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.

  • Strangles ~ Spread the Word not the Disease by Karen Nowak Strangles ~ Spread the Word not the Disease by Karen Nowak Click on Image to Read Article
  • Overcoming Obstacles with Preston Equestrian Overcoming Obstacles with Preston Equestrian Click on Image to Read Article
  • Born Free ~ Part 2 by Bethany Videto Born Free ~ Part 2 by Bethany Videto Click on Image to Read Article
  • The Insider’s Look at Making an Award Winning DVD The Insider’s Look at Making an Award Winning DVD Click on Image to Read Article
  • Whisper Wind Equestrian Center is Nothing to Whisper About by Nikki Alvin-Smith Whisper Wind Equestrian Center is Nothing to Whisper About by Nikki Alvin-Smith Click on Image to Read Article
  • Busy Times at Northfield Farm, Otego, New York by Nikki Alvin-Smith Busy Times at Northfield Farm, Otego, New York by Nikki Alvin-Smith Click on Image to Read Article


Nikki Alvin-Smith

Editor's Welcome

If anyone was worried about water levels in the reservoirs or rain for hay season the past few weeks have certainly sorted out the shortage. If you are not lucky enough to have an amazing facility with an indoor arena riding in the past few weeks has not been easy.

Thankfully there is some super waterproof riding apparel available to help keep you dry in the saddle but the mud season is certainly in full swing in the North East and grooming is a full time job. Show season is around the corner and many of us are gearing up for a busy time out and about. Catskill Horse magazine will be there to share news of regional Upstate New York shows and our events page is full of a variety of opportunities to assist you in your choice of venue. If you see us out on the circuit please don’t be shy and come say Hi!

Our May/June issue is full of exciting new horse news and some insightful articles on running a horse business and the ups and downs of being a horse trainer. For a look at running a successful equestrian center we spoke with Valerie McCloskey for our article Whisper Wind Equestrian Center is Nothing to Whisper About. She embraces riders and horses of all disciplines and has been in the horse business for thirty years. It is a truly lovely facility and her experience in the horse world certainly ensured a great design to her own farm. If you are a trainer offering off-site lessons check in with professional trainer Kim Preston of Preston Equestrian and hear the stories of some of her students both equine and human in our article Overcoming Obstacles with Preston Equestrian.

If you are on the hunt for a horse and have considered adopting a Mustang read Bethany Videto’s article two in her series Born Free on how to go about finding the right match for your needs. Mustangs compete across multiple disciplines and are in great need of adoption. The process to adopt is easier than you might think.

Other horse resources include the equine rescue centers where horses are rehabilitated and sometimes offered for adoption. The process of rescuing a horse particularly from auction can bring with it the risk of spreading disease. One of the most misunderstood diseases is that of Strangles. The word spreads alarm to any horse owner and while there is a vaccine available its use is not widely undertaken. Experienced horse owners and medical professional Karen Nowak guides us through the procedures and protocols needed to care for a horse with this disease and also provides guidelines for handling any contagious disease in horse barns. Good information for us all to know, just in case.

If you are introducing a new member to your herd then read our A Bit of Advice column where we answer Cheryl’s question about the best way to ensure a good outcome.

While on the topic of continued education on horse care check out The Insider’s Look at How to Make an Award Winning DVD with Advanced Equine Studies. The 2015 Equus Film Festival in New York City awarded Mouse Hole Farm Production’s The Horse’s Respiratory 3 DVD set Best Educational Program. Find out what more titles are in the works and how Andrea and Willis Steele have developed their own DVD production company and what inspired them to develop their business.

If you are not buying a horse but are selling one you may relate to our Bit Between the Teeth column and Tina Hammond’s frustration with the horse buying public. It does beg the question, do people actually read horse advertisements thoroughly or are they just bereft of a clue as to how to find the right match for their real needs.

Our new spotlight on Equine Artists has proved very popular and in this edition we focus on Judy Widener, a dressage rider/trainer with a strong artistic talent. Judy lives in Palm beach, Florida and shares with us how her passion for art developed and showcases her beautiful works.

I’d also like to add my thanks to all the wonderful Catskill Horse writers and advertisers for their support in keeping us on track for an even larger readership. The Merry Band at the Catskill Horse continues in our quest to bring a great community resource to Upstate New York and the neighboring states and we are adding e-blast newsletters to help spread the word later this month with lots more plans in the works.

