Omega Fields

  • Unitended Consequences

    Written By Walt Friedrich

    In an earlier article we examined the horse's natural way of communication with others of his species, and how, by domestication, he uses those same natural ways with us. It's the only "language" he knows, and it's virtually all body language. Because neither of us is perfectly fluent in the other's language, misinterpretations can (and do) occur, and when someone is hurt as a result, it's usually a human. This brief series is intended to suggest some of the conditions that can result in unintended but serious damage to ourselves. Continue reading

  • Just Being

    Written By Jenny Pavlovic

    Earlier this year I wrote about taking a therapy dog class with Cay, and how far she’s come since she first arrived here as a practically-feral adolescent 8 years ago. I had decided to enter Cay in the class because of the response she’d shown to my niece’s children, fetching the ball over and over for a 3 year old boy, when she had never fetched the ball for me. She came alive while playing with those kids, and I thought she might like to become a library dog, like Chase, and have kids read to her. Continue reading

  • Make better use of round-bales

    Written By: Krishona Martinson, PhD, University of Minnesota

    Drought conditions have severely reduced the supply of hay and other feedstuffs, escalating the demand and driving up prices. Horse owners can reduce hay waste by using feeders and properly storing hay, especially when feeding round-bales.

    In a study conducted in MN, feeding round-bales to horses without a feeder resulted in 57% waste. All nine round-bale feeders tested reduced hay waste, and ranged from 5 to 33% hay waste. Continue reading

  • Chokecherry

    Written By: Krishona Martinson, PhD, Lynn Hovda, DVM, Mike Murphy, DVM, PhD, and Patrick Weicherding, PhD, University of Minnesota

    chokecherry in bloom

    Chokecherry in bloom Continue reading

  • Carbohydrates: the good, the bad, and the ugly

    Written By Marcia Hathaway, PhD, University of Minnesota

    It is usually the amount of carbohydrates fed at one time, not the inclusion of carbohydrates, that causes problems.

    Carbohydrates are a hot topic in the horse industry. Carbohydrates are essential in all horse's diets. There are, however, different kinds of carbohydrates found in horse feeds. Continue reading

  • Carpometacarpal syndrome

    Written By:Erin Malone, DVM, University of Minnesota

    carpometacarpal syndrome

    In recent years, researchers at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center have identified a crippling form of arthritis that seems to primarily affect Arabian horses, at least in the upper Midwest. This syndrome involves apparent instability of the carpus (foreleg "knee"). This eventually leads to a bony reaction that resembles the callus from a healing fracture and can be seen on the inside of the leg. Continue reading

  • Harvest moisture and bale wrapping affects forage quality and mold in grass round-bales

    Written By:Krishona Martinson, PhD and Craig Sheaffer, PhD, University of Minnesota Wayne Coblentz, PhD, USDA-ARS Dairy Forage Research Center

    Introduction

    mature orchardgrass hay_ first cutting_1

    Figure 1. Mature orchardgrass hay (first cutting) Continue reading

  • Selecting and storing horse hay

    Written By: Krishona Martinson, PhD and Paul Peterson, PhD, University of Minnesota Extension

    There are several characteristics horse owner should use to evaluate and purchase hay for their horses.

    Content / Species

    An alfalfa grass hay mix

    Figure 1. An alfalfa grass hay mix Continue reading

  • Equine compulsive behaviors

    Written By: Margaret Duxbury, DVM, University of Minnesota

    A Cribbing Pony A Cribbing Pony

    Compulsive or 'stereotypic' behaviors are repetitive behaviors that serve no apparent function and occupy a significant portion of an animal's time. Common examples include crib biting and weaving. These problems are frustrating for horse owners. As a result, they have often been categorized as 'vices', a label that implies some fault or failing on the part of the horse. In reality, compulsive behaviors usually begin when there is something 'wrong' with the horse's environment. Continue reading

  • Reminder to Equestrians to Check Tires From USRider

    A flat tire is one hiccup that we all fear, especially as equestrians.  USRider reminds equestrians to check their tires as they can lose their footing long before they’re worn out. Testing by Consumer Reports shows that tread can give up a significant amount of grip when it’s still at the half-way point. Checking your tires on your tow vehicle and trailers should be part of your regular maintenance. Tires should be checked once a month.

    When the grooves of a tire reach 2/32nds of an inch deep, they are considered bald. A new tire has grooves of about 10/32nds. Tire manufacturers have made bald tires easier to spot by placing a series of mold horizontal bars at the base of the grooves. The bars become flush with surrounding tread when wear reduces groove depth to 2/32nds. Continue reading

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