Willowview Hill Farm

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.

  • Improve Your Comfort Zone ~ Adjust Your Attitude Improve Your Comfort Zone ~ Adjust Your Attitude Click on Image to Read Article
  • The Key to Success ~Dressage Schooling Based on Your Horse’s Temperament and Conformation ~ Part 2 Temperament by Nikki Alvin-Smith The Key to Success ~Dressage Schooling Based on Your Horse’s Temperament and Conformation ~ Part 2 Temperament by Nikki Alvin-Smith Click on Image to Read Article
  • The King of Dressage Movements ~ The Piaffe by Nikki Alvin-Smith The King of Dressage Movements ~ The Piaffe by Nikki Alvin-Smith Click on Image to Read Article


Nikki Alvin-Smith

Editor's Welcome

So winter has officially arrived and 2017 is well under way. After all the festivities of the holiday season it is high time to get back in the saddle and despite the cold temperatures many riders stick with it, donning layers of winter riding gear and braving ice, snow and rain to head to the barn. For others the New Year brought new resolutions. Perhaps one of them for you was to get back in the saddle or do more riding.

At some time or other most riders will go through a rough patch where their confidence becomes fragile. A fall or near miss may have happened. A young horse’s antics may have knocked the wind out of your riding sails. You may have taken a hiatus from riding due to pregnancy, work or injury. Check out our article Improve Your Comfort Zone ~ Adjust Your Attitude.

This issue also includes some advice for the dressage trainer. Winter is a great time to school your horse on new movements in readiness to move up to the next level for the 2017 season. Our feature The King of Dressage Movements ~ The Piaffe, covers the top of the training scale in competition with tips on how to train this movement and the pre-requisites your horse needs to have before attempting this difficult movement that requires the utmost cooperation from the horse.

On your way to the Grand Prix it is always beneficial to learn how to best work with your horse as an individual. In the last issue of Catskill Horse magazine we covered how to school your horse based on his conformation. In this issue we cover part two, Dressage Schooling Based on Your Horse’s Temperament. While this article is geared to dressage many of the principles apply to most riding disciplines.

The New Year is also a time for reflection and for planning the forward track for this magazine. Catskill Horse is now entering its fifth year of publication and is currently reaching over 65,000 readers per month. Many of you are return viewers and we thank-you for your support. Our advertisers, many of whom renew each year such as Northfield Farm, Otego, NY, are responsible for us still being able to offer this magazine as a free equine community resource. So please show them your support and tell them you found them here.

If you are headed South to avoid this cold weather please check in with Eastern Equine Transport (EET) for your horse hauling needs. Ryan Chiappone of EET offers regular trips up and down the Eastern seaboard. If you are bringing your horse back to work and are finding some soundness issues check in the Matrix Therapy Products for a remedy. Micro-current therapy (which is not the same as TENS), is a very useful treatment for a myriad of equine health issues.

Plans for 2017 at Catskill Horse include coverage of the regional shows/clinics and events. If you have an event planned shoot us the flyer and we’ll post it for free on our events page. And don’t forget you can advertise your business for free in our Directory, and list tack, equipment and horses for sale for free too.

Do you like to write? Catskill Horse is always keen in publishing works for both new and established writers so feel free to contact me and pitch a topic if you’d like to have your voice heard.

I hope you enjoy this issue! Thanks for checking in.

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

The ARK at JFK
By Ann Jamieson 
The ARK at JFK“Like a luxury, airside hotel for creatures great and small” greets you as you open the website for The ARK. And that’s exactly what it is. The only full-service animal reception facility in the U.S., open 24 hours a day, The ARK balances bio-security requirements with the care and compassion that animals on the road require: no easy task. But that’s the mission of the new facility which recently opened at JFK Airport.
The ARK serves many functions. Imported horses can step out of their jet stalls from the plane and right into The ARK, as airliners can taxi up to the building. Bloodwork is done immediately, and the horses will spend three days in secure quarters before being allowed to leave for their new home (as long as the bloodwork is all good). In addition, they are treated for parasites, ticks, bugs, and hoof and mouth disease.
Horses that come down with a fever or require Contagious Equine Metritis testing (for mares and stallions two years old and up) will need to move on to the Newburgh quarantine facility for further confinement before being allowed to leave.
Forty-eight quarantine stalls with separate air filtration, temperature and pressure controls, along with individual water systems, are available for incoming horses. These separate systems prevent illnesses passing from one horse to another. Everything fed to horses at The ARK must be USDA approved, and all waste is incinerated
Bio-security regulations for Export Alley, for horses leaving for homes abroad, are less strict. The export area contains 24 12 x 12 stalls, with larger ones available for mares and foals. Horses leaving for another country travel with a health certificate that the USDA receives and reviews, and in addition the horses are given an exam by the veterinarian to make sure those horses are fit to travel. Click here to read the full article.

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.


Winter Management for the Outdoor Horse

Winter Management for the Outdoor Horse“The stable environment invariably presents challenges of dust, mould and proper ventilation,” says Susan Raymond, instructor of Equine Guelph’s Management of the Equine Environment online course.  “Most horses are well equipped for living outdoors and thrive, provided certain provisions are met.”  Dr. Raymond completed her PhD in investigating the effects of exposure of horses to mycotoxins.  She has also been involved in air quality research which provided practical recommendations to the horse industry on stable design and management.
The ideal environment for most horses is to live outside with herd mates 24/7.  This satisfies their need for locomotion and provides their digestive system with the optimal conditions to function as nature intended.  Here are just a few tips for managing the horse’s environment through the winter season: 
Provide a heated water source.

Horses need to consume large volumes of water to keep forage traveling through the gut. Reduce your risk of colic by ensuring water sources do not freeze.

Provide the best quality hay and be cognizant that horses will need more forage in the winter to meet their energy needs for thermoregulation.  Avoid round bales which can become havens for dust and mould, increasing the risk of respiratory ailments.

Shelter provides a windbreak and can be natural or manmade.  Location is very important.  Constructed shelter considerations include, sturdy construction with rounded edges (pressure treated 4x4 or thicker), built on a sight grade (2 – 3 degrees) for moisture runoff, situated so prevailing winds blow against the walls not the entrance.  Ample room should be allotted for the amount of horses (e.g. a 3 sided structure for 2-3 horses would be a minimum of 12 x 36 feet and high enough that a rearing horse would not be endangered).

Maintain highly visible, safe fencing of durable construction.  Gate width is important for safe leading and the ability to bring in machinery.  Gates should be made well with well supported posts and placed in a location that will drain well.  Mud management systems are also available to minimize mud in high traffic areas.

Safe footing.

Keep pathways clear with a handy mix of wood chips, sand and rock salt.  Stock up on supplies before the storm when these items can become scarce. In the paddock watch for unsafe footing, ice and uneven ground. It is good to have a small turn out area available in case the larger one becomes unsafe.  Discuss with your farrier the options of going barefoot for the winter or putting on snow pads.  Regular steel shoes do not have traction and allow snow and ice to ball up inside turning everyday moving around into an uncomfortable and hazardous venture.

Daily checks. 

It is recommended to give horses a daily once over in the winter including hoof picking, wound checks and checking under that blanket for weight loss or gain.  If the horse is blanketed you will also want to check it hasn’t slipped and is not rubbing.
With thanks to Equine Guelph for sharing this information.

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.

Western Dressage Collection & Second Level
By Donna Snyder-Smith
For Western dressage riders, the collection asked for at Second Level (Level 2) could prove to be a stumbling block. Historically, “collection” in Western horse gaits has been interpreted as a slowing of the horse through a reduction of energy or “impulsion.” While it will take a horse that is collected a bit longer to cover a measured distance than it would a horse who was moving in working jog, the difference is accomplished by a redirection of the energy, NOT reducing energy.  This is not a secret, but it is where traditional dressage and Western dressage tend to divide.   
Western traditionalists could point out that the Western horse has always been a working animal: work often required traveling vast distances, which meant riders spent a lot of hours in the saddle. It would only make sense that, if given a choice, a rider would prefer a horse whose movement was comfortable to sit on. One way to reduce the “bounce” in a horse's back is to decrease the amount of suspension in the horse's stride. The second way is to reduce impulsion (energy). This is what is commonly seen today in the Western dressage horse: reduced energy and slowed movement offer as “collection.” While reducing impulsion and suspension may make a horse easier to sit, it does not provide the basic education and physical strengthening the horse needs to produce correct Western dressage collection. Read the full article...

Show Smart – Be Aware of Virus Outbreaks
Horse trailer packed. Check. Tack cleaned. Check. Show clothes ready to go. Check.
You’re eager to hit the road for the next horse show, but do you know what could be waiting for you when you get there?  
With a lot to think about for show preparation, checking for equine disease outbreaks can often fall off the to-do list. While vaccinations are an essential part of maintaining equine health1 and helping show season go smoothly, it’s best to avoid a run-in with an infectious disease altogether.
Believe it or not, this year’s biggest threat is rabies. With over 400 cases of rabies reported in various animals, it is a danger that horse owners have to protect against. Texas has the highest number of reported rabies cases at 194 and counting, and most of those cases were bats. While you may not think heading to a show could expose your horse to rabies, wildlife such as raccoons, coyotes, and feral cats may often be found in and around barns and wooded show facilities. Rabies is preventable with vaccination – and in fact, the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) considers rabies a core disease for which all horses in the U.S. should be vaccinated. Once clinical signs develop, rabies is almost always fatal, since no treatment is currently available.
Another prominent threat, Equine Herpesvirus (EHV), has almost doubled this year from last. The virus has been reported 81 times, and more than 85 percent of outbreaks were reported in the Southwest part of the United States. That’s something to keep in mind when heading to shows in the area or if horses that have traveled to that area will be coming back into your barn.
EHV can spread through direct horse-to-horse contact and even indirectly through contact with contaminated objects. That means interactions with contaminated feed, equipment and tack, or human hands and clothing can spread the disease.
How to Check for Equine Disease Confirmations on
Before heading to your next show, check
1 View your Destination: Enter the ZIP code of your target location or scan the map for the red circle stamps indicating an alert.
2 Identify the Threat: Click the red circle to view location and disease carrier, or to alert a friend via Facebook.
3 Sign up for Alerts: Register for future alerts by entering your email and phone number. 
For more information on how to protect your horse from disease outbreaks please visit the American Association of Equine Practitioners
FAQ: Regarding Equine Herpesvirus (EHV).

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.

Come chat on Facebook.

For lots of up to date news and events please fan us on facebook at
Want to chat too? Check out

Promote your event.

Have an event planned? Send us the details and we'll post it our events calendar page.

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 marked attention Editorial. If accepted you will be notified via email.

Keep up to date.

Send your email address to and we'll be sure to add you to our mailing list.