Saturday, May 23, 2020

Protect your horse from choke - Full Article

The risk for developing a blockage of the esophagus is higher in winter, but it's wise to take precautions all year round.

UPDATED:APR 29, 2020

Unlike choking in people, which can lead to suffocation within minutes, choke in horses is more of a slow-motion disaster. A blockage of the esophagus rather than the airway, choke occurs when a horse tries to ingest inadequately chewed feed, a large chunk of carrot or something else he cannot swallow properly.

Choke does not inhibit a horse’s breathing but it can be so unpleasant that he becomes anxious or panicky, and if the blockage persists the resulting esophageal damage may seriously compromise his health in the long run.

Fortunately, most episodes of choke clear on their own. Even as he strains to relieve the blockage by stretching out his neck and coughing, a horse continues to produce saliva, which lubricates the esophagus and may eventually enable the mass to pass to the stomach. It’s a good idea to call a veterinarian anyway...

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Thursday, May 21, 2020

3 things you (probably) didn't know about beet pulp - Full Article

Although the popularity of this fibrous feedstuff continues to grow, misconceptions about it remain.


Chances are you’re pretty familiar with beet pulp. Most of us have scooped and soaked our fair share of this sugar-industry-byproduct-turned-equine-feed. The remains of sugar beets used in the manufacture of sugar, beet pulp is high in digestible fiber and a good source of “safe” structural carbohydrate-based calories, making it a popular horse feed throughout the country and around the world.

Straight from the bag, beet pulp is dried and shredded—almost resembling tobacco—or pressed into solid pellets. Soak either form in water for about a half-hour, and you’ll have a soft, soggy mash.

Yet as simple and easy as beet pulp is to feed, it has long been the subject of myths and misunderstandings in the horse world. Some of these misconceptions are harmless, but others could lead owners to needlessly rule out beet pulp as part of a horse’s diet or, conversely, rely on it too heavily and for the wrong reasons...

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Sunday, May 17, 2020

Feeding Horses for Performance - Full Article

Equine athletes have nutritional needs specific to their discipline, workload, and lifestyle. Take a closer look at the subtleties of performance horse diets in this article excerpt from the May 2020 issue of The Horse.

Posted by Lucile Vigouroux | May 16, 2020

Guidelines for fueling the equine athlete

What does it take to win with your horse? A reputable coach, world-class training facilities, and high-tech equipment will all give you an advantage, no doubt. But for your horse to feel and perform at his best, you’ll need to start at a more fundamental level and consider what kind of fuel you’re pumping into him.

Equine athletes have nutritional needs specific to their discipline, workload, and lifestyle; for optimal performance, you must address them.

“Fundamentally, the difference between the diet of an equine athlete and that of a horse at maintenance lies in the amount of energy, the quality of protein, and the balance of electrolytes required,” says Lynn Taylor, PhD, professor of equine science at Centenary University, in Hackettstown, New Jersey, and owner of a private equine nutrition consulting business...

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Managing Your Equine Facility During the COVID-19 Pandemic ~ Updated 5/13/20 - Full Article

At ELS, we have received a steady stream of questions from barn owners related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The original version of this article, published on March 30, 2020, received more views than any other article ELS has ever published. Based upon the feedback and questions ELS receives, we are continuing to update this article as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.

Many equine facility owners who closed their barns to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are under intense pressure from their customers to reopen. These customers point to the many equine facilities that stayed open (often in violation of state stay-at-home orders), as well as those that have reopened and are now conducting activities at pre-pandemic levels. This pressure from customers, coupled with the grim financial reality of remaining closed, is causing many equine facility owners to reopen and resume their businesses.

​Here’s the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic:...

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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Equestrian Air Vests: What You Need to Know - Full Article

by Leslie Potter | May 12, 2020, 12:31 PM EST

While most equestrians are well aware of the potential for head injuries that comes with riding, riders run the risk of other types of injuries when involved in a fall. Eventers have been wearing body protectors on the cross-country course for decades to mitigate some of that risk, and in recent years, self-inflating air vests have become a common item of supplemental safety gear.

Riders in other disciplines have taken note, and air vests are starting to show up in the show ring as well as on the cross-country course. Like all safety gear, air vests are only effective when used correctly and cared for properly. We spoke with Danielle Santos, Director of Sales and Partnerships for Charles Owen, and Dr. Mark Hart, USEF’s Team Physician and Chair of the Fédération Équestre Internationale Medical Committee, to find out what equestrians need to know about air vests...

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Monday, May 11, 2020

AAEP Updates Vaccination Guidelines

May 8 2020

Routine vaccinations considered essential during COVID-19 pandemic

The Infectious Disease Committee of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has issued revised guidelines for the administration of selected core and risk-based vaccines to horses.

The recommendations are based on the age of the horse and its previous vaccination history and are meant to serve as a reference for veterinarians. Reviewed guidelines include the core vaccinations Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE), Western Equine Encephalomyelitis (WEE), and Rabies; and the risk-based vaccinations Anthrax, Botulism, Equine Herpesvirus (EHV), Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA), Equine Influenza, Leptospirosis, Potomac Horse Fever Rotaviral Diarrhea, and Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis (VEE).

Among important modifications to the Vaccination Guidelines for Horses:

The Adult Horse Vaccination and Foal Vaccination charts have been updated to match changes made in various vaccination guidelines and vaccine manufacturer label recommendations. Changes to the foal chart also include updates to the Rabies vaccination recommendations for vaccinated vs. unvaccinated mares. Changes to the adult horse chart include updates to the broodmare section to recommend vaccinating those mares pre-partum with a “respiratory EHV” product in addition to the abortion product.

The Anthrax guidelines indicate that the disease can be contracted in an endemic area via vector-borne transmission. Further recommendations have been added for horses during an outbreak (e.g., vaccinate afebrile horses not showing clinical signs).
The EEE and WEE guidelines encourage veterinarians to consult with vaccine manufacturers for their geographic region and to consider the region's case frequency for the current year and in recent years.
The Equine Influenza guidelines include recommendations for horses that have recovered from natural infection. It also notes that some facilities and competitions may require vaccination within the previous 6 months to enter.
The EVA guidelines indicate that the occasional stallion may shed very low concentrations of vaccine virus in its semen for several days following first-time EVA vaccination and the recommendation to confirm negative status prior to vaccination.
The Leptospirosis guidelines incorporate recommendations for foals as young as 3 months of age and emphasize that the licensed vaccine is safe for pregnant mares at all stages of parturition.
The Rabies guidelines provide guidance for how to approach a horse that has been exposed to a confirmed rabid animal.

The Infectious Disease Committee stresses that veterinarians, through an appropriate veterinarian-client-patient relationship, should use the recommendations, coupled with available products, to determine the best professional care for their patients. Horse owners should consult with a licensed veterinarian before initiating a vaccination program.

"The goal of the guidelines is to provide current information that will enable veterinarians and clients to make thoughtful and educated decisions on vaccinating horses in their care," explained Infectious Disease Committee Chair Dr. Katie Flynn. "The impact of infectious disease has been felt across the equine industry in recent years, and the committee hopes that these guidelines will be a useful tool in preventing or mitigating the effects of equine infectious disease."

