Willowview Hill Farm

Welcome to Catskill Horse.

Welcome to The Merry Band at the Catskill Horse. We hope you enjoy browsing our monthly online magazine.

In addition to our Directory of useful services and horse lover articles check out our latest features Hit the Hay Accommodation Guide, The Feed Bucket Restaurant Guide, Horse and Home Real Estate Guide, Stallion Directory and Equine Art at the Catskill Horse. Plus coming soon our shopping choice guide! Come join our Merry Band at the Catskill Horse. And don't forget to check in at our Facebook page for our weekly Giveaway contests.

  • Cover Your Assets ~ It’s The Smart Thing To Do By Nikki Alvin-Smith Cover Your Assets ~ It’s The Smart Thing To Do By Nikki Alvin-Smith Click on Image to Read Article
  • The Life and Times of Annie ~ A Thoroughbred’s Second Chance By Nikki Alvin-Smith The Life and Times of Annie ~ A Thoroughbred’s Second Chance By Nikki Alvin-Smith Click on Image to Read Article
  • Ready. Shed. Go. ~ CH Staff Ready. Shed. Go. ~ CH Staff Click on Image to Read Article


Nikki Alvin-Smith

Editor's Welcome

The weather on the East Coast and beyond has been brutal so far this winter. With wind chills to -40 degrees Fahrenheit most horse owners are in survival mode.
The Merry Band at the Catskill Horse is an optimistic band so we thought we’d add some thoughts of Spring to this edition’s line up with an article “Ready. Shed. Go.” Spring may not be around the corner but in reality it will be here before you know it and with all the great grooming tools out there you still need to add some elbow grease to the grooming equation but why make the job harder than it needs to be?

Like many other horse owners I have done my share of horse rescues over the years. In total to date only about 17, which is a drop in the proverbial bucket compared to many of you. One of those lucky individuals that we moved up in life was Annie, who now competes in eventing and jumping with Sarah Wohrman, who trains and works with advanced eventing great, Booli Selmayr. Sarah was kind enough to give us an inside peek at how she brought this Thoroughbred mare along over a very short period of time, and there is a look back as to how we came to own Annie and how she spent her three years with my husband and I in our breeding program. While I have been in the horse breeding business for 20+ years, this was my first Thoroughbred breeding and there was a learning curve! The feature “The Life and Times of Annie ~ A Thoroughbred’s Second Chance,” should educate and inspire and there is some neat advice from Booli Selmayr on what you need to make a successful event horse.

With the ripping winds and snowy weather we also thought it might be a good time to check out how you protect your very valuable farm equipment and tools from the vagaries of the climate in our feature, “Cover Your Assets.” Lots of ideas on how to afford a means to house and protect your ATVs, tractors, haying equipment, harrows and the like and improve their longevity and appreciation.

Also this month we take a look at “Get Cozy in the Right Cozy Log Cabin,” which is an insider’s look into the differences between the difference between modular and custom log cabin homes or cabin kits. You may love the idea of the mountain life and the beauty of rural living but there are lots of ‘buyer beware’ tips you need to know before you buy.

Most horse owners are also dog owners, and The Merry Band at the Catskill Horse thought you might like to take a trip to sunny California with us and meet one of the most successful equine/canine/feline organizations on the West Coast and learn how they fund the re-homing and adoption program at the Helen Woodward Animal Center. It’s brilliant and a good business plan for others to learn from and to follow. Horizon Structures has partnered with HWAC and provided three commercial kennels and on the go forward there is an exciting new Program, ‘Horizon Structures to the Rescue.’ Hear from Horizon’s CEO what’s in store as Horizon Structures reaches out to help animals in need.

Many of us are also mapping out our Spring/Summer 2018 programs and if you have plans to build an outdoor arena or hold a show or event, it is worth considering some shelter from sun, shade and weather for your judges and patrons. We’ll give you a guided tour of some options from our regular supporter Stoltzfus Structures with some tips on site preparation and financing and visit with Olympian eventer Boyd Martin to hear what he has to say about the necessity of investing in outdoor structures.

