Recently I was made aware of Pick My Project as someone was asking for locals to vote for their project. It seems that this is an initiative of the Victorian Government here in Australia. It states on their site that there is “at least $1 million in funding available in each metro and regional area,” as a community grants initiative. Locals can vote for the projects that they feel would best benefit their local community. You can vote for up to three different projects within your community. And so I got to thinking: why not a Pick My Equine Project?
Rather than being based on location (although this is a possibility), it could instead be based on industry. And perhaps even the sponsors could come from various equine industries. This may be racing, English, Equestrian or perhaps Western. Various groups and also individuals put together an idea that could benefit their industry. Then people can vote for this.
The idea could:
relate to education of a particular aspect of the industry (like equine welfare sessions held for horse owners and carers)
be a free resource for horse people to utilise (like a pool at a local racetrack or a trail for pleasure riding)
relate to the setup of a new riding facility
even be to establish a network or group of horse professionals to tend to horse needs in the local community (like veterinary, farrier, massage, chiropractic, etc)
With Pick My Project, it happened in 5 stages:
Submit your project (this was possible over a 3 month period)
Voting open (over a 1 month period)
Pick My Equine Project
With the project idea, the cost of the project needs to be listed as well as an outline of what the project entails. Pick My Equine Project could be a great way to further the equine industry relating to facilities, technology and education across the board. It’d just take a group of people to source funding and then promote the idea. Then it’d be up to other individuals to put forward their project ideas!
I recently came across another equine invention relating to identifying horses. Microchipping is largely utilised in the thoroughbred industry. And I have no doubt it is used in other breeds of horses, too. EyeD is a form of identification that allows for a horse’s iris in its eye to be scanned.
According to the website, using scan technology, a photo of each of the horse’s eyes with the iris in it is needed. Then these photos can be downloaded to a computer and the computer does the rest of the work relating to identification. Interesting!
There’s a comment regarding accuracy on the site. Apparently no two irises are the same – even in cloned horses. In light of this, it is stated on the site that an iris print is more accurate than a fingerprint; not that these relate to horses! 😉
EyeD for Horse Identification
For those curious about various methods of identification and their benefits, you can head along to the eyeD website and see a comparison. They look at:
an RFID chip,
ear tags, markings and tattoos
as well as DNA testing
It continues to amaze me, the progress that is made in various aspects of the equine industry. This seems to be a pretty non invasive way to collection information. It can then be used to identify a horse accurately in the future. Yes, the horse needs to be still for a photo to be taken at relatively close range. However, many will conclude that this is a lot less invasive than implanting a chip the size of a grain of rice in the horse’s neck!
Interested in finding out more about the eyeD process and product? Be sure to head along to their site and do your research. Perhaps it’s a new equine invention that would benefit your horse setup!
I love the equine resources I am coming across as I continue my work with the National Centre for Equine Education. A recent find included the Splintex website. Many horse people will be familiar with splints in horses – or at least the splint bones. These lie on either side of the cannon bone in the horse’s leg and at times are known to become swollen masses inside of the horse’s leg.
I have seen these on racehorses and even young thoroughbreds whilst working within the stud industry. As it says on the Splintex website:
“Splints manifest themselves as swellings and bony enlargments located on the splint bones of both fore and hind legs of horses. Such factors as concussion, strain, conformation and nutrition may be the causes of splints.”
Now in time splints may be just a blemish – something unsightly that doesn’t cause the horse discomfort. But they can be very painful developments and cause lameness in horses. Splintex is a product that is able to be applied to the horse to help prevent splints from occurring. As it states on the front page of this site:
“I found that when Splintex is used on acute periostitis of the second and fourth metacarpal or metatarsal bones that it can prevent the deposition of bone leading to an exostoses, commonly known as a splint.” L.H. Evans, D.V.M
Splintex for Horses
I find it fascinating, the different products and studies that we can have within the equine industry. I am especially fond of those things that help with horse health and welfare.
On the Splintex website you can read about case studies involving the use of their product on horses. You can also find out a little about this incorporated setup that started back in 1980. As long as horses are kept recreationally and used athletically, their development will always be of concern. Having products and studies relating to the horse’s best care will always be an area people can pursue with regards to horse careers and education.
Another interesting resource or horse invention that I have recently come across through work is compression bandages for horses. Equi Crown had an advert in an online horse magazine that I was reading. And I got to thinking, what an interesting idea!
Have you ever had a horse that you’ve brought in out of a field/paddock into a stable and the following morning you find its legs filled with fluid? I first experienced this just outside of my Diploma when I was working at a yearling preparation. The manager was concerned that there was something wrong with the horses and after ruling out any lameness concerns, he concluded that perhaps a high protein diet was the issue.
If you’re familiar with the lymphatic system in the horse, you will know that this is a pump that deals with circulation of fluids within the equine system. This pump functions via movement. If the horse is not moving, then fluid will accumulate in the lymph nodes and cause visible swelling.
I would guess now in hindsight this was the issue with the yearlings. They’d come out of a large paddock where they were able to consistently move and were transported to a 12 foot x 12 foot stall for a sale preparation – their movement was greatly restricted!
Equi Crown Compression Bandages
Perhaps this is where compression bandages can work for horses. If a horse is to be stabled for illness, competition, sale preparation or something else, then these bandages could work to keep swelling down. Like people wear on a long plane flight, why would this not also work for horses? A unique idea! Curious? Be sure to head along and check out the Equi Crown website.
Whilst reading through some material at work I saw a reference to the hay pillow for feeding horses. There was a comment about them being good tools to feed horses hay on the ground. They were of appeal because they encouraged horses to consume their food slowly.
A quick search online brought up the hay pillow website. The products on this site are referenced as ‘innovative slow feed hay bags and nets’. Because of the way the horse’s digestive system is built, it’s important that they’re consistently feeding. Little and often. This doesn’t happen with horses that consume their feed quickly. Using a hay pillow encourages slow eating. The ‘pillow’ is a container of sorts that is able to be placed on the ground; it has small holes in it to encourage the horse to search out hay through the holes.
The added bonus with the hay pillow on top of slow feeding is that it can be put on the ground. Horses consume food best with their heads down – this allows for drainage of their nasal passages. Hay nets and bags hung up don’t tend to afford this possibility as the horse eats.
The Hay Pillow
As it says on their site, hay pillows are unique as they are:
Only slow-feed hay bag designed for ground feeding.
Easy to fill & transport. Place in multiple locations to encourage movement.
5 mesh sizes
Netting is made & mounted on the square so the opening size stays consistent regardless of how full the bag is
Interchangeable netting panels to change mesh size
Less wasted hay with solid-back, durable design
No more cheating – closures only allow access to hay via netting
The hay pillow is an interesting idea for a horse product. It is a great example of a product that aids in horse management, particularly with regard to their nutrition. This is especially important if horses are stabled or yarded and limited food is on offer. It allows them to eat more naturally and take longer to consume the available food. This will keep things moving through the digestive system and decrease idle time that can lead to boredom and welfare issues.