The committee also emphasizes that routine vaccinations are considered essential during this COVID-19 pandemic, and overdue vaccinations should be completed to help prevent disease in horses. Duration of immunity for some vaccines might be limited to 6 months; therefore, maintaining a routine vaccination schedule is critical for horses at high risk of developing these diseases, and vaccinations should be scheduled as soon as reasonably possible to ensure the health and welfare of the horse. In all cases, veterinarians should consider local conditions and current state-imposed regulations to determine when vaccinations can be completed safely during this unprecedented time.

The committee, comprised of researchers, vaccine manufacturers, regulatory veterinarians and private practitioners, regularly reviews these guidelines and provides updates online, with in-depth reviews occurring every three years. The complete guidelines, along with easy reference charts, are available at

About AAEP

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its over 9,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry. Visit

Horses Recognize Pics of Their Keepers - Full Article

By Susanne Bard on May 5, 2020

Horses picked out photographs of their current keepers, and even of former keepers whom they had not seen in months, at a rate much better than chance.

We recognize our friends’ faces. And we’re not alone. Many social animals can identify individuals of their own species by their facial features. That’s important, because they need to be able to adjust their behavior depending on who they encounter. And research has shown that some species of monkeys, birds and domesticated animals can even distinguish among different faces by looking at photographs alone.

Scientists have also wondered whether domesticated animals that have coexisted with people for thousands of years can recognize different human faces. For example, we’ve shared more than 5,000 years of our history with horses. Plus, they can live up to 30 years and may need to retain a great deal of information about us throughout their lifetimes.

Ethologist Léa Lansade of the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment did an experiment to find out how well horses can recognize individual people in photographs...

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Saturday, May 02, 2020

Discover... the Criollo - Full article

02 May 2020
Words by Patricia Salem

Visitors to Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, or Uruguay may have seen the beautiful Criollo horse in action.

This breed has a long history in the South American pampas, the grassy eastern plains where both native dwellers and European settlers have long had ranches and livestock.

Here’s a look at this venerable breed, known for its hardiness and stamina...

History of the Criollo
The Criollo comes from early Andalusian horses brought to the Americas by conquistadors. These horses were closely related to the Spanish Barb, which had Moorish origins. During the early years in South America, there was likely some mixing with other horses of the region, including the Peruvian Paso and the Venezuelan Lllanero.

Originally bred for war in North Africa and Europe, the Criollo’s bloodlines gave it a compact, sturdy body and tremendous endurance. Able to thrive on little food and water and to survive in both heat and cold, the Criollo was a natural at handling the vast reaches of the pampas to help plantation owners cover ground in tending the fields and herding farm animals...

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Friday, May 01, 2020

How to build a trustworthy trail horse - Full Article

Three seasoned trail riders offer strategies for overcoming the most common spoilers of the great-outdoor horseback experience.

UPDATED:MAR 10, 2017

Ah! A nice, relaxing trail ride on a pleasant summer day: What could be better to break the tedium of ring work and soothe the stresses of show training? Just head for the hills, the woods, the rolling meadows on horseback, alone or in congenial company, and all your troubles will melt away. Yeah, right... until your horse refuses to cross the creek or runs in terror from an innocent boulder or takes up a bone-jarring jig that puts you both in a lather for the duration of the ride.

When horses and their riders are unprepared for the out-of-arena experience, a simple walk through the woods turns into a series of frustrating or frightening confrontations. The disconnect between expectations and reality often begins with the choice of mount.

"Most people don't select horses for trail riding," says Montana horseman Dan Aadland, an avid backcountry rider and author of several books on the topic. "I get tired of hearing, 'Well, she's not good enough for the show ring, but she'll make a good trail horse.' Why should trail riding be relegated to a secondary job for a horse? If you want to trail ride exclusively, buy a horse who excels at it, not one who can't do anything else."

Compounding the problem, says Aadland, is a tendency to overlook the importance of a trail-riding education: "We train horses for very specific arena jobs but expect them to just automatically know how to handle the trail. Then we get frustrated when they don't. Horses need to be taught to trail ride just like they are taught reining, roping or any other skill..."

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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Relationship between Resting and Recovery Heart Rate in Horses

EquineScienceUpdate blog - Full Article

Thursday, April 23, 2020

It would be better to base heart rate recovery tests in endurance competitions on each individual horse’s resting heart rate, according to the authors of a recent study.

Veterinary check points (vet gates) are set up at various points along the route of an endurance race, to ensure that each horse is fit to continue the competition.

Horses are held at the vet gate and checked for heart rate recovery, metabolic status, gait and general condition. The heart rate must have fallen below a specified value before the horse can continue. The required heart rate is the same for all competitors.

It has been assumed that horses with low resting heart rates would reach the required limit for continuing more quickly. Now research by Arno Lindner and colleagues has shown that is, indeed, the case...

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

14 Tips to Keep Yourself Safe From COVID-19 When Trail Riding - Full Article

A veteran trail rider shares practical tips to keep yourself healthy and maintain social distancing while still enjoying time on your horse.

Posted by Alayne Blickle | Apr 24, 2020

Here are some tips and ideas for keeping yourself safe while hitting the trails and getting fresh air and exercise for you and your horses—sourced from a cadre of thoughtful, experienced equestrians:

1. Consider not riding if you live in a highly affected area with a maxed-out health care system.

2. The “trail less traveled” is a good adage to keep in mind for today’s social distancing world. As much as possible, research and choose trail riding locales with fewer crowds. Consider less-popular locations as well as days or times when fewer people are likely to be riding. Be prepared to change your plans if when you arrive at your destination you find your presence will crowd others...

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Post-Coronavirus Travel: The Ultimate Equestrian Escape In Patagonia (Not For The Faint-Hearted)

Stefan Morel photo - Full Article

Elizabeth BroomhallContributor
I cover travel and wellness, writing about everything from adventure trips to yoga

I stood alone in a strange desert, surrounded by luggage and dust, as I waited for a lady called Sylvanna to arrive with horses.

I’d come to volunteer at my second estancia in Argentina — a remote place I knew only as “Ranquilco”, located somewhere in northern Patagonia.

After a long drive from Neuquén airport, I was dropped off as close as we could get to the lodge by car and asked to help bring over the luggage.

We’d driven down one of the steepest and rockiest roads imaginable, so I was grateful to be out of the vehicle. I only wished I didn’t have this enormous suitcase.

When Sylvanna arrived with two horses and a mule, I was surprised.

How would we get all this stuff to the ranch with just one mule? As we loaded him/her up, I kept asking Sylvanna if the mule would be ok, to which she smiled and told me not to worry, it would be fine.

But the real shock was yet to come...

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Monday, April 27, 2020

Heart-rate recovery system in Endurance may not be fair, researchers suggest - Full Article

April 27, 2020

The pre-determined arbitrary heart-rate recovery values seen in Endurance may not allow for fair competition, according to researchers.

Arno Lindner and his colleagues set out in their study to explore the relationship between resting and recovered heart rates in horses.

Their work has particular relevance for the discipline of Endurance, given its major focus on heart rates in competing horses.

As the authors point out, veterinary checkpoints are established at certain distances within Endurance races to ensure the health of the competing horses. Heart rate is one of the parameters investigated.

