Monday, January 30, 2017

Night Tips from a Pilot (and others) - Full Article

January 29 2017
by Mel Newton
The running, riding, writing veterinarian

When I was helping my husband study for his private pilot’s license, I ran across a section about night flying. Some of the recommendations made a lot of sense for riding at night on the trails too.

Unlike running when I usually where a bright headlamp (and sometimes carry a flashlight too) to illuminate the trail before me, riding at night is an exercise of trust in your equine partner.

Using a white light seriously impacts the horse’s night vision – and longer than it impacts ours because there are some physiological differences in their eye that makes the horse eye BETTER at night, but also takes it longer to adapt to the darkness once exposed to light.

Unless you were reading my blog 8 years ago, you might have missed this post where I explain how a horse’s night vision works. (a little aside – that Standardbred team pictured, Gunsmoke and Buttercup, were the BEST. That post was written at a time when *Minx was still alive, ML wasn’t even born, Farley was my back up horse, the blog had a different name, running an ultra was laughably ridiculous, and riding 100 miles was just a dream. ) *Actually, she may have died earlier in the month that post is from, but now I’m too lazy to verify.

So instead of investing in the best new headlight technology, you are going to be going down the trail with a minimum of light. Perhaps a few glowbars attached to the breast collar, a red light headlamp if you need to check something out, and if you are lucky – a moon...

Read more here:

Saturday, January 28, 2017

LDs, 50s, 100s and UGs - Full Article

By Patti Stedman | January 22nd, 2017

No, don’t worry, you haven’t slept through the sanctioning of a new AERC-sanctioned distance.

Ultimate Goals, or UGs, are a concept stolen from my friend Kathy Viele, an accomplished combined training (“eventing”) and dressage rider, and a veteran fox hunter.

Some time ago, she penned her sentiments about her Ultimate Goals for her riding and her relationship with her horses. I loved it so much, I begged her to let me use it for a sidebar for an Endurance News article I’d written. Her equestrian pursuits are in a different discipline, so her terminology may be a bit foreign to purist endurance riders, but her concepts are spot on for many conscientious horsepeople.

Here’s what Kathy had to say:

Ultimate Goal

Lots of people get stressed by competition, concerned about judging and test riding and politics and expensive equipment, get frustrated with progress (or perceived lack thereof) or scores. And often they quit having fun riding and spend more time frustrated than enjoying themselves and their horse. It many cases, the rider has lost sight of, or more often has never established, their Ultimate Goal (aka UGTM).

My ultimate goal is to have a happy, athletic horse who is a pleasure to ride and do things with. A horse who enjoys our time together, as do I. I feel I owe my horses good care and an ongoing effort to improve my riding and horsemanship. I owe them consideration (of likes and dislikes and personality and quirks) and sympathy and good care. I do not owe them Olympic-caliber riding, so I don’t go down the road of feeling guilty that I’m not a Great Rider—I am on an ongoing quest to improve and I am getting better. I try not to get caught up in a single score or a single competition. When I compete, I like it when things go well and we can show off our training and where we are, but my UG is not winning a particular class or a particular competition or even a year-end award. If those things happen, they are nice, but they aren’t my UG. And if things go poorly I try to learn from them and keep in mind my UG...

Read more here:

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Tips for Rehabbing Soft Tissue Injuries in Horses - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor
Jan 20, 2017

“Prevention is the best treatment” for any horse health issue, said Andris J. Kaneps, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, ACVSMR. “But we all know that we can put a horse in a padded room, wrapped in bubble wrap, and we’ll still have issues that we’ll need to address.”

Yes, horses are incredibly skilled at injuring themselves, and some of the most common ailments include soft tissues like tendons and ligaments. That’s why veterinarians must be well-versed at treating and rehabilitating such issues.

At the 2016 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 3-7 in Orlando, Florida, Kaneps, who owns Kaneps Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery, in Beverly, Massachusetts, reviewed best practices for rehabilitating soft tissue injuries...

Read more here:

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Pyramid Society Announces New Egyptian Arabian Riders UP Recognition Program

Lexington, KY – (January 19, 2017) The Pyramid Society’s New Riders UP Recognition Program is now open for enrollment! The program is designed to reward riders throughout North America and abroad with prizes and recognition for spending non-competitive hours in the saddle with their Egyptian Arabian horses. This program offers complimentary enrollment for all eligible horses with no Pyramid Society membership requirements.

“This program is a direct result of the feedback we’ve received from the Egyptian Arabian horse community. The Performance Horse Award program has been a great success with those participating in open competition, and so we have taken this next step to recognize and reward those riders who are either preparing to compete or simply just enjoy riding their horses for pleasure. We invite and encourage your participation and sponsorship to help assure the continued growth of this valuable program.” states Jaleen Hacklander, Chair of the Performance Horse Award Program Committee.

