The Educated Horseman: Management Series

Ana Iverson  |  10/12/2017 6:01:46 PM

Equine Liability Statute: Are You in compliance?

Many states have passed equine liability laws that protect against the inherent risks of equine activities, and Louisiana is one of those states.

Both sections of the Louisiana statutes have identical terms, except for the animal to which the statute pertains. Under both statutes, “engaging” in a farm animal activity or equine activity does not include being a spectator at a farm animal activity, except in cases where the spectator places himself or herself in an unauthorized area and in immediate proximity to the farm animal or equine activity.


For more information, clink on the pdf link below.

Recovery of Pastures After Floods

Flood events are cause for concern for horse owners on many levels. Once you have addressed the health support your horse needs following a flood, the next concern you need to address is managing your pastures.

Major flood events will vary in the degree of impact on pastures. This will depend on how the flood proceeded across the land, the soil types involved, water table levels and a range of other factors. In general, warm-season perennial species grown for pasture in Louisiana are pretty tolerant of flooding conditions. Bermudagrass has been reported to survive after submersion of 55 days, while bahiagrass survived in a greenhouse trial after 84 days of submersion.

For more information, click on pdf link below.

Pub. 3610 - Recovery of Pastures After Floods


Water Works Equine Conditioning Techniques

Physiological conditioning is one of the key factors in obtaining peak performance in horses. Ensuring your horse is conditioned prior to competition, it is important to reduce the chance of injury and increase your opportunity for success. Basic conditioning principles require addressing multiple physical systems, including the respiratory system, cardiovascular system, muscular anatomy and the fitness of tendons, ligaments and bone.

For more information, click on the pdf link below.

Pub The Educated Horseman - Management Series - Water Works-Equine Conditioning Techniquespdf

Should You Blanket Your Horse?

blanket horse

So how do you know if you should blanket your horse? Blanketing becomes necessary to reduce the effects of cold and inclement weather when horses are exposed to extreme cold (10 degrees Fahrenheit or lower) and:

  • There is a chance the horse will become wet.
  • The horse has a poor winter coat or has been clipped for showing.
  • The horse is very young or very old.
  • The horse has a body condition score of 3 or less or is in poor health.
  • The horse is not acclimated to the cold.
  • Shelter from the wind/elements is not available.

For more information, click on pdf link below.

Cold Weather Equine Transportation

horse trailer

Although most performance horses are accustomed to being transported, research indicates stress experienced by horses during transport can lead to decreased reproductive performance, increased disease and temporary reduction in performance ability.

Even more, hauling during cold temperatures escalates the potential hazards for drivers and animals. Extra precautions should be taken during cold weather to diminish the challenges associated with hauling horses during cold weather. Take measures to maintain your horse’s health and to ensure peak performance ability.

For more information, click on pdf link below.

External Parasite Control

blanket horse

Heavy rain, thunderstorms, longer days and increasing temperatures indicate when summer is approaching in Louisiana. While many of us welcome the opportunity to spend more time in the saddle; no one is excited about the return of bugs.

These insects not only create a nuisance but also are potential disease carriers. It is important to understand the health concerns associated with external parasite interactions with livestock and to create a management plan that works best for your situation.

For more information, click on pdf link below.

Equine Identification Requirements for Out-of-state Travel

The U.S. Department of Agriculture instituted its animal disease traceability program to try to improve the ability to trace all livestock in the event of a disease outbreak. Under the federal regulations instituted in 2013, horses moving out of state must be accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection – and the rules also apply to mules and donkeys crossing state lines.

What is an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection? It is a document of official identification. This document includes a description of the animal sufficient to identify it.

For more information, click on pdf link below.

Horses and Hurricanes

horse rescue

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30 each year. Even when it’s not hurricane season or when the season isn’t predicted to be as bad, it’s still a good idea to make your plans early and to work on preparing your horses for potential storms.

Planning is the key to keeping your horses safe. Ensure your horse is up to date on all vaccines. Create a “plan” with neighbors and surrounding farm owners. Identify available resources in the surrounding areas. This includes an evacuation route, stabling locations, feed availability, emergency kits and ensuring your horses are trained to load into a trailer if needed.

If your plans include evacuation, leave early enough to avoid traffic jams and the accompanying delays. Also keep in mind that management practices may change during an evacuation, so monitor your horses closely for dehydration and signs of colic or intestinal distress.

For more information, click on pdf link below.

Summer Hauling

horse trailer

The opportunities for “horsing around” are endless during the summer. Horse shows, competitions, sales and trail rides are just a haul away. But the hot and humid conditions of a Louisiana summer can pose serious health problems for your horse – particularly during hauling.

Dehydration, heatstroke and exhaustion are just some of the ailments that need to be prevented while traveling with your horse.

For more information, click on pdf link below.

Body Condition Scoring: Evaluation of Excess Energy Reserves in Horses

equine body condition scoring

Body condition scoring is a system designed to estimate the amount of stored energy reserves or fat. In horses; the evaluation of six specific locations leads to the assignment of a numeric score from 1 to 9 that allows comparison between horses.

This system requires both visual and physical palpation to assess the degrees of fatness. Usually all six locations (behind the shoulder, ribs, along the neck, withers, crease down the back and the tailhead)are equally important in determining a score, but differences in conformation, age, injury and physical fitness may cause confusion during a visual inspection and therefore require additional physical evaluation.

For more information, click on the link below.

Equine Winter Cool-Down Methods

Even when winter brings us temperatures in the teens or twenties and we’re building fires, cooking a pot of gumbo and rethinking our riding plans for the winter, you shouldn’t let the colder weather fool you into thinking you’re stuck inside. Your riding and training goals for the winter can still be achieved as long as you provide appropriate cool-down and recovery time for your horses.

After any length of strenuous exercise, it is important to provide adequate time for your horse to cool down. Cooling down involves lowering your horse’s heart rate, respiration rate and body temperature to a resting level before returning it to the stall or pasture.

For more information, clink on pdf link below.

Rate This Article:

Have a question or comment about the information on this page?

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture

Top