Horses can continue racing only after reaching a pre-defined and arbitrary heart rate, providing all other parameters are also in good order

The researchers, reporting in the open-access journal Animals, found that the time until the pre-defined heart rate is reached is shorter when the resting heart rate of a horse is lower to begin with...

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COVID-19 Limits Public Land Access for Horseback Riding - Full Article

Public lands are managed by several local, state, and federal agencies, meaning rules and closures might vary, even within the same area. Find out if and where you can ride.

Posted by Alayne Blickle | Apr 24, 2020

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, governments everywhere are urging citizens to stay home, except for exercising and essential activities. “Essential activities”—and exercise—for many horse owners include trail riding. However, in many parts of the country equestrians who trail ride on public lands have been impacted by trail and public land closures.
Public lands are managed by several local, state, and federal agencies, meaning rules and closures might vary, even within the same area.

“In Washington state, Governor Inslee issued the ‘Stay Home – Stay Healthy’ proclamation (in response to COVID-19), which ordered all citizens to stay home,” explained Joan Burlingame, of Ravensdale, Washington, an avid equestrian and backcountry rider...

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Saturday, April 25, 2020

Horses with Odd Jobs: This Little Black Mare is a Movie Pro - Full Article

While Storm isn’t the most majestic stunt horse in owner MarieBeth Young’s herd of equine actors, her confidence makes her safe on hectic film sets.

By: Nicole Kitchener | April 22, 2020
Storm might not be the flashiest gal on camera, but she’s a hard worker. At 27, she’s been around the block a few times and thanks to her know-how, she’s a favourite of her costars.

A solid black, 15-hand Saddlebred/Haflinger, Storm has appeared in countless film projects including movies, TV series, commercials and music videos. She is perfect for actors, wranglers and stunt people alike, no matter what their equine experience level. And she’s versatile. She can jump, pull a carriage, work around other animals, travels any terrain, doesn’t mind people hanging off her side and being (fake) shot off her back. She can also do tricks such as say yes, no, smile, shake hands, neigh and rear on request...

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Chances to compete with your hobby horse or model horse during lockdown - Full Article

Eleanor Jones
24 April, 2020 17:56

From model horses to hobby horses, to horses with the most impressive moustaches – there may be nearly as many online competitions running during the coronavirus lockdown than there would have been shows without it.

H&H has reported on the virtual Royal Windsor Horse Show, hobby horse online dressage and the virtual three-day event set to run next month, but there are more competitions, to suit everyone.

Endurance GB is running a model horse marathon on Sunday (26 April) in aid of the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 emergency appeal and in a bid to beat lockdown boredom.

EGB members and non-members are invited to enter model horses, “the wackier the better”, to undergo a series of tests “of the kind riders and crews might expect to encounter at an actual ride”...

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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Arrhythmias in Equine Athletes - Full Article

Irregularities in heart rhythm are normal in horses; lub dub, lub dub, pause, lub dub is perfectly natural. There are some irregularities cause concern.

By: Teresa Pitman | July 24, 2012

That comes as no surprise to Ontario Veterinary College professor Dr. Peter Physick-Sheard, who has been studying how equine hearts function in his research with some other equine athletes – Standardbred racehorses. “I tell my students that if the horse’s heart is beating steadily like a metronome, step back – because he might fall over on them,” Physick-Sheard says. Irregularities in heart rhythm are normal in horses; hearing lub dub, lub dub, pause, lub dub is perfectly natural. However, there are some types of irregularities that can cause concern.

Physick-Sheard explains that each contraction or beat of the heart is preceded by electrical activity initiated in a special area of the heart (called the pacemaker) triggering biochemical changes that signal the heart muscle to contract. ECGs (electrocardiograms) detect that electrical signal. “Every wiggle on the ECG screen means a cardiac contraction,” explains Physick-Sheard. The data from an ECG can also indicate whether or not the heart muscle is healthy or whether the heart’s internal conduction system is normal, and can provide other information about heart function...

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

*** UPDATED 4/20/2020 *** COVID-19: Should I Lock Down My Barn? - Full Article

Updated as of April 20, 2020

At ELS, we are receiving a steady stream of questions from barn owners about closing their barns to boarders and visitors. The original version of this article, published on March 30, 2020, has received more views than any other article ELS has ever published. Based upon the feedback and questions ELS has received, we have updated this article, and will continue to do so as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.

Many equine facility owners want to close their barns to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but are worried that if they do, they will lose business, they will have to lay off employees, their customers will be very upset and some might even sue them. Some have already closed their barns and are facing questions and pushback from boarders and trainers. Other equine facility owners want to keep their barns open to keep their business from going under, keep their employees working, and provide their understandably anxious boarders with access to their beloved horses as well as an outlet for healthy exercise, fresh air and a sense of normalcy. But these barn owners are also concerned that if they don’t lock down their barns, their facilities will contribute to the pandemic. Federal, state and local government guidance on COVID-19 has been inconsistent, and so far, there is very limited guidance specifically for equine facilities. Accordingly, ELS wishes to provide the horse community with the data and information it needs to make sound, science-based decisions...

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Sunday, April 19, 2020

Things You Should and Should Not Put on a Horse’s Wound - Full Article

Is the ointment you’re using on that cut helping or hurting? Remember these tips when treating horse wounds.

Posted by Alexandra Beckstett, The Horse Managing Editor | Feb 18, 2016

Horse owners and veterinarians have been treating equine wounds for centuries. After all, horses are unabashedly practiced at the art of sustaining wounds. Over the years we’ve tried many different wound ointments and salves, cleansers and dressings, but not all of them are backed by evidence of safety and/or efficacy.

So Dean Hendrickson, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, professor of equine surgery at Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, went back to basics, describing effective and ineffective wound-cleaning agents to an audience of veterinarians at the 2015 Annual American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 5-9, in Las Vegas.

Although our intentions are good, “most wound-cleaning agents and techniques will cause chemical or mechanical trauma to the wound bed,” he said. “Weigh the benefits of cleaning the wound against the trauma that agent will cause...”

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Saturday, April 18, 2020

The World's Hardest Endurance Events We Absolutely Won't Be Doing After Isolation - Full Article

We won't be competing in any of these any time soon!

10:20, 17 Apr 2020

Sitting in self-isolation in our pants was meant to be easy. We were meant to catch up on all that TV we’d missed, read those books left to decay on our bookshelves, run more, do more push-ups…

Three weeks in and self-isolation is starting to feel like the toughest endurance sport there is. We’ve still not caught up on Killing Eve, the books are growing dustier by the day and our running trainers are still as clean as when we bought them.

This endurance test has been awful for all of us, but there’s definitely worse out there. Below are five of the toughest endurance events in the world that we are absolutely not going to be doing when things return to normal...

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Friday, April 17, 2020

Does Horse Manure Make Safe Compost? - Full Article

Do horse feeds made of products treated with herbicides and pesticides create contaminated compost that threatens the health of future gardens? Can deworming your horses then composting their manure lead to drug residue in your pile? Find out how to make the most of your horse’s manure.

Posted by Betsy Lynch | Apr 10, 2020

Are you begging people to come take your horse manure for free—or perhaps even paying to have it hauled away? If so, it may be hard to imagine that your stable waste could be converted into something worth $30, $200, or even $1,000 per cubic yard.

