A Nod of Thanks and A Look to 2017

We want to take this moment to thank you, our readers, for another great year of support. Thank you!

Thanks to you, we defined ourselves as a premier purveyor of top quality articles concerning horse science and good horsemanship. Our features reached readers of all disciplines and in all parts of the world. We enjoyed lively discussion on controversial topics and benefited from the support of many top trainers and advocates in the country.

2016 will also be remembered for the establishment of the BestHorsePractices Summit, an exciting new conference debuting on October 8-10, 2017. It will be an innovative meeting of the minds, embracing equine research and practical horsemanship in a collaborative manner. We’re excited to have some of the best names in the horse world already committed to present at the Summit in Durango, Colorado.

Read more here.

Beginning next month, Remuda Reader subscribers will get first access to interviews and articles about BHPS presenters, before the features are available to the general public. Remuda Readers will also receive extra BHPS-related content. Stay tuned for details.

The BestHorsePractices Summit is a Colorado non profit with pending 501 (c)(3) status. To donate, head here.

Favorite Reads of 2016

We asked a few contributors for their favorite reads of 2016. Here’s what they picked:

Emily Luciano, occasional guest columnist and director of Lucky Dee Communications

Emily Thomas Luciano

Less is More

Feel Defined

Amy Skinner on Self Carriage

Amy Skinner on Guiding

WiseAssWallace on Gear

Amy Skinner, frequent guest columnist and owner of Essence Horsemanship

Wise Ass Wallace videos

Focus on Fitness articles

Amy Skinner

Katrin Silva’s feature on contact

Use Mental not Mechanical Gear

Creating Self Confidence in your Horse

Julie Kenney, Focus on Fitness guest columnist

Amy Skinner on Education versus Learning

Julie Kenney

Katrin Silva’s feature on contact

Wise Ass Wallace videos

Amy Skinner’s Drop Rotten Routines article

Amy Skinner’s Pitfalls of Training article

Dr. Steve Peters, author Evidence-Based Horsemanship and occasional guest columnist:

The Case for Cowboys

Steve Peters

Greed in Full View

Mustang Emergency and How We Got Here

Use Mental not Mechanical Gear

Another Call against Cross Ties

Creating Self Confidence in your Horse

Wise Ass Wallace

Stay in the Flow, by Shelley Appleton

Snow is NOT Water when it comes to equine hydration

Snow is not water.

Sure, it is the frozen equivalent. But when it comes to proper hydration for your equines, snow does not come close to fulfilling their needs.

“Absolutely true,” said Dr. Janelle Tirrell, of Third Coast Equine, when I mentioned that eating snow did not provide enough hydration for horses. She attributes inadequate water availability to the uptick in colic cases during the winter months. During especially cold snaps, she says colic calls to Maine farms can nearly triple.

Dr. Jeff Warren of Southwest Veterinary Service in Durango, Colorado, agrees: “Trusting in snow to provide adequate hydration is just not right. It’s our job as caretakers of livestock that we not do it that way,” he said. “I treat lots of colic because the clients’ horses are not adequately hydrated.”

Of course, horses tend to drink less during winter. But that doesn’t mean we can neglect water duty. It’s still essential. Providing salt is, too, and doing so often encourages them to drink.

Some additional Do’s and Don’t’s:

  • Do use a water heater or provide some way for horses to have 24-hour access to unfrozen water.
  • Do provide free-choice salt.
  • Don’t force salt or electrolytes on a horse who’s already dehydrated. It may exasperate the problem.
  • Do offer warm water, especially to older or more vulnerable horses. (Years ago, I offered a regular bucket of warm water to my aging mare. While she didn’t drink from the standard, barely unfrozen bucket, she would drink warm water every night as if it were a cup of hot cocoa. Helping or enabling – you be the judge.)
  • Do offer occasional bran mashes (bran mixed with lots of warm water). Or, if you are feeding grain, consider soaking it in warm water instead of giving it dry.

Dr. Warren likes to offer warm water mixed with mineral oil to horses at risk of colic. He uses a 1:1 ratio (for example, a half gallon of each). “When they’re feeling crummy, it makes them feel more comfortable.”

In the interest of keeping colic at bay, I like to encourage horse owners to decrease grain intake and increase hay intake, especially during winter months. Read more about colic here.

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