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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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:...

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