We tend to notice this in periods where there is snow on the ground. Our horse’s urine turns red or a rust color once in the snow. Typically there is no need to panic (but if your horse has health concerns or you want to be sure – always reach out to your vet). However, if the stream of urine coming out of your horse is orange or red, call your vet immediately.
Horse pee often changes color, to a red,, rust, or dark orange color, after being expelled due to the presence of pyrocatechines (plant metabolites) when mixed with oxygen. You may notice this year-round, but it is especially noticeable in snow or light colored shavings.
It is no secret our state is on fire and many people and animals have been displaced, and are continuing to be displaced. Here is a list of helpful resources within the state for helping receive or provide evacuations for horses/livestock and more. We will add to the list as we find more resources (feel free to message us to get any links added).
911 Farm and Ranch Evacuation – Colorado (a grassroots community)
Are you evacuating? Here’s a list by location of people standing by to help:
#CalWoodFire (Jamestown): https://www.facebook.com/groups/911FarmAnimalEvacuationCO/permalink/1584125678462960/
#easttroublesomefire (Grand County): https://www.facebook.com/groups/911FarmAnimalEvacuationCO/permalink/1584145781794283/
Crisis Response on Facebook (lets people affected by crises tell friends they’re safe, find or offer help, and get the latest news and information.)
Colorado Wildfire Information
Cameron Peak Fire
Horse Evacuation Boulder Fort Collins Fire
Front Range Animal Evacuation Team
Western Colorado Wildfires Livestock Evacuation
Emergency Evacuation Preparation for Horses
American Red Cross of Colorado
As the fires continue in our state, it is important to note the air quality and air quality advisories if we plan to work our horses. If the air quality is too bad and there are too many particulates you can cause difficulty breathing, coughing, and even infection if horses are worked too hard and inhale too many of those particulates. If you can smell smoke, see ash,, can’t see the mountains (or other distant landmarks you can normally see), or in general have a harder time breathing yourself, it is probably a good indicator that you might want to let your horse have the day off of strenuous work.
You can see any air quality advisories here: https://www.colorado.gov/airquality/advisory.aspx
You can see today’s air quality index here: https://www.colorado.gov/airquality/air_quality.aspx
You can see a bunch of other air quality infomration such as maps, forecasts, and more here: https://www.colorado.gov/airquality/
Here are some ways you can help your horse when the air quality is bad: https://coloradohorseforum.com/2020/08/14/helping-horses-when-there-is-wild-fire-air-pollution/
This year seems exceptionally bad for our wildfires, and in turn the air is smokey and causing a variety of health concerns including difficulty breathing, sore throats, burning eyes, runny nose, and more in humans AND animals. How can we help our horses when air conditions are like this?
Other things to consider are if your horse has pre-existing health conditions such as congestive heart failure, pulmonary disease, emphysema, asthma, and others. If your horse appears to be struggling with breathing or coughing, you should contact your vet and possibly have an exam done. They can determine if it is just irritaion from the smoke, or if there is something larger going on such as pneumonia, bronchitis, bacterial infection, or other causes. Your vet can help you determine the best course of treatment (including IV fluids, nebulization, bronchodilator medications, or other formats that might help your horse’s concern).
If you are anything like the majority of property owners in Colorado, you face the constant battle of keeping your grass healthy and the weeds at bay. Luckily we have some great resources available to us to help keep our property maintained and healthy.
First, be sure to check out the local Extension Office. This is a CSU Extension Program, which is dedicated to serving the current and future needs of Coloradans by providing educational information and programs that safeguard health, increase livelihood, and enhance well being. They have divisions dedicated to Agriculture, Animal Health, Drought, Emergency Resources, Small Acreage Management, and SO much more! If you reach out to them with specific concerns, they will help you through them and will even come do a property evaluation to really help get you on track!
The CSU Extension Office has also put together this great document covering a Grass Seeding Plan for Colorado Small Acreages, along with some other helpful articles on keeping your pasture healthy!
