2007 Horse Breeders & Owners Conference

A Way to Perceive What Makes Horses Tick

Deb Bennett, PhD

“Birdie” is a metaphor that helps handlers to visualize the world from the horse’s point of view, which is the only point of view from which effective control of the animal can be maintained.


Brian Coleman

1. Attitude
- Be positive
- Have a goal
- Make it handy
- Start with a teamwork mentality
- Quiet, confident


Linda Connors
Gallop On Farm

Having a business free of debt isn’t essential, however creating a healthy monthly cash flow to satisfy debts is. I’m here to share a few thoughts and truths I’ve come across in the last 30 plus years of making a living as a professional in the horse industry.


Transported Semen
Darrell W. Dalton DVM

The Process
Before the breeding season even begins there are a number of steps that must be completed. Obviously, the mare owner must select a stallion that they wish to breed their mare to, and contact must be made to work out the logistics. All stud fees, shipping fees, collection fees, and “whatever” fees must be agreed upon and contracts signed prior to the breeding season. You must establish when the stallion will be available to ship, what days he will ship, how he will ship, and whether there is a shipping company available to meet all of these conditions, both for the mare and for the stallion. Also it must be established how many shipments will be made to the mare, and over how many cycles. All breed requirements must also be met in order to get a foal that we can register. Some breeds are very open regarding transported semen, and some are very restrictive. Be sure that you are familiar with your breed association’s regulations. For example: some registries require that a veterinarian be involved in the insemination of the mare. Once you have completed all of your pre-breeding season homework, you are ready to begin.


As promised, here are Cherry's notes from her session at the 2007 Horse Breeders and Owners Conference, for all of those who asked and anyone else who cares to read.

Better Horsekeeping HBOC 2007


Nat T. Messer IV, DVM
Associate Professor, Equine Medicine and Surgery

Scope of the Problem:
For the past 15 years approximately 1-2% (75-150,000 horses) of the domestic equine population, on average, in the United States is sent to slaughter each year, with another 10-20,000 horses being exported to Canada each year for slaughter during the same period of time, and, an unknown number of horses being sent to Mexico for that purpose as well ( 6,500 in 2005). In 1997, slightly more than 1% of the domestic equine population was sent to slaughter (approx. 72,000 horses). In comparison, according to the 1998 NAHMS Report, 1.3% of horses age 6 months to 20 years (approx 80,500 horses) on all premises surveyed either died or were euthanized in 1997, while 11.1% of horses greater than 20 years of age (approx. 55,000 horses) on all premises surveyed either died or were euthanatized in 1997. Assuming these numbers are at least somewhat representative of what occurs annually, then nearly 100 horses either die or are euthanatized for every 50 horses that go to slaughter and almost 200,000 equine carcasses must be disposed of annually, one-third of which are being processed for human consumption, with the remainder being cremated, buried, “digested”, disposed of in landfills, or rendered.


Anna Mitchell
(B.Soc.Sci (psych/philos), Post Grad. Dip (Applied Sport Psych), Sport Psychology Consultant

Have you ever felt like your performance is out of your hands? How many times have you thought to yourself “If I could just get a lucky break”?. Have you ever jumped into a performance with a last minute “wish me luck’ or “cross your fingers”? Take a minute to think about how often we rely on chance or luck to pull us through. Wouldn’t it be great to reduce our insecurities by eliminating the unpredictability of our performance?


Susan Novak, PhD

Stallions are selected mainly for their genetic potential, not their reproductive potential.

Horse reproduction has seen much great advancement in recent years, including the successful cloning of the first horse. However, the traits contributing to overall fertility are poorly understood in the horse and also in most species. For example, it has been recently shown that over 200 different genes may affect male fertility.


Future of Horse Racing in Alberta
Dr. David Reid

When an industry has a clear sense of purpose, and knows the direction it wishes to travel, and when this vision is widely shared, then, individuals are able to identify and carry out their roles effectively and with confidence.


Dirk Willem Rosie

The KWPN studbook has been selecting for hereditary disorders in equine joints for almost 30 years. In the male population a true selection takes place: stallions can only breed if they meet the criteria. Mare owners can x-ray there broodmares and receive a predicate for soundness on a voluntary basis.


Dirk Willem Rosie

Nowadays it’s hard to imagine that England laid the foundation of the modern sport horse. Holstein, Hanover, Oldenburg, Selle Français, KWPN and all other major warmblood studbooks, they owe their success to the equine fruits of the Industrial Revolution in England.


Mike Scott, DVM, MVSc
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons
Moore & Company Veterinary Services Ltd.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

I am a veterinarian specializing in equine surgery, and I work at Moore & Company Veterinary Services in Calgary, Alberta. I graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in Saskatoon in 1993. Following graduation, I completed a 1 year internship in Large Animal Medicine & Surgery at the Ontario Veterinary College. I was then fortunate to be admitted to a Large Animal Surgery Residency program at the WCVM. I completed my residency training in 1998, and became board certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1999. Today most of my work involves equine surgery, lameness diagnosis, and diagnostic imaging. It is a pleasure and an honor to give this presentation at the Horse Industry Association of Alberta Horse Breeders and Owners Conference.


Ward Stutz

Do you remember watching TV westerns – the old classics like Bonanza, Gunsmoke, The Lone Ranger, and Hopalong Cassidy and wanting to ride a horse? Have you seen or taken your kids to see the movies The Horse Whisperer, Dreamer or Flicka and again been caught up in the feeling of enthusiasm and joy. From riding around the yard on his stick horse or galloping briskly in place on her hobby horse or sitting on the brightly painted carousel horse, kids of all ages love horses and the visions they invoke. In our journey with horses, we’ve all dreamed of the ultimate ride that compels us to saddle-up everyday knowing that someday we will live the dream.


Mitch L. Taylor, CJF

The role of a properly trained farrier is very important in the life of our equine companions. The performance level of a horse has a direct correlation to the skill requirements of the farrier. For example, a pasture animal living in a large arid environment will tend to need less frequent foot care. This animal can be maintained by a farrier with a lower skill level than an athlete that is stalled and used hard.


Hugh G.G. Townsend
Western College of Veterinary Medicine
Equine Health Research Fund
University of Saskatchewan

The idea of establishing Equine Health Research Fund at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) was conceived by Dean Ole Nielsen 31 years ago when he recognized the need for advanced training of equine health professionals to serve western Canada and the importance of conducting research on conditions specifically affecting horses in this part of the world.


Ilka Wagner
Equine Veterinary Services
Hearne, Texas

Laminitis, also known as founder, is a disease that has plagued the horse for centuries. As far back as 350 BC, it has been described by horsemen as a crippling affliction that often times led to the horse’s ultimate demise.1 These past records focus primarily on the lameness issues and conformational changes in the horse’s foot affected by chronic laminitis. Historical references also refer to various forms of treatments, both medical and therapeutic shoeing, all in an attempt to alleviate the severe painfulness of the disease and allow the horse to function again in work or sport.1 During the last half of the twentieth century practitioners and horsemen have also begun to recognize and investigate a connection between chronic laminitis and other systemic, or body, changes that occur simultaneously.


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