Page 1

Cowboy Mounted Shooting

Hoosier Horse Park October 2017 Download and View FREE on-line at • October 2017 • HORSES MAGAZINE • 1

Publisher Jim Hargrove Editor John Hawfield Advertising Sales Manager Colt Williams

Horses Magazine

Design: Silver Buckle Services (c) 2014 Horse Grooming Solutions, LLC

• Horses Magazine has no liability for content, representations in advertisements, and articles may not express the opinion of the editors/publishers/owners. It is the buyer’s sole responsibility to clarify any and all advertising representations. We cannot be held responsible for any representations concerning a horse’s health, eye status, disposition, gait or any other aspect of the horse. Any burden of proof rests solely on the advertisers. • Horses Magazine reserves the right to edit or refuse any advertising or articles submitted for publication. We do not assume any liability for errors, but will correct it in next issue or a credit will be negotiated. Designs by Horses Magazine are the property of Horses Magazine. • Articles, editorials opinions in Horses Magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff of Horses Magzine or the publishers. • Address changes must be sent in 6 weeks in advance, magazines are not forwarded by the U.S. Post Office. • Copyright 2017 by Jim Hargrove Creative, Inc. All or part of Horses Magazine, including logos, cannot be reprinted without permission. • Horses Magazine is published twelve times a year by Jim Hargrove Creative, Inc., 2730 Lansing Rd., Bancroft, MI 48414

Makin’ it Easy to Clean Up Your Act!

2730 Lansing Rd. • Bancroft, MI 48414

Call 810-965-0590

2 • HORSES MAGAZINE • October 2017 • Download and View FREE on-line at

The Brands You Know & Love

Always at Your Favorite Tack & Feed Store

Download and View FREE on-line at • October 2017 • HORSES MAGAZINE • 3

Richard Winters Come see this fantastic farm setting!

16109 Houk Road, Hoagland, IN This beautiful home sits on over 10 acres of land with 2 fenced in pastures and an open field. This unique property has numerable features and updates. Enter the front door and you’re greeted with an open foyer to the living room, which opens to a wonderfully updated kitchen with solid surface Corian countertops, breakfast bar, & newer light fixtures. The kitchen utilizes its open concept with the an eating area/ breakfast nook. From here, you can either continue to the master bedroom or enter the 4-season sunroom off the back. The large master bedroom is on the main floor, with en suite hosting dual vanities & two separate closets leaving ample room for storage and convenience. This home boasts two large bedrooms upstairs with a full bath & loft space. The full basement is partially finished for extra living space as well as built in storage shelves. Outside the home is a large deck with above ground pool for those hot summer days & the stunning view out back lets you know you’re in the heart of Hoosier Country. The barn has multiple horse stalls with a central water source. The barn also has walk-up stairs to the hay loft. Home updates: roof in 2013, 4-season room in 2013, windows and shades in 2015, exterior doors in 2016, water softener in 2017, newer carpet on main level. With these updates and spectacular setting, this makes for a truly unique and beautiful property!)

Making A Cow Horse Turn Working and handling cattle with your horse is exciting, fun and challenging. Many riders enjoy cutting, reined cow horses, sorting, penning or simply working cattle out on the ranch. Regardless of the particular activity, your horse needs to make a particular cow horse move when turning with the cow in order to be effective. Let’s talk about the particular elements of the cow horse turn that you and your equine partner need to know. 1. You’ve got to stop before you turn.

Joel M Griebel 260-580-7614

One of the most common mistakes that a novice horse and rider make is not stopping before they turn. If you are moving across the pen parallel to the cow and suddenly the cow switches directions,

4 • HORSES MAGAZINE • October 2017 • Download and View FREE on-line at

your horse must first stop before doing anything else. If you fail to stop, your horse will make a big swinging turn with his whole body like a motorboat out on the lake. Your horse will not be using his hind end and will no doubt be late when coming back to the cow. At this point, the rider is actually pointed towards the cows’ rear end and is driving the cow farther away rather than being in the proper position to hold and stop the cow. This is why it is important to create scenarios for a green horse that will give him time to think through the process and position his body correctly. It’s been my experience that Saturday morning at the local team penning is not the ideal place to teach this maneuver! Trainers who want to teach their horses correctly spend a lot of time in a square