This month’s edition is jam-packed with a variety of interesting articles and as ever it is FREE to read. Please thank our advertisers for their support by becoming a patron of their businesses and please let them know you found out about them here! We could not keep this community resource free without their help and with more than 65,000 viewings per month from all over the U.S.A. and also internationally Catskill Horse magazine is very proud to have been able to keep this resource freely available.

Don’t forget to send us your events for our event page (one of the highest hit pages on the site), and we’ll do what we love to do, spread the word!

Stay tuned and stay warm.

If you write and would like to contribute; have news you would like to share about your organization or activities at your farm, please email

Don’t forget to visit our Facebook page and enter for your chance to win a copy of the book Horse Color Explored. You can read the review on our Yay or Neigh page from Chelsea Smith, and come join the chat at the Catskill Equestrian Group too.

Happy Riding.

Nikki Alvin-Smith
Catskill Horse Magazine
Publisher: Horse in a Kilt Media Inc.

Keeping Your Horse Loose and Limber in the Winter

Winter is a stress on any horse, even more so for seniors. Supportive measures don't have to be complicated if you understand the physiology and the tissues you need to target.

Keeping Your Horse Loose and Limber in the WinterResearch has proven that exposure to cold causes increased stiffness in both muscle and connective tissue, including tendons and ligaments.  A recent human study also confirmed that dampness, or relative humidity, is correlated with increased joint pain and this effect is worse when the weather is also cold.

The effects are magnified in older horses.  "Sarcopenia of aging" is age related loss of muscle mass which gets worse if the horse is not regularly exercised.  Age also causes increased tendon and ligament stiffness, loss of flexibility, and lesions developed in the core of flexor tendons.  To top it all off, muscle is less strong in the cold because energy generation becomes less efficient, allowing more energy to escape into the cells as heat.

The end result of all this in its mildest form is horses that have a wooden, stiff movement. In the worst-case scenario, they are so severely affected that getting up from a down position becomes very difficult or even impossible.  Fortunately, this scenario isn't inevitable. Read the full article....

Combustible Clean-up

Combustible Clean-up 

Guelph, Ontario – With cooler, darker days ahead – and more pressure on heating and lighting systems – the risk of barn fires increase. So, now is the time for your annual combustible clean-up! Combustibles are everywhere and unavoidable around the horse farm, but your management of them can considerably reduce the risk of a barn fire.

To help you learn more about the combustible hazards in your barn and evaluate the safety of your facility, go to Equine Guelph’s Barn Fire Prevention online tool.  The interactive assessment tool asks 20 questions about inside and outside of your barn and takes five minutes to complete.
 Read the full article...

Five Tips to Make Your Senior Horse Winter Ready  
Five Tips to Make Your Senior Horse Winter Ready  Making sure your equine senior horse is in the best shape possible, and has some additional physical and nutritional support is key when it comes to getting them through the winter.
“You don’t want to wait until we’re in the dead of winter to find out your senior horse is too thin, too fat, or needs a winter blanket or better shelter,” says Laurie Cerny, editor of  “By then it’s too late and your horse will suffer.”
Cerny offers these five tips to ensure your senior horse is winter ready:
1.  Check teeth.  If your horse has been on pasture (which is more palatable) you may not notice signs of tooth problems like picking though hay for softer stems, and wadding of hay that's been chewed.  Have teeth floated if necessary. 
2.  Make sure your horse's feet are in good shape for ice and snow.  This means staying on top of your blacksmithing and adding protective measures like rim pads (to help pop the snow out) and Borium (for traction) if your horse remains shod over the winter.  Hoof supplements as well as regular application of a topical hoof dressing will also help hooves handle the ice and snow.
3.  Protection from the elements.  In addition to having adequate physical shelter like a run-in during the day and a stall at night, your equine senior may need to be blanketed.  If your horse is on the thin side going into the winter - blanketing will help him/her conserve teir body heat.  For horses with Cushing’s Disease (and grow an abnormally long hair coat) a waterproof blanket will help keep their coat from becoming soaked from rain or heavy snow.  This will be a great help because a Cushing’s hair coat won't dry out as well as a normal hair coat.  Consider using a fly mask in the winter, too.  It will help keep your senior horse's eyes from watering on days when it's really windy and will also help protect them from the harsh sun's glare on fresh snow.
4.  Provide a warm water source.  Like people, horse’s teeth become more sensitive with age.  Now imaging drinking water that's barely 32 degrees.  If you don't have water heaters, at least add warm water to your horse's drinking water several times during the day.  The most common cause of colic in the winter is from lack of water consumption.
5. Measure your horse now so you can tell if it loses or gains too much weight over the winter.  Because it is so hard to tell once a horse has a winter coat (Trying to use a blanket . . . that fits well in the summer – to determine weight loss or gain, doesn't work as a horse may have just lost muscle tone.)  Using a fabric tape measurer take a measurement around the widest part of the neck and also around the barrel of your horse.  Write these down somewhere in your barn, and re-measure your horse every couple of weeks.  is devoted to the care and competition of equine senior horses.   Find more articles and resources on caring for the senior horse, as well as product reviews, at the website.

