Sunday, December 09, 2018

Learned Helplessness

GreyHorseLLC Blog - Full Article

November 9 2018

Quite a few years ago, I was idling away some time reading the then-current issue of The Chronicle of the Horse magazine (a weekly sport-horse publication). While skimming a pretty dry article about the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) annual convention, I ran across a mention of a guy named Andrew McLean who had been invited to speak to the attendees about the possibility that a thing called “learned helplessness” might be causing “dullness in dressage horses.” I didn’t think another thing of it, skimmed the rest of the magazine and threw it out.

A year later, I found myself in much the same position, at the same time of year, skimming articles in The Chronicle. There was another article about that year’s USDF convention, and another mention of Andrew McLean. But this time, reading between the lines, it sounded like they’d invited him back to take back what he’d said the year before about learned helplessness in dressage horses. NOW they had my attention!

I spent that weekend madly Googling learned helplessness (LH) and Andrew McLean (he’s from Australia). Once I’d gotten a handle on that, I continued to read about LH and think about how it might or might not relate to hundreds of horses I’d seen over the years. I did more research, and more reading.

Now, according to an equine behaviorist I consulted, it is not necessarily scientifically sound to assume that LH occurs in horses. This has not been scientifically proven by scientists, in studies. The seminal studies on LH were done with dogs, and scientists agree it occurs in humans, so scientists would agree that it can occur in dogs and humans. But studies on horses have NOT been done. So strictly speaking, we are going out on a bit of a limb assuming that horses can experience LH. Even so, I think it’s a useful exercise.

So before we can go any further, it’s best if you go read the Wikipedia entry on Learned Helplessness, which is still about the most efficient and succinct definition that I have found so far. If you skip this step, none of the rest of this article will make any sense, so please now read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_helplessness

Okay, you’re back! So basically, when a being is in a state of LH, they feel like there is nothing they can do to improve their situation in the moment or “make it stop”. So they give up. Like the dogs in the study, they figuratively and literally lay down and take it. They don’t fight, they don’t try to escape, they surrender, which can look like “agreement” or “submission” or “obedience” to some folks...

Read more here:
https://greyhorsellc.wordpress.com/2018/11/09/learned-helplessness/

Rings and Ridges: What Horse Hooves Reveal

KER.com - Full Article

May 25, 2017
By Kentucky Equine Research Staff

Just as coat condition serves as an indication of health status in horses—sheen and dapples suggest vitality, whereas dull, rough, or half-shed coats imply unthriftiness or disease—changes in hooves may provide clues to a horse’s historical well-being.

The hoof wall is subject to any number of imperfections, and it is commonplace for horses to be beset with shallow or deep cracks, chipped toes, or flares, especially if they are not under the scheduled care of a professional farrier. These flaws are obvious. More subtle changes in the hoof wall, including horizontal rings and ridges, tell more about a horse’s health than the regularity of hoof care.

Hoof rings and ridges sound synonymous, but they are not. In fact, one is a normal feature of even the best-managed hooves; the other, though, is a sign of pathology and potential toxicity...

Read more here:
https://ker.com/equinews/rings-ridges-horse-hooves-reveal/?utm_source=KER+Newsletter&utm_campaign=53b730c445-Focus_December18_HoofHealth&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0d95781dfc-53b730c445-11166&mc_cid=53b730c445&mc_eid=6283eb0e4a

Saturday, December 08, 2018

10 Plants and Chemicals That are Toxic to Horses

TheHorse.com - Full Article

Learn about 10 common plants and chemicals your horse should never eat.

Posted by Lindsay Day, REMT | Oct 20, 2018

Review these substances your horse should never eat
There are many things horses should never eat. Certainly, toxic plants rank high on the list of things to avoid, but other substances, organisms, and chemicals can pose risks as well. While poisoning in horses is relatively rare compared to other causes of ill health, when it does occur the consequences can be dire.

“People often assume that horses know what to eat and what not to eat, but that’s just not true in a lot of cases,” says Cynthia Gaskill, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ABVP, associate professor and veterinary clinical toxicologist at the University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. From a curious nibble of a tree branch to accidental consumption of a contaminated grain meal, there are a number of ways horses can ingest toxic substances that put their health—and lives—at risk. Here are our top 10:

Read more here:
https://thehorse.com/148667/10-plants-and-chemicals-that-are-toxic-to-horses/

Friday, December 07, 2018

8 Ways to Be a Good Trail-Riding Buddy

Thehorse.com - Full Article

We all want to be the kind of person other trail riders enjoy being around. Use these eight simple techniques to be a fun and safe riding buddy on the trail.


