The cold and snow have arrived here in Colorado. And if you are like the rest of us, you were scrambling yesterday to make sure your horse (and barn) were ready for the weather change.
Here are just a few tips to try to make the temperature (and weather) transition easier on all of us:
And remember, our first hard freeze kills off many of our annoying (and disease-carrying pests), so it is not all bad!
Colorado has become the third state in the country to have a confirmed case of vesicular stomatitis (VSV). Follow the Colorado State Department of Agriculture for updates. We will also be updating this page regularly.
For any questions and for full information, you can visit the State Vet Website: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/aganimals/vesicular-stomatitis-virus-vsv
On July 3rd, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory reported positive test results on samples submitted from two horses in Weld County.
VSV **as of 9/24/2019 per the state vet** is active in 22 counties and only 44 facilities. 622 facilities quarantine have been lifted as well.
|Colorado County||Total Current Quarantines||Released Quarantines|
Report any cases that have clinical signs suggestive of VSV to the State Veterinarian’s Office at 303-869-9130. Reporting cases as quickly as possible will benefit your client and is the best way to reduce the negative implications to other owners.
NON-EQUINE CASES: All suspected VSV in non-equine cases (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, camelids) must be investigated by state or federal animal health officials.
Colorado veterinarians and livestock owners should contact the state of destination when moving livestock interstate to ensure that all import requirements are met. States may impose certain restrictions for horses and livestock coming from VSV affected states. Visit this website for a list of contact information for all state veterinarians’ offices.
If the destination state requires you to certify that the livestock do not originate within a specified distance of a VSV-quarantined premises (for example a 10 mile circle), call the state vet’s office at 303-869-9130. One of our staff can map the location of your client and the location of the nearest quarantine so you can ensure they meet the destination state requirements.
Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Background
Vesicular Stomatitis is a viral disease that primarily affects horses and cattle and occasionally swine, sheep, goats, llamas, and alpacas. The transmission of VSV is not completely understood, but includes insect vectors such as black flies, sand flies, and biting midges as well as through horse to horse by contact with saliva or fluid from ruptured blisters. The incubation period ranges from 2-8 days. Clinical signs include vesicles, erosions, and sloughing of the skin on the muzzle, tongue, teats, and coronary bands. Often excessive salivation is the first sign of disease, along with a reluctance to eat or drink. Lameness and weight loss may follow.
Humans may become infected when handling affected animals, but this is a rare event. To avoid human exposure, individuals should use personal protective measures when handling affected animals.
More information on VSV can be found through these links:
In 2010, Riders4Helmets hosted the first national event designed to educate equestrians on the benefits of wearing a properly fitting, secured and certified helmet. The event brought over 300 U.S.-based retailers and eight helmet manufacturers together, to help educate their customers on topics such as correct helmet fit and why wearing a helmet is important.
Since that day, Riders4Helmets expanded the event globally. Riders4Helmets International Helmet Awareness Day 2018 received support from 19 helmet manufacturers and hundreds of equestrian retailers in twenty six countries.
International Helmet Awareness Day 2019 will be held Saturday September 14th and Sunday September 15th, 2019.
For all participating retailers, visit here: https://www.riders4helmets.com/international-helmet-awareness-day-participating-retailers/
If your club or organization is interested in hosting their own event to celebrate the day, they may email email@example.com. They can send interested parties safety brochures at a small charge (to cover costs).
They will also be happy to help promote any event by posting details of it on Riders4Helmets.com and also on their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages. Equestrians are encouraged to take lots of photos of their event and write up a short description of what they did, and who participated. This will then be included as a feature article on the Riders4Helmets campaign website.
Riders4Helmets was founded in early 2010 after Olympic dressage rider Courtney King-Dye was seriously injured in a riding accident. King-Dye, who remained in a coma for a month following her accident, was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident and continues to undergo rehabilitation. The goal of the Riders4Helmets Campaign is to educate equestrians on the benefits of wearing a properly fitted and secured, certified helmet.
Douglas County Open Space Rangers, Amy and Tyler, share real-life examples of trail etiquette, including yielding to other trail users, announcing yourself before passing and keeping your dog leashed. Help ensure everyone has a friendly, fun and safe experience by following accepted trail etiquette at all times, even when you think no one is watching.
Learn more at: https://www.douglas.co.us/dcoutdoors/trail-etiquette/
US Equestrian (USEF) is moving! From Friday, August 30, to Tuesday, September 3, the USEF office will be closed while we move to our new building within the Kentucky Horse Park. During this time, USEF’s online tools and services, including the website, Customer Care Center, horse and member records, fax, and email, will be unavailable. We recommend avoiding any digital communication with USEF (phone calls, email, faxing, etc.) throughout the duration of the move.
If you are competing at a horse show between August 30 and September 3, please ensure that you print and bring hard copies of the following documents with you to the show grounds, as applicable:
The decision to build a new USEF headquarters was made after extensive analysis and review by the leadership and Board. The benefits of a new building include a financial savings of several hundred thousand dollars annually versus our current headquarters, and a new building will provide a more collaborative work environment that will support our efforts to provide exemplary member services.
Additional information can be found in the Building Move FAQ.
From the US Equestrian Communications Department
Fort Collins city staff partnered with Larimer County Government to install a City & County first at the Poudre Trail crossing at Taft Hill: an equestrian button! Horseback riders can now activate the flashing beacons for crossing without dismounting.
Are you looking for ways your landscaping can help with your fly or insect problem? Just plant these annuals and perennials to tell those flies they are no longer welcome at your property!
Basil is officially considered an annual plant, although it can reseed itself in warmer climates if allowed to bloom. It loves hot weather, so always wait until all danger of frost is past before planting in the garden in the spring. Since this is a plant that thrives in patio pots, adding some to your summer flower arrangements near areas of home or barn entry can help keep the worst of your flies away. Make sure to keep the plant from flowering otherwise it will not be as effective! Simply snip off leaves and branches when it starts to send out flowering stalks to allow for new growth. (It is also great for culinary dishes and beverages as an added bonus!)
Not only is lavender GORGEOUS (and one of our favorite plants), it aids in fly repellant! Both the leaves and flowers are fragrant and ward off many types of insects, flies included. Lavender comes in quite a few different varieties to fit your climate needs and growing spaces. But keep in mind if the roots freeze, the plant will lively not come back the following year.
If you are looking for a plant that takes up a lot of space, Rosemary might be what you are looking for. It grows in heights of 3-4 feet and up to 5 feet wide. Because of it’s heady scent, rosemary is a popular flavor and aromatic herb to use in many culinary dishes and beverages. These properties are also the same that keeps away many flies as it is the leaves that put forth the most scent. Plants can be grown in containers on a patio and shaped into ornamental pyramids, grown in herb gardens or planted in landscaped beds.
Citronella is a natural oil found in lemongrass, an ornamental that can grow up to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide in one season. (It’s worth noting that lemongrass isn’t just the name of one plant; it’s the umbrella name for plants in the Cymbopogon family, which also includes citronella grass.) Lemongrass is especially effective at warding away mosquitos.
Mints are hardy, rapid growers and self-pollinate through runners. For this reason we recommend planting them in pots, otherwise they can take over your yard before you know it. The mint family includes peppermint, spearmint, sweet mints, citrus mints, and even chocolate mints! But what they all have in common is the ingredient mentha, which is what makes it so potent against many insects, flies included.
Sweet woodruff spreads by runners. In moist soil, it can spread very quickly and can become invasive in the right conditions. It is often recommended that you plant sweet woodruff ground cover in an area that you would not mind seeing naturalized by sweet woodruff. This plant will only grow to 10 or 12” in height, but it’s umbrella-like leaves, and white delicate flowers are a favorite in shade gardens because of its sweet, fresh scent.
Eucalyptus is a genus of over seven hundred species of flowering trees, shrubs or mallees in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. It can produce a strong scent that can deter flies and other insects and interestingly enough it was registered in the U.S as an insecticide and miticide in 1948, which is why it can be so handy to have around.
This one might be surprising. Catnip is a favorite of cats, but the smell that draws cats in, also repels insects! Catnip contains citronella oil as well as other insect deterrents so it will repel insects and mice when planted in conjunction with areas that open into your house. Keep in mind Catnip is a fast grower and can take over areas if you don’t manage it well.
Are you looking for a good DIY flyspray that you can make at home? One that actually works? Look no further. This is made with mostly natural ingredients and is much less harsh on your skin/lungs/everything else it gets on.
4 cups apple cider vinegar (raw with the mother works best)
20 drops rosemary oil
20 drops basil oil
20 drops peppermint oil
2 tablespoons liquid oil (olive oil, canola oil, or mineral oil will work)
1 tablespoon dawn dish soap
Mix all of these ingredients in a spray bottle. And be sure to shake it well before each application to ensure the ingredients are fully mixed to be most effective.
There are lots of other essential oils that help ward away flies, so feel free to add those in and play around with the recipe to your liking. (lavender, tea tree, pine, citronella, lemon grass, etc.)
Something to keep in mind, is since this doesn’t contain all of those harsh ingredients, you will need to apply it more frequently. But it does work well if applied regularly.
On Tuesday, April 23rd, Douglas Elbert County Horse Council will be hosting a Barn Manager and Volunteer refresher training for all who have volunteered to help during an evacuation. In order to have things run smoothly during a very high-stress situation, it is important to attend. This meeting should not take very long.
Date: Tuesday April 23rd
Place: Franktown Fire Protection District
1959 N State HWY 83
Franktown, CO 80116
Time: 7:00 P.M.
In case you haven’t heard yet, there is a big snow storm coming tomorrow. All the news channels are covering it. If you want to see your weather forecast, check it out here. In many areas, the rain will start tonight and will slowly turn into snow with snow continuing into Thursday. This storm will also be accompanied by very strong winds.
Now, what we care about? How to take care of our horse and livestock!
Good luck and stay safe in this storm (and be sure to tag us in fun snowy animal pictures on social media!).