or round pan with a single cow where they can take a lot of time and not over pressurize the situation. A mechanical cow or “flag” is also ideal to teach your horse the footwork, cadence and muscle memory necessary for a proper cow horse turn. Without the variable of an unpredictable cow this can really support your horse and accelerate the learning process. 2. Draw back. To properly teach a cow horse turn, a horse needs to “load up” on his hind end before the turn. This is accomplished by backing the horse up a few steps before initiating the turn. This is similar to compressing a steel spring so that it can then expand and release its energy when released. When you back your horse properly, you’re compressing his body and putting energy on his

hind end. He is then in a position to push off when executing the turn. By drawing back before you turn will help your horse get off his front end. This is also a good opportunity to make sure that he is soft in his face and is not pulling on you during the stop. As your horse progresses you will not necessarily back up every time you stop with the cow. However through much repetition, your horse will have the muscle memory to rock back on his hind end and turn in one fluid movement. 3. Cue sequence. After you have stopped and backed up, it is time to turn with the cow. I cue for the turn in a particular sequence. First I give my horse a direct rein. Then I use my outside rein as a support along his neck. Immediately following, I use my outside

Download and View FREE on-line at • October 2017 • HORSES MAGAZINE • 5

I’m not coming out

until you get me a

what are you

waiting for!

6 • HORSES MAGAZINE • October 2017 • Download and View FREE on-line at

leg. Direct rein, neck rein and outside leg, in that order. If I am turning to the left, I want to be sure I can see the corner of my horse’s left eye. Coming in with too much neck rein too soon could cause my horse to tip his nose away from the turn. Then my horse would not have the proper body posture to come through himself and make a good turn. I also want to make sure I have my inside leg away from my horse so I am not blocking the direction that I want to go. Here are two ways that you can practice the elements of a cow horse turn on any horse. Even without the availability of cattle. 1. Walk your horse down a fence line and then ask your horse to stop and back up. Make sure that your horse is soft in the face and backing up readily. Then open up your direction rein and ask your horse to turn toward the fence and walk off the other way. Remember, the cue is still direct rein, neck rein and outside leg. The fence will actually help your horse stay back on his hindquarters as he comes through the turn. As you and your horse become more competent and comfortable with this exercise, you can pick up the pace and do it at the trot as well. 2. You and a friend can also practice together on horseback. Walk parallel to each other down through the arena. You should be stirrup-to-stirrup and about ten feet apart. You want to be a mirror image of each other. Simultaneously stop your horse and back up. Remember to always work on the quality of the stop and back up. You want to keep your horse straight and soft. Now execute a turn toward each other and walk off the other way. You are now again parallel to each other again and traveling in the opposite direction. This particular exercise also gives your horse a frame of reference similar to a cow. Your horse is not only following your direction but is beginning to read the other horse and responding accordingly. You can also increase the speed of this exercise, as you and your horse get more comfortable. However, remember; slow and right always beats fast and wrong! There’s no substitute for spending time with your horse on cattle. However, the preceding exercises will better prepare you and your horse for the time when you step into the pen with a live cow.

Download and View FREE on-line at • October 2017 • HORSES MAGAZINE • 7

Lynn Palm

Reading Your Horse Before we start training outside the box (a confined area), it is important to recognize and learn how to read the horse to tell if he has inner energy and playfulness that needs to be released through forced exercise like longeing. Many riders do not realize that any healthy, fit horse has some level of inner energy that must be released before he can concentrate on the task the rider will be asking him to do. The level of inner energy can vary among horses, but is always there. It may be present in a healthier dose in higher strung or sensitive horses. Most riders will also face another issue when training outside the box. Their horses may be overly sensitive and more high-strung than usual when taken into new surroundings. Riders tend to expect that the horse will work and perform in new surroundings in the same way as he does at home. They do not realize that a horse will nearly always be different in a new and different environment. This is especially true of horses that are not ‘seasoned’ - - those who have not become experienced in going different places and traveling many miles over many years.