Enjoy the Spring riding weather everyone.

Nikki Alvin-Smith
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
West NileLate 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

Meeting Increased Summer Hydration Needs
Dr. Eleanor Kellon, Staff Veterinary Specialist for Uckele Health & Nutrition
Summer HydrationEveryone looks forward to the warm weather as the ideal time to ride or work their horse. Most understand the dangers of working the horse under conditions of high heat and humidity. However, the horse can be compromised easily under less than sweltering conditions if you do not know how to correctly protect them.
Horses control their body temperature primarily by sweating.  In warmer weather, it becomes crucial to support and maintain proper hydration, whether doing endurance training, events, trail rides, or standing in a field in hot weather.

Hydration isn’t just about water intake or loss

Sweating also causes significant losses of salt.  Losing both can lead to devastating consequences.  Horses can lose water volume up to 4 gallons per hour, and as much as 4 ounces of salt per hour.  The Sodium in salt, which is Sodium Chloride, is absolutely essential for the horse's body to retain normal, healthy levels of water.  Regardless of how much water the horse drinks, it will not be able to retain a normal amount of water in the body without adequate Sodium, or salt. Read the full article...

For Your Horse’s Sake: Salt Needs More Attention During Hot Months
Make salt a higher priority than electrolytes

By Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D.
Your horse sweats more during the summer, making electrolyte supplementation worth considering. But electrolytes alone will not protect against dehydration. Your horse needs to have enough sodium (salt). One ounce per day (two tablespoons) is adequate for maintenance during cool months, but hot, humid weather calls for at least two ounces per day, and more if your horse is in work of any kind.
SaltOne way to accomplish this: provide a plain, white salt block, Redmond salt rock, or Himalayan salt rock in close proximity. But make sure your horse licks it; many horses do not, due to tiny scratches that form on the tongue. Even better is to offer coarsely granulated salt free choice by pouring some in a small bucket. You can also add salt to each meal. Iodized table salt and Redmond and Himalayan rocks offer a small amount of iodine. Take this into consideration if your horse already receives iodine from another source. Total iodine intake should not exceed 5 mg per day.  
Be aware that electrolyte supplements should be given only to a horse that is already in good sodium balance. They are designed to replace what is lost from perspiration and should contain at least 13 grams of chloride, 6 grams of sodium, and 5 grams of potassium per dose. If your horse works more than two hours at a time, provide a dose of electrolytes after exercise by adding it to a gallon of water, top-dressing a feed, or offered via syringe. And always, be sure to keep fresh, clean water nearby.
Note: Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D. is an independent equine nutritionist with a wide U.S. and international following. Her research-based approach optimizes equine health by aligning physiology and instincts with correct feeding and nutrition practices. Please visit for more info.  

Avoiding a Lameness Exam by Jackie Bellamy-Zions
With a well-planned training program

The sun is shining, birds are singing, flowers are blooming and the temptation is to launch full-on into your horse-training endeavours. 
You may have kept fit throughout the winter on the ski slopes or at the gym but what about your horse?  Unless you had access to an indoor arena or migrated south for a few months with your four legged friends, chances are your horse’s fitness level is not quite sufficient for competition or strenuous outings yet. 
While there is no fool-proof way to avoid all circumstances that could necessitate a lameness exam, there are precautions every horse owner can take to reduce the risk of injury.  As with every great fitness program, the key to success is a logical progression and controlling the factors you can control such as footing, stable management and horse health care. Read the full article.....

2016 Time to Ride Challenge Now Open for Registration
Stables, clubs and businesses nationwide are invited to compete for $100,000 cash and prizes by growing their business.
Time to RtdeWashington, D.C., April 7th, 2016 - The Time to Ride Challenge, in its third year in 2016, is now open for registration. Stables, clubs, businesses, and all other horse professionals are welcomed to visit and take the first step towards growing their businesses by introducing new people to horses and expanding the entire industry.
The Challenge will award $100,000 cash and prizes and take place June 1st through September 30th. Registration is free and available now at
Since 2014, the Challenge has introduced over 60,000 people to horses through first-time horse experiences with the support and involvement of hundreds of stables, clubs and equine businesses nationwide. “Hosts” plan engaging, hands-on horse events designed to connect families interested in horses to opportunities in their area such as riding lessons, camps, and trail rides. By reaching a new segment of their community, businesses add to their own client base while supporting the entire horse industry.

It’s critically important to the future of the horse community to focus on welcoming new participants,” stated Patti Colbert, Time to Ride spokesperson. “The Challenge gives rewards and recognition to the hardworking horse professionals who are doing the valuable work of teaching new people the very basics and giving them a path to grow into lifelong equestrians. Without those riding instructors, summer camps, and youth leaders who are teaching kids how to ride, where does our next generation of owners, competitors, and breeders come from?“”
This year, cash prizes have been expanded to over $75,000 including new incentives that will pay cash awards to more winners than ever before. For the first time, the first 100 hosts to introduce 100 newcomers to horses will automatically win $100 cash!
The Challenge offers marketing support and event ideas for participants, plus resources such as customizable ads, posters, and other creative material. Registration is free and all types of businesses are welcome. The Challenge takes place between June 1st and September 30th. Please visit for details.
The Challenge is an program of the American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance, a group of industry-leading businesses and organizations collaborating to reinvigorate participation in horse activities for the benefit of the entire industry.
The American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance
Time to Ride is an initiative of the American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance, formed to connect people with horses. It is designed to encourage horse-interested consumers to enjoy the benefits of horse activities. The AHC Marketing Alliance is made up of the following organizations: the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Active Interest Media, the American Quarter Horse Association, Dover Saddlery, Farnam, Merck, Merial, Morris Media Network Equine Group, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, Platinum Performance, United States Equestrian Federation, and Zoetis. Program Partners are Absorbine, the American Paint Horse Association, Equibrand, the National Cutting Horse Association, the National Reining Horse Association, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, and the Texas A&M University Equine Initiative, I-5 Publishing, Pyranha, the America’s Mustang Campaign, and Colorado State University Equine Sciences Program.
About the American Horse Council
The American Horse Council is a non-profit organization that includes all segments of the horse industry. While its primary mission is to represent the industry before Congress and the federal regulatory agencies in Washington, DC, it also undertakes national initiatives for the horse industry. Time to Ride, the AHC’s Marketing Alliance to connect horses and people, is such an effort. The American Horse Council hopes that Time to Ride will encourage people and businesses to participate in the industry, enjoy our horses, and support our equine activities and events. The AHC believes a healthy horse industry contributes to the health of Americans and America in many ways.

Let’s Make Equine Inherent Risk Law a Reality

Catskill Horse supports all efforts to produce a working Equine Inherent Risk Law in New York. Here is an update kindly provided by Karen Nowak. Please take a moment to follow the simple instructions and have your voice heard. Thanks in advance!

Legislative Update on Equine Inherent Risk
February 6, 2016

Our letters and phone calls last year worked as we have additional co-sponsors of this legislation in both the Assembly and Senate this year. We need to keep the momentum going!

Bill number A01476, again sponsored by Assemblyman Bill Magee (Chair of the Agriculture Committee). Introduced in the Assembly on Wednesday, January 6, 2016 and was referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee on January 12, 2016. It has been co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Addie Russell of Watertown, Assemblyman Brian Curran of Lynbrook (a member of the Committee on Insurance), Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner of Saratoga Springs (member of Agriculture, Racing, Small Business and Parks, Tourism and Sports Development Committees), Assemblyman Dean Murray of Medford (LI) (member of Small Business and Parks, Tourism and Sports Development Committees), Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo of Binghamton (member of Economic Development Committee), William Barclay of Fulton (a member of the Insurance and Judiciary Committees) and Assemblyman Marc Butler of Herkimer (who is a member of the Insurance, Economic Development and Agriculture Committees). Read the full article...

200 Horses Working in City Garbage Dump to be Helped
The World’s Largest International Equine Welfare Charity Begins Work in Mexico

Mexico HorsesBrooke 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.
Mexico HorsesHorses, 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, Mexico Horsesbut 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.
Mexico HorsesPetra 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  

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.

Read Before You Build: Most Common Mistakes When Building An Outdoor Equestrian Arena

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 They also offer a free 25-page Footing Guide available at their website.

The Real Cost of Horse Ownership
Story by: Equine Guelph 

It is often said that if you ask a question to ten horse owners, you will get ten differentYour Horse is Your Responsibility 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 Photo Credit Nikki Alvin-Smithcomes 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


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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