Understanding Estrus on Ultrasound

Ultrasound-lead-in

If you caught last week’s post on My Stable Life, I began a series about ultrasounding mares. I find the procedure fascinating and I’m always intrigued to learn more when our mares go into the vet clinic for breeding season. If you’d like to see that first post, click here. Today, I’m going to help give you a better understanding of estrus and diestrus. Or in other words – what it means when a mare is in heat, or not. I will explain what hormones are cycling through the mare’s system in each phase and offer a description of the image that appears on ultrasound imaging as a result.

 

This mare has an inactive follicle, small in size.

Picture #1 – This mare has an inactive follicle, small in size.

PICTURE #1

What is happening: Diestrus. The mare is not in heat. Diestrus means the mare will reject the advances of a stallion during this 14-16 day period in the estrous cycle.
What it means: High progesterone – luteal phase.
Image on Ultrasound: A homogenous dense tissue is seen while scanning uterine horns and body. The uterus is toned. Often, a follicle may be seen in the ovary however, it is inactive if there is no presence of edema in the uterus and therefore, progesterone. It is also possible for several follicles to be observed on the ovary – as the mare approaches estrus (heat), one follicle will become dominant and the others will regress.

 

The endometrial folds seen during estrus as alternating non-echogenic and echogenic structures.

Picture #2 – The endometrial folds seen during estrus as alternating non-echogenic and echogenic structures.

PICTURE #2

What is happening: Estrus. The mare is in heat and there is a presence of uterine edema. Estrus means the mare will accept the advances of a stallion during this period of follicular growth.
What it means: Low progesterone and high estrogen.
Image on Ultrasound: Visible as a “sand dollar” or “orange slice” image in the uterus. This image occurs because of the characteristics of the uterusʼ changes at this time. The uterus has several endometrial folds that increase the surface area of the endometrium. During estrus, these folds become filled with fluid, giving the area the appearance of an orange slice.

Sorry, no photo :(

What is happening: Follicular presence on the ovary that is increasing in size over the estrus period.
What it means: An active follicle is producing estrogen and causes edema in the uterus. The mare is approaching ovulation.
Image on Ultrasound: The best prediction of when ovulation will occur is follicular size and luckily, the preovulatory follicle in the horse is the largest of all domestic species (40-50 mm). Since the ovarian follicle is also filled with a clear non-echogenic fluid, this makes a follicle very easy to see with ultrasonography. The follicular wall may increase in thickness or the follicle may also change from a spherical shape, to more of a
triangular or “tear drop” shape as the mare gets closer to ovulating. It can also feel softer, rather than hard and toned, as ovulation becomes imminent.

Sorry, no photo :(

What is happening: The ruptured/ovulated follicle on the ovary develops into a corpus hemorrahagicum (CH) or a corpus luteum (CL).
What it means: The mare has ovulated.
Image on Ultrasound: A CH looks similar to a follicle on an ultrasound however, there will be specs or a hemorrhage of blood in this follicle. It has a black center (because it has clear fluid running through it) and the specs of blood will look like spider webs or have a “lacy” appearance running through the center (as blood reflects the ultrasound waves).

Sorry, no photo :(
What is happening: A corpus luteum (CL) develops on an ovary.
What it means: The mare has ovulated. A CL produces progesterone, which holds a pregnancy until day 37 of gestation. After this time, the endometrial cups on the conceptus cause the mareʼs system to recognize the pregnancy.
Image on Ultrasound: A dense, bright white structure appears on the ovary. The center of the corpus luteum is completely filled in, making it highly echogenic. 50 per cent of all ovulations result in a corpus hemorrahagicum and the other 50 per cent result in a corpus luteum. Both mean the mare has ovulated and there is no difference in pregnancy rate between ovulations resulting in CH or CL.
* If the mare is not pregnant, the cycle starts over and the follicular cycle repeats itself.

When My Stable Life returns, we’ll observe the early stages in a typical equine pregnancy and follow along with a follicle.

