Category Archives: Horse News

News of interest to horse enthusiasts and owners of horses

Equine Fresh Shortage Reported

Equine Fresh horse beddingIf you use wood pellets for horse bedding, you may have heard of the brand Equine Fresh. There are many brands of wood pellets out there and I suspect there will be many more since wood pellets are quickly becoming the preferred bedding for horse owners around the U.S. But the reason I’m writing this note about Equine Fresh is because it’s the brand carried by Tractor Supply stores. Until recently Tractor Supply also carried Woody Pet, perhaps the most well-known wood pellet bedding brand. But we have it on good authority that Tractor Supply decided to stop carrying Woody Pet in favor of the less expensive and larger-portioned Equine Fresh bags. As I recall, Woody Pet was in the neighborhood of $7 a bag for 35 lbs. while Equine Fresh is around $6 a bag for 40 lbs. We’ve tried both and haven’t noticed any difference in the two, so we’ve been buying Equine Fresh exclusively…until today. It seems all of our local east Tennessee Tractor Supply stores are completely out of Equine Fresh and, of course, Woody Pet. Turns out the Equine Fresh people lost their sawdust supplier and are frantically looking for another one. In the meantime, their inventory is almost depleted, which means no more shipments to Tractor Supply (or anyone else, for that matter). Of course, Tractor Supply sort of burned the bridge with Woody Pet, so they simply don’t have any wood pellets in stock at all now. Rumor has it there is a small shipment of Equine Fresh coming in to one of our local Tractor Supply stores (and I’m not telling which!) that is expected to be sold out practically before the pallets hit the pavement. Drama in the wood-pellet industry! Who knew it could be this exciting?

So why all the fuss over wood pellets? Well, I’m not sure I’d go stand in line for some, but I will say we’re converts. Without rehashing all the benefits, allow me to refer you to our post about using wood pellets for horse bedding from last year, entitled “Serta or Tempurpedic?“, referring to the relative luxury of the soft pellets versus some of the alternative bedding choices. You can see pictures of the wood pellets in detail in that post.

We managed to find an alternative supply of wood pellets locally at Co-op but they were more expensive. We paid around $6 per 35 lb. bag. Hopefully Equine Fresh gets their raw material supply problem worked out soon. The source of information for this article sounded ominous, though: “If they don’t find a supplier soon, they’ll probably go out of business.” He did assure us, however, that if Equine Fresh goes under, they’ll find another company to fill the need. I’m rooting for Equine Fresh, though, they have a good deal going.

So if you use Equine Fresh and your local Tractor Supply or other farm supply store still has some, you might consider heading down there asap to buy all you can. We’re seriously thinking of stocking up on wood pellets by buying a pallet or two next time. We could probably get a price break, too.

One more thing…Equine Fresh is made in Canada. So is Woody Pet. And all the other wood pellet horse bedding manufacturers we’ve ever seen in these parts. I wonder why wood pellets only seem to come from Canada. Do any of you know? Just curious.

Horse Restores Man’s Eyesight

An 82-year-old man in New York (state) had his eyesight restored by a horse accident. Don Karkos, a World War II veteran, works as a paddock security guard. Two months ago, he was head-butted by pedigreed racehorse My Buddy Chimo in the same spot where he sustained a shrapnel wound that took sight from his right eye in 1942. Doctors had been trying to repair Mr. Karkos’ vision for the past 64 years to no avail. Then one day he was putting a collar on My Buddy Chimo and got whacked pretty hard. Doctors aren’t sure what happened to restore his eyesight but I suppose Mr. Karkos isn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth, so to speak.

If you’re ever been head-butted by a horse, you know it can be a moving experience. Mikki and I have both seen stars after being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I don’t think Valentine meant to do it but he’s just so darn big and strong. That’s the thing you need to remember with horses and other large animals. It doesn’t take much movement for a 1,000 pound horse to seriously injure a 170 pound human or a 35 pound dog.

Fortunately, in this case the injury had a positive effect.

Source: and New York Daily News.

House approves H.R. 503

US CapitolThe U.S. House of Representatives voted September 7, 2006 to approve the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. The bill, labelled H.R. 503 for the House and S. 1915 for the Senate, bans the slaughter and transport of horses in the United States for human consumption. It will likely come to vote during the next legislative session in 2007.

I’m a little late with this post but news about this vote wasn’t very widespread so it seems like a good idea to give an update here. A couple of interesting things I learned today:

  • Apparently 92,000 horses were slaughtered last year. Wow, that’s a big number. If you read my Willie Nelson Against US Horse Slaughter post, you’ll remember I go back and forth on whether or not horse slaughter for food should be legal. I’m still not sure but after learning of this 92,000 number, I wonder what will happen to these 92,000 horses a year if this bill passes?
  • The vote was 263 for approval and 146 against approval. That’s a pretty wide margin but closer inspection of who-voted-how raises questions in my mind. For example, in Kentucky, a “horse state”, all representatives voted for the bill. But in Tennessee, where I live and a place I’d also consider a “horse state”, almost all representatives voted against the bill. Political party-wise, there was strong support of the bill with both Democrats and Republicans and although several Democrats voted against the bill, a quick scan indicates it was mostly Republicans voting against the bill. I wonder why. I hear some so-called “poison pill” ammendments were added at the last minute so maybe that’s why. Things aren’t always as they seem.

Here’s a neat site that shows how the House voted by state and Representative.… (opens in a new window)

Willie Nelson Against US Horse Slaughter

“It’s time for the cowboys to stand up for the horses”, country music legend Willie Nelson is reported to have said. There is a bill in Congress right now to ban the practice of slaughtering horses here in the U.S. as well as selling horses for slaughter elsewhere. The bill is being called The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, HR 503 for the House of Representatives and S 1915 for the Senate. Willie Nelson is lending his star-support through the Society for Animal Protective Legislation to encourage US citizens to get involved by calling their representatives.

So here’s the question I have for you today. Even though it’s not part of American culture to slaughter horses for food, should we outlaw it? I’ve been doing some reading on the subject today and there seems to be two issues here. The first is using horses as food, for human consumption or otherwise. Second is how well horses are treated prior to slaughter. People seem to either detest the practice of slaughtering and eating horses or Continue reading