Friday, November 30, 2018

Scientists are now trying to clone the 40,000-year-old baby horse found frozen in Siberia - Full Article

Mike Wehner @MikeWehner
September 6th, 2018

It was just a couple of weeks ago that the discovery of a frozen baby horse began to spread. The animal, which is thought to be as old as 40,000 years, was found frozen in Siberia, and the well-preserved remains offered researchers a glimpse at a species of wild horse that has long been extinct.

Now, with such a pristine specimen in their possession, scientists are attempting to sample the horse’s cells for material they can use to clone it. Yes, they are actually attempting to bring an extinct species back from the death… or are they?

The Siberian Times reports that the researchers are hard at work hunting for cells that would facilitate the cloning process. The team, made up of scientists from Russia and South Korea, plan to harvest an egg from a modern horse in order to artificially manufacture a cloned embryo of the ancient foal. That embryo would then be placed in a surrogate mother who would carry it to term and, if all goes well, give birth to a creature that hasn’t set foot on this planet in thousands of years.

The team seems remarkably confident that they’ll be able to pull off this remarkable series of accomplishments. They even go so far as to suggest that this is really just a stepping stone to an even more monumental achievement: cloning a woolly mammoth...

Read more here:

Arabians: The Ultimate Trail Horse - Full Story

November 13, 2018
Emma Kersey-Doherty

The Arabian horse is the perfect candidate for a trail riding partner. Their endurance is well known, and their bravery, surefootedness, and willing nature all serve them well going down the trail. Breed characteristics such as dense bone, large nostrils, deep heart girth, and solid construction make it no surprise that the Arabian is a steadfast partner for riding over a distance. This was first proven by the Bedouins in the desert and continues to be that way today as many explore the world from the backs of their Arabian horses.

Barbara Lowell, who is in her mid-thirties, currently resides in Texas, though she moves often as her husband serves as a U.S. Marine. The pair have three Purebred Arabians that they endeavor to ride through as many National parks as possible, Sera (SA Seraphim), Reggie (Silvern Idol) and Manny (Baha Crescent). “We have ridden our horses at the Grand Canyon, Bryce, Yosemite, and Olympic National parks as well as countless more,” Barbara shares. “We also compete in AERC (American Endurance Ride Conference) and NATRC (North American Trail Ride Conference) events.”

For Barbara, it’s the people-oriented nature and willingness to work with his rider that makes the Arabian horse the ultimate choice of trail horse. “They’re a partner,” she explains. “I’ve had a couple different breeds, but have never had a trail horse as good as my Arabians. In my experience, they are an intelligent animal who asks questions and accepts my answers. They’re soft, willing, and happy to explore. They take care of us..."

Read more here:

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Strangles Vaccine Breakthrough - Full Article

It has been a long time coming, but now an effective vaccine for strangles may finally be on the horizon.

Strangles is one of the most common bacterial infections of horses. Streptococcus equi, the organism responsible, causes horses to suffer from large pus-filled abscesses in their throat and neck. It is found throughout the world.

The disease causes significant economic losses due to the prolonged recovery time and the quarantine measures needed to restrict the spread of the disease.

Although vaccines have been available before, they have not been universally effective and have often produced unacceptable side effects. Reported problems have included abscesses at the site of injection, and clinical disease in vaccinated horses. An additional problem is that the immune response to current vaccines cannot be differentiated from that of infected animals. This complicates the management of outbreaks.

Now scientists at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the Karolinska Institute and Intervacc AB, and the Animal Health Trust (AHT), have developed a new protein-based vaccine to protect horses from strangles...

Read more here:

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

FEI Terminates Cooperation Agreement With NRHA & AQHA - Full Article

November 20, 2018 by Molly Montag

Reining classes for older horses and medication regulations were among the sticking points that led the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) to end a cooperation agreement with the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), officials said.

Although many details are still unclear, officials say FEI-approved reining events are expected to continue in the United States in spite of the termination.

The FEI announced the termination Monday, Nov. 19, during the FEI General Assembly in the Middle Eastern country of Bahrain. A statement posted at said the organization’s secretary general informed delegates the two U.S. groups had breached the terms of their agreement and, as a result, the cooperation agreement was terminated...

Read more here:

Sunday, November 25, 2018

More Evidence to Support Manuka Honey Use in Horse Wounds - Full Article

Manuka honey contains biologically active compounds that appear to help horse wounds heal, particularly hard-to-treat wounds on the lower limbs.

Posted by Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc | Mar 11, 2018

It can take a frustrating amount of time and energy to ensure some horse wounds—especially those in challenging locations—heal. Veterinarians and owners alike are often willing to try an array of salves, sprays, and biological dressings to facilitate a positive outcome. But a researcher recently reminded equine practitioners to reach for a particular product, one that created some “buzz” a few years ago.: Honey, particularly manuka honey, can also help wound healing.

