Sept/Oct WHR available now!

Photo by Callaghan Creative Co.

As if the invigorating editorial and photo journalism of the September/October issue of Western Horse Review weren’t enough, there are so many behind-the-scenes aspects that we thought we should let you in on the action!

 

In one of our competitor interviews, Louisa Murch White had the chance to speak with Kirsty White, the Canadian professional barrel racer on a consistent hot streak in 2017 with no plans of slowing down. White tells us about her go-round win at Calgary, her main mounts and a little bit about what it’s like to live a day in her life.

Then we featured Donna Wilson of the rural community around Chain Lakes, AB, and  a fourth-generation rancher who passion and main discipline is bronze artistry. Wilson says, “There is such rich imagery in the life we lead here!”

Wilson’s Anchor Bar Bronze is situated in a gallery she shares with good friend and photographer, Debra Garside in Longview, AB. From her trademark works utilizing the intricate use of antlers within a bronze, to her Longhorn cattle pieces, to the artworks that display horses and the western lifestyle, you can read about them all in our Sept/Oct issue.

Carman Pozzobon. Photo by Covy Moore.

In our Fall Run health profile, we spoke with several top professionals in our industry and asked them how they keep their mounts in top condition, during peak fall competitions. Barrel trainer Carman Pozzobon (Kamloops, BC) told us about her Equifit Nerostim Massager, while trainers Dale Clearwater (Hanley, SK) and Dustin Gonnet (Cayley, AB) open up about their feed programs and the importance of versatility in training. Reining specialist Locke Duce of High River, AB, mentions the benefits of Pulse Therapy in his daily regime. Learn their top tips and more in our in-depth piece for the final gauntlet of the show season.

Savanna Sparvier, 2017 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess. Photo by Callaghan Creative Co.

 

On pages 42-49, we showcase the best in autumn western fashion. Shot by the talented Callaghan Creative Co., this special photojournalism piece took us from the Calgary Polo Club, to the backyard our own Sally Bishop’s in Nanton, AB, to the runways of the Vulcan Airport. We were so lucky to be joined by a group of beautiful models and authentic horse women, for this amazing feature. On the cover and in the picture above, you’ll find the stunning Savanna Sparvier, the 2017 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess.

Did we mention – we had the turquoise, coyote fur jacket (with Pendleton®️blankets) by Janine’s Custom Creations, custom-made for this issue of the magazine?

If readers could have been with us on that day they would have seen a huge crew of talented people, hustling at every location to get the models in make-up, hair and dressed for an optimal moment in front of the camera.

Stay tuned for an upcoming blog solely about on our behind-the-scenes action from the Fall Shoot!

A solar waterer. Photo by Esteban Adrogue.

In our How-To feature, we tell you about an innovative solar waterer created by Rob Palmer of Nanton, AB, that got his ranch off the grid. Even in the brunt of a cold winter, Palmer can rely on solar power to water his cows and keep his monthly service provider bills to a bare minimum.

Paul Brandt has taken his success as a musician and used it as a launching pad for many incredible philanthropic purposes.

 

We also had the chance to interview the iconic Paul Brandt in the Sept/Oct issue, the most awarded male Canadian country music artist in history. In this compelling editorial, Louisa Murch White got the chance to speak with Brandt about music, his philanthropic work and his most recent #NotInMyCity campaign.

Launched just prior to the 2017 Calgary Stampede. the #NotInMyCity campaign raises awareness about human trafficking in Calgary, AB. A tough subject to talk about and an even tougher one to fight – but Brandt feels strongly that with awareness and recognition of the serious problem in our own backyard, the public can stand together against it.

Brandt partnered together with local designer Paul Hardy to design scarves and bandannas to help raise funds for the campaign. Hardy says of his design, “…Visually, I hoped to create a motif throughout the bandana and scarf that would not only be bold from afar, but also suggest a community of friendship and a worthiness of trust for those who wear it to stand in solidarity with victims against human trafficking.”

We had the opportunity to photograph these beautiful scarves in our fall fashion shoot. Blowing in the wind, the image suggests freedom. It’s a campaign Western Horse Review supports wholeheartedly.

The #NotInMyCity scarf. Photo by Callaghan Creative Co.

 

The September/October issue of Western Horse Review is available now but with more inciteful editorial on the horizon, you don’t want to miss an issue! Get your subscriptions up to date at: http://www.westernhorsereview.com/magazine-subscription/

Horse Safe Room

 

BY ALEXANDRA MORRIS

From our July/August 2016 issue of Western Horse Review files.

