Equine infectious anemia is a matter of concern because it can spread quickly through the horses in a herd or a larger region. The virus is easily picked up from an infected horse by biting flies that go on to infect nearby animals with their next bites.
Horses living in areas with sandy soils may tend to accumulate sand in their colons. In some horses, accumulated sand in the digestive tract can cause problems.
Even small amounts of inhaled dust may cause airway inflammation in horses. In fact, long-term exposure to low levels of dust can be just as dangerous as brief exposure to an extremely dusty environment.
Insect bite hypersensitivity, also known as bug bite allergy, is a common problem during the summer. Susceptible horses are actually allergic to insect saliva.
The Coggins test is the most definitive test for equine infectious anemia, more commonly known as EIA. A Coggins test is required for most equine gatherings, such as shows, racetracks, and trail rides.
The various deworming agents available to horse owners work in different ways to protect horses and ponies from parasite burdens.
A recent study was designed to look at the effect of gastric ulcers on performance and body condition score in a large group of Standardbred horses in training.
Whether your horse is a seasoned traveler or a green youngster in his first show season, you can make his trailering experiences more pleasant by preparing for the trip and keeping his safety and comfort in mind.
Studies focusing on this playing music for stabled horses have confirmed that the horses seem to enjoy the music, while others have linked barn music to a higher rate of gastric ulceration and nervous behavior.
Various warm-up methods are used for competitive horses, but few studies have examined the actual benefit of warm-up. An experiment examined physiological and metabolic effects of warm-up on Thoroughbred horses.
A survey undertaken by researchers from Duchy College in Cornwall, U.K., suggests that only about 5% of adult riders are at the best weight to allow optimal performance from their horses.
To be as certain as possible that everything will go according to plan when traveling with your horse, think about the safety of your tow vehicle and trailer as well as all of the items you will need to have an enjoyable trip.
Flies are a fact of life around horse barns and other livestock facilities, or are they? Stable management practices, however, can have an impact on reducing fly populations.
Newly hatched larvae of several fly species, chiefly the green bottle fly, are used in both humans and horses to rid wounds of bacteria and dead tissue.
Understanding how to take your horse's vital signs is one step to ensuring his well-being. Pulse, respiration, and temperature are easy to measure once you have practiced a bit.
In foals that seem to show a strong preference, is it the foal’s choice or the mare’s? Does the chosen nursing position influence the foal’s personality in later life?
A study led by veterinary researchers from Malaysia and Nigeria was designed to investigate the changes in uric acid, white blood cells, plasma biochemical parameters, and heart rate in endurance horses.
Run-in sheds are simpler and less expensive to build than larger barns. Free-choice access to a run-in shed means that many horses can be left outside in all seasons, saving the expense and labor of using bedded stalls in a barn.
Scientists from four universities in the U.K. collaborated on a research project to evaluate the amount of slip for horses landing over jumps on two different arena surfaces.
Researchers uncovered evidence that horses admitted to veterinary clinics for treatment of eye problems were far more likely to develop colic than horses admitted for other problems.
Breeding a mare when she is most fertile is the best way to optimize the chance of pregnancy. Because the mare is at the peak of fertility for only a few hours during each three-week-long reproductive cycle, careful management of breeding mares is necessary.
Honey has been used as a healing ointment on wounds since the days of ancient Egyptian cultures, and researchers tested its effectiveness in lower-limb wounds of horses.
Back pain in horses can be caused by a number of factors including arthritis, malformed vertebrae, injuries, overwork, or a training program that asks for a higher level of performance than the horse can give.
Researchers recently investigated whether horses affected by enterolithiasis might have a higher prevalence of gastric ulceration when compared to horses with large intestinal simple obstructions due to other causes.
A recent study conducted in England investigated the patterns of night sleep in horses that cribbed and others that did not crib using video recorders. The results of the research are interesting.
Using hundred of Thoroughbreds, Japanese researchers found a correlation between low zinc in blood samples and disease states such as fever, infection, or inflammation
Researchers have found no evidence of heart problems in horses with polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM) type-1.
The International Collating Center in Newmarket, U.K., is one of several agencies that keeps records of equine disease occurrences across the world. Several diseases were reported throughout the world in latter 2012.
Despite decades of research, laminitis remains a leading cause of death in horses. An anti-inflammatory drug discovered 40 years ago, but never used on large animals, may be the breakthrough that veterinarians and horse owners need.
If your young horse is scheduled to spend time at a training center or racetrack, he might benefit from a vaccine that prevents infection with equine rhinitis A type 1 virus, according to recent research.
A respiratory illness that caused nasal discharge and coughing in thousands of Icelandic horses in 2010 has been linked to a strain of a common bacteria.
Inactive horses, lots of dry hay, and limited water intake: these are all the ingredients horses need for developing impaction colic during the chilly winter months.
The goal of a training or physical conditioning program is to enhance a horse’s ability to perform better and more easily. An understanding of how fitness occurs in horses can make training schedules most efficient.
If you’re serious about wanting to ship your horse to another country, you need to consider three basic things: cost, time, and paperwork.
A blood test can be helpful in determining a horse’s status, and a series of blood tests can be even more helpful. Unfortunately, however, no analysis of blood chemistry can provide a definitive answer to every nutrition, training, and performance puzzle.
If your sport horse can’t breathe properly, he can’t perform to his maximal ability. A drop in athletic performance, unusually noisy breathing, or an abnormally long period of recovery after exercise are all signs that the horse may have some sort of respiratory problem.
All movement in the horse depends on the contraction of skeletal muscles. The horse’s muscles function in several different ways depending on their particular characteristics and the fuel they derive from forages and concentrates in the horse’s diet.
Equine piroplasmosis is found in many places around the world. Although several hundred horses in the United States have been diagnosed with the illness in recent years, the country is still generally considered to be free of equine piroplasmosis.
Because hormone levels vary by season in healthy horses, measurements could not always guarantee an accurate diagnosis of Cushing’s. Researchers are studying hormone levels of affected horses to help future diagnosis.
Proud flesh is most often seen as the result of an injury of the horse’s lower leg. Below the horse’s knees and hocks, there is little soft tissue and the skin is pulled tight over the bones and tendons, and diligent care is often required to keep proud flesh from forming.
Research designed a study to determine the relationship between body composition, physiological measurements, and performance in Thoroughbred racehorses.
Adequate water consumption is possibly the most important factor to prevent impaction. Owners need to be sure horses always have access to clean, fresh water that is not too cold.
Can you help me select a senior feed for my aged Quarter Horse gelding that is still worked about every other day?
A fungus that has been used to control nematodes in sheep and goats is also effective against small strongyles in horses, according to a study conducted in Brazil.
Recent research has identified a genetic mutation that affects gait styles. This mutation allows some horses to show alternate movement patterns that may be enhanced by training methods. Horses without the mutation are unable to perform these gaits, regardless of training.
Consumption of box elder tree seeds by horses has been identified as the cause of seasonal pasture myopathy, according to recent research.
Melanomas and sarcoids are common skin tumors in horses. Though research has uncovered some methods to eradicate the tumors either partially or completely, no treatment is surefire.
To understand how the digestive system can influence exercise performance, one must first appreciate the size and weight of the equine digestive system.
When their racing careers are over, many of the fillies are sent on to new careers as broodmares. At that point, virtually every aspect of their management changes.
A new discovery about Eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE) shows that snakes may play an important role in overwintering the virus that causes this disease.
With all the articles and blogs about poorly fitting saddles and the discomfort they cause horses, it would seem that the alternative—riding bareback—would be an ideal choice for owners who want to avoid making their horses uncomfortable. Not necessarily so, according to new research.
Large strongyles are common equine parasites, and their larvae migrate through mesenteric arteries, sometimes causing disruptions in blood flow that can lead to colic and tissue death, sometimes with fatal results.
A roarer is a horse that makes a whistling or rasping noise as it inhales during strenuous exercise, often limiting performance capability. A new study examined the effectiveness of neurectomy during laryngoplasty to increase surgical success.
Arising partly from boredom and partly from other causes, destructive and sometimes dangerous behaviors such as wood chewing are easier to avoid than to cure.
I own an obese half-bred mare. Can you evaluate her diet and tell me if I am doing something wrong?
Can you help me create a diet for an aged crossbred stallion in poor condition?
Can lack of sunlight affect a horse’s vitamin D requirement? Can insufficient amounts of this vitamin alter a mare’s mood?
Researchers recently evaluated the use of surface electromyography in performance horses. Surface electromyography detects muscle activity and fatigue through sensors attached to the horse’s skin.
Basic management is much the same for horses of any age. In senior horses, management should focus as much on prevention of problems as on maintenance of health.
Although many foals are not weaned until they are over six months old, mare’s milk will not meet the foal’s total nutrient requirements after three months of age, so the foal must eat pasture forage or be fed some concentrates.
