AAEP Warning About Laminitis

The American Association of Equine Practitioners posted the following on Facebook:

Did you know fall grass could be just as dangerous as spring grass for a laminitis-prone horse? Most horse owners know they should be wary of lush spring grass, which produces large amounts of sugary substances to give the pasture energy to grow. What you may not know, is that fall grass also accumulates high levels of soluble sugars and carbohydrates, due to the combination of warm days and cool nights, as well as increased precipitations.

For horses at higher risk of developing laminitis, this refreshed grass may be enough to push them over the edge. While the exact mechanisms by which the feet are damaged due to laminitis remain a mystery, certain precipitating events can produce the condition. Although laminitis occurs in the feet, the underlying cause is often a disturbance elsewhere in the horse’s body (like overfeeding).

By learning more about this condition, you may be able to minimize the risks of laminitis in your horse or control the long-term damage if it does occur. Learn more about laminitis on our website at https://aaep.org/horsehealth/laminitis-prevention-treatment and, as always, contact your veterinarian for more information and advice tailored to your horse’s individual situation.

Rocking Heart Ranch Colt Starting Challenge

COVID didn’t beat the equine community this weekend during the Rocking Heart Ranch 60 Colt Starting Challenge. Even though attendance was limited due to COVID restrictions, the event was livestreamed over DLMS.ca so people from all over Canada could tune in and watch the next generation of equine training talent.  

Trainers competed to win the coveted 2020 Trainer of the Year which was based on completing a pattern that included the elements of a solid start. It was an intense competition with a lot of talented trainers and the judges, Adiva Murphy and Dean Ross, had a hard decision to make.  At the end of the day, the hardware and titles were handed out and a huge congratulations go to: CLICK ON “PAGE 2” BELOW TO CONTINUE

Fall On The Farm

A lady told me the other day that she often goes for drives in the country and it is quite lovely but it looks like too much work.

Before I moved to the farm I never thought of it that way. I always thought it looked like freedom and horses and a great place to raise my kids. I found out it was true. All of it.

Actually the work isn’t evenly distributed over the year. It is directed by the season and the weather more than anything. The busiest season is fall (although spring can be nearly as busy). Getting the harvest done and things put away for winter is a big job. And the weather doesn’t always cooperate. So every “nice” day you need to spend getting “the fall work” done with the pressure that winter could arrive and end your harvest and fall chores at any time.

Reminders of The Good Old Days

I’m having trouble finding interesting news for the blog. This may change when the pandemic is over. Or not. Who knows? So in the meantime I have decided I may as well just post some of the things that are happening here on the ranch.

Dave and I were having coffee in our little garden the other day when he commented that this summer reminds him of summers of his childhood. Like most farm kids we didn’t go anywhere in the summer. Perhaps to the fair although Dave had to work in the dairy barn with his uncle so even that was a different experience than the town kids. Not to say it wasn’t even better. You got to sleep over and hang out on the midway until late. You got to visit friends and other kids who were involved with the animals at the fair. And mom made fried chicken and potato salad and sliced up a big watermelon.

Fried Chicken, potato salad, watermelon and family at the fair. Good times.

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2019 Wild Rose Welsh & Open Pony Show

Show Report by Karen Podolski

While Alberta continues to dig its way out of the economic downturn, this trickles into show entries. The 2019 Wild Rose Show had about 50 ponies and horses, including welcoming some BC ponies.

Our annual three-day, three-judge event is the largest Welsh show in western Canada, and in 2019 sadly it was the only Welsh show across British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. Manitoba has its annual show, and Ontario has a number of Welsh shows each year, while Quebec has been picking up momentum for some time and now hosts breed events.

For the Friday Youngstock Futurity & Performance Stake, Jennifer Caldwell from Ontario officiated, while the Saturday – Sunday main show was judged by Diana Cappellanti from Virginia and Megan Burtness from California.

Judge: Jennifer Caldwell

This portion of the show is for Welsh and Half-Welsh only. It begins with several riding and driving classes for ponies aged three to eight, and culminates in the youngstock halter championships.

The Futurity Grand Champion Section A and Futurity Res. Supreme Champion went to Shell-Crest Starlight Silver, a 2018 grey Welsh Mountain Pony filly (Gallod Twm Sion Catti x Shell-Crest Starlit by Dandardel Flit) bred and owned by Shelley Snyder from Didsbury.

Futurity Res. Supreme Ch under Caldwell & unanimous Res. Gr. Ch. Section A: Shell-Crest Starlight Silver, 2018 Section A filly.

Her owners say, “This filly showed very well throughout her first year; she took everything with ease and showed off her Section A characteristics: movement, temperament, and conformation.”

In reserve came Alvesta Fflach (Delami Red Legend x Alvesta Caris by Nerwyn Gwyn), 2018 grey gelding. Fflach is the first offspring from Brenda Podolski’s 2014 imported colt, Delami Red Legend (Sunwillow Galong x Delami Simply Red by Delami Diablo).

Futurity Res. Section A Ch. under Caldwell: Alvesta Fflach, 2018 gelding owned by Brenda Podolski.

Being a late foal (born July 17) and only 13 months old at the time of showing, our active yearling could have had more weight and been more mature for the show ring, but took him out for some experience. A typical smart, eager Welsh Mountain Pony, Fflach decided was quite confident with the proceedings by the end.

A real mover, he was entered in the main show’s Liberty class. Although he initially thought he should stick around for treats, he ended up stepping out and being awarded 1st and 2nd (two judges) amongst some beautiful moving ponies.

Onto the Section Bs, yearling chestnut roan colt Alvesta Owain (Thistledown Arctic Lore x Alvesta Fairy Lustre by CadlanValley Pirate) would be awarded the Futurity Gr. Ch. Section B trophy and then the top two championships of the evening: Futurity Supreme Champion Welsh Youngstock and Futurity Gr. Ch. Sport Pony.

Youngstock Futurity Supreme Ch under Caldwell: Alvesta Owain, 2018 Section B colt.

With a herd of females sired by CadlanValley Pirate—with a few Llanarth Tarquin and Alvesta Helios daughters—we were on the lookout for a quality B colt. Then in 2015, we had the opportunity to visit Welsh studs in Wales and England, including Sandy Anderson’s Thistledown stud. After seeing well over 100 Thistledown ponies and cobs (only a portion of Sandy’s extensive program, since we didn’t get into his mountain pastures) we were particularly impressed with Lore and his family’s quality, type, and substance—plus height (sire 13.3hh, dam 13.2hh). Later we learned of their renowned temperament and movement, and Lore was purchased.

Like Being Dropped in Borneo

Imagine being dropped off in the middle of a country where the locals are out to get you, you don’t understand the local customs, and the food sources, water, rules and terrain are completely different. You have no map, in fact you are not even sure why you got moved here. Not a single one of your friends in your past life are with you. The first day you broke an, unknown to you, important local custom and there is a good chance you could be soup.

That’s pretty much what happened to Rio.

By horse standards Rio was raised and lived in a fairly protected world. A pretty black mare with a popular pedigree, she was destined to be a show horse. Her coat was kept smooth, soft and shiny, her mane groomed and her tail washed and braided and protected.

She was trained and had proven herself in the show world when we met her. She was loved, being cared for and shown by a very nice young man and his family. He was ready to move up. Rio was offered for sale. We bought her.

Rio found it difficult.