This webinar will focus on current vaccination strategies and other health considerations to ensure your horse keeps healthy during the most demanding time of …
Well, good evening everyone! I'd like to welcome
you to the My Horse University and eXtension
horse quest live webcast, Spring Cleaning:
Getting Your Horse Ready for the Show Season.
Our presenter this evening is Dr. Fernanda
Camargo. Fernanda is an associate professor
in the Horse Extension Professor for the University
of Kentucky. After receiving her veterinary
medicine degree from the State University
of Londrina, Brazil, Dr. Camargo followed
her passion for horses to Lexington in 2001.
She completed a Ph.D. in equine pharmacology
and toxicology at the University of Kentucky,
and soon thereafter became their Equine Extension
Professor. Dr. Camargo’s major focus is
Equine Health and Diseases, Equine Extension,
and the 4-H Horse Program. She develops and
delivers educational materials and activities
for the county extension agents, horse owners,
volunteer leaders, parents and 4-H youth.
I'd like to make a note that you will be able
to ask questions of the presenter during the
webcast via the chat on the lower left hand
side of the screen. There also will be some
time at the end of the webcast as well to
ask some additional questions. This webcast
is being recorded and we will upload it to
our website as well. So, at this time, I'm
going to turn it over to Dr. Camargo. Okay,
thanks Gwyn! Good evening, everyone. It's
a pleasure to be here with you tonight. The
evening here in Lexington, Kentucky — the
evening is beautiful and it's just an honor
be here talking to you all. I actually hurt
my ankle five weeks ago and that's why I'm
here tonight, willingly instead of being out
and wanting to ride my horse right now. So
that's a plus, I guess for me. Let me see
if I pull up the slides — here we go! An
overview of what we are talking about today
— we are going to start with how to assess
the body condition scoring of the horse, we're
going to go through vaccination protocols,
a little bit of deworming protocols, very
little about hoof care and then conditioning
of the athlete horse. So, the Henneke System
is what we use for body condition scoring.
It is a system that actually measures the
body fat in different areas — can everybody
see my pointer? — it measures body fat in
different areas of the horse — behind the
withers, behind the shoulder, the neck crest
of the horse, it measures fat on the tail
head of the horse and how level the loin of
the horse actually is. So this system assigns
a number — it goes from 1 to 9 — to all
these different areas. 1 being the lowest
and 9 being the more fat. The person just
goes and assess different areas of the horse
— it's pretty much impossible to assess the
body condition scoring without actually touching
the horse. so by looking at this picture I
would give this horse maybe a 3, maybe a 2
but I would actually have to go and touch
this particular horse. So this is something
that people need to be proficient in, something
they need to know, they need to learn how
to assess the body conditioning of their horse
to be able to make adjustments to their feeding
schedules as needed. One other thing that
I would like to say is that you guys can see
that I said behind the shoulder blade, I said
the withers, the tail head, the loin area,
the neck of the horse — the rib area is actually
very important also — but there is no place
in the Henneke Scale to measure a big belly.
And a lot of people say "My horse is so fat!
They have such a big belly!" But the truth
is that a big belly is not a sign of the horse
being overweight. You can actually be extremely
thin and emaciated and still hold a big belly.
So this horse right here, this picture in
my opinion is about a 3 or actually maybe
even going down to a 2 in the body condition.
As opposed to this lady here who is extremely
fat — you can see she has a very cresty neck,
you can see that — I don't know, ribs have
a long time disappeared from this horse! — and
she would be very much close to a 9. She's
probably a 9, I don't know her tail head.
But one of the things that is important for
you guys to know is that the cresty neck — this
fat deposit on the neck is one of the last
fats to be deposited on a horse. And also
the most difficult one to disappear after
the horse gone through a diet. So this is
one of the things that you can see on a horse
that is looking kind of okay throughout the
body but is going to continuously hold that
cresty neck. So that cresty neck is actually
related to a metabolic disorder or horses
that are more prone to foundering, especially
in fresh grass of the spring — if you see
a horse that has a cresty neck that is never
a good sign for that particular horse. So
it's something for you guys to also go and
learn how to discern that. This horse, this
particular horse here is what I would think
would be ideal — he, in my opinion, is a
five — a body condition scoring of 5 — this
horse actually belonged to me and although
he is gorgeous and beautiful, he was a rearer
and he had to find his place to live away
from my place because he tried to kill me
repeatedly. But anyway, that does not take
away the fact that he was very beautiful and
looked very healthy and had a body condition
scoring of 5. A body condition scoring of
5 — we've enabled the horse to actually to
do the majority of the disciplines that a
horse should have — maybe a horse that is
actively racing will have a body condition
maybe below a 5, maybe a 4.5 so you may see
a little bit of the ribs on this horse and
definitely an endurance horse would be a body
condition of 4 as well. So it would be a more
of a leaner kind of a horse. But a body condition
scoring of a 5 or 6 is ideal for pretty much
any kind of competition that a horse is going
to go through. I am going to skip to the next
slide and then come back to this one just
because we just dealt with a semi-harsh winter
and a lot of horses tended to lose weight
during the winter and then we find ourselves
in February, March and April trying to put
weight on this horse. So via the body condition
scoring you can actually know if your horse
is in need to gain or to lose weight. So I'm
just going to go through quickly some of the
things that we can do to make this horse gain
weight. So one of the things that you have
to understand for an animal or for a person
— for anybody to gain weight — we need to
increase the intake of calories and decrease
the expenditure of the calories. So this is
one of the things, this is the main focus
that we need to get to actually gain weight.