 

Ultrasounding 101 (Part One)

An ultrasound machine. Pic by Jenn Webster

An ultrasound machine. Pic by Jenn Webster

‘Tis the season! Breeding season is once again upon us and whatever your plans may be this year, it never hurts to brush up on a little equine reproduction education before making those vet appointments for your mare. And speaking of which – during a routine ultrasound examination of your mare, have you ever felt like Rachel in the episode of Friends, following her own ultrasound exam? You know, the old episode depicting Rachelʼs frustration when she was unable to see her own pregnancy on the ultrasound monitor… yet all her friends could pick it out without a problem?

If you ever felt the same way while having your vet ultrasound your mare for breeding, keep reading. Ultrasonography is a complex procedure that uses sound vibrations with an ultrasonic frequency, for medical imaging. But when the ultrasound process is broken down, it isnʼt as difficult to understand, nor are its resulting images confusing to view. Ultrasonography is particularly beneficial for monitoring a mareʼs cycle, ovarian or uterine disease and pregnancy.

If you have a craving to better understand what your vet is explaining about your mareʼs cycle and perhaps her subsequent pregnancy, this two-part article will explain how ultrasonography works and why it is beneficial for equine reproduction. Plus you can also follow the growth of a follicle in a typical pregnancy along, through the use of ultrasound imaging.

*

Anatomy of an ultrasound machine.

Anatomy of an ultrasound machine.

1. Transducer – usually a flat piece, connected by a long cord, placed directly on/in the
horseʼs body in the area intended for ultrasonographic imaging.
2. Pulser
3. Timer
4. TV echo display
5. Receiver
6. Digital scan converter

HOW IT WORKS:
Sound waves are created by electrical stimulation of crystals in the transducer. When trying to determine where a mare is at in terms of her cycle or pregnancy, because of the sheer size of the horse, the transducer is placed inside the mareʼs rectum directly overtop of the reproductive tract. When the electric current is applied to crystals in the transducer, vibrations are produced that result in sound waves.

These waves are then spread through the horseʼs tissue and some of them are reflected back to the transducer. (The number of reflected sound waves is directly proportional to the density of the horseʼs tissue). The reflected waves are converted to electrical impulses and displayed on a screen (most often, a black and white monitor).

The reflected waves are represented on the screen by shades of gray, extending from black to white. Fluid is a great transmitter for sound waves, therefore, liquid structures such as follicular fluid or yolk sac fluid within the horseʼs body appear black on the screen. Dense tissue in the body reflect most of the ultrasonic beam and appear white on the screen – these structures include the cervix and pelvis. Other tissues appear in varying shades of gray, depending on their ability to reflect sound waves. Air and gas are poor propagators of the signals, which is why the vet must maintain a close contact between the transducer and the examined tissue.

Modern ultrasound machines used for examining the reproductive tract are “B-Mode”, real time scanners. B-mode means “brightness modality” and the imaging from these machines results in a two-dimensional display of dots of the screen. The brightness of the dots is proportional to the amplitude of the returning echoes. And the real time imaging means a “live” or moving display of the echoes that are being recorded, can be seen.

Although there are two types of ultrasound transducers used for reproductive exams in horses, typically, our vets use linear-array transducers. Linear array means there is a side-by-side arrangement of the rectangular crystals, along the length of the transducer. The transducer is positioned in the longitudinal plane of the mareʼs body, which means images of the cervix and the uterine body are longitudinally oriented while the uterine horns are cross sectional. Tissues that are closest to the transducer can be seen at the top of the ultrasound screen.

*

ANATOMY OF THE MAREʼS GENITAL TRACT

Anatomy
The red lines on this diagram represent typical linear array transducer orientations, over the genital tract during an exam. When the transducer is over the cervix and uterine body (1), a lengthwise (longitudinal) image is produced. The uterine horn is generally seen in short-axis cross-section (2), which allows assessment of the endometrial folds. Sections through the ovary show follicles and Corpus luteums cut in different planes (3).

The bifurcation of the uterus. This is where the uterus is “Y” shaped and branches off into the left and right horns, from the single uterine body.

The bifurcation of the uterus. This is where the uterus is “Y” shaped and branches off into the left and right horns, from the single uterine body.

 

The right ovary, as seen with ultrasound imaging.

The right ovary, as seen with ultrasound imaging.

