The William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute March 2014 Stable Sheet PAIN SCALE FOR HORSES? In This Issue: The Science of Staying Warm 2 ...
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The William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute

March 2014


In This Issue: The Science of Staying Warm


Feeding Free Choice Hay


Horsemanship Retreat at Miner Institute


Miner Experience; NY Farm Bureau


EquiDay at Miner Institute: Saturday, March 22


Everything Equine & Canine Equine Repro Workshop


Featured Miner Morgan: Canon



More info, page 6

We’re all familiar with the series of faces ranging from very unhappy to very happy that doctors will use to ask patients about how they’re feeling that day in regards to pain. How do we do this for horses who can’t point or tell us? As well, we all know our horses well enough to know when something isn’t right or as Dr. Betsy Boulton called it when I was a student at UNH in Equine Disease and Lameness class: “ADR” or “Ain’t Doin’ Right.” Sometimes “ADR” is all we can seem to put our fingers on when describing a horse, but at a recent visit to North Carolina State University’s Veterinary School, I saw U that they used a Behavioral Pain Scoring th System for horses that were in their care, S pparticularly ones recovering from colic ssurgery. While hopefully we’re not doing lots W oof post-surgical care in our backyards, I thought that it was a great tool to help ssystematically evaluate the horse from a pain pperspective. This method uses both passive oobservation of the horse as well as how it interacts with other horses or a handler. in

The William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute Stable Sheet

Scores are assigned such that a “0” is apparently normal and a “3” would indicate not normal. After completing the assessment, scores are added together to get a subjective pain score. Generally a horse that scores 0-2 is comfortable enough not to require additional analgesics, or pain medication. Horses with a 6 or higher are likely in need of something to attend to that pain. Certainly, it is helpful to know your own horse’s normal behavior so that you can recognize when it isn’t, similarly to knowing your own horse’s vital signs. For example, one horse’s “moves freely” around the stall in the Spontaneous Locomotion category is another’s “occasional steps.” Here at Miner, Chip, one of the stallions moves all the time in his stall (his bedding looks like it too!), but another stallion, Robbie, generally stays pretty still; their normal is different from each other and we would take that into consideration using this chart.

See PAIN, Page 3

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THE SCIENCE OF STAYING WARM Now that we are reaching the eventual end of winter, some of us feel that we have a pretty good grasp on keeping cozy in the outdoors. During the majority of these frigid days and nights, the Miner Morgans can be seen running “naked” and often with a covering of snow on their backs. However, some of us are still looking for that extra thing to make life a little more comfortable while we are trudging through snow and wind to retrieve our beloved ponies and horses from their fields. We might get a few guilty feelings when we go into our warm homes and hear that wind howling, and wonder if our horses are cold… But, rest assured! With a little bit of research and observation, the average healthy horse is thriving out there even when the temperatures fall below 0°F. A horse’s winter coat, which first begins growing in around late August as the days shorten, is its primary source of protection. The hairs will grow in of varying lengths depending on the climate the horse has been living in. When provided with enough food, water, and shelter, most horses can comfortably get through the toughest winter. The coat acts as an insulator, trapping air between the hairs to hold the warm against the skin and block cold out. The hairs stand up on end to varying degrees to increase or decrease the layer of air to suit the horse’s needs. As

dark and colder temperatures set in, it will stand up more. In the case of blanketed horses, the winter coats still grow in but differently than that of a “naked” horse. The coat under the blanket will grow in shorter, according to the climate the blanket provides. Blankets also crush the coat down flat, preventing it from creating the insulating air space. There is a bit more maintenance involved for blanketed horses, as the blanket’s insulation needs to replace the horse’s natural methods of insulation. As temperatures and wind chills decrease, the level of insulation should increase as it would for the “naked” horse. Depending on your climate, this can be achieved with perhaps one or two blankets, if your horse is stabled during the chilliest times, or swapping between two or three blankets in you have a 24/7 outdoor horse. Some other factors will play into keeping horses warm. Wind and precipitation will zap energy quicker than a calm frigid night will. Horses should have plenty of resources available to supplement heat in addition to their coats. Provide shelter to block wind and wetness, should they desire it. Increase hay to help provide the extra calories their body will need to stay warm, but even better, hay provides “afterburn” warmth! The hindgut fermentation of

the fiber in hay keeps the furnace fueled. Horses don’t need free choice hay all winter, but it is be a good idea for the 24/7 outdoor horses during the frigid times. A couple of our older horses may get a nicely insulated blanket or come in the barn for the worst nights. In general, you are safe doing a little extra to keep horses warm. However, be on the lookout of overdoing it. Blanketed horses can overheat when the temperatures rise. Check under blankets regularly for sweating and moisture. Also, be cautious of putting blankets on horses with full winter coats. Remember, blankets crush the coat flat and remove natural means of insulation, so putting an non-insulated blanket on a full coated horse, can do more harm than good! To further ease your minds and answer any questions regarding winter horse care, look into the list of frequently asked questions from Equus magazine: http://www. blanketqa_102105/2/ — Brenna Foley [email protected] * References: http://www.equisearch. com/horses_care/health/winter/ blanketqa_102105/2/ health/winter/keepwarm112098/

PAIN, Continued from Page 1 Good horsemen and women have always used observational skills to know and understand how the horses in their care are feeling and sometimes this appears to be a mysterious “just knowing.” Using charts, such as this one, to help train yourself to be a keen observer of the horse can help us all develop a better eye and ability to judge how a horse feels. It is also useful to know how the veterinarians are evaluating equine discomfort so that as owners, we’ll better be able to communicate with those health professionals. — Karen Lassell [email protected]

The William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute Stable Sheet

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FEEDING FREE CHOICE HAY March is coming in like a lion and is continuing to make cold weather articles relevant! Depending on what a horse’s metabolism is and what sort of climate they’re adapted to the equine thermo-neutral temperature has a range. Thermo-neutral is the temperature (wind chill included) at which a horse doesn’t need excess energy to stay warm. I’ve generally used the low-20s as the guide at which to feed more hay and this winter has offered up more than its usual share of “free choice” days. Round bales have been a savior this winter, but they shouldn’t be used without caution or as an excuse NOT to check on the horses several times per day. PROS OF ROUND BALES: Easy to feed if you have the means to move them. If fed out of a rack, there is less waste and it won’t blow away. If not fed out of a rack, one less item for horses to not get tangled in.

Did I mention it makes feeding easier? Definitely the #1 reason to use round bales! CONS OF ROUND BALES: Watch carefully for dust and mold if they were put up a little damp; harder to watch for this if you’re not opening individual bales. Risk of botulism if the bales weren’t stored well; bales that wick moisture off floors or metal walls, or get rained/roof leaked on can cause the bacteria causing botulism to multiply. DON’T assume horses will “eat around” the bad parts. Hay racks or feeders make less waste, but add to the risk that a horse can get injured if they become tangled. Hay racks (like the ones we have at Miner) that hold hay a few feet above the ground put the horses in an unnatural feeding position which is harder on their respiratory systems and backs. — Karen Lassell [email protected]

NYSHC SUPPORTS NYC CARRIAGE DRIVERS & BEYOND! The following is a letter written to New York City’s Council and Mayor Bill DeBlasio: It is not a question of whether the carriage trade is necessary to New York City or not. The carriage horses are an iconic symbol of NYC; they are part of the cultural heritage not only of NYC but also of America. They provide economic benefits to the City through tourism and tax revenues. Today’s carriage horses provide a presence and exposure to rural animals not available to many anywhere else. Some people have labelled the carriage horse industry as “inhumane.” It is not. While the word “inhumane” is not mentioned in the law, cruelty is. NYS Agriculture & Markets Law, Article 26 and more specifically, Section 353, defines cruelty as “failure to provide proper sustenance, such as food, water,

shelter and veterinary care. All the NYC carriage horses are well taken care of and have better than average stabling available to them. Each horse is provided food and water (each carriage carries food and water for the horses so they may eat/drink during working hours); the stables are warm, well-ventilated and have spacious stalls for resting during non-working hours; veterinary care is required and provided annually and on-call; each horse also has a mandatory 5 week vacation break. The NYC carriage horses are probably the most regulated horses in the country, if not the world. They are covered by approximately 144 pages of regulations; they are watched over very closely by several organizations, including the ASPCA.

The William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute Stable Sheet

It is the opinion of the Board of Directors of the New York State Horse Council that the NYC carriage horses and their owners should be allowed to continue to operate their small businesses without fear of reprisal or loss of livelihood. The horses are a great tourist attraction because they ARE horses - not cold, impersonal pieces of metal. The NYS Horse Council calls on all other State Horse Councils and all concerned horse groups and horsepersons throughout the country to come to the support of the New York City carriage horses and the carriage industry. The world is watching what happens here; the outcome could affect YOU! — Marsha S. Himler President, NYS Horse Council

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June 27-28, 2014 Camp for Grown Ups!

An opportunity to spend two days focusing on horses and how to better understand, care for and develop the best possible working relationship with them. The Heart’s Delight Morgan herd will be the center of activities for this Friday-Saturday getaway. Full schedule details are still being developed and I’m even open to suggestions, but there’s already a lot to get excited about. Mitzi Summers is a TTeam, Centered Riding and equine safety instructor based out of Fort Plain, NY. Central NY may be her mailing address, but Mitzi travels the world teaching and judging shows. Mitzi loves all breeds, 2013 English and Western, ponies to horses, she simply seeks to improve the harmony between horse and handler or rider. You’ll be paired with a Miner Morgan to be introduced to groundwork that focuses on relationship building with the horse and move along through some exercises with horses on a lead-rope to develop those skills in yourself and the horse. In addition to a clinic with Mitzi, we’ll practice health evaluation skills, learn to ID plants and forages, and more about equine conformation- form to function. A relaxing evening including unmounted exercises (don’t think aerobics!) to help us become more aware of our own “conformation” and how we can improve our riding from the comfort of a living room! Plus more. Stay overnight in comfortable accommodations and we’ll feed you too! It is limited to 6 people to insure plenty of hands-on time. All inclusive price of $325.00 per person. Contact Karen for more information or send in the form with a deposit (refundable if we can fill your space). 518-846-7121x120 [email protected]

June 27-28, 2014 Horsemanship Retreat Registration Name: ____________________________________________________ Age: _______ Gender: _______ Address: _____________________________________________________________________________ Phone: _______________________________ Email: _________________________________________ Short history of your experience with horses: ________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ Any specific issues or items we might try to address or include for you? (We can try, but no promises): _____________________________________________________________________________________ Health limitations or dietary restrictions we should be aware of? __________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ Horses are large, unpredictable animals. We will endeavor to keep everyone safe, but you will be asked to sign a release and hold harmless agreement. Please return with a deposit of $100.00 payable to: Miner Institute, PO Box 90, Chazy, NY 12921-0090 Attn: Karen Lassell. The balance of $225.00 is due upon arrival at Miner for the retreat. The William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute Stable Sheet

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MINER EXPERIENCE: SARAH RUBY “Book stuff only takes you so far,” Sarah Ruby says. Sarah participated in the summer experience in equine management program at Miner in 2003 and stayed on for a year-long internship afterward. She says that the program at Miner and the skills and experience she gained acted as a catalyst to get her career going. She now works as a veterinary assistant at Cornell University’s Vet School in the animal reproduction (theriogenology) department. Sarah says that the hands-on experience breeding horses from her time at Miner helped her to land the job. Miner Institute’s educational programs all emphasize a hands-on approach to learning with a research-based educational focus. “Miner solidified my (job) experience,” Sarah said. Our educational programs are strong because of the immersion style, the staff, and the facilities, but they are also strengthened by the alumni. Graduates from our programs often report to us that their time at Miner was the highlight of their college experience, which reinforces for us that we are doing a good job. Graduates also go on to very successful careers in agriculture, which demonstrates the caliber of students we attract. Sarah grew up in Glens Falls, NY where she learned to ride and show Morgan Horses. The Morgan breed was part of her attraction to Miner, she says. Sarah learned about Miner Institute while doing her undergraduate studies at the University of Vermont. “Miner is a great place for hands-on experience,” Sarah said. “Working with stallions, foals, training, etc. was all great.” Sarah said that she always recommends the summer experience program to college students. “It is a perfect place to get hands-on experience. All the resources you need are right there … It is a great opportunity and it’s great for the resume.” Sarah says that some of her favorite “Miner memories” were at the Clinton County Fair during her summer internship. She remembers that Katie Ballard and Karen Lassell had bred HD Saranac the week before the show and were trying for an embryo transfer foal, so they’d brought the lab to the fairgrounds to flush! It was a very educational display in the barn, but unfortunately there was no embryo to be found. Sarah says that “without a doubt” her experience at Miner has had a positive impact on her career. She worked at Ledyard Farm in Kings Ferry, NY after leaving Miner. The farm’s equine program was very small when Sarah started with just four Morgan horses, but by the time she left five years later, there were more than 30. “I got that job because of my experience at Miner,” Sarah said.

— Rachel Dutil [email protected]

NEW YORK FARM BUREAU & HORSE OWNERS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Farm Bureau is the leading advocacy organization for inherent risk legislation for horse operations, thoroughbred and standardbred farms, and the recreational equine industry. Because of New York Farm Bureau: • Breeding and boarding facilities are now eligible for Agricultural District Protections and Agricultural Assessment. • Breeding and boarding facilities are eligible for sales tax exemption when purchasing farm goods. • Breeding and boarding facilities are eligible for property tax exemption on new farm buildings — including indoor riding arenas! For more information on how to join visit or call 1-800-342-4143 or Contact Kim Farnum, Field Advisor at 518-935-8569 or [email protected] The William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute Stable Sheet

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EQUIDAY - MARCH 22, 2014 Free & Open to the Public!

Joseph C. Burke Education and Research Center at Miner Institute 586 Ridge Rd., Chazy, NY

AGENDA: 9 – 9:30 a.m.: Registration & Refreshments 9:30 – 10:45 a.m.: Keeping your Horse and Barn Safe from Diseases Dr. Betsy Greene, UVM Equine Extension Specialist 10:45 a.m.– 12:15 p.m.: Investigating Animal Cruelty Sue McDonough, NYS Humane Association 12:15 – 12:45 p.m.: Lunch Break 12:45 – 1:15 p.m.: Adirondack Tack’s Annual Fashion Show Carol Tetreault, Adirondack Tack 1:15 – 2 p.m.: Current Issues in the Horse World Karen Lassell, Equine Manager, Miner Institute 2 – 3 p.m.: Cowboy Mounted Shooting- What it is and How to Get Started Christine Boudreau, Cowboy Sports Association & Single Action Shooting Society, Belmont, VT 3 p.m.: Door Prize Drawing- must be present to win.

For more information, contact Karen Lassell at [email protected] or 518-846-7121, ext. 120.

The William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute Stable Sheet

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EVERYTHING EQUINE & CANINE APRIL 26-27, 2014 Whether you call it spring or mud season, the air is full of changes this time of year. One of the more ballyhooed changes is in Essex Jct, VT. For the past 10 years the annual Chittenden County event stood tall as the area’s premier equestrian event and this year’s addition of “man’s best friend” is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser. Everything Equine & Canine will be Saturday, April 26th, from 8:30-5:00 and Sunday, April 27th, from 8:30-4:30 at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Jct., VT. Billed as “Vermont’s First Dog and Pony Show,” the two day event stands apart from many regional shows as a family-friendly event with scores of consumer vendors, as well as a full schedule of informative seminars, demonstrations and entertainment for dog and horse enthusiasts. Most horse owners are also dog owners. They care about the well-being of these companions whether for work, sport or play and will be provided with the latest traditional and trending practices. This year’s event is a must for equestrians, as renowned author and trainer, Shawna Karrasch of “On Target Training” will offer