If your horse — I don't know what you're
doing to the horse — but if your horse needs
to gain weight, some of the things that you
need to do is maybe feed extra hay. A lot
of the people tell me "Oh, I'm feeding two
flakes in the morning and two flakes in the
evening." — and number one, I don't know
how much those two flakes actually weigh — but
it's important that people understand that
a horse needs to eat about 1.5 to 2 to 2.5
percent of their body weight in feed. So a
horse that weighs 1,000 pounds needs to eat
more or less 20 pounds even 25 pounds of feed
— that being hay and concentrate — to be
able to maintain their body weight. Horses
that need to lose weight are obviously going
to need to eat a little less. Extra hay, maybe
you're not feeding enough hay, enough forage
for this horse. Or better quality hay; maybe
you are feeding a timothy hay — timothy hay
is palatable but it is not very nutritious.
So one of the things that you could do is
maybe change this hay to an alfalfa hay or
maybe change the hay to a hay that was harvested
a little younger, so a better quality hay.
Another thing that is excellent for horses
to be in to gain weight is actually good pasture.
A lot of the time, pastures are overgrazed
and — especially show horses or performance
horses — they very seldom will go out in
pastures and be there 24/7. So one of the
good things about pastures is that it's calorie
dense, it's calorie rich. So if you're a horse
that needs to gain weight, it's another thing
that you can do to help him out. You can add
concentrate feed, so if you haven't been feeding
concentrates yet you can start adding that.
If you are already feeding — maybe you're
just feeding not sufficient amounts — so
you can also increase the concentrate feeding.
It's important also that horses don't eat
more than five pounds or 0.5% of their body
weight — or five pounds actually — of concentrate
feed per meal. So if your horse is already
eating two meals of five pounds each time,
it's probably what you can do is break it
down to three meals of three pounds each time
or four pounds a time — maybe you can increase
two pounds on the total of the daily intake
of the horse — but just breaking down in
three meals. Another thing that I'm a fan
of is fat supplements. You can just increase
the fat intake of that particular horse; you
can do it by feeding oil — any vegetable
oil will do. A lot of studies have been done
and corn oil is not really the best oil to
feed horses of other reasons because of the
omega-3 and omega-6 imbalance that is in corn
oil but that is a different subject. And omega-6
can be pro-inflammatory. So say this horse
is an older horse, has some inflammation going
on, so this may be not the oil that you want.
But the market today has so many different
types of fat supplements. So you just need
to find an equine nutritionist or find you
vet and see which one would be the best, but
any kind of vegetable oil canola oil would
be fine. Some horses will be picky and will
not want to eat the oily feed but there's
also powders like rice bran that come in powders
that you can actually do that way. Another
thing that is important for you guys to understand
is the pecking order. If your horse is fighting
for food, your horse is going to be hard to
gain weight. So it's something that if you
have a group setting that you're going to
feed everybody in a group and your horse is
the lowest of the pecking order, you may need
to remove your horse and feed him separately
— especially his concentrate or — if you
have say outside a round bale, but we're talking
here on the second point about better quality
hay, but you're going to need to feed this
horse alfalfa hay, you're going to need to
bring this horse in, feed his alfalfa hay
so he is able to gain some weight. The other
thing is to decrease the energy expenditure.
So if this horse stays outside and he's fighting
off the flies all the time by stomping his
feet and he is just out in the hot sun, this
is a lot and he's not going to be spending
time eating — this is a lot of energy that
this horse is spending. Exercise; a lot of
people want to continue to exercise — or
say ride this horse six times a week and this
horse is sweaty every single time — and then
you're trying to also put weight on this horse.
That is something that is going to probably
have to decrease the amount of exercise so
this horse can gain weight. So here increase
intake and decrease the expenditure. And obviously
stress. An animal that's stressed because
he's not happy with the pasture that he's
in or too much exercise going on, this animal
will have a hard time gaining weight. And
then to lose weight, you can just think the
opposite of what we just said. So, we're going
to decrease the intake of calories and increase
the expenditure. So we're going to adjust
the feeding — maybe if you are feeding a
concentrate to this horse, maybe all you need
is a balancer feed. A balancer feed is a feed
that within one to two pounds of that particular
concentrate is going to have all the vitamins
and minerals that that horse needs for his
daily intake. That is all that he needs to
be super balanced but it is low in calories.That's
something that you may want to think about.
