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January 21, 2019 (Guelph, ON): Planning is well underway for the 15th Annual International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) Conference, being held at the University of Guelph, Canada’s largest agricultural university, on August 19-21, 2019.   The theme for this year’s conference is “Bringing Science to the Stable”, highlighting our past relationship with horses and examining where we are headed.   Both conference registration and abstract submissions opened on January 18, 2019. All information regarding the conference, including links to conference registration, abstract submissions and accommodations can be found on the Horse Portal websitehttps://thehorseportal.ca/ISES-2019/. Researchers in the field of equitation science are invited to submit an abstract of their research findings for consideration to present during the conference. Abstracts are due by April 1, 2019.   Join our line-up of thought-provoking speakers as we journey through history and into the present, supporting and challenging the way we interact with horses through scientific research. Dr. Sandra Olsen (Curator-in-Charge, Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum, University of Kansas) will trace how our relationship with horses began. Dr. Camie Heleski (Senior Lecturer, University of Kentucky) will describe the field of Equitation Science and what we have learned about horse-human relationships. Dr. Nic de Brauwere (Head of Welfare, Rehabilitation and Education, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, UK) will discuss how human behaviour change into the future can improve equine welfare. Dr. Andrew McLean (Equine Science International, Australia) will present similarities and differences in the application of learning theory across species.   The ever-popular Clever Hans talk will be hosted on Monday evening with guest speakerDr. Jonaki Bhattacharyya, Ethnoecologist and Senior Researcher with Firelight Group. Dr. Bhattacharyya has spent time in the interior of British Columbia, observing the wild horses and their impact on the land and interactions with the indigenous peoples. She will highlight how modern research can fit into other ways of knowing and approaches to managing both wild and domestic horses.   The third day of the conference will include a short course on large animal rescue training (additional fee applies). Space in this hands-on workshop is limited, so be sure to register early. Demonstrations and seminars from equine behaviourists, technology entrepreneurs and saddle fitting experts will fill the remainder of the day.   Registered delegates can also attend two free pre-conference workshops on Sunday, August 18. Cristina Wilkins and Kate Fenner (Australia) will workshop on how to communicate scientific information to equestrian communities. Dr. Marc Pierard(Belgium) will lead a discussion in describing equine behaviours for the equine ethogram.    Early bird conference registration pricing is available until June 1. After that date regular conference fees apply. Check the ISES website https://equitationscience.com/conferences/ or the Horse Portal https://thehorseportal.ca/ISES-2019/ to learn more. Check back regularly to the Horse Portal for updates, sneak peaks, and local information.   About the International Society for Equitation Science The International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to facilitate research into the training of horses to enhance horse welfare and improve the horse-rider relationship. www.equitationscience.com   For more information contact: ISES Honorary President Janne Winther-Christensen presidents@equitationscience.com   Local Conference Organizer: Katrina Merkies, PhD Department of Animal Biosciences, University of Guelph (519) 824-4120 x54707 ISES2019@uoguelph.ca     Registration and abstract submission now open for the 2019 ISES conference being held in Guelph, Ontario, Canada from August 19-21.   The theme of "Bringing science to the stable" will explore our relationship with horses through the past, present and future.   Check the website for conference updates and links to the registration and abstract submission pages https://equitationscience.com/conferences/ or https://thehorseportal.ca/ises-2019/. 

Winter is here - Are you ready?   Does this horse kick for no reason or is there an underlying cause?   Cribbing – A behaviour or nutritional deficiency?   Sign up at TheHorsePortal.ca to have your horse behaviour and safety related questions answered.   IMPORTANT ALERTS   Alert: Equine Infectious Anemia - Cariboo Sub. B, B.C   Alert: Rabies - In Canada   Alert: Rabies - Hamilton, ON   Alert: Strangles - New Brunswick   EQUINE GUELPH thanks Merck Animal Health for sponsoring the HEALTHflash program     HEALTHflash - WINTER EDITION 2019      ‌  ‌           IMPORTANT ALERTS       Alert: Equine Infectious Anemia - Cariboo Sub. B, B.C Alert: Rabies - In Canada Alert: Rabies - Hamilton, ON Alert: Strangles - New Brunswick         EQUINE GUELPH thanks Merck Animal Health for sponsoring the HEALTHflash program           FEATURED STORIES               Behaviour & Safety - Q & A     Does this horse kick for no reason or is there an underlying cause? Cribbing – A behaviour or nutritional deficiency?   Sign up at TheHorsePortal.ca to have your horse behaviour and safety related questions answered.                 Take Stock of your First Aid Kit & Update Your Skills     3 items that do not survive sub zero… Don’t forget Equine Guelph’s first aid course online begins Feb 25!                 Gastric Ulcer Prevention     Why you should give hay before exercise is discussed by Kathleen Crandell. Crandel is also the instructor of Equine Guelph’s Advanced Equine Health through Nutrition online course. Pre-requisite Equine Nutrition starts Jan 14!                   Biosecurity Risk Calculator TOOL OF THE MONTH     Start the year reviewing your biosecurity plan in 6 steps! Identify risks, prepare a farm diagram... info from the National Farm Level Biosecurity standard makes it easy to minimize disease risk - Try The Tool of The Month.         EQUINE HEALTH       Vaccination Survey Results     82% of our survey participants vaccinate their horses against influenza. 82% rely on their veterinarian for vaccination information. 73% leave the decision as to the specific brand of vaccine up to the vet. 43% know the benefits of a modified-live vs. a killed equine influenza virus vaccine.   New Update in Vaccination Equi-Planner links to an AAEP page explaining the benefits of a modified-live vs. a killed equine influenza virus vaccine                Horse Behaviour & Safety Short Course     January 21 to February 8     Learn to speak horse! Take action to create a safe environment for you and your horse   REGISTER TODAY       MORE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES           New 12-Week Courses Start January 14th     Mgmt of the Equine Environment   Health & Disease Prevention   Equine Nutrition   Equine Functional Anatomy   Equine Exercise Physiology   Marketing & Communications   Equine Event Management   The Equine Industry   Global Perspectives in Equine Welfare   SIGN UP TODAY         Upcoming Horse Portal Short Courses     Horse Behaviour & Safety January 21st to February 8th   Horse Behaviour & Safety (Youth) January 21st to February 8th   Equine First Aid February 25th to March 4th   Sickness Prevention in Horses TBA   Horse Care & Welfare TBA   Gut Health & Colic Prevention TBA   SIGN UP TODAY       OTHER NEWS & EVENTS         When did you last check under that rug for Body Condition Score?   Cold weather riding tips   Winter management of the outdoor horse   First signs of Heaves video   Reduce Respiratory Risk video   How to transition feedstuff in your horse’s diet   Going on Vacation – Post your emergency preparedness plans   Extending your Hay Supply   Video - Stop, Think, Act and be safe around horses  