Probably one of the hardest, but most important, things to learn is how to read a horse to know if he has inner energy that should be released or is calm and ready for schooling. One of the most obvious signs of inner energy are his ears moving very fast and his head moving side to side. Under saddle the ears and head are an easy indicator to observe because they are right in front of the rider! We can see tension or relaxation of the horse’s mouth while on the ground or hear him be nervous under saddle with noises like grinding his teeth. Relaxed and soft eyes indicate acceptance, while bulging eyes show alarm. His breathing is an important indicator, especially when riding outside. A horse will always try to smell with big breaths if he is unsure or afraid, before he spooks. His skin, whether it is relaxed or tensed tight and twitching like there is a fly on it, communicates his mood. Also, another very obvious indicator of alarm in your horse is his tail. If the horse is wringing or switching the tail, he is irritated or frustrated. While doing a forced exercise, like longeing, a horse will tell you if he is playful and has inner energy to release through these common

8 • HORSES MAGAZINE • October 2017 • Download and View FREE on-line at

signs: (1) shaking his head, like he is saying “no”, (2) flicking his ears with tight or tense muscles in his neck and body, (3) drastic loss of attention, and (4) wanting to run, buck, kick up heels, or kick at you. If the horse is communicating with one or any of these actions, it is important to work him to release his energy, instead of trying to calm him down. Working him means making the horse go forward, but not running like a maniac. While longeing, if he starts to run out of control, put both hands on the longe line, lean back and use a checking pull, instead of a constant pull, to bring him back to a controlled speed and keep his head to the inside. Get him to exercise at the trot, then walk, back to the trot, then back to canter. Trot should be a square trot, not a jog. Do not let your horse cross-canter (left lead in front, right lead behind). If he does, bring him back to trot, balance and get organized, then go back to canter.

Let the forward motion help you evaluate his level of inner energy. When the horse begins releasing it, his stride will become smoother. The tenseness in his body will relax. His tail will relax and swing with his gait. His nostrils will flare and the veins in his neck will pop out, even in cool spring weather. These are signs that inner energy is releasing. His head, eyes, and ears will lose their tenseness or quick movement. When one ear cocks toward you, his concentration is coming back to you. He will begin to respond quicker to commands. When you think his inner energy is released, test him by stomping your feet or clap your hands while he is longeing. If he shows any of the four signs of inner energy, he needs more work to get it out before schooling. Your Next Step… If your horse’s past reactions or behavior while schooling outside the box surprised or concerned you, prepare to deal with them by bringing longeing gear along on the next ride. Attach the longe line to the saddle, leave the halter on the horse, stick a shorter 3-foot longe whip in the back of your pants or some other place where it will be safe and easy to carry. As soon as the horse shows signs of nervousness, or becoming high strung or distracted, get off, control him on the ground, and longe him when you can find a safe place on the trail. Lead him to an open area where he can be worked. Don’t worry that getting off will cause him to repeat a misbehavior just to get you off his back. This will not happen if the rider has a plan to take this action. However, if the rider jumps off in fright or worry, the horse will sense it. This will reinforce to the horse that misbehaving will intimidate the rider. Remember, a horse knows what we are thinking. We are all afraid of falling off; it is a natural reaction. Get the horse’s inner energy out first. If you are worried or frightened in the saddle, get on the ground and take charge of the horse. Riding with a friend on a very seasoned horse will help your ‘green’ horse on the trails. It will make schooling outside the box safer and more fun for you and your horse. Lynn’s Training Tip… Are your longeing sessions going around in circles? My Longevity Training Tape #5 - “The Art of Longeing” will teach you how to use longeing to improve a horse’s body position and balance, exercise through different speeds and gaits, condition him, and evaluate his readiness for riding or training. If you are planning on training “outside the box” (a confined area) or out on the trails, longeing is one of the best ways I know to help the horse to release his inner energy so he can safely concentrate on the lesson. Learn more about “The Art of Longeing” and other Palm Partnership Training™ educational products, services, and equestrian schools at

Download and View FREE on-line at • October 2017 • HORSES MAGAZINE • 9

Do You Have A Question?

Equine Law Topics Dog Bite Liability What Horse Owners and Stables Should Know Horse owners are often dog owners. While horse owners may concern themselves with liabilities associated with horse ownership, they may lose sight of liabilities associated with their dogs. Dog bites can cause serious injuries, and litigation can follow. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Dog bites and dog-related injuries generally accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid last year, according to the Insurance Information Institute. This article discusses dog bite liabilities along with suggestions for avoiding legal disputes. Dog Bite Strict Liability Laws Most states have abolished the traditional “one-bite rule” (where dog bite liability required proof that the dog had a propensity for viciousness of which the owner or keeper was aware) and have enacted dog bite statutes. These statutes impose some form of strict liability on owners or keepers of dogs. Although statutes differ, they typically provide for the following:

