Monday, May 21, 2018

Nutrition and Recovery for Eventing (and Other Hard-Working) Horses

Thehorse.com - Full Article

Restoring muscle glycogen, rehydrating, and ensuring a horse’s diet offers enough vitamin E all help with recovery after strenuous exercise.

By Clair Thunes, PhD | Apr 30, 2018

Q. I am an avid event rider and enjoyed watching the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event this past weekend. What kinds of nutritional support can you give horses competing in this level of competition to help them recover?

A. This is a great question. Any post-competition recovery effort starts with the base diet, which meet the horse’s daily requirements leading up to the competition. No long-term deficiency is going to get fixed in the short period during competition, so a balanced diet appropriate for the horse’s discipline and work level is crucial.

Part of that is ensuring the horse is getting the right kind of fuel to support the type of work that he’s asked to do. Event horses won’t only be utilizing stored carbohydrate on cross-country day but hopefully their reserves of fat stores, as well. Cross-country efforts will deplete glycogen stores (stored carbohydrates) in the horse’s muscles. The horse will need glycogen again for the show jumping phase, so restoring those stores is an important component of recovery...

Read more here:
https://thehorse.com/157545/nutrition-and-recovery-for-eventing-and-other-hard-working-horses/

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Check Horses’ Alfalfa Hay for Blister Beetles

Thehorse.com - Full Article

Blister beetles in your horse’s alfalfa can be deadly. Here’s what to watch for and how to keep your horses healthy.

By Kristen M. Janicki, MS, PAS | Apr 9, 2018

It might be hard to imagine that an essential part of the horse’s diet could contain potentially deadly hidden toxins. But it’s a hard truth that horse owners must be aware of: Alfalfa hay can harbor blister beetles (Epicauta spp), which can contain a harmful toxic substance called cantharidin.

A member of the Meloidae family, blister beetles live throughout the United States and Canada. Their average body length is about 0.3 to 1.3 inches. A blister beetle’s diet is mainly composed of pollen, blossoms, and leaves of flowering plants, making alfalfa the perfect meal for them. Most alfalfa infestation occurs during late summer and early fall, when the adult blister beetle population also peaks.

Male blister beetles produce a natural defense toxin called cantharidin. This irritant can cause blisters on skin (of both horses and humans) within a few hours of contact, hence the insect’s name. When ingested, cantharidin is lethal in horses with as little as half a milligram per kilogram of body weight, equivalent to consumption of around 125 beetles for an average-sized horse...

Read more here:
https://thehorse.com/112252/check-horses-alfalfa-hay-for-blister-beetles/

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Do You Know Where Your Old Horses Are?

Chronofhorse.com - Full Article

By: Blogger Liz Arbittier
May 16, 2018 - 12:36 PM

“FOR SALE: 18-year-old papered Missouri Fox Trotter. Fancy broke! Anyone can ride, neck reins, quiet on trails.”

The Facebook ad caught my attention. I was casually looking for a babysitter horse for light trail riding. I love geriatric animals, and something about this horse grabbed me. A cheaply priced, hairy, flea-bitten gray, he stoically gaited and cantered barefoot up and down an asphalt road in his video.

Not sure why, but he lodged in my brain, and I decided to purchase him. Sight unseen. (BAD IDEA!) Off the internet from a dealer I’d never met. (VERY BAD IDEA!!) With no pre-purchase exam. (VERY VERY BAD IDEA!!!)

My feeling was that, as a vet (who ironically specializes in pre-purchase exams), I could deal with whatever he turned out to be. He was sound in the video, and I wanted to trust the seller. He assured me that the horse hadn’t come from a sale, wasn’t sick and would suit my needs. I paid for the horse and then had him shipped to me, which cost half again as much as the horse did!

He arrived after quite a long trailer ride. Forlorn and cranky, with NO interest in interacting with me, he was otherwise in good shape...

Read more here:
http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/do-you-know-where-your-old-horses-are

Monday, May 14, 2018

Training Tip: Ask Clinton: Avoiding Training

Downunderhorsemanship.com - Full Article

Q: I recently started working with my horse in the roundpen and have made decent progress. He gives me two eyes and follows me around the roundpen. But now when I first show up, if he even suspects a workout, he runs to the far end of his 2-acre turnout and won’t let me get any closer than 50 feet or so to him. What should be my strategy for catching him? – Traci R.

