Rabies in a horse

April 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Turnout for your horse is important!

December 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Excellent responses to this post about a horse only receiving 2 hours of turnout a day. That’s like spending 22 hours a day in your bed.

Amplify’d from mastercardinal.com

How important is turnout to a horse’s health?

I have a young mare, and I feel that she does not get turned out enough. She gets turned out for about 2 hours per day. I’m trying to convince my mom to let me go to a barn that is a little farther away, with much better turnout. What is somethings that would be a benefit for this, and what are some affects a horse could get from not being turned out enough?

Turnout is extremely important and there are tons of affects that can come from not getting enough.

A major one is colic. The less turnout, the higher the risk. There’s tons of information and research out there on it. Colic is expensive, turnout is not.

Hoof issues. Lower limb circulation is facilitated by the pumping action of the vein system between the sole and the coffin bone. Standing in a stall does not provide this and poor hoof growth is virtually assured and it increases the risk of virtually all other hoof problems.

Behavioral problems. Stalled horses are more likely to develop stereotypies and be high strung and harder to train. A horse in a stall doesn’t get normal social interaction that they need and stalls are too far removed from their natural way of life. How would your mom like to spend 22 hours a day in a cubicle? and she’s not even adapted to plains life.

Those are the primary ones that come to mind but do some searching and you’ll find some more. The natural horsemanship sites have some good information about the pros of turnout.

Read more at mastercardinal.com


The Jurga Report: Zenyatta

November 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This was a great report on Zenyatta one of the few horse trainers doing things right and it pays off!

Assistance for the Wild Mustangs

October 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Wild stallion Lazarus and part of his band in ...
Image via Wikipedia

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has come under fire lately for its handling of the wild mustangs on its land. BLM Corruption has been an advocate of the mustang along with Ginger Kathrens both calling for the stop of the BLM’s movement and confinement practices which is killing some of the Mustangs.

One of the big concerns for BLM is overpopulation. Well a billionaire’s wife has come to the rescue and has purchased a 14,000 acre ranch to house the  mustangs. For advocates of the mustang this should be good news as it is a step in the right direction for removing control of the horses from the BLM and into a true sanctuary.

Pickens buys NV ranch for wild horse sanctuary | Bryan/College

(AP) — Madeleine Pickens, the wife of Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens, has bought a sprawling Nevada ranch to serve as a wild horse sanctuary that would keep mustangs on the range instead of in government-funded holding facilities. …


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Is your horse neutered?

October 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Similar to free/low cost spay and neuter clinics, there are now programs for stallions to control the problem of horse overpopulation in hopes of helping with the unwanted horse problem. The only difference I see here is that there are not stallions wandering around the neighborhood breeding, so it is a good idea but may not be very effective in controlling the unwanted horse issue.

Amplify’d from www.avma.org

Castration clinics fight unwanted horse problem

Economic turmoil and a ban on horse slaughter has resulted in a steadily growing number of unwanted horses with owners who are unable to properly care for them.

The first aspect of the two-part project, Education Earns Stallions to Geldings, encourages horse owners, through education and financial incentives, to choose to turn their stallions into geldings. Those enrolled in the program are eligible for a voucher to cover the cost of castration surgery once the owner attends eight horse health management educational sessions. Many of the sessions were offered at the Minnesota Horse Expo in St. Paul in April 2009.

The second aspect of the project involves holding castration clinics, with the first such clinic organized in September 2009. The Minnesota Horse Council certified horse rescue organizations on the basis of their compliance with the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ published guidelines for such facilities. These certified organizations brought colts and stallions for one day to the Washington County Fairgrounds in Stillwater, Minn., for free gelding. The procedures were performed by veterinary students under the supervision of area veterinarians.

Read more at www.avma.org


6 Basic Saddle Fit Points

September 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

An Eventing or "All Purpose" saddle
Image via Wikipedia

There are 6 basic key elements to fitting a saddle properly to your horse. There are actually a lot more than this but the 6 basic ones will get you in the right direction.

1. Tree Angle

2. Tree Width

3. Panel Contact

4. Gullet Width

5. Balance

6. Symmetry

Tree Angle – is the angle of the tree and how it sits across the withers. It should allow for shoulder movement and the angle should be somewhat parallel to the withers.

Tree Width – is the width of the tree from panel to panel and how it sits across the withers. It should be wide enough to allow for shoulder movement, not crushing the withers and not so wide that it allows the pommel to rest on the withers.

Panel Contact – the panels should make even contact along the back of the horse. It should not have any gaps or spaces not touching the horse. It should not bridge or rock or have major worn areas. The panel should be firm but not hard.

Gullet Width – is the width between the panels along the saddle from front to back. It should have enough space that it does not allow for contact with the spine and the sensitive ligament that runs right next to the spine. An average man’s hand of four fingers width should be able to slide easily between the panels.