The other thing is if this horse is eating
free choice hay, you may want to cut down
and feed him less hay, maybe a lower quality
hay. Say this horse is eating that alfalfa
hay, you do not want that. A lower quality
hay does not mean that it is a hay that is
moldy. It may just mean that it's a hay that
was harvested a little older as far as the
plant age goes. You can also try to do dry
lot or muzzle for that particular horse. This
horse that I have here on the picture on the
top left; that's Maddy. Maddy lives on dieting
because she is super efficient. She gains
weight by breathing. So Maddy spends about
ten months of the year in a muzzle and sometimes
the muzzle is going to rub her face because
of the halter and then I put her in a dry
lot. There is discussion both ways because
by putting a muzzle on a horse, he can continue
to walk about in his pasture and can continue
to socialize and continue to show the things
that horses need to do such as trotting, cantering,
galloping, and being free to buck and everything
because he's in a bigger pasture. Plus, he
has company. In a dry lot, yes, you're going
to control more the amount of food that this
horse is eating. But he is not going to be
able to express the normal things that horses
need to express every day. So this is something
that I am also divided on which one. So my
horse Maddy spends times both in a muzzle
and also both in a dry lot. Burn more calories,
okay. Say if I put Maddy just in a dry lot
and I do feed her the correct amount of hay
— it's a lower quality hay — but she's standing
there all day long as opposed to being in
a pasture that she has maybe two and three
year olds with her that make her move. This
horse is maybe a pest in her opinion but in
my opinion they are actually my workers because
they are making her move. This is something
that you guys can do as well. Exercise, you
can start — if you cannot ride this horse
every day maybe you can lunge this horse — just
to increase the calories that this horse is
going to be utilizing. The other thing that
is important also for you guys to know is
that if there is a medical condition that
is impeding this horse from losing weight.
Some horses are metabolic, insulin resistant,
and if that's the case they're going to need
to be medically treated. If that's the case
your veterinarian will need to very much be
involved in helping this horse lose weight
as well. Here I just have the URL for two
facts sheets; one is to lose weight the other
is to gain weight so you guys can check it
out. And this is just a picture; there is
nothing better than horses eating fresh pasture
and they look great. Pasture has a lot of
oils and omega-3s that actually helps horses;
their coats look beautiful and everything.
I just am a big fan of horses being out at
pasture as much as possible. Another thing
that we are going to touch base is what about
worms? What I would suggest, is not the indescriminant
worming protocols of deworming your hrose
every two months or every month or every three
months; but it is to develop a worming strategy
with your veterinarian that is going to include
fecal egg count — maybe several times a year,
maybe twice a year — but deworming needs
to happen at least twice a year depending
on the horse. The reason why I say that is
because a lot of the fecal egg counts that
are performed, they only count strongyle eggs.
And the strongyle — and maybe they can also
see round worms so ascarids — but they don't
see tapeworm eggs; a lot of the fecal egg
counts. Some of them will. But what I'm trying
to say is that… okay, not a question for
me…so what I was going to say is that if
you count all the strongyle eggs and the horse
comes 500 or above, say it's 1,000 eggs per
gram of feces, you are going to want to deworm
this horse with something that will kill strongyles
— so like any Ivermectin based dewormer.
Now, one of the things that I say you need
to deworm this horse at least twice a year
is because you're not counting the tapeworm
eggs. And then twice a year — if this horse
say is very low in the strongyle egg count,
say they're always like 0 or 70 — so you're
like "Oh, I don't need to deworm this horse
because he's very low." What I would like
for you guys to think about is the tapeworm
eggs that is not being counted. At least twice
a year, and I do say December after the first
frost to kill also the bots and July if that's
going to be the case — so December and July
you deworm these horses with something that
will also take care of the tapeworms. So,
for example, Ivermectin plus or Praziquantel.
This is something for you all to understand.
Now horses may not look very well if they
have a heavy worm burden but some horses a
lot of the times they just live their lives
and you don't even know. A lot of the high
shedders look just as good as any other horse.
