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.



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.


Kerri Gaffney Wins Book Contest ~ 55 Corrective Exercises

Book Contest WinnerThe Merry Band at The Catskill Horse is pleased to announce Kerri Gaffney, of Penn Yann, NY as the winner of the Catskill Horse monthly Facebook Contest and the FREE book 55 Corrective Exercises For Horses.

Kerri is a saddle fitter and massage therapist so the book will be a great adjunct to her studies of all things horse movement.

Congrats Kerri!


Hurricane Michael ~ How You Can Help Horses and Their Owners

Hurricane Michael ~ How You Can Help Horses and Their Owners

Please consider donating to This organization is located approximately 70 miles from where hurricane Michael made landfall. The refuge is safe and sustained only minimal damage from the strongest storm ever to hit the panhandle region of Florida.

Alaqua offers a collection point for supplies and works with other organizations to help horses and their owners that have been negatively affected by this hurricane. You can donate much needed funds through their website to aid their efforts.

Here is a message from Laurie Hood-Alaqua Animal Refuge Founder Read the Fill 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...

Score a Deal at the 2018 Equine Affaire, Springfield, MA

Horizon Structures houses horses for horse lovers nationwide in their beautifully crafted Amish barns and multi-purpose buildings. On November 8th through 11th, 2018, when It’s Not Too Early to Score a Deal at the 2018 Equine Affaire, Springfield, MA thousands of horse aficionados convene at the highly successful Equine Affaire, at Springfield, MA, Horizon Structures L.L.C., will again be present as a sponsor and exhibitor.
For folks that are ‘hot to trot’ and busy planning a new barn build within a 300 mile radius of Springfield, MA, now is the time to enjoy a substantial discount off a brand new, customized modular building. It’s an opportunity to save some serious money and enjoy showing off your new low profile four-stall barn at the Equine Affaire to friends and visitors. After the show, Horizon Structures will deliver the barn directly to your property.
Horse owners appreciate the affordability, safety and quality of a Horizon Structures horse barn. Horizon Structures also offers a full range of other outdoor structures, from residential and commercial grade kennels (inquire about similar discount possibilities for the Equine Affaire showcase), coops, outdoor living gazebos, pergolas, pavilions and cabanas, to judge boxes, concession stands, sheds and garages. With financing options available, buyers are able to make a quick application and purchase their dream barn now in time for delivery before the snow flies. 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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