Wednesday, October 25, 2017

India: All the Pretty Marwari Horses - Full Article

At the Haryana Swaran Jayanti indigenous horse show, they dazzled and charmed viewers with their manoeuvres, speed and style

The Marwari horse was the star at the Haryana Swaran Jayanti indigenous horse show, conducted by the Equestrian Sports Academy in Gurgaon which is a part of the Haryana Equestrian Sports Association.

Located next to Sohna Road, Bhondsi, Gurgaon, the NGP Horse Show Ground saw these indigenous beauties participate in various competitions, such as the dance, the rawal gait and flat race, on Sunday.

Use of whip and metal bits were prohibited. In fact, as HESA secretary general Col RS Ahluwalia (retd) said, this was the first time a show of indigenous horses was organized in accordance with all rules pertaining to avoidance of cruelty to animals...

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Monday, October 23, 2017

Saving Horses From the Northern California Wildfires - Full Article

By Clair Thunes, PhD Oct 17, 2017

Sunday, Oct. 8, Santa Rosa Junior College animal science instructor Amy Housman did something unusual for her: She put her phone on “Do Not Disturb” to enjoy a quiet evening away from her electronics.

“When I turned it on Monday morning, I had 15 texts that read from, ‘Are you okay?’ to ‘I’m out!’ ‘Hope you are up and aware.’ And, finally, one that simply said, ‘Fire,’” she says. “I walked to the front door, looked outside, and it looked like the eastern horizon was on fire. All of it.”

Then came the text that said: “We’re evacuating the barn.”

“I threw on my clothes and ran,” she recalls. “Driving to the barn was a blur, I couldn’t make a phone call, there was no internet, and the radio was saying Kmart was on fire. The only thing that made sense to my sleep-logged brain was terrorism. How could there be fire to the east and west of me? At that point, I realized I had no idea what was on fire, how I could get to the barn, and that I had also left my cat and house with no idea if they were in danger.”

On the morning of Oct. 9, the Tubbs fire spread quickly through Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, California, and had already devastated homes, reportedly traveling 12 miles in its first three hours. By day’s end hundreds of homes and businesses in the city would be destroyed and tens of thousands of people evacuated. As of Oct. 12, this fire alone had burned an estimated 2,834 homes and firefighters had it less than 40% contained...

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

DMSO (don’t you know) - Full Article

osted on September 1, 2017 by Doctor Ramey in Drugs and Medications, General Information, Lameness, Lameness Therapeutics, Medicine
DMSO is the much quicker and easier way to say, “Dimethyl sulfoxide.” About that, pretty much everyone agrees. It goes downhill from there.

Although it was first synthesized way back in 1866 by a Russian scientist, DMSO first started being touted in medicine in the 1960s, I remember first hearing about DMSO in the 1970s. In fact, I remember hearing about it on a “60 Minutes” program, on a Sunday evening. Here’s the introduction, featuring the late, great Mike Wallace.


QUICK ASIDE: This whole DMSO thing had a bit of a culty feel to it. There were charges about the “medical establishment” keeping DMSO under wraps, of wanting to suppress a miracle cure, and that sort of thing. That was about 50 years ago, and now you can pick it up at tack stores. In what may not come as a great surprise, Jacob Lab still sells the stuff, too. (Dr. Jacob passed away in 2015, at the age of 91.)

I recall being swept up in all of this enthusiasm. In fact, as a student, I – apparently much less worried about nuances such as science and proof – was fairly certain that all of my teachers in veterinary school had missed the boat when it came to treating tendon injuries in horses. All I thought you had to do was rub DMSO on them, and, “poof,” the inflammation in the tendon would be gone and the tendon would be better. Naivete is a wonderful thing when it comes to promoting therapies.


DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide, which is also the last time that I am going to type this out) comes from a substance found in wood. It’s a by-product of paper making. DMSO is an organic compound – that is, it contains carbon – that also contains sulfur. It’s colorless, but definitely not odorless. It’s been used as a solvent since the mid-19th century, and it can dissolve many other substances: in the case of DMSO, a whole lot of other substances, such as herbicides, fungicides, plant hormones, and even some antibiotics. It also mixes well with many other substances, which is one reason why it gets mixed into so many substances.