The difference depends on how you compost it, says Rhonda Sherman, a solid waste extension specialist at North Carolina State University (NCSU). It’s not just heaping manure into a big pile and waiting for Mother Nature to do her job. Sure, this works. But the compost will likely be of the give-away variety, with weed seeds, pathogens, parasites, and chemical residues potentially contaminating it.

Not all livestock dung is created equal, Sherman points out, but horses that are eating good, balanced diets should produce compost-worthy waste...

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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Happy Trails Podcast: Ten Essential Skills for Trail Horses

Happy Trails Podcast - Listen

April 10, 2020
Jessica Isbrecht

Everyone wants a great horse; athletic, obedient, and game for anything, but it takes a lot of training to get there. It’s not easy to build the perfect horse and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, something that’s usually in short supply. Now that we are all quarantined and sheltering in place, this is the perfect opportunity to identify holes in your horsemanship, set some goals, and make a plan to work on your horse. In this episode, I speak with my friend Mary Schmitt about essential skills that all trail horses should have.

Mary lives in Jackson, Wyoming and runs an antique shop, Cayuse Western Americana. When not at the shop you’ll find her exploring the Tetons on horseback. She is a member of the local Back Country Horsemen chapter and the Jackson Hole Police Citizens’ Mounted Unit. She and her horses have seen it all. So, I asked her what kind of skills are essential for a trail horse to have?...

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Thursday, April 09, 2020

Coronavirus Closings: Horseback Riding Prohibited In Maryland State Parks During Stay At Home Order - Full Article

April 8, 2020

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — If you’re wanting to get outside for some fresh air, there’s one more thing on a long list of things you can’t do during the state’s stay at home order: go horseback riding in a Maryland State Park.

Maryland DNR posted the clarification on their social media accounts Wednesday morning.

” In accordance with Governor Hogan’s emergency actions to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic, horseback riding is prohibited in Maryland State Parks,” DNR stated...

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Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Lush Grass: Good or Bad? - Full Article

March 6, 2019
By Kentucky Equine Research Staff

Horse owners and farm managers frequently use the word “lush” to describe the state of pasture forage as it begins to grow rapidly in the spring. Just exactly what does “lush” mean? Is this new grass good for horses, or dangerous for them to graze?

In defining “lush,” the dictionary uses words like “growing vigorously; lavishly productive; thriving; plentiful; delicious; savory.” Lush pasture, then, is a grazing area with plenty of abundant green forage that tempts horses to graze enthusiastically for hours on end.

Lush new spring grass, mature summer grass, and dried autumn grass contain the same basic ingredients–water, vitamins, minerals, protein, starch, and structural fiber among other things—but the proportions of these ingredients are far different depending on season. Spring grass grows very rapidly, containing a large proportion (up to 80% or more) of water. This grass is generally soft and easy to chew because the amount of indigestible fiber is less than in mature grass.

Because there is so much liquid in new spring grass, all the other components are found in lower proportions compared to mature grass, so the horse gets less starch per mouthful of grass than when grazing in the summer. However, because this soft grass is so palatable, horses tend to ingest a larger overall volume of forage, so their intake of all nutrients may actually be fairly similar in spring, summer, and early fall...

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Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Science could help eliminate tiring Endurance horses earlier, say researchers - Full Article

April 7, 2020

Science could ultimately deliver an automated risk calculator to identify Endurance horses on a path to elimination much earlier, according to researchers.
The calculator would be driven by algorithms developed through data collected from the FEI database and veterinary cards, on which veterinarians record the condition of horses before each race, and as they progress through each loop.

However, at present, the majority of such cards are filled out by hand, which makes processing the valuable data they contain more laborious.

“It is therefore important that the FEI Veterinary Department consider ways in which these data can be collected in digital format and immediately uploaded to an FEI database,” Euan Bennet and his colleagues at the University of Glasgow report in the Equine Veterinary Journal.

Such an initiative would make much more information available than can currently be gleaned from the FEI’s Endurance database...

Read more here:

Monday, April 06, 2020

Great Britain: Annie Joppe’s endurance blog: we will have to wait and see… - Full Article

Annie Joppe
4 April, 2020 10:55

I am sitting here at my desk, dressed in my new Ariat Ascent boots and chaps, which feel amazing and so high-tech. I am going to test these in endurance for Ariat and can’t wait to get started when we are ‘allowed out’ — I just don’t want to get them dirty!

The whole world has become smaller. I am used to saying “what a small world!” when I meet someone I know in a remote region, but this is just the exact opposite. It’s such a strange feeling to limit contact with fellow human beings to your household, it must be so much worse for people living on their own.

To ride or not to ride? Morally it is up to each individual rider to make that decision. Will I feel the pressure of potentially harming my fellow human beings by putting our NHS at risk because I have a fall? How likely is this? How can I minimise that risk and continue to do something with the horses? Lungeing and long-reining are far more dangerous with my half-fit competition horses, so the alternatives appear to be ride or not to ride...

Read more here:

Saturday, April 04, 2020

The bitter controversy surrounding NYC’s carriage horse industry - Full Article

Coronavirus has ground the city to a halt, but New York’s carriage horse industry has been rife with contention for decades.


On February 29, before coronavirus shut down New York City, a 12-year-old carriage horse named Aisha collapsed in Central Park. A 15-minute-long video of the incident shows her struggling to stand before she crumples on the side of the road. A trailer arrives to haul her away, and carriage drivers push her inside. Aisha was euthanized later that day.

It’s not clear what killed Aisha—one of about 200 horses registered to pull carriages in New York—but her death immediately sparked a firestorm.

Animal advocates, some New York lawmakers, and Mayor Bill de Blasio, a longtime critic of his city’s carriage horse industry, blasted the incident as heartbreaking and inhumane. De Blasio tweeted that New York’s Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad is investigating. Animal advocacy group NYClass, which has long opposed the industry, immediately took to social media, circulating the video of Aisha’s death and accusing her handlers of “tormenting” her as she suffered.

The historic industry itself is on the defense. Christina Hansen, a carriage horse driver and spokesperson for Historic Horse-Drawn Carriages of Central Park, which represents the industry, says Aisha’s collapse could be related to exertion, but it could also be a genetic, muscular, or hormonal condition. Hansen says the veterinarian who examined the horse back at the stables found her heartbeat to be erratic...

Read more here:

Equestrian Company Pivoting During a Pandemic - Full Article

How one equestrian company is responding to COVID-19.

by Liz Brown
April 2 2020

Boston-based manufacturer EquiFit specializes in designing stylish and technologically advanced products for horses—typically in black.
Now, they’re making one for humans. It’s also black.

Last week as COVID-19 continued its march across the globe, sickening hundreds of thousands and wreaking havoc on health care systems, EquiFit founder and president Alexandra Cherubini felt compelled to do something.

With the company’s operational ties to a medical supply company and expertise in producing high-quality equipment like tendon boots, girths, and saddle pads, she knew there had to be a way EquiFit could help meet a growing demand for protective equipment...