In a nationwide survey recently conducted by American Horse Publications, horse owners and managers were asked to share their views on equine nutrition and health care. The survey collected information from more than 100,000 horse enthusiasts across the country.
Just as almost every human shows a strong preference for being right-handed or left-handed, a horse is also commonly a little stronger on one side of his body than on the other.
The exercising horse depends on a number of different physiological systems to supply fuel to the muscles and remove waste products during exercise. The horse’s well-developed cardiovascular system is among the most important for supporting performance.
Pemphigus foliaceus is an autoimmune disorder in which an affected horse begins to manufacture antibodies against its own skin. As these antibodies attack the bonds that hold skin cells together, hair loss and hives develop.
Recent research found that horses with heaves have decreased levels of some important components of surfactant, a substance that helps to lubricate the small airways in the lung. Further study could uncover therapies aimed at restoring normal surfactant composition.
Despite significant advances in diagnosis and treatment, equine colic—a general term encompassing abdominal pain or discomfort—is still a threat to today’s horses. It is estimated that about one in every 14 horses will experience one or more colic episodes sometime in its life.
What feed would you recommend for overweight horses with Cushing’s disease and/or insulin resistance?
Triheptanoin, a short-chain fatty acid that is helpful to humans with some metabolic conditions, isn’t effective in the treatment of polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM), according to new research.
A recent study found no correlation between successful breeding and the presence or absence of potentially pathogenic bacteria on stallions, though it should not be concluded that there is no correlation whatsoever between breeding success and all types of bacteria in every circumstance.
Identification of horses with a genetic pattern that favors the formation of sarcoids could help breeders select mares and stallions with a lower probability of developing the tumors.
The fear of botulism invades the thoughts of many horsemen as pastures go dormant and more hay is fed. Botulism intoxication occurs rapidly and quickly becomes lethal.
Using zebras as subjects, researchers found that bloodsucking flies are attracted by polarized light reflected from the coats of their victims. White and black areas of an animal’s coat reflect light differently, effectively disrupting the flies’ attraction.
Try these tips to keep mud from being a problem around your barn. Some of this work is best done in drier weather before the muddy situation develops.
Pedunculated lipomas are benign fatty masses that originate from the connective tissue of the intestine. Over time, abdominal lipomas enlarge and gradually stretch out a stalk of connective tissue that may eventually wrap around the intestine and strangulate it.
In regions of the world where coffee beans are grown and harvested, the discarded husks (thin outer coatings of coffee beans) have sometimes been used as bedding in horse stalls, but according to a recent study, this could be dangerous.
Should I give my three overweight miniature donkeys a balancer pellet to ensure they’re getting proper minerals and vitamins?
In order for a horse to be able to perform at maximal ability, he must be able to take in large amounts of oxygen. Anything that impairs this ability is a choke point that limits performance.
Hot weather can increase stress and cause health problems for horses. Follow these management tips to keep horses as comfortable as possible during periods of high temperatures.
You took your horse out for an easy trail ride on Monday and he seemed to be in good health. On Tuesday morning, he is desperately lame, unable to bear weight on one hoof and in obvious pain. What happened? A hoof abscess is a likely culprit for sudden and severe lameness.
The genetic variations that dictate body type and gaits also extend to characteristics that determine each horse’s response to an immune system challenge, and there is evidence that some disease signs are common to particular breeds and not to others.
Hot-branding of German warmblood horses such as the Trakehner, Hanoverian, and Holsteiner breeds may become obsolete if the German Parliament upholds the ban recently proposed by Ilse Aigner, the country’s Minister of Agriculture.
Hearing diminishes somewhat in older horses, as it does in many humans, but most aged horses get along fine, even with less than perfect hearing.
Can you suggest a diet that will give my gelding more energy but won’t make him fat?
A study of fatigue in long-distance endurance horses might offer some helpful insights for trail riders who ride for shorter distances.
Swimming allows horses to move strongly enough to get an aerobic workout while avoiding the joint concussion normally associated with weight-bearing exercise. Unfortunately, some horses develop colic after swimming.
Changing or combining careers can be confusing for a stallion, and patience on the part of the stallion’s handler is necessary for optimal performance.
Horses with wobbler syndrome usually start life with no obvious problems. The condition develops slowly, and early signs may be missed. As they grow, however, these horses gradually develop uncoordinated gaits, stumbling, dragging a limb, swaying as they walk, or other similar signs.
Equine slaughter ended in the United States because funding was eliminated for USDA inspections at slaughter facilities. This measure effectively closed processing plants, but there was never a ban on slaughter.
Repeated headshaking interferes with a horse’s comfort and use, and is often quite difficult to overcome. Some horses that continually toss or shake their heads are thought to have a disorder of the infraorbital nerve, causing pain or discomfort.
A simple blood test is being developed to diagnose inflammatory airway disease (IAD), a condition that causes impaired respiratory function and decreased ability to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide within the lungs.
Eosinophilic granulomas are skin lesions that typically follow a small scratch, insect bite, or even the site of a routine injection. The minor irritation triggers a hyperallergic reaction, breaking down collagen in the skin’s connective tissues and attempting to isolate the injury by walling it off.
Is there a way to determine selenium levels in local soil without going through extensive testing?
Hobbles—connected loops that tie a horse’s legs loosely together—have been used for centuries to keep horses from straying when there is no place to tie or confine them.
Hyperbaric oxygen chambers are valuable therapeutic devices that help with fighting infection, healing damaged tissues, and supporting recovery after surgery.
Does a particular horse with odd-shaped hooves have a greater than average risk of becoming lame, or does a horse become lame after which its hoof conformation changes because of variations in circulation, weight bearing, or other factors related to the horse’s particular unsoundness?
The full extent of some airway problems may not be seen if endoscopy is conducted only on unridden horses or even when horses are running on a treadmill.
Summer sores or habronemiasis can appear anywhere on the body that flies are able to rest and feed, especially around the eyes, face, or on any wound.
Are there differences in cardiac performance between Thoroughbred and Standardbred racehorses? Researchers set out to determine differences in cardiac function of both types of athletes.
Newborns often show a variety of limb abnormalities, but many of these will self-correct during the first days or weeks of life as the foal grows and exercises.
Foals rarely have difficulty swallowing. Milk observed draining from one or both nostrils is a sign of difficulty swallowing, and a veterinarian should be contacted immediately.
Abortion is the abnormal expulsion of a fetus any time from the first month to full term. Up to 30% of mares that conceive will lose the fetus before foaling. Most of these losses occur in the first 35 days of pregnancy.
Despite common belief, blue eyes are no weaker, develop disease no more frequently, and are no more likely to stop functioning than brown eyes.
It may sound like a joke, but there’s nothing funny about the situation when a horse jumps or falls into a swimming pool and can’t get out. Immediate considerations are getting the horse out without anyone getting hurt and limiting damage to the pool.
Can I graze my horses on green wheat?
A database compiled by The Jockey Club indicated the incidence of fatal injuries in 2011 was lower when horses raced on synthetic track surfaces rather than dirt.
Researchers recently studied the efficacy of ivermectin (label dose) and pyrantel pamoate (double the usual deworming dose or the dose commonly used against tapeworms) in horses with pinworm infections, and both proved effective.
If you have other animals besides horses on your property, it may be a good idea to rotate these species onto your fields from time to time.
Training produces a certain amount of anxiety and stress in young horses. Do different training strategies vary in the amount of stress they induce?
A veterinarian can determine a horse’s health status, but owners can check general indicators of health to help in deciding whether to call a veterinarian for an examination.
Safety should be the chief concern when selecting a halter for a young foal. Other considerations include material, design, and appropriate fit.
Rattlesnake bites can cause serious health problems in horses, even death, so a veterinarian should be called immediately.
The relatively mild and short-lived diarrhea experienced by many foals when they are about seven to ten days old has been termed foal-heat diarrhea because it often coincides with the mare’s first estrous cycle after giving birth.
Though many horses get along fine living in a stall almost all the time, most horses thrive on some turnout, free exercise, and spending time with their pasturemates. Taking away these important elements can be stressful to horses.
Hundreds of cutting horses were evaluated radiographically as youngsters and then again as older horses to determine the relationship of findings and competitive success.
A recent study revealed that many of the young foals referred to veterinary clinics for various maladies had significant eye abnormalities in addition to the primary illness.
Global spending on animal health products, including those used for horses, is estimated to be over $20 billion (U.S.) annually. The majority of this total, about 60%, is related to health products used on animals grown for food.
Acupuncture treatments can be an effective pain-reduction tool for some horses with laminitis. Possibly by regulating nervous system function and interrupting pain signals, acupuncture also seems to enhance the effectiveness of other therapies and medications.