On the Road? Shield Your Horse from Environmental Risks
Make biosecurity a priority before, during and after the event
On the Road? Shield Your HorseDULUTH, GA
Traveling to shows or other events where horses from near and far may congregate heightens the risk of exposure to infectious diseases. And as if exposure isn’t enough, higher-than-normal stress levels also contribute to the risk, according to Dr. Craig Shoemaker, DVM, MS, Equine Professional Services Veterinarian at Boehringer Ingelheim. “The stress of trailering, traveling, being in a new environment and working competitively takes a toll on a horse’s immune system,” he says, adding that proper vaccination protocol along with simple biosecurity measures can mitigate that risk.
Dr. Shoemaker suggests the following timeline for biosecurity measures with steps horse owners can take before, during and after an event to protect their athletes from these risks and keep them performing at their best. Read the Full Article....

Good Hay Practices.

The Seven Deadly Sins of Hay Making

A reminder to everyone that is busy stocking their hay supply to be careful how you stack and what you stack in your barn. Hay that is baled to more than 14% moisture can easily spontaneously combust. Here is a super article from our archives on The Seven Deadly Sins of Haymaking that covers storage and offers lots of other hay advice. Please take a look.


Dr. Kellon’s Guidelines: Solid Nutrition and Healthy Hooves

Dr Kellon's GuidelinesDr. Eleanor Kellon says that faulty nutrition isn’t the only factor in hoof-quality problems, but it’s a big player, “While genetics and faulty care are also involved, adequate nutrition can make the difference between the hoof with a potential for problems, and one that actually develops them. The results will speak for themselves.”
The hoof’s nutritional needs are high because it is a very active tissue that is constantly growing and restructuring.  Dr. Kellon maintains that although trim and genetics are important factors, good nutrition also plays a vital role in hoof health with protein, fats, and minerals being the building blocks of healthy hoof nutrition.
“Inadequate protein, or a deficiency in the essential amino acid Methionine, limits the ability to produce the hoof wall's structural protein known as keratin,” Kellon explains. “Also necessary for keratin production are vitamin B6 and Folic Acid. In addition, Biotin has also been shown to be important for both good growth and quality, and Lysine is an often deficient amino acid that is very important in hoof protein.” 
Often overlooked, Kellon says that fat is also very important to hoof health and integrity. “Various fats and waxes fill the spaces between the keratinocytes. They give the outer layer of a healthy hoof a naturally slick feel and shine.  Fat plays a very important role as the ‘cement’ that holds cells together by forming protective seals that keep moisture outside the hoof, and moisture from the internal living structures from escaping.” 
Of the potential nutritional causes of poor hoof quality, trace mineral deficiencies are the most common. To correct this, Kellon suggests supplementing with balanced levels of Copper and Zinc in a supplement with low or zero levels of Manganese and Iron, which can compete for absorption of those minerals.
~Zinc is required for every step of cell activity in the hoof structure, as well as for forming the structural protein of the hoof wall. Zinc is also the most commonly deficient mineral in the United States and around the world. Studies have confirmed that low Zinc status results in slow hoof growth, weak connections, thin walls and weak horns.
~Copper is also required for enzymes that form the reinforcing protein cross-linkages in hoof tissue. Hoof issues linked to Copper deficiency include cracks, sole hemorrhages, abscesses, thrush and laminitis.
~Zinc and Copper together also play a key role in protecting the fatty layers of the hoof wall. Hooves, like fingernails, have a shine and slippery feel when healthy.  This comes from the fats incorporated in their outer structure that keep environmental moisture out but critical tissue moisture in.  Zinc and Copper are essential components of the antioxidant enzymes that protect those fats.