On average, over 1,000 tornadoes occur in the United States every year, especially in severe weather and supercell-prone areas such as Tornado Alley. Yet, according to ongoing research by Environment Canada, Canada experiences an average of 62 tornadoes a year as well.

Upon hearing a tornado warning, the natural response is to gather the kids and pets and hurry down to a safe room in the basement. But what happens to the animals we can’t take to safety below? When time is of the essence and a natural disaster is wreaking havoc in the area, the only logical option may be to let livestock go – and pray they will find refuge on their own.

With today’s technology it’s easier to predict when storms are going to come, unlike 10 years ago. Now we can predict, within minutes, when a tornado is going to hit. That means we also have time to prepare for the worst, gather everything we can and head to the safe room. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a safe room is a hardened structure specically designed to meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) criteria and provide near-absolute protection in extreme weather events, including tornadoes and hurricanes. Near-absolute protection means that, based on our current knowledge of tornadoes and hurricanes, the occupants of a safe room built in accordance with FEMA guidance will have a very high probability of being protected from injury or death.

There aren’t many out there, but Mary Ellen Hickman – who lives in the infamous Oklahoma “tornado alley” – built a safe room for her horses. She constructed it in 2014, after a devastating tornado just missed their place.

“I love Oklahoma, but I could not live here without this. I actually can rest now that I know my animals are safe!” says Hickman. The safe room can hold 10 horses comfortably and there is room for more in the aisle way, in the event two horses don’t get along.

“It’s designed like a slant-load horse trailer and will hold 10 horses plus dogs, cats, and people!” she says.

Each stall is equipped with hay nets, which remain filled throughout the tornado season. The room is intended to house horses for a few hours, overnight if need be, but not for several days. There are no waterlines, though Hickman stocks it with buckets and a nearby water source.

“The safe room has to be 12 feet wide but there is no regulation for length, so I made it 35 feet long,” says Hickman.

Before and after the build.

The cost to build was about $300 USD per linear foot for the building, and a 4×6’ storm door (with three dead bolts) which is eight feet high, plus walls that are eight inches thick. However, there are additional costs for all the other fixtures that could be added. The room’s complete concrete structure is a lot thicker than a normal regulation safety room and it took about a month to finish the whole safe room. Hickman’s shelter exceeds FEMA specs for an F5 Tornado. The safe room sits about 10 steps away from the barn.

“It sits right next to our main barn for easy access,” says Hickman. The safe room is also equipped with emergency lighting. Hickman explains that a basic 12×12 unit for horses, people and other animals would cost around $14,000 to start. Every year before tornado season hits, Hickman performs some emergency drills to ensure she will be prepared when a problem hits and hopefully, load everyone smoothly into the room. If bad weather arises and a horse is not cooperating Hickman will give them a tranquilizer, to ensure the horse relaxes and won’t injure itself or others.

Mane Event 2017

ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MANE EVENT

It’s Spring and that means the Mane Event, Red Deer, AB, is just around the corner!

Elevate your riding skills and learn how to communicate better with your horse at the upcoming Mane Event, Equine Education and Trade Fair April 21 – 23, 2017 at Westerner Park in Red Deer, AB. Horse owners and enthusiasts are in for a treat at this very diversified horse expo.  The Mane Event is very proud of their commitment to providing the very best equine related education, shopping and entertainment all at one location.


The mini-clinics this year include some of the best equine educators and clinicians available in a variety of disciplines including; Peter Gray – Jumping; Shannon Dueck – Dressage; Craig Johnson – Reining; Sharon and Storme Camarillo – Barrel Racing; Van Hargis – Ranch Horsemanship; Garn Walker – Cowboy Dressage; Kalley Krickeberg – Horsemanship; Nate Bowers – Driving; and Nicole Tolle – Gaited Horsemanship.

Attendees will also be enlightened by a variety of presenters in the lecture area on saddle fitting, nutrition, equine health, and much more.


The Trainers Challenge is set to be a scorcher this year with Martin Black, Glenn Stewart  and Shamus Haws working with horses from the Ace of Clubs Quarter Horse. The goal of the Mane Event is to have everyone learn including the trainers. In addition, Glenn, Martin and Shamus will each be presenting an arena session on Saturday, and participants are being accepted for their arena sessions.