A: It sounds like you’re off to a great start with your horse, mate. You’re on the right track by working with him in the roundpen to establish the foundation of respect. If your horse will give you two eyes and “catch you” in the roundpen, it’ll be much easier to have the same thing happen in the pasture. I don’t think your horse’s problem is that he’s hard to catch necessarily. Let me explain...

Read more here:
https://downunderhorsemanship.com/2018/05/08/training-tip-ask-clinton-avoiding-training/

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Appaloosa Horse Club to Celebrate History at the 54th Annual Chief Joseph Trail Ride

May 7 2018

MOSCOW, IDAHO — The Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) will host the 54th Annual Chief Joseph Trail Ride, July 23 – 27, 2018. A portion of the 1,100 mile, historic trail is ridden each year, with the entire sequence taking thirteen years to complete. Its route traces, as closely as possible, the route Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce took while attempting to escape the US Cavalry in 1877. This year’s segment is the only “loop ride” during the thirteen years. The assembly and destination camps are both in the Tolo Lake area near Grangeville, Idaho. The exact route is subject to change, but this year’s participants will ride through White Bird Battle Ground, where the first battle took place, across Joseph Plains and along or over Hammer Creek, Rice Creek, Wolf Creek, Graves Creek, and the Salmon River.

Each year, participants make lasting memories and lifetime friends among fellow riders while enjoying their Appaloosa horses. The ApHC hosted the first Chief Joseph Trail Ride in 1965 to commemorate the historic journey taken by a band of Nez Perce, led by Chief Joseph and others. The ride is exclusively for registered Appaloosas and is the longest-running and most popular trail ride hosted by the ApHC.

For additional information on this year’s Chief Joseph Trail Ride and the official ride entry form, visit https://www.appaloosa.com/trail/ChiefJoseph.htm or contact the ApHC Trail & Distance Coordinator Pat Bogar at (208) 882-5578 ext. 264.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Changing with the seasons

EquusMagazine.com - Full Story

May 6 2018
BOBBIE LIEBERMAN

Even as our ranch in New Mexico starts to take shape, Kenny and I realize how much we’ll miss Texas. So we explore whether a summer-winter migration might work for us.

Kenny and I enjoyed four lovely months on our new property in New Mexico over the summer. We had as many as four horses with us along with our cattle dog Maddie. Most of our time was spent planning, building and constructing infrastructure on our new ranch---outbuildings, manufactured home, solar well, fencing ---and that didn’t leave much time for actual riding.

We would have stayed through the end of October, but the horses back in Texas needed hoof trimming, one had a mysterious lameness that necessitated intensive treatment and two nights in a veterinary clinic, and our Siamese cats were about to give up on us. (Fortunately, we have a ranch caretaker who looks after all of our critters when we’re away.)

When we returned to Texas at the end of September, autumn had not yet arrived and we found ourselves back in the heat and humidity we’d left behind and nearly forgotten. Annakate, our Morgan who had been thriving in her new environment at 7,400 feet, soon developed scratches, hives and an itchy tail once again. Our mountain ponies already had grown thick winter coats, but the additional fur wasn’t needed here, so trace clipping ensued.

However, despite all of that, it was good to be “home.” It felt comfortable and familiar. Once again, veterinary and medical services were close by, and organic fresh produce was with- in an hour’s drive. Being back in Texas was like slipping into a com- fortable pair of shoes. We had to ad- mit that we still loved our ranch here. And we began contemplating the idea of keeping it, at least for a few more years, and “migrating” to New Mexico for the summers...

Read more here:
https://equusmagazine.com/horse-world/changing-seasons


All About Feeding Horses Alfalfa

Thehorse.com - Full Article

Learn more about alfalfa and whether or not this leafy green legume is a good choice for your horse.

By Heather Smith Thomas | Apr 9, 2018

How much do you really know about this leafy green legume?

In some areas of the country, alfalfa is a regular part of life. It’s readily available and commonly fed, so it’s a logical foundation for many horses’ diets. In other areas, it is a delicacy of sorts, shipped in from different regions and bought a bale at a time on a vet’s recommendation to help certain horses that need nutritional support. For some types of horses—in either of those areas—-alfalfa simply isn’t a great choice. And, so, that fragrant green bale comes loaded with nutrients and, for some horse owners, a multitude of misconceptions.

Whatever your alfalfa experience, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about this forage, starting with a little bit of history, and clear up any confusion about it.
Alfalfa Goes Way Back

Forage for horses can be divided into two categories—grasses and legumes. Grasses you’re likely familiar with include orchardgrass, timothy, and bermudagrass and are long and stemmy. Forage legumes, such as clover and alfalfa, are members of the pea family and, so, are cousins of peanuts and garbanzo beans.

