Tuesday, December 19, 2006

EVH-1 Outbreak Update: Scary times for Horse Owners in South Florida

These are scary times for the horse community due to confirmed outbreaks of the deadly and highly contagious equine herpes virus at prestigious shows in Wellington, FL- cancelling major shows. All are waiting on pins and needles hoping for the best: a major horse health crisis hopefully avoided. Health officials are "optimistic" that since this virus was detected early with quarantine procedures quickly enforced that the worst has been avoided despite the loss of several beloved horses and at least 15 confirmed cases displaying neurological symptoms.

State Veterinarians held an informational press conference last weekend outlining the facts of this outbreak, and discussed biosecurity precautions for those in the affected areas of Wellington, FL. Officials asked that people NOT ship horses to or from Wellington for seven days.

The rumormill is in overdrive. One rumor circulating is that an infected horse was present at a recent St. Louis Hunter Jumper Show. Several horses at this show were voluntarily quarantined on the show grounds in an isolated barn on the complex- far away from other barns.
Luckily, this proved to be a false alarm and thus far, no horses at this show according to show officials and St. Louis Veterinarian's were exposed to EVH-1 or at risk of developing it.

A farm near Knoxville, TN; however, is under voluntary quarantine. A horse from a New York quarantine facility tested positive for EVH-1 and died on it's way to California. This horse had a lay-over at the Knoxville facility on it's way to California. Reports are unclear as to if the California horse died en route to California or at a facility in California. Unfortunatley, there has been no official statement as to any California location quarantines. Ther has been no outbreak of EVH-1 thankfully at the Knoxville, TN farm.

The racing community is now holding it's breath too. A racehorse in Ocala, FL has EVH-1. It was in contact with an infected horse at a Veterinary clinic in Wellington prior to shipping to Ocala, where it became ill. This racehorse belongs to Tuxedo Farms. The farm is under quarantine, and the horse is in isolation. Tracks in and around Ocala, as well as the Tampa area are taking action to prevent more cases. Many are not allowing incoming horses into track facilities currently. For the latest updates and news feeds regarding this viral outbreak, please visit: http://www.topix.net

Friday, December 15, 2006

Wellington, FL EHV-1 Outbreak Alert

An outbreak of EHV- Equine Herpes Virus has shut down major horse shows in Wellington, FL for the next several weeks. Two horses have reportedly died. One of which being Debbie Stephen's Cosequin's CEO.

Three farms in Wellington's Grand Prix Village are in lockdown, and many surrounding stables have elected a self-imposed quarantine to help prevent the spread of this deadly and highly contagious airborn virus, which can cause abortion, respitory disease, and paralysis. This disease can survive 14-15 days in the environment and is spread via the respitory tract, aborted fetuses, membranes, and fluid.

This disease is reported to have orginated fom infected horses imported from Europe that went through a New York facility. One of the horses is recovering in Wellington, another; however, traveled to California and died. Veterinarians are awaiting test results to confirm that the California horse perished from EHV-1. It is quite possible that this virus may have infected horses from Florida to California.

Due to health concerns, the AGA National Championship and the Christmas Festival of Horses have been cancelled.

See below links for the latest information regarding this outbreak:

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Check Out a Memphis Equestrian Superstar in the Making!

First Things First:

Yet another "girl" to add to the long list of horse addicts in my family!

Who says this 9
month old needs to walk before learning to ride? Introducing our newest family equestrian in the making: Miss Taylor Ann- She's a natural.... I'm envisioning short stirrup extraordinare , Pony Finals Champion, Mclay celebrity, Olympic Superstar.... Okay, so maybe I'm getting a bit carried away. We will actually have to get her walking first, and teach her not to "chew" on the reins...

Rest assured, Great Aunt Ashlee is working hard to ensure that her first word is "PONEEEEE!" Her poor Daddy will be broke!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Do Horses get Jealous? What do You Think?

So here I go, humanizing horses again. But what I witnessed a few days ago really got me to thinking. Do horses get jealous, or am I just over humanizing them once again?

There is an old mare at the barn where I ride that is spoiled silly everyday by a teenage girl. I swear this old mare loves this girl. She has more patience than Jobe with the kid and will absolutely do anything for her. A few days ago this kid had her mare in the wash rack going through her usual daily spa treatment routine. My sister and I were playing with another new horse in the barn aisle. Riding her up and down the barn aisle by the kid's mare. It wasn’t long before this teenager wanted “in on the action”. As soon as she hopped onto the new horse, her trusty, ole friend had a temper tantrum! She pinned her ears back, flared her nostrils, and stomped her feet repeatedly. She couldn't have cared less while my sister and I were messing around with the new horse. But as soon as HER TEENAGER jumped in- she was livid.

Now, I personally think that I witnessed something kind of special. It was an Ahhhh moment that really emphasized to me the special bond that horses can have with people. I truly think that I witnessed a case of horse jealousy. I told my mom- a life-long horse person- about it, and she told me about a pony that she used to have growing up who took a fancy to her and would also have temper fits when she rode something else. He too was an otherwise quiet, well-mannered pony, but he would would rear, buck, kick, and run around his stall squealing if he saw her paying any other horse attention. Hum, got me thinking… Do we have horses, or do horses have us? I’m kind of inclined to think that horses may very well “choose” us and some may even get jealous?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Horse Bling is in for the Holidays!

Apparantly, "Horse Bling" is HOT this Holiday season. Okay, I'm certainly not giving fashion advice. Heck, I'm the one who's usually a season or two behind the latest fads, but I'm up for some bling! It's gaudy, it's obnoxious, and I love it!!!

Here's an article compliments of horse tack review about the latest Horsey Holiday Bling craze!

SOURCE: Horse Tack Review

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Don't Forget: Today is National Call In Day for Horses!

Want to help put an end to Horse Slaughter in the United States? Then help out by calling your Senator TODAY, and letting them know you are against horse slaughter!

Urge your Senators to cosponsor S. 1915 and get it to the senate floor for a vote! Please, Please make the call, and urge everyone you know to call their Senators on Dec. 5

If you're not sure what to say here's a tip from the Humane Society:
"I am a constituent and I am calling to ask that the Senator immediately protect our horses from slaughter and cosponsor S. 1915, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. I am very concerned about American horses and I don't want them slaughtered."

here to locate your Senator's contact information and make the call!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Brrrr... Cold Weather Tips for Your Horse

In typical Memphis fashion, the weather has turned from warm and balmy to bone-chilling cold in a matter of days! I don't know about you, but it takes me awhile to get acclimated to colder weather. And about the time I start to get used to it, It warms back up!

Here are some cold weather tips for your horse:

  • Feed more good, quality, hay to help add some extra "Fuel" for your horse during cold weather. Horses bodies work hard during cold weather burning up more energy to keep warm. Extra food in the form of hay helps tremendously!
  • To keep water troughs from freezing, place a plastic ball or football in the trough. Of course, your ponies will want to play with the new toy!
  • Place a mineral or salt block in your horses feed tub. Not only will this slow down fast eaters, but it will provide extra salt encouraging thirst so that your horse will continue to drink enough water when cold. Many get picky in cold weather and don't like to drink frigid water.... Think BRAINFREEZE...
  • Keep aware of the ground conditions when riding. Freezing conditions can make the ground REALLY hard on your horses toes!
  • Warm yourself and your horse up slowly, and do lots of stretching. It's easy to pull and strain muscles in cold weather. When we're colder, we tense up. Make sure to take your time and warm up and down those muscles. So that the next morning both you and your horses aren't sore!