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posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 3, 2012 19:05

“Beat the Bugs” with Biosecurity, Protect your horse from infectious diseases


Guelph, Ontario – Equine Guelph is launching its first-ever online session on equine biosecurity from April 16 to 29, 2012 for horse owners and caregivers.  Over a two-week period, owners will learn how to protect their horse(s) from infectious diseases:  1. Identify risks of infectious disease in the barn, 2. Apply practical ways to reduce your risks of disease and 3. Reduce the chances of sickness in horses.  The new, convenient two-week format is delivering what the equine industry has been asking for; a short course full of practical advice based on the horse owners needs!


"Attendees of this online course will get a detailed explanation of the various aspects of infection control and have an opportunity to discuss the topic with industry experts," says Dr. Josie Traub-Gargatz, professor at Colorado State University.  "Infection control is an important part of caring for your horse(s). Assessing your current control plan in an objective way through use of the biosecurity calculator, which is part of the course, can help you identify strengths in your control plan.  It can also help you determine if there are areas you may want to discuss further with your veterinarian based on identified low scores."


Equine Guelph’s “Beat the Bugs with Biosecurity,” program promotes biosecurity throughout all sectors of the horse industry. The program is funded through the Agricultural Biosecurity Program (ABP), part of the Best Practices Suite of programs under Growing Forward, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of several Growing Forward programs in Ontario.

“Beat the Bugs” has been developed by Equine Guelph with the assistance of its 12 industry partners, American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation, Central Ontario Standardbred Association, Colorado State University, Grand River Agricultural Society, Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, Ontario Association of Equine Practitioners, Ontario Equestrian Federation, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association, Ontario Veterinary College, Standardbred Canada, Vétoquinol Canada Inc. and Woodbine Entertainment Group.


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The Future is in Your Hands – Take the Reins!

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 3, 2012 18:54


The Future is in Your Hands – Take the Reins!

What You Can Do to Give Strength to the Horse Industry


You may be surprised to know that there are over 9 million horses in the United States, based on a study done by the American Horse Council entitled the Economic Impact of the Horse Industry on the United States.


The American Horse Council (AHC) is the only organization that represents every segment of that vast horse population.  Every day, the AHC communicates with Congress and other federal agencies to ensure that each understands the economic, agricultural, sporting, and recreational importance of the horse industry. 


This can be tedious work, but without open lines of communication with our leaders in Washington, D.C. we could lose the ability to enjoy our horses and our work in the industry that we love.  We hope that our efforts ensure that these federal officials will support a legislative and regulatory structure for the horse industry that encourages individuals and other entities to support and participate in the horse industry, to invest in our horses, and to sponsor and support our events and activities. 


The AHC believes that the more opportunities there are to use horses in various activities, the better the overall health of the industry and those who participate. Our goal is to keep opportunities open so that EVERYONE in the horse industry is able to thrive.


Because we are a not-for-profit organization, we depend on you – a person who is devoted to your horse and to your sport – to help us stand up for our rights as horse enthusiasts.  Join the American Horse Council today and help us to help you, your horse, your sport, and your industry! 


It is extremely important for everyone in the horse community to present a unified front and show Congress and other federal agencies that the horse industry is not only important to their constituents, but is also a large, economically diverse industry that provides hundreds of thousands of US jobs and billions of dollars in tax revenue.  The AHC is the only Washington, D.C. based organization solely dedicated to representing all horses, equestrians, and every segment of the diverse horse community and industry. 


The AHC provides many updates on important issues affecting the industry, and explains to its members how they can contact their elected officials to speak up about these issues.  By joining the AHC, you give strength to the horse industry’s voice


To learn more about supporting the AHC and becoming a member today visit www.horsecouncil.org/ahc-memberships.


Regeneration for the Nations - Canadian-Danish Research Globally Acclaimed

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 2, 2012 13:30


Canadians and Danes were the first to source equine umbilical cord blood for regenerative medicine. The anticipation over the exciting applications of this research were clearly indicated by the massive number of downloads which occurred within two weeks of the first report published back in 2007 ―a whopping 3500+! “The long term goal is to find new treatment modalities for diseases and conditions where there currently are no good treatment modalities,” says Dr. Thomas Koch, who researches joint cartilage repair at Aarhus University, Denmark and the University of Guelph. Koch expands on one reason stem cell research is such a hot topic by explaining the concept of a reduced burden on the healthcare system, which could potentially result from curing incurable degenerative diseases.