“Alfalfa is a perennial legume, grown in most regions of the U.S. for horses and other livestock,” says Krishona Martinson, PhD, associate professor and equine extension specialist in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Animal Science, in Falcon Heights...

Read more here:
https://thehorse.com/110110/all-about-alfalfa/

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Life Flight Network


Trailmeister.com - Full Article

As published in The Trailhead News
by Trailmeister Robert Eversole

April 30 2018

We’ve all heard the stories. “A horseback rider found himself in trouble after falling from a horse and had to be airlifted to safety.” A few of us have been the subject of the story and most of us have no idea how any of it works. Myself included. To remedy that I recently took advantage of an opportunity to talk with the folks at Life Flight Network, the air ambulance service that covers the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West. To say my awareness has been elevated is an understatement.

I met Dominic Pomponio, Regional Director of the Life Flight Network at their base in Spokane, WA where he educated me on what it is that Life Flight Network does and how they do it.

Founded in 1978 (Happy 40thby the way!) the Life Flight Network is a medical transport service that brings the Intensive Care Unit to you when you need it. They deliver highly trained Flight Nurses, Flight Paramedics, pilots, and aircraft to provide air ambulance transportation to seriously ill and injured patients. With 23 bases across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana housing 23 helicopters and 7 airplanes, Life Flight Network has the assets required to get you where you need to be in an emergency...

Read more here:
https://www.trailmeister.com/life-flight-network/

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Training Tip: Mount With Safety in Mind

DownUnderHorsemanship.com - Full Article

May 1, 2018 by Downunder Horsemanship

When you’re ready to mount your horse for the first few times outside the arena, play it safe by flexing his head halfway around to his side. This is a safety precaution so that if the horse takes off or bucks, you’ve already got his head bent around so the worst thing he can do is move in a tight circle. With the same hand you’re flexing with, grab some mane to give yourself something solid to hang onto as you step up in the saddle. Always step up (and step down) from the horse’s shoulder, especially with a reactive horse, in case he gets frightened and tries to kick you. Even if your horse is docile, this is just a good practice to follow for your safety.

You could let your horse look straight ahead and keep him on a big, loose rein as you got in the saddle. Imagine what would happen if...

Read more here:
https://downunderhorsemanship.com/2018/05/01/training-tip-mount-with-safety-in-mind/

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

The Challenges of Spring Grass: Laminitis and Founder

Easycare Blog - Full Article

Friday, April 27, 2018 by Guest HCP
Submitted by EasyCare Dealer, Dawn Willoughby
Original Post June 2, 2011

In most cases, owners can prevent the ravages of laminitis (inflammation of the laminae between hoof wall and coffin bone) and founder (pulling away of wall from coffin bone due to a broken laminae). During my six years as a professional trimmer, I tried to educate owners about preventing this painful situation. Here is a review of what I shared with them every spring.

I live in Delaware where we have a spring that challenges most horses. Beginning in late March, early April, our sugary spring grass starts to grow. Our worst days are cool and sunny. This combination has the effect of creating a surge of sugar in the grass. When the sun goes down, the spring night temperatures are cool, keeping the sugar in the grass, not allowing it to return to the roots. That's a double whammy for the natural herd that is out 24/7. It isn't until July that we reliably dry out and warm up every day and night. When this happens the sugar returns to the roots. I learned about forage growth and pasture management from studying materials and attending clinics by Katy Watts, www.safergrass.org, an agricultural expert and owner of founder-prone horses. She offers wonderful lectures on her site as well.

When I had a trimming practice, I encouraged owners to mark April 1st to July 1st on their calendars and prepare for spring grass for their easy keepers.

1. First and foremost, adjust the diet. Lower dietary sugar anyway you can. You will need to be especially aggressive if you have a horse prone to laminitis and founder, usually known as an “easy keeper”. Examples: draft horses, native horses and ponies and donkeys. Eliminate grain, molasses, most treats and, if necessary, add a muzzle or put the horse in a dirt pasture or on a dirt path system such as Paddock Paradise. Hay should have 10% or less sugar. Correctly soaking hay can reduce sugar by 30%; leave the sugar water on the bottom of the tub. Most horses do very well on forage diets...

Read more here:
http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/insights-from-the-inside/the-challenges-of-spring-grass%3A-laminitis-and-founder