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AHC Urges Horse Community to Take Part in USDA Agricultural Census

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 10, 2013 07:25

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is preparing to conduct its 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture. Horses will be included in the Census.  Every five years, USDA conducts an agriculture census to determine the number of U.S. farms and ranches and gather vital information about U.S agriculture, including the horse community.   The census is a valuable tool to help the USDA determine land use and ownership, livestock populations, operator characteristics, production practices, farm income as well as other important information. 

“It is very important that the American horse community is properly accounted for in the upcoming Census,” said AHC president Jay Hickey.  “The information collected by the Census will influence agricultural policy for the next five years. It’s vital all farms and ranches with horses participate in the Census so the USDA has accurate information regarding the size and scope of the horse community.”

Farm or ranch owners who participated in the last Census in 2007 will automatically be mailed a survey that can be filled in and mailed back. If a farm or ranch was not part of the 2007 Census and has not received a form in the mail, the owner can go to the USDA’s census website, http://www.agcensus.usda.gov, and register. Once this form is submitted online, a survey will be mailed. Once they have received their form in the mail owners will have the option to fill out the Census online or mail back the form. 

Further information on the 2012 Census of Agriculture can be found on the USDA’s website at http://www.agcensus.usda.gov.  Farmers and ranchers should receive a Census form in the mail by early January.  Completed forms are due by February 4, 2013.
“Members of the horse community need to understand that even if they have a very small farm or ranch they still qualify to take part in the Census. If you made $1,000 from selling horses, stud fees or some other equine activity you should participate. If you made $1,000 from any combination of agricultural activity and have horses on the property you should participate and list those horses,” said Hickey. “But don’t forget to send in your form before the February 4th deadline.”

According to the USDA guidelines for the Census, a farm is any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products, including horses, were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the year.

Link to article on AHC website

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As the national association representing all segments of the horse industry in Washington, D.C., the American Horse Council works daily to represent equine interests and opportunities. The AHC promotes and protects the industry by communicating with Congress, federal agencies, the media and the industry on behalf of all horse related interests each and every day.                       
The AHC is member supported by individuals and organizations representing virtually every facet of the horse world from owners, breeders, veterinarians, farriers, breed registries and horsemen's associations to horse shows, race tracks, rodeos, commercial suppliers and state horse councils.

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Equine Education

Survey of Current Biosecurity Procedures at Breeding Farms

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   October 17, 2012 08:53

Healthy horses are the key to a sustainable equine industry. Biosecurity plays a vital role in both individual horse and herd health. To help assess current biosecurity practices and training needs at breeding farms, breeding farm owners are invited to participate in a research study being coordinated by Dr. Ulrika Gronlund Andersson and Dr. Scott Weese from the University of Guelph.  The confidential survey will take between 45 - 60 minutes to complete.
If you have any questions about this study, please contact Dr. Scott Weese of the Department of Pathobiology, University of Guelph at 519-824-4120 ext 54064 or jsweese@uoguelph.ca.
Take this survey online at:http://www.easyresearch.se/s.asp?WID=868515&Pwd=75871771

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Equine Education


posted by Horse Owner Today    |   October 17, 2012 08:47


EquiMania! has been busy this year traveling all over Ontario and the U.S, recruiting EquiManiacs keen  on learning more about horses and safety. 
Thanks to generous sponsorship from Kubota, Ontario Equestrian Federation, SSG Gloves, System Fencing, Pfizer Animal Health, ShurGain and Workplace Safety and Prevention Services;  EquiMania! continues to be a family favorite!
After being featured at many local fall fairs, EquiMania!  will bring its hugely popular interactive display to Toronto for the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair to wind up its 2012 tour.  Look for the new displays featuring "Report on Research" videos and a Colic Prevention exhibit.   And back by popular demand - EquiMania! Explorer - an interactive safety activity for kids.
Learn how to become an EquiMania! volunteer!   You could bring your whole barn to volunteer for the day - find out what we have to offer.
Contact: equimania4kids@uoguelph.ca   
Learn how to bring EquiMania! to your event in 2013.


