Posted: October 18, 2016
Pasture-induced laminitis (sometimes referred to as founder) can be triggered when susceptible horses ingest high amounts of sugar or fructans that are naturally found in some pasture grasses.
Susceptible horses include, but are not limited to, overweight or easy keeping horses, ponies, horses with metabolic syndrome, and horses that have foundered in the past. Many of these horses should have limited grazing, or no grazing at all.
Sugar content depends on the weather, plant stress, forage species, species maturity, time of day, and time of year. Any time forage species are photosynthesizing (producing energy from sunlight), the plants are producing sugars. When plant growth is limited from temperatures lower than 40 degrees or from drought, sugars normally used for growth will begin to accumulate in plants.
During these plant stresses, susceptible horses should not graze. Cool spring and fall weather can cause sugar accumulation, thereby increasing the risk of pasture-induced laminitis for susceptible horses. Anytime forage species are using sugars for rapid growth during warm weather, or during respiration (using energy during dark periods) is a better time to graze. However, laminitis in susceptible horses can still occur if overeating is allowed.
Consider using a grazing muzzle to limit the amount of forage the horse can ingest, and restrict the grazing to periods when the sugar content should be lower. Specifically, graze between 3 a.m. and 10 a.m., on cloudy days, and during periods when the night temperatures are above 40 degrees. Grazing in areas shaded by trees or buildings might allow longer access to grass as sugar accumulation will be less. Allowing pasture grasses to become more mature should also reduce the sugar content and will result in less (and a slower) intake.
Grazing during these times or scenarios do not guarantee the sugar content will be lower. There are other factors to consider that contribute to sugar content. Some pasture species have a higher genetic potential to accumulate sugars under stressful conditions than others. These species include timothy, bromegrass, orchardgrass, and most cool season grasses that are commonly used in horse pastures in Pennsylvania and Minnesota. Most forage species store sugars in the bottom three to four inches of growth.
Making sure pastures are not overgrazed will help avoid laminitis. Forage species store sugars when they are under stress. Make sure pastures are properly fertilized, and avoid grazing susceptible horses during drought and in the fall when nights are cool (less than 40 degrees).
Penn State Equine Extension website:
Krishona Martinson Equine Specialist with University of Minnesota Extension
2017 Membership Campaign
It will soon be time to renew your PEC Membership, your voice counts, stay connected and informed about the horse industry in Pennsylvania. Please fill in your membership application completely with all the information required. This will help insure that your information is correct and helps the membership volunteer to save time by not flipping screens to look for your information. If you are paying for someone else, please be sure it is clear who the member is. Thank you for your membership in PEC.
Desi Phillips, Membership Chair
2016 and the
~~~~ Equine Learning Center
The year 2016 was a great success for the ELC.
Starting off January 9th – 16th we were at the 2016 PA State Farm Show. This event is our busiest. We had over 50,000 people touch our horse’s side again this year. We had a Painted Draft, “Jethrow”, the Donkey, 2 Minis, and a Gypsy Vanner along with our two Equine Stars, Gunner & Pete, for the public to view. The ELC Booth is open with a horse out in the chute from 9 AM till at least 8PM -- sometimes later, depending on the crowd. This is a long and tiring week. We always enjoy our Farm Show time, but it’s good to go home.
Next we headed to State College for the 2016 Ag Progress Days from August 16 th to the 18 th . This is our most relaxed ELC event. The crowds are smaller and there is more time to enjoy what the ELC is all about, giving kids and adults a personal connection to a horse and building better connections with horse folks. We all have a good time at Ag Days and look forward to being there each year.
September brings both the 2016 York and Bloomsburg Fairs. The York Fair is from Sept. 9th to the 18th and is our longest event. The ELC Booth is open 12PM-9PM week days and 11AM till 9PM on Friday, Saturday & Sunday. This year we had Pete, Mouse, and Sara as our Equine Ambassadors. Pete and Mouse have done this many times, but this was Sara’s first year and she did a great job. It’s always a good time seeing old friends and making new ones at the Fair.
Next up was the Bloomsburg Fair, Sept. 23 to Oct. 1. Brenda Mowery did a great job managing the ELC Booth at this year’s fair. This was our second year to be a part of this event and it has been a challenge building a volunteer group for this event. This year we again had Charlie, a Quarter Horse gelding, and new to the ELC were Zeke, Pete, and Little Dave, three Percherons owned by Dave Rohrbaugh of Bee Tree Trail. These four equines were a real crowd pleaser in the chute at this year’s Bloomsburg Fair.
I know I always say the ELC could not do what it does without our GREAT volunteers. This statement is so true. Thank you to all that volunteer to work the booth or offer their equine friends to be our ambassadors. Without you we would not be the SUCCESS that the ELC is. If anyone would like to join the ELC Volunteer Family, we would welcome you. It takes at least 3 volunteers per shift to run the booth and have a horse in chute. We like to have 5 volunteers per shift, it gives us breaks and there are volunteers free to assist the public with their questions and other needs.
Thank You All and I Hope To See You At Next Year’s Events
Mike Kraft - ELC Chair
Gov. Wolf signs HB2025 (Act 165 of 2016) to allow for one annual inspection for trucks over 17,000 lbs
By: Joe Butzer
PA Motor Truck Assn, Legislative Chairman
I am very pleased to announce that on Friday November 4th; Governor Wolf signed HB2025 into law.