Guelph, ON Oct, 16, 2018 - The University of Guelph's annual Equine Industry Symposium is fast approaching.   On Saturday October 27th, 2018 from 9:30AM to 4:00PM, students in the Bachelor of BioResource Management degree majoring in Equine Management will once again be hosting the Equine Industry Symposium for horse enthusiasts from all backgrounds to come out and engage in a community-wide discussion about prevalent issues within the equine industry.   As horse people, many of us have borne witness to conflicting ideals for equine welfare and horse care practices across different businesses and disciplines.   These issues, along with what sometimes comes across as a lack of professionalism, compromise our abilities as horse owners, business people, hobbyists and professionals to find the best care practices for the most important member of our community – the horse!   To address this, this year's Equine Industry Symposium is focusing on discussing solutions pertaining to professionalism and industry-wide standards for equine welfare. Symposium attendees can look forward to engaging conversations with veterinarians, researchers, fellow riders and professional equine business people, facilitated by former CEO of Equine Canada, Akaash Maharaj.   The goal of this event is to further unite our community and develop practices that benefit the industry and above all, the horse.   Lunch will be provided and admission is free upon registration at www.eventbrite.ca; search Equine Industry Symposium or go directly to https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/equine-industry-symposium-registration-49997476799?aff=eac2.   Find us on Facebook at Equine Industry Symposium 2018, participate in pre- and post-symposium discussion at thehorseportal.com and we look forward to seeing a wonderful and diverse group of horse people in the University of Guelph’s Thornborough building room 1200 at 9:30 AM on October 27th 2018.   Contact: EQevents@uoguelph.ca for more information   From Equine Guelph    

Guelph, ON Sept, 25, 2018 - A human sneeze can propel around 100,000 germs up to 25 feet according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology! Now imagine the distance and volume a horse can achieve! No elbow or hankie will be raised to contain this potential biohazard but Equine Guelph has you covered with their Sickness Prevention in Horses short online course.   This October 15 -26, you can join a community that will be learning Canada's new Equine Biosecurity standard together and reducing the odds of sickness in their horses. Consider the tips you will acquire as your horse handkerchief!   Just as humans rush out to receive their flu shots before winter, horses can also benefit from a flu/rhino booster performed 6 months after their typical spring vaccinations. Horses that travel to fall fairs or mingle with those that do are at a higher risk of contracting influenza.   With temperatures dropping, horses may be spending more time indoors. The hang time for germs lingering in the air can be up to 10 minutes after a human cough which can expel 3,000 droplets as far as six metres according to Science Focus. Again, get multiplying those statistics for your equine companion and then ponder what steps you can take to protect your horse.   Everyone who comes into contact with horses has a role to play in preventing the transmission of disease from the horse owner to the farrier, vet, guest visitor and barn manager. In a recent study lead by University of Guelph researchers, Dr. Amy Greer and Dr. Terri O'Sullivan, contact patterns were analyzed at an equestrian show in Ontario to study the implications for disease spread. One facet of the study looked at types of horse-to-horse contact occurring at a home facility and while traveling.   While most participants indicated that direct nose-to-nose contact of horses occurred both at their home facility and while away from home (76 and 22%, respectively), participants reported a reduction in sharing equipment, cleaning tools, and water/feed when they traveled away from home.   Equine Guelph's Sickness Prevention in Horses course discusses key points of the Facility Level Biosecurity Standard for the Equine Sector developed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Biosecurity standards are strict in poultry, swine and beef but when it comes to horses, the lack of knowledge and enforcement is surprising and sickness prevention seems to be a topic that is often overlooked.   Dr. Alison Moore, was part of the development committee for the National Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard in the winter of 2014 and will be guest speaker once again for the Sickness Prevention in Horses course. Moore states, "In food animals, the importance of biosecurity standards are recognized in economic trade and for protecting animal health. The equine sector is unique. It is exciting to be a contributor for this new standard for the horse industry which will serve as a guideline for equines at the individual farm level right up to international competitors."   Throughout the course Moore will explain the simple things one can do to protect their herd from disease and that biosecurity is more about diligence than difficulty, with communication being the key.   Past students attest this course is a must for everyone who cares about horse health.   "Bio-security is not a topic that many horse people consider until there is a big problem. This course helped me to see the things that I was already doing well and opened my eyes to some things I can change for the better. A very straight-forward course that guides you to complete your own bio-security assessment," says Kim Woolley (Roadapple Ranch, Finch ON)  EC Certified Coach, Student, Sickness Prevention in Horses.   Join the herd of students looking to protect their herds October 15 -26.   Register at TheHorsePortal.ca for Sickness Prevention in Horses short online course.   From Equine Guelph  