The successful isolation of cells from equine umbilical cord blood for regenerative purposes has put the U of G on the map as a leader in equine stem cell research.  In his latest research, Koch is able to isolate mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) for potential cartilage repair using a very simple, non-invasive procedure. Umbilical cord blood is obtained at the time of foaling by clamping the cord and collecting the blood into a transfusion bag. Once at the lab, this blood is then put into a plastic container and then the cells that “love plastic” show their potential for regenerative research. Any unwanted floating cells are easily removed from the container because the desirable MSC cells actually adhere to the plastic and multiply! Koch can then create cartilage from these cells in the lab.


Studies for maintaining cells at the injury site are ongoing. The complication is integrating cell-repaired cartilage with the underlying bone and adjacent normal healthy cartilage. Koch is investigating sophisticated matrices and scaffolds as well as a technique known as mosaic arthroplasty. In mosaic arthroplasty, a number of plugs consisting of both cartilage and bone are placed in the cartilage and bone defect in a cobblestone pattern, hence the name mosaic. Pioneered by Dr. Mark Hurtig from the University of Guelph, this option, although technically difficult, may allow a better integration between cartilage and bone.


Using umbilical cord blood cells to make bone cells and cartilage cells has earned Koch’s research international recognition. The application for bone healing in fracture and cartilage repair is promising. Now researchers are working on better ways of differentiating undifferentiated cells into cartilage cells so there will be enough cells for therapy.


Dr. Thomas Koch is employed by the Orthopedic Research Lab at Aarhus University in Denmark and funded by the Danish Research Agency for Technology, Production and Innovation. Additional operating funds are provided through: Grayson Research Foundation of Lexington, Kentucky; BioE Inc. of Minnesota, USA; SentrX Animal Care Inc. of Utah, USA; Morris Animal Foundation, USA and the Equine Guelph Research Fund.



disease | general


posted by Horse Owner Today    |   March 31, 2012 09:03




Interested in Horse Welfare Education?   A once in-a –lifetime evening, May 10, hosted for Equine Guelph Student’s is now open to the public!   Meet, mix and mingle with horse professionals of the present and future.  Find out first hand from students of Equine Guelph why their award winning online courses continue to expand meeting the demand for evidence based knowledge in the industry.  Most of all; enjoy a fantastic show while showing support for the development of the new Equine Guelph - Equine Welfare Certificate and the 'Equine Guelph-OEF War Horse Welfare Education Fund'.


Equine Guelph’s first War Horse Gala on March 8th was a huge success!  Dianne Graham, executive director of the Ontario Equestrian Federation comments, "I thought that the puppets were magical and found the original stage production to be absolutely mesmerizing. I am certain that "War Horse" will have a very successful engagement!"  She adds, "The Ontario Equestrian Federation in partnership with Equine Guelph is proud to be part of a collaboration which will ultimately benefit the welfare of all horses."   Equine media in attendance were awe-struck and nearly speechless with initial reactions:  “Wow, terrific!”, “Not what I expected”, and “How Lifelike.” 

Don’t miss out on Equine Guelph’s second and final War Horse Gala:


  • Premium orchestra seating can be purchased for $100 – $140
  • A Pre-show reception with delicious appetizers will be held at 6:30 pm before the show. 
  • Attendees will be entered in a raffle to win tuition for the Equine Guelph,  12 week online Equine Welfare course (over $600 value) which begins September 2012.
  • Breyer (through Kroeger Distributing in Canada) has donated a limited number of Traditional 'Joey' model/War Horse book box sets (limited collectors' edition of 3,500) as an additional fundraiser for Equine Guelph’s evening at War Horse .  These special collector items, signed by David Mirvish himself, will be (available on a first come first serve basis) with a minimum donation of $50.  All proceeds will be directed toward the Equine Guelph-Ontario Equestrian Federation ‘War Horse’ Welfare Education Fund.
  • University of Guelph Professor of Veterinary Anatomy Dr. Jeff Thomason will be using a functional skeletal horse leg to demonstrate how horses move, and the motions that the actors inside of Joey and Topthorn must learn to perform.

Support Equine Welfare through Education and experience the enchanting War Horse theatrical experience at the Princess of Wales Theatre.   Tickets for the May 10th Gala can be purchased by cheque only through Equine Guelph.  Contact Jackie Bellamy 519-824-4120 ext 54205 or jbellamy@uoguelph.ca for your opportunity to be a part of this very special evening.



entertainment | general | horse art

Chute Jumping Clinic

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   March 28, 2012 07:21


Please contact me to register for this chute jumping clinic held at Maple Leaf Meadows April 21-22nd.           


The objective 

  • Prep for the Free Jumping Challenge in Olds the following weekend
  • Sale videos
  • Educate riders how to properly free jump horses and stradgies how to best show horses performance through the chute
  • Educate riders on the benefits of free jumping young and schooled horses
  • Develop an eye how to comment on horses technique through the chute
  • Promote local sale horses and stallions
  • Or just come and show off!!

