Archive for May, 2011


Monday, May 9th, 2011

I found an article that covers the physiology of conditioning – changes to the muscle mass, cardiovascular, and skeletal structures of the horse.  It provides some insight to what I am trying to acheive with the Long Slow Distance (LSD) work.  Increase the work load slightly each week, without undue stress on the recovering EPM horse.

Things were not going well on the ride today.  The mare is in heat, and has been bolting from the deer.  We simply went for a long walk.  Some days are like that.  I have to learn to accept that Fudge’s improvement will not be a straight upward line on a graph.

“Is Your Horse Fit?  The Physiology of Conditioning”


You, Your horse, and Tick-Borne Disease (TBD)

Friday, May 6th, 2011

For those who have not been closely associated with a chronic case of Lyme or other TBD, you may be under the impression that a TBD is a minor issue. Just give it 14 days of antibiotics and you are cured. What’s the big deal?

Just as Sarcocystis neurona has different strains with varying virulence, so do Lyme and Babesia. If a nymph tick with a virulent strain bites you, you may spend the rest of your life trying to fight the disease.  This is no laughing matter for my family, including the pets. My DH and I are both fighting Lyme, and one dog and both horses carry a titer to it.

Cornell University has applied for a grant to study the relationship of Lyme with co-infections of other TBD in horses. They want to study why it is so hard for some horses to get rid of Lyme. It can produce neurologic symptoms similar to EPM. Many human doctors are too busy denying that chronic Lyme exists (infections longer than 6 months).

Hold on to your seats; MAJOR rant coming. My daughter could go to the doctor and get a one-year prescription for 100 mg doxycycline to treat acne. The doctor/insurance company doesn’t bat an eye at this use of antibiotics.  I go to the doctor for a major neurological disease, and am told that after 14 days of antibiotics, whatever symptoms I have left I will have for life. I now have rheumatoid arthritis. No more 100 mg doxycycline will be prescribed. This is a common scenario.

Wake up people. TBD’s are in every state. They are in epidemic proportions in Pennsylvania. I have Babesia. This disease is now reportable to CDC, the first step toward a surveillance program. I will never be able to donate blood again, because I have had a major disease that can be transmitted by blood. Kids are at high risk for Lyme, and rarely get an accurate diagnosis.

All species of ticks are now known to carry Lyme in the US. Lyme is now in Europe, where it has been documented in mosquitoes. The CDC will not fund a study in the US to see what the vectors are here. I have to wonder if the insurance companies are lobbying to squash research.

PBS is again airing the Lyme Disease documentary “Under Our Skin”. Ask your local PBS station to present this, or find it on CD at the library. Check out the information from the University of Rhode Island Tick Encounter.

Fudge Goes Bitless!

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

I tried out the Bitless Bridle on Fudge in the ring last week. He was a little perplexed at first, but was certainly listening to the leg and seat cues. We rode in the ring for about 15 minutes, then went out in the pasture. Things were going so well that I took him for a short jog up the road. It took slightly longer for Fudge to figure out this new communication tool than the Mustang (smart girl).

I took Fudge for a longer ride yesterday, and ponied the Mustang. Things went very well, and I was impressed with the bitless bridle on Fudge. I wish I had done this earlier…

Fudge is much stronger after being ponied for a few months. I rode him about 2.5 miles, and he was not tired at the end. We will work on bettering the lateral communication with the Bitless Bridle on the trail. We made a lot of progress in just two rides.