 

The left ovary, as seen with ultrasound imaging.

The left ovary, as seen with ultrasound imaging.

DEFINITIONS
Echogenic – if an item is echogenic, it will appear white on the ultrasound screen. Dense tissues reflect most of the ultrasonic beam.
Non-echogenic – if an item is non-echogenic, it will appear black on the ultrasound screen. Fluid and liquid containing structures are excellent transmitters of sound waves.
Estrous Cycle – the repetitive sequence of hormonal cycling that prepares the mare for conception. It may be divided into estrus (follicular phase – 5 to 7 days)) and diestrus (luteal phase – 14 to 16 days.)
Conceptus – the embryo in the uterus, especially during the early stages of pregnancy.

Stay tuned to My Stable Life to follow a follicle along in ultrasound images, plus a pregnancy story in pictures! Thank-you to Dr. Tammi Roalstad of Scottsdale, AZ, for providing the ultrasound images and information used in this article.

How To Clip

Lead-in-Clipping

Western performance horses can be shown or rode in a variety of styles. That’s the beauty of our disciplines – we have a lot of freedom when it comes to manes and tails. Certainly some rules apply to specific classes but for a great majority of us, long flowing manes are the trend. Whiskers may or may not be clipped and hair in the ears is not really an issue, although some ranch horse versatility classes have recently made it a ruling for all horses to maintain the natural hairs in their ears.

Having said all that, to be able to clip your horse without a fuss is one of the best life skills you can teach your equine companion. You never know when a neatly groomed bridle path may come in handy, or if an area on the body might need to be clipped for a veterinary procedure. If your horse is opposed to clippers in every way, here are a few tips professional trainer Clay Webster always offers his students for clipping a horse safely.

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To teach a horse how to accept clippers, I use only a halter and a good lead shank. For the first few times of introducing clippers to a horse, I do not tie my horse up and instead maintain a grip on the lead by tucking the rope into the crook of my elbow. This allows me to hold onto my horse but also affords me a free hand to hold the clippers. Once the horse is used to the process, tying them for clipping should not be an issue.

Pic-#1
STEP #1 – I like to teach my horses to lower their heads on my cue so that clipping is easy, accurate and low-stress on all of us. I do this by spending time with my horses, prior to ever picking up a set of clippers. Essentially I will apply gentle, but steady pressure behind the horse’s ears on top of the poll area. As the horse lowers its head, I release my pressure. Gradually I work towards getting the horse to lower its head further and further down, taking great care to release my pressure whenever the horse shows me the slightest amount of the desired result. My horse will learn from the release of pressure – he does not learn from the pressure itself. When I can cue my horse to lower his head to the desired height, I can start thinking about the next step.

STEP #2 – Next, I will grab a pair of clippers and begin to introduce them to my horse. It’s important to note that I actually turn the clippers on for step #2. With the motor running I show my horse the clippers and begin to rub him with them to get him comfortable with their sensation. With my body positioned in a safe location (for instance, at the shoulders and not in front of his front hooves or a place where he may be able to strike me,) I rub the clippers on several areas of his body. Areas that he may be able to accept the clippers easily include the chest, shoulders, neck. Typically I will start by rubbing the clippers on one shoulder, then work my way up the neck until he becomes comfortable with them.

When I see that my horse has begun to accept the clippers on the shoulder and neck, I will ask him to drop his head once again. Then I progress the clippers up to the area behind his ears. If he jerks his head up really fast, pulls back, or bolts, etc. I work the clippers back to an area that he was happy with and start over. Practice makes perfect and there’s no sense in getting upset with my horse if he isn’t ready to accept the clippers immediately.

Pic-#2

 

STEP #3 – If the process seems to be taking an overly long time, I may actually set the clippers down and walk my horse to an area where he can be worked safely. Then I would proceed to lunge him around me and make him work. Once my horse’s demeanor returns back to a positive attitude (ears forward and paying attention, head hanging in a relaxed position and not high in the air like an elk), I will calmly walk him back to the area where we left off with the clippers and start again. When horses protest against something you may ask of them, often a little reminder of “work” is all they need. If they don’t want to accept the clippers, my horse can start moving his body at my direction in the arena. His heart, lungs and muscles can pick up the pace. And when we return to the clippers, he can stand and relax – helping him to associate the other place with work, while the clippers are paired with rest and relaxation. At the clippers, my horse gets a reward. Once things have calmed down, I turn the clippers on and start again.

