Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Closer Look at the Normal Asil Arabian Hoof - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA
Dec 27, 2017

Recent study results indicate that Arabian horses are prone to developing equine metabolic syndrome and, subsequently, laminitis. But subtle hoof morphology changes usually happen before a horse becomes lame. So it’s useful to know the difference between what’s normal and not normal.

That’s why Iranian researchers decided to go back—way back—in the breed. Specifically, they turned to the “original” Arabian horse, what they call the “Asil Arabian.” Distinguished as the purest of purebred Arabians, the Asil, or Iranian, Arabian breed dates back 5,000 years. It was to this pure-origin breed that scientists turned when they decided to truly understand what’s “normal” Arabian foot morphology...

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'Flying horse' to be born in Argentina by 2019 - Full Article

Armed with genetically altered embryos, scientists all set to produce cloned 'Dolly' of horse

By Soorya Kiran NN
December 31, 2017 01:02 +08

Flying horse is limited to fairy tales or epics but soon a super jumper horse will be born with tweaks in its DNA being undertaken by an Argentine biotech firm, which has already achieved a breakthrough in cloning polo ponies.

These genetically engineered super horses will be faster, stronger and high and far jumpers as scientists were able to use a powerful DNA editing technique called 'Crispr' to redesign the genomes of cloned horses.

Crispr, the short form of 'clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats', is a technique where a hybrid of protein and ribonucleic acid (RNA) works as an efficient hunt-and-cut system. Pioneered by molecular biologists Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, the technique could work well in animals, including humans, to carry out genome editing.

The horse genome's 32 pairs of chromosomes, written in 2.7  billion base pairs of DNA, were sequenced and published in 2009 and now the team of scientists from Khairon Biotech, a specialist equine cloning facility in Buenos Aires, have successfully worked on boosting the myostatin gene sequence which is crucial to muscle development, endurance and galloping speed of the best breed of horse. Armed with healthy embryos already, they are planning to implant one into a surrogate mother within two years...

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Sport horses with genetic edits will be with us soon, say researchers - Full Article

December 28, 2017

A leading horse-cloning company has raised the prospect of using gene-editing to produce horses with superior athletic ability.

Argentina-based Kheiron Biotech says it has been able to produce genetically engineered embryos for the first time, using a gene-editing system known as CRISPR-Cas9.

The use of the technology would allow the creation of equine clones with improved genetic make-up, it said, and “accelerate genetic evolution in sports animals”.

The work was conducted by scientists from Kheiron working with the Fleni Foundation. Their findings will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Cloning And Stem Cells.

“This technology brings additional progress in horse breeding,” Kheiron founder Daniel Sammartino said. “It could be possible to achieve better horses in less time...


Equine Thermography - Full Article

By Joanna L. Robson, DVM, CVSMT, CVA, CSFT, CIT
Nov 25, 2017

Comparing parts left-to-right is key to interpreting images, with the horse as its own control.
Photo: Joanna L. Robson, DVM, CVSMT, CVA, CSFT, CIT

Thermography presents a noninvasive, safe, and cost-effective diagnostic imaging modality (on average, $350 for a whole horse scan and interpretation) that is a valuable complementary tool in equine health care. As with other technologies, we are seeing considerable advancements in thermographic cameras’ resolution and user-friendliness, along with significant decreases in physical size and initial purchase costs. As thermography gains popularity and interest, it is tremendously important that veterinarians, technicians, and horse owners understand the advantages this physiologic imaging tool offers, as well as its limitations.

The first step in understanding what thermography can and can’t do is learning the difference between anatomic and physiologic imaging...

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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Heated Water Trough Safety - Full Article

By Clair Thunes, PhD
Dec 25, 2017

Last week I shared with you several tips on how to keep your water troughs ice-free. Later that day I came across the following images and a story that I think we can all learn from.

When I’m taking a break between tasks I scroll through my Facebook feed to see what is going on in the world. This time of year it is filled with seasonal posts of peoples horses, barn parties, their families and, of course, cat videos. However last Monday I saw the image above. At first I couldn’t figure exactly what it was, but it was looked vaguely familiar and, at the same time, unrecognizable.

