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News.Foals having a chat


It's always fun to share horsey news with fellow horse folks. Please send us your news, wrap up of events and clinics, comings and goings at your barn and don't forget to add a photo or two. We'll share it on our facebook page. If you'd like us to give you press coverage of an event please email us the details as far in advance as possible.



The Ark at JFKThe ARK at JFK Announces its Equine Import Quarantine Center  
By Ann Jamieson
Arrivals walk off their jet stall through an airside cargo door directly into a foot bath and then spend three days in Quarantine before exiting the building through the “Equine Arrivals” access door. Arriving horses move into one of 48 individually climate controlled stalls with advanced HEPA filtered HVAC systems, and 100 % air exchange. The state-of-the-art cushioned Padenpor™ flooring provides comfort after long hours on a plane, and the lighting simulates natural day and night to provide for optimum rest. 

Where have they landed?
At The ARK at JFK, the world’s first privately owned animal airport handling and quarantine center. Air freighters can taxi right up to the building, and the jet stalls are unloaded onto a specially designed trailer that moves them directly to The ARK and quarantine.
Billed as a “luxury, airside hotel for creatures great and small,” The ARK balances the necessary bio-security requirements for import along with the attention to comfort horse owners crave. 

Read the full article....

NYS Inherent Risk Law Bill Update

July 7th, 2017: Finally! The good news is that the bill is now just awaiting signature by NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo. Let’s hope he signs it!

Win a Saddle??

Our thanks to Kerri Gaffney, Upstate NY saddle fitter for County for sharing news of this competition. While it doesn't end for a while, it is a great opportunity. Check it out! Meantime if you have a need to have your horse's saddle fitted to ensure no pain issues and make sure you are ready, set, go for the season. Give Kerri a call at 585 645 9093.

Win a County Saddle

AERC and USEF Joint Statement Regarding Equine Welfare

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) join other countries around the world in expressing increasing alarm over continued disproportionate equine deaths, equine doping and catastrophic injuries in National and International events held in Group VII.

The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has previously sanctioned the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with suspensions, rule changes and educational measures. Clearly, further intervention is required, and therefore, the USEF and AERC were very pleased to learn that the FEI is working with new leadership at the United Arab Emirate Equestrian & Racing Federation (EEF) to put in place and ensure compliance with safeguards to protect horses and when warranted, impose tougher and more severe sanctions.

USEF and AERC share strong beliefs and concerns regarding horse welfare and fairness in competition and we recognize that not all Group VII endurance venues are tainted by the lack of respect for horse welfare. Innovations in other regions of the UAE are to be commended.

The USEF and AERC are committed to working together and with the FEI and National Federations worldwide to ensure that the welfare of our horses and fairness in competition in the sport of Endurance is given the highest priority.

NO WEG at Kentucky in 2022
No WEG at Kentucky in 2022The World Equestrian Games, which are held every four years, are comprised of competitions in all eight of the FEI disciplines.  The disciplines are Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining.
The Kentucky Horse Park Commission voted to withdraw from consideration for hosting the ninth International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) World Equestrian Games, to be held in 2022.
Commission members expressed concerns regarding staging of the games and the potential conflict that hosting would create with the long-term goals of the Kentucky Horse Park, including limitations on potential Horse Park-generated revenue opportunities.
“We are committed to being good stewards of the Kentucky Horse Park,” said Tandy Patrick, chair of the Kentucky Horse Park Commission.  “We do not think it would be economically feasible for the park to host the 2022 games.”
“We have had an open dialogue with the public through several visioning sessions and we're hearing good ideas about long-term strategic growth at the park,” said Don Parkinson, secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.  “Additionally, a recent survey of the park's assets found $12 million in deferred maintenance expenses, and we recognize the need for immediate and near-term investments in our facilities.”
The Kentucky Horse Park, located in Lexington, Kentucky, is a 1,224-acre equestrian facility dedicated to “man's relationship with the horse.”  Each year the park is host to a number of high profile events and horse shows.  The park is home to the International Museum of the Horse, the most comprehensive museum in the world dedicated to exploring the important history of all horses and their impact on human civilization.

Move by US. House Leaders to End Export of American Horses for Slaughter as part of the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act.