Various formulas can be used to get an idea of how much your horse weighs. This is an important number to know if you are devising a diet or administering medications with dosages that vary according to body weight.
Remembering that horses are prey animals helps to explain your horse's hyperalert behavior: instinct tells a horse that its safety depends on noticing changes in its environment and being ready to run away from perceived dangers.
Horses that spend a lot of time in their stalls tend to have a higher incidence of colic than horses that are pastured all the time. A recent study conducted at the University of Nottingham investigated why this is true.
Even if you don’t have an indoor arena, there’s no reason you have to give up all riding in the winter. Cold-weather riding, however, requires a little thought and preparation to keep it safe for you and your horse.
No weaning method is best. In fact, the best weaning method is the one that fits your management system and results in a stress-free, relaxed, and uninjured mare and foal.
Professionals at the Hoof Diagnostic and Rehabilitation Clinic evaluated the degree of lameness in 30 horses with laminitis using a force plate.
Do foals drink water? If so, how much?
Most anyone who has ever owned a horse has given a dose of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as phenylbutazone or flunixin meglumine, but do you know how such medications work?
A horse’s manure can be a clue to its health, particularly the function or dysfunction of its digestive tract, so knowing what's normal for your horse is important.
A number of dog breeds, including many shepherd breeds, have a mutation that makes them extremely sensitive to ivermectin, and mixed-breed dogs may have inherited the mutation from a shepherd-type ancestor.
The short-term athletic ability and long-term welfare of horses are largely dependent on respiratory health, so providing a well-ventilated atmosphere for stables horses is essential.
Enteroliths receive the most attention as causes of intestinal tract obstruction. However, there are other, less frequently encountered obstructions that lead to the same clinical signs and appearance.
Barefooted or shod, hooves require just as much attention in the winter as they do in more temperate seasons.
Swallowing sand is a danger for horses that graze loose, sandy soil or eat hay that is piled on sandy ground, so care should be taken to reduce the likelihood of intake.
Diarrhea in foals is not uncommon and often clears up without treatment. However, diarrhea is a sign that something is not right, and severe diarrhea can dangerously dehydrate a foal.
Is there any relationship between feeding fat and gastric cancer in horses? If so, what is the mechanism?
Studies in dogs and humans have shown that young females are generally more anxious than young males. Equine researchers designed a trial to determine if the same gender difference could be found for horses.
Some conditions commonly affecting older horses can be treated effectively, keeping them comfortable and extending their useful lives.
To learn more about the best trigger for bonding and learning, researchers studied the effect of either food or grooming on the speed of learning among horses and on the attachment of horses to humans.
Often, the solution to traction problems among equine athletes is to add devices, called studs, to the shoe which can punch through the slippery surface to the firmer ground beneath.
Veterinarians often employ a shorthand of sorts when dispensing medication to clients. This guide provides a list of the most common abbreviations.
A veterinarian’s examination will give you answers to questions about your horse’s vision, but there are some easy tests you can use to get a general idea of whether your horse can see well.
After eleven months of pregnancy, your mare has finally delivered her foal. Everything looks fine with the mare and foal. What will the first hours, days, and weeks be like?
Educating foals often starts with familiarizing them with halters and leading. Though it seems simple enough, laying a solid foundation early on will ease handling as foals grow and become stronger.
Researchers investigate the effectiveness of oral anti-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of eye problems.
Acupressure is a treatment modality that seeks to treat various conditions in the horse by using noninvasive pressure.
Research at in Malaysia has turned up significant differences in the values for protein, gross energy, crude fiber, and nitrogen content among various strains of corn.
Equine researchers have investigated the role of obesity in low-level, body-wide inflammation.
Sand colic, a form of impaction typically seen in horses that live in dry, sandy areas, occurs when the horse ingests sand.
Design and construction of equine facilities needs to trend more toward livestock than residential design for optimal health of horses.
Tapeworms can play a significant part in several types of colic and other dangerous conditions of the equine digestive tract.
To minimize the impact of winter weather, plan ahead and be prepared to meet the animal’s basic needs—feed, hay, water, and shelter—on your own.
Knowing your horse's weight is critical when formulating a diet and calculating medication doses.
Horses are subject to muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries when they work hard, especially if they have not been properly conditioned for the work they are asked to do.
Warts generally appear on the head and seem to cluster on the muzzle, though they might appear near the eyes, on the bridge of the nose, and even along the lower jaw.
Cortisol is one measure of stress in horses, with higher blood levels indicating that the horse is increasingly stressed by health, environmental, or performance factors.
Try to avoid ever having drainage problems by choosing the best site for your barn.
To be able to sleep easily, a horse needs to feel comfortable, relaxed, and secure.
Some horses grow hair at regular times, but soon lose it over some areas of the body. Known as seasonal alopecia, this condition may be caused by an imbalance in the pineal gland.
Horse owners have at their disposal the perfect organic ingredients to keep a compost pile fully fed and productive.
Bot fly eggs or hatched larvae enter the gastrointestinal tract of the horse through the mouth as horses scratch or lick, or through the migration of nose bot larvae.
A lip twitch can be helpful in restraining a horse for a simple veterinary procedure or other brief action to which the horse may object.
Remember that when you gain even a few thousand feet in elevation, the oxygen content in the air decreases. You can minimize the problems somewhat by having your horse in top athletic shape before the trip and by arriving at the higher elevation a day or two before the big ride.
A horse that becomes blind because of disease or injury can often be kept safe and healthy with a few management changes.
With ice and snow only a few months away, now’s the time for horse owners in many parts of the world to perform seasonal maintenance around the farm to ensure their horses remain healthy and snug throughout the colder months.
Providing well-fitting waterproof blankets of varying weights can help horse owners keep the horse at a consistent level of protection regardless of the outside temperature.
Old age is known to affect hearing in man and many animals, but there has been little research done on this topic in horses.
Slight malocclusions often have no associated health problems, but those horses with severe cases might have trouble grazing and grinding feedstuffs.
In a recent study, more than 75% of horses with vertebral problems showed negative reactions or aggression toward humans in one or more tests.
Odd as it may look, acupuncture does relieve pain, anxiety, muscle soreness, and other sources of discomfort in horses.
Silver is an effective antibiotic because, depending on the particular microbe, it either blocks the enzymatic use of oxygen, inhibits DNA replication, or interferes with microbial energy production.
A lipoma is a fatty tumor that forms in a horse’s abdominal cavity. The situation doesn’t always cause an immediate problem, but can prevent ingested material from passing and cut off the blood supply to the compressed tissue.
When the horse performs strenuous exercise, the spleen contracts, pushing these extra red blood cells into circulation and thus greatly increasing the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
Concussion is the force sent vertically up the leg each time a horse’s hoof strikes the ground. Concussion is a major factor in lameness.
Horses don’t usually eat stinging nettle, but if they lie down or roll on the plant, glassy hairs from the plant’s leaves and stems cause a skin reaction characterized by wheals or hives and an intensely painful stinging sensation.
The aerated static pile (ASP) method is a recent advance that promises to simplify composting and remove much of the physical work of mixing and turning the manure.
Because using an equine treadmill is a novel concept for most people, as well as a new experience for many of the horses themselves, the question of safety often arises.
As the horse flexes and extends the hind legs, forces applied to the sacroiliac joint can cause strains or tears in the ligaments as well as partial dislocation of bones. These injuries cause pain and stiffness.
Can temperature and rainfall affect growth rate of foals? According to researchers in Kentucky, the answer is yes.
A horse bingeing on grain is always a cause for concern, but with a plan and veterinary assistance, horse owners can help to keep ill effects of equine overeating to a minimum.
Horses in a German study spent more time lying down when they were bedded on loose straw.
Summary of several research studies on magnesium and chromium for horses with equine metabolic syndrome.
Horses that eat very rapidly, do not chew their feed well, do not have access to water, or eat feeds that tend to swell after ingestion are prime candidates for gastric impaction.
Conformation is a major factor in the physical soundness of a horse.
In order to provide correct care for the horse’s hooves, owners need to have an understanding of their construction.
Metformin, a drug often prescribed to human patients with insulin resistance, apparently doesn’t help horses with the same problem.
Installing and maintaining the correct type of arena footing can be costly and time-consuming. However, getting and keeping the right material is essential for keeping your horse sound.
During the hottest, driest days of summer, it is not unusual for horses to have some minor coughing and/or runny eyes with some mucus in the corners of their eyes.
The Australian Horse Welfare Protocol has been accepted at the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy Conference in Sydney.
More than half of England’s pleasure horses are obese, according to a study conducted at the University of Nottingham.
Biofilm is a term that has been used to describe a phenomenon found in slow-healing human wounds. The same concept has now been found in horses.