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Organizers of The Mane Event have not forgotten the upcoming young horse owners and riders – 4H, Pony Clubs and riding clubs! This year they will have a special Youth Lecture Area which will feature some of the clinicians doing special presentations for youth.

Also, be sure not to miss the Friday night Youth Pro-Am sponsored by “Back On Track”. This is an event that teams youth riders and their horses up with Mane Event trainers to ride a timed obstacle course. When the concept was first introduced at last year’s Red Deer Mane Event, the demand to bring it back was very high so here it is again! There is no cost to ride in this competition and prize packages will be offered by Back On Track. Applications are available on the Mane Event website and it is limited to youth riders only.

Youth writers are additionally invited to enter the Youth Essay Contest to win a beautiful, registered AQHA filly generously donated by the Rocking Heart Ranch. The deadline for entries is April 10th – please visit the website for more information.


What would a horse expo be without shopping?!? In the trade show, you will see a diverse group of vendors from across the USA and Canada with only equine products and services, western clothing, equine décor and home furnishings for horse owners and enthusiasts.

After you have shopped and learned from some of the very best in the equine world today, it’s time to relax and enjoy some great entertainment in the “Equine Experience.” This year’s lineup includes the Calgary Stampede Showriders; trick riding by Morgan Stewart; the Millarville Musical Ride, a demonstration by Glenn Stewart, and one by Kalley Krickeberg plus more to come. A schedule for the Equine Experience will be posted closer to the event.

This is a weekend jam-packed with equine education, fun, knowledge and shopping.  Tickets are available in advance (which will save you some money!) or lots at the door – plan now for 3-days of nothing but horses, horses, horses!
Come and experience what people call “The Mane Event”
Visit www.maneeventexpo.com for more information.

Saskatchewan Equine Expo 2017

The sixth annual edition of the Saskatchewan Equine Expo is set to take place this upcoming February 16-19, 2017 at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon, SK. The park, in conjunction with volunteers from Saskatchewan Horse Federation, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and various equine breed groups work together to facilitate this annual event. The objective is to present equine related lectures, presentations, demonstrations, entertainment and opportunities focusing on the equine industry. As a participant or spectator, you can experience the newest equine products, techniques and technology.

Tickets are on sale now and the show includes the extravaganza, tradeshow, demonstrations and clinics. Tickets are available online and can be found here: http://saskatchewanequineexpo.com/

A schedule of events can be found here: http://saskatchewanequineexpo.com/schedule

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Organizers of the event realized there was a need within the Saskatchewan horse industry for a quality event that showcased the newest technological advances, the latest developments in equine health, and a demonstration of horsemanship excellence that was equally entertaining and educational.

The Saskatchewan Equine Expo was the answer. On February 16-19, the event will once again celebrate the diversity of the equine industry with live demonstrations, breeds on display, and outstanding horsemen and women. Make plans to be there!

www.saskatchewanequineexpo.com

 

Winter Riding

portrait-of-horse-and-snowman
Winter can be a brutal time of year when it comes to riding horses, but it’s not impossible. With careful planning and knowledge, you can ride safely and enjoyably throughout the winter months. Here are a few tips to help you and your horse make the most of your riding, be it for pleasure or getting fit for spring competitions.

 

winter-girl-horseback-riding
1. STAY WARM – YOU AND YOUR HORSE
The minus degree temperatures might not mean much until you factor the wind chill in. When riding in the winter that cold, raw wind can have negative effects on your horse’s lungs, so use good judgment when taking your horse outdoors, and try to stay out of the wind as much as possible.

You can layer your winter clothes, but keep in mind – you do have to get on the horse, and you don’t want to limit your movement so that you can’t ride effectively. Choose winter boots that have some kind of heel, and a smaller foot that will easily slide in and out of a stirrup.

bitweb

2. WARM THE BIT AND OTHER EQUIPMENT
There are varying opinions on this subject but if putting our tongues on cold metal is similar to what a horse feels when a cold bit is put inside its mouth, it’s easy to imagine how it feels. A heated tack room is ideal, but if you don’t have one, at least keep your bridle and saddle pad in a warm area. If your saddle pad is warm and sweaty when you remove it from the horse’s back after riding, put it somewhere where it can dry. If not allowed to dry properly, this can create the opportunity for bacteria to grow on the underside.