If numbers are high we may run horses through in groups of 3 at a time.  One benefit of this is you will be able to watch and listen to Daytons comments on each horse.


It is mandatory to pay for this clinic before you come.  Space is limited.  Contact me to register. Cost is 60$ per horse per day.  www.Horseclinic.ca

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clinic | competition | general | jumping | symposium | workshop

Alixa Sutton Workshop

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   March 24, 2012 14:43


Just a reminder about the workshop with Alixa Sutton next weekend.  Auditors welcome and I still have a couple spots left if any one would like to participate. 


Audit is 25$ a day


Check out her website at www.alixaequestrian.com, this is her bio.  You can also read testimonials on her site.



Alixa Sutton is a flexibility expert with over 10 years of experience working with all different types of athletes from all over the world, including equestrians, horses, artistic gymnasts, rhythmic gymnasts, dancers, cheerleaders, synchronized swimmers, contortionists, ice skaters, horse vaulters, circus acrobats, sports acro, aerobic fitness, and divers.


Alixa has worked for Cirque du Soleil on "Kooza" as a choreographer, trainer and creator, and on Cavalia as a flexibility expert and Equestrian Performer in their new show "Odysseo". In Cavalia, Alixa performed in Dressage, Jumping, Roman riding, Horseback Princess, and Liberty. She has over 20 years of riding & training experience working with all types of horses & disciplines. Alixa also performs as a Swinging Trapeze Solo Artist, and is the creator of the "Mystic Pixies". The first US kids Contortion troupe.


Now Alixa travels all over the world giving workshops and lectures on flexibility. She has given seminars or workshops for the USA National Gymnastics Congress, Alberta Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation, BC Synchronized Swimming Association, Ontario Gymnastics Coaching Congress, Alberta Tumbling & Trampoline Association, US World Championship Vaulting Team, L'Ecole National du Cirque, USA National Rhythmic Team, SF Ballet members, American Youth Circus Organization, and hundreds of individual facilities & clubs.

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clinic | entertainment | general | jumping

Interested in Developing an Equine Specialty? Here’s Your Chance

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   March 22, 2012 06:45

Guelph, Ontario – March 9, 2012 - Imagine being able to take those skills you’ve learned as a veterinary technician and build upon them further with a specialty in horses. The University of Guelph has unveiled its new Equine Veterinary Technician Certificate, which will offer a unique, hands-on educational opportunity to provide equine-specific academic and skill development for Veterinary Technicians in the form of online and face-to-face practicum courses.


Designed to stimulate intellectual curiosity and build upon the student’s passion for horses, this professional development program will assist students in acquiring the knowledge and skills to launch a productive career in the equine industry, including those with an interest in working in an equine hospital, large animal veterinary practice, rescue hospital, racetrack or horse breeding facility. Motivated students can complete the Equine Veterinary Technician Certificate in just one year.


"The Equine Veterinary Technician Certificate will provide technicians who have an interest in horses with additional equine-specific skills and knowledge,” said Dr. Irene Moore, Associate Director (Academic) of the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus. “This is anticipated to provide them with enhanced job opportunities in the equine industry."


Offered through the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus, Equine Guelph, and the Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support, the Equine Veterinary Technician Certificate consists of 12-week online courses including Advanced Equine Behaviour, Advanced Equine Functional Anatomy, and Advanced Equine Health through Nutrition.  Students will also receive hands-on, practical knowledge through face-to-face intensive courses in Equine Reproduction, Equine Critical Care, and Equine Dentistry.


However, the online portion of this program is not just restricted to veterinary technicians; this learning opportunity would also be suitable to students who have an interest in bettering their knowledge when it comes to equine health, behaviour and functional anatomy.

Courses start in May 2012 beginning with Advanced Equine Functional Anatomy with instructor Dr. Jeff Thomason, a University of Guelph (Biomedical Sciences) Anatomy professor. This course will build on students’ experiences with horses and explore current research and evidence-based practice pertaining to anatomy.


For more information or to apply for the Equine Veterinary Technician Certificate, please contact the Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support at info@coles.uoguelph.ca, call 519-767-5000 or visit www.equinestudiesdiploma.com.


About The Centre of Open Learning and Educational Support

The Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support provides expertise and leadership to the University of Guelph community and our partners in the following: the scholarship and practice of teaching, technology-enhanced education, open learning and professional development. We provide support for teaching and learning that is evidence-based, responsive, developmental, and based on best practices.

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clinic | disease | employment | general

United States Hunter Jumper Association Joins Unwanted Horse Coalition

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   March 15, 2012 16:03



Washington, DC – March 15, 2012. The United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) has joined the Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC).


