To keep your horse’s joints in the best condition for a long riding career, follow these tips to preserve health and prevent discomfort or lameness.
In a study conducted in California, researchers measured forelimb hoof accelerations and ground reaction forces of racehorses in relation to three racetrack surfaces.
As winter months pass and everyone is looking forward to the first hints of spring weather, horses still need regular cold-season care to stay well-fed and healthy.
Treatment for horses that make a loud roaring noise when breathing during exercise involves tie-back surgery in which the cartilage is pulled to the side and sutured to keep it from interfering with the flow of air. In some horses, the vocal cords are also removed to help increase airflow.
Many equine diseases are spread through exposure to contaminated body fluids. The best way to prevent the spread of disease is to quarantine any new horse for two or three weeks, checking it for fever or other signs of illness.
Anytime you have a seriously ill horse on your property, disinfect its stall after the horse recovers and before the stall is used to house another horse or store hay or other material.
A study conducted in Austria looked at the health records of 344 foals that received intensive veterinary care after being admitted to clinics at an age of three weeks or less, and also at the health status of many of the horses when they were one to six years old.
Equine influenza, or “flu,” is a highly contagious disease that causes fever, nasal discharge, and coughing. Vaccination can’t protect every horse from every exposure to the flu virus, but vaccinated horses typically have a milder illness and recover more quickly than unvaccinated equines.
Proper management is important for horses that have some time off from work and are being brought back into a training program. As these horses transition from full pasture turnout to a schedule that includes many hours in the stall, their diet and exercise level will both change.
One of the most common heart problems affecting equine performance is atrial fibrillation, or “a-fib.” This is a condition in which the upper chambers of the horse’s heart may beat up to 400 times a minute.
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