3. FOOTING
It is imperative that you find somewhere to ride where your horse has good footing. It goes without saying – avoid ice at all costs and stay off frozen gravel roads, where the ground can be like cement. Also, avoid riding in hard crusted snow which can cut your horse’s legs and make the bulbs of the heels very tender. The best place to ride is a snow-packed trail, where there is no hazard of slipping and there is some snow to minimize concussion.

 

cleaning-snow

4. BAREFOOT OR SHOES?
There are pros and cons to both options.  If you are unable to avoid icy areas, shoes with borium or caulks might be a good option. It depends where and how much you are riding; your farrier’s advice will be your most valuable tool in this case. A major problem with shoes is that they allow the snow to pack in the cup of the hoof and your horse ends up with big balls of snow stuck to his hooves.

This will also happen with a horse that is barefoot, but it may not be as much of a problem. Some riders swear by “snow pads” – rubber pads that can be put on by your farrier and help force the snow out of the horse’s foot.

 

5. FITTING UP FOR COMPETITION OR RIDING FOR PLEASURE
Whether you are riding for pleasure, or in preparation for spring competition, it is important to treat your horse like the special athlete he is. If you are only riding sporadically throughout the winter, go easy on your horse, as he won’t be in shape for miles of hard riding.

If you are conditioning your horse, start slow and progress accordingly. Factor in the activity level of your horse prior to the training program. How many months did he have off? Was he stabled or in a pasture? What kind of feeding program has he been on? How much hair does he have?

It only takes a bit of exertion to get a horse sweating when it’s really cold, and this is something you should try to avoid in the winter. A wet, long haired horse can take an awful long time to sufficiently dry, but you should not put him back outside in the winter elements until he is completely dry.

use-coolers

6. COOLING AND DRYING YOUR HORSE
It’s always necessary to get a horse cooled down properly before turning him out, but in the cold months, it is absolutely imperative. If you have a warm barn, you can leave your horse inside until he’s dry but if you have a cold barn you may need to find other ways to help your horse cool down and dry in a timely manner. Grooming with a curry comb in a circular motion lifts the hair and allows it to dry a little quicker than if it is all laying flat.

A cattle blower/vacuum is a good tool, as you can “blow dry” your horse’s hair. The noise of the machine could be a limiting factor, but most horses eventually relax.

After grooming, put a woolen blanket or cooler on your horse to wick away the moisture. If your horse wears a blanket, the outdoor blanket must fit well. The belly straps must be snug to keep the blanket in place and to avoid the possibility of the horse getting a foot or leg caught. A hood provides more protection, keeping the neck covered as well. Using a blanket and hood will encourage shedding in the spring and the horse’s hair will stay slick and shiny during the winter months.

 

7. CLIPPING
Body clipping is an option but only if you are prepared to keep your horse in a warm indoor environment until the weather warms up, unless you have a heavy-duty blanket with a hood for your horse to wear outdoors. Certainly, the cooling off period for a clipped horse will be much shorter than long-haired one.

If your horse will still be kept outside, it is not recommended to clip the fetlock/pastern hairs. Horses need that hair to protect their legs from the crusty snow and to keep their legs warm.

close-up-of-bay-horse

With some preparedness and consideration, winter riding can be most enjoyable, for yourself as well as your mount.

Parasite Burdens

by Clix Photography.

Photo by Clix Photography.

Article By Jenn Webster

When Dr. Ela Misuno, DVM, MVSc first came to Canada from Denmark to pursue her veterinary residency program, she was surprised to learn of the differences our country presented in terms of equine deworming strategies. By comparison, Denmark had been employing routine fecal egg examinations since the 1990s and dewormers were only sold to horse owners by veterinarians – after they delivered a fecal sample for testing. Only horses that were determined to be moderate and high shedders in respect of the level of parasitic eggs found in one gram of manure, were then given a dewormer.

“When I first came to Canada, it seemed as though no one was talking about fecal egg exams and pasture management,” says Dr. Misuno, now a technical veterinarian for Vetoquinol.  “And learning about parasites in vet school was not an exciting subject. I felt it was a highly important topic for horses in North America, so chose parasitology research project for my master’s studies.”

With internal worms developing increased resistance to deworming drugs, the war against equine parasites has changed. Rotational deworming is a thing of the past. Here Dr. Misuno guides us through new parasite considerations such as geographic location, herd management, manure control and targeted deworming for better practices to suit our needs as horse owners today.
Pasture-pic-(Deworming-)
GEOGRAPHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
All horses carry some amount of a parasite burden. The big questions are, are they carrying numbers high enough to cause disease? And are any of those burdens large strongyles, tapeworms or small strongyle encysted larvae? No amount of deworming will eliminate parasites completely however, the point of a parasite control program is to prevent horses from amassing such high parasite burdens that cause those animals to experience diarrhea, colic, weight loss or even death.