Pic-#3

 

STEP #4 – Another important point to note is that my clippers should be well-maintained and oiled. If they are not, the blades won’t cut the hairs nicely and may actually pull on them, causing the horse slight discomfort. Plan your clips, so you don’t accidentally take too much off and ensure both sides of your horse are even in whatever you do. A good rule of thumb for a bridle path is to gently bend one of the horse’s ear back and guide you to a length to clip – the tip of the ear laid back is generally where one would clip to. I have seen western bridle paths shorter than this of course (just enough to comfortably lay the headstall), and I have seen horses without bridle paths too. Check the rules of your association and discipline to ensure a bridle path is permissible to show and what length, if any, is required.

STEP #5 – When I have my horse confident with the running clippers, it’s time to start clipping hairs. Whether it’s the bridle path area, on his muzzle or elsewhere, I always ensure to gently lay the clippers against my horse’s skin enough to get the cutting done, but not so much that they’re digging into him. It’s important not to tickle the horse (which can happen if the clippers aren’t applied firmly enough) but also not pressing too hard into him either. Luckily most of today’s modern clippers are made with great protective blades so it’s difficult to cut your horse.

STEP #6 – When clipping, use long over-lapping strokes that go with the direction of hair growth. Some people prefer to go against the grain but I find clipping so much easier when you go with the hair follicles. Avoid forcing the clippers through an area you wish to clip. If the blades don’t seem to be cutting the hairs, they may need cleaning, sharpening or oiling. Part way through your clip session, you may need to clean and oil your clipping blades. I find that I often have to do this every 10 minutes.

Clay Webster is a professional trainer with over 21 years in the industry. He specializes in the disciplines of reining and cow horse. For more information about him, check out: www.claywebster.com

Winter Horse Care

Great-winter-shot!

Many parts of the country have been completely overtaken by winter’s harsh grip this last week. It’s not to say that we didn’t expect it – it’s just that if you’re a wishful thinker like me,  you were probably hoping winter would not have struck so fiercely already. I was thinking it could lash out at us in like, February.

For a week.

And then quickly ease its way into Spring.

In the last few days, this is what wishful thinking got me. Here is an unedited view out my kitchen window:

DSC_0264

 

Winter presents numerous horse-keeping challenges. Here is a list of 4 cold weather aspects to keep in mind this winter to help you keep your equine’s health in top shape during this tough season.

Yearling-Running

1. A COAT – Hopefully by this time your outdoor horses have had a chance to develop a good, thick winter coat to help protect themselves against the elements. A healthy winter coat will help a horse insulate itself against cold winds and temperatures. The question of whether to blanket or not is always somewhat controversial and I’m not here to sway you either way. I just know what works for us and the horses in our care.

The one basic principle of blanketing is – if you’ve started blanketing your horse by now, continue on doing the same until the weather warms up.

Keep breathability in mind when choosing the proper blanket for your horse. Breathability is the ability of a fabric to allow sweat and excess moisture to pass through it to the outside air. Blankets featuring this technology are commonly designed with a “hydrophilic” (water loving) coating on the inside of the fabric that draws excess sweat and moisture to it. Temperature differences between the air inside and outside of the rug/blanket then force moisture outwards. This allows your horse to stay dry and comfortable.

Also, removing a blanket daily and providing your blanketed horse with a good grooming is essential to healthy winter skin. The many circumstances horses must face in the winter  (wet conditions, little sunlight, etc.) can all add up to some nasty skin ailments underneath that blanket. For more information on specific skin problems that can plague horses in the winter, check out my blog on Winter Skin Conditions.

Horses-Drinking

2. WATER – Even in plummeting temperatures, at a time when many people assume horses aren’t drinking much – water is absolutely crucial. All horses must have access to free choice water and it is recommended that you monitor how much your horse is drinking. Even wonder why so many people like to offer their horses warm water in the winter? Cold water can cause your horse to drink less and become dehydrated, resulting in impaction colic.