Federal lawmakers have introduced legislation to prevent the establishment of horse slaughter operations within the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat. The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, H.R. 113, was introduced by Reps. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Ed Royce (R-Calif.), and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.). The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Legislative Fund announced their enthusiastic support for the legislation.
Approximately 130,000 American horses are shipped to Canada and Mexico each year to be slaughtered for human consumption in foreign countries. The animals often suffer long journeys to slaughter plants without adequate food, water or rest. At the slaughterhouse, horses are brutally forced into a “kill box” and shot in the head with a captive bolt gun in an attempt to stun them before slaughter—a process that can be inaccurate due to the biology and fight or flight nature of equines. As a result, some horses endure repeated blows or remain conscious during the kill process.
“The slaughter of horses for human consumption is a barbaric practice that must end,” said Rep. Buchanan.
“Horses sent to slaughter are often subject to appalling, brutal treatment,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “I am proud to once again join a bipartisan group of colleagues in reintroducing the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, which will ensure that these majestic animals are treated with the respect they deserve.”
"The bipartisan SAFE Act isn't just the humane thing to do for horses, it also shields the American people from the significant risks that come with consuming horsemeat," said Rep. Royce. "This is an opportunity to both bolster consumer safeguards and protect America’s horses; it's a win-win."
"In addition to the fact that horse slaughter is inhumane and causes great pain and distress to the animals, the practice also poses environmental and food safety concerns,” said Rep. Lujan Grisham. “Horses are not intended for human consumption, and as a result, often contain unregulated drugs. We must end the export of American horses for slaughter abroad from both a moral and public health standpoint."
The SAFE Act would also protect consumers from dangerous American horse meat, which can be toxic to humans due to the unregulated administration of drugs to horses. Horses are not raised for food, and they are routinely given hundreds of toxic drugs and chemical treatments over their lifetimes that are potentially toxic to humans if consumed – and many of which are prohibited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in animals intended for human consumption.
At a time when Congress is so focused on fiscal responsibility and the budget of the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service is already stretched thin, the USDA should not extend taxpayer funding for a new program to slaughter horses when the majority of Americans oppose the practice.
The ASPCA, AWI, The HSUS and HSLF encourage the public to contact their U.S. representatives and urge them to cosponsor the SAFE Act, H.R. 113, in order to protect America’s horses and overall consumer health from horse slaughter.

Two Million Horses, Donkeys, and Mules Reached this Year by Brooke, the World’s Largest International Equine Welfare Charity, in Landmark Year

Two Million Horses, Donkeys, and Mules Reached this Year by Brooke, the World’s Largest International Equine Welfare Charity, in Landmark Year

This has been a landmark year for Brooke and its American fundraising affiliate, Brooke USA, headquartered in Kentucky. The equine welfare charity has met its ambitious goal, set almost six years ago, of reaching two million working horses, donkeys and mules in a single year -- more than any other organization in the world.
Brooke was determined to reach this vast number of working horses and donkeys to relieve their suffering and improve welfare through training, research, and treatment. Its annual reach has grown by more than one million animals since 2011.
Read the whole article....

Saddle Fit for Horse and Rider DVD wins at EQUUS Film Festival
Durham, CT—Mouse Hole Farm Productions announces that their Advanced Equine Studies DVD Saddle Fit for Horse and Rider, Including the Anatomy of the Back, Medical Problems, and Therapies was awarded Best Training/Educational Program of 2016 at the EQUUS Film Festival held this past weekend in New York City. This makes two awards in two years for Advanced Equine Studies and Mouse Hole Farm Productions as their Horse’s Respiratory System DVD won in the same category in 2015. Read the full article...

American Horse Council Announces New Student Membership

Starting in January 2017, the American Horse Council (AHC) will be offering a NEW membership option available to Students only!
The Student Membership will be available to both high school and college students, and membership will be subject to verification; only full-time enrolled students are eligible for this special Student Membership. Read the full article...

USEF Announces HITS-on-the-Hudson as Proposed Location for 2017 FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championship Disciplines of Dressage, Jumping, and Para-Dressage

Saugerties, NY HITS, Inc. is pleased to announce that The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has chosen HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York, as the proposed location for the 2017 FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) hosting the disciplines of jumping, dressage, and para-dressage, pending approval from the FEI. The event will be held July 18-23, 2017, in conjunction with the HITS-on-the-Hudson IV Horse Show. The FEI will review the proposal at the FEI General Assembly, November 19-22, 2016.

“HITS is thrilled by the prospect of this huge opportunity,” said HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri. “This competition is the only FEI championship held annually on this continent, and it gives junior and young riders an unparalleled experience in the sport early in the development of their careers. HITS is dedicated to fostering the next generation of equestrians, and is very proud that HITS-on-the-Hudson in our home of Saugerties, has been recognized by the USEF as an eligible location to hold such a special event.”

The NAJYRC is a unique competition that brings the top FEI Junior and Young Riders, ages 14-21, together from North America and neighboring countries. At the 2017 NAJYRC at HITS-on-the-Hudson, qualified riders will vie for team and individual FEI medals in the Olympic-equestrian disciplines of show jumping and dressage, and the Para-Olympic discipline of para-dressage.  Additional NAJYRC events will be held in the Olympic-equestrian discipline of eventing and the FEI World Equestrian Games disciplines of reining and endurance.

Educator Abigail Nemec on How Advanced Equine Studies Programming Enhances the Learning Experience 

Durham, CT—Team Advanced Equine Studies member Abby Nemec, Director of Equine Studies at Post University, notes that any learning experience is enhanced when content is presented through multiple modalities. She explains, “In every group, there will be students who are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. Aligning classroom content to reach each of those students is a constant challenge for every teacher.” She continues, “Advanced Equine Studies DVDs are uniquely designed, layering these learning styles into their programs in a way that is almost impossible for a lecturer to accomplish alone.”

Advanced Equine Studies is a series DVD learning experiences for equestrians and equine caregivers worldwide. Topics are divided into self-contained chapters of about 45 minutes in runtime. The DVDs are used in colleges with equine degree programs and in youth organizations as educational material. Whether viewed in the classroom, tack room, or living room, the DVDs provide a college-level learning experience on each topic and opportunities for group. Like a program you might watch on The Discovery Channel, the DVDs are crafted be fun to watch and to engage all riders and equine caregivers from the back-yard farm owner to the top-level professional.

The first DVD, The Horse’s Respiratory System, was awarded Best Educational Program of 2015 at the EQUUS Film Festival. The second, Saddle Fit for Horse and Rider, Including Anatomy of the Back, Medical Conditions, and Therapies, is nominated for the same award this year. The EQUUS Film Festival is held in New York City each November.
The next Advanced Equine Studies DVD, Equine Internal Parasites, is scheduled for release at the end of 2016. More DVDs will follow exploring all of the horse’s bodily systems as well as other topics of interest.

Advanced Equine Studies recruits top professionals from all aspects of the equine industry and makes them accessible to viewers in a way that is very personal. For example, the respiratory program follows a horse through the lung-function laboratory at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University with Dr. Melissa Mazan, a leader in equine respiratory health. Nemec says, “I can’t reproduce that experience on my own, but with the DVD, I can incorporate chapters of the program into my teaching at any time. The lung-function testing, infectious and noninfectious respiratory disease, feeding for respiratory health, and how barns and arenas can promote respiratory health—everything is in this 5½ hour DVD.” She concludes, “And the beauty of DVDs is that no student ever misses out. The content is there for students to view or review at any time.”

You can purchase DVDs from our staunch advertiser The International Equestrian Shop.

Equine Disease Communication Center Launches Outbreak Alert E-mail Service
Owners, trainers, veterinarians and other equine industry participants can be alerted to infectious disease outbreaks and updates through an e-mail notification system recently implemented by the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC), an industry-funded hub for efficient communication of information about equine infectious diseases and disease outbreaks.
The EDCC’s Outbreak Alert e-mail service advises subscribers when an infectious disease outbreak is confirmed or an update to a previously reported outbreak is available, such as when a quarantine has been lifted. Each e-mail includes a link to the Disease Outbreak Alerts page of the EDCC website for detailed information about the alert. 
The e-mail alerts are available at no charge as a service to the industry; subscribe through the EDCC Mailing List link at Alerts and other information are also posted on the EDCC’s social media platforms. “Like” the EDCC on Facebook at and follow @EquineDiseaseCC on Twitter.
The EDCC is based in Lexington, Ky., at the AAEP’s headquarters with website and call center hosting provided by the United States Equestrian Federation. The EDCC is funded entirely through the generosity of organizations, industry stakeholders and horse owners. To learn how you can make a tax-deductible contribution to the EDCC, visit and click the Sponsors link.

Good Things in Small Packages – Stem Cell Therapy Updates
By Jackie Bellamy-Zions

“It’s approximately four millimeters in diameter,” exclaimed Ontario Veterinary College researcher, Thomas Koch, unable to contain his excitement. The tiny disk of equine cartilage, manufactured in the OVC lab, is full of potential.
A cartilage injury can mean the end of an athlete’s career. Damaged joint cartilage does not repair on its own and often leads to early osteo-arthritis.
Great progress has been made, in Koch’s lab, by PhD student Sarah Lepage, in collaboration with Dr. Rita Kandel from the University of Toronto. They are putting together a protocol for making tissue engineered cartilage constructs. The next step will be evaluating them in live horses. “We are standing on the shoulders of research pioneered by Dr. Mark Hurtig and Kandel,” says Koch, crediting the developers of the mosaic grafting technique of bone and cartilage for sheep and horses. The graft keeps transplanted tissue in place for the healing process to begin. Read the full article...

Standing a Stallion? Cash in on a FREE listing in Catskill Horse Stallion Directory

The Merry Band at the Catskill Horse continues to add more resources to the magazine to service regional horse businesses and horse owners with the addition of a Stallion Directory.
To grab your free listing as a stallion owner please submit the following via email to us at :-
Stallion Name
Bloodlines to 3 generations
Registry of Stallion GOV/VHW etc (list as many as he is approved for)
20 words or less highlighting his credentials
Stud Fee: Up to you whether you want to list or show as Private Treaty
Location where stallion stands:  Town/State ( Your full address if you wish published)
Contact Name:
Contact Tel #:
Contact Email:
Website address.
And most importantly a great photo! (must be copyright released to us by photographer if not your own to release.

Behind the Vertical Controversy: This Time Western Dressage

North American Western Dressage Takes a Stand Against “Behind The Vertical”
North American Western Dressage (NAWD) is dedicated to protecting the welfare of all horses being ridden in competition. It is with that goal in mind that NAWD has taken a public stance against horses being ridden “behind the vertical” and enacted steps to protect horses against this style of riding in NAWD competitions. Read the full article......  

Degas BridleThe Horse Studio, The International Equestrian Shop Launches New Year Round Charity Campaign

Pick your favorite charity, horse rescue/sanctuary, therapeutic riding program and send their name to the online tack store The Horse Studio and they will consider the charity for their giving campaign. The organization must be a registered 501c charity. A percentage of sales from the strap goods (bridles/halters/leather leads etc.) on their site will be donated to the charity.

Congratulations to the latest addition to the program, Northeast Hackney Rescue & Sanctuary, of Brookfield, New York. Simply add their name in the comments box of your order of any Masters line bridle or any leather halter and they will receive 5% of the proceeds from the item sold!

Dressage Judging Overhaul?

The disparity in marks from judges scoring from different angles in the dressage arena has long been a cause of contention among competitors.

The FEI says it is frustrated at the lack of clear account for the suggested new judging systems produced by the International Dressage Riders Club (IDRC) saying that the systems have still not been fully submitted.

The IDRC believes the solution is an evaluation matrix based on a code of points, similar to that used in other artistic sports such as gymnastics and figure skating.

Dressage Judging Article“We know that today’s judging system has potential for improvement, and we are open to evaluating all proposals. There is no doubt that we all want a system that is easy to understand and which prevents big differences. These make people skeptical about our sport,” said Trond Asmyr, FEI dressage and para-equestrian dressage director.

“We know that judges are doing their best to give the correct marks. The reason why we have judges sitting around the arena is that the execution of the movements looks different from different angles,” added Mr Asmyr.

“Because of this, the ‘correct’ solution is not to have exactly the same marks from all the judges, but the average of marks should give a correct total result.”

As well as education — for which future “e-learning solutions” are in the pipeline to help the training of judges — the FEI says it has introduced a number of elements to “avoid big differences”.

Mr Asmyr added: “The judges’ supervisory panel [JSP] is there as a safety net to correct marks if a judge has not seen technical mistakes or counting errors. As of this year, the responsibility of the JSP has been widened, so that if one judge’s results are markedly different from the rest of the ground jury, the results of this judge may be changed. This is especially important in cases such as at the 2013 European Championships [where one judge scored Michael Eilberg and Half Moon Delphi 6% lower than the others in the Grand Prix].”

“The FEI has repeatedly asked for a description of the system, so that we can start evaluating it. We have been told that it is not sufficiently developed yet,” added Mr Asmyr.

“Therefore the FEI finds it difficult to understand how the IDRC can have such a clear conviction that this is the mantra for the future. The overall idea is interesting, but how will it work in practice? It is easy to talk positively about a system if you don’t need to evaluate it from all sides. It is frustrating that the IDRC has so far not provided the FEI with the system, especially when the club is promoting it so heavily externally.”

Wayne Channon, secretary general of the IDRC, states he had submitted an outline overview to the FEI a couple of months ago.

“We were hoping that the FEI would develop it from our draft,” he added. “We need to work on the software. It won’t happen overnight, but we aim to have the full proposal to the FEI by the end of the year.”

The FEI has said it is looking for a “detailed explanation of the system” from the IDRC, not a full working model.

Should the USDF Change the Rules Regarding Bit-Less Bridles?

Many dressage riders work their horses in bit-less bridles and add a bit just for showing. There is a movement gaining momentum that is pushing the USDF to change their rules and allow bit-less bridles at least at the lower levels. What do you think?

The Netherlands has gone ahead and changed their rules to allow the bit-less brigade to show the way they school. If the USDF followed suit then there would be a flurry of activity in the show ring as many riders simply don't participate because they do not use a bit.

If you would like to help by signing a petition here is the link to do so.

Hay Before Grain?

Hay Before Grain Which should be fed first – hay or grain?  If you’re feeding correctly, this issue is truly a moot point because the horse should have access to forage (hay and/or pasture) 24/7 with no gaps. Therefore, when fed concentrates, the horse's digestive tract should already have hay flowing through it. 
If fed starchy cereal grains (oats, corn, barley, etc.) on an empty stomach, the horse will produce even more acid (potentially leading to ulcers) and it will be leave the stomach quickly. When this happens, there is a risk that it will not be fully digested in the small intestine (especially if large amounts are fed), and end up in the hindgut where starch can be fermented by the bacterial population. This can lead to endotoxin-related laminitis.
If hay is present in the stomach first, it creates a physical barrier for the grain to move out of the stomach as quickly. Starch does not get digested in the stomach so the grain is simply mixed and churned into a semi-liquid mass, which enters the small intestine where it can be digested down to glucose. If there is hay present, fiber mixes with the starch and the whole mass enters the small intestine. Fiber is not digested until it reaches the hind gut, but its presence slows down the digestion of starch, and obstructs the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream, leading to a less dramatic rise in insulin.
One thing to note - there is more water involved when hay is present (from increased drinking and saliva production). This is a good thing since digestion within the small intestine cannot take place without water. 
Our thanks to Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D. for this article. Dr. Getty 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.

Learn more at Dr. Getty’s website,

Are You Hurting Your Horse? Check Out This Great Article from Dr. Juliet Getty.

Restricting Forage is Incredibly Stressful Choose a different method to help your horse lose weight
Stress = Obesity. That’s right. Stress is keeping your horse fat. And the main source of stress for most horses? Restricting forage. The very thing most people do to try to help their horse lose weight actually causes the same stress reaction that brings about body fat retention, and all its attendant problems.

I cannot emphasize this enough. Here are the physiological facts—they are indisputable: The horse is a trickle feeder. He’s a grazing animal designed to chew all day long. His chewing produces saliva, which neutralizes the acid that’s continually flowing in his stomach. Your stomach produces acid only when you eat; your horse’s stomach produces acid constantly, even when the stomach is empty (you see where I am going with this—his stomach should never be empty!). He also needs forage flowing through his digestive tract to exercise those muscles; otherwise the muscles get flabby, which can bring on colic from a weak intestinal tract that torques and intussuscepts. Furthermore, Read the full article..


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