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.