Catskill Horse thanks Uckele Health & Nutrition, maker of CocoSoya®, who offer several products that address deficiencies most often found in hooves.

How Much Do You Know About PPID?
We take a look at eight misconceptions you might have about PPID.

Pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction, or PPID, has been called ‘equine Cushing’s disease’ by horse owners and veterinarians for years. As more information is learned about it, the clinical signs of PPID are becoming more recognizable in horses. However, there are still several other misconceptions or myths about the disease. We asked Steve Grubbs, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, equine technical manager for Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI), to help dispel some of the most common misconceptions.   
1.  PPID is only a condition of the geriatric horse.  
“This is probably one of the most common myths about PPID,” Dr. Grubbs says. “We have been tracking epidemiological information on horses diagnosed with PPID, and have found that PPID affects horses of all breeds, and all ages, even as young as 5 years old.”  
Dr. Grubbs adds that it is important to monitor all horses for clinical signs of PPID. “Horse owners should perform frequent overall health checks looking for early signs of PPID. If you have concerns, consult your veterinarian. The earlier the diagnosis, the better,” he says.  
2.  Decreased athletic performance is not a clinical sign of PPID.  
One of the earliest signs of PPID, horses showing decreased athletic performance and/or lethargy could have an endocrine issue like PPID. Dr. Grubbs says, “Catching PPID early on can have a profound impact on how the horse responds to treatment before other signs appear.”  
3.  The overnight dexamethasone suppression test is the gold standard for the diagnosis of PPID.  
Once considered the best way to diagnose PPID, the overnight dexamethasone suppression test is no longer recommended by experts to test for PPID. “Instead we recommend using the resting adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) concentration test,” Dr. Grubbs says. “It is a simple blood test that your veterinarian can draw at any time during the day.”  
4.  Generalized hypertrichosis, or long hair all over the body, is the earliest clinical sign to use for diagnosing PPID.  
“Generalized hypertrichosis considered an advanced sign of PPID. “Early signs of PPID include regional hypertrichosis or patchy spots of long hair, delayed hair coat shedding, lethargy, decreased athletic performance and laminitis,” says Dr. Grubbs.  
5.  Signs of lameness, like tendon laxity and suspensory desmitis are not associated with PPID.  
While laminitis a well-known sign of PPID, until recently other signs of lameness have not been considered to be indicators of the disease. However, new research is indicating that other causes of lameness, particularly certain tendon issues and suspensory desmitis, may also be associated with horses with PPID.  
6.  For PPID diagnosis, resting ACTH cannot be used in the autumn time period.  
The resting ACTH concentration test can be used at any time of the year when you utilize seasonally-adjusted reference ranges. “The resting ACTH test is a simple blood test that your veterinarian can draw at any time,” Dr. Grubbs says. “The benefits to using this test include not only for diagnosis but also to monitor ACTH levels to know if treatment is working to decrease the levels.”  
7.  Horses can have only one endocrine disease, either PPID or equine metabolic syndrome (EMS), but not both at the same time.  
The diagnostic laboratory at Cornell University has amassed more than 3,000 samples to test for PPID from the IDPPID study. “Of those horses diagnosed with PPID, we found that 47 percent also had increased plasma insulin, which is an indication of EMS,” Dr. Grubbs says.  
With thanks to Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. for this article.

Catskill Horse T-Shirts & Notebooks Now Available & Enter to Win $50 Gift Certificate from

Catskill Horse is pleased to announce that we now have T-Shirts, mugs and notebooks Catskill Horse T-Shirtwith our own arty design available for purchase to help spread the word.

