Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

Jennie Brannigan riding OTTB Whitfield in the Ocala HT last week. Photo by Joanne Morse.

Jennie Brannigan riding OTTB Whitfield in the Ocala HT last week. Photo by Joanne Morse.

As I’m not going south this year, I’m resorting to more creative ways of getting my horses ready for their March debuts in competition. Nyls is doing all the horrible dressage that I can humanely force him to do, and that involves many many raised cavaletti exercises to try and convince him that suspension is a thing, and that he can have it in the trot. Leo is going fox hunting in order to help his fitness and strength. Or, at least, he was going hunting until Tuesday when he developed a very pathetic Zoolander cough, and thought that he might collapse and die. As he’s not exactly the tough-it-out type, he’s getting a little break and some meds to clear it up, so no hunting for a little while. Giant baby!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Poplar Place January H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status]

News From Around The Globe:

JFK has plans for a new animal intake structure, and they’re calling it “The Ark”. No longer will your horses have to stand out on the tarmac while waiting for their flights, but soon they will have access to an “overnight pet resort” and a “large animal departure lounge with climate controlled stalls”. Slated to open next year, this will be the world’s only privately owned animal handling cargo terminal. [JFK Builds The Ark]

Good lord this is some good common sense myth busting about equine nutrition! If you’ve ever heard someone tell you that grain is the main foundation of nutrition for your horse or that a bran mash will warm him up, please read this article. There are too many myths about how a horse is best fed, and not enough education. First up: feed more forage! [7 Myths About Equine Nutrition]

As a follow-up, lets talk about the ever increasing amount of horses with gastric ulcers. Horses were designed to roam and constantly put little bits of food in their stomachs, and now we regulate what they eat all the time, sometimes leaving them for hours without anything to consume. Especially in the winter when your horse doesn’t have access to grass, don’t skimp on the hay! This makes stomach acids go crazy, and can contribute to winter ulcers. [Nutrition Related Problems: Gastric Ulcers]

Winter management problems abounding! Is it bad for your horse to stand out in the mud all the time, or worse for them to be cooped up in a stall? Dr. Nancy Loving weighs in on the pros and cons of each choice. [Podcast]

Best of Blogs: So God Made A Lesson Horse

Because why not relive glory moments of Rolex 2014?

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