Two things, mostly. First, since sometime in the mid-20th century, researchers have explored its use as an anti-inflammatory agent. It’s also sometimes used to try to increase the body’s absorption of other medications. Which means:

1. People slap the stuff into or onto horses that have any condition of which inflammation can be a component (which are many), and,
2. People frequently mix the stuff with other medications in hopes that you can get more medicine into the horse, particularly when those medicines are applied to the skin...

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Friday, October 20, 2017

New Zealand: Those Arabian Days Stories

2 October 2017
Story, photos and video by Kendall Szumilas

I went across the world, on my own, to live with a stranger I’ve never met.

I’ve always been curious of what lies outside my little town in Maine, and this sense of curiosity led me to another quiet town on the South Island of New Zealand, Gore.

Another fact about myself is that I enjoy saving money. Yes, I know, this trait is a hard one to stay loyal to, especially when working with horses.

However, I found ways. I found out about a program called WWOOFing. The acronym stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. I could discuss the whole process of how the site works, but in order to avoid boredom, I will keep it short.

Basically, you work on farms in exchange for free accommodation and food. The site allows you to find and interact with hosts.
I cheated a little bit, and keyword searched the word “horse”.

Raking weeds for 5 months didn’t sound so appealing, so I filtered those right out. By doing this, I found a wonderful stranger.

His name is Trevor Copland, owner of Cosy Dell Arabians. Little did I know, this stranger would shape my life, and my understanding of horses greatly.

I was scared, nervous, and questioning my decision to go to the farthest possible point from home. This all disappeared seconds after meeting Trevor. He picked me up from the airport smiling and barefoot. Quite honestly, he seemed more like family. Upon arrival, I thought I would be helping at a barn, similar to how the American equine industry works. It was entirely different. The Arabians ran freely, on many hectares of land. I also believed I would be handling, for lack of a better word, “normal” horses. However, these horses were special...

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How you feed hay can have a major influence on your horse’s wellbeing - Full Article

October 20, 2017

The behaviour and welfare of stabled horses can be drastically changed by the way in which they are offered their hay, researchers have found.

The study team in France found that the way in which hay is fed not only had the potential to influence behaviour and welfare, but the horse-human relationship.

Researchers Céline Rochais, Séverine Henry and Martine Hausberger set out to examine how different devices for feeding roughage affected horse behaviour.

Their study involved the observation of 24 geldings and 14 mares at the French National Stud in Saumur, each housed in 3-metre by 3-metre straw-bedded stalls. Each stall had an automatic drinker and each horse received commercial pellets, distributed by an automatic feeder. The horses each received a daily ration of 9 kilograms of hay.

The researchers, writing in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, noted that devices such as hay-nets/bags and “slow-feeders” had been developed in a bid to increase the time horses spent feeding on roughage, mimicking their natural grazing behaviour...


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Why We Love Endurance Riding - Full Article

18 Oct 2017
By Andreia Marques

Endurance riding is not for the faint of heart. But there is so much more about this sport than meets the eye. In this article, we will explore a little about the trails and rewards of endurance horse riding, and what it takes to go on and do it.

Why We Love Endurance Riding
What we know as endurance riding (or endurance horse riding) is new, as a sport, but its roots go far back in time. The sport began in the United States, but the source of inspiration lies elsewhere — European military. In special, the Russian and Polish cavalry.

The history of endurance horse riding
Before it was a sport, it was a means to an end. Ever since humans first domesticated the horse, one of the main purposes behind it was transportation. From nomads travelling commercial routes to the Pony Express, the need to cross long distances is what made horses useful in the first place. Before automobiles and railroads, the horse (and the camel) was the only way to travel long distances on land.