Buy any one of our products - choose from our 100% cotton T's and email us a picture of you wearing it with your horse in the photo, or buy a mug or notebook and email us photo of you and your horse and the product in the picture and be automatically entered in our Fall contest. This is your chance to win a $50 gift certificate from, The International Equestrian Shop. The Horse Studio is a Stamford, New York based online equestrian store that offers the largest online selection of Mugsquality horse DVDs and books with hundreds of titles to choose from in addition to lots of tack and performance riding apparel and gifts. Please be sure to include your email address with your order to be entered in the contest.

Catskill Horse Notebook

T-Shirts are available in Womens Fitted S/M/L/Xl and Unisex S/M/L/XL/2XL for only $20 plus $6.50 S/H. If you are located in NY please add 8% sales tax.

Mugs: $12.95 plus $6.50 S/H. Please add 8% sales tax if you are located in NY.

These fun notebooks are available for $11.95 plus S/H fee of $2.00. Please also add 8% sales tax if located in NYS.

Checks should be payable to Horse in a Kilt Media Inc., and mailed to P.O. Box 404, Stamford, NY 12167. Please allow 1-2 weeks for delivery.







Vaccine Risks?

Here is some advice on what to look out for as your horse is administered vaccines this season. There have been reports of some serious adverse reactions this year, so be vigilant and ask your vet for their advice and specifically what adverse vaccine reports they have received through their channels.

It’s important to be able to distinguish between minor side effects and those reactions that warrant a call to your veterinarian.
Normal Responses
After intramuscular vaccination, it’s fairly common for horses to experience mild, temporary side effects for a few hours such as:
• Local muscle soreness or swelling
• Fatigue
• Fever
• Loss of appetite
• Lack of energy or alertness 
However, if the signs listed above last for more than 24 hours, you should consult your veterinarian as soon as possible to inform them of what is going on with the horse. This will allow your veterinarian to provide you with treatment advice and care instructions.
Causes for Possible Concern
Sometimes more serious side effects, and in some cases, life-threatening events, can occur, including:
• Hives
• Difficulty breathing
• Collapse
• Colic
• Swelling at the injection site several days post vaccination.
These more serious side effects are rare, but do require immediate consultation, and, in some cases, medical intervention.
Working with your veterinarian is the best way to ensure your horse is being evaluated based upon its particular needs. Many veterinarians follow the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ recommended guidelines for core vaccinations.  Veterinarians can also be helpful in determining the need for other risk-based vaccinations based on an assessment of your geographic threats and travel plans. They are also familiar with the proper handling and administering of vaccines, which is important because those handled improperly can actually become ineffective or may increase the risk of side effects.

CH note: This advice comes from a leading vaccine manufacturer and is provided in excerpts.

Careers in the Horse Industry
A Kind Offer.

Catskill Horse is pleased to have negotiated a special offer for its readers with the professional resume masters at Resume Specialist Services. Resume Specialist Services (RSS) will offer all Catskill Horse readers a special 10% discount off all their equine industry resume services. RSS

If you have just graduated from local equine studies programs, moved in to the area or find yourself without a job after years working in the industry due to the economic downturn then RSS can help. Resume packages are extremely reasonable. We thank them for the kind offer for our local equestrians. Please visit them at to learn more. Mention Catskill Horse at time of payment and they will refund you 10% of your package cost when they complete a powerful new resume for you.

As a specialist industry there are so many avenues in the horse world that there are probably careers you may not have even contemplated in your job search. Their packages include a one on one interview so your individual experience and skill sets can be analyzed and tips and ideas for new careers in the equestrian world are included. That's a sweet deal.

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While Catskill Horse has a staff of professional contributing writers/reporters/photographers, Catskill Horse is always interested in receiving submissions of articles and photos for publication from new writers. We can provide a photo or authorship credit for those works accepted. Please do not submit via mail - we prefer email submission. Send your ideas/articles/wrap up features/photos to us at marked attention Editorial. If accepted you will be notified via email.

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