The other thing that is important — and this
I do all these things and I recommend all
these things to be done between February and
April and May at the latest to start the year
correct for these horses. So all these things
that I'm talking about. How about teeth? Poor
dentition will prevent a horse from chewing
well and break down the feed — so hay and
concentrate — in a way that he is going to
be able to absorb all the nutrients. Also,
poor dentition can be the cause of a horse
having say colic by impaction. It is important
that horses — especially after they're five
years old — they need to be checked once
a year for their teeth. If they're below five
that means that they're still changing to
permanent teeth. They should be checked twice
a year by either a veterinarian or a dentist
depending on what your state allows. So in
Kentucky, it is illegal to practice dentistry
if you're not a veterinarian. So I always
suggest that here in Kentucky that you see
a vet. But in other states, dentists are allowed
to practice as well so whatever you feel comfortable
with and whatever your horse feels comfortable
with as well. It is important to remember
that any dietary changes will take time to
show an improvement! So you don't start adding
all that alfalfa, all that hay, all that feed,
and expect that this horse will improve in
the next week or so. And also you need to
do whatever change you're going to do, needs
to be gradual. So first you change hay and
then after several weeks that the horse is
now eating the better hay, plus eating more
quantity of hay now you're going to add the
feed and so on and so forth. It needs to be
gradual and it takes time for any changes
to show. So now the horse has a good body
condition scoring of a 5 or a 6. What do we
do next? So we get the horse ready; the horse
has gained or lost weight accordingly, you
have done the teeth of this horse, you have
developed the deworming protocol for this
particular horse. This horse right here is
one of my horses as well, this is a friend
of mine that rides her. The health status
of this horse. I generally separate my vaccinations
between the spring and fall for these horses.
The AAEP, the American Association of Equine
Practitioners, they separated their vaccination
between the core vaccines — in which every
horse should receive regardless of gender,
of use, it doesn't matter — every horse should
receive this vaccine because they're deadly
to the horse. They can also happen and be
passed on to people, especially Rabies. And
then they have another list of risk based
vaccines that I'm going to go and talk to
you a little later. But the core vaccines
is going to comprise Tetanus, West Nile, Eastern
Equine Encephalitis/Western Equine Encephalitis,
and Rabies. Of these particular diseases right
here, these five diseases right here — West
Nile, triple E and W E E are all transmitted
by mosquito bites. So they are all transmitted
by mosquito bites and we all know that mosquitoes
come out staring in the spring. So spring,
summer, and fall is the time that mosquitoes
come out and start biting everyone. So it's
important that your horses are protected before
the mosquito season. So West Nile is more
prevalent in September and October but triple
E and W E E — W E E we haven't seen in a
long time — but triple E –especially Florida,
Georgia, Carolinas — they're very prevalent
diseases. So it is important that — so if
I were to separate diseases by fall and spring,
I would do the mosquito-borne diseases in
the spring and then the other — say Tetanus
and Rabies — I would do in the fall. Say,
if you're only going to vaccinate your horses
against these ones but the title of the seminar
today is to prepare you horse for the show
season so I'm thinking you all are wanting
to take your horse to shows. So that's where
the risk based vaccines come in handy because
when, as you can see, Influenza and Herpesvirus
are not part of the core vaccine but these
are diseases — and also Strangels — that
can be easily passed in the show setting because
they are respiratory diseases. And respiratory
diseases — when the co-mingling of horses
from different backgrounds — so when shows
and racetracks and horse camps — when these
horses come together and start touching noses,
that's when these diseases can actually spread
very very quickly…This is wonderful, thank
you Dr. Skelly…this is the other vaccines
that I would highly suggest. These vaccines
here on the core side, these are annual vaccines.
Except for triple E in Florida, they probably
vaccinate every six months to every four months
because they are so prevalent. The risk based
Influenza and Herpesvirus for example, it
can be annual if your horse is not going to
be very exposed or Herpesvirus you can also
do every six months or every four months as
well if your horse is going to be going to
shows every single weekend. Then the other
vaccines you can talk to your veterinarian
about because it's going to depend on the
location that this horse lives, if this horse
for example is a stallion — he's going to
be vaccinated for EVA maybe — botulism if
you live in Kentucky, we highly recommend
that your horse be vaccinated for that just
because Kentucky is very endemic for Botulism.
And Rotavirus only broodmares get vaccinated
for that one. So important spring or pre-show
vaccinations are exactly what I had talked
about. So the mosquito-borne diseases and
then the respiratory diseases. Now, the mosquito-borne
diseases — other things for you to think
— fly spray and anything that you can detract
the mosquitoes from biting your horses. So
fly spray, mosquito control — so no stagnant
water in places –you can also try fly sheets
— I generally put a fly sheet on my horse
then spray the fly spray on top of that. Now
fly spray — I don't know if you all know
— but their chemicals break down when you
have in contact with the sun. So one of the
ones that are harder to break down is Permethrin.
And I'm going to write this down here — it
is the hardest one to break down. There is
another on called Pyrethrin — and Pyrethrin
breaks down within an hour of being exposed
to the sun whereas Permethrin takes a little
longer to break down. So when buying fly spray,
just make sure that you buy one that is going
to last a little longer if you're horse is
going to be out in the sun. Other pre-show
season health considerations — the Coggins
is a test that is going to see if your horse
has Equine Infectious Anemia — this is required
by law if your horse is going to be traveling
on the roads. So this is required by law,
this is a test that needs to be done every
year if your horse is going to be traveling
to shows, going to go to races, or auctions,
etc. So this is a test that needs to be done
to accompany the traveling horse. The health
certificate — this is called the certificate
of veterinary inspection — that is one that
the veterinarian comes over, takes the temperature
of the horse, sees if the horse is healthy,
and then signs a paper saying that the horse
does not come from a facility that had an
outbreak of Equine Herpesvirus which is Rhinopneumonitis.