Since 1981, trucks over 17,000# have been required to perform Semi-Annual PA State Inspections while trucks below that weight and cars have only been required to do Annual State Inspections. HB2025 will require all trucks licensed in PA to perform only an Annual State Inspection.
This is a big win for our industry and for Pennsylvania businesses. This Bill is also advantageous for PennDot as more trucking companies may now register their vehicles in the Commonwealth of PA instead of going to other states who did not require semi-annual inspections.
HB 2025 also will provide a pro-rated refund of the State registration fees should our trucks be totaled in an accident or stolen.
Pennsylvania has come into line with the rest of the US by enacting this Bill. The content of the Bill will become law in 90 days from the date of the Governor's signature, so watch for correspondence from PennDot as to how to proceed as we move from Semi-Annual to Annual State Inspections.
World you like to get reliable updates on equine disease outbreaks before you travel? Every week there are reports of equine disease Alerts. You can get these alerts sent right to your email. Go to Equine Disease Communication Center web page and sign up today to get the information you need to plan your movements. Also there is a wealth of other information relating to Equine Disease and Vaccination, Biosecurity, State Veterinary Offices and much more. (
WHAT IS EDCC
The Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) works to protect horses and the horse industry from the threat of infectious diseases in North America. The communication system is designed to seek and report real time information about disease outbreaks similar to how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alerts the human population about diseases in people.
The goal of the EDCC is to alert the horse industry about disease outbreak information to help mitigate and prevent the spread of disease. Ultimately frequent and accurate information about diseases outbreaks improves horse welfare and helps to prevent negative economic impact that can result from decreased horse use due to a fear of spreading infection. As part of the National Equine Health Plan, the EDCC will serve as part of the communication to help educate and promote research about endemic and foreign disease.
Time to Ride Challenge Now Open for Registration
We would encourage our members who Give Riding lessons to look into this program to see if it could help your business. Our PEC County Chapters and regular members may also want to share the following information with people they know who give lessons.
Stables, clubs and businesses nationwide are invited to compete for $100,000 cash and prizes by growing their business.
Sign up now to bring first-time horse experiences to people all over the United States through the Time to Ride Challenge.
Since 2014, the Challenge has introduced more than 60,000 people to horses through first-time horse experiences with the support and involvement of hundreds of stables, clubs and equine businesses nationwide.
The Challenge awards $100,000 cash and prizes to “hosts” offering the most unique experiences that attract the most people. Time to Ride events can take place June 1 through September 30. Register at
www.timetoride.com to be a host.
Hosts plan engaging, hands-on horse events designed to connect families interested in horses to opportunities in their area such as riding lessons, camps and trail rides. By reaching a new segment of their community, businesses add to their own client base while supporting the entire horse industry.
“It’s critically important to the future of the horse community to focus on welcoming new participants,” said Patti Colbert, Time to Ride spokesperson. “The Challenge gives rewards and recognition to the hardworking horse professionals who are doing the valuable work of teaching new people the very basics and giving them a path to grow into lifelong equestrians. Without those riding instructors, summer camps and youth leaders who are teaching kids how to ride, where does our next generation of owners, competitors, and breeders come from?”
This year, cash prizes have been expanded to more than $75,000, including new incentives that will pay cash awards to more winners than ever before. For the first time, the first 100 hosts to introduce 100 newcomers to horses will automatically win $100 cash.
The Challenge offers marketing support and event ideas for participants, plus resources such as customizable ads, posters and other creative material. Registration is free and all types of businesses are welcome. The Challenge takes place between June 1 and September 30. Please visit
http://www.timetoride.com/ for details.
The Challenge is a program of the American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance, a group of industry-leading businesses and organizations collaborating to reinvigorate participation in horse activities for the benefit of the entire industry.
The American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance
Time to Ride is an initiative of the American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance, formed to connect people with horses. It is designed to encourage horse-interested consumers to enjoy the benefits of horse activities. The AHC Marketing Alliance is made up of the following organizations: the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Active Interest Media, the American Quarter Horse Association, Dover Saddlery, Farnam, Merck, Merial, Morris Media Network Equine Group, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, Platinum Performance, United States Equestrian Federation, and Zoetis. Program Partners are Absorbine, the American Paint Horse Association, Equibrand, the National Cutting Horse Association, the National Reining Horse Association, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, and the Texas A&M University Equine Initiative, I-5 Publishing, Pyranha, the America’s Mustang Campaign, and Colorado State University Equine Sciences Program.
About the American Horse Council
The American Horse Council is a non-profit organization that includes all segments of the horse industry. While its primary mission is to represent the industry before Congress and the federal regulatory agencies in Washington, D.C., it also undertakes national initiatives for the horse industry. Time to Ride, the AHC’s Marketing Alliance to connect horses and people, is such an effort. The American Horse Council hopes that Time to Ride will encourage people and businesses to participate in the industry, enjoy our horses, and support our equine activities and events. The AHC believes a healthy horse industry contributes to the health of Americans and America in many ways.