Guelph, ON - Sept, 17, 2018 - Just in time to kick start the upcoming Equine Industry Symposium hosted by the University of Guelph on October 27, 2018, a new discussion group has started on theHorsePortal.ca website.   In response to one of the suggestions that arose from the second Equine Industry Symposium held last February, the organizing committee has created this discussion group as a platform for anyone to share resources and knowledge, network, collaborate, identify common issues, discuss common solutions, and promote actions based on evidence and professionalism.   Discussion topics revolve around the six key themes that emerged from the first Equine Industry Symposium held in November 2016:  i.      Marketing – how can we promote our industry as a viable profession? ii.    Education vs employment – what challenges do we face in finding skilled employees? iii.   Industry standards – does our industry have standards? Do we need standards? iv.   Joining forces – can we gain some common ground with others through our connection with the horse? v.     Youth involvement – how do we attract and retain youth in our aging industry? vi.   Industry research – what research is needed to push our industry forward?   Registration to the Equine Industry Symposium discussion on theHorsePortal.ca is free. Simply go to https://thehorseportal.ca/course/eis/, click on register, and use the coupon code EISforum2018 for your free registration. Then start participating in the discussion and let’s see where we can take our industry!   Don’t forget to register for the Equine Industry Symposium happening on October 27, 2018 at https://equineindustrysymposium2018.eventbrite.ca. Or check out our facebook page for more details https://www.facebook.com/Equine-Industry-Symposium-154102655279646/ .   From Equine Guelph  

Guelph, ON Sept, 4, 2019 - Equine Guelph celebrates 15 years of serving the horse industry with online courses for those looking to optimize the health and welfare of the horses in their care. Students from over 40 countries continue to enroll in the 20 + courses on offer, every September, January and May.   “With top instructors teaching evidence-based knowledge, our students enter the horse industry as well-prepared, confident professionals,” says Equine Guelph director, Gayle Ecker, “and with the flexibility of our online programs - everyone with a love for horses can find their learning pathway.”   In 2003, Equine Guelph became the horse owner’s Centre at the University of Guelph and launched the first online equine studies program in the world! 15 years later, the award-winning programs continue to be in demand, with many accolades for the quality of instruction, level of interactivity and flexible online study that fits into busy lives. Students benefit from leading instructors, industry experts, internationally renowned guest speakers and join a community of horse enthusiasts around the globe keen to share their experiences and learn from one another.   Tuition Awards for Ontario Racing Industry Members  Thanks to the support of families and organizations providing support to educate future industry professionals to be champions for the health and welfare of horses, Equine Guelph has two tuition awards on offer: The Stuart Stocks Memorial Equine Award and the Roger L’Heureux Memorial Equine Award.   “Knowledge acquired in Equine Guelph online courses has opened doors for me in the industry,” says, Standardbred breeder, and past recipient of both awards, Cameron Lago. “The racing industry is a tight-knit community and since taking the courses, I have seen a few big name trainers pushing towards hiring Equine Guelph students and have motivated a few friends to look into them.”   After taking the online Exercise Physiology course, Lago says he gleaned important information on how different muscle fibers are being used and how their composition will reflect on how well the horses perform at the track. Learning about bone remodeling has had an impact on how he will train his foals; walking at increased rates progressively as they grow up to ensure bone structure can handle training while maintaining a balance of not pushing so hard that it becomes an animal welfare issue.   Entries for the next Stuart Stocks Memorial Equine Award accepted until Nov 15, 2018. Entries for the next Roger L’Heureux Memorial Equine Award accepted until Nov 27, 2018.   Apply for Tuition Awards today!   Certificate and Diploma Programs or a Special Interest Course Whether you are interested in taking one course to improve your knowledge as a horse owner or looking for a pathway to a professional career in the horse industry, Equine Guelph has a course to suit you.    From Equine Guelph

Guelph, ON Aug. 28, 2018 - "Possessing evidence-based horse care and welfare knowledge will save you money and reduce your horse's risk of injury and illness," says Equine Guelph director and course instructor, Gayle Ecker. Covering a broad array of topics, every horse owner and caregiver will come away having learned something new about horse care and welfare after the Sept 17 to Oct 5, three week short online course.   The best news is with 24/7 access to the site and no set times to be online, it fits into a busy schedule and costs less than a visit from the veterinarian. It is very true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!   Whether you run an equine business, have owned a horse for years or are just starting to think of buying a horse and if you are 16 years of age or older this horse care and welfare course is for you! Offered online by Equine Guelph in a unique Canadian partnership with each of the provincial equestrian federations and Equestrian Canada (EC), this course has been accepted for PD credits for EC’s coaching program. It also qualifies for Ontario Association of Veterinary Technician's (OAVT) continuing education credits.   Students come from a multitude of backgrounds: educators, new horse owners, youth leaders, boarding farm operators, future equine professionals and more. Here is what they have to say:   "The Horse Care and Welfare short course was phenomenal! All aspects of equine care are explored and discussed in an online community. You are doing yourself and your equine partner(s) a disservice if you don't take the time to educate yourself about the Five Freedoms, The Code of Practice and corresponding Scientific Reports."   Karen Pearson - Student, Horse Care and Welfare   This was an amazing course to get you started, as a refresher, and to build library materials. I can't wait to share what I have learned with students and other barn staff and horse enthusiasts. The best part, it was only 3 weeks and fit right into my busy schedule!"   Patti McGonigal, Stable Hand (Echo Bay, ON)  Student, Horse Care and Welfare   "I think the Horse Care and Welfare course is a wonderful learning tool for ALL horse owners or potential owners. The Code of Practice contains valuable information regarding the welfare of all equines."   Debbie Simpson, Competition Coach/ Judge (Regina, SK)  Student, Horse Care and Welfare   Join the herd and get ready for some lively discussions with horse caretakers that put the health and well-being of their animals first.   Register for the Horse Care and Welfare online course before Sept 17th.   From Equine Guelph  

