News & Features
November 2019 - Laminitis: A Year-Round Concern
Written by by Becky James, BSc, MSc
Wednesday, 30 October 2019 23:25
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Debilitating lameness affects 1 in 10 horses.

by Becky James, BSc, MSc

Despite a long-standing belief that laminitis is a spring-time disease, a recent study identified that there is no “safe” season: laminitis remains a threat regardless of the time of year. The same study also revealed that 1 in 10 horses/ponies develop laminitis every year.


When to Worry?

As horse owners, we must remain cautious and not reduce preventive measures when the perceived spring “high-risk” period is over. Furthermore, the study highlights the importance of recognizing subtle signs of potentially life-threatening episodes.

This is supported by 2017 study published in the BEVA Equine Veterinary Journal which revealed 45% of owners did not suspect laminitis was the problem prior to veterinary diagnosis, making it critical to recognize the more subtle signs.

In addition, research by Rossdales Veterinary Hospital and the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket warned that commonly cited clinical signs, such as the classic “laminitis stance” and divergent growth rings, were found in less than half of the active laminitis cases in their study.

What To Look For?

Evidence suggests there is a period where laminitis is present and causing changes to the hooves, but lameness is not yet apparent. Picking up these early signs of laminitis before there is any pain associated with the condition would allow horse owners to adjust their management strategies and their veterinarian to treat the underlying disease to help prevent a painful episode of laminitis.

The signs of laminitis can be broadly grouped into two groups: signs associated with hoof changes, and signs associated with hoof pain.

Signs associated with hoof changes:

  • Hoof rings that are wider at the heel than the toe (divergent hoof rings)
  • Cracks in the wall of the hooves
  • Changes in the angle of the hoof walls
  • Increased amount of horn at the toe of the hooves
  • Changes in the angle of the hoof walls
  • Bruising in the wall or the white line
  • Sensitive to pressure on the soles of his feet?


Signs associated with hoof pain:

  • Spending more time lying down than normal
  • Rocked back or rocked forward stance
  • Unwilling to move/ Unable or unwilling to stand
  • Lameness
  • Constantly shift weight from leg to leg
  • Foot-sore after a farrier visit
  • Resistance to you picking up one or more of his/her feet
  • An unusually strong pulse in one or more of his/her digital arteries. (This pulse can be felt if you place your fingers below the back of the horse’s fetlock) Or feet feel hotter than usual


If you suspect laminitis:
•    Call your veterinarian immediately!
•    While you wait for the veterinarian, remove your horse from pasture, provide soft footing for them to stand on and make sure they have water and hay within reach.

Prevention

Prevention is better than cure…especially when there is no cure!

Feeding remains key to reduce the risk of laminitis. Modern grass varieties are generally productive grasses, too rich for horses, especially those susceptible to laminitis which is closely linked to obesity.

Access to grass should be restricted, but they still need plenty of fiber to avoid other problems such as gastric ulcers and colic. While most cases of laminitis have an underlying hormonal cause, their diet certainly contributes, usually in the form of excess sugar (aka: water soluble carbohydrates (WSC) and starch, the main sources of which are grass and cereals. If too much sugar and starch is consumed at one time, it overloads the small intestine and accumulates in the hind gut instead.

The digestion of the sugar and starch by the hind gut bacteria produces stronger acids than would be produced by fiber digestion (the hind gut’s usual job). This results in acidosis causing bacteria to die and release toxins which can enter the bloodstream via the leaky gut wall caused by the acidity. This is thought to trigger a series of reactions that result in damaging enzymes. These enzymes destroy the bond between the pedal bone and the hoof capsule which ultimately can result in pedal bone rotation and euthanasia is then about the only option.

Alternatives to Grass

Consider supplementing at least part pasture with hay. This can be fed outside on a dirt area so the horse still gets to spend time outside as well as in the stable. The recommended sugar level of hay for those at risk of laminitis is 10% sugar, so it’s best to choose a lower grade hay and get it tested to determine its nutrient content. It’s not always possible to find a suitable hay and you can’t tell just by looking at it, hence the importance of having it tested. Most feed companies offer this service as do independent nutritionists.

