Welcome to Catskill Horse.
Welcome to The Merry Band at the Catskill Horse. We hope you enjoy browsing our bi-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.
Fall in the North East is simply the best riding weather of the year. The show season has started to wind down, the regional championships are over and those that have not qualified for the nationals are back to schooling and trail riding.
Our October issue has some wonderful content including a feature article on the $1 million dollar HITS-on-the-Hudson, Saugerties CSI5* Grand Prix event. If you are on the hunt for a new horse check out our article on Finding Mr. Right ( or Mrs. up to you).
The Mindful Equestrian, Lisa Eklund, has some advice on Finding the Right Equine Career. Fresh ideas abound to inspire you in your quest to live a life that involves horses. There is a feature article on the Ascot Picnic at Walnut Hill Carriage Driving Competition including an interview with recent CDI competitor Sandy Eckhert.
We also meet with artist Daniele Jones, a Florida based artist with a penchant for charcoal drawing. Some lovely stuff! Daniele shares her methods, her inspiration and her background in horses.
As we gallop through Fall we’ll be contacting all our wonderful advertisers to share some Holiday Season package pricing deals to ensure your 2017 is a banner year with some neat bonus coverage for our regular and repeat advertisers.
Enjoy this beautiful weather! Don’t forget to get out there and ride. Winter is just around the corner.
Catskill Horse Magazine
Publisher: Horse in a Kilt Media Inc.
How to Protect Your Horse from West Nile Virus Infection
By Kristen Browning-Blas
Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Late summer is peak transmission season for West Nile Virus, and confirmed cases are rising among horses in many regions.
Veterinarians and public health experts urge owners to protect their horses by reducing mosquito populations and possible breeding areas. Equine veterinarians at Colorado State University’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital say two important methods will help protect horses against West Nile Virus infection: reduce exposure to mosquitoes and vaccinate against the virus.
Reduce exposure to mosquitoes
• When possible, stall horses during peak mosquito activity, at dawn and dusk.
• Eliminate areas of standing or stagnant water on property, dispose of discarded tires, and change birdbath water and water in tanks for horses at least weekly.
• Use fans on horses while stabled.
• Use insect repellants designed for horses. A fly sheet and fly mask will minimize your horse’s exposure to mosquitoes.
• Use incandescent bulbs around the perimeter of the stable.
• Remove any dead birds found on the property, as birds are part of the virus cycle. To pick up a bird, use rubber gloves or a plastic bag turned inside out. For information on testing of birds for West Nile Virus, contact your public health office.
Vaccinations for West Nile Virus
There are currently four licensed vaccine formulations available for use in horses based on efficacy and safety studies for protection against West Nile Virus. “West Nile is one of our core vaccines, so most people vaccinate here,” said Dr. Luke Bass, a veterinarian with CSU’s Equine Field Service. The American Association of Equine Practitioners recognizes the West Nile Virus vaccine as a core vaccination for all horses regardless of geographic location.
Though the West Nile Virus vaccine is commonly used in horses, vaccination is just one part of the preventive strategy; methods to reduce mosquito exposure should be employed at the same time. Vaccination against other causes of equine encephalitis (eastern equine encephalitis, western equine encephalitis, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis) does not protect your horse against West Nile Virus.
The initial West Nile vaccination or booster vaccine must be given prior to exposure to the virus and your horse should be vaccinated well in advance of mosquito season. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best vaccination protocol for your horse depending on previous vaccination history and virus and mosquito activity.
Vaccinations for the pregnant mare.
It is important to consult your veterinarian to determine the best method of protection against West Nile Virus for broodmares. Several of the West Nile vaccines have been given to pregnant mares without observed adverse outcomes. As a general recommendation, reproductive specialists suggest avoiding vaccines of any kind in the first 40 days of pregnancy.
Diagnosis and treatment of West Nile Virus
Clinical signs of West Nile infection include fever, incoordination, muscle twitching, head pressing, hyper-excitability, anorexia, lethargy, recumbency (lying down), and death.
Diagnosis of West Nile Virus is made by noting the clinical signs and by positive diagnostic tests on blood or cerebrospinal fluid.