It is because of this that breeds such as the Arabian and the Akhal-Teke exist. In a time before trucks and veterinary science, this ensured the horses could live to ride for a long time in harsh conditions. Desert races still exist in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Like a great many other horseback riding sports, endurance riding as a sport began as a military exercise. Before, it was a way to test the conditions and capabilities of horses for war — an equally dangerous, demanding arena for horses. Then, it began as a challenge among military officials, and eventually between the cavalry of different countries.

In the Americas, several challenges and trail races, some practical and some not, appeared around the 1800s...

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Electrolytes and Muscle Function: What's the Connection? - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · September 27, 2017

Electrolytes are necessary for normal muscle contraction and relaxation. “When electrolytes become depleted or imbalanced, fatigue and muscle cramps can result,” says Catherine Whitehouse, M.S., a nutritionist with Kentucky Equine Research (KER).

Muscles contract with the help of an electrical charge. This contraction, in physiological terms, is called an action potential and is essential to create movement. Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals that facilitate action potentials. Electrolytes can carry a positive (cation) or negative (anion) charge, and dissolve in body water to create a solution that can conduct electricity, although the solution itself is electrically neutral. Sodium is the major cation found outside of cells, while potassium is the primary cation found inside of cells, along with calcium and magnesium. Major anions in the body include chloride, bicarbonate, and phosphates. The body tightly regulates the concentration of each electrolyte. Because electrolytes help conduct electrical charges, balance is a key component of proper muscle function.

A horse’s sweat is heavily concentrated with electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium). For this reason, heavily sweating horses lose substantial amounts of electrolytes during prolonged exercise. If losses are great enough, a disruption in the balance of electrical charge both inside and outside of a muscle cell can upset normal contraction and relaxation processes...

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hagyard Equine Medical Institute Releases Study on Gastric Ulceration

October 18 2017

Lexington, KY –– Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, the oldest and one of the largest private equine veterinary facilities in the world, submitted a study that was peer reviewed and published in the March 2017 Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, showing treatment with a polysaccharide blend reduced gastric ulceration in active horses.

Ten horses underwent gastroscopy for diagnosis and scoring of existing ulcers. For the duration of the study, each participant was administered 1 to 2 ounces of a polysaccharide blend. The study reveals that a polysaccharide blend of high-molecular-weight hyaluronan and schizophyllan, a beta-glucan, administered daily for 30 days demonstrates ulcerative healing.

Of the horses treated with the blended therapy, 90% showed complete resolution and/or improvement in ulcerative areas, increased appetite, weight gain, and positive behavioral changes. The study suggests that a polysaccharide blend represents a novel means to enhance gastric healing in the active horse. The study’s long-term results could be impactful to the entire equine community, giving horse owners and veterinarians an all-natural alternative to current therapies.

“Ulcers can be found in as many as 80-100% of horses," said Dr. Nathan Slovis of the McGee Medical Center, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, "Our objective in this research was to determine whether a natural treatment would help in the healing process. From the data gathered, we were able to determine that horses can be successfully treated with a naturally safe and effective polysaccharide blend of hyaluronan and schizophyllan."

Since its inception in 1876, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute has been at the forefront of equine medicine. Its reputation is built, in part, on a continued effort to increase veterinary knowledge and thereby improve the state-of-the-art treatments and surgeries offered to its diverse equine clientele which represent international breeding operations, world-renowned racehorses as well as performance and pleasure horses.

For more information on this unique polysaccharide blend, call 859-685-3709 or visit

About Hagyard Equine Medical Institute

With more than 50 veterinarians and 141 years behind it, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute is the oldest and one of the largest private equine veterinary practices in the world. Based in Lexington, Kentucky, the institute offers a staff with qualifications unparalleled by any single non-university veterinary group in the equine industry, with 13 board certifications in specialty areas of Medicine, Surgery, Critical Care and Theriogenology. The facility, located across the street from the Kentucky Horse Park, boasts superior ambulatory services, the world-renowned Davidson Surgery Center, McGee Medicine and Fertility Centers, Hagyard Laboratory, Hagyard Sports Medicine & Podiatry Center, hyperbaric medicine facilities and equine rescue services. For more information, please visit

Monday, October 16, 2017

Iggy is a Millennial — and other anthropomorphic theories - Full Story

by Patti Stedman | Oct 16, 2017 | Patti's Blog

[Warning: This blog is full of smarm and stereotypes. I won’t apologize for that because, as those who know me in real life would likely confess, I am a wee bit cheeky that way.]

