Monday, December 7, 2009

Tying Up

So it's the last week of classes, and the semester is almost done! I thought this article that I read in Equus recently would fit perfectly.

A lot of people probably haven't heard of the word, tying up, unless you work with horses a lot. It happens a lot with racehorses, for sure. Basically, in simple terms, it means severe muscle cramping. Some signs involve profuse sweating, halting gait, refusal to move, and elevated pulse. This article talked about what to do with your horse who is tying up, before the vet arrives.

Immediately when it happens, you first don't want to move him out of it, you want to keep him in that position because any movement out of it, could cause some severe damage. After that you want to immediately cool or warm his muscles, depending on the season. If it is winter, maybe grab a blanket or cooler, and some warm water, and if it is summer time, cool his muscles.

You also don't want to try and massage the affected areas. It might cause more damage. The less you do, the better. You also don't want to give the horse any injections because it would only intesifty the spasms. The next thing to do is note the color of the urine, if the horse urinates. When cells die they are excreted in the urine, and the resulting color is a reddish to a dark-coffee urine. Another important thing to note is whether the horse is "thumping." This is also known as "synchronous diaphragmatic flutter." It is the spasmodic contraction of the horse's diaphragm in time to his heartbeat. It is the result of a severe electrolyte imbalance.

I thought that this was a very informative article, and I learned some things from it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

So I got a buck.

Well once again I'm going to veer off my track because I'm so excited about the events of the best couple of days. Ever had something happen that made you just want to smile all day long? Well I finally shot my first deer, and it was a buck.

I went out with my boyfriend's family to their place in the mountains for opening day of rifle season for deer. I got a 7 pt buck which I shot at about 7 am monday morning. We were watching it for about 45 mins but since it was still dark out we couldn't tell if it was legal or not. Finally I saw all the points and I shot it at about 75 yards right in the neck and that baby went down. Let me just say that was the best feeling ever, well one of them.

I had a good thanksgiving and was nice to take a break from school, and realize that the semester's almost done, SUCH a nice feeling..

Tuesday, November 17, 2009



I didn't really feel like writing anything so I though I would just write about my life- which isn't that interesting either.

I really am ready for a break, I can't wait to get a little break from school!! AND deer season is coming up right after thanksgiving, I'm going to skip the first two days of classes after break to go hunting with my boyfriend's family, so that'll be fun!! I'm super excited!

I also just started a new job at Quakertown Vet Clinic. The first night was really stressful...I'm working in the small animal side, and haven't worked in a small animal clinic before, only the animals I learned on in school. I am so used to working with large animals, and I miss the horses! : ( The first night was stressful, and I work again tonight and I'm praying that it will go smoother than the first night. I'm really excited though for it because I'll get to learn lots of new things! It's just so weird because all the antibiotics and stuff are not what I'm used to working with horses, and the veins are so much smaller, and you have to restrain them so much more, and yeah, give me the hugest wildest horse anyday PLEASE. BUT I'm trying to have a positive attitude and hope it goes well.

I'm also excited for the semester to almost be over and get on with a new semester and new classes. Though it doesn't feel like almost christmas! I haven't even though about presents yet, and its too blasted warm outside! It'll be weird hunting in warm weather for deer season, hopefully it cools down some...maybe some snow?! : ]

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Where to Roll?!?

So...back to writing about things related to horses since I have veered off from that recently. I thought this subject was interesting because I love how you really can find anything in horse magazines about studies they've done, and they've done one on where horses roll!

In a recent article from Equus, a University in Japan talks about protecting your pasture grass, and making a place for horses to roll. Horses benefit both mentally, and physically from rolling, BUT they can destroy a fair amount of grass when they roll. So...this University decided to see if they could make a place for horses to roll, instead of the nice green patches of grass.

In this study...they first kept four horses in an all-grass paddock and monitored for six hours daily for one week. They observed and wrote down how many times the horses rolled, and for how long. They were then moved to a smaller paddock that had three specially constructed rolling areas; one area was filled with loose local soil, one with sand and one with straw. They were kept there for three weeks, and then they started observing.

They found out that the horses rolled about the same amount, but they did use the designated rolling areas almost every time; they also rolled in the dirt more often than the straw or sand. It also showed that they rolled for shorter times, meaning that maybe the designated rolling areas got the job done better. having designated rolling areas for horses, it can protect grasses from damage, which means less required supplemental feed and hay.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Oh this thing called life...