Soaking or Steaming?

It’s common practice to soak hay for horses with laminitis. While this is effective for leaching sugars – and most other nutrients – from the hay, it has many drawbacks. Soaking increases the bacterial content, reducing the hygienic quality; it produces an environmental pollutant (the brown yucky water left in the bucket); and results in an unpalatable, soggy hay that can sour in summer temperatures and freeze in the winter. It’s also a huge hassle!

High-temperature hay steaming is also an option. Haygain’s patented method improves the hygienic quality of hay by killing bacteria, mold and fungal spores as well as reducing airborne respirable dust by up to 99%. Another benefit of steaming over soaking is that it retains hay’s nutrients, except for a variable loss in water soluble carbohydrates that are crucial to laminitis prevention. The amount of WSC reduction by steaming varies based on the type of hay, and time and location of harvest.

Once you’ve had your hay tested and you know the starting WSC content, you may find you only need to reduce the sugar (WSC) by a small amount. The recommended overall content is 10% or 100g WSC/kg DM, so a single hay steaming is typically sufficient to reach that level if the original WSC content is only slightly higher. The benefit of this steam-only scenario is maintaining the hay’s nutrients, including protein and minerals, while reducing the WSC to safe levels.

However, if your hay has a high sugar content, then you will need to leach more WSC and it’s best to use a combination of soaking and steaming. This means you will have the benefit of the clean steamed hay but with the nutritional value leached out more by the soaking phase. Research has labelled the gold standard treatment as a 9-hour soak followed by a 50-minute steam cycle. In the study, soaking plus steaming reduced the WSC contents of all hays down to the recommended level of 100g WSC/kg DM (Harris et al., 2017) for fat horses and those pre-disposed to laminitis. The steaming after soaking further reduced the WSC content and killed any bacteria that had multiplied during the soaking process, thus improving the hygienic quality of the hay.

Be aware of the risks of laminitis to horses and ponies at all times, manage their weight and diet with it in mind. Be vigilant of any signs of hoof changes and hoof pain no matter how subtle and seek veterinary advise as soon as you suspect laminitis.

Studies Referenced:
1. “Incidence and clinical signs of owner” reported equine laminitis in a cohort of horses and ponies in Great Britain,” BEVA Equine Veterinary Journal, Dec. 2018
2: “Assessment of horse owners’ ability to recognize equine laminitis: A cross-sectional study of 93 veterinary diagnosed cases in Great Britain,” BEVA Equine Veterinary Journal, May 2017
3. “Decision-tree analysis of clinical data to aid diagnostic reasoning for equine laminitis: a cross-sectional study,” published in BMJ Journals Vet Record, Volume 178, Issue 17.

Article provided by Haygain, the science-based horse health company that manufactures high-temperature Hay Steamers and ComfortStall Orthopedic Sealed Flooring and distributes the Flexineb Portable Equine Nebulizer. Author Becky James, BSc, MSc, was instrumental in developing Haygain’s patented high temperature steaming while studying at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester, England. She joined Haygain in 2008 and is now the company’s Director, Technical Sales.

 
October 2019 - The Gallop: Para To The People!
Written by by Kim F. Miller • photos by Kim F. Miller, taken during the 2017 Symposium at Ride On
Tuesday, 01 October 2019 03:53
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Californians on a quest to increase para-dressage participation.

by Kim F. Miller • photos by Kim F. Miller, taken during the 2017 Symposium at Ride On

Continuing the momentum of earning an unprecedented four individual medals at the World Equestrian Games last summer, the U.S. Para Dressage Team won the Championships at the Tryon Fall Dressage CPEDI3*, held in mid-September in North Carolina. This latest top-level victory reflects the success of the US Para-Dressage Team’s mission, stated head of coach development Michel Assouline.