The animal owner (and sometimes, depending on the law, the animal keeper) is strictly liable for injuries inflicted by the dog without regard to whether the dog showed vicious propensities in the past. The injured person must not have been a trespasser and, instead, must have been injured in the location where he or she was lawfully permitted to be. If the injured person provoked the animal, he or she cannot recover. Defenses Defense of Provocation Lawsuits involving dog bites and dog-inflicted injuries, particularly in states with strict liability laws, often focus on the defense of provocation. Courts have disagreed on what qualifies as provocation. In one case, a court dismissed a case based on a finding that the plaintiff (the one who was injured) provoked the dog by unintentionally stepping on its foot. Yet, in another case, a court held that a jury needed to decide the issue of provocation where evidence showed that the plaintiff, a child, stepped on a dog’s tail immediately before being bitten. In an interesting case, dogs trespassed onto the plaintiff’s property and were about to attack the plaintiff’s cats. As the plaintiff kicked and pulled on the dogs while trying to protect her cats, one of the dogs bit her. The court ruled that she did not “provoke” the dogs, and her case could continue, because as the dogs were already in a “provoked state” at the time, and she did not cause the provocation before the bite. Trespass By definition, a “trespasser” is someone who enters another’s property unlawfully. In dog bite cases, issues sometimes focus on whether the plaintiff had “implied permission” to enter the dog owner’s property under the circumstances and was not a trespasser. In one case, the plaintiff, a child, placed her hand through a fence in an effort to pet a neighbor’s dog but was bitten; the court ruled that she was trespassing, and her case was properly dismissed.

10 • HORSES MAGAZINE • October 2017 • Download and View FREE on-line at

Comparative Fault of the Person Bitten Usually in states without dog bite statutes, comparative fault of the injured person (such as contributory negligence or comparative negligence, depending on state law) is a defense to a dog bite case. A small number of states with strict liability dog bite statutes allow dog owners to raise this defense. Avoiding Liability Among the many options available to avoid liability, here a few ideas: Insurance. Certainly, liability insurance cannot prevent injuries, but proper coverage can protect you against financial consequences that may occur. Make sure you are properly insured for the consequences of a dog-inflicted injury claim or suit that could be brought against you. Also, make sure that your insurance coverage contains no exclusions for dogs in general or for a particular breed of dogs that you own or keep. Read your insurance policy carefully and/or discuss your coverage with your insurance agent or lawyer. Secure your dogs. Keep them under control. Follow ordinances and leash laws. Evaluate possible aggression. If you believe your dog has shown aggressive behavior, consider consulting with professionals, such as your veterinarian or a dog trainer, to evaluate this further, and take caution before allowing others to approach, handle, or keep your dog.

Julie Fershtman is one of the nation’s most experienced Equine Law practitioners. A Shareholder with the firm Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC, based in Michigan, she has successfully tried equine cases before juries in 4 states.  She has also drafted hundreds of equine industry contracts. She is a Fellow and officer of the American College of Equine Attorneys.  Her speaking engagements on Equine Law span 28 states, and she is the author of three books on equine law issues. For more information, please visit www.,,  and

This article does not constitute legal advice. When questions arise based on specific situations, direct them to a knowledgeable attorney.

Download and View FREE on-line at • October 2017 • HORSES MAGAZINE • 11

IF YOU LOVE SPORTS, YOU GOTTA HAVE ON Watch SportsCenter on ESPN With ENTERTAINMENT Package and above.


Score big with the best sports highlights, scores and news from around the sports globe with SportsCenter on ESPN.

Need to make your home game an away game? No problem. Access your favorite ESPN sports and shows, including college football anytime, anywhere with WatchESPN and the DIRECTV App.* DIRECTV APP: Content/channels/functionality varies. Data charges may apply.

Plus, with DIRECTV you’ll score:

Genie HD DVR ®

Our most advanced HD DVR

NO equipment to buy.

Advanced Receiver fees apply


worry-free signal reliability.

Based on a Nationwide Study of representative cities.