Have you been looking for a way to film your rides, when you don’t have a friend/trainer/partner/etc. around? It looks like Pivo has recently stepped up their game for us equestrians.
Originally the only systems available to equestrians were $400+++. But now, you can get the Pivo Pod Silver (it’s the faster, more upgraded version us equestrians would need) for $199 (currently on sale for $139) OR the Pivo Pod Silver Bundle including a remote, tripod, smart mount, and travel case for $349 (currently on sale for $209) with everything you need to record your rides by yourself.
Order yours here: https://getpivo.com/?ref=fuk5tcyanv46
You can read more about it in a real-world situation from one of our favorite bloggers here: https://the900facebookpony.com/2020/07/20/im-impressed/
You may have seen the image and story circulating social media and the news about a Weld County horse that was severely underweight, with very overgrown feet, unable to stand or eat. That horse has been euthanized and the horse owner was cited with one count of animal neglect, a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 18 months in jail.
What you might not know are all the details leading up to the charge and euthanasia. So here they are:
“I called the weld county Sherriff to report a downed horse on June 29th, 2020. The Animal Control Officer, Perun, went to the ranch on CR 68 in Briggsdale CO. I followed up with a call later that day, only to discover that the Animal Control Officer was allowing that horse to stay there for 3.5 more days. I was not happy with that decision, so I called the Weld County veterinarian, the Weld County district attorney, and the Colorado state attorney. Then I posted the photo and the Weld county sheriff department’s plan to social media. I asked for calls to the Weld County Sherriff to demand that horse get help ASAP. The next morning the sheriffs went back out with the state vet and sadly euthanized the horse.”We spoke to Jodi M. of Zuma’s Rescue Ranch who has been involved in this case since day one and received this information.
For 36 hours I tried to get this horse help, sadly I was too late, this poor horse suffered for months down the mile long driveway hidden from view while Sandy and John Thomas did nothing. Horse rescue is hard, and sadly animal protection officers lack training to properly address situations like this. The first officer on scene allowed the horse to lay ther for what would have been 3 more days. Then I forced the issue with a public cry for help. Thanks to the 800 plus people that heard my cry, Weld County Sherriff returned to the scene of the crime and did their job. It should not take public shaming for authorities to understand and do their jobs.Animal control officers need more training and judges need the throw the book at animal abusers to set precedent with harsh penalties and jail time. Please don’t let this horses suffering end here. Join me in continued calls the Weld County DA to ensuer the maximum penalty is imposed on both Sandy and John Thomas . We will be gathering September 1st at the Weld County court house to sit in on the court hearing, join us! Let’s let that poor horses’ voice be heard until things change and animal abusers are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Please respectfully call and request that Sandy and John Thomas be charged with felony animal abuse. Also request that the animals in their care be removed.We spoke to Jodi M. of Zuma’s Rescue Ranch who has been involved in this case since day one and received this information.
“A Weld County man was cited Tuesday with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty after a horse was discovered suffering from a severe case of founder.
Founder is a common and painful condition affecting the feet of horses. It occurs when there is inflammation of the laminae, or the folds of tissue connecting the pedal bone to the hoof.
“Essentially, the horse’s hooves were so overgrown it was too painful for it to walk,” said Weld County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Officer Rebeca Farris.
Weld County deputies first responded Monday to a report of animal neglect at a property located in unincorporated Weld near Briggsdale. Deputies returned to the property on Tuesday with an independent veterinarian and a veterinarian from the Colorado Department of Agriculture State Veterinarian’s Office. The veterinarians agreed it had been at least one year, possibly two, since the horse’s hooves had been trimmed.
The horse owner was cited with one count of animal neglect, a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 18 months in jail.
Veterinarians at the scene were forced to euthanize the horse, determining the founder was too severe to make rehabilitation a viable option.
To see the Weld County Sheriff’s social media post about the case, go here: https://www.facebook.com/weldcountysheriff/photos/a.417646434954323/3308450662540538/?type=3&theaterWeld County Sheriff’s Office
Allowing an animal to degrade, in pain, while laying down because it physically cannot stand for days if not months is a choice. Not getting proper care is a choice. Not doing right by your animals is a choice. Please make your voice heard (in a professional/respectful manner) by contacting the District Attorney.
District Attorney Michael J. Rourke
Phone: (970) 356-4010
Fax: (970) 352-8023
Jodi M. is currently working with Douglas County animal control to develop a training program for officers to better understand and manage animal cruelty charges. To get in contact with Jodi or Zuma’s Rescue Ranch, please visit their website https://zumasrescueranch.com/
With this tragic COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic that has hit the world, many states are issuing Stay-at-Home orders (including Colorado). While every municipality/county/state is going to be different, we will highlight some of the important facts for you especially revolving around us here in Colorado.
Are you stuck in your house until this is over? No. You may travel out for essential needs (See a list below for what falls into this category). However, please be responsible. If you do not NEED to go someplace, just don’t. The faster we all comply and help stop the spread of this virus, the faster things can go back to normal.
Can you visit your horse? This is a tough one. If you live in, or your horse lives in, any of the areas under a stay-at-home order (which is the entire state of Colorado), UNLESS you are the main caretaker of your horse, you should not go see your horse. While this really is inconvenient, it is for the best for everyone involved. Your horse will survive without being ridden (they will actually probably enjoy their staycation). The last thing we want to do is accidentally bring the virus to the barn and get the fulltime caretakers sick.
If you do absolutely need to go to the barn, if you have any symptoms of a cold/cough, indigestion, or any fever, just don’t go (or if you have been in contact with anyone in the last 2 weeks that has been sick). If you believe yourself to be healthy, keep as much of a distance from others as possible. Bring your own disinfectant with you and disinfect literally everything you touch. Get in, get out, and touch as few things as possible (see your horse only, avoid public areas, etc). Some barns have setup sanitization areas as if there was a strangles outbreak (gloves, bleach wipes, wash stations, hand sanitizer, boot buckets with bleach, etc) in case owners do need to come out. But please don’t rely on your barn to provide this for you at no cost, it will add up exponentially for them!
Please remember the barn is someone else’s home. So if they specifically request you to not come, understand they are doing their best to protect their family, their staff, the horses, and their boarders. The sooner this virus is under control, the happier we will all be.
Some barns are closing their doors to boarders/visitors which is due to a variety of reasons including; immune-compromised staff/owners, insurance not covering them (actually not covering their business activities AKA boarders) during stay at home orders, wanting to ensure everyone stays healthy (including the horses, being guaranteed to have proper care from healthy staff).
We have heard some great things local barns are doing to keep horse owners in touch with their horses and to make this difficult time easier:
If you are still unsure if going to the barn is a good idea, consider this: Doctors might have to choose who lives and dies because of the spread of this virus. Just don’t risk spreading it if you can avoid it. https://www.npr.org/2020/03/21/819645036/u-s-hospitals-prepare-guidelines-for-who-gets-care-amid-coronavirus-surge
|Getting medical care for you, a family member, or your pet.||In-person public or private gatherings of any size with people outside of your residence.|
|Visiting a health care professional.||Traveling, except to get or provide essential services or medical care.|
|Getting medical supplies or medication.||Carpooling with anyone outside of your residence.|
|Going to get groceries, food (via take-out, drive-thru, Foodbanks) or other essential household items.|
|Picking up materials from your child’s school needed for distance learning.|
|Going outside for physical activity, as long as you stay at least 6 feet away from people who are not in your household and follow social distancing practices.|
|Going to work, ONLY if you provide essential products or services at an essential business ( Critical infrastructure employers include utilities, fuel supply and transmission, public water, telecommunications, transportation, hotels, organizations that provide services to disadvantaged people and those in the food supply chain. Critical manufacturing includes those who produce food, beverages, chemicals, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and sanitary products. Critical retail includes grocery and liquor stores, farms, gas stations, restaurants and bars for takeout or delivery, medical marijuana dispensaries, recreational/retail marijuana but only for curbside service; and hardware stores. Critical services include trash and recycling, shipping, laundromats, child care, building cleaning and maintenance, auto supply and repair, warehouses and distribution, funeral homes, crematoriums, and animal shelters and rescue.)|
We will continue to update this article as more information becomes available. Also feel free to reach out to us directly if you have helpful info or ideas! Together (from a distance) we can get through this!
Did you know that as a member of USEF, you have the ability to purchase health and other insurance at a discounted rate?
US Equestrian knows that finding quality, affordable health coverage for individuals and your small businesses is important and challenging. That’s why USEF has added new customized health coverage options for your individual and small business needs including short term medical, accident, critical illness, hospital, short and long term disability, dental, and vision.
USEF paid-fan and competing members can take advantage of guaranteed issue benefits with discounts ranging from up to 35% or more off of market prices.
Learn more at: https://www.usef.org/join-usef/health-insurance
I recently moved onto some acreage and needed to get it ready for the horses to move home. One of the things needed was outdoor sheds for in the paddocks. There are a LOT of shed and shelter manufacturers out there, but finding a quality one that was safe and aesthetically pleasing was super important to me.
After messaging with a lot of manufacturers, one really stood out to me: Colorado Shed Company. A variety of reasons made me go with them, but above all was their commitment to helping me find what I needed, within my budget, to match the existing structures on the property, and really offering quality products; all without making me feel pressured to buy.
The design of their sheds is a lot prettier than many out there (IMO anyway), you can get them in wood or metal siding with shingle or metal roof, they deliver and anchor for you, and you get a discount for buying multiple shelters at once!
Also, they have a great warranty policy:
1.) If you are not satisfied with your product within 30 days of the delivery date of your structure, they will pick it up and refund your money.
2.) They offer a 7-year workmanship warranty on their structures that covers the construction and workmanship of the unit.
My poor sales guy, Bradley, had his work cut out for him. I hadn’t made up my mind on size, finish, etc. and he really helped me understand all the options available. I also went back and forth on the color a couple of times (if I wanted the roof to match the trim or siding) and he just rolled with it like it was no big deal.
After speaking to the Douglas County Permitting Division, I realized that shelters under a certain size don’t need a permit, so that really helped make up my mind regarding the size I wanted. (I highly recommend you speak to your local permitting division before adding any structures to your property!)
So I decided on two 12’x12′ Shelters. I ended up going with metal siding and roof because they will last longer, my horses cannot chew on them (because let’s face it, horses will chew on things), and the metal siding came in a color SUPER close to the existing structures on the property (Bradley helped me figure out the best one to match – and holy cow are they close!).
Because I have wanted chickens FOREVER, this is the first time we live somewhere I can have them, AND you get a discount for doing multiple items at once, I had them build me a chicken coop too while they were at it. One big enough for me to walk in was important due to some physical limitations I have, and not lots of places offer them (for a reasonable price, anyway) that is also super high quality. They painted it to match my house 100% (for a small extra cost since it wasn’t one of their normal colors), and the shingles are even the same color!
They kept me up to date on the production of all the buildings and worked around my schedule for delivery. Their delivery driver was super professional, placed the shelters exactly how I wanted them, anchored them in the ground for me, was efficient, and was really knowledgeable about the buildings because I had some questions. Not to mention the wicked cool trailer they use to deliver these things with. Plus the driver got into some crazy tight spaces without any issues (the trailer can turn without the truck moving!!!)!
If you are in the market for any sort of shelter (tack room, any sized animal shelter, chicken coop, garage, storage shed, gazebo, pergola, etc.), you owe yourself the favor of reaching out to Colorado Shed Company!