Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Free Equine Arthritis clinic

Topic: Osteoarthritis in Equines

Date/Time: Saturday, November 15, 2008 -- 12:00

Location: Rappahannock Equine Veterinary Clinic, Locust Grove, VA

Contact: 540-854-7171
Seating is limited, so reserve a space today! (REVC closes on Friday at noon)
Free Lunch provided!

Dr. Robert Keene

Dr. Keene received his undergraduate degree in Animal Science from Montana State University in 1980, and graduated from the veterinary school of Colorado State University in 1983. He went on to practice in California, focusing on equine health, reproduction and surgery. Since 1985, Dr, Keene has served as consultant to many veterinary and equine research companies, and on several committees of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

Friday, November 7, 2008

TREES Needs Trees!

Christmas trees, that is!

Traveller's Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary is looking for artificial Christmas trees in search of new jobs. Any size or shape is fine, but we do ask that the trees be in good condition. If an idea to generate support works out, the trees will be on display in area business, so they must look nice.

If you have an extra tree please let us know , preferably before Thanksgiving, so we'll have time to coordinate other aspects of the program based on number of trees available.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Age is Just a Number

"At what age should I retire my horse?"

We hear that question often and I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole. I'll just say that there is no magic number. You should retire your horse when he no longer enjoys his work.

"'I will retire Elmer when he no longer enjoys the trail,' said [Mary Anna] Wood. Saturday (10-25-08) was not that day."

Elmer Bandit....our hero! Many senior horses' owners have followed Elmer for many months as he approached the competitive trail mileage record. In Kansas, over the October 25-26 weekend, he did it. Elmer broke the old record of 20,710 career miles. As if that number wasn't impressive enough, here's another: Elmer broke that record at age 37!

See? Just a number.

Be sure to read the article linked above, written by Marsha Hayes, who had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity -- to ride her horse Ransom, next to Elmer during his record breaking ride.

"Elmer Bandit is not scheduled to compete in any other events in 2008. "

Sonny in Virginia Horse Journal

The November issue of The Virginia Horse Journal asked horses why they are thankful to live where they do. One of TREES residents is included in the feature.

I'm sorry to say I can't find a way to link directly to that page, but go to , choose "Current Issue," then go to page 22-23. Look for the smart aleck Palomino

Edited Nov 4: Thanks to an anonymous post in the comments section, we now know how to link to specific pages of VHJ. Look for Sonny here:

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Horses are not interested in "Eastern Standard Time."

Today's post is courtesy of Delphi, one of TREES alpha horses.

"What gives? For 28 years now, I have been wondering what's up with Annual Torture Your Horse At Mealtimes Day. What? You suddenly forgot when the sun comes up in the morning? You are surprised when it sets in the evening?

OK. Yesterday, the chow wagon started its rounds before the sun was above the eastern tree line. Today, no chow wagon until well after the sun was totally visible to all. Helloooo? Did you not notice us lined up along the fence staring at the house an hour ago?

We knew this would happen. You just forgot, didn't you? Once a year, every year, like clockwork, you forget the schedule. Of course by this time we should know to expect it, but when it didn't happen in October as usual, we thought the you were finally out of that annoying rut.

I suppose one good thing is that now supper comes half an hour "earlier" (By the human clock.... by the horse clock, its still half an hour late) because you have "less time" to finish the outdoor chores before it gets dark.

Which brings us to another issue..........dark, schmark! If you grew some decent whiskers, you wouldn't have to depend so heavily on daylight.

Sometimes I think the wrong species became the care givers!"

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Horse-sized Place Mats!

Traveller's Rest would like to thank all who donated stall mats to the cause.

The mats, however, will not be used in the ordinary way, providing a comfortable floor in a stall. Rather, they will serve as over-size place mats. Many of our dentally challenged horses drop food while eating. This, in itself, would not be a significant problem if they did not try to vacuum up the leftovers once their food dishes are emptied. All residents are served soaked food, so you can imagine how much dirt or bedding might cling to the "plops" that hit the floor at meal time. We have always tried to keep feeding corners swept clean, so there is not much to stick to dropped food, but since the floors are dirt there is still a concern that the horses might be swallowing dirt or other debris which could lead to "sand colic" (or dirt/gravel colic depending on your environment and just what your horse is likely to swallow.)
Through no fault of his own, Rienzi is our biggest offender. Not only does our clown prince have a serious malocclusion, but his previous home was a paddock he shared with goats and pigs. After picking up a mouthful of food, he still looks around to see whether or not his "roommates" are coming to share the meal. As you can see, this habit distributes his food in an impressive arc around the dish.

Rienzi's "bite:"

Here is Rienzi's mat after he decides he's vacuumed all he can. He does a pretty good job picking up the dropped food. If he were eating on dirt or in a bedded stall, he would pick up a lot of debris with each meal. He is still pushing a lot of food off the edges of the mat, so we will need to dedicate two mats to this particular feeding station.

The remaining mats will be cut into triangles that will fit in stall corners below the feeders. We'll still need to sweep up around feeding stations after meals, but this should make the job much easier in addition to providing a little more peace of mind concerning what is going into residents' stomachs.