Competitive Edge

Megan Resch with a Saffire Miniature.

Every successful nutrition program starts with science. And that science may translate to success in the barn. Such is the case for Saffire Miniatures.

Sandy Resch of Lousana, Alberta, is a busy lady. As the wife of professional pick-up man, Jeff Resch, and a mother, Sandy has a full schedule. However in addition to all that Sandy works alongside her mother, Verna Cundliffe, at Saffire Miniatures, a breeding / training / showing operation exclusive to Miniature Horses. Along with her daughters, Megan and Haley, Sandy can often be found throughout the year showing at national and international levels of Mini Horse competition.

Verna Cundliffe and granddaughters, Megan and Haley Resch with their numerous awards at the Canadian National Miniature Horse show.

When it comes to the health and nutrition of their Miniature Horses, Sandy says Praise™ hemp is giving them the competitive edge they need.

“We started using Praise™ hemp as a permanent part of our feeding program early in 2017,” says Sandy. “Since using the product we have seen a very noticeable difference in the shine, finish and bloom in all of our horses. They have a dappling throughout their coats which they never had prior to using Praise™ hemp and maintaining that perfect body condition is so much easier using this product!”

 

Imprint Phantom Eagle Heart – the 2017 WCMHA Hi Point Country Pleasure Driving horse and the 2018 Canadian National Reserve Grand Champion Country and the Western Regional Reserve Grand Champion 32″ & under Country Pleasure Driving horse. Owned by Saffire Miniatures.

Ribbons won by Saffiire Miniatures from the 2018 AMHA Canadian National Horse Show.

Sandy’s daughter, Megan won a large number of championships in a number of disciplines with Candylands Pattoned Payday this year. This included the 2018 Canadian Grand Champion Classic Pleasure Driving Championship. They also won AMHA Honor Role Championship buckles in 2017 for Showmanship and Youth Classic Pleasure Driving and they won the 2017 WCMHA Hi Point Performance Horse, High Point Youth, and AMHA Superior Gelding Performance Champion as well as numerous other high point awards last year.

Megan Resch and Candylands Pattoned Payday t won a large number of Championships in a number of disciplines with their Garland for winning the 2018 Canadian Grand Champion Classic Pleasure Driving Championship.

“We have had long time, prominent Miniature horse people comment on the condition and coats of our horses. All of us here at Saffire Miniatures are very strong believers in this product and will never go without using Praise™ hemp  in our feeding program,” Sandy declares.

This buckskin gelding from Saffire Miniatures has won numerous Classic Pleasure Driving Championships and was the 2017 WCMHA Hi Point Classic Pleasure Driving Champion. He was also  the 2018 WCMHA Hi Point Hunter Horse.

For more information on Praise™ hemp, please check out their website here.

Managing PPID

An estimated 1 in 7 horses over 15 years of age, has PPID.

Cushings Disease has a new name. Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID), also known as Equine Cushing’s Disease, is an endocrine disease. An endocrine disease affects the production of the hormones that regulate your horse’s body. Hormones interact with each other and have many effects on the body so disruption to normal hormone production and activity can have many effects. Some of these become more and more noticeable with time.

In the past, some middle-aged horses (15–20 years) were not diagnosed as having PPID because it was assumed the symptoms were simply a consequence of ageing. Knowledge among owners is now increasing, and more and more horses are being properly diagnosed, treated and are returning to good health. These horses can then have a richer, more productive, and interactive middle age.

The hypothalmus gland and anterior pituitary in the horse.

PPID IN DETAIL

The hypothalamus and pituitary glands, located at the base of your horse’s brain, are the command and control centre for the production of its hormones. These chemical messengers are distributed around your horse’s body to all
other tissues via the bloodstream. In a normal horse, these hormones exist in a fine balance, and play an important role in maintaining and controlling bodily functions.

In some older horses and ponies, neurons (nerves) in the hypothalamus undergo progressive degeneration, and produce insufficient quantities of a nerve transmitter substance (neurotransmitter) called dopamine. Dopamine is important in controlling the secretions of a part of the pituitary gland called the pars intermedia, which in turn is responsible for controlling the secretion of hormones including the important ACTH hormone. When the pars intermedia does not receive enough dopamine from the hypothalamus, the ultimate outcome is the production of abnormally high levels of these hormones, resulting in disease symptoms.

TYPICAL SYMPTOMS

The three most obvious symptoms are:

1. LAMINITIS
This is a common, painful and potentially devastating condition affecting the hooves of horses and ponies. Growth rings are often visible (as shown here), indicating repeated episodes of laminitis.