Balance – when looking at the saddle from the side on top of the horse it should be balanced. It should not have a raised pommel or a raised cantle.

Symmetry – when looking at the saddle from the back on top of the horse it should be even and be the same on both sides of the spine. it should not twist or be raised on one side or the other.

These are the basics of saddle fit. It is much more involved to really fit a custom saddle but if you are looking at your saddle these 6 basic points will help you in determining if your saddle is actually fitting correctly on your horse. If one of these points is a problem it may affect your horses’ behavior and certainly his movement. If these are not optimized to fit the horse then your horse will not have optimal movement. You ill need to check saddle fit at least once every 6 months. Fit your horse correctly and you will have a comfortable enjoyable ride.

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Horse Health: What do you want to know?

May 31, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I plan on posting more often, but I want to give you an opportunity to dictate what I write about.

So in the comments section below give me your ideas, your concerns, your desires on what you want to know about your horse as it pertains to its health.

It can be traditional or alternative, medical or surgical, nutrition, movement, lameness, dentistry, specific diseases or a general question. One rule is that I can not give advice on your specific case as in what you should do about your horse it has such and such problem. I can discuss in general a specific problem, giving you the best options and the most common methods of diagnosis and treatment.

Go ahead the floor is yours – What do you want to know?

Budweiser Clydesdale ads did not make the cut for the SuperBowl

January 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Budweiser Clydesdales at the 2008 South Bo...
Image via Wikipedia

Are you kidding me? The Clydesdales are not going to be in the SuperBowl this year? Those powerful iconic, I think of Budweiser every time I see one, Clydesdales are not going to be a commercial in this years Super Bowl!

I understand that Budweiser needs to be very selective about its choosing of commercials especially when it costs about $2.5 million for 30 secs, but come on its the Clydesdales! They have had the best commercials – the horse football teams (who can forget the one with the sheep streaker), the little foal wishing to grow up and be one of the majestic horses in the Budweiser harness, The Budweiser the donkey coveting to be a Budweiser Clydesdale, and even just the Budweiser Clydes hooked up to the cart delivering the Bud. Classic and traditional like Budweiser itself.

In full disclosure I do not drink, but I have friends who do! When we buy beer for parties it is always Budweiser and Corona (full disclosure here: I know Corona is not a Bud product). I am hoping to change the minds of the Budweiser execs and go with a Clydesdale commercial for the Super Bowl. It is going to be difficult, according to an MSNBC article, Budweiser going for laughs this Super Bowl, marketing exec Keith Levy stated that the Clydesdale ads did not pass consumer testing. That’s a shame, but I would like all you horse lovers, Super Bowl ad lovers and Budweiser lovers if you agree with me and wish to see the Clydesdales at the SuperBowl – give Budweiser a call and let them know – 1-800-DIAL-BUD Maybe we can make a difference as the final choices have not been made. We have until Feb 7th!

Budweiser Clydesdale Streaker Super Bowl XL Commercial

Performance Horse Movement – a Team Approach

December 13, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

A horse is built to move. In the wild a horse is a grazer and the herd moves several miles a day in search of food. We as humans use this to our advantage – in the beginning a horse was used as a mode of transportation, because how they are built to move. Today our recreational use of horses still is in transporting humans through some sort of activity be it trail riding, to endurance riding, to roping steers, to jumping fences – the amount of activities is too numerous to list here, but they all have something in common. They take advantage of how the horse is built to move.

With all the changes we have done to the horse to compete in events maintaining proper movement can be difficult and it requires a team approach. You are the crew chief, the head honcho when it comes to your horse’s care. Of course, there will be people with more knowledge than you about the specifics of your horses movement but ultimately you are the decision maker – it is your horse, you need to process the information and make the best decision you can. In order to do this might I make some recommendations on who needs to be included on your team to allow your horse to have the best opportunity to maintain proper movement.

Nutrition – You barn manager and your vet or nutritionist

Hoof – Your farrier

Teeth – Your equine dentist

Tack Fit – Your saddle fitter/maker

Body – Your chiropractor and massage therapist

Riding – Your instructor and rider

Overall Health – Your veterinarian

Did you notice that I placed Your in front of each of these people? You are in charge – these people are there to guide you and work together as a team. Will they disagree? Many times they will it is up to you as the owner to make the best decisions for your horse. Even though you may have some disagreements all of these people need to be involved in your horses care to give your horse a chance of competing at the best of it ability. Think of your horse as a race car – a high end race car does not go to a race without a race team and neither should your horse.

The reason I bring this up is that many horse owners think of these practitioners only as individuals, however they are a team and you need to treat them as such. A properly working team knows what the other team members are doing in order to get the project (in this case your horse) to the best possible conclusion (in this case the best possible movement to compete). If you think of these practitioners as team members for your horse’s care you will do well to make better decisions in your horse’s care.