Well...I decided to break it up again, and write about life, instead of the usual horse stuff...I think my last post probably scared some people, talking to much about horses, haha.

Well this past weekend I went to the mountains with my boyfriend...I love going to the mountains : ) since I have been asked to go to the past couple of shows. I'm on the Equestrian Team at Delaware Valley, and it's really starting to bug me, but I'm trying not to get too upset about it, but at least it gives me more time with my boyfriend! We had a lot of fun this weekend...It started off though rough because my boyfriend hauls milk for a job, and we had to load a route before we left to go to the mountains, and I went with him to help him, and then we didnt leave until 12 30 am saturday, and then we got up there at 3ish, and then we didnt go to bed until 4ish, and then we woke up at 6 am, to go hunt turkeys!! It was fun though! His brother and finance were there, and his dad, and there was 7 of us who went hunting, and 3 of us got hens..I was a little dissapointed, I didn't even get a decent shot off of one this weekend, but oh well..We saw soo many though, it was fun!

And then we definitly had way to much fun saturday night with his brother and boyfriend has this mask that he got to scare people, and yeah lets just say a couple beers get the point... : )

Then we had a good day saturday, even though I was dead, and sunday we hung out and stopped at Bass Pro Shop on the way back...and then that was the end of another weekend.

This week should be pretty major tests which will be nice! I didn't get asked to go to the show this weekend either, made me upset, but oh well, lifes like that...but Zach and I will probably go hunting again, take the dogs, it'll be fun.

Then I was trying to plan my schedule out, and I realized that since I'm applying next year to vet schools, I need to be done by spring 2011, so I am now going to have to take more classes each semester than I wanted to..anyways...its gonna suckk...

Good weekend. like my classes. life's good.

Monday, October 26, 2009


So this may not interest a lot of people, but I was reading an article in the november issue of Equus that just came out about breathing, for the rider. This article grabbed my attention because I have been working hard on my seat recently and strenghtening my abdominals and lenghtening my seat.

The article started talking about how most of our breathing is done by the diaphragm, and if we are hunched over, or whatever, then we can't properly use those muscles. The author was saying how a rider can literally "breathe" herself into a tall and better position by using your diaphgram.

A horse can feel when we are tense or relaxed just by how we are breathing. This is also how horses alert others to danger. If they are tense or snort, etc., there is danger, but if they relax their head, and lengthen their neck downwards and sigh, they are saying that danger is past.

They're were 7 key breathing things which the article talked about...

1. "Breath down" to deepen your seat
When your breathe downwards it helps lower your center of gravity and makes you feel safe and secure.

2. Breath for relaxationa and calming

3. Breathe for rhythm

4. Take a "power breath"
This helps to deepen your seat, engage your core muscles, and puts power into your seat, legs and attitude. It can help protect your lower back, also useful when lifting heavy objects.
They say to first say "hiss" as you exhale, and eventually you'll be able to do it without that noise. You should feel your spine lengthen, your seat deepen, your shoulders drop, and your legs drop down around your horse.

5. Breathe over jumps and poles. (something I forget to do : ) )

6. Breathe to engage your core muscles and protect your back.

7. Breathe your horse to a halt.

This article was extremely interesting and motivating. This can also be applied to every day things. The more relaxed your breathing is the more relaxed you'll be, and people around you will be, and the more worried and quick your breathing gets, the more other people's will be too.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Nothing new.

So nothing much new that I have found in my reading that would be worth noting...I'm waiting for next month's magazines to come in the mail : ) haha.

Let's see...what else is new..I went to the mountains this past weekend with my boyfriend and then his parents came up too..that was fun. Saturday it rained..but I got to skin and gut out a doe that my boyfriend's dad killed with muzzleloader..that was fun..I haven't gotten a dear before so he taught me how..I'm hoping this year I'll get one. I always hunt on gamelands so it's hard when you don't have your own this year I actually get to hunt on my boyfriend's family farm in the mountains..and I havent hunted for two years now so I'm super excited!!

Then we went out to eat with his parents at a new bar and restaurant saturday night..that was was an old rustic inn and bar that was restored..very pretty. Oh yeah..might I mention my boyfriend bought a new gun..I think he has almost 20 now..way tooo was a, oh i forget, lol, it was a 50 cal muzzleloader..that can be was pretty cool...