Horses show the most obvious allergy signs as changes in the skin, eyes, or nostrils.
Why don’t horses fall over when they doze off while standing up?
To avoid infection, ask a veterinarian how to care for the injury, and follow his instructions about bandaging, antibiotic ointments, and complications that may occur.
Spaying (the surgical removal of a mare’s ovaries) sometimes puts a stop to physical problems and emotional mood swings related to estrus.
Because mustard contains acetic acid, some horse owners believe supplementing with the condiment will boost acetylcholine levels and prevent tying-up.
Many horses have a mild to moderate loss of hearing as they age.
Researchers examined the heritability of grass founder in an inbred herd of Welsh and Dartmoor ponies.
Researchers evaluated the hooves of several hundred feral horses in a range of environments from sandy deserts to cold alpine regions.
Besides being uncomfortable, horses with sunburned skin have an increased chance of developing skin cancer at some point.
Determining heart rate is a basic horsemanship skill. By knowing what is normal for your horse, you can keep better tabs on his health.
When palatable pasture is in short supply, horses might turn to the yellow-flowered weed known as buttercup. This weed contains a toxic oil that could harm your horse.
Inadequate fluid intake after unusually large losses can cause dehydration in horses. Left untreated, severe dehydration can be life-threatening.
The changing patterns of resistance among target nematodes lend an element of urgency to implementing major changes in parasite control strategies for horses in the U.S.
Observation of foals offers up some unusual behaviors. Manure-eating, or coprophagy, is a normal behavior in youngsters.
Entrapment incidents can happen in grain silos and storage bins on private farms as well as at commercial feed manufacturing facilities.
A daily grooming is a great way to spot injuries or problems that your horse may be developing.
Collection of saliva, being quick and painless, might be a preferred method of taking a sample for cortisol analysis while offering the same accuracy as a blood sample.
Dusts and molds contained within horse feed and bedding can trigger the allergic responses within the lung that ultimately result in development of COPD.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners recommends inoculation against EEE as a core vaccination for all horses.
Why do horses seem so interested in sniffing piles of manure left by their pasturemates and strange horses?
Researchers found that not all horses with severely swollen eyelids had injuries to their eyes.
Use these tips to keep your horse as comfortable as possible during periods of hot weather.
Most cases reported as equine heart attacks are actually death caused by rupture of the aorta near the base of the heart.
There are a few things you can look at to decide whether the horse should stay home and wait for a better weekend.
Donkeys and horses have many anatomical and metabolic differences, some of which are quite important from a veterinary care standpoint.
Several recent research projects have led to a better understanding of the equine immune system.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has approved guidelines to assist veterinarians and horse owners in making decisions about ending the life of an old, injured, or sick horse.
Miniatures and small ponies are subject to the same illnesses as their larger counterparts. However, some conditions are commonly seen more often in these pint-sized steeds than in large ponies and full-sized horses.
While pre-purchase veterinary exams are a good idea for any prospective horse owner, they are especially important when buying Thoroughbreds that have retired from a racing career.
A study in England looked at the effect on eight horses that went from pastured to stalled management.
If you're anticipating building a new barn or remodeling your present structure, you need to consider lots of factors.
Colic, weight loss, lameness, and respiratory problems such as heaves are the most common health conditions seen in older horses.
Soon after a horse has been exposed to smoke, tissue damage causes signs that include coughing, lethargy, elevated heart rate, nasal discharge, and fast, shallow breathing.
Agriculture (including working around horses) ranks high among the most hazardous industries.
Topical application of acyclovir proven useful in the treatment of sarcoids.
According to one study, many horse owners are unaware of problems that plague aged horses.
Before you put your horse in the trailer and head out for a show or trail ride, pick out his feet.
<p> How accurate is this formula for estimating a horse’s weight: [(heart girth<sup>2</sup> x length)/330]?</p>
Researchers say electroacupuncture might be useful in the treatment of chronic respiratory disease.
A little planning can help you optimize available pasture space for horses.
Fecal egg per gram (EPG) counts are valuable to actually determine the number of worm eggs in a horse's manure.
Despite the absence of a gall bladder, horses have no problems digesting a moderate amount of fat.
A helpful veterinary tool to diagnose equine heart disease involves a blood test to determine the level of cardiac troponin I (cTnI).
Winter ice and winds might have caused damage that should be repaired before the problem gets worse.
A peptide derived from protein in equine saliva has strong anti-inflammatory properties that could make it the next treatment option for laminitis.
A study identified several risk factors that increased the chances of a horse being treated for a colic emergency.
How quickly can a mare return to riding and training after she has a foal?
<p> How much should my warmblood gelding weigh, and how can I keep him at that weight?</p>
<p> Is a deer salt lick suitable for horses?</p>
Flies prefer dark-coated horses to those with light-colored coats, but how much more attractive are the blacks and bays?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is designed to accept frequent movement without developing a problem. While TMJ ailments in humans are fairly common, similar conditions in horses are quite rare.
Catnip oil was 99% effective in repelling the bloodsucking stable flies that attack farm animals including horses and cows.
Healthy horses are usually able to heal most cuts and lacerations without a problem. Some wounds, however, are very slow to heal.
Common signs and causes of pain in horses.
Take your horse's temperature a few times just to practice and to get a baseline of what his normal temperature is.
Fire prevention, like other safety measures connected with equine operations, is not a one-time thing, but an ongoing process.
Colic, a general term that describes abdominal discomfort, can affect horses of all ages, even the very young.
Keeping a new horse isolated from other animals is the safest procedure to prevent the spread of disease.
Using an adaptation of a human-use mini-camera the size of a large pill, Japanese veterinarians have gotten images beginning at the esophagus and continuing through the first half of the small intestine.
Some nasal discharge could be caused by a range of problems: an infected tooth or sinus, a bacterial or viral condition, or even some sort of injury caused by a kick to the face or jaw.
Knowing when horses are at risk for heat stress is just as important as knowing the clinical signs.
Tying-up is a generic term commonly used to describe muscle disease in performance horses. Other terms often used interchangeably with tyingup include exertional rhabdomyolysis, azoturia, and Monday morning sickness.
Horses need access to water in all seasons, even in the winter when they may not be in regular work.
Maladies of the digestive, musculoskeletal, respiratory, and endocrine systems are the problems seen most often in older horses and ponies.
Reducing the occurrence of colic is possible when sound management practices are followed.
The thermoneutral zone (TNZ) for horses is defined as the range of temperatures in which the horse maintains its body temperature with little or no energy expenditure.
Mistletoe extract is one of the most recent developments in sarcoid treatment.
Most horses are well-suited for staying healthy and comfortable in cold weather as long as owners provide them with proper care.
Equine nutrition evaluations take all forms in this hustle-and-bustle world, but at times photographs can be deceiving, especially when determining body condition.
Enteroliths are mineral masses that form in the colon of a horse. Usually these stones build up in thin layers around a bit of foreign matter (a small piece of wood, wire, hair, or other material) that the horse has swallowed.
It's true that older broodmares don't need to look as slick and polished as sales prospects, but there's one aspect of their care that is vitally important to their comfort: proper hoof maintenance.
The common name "rain rot" comes from the association of dermatophilosis with wet conditions.
Researchers looked at air movement and temperature in several areas of the trailer, and also quantified the effect of vehicle speed, window openings, and number of horses on air exchange.
Barn designs can be modified to provide adequate exposure to air.
Safety and comfort are key concepts in transporting a horse.
As a species, horses have an interesting repertoire of unusual oral behaviors, including cribbing, wind-sucking, and wood-chewing.
Results of a study that observed both Arabian horses and draft horses for a year to record use of run-in sheds in their pastures.
Slippery footing rarely impacts the health of most horses, but it can be a nuisance for horses with certain issues.
Desert conditions provide special challenges to horse owners and managers.
Avoidance of an eye injury is far easier than treating the problem after it occurs.
Don't depend on horses eating snow to slake their thirst on cold days.
Humans can become complacent as they move around these incredibly powerful half-ton creatures.
According to Dr. Oliver Bask, an Australian veterinarian, equine dentisty is essentially unregulated in Australia.
Feed management for older horses is based around several factors.
The basic care of older horses needs to include all the steps involved in managing younger horses, with some extra attention to handling the senior horse's changing needs.
A survey at the University of California-Davis showed there are 100,000 unwanted horses in the United States.
Newborn foals may be affected by a number of problems, some of which have similar signs.
Mold spores and organic dust are an important cause and aggravator of respiratory disease in both humans and horses.
The circulatory system (heart and blood vessels) and respiratory system (lungs and airway) work together to provide oxygen and transport waste material from the horse's tissues.
The horse's digestive system is made up of the foregut (stomach and small intestine) and the hindgut (cecum and colon). Each part has an important function, and each can also be the site of problems ranging from the slightly troublesome to the deadly serious.