In the foot of the normal horse or pony, the hoof wall and the pedal bone (the lowest bone in the foot) are joined together by finely structured tissues called the laminae. Despite the large weights being borne by the laminae, they are relatively delicate, and easily damaged. In laminitis, the laminae become inflamed and extremely painful, making weight-bearing very difficult for affected horses.

Horses and ponies with laminitis will find it difficult to put their feet down, and will often adopt a ‘rocked back’ stance to take weight away from the painful tissues. If the condition goes on for some time, or there are repeated occurrences in a horse, the damage can become irreversible, leading to rotation of the pedal bone and permanent foot pain. In many cases of this severity, euthanasia becomes the only option.

Laminitis is a key warning sign, especially if it is recurrent, chronic, or of insidious onset; up to 70% of mature horses seen for laminitis have been found to have PPID. In fact, all laminitic horses should be tested for PPID

 

2. CHANGES IN HAIRCOAT (HIRSUTISM)
This ranges from mild changes in coat shedding, right through to a full, long, curly, overgrown coat (‘hirsutism’). The presence of hirsutism is thought by some experts to be the most reliable single indicator of underlying PPID,
although not all horses with PPID develop this symptom, especially in the early stages of PPID.

 

 

3. CHANGES IN BODY CONFORMATION

– Fatty deposits above the eyes.

– Muscle wasting leading to ‘pot belly’ appearance.

– Muscle wasting and persistent sinusitis.

 

OTHER ‘CLASSIC’ INDICATORS OF PPID INCLUDE:
• Lethargy, poor performance.
• Recurring infections (e.g. sinusitis) and impaired immune system.
• Excessive sweating.
• Changes in appetite.
• Increased drinking and urination.

HOW CAN YOU TREAT PPID?

PRASCEND® can help your horse look and feel healthy and happy again. Effectiveness studies showed improvement of signs within 3 months. And results were even better at 6 months of treatment. The treatment acts directly on the dopamine-producing neurons in the hypothalamus, helping to bring cortisol concentrations in the bloodstream back to normal levels. The medication is given once daily, and can be mixed with a small volume of molasses or food to ease administration; alternatively it can be dissolved in a small volume of water and administered directly into the mouth. Tablets should not be crushed.

Usually there is a short lag between the beginning of treatment, and seeing your horse return to normal in terms of clinical signs. Those will improve generally within 6–12 weeks after initiation of the treatment. However, it can take up to a year to see the full benefit of treatment.

 

Protecting Horses in Smoke-Filled Air

No filter. Smoke in the air lingers above a pasture. CREDIT: Jenn Webster

Though we may located be far away from the forest fire threats, the smoke here in Alberta is unbearable today. And there’s not much that can be done about it. I can’t even bring myself to send my kids outdoors on what should have been another beautiful summer day. So what can we do for the animals who must live outside in the current poor air quality conditions?

– Limit your horses’ activity outside when smoke is visible.
– Ensure your animals have plenty of fresh water.
– Monitor animals for coughing or an increased respiratory rate.
– If any horse is having trouble breathing, contact your vet immediately.

Smoke can cause respiratory issues in horses, just as it does in humans.  Take care out there.

Permanent Part of Our Program

Jeff Resch at the Festival Western in St. Tite, Quebec. Photo by BIRTZ Photography.

Jeff Resch is a professional pick-up man with many accolades, including the closing out of the final Canadian Finals Rodeo held in Edmonton last year. He has an identical twin (as he is brother to Jason Resch, also a professional pick-up man), and is highly respected by his peers at the highest levels of professional rodeo. The horses Jeff brings to work must be on their game because Resch’s job is often dangerous, and the lives of many cowboys depend on him.

Photo by SJ Originals.

When it comes to a feeding program for the horses Resch rides, Praise™ hemp superfood is a staple in his barn. “Never have our horses looked so great and felt so healthy and performed so well! Praise™ hemp is now a permanent part of our feeding program,” he says.

Praise™ hemp superfood is nutrient dense, all natural, low processed, easily digested form of healthy fats and an exceptional source of plant-based protein. EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids) are essential to tissue growth and help regulate many internal functions. EFA’s are by definition, essential because they can’t be produced by the body and must be obtained through diet for proper growth and body functioning. EAA’s (Essential Amino Acids) are the building blocks found in protein and hemp offers an excellent protein quality which rivals many grains, as well as soy and whey. By supplementing hemp oil, topping, and protein fiber to an equine or canine’s diet, you may notice an improvement in: Immune System, Energy, Digestion, Skin and Coat, Mobility, Muscle Health and Cardiovascular Health.