Participants keep track of the time they spend riding in non-competitive activities and special awards will be presented as each level of participation is reached. Hours count in the following non-competitive activities: trail riding, lessons, parades, pleasure riding, therapeutic riding, schooling sessions & other non-competitive events and activities.

For complete program information and guidelines and sponsorship information, visit; call (859) 231-0771 or email


The Pyramid Society is the world’s leading international membership organization dedicated to the Egyptian Arabian horse. Founded in 1969, it has maintained its mission to promote and advance these unique bloodlines through educational venues, local and regional activities, international representation and an active online community. The Society’s focus culminates at the Egyptian Event, the organization’s breed showcase and competition held at The Kentucky Horse Park annually the first week in June.

The Pyramid Society
Carol Aldridge, Member Services
Phone: (859)-231-0771

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Qatar: An enduring tale - Full Article

January 16 2017

From being powerful war horses to pulling Egyptian chariots with stellar speed and thereby earning the nickname ‘Drinkers of the Wind’, the Arabian horse has spearheaded equine endurance and elegance, right from its estimated origins circa 500 B.C.
Arguably, the most popular horse breed in the world, the Arabian horse is used today in a variety of disciplines; western, saddle seat, dressage, to name a few.

In an interesting talk organised by the Qatar Natural History Group (QNHG) at Al Shaqab last week, Dr Mats Troedsson, Consultant Director of Al Shaqab Equine Veterinary Medical Centre, and Professor at the University of Kentucky, MHG Equine Research Centre, discussed at length the glorious history of the Arabian horse, its importance in the history of Qatar, and current strategies for horse breeding and equine welfare at Al Shaqab.

Qualified at the Royal Veterinary College, Stockholm, Dr Troedsson has a PhD in Reproductive Immunology from the University of California, Davis, and 40 years of experience in Equine Veterinary care and Academia, most recently as Director of the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Centre.

Community caught up with Dr Troedsson, one of world’s leading experts on Equine reproduction, for a chat...

Read more here:

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The State of the Microchip - Full Article

By Nancy S. Loving, DVM
Jan 10, 2017

More horse organizations are requiring owners to use this identification technology

Countless dog and cat owners can attest to the value of microchipping. These are the people who have spent sleepless nights agonizing over their pets’ disappearance and whereabouts until they receive that phone call with the comforting words, “Your dog is at the local animal shelter; we scanned him for a microchip and found your contact information.”

This practice of microchipping is also becoming prevalent throughout the horse world—but for reasons beyond simply IDing a lost equid. Many competitive organizations and breed registries are now requiring it for ease of identifying individual horses...

Read more here:

South Africa: Mounted patrols return to KNP to help prevent rhino poaching - Full Article

January 11 2017

It has been decades since the last horses were used in KNP as they have been replaced by motorised vehicles.

LIMPOPO – The Kruger National Park (KNP) has had a long association with horses.

Merchants and explorers used horses to travel through the area but made sure to only do this during times when the Tsetse flies, which carried the deadly sleeping sickness, were less active. The Steinackers Horse Brigade was deployed to patrol the area during the Anglo Boer War. In the early days rangers were dependent on horses as their primary means of transport to fulfill their daily duties. A good horse was invaluable, especially if it had immunity against horse sickness.

History has recorded the legendary escapade of Game Warden Harry Wolhüter who was attacked by a lion while on horseback in the Lindanda area of the KNP. Wolhüter escaped miraculously by killing the lion with his sheath knife.

It has been decades since the last horses were used in KNP as they have been replaced by motorised vehicles.

This year marks the return of horses to active duty in KNP. Horses are now again being deployed for anti-poaching patrols and a pilot project has been launched to test the viability and effectiveness of mounted patrols.

Karien Keet, SANParks section ranger for Phalaborwa, is in charge of the pilot programme. Keet is the ideal person to manage the experiment as she has a long association with horses and is an experienced rider. She is a firm believer that it will not only be an effective tool in the fight against poaching, but that it will benefit conservation management too...

Read more here:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

6 Diseases you can Catch from your Horse - Full Article

Written by: Nicole Kitchener

Find out which gross and potentially fatal diseases you can get from your horse, and how to avoid them.

There are indeed some diseases that can be transmitted from horses to humans. Diseases that are communicable between animals and humans are called zoonotic. Luckily, most of those we can catch from horses are avoidable with good sanitation and biosecurity, although some can be quite dangerous.


People who work with or spend time around horses should be aware of the zoonotic diseases that exist and be ready to deal with them if necessary.


What is it?

