CSU Extention – Tool for Colorado Horse Owners

CSU Extension - Resource for Colorado Horse Owners

If you are a horse (or livestock, or land) owner in Colorado, you want to know about the CSU Extension! The Extension is dedicated to serving current and future needs of Coloradans by providing educational information and programs that safeguard health, increase livelihood, and enhance well being.

The CSU Extension Office and Agents offer their educational program through a variety of methods including web-based platforms, social media, traditional group meetings, one-on-one contacts, and diverse electronic program delivery channels.

Some of the main areas they cover are (Click each link to take you to the CSU Extension Department Website):

Your CSU Extension Office/Agent can help you figure out the best way to mitigate weeds on your property, ways to get low-cost tree seedlings, ailments and space requirements for chickens, soil management practices, crop fertilization, manure management practices, Colorado forage guide, horse health concerns, wildfire preparedness for livestock owners, and so much more!

Specifically for small acreage land owners, there is the: Colorado Small Acreage Management – Improving land stewardship by helping landowners understand and manage their property resources (soil, water, animals, plants, and air). You can even schedule an on-site visit with an Extension Agent to have them come evaluate your property and education you on land stewardship practices such as weed management, grazing strategies, reseeding, crop and range management, as well as both large and small types of livestock.

View the CSU Extension Brochure

PBS Equus “Story of the Horse” | Episode 1: Origins

Equus "Story of the Horse" | Episode 1: Origins

Explore the fascinating evolutionary journey of the horse, from its tiny forest-dwelling ancestors to the modern steed. Encounter scientists who are unlocking the genetic basis of horsepower and decoding their emotional intelligence.

Product Review: Porta-Grazer™

PortaGrazer in Colorado

We wanted to share a product that we have been using for a while now, and absolutely love. It’s the Porta-Grazer™ , which is a way to feed your horse’s hay naturally to them but in a slower manner.


The Porta-Grazer™ comes in 3 different sizes: Mini, XL, and Corner Feeder. The image to the right shows approximately how many flakes each size will hold. We personally use the corner feeder, as it holds enough hay to last in between 3 feedings throughout the day/night for large warmbloods. So no more being on a feeding schedule/deadline before your horses tear down the barn!

Watch to learn more about the Porta-Grazer™

Porta-Grazer™ is a no waste natural feeding system that promotes better health for horses while allowing substantial savings of time and money to those who care for them. We all know that horses need feed available 24/7 to meet their digestive requirements, but sometimes the quantity of hay that would take is too much for the horse calorically, as well as financially for the owners. The Porta-Grazer™ slows down the intake of forage for your horse, allowing it to still eat all day, while not using as much hay in the process. The Porta-Grazer™ also offers a drain on their models, so if you have a need to soak your hay, you can do so easily and drain the water out no problem.

Porta-Grazer in Colorado

A few reasons why you might want to consider the Porta-Grazer™ for your horses or facility:

  • Hay savings average about 25%, depending on your current feeding system.
  • No dunking hay in water.
  • Porta-Grazer™ can be loaded in under a minute.
  • Bedding will last up to two times longer.
  • Substantial reduction of costly waste removal.
  • Horses will only eat what they require to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Huge reduction in stall cleaning time.
  • Head down dust free natural grazing position.
  • Reduces or eliminates bad stall habits such as cribbing, chewing, weaving, feed aggression and eating manure.
  • Parasite reduction by not eating from the ground.
  • Reduces the risk, frequency and severity of sand colic and gastric ulcers.
  • Horses ready to ride anytime regardless of feeding schedule.
  • Noticeable improvement in mental attitude.
  • Reduction in costly dental care.

We are lucky enough to have a rep that sells them locally (based out of Parker, CO), and she even offers week-long demos so you can try before you buy! (Trust me, after you try, you will want to buy!!)
Colorado Porta-Grazer™ Rep:
Susan Desylvia:

The first time my hippo… errr horse… used his Porta-Grazer. Mind you there was also a pile of hay on the other side of the stall he could have eaten, but he chose to try out his Porta-Grazer instead! They are extremely durable because he likes to push it around to change his view while eating. It stays upright surprisingly well during all his antics!

US Equestrian Announces 2018 Horses of Honor: Voting Now Open for National and International Horse of the Year


US Equestrian is pleased to introduce the following 2018 Horses of Honor because of their tremendous achievements over the course of the season. Each year, US Equestrian names a National Horse of the Year and an International Horse of the Year from the Horses of Honor roster. Winners are determined based on the results of online voting, which is now open through Thursday, January 3 at midnight. The 2018 National and International Horse of the Year will be awarded Saturday evening, January 12 at the Horse of the Year Awards presented by AON during the US Equestrian Annual Meeting in West Palm Beach, Fla.;

Click to learn more…


Tips and Tricks when Switching your Horse’s Hay.

Tips and Tricks when Switching your Horse's Hay.

There are a variety of reasons, as horse owners, our hay supply changes. New hay provider, new cutting, new boarding facility, etc.

Horse Hay Switching Tips and Tricks

Some people wonder why you need to plan for a hay change. The hay makes up typically 75%+ of your horse’s diet, so switching cold-turkey could have ill effects on their health if they aren’t adequately prepared. Would you switch your horse’s grain ration overnight? Probably not!

Here are just a few tips to make your change-over easier on everyone involved:

  • A gradual transition from current hay to new hay. Have at least 1 week’s current hay to mix in with your new hay. This will gradually prepare your horse’s palate for the new hay. Rather than a hard switchover where they may go a day plus without eating which can cause digestive and other issues up to colic.
    • Start with a 1/2 and 1/2 mix new/current. Be sure to actually mix it though rather than one on top of the other. This will help the horse be forced to eat the new hay rather than pick around it.
    • Over the course of 1-2 weeks, gradually make the weight heavier towards the new hay. The horse will get used to eating more of the new hay, so when that is all that is offered, it will not be a shock.
  • Keep your feeding time consistent. This will make your horse more likely to eat new hay since it’s at regular feeding times.
  • As always, keep a good clean water source available for your horse.
  • Consider adding probiotics during the switchover to help keep the gut in a happier place.
  • If the new hay isn’t as “tasty” as the old hay, they might pick around it at first, but don’t panic. They will get hungry, and they will eat it.

Just remember, a sudden change in diet of any kind can disrupt the microbes and balance of the gut, which can lead to disgestive upset such as excessive gas, diarrhea, discomfort, colic, etc.

EIA Positive Horse in Colorado

August 28, 2018
Contacts: Media:
Christi Lightcap, (303) 869-9005, Christi.Lightcap@state.co.us
Horse Owners & Veterinarians: State Veterinarian’s Office, (303) 869-9130, cda_co_animals@state.co.us

EIA-Positive Horse Identified In Colorado  

BROOMFIELD, Colo. –The Colorado Department of Agriculture, State Veterinarian’s Office, was notified by the US Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) that a Weld County horse tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). The initial test result was received on August 24, 2018, with a re-test confirmation on August 28, 2018.  The Weld County facility is currently under a quarantine order that restricts movement of horses until further testing is completed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA).  

“The affected horse has been isolated from the remaining horses on the facility, which will be observed and retested in 60 days.  We are actively tracing movements of the horse and others it came in contact with in Colorado and other states. The disease is most commonly spread by biting flies and we’re still in the midst of Colorado’s fly season,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr.  

FAQs about Equine Infectious Anemia

What is Equine Infectious Anemia?

Equine Infectious Anemia is a viral disease spread by bloodsucking insects, inappropriate use of needles, or other equipment used between susceptible equine animals such as horses, mules and donkeys. Horses may not appear to have any symptoms of the disease, although it also can cause high fever, weakness, weight loss, an enlarged spleen, anemia, weak pulse and even death.  

How is it spread?

It is spread most commonly through blood by biting flies such as horse flies and deer flies.  

What happens to an infected horse?

There is no cure for the disease, so infected animals have to be quarantined for life or euthanized.  

Is there a danger to people?

No. The disease can only be spread to horses, mules and donkeys.  

Is the disease common?

No. There has only been a small number of cases in the United States, although the disease exists in other parts of the world. A map of cases from the year 2017 is available at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/horse-disease-information/equine-infectious-anemia/ct_eia_distribution_maps.  

How is the disease controlled?

Equine Infectious Anemia is a disease for which horses must be tested annually before they can be transported across state lines. The test for EIA is commonly called a Coggins Test. If you think your horse has come into contact with the lot/facility this horse was located at, please get your horse tested. This is a VERY serious disease and we need to be sure we control it.  

More facts on EIA: http://www.cfsph.iastate.edu/Factsheets/pdfs/equine_infectious_anemia.pdf

Information taken from the Colorado State Department of Agriculture Website: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/agmain/news/8282018-eia-positive-horse-identified-colorado

Trainer/Coach abuse of Young Riders

Today the New York Times published a story providing further details on now-deceased equestrian trainer Jimmy Williams and his abuse of young riders. In addition to describing Williams’ inappropriate and unacceptable actions, the article also discusses how painfully difficult it can be for survivors, athletes, and even parents to recognize the signs of abuse and report it. US Equestrian wants you to know: if you are a victim of abuse, it is never too late to come forward and make a report. You will be supported and an investigation will be conducted.

Better safeguards are now in place to prevent abuse and misconduct, but it is incumbent upon all of us as a community to look out for one another and, if you see or suspect abuse or wrongdoing, please report it to US Equestrian or the U.S. Center for SafeSport. All reporting is confidential.You can submit a report electronically to the Center or at (720) 524-5640.


Reporting Sexual Misconduct Make a report to the U.S. Center for SafeSport if you have a reasonable suspicion of sexual misconduct such as child sex abuse, non-consensual sexual conduct, sexual harassment, or intimate relationships involving an imbalance of power. You can submit a report electronically to the Center or at (720) 524-5640. Reporting Misconduct to Local Authorities Contact your local authorities if you have a reasonable suspicion that child sexual abuse or neglect has occurred. All reports of child abuse or sexual assault of a minor must be reported to local authorities and the U.S. Center for SafeSport. Reports of abuse not involving a minor may also be reported to local authorities.
24 Hour Helpline Call (866) 200-0796 for 24/7 crisis interventions, referrals and emotional support. This confidential and secure helpline is operated by RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. For more information about this helpline, please visit www.safesporthelpline.org.                         Reporting Other Misconduct USEF handles all reports of suspected misconduct that is non-sexual in nature, including harassment, hazing, bullying, physical, or emotional misconduct. Reports can be made electronically to safesport@usef.org, or electronically or telephonically to any of the individuals on the Athlete Protection Team:   Sonja S. Keating, USEF General Counsel
(859) 225-2045
skeating@usef.org Sarah Gilbert, Paralegal
(859) 225-2022
sgilbert@usef.org Emily Pratt, Director of Regulation
(859) 225-6956

The “Ride With Me” App for Safety

Smartpak Apps for Horse Owners

Ride With Me is a horseback riding safety app by Smartpak that gives you peace of mind when riding. Many horseback riding accidents happen when no one is around. If you fall and can’t call for help yourself, Ride With Me is designed to alert your emergency contacts.

When you start your ride with Ride With Me, the app monitors your movement to know that you’re in control, using the natural rhythms of you and the horse. If Ride With Me detects no movement over a period of time, a warning will sound. If you’re okay, one button silences the alarm.

If you don’t respond to the warning, then Ride With Me will send a text message to a select group of emergency contacts of your choice. The message includes your GPS coordinates and lets them know that Ride With Me hasn’t detected any movement.+

Smartpak offers a variety of apps that are beneficial to horse owners, so be sure to check them all out! Click here for details.

Stay Updated on Colorado Wildfire Evacuations

If you need help evacuating, or are willing to help, please click here to see what options you have! If you don’t see what you need, create a new post.

Vaccine Rules for this Competition Year

Equine Vaccination Rules for Competition
Equine Vaccination Rules for Competition

If you compete, and any of those competitions are USEF licensed, then you need to stay up to date on the vaccine/vaccination rules. Also, be sure to find out the rules/regulations for your show’s manager and the facility you are showing at. Sometimes these can vary and be more strict, or also require things such as a veterinary health check prior to arrival at the grounds. We put a lot of money into each competition so we don’t want to get turned away at the gate for any reason!

USEF requires that for ANY competition, there is a record of a horse receiving the Equine Influenza Virus and Equine Herpes Virus (Rhinopneumonitis) vaccinations within six months prior to entering the stables of the show grounds.

  • If your vet gives your horse(s) their vaccines: the exhibitor, upon request by Competition Management, must provide documentation from the veterinarian on documenting that the horse in question received the vaccinations; name of the vaccines
    and date of vaccine administration.
  • If you give your own vaccines: the exhibitor, upon request by Competition Management, must provide a receipt of the vaccine
    purchase which is signed by the owner, or agent with care, custody, and control of the horse; name, serial number and expiration date of the vaccine; and date of vaccine administration.
  • In the rare instance your horse cannot receive vaccines: the exhibitor, upon request by Competition Management, must provide a letter from the veterinarian on official letterhead stating that the horse in question cannot be vaccinated due to medical concerns and a log of temperatures taken twice daily for the seven days prior to entering the competition grounds. These horses must also have their temperature taken and logged twice daily while on the competition grounds. The log of temperatures should be provided to the Competition Management, steward, or technical delegate when requested.

If you plan on competing throughout the entire year, and even compete at a Championship show, try to schedule your vaccines around that. You do not want your horse to get vaccines the week before any important show in case of adverse reactions or stiffness. In Colorado, our show season tends to be a little shorter than in other areas, so sometimes your spring shots (if timed correctly) can get you through the end of your show season. And then you can worry about fall shots after show season has ended.

Be sure to check YOUR show schedule and find the vaccination schedule that will suit your needs the best. And with any questions, always consult your veterinarian! Remember, they are the experts.

All USEF Rules and Regulations can be found here: https://www.usef.org/compete/resources-forms/rules-regulations

USEF Equine Vaccination Rule GR845: https://www.usef.org/forms-pubs/ANcxoLX1gNs/equine-vaccination-rule-gr845

USEF Equine Vaccination Record Form: https://www.usef.org/forms-pubs/xUbu-pT8eLM/equine-vaccination-record