Archive for October, 2011

Equine biology – a simple, helpful explanation about the basics of a cell

October 15th, 2011

Equine biology- a simple, helpful explanation about the basics of a cell

I am about to explain the very basics of a complicated and specialized science. I will only explain the things which are easy to mentally digest, and will start with the basic structure of a cell, then I will move on to a quick briefing on DNA.

The basic units of measurement for a cell are micrometers = one thousandth of a millemetre and nanometer (nm) = one thousandth of a micrometer.

The cell membrane is semi-permiable, so called because it allows certain substances to pass through, but not others. It is made up of a specific group of lipids (fats) called phospholipids. They have a rounded ‘head’ and a wavy ‘tail’. The tail is hydrophobic (repels and ‘hates’ water) and the head is hydrophillic (attracts and ‘loves’ water). The membrane is made up of two layers of phospholipids, and each layer meets the other tail to tail. Fat soluable molecules pass through the phospholipids.This is because the phospholipids are not attached and can move in a ‘wave’ in response to external ‘stimulus’ of essential molecules, therefore opening a gap. The molecules then have to wait in the middle of the membrane for another gap to open because only one layer opens at a time. Water soluble ones pass through special proteins known as pores. The membrane is studded with proteins, some only in one layer, carrying a polysacharide as a marker to avoid white blood cells accidentally destroying the cell, mistaking it for an invader, others spanning the entire membrane, and helping water soluble substances to pass into the cell (pores).

Within the membrane is a jelly like liqid known as the cytoplasm. It contains water, nutrients waste and dissolved substances. Suspended within the cyoplasm is the are the various organelles of the cell.

The nucleus is the control centre, it is the largest organnelle in the cell, and contains DNA. I will explain more about DNA later on. Within the nucleus is the nucleolus, which manufactures ribosomes.

The ribosomes (20nm) are the location of protein synthesis, the place where a chain of amino acids is made into a protein such as an enzyme (a globular protein that reacts with its substrate (the molecule it acts on) to create a product). Some ribosomes float freely in the cytoplasm while others are found on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Smooth ER has no ribosomes attached, while rough ER has ribosomes. Free ribosomes make products for the cell, while those on the rough ER make products for exportation from the cell. A structure known as the golgi body or dictyosome packages finished proteins into transport vesicles, which are very important, especially for enzymes which might start to digest the cell otherwise.

Mitochondria are the sites of respiration, the place where reactions occur. Oxygen and glucose are necesary for this to happen. The reactions that occur provide the cell with an instant energy source, mostly in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is made up of a sugar (ribose) a base, adenosine, and three phosphate molecules. This is broken down to ADP (adenosine diphosphate) + one inorganic phosphate. This provides the cell with energy, and the unnecessary by products are sent out of the cell (heat, water, CO2). A metabolically active cell such as a smooth muscle cell has lots of mitochondria. This system can only provide energy for up to ten seconds, even with CP as a backup molecule. After all the immediate ATP has gone, glucose oxidation occurs to create more. One minute or more of exersise, and lipids are oxidised and used as an energy source insead.

Perioxisomes (one micrometre) are small structures that breakdown hydrogen peroxide, a highly toxic by- product, into harmless oxygen and water.


That was a short description of a cell, now i will focus on genes. These are what determines our appearance, our horses appearance, and the appearance of mans best friend (dog) and all the other living creatures. Below are some key words.

Genotype= the arrangement of genes

phenotype= the way genes express themselves (appearance)

loci (si. locus)=a ”point” on DNA (at each ‘base’) where the gene is found

allelle=a variation of a gene (brown eyes and wall eyes are from the ‘eye colour’ gene but cause different effects and so are different allelles.

Dominant= a gene that creates an effect, even if only one strand of DNA contains that particular gene

Recessive= a gene that requires two doses on one locus (one dose on each strand) to produce an effect.

A dexyribonucleic acid molecule consists of a sugar (deoxyribose) a phosphate group (phosphorus molecule) and two organic bases which combine to form a ‘rung’ of the ‘ladder’ of DNA. DNA is twisted into a double helix and ‘pushed together’ into tightly coiled chromosomes.

Each base has a particular shape and its pair has a complementary shape, meaning that no other base can combine with it. In DNA, Adenine always pairs with Thymine and Cytosine always pairs with Guanine but with RNA T is absent and in its place is Uracil. A and G are purines, which are larger than their partners, while C and T are smaller and known as pyrimidines.

DNA never leaves the cell. If a copy is needed for the ribosomes to assemble a protein, then ribonucleic acid transports the information gets to its target structure, therefore it is a mobile copy of a gene.

To create a protein, a copy of DNA is made onto the messengerRNA and taken to a ribosome. Part of the DNA uncoils and the DNA sequence is copied onto mRNA and taken to the ribosome. TransferRNA is made upof a single strand of nucleic acid, looped back on itself to create a clover leaf shape that collects amino acids and brings them to the ribosome which then makes an amino acid chain in order of instruction which, once complete becomes a protein.

Horses have 64 chromosomes. 62 of these are responsible for various parts of the horse, such as colour, etc. but the last two are sex chromosomes. These are known as X and Y. Female chroosomes are XX and male chromosomes are XY. The females ovum is always X. For this reason it is the males sperm that determines the of the foal. Y is dominant, and so if a Y chromosome comes from the male the result is a colt. Despite Y being dominant, there is an equal chance of a filly as there is a colt.

Cells split through mitosis and meiosis. The former is for growth and the latter is for reproduction. The former produces two identical cells with the full number of chromosomes (diploid), while the latter produces four cells with half the number of chromosomes (haploid). When the ovum and the sperm fuse, the full number chromosomes is restored. If this did not occur, the number of chromosomes would double with every generation.