“Our horses have never had the shine and bloom that they do now. Praise™ hemp is a very important part of our feeding program and after seeing the effects on our horses, I won’t go without it again. It is very simple to use both at home and on the road and all of our horses have loved the product from the beginning.” – Jeff Resch

For more information about Praise™ hemp, check out the website here.

Internal Parasites and Your Barn Cat

By Dr. Bronwyn Atkinson & Jennifer Council of Barrett Veterinary Practice

Barn cats are an integral part of a farm/acreage environment and play an important role in rodent population control. Hardworking barn cats can be very useful to keep rodent populations in check as well as a pleasure to have around. So, how can we keep these kitties healthy and best equipped to do their jobs? In this blog, we will go into more detail about diseases that commonly affect barn cats and the different ways we can keep them healthy and performing at their best.

Internal Parasites in Cats

Roundworms: Roundworms are the most common internal parasite found in cats – kittens often carry more due to their age and young immune systems.  Adult roundworms are about 3-5 inches in length, off-white in colour and live in the cat’s intestines.

Kittens often carry more round worms due to their age and young immune systems.

A mature worm lays its eggs in the intestines where they can be passed in the cats’ feces. Once out in the environment the eggs mature into larvae and infect new cats. Rodents also carry these larvae in their tissues – infecting cats, which are hunting. Roundworms can cause disease in people, especially those with weaker immune systems. It is rare, but if there are numbers of larvae in the environment and they are ingested, they can migrate around human tissues trying to find a good place to settle, causing serious health problems.

Hookworms: Cats can be infected with hookworm larvae when they burrow through their skin – usually the paw pads. Infestation also occurs when a cat eats a rodent that is carrying hookworms in its tissues. These worms are about 1/2-inch in length and live in the intestines. Young worms burrow into the lining of the intestine, whereas adult worms use their hooked mouthparts to anchor into the intestinal lining where they suck blood. Heavy hookworm infection can cause cats to have poor growth, poor hair coat, diarrhea, anemia and even death from blood loss. Hookworms can also migrate into human skin, causing irritation and need for medical attention – luckily, this is rare as humans are not the hookworm’s preferred hosts.

Tapeworms: These are long, ribbon-like worms with bodies made up of egg-containing segments. These worms live in the cat’s small intestine and use their heads to hook onto the lining of the gut. The segments at the worm’s tail end mature first, break off and are passed in the cat’s feces. These segments can also sometimes be seen around the cat’s anus or tail area and look like rice grains if they are fresh, or sesame seeds if they are dried. Cats can pick up tapeworms by eating rodents that carry them, or by ingesting fleas that can also carry tapeworms. Adult tapeworms in the gastrointestinal tract are usually harmless to the cats. However, the younger tapeworm life stages that is shed by cats can cause cysts in organs such as the liver of horses, cows and pigs.

Echinococcus multilocularis is one specific kind of tapeworm that lives like the others, spending part of their life cycle inside a rodent, often being eaten by carnivores along with its host. They mature to an adult tapeworm in the carnivore’s gut and if ingested by people can cause significant disease by causing cysts that multiply and damage internal human organs.

Combating Feline Parasites

If you’re concerned about parasites your barn cats may be carrying, here’s a list of things you can do:
• Wash your hands after touching barn cats.
• Clean up any feces as well as dead rodent carcasses, to keep the environment as clean as possible.
• De-worm your cats routinely.

There are 2 types of de-wormer that Barrett Veterinary Practice prescribes; Profender, and Advantage Multi. Both are liquids that are applied to the back of a cat’s neck. This application is much easier than trying to pill a shy, barn cat that may not be used to handling!

Profender works to kill roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms.
Advantage Multi kills hookworms, roundworms, fleas and ear mites.

As these products have action against different internal parasites, it is a really good idea to alternate using them. Cats that are actively mousing need to be dewormed every three months. Good parasite control is key to ensuring a healthy barn cat and preventing disease in other species as well.

 

Understanding Praise™ Hemp

If you are curious about the upward trend of Praise™ hemp products and their numerous benefits for horses on the equine nutrition front, it’s no illusion. Horse owners everywhere are discovering the healthy advantages Praise™ hemp can offer to equines at a rapid pace.

If however, you’re still on the fence about feeding hemp to your horses, let us help break it down. Western Horse Review recently had the opportunity to delve deeper into the many benefits of Praise™ hemp products and understand this nutritional superfood from the ground up.

Hemp seeds are categorized as an “achene” a one-seeded fruit with an inner “nut” protected by a hard outer shell.