Keeping an endurance horse fit and healthy involves more than just putting in a large number of miles on trails. The work required of these horses is quite different than that of any other equine athlete. The challenge is to provide the correct combination of nutrients that will support the special needs of these athletes during both training and competition.
Horses constantly ingest dirt when they graze. Excessive consumption of dirt, especially when pastures become short, sometimes causes potential problems such as sand accumulation in the large intestine. However, the dirt that horses normally consume while grazing supplies some essential nutrients, notably iron.
Shivers is a fairly uncommon equine condition characterized by tremors and exaggerated flexion of the hind limbs that is most noticeable when the horse is backed or its hind limbs are picked up (for example, for farriery). Often, the horse will also raise its tail head during an episode.
A survey conducted by American Farriers Journal turned up facts regarding the profession.
According to a recent survey, about 70% of respondents bed their horses' stalls with shavings.
How are you supposed to get those oral medications into your horse?
A lawsuit in Texas has restored the right of equine dentists to care for horses's teeth without having to obtain a veterinary license.
Healthy horses usually get along very well in unheated barns with good ventilation.
That white, scaly, crusty stuff in your horse's ears...what is it, and how can you get rid of it?
For horses that are sensitive to inhaled irritants, eating hay can be a problem, as even the cleanest, best-quality hay is likely to contain a moderate amount of fine material.
Winter weather can be hard on pastures, but land owners can avoid damage by following a few management procedures.
The decision on whether or not to shoe a horse is usually based on several criteria.
Obesity in horses is a dangerous condition that can be linked to a variety of health problems.
Hay can be classified into three general types: legume, grass, and mixed. Mixed hay is usually defined as a blend of grass and legume plants, though some hay producers and horse owners may define it as a combination of several grasses.
Understanding the effects of starvation, the likelihood for recovery, and basic principles of refeeding will help horse owners should they encounter a horse that requires a nutritional overhaul.
Summer mowing and fence-row trimming may be over for another year, but there are always plenty of farm and barn chores to do as seasons change.
Increasing the body mass of horses through weight gain is a particularly timely topic because more horses are turning up in rescue situations and a clear understanding of weight gain and changes in body condition are warranted.
In a lecture at the Gluck Equine Research Center at the University of Kentucky, Dr. David Nunamaker of the New Bolton Center cited the following statistics: In California, 83% of racing-related equine deaths result from musculoskeletal injury.
Storing hay before it has dried thoroughly is a risky practice because of the danger of spontaneous combustion.
Storing hay before it has dried thoroughly is a risky practice because of the danger of spontaneous combustion.
Storing hay before it has dried thoroughly is a risky practice because of the danger of spontaneous combustion.
How much hay do you need to buy to get your horses safely through the winter months? To find an answer, you need to know each horse's approximate weight and also the number of days you will have to provide hay.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications are effective in relieving pain, but extended use of bute and other common NSAIDs frequently causes irritation of the horse's gastrointestinal tract.
Recent research suggests that horses prefer to be handled from the left side, possibly due to the way they interpret things seen with the eye on that side.
Your horse stumbles. Does he need a trim, is he just being lazy, or does he have a potentially serious neurologic condition? A veterinarian should examine any horse whose owner is concerned about neurologic disease, but an easy ground procedure can give an owner a partial answer.
In a lecture at the 2007 Alltech conference, Dr. Ernie Bailey of the University of Kentucky explained that about 30% of racing performance in Thoroughbreds is due strictly to genetic make-up, leaving about 70% influenced primarily by other factors (age, track surface, training, nutrition, and so on).
A horse that has lain down too close to a fence or wall and gotten into a position from which he can't get up is referred to as a "cast" horse. Cast horses sometimes panic and struggle, while others simply lie in the cast position until help arrives. The problem may be that the horse is unable to straighten his front legs, or get his hind legs in a position to push himself up, or both.
The Equine Disease Quarterly Newsletter from the University of Kentucky suggests a few steps that may help decrease the spread of disease in stables.
Many stables leave a radio playing on the theory that music and/or human voices help to reduce boredom and keep horses calm.
A study at the Island Whirl Equine Colic Research Laboratory at the University of Florida has uncovered information showing a possible link between gastric ulcers and exercise.
You can tell a horse's age by looking at his teeth, right?
Don't know how much your horse weighs? Here's a formula from Equus that may give you a rough idea.
An article in Horse and Rider advises readers that they can burn calories while doing barn work.
Jet lag is a common problem for human travelers, and work at the Gluck Equine Research Center at the University of Kentucky indicates horses may also need several days to adapt their body rhythms after jumping several time zones.
Barn fires numbered well over 1000 in each year from 2002 to 2005, according to the National Fire Protection Agency.
Once a horse is in fit athletic condition, taking a week off now and then won't bother him. However, if he's idle for a longer period-three months, for example-how do you begin getting him back into condition, and how long will the process take if you want to avoid injuring him by asking too much?
Stereotypies are repetitive behaviors such as weaving or cribbing
An article in Hoof Beats indicates cardiac disease is the third most significant cause of poor performance in horses, following problems with the respiratory or musculoskeletal systems.
In a study of airway inflammation, researchers at Michigan State University looked at levels of neutrophils and mucus, both indicators of inflammation, in the lungs and tracheas of 26 high-level dressage or show-jumping horses.
The Guide Horse Foundation, a nonprofit group, trains Miniature Horses to act as guide animals for blind or sight-impaired people. The Minis spend six to twelve months learning to maneuver through city sidewalks and streets, ride on buses and elevators, and spend hours indoors.
Besides feeding humans and livestock, grains are being put to new uses.
According to information published by the Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center at the University of Kentucky, nitrate poisoning in horses is fairly uncommon unless a horse has consumed fertilizer, forage or hay grown in an area where fertilizer was spilled, or water contaminated with nitrates.
Horses suffering from navicular pain may be helped by a medication that has been used to treat dogs. Etodolac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that works by blocking the production of the prostaglandins that cause inflammation and pain.
Researchers have identified another in a growing line of genetic diseases affecting Quarter Horses.
The past few years have seen global growth in all plantings and uses of genetically modified (GM) grain crops.
Proper storage and handling of vaccines for equine use is important in maintaining potency, ensuring efficacy, and minimizing adverse reactions after administration
Turning stallions out in pairs or groups can be moderately risk-free and allows the horses to develop social relationships.
Is ACTH level useful for diagnosing Cushing's disease in horses? The answer is yes, but it's not as simple as looking at the result of one blood test.
At Colorado State University, researchers studied the effect of galloping exercise in addition to turnout for Thoroughbred foals.
The best way to cool a hot horse is to hose or sponge cold water over him, scrape the water off with a sweat scraper, and repeat the process until the horse is cool.
During prolonged moderate exercise, horses deplete muscle glycogen which needs to be replaced after the exercise period ends.
Navicular disease, also known as palmar foot pain, is a frequent cause of lameness in older horses. A challenge for veterinarians is examining the structures within the hoof to determine the location and cause of pain.
Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) is a developmental orthopedic disease that results in lameness in young horses.
A note in Equine Science Update says that passive stretching exercises may or may not help your horse move more freely, and could even produce the opposite result.
You've spent an hour trying to get a nice picture of your horse, and you still don't have anything that looks really good.
A study of the effect of different types of exercise on behavior among stalled horses suggested that regular exercise was likely to provide positive benefits on horse welfare, training ability, and handler welfare.
Did you know that some vehicles require a special key to remove the lug nuts that secure each tire? How about the key that unlocks the spare tire from its resting place?
In an article in Equestrian, Dr. Joe Pagan, equine nutritionist and president of Kentucky Equine Research, explained the importance of nutritional support for horses diagnosed with Lyme disease.
Quarter Horses can reach speeds of about 45 miles (72 km) per hour in short bursts. What gives cheetahs the ability to run so much faster--about 70 miles (112 km) per hour? Several factors of conformation are responsible, but part of the answer is that cheetahs use a rotary gallop, while horses and a number of other mammals prefer a transverse gallop. Many animals, including horses, use both forms in some instances.
A study in France looked at 401 foals from 3 breeds on 21 farms for the incidence of developmental orthopedic disease or osteochondrosis.
Cortisol has been identified as a hormone indicating stress level in horses.
If you've competed at lots of horse shows, the drill is pretty routine. You know what will happen at the show, whom you will probably see there, and how long you'll be gone. Assuming your horse is a show veteran also, there shouldn't be many surprises.
The terms "hunter" and "jumper" refer to types, rather than specific breeds, of horses. Although both groups routinely jump over obstacles, the most obvious difference is in the way the horses move and the work they are asked to perform.