The parasitic cycle is such that to develop parasites, a horse will ingest larvae from their surroundings. Next the larvae develop and migrate through the body. They become egg laying adults in the gut and eggs are passed through the horse’s manure. The eggs hatch and larvae live in the horse’s environment – and the cycle starts all over again. The parasitic cycle is very dependent on weather conditions and the environment.

“A freeze / thaw cycle will kill larvae because they are sensitive,” states Dr. Misuno. “Except for one specific worm – parascaris (roundworms). In Canada the cycle is generally halted in the winter because the cold will stop larval development. It all depends on temperature and humidity. Larvae like moderate temperatures and high humidity, hence, they can develop quickly in the spring early summer and fall.

Eggs are much more hardy than larvae. Eggs can start to develop slowly in a cool, Canadian spring. Any temperatures above 30-degrees Celsius can kill both eggs and larvae however, the ambient temperature must also be dry – no humidity. That’s why the Canadian prairie provinces get a winter break from parasites, but British Columbia can have a problem all year long. Not all provinces are the same. Parasite burdens depend on susceptible horses and favorable environments.

Deworming-potential-lead-#3

MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
Dr. Misuno states that every equine property needs to be assessed on an individual basis. The best way to create a tailored parasite control program is to first identify “herds” of horses in each property. A herd is a group of horses who are in close enough contact to transmit parasites to each other. This would include horses who are housed together on one pasture or pen. Each herd would then have a parasite control program based on the concentration of horses per acre, feeding practices, age and fecal shedding levels. Horses kept in individual stalls should be treated individually.

“Larvae develop on grass where there’s organic material and moisture. That’s why their development is a bit halted on dirt paddocks. Paddocks aren’t perfect but at least they have less parasitic transmission. In a pasture, the concentration of horses to land is crucial. That’s why there are certain things an owner can do for management practices to help stop parasitic transmission.”
These include cleaning up the areas in pastures where horses eat regularly. In the wild, horses eat grass and walk away. In a pasture situation, they walk around in a circle and come back the eating area.

“If you can only do one thing like clean around those high-traffic areas in your pastures, you would be making a great difference in parasite control,” Dr. Misuno says.

“Notice the trends of your pasture to help you make a difference. And why are we talking about this in the first place? Because of the accelerating problem of resistance to current deworming drugs. We have to start thinking about what else we can do to manage parasites. The simple fact is, if you provide your horses with an environment that has very few parasites in it, you help decrease the infection level in your animals..”

Additionally, not all horses on the same property are the same. Based on research we have to date, it seems that adult horses tend to follow the 80/20 rule in regards to their egg shedding levels. If you follow a fecal egg exam on horses over the years, you will see that only 20-30% of horses will be considered “high shedders.” Why does this happen? Because the immune system of every horse is different.

“We believe that horses of three years of age and throughout their adult life, are consistent in their shedding levels. Young horses need time to prime their immune systems against parasites. An old (geriatric) horse’s immune system changes as they get older – so older horses may change their shedding levels.”

How-horse-ingests-larvae

How a horse ingests larvae.

 

FECAL EGG COUNTS – A HOW-TO
There is actually a proper way to submit a fecal sample for testing. Two to three fecal balls are necessary. Also, “A sample must be fresh (‘steaming’) but that still means it can be kept in the fridge for two to three days to be considered ‘fresh.’” says Dr. Misuno.

This allows horse owners, or boarding facilities time to collect samples from numerous horses for a simultaneous submission – since it’s often difficult to collect samples from several horses on the same day.

Ziploc bags are the best way to store samples and each bag must be clearly labelled on the outside as to which horse it belongs, the age of horse and the time of last treatment with dewormer. Samples should never be frozen or left at room temperature. When samples are submitted to a veterinarian, horse owners should also make the vet aware of any current symptoms occurring in a particular horse. These include things like diarrhea, colic or weight loss.

Ideally, another fecal sample should be submitted to your veterinarian two weeks after deworming your horse. It is called a fecal egg count reduction test and helps you choose the most effective drug for your herd of horses and assure that no resistance is developing to it. Parasites of foals may be sensitive to different dewormers than parasites of adult horses. It is recommended to perform fecal egg reduction test on around 30% of moderate to high shedders, and repeat it at least once every three years.