Read more here:

COVID-19: Should I Lock Down My Barn? - Full Article

At Equine Legal Solutions, we are starting to receive questions from barn owners asking if they should close their barns to boarders and visitors. Some want to close their barns to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but are worried that if they do, they will lose business, they will have to lay off employees, their customers will be very upset and some might even sue them. Others want to keep their barns open to keep their business from going under, keep their employees working, and provide their understandably anxious boarders with access to their beloved horses as well as an outlet for healthy exercise, fresh air and a sense of normalcy. But these barn owners are also concerned that if they don’t lock down their barns, their facilities will contribute to the pandemic. Federal, state and local government guidance has been inconsistent, and so far, there is no guidance specifically for equine facilities beyond scattered designations of “livestock” as “essential,” which is not particularly useful for the horse industry.

Here’s what medical experts currently know about the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19:...

Read more here:

Friday, March 27, 2020

The Journey of a Lifetime - Full Story with video

27 March 2020
Words by Richard Mulligan

Three international equestrian stars enjoyed a life-changing experience on a 100km trek with wild horses in the Pyrenees...

Juan Matute Guimon is a young Dressage star who has reached the top of his sport at just 22 years old, but nothing could prepare him for the life-changing experience of guiding 30 wild horses on a 100km trek through the Pyrenees.

The young Spaniard signed up to take part in a three-day transhumance, which is the traditional movement of livestock between the valleys and the lush high mountain pastures. He and fellow travellers Hanna Tardiveau and Laura Demaille – both international Jumping stars - were charged with the responsibility of accompanying 30 wild Merens horses on the journey through the mountains with an elevation of 8,100m...

Read more and see video here:

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Rosie Pope Update: Running from the UK to Nepal at 75

Chris Hinkle photo - Full Article

by Alex Myall

When I was tasked with writing about Rosie Pope’s expedition, I was told that she is quite a character. I’d say “character” sums her up beautifully. Even the bare facts — at age 75 she’s running from the UK to Nepal — makes evident her joyful lust for life and quirky style. By her own admission, Rosie isn’t athletic, and when I say “running”, I mean her mission is actually more like lugging a trike-turned-coffin across continents. Said trike-tuned-coffin holds all the necessities and doubles as a sleeping space when she needs to rest.

On March 3, Rosie reached Istanbul, Turkey. She crossed the iconic Bosphorus Bridge (with a police escort, no less, since it isn’t a pedestrian bridge) marking her official entry into Asia...

Read more here:

Help Gastric Ulcers with Frequent Feedings - Full Article

June 6, 2019
By Kentucky Equine Research Staff

Many performance horses have ulcerations of the stomach that can hinder performance and well-being. Did you know that broodmares and lightly ridden horses are also at risk? According to veterinarians and researchers, one contributing factor to equine gastric ulcer syndrome, or EGUS, involves feeding management strategies, including lack of free feeding.

“Free feeding of performance horses or those maintained primarily in individual stalls is not a realistic option, compared to horses on pasture that will graze for 10-15 hours a day,” shared Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a nutritionist for Kentucky Equine Research.

For most performance horses, simply offering more hay will not provide sufficient energy, necessitating the addition of a concentrate to the diet. Typically, these grain meals are offered twice daily...

Read more here:

Saturday, March 21, 2020

I Need a Break - Karen Sweaney - Full Article


I bet you do too. Fortunately, Facebook has been plastered with funny memes this week. No, COVID-19 isn't a joke, but people are hilarious, and thank goodness they are or else I'd be blubbering under the covers right about now. Letting some of the pressure escape with a good laugh at ourselves can only keep us healthier.

In Prose Works, Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, said, "If only the people would believe that good is more contagious than evil [...] how much more certain would be the doctor's success [...]." In this instance, laughter could certainly replace good without changing her meaning. In fact, it only strengthens her point...

Read more here:

Friday, March 20, 2020

Horse Owner Help During COVID-19 - Full Article

What to do if you need help feeding your horses after a COVID-19-related job loss, and how to help others if you don’t.

Posted by Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief | Mar 19, 2020

This week I’ve been curious—even a bit anxious—about how COVID-19 closures and cancellations are going to directly impact horse owners and their horses. As people are laid off from their jobs or must shutter their businesses in the face of decreased profits or inability to operate, they must find a way to cover their living expenses, as well as their horses’.

Spring hasn’t hit most pastures yet, so horse owners are still feeding a lot of hay … it’s simply a more expensive time of year to keep horses. It’s also tax season, and some owners owe the IRS.

“The timing is awful,” said emergency planning expert Rebecca Gimenez-Husted, PhD, who is based in Georgia. “There’s very little grass yet, and spring grass is so dangerous for laminitis risks...”

Read more here:

Thursday, March 19, 2020

The Lost Sea Expedition A Man. A Mule. America. - See video documentary

Welcome. I’m film maker Bernie Harberts. This site is about the Lost Sea Expedition TV series, the documentary about my 14 month wagon voyage from Canada to Mexico. I filmed the whole voyage right out of my solar powered wagon – no sponsor, chase crew or support vehicle...

Watch the preview here:

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Girth Aversion in Horses: Gastric Ulcers Pinpointed - Full Article

February 19, 2020
By Kentucky Equine Research Staff

Saddle enough horses and you will run into one that detests girthing. A horse that is sensitive to cinch-fitting, sometimes called a “girthy horse,” usually displays signs of protest, including tossing the head, pinning ears, wringing the tail, stomping a foreleg, kicking out with a hind leg, and worse. Is girthiness an expression of resistance, a sign of shaky work ethic, or could there be an underlying cause?

Veterinary researchers set out to determine the causes of girthiness in a retrospective study of 37 horses admitted to the University of California, Davis. Although identifying the exact cause for girth aversion remains a challenge, 12 of the horses studied were diagnosed with gastric ulceration. In addition to gastric ulcers, the horses were found to have sundry orthopedic issues (10 horses), ill-fitting saddles (3), reproductive tract neoplasia (1), and various diseases (10), including liver abscessation, vena cava aneurism, sternum pain, and urinary tract infection...

Read more here:

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Equine Coronavirus and COVID-19 are NOT the same disease - Full Article

Palm Beach Equine Clinic addresses concerns regarding Equine Enteric Coronavirus and COVID-19 -- both distinctly different coronaviruses.

By: Palm Beach Equine Clinic | March 15, 2020

The recent spread of the novel coronavirus has raised serious concerns as the status continues to evolve. As equine veterinarians, Palm Beach Equine Clinic would like to address the questions and concern raised by horse owners regarding the potential impact of this disease on the equine industry.

Coronaviruses include a large group of RNA viruses that cause respiratory and enteric symptoms, and have been reported in domestic and wild animals. Equine Enteric Coronavirus and COVID-19 are both coronaviruses, however, they are distinctly different viruses.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infectious disease experts, and multiple international and national human and animal health organizations have stated that at this time there is NO EVIDENCE to indicate that horses could contract COVID-19 or that horses would be able to spread the disease to other animals or humans. Equine enteric coronavirus and COVID-19 are NOT the same strain, and there is no indication that either are transmissible between species...

Read more here:

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Responsible Trail Use – A Guide for Horsemen - Full Article

A Guide to Responsible Trail Use

February 24, 2020
by Robert Eversole

Responsible Trail Use – A Guide for Horsemen

What you should know about responsible trail use through appropriate outdoors etiquette and ethics.