Cannabis Sativa L. is the scientific name for hemp and it comes from the same family as sunflowers. It is a strong and fast growing, versatile plant that has been used by man for thousands of years and thousands of uses. It has been praised as the single greatest plant resource for human health and well-being as it provides food, clothing, shelter and medicine. Hemp plants are naturally found on all continents.

Hemp seeds are categorized as an “achene” a one-seeded fruit with an inner “nut” protected by a hard outer shell. It is one of the most essential nutrient dense and balanced foods available, and provides an excellent easily digestible source of protein and healthy fats for human and animal health. Once removed from the shell, the nut can be eaten raw or pressed to create hemp oil. Praise™ hemp uses a number of unique processes to ensure that the shelling, cleaning and pressing are done gently, thoroughly, and at a cool temperature to protect nutritional values. The result is an exceptionally clean, flavourful product with an optimum nutritional profile.

So why would a discerning horse owner decide to feed hemp to one’s equine?

By supplementing hemp oil, topping and protein fiber to your equine’s diets you may notice improvements in their immune system, energy, digestion, skin, coat, mobility, muscle health and cardiovascular health.

Hemp is considered to be a “Superfood” due to its digestibility, Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), Essential Amino Acids (the building blocks of protein), vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients – especially terpenes and cannabidiols (CBD). All living things with a vertebrae have an “endocannabinoid system” and hemp has an unusually vast and plentiful array of the cannabinoids which mimic our own endocannabinoid system. When consumed, many health benefits are experienced in all areas of the human body. This rings true for many animals as well and especially in horses and dogs.

What separates hemp oil from the rest of the supplements currently on the market is that while Praise™ hemp’s Omega 6:3 ratio is 3:1, it also has GLA – Gamma Linolenic Acid which is actually an Omega 6 fatty acid but unlike other Omega 6s, it is known to reduce inflammation.

 This is akin to a secret weapon in the equine competition world because Praise™ hemp products can help reduce a wide array of inflammatory related diseases including skin conditions, allergies, degenerative joint disease, heart disease and reduce inflammation involved in mobility and digestion.

 That’s why we are seeing all kinds of competitive riders flocking to Praise™ hemp. These include rodeo athletes, endurance riders, dressage competitors, and western performance enthusiasts of various disciplines.

Angie Pierce, an endurance and competitive trail rider loves the benefits of Praise Hemp products that she regularly observes in her horses.

“Praise™ hemp oil helped my distance horse with stamina, recovery and lean muscle mass,” says Angie Pierce of Beaver County, AB. Pierce is the owner of Jenovation Farm and is an endurance and competitive trail rider.

“I am completely sold on the benefits that Praise products provide to my equines, whether it be my competing horses or the senior members of the herd.”

It may be a tiny seed, but it’s a nutritional giant.

Learn more about Praise Hemp products at: www.praisehemp.com

Try a Bit Before You Buy It!

There’s no question – top riders across the globe favour Tom Balding’s handcrafted bits and spurs. With Balding’s meticulous attention to detail, knowledge of the horse and high quality materials used to create his bits and spurs, it’s no wonder Balding’s company is a leader in the field. Fans include the National Reining Horse Association $5 Million Rider Andrea Fappani, National Cutting Horse Association Hall of Famer Phil Rapp, and National Reined Cow Horse Association Million-Dollar Rider Zane Davis, to name a few.

If you’ve ever considered purchasing a high quality bit, Tom Balding Bits & Spurs offers a wide variety of custom bit combinations. No matter what you are looking to attain from your horse’s performance, there’s a bit that will offer customized assistance. Tom Balding Bits & Spurs knows a high quality bit purchase requires the best educated decision possible; as it is an investment that will often last a lifetime. Which is why the company created the Trial Bit Service, offered to those who would like to try a mouthpiece before purchasing – to ensure they are comfortable with the function in relation to their riding style.

Photo by Jenn Webster.

Within the Trial Bit Service, clients are welcome to try up to three bits for two weeks. Additionally, the company tries to offer most combinations; however, because of the large number of possible combinations, clients may have to try a bit with a similar shank to the one requested. The only out of pocket expense you may incur are the shipping costs. For more information about this unique service, check out the Trial Bit website page here.

There are also multiple resources on the Tom Balding Bits & Spurs website available to help you select a mouthpiece and shank combination you might like to try. They include:

•  The Tom Balding blog.
•  The online catalog.
• The bit creator.
Sample buy-it-now-options.
Endorsements.

 

When you are ready to request your trial bits give Tom Balding Bits & Spurs a call or message them with the desired mouthpiece and shank combinations. They look forward to getting you into the right bit for you and your horse. Request your trial bits today!