Treatment is primarily supportive, with anti-inflammatory drugs and fluids. Some horses may require hospitalization and assistance with a sling in order to remain standing. Products that provide antibodies to West Nile Virus are available, and the use of these products in equine cases should be discussed with your veterinarian.
Frequently asked questions:
Should I vaccinate my horse for West Nile Virus?
Yes, work with your veterinarian to determine the optimal plan for your horse.
Can I vaccinate my mare if she is in foal?
Yes, work with your veterinarian to determine the optimal plan for your mare.
How old should a foal be to receive the vaccine?
Recent research has shown that foals 3 months of age can be safely vaccinated against West Nile, and will subsequently build an immune response. If your foals are in a high-mosquito area, you may want to vaccinate them as early as 3 months for this disease.
Can a horse infected with West Nile Virus infect horses in neighboring stalls or infect me?
No, the virus is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito, not by contact with an ill horse.
Find current information on West Nile Virus here:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
American Mosquito Control Association
American Association of Equine Practitioners
200 Horses Working in City Garbage Dump to be Helped
The World’s Largest International Equine Welfare Charity Begins Work in Mexico
Brooke USA, the American fundraising arm of the Brooke, has announced a pilot project in Mexico to help horses working in a garbage dump and recycling centre in San Martin, Puebla State. The horses are some of the most vulnerable of the 12.8 million working equine animals in Mexico.
Horses, donkeys and mules in Mexico are used for agriculture, construction, mining, tourism and transportation, and they are supporting the lives of people by helping them to earn a living. But despite this, there is little support for people to effectively care for their animals. In this important pilot project, which could ultimately affect thousands of working equines across Mexico, the Brooke is partnering with a local organization, Fundación Dejando Huella. They will begin by helping around 200 horses working at the main garbage dump and recycling site in the city of San Martin Texmelucan de Labastida.
The Brooke team is still studying the area to find out what the main welfare problems are, but from early observations the animals are suffering from bit and harness lesions, poor hoof condition and bad body condition. The project will primarily focus on improving and increasing the knowledge, attitudes and practices of the horse owners and the animal health providers who work at the site, so they can create a long-lasting environment of good welfare.
Petra Ingram, Chief Executive of the Brooke, said: “We’re so pleased to be expanding into Mexico during 2016. We did a lot of research to learn where our work would benefit the most working equines, and this could be the start of a bigger project. There are millions more horses, donkeys and mules in Mexico so I’m excited to see where this takes us.”
The Brooke is currently serving working equines in 11 countries across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Central America. Last year alone, the Brooke reached 1.8 million working equines, benefitting 10 million of the world’s poorest people who depend on those animals for their livelihoods. Brooke USA, a 501(c)(3), headquartered at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, exists to support the Brooke’s overseas projects.
To learn more about this pilot project, watch this short video:
To support Brooke USA in its effort to fund projects like this around the world, go to www.BrookeUSA.org
Obese Horses Lose Weight on Free-Choice Hay
Research Reflection by Dr. Juliet M. Getty
Researchers from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition in the United Kingdom examined[i] how much weight obese ponies and horses lost when fed all the hay they wanted (ad-libitum). They also looked at weight loss when forage was restricted.
Twelve obese animals were used in this study: 4 Standardbreds, 4 mixed-breed ponies, and 4 Andalusian-cross horses. For the first 20 weeks, they were all fed hay, ad-libitum. During the next 12 weeks, their hay intake was restricted to 1.25% of body weight. Read the full article...
Second Careers for Racehorses: The Transition from Racetrack to Ribbons
By Barbara Sheridan
Many ex-racehorses are finding second careers once their racing days are over, thanks to the ever increasing awareness of what these multi-talented athletes can also do off the track. As a result of this growing movement to retrain the racehorse, Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds and Quarter Horses have successfully been transitioning from the track to a new lifestyle as sport horses, show horses or all-around pleasure mounts.
Canadian Olympian Jessica Phoenix is a huge proponent of the “ex-racehorse” breed and has successfully worked with them for years. Two of her well-recognized horses in eventing -Exploring and Exponential - were off-the-track Thoroughbreds (OTTB) that successfully took Phoenix to top international levels of competition in eventing.
“Exploring went to the Pam Am Games in 2007, and Exponential went to the Olympics and the Word Equestrian Games in 2010 and 2012,” says the Cannington, Ontario resident. “Exponential is such a tough horse. He’s 17 now and is still competing at the four-star level.” Read the full article...
Reduce Risk of Infection When Traveling Your Horse
For many horses, this is the season for traveling to fall horse shows and events. Considering periodic outbreaks of equine herpes virus (EHV-1) and other infectious diseases, it is critical that your horse be in top physical health before embarking to an unfamiliar area. The foundation of that health is a strong immune system. Added antioxidants and supportive nutrients can have a positive impact on your horse’s ability to resist an infection.
Boost supplementation of the following nutrients per day for at least two weeks before you leave and throughout the travels or event; wean your horse off of them for two weeks following your return:
· Vitamins E and C: 5 IUs of vitamin E and 5 mg of vitamin C per pound (0.45 kg) of body weight
· Selenium: 3 to 5 mg of selenium
· Vitamin A: 30 to 60 IUs per pound (.45 kg) of body weight
· Omega 3 fatty acids: 1/2 cup chia seeds or ground flaxseeds per 400 lbs (180 kg) of body weight
· Protein: 14-16% of the diet, and of high quality protein by feeding a variety of protein sources
· Magnesium: 5,000 mg of magnesium per 500 lbs (227 kg) of body weight
· B vitamins: Provide a potent B complex preparation.
Be sure to check how much of these nutrients your horse may already be getting from commercial feeds and supplements, and calculate to add only enough to boost quantities as noted above.
Remember that stress suppresses immune function. An empty stomach is incredibly stressful -- both mentally uncomfortable and physically painful. Protect your horse by allowing him to graze on hay (and pasture, if available) at all times, throughout the day and night. And never let him perform without some forage in his digestive tract.
Attention to increased nutritional needs will go a long way toward keeping your horse healthy during the time away from his familiar surroundings and routine.
Our thanks to Dr. Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D. who is an internationally respected, independent equine nutritionist who believes that optimizing horse health comes from understanding how the horse’s physiology and instincts determine the correct feeding and nutrition practices. She is available for private consultations and speaking engagements.
There are many common mistakes that can be easily avoided when building an equestrian arena.
1. Using the wrong quantity or quality of stone
You should always be aware of the type of materials required for you build and what you are being supplied with.
• For the base layer (stone drainage layer), it is VITAL that clean, hard, angular stone is used.
• Clean: means the stone has been washed so stone dust/fine soil is not washed straight in to your drains, causing reduced flow of surplus water. We recommend granite or a hard limestone (not soft limestone).
• The stone layer should be 5” (150mm) compacted depth when laid, ideally the stone layer should extend 50cm beyond the fence/kick boards so the perimeter drain is laid outside the school.
• Be cautious if your contractor does not specify the grade/quantity or depth of the materials being laid. Clearly if less stone is used, it will be cheaper and some contractors will reduce the specification and price in order to win the work.
• Hard – means the stones are frost resistant, i.e. will not break down after successive winters, or fracture due to the weight of maintenance machinery.
• The quarry can provide ‘technical data sheets’ if in any doubt. A good test – take two stones and bang them together, they should not dust, crack or break – if they do, they are not frost resistant.
• Angular stones must inter-link together, so they need to be of similar size, typically 1 3/4 to 2 3/4. (If the stone is rounded it will never “knit” together, so the surface will never be correctly compacted if the base layer moves).
2. Inadequate Drainage:
• There should be at least one drain across the school and one on the perimeter, on all sides
• If the ground is heavy clay, additional cross drains should be installed and the diameter of the exterior drains increased
• It is important that the drain runs have a consistent fall
• If the drainage runs (trenches) are up and down (like a dogs hind leg), do not lay the pipe with pea shingle (fine small pebbles, that are “hard”)
• The tops of all the trenches should be covered with a fine grade (eg 4 oz) non woven geotextile membrane which will allow the water to pass in to the drains, but prevent silt/sediment.
• Avoid purchasing unwashed sand for the equestrian surface.
3. Weak Fencing Posts
• Fencing posts should always be concreted in, as they need to support the retaining boards.
• This combination should be strong enough to withstand the surface being packed against them, and able to endure being struck by any maintenance machinery.
4. Building at the wrong time of year/in the wrong conditions
• During a dry period preferably in the summer.
• Clay in particular needs to be carefully managed, especially during earthworks, such as “cut and fill”, so “clay heave” does not occur. (This is most likely to occur when wet and under pressure, which causes it “bubble up”, this can move the stone layer and membranes, leading to contamination of the surface and poor drainage. Should this occur, remedial works will be required).
5. Incorrect cut and fill
Cut and Fill is the process of cutting in to a bank, and re-laying the material lower down the bank to create a “level formation” for your outdoor equine arena. The banks/slopes must be created correctly to support the new formation.
Top tips from Martin Collins:
• The recommended depth of stone is 5” (150mm), especially for difficult ground, such as heavy clay.
• It is important to include drainage trenches on the outside of the arena. These external drains will stop the “run off” from adjacent paddocks – so this is especially important if an arena has been cut into the slope. They are also important because the outside track typically has the heaviest “foot fall.
Catskill Horse would like to thank the folks at Martin Collins for this informative article. You can find more helpful information from these footing experts at www.martincollinsusa.com. They also offer a free 25-page Footing Guide available at their website.
The Real Cost of Horse Ownership
It is often said that if you ask a question to ten horse owners, you will get ten different answers. However, one thing we can all agree upon is that horses are expensive! Affording the initial purchase cost is the least of expenses. Calculating the maintenance over the horses’ lifetime is a more realistic look at a long-term budgeting plan. How much does horse ownership really cost? The short answer is that it depends. There are many variables that come into play when calculating the cost of horse ownership:
Buying a Horse
“How much does a horse cost?” is a frequently asked question, and like many things in the horse world, the answer is highly variable. Horses can cost anywhere from free to millions of dollars! Realistically, one can expect to spend a few thousand dollars to find an appropriate mount, though this price will depend on the market, the type of horse, intended use and your location. Read the full article....
What’s the Real Cost of Humanely Euthanizing and Disposing of a Horse?
Something all horse owner's must face is their responsibility to their horses when the time comes for the last kindness you can do for a horse in pain, humanely ending its life. As one of our staff writer's Bethany Videto said the other day when a discussion with a friend came up about selling her horse , " You don't sell your grandparents just because they get old, why would you sell your horse. He is your responsibility."
The Homes for Horses Coalition set out to answer questions about the cost of humanely euthanizing and disposing of horses by surveying horse rescues, veterinarians, veterinary schools and disposal services across the country. The results of the 2014 survey confirm that doing the right thing at the end of a horse’s life is not very expensive.
Out of 94 organizations surveyed across the U.S.A., 87% reported the cost of euthanasia to be less than $300. Out of 104 organizations offering disposal services, 75% reported the cost of disposal to be less than $300. While cremation can be expensive, the cost of having the horse’s carcass transferred to a landfill can be as low as $50. These costs are a virtual drop in the bucket when it comes to the overall expense of keeping a horse, and are simply a part of responsible horse ownership. Read the full article.....
Catskill Horse T-Shirts & Notebooks Now Available & Enter to Win $50 Gift Certificate from TheHorseStudio.com
Catskill Horse is pleased to announce that we now have T-Shirts, mugs and notebooks with 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 TheHorseStudio.com, The International Equestrian Shop. The Horse Studio is a Stamford, New York based online equestrian store that offers the largest online selection of quality 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.
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.
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.
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
• 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:
• Difficulty breathing
• 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.
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 http://www.ResumeSpecialistServices.com 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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Do You Love To Write?
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 info@CatskillHorse.org marked attention Editorial. If accepted you will be notified via email.
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