Thursday, February 22, 2018

Horse Powers, A Norwegian Film

Horse Power, From the Land of the Vikings is a film produced in Norway, that is scheduled to be released soon.  The documentary presents segments about Norwegians and horses--riding in a long distance race in Mongolia, a war veteran working with horses, and a family raising Icelandic horses in the traditional way.  Photography is spectacular.  Here is the trailer.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Risk Factors in Laminitis

Some interesting research has come out on breed, body condition, high risk environments, and risk of laminitis.

Nanna Luthersson, DVM, and associates studied laminitis risk factors in horses in Denmark. "It confirmed that cold-blooded-type ponies less than 149 centimeters (58.7 inches, or 14.3 hands)—such as Shetlands, Welsh Ponies, Dartmoors, Fells, Icelandic horses, and Norwegian fjords—and those being kept on high-quality pasture experienced an increased risk of developing laminitis for the first time. The study also highlighted the important role that a change in grass intake—both type and amount—can play at any time of the year, not just during the spring as commonly thought."

In Britain, Nicola Menzies-Gow, MA, VetMB, PhD, and associates found that low concentrations of the hormone adiponectin combined with high serum insulin concentrations are associated with a higher risk a horse developing laminitis due to over grazing. In the future, vets may be able to test for susceptible horses.

In The Horse article listed below, Amber Krotky of Buckeye Nutrition lists recommendations for helping reduce the risk of laminitis for cold-blooded, short horses like Icelandics: Don't turn them out onto new, lush pasture; restrict access to unlimited grass all year long; increase exercise, etc.

Krotky mentions that horses like Icelandics can eat three times their nutritional needs in 24 hours on unrestricted pasture. When we lived on the east coast, Blessi tried to do that on the lush grass of Chester County near Philadelphia. He gained so much weight so fast he had to go in the pudgy pony pasture, ie, a bare pasture. And yes, we tried a grazing muzzle. Putting a grazzing muzzle on Blessi was like giving him a Rubic's Cube to play with. Eventually he got the muzzle off in under 30 seconds, not including the time it took him to roll on his back so he could use his front leg to pull off the muzzle.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Pony in the White House Elevator--A One Act Play

Have you ever written a play?  Have you ever written stage costume directions for a horse in a play?
As an experiment, I re-wrote one of the chapters in my book
Second floor of the White House during
Theodore Roosevelt's presidency
Rough Riding Through the White House: The Adventures of the Pony Algonquin and the Roosevelt Children as a one-act play.  Algonquin was a possibly part Icelandic pony.  This exercise forced me to concentrate on action, visualize scenery, plot sound effects, and consider pony motivations (it's the cookies).  And I loved being able to write dialogue without having to document every word spoken. 

You can read my attempt via the link below.  Plus who knew children's nursery rhymes at the turn of the twentieth century were based on President Grant's drinking habits?   What do you think about my attempt?