Guelph, ON, Aug, 1, 2018 - Meaford Fire Department Training Centre in Ontario is opening its doors once again, for intensive training on what to do in emergency situations involving large animals. Over sixty fire fighters and first responders took advantage of the training at Meaford in spring and fall 2017 to build expertise and resources within their respective communities.    Registration is open to first responders for the next offering of Equine Guelph’s Large Animal Rescue Awareness/Operational Training to be held October 12 (evening), 13 & 14, 2018 (If capacity allows registration will be open to non-first responders).   When a large animal emergency occurs it is big news that all too often ends in tragedy. Trailer roll-overs, ice rescues, mud or trench rescues and the dreaded barn fire are among the greatest fears and how the situation is handled by first responders will also feature heavily in the press.    “Emergency rescue training is essential for first responders, and anyone involved with transporting livestock, to provide them the expertise they need to focus on the welfare and safety of animals and people in these sorts of emergency situations,” says Ontario Veterinary College Dean Jeff Wichtel.   Since 2014 Equine Guelph has made significant progress in establishing a Large Animal Rescue program in Ontario with its qualified team of instructors helping train for such emergencies. Over 360 people have attended training events including fire fighters, first responders, pre-service, law enforcement, animal control officers, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, emergency animal response teams, horse owners, livestock producers and associations.   The incident command system is one of the standard approaches covered and it gives a clear understanding of roles and working together effectively. Rescues involving large animals pose several challenges. “It is invaluable to have first responders who understand the basics of animal behaviour and handling techniques, restraint and confinement techniques and basic anatomy,” says Meaford’s Chief Scott Granahan.   All large animal incidents regardless of cause or scope, present a risk of injury to responders. The aforementioned knowledge combined with proper training of best practices and how to use rescue equipment mitigate risks and improve the odds of a favorable outcome for both animals and responders.   Register at https://thehorseportal.ca/   For more information or to sign up for the non-first responder waiting list contact slraymon@uoguelph.ca    From Equine Guelph  

Guelph, ON, June, 2018 - Thanks to a team of University of Guelph researchers, we are one step closer to having a welfare assessment tool tailored for horses in Canada.  The research team, headed by Cordelie DuBois and Katrina Merkies, recently designed and tested an on-farm welfare assessment tool. The tool aimed to evaluate whether the National Farm Animal Care Council’s (NFACC) Code of Practice standards are being met on equine farms in Canada, while helping farm managers learn about the current standards. The results were recently published in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. Major advances in equine welfare in Canada were made when NFACC released the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Equines in 2013. In other countries, documents outlining welfare guidelines are often paired with the development of welfare assessment tools that can be used to determine whether guidelines are being followed on farm. In Europe, there are multiple tools that exist, like the Assessment Protocol for Horses and the Animal Welfare Indicators approach.  Differences between industries in other countries and Canada, particularly related to welfare legislation, are part of the reason that developing a Canadian-specific tool was important. This, and ultimately, the tool’s ability to support the use of the NFACC Code of practice as Canadian welfare standards, is what makes DuBois’ work so monumental for Canadian equine welfare. Researchers tested the assessment tool on 26 farms in Southern Ontario. The farms had various primary uses including boarding facilities, riding schools, private farms and trail riding facilities. The farms had different numbers of horses and kept the horses under different management conditions.  While the assessments conducted by DuBois and her team revealed dry stalls and well-stored feed, some of the typical findings not in compliance with the Code of Practice included: structural aspects, cleanliness of outdoor water troughs, provision of outdoor shelter, segregation of new arrivals and emergency preparedness. The assessments took an average of 144 +/- 15 minutes to complete. Researchers noted that differences in management practices between and within farms (such as some horses being on 24/7 turnout vs. other horses being on day time turnout) added challenges to the assessment procedure. Farm managers were also asked about their familiarity with several documents related to equine welfare. Interestingly, managers were most familiar with Equine Guelph’s biosecurity handout (54%) followed by the NFACC’s Equine Code of Practice (50%). The researchers conducted follow up interviews with assessors and participants to evaluate their experience with the tool. DuBois notes, “These interviews helped to identify areas where a welfare assessment program would be useful to the Canadian industry and areas where implementing a program might be challenging.” The feedback will be used to refine the tool for future work. DuBois provides a nice summary of the importance of their work, “This study provides an initial look at the logistics of doing an on-farm welfare assessment in Canada, knowing the diversity of the industry. Our findings give us a foundation for future work investigating an on-farm assessment tool such as this.” This study was funded in part by Equine Guelph. Read more about the study here. About Equine Guelph Equine Guelph is the horse owners' and care givers' Centre at the University of Guelph in Canada. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government - for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information, visit www.equineguelph.ca. by Nicole Weidner, for Equine Guelph  