Call me, your local DIRECTV dealer. IV SUPPORT HOLDINGS LLC

877-265-8239 BASE PACKAGE OFFERS: Currently $64.99/mo. for ENTERAINMENT Package. Some offers may not be available through all channels and in select areas. DIRECTV SVC TERMS: Subject to Equipment Lease & Customer Agreements. Must maintain a min. base TV pkg of $29.99/mo. Add’l Fees & Terms: Advanced Receiver fee ($15/mo.) req’d for HD DVRs. TiVo sevice fee ($5/mo.) req’d for TiVo HD DVR from DIRECTV. There is a fee of $7/mo. for each receiver and/or Genie Mini/DIRECTV Ready TV/Device on your account. $19.95 Handling & Delivery fee may apply. Taxes not included. Programming, pricing, terms and conditions subject to change at any time. Visit or call for details. *Live streaming and Video On Demand channels may vary by TV package, viewing location and device. Additional charges may apply for new releases. Out-of-home viewing requires High-Speed Internet connection. Additional features/channels may be available for in-home live streaming when connected to an HD DVR with high-speed data connection. All functions and programming subject to change at any time. Visit for a list of compatible devices (sold separately) and details. ©2017 AT&T Intellectual Property. All Rights Reserved. AT&T, Globe logo, DIRECTV, and all other DIRECTV marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property an d/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

12 • HORSES MAGAZINE • October 2017 • Download and View FREE on-line at

Cowboy Mounted Shooting Hoosier Horse Park October 2017

Download Download and and View View FREE FREE on-line on-line atat •• October August 2017 • HORSES MAGAZINE • 13

1414 •• HORSES HORSES MAGAZINE MAGAZINE •• October October 2017 2017 •• Download Download and and View View FREE FREE on-line on-line atat

Cowboy Mounted Shooting

Hoosier Horse Park October 2017

Download and View FREE on-line at • October 2017 • HORSES MAGAZINE • 15


Around the world, horse arenas and tracks trust the performance and safety of advanced GGT Footing and the dependable quality of custom-blended Fairmount Santrol sands. It’s been that way for over 15 years, most recently in the footings for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games at Kentucky Horse Park. Now these top-quality footings and additives are united under the Fairmount Santrol Sports + Recreation banner… promising you service and support as solid as the

To find out more, visit

products themselves.

16 • HORSES MAGAZINE • October 2017 • Download and View FREE on-line at



& SOME ARE LED For over 25 years, Triple Crown has led the horse feed industry in innovation and nutritional superiority. Throughout

that time, our competitors have struggled to keep up. So while we’ve always understood the immense health benefits of prebiotics and other nutrients, those same competitors are just now figuring it out. Don’t believe us? Try our nutrient comparison tool to see who’s in the lead, and who’s following.

Visit TRIPLECROWNFEED.COM/COMPARE and discover the countless advantages of Triple Crown feeds today.

Download and View FREE on-line at • October 2017 • HORSES MAGAZINE • 17

It’s Not a Race! How to slow a speed demon down Dealing with a horse that tries to race ahead of others is not only frustrating, but tiring. The first step to fixing your horse’s speed demon tendencies is to understand why he feels the need to get ahead of the other horses. Horses, just like all prey animals, feel the safest in a herd. Prey animals rely on the safety in numbers concept – the more bodies there are the greater chance they have of surviving. And your horse knows that he can double his chances of survival if he’s at the front of the herd. When predators attack, they go after the slowest horses. No one wants to be the last horse trailing the group because he’s the lions’ first meal. While no amount of training can completely wipe away your horse’s prey animal tendencies, you can teach him to use the thinking side of his brain, relax and trust you when he feels threatened. What Not To Do The biggest mistake you can make with a horse that’s using the reactive side of his brain and trying to race ahead is to pull back on the reins and say, “Don’t race!” It’d be like pulling back on a race horse; the more you say, “Don’t go! Don’t go!” the more he’s going to want to go and the faster and faster he’ll get. Instead, whenever you run into trouble with your horse and he overreacts, always use one rein to regain control. That could mean doing a One Rein Stop or using one rein at a time to move the horse’s feet by bending him in circles or serpentines, doing rollbacks, etc. When you pull on two reins, it’s easy for the horse to get leverage by lifting his head and neck up and pushing against the rein pressure. With just one rein, you can make the horse bend his head and neck laterally, causing him to yield his hindquarters. By disengaging his hindquarters, you can stop his forward motion or redirect his energy in circles or in a series of serpentines. Fix the Problem at Home

