Animal Connections - Integrative Care, P.A.
Animal Connections Integrative Care Blog

Minnesota

Detecting Pain in our Horses

Facial expressions are commonly used to assess pain and other emotional states in humans, but can the same be said for horses?  Researchers have been trying to streamline an effective and accurate way to detect pain in horses.  Grimace scales have been designed by monitoring the appearance of facial changes from individual or a combination of muscles of the face.  These grimace scales are species-specific, and are said to be more advantageous than other methods generally used to detect pain in animals.

Saddle Fit

Saddle fit is an extremely important aspect of equine management and welfare. If a saddle is improperly fit to a horse’s back certain health concerns such as back pain and lameness can occur. The saddle should be assessed both on and off the horse as well as before, during, and after exercise.  Some saddle issues only present themselves when a horse performs a certain maneuver so it is pertinent to be thorough in your assessment.  It is also important to note that not all brands of saddles will fit all horses’ shapes, sizes, breeds, etc.

Conditioning Your Horse

It’s that time of year again.  We have emerged from the bitter cold days of winter and the warm temperatures have returned.  With the warmer weather here we are usually determined to get out and do more, and that often involves our horses.  After a more sedate approach to riding during the winter months it is important to make sure your horse is ready for the frenzy of activity that comes with summertime and show season.  
Unless you have been diligent over the winter months and have ridden your horse on a regular exercise regimen it is generally safe to say that some conditioning workouts are in order.

Grooming with Intention

How much time do you regularly spend grooming your horse?  It probably varies depending on the day, how dirty your horse is, how much time you have, etc.  On average though riders tend to spend around 10-20 minutes grooming their horse before and after riding. If you add that time up over the course of a month of daily grooming that equals 8+ hours of grooming time spent with your horse.  Why not make that quality time with your horse more productive in order to deepen your bond and create a lasting partnership?

Blankets, Blankets, Blankets

As we all know, living through Minnesota winters can be somewhat challenging due to the cold and snow (or wet as we've seen this year).  And our horses often experience more of Mother Nature’s wrath from being outside more than we are.  To keep our horses warm and dry we often bundle them up in a turnout blanket.  There are many factors, however, to consider when deciding whether to blanket your horse or not.  Certain horses under certain conditions may benefit from the additional protection that a blanket can provide.

EHV-1 Outbreak in Minnesota – Updates and Links



In recent weeks, Dr. Kyla has limited the number of barns that she travels to due to the EHV-1 outbreak, and has been using biosecurity measures to deter the spread of the disease between horses, as we mentionedhere. We've heard questions from horse owners across the state about the spread of the disease and the status of the horses that have been tested. In an effort to make it easier for you to find accurate and current information about EHV-1 in Minnesota, we've compiled some links to helpful articles, handouts, and videos on the web.

Got a Grinner? Horse Smiles on Pinterest

The winter was LONG. We are so happy it's springtime! And we think our horse friends are happy, too. We've found lots of images of "horse smiles" on Pinterest, and it got us thinking about all the wonderful client horses we know and love.

Does chiropractic with Dr. Kyla make your horse happy? 

Do your horses "smile"? 

Have you ever caught a horse mid-yawn or whinny on your camera? 

Share the love! 

Animal Connections wants to see happy horses on our Pinterest feed!

EHV-1 Outbreak in Minnesota

EHV-1 Outbreak in Minnesota affects barrel horses

EHV-1, or equine herpesvirus 1,is currently a hot topic here in Minnesota. In March 2014, several horses in Minnesota and western Wisconsin have shown neurologic signs of the disease, and some have been euthanized.  This outbreak of the disease has roots in the barrel racing scene, at a competition in Winona, MN in early March.  Cases have appeared in Hennepin, Chisago, Dakota, and Wright County in MN, as well as Burnett and Polk County in WI. Information is still emerging, but several of the horses who have been euthanized have connections to the barrel horse world.
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Recent Posts

Negative Reinforcement - Is it a Good thing or Bad?
The Slow-Feeding Movement
Detecting Pain in our Horses
Saddle Fit
Conditioning Your Horse

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