That wasjust a quick explanation about The equine cell, and DNA, if it is a subject that takes your interest, more information can be found in an equine genetics book or online.

Recommended reads;

Equine science by Sarah Pilliner and Zoe Davies.



Farriery – The craft of perfectly fitting shoes for your horse

October 8th, 2011

Farriers – Custom shoemakers for your horse

Shoeing a horse

Experts recommend that you shoe working horses, as it protects the hoof from general wear and tear, cracking and splitting. Some people prefer to save on the cost of shoeing, and have their horses bare foot, but this can only be done with strong healthy hooves and limits the amount of work that can be done on the road to a minimum.
Generally shoes are made of iron, it heats well and can be shaped at hot temperatures and also effectively takes on the wear and tear of heavy work. Alternatives include plastic, winged shoes that are glued on. These are lighter, but more expensive and not often seen.
You cannot just pop into TESCO or ASDA to buy horse shoes, a registered expert known as a farrier has to come and fit your horses shoes.
It is recommended that your farrier visits every four to six weeks to trim, and shoe your horse.
It is also important that your farrier is properly qualified, you can check his qualificatins, here are some to look out for; DipWCF or Diploma of the Worshipful Company of Farriers , FWCF or Fellowship of the Worshipful Company of Farriers. This is the highest quallification, and the mark of a profesional, AWCF or the Associateship of the Worshipful Company of Farriers .
First the farrier removes the dirt, and excess frog, and sole tissue, and clips the hoof wall. Once the hoof is the right shape and length, the iron shoes are heated and shaped and once they have cooled sufficiently they are fitted, and adjusted, then cooled and nailed on.
More details on hooves and hoof care can be obtained from your farrier, a knowledgeable person, or a good book.

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6 ways to improve your chances of finding that country pumpkin

October 6th, 2011

<h1>Find that countryside pumpkin you are looking for with horse lovers dating</h1>

If you are not already a member of  horse lovers dating, you can register free by clicking here . If you are already a member, here are 6 ways to improve your chances of meeting that special person:


Advanced Search
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Video Profiles
Be as specific as you want – search for your perfect partner using up to 20 different preferences including age, location, height, appearance, lifestyle, background, hobbies… the list goes on and on… and on!!! See who’s logged in at the same time as you and send them an Instant Message* to get chatting in the quickest time possible. With no need to wait around for a reply, you could even end up with an instant date. Introduce yourself to other Members face-to-face by recording a short video clip about yourself*. It’s like having a profile and a photo all-in-one, and other Members will also be able to see that you’re 100% genuine.
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Once you’ve found other Members who fit what you’re looking for, you can introduce yourself to them all in one go by sending your own personal Ice Breaker message to get the conversation started. Choose whether to see all your incoming contacts in one place, or list Messages, Winks, Favourites and Gifts separately. And don’t forget you can also filter out contacts from people you’re not interested in. There are lots more ways that Horse Lovers Dating can help you find who and what you’re looking for, such as Dating Diaries, Personality tests, Recommended Members and all sorts of e-mail notifications to let you know when you’ve caught someone’s attention.

Countryside Blog

KC Horse Riding and Rescue Centre Show

October 6th, 2011

The morning of the show dawned bright and clear as I loaded up my steeds and set off. In the trailer was a young pony, backed this spring, and an older, but no more experienced mare. We arrived, unloaded and made last minute preparatons. The show had ridden, driven and inhand classes, one to suit every person. Gradually the show ground filled up, and at ten o’ clock the classes comenced. I took my young pony into an inhand class, I thought he behaved very well, and, it was a condition and turnout class, but he was clean, and in good condition, but still came last. I like to believe that it was as the judge said, his mane was not up to standard. This can be explained by the fact that he has a chunk missing because he sticks his head through the fence to eat the alledgedly, tastier and lusher grass on the other side. I dont have a big problem

with that on its own, the problem lies in that half his mane goes as well! So, rather than a red or blue rossete, it was a pink fifth (last!) that I was looking at. Oh well, I thought he was the best to me, the judge had said he had some way to go, but would win lots of thngs in future. I hoped so.
All the other competitors were clean, welll turned out, and successful. My next class was a last minute entry ( five minutes before!) and it was open showing, which I really only entered to fill the places. We came third (last!) and, the judge seemed quite impressed with the sturdy black gypsy cob except it was a showing class, I forgot my hairnet (almost said haynet!!) and my hat cover was the wrong colour and my horse refused to stand still. Other than that, the judge adored us (haha!!!!!)
Then I had lunch, went to the cones course and watched the competitors. There were only three, but all did very well. Then came ridden veteran,then riding championships ( i wasnt in it, l hadnt achieved a high enough placing) Then came my last class, handy pony. My handy pony (?!!) is a horse, she was not very handy, and we only achieved second (to last!) because the last competitor did almost everything wrong. We moved the coat from peg to peg fine. I dropped the duck and I couldnt steer because i forgot my gloves, the reins were greasy and i was holding a whip, at the same time as trying (and failing) to steer and holding a fishing net. I suceeded in picking up the duck without dismounting, but the steward had to come and help me steer!!! i moved flag from container to container fine, just about got over the jump (only just!!!) and then through the bending poles. Then into a square of poles. My mare stood still for five seconds, then pranced about on the spot for the next five!!! we saluted the judge and trotted out of the ring. I struggled to hold the fiery girl while the judges analysed the results, and then I found out i came second (to last!!)
Perhaps not so much on my part, but alltogether the day was a huge success, and the cake stall alone raised £160.00 pounds!!!
The show is held annually, in july, in hereford, near leominster by KC and the hereford and district driving group (hddg). For more details, see their website;

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