Brr. Yet another week of subzero temperatures and layering blankets on cranky horses while my extremities go numb. Riding lessons and training sessions have been canceled yet again, while cold-induced cabin fever eats away at whatever remains of my sanity. Think spring!
Events Closing Today: Rocking Horse Winter II H.T. (Florida, A-3), Paradise Farm H.T. (South Carolina, A-3), Fresno County Horse Park CIC & H.T. (California, A-6), USEA XENTRY DEMO EVENT (Arizona, A-10)
News and Notes:
Is bitter winter weather causing you to worry about your horse? Never fear! From blanketing rules to winter workouts for your horse, The Horse offers a collection of 10 handy winter horsekeeping articles for your convenience. My favorite resource here is “Internal Combustion,” which discusses the science behind horses’ biological furnaces, aka the reason I stick my hands under my horse’s saddle pad after a winter ride. [The Horse]
Cavalor Feed for Thought: NSCs, or nonstructural carbohydrates, are the sugars and starches found in your horse’s feed; high percentages of NSCs can cause metabolic diseases like insulin resistance or laminitis. It is important to look at your horse’s entire diet – including hay – when screening for NSCs. [Feed for Thought]
Uniform medication rules for steeplechasers: After a unanimous vote, the National Steeplechase Association will adopt the Mid Atlantic Uniform Medication Program rules, which make Lasix (also known as Salix) the only drug that can be injected by a veterinarian before a race. The rules also list which “controlled therapeutic substances” can be administered to racehorses; phenylbutazone and DMSO make the list of 24 controlled drugs. [Chronicle of the Horse]
Study takes a dump on equine stress: South African scientists have developed a method for testing horses’ stress levels by measuring the amount of stress hormones in manure. Next time you think your horse is distressed, the answer may be in his or her stall… or water bucket, as the case may be. [Horsetalk]
Be an ambassador with your OTTB/Standardbred: New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program has founded a new program to promote second careers for OTTBs and OTSBs. The Ambassador Program will annually select five Thoroughbred and five Standardbred adopters who compete with their horses; these ambassadors will represent and promote retired racehorses at shows and events. Think you and your horse have what it takes to be ambassadors for New Vocations? Apply at their website. [Chronicle of the Horse]
SmartPak Product of the Day: Minnesota may be cancelled, but at least my horse is toasty warm in his waterproof, breathable, snazzy-looking SmartPak Thinsulate Turnout Blanket! I love that the Thinsulate provides warmth from the gale-force winds and subzero temps without making him look like a thousand-pound land tortoise. The 1200 denier ripstop outer helps the blanket stand up to whatever abuse my horse’s pasturemates try to inflict upon it, too.
Video of the Day:
Who doesn’t love ponies? What about ponies who jump? Here’s Rosie the Shetland, having a blast schooling some cross country jumps. Check out her classic pony tantrum at 0:46 for an extra dose of cute.