Horse Industry

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Canadian Horse Journal and its talented editorial team were once again honoured for editorial excellence during the American Horse Publications (AHP) 2021 Equine Media Awards. AHP Equine Media Awards are the premier awards within the equine media industry, and AHP has been honouring excellence in equine media since 1975. The awards ceremony was part AHP’s Annual Conference held this year in Irving, Texas on September 16-18.

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It’s now nearly 150 years since the Great Chicago Fire, which, according to popular legend, broke out after Catherine O’Leary’s infamous milking cow kicked over a lantern in the barn on the night of October 8, 1871. The resulting barn fire, aided by the wind, destroyed three square miles of the City of Chicago, killing approximately 300 people, destroying 18,000 buildings, and leaving 100,000 people – a third of the city’s population – homeless before it was finally brought under control the next day.

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Demand for donkey hides, used to make ejiao, has built a lucrative trade industry, endangering the livelihoods of those who rely on them - Half the world’s donkey population could be wiped out in the next five years, as millions are slaughtered to meet the rising demand for “ejiao,” a gelatin-based traditional Chinese medicine derived from boiling the hides of donkeys. Believed to improve blood circulation and treat conditions like anemia, infertility, and impotence, ejiao is found in powders, tonics, cosmetics, and even food products.

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Major news outlets are squirming with reports of people buying an equine anti-parasite medication, Ivermectin, to treat COVID-19. Farm and livestock supply retailers are seeing a surge of demand for the product for human use, despite Health Canada warnings that there could be serious health risks from consuming the medicine intended for deworming animals.

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When it comes to purchasing hay this year, John Bland says, “[Horse owners] are between a rock and a hard place. This year, there’s typically nothing to cut.” Bland is a member of the Alberta Forage Information Network and has been producing and selling hay in Alberta for over 40 years. He says this year’s drought covers the majority of North America’s Great Plains region, so is different from other dry years such as 2001, 2009, and 2019 when droughts were more regional.

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Whether you run a large horse business or a small private barn, finding good employees to help with the daily duties of horse care, training, and lessons is usually a difficult task. Some horse owners freely admit that their “horse resources” acumen is better than their “human resources” insight. In reality, good management of both takes similar talent and is easier to achieve than you might think. Here are some tips to help you along the way.

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Why do we have them? What keeps us practicing them? As I write this article, I find it ironic that I am laid up on the couch with a lower back injury, brought on by the age-old tradition of lifting, hauling, and generally doing way too much when my body wasn’t up to the task. From my recovery position, it seems fitting to attempt to grapple with the rather sticky topic of traditions, and why we often feel so compelled to stick to them. I’ve touched on this a little in my past articles, but today I want to really dig in and unpack why and how traditions become traditions and what keeps us practicing them, sometimes long past their best before date.

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