Saturday, April 21, 2018

Condition Your Horse Like a Pro

Thehorse.com - Full Article

How to help performance horses of all types reach peak fitness.


By Nancy S. Loving, DVM | Apr 17, 2018

That competitive edge. It might look different for different disciplines, but this intangible has its roots in the same concept: conditioning. In short, conditioning develops the musculoskeletal, neurologic, and cardiovascular systems so they can perform athletic endeavors with the greatest efficiency and the least stress on the body.

In this article we’ll learn how riders from different disciplines condition their horses. While there is no magic recipe fit for all equestrian sports, the basic principles of conditioning remain the same across the board.
The Basics

To get fit for competition, your horse needs to be “legged up,” which entails preparing the musculoskeletal system to withstand a certain amount of impact, speed, and duration of work. Then you build upon this foundation in a stepwise fashion, first increasing distance at the walk and trot and then increasing intensity to include canter/lope and gallop and/or incline work. The initial exercise demand (completed at the walk, trot, slow canter) is generally known as long, slow distance (LSD) training, and it develops the cardiovascular system and aerobic energy pathways to fuel the muscles.

Aerobic metabolism occurs when muscle cells use energy sources in the presence of oxygen. Higher intensity exercise, such as sprints, gallops, difficult hill climbs, or jumping efforts, requires rapid muscle metabolism that taps into other energy sources in the absence of oxygen.

Use a heart rate monitor to assess your horse’s progress in real time; heart rates between 130 and 150 beats per minute (bpm) indicate a range that will improve fitness.

Building on this LSD foundation, many riders integrate strength-training exercises (such as hill work) and interval training (IT) speed work into their conditioning program to stimulate anaerobic efforts. Interval training involves sprints over a defined distance and/or time. To reach a training effect that taps into anaerobic fuel sources, the horse’s heart rate must exceed 165 bpm for at least two minutes...

Read more here:
https://thehorse.com/110066/condition-your-horse-like-a-pro/

Friday, April 20, 2018

Did You Know: Equine Gastric Ulcers Impact Stride Length

Thehorse.com - Full Article

Reduced performance, including a shorter stride length, is likely a consequence of pain caused by equine gastric ulcers.

By Edited Press Release | Apr 8, 2018

No matter the discipline in which you compete, your horse’s stride length is important. Longer strides can mean faster times, bigger jumps, and prettier movement. To get that edge, horse owners often focus on conditioning and joint health. Another key area to focus on is digestive health, specifically with regard to equine gastric ulcers.

The way performance horses are commonly fed, along with the stress of training, showing and traveling, causes acid levels to rise past the glandular portion of the horse’s stomach, leading to ulcers. That pain from sores on the stomach wall can cause your horse’s performance to suffer. Two out of three performance horses have stomach ulcers, and a study has shown that horses with ulcers have a shorter stride length than those without.

“Reduced performance, including a shorter stride length, is likely a consequence of gastric pain caused by ulcers,” says Hoyt Cheramie, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, senior equine professional service veterinarian for Boehringer Ingelheim. “When we ask horses for precise athletic maneuvers—to run, jump, spin, and slide—if they have gastric discomfort, they aren’t going to be able perform as well.”

Preventing ulcers is the optimal way to ensure that they don’t inhibit performance. Omeprazole (a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved product is marketed as UlcerGard) inhibits acid production at the source—the proton pumps in the lower part of the stomach.

To prevent ulcers, in addition to omeprazole, Cheramie suggests feeding management changes when appropriate, such as increasing grazing time, using a slow-feed hay net, replacing calories from cereal grains with good-quality roughage or fat, and adding alfalfa to the diet.

Finding ways to increase stride length and ensure your horse is performing to the best of his ability is challenging enough. Don’t let equine gastric ulcers negatively affect performance. Keep digestive health and ulcer prevention a top priority.

More at:
https://thehorse.com/156998/did-you-know-equine-gastric-ulcers-impact-stride-length/

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Alfalfa for Endurance Horses?

KER.com

Question:
I manage endurance horses. I have experience using alfalfa during races, but I have been told to not use it between races, when I'm training, as it could cause metabolic problems. Can you please tell me your thoughts?

Answer:
Many performance horses benefit from alfalfa. The forage can be used successfully in endurance horses with some precautions.

At a competition, there is no better forage for endurance horses because of its palatability, high-calorie content, and nutrient profile. However, it is not usually fed to endurance horses as the only forage on a day-to-day basis...

Read more here:
https://ker.com/equinews/answer/alfalfa-endurance-horses/?platform=hootsuite

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Livestock ELD Waiver Extended to Sept. 30 with Spending Bill

Drovers.com - Full Article

Wyatt Bechtel
March 23, 2018

When President Trump signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill it also passed an extension on the electronic logging device (ELD) implementation for livestock haulers. The bill passed on March 23 included a mandate for livestock and insect haulers to have a delay until Sept. 30, 2018.

Like other delays to the ELD it is believed that granting more time for implementation by livestock haulers will allow truckers to get in compliance. The extension also gives the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) additional time to reevaluate the hours of service rule which have the potential to disrupt how livestock are hauled cross-country with new enforcement from the ELD...

Read more here:
https://www.drovers.com/article/livestock-eld-waiver-extended-sept-30-spending-bill

Windpuffs: Resolving a Common Swelling in Horses

Thehorse.com - Full Article

What prevention steps can I take for my horse’s rear leg swelling after exercise?

By Jean-Yin Tan, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM | Mar 28, 2018

Q. My 3-year-old mare’s rear legs swell around the tendon and fetlock area overnight after exercise. She is not lame or sore, but I have dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)/furacin (nitrofurazone) wrapped it when it swells. This worked the first time but now it just helps a little. Is this swelling common, what it could be, and are there any prevention steps I could take?

Madison Rostykus, via e-mail

A. Fluid-filled swellings in the rear aspect of the tendon/fetlock area—called “windpuffs,” or synovial effusion of the tendon sheath—are a common condition in horses. They result from inflammation of the digital flexor tendon sheath, the structure that encases the deep and superficial digital tendons that run from the back of the knee down to the fetlock.

There are two types of windpuffs: idiopathic (of unknown cause, but they do not cause any problems) and pathologic (caused by disease).

Horses most frequently develop idiopathic windpuffs, especially when swelling is evident on both sides of the tendon and bilaterally symmetrical in both hind limbs. Idiopathic windpuffs tend to be chronic and can be worse in horses with anatomical predispositions, such as club foot, and after exercise, due to stress placed on the tendons. Lameness is not a component of idiopathic windpuffs, and this condition is not associated with -disease...

Read more here:
https://thehorse.com/114978/windpuffs-resolving-a-common-swelling/

Budget Bill Nixes Horse Slaughter, Boosts HPA Enforcement

Thehorse.com - Full Article

The 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill will impact the horse industry in several ways.


By Pat Raia | Mar 26, 2018

Horse processing plants will remain shuttered, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) cannot sell wild horses without reservation, and the USDA Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) will receive additional funds to enforce the Horse Protection Act (HPA) under the 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill, which President Donald Trump signed into law on March 23.

Under the $1.3 billion measure, the USDA cannot use any of its funds to conduct horsemeat inspections processing plants, effectively preventing U.S. horse processing plant development.

The spending bill also forbids the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) BLM from selling wild horses and burros without reservation—that is, to any buyer—but allows the agency to transfer equids removed from the range to other federal state or local agencies to be sued as work animals.

“Any animal transferred loses its status as a wild free-roaming horse or burro,” the bill states...

Read more at:
https://thehorse.com/156678/budget-bill-nixes-horse-slaughter-boosts-hpa-enforcement/