Horse Articles

  • EQUINE THRUSH - WHAT IT IS AND HOW TO DEAL WITH IT

    Written By: Walt Friedrich

    It is a condition – or more precisely, an infection – in the hoof. It is not a disease. Its elimination has been the goal of massive efforts to develop the ultimate product, as witness the vast variety of thrush-busting products on tack shop shelves. All of them do sell, and each of them probably does reduce and control the infection in some hooves – but there are a couple problems: one is that a given product may clear things up for some horses, but seems ineffective for others. And secondly, many of those hooves whose thrush does get controlled end up with a re-infection a couple months later. Right up front, the problem is not a simple one.   Continue reading

  • Maintaining Your Horse's Weight: An On-Going Challenge

    Winter weight loss is a common issue that arises every winter, and to some degree normal and to be expected. But how do you know what is a healthy weight range for your horse to lose and remain healthy? There is not a single weight range that’s ideal for all horses, as it will vary between breed, discipline, and individual, but here are a few guidelines to follow to help monitor your horse’s weight: Continue reading

  • Red Snow In Winter

    A common question that always seems to come up in winter months is why a horse’s urine looks red. People usually notice red, orange or brown spots in the snow where their horses have urinated. Normal horse urine sometimes turns red or brown after standing for a while. This is due to the presence of plant metabolites called pyrocatechines. These oxidizing agents cause the urine to change color when mixed with oxygen. It can happen year round (the same Continue reading

  • TOXIC TREES AND THEIR DANGER TO HORSES

    Written by Walt Friedrich

    Most of us horse-owners are quite well aware that our horses can pretty much take care of themselves. They may be prey animals, but so are field mice, along with thousands of other species in between, and of them all, horses are probably one of the best equipped for self-protection. Weighing in typically at a thousand-pounds plus or minus a few hundred helps, along with immense strength, and maybe the quickest reflexes in the animal kingdom; he can break your leg or even kill you with a well-placed kick, and he has enough speed to outrun a hungry mountain lion. He tends to keep himself quite well self-protected. Continue reading

  • Winter Blanketing

    Written By Dr. Kate LeVasseur, DVM

    The question always arises each winter whether to blanket or to not blanket your horse. As the temperature decreases, the layers of clothing increase. One would only assume this would also hold true for your horse, right? Continue reading

  • PREVENTATIVE HORSE CARE

    written by Walt Friedrich

     

    I always had thought it was my mother who used to tell me, when I was a child, that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I was almost disappointed when I learned that 'twas Ben Franklin who first uttered those wise words, and not my mother -- but as I grew up some I came to understand that it's the message, not the messenger that really matters. It applies in every aspect of life, doesn't it, and especially so when it comes to our responsibilities to the animals we are blessed enough to care for. Continue reading

  • A Better Understanding of Guaranteed Analysis -Why units: % min/max , PPM and IU are used

    Components in the diet that are present in larger amounts will be listed as % . In a traditional feed, that would include crude fiber, fat, protein and the macrominerals Ca and P. It is optional to include more information on a feed tag. If the items are in large enough quantities, it makes sense to list them in %. Calcium and P are always listed in mins/max – it allows some flexibility as feedstuffs naturally have some variation, but the manufacturer has to provide the customer the assurance they fall within that range.

    Components that are found in smaller quantities, the trace minerals are listed in ppm. Although most people still think in pounds, I always prefer to think about ppm in mg/kg. The reason I do so is that the requirements for these nutrients are always listed in mgs, so it just makes sense to get that answer right away.

    IU are international units which are only used for vitamins. Because vitamins act as catalysts , their unit of measure is relative to the amount of activity they have. Each vitamin will actually have a different weight required for its international unit. Of course, some vitamins are actually listed in concentration by weight, however A, E and D will all be as IU.

    Essentially, macronutrients will always be in %, micronutrients in ppm, and A, D, and E in IU.

  • Training Your Horse

    Written By Walt Friedrich

    Here's some dialog between you and your horse. Does it seem familiar?

    You: “I want to pick up your foot.”

    Horse: “I don't want you to.”

    You: “I'm gonna do it anyway.”

    Horse: “No, you won't, I won't let you.”

    Then it becomes an argument, then a fight as you apply force, and you finally walk away, disgusted with your uncooperative horse. You may even be hurtin' from where his kicky hooves caught your hands as you tried to impose your will. You may even have smacked your horse on the butt for his recalcitrance. “Dammit, I need to see his feet,” you mutter. Continue reading

  • Nice Move

    Written By: Jenny Pavlovic

    Last fall I wrote about moving my four-legged family from Minnesota to Wisconsin to be closer to my extended family. This first involved a move to live in my parents’ house while our Minnesota house went on the market and I started a new job. The dogs and I stayed with my parents for about six weeks until they went to Florida for the winter, then took care of their 17-acre place over the winter. We sold our Minnesota house in December and began the search for our new home in Wisconsin. Continue reading

  • I Love You, But Let's Not Get Too Cozy

    Written By: Walt Friedrich

    We've touched on this subject in previous articles, but it's important enough for an occasional revisit, just as a reminder. Our horse is not wired in the same way as we are, as he constantly demonstrates, but we've become so used to it that we rarely notice it any more. You put your favorite music on for him, playing quietly in the stable, because you enjoy it and you want to share the pleasure with him. A noble, thoughtful idea, but even when your favorite passages are playing and you might stop what you're doing, lean up against a wall, and just listen, enraptured, he shows no reaction. Well, it's disappointing, maybe, but we're just not all music lovers, are we?

    Continue reading

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