If you know your horse has a tendency to turn a leisurely trail ride into an all-out race, then set the situation up at home so you can safely correct him before taking him out on the trail. Horses that grab the bit and charge ahead of the group are not only dangerous to themselves, but everyone else on the trail. A Test of Control Find a controlled environment like an arena or a large pasture and enlist the help of a friend on horseback. Start at the walk and ride side by side, about 15 feet apart. Keep both horses on a loose rein and dare them to race ahead. If at any time either horse speeds up, immediately pick up on one rein and turn the horses toward one another and head back the other way. When you turn your horse, do so with urgency so that he has to hustle his feet. If you just let him turn lazily, he’s not going to connect racing ahead with stopping his forward motion and having to redirect his energy. When you’re headed in the new direction, be sure to put the horse back on a loose rein and dare him to make a mistake again. In order for the horse to learn, he has to commit to the mistake. If you try to babysit him and keep him from speeding up, he’ll never get any better and you’ll always have to watch over him. With repetition, the horse will realize that when another horse comes up beside him, it’s not a race, and he better keep his attention on you because at any second you might change directions and go back the other way. And if he does speed up, he’ll quickly realize that it doesn’t matter because you’ll make him turn and go the other way. The hotter and more nervous your horse is, the shorter the distance will be between turns initially. Eventually, he’ll be able to walk next to the other horse on a loose rein without ever speeding up. Practice the same steps at the trot and then the canter. It shouldn’t matter what gait the horse is in, he should remain at the speed you set him at and not race ahead. Take it a Step Further Walk your horse forward on a loose rein

and have your friend approach from behind on their horse and pass you at the trot. If your horse tries to race and catch up, pick up on one rein and bend him in a circle in one direction and then the other to get control of his feet. When he’s calm and has his attention on you, then walk him ahead on a loose rein and dare him to make a mistake as your friend approaches again. Once your horse will walk calmly while the other horse passes at a trot, do the same exercise while the other horse canters past. Don’t be surprised if your horse was fine with the other horse trotting but gets excitable and tries to speed up when the other horse canters past. Anytime he speeds up, bend him around to redirect his energy. Soon, your horse

18 • HORSES MAGAZINE • October 2017 • Download and View FREE on-line at

won’t care if another horse passes him because he knows that if he speeds up, it just means more work. Riding in a Group When your horse remains calm riding with one other horse, test him with a group of horses. Keep in mind that while your horse may have been calm riding with just one other horse, oftentimes the more horses you get together, the more the tendency to speed up occurs. Get a group of four or five other riders together and ride out in an open area in a single file with plenty of space between each horse. Keep your horse at the back of the group on a loose rein and dare him to race ahead. As soon as he starts

to speed up, trot or canter him to the front of the group, weaving in and out of the other horses. When you reach the front, circle him around the first horse a few times, really hustling his feet. Then weave in and out of the other horses all the way to the back of the group. Once you’re back in position, relax to a walk and put your horse on a loose rein and dare him to speed up again. With repetition he’ll start to figure out that being in the back is far less work because every time he wants to go faster to pass the other horses, you put his feet to work. You’re also using a little bit of reverse psychology. When your horse decides he wants to race ahead, instead of pulling back on the reins

and saying, “Don’t speed up,” you’re saying, “You want to speed up? That’s great. Let’s go to the front of the group, but you’re really going to have to hustle your feet to get there, and once we get there, you’re going to have to work even harder.” Remember, horses are basically lazy creatures and the worst punishment you can give them is putting their feet to work. Be thorough and consistent in your training. Bait the horse and dare him to make a mistake. When he does, let him commit to it – and then take steps to fix it. If you follow these guidelines and practice the exercises with your horse, you’ll have him calmly moving down the trail on a loose rein.

Download and View FREE on-line at • October 2017 • HORSES MAGAZINE • 19

The Way of the Horse

Does Your Horse Eat Like a Pig? Yes! Then acorns are one porcine delicacy he should avoid. Acorns are seeds or nuts produced by oak trees. There are more than 60 varieties of oaks in the continental United States. The bark, leaves and acorns contain an acidic chemical commonly known as tannin. Tannin has a bitter taste and is an astringent (contracts tissues and draws out fluids). It can damage the liver and kidneys of horses. Tannin also interferes with the utilization of protein. All plants contain some level of tannin. Oaks contain high levels. Within the family of oaks, red or black oak varieties contain the most tannin; white oak varieties contain the least. Buds and early spring leaves have a higher concentration of tan-

nin than mature leaves. Green acorns have a higher concentration than ripe acorns. Live Oak Acorns Squirrels, birds and deer eat acorns with no apparent problems. These free roaming species search out the less bitter tasting acorn varieties (less bitter means a lower tannin level). Stored and ripe acorns that have been soaked due to rain will also be lower in tannin. Tannin is water soluble and leaches out. It is important to note these animals have access to other foods which will help buffer and dilute the tannin. Poisoning due to the ingestion of acorns is rare in horses which have access to plenty of good quality forage. An occasional acorn throughout the day should not harm a healthy horse with a digestive system full

