Horse Articles

  • 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

  • Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis

    Written By: Annette McCoy, DVM, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine

    What is equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM)?

    EPM is a disease of the central nervous system (brain and/or spinal cord) that is caused by the protozoal organism Sarcocystis neurona. The main host for this organism is the opossum and horses that are exposed to opossum feces with infective sporocysts can develop neurologic disease. Other hosts of S. neurona include armadillos, skunks, and domestic cats; however, these animals cannot directly transmit the disease to horses.

    Continue reading

  • The Healthy, Older Horse

    Written By Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D.

    Let me tell you about Bugsy. He was an Appendix Quarter Horse I rescued a few years ago. When he came to me, he was significantly underweight, suffered from an old stifle injury, and had a distrustful attitude. A few months later, he’d filled out, was running up and down hills with ease, and showed the curiosity and warmth of a youngster. How old was he? 25. Not old by today’s standards and yet, definitely up there. What made the difference? Nutrition played a big part in his improvement.

    Continue reading

  • To blanket or not to blanket

    Written By: Marcia Hathaway, PhD, University of Minnesota

    horse winter drinking water

    We have received numerous questions lately regarding blanketing. A horse's winter coat can be an excellent insulator, but its insulating value is lost if it gets wet. It is important to keep the horse dry and sheltered from moisture. Continue reading

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