“Manuka honey comes from honeybees that collect nectar from this manuka bush’s flowers,” said Albert Tsang, BVSc (Hons.), a research student at the University of Sydney School of Veterinary Science, in New South Wales, Australia, during a presentation at the 2017 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Nov. 17-21, in San Antonio, Texas. “This type of honey has antibacterial and immunomodulatory effects, and recent studies support the use of manuka honey on wound healing in the equine distal (lower) limb—a notoriously challenging location to treat effectively and economically...”

Read more here:

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Composting Toilets - Full Article

Adventures with Composting Toilets.

November 14 2018

One of our earliest questions with the Trailer project was how were we going to handle the “facilities.” You know, poop happens. Horses do it. Birds do it. And children of a certain age find the subject fascinating. Here’s my scoop on poop.

Most of the places where we venture are devoid of any hookups, and many don’t have toilet facilities, sometimes when they do they aren’t something that you’d want to use. Although the Forest Service often refers to vault toilets as “Sweet Smelling Toilets” or SST’s. The first “S” is frequently not so sweet.

Also, as dry campers, a huge concern is stretching our fresh water supply. We want to stay at remote trailheads as long as possible, anything that helps with that is a plus.

Our main concerns with a lavatory for the trailer were:

Reduce Water usage – Fresh water usually isn’t available when boondocking so we wanted to conserve as much as possible.
Eliminate holding tanks – Forest Service roads in the west are notoriously rough. I’ve seen first-hand where holding tanks and sewage pipes have met rocks and left a calling card of green goo trailing behind.
Avoid RV dumps – In the west, full service facilities are few and far between. On extended trips having to find an RV dump every few days seemed like a hassle.
I found three different types of commodes that address these concerns:

Bucket Toilets – Ultra cheap – Fills quickly
Cassette Toilets – Fills quickly – The horrors of dumping.
Dry or Composting Toilets – No Smell – 3 to 4 weeks between unloading solids...

Read more here:

Friday, November 23, 2018

Queen Elizabeth, 92, Went Horseback Riding This Weekend—What Did You Do? - Story and Photos

The monarch has way more energy than all of us.

By Amy Mackelden
Nov 19, 2018

For many of us, the weekends are a chance to kick back, unwind, and recover from a busy week at work. For Queen Elizabeth, it's the perfect opportunity to go horseback riding.

The Queen has long been a fan of horseback riding, and has often been photographed with horses throughout her long reign. But it's particularly impressive that Queen Elizabeth spent her downtime this past weekend just chilling on a horse alongside her son, Prince Edward. After a busy week celebrating son Prince Charles' 70th birthday, the Queen still found time to live the equestrian life...

See cute photos here:

Saturday, November 17, 2018

All Breeders’ Cup Equine Drug Tests Come Back Clean - Full Article

Breeders’ Cup’s extensive out-of-competition and pre- and post-race testing program at this year’s World Championships involved testing 289 horses.

Posted by Edited Press Release | Nov 9, 2018

There were no positive drug tests—on out-of-competition and pre- and post-race—at this year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships, the organization announced Nov. 8.

Breeders’ Cup completed an extensive out-of-competition and pre- and post-race testing program at this year’s World Championships, held Nov. 2-3 at Churchill Downs, in Louisville, Kentucky, which included the testing of 289 horses.

This year the organization continued its expansion of its most comprehensive testing program. Out-of-competition testing began in June with all Breeders’ Cup Challenge winners and other targeted possible starters in both North America and overseas and continued right up until the Championship races.

Breeders’ Cup engaged an out-of-competition testing coordinator, William Farmer, DVM, who worked with regulatory associations and with testing laboratories around the world, including the British Horse Racing Authority’s Lab LGC, France Galop’s official Lab LCH, and the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at the University of California, Davis. All three labs are certified by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA). The executive council of the IFHA also specifically endorsed the updated protocols of the Breeders’ Cup which were put in place in advance of last year’s World Championships...

Read more here:

What to look for in a horse trailer - Full Article

October 31 2018
by Robert Eversole

As published by Saddle Up Magazine

A horse trailer is a big investment and comes with a lot of big decisions to ensure that we make the right choices for us and our mounts.

Let’s break down these decisions into the main factors to consider. Here are my top considerations for what to look for in a horse trailer.

Size is Important – Does the trailer fit both your animals and you?

horse and mule by trailerYour horse or mule doesn’t get to decide on whether it’s going for a ride so we need to make sure that they’re as comfortable as possible. If the space is too small, he’ll will be cramped, likely unhappy, and may decide that he doesn’t like trailers in the future. Measure your horse from nose to rump (height, length, and width) before going trailer hunting. And consider how many horses you’ll be hauling.

