Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Outback encounter questions all we know about horse shoes - Full Article

21st Mar 2018

IT WAS the last day of mustering at Mt Surprise Station in July 1983.

Sitting contently on the back on of his little Arab stock horse, waiting for a mob of cattle to come over the creek, Bill Diemling saw something that changed his life forever.

"Right to this day it is as clear in my mind as if it was yesterday.

"The picture I get, the feeling I get, it seemed to me it was almost a sign from heaven."

Down in the dirt before him, Mr Diemling noticed some horse footprints that caught his attention.

"It was something completely unlike anything I had ever seen before."

As a farrier who'd worked with horses all around the world, Mr Diemling thought he'd seen it all.

But these hoofprints - an impression left by wild brumbies - were unique.

"Everything I had seen up until that point had been from a domesticated background but those footprints were natural," he said.

"They were more spherical in shape, which was completely strange to me."

Intrigued, Mr Diemling took a plaster cast of the prints back to the United Kingdom where he lived, and began extensive research which led him to develop a revolutionary style of horse shoe based on the natural hooves of wild brumbies...

Read more here:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

In which I give tools to readers to evaluate endurance books

Haikufarm Blog - Full Article

"Fake news" isn't always about politics.
Sometimes it's about horses.

March 13, 2018
By Aarene Storms

I recently wrote an article for Endurance News magazine that included a list of books written about long distance riding. (I will publish the list here after EN prints the April issue), and was surprised at the number of books that have been published in the last few years.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised. When we were shopping Endurance 101 out to publishers in 2011 and 2012, this was the way a book got made: a publisher bought it from the author, and then published it, and then sent (some) money to the author.

Late in 2011, things began to change.

As a result of the economic downturn after 2008, mainstream publishers were buying fewer books.

At the same time, self-publishing suddenly got easier. Amazon and others made editing software readily available, and gave authors a platform to distribute work to the whole world.

There has always been a strong stigma attached to "vanity press" and "self-published" books. I learned in library school that self-published books were not good enough to be bought by a publishing house. They were (usually) poorly researched by (frequently) unqualified authors, (often) badly written, poorly (or not at all) edited for copy mistakes, had low (or no) standards for content, and were (cheaply) printed on substandard paper without regard to quality and practices that apply to proper books.

These stigmas are not always justified now. Lots of qualified authors (I am one of them) do the math and figure out that we can reach our audience just as well--sometimes better--without a mainstream publisher...and without a big publisher to share with, we can keep more of the (sometimes meager) profits.

Lots of authors (I am one of them) hire a copy editor, work with content fact-checkers, include professional photos for cover and interior illustration, and print on good paper stock with a sturdy binding.

It's a bucket-load of work to make a book properly, as Monica documented in her post.

I'm trying to be tactful when I say this:

Not everybody who writes and publishes a book does the work...

Read more here:

Pilot Study Addresses Effects of Rider Weight on Equine Performance - Full Article

Researchers found that if a rider is excessively heavy for a particular horse, equine performance can be negatively impacted.

By Edited Press Release | Mar 13, 2018

Results of a new pilot study on the effects of rider weight on equine performance show that high rider-to-horse body weight ratios can induce temporary lameness and discomfort. In simple terms, if the rider is excessively heavy for the horse in question it can have a negative impact on the performance of the horse.

Ultimately the study should help with the development of guidelines to help all riders assess if they are the right weight for the horse or pony they intend to ride to enhance both equine welfare and rider comfort and enjoyment.

“While all the horses finished the study moving as well as when they started, the results showed a substantial temporary effect of rider weight as a proportion of horse weight,” said study leader Sue Dyson, MA, Vet MB, PhD, DEO, FRCVS, head of Clinical Orthopaedics at the Animal Health Trust’s Centre for Equine Studies, in Newmarket, U.K.

“The results do not mean that heavy riders should not ride but suggest that if they do they should ride a horse of appropriate size and fitness, with a saddle that is correctly fitted for both horse and rider...

Read more here:

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Where the Wild Things Are - Full Article

February 28 2018
by Robert Eversole

As published in the Horsemen’s Corral Feb. 2018 issue.

Last August in Idaho a woman was attacked by a bear. For weeks afterward, local newspapers printed page upon page about the encounter, warning their readers that dangerous animals were prowling the countryside. What if you were planning a ride or a horse camping trip when you read about this attack? Would you stay home, take extra precautions, or venture elsewhere?

The great counterweight to the lure of the outdoors is the fear of the unknown. What if the weather turns for the worse? What if my horse acts up? What if I become lunch for a grizzly?

Here’s the hard truth. Most people spend entirely too much time and energy worrying about menacing—but low-chance threats like bears, cougars, and wolves, and not nearly enough thought concerning themselves with the dull and common dangers like bees, blisters, and hypothermia. To confirm this theory, take a quick test. How many times have you been mauled by a bear or a mountain lion? Now compare that figure with the number of times you’ve forgotten a piece of tack, dealt with an unruly horse, or encountered bees on a ride...

Read more here:

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Contemplating the Realities of 50 - Full Story

by Patti Stedman | Mar 3, 2018

I’m not talking about the fifty-mile distance, I’m talking about the half-century mark of longevity, the hallmark birthday when the AARP begins to send you postcards, the age at which (I read and now believe, based on a one-rat self study) women become invisible.

I hit the big 5-0 in July without much fanfare. Some time with family friends at my brother’s family pool, amazing margaritas with my bestie, no big whup. In a moment of vain frivolity, I got myself a set of eyelash extensions — Anita laughed in horror and told me it looked like spiders were crawling out of my eyes.

But there are some realities about this age, and some things which simply cannot be denied if you’re a Face Reality Head On type of girl.

• It is not untrue, that conventional wisdom about spending the first 50 years of your life accumulating stuff and the rest of your time on earth attempting to get rid of it. I rented a 30-yard roll off box this fall because I was suddenly overtaken by the need to purge items accumulated on our farm over the last twenty years. (Richard did not read this conventional wisdom. At nigh-unto-52, he is terribly attached to items like empty yogurt containers and a generator which is, as he describes it, “a piece of junk” and long-ago replaced by a newer one.)

• You really do find yourself with fewer effs to give, and look forward, in a very detached way, to having even fewer. It’s not that I’ve given up diplomacy entirely, but I no longer look inward to fix issues which are clearly not mine to fix. Sure, I circle the drain of self-doubt from time to time, but the self rescue has become quicker and easier.

• My seat, in so many ways, is not what it used to be. And let’s be frank, no one with any significant degree of horsemanship has ever described me as a “Velcro butt.” But somewhere between 25 and double that age, the ability to ride bravely through nonsense with a laugh and no heart-clutching fear has eroded to near non-existence. Two significant concussions from horses I would now consider “too much horse” and a recent ruptured neck disc diagnosis, and yep, I have dropped a category or two in the Risk Tolerance spectrum. (And see above, I give no effs about standing up and saying so.)

That leads me to this blog...

Read more here:

Friday, March 02, 2018

AHCF Announces Results of 2017 Economic Impact Study

February 28, 2018

(Washington, DC)- The American Horse Council Foundation (AHCF) is pleased to announce the results of its anticipated 2017 Economic Impact Study of the U.S. Horse Industry. The AHCF would like to thank The Innovation Group for their work on this important study.

The equine industry in the U.S. generates approximately $122 billion in total economic impact, an increase from $102 billion in the 2005 Economic Impact Study. The industry also provides a total employment impact of 1.74 million, and generates $79 billion in total salaries, wages, and benefits. The current number of horses in the United States also stands at 7.2 million. Texas, California, and Florida continue to be the top three states with the highest population of horses.

“Those involved in the equine industry already know how important it is to the U.S. economy. Having these updated numbers is critical not only to the AHC’s efforts up on Capitol Hill, but also for the industry to demonstrate to the general public how much of a role the equine has in American households,” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “While the number of horses in the US has decreased, this was not entirely unexpected due to the decline in breed registration trends over the last few years.”

Another bright spot for the industry: 38 million, or 30.5%, of U.S. households contain a horse enthusiast, and 38% of participants are under the age of 18. Additionally, approximately 80 million acres of land is reserved for horse-related activities.

“For this update of the study we wanted to get a better picture of the number of youth in the pipeline, which is a number that we have not previously included in our economic impact studies. Additionally, being able to put a number of the amount of land use for equine-related activities is essential to ensuring that we are able to continue to protect and preserve that land for its intended use,” said Ms. Broadway.

The National Economic Impact Study is available for purchase through the AHC website here: Additionally, the 15 state breakouts will be available for purchase by the beginning of April. If you have any questions, please contact the AHC at