“If we can kill all the adult parasites, there will be no new egg production,” explains Dr. Misuno. “In a moderate to high-shedding horse, a rechecked fecal example two weeks after deworming means there should be zero eggs – we killed 100% of all adult forms.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE
The best way to develop a parasite control program for your needs is to contact your local veterinarian and have them devise a plan for you. Fecal egg samples are crucial for success as is appropriate pasture management. Do not spread horse manure on your pastures. Cross-species grazing is a smart technique to keep parasite levels down – it’s better to rotate one year with cattle, if possible. Also remember that if your system is to typically deworm only in the spring and fall, you’re not protecting any high shedders on your property.

With only four drugs to rely on and drug resistance becoming a very real problem, Dr. Misuno points out the time for action is now.

“Parasites are a problem that affect 100% of horses. Not addressing this problem is no longer an option.”

DeWormingInfochart

Good Advice

HBOC-lead-in

Sensible counsel prevailed at this year’s Alberta Horse Conference, hosted each year by the Horse Industry Association of Alberta. In the April issue of Western Horse Review, we featured 44 notes of advice curated from those two days of lectures. Here are 16 more.

Billy Smith (speaking on transitions in the horse industry)

Billy Smith grew up in the western part of Texas and is the current executive director of the American Paint Horse Association (APHA). He spent eight years as a practicing journalist before accepting a teaching position at West Texas A&M. Smith later joined the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) where he served as executive director of information technology and various marketing roles for 13 years.

1. One of the chief challenges we have today in equine organizations is that information is instant. At board meetings we know significant information has gone out before the meeting even ends. We live in a world in which information moves instantly.

2. Over the last 75 years of developing equestrian organizations we’ve done a lot of things right in the marketing and grooming of our breeds. We’ve also fallen into some traps that have left us short-term gains but have seasoned the horse community with long-term challenges.

3. We ought to take a very hard look at what our cattle guys have done in their industry. We should invest in the genetic evaluation of our horses. There probably are some performance genetics out there that we can tie into in the quality of our animals. We’re exploring that in the Paint breed now. The reality is that there are genetics out there that can allow us to be much more predictable, with some of the genetic tools that are available to us.

4. No matter where you go in the horse community, the hue and cry is the same. How do we get more youth involved with horses?

Dirk Stroda.

Dirk Stroda.

Dirk Stroda (speaking on mental coaching in equine sports)

Dirk Stroda, from British Columbia, is the High Performance Mental Coach for Equine Canada. He currently coaches the Canadian Dressage, Para Dressage and the 3-Day Eventing teams on their way and at the 2016 Rio Olympic Summer Games. He has helped international athletes and national teams towards 11 Olympic Summer and Winters Games, many world championships, and PanAm Games and countless national championships.

5. I’ve coached athletes towards some major awards. And what I discovered was there was a blueprint I was able to see in highly successful people, vs. the blueprint of an average person. I thought, “there must be something there we can all learn to help our own businesses and careers, because these are principles. We can really get towards success more directly, with less struggle and be happier.”

6. There are seven principles to success: Context Vs. Content. I’m not giving you content, I’m giving you context. You create the content and I give you the framework.

7. When you change your emotions, everything changes. It’s that simple.

Dr. David Wilson.

Dr. David Wilson.

Dr. David Wilson, DVM (speaking on the laminitis vaccine)

Dr. David Wilson (Saskatchewan) is a 1980 graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. After completing an internship at Iowa State University and residency in large animal surgery at the University of Florida, he was on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for 15 years. His research includes implant biomechanics, development of orthopedic disease, minimally invasive surgical techniques and equine laminitis.  

8. The fact that pretreatment with the antibiotic, virginiamycin will prevent the development of laminitis, implicates microbial involvement in the disease.

9. Australian researchers have recently confirmed an overgrowth of streptococcal species in the hindgut and ex vivo studies have confirmed that bathing the hoof tissue in Streptococcus bovis exotoxins results in dissolution of the basement membrane and separation of the hoof wall from the underlying sensitive tissues.

Dr. Camie Heleski.

Dr. Camie Heleski.