Then sunday we hung out and then went to a festvile in town, but it got rained out so then we left..we looked at the tractors some, since my boyfriend's into pulling. Then I headed back to school and he headed back home to drop my dog off at his house and then there went another weekend. this weekend..super excited since I didn't do well at my last one. It's an Alumni show, that the Alumni team is putting on...

weekends..thats what i live for.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Shortages of Large Animal Veterinarians

So I was wondering what to write about this week until I stumbled upon an article (In the October 2009 issue of Equus) right up my ally. I going to be applying to vet school in the next couple of years, and this was really interesting.

A quote at the top of article said, "The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that only 15 percent of U.S. veterinarians in private practice specialize in large animals."

That is SAD! That means that there needs to be a major increase before we don't have any more vets! On the other hand, on the food animal side, the USDA has recognized this as an issue. I guess it is a complete problem in the whole LARGE ANIMAL SIDE.

This one article talks about Cornell University, a school in Ithaca, New York. This school is encouraging students to pursue a career in large-animal veterinary practice. Currently they accept about 75 to 85 people each year, but by the year 2016 they are thinking of raising this acceptance number by 35%. Half of those new slots will be for students interested in large animals.

Judy Appleton, PhD, the college's associate dean for academic affairs, said about New York (and this is also true about the United States) that "in 2008, of the 62 counties in the state, 32 had just one large-animal vet caring for everyone in the area, and five tounties had zero vets, forcing residents to seek care elsewhere."

These kind of articles always encourage me, and make me even more motivated to becoming a vet because I know large animal vets are needed, and someone has to care for these animals ...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Night Time

So in a recent article from Equus, I learned some very interesting things about Equine Night Vision. Did you know that horses can see better than humans at night? Well I guess that's not suprising, especially since most animals can see better than us. Some of the terms might not make sense to you, but it was an interesting article.

The article talked about how new physiological studies show that horses are equipped for functional scoptic (dim light) vision. The equine retina, where the rods and cones are kept, whats responsible for seeing colors basically, to sum it up, has MORE RODS AND CONES, and the horse has a reflective structure called the TAPETUM LUCIDUM, which increases light-gathering properties...and I'm almost positive that we don't have that structure. Though evidence suggests that they can see better in the dark than we can, BUT they have a harder time distinguishing objects apart in the dark.

So....The Equine Research Foundation, in Aptos, California, designed a study to test the ability of horses to discriminate between onjects at various light levels. Then in a windowless building....horses were trained with two images...a black circle on a while background, and a black triangle on a white blackhoard. They trained some horses to go to the circle, and some to the triangle.

THEN>> once the horses were choosing the right one every time, they slowly started diminishing the light. THEN...only when it was almost pitch black could horses not distinguish between the shapes..BUT they could walk and maneuever fine..and knew where the walls, etc. were.

Very interesting article I thought...I wish we could see that good at night : ) I'll leave the navigating to my horse when I have to ride at night. haha.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Just didn't feel like it... do you ever just don't feel like doing something? haha...I guess that's a stupid question. I just didn't feel like writing about something with the horse industry this week...I thought I'd write a little bit about myself since I never did.

My name is Jess...and I live in Strasburg, PA, but currently I'm going to Delaware Valley College...cute SUCKS being a transfer student though...I hate it. I am almost 21, and I transfered here from a school in Nebraska. I got my vet tech degree, and recently got my scores back, and I am now LICENSED!! That made my day! I'm trying to get a job...I'm waiting back to hear from one vet clinic around here, but I can't seem to find a job..frustrating!

I am currently in the Dairy Science major, and trying to get a Bachelor's degree, and take my required classes I need to get into vet school, but I might change my major..dunno yet. I love animals..they are my life. I have a Quarter Horse mare, named Misty, and a black lab/red heeler named two favoritest animals! I also have kinda of adopted my boyfriend's dog, Jamie, she's a German Shorthair Pointer..she thinks I'm her mother. My boyfriend took her to nationals last year in Colorado, where he lived when I was out at school in Nebraska..then he followed me back here. We've been together three years now..he's also my best friend..along with my animals!

Um..I'm on the Equestrian Team at school's a lot different than the one I was on out west...but I guess sometimes people need to get used to new people..ANOTHER REASON WHY I HATE BEING A TRANSFER.. : )

Well that's about it...Just a constant struggle trying to do the best I can in all my classes so I can get into vet school, and balancing school, home, friends, boyfriend, and animals.