And then that accompanies the horse as well.
So the health certificate, the expiration
varies from state to state and the venues
within a state. So, for example, Kentucky
— if you have a health certificate to go
trail riding or to go to the shows — it lasts
a year. If you come from out of state to show
in Kentucky, it lasts thirty days. And if
you are going to show at the Kentucky Horse
Park and you are from Kentucky, it lasts six
months. So this is something that you need
to be aware of so you can have your paperwork
correct. Other things that I think are highly
important is to practice biosecurity measures
at home and during outings. What do I mean
at home and during outings? At home: no sharing
of buckets and grooming supplies. There is
no need to share. Each horse need to have
their own bucket and their own grooming supplies
because — especially in the spring when there
is a lot of rain, there is going to be other
things that we're going to see in the next
slide — such as rain rot that is infectious
also and also contagious and the horse can
pass from one horse to another by grooming
supplies. Sharing your buckets especially
in shows, we don't share things in shows from
a horse that we don't even know it's from
a different barn because we don't know your
just asking for trouble — especially with
the respiratory diseases. Then I say, isolation
and quarantine of newcomers because, again,
you don't know where this horse came from.
When the horse — even if it's your own horse
— if you go to a show — say you spend from
Friday to Sunday at a show — there is no
telling the different viruses and bacteria
that this horse was exposed to. As this horse
returns home, it's important that you keep
this horse away from the other horses for
several days to see if this horse is going
to come down. In Michigan, they had a month
ago, Equine Herpesvirus type-1, the neurological
type of the disease that there is no vaccine
for, and we had several horses die that got
contaminated that particular disease. Now
in Maryland, there is a new case of that particular
disease as well. So say you went to that show,
you don't want to bring that disease to your
farm and then spread it to other horses that
didn't even go to the show. One other thing
that a lot of — I mean if the people are
heavy in showing in performance horses, they
may not take the winter off — some people
just give the winter off to the horses regardless,
but one of the things — not because you are
not riding in the winter that your horse does
not need to see the farrier regularly. This
is a foot from a friend of mine's horse that
just got a little neglect over the winter
and you can see it's overgrown and this is
not a healthy way to start your spring and
to start your riding this horse because — to
adjust this foot you can't actually take everything
out in the first trimming because you can
cause lameness in this horse. So it's something
that — even if you're not going to ride this
horse in the winter — it's important that
he continues to see the farrier to maintain
being sound. Then I put here To Shoe or Not
to Shoe, That is the Question! I think — I
would like to ask our participants here if
you all have horses and if you keep them shod
or if you keep them barefoot because everybody
— this is such a polarized subject that people
that are barefoot believers they demonize
the people that shoe their horses — and the
people who put shoes on their horses demonize
the barefoot people. And the truth is, each
horse — it depends on the horse. Some horses
can go barefoot year-round, some horses need
shoes on all fours, and some horses can go
with only shoes in the front. So it's only
going to depend on the type — let me see
here the answer — so the thing is there is
no right — it depends on the horse, it depends
on the genetics of the horse number 1. Genetics
of that particular horse. Number 2, how healthy
that horse is. The good feeding protocol that
you have for that particular horse. So all
those are going to play a role into the fact
that if the horse can go barefoot or not.
The truth is, I would like my two horses to
go barefoot. My horses can't because they
just get lame and I think it is — for my
particular horse — it would be bad for them
to go lame if I know that putting a shoe on
will prevent them from being lame. So, Maddy
obviously being a Quarter Horse is a navicular
horse, so she gets shod year round. I used
to remove her shoes for the winter just to
give her feet a break and then it would take
three to four months to get her sound again
in the spring after I put shoes back on her.
So that being said, I just said you know what,
I'm going to bite the bullet and I'm going
to pay whatever I pay to shoe her and she's
going to go — I hate navicular. Navicular
is a bad bad disease. I started giving my
horse Adequan and it has changed her life.
So she's on Adequan now every four weeks and
she is on therapeutic shoeing and she has
not missed a beat. Anyway, that goes for Amber.
That being said, it's just going to depend
— do I want my horse to be lame for four
months just for the sake of "this horse needs
to be barefoot" or do I want the horse to
be sound for anything. Other spring considerations
that is important for horse owners to understand
is that new grass is coming on with a vengeance
and horses that are prone to foundering — this
new grass is full of sugars — so you're going
to need to be careful for laminitis. New grass
full of sugars, laminitis is the thing. The
other thing is that lots of sugars cause the
bacteria in the GI tract to go a little crazy
and this horse may become a little colicy
with a type of colic that is just gas — it's
called timpanic colic. This colic is something
that may be resolved by itself, but it's just
something that you may want to be aware. We
already talked about mosquito-borne diseases.