A bacterial infection linked to abortion in pregnant mares and the chronic eye condition equine recurrent uveitis (ERU or moon blindness). The spiral-shaped bacteria, Leptospira, are highly capable of movement, allowing them to spread through the bloodstream and affect various organs.


Mild illness: fever, lethargy, loss of appetite
Rarely kidney and/or liver failure
Respiratory distress
Mid- to late-term abortion
Birth of weak foals
Eye swelling, light sensitivity, excessive tearing, discharge, cloudiness, redness, muscle spasms, blindness...

Read more here:

Sunday, January 08, 2017

The ‘Hind Gut Acidity’ Problem - Full Article

It’s the trendy diagnosis, but is it a dangerous ride?

January 3 2017

Hind gut acidity, sometimes used synonymously with hind gut ulcers, is blamed for a staggering array of signs ranging from poor appetite, cracked hooves, right hind lameness and any undesirable behavior trait you can mention. It’s bad enough that there is virtually no scientific justification for most of this. Worse yet is that the treatments suggested could be harmful.

Enteroliths are stones that form inside the intestines when minerals precipitate around a core of nondigestible material. The core could be things like a wood fragment, piece of string or bit of rubber fencing. Most enteroliths are composed of struvite—magnesium ammonium phosphate.

Several factors have been identified as risks for enterolith formation. High intake of magnesium, phosphorus or protein is certainly one. The ammonium forms from bacterial breakdown of protein. Risk factors can vary between cases but one universal finding is an alkaline environment in the large intestine. If you are feeding your horse a product to increase pH/reduce acidity in the large intestine you are increasing the risk of enterolith formation, especially if the horse didn’t need it in the first place...

Read more here:

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Salt for horses: Researchers delve into this important balancing act - Full Article

January 7, 2017

Common salt is a cheap and important supplement for working horses, but how much is too much?

A German study has delved into supplementation of salt – that’s sodium chloride – in horses in moderate work and compared their findings to widely accepted recommendations.

The level of sodium and chloride in typical horse forages and feeds, especially those non-commercially manufactured, was generally low, the study team noted.

Recommended intakes of sodium and chloride for exercise performance were therefore unlikely to be met by non-supplemented diets, meaning the addition of salt to the diet was commonly recommended.

Annette Zeyner and her colleagues, writing in the open-access peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE, said that since equine sweat is rich in sodium, potassium and chloride, diets marginal in these electrolytes may disturb fluid and mineral balance, potentially sparking health problems in exercised horses...

Read more:

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Algae: The Next Big Thing for Equine Lameness and OA? - Full Article

By Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc
Oct 10, 2016

Osteaoarthritis (OA) in horses is a painful condition, frequently resulting in loss of use and economic consequences. Considering there is currently no cure for OA, affected horses are often treated with “the kitchen sink,” meaning owners and even some veterinarians are willing to try just about anything to make an OA-affected horse more comfortable and to slow disease progression … including algae extracts.

“Blue-green algae contains a protein bound pigment called C-phycocyanin that possesses both anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties and has been shown to help humans, dogs, and horses with OA in some studies,” explained Jennifer Taintor, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, from Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, in Alabama.

Because some of the currently used medications for OA are associated with potentially serious adverse reactions, researchers have focused their attention on more natural products, such as blue-green algae extracts, for ameliorating clinical signs of OA...

Read more here:

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:

Monday, January 02, 2017

Are Genetically Modified Horse Feeds Safe? - Full Article

Written by: Shannon Pratt-Phillips, Ph.D.

Get the facts on genetically modified horse foods, from equine nutritionist Shannon Pratt-Phillips, Ph.D., before you decide whether to feed them or not.

The term genetically modified organism (GMO) describes an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering. This is different from organisms that have been altered through selective breeding, such in domestic animals, cattle and pigs, as well as most plant species. Genetic engineering is a process in which an organism’s DNA is altered, by mutating, inserting or deleting genetic material, resulting in a transgenic organism.

Genetic engineering has produced transgenic mice, which are used extensively to investigate human disease, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The drug Humulin, used by millions to manage diabetes, is the product of genetically engineered bacteria. Plants have been genetically engineered for decades, including antibiotic-resistant tobacco plants, and the first genetically modified food for human consumption, tomatoes, which were modified to slow down the ripening process.
The Pros

In crops, transgenic plants are most common, where genes have been inserted into the plant’s cells in effort to provide desirable characteristics, such as resistance to pests or herbicides, or to increase the nutrient content of the plant. Corn, for example, has been modified to increase the lysine content, making it a better source of this key amino acid.

Insecticidal proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are expressed in corn and other crops, which allows these plants to resist pests, thereby decreasing the need for insecticides. This also, of course, decreases residual insecticides on the plants that we and our horses consume, and decreases the impact on the environment...

Read more here: