2013 proceedings

Brain cells, brain molecules, neurotransmitters and synapses are almost identical in ALL animals. At this level, animals are made from the same essential building blocks.

When discussing brain function, it’s helpful to first consider the human brain, the most developed of all animals.

We can think of it as having three progressive layers or even three brains. The layers have distinct functions but their interactions are essential and considerable.

The reptilian brain (consisting of the brain stem and cerebellum) is concerned with survival and body maintenance. Digestion, reproduction, circulation, breathing and the ‘flight or fight’ response are all reptilian brain functions.


The subject of equine clones is fraught with controversy and has polarized members of breed organizations – for or against.  Questions, scientific, ethical, and moral are numerous.  Will it ultimately help or harm the equine breeds?  Will it increase the incidence of genetic disease by even more overuse of popular bloodlines, or potentially decrease disease if disease-free geldings that can then be used as breeding stallions?   Should clones be registered?   Are the cloned foals healthy?  Is cloning morally wrong?

Some owners have used the cloning process, which was first performed on horses in 2003, to preserve their animals' bloodlines, particularly those of high-performance equines. In response to cloning as a way to preserve bloodlines, some breed associations ruled on whether or not cloned horses can be included in their breed registries. In 2004 the AQHA board of directors approved Rule 227(a), which prohibits cloned horses or their offspring from being included in the organization's breed registry. Currently the AQHA is facing a lawsuit challenging the membership’s decision not to register clones, claiming that the association's policy prohibiting the registry of equine clones violates U.S. antitrust laws. Federal antitrust laws prohibit monopolies or anti-competitive activities on the part of corporations and other entities. There are dozens of clones awaiting registration by the AQHA and their owners will be watching closely for the outcome of this suit.


Alternative or complimentary medicine is becoming increasingly more accepted, available and in some cases sought after.  Examples include acupuncture, chiropractics, herbal medicine, and homeopathy.

Whether you describe these therapies as alternative or complimentary may depend on your point of view of their use. One way to look at it is if you use them in conjunction with Western veterinary medicine (WVM) then you might consider them complimentary. If you use them in place of WVM then they may be alternative.

There are obvious shortcomings to both WVM and complimentary/alternative medicine. A complimentary approach, using the two together, rather than excluding one or the other is preferable in my opinion. My clinical experience with these therapies is limited to acupuncture and chiropractics. This article will focus on acupuncture. 


So how do you make a million dollars in the horse industry?  You start with five million!  All kidding aside, in the equine industry, we need to know how to successfully create a business entity and then market it to the right potential clients through the right mediums. Whether you are a riding coach, horse trainer, farrier, equine massage therapist, freelance photojournalist, tack shop owner or boarding barn owner – targeted marketing is the key to your success.

Industry Trends
The equine industry is a constantly changing environment that you need to keep up with in order to have a successful business within it.  Some of the changing trends involve public concern with safety and certification. The equine industry tends to be fragmented and preaches to the choir on many issues. It is time for us to start drawing in new people by doing some out- of-the-box networking with non-equine groups to get our messages out there.


The eye is a complex structure uniquely built for capturing light and transmitting visual stimuli to the brain. The globe itself has three tunics or layers: there is an outer fibrous tissue layer which is the sclera or the whites of the eye, and the cornea, the clear dome in the front. The vascular tissue layer is made up of the iris (the coloured part of the eye), the ciliary body, and choroid. These three structures are continuous with each other. The inner most layer is the nervous tissue layer which makes up the retina. The lens is a disc-like structure suspended by the ciliary body behind the iris. The pupil is the hole in the centre of the iris. In front of the lens there is a space filled with clear water-like fluid called aqueous humor. Behind the lens there is a large space filled with a clear gel-like fluid called vitreous humor. Conjunctiva is a layer of tissue that covers the sclera and lines the inside of the eyelids. The eyelids cover the eye in front. The eye is held in the bony orbit by muscles that attach to the sclera. These muscles are responsible for moving the eye. 

Visual stimuli (light) enter the eye by passing though the clear structures of the cornea, aqueous humor, lens, and vitreous chamber. It is passed through the retina where it is converted to an electrical impulse. This electrical impulse leaves the eyes in the optic nerves which extend from the retina, through openings in the skull into the brain. The optic nerves cross over at an area called the optic chiasm so that some information from each eye goes to both the right and left sides of the visual cortex of the brain. In the brain, the electrical impulse is interpreted into vision.  



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