Dr. Camie Heleski (speaking on using learning theory in everyday life)

Dr. Camie Heleski is coordinator of the two-year Ag Tech Horse Management Program at Michigan State University. As well as recruiting for the program, she also teaches and advises. Dr. Heleski earned her Ph.D. from Michigan State University.

10. Operant / instrumental learning is when an animal learns to operate on its environment.

11. Signal learning or classical conditioning is the example of Pavlov’s dogs. Ring a bell, the dogs would salivate and they would get food.

12. There are fundamental key factors; consistency, predictability, contingency, appropriateness of reinforcements, and precision of cues.

Jim Anderson.

Jim Anderson.

Jim Anderson (speaking on developing the versatile horse)

Jim Anderson’s lifelong involvement with horses began with him starting colts and taking clinics with legendary trainers Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt. As a professional trainer, Jim has lifetime earnings in excess of $200,000 in several events. He has won the Canadian Supreme Reining Futurity, the Calgary Stampede’s Cowboy Up Challenge, and the Extreme Cowboy Association World Championships. Recently the Albertan won the Road to the Horse first ever Wild Card Champion, Fan Favorite and the Colt Starting World Championship.
13. In order to gain success with our horses we must prepare the horse to learn and this is a three-step process; 1) the horse wants to focus on you and learn; 2) the horse understands pressure and looks for the release and reward; and 3) the horse joins up.

14. I use outside riding a lot! Confidence to ride alone comes from the horse taking confidence from the rider, rather than another horse. My favorite thing is riding with friends outside but then I lope away from them. Then I’ll lope back towards them, but go straight past the group.

15. How long do I work with a horse per day? About10-20 minutes of groundwork if I’m going to also ride him. It depends on how the horse is being that day – he might need more, he might need less. I can feel the horse out, if he’s not being good on the ground he probably won’t be in the saddle. I need his mind in the state of “wanting to learn.” I do think you can overdo your groundwork and the horse can became grumpy.

16. I don’t numb my horse out with any tools or cues. I want to keep that “feel” in my horse. Confidence in the horse comes from understanding, rather than by numbing due to repetition.

 

Maintaining Condition with Less Forage

iggyforalphaomega

Photo by Ingrid Schulz

In times of drought, which can lead to a hay shortage, what can horse owners to do ensure their equine friends maintain their condition? The answer lies in the proper and complete digestion of forages: in order for a horse to completely digest forages, digestive health is key. Just like in humans, horses require pre- and pro-biotics to aid in better digestive health, but the need for good bacteria, as well as digestive enzymes, is magnified in horses because they are herbivores and need to break down the cellulose found in forages. To ensure horses get all the energy they can out of their feed, equine supplements with digestive enzymes and pre and probiotics are particularly helpful.

Biotic 8 is one such product – this is an equine pre- and pro-biotic digestive tract formula made by Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals. This orally-administered product is “used to change the bacterial flora in the large intestine and also to promote good digestion and intestinal health,” according to Omega Alpha. This is recommended to improve the digestive health of horses of all ages, including mares and foals.

Fusion TIFF File

 

Biotic 8 is a source of eight different probiotic species that not only support optimal digestive health, they are delivered in a way that ensure the bacteria are protected against stomach acid, and helps prevent bad bacteria from growing, which can result in chronic health issues.

The prebiotics found in this product aid in the growth of good bacteria in the intestinal system. Biotic 8 also uses three digestive enzymes to help break down and get all the energy you can from proteins, carbohydrates and cellulose; the last of which being extremely important as it increases the absorption of phytonutrients, which are found in plant material and key in a horse’s diet.

In addition to those features, here are some other ingredients and benefits in Biotic 8:

  • Flax seed: a source of fibre, Omega 3 essential fatty acids and antioxidants
  • Iodine: needed for the health of the thyroid gland, and a source of essential minerals
  • Spirulina (blue green algae) and kelp: provide minerals and micronutrients
  • Brewers yeast: a source of B vitamins
  • Marshmallow Root and Slippery Elm: used to soothe stomach irritation
  • Biotic 8 also contains several natural minerals to help increase energy

Biotic 8 is good for keeping your horse’s health in good shape, particularly when traveling, during the winter or if more confined to a stall. It’s also recommended for restoring good bacteria if your horse has been prescribed antibiotics.

The recommended dosage is two scoops mixed with feed daily. Biotic 8 is available in 400g and 1Kg packages, as well as single-serving packs. The single-serving packs, a 20g serving of the product, come in containers of 30, which make them good for traveling and going to shows. The packaging keeps the product fresh and protects the bacteria against humidity, ensuring the probiotics remain viable.