Other things that are important is wild animals
are out and they are out and about and they
are going crazy because they want to mate.
For example, opossum are the definitive host
for EPM which is a neurological disease in
horses and if they defecate in your horse's
feed or hay, and your horse eats the feces
of an opossum, they can actually get EPM.
So that something for you all to be more aware
of. Skunks are out and skunks, especially
in Kentucky, they are the number one animal
to transmit Rabies – also raccoons, they are
also out — they can transmit Rabies as well.
And raccoons also can transmit distemper to
dogs. It's something that you do not want
in your property. One of the things also,
is that opossums are a scavenger so he will
come wherever there is food spilled or they
come to eat dead carcasses of animals. So
if you see a dead carcass of a bird, of a
mouse, of a raccoon, you need to remove and
dispose of that carcass as to not attract
the opossums to your farm. Skin conditions.
Because of the amount of humidity and rain
— so rain rot is something that you may need
to deal with. There are different types of
medications that you can treat these horses
— the very painful condition and these horses
–Urticaria which is hives is an allergic
reaction on the skin — so the horse may eat
a different type of plant that is just growing
wild in your pasture or even allergy by mosquito
bites. It depends — so the mosquito bites
or any fly bites can come and bite these horses
and this horse breaks down with hives all
over their skin. One other thing that I think
is important is that because these horses
may be staying in mud for long periods of
time, and that mud just attaches to their
legs and then it dries — and it dries off
that skin and the skin can actually start
to crack like minuscule microscopic cracks
that can be an open door for Staphylococcus
infections. So the horse can develop what
we call Cellulitis. It's something that — what
I like to do — I mean, I don't wash my horses'
legs every day — but if they've been out
and it's super muddy and their legs are just
dried with mud, I like to wash their legs
with a shampoo so like a betadine kind of
shampoo so I can not only wash the mud off
but I can kill a little bit of the bacteria
in their skin. This is not antibiotic like
antibacterial shampoo, these are shampoos
with disinfectant so we're not developing
something resistant in this bacteria. This
is important for you guys to understand. Other
spring considerations is allergies. The pollen
is out, everything is out, a lot of humidity,
so these horses can come up with a cough,
runny nose, runny eyes. They can lead to bronchitis,
pneumonia, eye infections etc. So you start
walking this horse and then trotting this
horse and they start to cough and it's just
something that you may need to pay attention
to. We talked about those things a horse has
a good weight, the horse is healthy — you've
vaccinated this horse, you have a deworming
protocol for this horse, this horse has beautiful
skin and is ready to show. Now what are we
going to do? This is my son right here on
my horse and that's why I'm at the university
tonight where I'm talking right now because
at home I would be interrupted all the time
with him because he would want to also be
talking to you all about horse health. So
what are we going to do? You can't just hop
on this horse — this horse has had three
to fourth months of rest allegedly. This is
not, this horse was not four months without
any sort of exercise hopefully — we're going
to talk about that — but some things need
to be considered; what kind of winter? Was
he in the stall all the time? So different
show horses stay in the stall all the time.
Is he in the stall half of the time and then
he goes to a round bale the other half of
the time? That's not a lot of exercise. Is
he out all the time? Is he out with friends
that make him move? Have you ridden this horse
a few times throughout the winter? Have you
lunged this horse? So these are a few things
you want to be considering also. Is this horse
young or is this horse aged? The reason why
I ask this is because younger horses — you
may need to go more slowly with them when
conditioning them just because you're not
only condition their muscles and organs, but
you're also teaching them skills. You may
need to go slowly with them because, by virtue,
this horse can actually not even turn so that's
why you're going to go a little bit more slowly
so you don't crash against a jump or something.
It is important for you all to know that the
skills — a horse that is a trained horse,
that is an aged horse — 12 years old — their
skills, maybe he's a little stiff, but he
doesn't forget the skills. He is going to
be ready to go and exercise and be ready to
go however, he may have lost condition. Although
the muscles come back kind of quickly after
this horse has been properly conditioned,
it is important that the first several weeks
you take a little bit more slowly with this
horse to bring him back up to a good athleticism.
What I was going to say about conditioning
of muscles, is that it takes — depending
on the type of muscle — it takes only a few
days to improve these muscle fibers. It may
take three to four to five weeks, six weeks
for this muscle to decondition as the horse
becomes sedentary. It takes a while before
this horse gets deconditioned, but it's important
that you guys either keep them exercised throughout
the winter by lunging or even riding every
once in a while or take it super slow in the
beginning of the spring. What is conditioning
going to accomplish? We're wanting to improve
the cardiovascular system, the respiratory
system of this horse, the muscular and skeletal
systems, and also the tendons and ligaments.
