Wow! What a treat! That’s the best way I know how to describe my recent visit to Longview Ranch. I fully enjoyed my time with Randall Davis and his family, all the while I was learning plenty about myself and my horse. Heading West from my home in the East Mountains for a three hour drive to what felt like the middle of nowhere was nothing less than a small adventure for me. However, after doing so, I would recommend this to anyone!!! Randall’s wife Ellen supplies perfect directions but the basic location of Longview Ranch is north of Crownpoint, NM by about 19 miles.
The question was posed to the old cowboy, how much do you use your legs when you ride? His answer was simple “ Not much…. only as much as I do when I walk.”
This answers the very basic question of how much we should use our legs when we ride. It also establishes that they are an integral part of being an effective and accomplished rider. So if the use of our legs is so important, a few questions come to mind: how, what, and when. As we answer those questions the question of why will answer itself and we will be right back where we started with a wise old walking cowboy.
Glucosamine is often the go-to supplement to ease the discomfort of osteoarthritis, but is it safe for the insulin-resistant horse? A look at how glucosamine works may help you decide.
Glucosamine is a sugar (glucose) bound to an amino acid (building block of protein). It reduces inflammation and is a precursor to building blocks found in cartilage. Cartilage cells are able to produce glucosamine from glucose, but supplementation is often preferable if your horse is experiencing osteoarthritis. It can be supplemented orally or via injection. [Read more...]
Few sights are worse than the tragedy of malnourished or starved horses. It is important to consider that not all underweight horses are the victims of abuse or neglect. Occasionally, horses may have or be recovering from serious conditions (cancer, inflammatory/infiltrative bowel disease, parasitism, colitis, surgery, etc.) that have led to weight loss, and their owners are doing all they can to help the horse regain its previous condition. When refeeding these horses, we must overcome our first impulse to immediately feed them whatever and however much they want. Months of neglect cannot be reversed in a few days or weeks.
Last month, we discussed some things we know about flying changes and the pieces that we need to put in place for success in achieving the movement. This month, we’ll move forward and broaden our perspective of where we need to be as riders, and define what our active part is in achieving a flying change.
Well, this is it – the final part of this fitness series. If you’re settled into a steady fitness routine by now, GREAT JOB! If not, don’t worry. There’s still time to get going and be in better shape to hit the trails this spring. Or, maybe you started out strong and have kind of fallen off your schedule. That’s OK too. It happens to everyone at some point. With a little focus and effort, you can be back on track in no time.
In the past two articles, I’ve been helping you to find some ways to improve your fitness for the trail. Hopefully you have developed a good strategy for getting fit and were able to pick some cardiovascular activities to improve your fitness. If you were able to stick with things during the busy holidays, you deserve hearty congratulations! If you weren’t, that’s OK. It’s a new year and you’re ready to start with a clean slate. Remember, it’s never too late to get started. Spring is only a snow storm or two around the corner and you want to be ready to ride!
Horses evolved as wandering herbivores, moving slowly for hours and taking bites of whatever forage they came across in their rambles. Modern feeding practice is quite different, with many horses given all-day access to rich forage, an invitation to obesity. Other horses are confined to stalls and given two or three large grain meals each day. Between flakes of hay with a high carbohydrate content, there are often long hours when these horses have nothing to eat. It should not be a surprise that metabolic problems and gastrointestinal upsets are quite common in today’s horses.
Reading a hay analysis or puzzling over the ingredients in feed or supplements can be a chore, yet when considering particular elements that are measured in ppm — selenium, for example — some minor math can make a major difference to your horse’s health. You don’t need a computer (just a basic calculator)—just master the simple formulas below.
Rabies is one of the most feared of all diseases because it can occur in all warm-blooded animals and is always fatal. It is caused by a virus that affects the nervous system, and is transmitted by the saliva of an infected animal—usually via a bite or by saliva coming into contact with mucous membranes (such as the eye) or an opening in the skin. This is an uncommon disease in horses and cattle but occurs sporadically in these species when wildlife cases increase, with more opportunities for exposure.