A week or so ago I found myself with a day with no client meetings and a forecast that screamed for an autumn ride.

So off we went to Allegany State Park with Iggy and Sarge, with Richard hoping to get in his last hilly, fast conditioning ride before Fort Valley, and me, it was less about seeking a conditioning goal with Iggy than attempting to find a common ground.

We climbed up Trail 1 together and I sent Richard off to do his own loop, planning to meet up again in an hour or so after a workout that was more in tune with the fitness level and psyche of our mounts.

I’ve only had Iggy about six months. In July, he turtled the Moonlight in Vermont 50. And since then, we’ve hit a stalemate in our relationship, some push/pull which I’m trying to figure out, inclined as I am to believe that horses are in many ways like jigsaw puzzles, some complex and with a million pieces, others designed for toddlers, with primary colors and only a dozen or so pieces.

Yesterday, as we walked along, just the two of us, I decided that our misunderstandings were much like a ‘generation gap...’

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103 Years Ago this Month, America’s Horses and Mules Began their One-Way Journey to the Battlefields of World War One

October 12 2017

Brooke USA’s Horse Heroes Campaign is Remembering Those Animals by Helping Today’s Working Equines

Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 12, 2017 – This year marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entering World War One. For three years prior to that, America’s horses and mules were being shipped to England and on to France and other countries for the war effort, the first having left the shores of the U.S. 103 years ago this month. Brooke USA’s Horse Heroes campaign is honoring the memory of those American war horses by raising funds to improve the welfare of working horses, donkeys, and mules around the world.

Once purchased for the war effort, America’s horses and mules endured a strenuous journey that included traveling to a seaport and shipping in cargo holds across the Atlantic. After several weeks at sea, the animals were admitted to quarantine upon arriving in England. They were shod and kept at remount stations to recover from their trips overseas before they began their formal training as war horses.

The contributions of equines in World War One were immeasurable, and the number of equine lives lost was just as significant. Equines were a crucial part of the war effort, as they carried soldiers into battle and injured men to safety. Horses also hauled military supplies such as medicine, food, water, ammunition, guns and other necessary resources to the front lines. The horrific smells, sounds, and sights, and the suffering that they endured alongside their soldiers can only be imagined.

Sadly, most of the horses and mules who survived the war were later sold for slaughter or hard labor in the foreign countries where they served. As a result, Dorothy Brooke, the wife of a British Army officer stationed in Cairo, began her lifelong mission to rescue these equine war heroes, and start the organization that is now the world’s largest international equine welfare charity, Brooke.

Today more than 100 million horses, donkeys, and mules in the developing world have similar jobs and suffer similar fates as yesterday’s war horses as they labor to provide a livelihood for 600 million of the world’s poorest people. The majority of these equines experience chronic suffering and early mortality rates. Exhaustion, dehydration, crippling injuries, lameness, and disease take their toll on nearly 80 percent of working equines in the developing world.

Brooke USA’s Horse Heroes campaign, an official Centennial Partner of the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission, will fund equine welfare programs to assist many of those animals and families. To date the campaign has raised nearly $900,000 toward their goal of one million dollars – one dollar in memory of each of America’s horses and mules who served in World War I.

From now through the end of the year, each Horse Heroes donor of $250 or more will receive the book, “Warrior: The Amazing Story of a Real War Horse,” by General Jack Seely, with illustrations by Sir Alfred Munnings.

For more information, please go to

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Keeping Rodents Out of Your Feed Room - Full Article

By Clair Thunes, PhD
Oct 9, 2017

As an equine nutritionist who visits lots of feed rooms, I come in to contact with my fair share of rodents. At one large facility that backed a stream I came within three feet of several large rats snacking in the feed room. I didn’t seem to bother them at all, and the barn cat who was sunning himself in the doorway seemed to have decided they had him out numbered.

With cold weather coming and native food sources becoming scarce, the attraction of food and bedding provided by our feed and tack rooms makes these unwanted guests almost a given. However, there are several important reasons why you should not accept the presence of these critters in your feed rooms.

The No. 1 reason is disease. Rodents are known to carry several diseases transferable to both horses and humans. Their feces and urine can contaminate feed with diseases such as salmonella, leptospirosis, and trichinosis. Rodents also carry fleas, mites, and ticks...

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Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Shagya-Arabians Serving Their Country for Over 200 Years

September 29 2017

The Shagya-Arabian was started in 1789 when the Hungarian military set out to develop a new breed of horse that combined the very best of Bedouin Arabians -- elegance, endurance, hardiness, athleticism, temperament, and devotion to their rider -- with larger size, jumping ability, and riding ease to master the rigors and versatility of a cavalry horse. Over the centuries a conscious breeding program and inspections have ensured that the Shagya-Arabians stayed true to their original intent. Two of our PShR Shagya-Arabians demonstrate this commitment and continuity by serving as a mounted police horse and a Calvary mount in a Revolutionary War reenactment.

Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry member Steve Boles started his mare LRC Seredy in Revolutionary War Reenactments as part of the 3td Continental Light Dragoon. When asked how LRC Seredy took to the job Boles commented “I felt she would be a good candidate because of her calm and willing attitude, steadiness, and courage to tackle new challenges. These are traits very true to the Shagya-Arabian breed.” Boles also mentioned that “Seredy has only just begun her new career as a cavalry mount but has shown that she can handle the stress and actually seems to enjoy it. I am excited about how she has taken to the loud gun and cannon fire, the crowds of people watching and moving about the battlefield, and drilling in close contact with other strange horses.”

Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry member Becky McCarthy currently utilizes her horse WineGlass Dominus or “Dommy” as a part of the mounted police auxiliary. Dommy has served for 5 years as part of the auxiliary and has proved his value with crowd control and public relations. McCarthy remembers when the auxiliary was asked to break up a fight at a fairgrounds. “The officers on the ground could not break up the fight due to the number of people and the gathering crowd. My partner and I were able to move the crowd to allow the officers on the ground to do their job. Dommy was a true rock star and was very steady handling the crowd.” McCarthy shares that “the public respects the size of the horse and most want to pet them which is great public relations. Dommy always stands like a rock even with children climbing all over and under him.”

When asked what he thought made the Shagya-Arabian still the perfect horse for the job Boles stated that “the Shagya-Arabian has stamina, heart, and movement for this type of work. Their bodies are very durable with size and bone. They handle new things with intelligence. They are gentle in stressful situations and learn quickly. The Shagya-Arabian has proven to me they are a talented and delightful horse to work with in whatever you choose to do.” McCarthy has similar sentiments and states that “Dommy has an amazing temperament and truly does his best no matter what I ask of him. Shagya-Arabians have good size for this type of work. They have super minds and always try to do what the rider is asking.”

About Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry

The Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry was established to ensure the integrity and legacy of the Shagya-Arabian bred horses in North America. To accomplish these goals the organization holds regular breed inspections and utilizes performance testing in compliance with internationally established criteria for all horses in the registry. For more information on the Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry and our horses please visit our website

For More Information and Photos
Contact: Nicole Mauser-Storer

Sunday, October 01, 2017

How Horse Personality Impacts Learning - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA
Sep 21, 2017

When your horse responds to your cues, is it because he knows a reward is coming afterward (like a treat or a release of pressure)? Or is it because he recognizes the cue and knows that when he gets that cue, he’s just supposed to respond with a certain action?

This might sound like cognition nit-picking, but it’s actually a very important question when it comes to the way your horse learns. The first case is what scientists call “goal-directed” learning—it means horses will adjust their actions according to whether that reward keeps coming regularly. The second case is called “habit-directed” learning. Horses that tend toward habit-directed learning are more likely to just keep doing what they’ve been taught to do, regardless of whether that reward keeps coming...

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