Letters: 02/03

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Egg-Salad Treat
You had an interesting article on treats for our horses (December 2002). I’ve found that it’s easy to carry treats that both my horse and I can enjoy, such as honey graham crackers, Sunbelt Oats & Honey chewy granola bars (these are the best), carrots, dried apricots, and Quaker Oats Toasted Oatmeal Squares cereal.

Some horses will eat just about anything. Once at a horse show I was standing next to my daughter’s horse eating a sandwich of egg salad with sweet pickle on rye and was amazed when he suddenly reached out and gobbled up the sandwich! I worried that he’d become ill, but he didn’t.

In addition, your December editorial by Cynthia Foley articulated exactly how I feel about my horses.

-Sally Parker
California

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Enjoying December Issue
I loved your December editorial. It really described how I feel about horses. No one in my family is into animals, much less horses, so I don’t know where my passion came from. I just know it’s there.

I’m lucky enough to have my horses at home with me, and it lowers my blood pressure to just see them out in pasture, able to be real horses. And riding takes me out of myself, turns off my mind, and lets me just ’be.’ Horses are so important in my life. I’ve learned a lot of life lessons from them, and it helps me be a better person. Thanks for putting it into words.

I also truly appreciated the touches of ironic humor scattered about, such as in the Breakfast with a Bow treats sidebar. I like that attitude a lot. I thought the halter article was really good, especially the quotes from a number of judges. People need to be reminded that it’s performance that counts, not glitz.

-Karin Havis
North Carolina

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EPM Article
Thanks for the article on EPM (December 2002). It’s showing up around my area more lately. One question, though: The article mentioned not to worry about intermediate hosts, just the possum. But what about the crow or raven excrement after they’ve eaten a possum'

-Connie Maute
Washington

The only animal that poses a threat to the horse in terms of transmitting EPM is the possum. Birds, like other intermediate hosts, are victims just like the horse is. The possum has infective sporocysts in its intestinal tract only, not muscles or nervous system. When this infective form is picked up by a bird or mammal, it invades the intestinal wall and takes up residence in the heart, liver, skeletal muscle or nervous system. Birds don’t have the infective form of the parasite in their droppings.

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Helps Make Intelligent Decisions
Your magazine is the one horse magazine that I wouldn’t want to live without. It’s always informative, well thought out, and there is always at least one article that is of immediate interest to me. In particular, your articles on COPD and allergies, as well as the whole string of articles on insulin resistance and metabolic diseases, have helped me deal intelligently with my Morgan’s health.

-Hila Wever
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