Many horses lead healthy and useful lives well into their twenties or even longer. However, health problems tend to crop up in horses that have been around for several decades. When a number of maladies hit at the same time, owners are faced with finding diagnoses and making management changes to keep their equine pals on the right track. Here is a summary of one senior horse's situation and how his owner sought advice to solve her horse's problems.
For a horse owner, almost nothing is more frightening to think about...and most horse enthusiasts have encountered this situation from time to time, either with their own horses or someone else's. It seems that no amount of thought or precautionary management can completely protect horses from the danger, and owners from the worry, resulting from an escape.
Horse owners need to make sure their equine charges have adequate pasture and/or hay; supplemental feed as required to support growth or performance; plenty of fresh water; and a safe place to live.
Older horses don't have to become underweight horses. If senior equines begin to lose weight, there is usually a reason for the change such as dental inadequacy, gastrointestinal inefficiency, immune dysfunction, or the stresses associated with pain.
Nationwide, improper hay storage and wasteful feeding methods cause losses of around three billion dollars a year. It is estimated that up to 10% of a farm's livestock production costs can be traced to inefficient hay management.
In most horses, the heart weighs slightly less than 1% of the horse's body weight, or up to about 8.5 pounds (3.9 kg). Among light breeds, the Thoroughbred's heart is proportionally larger, usually weighing just over 1% of body weight. Arabian horses have hearts equal to about 0.76% of their weight. In draft horses, the heart is proportionally smaller, averaging about 0.6% of body weight.
Healthy horses are not bothered by most weather or temperature variations, and they can usually be kept outside in a wide range of climates. In extreme conditions, however, pastured horses should have access to some type of shelter. Natural landforms and vegetation may offer some respite from inclement weather.
Heaves and inflammatory airway disease (IAD) are important causes of allergic lower airway disease in horses. Horses with heaves tend to be older and have respiratory difficulty at rest (increased effort and rate of breathing, flaring of the nostrils, coughing, and mucus in the trachea and occasionally in the nostrils). Inflammatory airway disease primarily affects younger horses, such as those in training or recently put into work.
Glycogen is a large, highly branched sugar molecule that is stored in muscle and the liver, and is used by the body as an energy source. Made of long chains and branches of glucose, glycogen is used for quick, high-intensity exercise. Depleted muscle glycogen and buildup of its end products, lactate and pyruvate, contribute to muscle fatigue.
Evaluation of food allergies in horses can be difficult. There are several caveats that horse owners and veterinarians must keep in mind when interpreting results of allergy testing.
Few sights are worse than the tragedy of malnourished or starved horses. It is important to consider that not all underweight horses are the victims of abuse or neglect. Occasionally, horses may have or be recovering from serious conditions (cancer, inflammatory/infiltrative bowel disease, parasitism, colitis, surgery, etc.) that have led to weight loss, and their owners are doing all they can to help the horse regain its previous condition.
Horse owners want to provide their horses with adequate nourishment, but they may be confused about the best way to meet the protein requirements of animals with different workloads or ages.
Luxurious, flowing feathers are a hallmark of many draft breeds. Without proper care, however, the thick lower-leg hair can become a virtual incubator for external parasites, setting the stage for skin conditions that are difficult to treat.
Most horses affected with equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) are overweight and have abnormal fat deposits that include a cresty neck, fat around the tailhead that makes the tail look inset into the body, and fat pads around the shoulder, sheath, or udder.
Nitrate toxicity is uncommon in horses but can be an important problem in ruminants. Horses can be exposed to nitrates by eating fertilizer or toxic forages and drinking contaminated water.
Fall-onset laminitis in horses has baffled researchers, in part because horses that graze a pasture safely for several months often develop laminitis as the weather chills with no simultaneous change in diet. This seems doubly true of horses suffering from pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID), also known as Cushing's disease.
Colic of the large intestine can result from gas or fluid distension, obstruction (impaction or enteroliths), or twisting of the gut (as in large intestinal volvulus or displacement of the large colon).
One of the most important tenets of medicine is to first do no harm. Veterinarians and horse owners often factor in this belief when making management decisions, particularly if one party wants to try something that may not be specifically indicated but is unlikely to harm the horse.
Endoscopic examination of the stomach, sometimes referred to as gastroscopy, removed all guesswork from gastric ulcer diagnosis.
A recent survey of nearly 1,000 equine veterinarians uncovered trends in the use of sedatives, analgesics, and anesthetic drugs.
Polish researchers have determined that horses fed organic zinc and copper possess stronger mane hair.
The medical records of more than 100 horses revealed few adverse reactions related to plasma transfusions. The few reactions that were documented in the retrospective study involved foals less than one week of age.
Horses that have recovered from superficial digital flexor (SDF) tendonitis had more limited careers than control horses in a recent study.
In cases where a thorough veterinary exam does not turn up a medical explanation for the horse's actions, changes in feed management may be important in modifying the way a horse behaves. Advice from a professional horse trainer or riding coach is also an option, especially if the horse presents a danger, rather than just an aggravation, to it owner or handler.
The main role of the equine skeleton is to provide structural support. In addition to bones, the skeletal system also includes tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Each element of the musculoskeletal system must be functioning correctly in order for the horse to travel soundly.
Horses are subject to numerous health challenges including bone malformations, soft tissue or skeletal injuries, and infections of various kinds. Research continues to turn up information that broadens our knowledge of causes, treatment, and prevention of some common equine health problems.
The most important nutrient in the horse's diet is one that is rarely added to feeds: water. The amount of water required by the horse is determined by the magnitude of water losses from its body. These losses occur through feces, urine, respiratory gases, and sweat and, in the case of lactating mares, milk.
Optimal nutrition of the performance horse hinges foremost on the exercise it performs.
Should I add more fat and fiber to their diets this winter?
The sport in which horses participate often dictates the body condition in which they are maintained. Polo ponies are typically sleek and trim their fitness evident in a tight, tucked-up appearance. The same can be said of most racehorses. Pleasure horses, those mounts used to poke around trails and forests, are sometimes softer and less muscular, carrying more body fat.
<p> Who should I go to for advice when it comes to providing supplements to my gelding?</p>
Everybody knows horses need forage and grain...but how much? How often? What kind? What else? The answers may be slightly different for each horse depending on size, breed, use, and stage of development.
Equine nutritionists and researchers are uncovering interesting trends related to body condition and metabolic conditions, some of which directly relate to whether certain sport horses are as susceptible to metabolic conditions as horses that are exercised from time to time or not at all.
If the horse is fed in a group where he must eat quickly to avoid competition, isolating him at feeding time may help. Making sure the horse is not quite so hungry at mealtime, either by feeding some hay before grain or by feeding smaller meals more frequently, may slow the greedy eater.
It's worthwhile to cater to the horse's nature by making turnout part of his daily schedule.
While bone tissue continues to respond to exercise throughout the horse's life, cartilage loses almost all of its ability to adapt or regenerate by the time the horse is mature.
Even the cleanest, best-quality hay is likely to contain a moderate amount of fine material. Collectively known as the respirable dust concentration, or RDC, these fine particles can cause severe airway irritation in sensitive horses.
A horse's weight-carrying ability depends on a number of factors.
There is a belief among many people that defects in conformation predispose racehorses to poor performance and injury, and horses with obvious conformation problems tend to bring lower prices at public auction.
The care and management of old horses has been the focus of much scrutiny of late. The reason is obvious: horses are living much longer than they once did, and horsemen needed to know how to offer appropriate care.
Certain situations trigger the pH of the hindgut to drop sharply. The two most common causes are the overconsumption of high-starch concentrates or pasture grasses rich in fructan. The demands placed on horses-as athletes and as breeding animals-dictate that substantial quantities of energy-laden feeds be consumed.
Colic is a catch all term used to describe abdominal discomfort from any cause. Signs of horse colic include pawing, kicking at the belly, looking at or nipping the flanks, rolling, sweating, or straining as if to pass urine or feces.
When a pile of lawn clippings is placed in front of him, the horse can consume the cut grass much more quickly than if he were grazing naturally. If your horse has a tendency to bolt his feed (eat it very quickly), he may do the same with lawn clippings.
The condition is painful, often chronic, and sometimes fatal. Many horses never return to their previous levels of use after developing laminitis. Because of the seriousness of the disease, most owners would consider taking precautions to prevent laminitis in their horses if such management steps could be implemented.
Insulin resistance occurs when the cells become less sensitive to insulin, thereby limiting the uptake of glucose. When this occurs, more and more insulin is required to move glucose out of the bloodstream and into cells. When insulin resistance is severe enough, glucose accumulates in the blood, thus limiting the availability of energy to cells.
The USDA recently released information collected by an equine demographics, health, and management survey.