Guelph, ON June, 2018 - Equine Guelph's Horse Portal will be a hub of activity for teenagers this summer from July 23 to Aug 10 when the new Horse Behaviour & Safety online course is offered for the third time! Experiences will be shared in the online forum between like-minded horse-crazy youth while they are having fun learning about horse lingo and important tips to stay safe around horses.   For less than the cost of one riding lesson, students will spend three weeks learning new things they will find useful when thinking about why horses act the way they do. Over 95% of the past participants have said the course was enjoyable and informative and most say they will make changes regarding how they work around horses. Changes like being more aware of blind spots in horses, properly releasing a horse into a paddock and improving barn fire prevention.   Horse lovers from across Canada and beyond are invited to come together while learning about:   Horse Behaviour – Wild vs Stabled How Horses See and Hear Herd Behaviour – How Horses Interact with Each Other Horse Handling – Basic Safety Around Horses Rider/Helmet Safety Safe Trailering – Basics Fire Safety Safety around the Barn and Paddocks Returning from an Injury   Students from previous offerings (many with future aspirations of becoming pros in the equine industry) agreed the course was very interesting and they learned a lot:   I really enjoyed learning new things I never knew before about my horse! I learned a lot about barn safety and the checklists were very helpful! I learned new stuff about how horses see and perceive sound. It is very interesting to learn about why they act the way they do. It was really cool and informative, the instructor was amazing and so was the guest speaker. It was an eye opener to new things I would have never thought of. And it helped me see that I did indeed have a concussion not that long ago. It was nice how there was a lot of information in this course but it was separated into smaller sections so it was easy to comprehend. I learned new things that I can now apply to my barn routine and check for in my horse. This online course meant a lot to me, I got to meet other equestrians from across Canada, got to ask questions and it's awesome to be able to learn about what you love! My favorite was the group discussions and hearing about other people's experiences and knowledge which helped me gain more of an understanding of horse behavior and safety.   Equine Guelph is pleased to offer Horse Behaviour and Safety specifically for youth aged 14- 17.   "The positive feedback from our first two offerings has been wonderful,"says Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph. "Horse health, welfare and safety right from the start is what we are all about and we are so happy to introduce this online course for the future ambassadors of our equine industry."   Join the herd at the HorsePortal.ca for totally cool summer school online for horse lovers.   Equine Guelph is the horse owners' and care givers' Centre at the University of Guelph in Canada. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government - for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information, visit www.equineguelph.ca.   by Jackie Bellamy-Zions, for Equine Guelph    

Guelph, ON - May, 15, 2018 - In emergencies with life and death situations where most people would flee, how is it that firefighters, paramedics and other first responders stay calm and methodical? Training and the right equipment are two of their most important tools.   Equine Guelph’s Large Animal Emergency Rescue program has been presented at six venues already since the start of 2018 with the same message. This training is critical for first responders faced with emergencies dealing with large animals. For the animal’s owner, it is valuable knowledge to stop a highly emotional situation from turning into catastrophic one.   Since 2014 Equine Guelph has made significant progress in establishing a Large Animal Rescue program in Ontario with its qualified team of instructors. Over 360 people have attended training events including fire fighters, first responders, pre-service, law enforcement, animal control officers, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, emergency animal response teams, horse owners, livestock producers and associations.   “The Large Animal Rescue Awareness Course was very educational and informative,” says Chuck Lobsinger, Fire Chief at South Bruce Fire Rescue Service. “All the firefighters that participated gained valuable knowledge and experience using Equine Guelph’s training aids and equipment. Very positive feedback was received from all participants. I would recommend every fire department to have personnel take this type of training.”   Participants from this latest training in Large Animal Rescue Awareness Level Course, at Mildmay Fire Department (South Bruce) April 21 – 22 also said the hands on portion taking step by step walkthroughs of the rescues were really helpful. Feedback also relayed valuable lessons were learned in the overall approach to instances involving large animals including animal behaviour, anatomy and best practices for large animal manipulation techniques such as forward and rear assists, sideways drags, sling arrangements and how to work safely in confined spaces.   There are plenty of “rescue” videos out there showing dangerous methods of pulling animals out of situations which result in tragic loss and further injury. In her anatomy lesson, Gayle Ecker director of Equine Guelph emphasizes, “tails, legs, heads and necks are not appropriate handles!”  Equine Guelph demonstrates techniques and best practices for rescuing large animals that promote positive outcomes and safety for all. This includes proper use of specialized equipment and positioning of webbing around the body of the animal to lift or drag it to safety.   Rob Wells of Rob Wells Trucking in Mildmay kindly provided a 53' livestock trailer and bays for training. “I was pleased to supply a 53' livestock trailer and have my son Devin explain the capabilities of the equipment and safety aspects of hauling animals,” said Wells. “I would also look forward to helping out at future offerings as it is so important to have both livestock haulers and first responders learn to work together in the event of an emergency.”   Sponsorship for the Large Animal Rescue Awareness Level Course delivered by Equine Guelph in Mildmay, ON was kindly provided by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization.   “The Nuclear Waste Management Organization and the Municipality of South Bruce are pleased to support the Bruce County Fire School,” said Relationship Manager, Paul Austin. “The training is an investment in not only building awareness, but also the skills and knowledge that are key to supporting community well-being now and in the future. Agriculture has a huge presence in our community and the Large Animal Rescue Awareness course helps prepare our first responders for the unique needs of our communities.”    Other events since the beginning of 2018 include:   January 19, 2018 – Seneca Lake (ice/water) Large Animal Emergency Rescue Awareness presentation) – hosted by Central York Fire Department   March 1, 2018 – University of Guelph – Large Animal Emergency Rescue presentation to Clinton undergrad students   March 3, 2018 Equine Research Day (University of Guelph) An introduction to large animal rescue training   March 20 and 21, 2018 - Training for Puslinch Fire Department - Large Animal Rescue Training   March 26 and 27, 2018 - Organization of Racing Investigators training conference - Large Animal Rescue Training   People who have attended training alongside firefighters have said it was interesting to see how things are done and they gained insight on what they could do if they were ever involved in an emergency situation. The incident command system is one of the standard approaches covered and it gives a clear understanding of roles and working together effectively.   All large animal incidents regardless of cause or scope, present a risk of injury to responders. The way to improve the odds of a favorable and safe outcome for both animals and responders is through proper training of best practices and how to use rescue equipment. Equine Guelph thanks the hosts, supporters and participants of these important workshops. For more information or to bring a course to your location visit TheHorsePortal.ca and contact Dr. Susan Raymond at slraymon@uoguelph.ca   by: Jackie Bellamy-Zions   Equine Guelph | 50 McGilvray St, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1 Canada