20 • HORSES MAGAZINE • October 2017 • Download and View FREE on-line at

of long-stem fiber. The ingestion of buds and spring leaves should be avoided. Make sure low hanging or broken branches are removed before they can be eaten. Providing plenty of forage will help deter horses from eating these forbidden windfalls. Occasionally a horse will develop a taste for acorns. Such an individual would rather eat acorns than good quality forage. If your horse is one of these fanatics you will have to remove the horse from the pasture which contains the forbidden nut. The signs of acorn poisoning can be: loss of appetite, excessive salivation and blood in the urine or manure, colic-like pain, slow or irregular heart-rate, elevated temperature, pale mucous membranes, watery eyes and a depressed attitude. In

the early stages manure is hard and dark in color; the horse may be constipated. Often, in the later stage, the manure changes to diarrhea. Mouth ulcers may form; salvia may escape from the nose. In extreme cases liver and kidney failure ensues and other organs begin to hemorrhage. Some poisoned horses may develop laminitis.

the hoof wall and coffin bone begins to die. If the inflammation is prolonged the coffin bone will rotate downward. The rotation of the coffin bone results in a condition called founder.

In addition to the toxins created by the tannin in the acorns, there may be toxins released into the horse’s system due to the sudden introduction of a “new feed”.

If your horse develops acorn poisoning there is no antidote. The common treatment is supportive care. The affected horse must be removed from the source of the poisoning. Your veterinarian will probably give intravenous fluids to help flush out the toxins. Mineral oil and charcoal may be given to help rid the digestive system of the tannin. Hay and water is made available, which also helps dilute the poisonous material in the digestive system. Your veterinarian may also give pain killers to help

When the balanced microbial population in the large intestine is disrupted by the sudden introduction of different feeds laminitis often results. Large numbers of beneficial bacteria die and poisonous endotoxins are released into the bloodstream. Blood flow to the hoof is restricted and the connective tissue (the laminae) between

Horses that are extremely sensitive to tannin or have eaten large quantities of oak leaves, bark or acorns may die.

make your horse more comfortable. The best thing for the health of your horses and trees is to protect them from each other. Horses are hard on trees. They disturb the root system, chew the bark when bored and rub the branches. Forests or woods do not make good pasture. Fence off any trees. If the trees are providing shelter or shade erect a horse-safe structure, such as a three-sided loafing shed. There is nothing more beautiful than a majestic oak tree and a horse – they just shouldn’t be in the same picture. * You can get a Bachelor of Science degree in equine studies or certification as a Professional Horse Trainer or Riding Instructor online. Visit for information.

Download and View FREE on-line at • October 2017 • HORSES MAGAZINE • 21

Awesome New Service!

Make A Difference and Get an Awesome Shirt! Horse Rescue Shirt Club was formed in 2015 by Lisa Fisher after coming to the realization that many of her friends and family members had no idea of the scope of Horse Slaughter in America. She began looking for a unique way to Raise Awareness of the issue as well as bring recognition to the many Rescues who were working hard to give these Horses the life they deserve. She came up with the idea of a club that highlights a Sponsored Rescue each month. The

idea was that this would be a great way to support Rescues and raise awareness of the issues facing abandoned, abused or unwanted horses by having members wear shirts from different organizations around the country. HRSC has received many comments from members about how excited they were when people ask questions about their shirts. Each month members receive a unique t-shirt from a different Horse Rescue

22 • HORSES MAGAZINE • October 2017 • Download and View FREE on-line at

along with a Collectable Postcard sharing the story of the work the Rescue is doing to help horses within their community. The postcard gives an overview of the facility including their website and where to get more information if our members are interested in volunteering or donating. Horse Rescue Shirt Club also makes a donation to the Sponsored Rescue to assist them with their mission.

Download and View FREE on-line at • October 2017 • HORSES MAGAZINE • 23

24 • HORSES MAGAZINE • October 2017 • Download and View FREE on-line at

October 2017 Horses Magazine  

October 2017 Horses Magazine