Sunday, October 28, 2012

Great lesson for the mama mare

I am super proud of my mama mare and my Pippa filly today :) Classy Lady was super patient and wonderful about babysitting two friends of mine today. My friend's daughter LOVED getting ponied around on my big mare, and she didn't want to get off to let her dad ride or to even go home! Classy Lady was a doll for both of them. Pippa pony was a trooper today with the changes I made down at the barn. Poor baby lost her stall because I converted it into round roll storage, so she's getting moved to one of the new stalls. She took it all in stride, and she's just so darn smart! I love that baby :)

New Boarder!

We are welcoming Manolo and his mom on Tuesday! Manolo will be here for two months for reconditioning. We'll start off by lunging, adding hillwork, and working under saddle in the arena doing lower level dressage.

Busy Sunday :)

Having a decent day :) Space in barn converted and ready to receive our reserved round rolls finally! I met with a new short term boarder who is bringing her TB over for reconditioning for two months. Now a friend and his daughter are coming over to ride the mama mare and hang out a little with Mark and myself, and I'm going to end the day with a ride on the big, dark monster I think :) May or may not work the babies depending on how much daylight I have.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

West Nile Virus Report: WNV Rears Its Ugly Head

By  CBS NEWS/ August 24, 2012, 4:14 PM

What's making the 2012 West Nile virus outbreak the worst ever?

(CBS News) The West Nile virus outbreak of the summer of 2012 is on track to be the worst ever in the United States. Health officials said earlier this week that there have been 1,118 reported cases of the disease reported in 38 states, including 41 deaths.
Forty-seven states have seen some sort of West Nile virus activity, be it in people, birds or mosquitoes; the only exceptions are Alaska, Hawaii and Vermont. Since the first time West Nile Virus was detected in 1999, there has never been as many reported cases through the third week in August.
Dr. Dr. Lyle Peterson, director of the division of vector-borne infectious diseases at the Centers for Disease Control, told reporters on Wednesday that the country is in the midst of "one of the largest West Nile outbreaks ever seen."
But why is that? Why are some areas, such as Dallas County in Texas, being hit especially hard? 
Texas accounts for about half of cases in the entire country. Dallas County alone has 270 cases of West Nile virus, with 11 deaths. Previously, from 2003 through 2011, Dallas County only saw 10 total West Nile deaths.
"We don't really know why it's worse this year than in previous years" Peterson said Wednesday. However he noted that the unseasonably hot weather from the mild winter and early spring and summer may play a role.
Three experts interviewed by HealthPop agree that this year's weather is likely a driving force in the current outbreak.
Dr. David J. Dausey, chair of the public health department at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa. and director of the Mercyhurst Institute for Public Health, said higher temperatures and fluctuations between rainfall and drought provide ideal conditions that have biological impact on mosquitoes, thereby increasing the chances of a West Nile outbreak.
He contends that the mild winter the country experienced, followed by the early spring, extended the mosquito season past when they typically would have died in the winter. That allowed mosquitoes to repopulate themselves quickly come spring. Also, for a spring and summer that's seen high temperatures and drought across the country, the warm weather speeds up the life-cycle of the mosquito, allowing them to reach a biting age quicker, Dausey said.
High temperatures also speed up the multiplication of West Nile virus within a mosquito, said Dausey, and humidity actually stimulates them to bite. At the same time, high temperatures are driving birds into populated, urban areas in search of water, with the mosquitoes following them closely behind. All these conditions, he said, may be contributing to the 2012 West Nile virus outbreak.
"For us to sit around and say it's not weather, is I think, foolish."
But why is Texas experiencing such an influx in cases?
"Well in Texas, the severity of the drought was probably greater than anywhere else in the United States," said Dr. B. Graeme Lockaby, associate dean of research and professor at the School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University in Alabama. His team just received a $240,000 grant to study the link between poor water quality and increases in the mosquito populations responsible for West Nile Virus, known as the Culex mosquito. He hopes the research will lead to improvements in risk prediction models for a West Nile outbreak.
Lockaby said during a drought, there is a greater likelihood to have polluted water because, as water evaporates, pollutants remain. Therefore in an area like Texas where there are ponds and urban streams that may be polluted to begin with, the water reduction and subsequent pollutant and sewage increases stimulate growth of nutrient-rich bacteria that provide conditions where Culex mosquitoes thrive.
Dausey concurs, noting that on the surface it may look like there's less dry water. But underground sewers and catch basins that contain stagnant water also provide the nutrient-rich conditions mosquitoes seek. He also speculates that the economic and housing crisis may play a role in some urban areas, if people have abandoned homes with swimming pools or other sources of stagnant water, allowing mosquitoes to breed.
What may be more frightening is that drought conditions may also lead to an increase in other mosquito vector-diseases, said Lockaby.
Dausey agreed that in the future Americans may see malaria resurface, for which the country is likely unprepared. He said officials should have been able to predict a West Nile virus outbreak this year because of this interaction between mosquito biology and the weather, and preventative efforts should have been in place all year.
"Everyone is caught off guard," Dausey said of the outbreak. "To me, it's not a big shocker at all."
Dr. Clifford Bassett, an allergist and immunologist in New York City who is also a clinical assistant professor of medicine, at NYU Langone School of Medicine, highlights that New York City has a program in place to monitor mosquito and West Nile virus trends each year.
The 2012 Mosquito Surveillance and Control Plan includes spraying areas of New York City that previously had been at high-risk for disease transmission and using outbreak data from previous years to come up with surveillance models and other plans with a primary emphasis on prevention
"Although mosquitoes are most active in New York City from May through October, our strong mosquito prevention, surveillance and control efforts are year-round activities," the city's Health Department wrote of the program.
"And it works, because we're doing better than other areas," said Bassett, who researchers mosquitoes as part of his allergy practice, which treats people who are allergic to insect bites.
Bassett emphasized the call that health officials have been making for Americans to wear insect repellants with an EPA-registered active ingredient such as DEET.
He said compliance with this advice is problematic because some Americans might not take their risk seriously, given that 80 percent of people infected won't show any symptoms while the other 20 percent may experience a form of the disease that presents as fever and flu-like symptoms.
But the major risk lies in the one in 150 people with West Nile will develop severe neuroinvasive illnesses that may lead to meningitis, encephalitis, paralysis, coma and death. Bassett said by taking measures such as wearing the insect repellant or wearing long clothes at dusk and dawn during prime mosquito-bite hours, people may greatly reduce their risk this summer during mosquito season. 
That's especially important because the season, which typically ends in September, has yet to even peak.
"We're not out of the woods yet," Bassett said.