"Supporting the mission of UHC is totally in line with the USHJA’s mission of which a major component is protecting the well being of our participants both human and equine and offering broad based education for our members.  We want to do all we can to help ensure that these generous animals have the responsible care that they deserve from all of us," said Shelby French, CEO of the USHJA.


The USHJA, which is the nationally recognized affiliate for the hunter and jumper riding disciplines, promotes the equestrian sport and the well being of its participants. The USHJA offers broad based education for its members and provides the framework for the conduct of the hunter/jumper sport.


“The UHC looks forward to working with the USHJA to educate our industry about the welfare of horses. The UHSJA offers so many wonderful programs and educational seminars, it is truly a pleasure to work with an organization that has a similar mission,” said Ericka Caslin, UHC Director. “The USHJA offers equine retirement listings, as well as owner resources. Their welfare committee is dedicated to improving the well-being of our nation’s equines.”


The Unwanted Horse Coalition is a broad alliance of equine organizations that have joined together under the umbrella of the American Horse Council. The Coalition’s mission is to reduce the number of unwanted horses and to improve their welfare through education and the efforts of organizations committed to the health, safety, and responsible care and disposition of these horses.  


For more information about joining the UHC or unwanted horses, please visit the UHC website at www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org or contact Ericka Caslin at ecaslin@horsecouncil.org.




The Unwanted Horse Coalition

The mission of the Unwanted Horse Coalition is to reduce the number of unwanted horses and improve their welfare through education and the efforts of organizations committed to the health, safety and responsible care and disposition of these horses. The UHC grew out of the Unwanted Horse Summit, which was organized by the American Association of Equine Practitioners and held in conjunction with the American Horse Council’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in April 2005. The summit was held to bring key stakeholders together to start a dialogue on the unwanted horse in America. Its purpose was to develop consensus on the most effective way to work together to address the issue. In June 2006, the UHC was folded into the AHC and now operates under its auspices.





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clinic | competition | jumping | workshop

Yes You Can….Learn to Make a Difference With Horses

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   March 15, 2012 07:42

Guelph, Ontario – March 9, 2012 - The University of Guelph’s award winning continuing education program has unveiled their new Equine Welfare Certificate which will offer students the opportunity to explore animal welfare issues in the horse industry both locally and globally.


Made up of six online courses, this program has been designed to engage students who have a passion for making a better world for our equines, and will examine the biological and emotional factors that affect a horse’s quality of life. Course content will include housing, management practices and procedures that can affect the well being of horses.


"It is extremely important that everyone who owns or works with horses understands not only the complex issues, but also the common practices in daily care and management that can affect the welfare of horses,” explains Tina Widowski, Director of the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare. “Through our partnership with Equine Guelph, we are able to combine top expertise in both equine science and animal welfare science to deliver a practical and well-rounded program in Equine Welfare."


Offered by the Campbell Centre, Equine Guelph, and the Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support, the Equine Welfare Certificate core courses include Equine Welfare, Advanced Equine Behaviour, Advanced Equine Health through Nutrition, and Global Perspectives in Animal and Equine Welfare, as well as two elective courses including Health and Disease Prevention, The Equine Industry, Equine Nutrition, and Advanced Equine Anatomy.


The Equine Welfare and Advanced Equine Behaviour courses will be offered during the fall semester beginning September 10, 2012; however, the required pre-requisite courses for this certificate are currently available for registration, with courses starting in May 2012.

While acknowledging that most only want the best for their beloved equines, many horse lovers yearn for the chance to better understand why horses do the things they do and recognize situations that may compromise horse welfare. “This program has been designed to provide students with the tools to become familiar with negative emotional states and recognize how welfare can be objectively assessed in the horse to improve its overall health,” says Gayle Ecker, Director of Equine Guelph.


For more information, please contact the Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support at info@coles.uoguelph.ca, call 519-767-5000 or visit www.EquineWelfareCertificate.com.


About The Centre of Open Learning and Educational Support

The Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support provides expertise and leadership to the University of Guelph community and our partners in the following: the scholarship and practice of teaching, technology-enhanced education, open learning and professional development. We provide support for teaching and learning that is evidence-based, responsive, developmental, and based on best practices.


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clinic | competition | disease | employment | general | workshop

"Possible" EHV-1 Case in Saskatchewan

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   March 14, 2012 18:41

March 14, 2012

"In the news at CPVS" Dr. Domoslai, DVM euthanized a horse in the Saskatoon and district area last week. 

Injury and rabies have been ruled out as causes for the horse becoming progressively recumbent.

EHV-1 neurological herpeshas not been positively identified at this time, however the case is being investigated.

The farm is currently under quarantine.

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disease | general