Willowview Hill Farm

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.



Dr. Joyce Harman Explains Proper Muzzle Fit and Its Role in Natural Grazing Behavior

Since 1994, Joyce Harman, DVM, has been at the forefront of equine holistic medicine and finding better, safer ways to treat horses, including “easy keepers.”
“Whoever coined the term ‘easy keeper’ did not own a grassy field full of overweight horses threatening to become laminitic,” says Dr. Harman. “It is much more work to limit grass intake than it is to open a gate and turn horses out.”
The Harmany Grazing Muzzle of light, breathable Dupont™ Kevlar®, molds to a horse’s individual head shape and offers 25-50% more breathing room than other muzzles while still allowing horses to follow their healthiest, most natural and stress-free behavior: grazing with the herd.
“The serious side of overweight horses is that they can become Insulin Resistant (IR), which makes it hard to lose weight and can lead to laminitis, which is still a painful, debilitating disease that can lead to death from complications,” Dr. Harman says. “So it is very important to manage weight.”
The alternative of locking a horse alone in a stall or paddock is much more stressful, and allowing obesity and laminitis to occur is cruel and expensive,” Dr. Harman adds. “So, on balance, a well-fitted muzzle starts to sound pretty good.” Read the full article...

No More Leg Clipping Allowed On Site At FEI Level Competition

FEI bans leg clipping at showsThe FEI has made some changes to the  FEI Veterinary Regulations for 2019.

In an effort to protect the equine athlete from discomfort in hypo or hypersensitive parts of the body, the FEI has issued new regulations in regard to clipping or shaving on site at FEI events. The regulations that need to be followed at all international events are stated in general principles of the regulations.

“General Principles

1. All International Events must be organised according to the FEI Statutes, the FEI General Regulations (GRs), the Veterinary Regulations (VRs) and the relevant Sport Rules, which include the supervision and maintenance of the health and welfare of all Horses taking part.” Read the full article...

Preparing for Shedding Season

Preparing for Shedding SeasonIf dealing with shedding was the worst problem we had to face with horses, we would be blessed indeed - but it's still a pain. Getting to that glorious new coat underneath will always be predominantly a matter of time, patience and elbow grease, but there are a few things you can do to hasten things along.

Horses in work shed out more quickly. This probably has to do with more blood flow to the skin, with more sebum and sweat production easing the hairs out. Exercise can also save grooming time. Give the horse a good curry before you lunge and watch the hair fly off as he works.

Other than exercise and investing in a good horse vacuum (which makes a huge difference!) there's no way to influence the normal process. However, there is a check list for skin and coat health that will help everything go as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Delayed shedding or failure to shed, especially if the coat is unusually long or curly, is a hallmark of Cushing's Disease (PPID). This will only respond to treatment that restores normal dopamine levels in the brain. Read the full article...

ASPCA Announces Annual Help a Horse Home Equine Adoption Challenge to Find More Good Homes for Horses

Equine organizations across the country encouraged to register for chance to win some of the $150,000 available in #HelpAHorse grant prizes

–The ASPCA ® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) has opened registration for its annual Help a Horse Home: ASPCA Equine Adoption Challenge. The nationwide competition for equine rescues, shelters, and sanctuaries is designed to increase adoptions of equines around the country. This year’s challenge has been expanded to include four divisions and multiple ways to win, including a grand prize and prizes for social media, totaling $150,000. Read the full article...

Adult and youth trainers from across the United States have been accepted and are preparing for Lexington, Kentucky, June 20-22, 2019.

GEORGETOWN, TEXAS – The Extreme Mustang Makeover is headed back to Lexington, Kentucky, June 20-22 and it’s shaping up to be a very big and exciting event. With 68 adult trainers and 41 youth who have been approved to compete, this will be an event you won’t want to miss. Read the full article...

Guelph, Ontario – Equine Guelph announces its new “Mare & Foal Care Tool" Mare & Foal Care, a free and interactive online tool that will help users learn about reproduction in horses. The Mare & Foal Care Tool was designed and developed in partnership with PFERA, an equine reproductive biotechnology company, as a resource for horse owners and breeders.
This free online resource will take users through the complete cycle of reproduction in the horse, from preparing to breed a mare to caring for the newborn foal. Users can start with The Pregnancy Wheel, where they’ll see how their foal will develop through pregnancy and learn what care their mare will need. They can experience the Mare & Foal E-Learning Checklist, an interactive module that will take users through the needs of the mare and/or foal before, during, and after pregnancy. Finally, users can watch the Foaling Time Video and print the Foaling Checklist Poster so they’re ready when it’s time to meet their new little one! Read the full article...

SmartPak’s customers to benefit from ownership by global leader in animal health, as well as the leadership of a new CEO

PLYMOUTH, MA - February 11, 2019 –SmartPak is pleased to announce its new ownership by Covetrus, the standalone public company that resulted from the spin-off of the Henry Schein Animal Health business, and its merger with Vets First Choice.  Prior to this transaction, the majority ownership of SmartPak has been held by Henry Schein Animal Health since May of 2014. Read the full article...

Government Shutdown Impacts 2019 Mustang Heritage Foundation Events

Although the Government shutdown was partial, it did have an impact on certain MHF events for 2019.

GEORGETOWN, TEXAS – In December 2018 through January 25, 2019, the government had a 35-day partial shutdown. This had a significant impact on the 14-year partnership between the Bureau of Land Management and the Mustang Heritage Foundation (MHF). MHF monitored the situation and evaluated the effects that the shutdown could have on the many 2018-19 commitments.   Read the full article...

