PA State Police hunting for donated mounts

Got a sound and sturdy horse that needs rehoming? The Pennsylvania State Police have issued a call for horse donations. Accepted horses will join the 26-horse Tactical Mounted Unit for crowd control, parades, patrol operations, searches, security, and other purposes.

Equine police candidates must be geldings, aged between five and 15 years and standing 16 to 18 hands high. Drafts and draft crosses are the top choice.

In each case, a vet check will be done, every accepted horse will be taken for a three- to four-month trial period. Donated horses have to possess calm, trainable dispositions and no stable vices.

Pennsylvania State Police horses reside near Hershey, Pennsylvania, in a stable located by the Police Academy.

For more information:
Corporate Michael Funk
Phone: 717-533-9111, ext. 321
Email: mifunk@pa.gov

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Shaking our heads over horse head shaking

Horse head shaking can have multiple causes, and some of them can be serious medical issues. It can point to allergies, muscle spasms, respiratory issues, neurological problems, vision conditions, insect or parasite disturbances, and more.

But sometimes, a horse shakes his head for very simple reasons.

Take Paulette’s Quarter Horse, for example.

Cam suddenly became a head shaker, and it was downright scary for a while.

Just yesterday, this sweet nine-year-old Palomino gelding stood in the cross ties in the barn aisle and shook his head, while his owner gave him a thorough grooming.

After currying off huge clumps of winter hair and mud, Paulette tacked up her horse and led him into the indoor riding arena. Paulette and Cam stood in the center of the ring for a while, waiting for lesson traffic to subside a bit.

And Cam started the head shaking thing again.

Paulette asked a few horsey pals to take a look at her horse. They looked in his eyes. They peeked into his ears. They fiddled with his bridle, checking for proper fit. They examined the bit.

A fellow boarder piped up that it might be EPM. (“Thanks for playing. Not really helpful this time.”)

The devoted horse owner considered calling her equine veterinarian. But she decided to give it a day or two and see if the situation resolved itself.

The next morning, Paulette went to the stables to check on Cam. A resident trainer pointed out how the barn roof was dripping, right over the aisle cross ties, as the snow on the roof melted. He showed Paulette a big puddle on the floor.

Together, they stepped into the arena and examined the spot where Paulette and Cam had stood on the previous day. Sure enough, the sand footing was soupy in that exact spot. They looked up and saw the drip-drip-drip from the ceiling too.

Another vet call averted!

Sure, horse head shaking can be a weighty matter. But this time, it wasn’t.

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Chief questions for conscientious horse owners

Horse owners don’t have to have all the answers, even when it comes to caring for their horses. Sometimes we simply have to ask the right questions.

Here are a few examples.

How might I go about identifying possible equine boarding facilities in my area?

Take a look at these practical pointers: 7 ways to find a new horse boarding barn

How can I pick the right stable for boarding my horse?

How can I be a better boarder at the barn?

Think about these helpful suggestions: 10 ways to be an active and attentive horse boarding client

Why is a Coggins Test required of my horse?

While we’re on the subject of equine veterinarians, is there a proper protocol for vet barn calls?

What if I am considering donating my horse to an equine therapy group?

Perhaps these key questions will spur additional ideas and questions you might choose to consider, as you seek to care most effectively for your own horse.

After all, sometimes the most helpful information is readily available, if we will but ask.

You are invited to bookmark, follow, or subscribe to The Mane Point: A Haven for Horse Lovers. Watch for additional key questions for horse owners and additional practical helps in future posts.

Chief questions for conscientious horse owners
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New Year's: Got horsey resolutions?

A brand-new year is upon us. Raise your hoof (so to speak), if you’re making any horse-related New Year’s resolutions.

Do you plan to:

  • Ride longer – or more often
  • Visit your horse more frequently
  • Enter more horse shows
  • Log lots of trail miles
  • Read more horse books
  • Schedule a professional horse portrait session
  • Ride bareback and bridle-less for the first time
  • Participate in more equestrian training clinics
  • Keep a horse journal
  • Add a fitness regimen to improve your body condition
  • Start saving for a new horse trailer
  • Polish your horse’s saddle and tack more often
  • Train at a higher level than last year
  • Come up with a way to display all those horse show ribbons
  • Clean out the tack room before Labor Day
  • Or something else?

What is your horsey New Year’s resolution?

New Year’s: Got horsey resolutions?
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4 horse feeds recalled after equine deaths

4 horse feeds recalled after equine deaths

Four horse feed products have been recalled, possibly linked to the deaths of multiple horses at a ranch in South Florida. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has apparently sent feed samples to a private laboratory to investigate possible adulteration of the feeds in question, according to a November 18 report in Florida’s The Ledger.

Lakeland Animal Nutrition, an Alltech subsidiary, voluntarily recalled the four pelleted equine feeds, posting this statement on their official website.

Please be advised that the following horse feed(s) are being voluntarily recalled by Lakeland. It has come to our attention that there may be a quality issue with the equine feeds named and produced as listed below:

Signature Status Pellet (Lot Number 14-251) – Manufacture Date: September 8
Signature Equilette Pellet (Lot Number 14-259) – Manufacture Date: September 16
Signature Status Pellet (Lot Number 14-280) – Manufacture Date: October 7
LAN 10 Pellet (Lot Number 14-281) – Manufacture Date: October 8

If you are in possession of any of these affected products, please return the product(s) to your dealer immediately for a full refund. The specific lot number can be found on the front center of the feed bag.

As a measure of caution, Lakeland is suspending the manufacture and sale of all equine feeds until further notice.

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your cooperation. Please message us with any questions or call us at 863-665-5722 (M-F, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.).

As recently as November 4, Lakeland Animal Nutrition posted a notice on the company’s Facebook page, announcing the company’s plans to discontinue production of all equine feeds, effective immediately.

Eliminated products include: Equilette Sweet and Pellet, EquiPeak, Grain-Max, LAN 10 sweet  pellet, LAN 12-6, LAN12 sweet pellet, PaceSetter, Status, Turn & Burn, all Signature formulations, and all economy horse feeds.

We have not come to this decision lightly. It has been the result of many months of consideration and ultimately allows us to focus on core manufacturing competencies in beef, dairy, poultry and swine along with other classes of commercial livestock,” the Lakeland Facebook announcement said.

Lakeland equine feed customers now have two reasons to seek other feed options promptly for their horses.

Here are a few examples of equine feeds available online from other manufacturers. (Listing does not imply endorsement. Horse owners are advised to evaluate products individually, with their own equines’ nutritional needs in mind.)

Additional brands (such as Nutrena, Purina, and Tribute) may be obtained through local feed dealers and grain depots.

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