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The Horsemen’s Corral Magazine serves the horse industry in OH, KY, WV, PA, MI and IN with the most comprehensive source of equine marketing that includes Print, Radio, and Social Media plus nearly 100 personal appearances by our own Professional Equine Announcer. The Horsemen’s Corral is “Your One Source for the Horse”!


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by Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D.

Stress = Obesity
That’s right. Stress is keeping your horse fat. And the main source of stress for most horses? Restricting forage. The very thing most people do to try to help their horse lose weight actually causes the same stress reaction that brings about body fat retention, and all its attendant problems.
I cannot emphasize this enough. Here are the physiological facts—they are indisputable: The horse is a trickle feeder. He’s a grazing animal designed to chew all day long. His chewing produces saliva, which neutralizes the acid that’s continually flowing in his stomach. Your stomach produces acid only when you eat; your horse’s stomach produces acid constantly, even when the stomach is empty (you see where I am going with this—his stomach should never be empty!). He also needs forage flowing through his digestive tract to exercise those muscles; otherwise the muscles get flabby, which can bring on colic from a weak intestinal tract that torques and intussuscepts. Furthermore, the cecum (hindgut) contains the bacteria responsible for digesting fiber from forage. But its exit and entrance are both at the top! In order for digested material to be pushed to the top, the cecum must be full. Otherwise colic can result from material left at the bottom.
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Question: About two months ago, I purchased a 6-year-old gelding for use on the trail. He has been great on the trail when we are going straight down the trail. I notice when I turn him sharply he throws his head. I have the same bit in the bridle that the previous owner used, so I know it is a bridle he is accustomed to. Is there anything else that could be causing this behavior? Debbie C.
Answer: I would recommend that you have your horse’s teeth examined by an experienced dental veterinarian as horse’s teeth continue to grow for most of their life and dental problems may develop at any time. Until 6 years old, a horse will have deciduous and permanent teeth erupting and be shedding deciduous teeth. This means that a dental examination should be scheduled every six months to ensure if problems do develop that they can be quickly corrected or treated. From six years to 20 years most horses will need an annual dental examination. During this time they will develop sharp enamel points as well as have the potential to develop many other problems, which if identified and treated early can help the horse to lead a more pain free, comfortable life.
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Bobbie as a spectator2Congratulations to our young winners of the Corral Search and Find puzzle coloring contest. Thank you to everyone who sent in an entry, and also to the many moms, dads and club advisors for helping to get those entries in the mail. I absolutely loved seeing some of the same names for this contest that I saw for the last! I added the second and third place prizes because with so many entries I just had to have more than one winner. If you are wondering how we made our selections, we put all our qualifying entry names in a pot and blindly selected the first, second and third place names. If interest from our Corral youngsters continues at this pace, we are just going to have to do more contests! So look for Morning Star Kid’s page contests in 2014 and send in those entries!
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A Breath of Fresh Air

Terry Myersby Terry Myers

In my opinion, there is nothing much better than watching a good western pleasure horse go around the pen. But if you think about our western pleasure competition today, you have a lot of horses who don’t have a natural western pleasure gait. These horses are forced to put their heads down and go slow in a way that creates a contorted, forehand heavy, head bobbing, unnatural stride. Because of the modern western pleasure lope, the term ‘trope’ was born (lope in front and trot in back). Here is the good news…AQHA and several ranch horse associations such as American Ranch Horse Associate (ARHA) are trying to offer the horse public an alternative; the ranch pleasure and ranch riding classes. These classes showcase horses that have natural forward motion while being light in their feet and responsive to the bridle.
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