American Endurance Ride Conference Severs Ties with USEF

The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC), the national governing body for endurance riding since 1972, announced on January 15 that, as of December 1, 2019, it will no longer be affiliated with the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).
The AERC Board of Directors voted on the disaffiliation motion at their January 14 conference call meeting after months of comments and deliberation.
Continuing the AERC/USEF affiliation through the 2019 ride season will allow previously co-sanctioned rides to be held and allow for a transition period before the 2020 ride season.
AERC, a nonprofit organization founded in 1972, was affiliated with USEF and its predecessor, the American Horse Show Association, since endurance riding became an international sport. Endurance riding was first included in the World Equestrian Games held in Sweden in 1990. The winner of that event was American Becky Grand Hart, riding RO Grand Sultan+/.
AERC’s International Committee, founded in 1991, will be working with the AERC Board of Directors to find a means to allow those seeking to participate in international competitions to continue to do so.
The AERC Board of Directors, which represents the organization's more than 4,900 members, will be working on a plan to facilitate the separation from USEF, according to AERC President Monica Chapman.
For more information about the American Endurance Ride Conference, visit

Why Do Horses Eat Dirt?

One of the most frequently asked question from my clients is “Why does my horse want Why Do Horses Eat Dirtto eat dirt? Is she missing something in her diet?” Well, the question can be answered several ways, as there is not one particular reason why horses engage in this perfectly natural activity. Horses are supposed to eat a certain amount of dirt on a daily basis.

• Dirt is a natural part of the equine diet. It contains minerals in bio-available form that the horse needs for various metabolic functions. Some of the minerals, iron for example, are more utilizable from the soil than when added to feeds or stored in forages. Horses that are constantly stabled and deprived of minerals naturally found in dirt may develop deficiencies even when supplied with those minerals in processed feeds.

• Dirt also contains microbes that the horse’s digestive tract can benefit from. Some microbes are located in plant roots so the horse may dig through the dirt to get at the roots of these plants.

• Dirt contains water and salt which can both help a thirsty horse stay hydrated. However, it is always better to make sure horses are supplied with fresh drinking water and salt at all times. Read the full article.

NYS Horse Owners Urged To Vaccinate Against West Nile

State agriculture officials in New York are advising horse owners to vaccinate their horses against West Nile virus on the heels of four confirmed cases in the region.

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets says there have been four confirmed equine cases of the mosquito-borne infection in the state this year, in Suffolk County, as well as Steuben, Cattaraugus and Livingston Counties in western New York.

Infected mosquitoes can pass West Nile virus to humans, horses and other animals. Symptoms can resemble the flu, with horses appearing mildly anorexic and depressed. Other symptoms are muscle and skin twitching, fever, hypersensitivity to touch and sound, drowsiness and unsteady gait. Read the full article...

American Horse Council to Build Universal Equine Microchip Look-Up Tool

(Washington, D.C.)  Through the American Horse Council’s (AHC) work with the United MicrochipStates Department of Agriculture, the United States Animal Health Association, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and various equine organizations, we have identified the need for a universal equine microchip look-up tool to coordinate and streamline horse identification across multiple breeds.
A universal microchip look-up tool would provide a single source where the general public and various organizations and emergency response teams could find the identity of a horse or the registry with which the microchip number is associated.
“Technology and public opinion have finally aligned to allow microchipping to become an efficient aid when identifying horses.  Microchips are a safe and effective form of identity for sale, competition, or emergency response. We hope that by simplifying the method with which the public can verify a horse’s identity, we can incentivize the country to look into microchipping their horses,” stated AHC President Julie Broadway. Read the full article...

Help for VereransGood News For Veterans ~
House Approves $5 Million for Equine-Assisted Therapy to Aid Veterans

The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5895, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act; 2018 that included an amendment to increase funding for the Veterans Affairs’ Adaptive Sports Grant Program for equine-assisted therapy. The amendment, introduced by U.S. Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) increases funding by $5 million for fiscal year 2019.


Coming Soon! The Latest Book from Catskill Horse Editor Nikki Alvin-Smith ~
Road Map to Grand Prix Dressage

With a ton of experience horse breeding, importing, training horse and rider in dressage it Coming Soon! The Latest Book from Catskill Horse Editor Nikki Alvin-Smith ~
Road Map to Grand Prix Dressageis no big surprise that our own Nikki Alvin-Smith has been signed up to write a book on the topic. The book will be chock full of advice on everything dressage from horse selection to piaffe and passage training.

“I’ve always believed that every horse and rider can benefit from dressage training no matter what discipline they currently favor. The advanced levels are attainable for everyone and I love to take the mystique out of all horse training and provide a down to earth program for riders and horses of all abilities. My book will have a humorous touch with the ‘road map’ portion legend that will warn the rider when to put on the brakes or proceed with caution as they train their own horse through the various movements. Classical dressage training is fun and this title will include lots of anecdotal experiences I love to share including travel to buy horses abroad, competing abroad and clinic snafus that have happened during my career. I am thrilled at this opportunity!” said Nikki.

Road Map to Grand Prix Dressage is slated for release in Spring 2019 and will be available for purchase through and Amazon in both print and e-book format.

Colic: Better Options, Better Outcomes

Although many colic cases are mild in nature, others can imperil your horse’s life and career and can require surgery. Today, because of advancements and innovations in the diagnosis and treatment of colic, the chances of survival and return to normal activity following colic surgery have never been better.

Colic signs should always be taken seriously, and although early symptomatic treatment will resolve many mild cases, if a horse fails to respond, it should be considered an emergency. The biggest controllable determinant for a successful surgical outcome is minimizing the duration of clinical signs before surgical intervention. Early correction of twisted intestines can obviate the need for costly resections (removal of sections of intestines). In addition, timely intervention can limit the collateral damage to the intestine, which can lead to serious disruptions in propulsive motility requiring lengthy hospital stays, increased cost and complications such as adhesions. 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.
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.

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!


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