Vaccination Strategy

Discuss vaccinations with your vet to devise the ultimate plan for your horse's needs.

Discuss vaccinations with your vet to devise the ultimate plan for your horse’s needs.

By Jenn Webster

If you’re a horse owner, it’s likely you’ve come up against the vaccination debate a time or two. For every individual equine, risk factors vary based on the animal’s age, exposure risk, value, general management and geographic location. There is no one single vaccination protocol for horses, however an informed vaccine strategy is one of the basic, most important things you can do to maintain your equine’s health. Your best bet is to discuss a protocol with your vet, however.

Here are a few basic considerations with specific key points regarding foals. 

Tetanus

Tetanus is caused by toxic-producing bacteria present in the intestinal tract of many animals and found in the soil where horses live. Spores enter the horse’s body through wounds or the umbilical cord of newborn foals. Tetanus is a constant threat to horses and humans and as such, horses should be vaccinated against annually.

Foals can receive their first tetanus vaccine as early as six months of age if the mare was vaccinated within 30 days of foaling, or three months of age if the mare was not vaccinated. Talk to your vet.

Encephalomyelitis

This disease is often referred to as “sleeping sickness” and caused by Western Equine Encephalomyelitis (WEE) or Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE). These two strains of the disease have been seen throughout North America. A third version, Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis (VEE) has recently been seen in Mexico. These diseases are usually transmitted via mosquitoes and symptoms vary a great deal, however they result in the degeneration of the brain.

Foals can be vaccinated at six months of age if the mare was vaccinated within 30 days of foaling, or three months of age if the mare was not vaccinated. Talk to your vet and specifically ask if your foals need an encephalomyelitis booster.

Influenza

This is one of the most common respiratory diseases in horses and the virus is highly contagious. Horses that travel or are exposed to high horses traffic should be vaccinated regularly against it. Flu viruses can result in nasal discharge, fever, coughing and loss of appetite. The disease can be expensive to treat and is usually very uncomfortable for your horse to endure. Often, this vaccine is given in combination with the rhinopneumonitis vaccine.

Foals can be vaccinated at six months of age if the mare was non-vaccinated.

Rhinopneumonitis

It’s important to know that there are two very different disease viruses: equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) and equine herpesvirus type 4 (EHV-4), that cause two different diseases, which are both known as rhinopneumonitis. Both cause respiratory tract problems, however EHV-1 can also cause abortion in pregnant mares, foal death and paralysis.

Since this vaccine is often given in a combination with the flu vaccine, as mentioned above, foals can be vaccinated at six months of age if the mare was non-vaccinated. Speak to your vet about flu/rhino boosters.

Strangles

No matter where you live, strangles is a highly contagious disease you should hope your horse never contract. If your equine does contract this disease, consult with your veterinarian for a treatment protocol. If your horse has contracted strangles in the past, ask your veterinarian about vaccinating this animal specifically – some vets think the horse may receive enough immunity from being exposed to the disease in the first place. There are some side-effects associated with the vaccine, because it is a modified live virus. This means the vaccine cannot cause serious disease in the horse, also allowing it to provide longer lasting protection. As such, this class of vaccine is often not recommended for pregnant mares. The efficiency of this vaccine has been questioned by many vets because outbreaks can occur even in vaccinated herds. Administered intra-nasally (IN), this vaccine requires a booster administered three to four weeks after the initial shot has been given.

Can be given to foals starting at six to nine months.

Rabies

Rabies is a scary disease that always results in death. Luckily, it is more prevalent in some areas than others – concern areas include southern Saskatchewan and the hotter southwestern states like Arizona and New Mexico. If you also choose to vaccinate your horses against rabies, your veterinarian may not want to administer a rabies vaccine on the same day as other vaccines as some serious health threats can occur.

Foals can be vaccinated against rabies at six, seven or 12 months of age if the mare was vaccinated. Speak with your vet.

West Nile Virus

There haven’t been a lot of Canadian cases in recent months, but West Nile Virus (WNV) should not be forgotten about. This disease is a mosquito- borne virus that can cause swelling and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord in horses, birds and humans. In Alberta, WNV is a federally reportable disease. This vaccine requires a booster in the initial sequence.

Foals from unvaccinated mares can be vaccinated for WNV for the first time at six months of age or older. The second vaccination should come three to four weeks later.