Bed time.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Equnomics. Haha. When I saw that term it made me laugh. It is so true, there is such thing as equonmics. I was reading an article in Horse Illustrated that talks about how you can still have your horse, even with the economic climate that we are in. It is so true that horses are hay burners, as my boyfriend calls them, but they are more like money burners. I pour money into my horse each month, and what do i get in return? Well it's not that bad, I'm just saying that they cost money, BUT that will never turn me away from them. Once you get hooked on horses, they are there to stay. Just like the other day, I open up my horse's stall door, and her left hind leg is huge, from her hock down, and then i take her out, and she has a huge hole in her chest, and a pocket of edema. I was like what did you do? She just told me she wanted me to pour some more money into her. LOL. So the vet came out yesterday and gave me antibiotics and all that jazz...who knows what she got into..maybe she wanted a break from being ridden, heck, she has the life with me being at school right now.

ANYWAYS--back to article. They gave lots of suggestions about what to do. One option was to half lease your horse, I always thought about that but I think my little sister is going to use my horse next year as her 4 H horse. However, it would help with the whole money issue. Though in this day, a lot of people don't want to lease horses either because it all costs money, and even buy horses. I was trying to sell a mare that my cousin gave me after she weaned her, and I couldn't sell her, so I had to give her away, granted she was crazy, lol, but I couldn't even sell her, as a project horse, right now people just don't want to put money into horses.

Another thing the article talked about was selling what you don't need. Yeah..thats soo true..I have trunks and trunks of horse completely stupid stuff too..I can't even walk into a tack store without buying something, even if it is only a hoof pick. lol. It's an's soo true..without my horse, I'd be a crack addict on withdrawal..well maybe not that bad. Though I seriously should sell stuff. I have an old western saddle I don't even use...and I have my english saddle at a tack store close to home because I'm trying to sell it so I can buy a new one, but I doubt that will happen. People just don't want to put out the money, like at all. Someone called about my horse I was trying to sell the other day, and they wanted me to trailer it to THEM, AT NOT ADDITIONAL COST, i was like whoa buddy, that aint happening.

Another tip was to swtich from a full care boarding place to self care...personally it all ends up the same..I was out at a school in nebraska for 2 years and i took my horse with me, and kept her in a runin shed and field, but I had to buy all my own hay, and by the time you add it all up, it's the same, well unless you can afford to bay 600 or 700 dollars a month and keep your horse at a nice place, because being a college student, I sure can't. Right now she's at a family run farm, and i help with the horses whenever I can, and i house sat for a lot of the summer this summer, and I havent had to pay board in months, which is soooo nice.

Then lastly...they said to sell your horse, if you can't afford it. Yeah, my horse ain't goin no where, nuh eh..haha..She's staying with me...I can't ever sell her, somehow she is always to stay with me, even when i buy though my boyfriend says no more : )

Overrall I thought that was an interesting article, and like all things you gotta decide what is imporant in your life, and what you can and cannot life without.

Horses are what I can't live without.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tenting..a new issue...

So tonight when I was doing my nightly reading in one of many million horse magazines i stumbled upon a different way to detect dehydration in horses. Being a licensed vet tech, I found this very interesting..

SO check to see if a horse is dehyrated you tent the skin on the horse's neck to see how quickly it returns to normal. Another way is to look at the dryness of the gums. HOWEVER-- a study was done in 2008 in the Equine Veterinary Journal to see which practical tests of dehydration were the best.

They took blood tests from 50 horses while working in warm to hot temperatures, and this provided the truest measure of their hydration. They also found that skin tenting did not correlate with how dehydrated they were, but it did show that which side and what part of the neck it was done on, as well as coat moisture and the horse's age, affected this.

They concluded that looks at the gums was not a reliable test because gum dryness could be increased while handling the mouth or decreased after drinking, making it unreliable. The horses that were dehydrated (out of the horses they took blood from) drank SIGNIFICANTLY more water and had longer and more frequent drinking bouts, than those horses who were dehydrated. conclusion, the volume and frequency of water consumption was the best indication of hydration stays, meaing the best test of dehydration also turned out to be its cure.

I think that this is interesting because while we try to find complex answers, the very answer is as simple as drinking water, a neccessity.

