April 2017 Issue - page 9

PENNSYLVANIA EQUESTRIAN
April 2017
Page 9
44 Edgefield Rd. • Quarryville, PA 17566
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AHC Hosts
Exchange on
Climate Change
Effects on Equines
Climate and
Agricultural Stability
Karen Davison, PhD is
Director of Equine Technical
Solutions for Purina Animal
Nutrition. She discussed the
importance of a reliable source of
quality forage for horses. “Horses
consume two to three percent of
their body weight per day in dry
matter,” she says. That’s 20-30
pounds per 1,000-pound horse.
Hay, she says, is roughly 87 per
cent dry matter. So the quality
of hay has a direct impact on the
quality of feed a horse receives.
Eleven pounds of hay equates to
10 pounds of dry matter; while
35-50 pounds of pasture would
equal 10 pounds of dry matter.
Davison explains that
drought conditions have nega-
tive effects on the quality of hay.
Good quality hay “has a high
leaf-to-stem ratio, small diam-
eter stems, few seed heads and
blooms.” A dry growing season
will result in lower quality hay,
and smaller yields. All these
factors are critical in ensuring
adequate nutrition for horses.
She says that a minimum of one
percent of a horse’s body weight
in quality forage is critical for
proper gut health and function.
From Beetles to Fires,
Challenges Mount
People who own horses
want safe trails on which to ride.
They want to take advantage of
thousands of miles of trails and
millions of acres of open spaces
in America. But climate chang-
es are having an impact on the
public lands and parks that have
historically provided recreational
opportunities for equestrians as
well as hikers, skiers, hunters and
fishermen.
Healthy trees are capable
of resisting pests and diseases.
Trees that are stressed—either
because of drought or tempera-
ture extremes—are more likely
to succumb to infestations. Jim
McGarvey is Chair of AHC Rec-
reation Committee and past na-
tional chairman of Back Country
Horsemen of America (BCHA).
He outlined the extraordinary
commitment of BCHA members
in protecting access to millions of
acres of public land in America.
“In one year alone, BCHA volun-
teers performed 410,000 hours”
of volunteer service, from clear-
ing trails, to improving trails, to
educating the public about safety
and the importance of protecting
access to trails. “Those BCHA
volunteer hours were valued at
$15 million, plus $4 million out
of pocket, for a total of $19 mil-
lion contribution.”
He says that BCHA’s ad-
vocacy and outreach to various
government entities have created
valuable, mutually beneficial
partnerships. But enormous chal-
lenges lie ahead. For one thing,
McGarvey explains, budgets for
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