The right trailer is not only comfy for your horse(s), it should be the right size to tow safely behind your vehicle, and hold all the gear you need for your riding and camping adventures. Size is one of my first considerations in what to look for in a horse trailer...

Read more here:

Thursday, November 15, 2018

100-Mile Musings - Full Story


I don’t spend a ton of time on Facebook discussion groups, endurance-related or otherwise. I tend to “lurk” — I read and pay attention, but don’t often chime in, mostly because I’ve always tended to keep a fairly low public profile and social media, and use it more for direct interaction with friends and people I know. But I digress. Long story short, a thread on one of the endurance groups popped up in my newsfeed this afternoon and caught my attention.

The gist of the topic? What is stopping people from doing 100s?

Good question. Wish I knew the answer. Especially because I could probably be the poster child for a skeptical eyebrow raise of “Why do you keep doing this?” with all of the ups and downs I’ve experienced along the way. Maybe I’m just a slow learner, because I still have a love affair with wanting to try 100s. I got into endurance with the specific wish and desire to do 100s. Especially Tevis, but all of the 100s (particularly the “buckle” 100s) have appeal to me and are on my “I hope I don’t have to wait until the unforeseeable future to get to do them” list. With my current set-up as a catch-rider, the 100-mile goal becomes that much more elusive, but it doesn’t stop me from hoping/wishing/scheming...

Read more here:

The Unsung Heroes of WWI - Full Artice

9 November 2018

As we mark 100 years since the Armistice Day of November 11, 1918, we look back at the important role that horses and mules played during World War I…

The animals were used as the primary means of achieving military mobility during the First World War.

Mechanisation was in its infancy; so there were few trucks or lorries available and they were mechanically unreliable and road-bound. Every branch of service – infantry, artillery, cavalry, engineers, logistics - was dependent on equids.

They were employed either as riding animals (primarily, but not exclusively, in the cavalry) or, in greater numbers, as draught animals, so they fulfilled both a combatant role in battle, and in supporting logistics.

In fact, the scale of animal use was extraordinary, with the British army alone boasting 510,000 horses by 1918...

“We always think of modern wars as being ‘mechanised’ but in fact the scale of animal use during both world wars was unprecedented. Never before have so many animals been mobilised for military service – unless we recognise this, we fail to understand how modern wars were actually fought,” Gervase Phillips, Principal Lecturer in History at Manchester Metropolitan University, told

Phillips said the greatest single demand was probably for gun-teams to haul artillery pieces. North American mules and North American light draught horses proved especially useful to the British in this role and tens of thousands were brought across the Atlantic.

Throughout the conflict, the British Army deployed more than a million horses and mules, though there weren’t enough horses in Britain to meet demand, so over 1,000 horses a week were shipped from North America...

Read more here:

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Spotting Lameness: The Game Plan - Full Article


Every horse person with a couple of years under her belt has some sense of when a horse looks “off” or “not quite right,” but even when your eye can spy the hitch or hesitation, determining the source of the problem is a challenge few can conquer. Acknowledging that even veterinarians tend to rely more on expensive (and often inconclusive) diagnostic tests rather than well-trained perception to identify lameness and trace it to its origin, Dr. Bob Grisel has written a guide intended to simplify the process. His book Equine Lameness for the Layman instructs all in the fundamental knowledge that can make “seeing” what’s wrong, and what the likely cause is, second nature, ensuring happier, healthier horses. Here he outlines his basic game plan.


We visually assess our horses with the intention of recognizing potential lameness and surmising the likely source(s) of the problem. Satisfying our ambition is relatively painless when the horse is noticeably “off”; it can be considerably more difficult when gait abnormalities are visibly faint. Fortunately, we can make lameness more conspicuous by:

• Improving our ability to see it.
• Maximizing the horse’s expression of it.

Choosing the best approach, gait, and setting for our assessment will decidedly support our efforts...

Read more here:

Friday, November 02, 2018

Trail Riding Safety Essentials - Full Article

Ten things that could save your life when you’re on the trail with your horse.

Posted by Kim McCarrel | Nov 1, 2018

I’ve been a trail rider for a long time, and I’ve experienced my fair share of trail emergencies. I’ve seen injured riders, injured horses, and damaged tack. I’ve fallen off and been hurt, been cold and hungry, and run out of water on a hot day. And I’ve taken a wrong turn and gotten lost.

I’ve learned from those experiences that having the right equipment with you and being prepared can make the difference between a mild misadventure and a disaster.

Experts advise hikers to carry the “10 Essentials for Survival,” including waterproof matches, a flashlight, extra food and water, and a mirror for signaling rescuers. These are important items for horseback riders to carry, too. But we also need a few other things hikers don’t, so here’s my version of the 10 essentials for horseback riders (some might be good for hikers, too):

Read more here: