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...

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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...”

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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:...

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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 fiancĂ© 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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Saturday, January 11, 2020

Equine Gastric Ulcers and NSAID Administration - Full Article

December 12, 2017
By Kentucky Equine Research Staff

Although helpful for many painful and inflammatory conditions, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as phenylbutazone or “bute,” can cause gastric ulcers, especially glandular gastric ulcers. In turn, gastric ulcers result in pain, body condition changes, and poor athletic performance.

“Researchers and veterinarians once believed that NSAIDs caused gastric ulcers due to a suppression of prostaglandin production in the gastrointestinal system,” explained Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a nutritionist with Kentucky Equine Research (KER).

Prostaglandins constitute a group of fatty molecules that play a plethora of roles in the body, including hormone-like activities, modulating inflammation, and controlling body temperature and smooth muscle contraction, to name only a few...

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Thursday, January 09, 2020

Is the RICE Protocol Helpful for Horses? - Full Article

Dr. Ali Miletic examines how and when the human medicine approach to treating injuries through the RICE protocol is effective in horses.

By: Ali Miletic | January 28, 2018

Q: I’ve heard recently that the RICE protocol for humans is outdated. Does this apply to horses as well?

There has been some recent discussion in human medicine that the common way of treating an acute injury (especially soft tissue, like a sprained ankle) through Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE) is outdated and can actually do more harm than good. Let’s look at the components:

Resting an injury is never a bad idea. It allows the body to heal, and is usually the best way to prevent excessive pain and further damage.

Icing is used to reduce inflammation, pain, and bleeding. Vasoconstriction occurs when cold is applied to an area; when the vessels constrict, less blood flows through them and therefore less blood is brought to the area, resulting in less swelling. Cryotherapy, or use of cold temperatures as medical therapy, is also considered an analgesic (pain reducer). This is accomplished by changing the threshold for the conduction of nerve impulses to and from the tissue...

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Saturday, January 04, 2020

Meeting Horse-Whisperer Jean-Francois Pignon - Full Story

5 January 2020
Words and images by Rebecca Ashton

We spend some time with renowned horseman Jean-Francois Pignon at his beautiful property in France, and learn about how he became a worldwide “horse-whispering” phenomenon…

We are in the infectious company of Jean-Francois Pignon. His six black horses are all just two years old and already he’s playing with them. The way they came into the world is a story in itself. A local vet owned a “dangerous” stallion. It was either go and visit Jean Francois or be put down, so Jean Francois took him on.

“It was very interesting working with him,” Jean Francois explains. “He was very sensible. If you stayed and moved with him, it was very interesting.”

That’s a theme you hear a lot with the Frenchman. After all these years, he still finds the horses very interesting, there’s still something to learn from each one.

Needless to say, he changed the vet’s horse completely. As payment, he took some services from the stallion and ended up with six black foals. Hence the show, as they will join his already established team, who are all white...

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