The cardiovascular system is actually the
first one to improve. This horse is starts
improving their aerobic capacity, so improving
their stamina, is the fastest one to actually
improve and get adapted. Muscular system is
actually not that slow depending on the type
of exercise that you're going to be doing
with this horse — tendons and ligaments are
a little bit more slowly than muscles — so
it's something that the horse may look buff,
the horse may look beautiful, the horse is
strong but maybe his tendons and ligaments
are not as adapted as you would think and
that's when you think the horse is ready to
maybe turn a barrel or jump five foot tall
and this horse may not actually be ready.
He may be ready to jump once a week but not
strenuous exercise. So it's something for
you all to understand. The goals of conditioning
is to increase stamina — so that's the aerobic
capacity of the horse — to increase the strength,
and to increase the speed of this horse. So
exercise to increase the aerobic capacity
of the horse is long and slow. That's going
for walks and slow trots for long periods
of time like 60 to 120 minutes several times
a week — three to five times a week — and
that is going to increase the aerobic capacity
of the horse, increase the stamina of this
horse. And then the high intensity exercises
for short duration of time, they are going
to increase the strength, the muscles are
going to become hypertrophied and also increase
the speed to increase the anaerobic capacity
of the horse. The speed — you may want to
say "No, but I don't want speed because I
am doing jumping." But the speed is the one
— strength and speed is what makes a horse
go from cantering around the arena to actually
go over the jump — the horse is to collect
himself under his body and actually go over
a jump and that's the type of muscle fiber
that he's going to use. It's going to be a
thicker type of muscle fiber and also one
that fires quickly. Because of the speed,
if it doesn't fire quickly, this horse is
going to crash over the jump. This is what
you want to do. Now after this horse has been
trained, you can also intercolate; do long
and slow three days a week and high and intensity
for short duration the other two days a week
or do interval training. Interval training
is big now also in humans in that you may
do long and slow for thirty minutes and do
a short duration 12 seconds or a minute of
high intensity so go over a few jumps at a
time as this horse is warmed up. The other
thing too of conditioning is to teach skills
for this horse. We want to increase their
conditioning and also learn particular skills.
One of the things that is important also for
you to know if the footing. Generally we need
to train this horse in the particular footing
that he is going to compete in. Horses that
all they do is ride in the arenas where it's
flat and beautiful and manicured –when you
take them out to a pasture, they may be a
horse that is going to trip. So I actually
like — and I'm a fan of warming up the horse
— take the horse out for a hack. Just hack
the horse over grass and that is what I'm
talking about here "proprioception." So this
horse knows exactly where his feet are so
he can actually go and not trip. This is a
horse when you take him to the arena, it's
a piece of cake for him because the arena
surface is better and so much easier for him
— not better but easier for him and that's
one of the advantages of being able to hack
the horse. The other thing is the arena surfaces.
A lot of the synthetic surfaces can be very
hard on the horse's muscles because the foot
will not slide over the arena when the foot
lands on the ground. That can actually be
the muscles of this horse would take a little
bit of the brunt and these horses may become
really really sore. We see this on horses
that train on sand and say the come to the
horse park and compete all weekend on poly-track
and then on Monday this horse sometimes cannot
even walk — they're so sore because their
bodies were not used to that particular surface.
I'm just showing you a picture — that's my
horse again — she had a bout of colic so
she wasn't being able to be ridden yet but
she needed to be walked and here is — you
can see where she had her IVs hooked up to
her — and she did some just to keep her conditioned
and keep her after the how many days that
she was off — I started bringing her back
up and I used the Pessoa system that I really
really like because it helps the horse engage
the hind legs and bring it under themselves.
So just walk and this is her a week or so
ago and we have progressed from just little
walks to being able to do the short intervals
of high intensity which, to her, is jumping.
What else can we talk about showing? So we
need to plan in advance what shows are we
going to attend — local shows are great to
desensitize the horse — I like to say that
practice makes perfect — but sometimes not
with a horse because we're dealing with horses
and they can become unpredictable. But at
least mastery at home is a minimum necessity
before going out to a show. It's important
also to practice and master the level that
you're at before moving up to the next level.
So my horse for example, likes to jump but
that doesn't mean she's ready to jump five
foot tall without being injured. This is something
that is important — we need to progress slowly
so her whole body can actually be able to
adapt. Now being on the road — the high stress
from training, little turnout, traveling and
hauling, showing, and the different environment,
this is so important for you all — can and
will leads to ulcers. There are studies out
there that show that just hauling the horse
for as little as six hours will — the horse
will arrive at the other place with gastric
ulcers. It's just something for you all to
think about. I got this photo — this is the
equine gastric ulcer — and they grade the
ulcers from zero to four — and these are
squamous ulcers on the aglandular part of
the stomach. So you can see one is just like
a reddening and then the two — you already
have little ulcers and bigger ulcers to grade
four. And this is the pyloric — so the glandular
part of the stomach with ulcers. These particular
ulcers are a little harder to treat and for
some reason, warmbloods are more prone to
this particular ulcer right here whereas thoroughbreds
are more prone to this particular ulcers right
here — although they can also have this one.