 

 
October 2019 - What’s New?
Written by by Jochen Schleese, CMS, CSFT, CSE • ©2019 Saddlefit 4 Life™ All Rights Reserved
Tuesday, 01 October 2019 02:48
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New Bi-NateLine of saddles continues Schleese’s cutting edge traditions.

by Jochen Schleese, CMS, CSFT, CSE • ©2019 Saddlefit 4 Life™ All Rights Reserved

Schleese continues to be an industry leader in developing and using the latest technology in the saddlery department, and what we are working on right now underlines that.

It’s important to be able to determine the amount of pressure exerted on a horse’s back during riding – something that has long been known and researched using mainly computerized saddle pads, which have been on the market for some time now. They consist of (usually) 256 individual sensors which can measure in split seconds the amount of pressure under any given saddle on the horse’s back. Of course, the action of a horse in motion will make this picture change with almost every step, but overall, it is quite easy to determine where the problem spots are. This whole process usually requires the use of a very expensive pad (which not every saddle fitter has, of course), and more importantly – the ability to diagnose what is being seen and then make the necessary changes to the fit of the saddle.

 

 
September 2019 - Mark Watring Stables
Written by by Kim F. Miller
Saturday, 31 August 2019 21:54
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Expert training and a happy, family atmosphere distinguish thriving hunter/jumper program.

by Kim F. Miller

As a coach and horseman, Mark Watring brings a remarkable breadth of experience to clients at his hunter/jumper training program in the Los Angeles area’s Hidden Valley. His dossier is dotted with Olympics, Pan American Games and eight international championship medals, along with World Cup Finals and many other international competitions. And he’s far from done as a contender himself, giving his students an ever-fresh and relevant take on tackling riding, horsemanship and horse care questions in every form.

 
September 2019 - Lauren Billys & Purdy: On Track for Tokyo
Written by by Kim F. Miller
Saturday, 31 August 2019 21:34
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Respiratory recovery & a reserve finish at Rebecca Farms CCI4*-L set stage for an Olympic return.

by Kim F. Miller

Rio Olympic eventer Lauren Billys had trouble containing her emotions en route to a clear finish over the rigorous CCI4*-L cross-country track at the July 26-28 Rebecca Farm competition in Montana. Her partner of six years, Castle Larchfield Purdy, felt literally better than ever and they were leading the three-phase meet after a lovely dressage test.

 
September 2019 - Rebecca Farm Reflections
Written by article & photos by Alice Chan
Saturday, 31 August 2019 20:51
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First time visitor shares the lore and allure of unique eventing competition in Montana.

article & photos by Alice Chan

Coming from parched California to ride on the green field of dreams that is the Event at Rebecca Farm in Montana is an annual pilgrimage for many West Coast eventers, and a rite of passage for others.

Each year almost 600 horses and riders converge from across the country for four days of nail-biting competition. And the excitement is only increased by the fact that the North American Young Eventing Championships (NAYC) run in parallel.

 
September 2019 - How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Written by by Elisa Broz
Saturday, 31 August 2019 20:33
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California hunter/jumper student summers in France to ride with Alice Debany Clero.

by Elisa Broz

Elisa Broz is making a name for herself on the California circuit, but she jumped on a summer detour to train and compete in France. The accomplished student of Cassie Belmont’s training program in Watsonville was happy to share her unique summer story with California Riding Magazine.

 
September 2019 - Blue Shadows Mounted Drill Team
Written by CRM
Saturday, 31 August 2019 18:17
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Successful year includes returning to original stomping grounds at Hansen Dam.

The Blue Shadows Mounted Drill Team got its start at Hansen Dam in 1957 and the troop finally returned home to the horse park this June. “It’s good to be home again,” said the team’s Janet Johnstone. “We made a bold move to leave the other facility we were riding at due to some safety issues. We didn’t have a place to ride and I am grateful that the Langer Equestrian Group’s Marnye Langer reached out to us. Everyone at Hansen Dam Horse Park has been more than accommodating.”

