says Young.
3.    Electrolytes are essential
Horses need free choice salt, but performance horses have additional mineral requirements. “Any time a horse is working and sweating, consider an electrolyte supplement and feed as directed,” says Young.
Check the ingredients on electrolytes -they should include primarily sodium, potassium and chloride. Always ensure your performance horse has adequate access to fresh, clean water and is well hydrated. Do not give electrolyte supplementation to a dehydrated horse.

4.    Time the feed Horses should not be fed a large meal 3-4 hours before an extensive performance event. Feeding any closer to the exercise can hurt the horse’s performance as the blood used for digestion isn’t readily available to the muscle tissue.

If a horse usually has hay available, consider feeding small amounts of hay throughout the day. Feeding forages before an event may not pose the same challenges as a concentrated feed does. Generally speaking, feeding small meals more often is better for the performance horse than one or two large meals a day.
After the event, let the horse cool down before feeding and then consider feeding a small carbohydrate-rich meal 30-120 minutes after exercise to help replace the glycogen used during the event.

5.    Focus on recovery
Recovery from exercise requires the replenishment of glycogen stores as well of the repair of muscle cells damaged during exercise.  Research in humans and horses has shown that ingesting specific amino acids after exercise can decrease muscle recovery time. “Horses performing intense, repetitive work have been shown to benefit from a specific amino acid profile available in a dietary supplement from Purina,” says Young. 

6.    Rethink top-dressing
Horse owners often try to provide additional fat to their performance horses. However, simply top-dressing with oil or an unfortified fat supplement increases the fat and calorie content of the ration, but it doesn’t provide protein, vitamins or minerals to maintain the nutritional balance of the total diet. The best option is to feed a nutritionally balanced feed with a high fat content as well as the proper amount of protein, amino acids, and other nutrients essential to support optimal performance.

“Paying attention to these six areas may help your working horse achieve its true performance potential,” says Young.
For more information on feeding performance horses, contact us at: www.purinamills.com/horse-feed.

Purina Animal Nutrition LLC (www.purinamills.com) is a national organization serving producers, animal owners and their families through more than 4,700 local cooperatives, independent dealers and other large retailers throughout the United States. Driven to unlock the greatest potential in every animal, the company is an industry-leading innovator offering a valued portfolio of complete feeds, supplements, premixes, ingredients and specialty technologies for the livestock and lifestyle animal markets. Purina Animal Nutrition LLC is headquartered in Shoreview, Minn. and a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O’Lakes, Inc.

J. Kathleen Young PhD: Dr. Young holds a doctorate in equine nutrition and exercise physiology from Texas A&M University, where her research focused on mineral requirements of resting and exercising horses. She currently owns five horses, provides riding instruction, and trains and competes in hunter/jumper and eventing.

American Horse Council to Update National Economic Impact Study


State Breakouts to be Included

(Washington, DC) – The American Horse Council Foundation is seeking to update the Economic Impact Study of the Horse Industry in 2017.

The 2005 Economic Impact Study documented the economic effects of the racing, showing, recreation and other segments of the horse industry. It established that the horse industry in all its segments, including racing, showing, and recreation, had a $39 billion effect on the US economy, involved more than 4 million Americans and 9.2 million horses, and supported 1.4 million full-time jobs. The study also provided invaluable demographic data and insights into professions and other industries that are impacted by the equine ownership.

The study has proven to be extremely helpful to the industry’s efforts in Congress and state legislatures and in documenting its size and diversity to the public, press and media.

The 2017 Study will include expanded demographic information to include the impact that youth involvement has on the industry, as well as a more in-depth of analysis of all segments of the industry—such as rescues and sanctuaries, and therapeutic riding centers.

“The 1996 and 2005 studies gave insight to an industry that operates in every corner of the country and contributes greatly to the American economy and culture,” said Julie Broadway, President of the AHC. “We are looking forward to updating this information to continue to be able to educate not only Congress and state legislatures, but also the industry itself as well.”

If you have any questions or would like to contribute to the update of the national study, you can make a tax-deductible contribution to the American Horse Council Foundation. Please email info@horsecouncil.org or call the AHC at 202-296-4031 with any questions.