Guelph, ON, May 10, 2018 - Ah Spring; when countless materials are covered in shedding horse hair including your clothes, car, perhaps even your couch if you don’t change out of barn clothes immediately when you get home. But what if you are not covered in your horses shedding coat? Delayed shedding or regional hypertrichosis can be early warning signs of Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID) – a metabolic condition that suppresses the immune system when high cortisol levels increase blood sugar levels.  Look for abnormal hair coat including patches of long hair on the legs, wavy hair on the neck, changes in coat colour or shedding patterns and unusual whisker growth.  Equine Guelph’s Senior Horse Challenge healthcare tool contains useful resources to practice identifying metabolic issues.   Did you know horses seen for laminitis have frequently been found to have PPID or Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS)? Laminitis can be a sign of both metabolic issues yet it is often treated without identifying the underlying cause.   There is a fair bit of confusion in the horse world over mixing up PPID and EMS as they share many of the same clinical signs. Horses with PPID may also have some of the features of EMS. Equine Metabolic Syndrome had many previous names: peripheral Cushing’s Syndrome, pseudo Cushing’s syndrome, hypothyroidism, and insulin resistance syndrome.   Horses with EMS do not display hypertrichosis (excessive hair growth) or delayed shedding. New research studies are investigating changes in gut microflora as another possible early warning sign of EMS. PPID cases are more common in horses over 15 where EMS tends to be seen in horses over 5 years of age. Laminitis and obesity are often the first clues in identifying both disorders. Working with a veterinarian who can perform diagnostics is necessary to conclude which disorder you are dealing with and determine the best treatment options. Early warning signs can be subtle and of course early diagnosis is important.   “Every year Boehringer Ingelheim sponsors a PPID testing campaign in partnership with Animal Health Laboratory in Guelph,” says Guillaume Cloutier, DVM, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health. “In 2017, out of the 442 horses that were tested, 273 (62%) had a positive result for PPID.”   To learn more about detecting early warning signs for metabolic issues and other important factors in maintaining health as your horse ages, visit Equine Guelph’s Senior Horse Challenge Healthcare Tool, kindly sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.   by: Jackie Bellamy-Zions

Guelph, ON, First released by Ontario Racing April 16, 2018 - There’s no doubt Cameron Lago has charted a successful course in the Standardbred industry, thanks to an unmistakable passion for the harness racing sport and an exceptional educational experience through Equine Guelph.   “I started my appreciation for horses when I was about 9-10, when I attended the OHHA Youth camp at Flamboro Downs,” recalled the 20-year-old. “My love for horses and racing kind of all started with that. I’ve been hooked on it ever since.”   Lago admits that might be somewhat of an understatement.   “Yes, it probably is,” he said with a laugh. “My grandfather has had a couple of broodmares around as part of his retirement project, so he and I kind of kick-started things here on our farm after I attended the youth camp. Ever since then, we’ve just continued to grow, slowly, but surely, getting involved in the horse racing industry, overall just building our broodmares.   “We currently have four broodmares at home here,” continued Lago. “I’m working in partnership with my grandfather for the moment, slowly starting to buy into some of them. Buying new mares is the goal for myself over the next couple of years, to expand my own herd and get more involved in the breeding side. I have a passion for it – the genetics – and I want to pursue that.”   His fascination with and appreciation for Standardbreds continues to grow.   It’s what eventually drew Lago to Equine Guelph, specifically, the vast array of online educational courses that are offered. He applied for and won the Stuart Stocks Memorial Tuition Award (Equine Guelph Tuition Awards) through Equine Guelph in 2016.   “I was thrilled to be chosen,” he said. “I knew there was some tough competition. I think education within the industry will continue to grow. It’s extremely important.”   His association with Equine Guelph turned out to be twice as nice one year later.   Lago, who was part of the 2016 Wannadrive team, a Hands on Horses Program, also received two online courses through Equine Guelph (valued at $549 each) after being selected as the recipient of the inaugural Roger L’Heureux Award in 2017. Certificates were available in Equine Science, Equine Welfare and Equine Business.   “Getting to take the Equine Genetics and Equine Exercise Physiology in 2017 was an amazing experience,” said Lago, who is set to take the Health & Disease course out of the University of Guelph this May. “My main motive behind it all was to gain more experience. Horses, at one point, they were an unknown to me. I was going to Agricultural school (Business and Livestock Production) at the time in Olds, Alberta. There wasn’t much focus on racehorses, of course, so I wanted to further my education in that, so by taking these courses through Guelph, it’s really helped me in so many ways and helped me increase my knowledge of racehorses. It’s opened a lot of doors.”   He’s hoping other young people get the same opportunities.   “I want to keep giving to this industry to the fullest extent,” offered Lago. “By doing interviews, talking to people, it’s just tremendous because it really shows off the sport. Any positive publicity that harness racing can get is great. The sport has a lot of room for growth and I believe there are a lot of positive outlooks for the industry.”   An industry that Lago believes offers a little bit of everything, with the exception of tedium. Why would he encourage people to consider a horseracing life?   I would say it’s thrilling, that you’re always doing something new every day and you never know what your day will be like,” said Lago. “When you go into a barn, someone always has a story and someone always teaches you something. Working with the equine athletes is something in itself. I’ve really come to appreciate them even more after taking these Guelph courses. It’s fueled my passion even more. To work with them every day, it’s a privilege. You get hooked.   “I would encourage anyone to apply with Equine Guelph because there is so much to learn about these amazing athletes. They’re very complex animals, so to better care for them and understand them is so important. Whether they are racing or they’re a broodmare, they all have a purpose. I would highly encourage anyone to get connected with Equine Guelph and Ontario Racing. There’s a lot to learn from one another.”   Cameron Lago would certainly know.   Story by: Chris Lomon