And for those owners who think horses can survive on snow… According to the Alberta Horse Industry Association, “As a horse requires 3 litres of water for every kg of dry matter they eat, although horses drink less in cold weather, adequate water consumption remains a priority. Forcing horses to get moisture from eating snow is counter-productive. In addition to the fact that an average of 10 times as much snow must be eaten to provide an equivalent amount of water, horses must use precious body heat to melt the snow. Horses on snow-covered pasture will receive a certain amount of fluid through the snow they ingest, but likely not enough to satisfy their daily requirements.”

Ensure all water sources remained thawed and working properly – daily. I know first-hand, how much fun it is to trudge out to an auto-waterer in the dark, at -30 C, but it’s absolutely necessary to ensure the well-being of your animals in the winter.

Winter-tails

3. BODY CONDITION – Horses require additional energy from their diet to maintain body weight when temperatures drop below -20 degrees Celsius. Pasture grasses do not grow during the colder months – and digging through snow to try and get at any left over grasses from the summer, uses up the horse’s precious energy stores. Providing good quality hay at 2% of the horse’s body weight should meet his nutrient requirements for maintenance. Feeding hay also generates heat during digestion by gut microbes, and that helps horses stay warm. Provide salt blocks in fields and stalls. Although salt intake is more important during the hot summer months to replace sodium and chloride lost in sweat, horses do not meet their daily salt requirements by consuming forage alone.

Winter tends to be a time when horses lose weight, and a heavy winter coat can hide a thin horse. Make sure to check your horse’s body condition every 30 days. This means putting your hands on your horse’s body and feeling around for fat deposits – or a lack thereof.

DSC_0315

4. TEETH & DEWORMING – Improve how your horse utilizes the feed you give him during winter by having his teeth checked and floated if necessary, and by deworming the horse prior to the winter months. If you missed doing either of those necessary horse care requirements prior to winter setting in, now’s as good a time as ever.

AQHA Disease Panel Testing

DNA-testing-card

Anyone else receive this form from the AQHA lately in their mail?

It’s that time of year again. Before the mad rush of the Christmas season begins, it’s time for me to get all of my records in order with the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA). Time to get the foals registered (before they become 7 months of age), time to ask questions for any of the straggling documents I’m still waiting to receive, and time to register all of the stallion breedings. November 30 is an important deadline for stallion owners as all AQHA stallion breeding reports and AQHA Incentive Fund stallion nomination forms must be postmarked on or before November 30, 2014 – or a late fee may be incurred.

Photo by Natalie Jackman, www.have-dog.com

Photo by Natalie Jackman, www.have-dog.com

 

One of the newest developments for Quarter Horse breeders in the last year has been that all stallions that bred 25 or more mares in 2014 are now required to have their five-panel disease test results on file, as per Rule REG108.5 in the 2014 AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations. Going forward to 2015, all breeding stallions (regardless of how many mares they bred in 2015) must be tested.

A DNA Kit ready for submission, complete with a DNA sample.

A DNA Kit ready for submission, complete with a DNA sample.

Personally, I think this is a very welcome development in our industry. It helps owners and breeders make informed decisions. To facilitate this, AQHA offers a five-panel test for HYPP, PSSM1, MH, GBED and HERDA (also known as “The Big 5”). The test results will be public, available by request from AQHA and eventually will be printed on horses’ AQHA registration certificates.

And as we’ve seen in many stallion advertisements, if the results are “clean” owners are now proudly detailing the fact that they’ve had their horses tested and hanging the results out for everyone to see.

DNA testing may also be required of other horses depending upon the rules. Refer the AQHA Official Handbook for complete information or contact AQHA Customer Service at (806) 376-4811 for more information.

Panel testing for The Big 5 costs $85 US. A Panel test plus DNA test costs $105. Non-members can also have the test done on their horse(s) for $125.

Disease panel test kits can be ordered online at www.aqha.com/genetictesting.

To learn more about submitting online reports, visit www.aqha.com/sbr, and for questions concerning stallion breeding reports, contact sbr@aqha.org. AQHA customer service representatives are available until midnight November 30, to answer SBR questions.

I’m curious to see how the new ruling for stallions to be Disease Panel tested in 2015 will affect our breeding industry. As always, if you have any thoughts on the subject we welcome them in the comments section below.

– JW

100-Day Hydration Challenge

Equiwinner-Hydration-Challenge-Photo

Signal-Health – the North American distributor of the Equiwinner™ non-invasive dermal patch – is on a quest. The company wants to alert owners and trainers that healthy horses will stay well hydrated on their own and to provide the solution to achieve such a healthy state.

Company owner, Barbara Socha, says, “We know people are skeptical to try something new when they already use something that seems to work and that they depend on. That’s why we’re launching the Equiwinner 100-Day Hydration Challenge – to convince them that it’s better to eliminate hydration problems rather than just treat the symptoms.”

In healthy horses, electrolytes work properly. Thirst is triggered as necessary, when there’s an increase of extracellular fluid sodium concentration in the body. This must work especially well in winter, when horses need to drink MORE because their forage has likely changed from moisture-rich pasture to dry hay. And, because horses aren’t as keen on cold water, they often drink LESS so it’s even more critical for their thirst mechanism to be triggered properly.

If a horse doesn’t drink enough to stay hydrated, it’s because this system has failed and the thirst signal has not been triggered. The Equiwinner patch is a natural electrolyte balancing system that ensures proper electrolyte activity. It supports healthy internal hydration and ensures the thirst signal is triggered as needed.

The recently released Farmers’ Almanac is predicting another nasty winter similar to last year’s Polar Vortex. A well-hydrated horse is better able to outlast a power failure and frozen water pipes. Proper hydration provides a safety net in times of trouble.

She invites anyone whose horse doesn’t drink enough or has a dry coat, mouth, manure or hooves to take the Challenge. A single treatment takes only 10 days yet can be effective for up to a full year. “If a horse owner or trainer takes the 100-Day Challenge and sees no benefit at the end of it, we’ll gladly refund the purchase price. There’s no risk and nothing to lose.”

“Years of scientific research have gone into developing the Equiwinner patch but the results are so quick and astounding, people just can’t believe it’s so simple! Horse owners and trainers really must try Equiwinner to see for themselves.”

For more information about the product or to register for the Equiwinner 100-Day Challenge, visit www.signal-health.com or phone toll-free: 1-877-378-4946.

Pick & Choose

Hoof Picks

 

Discerning horse owners know there’s more than meets than eye when it comes to hoof picks. Those tiny little tools in the tack store that typically go missing on a monthly basis, end up in the laundry pile because you’ve forgotten to remove it from your back pocket again – and are an absolute essential when it comes to the care of your equine companion.

It’s been said a million times. No Hoof, No Horse.

To be at their best, horse care starts at ground level. And if you’re like me, you’re picky about which hoof pick is in your hand. I’m not fond of wimpy picks that can’t stand up to tough mud, balled-up snow or are difficult to hang on to with my hands. Here are a few of my favorite  picks available, available either at your local tack store or via the internet. There may be a couple you haven’t seen yet but trust me, they’re worth a shot! Plus, be sure to check out the upcoming September / October issue of WHR for some more Great Hoof Care Products.

1. The Jelly Wellie hoofpick has a boot-shaped handle, is 5 3/4″ tall and comes in assorted colors. Aside from being a sturdy pick, this one never goes missing via the male riders in our barn. Making it one of my ultimate faves <grin.>

Hoof Pick

2. These plastic bodied picks with brushes are great for cleaning out dirt deep in the crevices of a frog but typically, the metal pick can easily be bent backwards. At least, that’s been my experience – especially when dealing with Gumbo mud – an anomaly of nature, I’m sure.