This one is harder to treat. How do we treat
ulcers? The only FDA approved treatment for
ulcers today is the Gastroguard (Omeprazole)
and that's a four grams per day treatment.
For, it depends on the scoring of the ulcer,
but it can be up to 28 days and if it's a
pyloric ulcer it may need to go over that.
Prevention, just changing management to increase
the turnout of these horses. One of the things
that is so cool, you can feed hay — a flake
of hay — prior to the exercise so the gastric
juices are not just slushing around the stomach
of this horse on an empty stomach because
that will cause ulcers. It's important that
these horses have forage at all times, so
if it's a horse that you are only going to
feed two flakes of hay in the morning or two
in the evening because this horse is on a
diet for example, it's important that you
put slow feeding hay nets for this horse so
they have hay in front of them all the time.
For example, my Maddy — if you just put two
flakes for her, she will eat that in thirty
minutes and then what does she do for the
next twelve hours when she is not going to
receive more hay — she will just continue
to produce the gastric juices. Then there
is one other drug called Ulcerguard that is
one gram a day during times of stress — so
if you're going to haul the horse or if you're
going to go to shows or increase training
for this horse — you can do that as a preventative.
Then the Neighlox and Tums etc at targeted
times so prior to exercise. So you can either
do the hay prior to exercise or you can do
some sort of gastric buffer prior to exercise
for the same reason that the gastric juices
are not just slushing all around inside the
stomach of this horse. This is what I had
to talk to you all about today on how to keep
your horses healthy throughout the show seasons
and I think I'm going to now give it back
to — this is my horse. Look at her face of
happiness — to Gwyn. Gwyn, do you want to
say something else? If you guys have any questions?
Sure, let's give everyone just a chance here
if you do have any questions, go ahead and
type them in the chat and we'll see if we
have any before wrapping up this evening.
Alright, we will wrap up with a couple of
things here but once again, if people do have
questions, just go ahead and type it in the
chat. We'd love to answer any questions that
you have. We definitely would like to thank
Dr. Camargo for her presentation this evening
and we'd definitely like to thank all of you
for participation as well. One thing I'd like
to mention is that we would love to get your
feedback. So you will be receiving an email
with a link to a survey or you can go to the
link here on the screen and I'll also put
it here in the chat. It's just a very short
survey giving us a little bit of feedback
on the webinar and maybe giving us some suggestions
for future topics and things like that. Let's
go ahead and pause just a second here and
I will let — we've got a question here about
how much hay do you think horses can eat before
exercise? Christine, I think that one to two
flakes — so if you bring them in from the
paddock or this horse has been inside the
stall — I would toss a flake or two and wait
thirty minutes. Once the thirty is over, I
feel that they have eaten enough hay to buffer
their stomach and to absorb those gastric
juices to be preventative from those slushing
around. So one to two flakes or if you think
about thirty minutes it's perfect for this
horse — as you're getting your tack ready
and everything — you just let this horse
munch on some hay. It is not going to hurt
your horse to have hay in his stomach prior
to exercise. This is a misconception that
people think it's going to hurt them…No
problem…Great, thanks Christine for your
question. Once again, if anyone else has a
question, just go ahead and put it in the
chat. We do want to make sure and let you
know we do have one more webcast coming up
before we take a break for the rest of the
summer months from our monthly webinars. Our
next one coming up on May 19th is from Dr.
Betsy Greene and she'll be talking about Tips
for Staying Safe while you're out trail riding
your horse — out on the trials or maybe on
the road. We look forward to her webcast here
in May. Finally, we'd also love it if you
guys became a fan of My Horse University and
eXtension horse quest on Facebook. You can
see us on Facebook for updates and information
about events and promotions and great information
from experts like Dr. Camargo. And please
finally remember that this webcast was recorded
and we will be putting it up on our website
here tomorrow. If you have any questions or
suggestions, please email us at [email protected]
With that, I will pause here for a little
bit in case we have any more questions. But
other than that, I'd like to thank you and
I hope everyone has a great evening. I think
Samantha is writing something…How many horses
do I have? I personally have two horses; a
Quarter Horse, a thoroughbred — a reiner
and a jumper — and I have a boarding facility
and I house 17 horses. I have a lot of horses
under my care. And I also teach at the university
and I also have a two year old son so my life
is super busy. I know, wow is right! Thanks
everyone for participating in our monthly
webcast. It was a pleasure presenting to you!
If you have any questions, don't hesitate
to send me an email later on. My email is
[email protected] and I would not mind
whatsoever to answer any questions you may
have. Alright, I think we are maybe at the
end here so I'm going to go ahead and close
the meeting. Thanks again to everybody! Thank

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