I’m not embarrassed to say it: My name is Amy, and I’m a baby about my birthday.
I know there are some stalwart characters out there who say, “My birthday? No big deal. Just another day” (and that person is usually a guy. Gentlemen, you know who you are, and blowing off your own birthday doesn’t garner you extra life points for being self-sacrificing).
I, on the other hand, learned long ago not to just put on a cheerful face and say, Oh, that’s O.K., no big deal that you forgot my birthday…because I would end up feeling secretly disappointed or, worse yet, slightly resentful of the oversight, although to be fair, only close family or friends are held to that standard.
So, weeks before The Day, I take matters into my own hands and start dropping not-so-subtle hints to those in my inner circle: “My birthday is in two weeks. Did I mention I’m a big baby about my birthday? Dark chocolate is always good.”
And like any good editor, I will give you updates on how many days you have left as the deadline approaches (and don’t worry, this isn’t just a one-way street. I do my best on the birthdays of those I love to make sure they have a good day and get what they were hoping for).
Which brings me to my most recent favorite birthday gift. I had not long ago become a horse owner, again (I grew up in Kentucky, where it’s mandatory that you either own one or at least know how to ride), and I was ravenous for any material having to do with horses. There was so much to learn! Things had changed enormously in my 20-year-gap between equine friends.
And that’s when a dear friend of mine stepped in with the best birthday present of all: A subscription to EQUUS magazine.
Oh, happy day! Everything you could possibly want to know about your horse–horse care, horse riding, horse training– is in those pages. Here’s a short list of some of the content found in this past May’s issue of EQUUS:
IN EQUUS| MAY 2011
The Lyme disease threat
Awareness and vigilance are the two keys to protecting your horse against this tick-borne illness.
Keeping up with developments in the feed industry sometimes requires going back to the basics of nutrition. Here’s what you need to know to choose the best ration for your horse.
The right defense against fire ants
Aggressive, numerous and nearly impossible to eradicate, red imported fire ants can be a nightmare. Here’s how to protect your horse if they live in your area.
CONFORMATION INSIGHTS: The hindquarter in perspective
A horse is more than the sum of his parts. Can you spot quality and harmonious proportions?
With just a few simple steps you can reduce your horse’s risk of developing this minor but aggravating skin condition
Medicine Chest: Pergolide
Critical for managing horses with Cushing’s disease, this drug requires careful storage and consistent administration for full efficacy
In addition to articles on the latest in horse care, the editors at EQUUS also provide in-depth reports on training, riding (including trail riding), tack, and barn and stable management.
I’m always happy to see it in my mailbox and sad when I’ve read the last page.
So if you have a horse person in your life, and they don’t get it already, give them a subscription to EQUUS. They’ll be grateful you did.
I’m including a small sample of the kind of useful information EQUUS brings every month, below. If you like it…pass it on.
And don’t forget the dark chocolate.
10 Ways to Avoid Laminitis
By the Editors of EQUUS magazine
Here are 10 ways to safeguard your horse from developing this potentially fatal hoof condition.
Here are guidelines for feeding, health and management to minimize the risk of laminitis.
Concentrated Rations: 1. Match your horse’s diet to his individual energy needs. Feed only as much high-energy concentrate as necessary. 2. When extra energy is required or your horse is losing weight, feed oats or a low-starch commercial mix fortified with up to two cups of vegetable oil. 3. Make corrective changes to his diet gradually to reduce the likelihood of digestive distress. 4. To prevent him from bingeing, keep all high-energy feeds doubly secure. Place them in closed containers behind a horse-proof feed-room door.
Grazing: 5. Limit access to lush pasture, particularly when it is emerging in the spring or recovering after drought. Gradually introduce horses unaccustomed to turnout: Begin with 15 minutes of grazing a day, then build up to the desired turnout time over the next several weeks. If your horse is overweight, a cresty easy keeper, has had laminitis in the past, or is otherwise susceptible to the condition, consider muzzling him when you turn him out on lush pasture. 6. Offer quality grass hay tested for starch and sugar. Avoid clover and alfalfa as pasture and hay for susceptible horses.
Healthcare: 7. Prevent systemic illness that can lead to laminitis through regular deworming, vaccinations and other routine health maintenance.
Hooves: 8. Have his hooves trimmed regularly. 9. If your horse is lame, support the opposite “good” foot as well as the one with the problem to reduce the risk of the sound limb developing mechanical laminitis. 10. Avoid long gallops over extremely hard ground, which can subject your horse’s hooves to excessive concussion.