Stubben Saddle Trial

So, I've had this Stubben Tristan saddle here on trial for a few days, and I REALLY like it. It fits Captain better, it fits my hiney better, and the only thing I don't like about it are the billets. It's in decent condition, but will probably need reflocking in a year or two, and it desperately needs to have its leather conditioned and cleaned. However, it's reasonably priced and they might come down in price some if I make an offer. Now if I could just get my Albion sold, I'd be set.


"He has a small penis and is compensating with a fancy car. However, he must also have no balls, as is evidenced by his slow speed." This is the most hilarious attempt at male emasculation I've ever seen.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pippa loaded!

MY FILLY WAS AMAZING AT LOADING TODAY!!!! I pulled my Pippa pony out to do some loading practice today. SHE KILLED IT! It was great to work with her in a low stress, no hurry situation, and she figured it out by herself :) For today, I took out the middle divider and opened all the head doors and side doors. She was a little anxious at first, having probably remembered how much more stressful it was last time (damn ponies are too smart and stubborn sometimes), but we just worked through it. I just perched on the edge of the opening for the side door and waited with a grain bucket as reward, and let her sort it out. About 10 minutes later, she popped on all by herself! Lots of praise, lots of shoulder scratching, and grain bucket :) I let her eat about 1/3 to 1/2 of it (just grabbed a pound or so), and then walked off. Repeated this procedure about 6 or 7 more times until she was quite comfortable just walking on and off! I am SO PROUD of my Pippa girl, and she got plenty of cookies afterward. She even managed to tolerate a fly spray lesson afterward! My Pippa pony = da bomb dot com. :D

Friday, October 5, 2012

Upcoming Shows

So, I just need to get it in gear and take the big man to a few of these. Particularly some of the ones at Dreamweaver since they're local. Paula who runs Dreamweaver is a doll and so helpful, so I need to just get my hiney in gear and go do it.

October 6, 2012Poplar PlaceHamilton, GASchooling
October 13, 2012New ClassicGainesville, GASchooling
October 20, 2012Red Horse StablesBowdon, GASchooling
October 20, 2012Wilson FarmsAlpharetta, GASchooling
October 20-21, 2012 Poplar PlaceHamilton, GARecognized
October 27, 2012Dreamweaver StablesPinson, ALHalloween Fun Day
November 3, 2012Poplar PlaceHamilton, GASchooling
November 10, 2012Dreamweaver StablesPinson, ALSchooling
November 10, 2012New ClassicGainesville, GASchooling
November 17, 2012Red Horse StablesBowdon, GASchooling
November 17-18, 2012Poplar PlaceHamilton, GARecognized
December 8, 2012Poplar PlaceHamilton, GASchooling
December 15, 2012Red Horse StablesBowdon, GASchooling

Schooling Horse Nomenclature

I think most schooling barns have at least one of these :) This has been a graphic being frequently reposted on Facebook lately, and I still think it is cute.

Inspiration to Succeed

You Are What You Eat

Captain needs to, too....

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Charles de Kunffy quote

"To be an equestrian in the classical sense is not just to be a rider. It is a position in life." --Charles de Kunffy

Good Quote

"You know you're a horse person when you have nothing in your pockets but treats."