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Equine Education


posted by Horse Owner Today    |   September 19, 2012 11:04

Equine Guelph's eWorkshop Helps You Protect Your Horse from Infectious Diseases -  "Beat the Bugs" with Biosecurity
Guelph, Ontario - Back by popular demand, Equine Guelph has announced the second offering of the Biosecurity Prevention eWorkshop from October 22 - November 4, 2012.  Equine Guelph's new eWorkshops are two-week online short courses designed for busy horse owners. They provide the latest evidence-based information available from University of Guelph and industry experts.
Take a look at Equine Guelph's Report on Research video with University of Guelph's Dr. Scott Weese outlining practical points of what a horse owner can do to reduce the chances of his or her horse catching an infectious disease such as West Nile Virus.
Dr. Weese, who also authors the "Worms and Germs" blog, says "Having a basic infection control plan in place is probably the biggest thing someone can do to reduce the risk of disease."
Weese goes on to stress, "It does not matter what you do with your horse(s), or whether you have only one horse, or a herd of 100, as an owner you should have a general idea of the measures you are going to take in order to reduce the risk of infection."
Weese has been working in the area of biosecurity and infection control for over 15 years, always looking for better ways to prevent and treat infectious diseases with a strong emphasis on prevention. He gives talks at Equine Guelph's new biosecurity workshops and two week eWorkshop.
In fact, Weese was the first speaker at Equine Guelph's "Beat the Bugs" biosecurity workshops launched last April for horse enthusiasts around the globe. He says, "Equine Guelph's biosecurity programs are great for getting people thinking in a broader context when it comes to infection control and putting into practice the easy day-to-day steps which can reduce outbreaks of disease."
The two week eWorkshop introduces practical steps that are easy to make into daily habits including:
1. Identifying risks of infectious disease in the barn and creating a practical biosecurity plan.
2. Reducing risks of disease by having and using hand washing stations, clean footwear and rules for visitors.
3. Having protocols for isolating new and returning horses. Biosecurity is just as important on the road and when visiting other venues. Disease is easily spread through equipment sharing.
The first eWorkshop was positively received:
Patty Russen, New York, USA said, "This course offered extensive information on biosecurity. I believe it to be valuable, and even essential, for any barn owner or for any horse owner/boarder that wants to protect and give their horse the best and safest conditions possible." 
"Beat the Bugs" is an awareness campaign developed by Equine Guelph with the assistance of 13 industry partners: the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation, Colorado State University, the Central Ontario Standardbred Association, 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.
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.
For more information about Equine Guelph's biosecurity programs and to view the Biosecurity Calculator please visit www.EquineGuelph.ca/biosecurity.php or contact Susan Raymond at
Equine Guelph, slraymon@uoguelph.ca.
Equine Guelph offers award-winning online education from one of the top universities in Canada - the University of Guelph.   Students benefit from insights offered by leading industry experts from across North America. Equine Guelph's online program has attracted over 1,000 students from all around the world, including every province in Canada, the United States, France, United Arab Emirates, Korea, Egypt, Australia, Austria, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Israel, Columbia, India and South Africa. Equine Guelph is known worldwide as one of the most respected online equine learning communities.
Don't miss out- on the next two-week eWorkshop October 22 - November 4, 2012. Cost is $75 + HST.
Visit http://www.equineguelph.ca/biosecurity_esessions.php for course details.

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Equine Education

Inland NW Horse Expo moves to Spring 2013

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   August 10, 2012 10:57

Why the move? We wanted the Inland NW Horse Expo to be a great value for everyone involved and we know that means offering the very best in vendors, clinicians, demonstrations and services, in premium facilities.  Moving the Expo dates will allow us to do just that on May 3rd, 4th and 5th  2013!
The location remains at the Grant County Fairgrounds, but will be in the Ardell Pavilion, a venue that offers more amenities…restrooms, food concession in the building, more power, and larger vendor accommodations.  Overall, we are excited about the move to the Ardell Pavlion.  
You will still see great clinicians this spring.  Richard Shrake the creator of Resistance free® Riding and Training methods, and Resistance Free® Certified Coach Program with have session on Dressage and Reining.  Raye Lochert teaches a more effective method of communication with the horse with his sessions on Horse Problem Solving.  Rick Brighton natural gaited horsemanship helps riders improve with session to Evaluating Gaited Horse, Horsemanship for Gait, Tack for Gaited Horses and more.  Joan Curtin focuses on the rider’s need to establish pace and balance with session on how Longeing at different levels. Chrissy Wayne who will talk about Judging.  Larry Dacy sessions on More than Shoes will provide his insights as a farrier and trainers.  David Bodin the Horse Trailer Guru will have session to make your horse trailer the best for you and your horse.  Lucia Clemetson will show expo attendees the information you need to prepare your horse for the show ring with HAPS sessions.  Mike Miller from Land O Lakes will talk Nutrition and Body Scoring.  Theses clinicians will be joined by BCHW, WSU Vet Med Equine Group and more to provide great session every hour of the expo. 
Because we will be moving dates to spring we will be able to increase the number of vendors.  Many potential vendors expressed regret that they were unable to participate this Fall.  With the new dates we can add to our current roster of great companies like Triple Crown, EquiPride & EquiLix, Hoof Grid, DMA Fencing/Bayco Finish Line, and Columbia River Tack.  We encourage everyone to support these companies now and at the Expo.
In today’s economy committing to sponsoring a new event is entrepreneurial and we look forward to these companies continued support.   Postponing the Expo until May allows us to pursue additional partnerships in our commitment to make the Inland NW Horse Expo a premier event.  The Expo would also like to express our appreciation for our great sponsors; Inland Cellular, AmeriStay, Remuda Ranch Paint Horses, Big R, Danny’s Tavern and www.HorseOwnerToday.com.
Mark your calendars for May 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2013 at the Ardell Pavilion on the Grant County Fairgrounds!  Follow our progress on our website www.inlandnwhorseexpo.com or our Facebook page as we continue to update and expand the Inland NW Horse Expo!