Give Tom Balding Bits & Spurs a call at 307.672.8459 or visit them online at: www.tombalding.com

 

How To Waterproof a Blanket

By Jenn Webster

With what seems like winter’s relentless grip on us this year, there’s been an increased need for good, waterproofs blankets in my barn. I was tired of constantly buying new blankets to compensate for the rips our horses have incurred, or the new young stock coming for training. So in an effort to try and keep things economical, I dug through our tack room and found a pile of old blankets I had forgotten about.

Oh happy day!

In this pile was even Ol’ Green Faithful – a blanket I’ve had since my teenage days. This green beast has figuratively been thrown “to the wolves,” since it was the blanket belonging to my first Thoroughbred, Charlie. It’s been chewed on, caught on barbed-wire fences and accidentally lost out of the back of a truck a few times. It’s a warrior. Still, you can see from its numerous patches that I’ve taken the time over the years to care for it, wash it and have it stitched and repaired when necessary. Pulling it out of the tack room the other day, I had full confidence that my green blanket could still provide an equine with the necessary comfort and warmth an animal may need, despite the rug’s age.

The only thing that worried me was the blanket’s waterproof qualities at this point – or lack thereof.

That’s when I discovered Dry Guy from Strathcona Ventures, an eco-friendly waterproofing product. Since it was water-based, did not use harsh chemicals that could be harmful to my animals and claimed to dry odor free, I really had nothing to lose. Plus the cost of one bottle of Dry Guy at $15.97 was easily justifiable. So I decided to put Dry Guy to the test with Ol’ Green Faithful. Here’s how easy the process of waterproofing my blanket was:

 

Step #1 – Prep the Blanket.

After being in the tack room for so long, Ol’ Green Faithful was a little dirty. And slightly covered in cat hair. I laid the blanket out on a table outside and brushed it clean with a study, bristle brush. The directions of Dry Guy instruct a person to apply it in a well-ventilated area and this day was beautiful, so it was nice to be outside. I shook the bottle and sprayed my entire blanket, taking care to really get at all the seams of the patches. There was no yellowing of the blanket’s original color and it was easy to apply.

Step #2 – Rub in Any Droplets.

If droplets of Dry Guy accumulate in any area of the blankets, the instructions advise you to rub them in with a soft cloth. Then as soon as the entire blanket was sprayed, I hung it in the sun to dry. A 473 ml/16 fl oz. bottle covers 50-60 square feet.

Step #3 – Don’t Leave Your Blanket Where Critters Can Get to it.

Once the blanket was completely dry, I was extremely pleased with the results. My blanket didn’t “stiffen” with the application of Dry Guy and it made Ol’ Green Faithful both waterproof and dirt repellent! An extra bonus is that Dry Guy comes ready to use and helps blankets resist the growth of mold. I was so impressed with this product and considering Western Horse Review is celebrating our 25th anniversary this year, I figured our readers should all get a chance to win some! There are two ways to win – here’s how:

1. Comment below this blog with regard to why you could use some Dry Guy Waterproofing Spray from Strathcona Ventures & Western Horse Review.

OR

2. Head on over to Western Horse Review’s Instagram or Facebook page and like, comment & tag a friend on this exciting giveaway!

* One winner will be drawn at random at 12 PM MST on March 7, 2018. The Prize must be accepted as awarded and no substitutions will be made. Prizes may not be sold, transferred or assigned and are not convertible to cash. 

 

7th Annual SK Equine Expo

The 7th Annual Saskatchewan Equine Expo takes place February 15-18, 2018 at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon, SK. Together volunteers from Saskatchewan Horse Federation, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, various equine breed groups and the staff of Prairieland Park work together to facilitate this annual event. The event presents equine related lectures, presentations, demonstrations, entertainment and opportunities focusing on the equine industry. As a participant or spectator, you can experience the newest in equine products, techniques and technology!

Tickets are on sale now and include the extravaganza, tradeshow, demonstrations and clinics. Tickets are available online and on the website: http://saskatchewanequineexpo.com/

Stay up to date with the schedule of events at: http://www.saskatchewanequineexpo.ca/events/

 

Realizing 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, organizers created an event that is equally as entertaining as it is educational.

The Saskatchewan Equine Expo on February 15-18, will again celebrate the diversity of the equine industry with live demonstrations, breeds on display and outstanding horsemen and women. Make plans to be there, get your tickets today!

As an addendum to the event this year is the newly added, Off Track Thoroughbred Challenge. In this highly anticipated event, qualified trainers purchase a retired Thoroughbred racehorse and will spend six months to one year retraining it to compete in a variety of chosen disciplines at the 2019 Saskatchewan Equine Expo.

See you there!

www.saskatchewanequineexpo.com