 
August 2019 - The Gallop: Anne Howard Interview
Written by by Kim F. Miller
Friday, 02 August 2019 02:36
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Passion for horses, dressage and biomechanics enable Northern California equestrian to carry on her mother’s legacy, for everybody’s benefit.

by Kim F. Miller

Anne Howard is a big fan of CeeCoach blue-tooth communication devices that enable her to say things like “Move your left PEA forward” to a warm-up ring student at shows without the whole world hearing. “We used to have to yell those kind of things across the arena and we got a lot of funny looks,” says the dressage coach, trainer and Grand Prix rider and physical therapist and owner of the American Sporthorse and the Center for Dressage Education in the Monterey area’s Watsonville. Anne explains that PEA stands for “panty elastic line,” a term her riders know as a specific point of seatbone connection with the saddle.

 

 
August 2019 - WHOA!
Written by by Nan Meek
Friday, 02 August 2019 02:27
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Celebrate the 15th Anniversary Woodside Day of the Horse.

by Nan Meek

What do horseback riders who enjoy dressing in super heroines and heroes costumes to ride the Woodside trails, equine artists of all ages, and families throughout the Bay Area have in common? The 15th Anniversary Woodside Day of the Horse, which this year expands to three days of equestrian festivities, Friday through Sunday, October 11, 12, and 13, with events throughout the Northern California “horse country” community of Woodside.

 
November 2019 - Emma Reichow Wins Big For the West
Written by photos: Al Cook Photography
Wednesday, 30 October 2019 22:45
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Harley and Olivia Brown student finishes her junior year with victory in the 2019 Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Individual Championships.

photos: Al Cook Photography

A quiet intensity came over the New Holland Arena as Emma Catherine Reichow and Forever Alve entered the ring in the final phase of the 2019 Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Individual Championships at the 74th Pennsylvania National Horse Show. After a perfect final round, Reichow can now add 2019 Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Individual Champion to her résumé. Reichow trains with Harley and Olivia Brown.


Coming off a brilliant performance winning the 2019 Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals - West in September, 17-year-old Reichow, of Menlo Park, CA, ended the year and her Junior career as the 2019 Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Individual Champion and recipient of the AHSA National Show Jumping Individual Championship Memorial Trophy aboard Forever Alve, Reichow’s own 9-year-old KWPN mare.

“I’m very thankful to have such an amazing horse. It’s been an incredible year,” said Reichow, noting this was her last year in the Juniors. “It definitely has been the best year of my life; I’ll never forget it. With Talent Search and now this, I didn’t expect this to happen, I’m over the moon.”

The final course, designed by Ken Krome of Westminster, MD, featured 11 jumps with 14 jumping efforts at 1.35m with a time allowed of 69 seconds. Reichow and Forever Alve represented Zone 10 and produced three brilliant rounds. The duo only incurred one rail in Phase II to remain in the top three heading into the final phase, where they produced a double clear round and ended the weekend on a final score of four penalty points.

“It’s such an honor and such a prestigious class and I don’t think someone from Zone 10 has won it in a couple years, and I’m truly honored I was able to do that this year,” said Reichow. “It has always been a goal of mine to come here and do well.”

Ned Cunniffe and Buckle Up finished and Mimi Gochman and Street Hassle BH, finished second and third and both are USHJA Zone 2 teammates.

Report provided by Classic Communications.

 
October 2019 - Revised World Cup Jumping League
Written by CRM
Tuesday, 01 October 2019 02:55
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Sacramento & Las Vegas retain qualifiers in next cycle of qualifiers starting with 2020/2021 season.

The FEI has announced qualifiers for the next three seasons of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League.

Following a very competitive bidding and evaluation process, the FEI has allocated the eight qualifiers of this prestigious league in the USA, Canada and Mexico confirming the location and dates across the continent for seasons 2020/2021 through to 2022/2023.

 
September 2019 - The Gallop: A Change of Reign
Written by CRM
Saturday, 31 August 2019 21:58
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Thermal & Arizona show circuits, and Thermal venue, in new ownership group’s hands.

by Kim F. Miller

Talk of the HITS Desert Circuit hunter/jumper series being sold has been circulating for a few years. It happened in early August when the newly-formed Apex Equisport announced its purchase of HITS’ hunter/jumper competition series: the two-week Sunshine Series and eight-week Desert circuits in the Palm Spring area’s Thermal, and the six-week series in Tucson, AZ. The purchase includes the 3,000-stall competition facility in Thermal, all from Tom Struzzieri, founder and CEO of Horse Shows In the Sun, which is based in Saugerties, NY. The Thermal venue will now be called the Desert International Horse Park.