If you’re new to trail riding, it’s easy to view it as just a hillier extension of the arena. It’s just trail riding, right? Not quite. Trail riding offers an escape to beautiful, wild places — but also brings with it a responsibility to keep those places pristine and to respect the experiences of other visitors. Here are a few tips to help you become an upstanding citizen of the trails.

Accept Responsibility

One thing that has always been part of the equestrian ethic is personal responsibility, whether it’s just a day ride or an extended back country adventure.

Before heading onto the trails, learn about the area, gather appropriate equipment (Such as these Essentials for Every Trail Ride) and be prepared to take care of yourself. Whether you’re day riding or camping in backcountry areas for days on end, things can go wrong. Not only could you be in danger, but other people may have to shoulder the challenge of bailing you out of trouble. A well-executed trip is a satisfaction to you and not a burden to others...

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Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Alfalfa: Are Hay or Pellets Better Before Riding? - Full Article

Research shows feeding horses alfalfa prior to riding can help buffer stomach acid and offers relief for ulcer-prone horses. But are hay or pellets better?

Posted by Clair Thunes, PhD | Feb 24, 2020

Q.I feed my ulcer-prone horse alfalfa before riding, because I’ve heard the calcium in alfalfa works like a big Tums antacid to keep my horse’s stomach from hurting during exercise. I was recently told that alfalfa pellets don’t work and that I should use alfalfa hay or chop instead, because the alfalfa needs to create a “hay mat” in the stomach to keep acid from splashing up into a horse’s esophagus (basically, causing horse heartburn). Is it true that I need to feed alfalfa hay or chop instead of pellets?

A.You are correct. Alfalfa is typically high in calcium, which researchers have shown reduces stomach acidity due to its buffering capacity. In a study at Texas A&M University, 12 horses were assigned to one of two groups: a 1:1 ratio by weight of Bermuda hay and a concentrate feed or of alfalfa hay and the same concentrate feed.

Treatment periods lasted 28 days before horses switched to the other diet with a 21-day washout period between treatments. At the start of the study each horse went through a gastroscopy to determine whether they had gastric ulcers and, if so, their severity. Horses were rescoped after the 28-day treatment periods to determine whether any existing ulcers had improved or worsened or new ulcers had appeared.

The researchers found that ulcer severity scores were significantly lower when horses ate alfalfa hay compared to Bermuda hay...

Read more here:

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Everything You Need to Know About Equestrian College Scholarships: Part 2 - Full Article

2 March 2020
Words by Nadia Aslam

We continue our guide to equestrian college scholarships by looking at how to choose the right school…

In part one of Everything You Need to Know About Equestrian College Scholarships we looked at what these opportunities are and how potential applicants might benefit.

With so much choice, it can be overwhelming to find the right school for you. Those considering this pathway should set aside a specific time to put together a list of potential schools, and from there narrow it down based on what feels right.

Here we look at choosing the right college and course...

Read more here:

Saturday, February 29, 2020

What’s the Right Heel Height?

Easycareinc Blog - Full Article

By EasyCare
February 29, 2020

Wouldn’t it make life so much easier if we had a hard-and-fast, always-and-never guide for trimming our horses’ hooves? Unfortunately the hoof can’t be simplified like that. The hoof is an amazing feat of natural engineering that offers an infinite combination of variations within “normal” ranges. To make it even more complicated, our horses can add long-existing pathologies, traumatic injury, compensation for conformational quirks, and other anomalies that change how we care for the hoof.

Likely the one aspect of trimming with the most exceptions to any rule is heel height. Ideal palmar angle is considered to be anywhere from zero to ten degrees. How do we decide what’s right for each horse?...

Read more here:

Friday, February 28, 2020

Everything You Need to Know About Equestrian College Scholarships: Part 1 - Full Article

27 February 27 2020

Nadia Aslam speaks to colleges, tutors and students about the opportunities available through equestrian-based college scholarships...

Many young riders around the world are potentially sitting on a goldmine without even knowing it, and you could be one of them. I’m not referring to your large four-legged friend who seems to enjoy racking up vet bills, and eating only the most expensive horse food!

I’m referring to YOU!

Allow me to explain. You see, there are universities dotted all over the world that offer scholarships to talented riders, but before you start thinking you need to be an Olympic-level equestrian competitor, with as much experience as Beezie Madden to be eligible - think again!

In most cases, universities are looking at your riding ability in combination with your personality, work ethic, and grades.

We’re going to take a look at the collegiate equestrian opportunities in the US, and speak with coaches and riders at some of the country’s top schools to give you the inside scoop on everything related to equestrian-based college scholarships. In this first article we'll look at what these scholarships are and who they're suitable for, and in part two (scheduled for March 6) we'll look at choosing the right college for you...

Read more here:

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Check It Out: Rough Magic: Riding the World's Loneliest Horse Race by Lara Prior-Palmer - Full Article and audio

February 24 2020

This is Kelsey Patterson with the Sioux City Public Library and you’re listening to Check It Out. Today, I’m recommending Rough Magic: Riding the World’s Loneliest Horse Race by Lara Prior-Palmer.

At the tender age of nineteen, Lara Prior-Palmer discovered a website devoted to “the world’s longest, toughest horse race”—an annual competition of endurance and skill that involves dozens of riders racing a series of twenty-five wild ponies across 1,000 kilometers of Mongolian grassland. On a whim, she decided to enter the race. As she boarded a plane to East Asia, she was utterly unprepared for what awaited her...

Read more and listen here:

Sunday, February 23, 2020

DVM Student Pursues Her Passion with Elite Equine Experience in the Middle East - Full Article

Friday, February 21, 2020

For Caitlin Smith, a member of the DVM Class of 2020, the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap took her across the globe to Dubai, where she became the first Purdue veterinary student to participate in the highly selective Dubai Equine Hospital Externship Program. Caitlin stayed in Dubai on the hospital’s campus for the entirety of her externship, which ran from November 30 to December 29, 2019.

The Dubai Equine Hospital is one the largest private-practice equine hospitals in Dubai and is located less than two miles from the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. There are usually anywhere from 20 to 50 horses at the hospital at a time. The externship program takes one applicant every month from countries all over the globe, and does not take more than two externs from the same country in the same year. The students’ travel and food costs are covered and they are housed in an apartment on the hospital campus. When horses are not in the ICU, each student extern is responsible for conducting all treatments from six in the morning until midnight...

Read more here:

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Woman brings mini-service horse onto plane, into first class - Full Article and video

By Lee Brown
February 17, 2020

This flyer wasn’t horsing around.

A Michigan woman startled other passengers on a recent series of flights when she brought aboard a mini-service horse and traveled with him in first class to California.

Ronica Froese made the journey starting on Feb. 7 with her equine companion Fred, who was specially trained to make the high-altitude trip, according to WXMI.

“I paid an arm and a leg for tickets, but I did so because it was Fred’s first time and I wanted him to be comfortable,” Froese told the station.

“I wanted him to have the most room.”

Froese, who has trained Fred — who dressed in a sleek suit that made him look like a Lucha Libre wrestler — to be a therapy and a service horse, said everyone was “sweet as pie...”