Hoof pick

3. The Ultimate Hoofpick was designed by a horse trainer who was fed up with picks that couldn’t hold their own when it came to yet another hoof filled with concrete-like mud. An ergonomically correct, unbreakable handle with a rubber, easy grip and a wider pick angle makes this hoofpick a solid and effective tool. The “Jackhammer of Hoof Care” comes in two sizes and easily tackles packed-in mud and snow.
www.ultimatehoofpick.com

Ultimate Hoof Pick

 

 

4. The Illuminated Hoof Pick from MJ Equine Tools is truly a bright idea. What sets this pick apart is its battery powered LED light on the tip. Now you can have a better view when cleaning out a horse’s hooves and while checking for problems such as puncture wounds or hoof cracks. Accompanied by a sturdy steel pick, a stiff nylon brush and an easy grip handle, the Illuminated Hoof Pick is also water resistant. Also available in hot pink or electric blue.
www.MJEquineToolsInc.com

Illuminating hoof pick

 

5. To be totally honest, I truly only like having these two types of hoof picks in our trailer for when we head to a show. Typically horse shows are a frenzy of missing – or misplaced – equipment, in my case. Therefore, the vinyl-handled hoof pick on the right which can be found in every tack store, often for only a little over $1.00, is the perfect pick to have if you know there is potential for it to go missing.

The silver-plated beauty on the left is a great conversation piece but if I remember correctly, it cost almost $15 and I can’t say it was worth the money. Hoof Picks

6. Hoof picks from Oster are one of my all-time favorite picks. With a rubber control-touch handle for added comfort and a better grip, it easily fits into my hands. The durable stainless steel pick resists rust and is an incredibly strong structure within its handle. Plus, these picks come as a convenient pocket size! Available in blue or pink.

Oster Hoof Pick

Jonathan Field Giveaway

We seem to be contest-crazy lately, and this latest is a fabulous once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

JFwithhorse

And, if you’re a fan of Jonathan Field (and who isn’t?) and Recovery EQ, this is one contest practically tailor-made for you.

Whether our horses are our teammates, our best friends, or part of the family, we take the necessary steps to make sure they are as happy and as healthy as possible. For many supplements such as RECOVERY EQ is an important part in making sure our horses perform to the best of their ability.

Designed to unlock your horse’s potential, Recovery EQ aims to provide healthy joints, circulation, and works to help fight tissue damage. This is all achieved through a unique blend of anti-oxidants from foods that have been proven to support cellular health such as green tea, and red grapes.

john2

Seeing the effect Recovery EQ has had on his own horses, proven horseman and trainer Jonathan Field personally vouches for the life changing product. The supplement has allowed him to take his horses down the road and to be confident in the fact that they are healthy and sound enough to make the journey.

john1

Now, we want to hear what Recovery EQ has done for you and your horse!  In the comment section below, please tell us about the positive effects this supplement has had on your animal in 200 words or less.

The best story will receive two VIP tickets to the Jonathan Field and Friends International Horsemanship Education Conference in September!

johnposter

Total value for this prize is $520, so get to pennin’ about your success with this fab product.

Small print: The contest will run until August 20, 2014 and the winner will be announced the following day. Prize does not include transportation to the venue. Winner must agree to have their story published in a future issue of Western Horse Review.

The Benefits of Tildren

Tildren-1

“Four out of five-degree lameness…” If you’ve ever heard these words as a horse owner delivered to you by your veterinarian, you’d know the feeling of helplessness that follows. That’s why Tildren is a promising new medicine offering more than hope in restoring soundness in horses with bone-related lamenesses.

From horses stricken with navicular, to those plagued by ringbone or osteoarthritis of the hock, Tildren stops agressive bone remodelling activity and can be quite effective in slowing down the process, plus alleviating pain at the same time. The main benefits of Tildren include the inhibition of bone resorption by blocking the activity of osteoclasts, increasing bone density and inhibiting the secretion of enzymes that degrade the cartilage on joint surfaces.

Tildren-2
It can be administered orally but most veterinarians prefer to administer it intravenously, which allows the Tildren to be soaked up into the horse’s bones like water seeping into a sponge. Tildren exists in an oral form approved for human use generically known as “Tiludronate” and is used in the treatment in the condition called Paget’s disease.

Tildren is expensive and the FDA has made it difficult to access it as Tildren can only be imported through a special process. However, this one drug has done more to revolutionize equine bone and joint disease in the past 10 years than any other. Contact your veterinarian for more information.

www.ceva.com