Posted by Kim McCarrel | Nov 29, 2018

You’re out on a pleasant trail ride with several other riders. Without a word, one of the riders suddenly urges her horse forward and gallops off down the trail. The left-behind horses frantically try to follow. The riders struggle to control their mounts. Pandemonium ensues.

This kind of thoughtless behavior on the trail is no fun to deal with and could cause someone to get seriously hurt. Clearly, leaving your fellow riders in the dust isn’t what you’d expect of a good riding buddy. “Never again!” you say to yourself. “I’ll never ride with her again!”

We all want to be the kind of person other trail riders enjoy being around. By using the eight simple techniques below, you can be a good riding buddy who is fun and safe to ride with on the trail...

Read more here:
https://thehorse.com/163124/8-ways-to-be-a-good-trail-riding-buddy/

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Feeding Before Exercise

Fiber-fresh.com - Full Article

By Dr Nerida Richards B. Rur Sc PhD (RAnNutr)

The question of whether you should feed a horse before exercise is one that is commonly asked. Most of us were told over and over again by our parents not to swim for 30 minutes after eating or we would get a muscle cramp, so we generally tend to think that eating before exercise is not a wise thing to do. But is this the case for horses? The answer is yes and no…

Empty stomach or full stomach before exercise

The horse is a monogastric and a continuous grazer, so logic says that a horse’s stomach should never be empty. Having a full stomach is important for the horse as it stops gastric acids from the lower part of the stomach splashing around and irritating the upper sections of the gastrointestinal tract. This acid splash that occurs in horses exercised on an empty stomach is thought to contribute to the development of gastric ulcers.

Therefore, if a horse is stabled without constant access to forage, or if it has been more than 2 hours since the horse last grazed or fed, you should feed your horse before exercise. A small feed will protect a horse from gastric ulcers in 2 ways. Chewing the feed will stimulate saliva production and saliva acts as a buffer in the stomach. And the feed will fill up the stomach and prevent gastric acids from splashing around (for more information on Gastric Ulcers you should read FeedXL Newsletter #8 Preventing Gastric Ulcers).

What should you feed before exercise?

What you feed before exercise is very important...

Read more here:
http://www.fiber-fresh.com/equine/feeding-before-exercise/

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Looking back at one of the UAE's earliest film shoots with Revel Guest

TheNational.ae - Full Article

Chris Newbould
December 2, 2018

Nowadays, it’s a regular occurrence to see international film and TV production crews on the streets, dunes and rooftops of the UAE. The past few years have seen major shoots from Hollywood, Bollywood, Korea, France, China, Finland and beyond land on these shores, with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Tiger Zinda Hai and two instalments of the Mission Impossible franchise among the biggest names to set up shop here.

Twenty years ago, that was not the case, and veteran filmmaker Revel Guest was among the first international crews to touch down on these shores in 1998, when she made two documentaries – one an episode of the popular American Travel Channel show Trailblazers, and the other an episode of the 26-part documentary Horse Tales which looked at the stables of Sheikh Zayed, the Founding Father, and especially the work of horse whisperer Ali Al Ameri, as they prepared for the 1998 Endurance World Cup in Dubai...

Read more here:
https://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/film/looking-back-at-one-of-the-uae-s-earliest-film-shoots-with-revel-guest-1.798304

Monday, December 03, 2018

Impact of Abrupt Diet Changes in Horses

KER.com - Full Article

February 1, 2018 By Kentucky Equine Research Staff

Due to the risk of laminitis, horses should not be subjected to abrupt feed changes. The rapid ingestion of unfamiliar concentrates or other feeds high in starch can induce the painful, life-threatening disease, which is characterized by the separation of the hoof wall from the coffin bone.

“Aside from the potential for laminitis, the sudden addition of feeds rich in dietary starch may cause an alteration in the intestinal microbiome,” explained Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a nutritionist with Kentucky Equine Research.

The microbiome includes bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms that help digest fiber and maintain the health of the intestinal tract. That population of microbes forms early in a horse’s life and fluctuates based on diet, transport, stress, exercise, weight loss, and disease state, among other factors.

“In the case of sudden diet changes, that microbiome will also change and not always in a positive way,” Crandell said. “Alterations can adversely affect digestive health and lead to diarrhea, colic, and other forms of intestinal upset...”

Read more here:
https://ker.com/equinews/impact-abrupt-diet-changes-horses/?utm_source=KER+Newsletter&utm_campaign=3f30f42216-KER_Equinews_2_21_18&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0d95781dfc-3f30f42216-11166&mc_cid=3f30f42216&mc_eid=6283eb0e4a