Guelph, ON, May, 3, 2018 - With a hefty focus on emergency management, this year’s annual conference for the Organization of Racing Investigators (ORI), at Woodbine racetrack in Toronto, included Large Animal Emergency Rescue training provided by Equine Guelph. On the morning of Tuesday March 27th, Racing Investigators from as far afield as Australia received Awareness Level presentations on the technical aspects of rescue and then participated in hands-on practical exercises.   “The Equine Guelph Large Animal Emergency Rescue (LAER) course that was provided for the Organization of Racing Investigators at their 2018 annual conference was excellent,” said Racing Investigator/Firefighter, Troy Moffatt. “The content and delivery methods were accurate for the audience and there were numerous positive comments from our international partners claiming that this conference was one of the best. Having been a past student of this (LAER) course at both Mohawk and Meaford in 2017, I knew it was one not to miss.   I would encourage anyone involved in the equine world to attend and gain this valuable practical knowledge. I would also encourage any first responder to seek out this training and take it home to their departments.”   In this highly condensed version of the LAER program the key points stressed that successful rescue techniques follow an incident command system, mitigating risks and improving the odds of a favorable outcome for both animals and responders. All large animal incidents regardless of cause or scope, present a risk of injury to responders. That is why proper training of best practices and how to use rescue equipment is of the utmost importance for the safety of all involved.   “The feedback from participants was that the demonstrations were extremely interesting, informative, and practical,” said Tyler Durand, Racing Investigator from Toronto. “This was an excellent program provided by knowledgeable instructors."   A highly engaged group of racing investigators, security officers, racing officials and police officers were taken through the basics of animal behaviour and handling techniques, restraint and confinement techniques, basic anatomy and the roles of others at an animal incident. The working relationship with a large animal and equine veterinarian was discussed as an important part of a successful rescue as well as aftercare.   The participants were then put to task practicing rescue scenarios using a 600 pound horse mannequin with a focus on safety for both humans and animals and the general welfare of the animal. Remembering the anatomy lessons clarifying that tails, legs, heads and necks are not appropriate handles, they practiced several different ways to perform drags, lifts and assists with safe attachment methods using specialized webbing for straps and proper support.   “Prevention of such incidents is key,” says Equine Guelph director, Gayle Ecker, “but response to the incidents involving animals through knowledge and best practices is an important part of the health, welfare and safety of animals and first responders. We thank AGCO chairman, Jeremy Locke for organizing this event and bringing this important training to the 2018 Organization of Racing Investigators Training Conference.”   Jackie Bellamy-Zions Communications Equine Guelph Guelph, ON  N1G 2W1 519.824.4120 ext. 54756 jbellamy@uoguelph.ca

Guelph, ON April, 25, 2018 - EquiMania! would like to extend a sincere thank you to the organizers, supporters, sponsors, volunteers and the attendees at the Can-Am Equine Expo in Markham, ON. It was the 13th consecutive year of participation for EquiMania! at yet another brilliant show! Can-Am is always a must-attend for horse lovers from all disciplines. The April 6 – 8 event offered a multitude of learning opportunities, as well as entertainment and shopping for a well-rounded sensational outing. The staff and volunteers manning the education booth and Equimania! fun zone are always impressed by the dedicated equestrians coming out to Can-Am to further their equine knowledge.   To build on Can-Am’s atmosphere of education, attendees of the Equine Guelph and EquiMania! displays were encouraged to fill out ballots for a chance to win a free short online course from The Horse Portal.   Congratulations to Victoria Ayres, of Queensville, Ontario, who won her choice of one of the following 3-week courses offered to ages 16 and up: Horse Care & Welfare (September 17 – October 5, 2018), Sickness Prevention (October 15 – 26, 2018), Gut Health and Colic Prevention (November 12 – 30, 2018) or Horse Behaviour & Safety (January 21 – February 8, 2019). Congratulations also go out to Teya from Ontario, who won free enrolment into Horse Behaviour & Safety for Youth (July 23 – August 10, 2018). Check out The Horse Portalfor more information on these courses and upcoming 12 week courses.    “My heartfelt thanks go out to Ross Millar and the Can-Am team, especially auction organizer Janice Blakeney, for their dedication to putting together the annual Art Auction featured at the Can-Am Saturday Evening Extravaganza,” says Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph. The auction was a resounding success with $4275.00 raised in under 15 minutes, with all the proceeds going to Equine Guelph. Many thanks to the four talented ladies who donated their beautiful pieces of art include: Nola McConnan, Ann Clifford, Kelly Plitz and Shawn Hamilton.    Equine Guelph would also like to acknowledge Heartland star, Amber Marshall for her role in the art auction. Amber provided a gift basket (signed magazines, necklace she wears on Heartland show, horse treats). When a call came out from the crowd to include a selfie, she quickly agreed to add that to the gift pack. The bidding quickly reached $800, and there were still 3 bidders at this level, so Amber suggested she would provide 3 gift packs and selfies if everyone would donate $800.  She tripled the donation with this action! Thank you Amber!   The strength of great partnerships has made EquiMania! a popular exhibit in Ontario and beyond. Equine Guelph thanks the sponsors and volunteers who make it possible to bring EquiMania! to approximately 2 million visitors every year! Thank you ESSO, Greenhawk, Kubota Canada, Ontario Equestrian, Shur-Gain, SSG Gloves, Standardbred Canada, System Fencing and Workplace Safety and Prevention Services.    To book EquiMania! for your next event contact Eq4kids@uoguelph.ca    Kids, visit EquiMania! online to play games online & stay tuned to upcoming events for more EquiMania! outings.   Equine Guelph

Equine Guelph, a leader in equine research and sports medicine, headlines a group of Ontario educators extolling the merits of the Youth Literary Derby.   "The Derby is a wonderful initiative encouraging youth of Ontario to express themselves, engage and celebrate in the wonderful world of horses." Said Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph. "As an enthusiastic partner in the promotion of the Youth Literary Derby and a strong supporter of education for budding horse enthusiasts, Equine Guelph is pleased to provide online Horse Behaviour and Safety courses for the winners of the Youth Literary Derby." Equine Guelph, well known for their support of the grass roots of the horse industry with their award-winning travelling display, EquiMania, recently added a short course for youth 14 - 17 years old: Horse Behaviour and Safety. "We hope the Derby winners will enjoy furthering their interest in horses and learning the language of the horse during this highly interactive course." Ecker continued. Harness racing legend and Hambletonian Society president, John Campbell weighs in on the Literary Derby: "I read with great interest about the Youth Literary initiative being implemented in Ontario. I believe that exposing children to horses and the excitement of seeing and being around newborn foals will result in some incredible stories from these children. Some of these kids might not know it now but after being around and interacting with these horses their lives will be changed. It will be the beginning of a lifetime love affair as horses are addictive; they make an impression on you and are good for the soul. The project really hit home for me as I have always been an avid reader and feel that even though technology and the way we learn has changed, we should encourage children to read, write and express themselves through literature as much as possible. I have seen firsthand the anticipation and excitement that you see on a child's face when they receive a new book. In addition, my daughter Michelle is involved with KPMG'S Family Literacy program whose mission is to provide new books and educational resources to children in need. As you can see, giving back is a family affair." Standardbreds in the classroom "As an elementary teacher at a rural school I have found the Youth Literary Derby to be a great way to connect students with the Standardbred industry." said Trena Lebedz of the Aldborough Public School in Rodney Ontario. "I look forward to allowing more students the opportunity to share their knowledge and love for horses by including the program in my classes as part of the curriculum" she said. "We are currently learning about the different types of poems, which will be used to create a poetic piece for the contest." Trena Lebedz comes by her love of horses quite honestly. Her great grandfather, J. Russell Miller, was an astute, successful horseman who owned, trained and bred many outstanding Standardbreds for more than four decades. From the St. John French Immersion Catholic Elementary School in London, Ont., "It's (The Youth Literary Derby) a good idea and can work well with our curriculum." "Foals are a fantastic subject for any story. Whether its penmanship or horsemanship, we wish all of the contestants the best of luck and look forward to reading the winning poems and short stories" said Ontario Equestrian, Director , Tracey McCague-McElrea. Ontario Equestrian, is a partner in the promotion and support of the Youth Literary Derby, and is Ontario's provincial support organization for equestrians. It is committed to the highest standards of horse welfare advocacy and pursuits and represents 22,000 members from all sectors of the horse industry. "Having students write poems and short stories about Standardbreds is fantastic. We should follow your lead and do something like this in the States." says Kimberly Rinker, Vice President of the United States Harness Writers Association. "What a great program and incentive to get youngsters involved or interested in harness racing."   The Youth Literary Derby is a horse-themed contest for Ontario students grades 5 - 8. It offers $2,000 in prize money and is designed to encourage writing and literacy skills and offers students the opportunity to visit Ontario Standardbred breeding farms during foaling season in April, through June and challenges them to create inspiring prose, or poetry about their close up encounters with Standardbred foals. Entries close June 15th. For complete contest details and a list of Ontario farms available for visiting before writing their entry, students are advised to visit: www.YouthLiteraryDerby.ca. For additional information: Bill Galvin: billgalvin2000@rogers.com    

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