Just as any sport or hobby has its "insider" jargon, so it is with the horse world. Not only are there many terms to learn, but the newcomer to equine circles must also learn to differentiate between words that sound similar, but have totally different meanings. A quick look at the following definitions may help neophytes figure out what's being discussed.
In a recent study conducted by the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM) and the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, 300 horses were examined between June and August of 2006. Of these, more than half (51%) were determined to be overweight or obese.
Taking a horse to a show, trail ride, lesson, parade, or other event is something many horse owners do on a routine basis. Sometimes the horse has a cough, runny nose, fever, or another sign of illness. Where did the disease originate, and how many horses have taken the infection home with them, possibly to far-flung states and even other countries?
The USDA recently released the results of a survey of equine demographics, health issues, and management. The figures reveal trends in the U.S. equine population between 1850 and 2005.
The most popular types of forage cubes are made from coarsely chopped alfalfa hay, timothy hay, alfalfa/grass hay, whole corn plants, and alfalfa hay/whole corn plants," said Crandell. Horsemen derive numerous benefits by choosing hay cubes over more traditional long-stem hay.
Both protein amount and type are important in the diets of growing horses because certain amino acids cannot be produced in the horse's body and must be provided by ingested food. The site of protein digestion is important to optimal absorption.
To understand splints, we need to remember that prehistoric ancestors of the modern horse had multiple toes on each foot. The horse of today walks on the tip of its middle toe, but vestigial traces of the other toes are still present. Two of these leftover toe bones, called splint bones, lie along the inner and outer sides of each cannon bone beginning just below the horse's knee or hock and tapering to an end above the fetlock.
A number of Thoroughbred mares and their foals, all born in central Kentucky, were studied to assess the influence of month of birth, season, and gender on body weight, condition score, and daily weight gain. Foals grow rapidly following birth, often quadrupling their body weight by five months of age.
Forages, concentrates, and other basics of equine nutrition.
Keeping air moving can help to ensure that horses will travel in reasonable comfort and arrive at their destination in good health.
Foals are generally weaned when they are somewhere between four and six months of age. Well before this time, young horses need to be eating grain regularly, deriving the majority of their nutrition from pasture and concentrates. One way to do this is by providing an enclosed feeding area in the pasture that allows foals to enter while excluding mares.
<p> Is it acceptable to offer horses of all ages and uses the same feed but in slightly varying quantities?</p>
Yearlings that commanded bids higher than the median price of the session in which they were sold tended to be heavier and slightly taller, but not fatter, than yearlings receiving bids below their session's median price.
Even if your horse climbs willingly into the trailer each weekend and seems to travel well, he is undergoing some stress each time he's transported. That is the conclusion of a number of studies showing physiological signs of stress (elevated heart rate, increased cortisol production) in trailered horses that are used to being handled and transported
While very young, very old, or ailing horses may need specific changes in stable routine, healthy horses with an intact coat can usually tolerate winter weather with few problems if owners pay attention to basic feeding and management principles.
Horse knowledge is sort of like manure...over the years, you seem to pick up a lot of it! Can you answer these random queries on equine behavior, sports, breeds, and terms?
Horse bedding comes in many types, each with various advantages and disadvantages.
Basic explanations of some terms that refer to equine health conditions.
At times, identifying a food allergy seems more like trial and error than hard-core science. While diagnosis involves tremendous dedication, the result--a happy, healthy horse--is well worth the effort.
Weaning is synonymous with stress. The process produces anxiety among foals and mares, not to mention their caretakers. To ease the transition all foals must face-from maternal coddling to self-sufficiency among peers-owners can do a little homework before the day of parting arrives.
Extruded, pelleted, or sweet feeds can all provide energy, and each feed form has other attributes that owners should consider as they look for the best products to suit their animals. Examining the pros and cons of each type of feed can clarify the decision.
Do not expect horses to eat snow to satisfy their water requirements. They would have to consume considerable snow to fulfill body needs. In addition, do not expect horses to break ice in troughs or tanks to gain access to potable water. Allow your horse to enjoy his winter wonderland, complete with clean, fresh water!
A sound nutritional plan, along with careful attention from a handler, veterinarian, and farrier, can save many starved horses. Recovery may take several months, and during this time each horse must be evaluated and treated on an individual basis.
Tapeworms are flat-bodied, segmented intestinal parasites that infect many types of animals including horses. It has been found that tapeworms play a significant part in several types of colic and other dangerous conditions of the digestive tract.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT, refers to a treatment in which a patient is placed in a sealed chamber and exposed to oxygen at several times normal atmospheric pressure. Oxygen is forced into the blood and other body fluids (lymph, cerebrospinal fluid, bone marrow), destroying bacteria and helping to heal injuries.
Veterinarians at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center have modified techniques for external fixation of equine compound fractures.
If a horse sweats little, access to a generous amount of high-quality hay and a salt block will provide sufficient electrolytes. If the horse sweats profusely or is allowed only minimal forage, an electrolyte product containing sodium, chloride, and potassium is recommended. Consistent supplementation with electrolytes may be just the thing to transform lackluster summertime performances into winning ones.
The most important component of any feeding program is forage, be it pasture or hay. Without question, a survey of the paddocks, pastures, and other turnout areas in which your horse may reside is in order before finalizing a boarding arrangement.
As the grass brightens from brown to green, the nutrient content of the plant changes considerably. Horses will undoubtedly relish the newfound forage, but care must be taken to allow only the amount of grazing time necessary to sustain optimal body weight. If horses are allowed unchecked access to spring grass, they can quickly become overweight. The perils of obesity include decreased stamina and a greater likelihood for unsoundness.
Horse owners are often quick to lay blame on an allergy when a horse begins to cough or wheeze. An allergy is any hypersensitivity to a specific stimulus, even a stimulus that a horse has been previously exposed to without detriment. This hypersensitivity results in self-injury. The degree of debilitation caused by an allergy depends on the severity of the reaction and the number of body systems involved.
What makes a police horse's job unique is the variety of experiences and challenges that each day brings. While all horses are expected to respond to their riders' signals, it's of paramount importance that the mounted police officer can trust his horse to remain calm and obedient, no matter what happens.
<p> How much water does an average horse drink?</p>
<p> Is it possible to keep horses on small acreage? What are the drawbacks of not allowing horses to graze for several hours each day?</p>
These terms are common names for conditions that restrict airflow in the laryngeal area. In both cases, noisy breathing and exercise intolerance are probably the first signs that will alert an owner or trainer to the problem.
At the present time there is no evidence that horses are susceptible to any prion diseases, and transmission to equines from infected cows, deer, or other species has not been noted. Some scientists, however, warn that many mammals are susceptible, at least under laboratory conditions, where infection has been experimentally introduced into pigs, monkeys, and other species.
Lyme disease can affect horses in various ways. Signs may be subtle and may mimic those of neurologic disorders. Lameness that seems to shift from joint to joint, sensitivity to touch, irritability, behavioral changes, low energy level, weight loss, eye inflammation, and pain in the muscles or joints are some of the more common indications.
Feed-related reactions often cause hives or wheals over patches of the horse's body. In most instances, these raised areas, sometimes called "protein bumps," cause horses little or no discomfort, though some may wish to rub affected areas to relieve itchiness.
Just as humans can be burned by the sun's ultraviolet rays, light-colored horses may suffer from sunburn. Even horses with dark coats can be vulnerable to sunburn if they have white markings on their faces or legs.
Results of a study to measure the changes in various manifestations of stress during a 24-hour ride in a commercial horse van, and to quantify degree of recovery 24 hours after the trip.
If the winter season has involved any modifications in your horse's exercise level or feeding plan, you will need to consider the following points as you bring the horse back into work in the spring.
Horses, like humans, come in a variety of body shapes. Some breeds and individuals tend to be "easy keepers," naturally assuming a well-rounded shape. Others always seem to look a bit thin and ribby, no matter how they are managed.
Many equine diseases, conditions, or problems are frequently referred to by their initials. Full names, a brief explanation of each condition, and management tips, if applicable, are given below. The list also contains a few diseases that don't affect horses but are nevertheless "hot topics" among livestock producers.
Studies in ruminants and ponies found that high levels of aluminum disrupted the use of calcium and phosphorus. On the other hand, one study found no adverse effects on macro- or micromineral digestibility and balance when small amounts of aluminum (less than 1500 parts per million) were ingested.
Higgins, on the other hand, weighed a walloping 243 pounds at 28 days of age. Colts of his age born in April usually hit the 205-pound mark. This fact makes Higgins about 18% heavier than others his age. Higgins is not obese, in fact few foals are, but he possesses height and scope, likely a reflection of his tall, lanky mother.
When the realization hit that his dam was nowhere to be found, Shout became uneasy and lapped the field at a full tilt gallop. Higgins did little to ease Shout's anxiety, merely watching the seemingly half-crazed Shout careen around the field. Skean seemed less fazed by the separation; she may have even been relieved to bid farewell to her youngster.