 

 
September 2019 - SafeSport
Written by CRM
Saturday, 31 August 2019 21:43
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Participation ban for industry legend George Morris intensifies an ongoing debate about the best means for protecting all equestrians.

“Safe Sport” discussions in the equestrian world reached a new level of intensity on Aug. 5 when the U.S. Center for SafeSport announced a permanent ban on participation to industry legend, George Morris, 81. The ban resulted from an investigation of allegations of “sexual misconduct involving a minor” between 1968 and 1972. The same day, Morris issued an email in which he contested the findings and stated that he would dispute them in an appeal process.

 
September 2019 - All In For EAP
Written by by Darby Bonomi, PhD • photos © Alden Corrigan Media
Saturday, 31 August 2019 21:29
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Parents value the USHJA’s Emerging Athlete Program as much as their participating kids.

by Darby Bonomi, PhD • photos © Alden Corrigan Media

The Emerging Athletes Program Regional Training Session, held at Sonoma Valley Stables in Petaluma from July 17-21, was a huge success on many fronts. Clinician Cynthia Hankins, Stable Manager Nanci Snyder, and USHJA Representative Amy Owen Center were the formidable team educating and supporting 19 eager young riders during 5 days of intensive training at Ned Glynn’s beautiful facility.

 
September 2019 - Feedlot to Show Ring
Written by by Hailey Esses
Saturday, 31 August 2019 20:42
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Rescued pony is not just a number anymore.

by Hailey Esses

Cup of Tea, also known as “Ravioli,” has gone from only a number, 9432, to a superstar. He was an auction pony from the North Texas Feedlot, but he is now is a champion show pony.

 

 
September 2019 - USEF/AVA Vaulting National Champs
Written by CRM
Saturday, 31 August 2019 18:32
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California vaulters fly high.

The US Equestrian (USEF)/American Vaulting Association (AVA) Vaulting National Championships were held on August 7-11 at The National Equestrian Center in St. Louis, MO. Dusti Hausman captured the Female Gold Individual championship, while Mikhail Proctor claimed the Male Gold Individual championship. A composite squad from Mile-High Vaulters and Pacific Coast Vaulters won the A Team championship.

 

 
September 2019 - Para-Equestrian Beatrice de Lavalette Announces New Competition Mount
Written by CRM
Saturday, 31 August 2019 00:00
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Beatrice “Béa” de Lavalette, 20, is proud to announce that she has acquired Duna, an eleven-year-old KWPN mare by Vivaldi, with the help of her parents Nicolas and Elizabeth. The mare was purchased from Judy de Winter Dressage LLC in The Netherlands.

Béa’s trainer, Shayna Simon, traveled to Europe and tried many horses in Germany and The Netherlands, but Duna, who has been ridden up to the Prix St. Georges level, offered Béa the training and experience she needed immediately.

 
August 2019 - A Many-Faceted Practice
Written by CRM
Friday, 02 August 2019 02:35
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Sensitivity tops an amateur rider’s long list of reasons for riding with Anne Howard.

Constance Broz was stumped by the request for a brief summary of what she likes most about working with Anne Howard – only by the “brief” part, though.

“There are so many facets to her practice,” says the amateur dressage rider who came to Anne for physical therapy and later moved her horse to Anne’s barn to enter full training. “In a word, it’s the ‘sensitivity’ to read where the horse and rider are at.”

 
August 2019 - California Pony Power
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 31 July 2019 22:08
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Zone 10’s Pony Jumper Final team heads to Kentucky in title defense mode.

California’s top pony jumpers have a big task ahead: defending their twice-gold team past at the Pony Jumper Finals portion of the USEF National Pony Finals held Aug. 5-11 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. The team is comprised of two veterans and two newcomers to this championship. All have high expectations for good performances and lots of fun.

 
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