Read and see more here:

Friday, February 14, 2020

What's in Your First Aid Kit? - Full Article

January 31, 2020
Your First Aid Kit

Are you prepared to be a vet long enough to manage a minor injury or stabilize a more serious wound? In such situations a well-stocked and accessible emergency first-aid kit is indispensable.

Be prepared to stabilize any injuries your horse, or mule, incurs until your veterinarian can get there by maintaining a conveniently located equine first-aid kit. I have 3 separate first aid kits: Barn kit – Trailer kit – Trail kit; Each kit is stocked with the items I’ll need until the vet arrives. Time is critical when an accident happens and you don’t want to waste time hunting around for bandages, thermometer, or other necessities...

Read more here:

The truth about Rider Fit - Full Article

February 5, 2020 Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized
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Endurance Horse Podcast asked me to do a short piece on endurance riding and rider fitness. This blog post is meant as a companion to *my words in the podcast episode “Rider Health – Part 2.” Check it out, and if you found your way here through the podcast, welcome.

*I always always ALWAYS feel so stupid doing a recording. I try to console myself that everyone feels stupid hearing their voice coming back at them, but I can’t help feeling that I’m especially bad at it. It’s definitely not my normal chosen manner of communication, but if me stepping outside of my comfort zone can help others, I’m willing to do it. This is the third time I’ve been on the endurance horse podcast. If you are interested, I spoke about my experience doing the ride and tie championships with a mini horse about a year ago, and read an excerpt from my book, “Go Ride Far,” in the fall.

Here’s the truth about endurance riding.

You don’t have to be an athlete to complete 100 or even 50 miles on horseback.

Yes, finishing an endurance ride accomplishment, but it isn’t necessarily an athletic accomplishment for the rider.

Before you get all mad at me for saying this and throwing stuff at your computer, let’s look at the GOOD side of this.

You DON’T have to be an athlete to get on your horse, train for an endurance ride, have a TON OF FUN, and go out and do COOL SH*T ON YOUR HORSE. YAY!!!!!! So don’t put endurance off for some future time when you will “be in better shape” and instead just go out and do the thing.

But let’s say you aren’t so good at re-framing and are stuck on what I said. You don’t have to be an athlete to ride 12 or 24 hours? WHAT CAN YOU POSSIBLY MEAN?

I didn’t believe it for a long time either. “The horse does all the work!” people would tell me when I talked about doing equine endurance. I stared daggers at them, wondering if these people, who I doubted could even run around the block, could possibly imagine what it felt like to wrestle and console a 1000 pound animal forward (and sometimes STOP BEING SO FORWARD) for 12+ hours...

Read more here:

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

New Diet Fad Has People Buying $500 Salt Licks Designed for Horses - Full Story

1 WEEK AGO | Satire

Gwyneth Paltrow is just the latest celebrity to sing the praises of a new health fad sweeping Hollywood that’s inspired by the eating habits of horses.
Dubbed the ‘neigh diet’ —its motto is to ‘just say neigh’ to meat and processed foods—the eating regime promotes plant-based dishes, frequent ‘grazing’ in lieu of three proper meals, and free choice salt and minerals from a salt lick that costs $500 at premium health food stores.

In a post on her GOOP site, Paltrow encourages her followers to embrace the health properties of oats and alfalfa and smaller, more frequent meals. She also promotes consuming salt and minerals throughout the day, in much the same way that a horse does.

Adherents swear the new diet has left them feeling energized and melted away fat, giving them a lean, lithe look, like that of a racehorse...

Read more here:

Monday, February 10, 2020

Oscars 2020: The Greatest Horse Films of All Time - Full Article

10 February 2020
Text by Katie Roebuck

A look at the equine heroes of the movie screen

There were no horses on the red carpet at the Oscars over theweekend, with just the humans of Hollywood in line for the movie industry's top awards.

But that's not to say that our equine friends can't produce box office magic. Films which feature a horse as the star are always memorable. These films are emotive tales of triumph over adversity. No horse has ever won an Oscar, but in our opinion, these movie suggestions are some of the best...

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Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Give Colic the Cold Shoulder This Winter - Full Article

January 8, 2020
By Kentucky Equine Research Staff

Colic can strike at any time of the day, month, or year, but impaction colic occurs more frequently in winter. Decreased water intake usually carries the blame for these impactions, defined as a blockage in the large colon caused by any feedstuff undergoing digestion, though other management factors also contribute to the problem.

“Horses require approximately 5 to 15 gallons (20-55 liters) of water per day. Signs of inadequate water intake include production of dry, sparse feces and weight loss,” described Catherine Whitehouse, M.S., a nutrition advisor for Kentucky Equine Research.

Forage fermentation requires voluminous water, which is why the large colon and cecum are referred to as fermentation vats...

Read more here:

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Pros and Cons of Feeding Horses Beet Pulp - Full Article

An equine nutritionist answers common questions about beet pulp.

Posted by Clair Thunes, PhD | Feb 19, 2018

Q. I have some questions about feeding beet pulp.

• Is it a forage or concentrate? Should it have added molasses or should it be plain?
• Should it be in flake- or pellet-form?
• What’s the correct water to beet pulp ratio?
• How much should a horse eat per pound of body weight, and do you measure it with the beet pulp soaked or un-soaked?
• What supplements should be included if any to ensure balanced nutrition?

I’d appreciate any input you have on the pros and cons of feeding beet pulp.

Read the answer at:

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Long-Distance Transport of Horses: Seven Tips - Full Article

December 23, 2019
By Kentucky Equine Research Staff

Traveling long distances can be stressful on horses. To minimize the negative effects of transport, consider some of the following suggestions.

• Be sure your horse is healthy prior to transport. Do not ship any horse with a fever, even if low grade. For interstate travel, a health certificate is often required, but this may be completed days prior to actual travel, so it is essential to monitor your horse’s health just prior to being loaded.
• Take frequent breaks during the drive to allow horses to eat and drink. Even if water and hay are available in the trailer, they may not consume enough while moving to ward off weight loss and dehydration...

Read more here:

Monday, January 27, 2020

How to Find Your Confidence After a Fall From Your Horse - Full Article

Trainer Anne Gage shares tips for how to overcome fear and anxiety about riding your horse after a fall or other scare, and become a confident rider again.

By: Anne Gage | January 14, 2020

It’s perfectly natural to feel anxious about riding after a fall. Even having a close call or seeing someone else fall can affect your confidence. Our brains are wired to keep us safe. So when we experience or witness a situation that our mind perceives as potentially harmful to us, it automatically sets off our built-in warning system. That fear trigger is hardwired into our brains.

Many adult riders even find they feel anxious without having a fall or a negative experience. The fear can come simply from knowing that you can’t afford to get hurt because of your age, physical condition or life responsibilities (e.g. being a caregiver to children or elderly parents, or being the sole income earner).

Regardless of what has caused your loss of confidence, following these seven steps will help you to rebuild it:...

Read more here:

Sunday, January 26, 2020

I Met My Hero at the EQUUS Film Festival - Full Article

November 2019

On a hectic Monday morning just three days before the EQUUS Film Fest, I received an email from Bernice Ende, author of Lady Long Rider, informing her followers that she’d be attending the event.
I was struck with disappointment. How would I be able to get a plan into place so quickly and put off work deadlines to get there?