I read the accompanying post and did a double take. It was the image of a melted rubber water trough. Given the commentary I had just written and the fact that I had included trough heaters I wanted to know more. I had heard of horses being shocked drinking from toughs with electric heaters that are not correctly grounded, but I had never seen nor heard of a trough melting!

The trough belongs to Charish Arthur, a United States Dressage Federation silver medalist and former long-time American Riding Instructors Association certified instructor, who came home last Saturday evening every horse owner’s nightmare:...

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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Study Confirms Common Shoeing Interval Benefits Horses - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA
Nov 15, 2017

If you’re shoeing every four to six weeks, science says you’re on the right track. According to recent study results, that historic four- to six-week interval aligns perfectly with what’s going on physiologically within the horse’s hoof.

“We might have known the ideal or optimum interval time between trimming and shoeing for a long time, but only more recently has science enabled us to better understand why,” said Kirsty Lesniak, SFHEA, PGCHE, MSc, BSc (Hons), a senior lecturer of equine science and equine postgraduate program manager at Hartpury College University Centre, in the U.K.

In their study, Lesniak and colleagues compared 17 hoof length and angle measurements from 26 predominantly stabled riding horses of mixed breed, age, and height. They took the measurements before and after farriery, following a four- to six-week period of growth since the last farrier treatment.

During that period, the hoof grew such that the angles began to change, which could negatively impact soundness, Lesniak said. If left untrimmed, that hoof growth and angle change could result in the heels and back of the hoof becoming loaded with too much weight. However, farriery work in this population of horses maintained healthy angles when performed within four to six weeks...

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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Senate Calls for 'Politically Viable' Wild Horse Solutions - Full Article

By Pat Raia
Nov 27, 2017

The U.S. Senate's proposed spending bill for fiscal 2018 calls for the Department of the Interior (DOI) to explore “politically viable” options for maintaining wild horse herds under Bureau of Land Management (BLM) jurisdiction.

The legislation differs from a budget bill passed in July by the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee that some wild horse advocates believe would ultimately allow the sale of unwanted mustangs for slaughter.

Released on Nov. 20 by the Senate's Appropriations Committee, the proposed $32.6 billion DOI fiscal 2018 budget allocates $1.23 billion for the BLM, $16 million below the enacted amount enacted for fiscal 2017.

The measure also contains a so-called explanatory statement from the Committee's chairman that calls for “a range of humane and politically viable options” to put the wild horse and burro program “on a path to sustainability...”

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Jaguar Health and Dubai-based Seed Mena Enter Collaboration Agreement for Equilevia, Jaguar’s Personalized, Premium Product for Total Gut Health and Wellness in Horses - Full Article

December 14, 2017 10:09 AM Eastern Standard Time

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jaguar Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAGX) (Jaguar), a natural-products pharmaceuticals company focused on developing and commercializing novel, sustainably derived gastrointestinal products for both human prescription use and animals on a global basis, announced today that it has entered into a collaboration agreement (the Agreement) with Seed Mena Businessmen Services LLC (SEED) for Equilevia™, Jaguar’s non-prescription, personalized, premium product for total gut health in equine athletes. Based in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), SEED is affiliated with Seed Group, a diversified group of companies under the umbrella of The Private Office of His Royal Highness Sheikh Saeed Bin Ahmed Al Maktoum establishing strategic partnerships with multinational companies from around the globe in an aim to leverage Seed Group’s network to support potential business expansion in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.

Equilevia™ contains ingredients isolated and purified from the medicinal Croton lechleri tree, which is sustainably harvested from the rainforest. Equilevia™ acts locally in the gut. Gut health is of critical importance in competitive horses, as conditions such as ulcers can meaningfully impair equine athlete performance, and colic can lead to the death of an otherwise healthy horse in a matter of hours. According to a third-party 2005 study, as many as 55% of performance horses have both colonic and gastric ulcers, and 97% of performance horses have either a gastric (87%) or a colonic (63%) ulcer.1

“In the Gulf economies, the traditional hobbies of local populations have become widespread activities—and nowhere is this more true than for horses, an age-old passion of the region’s Bedouin tribes. The modernization of the competitive equine industry in the UAE has mirrored the development of the nation, and the country has become a global leader in horse racing, equine endurance competitions, and other equine athletic activities,” commented Mohammed Al Banna, Senior Director, International Ventures at Seed Group. “We look forward to capitalizing on SEED’s network and contacts in the private and public sector in the UAE as part of our strategic partnership with Jaguar to drive improved gut health management in these exquisite athletes through Equilevia™ awareness and sales in the region...”

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Study: Some Endurance Horses Lacking in Lameness Care - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA
Dec 13, 2017

Lameness is the No. 1 health issue affecting endurance horses across England and Wales. But recent study results suggest that nearly half of those lameness cases are never treated by a veterinarian.

“If an endurance horse goes lame, owners should get the lameness investigated as soon as possible to allow timely diagnosis, targeted treatment, and hopefully earlier return to work,” said Annamaria Nagy, DrMedVet, PhD, Dipl. ACVSMR, FRCVS, of the Animal Health Trust (AHT) Centre for Equine Studies, in Newmarket, U.K.

Nagy worked with fellow researchers Sue Dyson, MA, Vet MB, PhD, DEO, FRCVS, head of clinical orthopedics at the AHT, and Jane K. Murray, BScEcon, MSc, PhD, of the University of Bristol School of Veterinary Science. They reviewed questionnaires completed by endurance riders about veterinary problems. Results showed that 80% of the 190 horses ridden by the respondents had a lameness issue affect their endurance career. More than half had been lame within the last year...

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Beating Botulism in Horses - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · October 16, 2017

Botulism, the bad boy of the equine toxin world, can kill horses and foals swiftly. As one of the most potent toxins known to affect horses (yes, even more toxic than snake and spider venom, arsenic, and mercury), botulism causes death almost undoubtedly unless affected animals receive the botulism endotoxin and aggressive supportive care. Want to do everything possible to prevent botulism and safeguard your steeds? Review this list to learn how, bearing in mind most of this particular article refers to forage poisoning rather than the less common shaker foal syndrome and wound contamination.

Feed and forage selection. Many cases of botulism occur after ingestion of the toxin from feed. The bacterium Clostridium botulinum (from decomposing small animal carcasses trapped in hay bales, for example) produces toxins, labeled A through H, which horses may ingest. Type B botulism occurs most frequently in adult horses, but horses and foals can also suffer from types A and C.

“Following ingestion, the toxin quickly blocks the junction between nerves and muscle. As a result, horses rapidly lose the ability to swallow, stand, and void their urinary bladder,” explained Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a Kentucky Equine Research (KER) nutritionist...

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Saturday, December 09, 2017

Endurance and Conscious Competence (Updated 12/07/2017!) - Full Article

by Patti Stedman | Nov 19, 2014

[Update added 12/07/2017 —

I wrote this blog just a bit over three years ago, after teaching and co-teaching a series of Endurance 101 and Beyond the Basics Clinics all over the Northeast Region. Dinah Rojek — who graciously hosted and co-taught one of the clinics — and I had a long discussion on this topic over a cup of tea, or maybe it was a glass of red wine. I recall sharing both! Since we’re both teachers, we are fascinated with the psychology of learning. That’s what inspired this blog.

Since that time, we developed Endurance Essentials, a web-based version of the Endurance 101 Clinic, which is both basic and deceptively complex, breaking down complicated concepts into simple building blocks. The learners who have tested and taken the course have given it rave reviews. However, it has not been the tremendous hit we had hoped it would be, not in terms of sign ups, although if you counted Facebook “likes” we would be a best seller.

I’m somewhat perplexed as to why, but as one very successful business man and endurance rider told me when I shared with him our plans for — “I think it’s a great idea, Patti, but never forget that horsepeople are incredibly thrifty, particularly when it comes to spending on education.” So I was forewarned.

Still, for us this is a Passion Project, and most of the cost investment (outside of the LMS and software and insurance and such) is time time time. So we spend it as we have it...

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Thursday, December 07, 2017

US Compounding, a Subsidiary of Adamis Pharmaceuticals, Develops a Unique Compound to Manage Ulcers in Horses - Full Article

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 06, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ:ADMP) (“Adamis”) today announced that its subsidiary, US Compounding, has developed a unique compound to manage ulcers in horses. Ulcers are common in the majority of horses that are subject to stress. Examples of horses under stress include race horses, endurance horses, dressage horses, hunters, jumpers, 3-day eventers and any type of rodeo horse. In general, horses that are in active training tend to have a prevalence of ulcers in the range of 90 to 95%. Historically, ulcers have been known to negatively affect feeding habits and performance on the track.

A study, utilizing US Compounding’s unique drug formulation, was conducted in approximately 50 race horses. Gastric endoscopy was performed at day 0 and any time between days 14 and 21. Drug was administered after the first endoscopy as a paste given orally for 30 days. Endoscopic improvement was seen as early as 14 days. In greater than 95% of the horses the ulcers were shown to be clinically healed, as confirmed by endoscopy, with a reduction in gastric ulcer recovery times. A patent application covering this unique compounded product has been filed by the Company. In addition, a manuscript is in preparation...

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Monday, December 04, 2017

Pride, Passion and Palestinian Horses - Listen to the report

2 December 2017

In the West Bank hundreds of families share a passion for breeding horses. Amid the narrow streets and cramped apartment buildings small stables can be found with owners grooming beautiful Arabian colts and fillies. These new breeders are now making their mark at Israeli horse shows where competition to produce the best in breed is intense. As Palestinian and Israeli owners mingle on the show ground, political differences are put to one side as they share a passion for the Arabian horse.

For Assignment, Linda Pressly follows one Palestinian owner and his colt as they navigate their way through Israeli checkpoints to the next big event in the Israeli Kibbutz of Alonim. Winning best in show is the plan but will they even get there?

Estelle Doyle producing


Alfalfa: When Is It the Right Choice for Horses? - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · March 14, 2014

When the word “alfalfa” is bandied about among horsemen, most immediately think of high-quality forage, a vividly green, sweet-smelling, leafy legume. Like all forages, though, not all alfalfa (lucerne) is grown, cured, or harvested identically, which makes the hay’s ultimate quality variable.

Differences in growing conditions and harvesting methods impact nutritional quality. Alfalfa hay can be off-colored, dusty, moldy, or weed-ridden, just as any grass hay might be. Therefore, it important to carefully evaluate any alfalfa hay intended for horses. If you are uncomfortable with this task, drag along an experienced hay buyer when it comes time to fill the hay-mow.

Most people can distinguish high-quality hay because its color is often bright and the smell is sweet and pure. An experienced cohort will help you choose between alfalfa that is likely rich in energy and nutrients, and alfalfa that is inferior in one way or another. Word of caution: do not let color be the only determining factor. Alfalfa hay does not need to be fluorescent green to be appropriate for horses. Good-quality hay comes in all shades of green. Forage testing by an accredited laboratory can reveal the nutrient composition of the forage and is the best measure of adequacy for horses.

Which horses benefit most from the inclusion of alfalfa hay in their diets?...

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Sunday, December 03, 2017

Are You Riding a Lame Horse? - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA
Nov 20, 2017

Would you knowingly ride a lame horse? Few people would, yet in a recent study, scientists found that nearly three-fourths of study horses had significant motion asymmetry, confirmed by motion analysis. Every one of those horses was being ridden regularly. And according to their owners, they were sound.

“It’s important to educate riders and trainers in visual lameness assessment to detect changes in their horses´ motion symmetry (early),” said Marie Rhodin, PhD, of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, in Uppsala...

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A Window Into Your Horse's Sole - Full Article

By Heather Smith Thomas
Nov 29, 2017

If you're lucky, your horse has been blessed with thick soles; if not, here's how to manage his feet to help keep him sound.

A thick, strong sole on a horse’s foot lays the foundation for soundness. Too-thin soles can’t support the structures above them, potentially leading to hoof wall flares, distortions, and imbalances. These horses are also more likely to have poor hoof conformation and are more susceptible to bruising, tenderness, and even navicular issues and arthritis. And if they do develop a hoof condition, particularly one as serious as laminitis, they’re usually more challenging to ­rehabilitate.

In this article two veterinarians and a farrier will describe sole quality and management methods...

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Saturday, December 02, 2017

Back Country Horsemen of America Makes Christmas Wishes Come True

December 1 2017
by Sarah Wynne Jackson

As one of the largest contributors of volunteer trail service in the nation, it seems that Back Country Horsemen of America members have earned a breather for the holidays. But these folks know that not everyone can afford a happy Christmas. They partner with businesses and charity organizations in their area to make the season bright in their own, friendly Back Country Horsemen way.

Horses Only!

The Northwest Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of New Mexico participates in the Corrales Christmas de Los Caballos Toys for Tots Parade. This equines-only event in the village of Corrales collects food and toys for Marines to give to local families who might otherwise go without at Christmastime. The parade typically features close to 100 horses, including some pulling carriages. To the delight of spectators, horses and riders dress in festive seasonal costumes.

People and Pets

Members of the Squaw Butte Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Idaho bring food donations to their annual Christmas party. Last year, chapter members brought so much that they delivered 259 pounds of food items to the Emmett Valley Friendship Coalition. The EVFC services Gem County residents by providing a weekly dinner, a food pantry, and Christmas Cheer food baskets and toy distribution.

Because most horse lovers are also pet lovers, the Squaw Butte Chapter also donated 150 pounds of pet food and supplies to the Pet Adoption League of Gem County. PAL’s promotes responsible pet ownership through education, helps return lost pets to their owners, and finds loving homes for pets that have none.

Right to Ride Representatives

The Front Range Back Country Horsemen Chapter of Colorado works throughout the seasons with the US Forest Service on various trail projects. The highlight of their year is performing ambassador patrol to families cutting their Christ­mas trees in an area near Buffalo Creek with a Forest Service permit. Chapter members dress themselves and their horses in holiday gear and ride around offering assistance with the family’s chosen tree.

The families love seeing the horses, and parents snap endless photos while the children reach out to touch the horses. Some of the children have never seen a horse in real life before. One year, a boy in a wheelchair asked to pat the horses, and his evident joy at doing that melted every member’s heart.

Fighting Hunger

The Redwood Unit of Back Country Horsemen of California partners with Food for People for the Cowboy Canned Food Convoy as part of the Hunger Fighter Chal­lenge in Eureka. One year they donated nearly 450 pounds of food, and last year 63,000 cans were donated. This event, now in its 11th year, is organized by the Redwood Unit and very popular with the public.

Share Your Christmas

Every year, the High Sierra Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Nevada participates in Share Your Christmas Food Drive, hosted by their local Channel 2 TV station. Members bring a non-perishable food item to every monthly chapter meeting throughout the year, and bring even more donations to their chapter Christmas party.

They typically donate several hundred pounds of food and always deliver it by pack string. A reporter from Channel 2 rides with the chapter on horseback and interviews members. The public loves seeing the horses, and children and adults alike always want their photos taken with them. Not only does this get food onto empty dinner tables, it’s a great way to educate folks about horses and the mission of Back Country Horsemen of America.

Give a Gift that Supports the Cause

If you’re looking for a unique gift that supports a valuable cause, take a look at BCHA’s logo merchandise. From, under the Resources tab, click Country Store. You’ll find the perfect gift for someone who has everything, including men’s and women’s denim shirts, water bottles, insulated lunch boxes, ball caps, safety vests, and even patches to add to your own clothing… all emblazoned with the recognizable logo of this highly respected service organization.

You can even buy someone special a gift membership or give a gift to BCHA in their name. At, look under the Get Involved tab to learn how.

About Back Country Horsemen of America

Back Country Horsemen of America wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season filled with peace.

BCHA is a non-profit corporation made up of state organizations, affiliates, and at-large members. Their efforts have brought about positive changes regarding the use of horses and stock in wilderness and public lands.

If you want to know more about Back Country Horsemen of America or become a member, visit their website:; call 888-893-5161; or write 342 North Main Street, West Hartford, CT 06117. The future of horse use on public lands is in our hands!