Thousands of horses change hands annually at public auctions. While the most conscientious of buyers may flood the seller with innumerable questions regarding their most recent equine acquisition, many horses are shipped without feeding instructions. When they arrive at their destination, the horses are often placed immediately on the new owner's feeding schedule, which may be considerably different than the familiar one.
Almost all the guidelines on feeding and caring for horses are aimed at the middleweight or light horse population, those that weigh in at about 1,000 pounds or so and little information is available regarding the equine extremes - ponies and draft horses. Generally speaking, horses are horses regardless of their size, but there are some differences in the nutritional requirements and management of these equids.
Researchers at the University of Kentucky measured the voluntary intake of big bluestem, Indiangrass, eastern gamagrass, and timothy grass hays in a group of mature horses.
In order to achieve maximal improvement in hoof health, a horse should consume 20 mg of biotin per day. If improvement has been seen within eight to 15 months, the horse will need to remain on biotin the rest of its useful life to maintain that improvement. Cutting the dose is not advisable because it may affect the results, and care should be taken not to buy more than what can be used up in six months.
Wood chewing is simply the nibbling and splintering of wooden surfaces with the teeth; sometimes the wood is swallowed and sometimes not. This behavior is thought to spring from the horse's natural appetite for a varied diet.
The most popular way to feed salt ad libitum is a salt block. These were originally designed for cattle, which possess a rough tongue, but are suitable for most horses. Occasionally a horse may be seen biting or gnawing at the corners of the block.
Shock wave therapy has been used in both humans and horses to pulverize kidney stones, often eliminating the need for surgery.
Now you're planning to give your horse a well-earned rest. You know he'll enjoy a few months out of his stall, rolling in the grass and taking afternoon naps with his pasture buddies. You realize that you'll be modifying just about everything in your horse's day-to-day routine. How can you keep your horse healthy as he makes this change?
First and foremost, hair helps in the formidable task of bodywide temperature regulation, and one integral aspect of this role is providing a shield against environmental conditions, hence the dense, wooly coats of winter and the slick, short coats of summer. Other functions of hair include protection against predatory insects and a pathway for transport of pheromones and other physiological signals from the body.
According to figures released by the American Horse Council, there are about 6.9 million horses in the United States.
As West Nile virus continues to spread across the country, studies show that less than 1% of mosquitoes are infected in disease areas, and only about 1 in 10 infected horses' shows signs of illness.
<p> What is sand colic and how can I safeguard my horse from it? </p>
<p> How can you provide encouragement for your horse to drink during cooler weather?</p>
<p> How can I keep my horse exercised in the colder months?</p>
Products defined as digestive aids can be broadly categorized as either probiotics or prebiotics. These aids can be fed as part of the horse's regular diet, or administered only occasionally in response to a particular need.
Do not choose supplements on price alone, but look for economical products that meet actual needs. A concentrated, low inclusion product will be more expensive than one in which the dose is larger. Look at the weight of the pack and the dosage amount, not the size of the bucket.
In the wake of the 2001 outbreak of equine foal and embryo deaths known as mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS), proper pasture development and maintenance have received increased attention. The need to determine a cause for the devastation visited upon Kentucky and adjoining states by MRLS led many researchers to look towards pasture anomalies for clues.
Plain oats may have a place in the diets of some horses. Mature horses in light work and without the demands of reproduction may do just fine on plain oats, especially if pasture is scarce or low quality or if the forage source is low in energy. If oats are chosen as a way to increase caloric intake, a feed balancer should be used to ensure proper levels of vitamins and minerals are consumed.
Manufacturers of horse feeds use molasses to improve palatability, reduce dustiness, eliminate or decrease sorting of certain components in a textured feed, aid in the pelleting process, improve mixing integrity of a concentrate, and add nutrients or other ingredients to a ration.
The ingredients in some hoof dressings can actually be harmful, excessively drying the outer hoof layers and leading to brittle tissue that can easily develop small cracks. Formalin, solvents, or tar-based products are ingredients with the potential to damage the outer layers of hoof horn. Such damage allows moisture to move in and out of the hoof more freely than in hooves with healthy outer horn.
All of a sudden, it seems there are more new equine dewormers on the market than anyone can keep track of. What are these products? How should they be used? How are they different from those that have been on the market for a while? Which one is best for your horse?
Developed for human use in breaking up kidney stones, the technique has been adopted by veterinarians to reduce pain and stimulate healing in some types of injuries. "Extracorporeal" refers to the fact that the treatment is given from outside the horse's body, in contrast to oral medications, injections, or surgery that are considered more invasive.
The polished weanlings and yearlings and the athletic two-year-olds that grace the sales rings throughout the world today are slightly different from the horses that went before them. Technology and research have combined to provide consignors and buyers with a slightly different opinion of what constitutes good health.
Some veterinarians provide dental treatment in addition to their other services. Others prefer to supervise a professional equine dentist who has the specialized training, equipment, and experience to complete the work quickly and competently.
Cleanliness inside the barn and out is very important to both your horse and yourself. Feed buckets, automatic waterers, and ground feeders require regular cleaning and attention.
How can a rider decide what size equine is right? To answer this question, it is necessary to consider several factors about both the rider and the horse.
Recent medical and technological advances have revolutionized equine air transport from an occasionally dangerous and often lengthy process into a modern- day magic carpet ride.
Feeding well-balanced rations and attending to nutrition-related idiosyncrasies of warmbloods are the first steps in producing and maintaining sound athletes. The primary nutritional goal of managing young warmbloods should be ensuring slow, steady growth and reducing the risk of developmental orthopedic disease.
In an effort to determine the effect of yeast on digestion in horses, researchers in France carried out a study to look at the influence of feeding a preparation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a strain of yeast, on microbial profiles and fermentation patterns in the large intestine of horses fed a high fiber or a high starch diet.
Stocking rate is defined as the number of horses allowed to graze a unit of land for a specific amount of time. Making the most of pastures by optimizing stocking rate may reduce other forage expenditures. Stocking rate is contingent upon numerous factors including grazing behavior, level of pasture management, forage species, seasons, and weather patterns.
Regardless of their size, all equines have the same basic nutritional needs. Each animal must consume enough water, forage, and (possibly) grain to meet the requirements of growth, tissue repair, reproduction, exercise, and maintenance of all body systems. Factors such as body size, age, breed, work, climate, health status, and metabolism affect the type and amount of hay, pasture, and grain a particular horse should be given.
Pica is the desire to eat unusual substances that possess little or no nutritional value, such as dirt, wood, hair, and feces. This phenomenon has been observed in horses of all ages, breeds, and sexes.
Continuous ingestion of feedstuffs keeps the digestive tract running smoothly. Modern management practices dictate that many horses remain in confinement for long periods of time with limited or no access to pasture.
Feeding horses properly is not difficult. Reliance upon an educated horseman, a veterinarian, or an equine nutritionist is paramount if a feeding management question arises. This is particularly true when confronted with an old wives' tale.
While some old-fashioned feeding practices remain pertinent in this day and age, others have fallen by the wayside. Over the last several decades, research has debunked some commonly held beliefs concerning the nutritional management of horses.
As we become more aware of the problems facing geriatric horses, they have a much better chance at surviving into their golden years than they would have had 100 years ago. Strong emotional ties can motivate many owners to be observant of their beloved beasts and to take the extra steps it requires to maintain them in health and comfort.
<p> How do you slow down a horse who bolts his feed?</p>
<p> What causes a horse to eat dry manure?</p>
There are many additional "tricks of the trade" that can be applied to help the halter horse reach his optimum potential, but the successful basics remain the same. It is essential for halter horses to be on a properly balanced diet. Exercise must be carefully designed for each individual animal to avoid potential injury and build the valuable muscle tone that can make a difference between winning and being just another horse in the class.
Subclinical signs of selenium deficiency may be easily overlooked. Because the major role of selenium is in the oxidative defense system, deficiency would first compromise cellular integrity.
This diet food scenario has proven very effective when feeding broodmares in late pregnancy. Most mares will sail through pregnancy in good body condition and can be fed the recommended amounts of sweet feed to provide essential protein, vitamins and minerals.
Flat-footed horses are very sensitive to the type of footing on which they live and exercise. They are intolerant of exercise on rough ground and may require pads to help them to be comfortable. Careful attention to providing corrective trimming and shoeing can greatly help horses that have hoof abnormalities.
Signs of equine dental problems are as varied as are the horses that present them. From the obvious, handfuls of feed dropping from the mouth as the horse eats and grain passing directly through the animal, to the subtler head tilting and weight loss, the solutions involve knowledge, proper equipment, and fortitude.
Determining what a horse weighs is the foundation of a logical feeding and management program.