Monday, October 1, 2012

Deworming Studies

The general gist of the study is this: instead of deworming based on a fecal count, deworm not so frequently as to promote parasite resistance, but deworm at least every six months or less to keep Strongylus vulgaris under control. If you deworm on a longer schedule, as in every 4-6 months instead of a more aggressive 2 month schedule, it will control the parasites but not be as likely to promote such strong parasite resistance in other varieties. This is exactly why I keep my furkids on a rotational worming schedule of every 4-6 months, and I usually alternate between Safeguard, Pyrantel Palmoate, and Quest Plus (you need to be careful with Quest Plus, though, because it really cleans their pipes and you have to be careful with dosing so as to not overdose and give them diarrhea).

S. vulgaris, Selective Deworming Association Studied

by: University of Kentucky College of Agriculture
September 28 2012, Article # 20685

Results from a recent study performed on American and Danish horses identified an association between selective treatment and occurrence of the most pathogenic (capable of producing disease) parasite, Strongylus vulgaris, said Martin Nielsen, DVM, PhD, EVPC, assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Science at the Gluck Equine Research Center.

In the study, presence of S. vulgaris was significantly associated with the time elapsed since a horse's most recent deworming. Frequent anthelmintic treatments tend to eliminate S. vulgaris completely.

Q: What is Strongylus vulgaris? 
A: Strongylus vulgaris is also referred to as the bloodworm. Its life cycle is characterized by extensive larval migrations in the mesenteric arteries, which can cause significant damage and result in painful colic. The lesions can involve ischemia (lack of blood flow) and infarction (localized tissue death resulting from obstructed blood supply to the affected site) of intestinal segments, which invariably is fatal for the horse. This parasite's prevalence used to be almost 100%, but decades of intensive treatment have lowered the occurrence to negligible levels. 
Q: What is selective treatment? 
A: Selective therapy is a widely recommended parasite control strategy. The principle is to perform fecal egg counts from all horses on a given farm and then treat those animals that exceed a predetermined threshold value. Studies have clearly illustrated that adult horses are capable of maintaining consistent egg count levels over time. As a majority of horses will maintain low or moderate egg counts, a considerable share of horses can be left untreated while maintaining a high overall reduction of the egg output. This markedly lowers the treatment intensity and therefore reduces the selection pressure for anthelmintic resistance. In countries where dewormers are available on prescription only, selective therapy is widely used.

The study involved 991 horses representing 53 different horse farms in Denmark and Central Kentucky. The data were subdivided based on whether farms used selective therapy as a treatment strategy and the time since the most recent deworming. The Danish results indicated a possible association between selective therapy use and S. vulgaris occurrence in both individual horses and at horse farms in Denmark.

"We found S. vulgaris on Danish farms representing both parasite control approaches, but the prevalence was significantly different," Nieslen said.

The overall S. vulgaris prevalence in Denmark was found to be approximately 12%. Farms basing parasite control on selective therapy had twice as much S. vulgaris as farms not basing anthelmintic treatments on fecal egg counts. Stud farms and training stables using selective therapy were particularly at risk of harboring S. vulgaris, which might be due to considerably higher traffic and the presence of young horses susceptible to parasite infection, Nielsen said.

However, when the most recent anthelmintic treatment had occurred less than six months ago, horses were significantly less likely to harbor S. vulgaris.

The parasite's six-month prepatent (incubation) period might explain this relation, he added. If treatment occurs within the prepatent period, the lifecycle can be interrupted effectively.

While the mean time since the most recent deworming was more than eight months on the Danish farms, the Kentucky farms were treating much more frequently, with the most recent deworming occurring about three months prior to the study. This likely explains why S. vulgaris was not encountered in any of the U.S. horses.
According to Nielsen, the possible reemergence of S. vulgaris in Danish horse establishments is most likely due to the current prescription-only restrictions of anthelmintic usage. This has lowered the treatment intensity dramatically and has led a majority of farms to adopt the selective therapy method. These regulations were introduced to encourage veterinary involvement in deworming programs and reduce further development of anthelmintic resistance. It appears to be an unforeseen consequence that we see S. vulgaris again.

"The good news is that this parasite is still fully sensitive to anthelmintic treatment," Nielsen said. "Anthelmintic resistance is a problem in other parasites infecting the horse: the cyathostomins (small strongyles) and the roundworm, Parascaris equorum."

According to Nielsen, the intensive treatment regimens commonly practiced on many American establishments on one hand appear to prevent S. vulgaris transmission, but on the other hand have also caused high levels of anthelmintic resistance in cyathostomins and P. equorum.

"We cannot completely avoid anthelmintic resistance unless we don't perform any treatment at all," he said.
Reduced treatment intensity, as represented by the selective treatment regimen, will still select for drug resistant parasites, but at a much lower rate.

However, the sparse treatment most commonly performed on Danish horse farms might pose a potential risk to equine health, Nielsen said.

"Overall, these results strongly indicate that the choice of anthelmintic treatment regimen represents a trade-off between anthelmintic resistance and S. vulgaris, which are both two undesired outcomes," he said.

Nielsen said parasite control should not be based upon just one potential parasitic risk but all parasites that might threaten equine health. Based on these study findings, Nielsen recommends applying a basic foundation consisting of one to two yearly anthelmintic treatments to all horses. This is likely to reduce the occurrence of S. vulgaris and can still be combined with selective therapy performed at other times of the year.