demonstrations and training techniques embraced by the US Olympic equestrian team. Karrasch spent nearly ten years working to perfect her training skills - not with horses, but in pools with killer whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals. Shawna will be presenting on both Saturday and Sunday. As the first day winds down, what could be more fun than “Horsin’ Around on Saturday Night”, a dog & pony show? This annual variety show provides “Edutainment” by showcasing many different breeds, disciplines and styles for new and longtime horse and dog lovers. In addition to the excellent horse demonstrations, the show will incorporate dogs and trainers performing agility, obedience, a “canine weave pole challenge”, and even a fun light hearted challenge of “I can do what you can do” between dog and horse. The very popular Equine Extreme Trail Challenge on Sunday will feature some of New England’s top horse and rider teams competing for cash and prizes. On the canine side, dog lovers will have a wide variety of educational options on both days including

actual first aid demonstrations for your dog to agility for beginners to advanced. The very popular dog agility demonstration will be presented by Show Me the Biscuit of Williston, Vermont. Admission to Everything Equine & Canine is $10 and children under 5 are free. Advance discount tickets can be purchased at Guy’s Farm & Yard locations in Williston, Morrisville and Montpelier Vermont and at Adirondack Tack in Plattsburgh, NY. There will be over 50 seminars, demonstrations, competitions and performances showcasing dogs and horses, due to this fact the show can’t allow the general public to bring their dogs and horses. Sponsors include 4 Legs & a Tail, the University of Vermont Extension, Guy’s Farm & Yard, Horse Works, Show Me the Biscuit, Alltech, Poulin Grain, Inc., Equine Journal, Vermont Horse Council, Equiscents/VT Equine Acupressure and the Champlain Valley Exposition. — 4 Legs & a Tail


The UVM Morgan Horse Farm in Weybridge, VT, the William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute of Chazy, N.Y., Meadowbrook Equine and Balanced Rhythms (both) of Bridport, VT will host the 26th Annual Reproduction Workshop beginning the afternoon of Friday, March 28 and continuing for a full day on Saturday, March 29. Dr. Mary O’Donovan and Dr. Molly Witters are skilled veterinary practitioners in equine reproduction and physiology. They will discuss managing the uses of lights, hormones, and ultrasound in your breeding program, anatomy and physiology of the mare and stallion, embryo transfer, artificial insemination and foaling/neonatal care. Other topics discussed may include Parasites, Equine Herpes Virus (EHV), and Colic. The topics covered by Dr. Josie Davis of the University of Vermont’s Equine Studies Program and Katie Ballard, Director of Research and

The William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute Stable Sheet

Equine Program Coordinator at Miner Institute, will include updates on materials, techniques and procedures for collecting, processing and transporting fresh-cooled and frozen stallion semen. The staff of the UVM Morgan Horse Farm, Miner Institute and the veterinarians will guide workshop participants through hands-on participation and demonstrations of ultrasound, teasing procedures, semen collection and processing, artificial insemination and frozen semen handling. The important step of training the inexperienced stallion to the breeding phantom will also be demonstrated. The $250 registration fee includes workshop materials and meals. Door prizes are awarded throughout the workshop. Spaces are limited to 25 participants. Call the UVM Morgan Horse Farm at (802) 3882011, or email [email protected] for further information.

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The William H. Miner Agriculutural Research Institute 1034 Miner Farm Road P.O. Box 90 Chazy, NY 12921 Change Service Requested

N on- Profi t Org a ni z ati on U.S.POSTAGE PAID Cha zy, N.Y. 12921 Permi t No. 8


Miner Institute is proud to offer Canon at stud in 2014, on lease from Paradise Morgans. UVM Springfield continues to make his mark in the Morgan world with offspring winning in Western Pleasure all over the country including Grand Nationals. Privilege, Stilwell Thunder and Stilwell Legacy will be the ones to beat for years to come, but you can do your best to join the ranks by breeding to Canon! The only offspring of Pastorale, Canon brings the full wealth of his pedigree to the table and is ready to make his own mark on the breed which is off to a great start with his only offspring, Stilwell Caisson- a colt, placing 2nd in the Morgan breed class and in the top ten in Open Yearlings at Devon in 2013. Canon is a NYSMHS Sweepstakes stallion, making his 2015 foals eligible for weanling and then 4yo sweepstakes classes in the future- where it pays to perform! Our Canon foal, out of HD Massena, is due in June and we can’t wait. 518.846.7121 OFFICE 518.846.8445 FAX The William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute Stable Sheet

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