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Equine Education

Operation Gelding

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   July 31, 2012 12:57

Unwanted Horse Coalition’s Operation Gelding Program Closes out the Summer with Four Clinics

WASHINGTON, DC – July 31, 2012 - The Unwanted Horse Coalition’s (UHC) Operation Gelding program completed its summer schedule with four clinics between May and July. The Minnesota Horse Council, Patterson Animal Hospital, Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue, and Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue all hosted successful Operation Gelding clinics, castrating 66 stallions between the four organizations.  The UHC’s Operation Gelding program has aided in the gelding of 489 stallions to date.

The program, which was first launched in late August 2010, is designed to offer funding assistance to organizations, associations, and events that wish to conduct a public gelding clinic under the name and guidelines of Operation Gelding. An organization that has completed an Operation Gelding clinic will receive funding of $50 per horse, $1,000 maximum, to aid in the costs associated with the clinic.

On May 5th, Dr. Yalonda Burton of Patterson Animal Hospital in Stillwell, OK, was able to perform 18 gelding procedures at her veterinary clinic. This clinic marks Dr. Burton’s second time hosting an Operation Gelding clinic with the help of the UHC.

“We were able to castrate 18 equines with the help of the UHC, 2 mules and 16 horses. We had student volunteers from Oklahoma State University student chapter of AAEP as well as a veterinarian from Goldsby, OK come to participate in this event.  It was a great day and we all felt like we made an impact on our community.  We were able to castrate some horses that may not have been castrated otherwise. Although hot and tired at the end of the day, we felt as if we became part of the solution to unwanted horses.  It was a wonderful opportunity to bond with some individuals from the horse world and people with similar goals for the horse industry. We appreciate all that the UHC has done to support this effort and realize that without their support, none of this would be possible.  Thank you for the opportunity to participate,” said Dr. Burton.

“The Minnesota Horse Council (MHC) with the Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition (MHWC) castrated 22 horses with the help of 6 local equine veterinarians and 5 veterinarians and 22 students from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine,” said Dr. Tracy Turner, President of the MN Horse Council. “The clinic was held on May 19th at the Isanti Fairgrounds. This was the fourth clinic sponsored by the MHC and MHWC, which to date has castrated nearly 90 equids.”

The Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue hosted an Operation Gelding clinic in June in East Hampton Connecticut along with the help of Dr. Stacey Golub.

Natalee Cross of Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue, located in Jones, OK, conducted her first Operation Gelding clinic at the end of July. “The clinic went great!” said Cross, “We had a very successful day. We castrated 14 horses!” Ms. Cross was pleased with the outcome of their first clinic and looks forward to putting together more clinics for the horses and horse owners in her area in the future.

Ericka Caslin, UHC Director, said, “With the two year anniversary of Operation Gelding coming up at the end of the summer, we are really pleased with the success of the program thus far. It is very encouraging to see the amount of interest and participation in the program. Participating organizations have helped hundreds of horses and horse owners in need and have done a wonderful job working together to help with the issue of unwanted horses. We look forward to organizing additional clinics for the fall.”

The UHC continues to seek public support, via tax-deductible donations, to extend the program year round. Each generous donation of $50 goes entirely toward funding the gelding of a stallion.

Upcoming Operation Gelding clinics will be held in the fall in Michigan, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.

For more information about Operation Gelding, how to conduct a clinic, the schedule and location of Operation Gelding clinics, or how you can help continue this program, please contact Ericka Caslin, UHC director, at ecaslin@horsecouncil.org or 202-296-4031.

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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Equine Education