Just a thought.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Change of seriousness...selective breeding

Different than than seriousness of the whole issue of horse slaughter and unwanted the whole deal about equine domestication and selective breeding. When I was reading this weekend I stumbled upon an article about this, and some of the new findings that are out there, a little bit of a lighter issue : )

The oldest physical evidence about when the domestication of the horse happened, was from Ukraine and was dated back to 2000 B.C. HOWEVER, the article was suggesting that two teams of archeologists have unearthed new articfacts suggesting that horses may have been domesticated farther east and about 1,000 years earlier. A team in Berlin has been focusing on coat colors, and noticed that before domestication, horses had either black or brown coats, and after domestication there coat colors changed, and this was because of selective breeding...That's funny, because I just in biology class today, and we were talking about this whole thing of selective breeding...

Some people at American, German and Spanish universities, were also anlyzing the DNA in equine reminas from Siberia, China, and many other countries. The results were showed that the horse coat colors were consistent for many many years, and then about 5,000 years ago the number of colors uddenly increased. The best way to explain this, they say, is domestication and seletive breeding by humans.

This also backups studies done in central Asian Botai culture. They have much evidence that proves that horses were domesticated about 5,500 years ago. They can prove this because the horse skulls they observed showed evidence having having bits in their mouths. They also found leather bridles when they found these equine skulls. They also found evidence of mare's milk in pottery. THIS would indicate that horses were milked.

This last piece of evidence I found interesting...They said that some of the horse's metacarpal bones wore differently than some of the wild horses. They say that this proves that they were ridden more than 5,000 years ago.

It's interesting what they can find out with new research and techniques...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More about the subject of Horse Slaughter...

So I was reading in a recent issue of Equus about the current discussions and opinions about the issues of horse slaughter. The author is againist horse slaughter, but she was basically writing about why, and what's going on right now in the states. Many people believe that horse slaughter is a neccessary evil for America's horse industry, but that doesn't have to be the case. Number one, the way horses are slaughtered, is not humane, I don't care what people say, there are thousands of videos, pictures, etc. online that prove my point, AND unless that can be stopped completely, I think it's better for horses to try and at least fend for themselves than being trampled to death on the trailer.

Right now there are some states trying to reopen slaughter plants. Montana is trying to allow the development of a horse processing plant in the state to become law in May. Norht Dakota enabled a feasibility study regarding a horse-processing facility that went into effect in July. Tennessee is trying to get a slaughter plant to open up, along with new packaging and labeling requirements for horse meat. Illinois tried to legalize the slaughtering of horses for human consumption, but this failed.

In the U.S. Congress several things are happening. An amendment to the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971 that prohibits the euthanasia of helthy horses under the care of the Bureau of Land Managment and expans acreage available to free-roaming herds is awaiting a full House vote. Also--the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act which would "prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughter for human consumption, and for other puposes. The whole deal of completely banning double-deck trailers for the transporting of horses to slaughter is also going to try to be completely banned too.

It should be interesting how all of this plays out. There are so many views and opinions, and so many ideas, but really, what matters in the end, are the horses.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Survey Says: The number of unwanted horses is rising!

So I was reading yesterday in the October 2009 edition of Horse Illustrated about a recent survey that was put out by the Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC). I thought that this was a interesting topic because right now there are no slaughter houses in the United States that are open for the slaughtering of horses, and this may be a contributing factor. For those of you who didn't know, horses that are being slaughtered have to be shipped to Canada and New Mexico for slaughter.

From November 2008 to January 2009, more than 23,000 horse owners, non-horse owners, and equine industry stakeholders offered their opions about the severity of the unwated horse problem, what is causing it and how to possibly resolve it. They thought that the results would be different in different parts of the country, but shockingly enough, they all have identical opinions on why horses become unwated, who's responsible and what should be done about it.

The results of the survey showed that more than 90% of the people who participated feel that the number of unwated horses, including those that are abused or neglected, is growing. Then 22% of the people believe that this was more of a problem three years ago, and 87% believe that this issue is becoming an even larger issue than it was three years ago.

The major reasons why people believe that the number of unwanted horses is rising is because of the economy, THE CLOSURES OF SLAUGHTERHOUSES, changes in breed demand/indiscriminate breeding, and the expense of euthanasia and carcass removal.

Some things that can help this problem include: EDUCATING horse owners!!! (I just wrote a whole paper about this last semester, and what horse owners need to know before getting into horse ownership to prevent unwanted horses and the inhumane slaughtering that occurs). Some other things that can help are increasing the numbers that go to rescues and retirment facilities, re-opening the slaughterhouses, and lowering costs of euthanasia, and giving options to horse owners who need them.

Basically, its a sad reality, and this problem is not going to go away today, or tomorrow, or the next day. I just hope that we can find a medium ground to help some of these horses who are going through a living hell everyday.