Reading about Bernice’s adventures and her gumption to cover thousands upon thousands of miles riding by her lonesome through the wilds and cities in the U.S., Canada and Europe on horseback had made a lasting impression on me. This was a woman I wanted to meet.

My fiancé walked in the room and found me staring into space. “What’s up?” he asked.

“I’m going to meet Bernice,” I answered in a trance. “In Lexington.”

The travel plans came together seamlessly. Within minutes upon arrival to the Kentucky Horse Park, I bumped into Bernice. I was going into the Visitor’s Building; she was heading to the International Horse Museum to meet and greet and sell her books. I was overwhelmed with happiness at meeting this woman who I deeply revere...

Read more here:

Friday, January 24, 2020

Trail To Zero: 20 Veterans, 20 Horses, 20 Miles

TRAIL TO ZERO - HOUSTON IS FEBRUARY 1, 2020 Bring your own horse and ride with us! Registration & Details NOW OPEN!

Why Create This Ride?

Trail to Zero was developed after countless conversations with veterans on an epidemic in our country – veterans losing brothers and sisters to suicide. Through heartbreaking conversations, it was apparent that this was tragically affecting so many. The common response was veterans at BraveHearts said horses had helped them in their weakest moments. As part of the largest PATH Intl. center for veterans in the country, our veterans wanted a movement; a 20-mile horseback ride. They decided to ride a mile for each veteran lost to suicide every day.

In 2017, BraveHearts pilot program for Trail to Zero began in NYC. Since then, BraveHearts has taken the ride to the next level by being able to bring more veterans into two cites (NYC & DC in 2018) to bring awareness to veteran suicide while also helping the veterans on the ride to heal and advance their horsemanship. In April 2019, BraveHearts presented at the N.A.M.U.C.A conference where hundreds of mounted police officers heard veterans stories from Trail  to Zero. The response from the units were overwhelming and brought forth the opportunity to add a third city, Chicago, in 2019. BraveHearts rides will bring the overwhelming statistic of 20 veterans committing suicide per day to the forefront of Americans’ minds while also helping to educate veterans and Americans about equine assisted services and the benefits that it has as an alternative approach to healing.

It is our greatest hope that we may reach at least one veteran who is currently battling suicidal ideologies, letting them know that they are not alone, that their community cares, and that equine assisted services may help. We are forever grateful for the NYPD Mounted Unit, US Park Police Mounted Horse Unit, the Chicago Mounted Unit, and the HCSO-Mounted Patrol for standing behind us as we continue to ride until 20 becomes ZERO. 

For more information, see:

Darolyn Butler's Cypress Trail Ranch is supporting the BraveHearts Trail to Zero Ride in Houston. "We are offering 8 places in our horse trailer for any Veterans or others associated with Cypress Trails that want to support this effort. Your registration of $75 goes to the organization.

Cypress Trails Ranch will accept donations for the fuel and use of our horses, but no formal charge is established. You must go to 2400 Reed Rd (South of downtown Houston) on January 31 to check-in, show Coggins/Health Certificate, etc.  

Please contact Cypress Trails Ranch before you register to make sure there is still trailer space available in our trailer. Veterans will be given priority, but anyone can ride in this event."

Contact Cypress Trails

Thursday, January 23, 2020

How You Can Help the Horses of Australia - Full Article

23 January 2020
Words by Nadia Aslam

Horse enthusiasts the world over are doing their bit to help those affected by the Australian bushfires...

Along narrow country roads, farms lie abandoned, horses run free; terrified for their lives amid a cloud of seemingly endless smoke.

As properties burn in southern Australia, many are left wondering, “what now?”. Families who have lived on the same property for 20 years have seen their hard work burn to the ground, and with property insurance an expensive cost, it’s unclear as to just how many will have funds available to rebuild once the dust settles.

The fires have been devastating for wildlife and across the country's equestrian community. For each horse lost to the fires, there’s a person left behind who can no longer turn to their four-legged friend. For each farm that burns, there’s a farmer who has lost their livelihood and must muster the strength to pick up the pieces to start from scratch.

But through this tragedy, something beautiful has happened. The world has come to rally behind Australia, with horse people the world over sending messages, funds, and supplies to do anything that they can to help. And while this support can’t take back what has been done, it’s doing a tremendous job of boosting morale in many Australian communities...

Read more here:

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Free-Feeding Hay: When Will My Horse Slow Down? - Full Article

Our nutrition expert offers advice for ensuring free-fed horses don’t overeat hay.

Posted by Clair Thunes, PhD | Jan 13, 2020

Q:I started free-feeding grass hay to my horses about three weeks ago, and they haven’t slowed down a bit. In addition to their free-feeding, they get a small amount of alfalfa hay (about 5 pounds each day, divided into morning and evening feedings) and a flax-based supplement and multivitamin. When will they stop pigging out on the day on the hay, and are there any signs of concern I should look for?
A:Kudos to you for wanting to feed your horses in a way that aligns more closely with their digestive anatomy and physiology. It can be a little scary to watch your horses gorge day after day. The majority of horses do self-regulate after several weeks. Some do so more quickly and some take longer. Of course, there are always the exceptions to the rule who just do not self-regulate.

It is important to pay attention to your horse’s body condition and weight. I would recommend performing a condition score and weight estimate on your horses every two weeks so that you can determine objectively if any are gaining weight. Some horses might be gorging and yet their weight might not change. Excessive weight gain, especially in breeds at risk of metabolic disorders, is always a concern no matter how hay is fed. Pay particular attention to the formation of neck crest fat...

Read more here:

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Feeding Horses Oils for Added Energy without Excitability - Full Article

Oil is liquid fat, which is incorporated into many commercial horse feeds, or is used as a top-dress. Can your horse benefit from the added calories?

By: Shannon Pratt-Phillips, Ph.D. | August 28, 2019

Fats, like oils, can be useful additives to the equine diet, mostly as a source of calories (energy), but may also have added benefits for the horse’s coat condition and potential immune benefits.

All fat sources have approximately 9 megacalories (mcal) of digestible energy, which is more than two times the calorie density of corn, oats or most commercial feeds. Therefore, one measuring cup of fat would have significantly more than a measuring cup of grain mix. So a smaller amount of fat (by volume or weight) packs more calories into a diet very efficiently.

This allows you to increase the energy content of a horse’s diet without having to increase their grain meals. When horses have very high energy requirements (show jumpers, eventers, barrel racers and racehorses for example), it may be difficult for them to eat enough hay and grain mix to meet their calorie needs. Furthermore, due to the higher risks of digestive disturbances such as colic that are associated with higher grain intakes, due to their starch and sugar content, replacing some grain calories with fat calories may be a healthier option for your horse. Plus, it should be noted that adding in a cup of oil is likely cheaper than adding in the same energy volume of grain.

An athletic horse also has higher protein, vitamin and mineral needs than can be found in fortified grain mixes, but these increased needs are not to scale with the increased energy needs, and simply feeding more grain mixes to such horses would potentially result in overfeeding some nutrients. It should be noted that athletes that require bursts of power – such as leaving a starting gate or going into a jump-off – do need a good amount of starch and sugar in their diets to produce muscle glycogen, but these needs are typically met with most grain mixes...

Read more here: