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Louisiana Equine Council Blog

Hoofbeat News

Folks attending the 19th Louisiana Equine Council Annual Meeting had their choice of foods from the delicious Jambalaya and "tickle your taste buds" apple and/or peach cobblers served by the LEC to bowls of hot, steaming gumbo from the Gumbo Cook off Contestants! Congratulations go out to those skilled gumbo masters and award recipients! Vendors this year had many delightful, home baked goods on hand to sell.

Mr. Daniel Lyons was presented with the LEC Hall of Fame Award this year which honors those whose efforts have been not only valuable, but also integral to the Louisiana equine industry while being unselfish in the nature of their actions. Mr. Lyons is the epitomy of what this award stands for. As a founding member of the Louisiana Equine Council, Daniel Lyons has worked tirelessly as its President for 19 years in addition to many other contributions to the Louisiana Equine Industry. Daniel has always believed in breeding hard working, well-built and honest horses that can satisfy whatever their owners desire.   One of the most notable accomplishments of the herd was having a colt go on to become a Little Britches World Champion Pole Bending Horse. He has been known to actually donate horses to rodeo kids who had the desire to ride and compete but may not have been able to afford a well-bred horse. Daniel is an ardent supporter of 4H and FFA and truly believes that the youth are our future.

One of the many highlights from the LEC 2024 Annual Meeting were the educational clinics. We'd like to thank our clinicians which included Mr. Perry Fontenot who did both a Halter and Riding Class for youth, Dr. Clint Depew who did a demonstration on basic horse training, and Shannon Beauclair, for her beautiful performance with a children's team on Horseback Vaulting as well as an educational discussion and demo on hoof care. The Louisiana Equine Council expresses great appreciation to the dozens of volunteers who helped out. Special thanks to the folks in Allen Parish for their warm hospitality and the surrounding areas that attended and to Dr. Rachel Cazer-Martinez, LEC Board Member from that District.

If you missed it this year, we hope to see you next year. We also have an upcoming trail ride in February! Be sure to check that out! You can re-new your membership on our website by logging in, and selecting your payment plan. Want to become a new member, simply click the JOIN NOW button at the top and choose your plan. All major credit cards are accepted as well as Paypal. It even works on your smart phone! Once you select your plan and make your purchase, simply create an account with your email address and create a password for the LEC website. (Be sure to remember that password. ) From there you will have access to many equine related groups inside OUR website where you can share information and post photos.

If you are already a LEC member, now is a great time to renew your membership especially if you purchase our insurance which covers the current calendar year.

Author: Ginger Schouest, LEC Board Member, Marketing Chair

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Southwest Louisiana cowgirls, Josie Ogea and Caitlyn Dionne are making their equestrian dreams come true in big ways. National organizations have selected the girls to further their educational pursuits in the equine industry. Both girls are from the surrounding Lake Charles community and attend McNeese State University.

Ogea, a junior majoring in agribusiness, received an internship for a breeding attendant at the famed Lazy E Ranch in Gutherie, Oklahoma. Recognized as one the nation’s premier equine breeding centers for the western horse industry, the Lazy E sits on 925 acres and is a full-service breeding and sales consignment facility. The ranch breeds more than 2,000 mares per year and foals out an average of four hundred mares per season. Currently, the Lazy E stands twenty-two of the nation’s top Quarter Horse stallions in the racing and performance horse industries.

According to the Lazy E, “Internships are a steppingstone into the equine industry, providing both experience and networking opportunities. The Lazy E has a year-round student internship program in place to help interns learn the fundamentals of a successful equine business and benefit from training and hands-on learning opportunities.” To learn more on the Lazy E, go to

Caitlyn Dionne is a senior majoring in computer engineering at McNeese and in digital arts and communication at Sowela Technical College. Dionne was selected by Art Of The Cowgirl for its photography fellowship in April. Created in 2019, Art Of The Cowgirl is annual gathering of female artists and clinicians celebrating cowgirls and their contributions to the Western lifestyle. The weeklong gathering includes competitions, clinics, workshops, and a trade show. One of its main purposes is to fund emerging artists in expanding their knowledge and skills via fellowships with master artists in their field. Under the tutelage of the master artists, fellowship recipients will create or build an item that will be auctioned off at the following gathering to help support the following year’s recipients. To learn more, go to

Caitlyn spent a week in Montana with Barbara Van Cleve, a fifth-generation ranch woman whose pictures may be seen in public and private collections around the world as well as numerous national publications. For more than sixty years, Barbara has photographed our nation’s ranching heritage. As a result of her talent and dedication, Barbara was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall Of Fame in 1995 in Fort Worth. This coming January, Caitlyn will join Barbara and other fellowship recipients and masters at the 2024 Art Of The Cowgirl in Queen Creek, Arizona. To learn more about these cowgirl photographers, go to and

Post Author: Ginger Schouest, LEC Board Member, Marketing Chair

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By Tom Lenz, DVM, MS, DACT

It had been such a pleasant summer and beautiful fall; it was hard to believe that winter was just around the corner. But that day, the wind shifted, and that night, the temperature was going to dip down below freezing, so it looked like winter was upon us.

The good news is that horses are inherently well equipped to handle practically anything that winter can dish out as long as they have a way to get out of the wind. Their long winter hair coat traps air next to the skin, which helps insulate them against cold weather. In fact, horses in good body condition can withstand temperatures down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit without difficulty.

However, problems can occur when strong winds ruffle the horse’s hair and disturb the insulating layer of warm air trapped beneath it. Wet weather, especially cold driving rain or sleet, can also flatten the hair coat, chilling the horse. To prevent this, make sure your horses have access to a simple shelter such as a three-sided, southerly facing shed or a heavy tree line that can serve as a windbreak. Many horse owners prefer to blanket their horses in cold weather, but placing a blanket on a horse with a heavy winter coat can compress the horse’s hair and reduce its natural insulating ability. The result is that the blanket might actually decrease the horse’s ability to ward off the cold.

Horses that are body clipped or worked hard enough to sweat will benefit from a blanket. Blankets are also beneficial short term in extremely cold, wet weather. When the temperature plunges, the horse has to work harder to maintain its core body temperature. This is especially true in thin horses that lack an insulating layer of fat. To avoid losing weight, horses must increase their caloric intake roughly 15-20 percent for every 10-degree drop in temperature below 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s hay, not grain, that is the best choice for helping a horse generate body heat. Forages are digested in the large intestine by bacterial fermentation, a process that generates heat and raises the horse’s core body temperature. Grain, which is digested in the stomach and small intestine, creates much less heat. So the key is to provide plenty of good-quality hay during very cold weather, free choice, if possible.

Another crucial consideration during the winter months is the horse’s water intake. The incidence of impaction (constipation) colic significantly increases during the coldest months and is often due to inadequate water intake and lack of exercise. A horse cannot meet its daily water requirements by eating snow. Not only does snow not provide enough water, it requires more energy to consume, and can chill old or debilitating horses. Although a horse’s water consumption varies depending on temperature, diet and exercise, an average 1000-pound horse requires at least 10 gallons of water each day for maintenance.

Unfortunately, during cold weather, many horses fail to drink enough because the water is too cold and it chills them. Recent research has demonstrated that horses will drink more water during cold weather is the water is warmed to between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. There are a number of mechanical and electrical devices on the market that will keep tanks or buckets ice-free. However, if an electrical device is used, ensure that the horse does not have access to the electrical cords because curious horses can chew through the cords and electrocute themselves.

Unless your horse must be shod, he will benefit from having his shoes pulled and going barefoot throughout the winter for two reasons. This first is that removing the shoes allows the foot to expand, especially in the heels, which in turn, increases circulation and improves the overall health of the foot. The second is that a horse’s bare hoof provides better traction on ice and snow than an iron shoe. Winter is a wonderful time to ride and enjoy our horses. However, it is imperative that we follow a few common sense strategies to meet the special demands of cold weather. Bundle up and enjoy the unique beauty of the season.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Thomas R. Lenz, DVM, M.S., Diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists, is a trustee of the American Horse Council, past chairman of AQHA’s research committee and past president of the AAEP. This article is provided courtesy of AAEP's Alliance Partner, AQHA.

POST AUTHOR: Dr. Rachel Cezar-Martinez, DVM

LEC District 4 Board Member and AAEP National Member

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