Horse Articles

  • Caring for a horse on a budget

    Written By J. Wilson, DVM and K. Martinson, PhD, University of Minnesota

    Owning a horse is a major responsibility, and a significant investment of both time and money. Most owners do not generate income from their horse, but are intent on spending time with their equine companion. During tough economic times, horse owners need to explore and implement options to reduce costs. Continue reading

  • The Cost of Horse Ownership

    WRITTEN BY: Julie Christie, MS, Rochester Community and Technical College

    With the dwindling economy and increasing price of hay and fuel, the cost of buying a horse has decreased. The costs and responsibilities associated with owning a horse, however, have not decreased, but increased. On a yearly basis, how much money does it cost to own a horse? Continue reading

  • USRider: A Look at Horse Trailer Accidents

    Like everything you would prepare for a show, you should prepare the same for an accident. Are you going on a longer than normal trip? Gather your resources. Make a travel plan and where you plan to overnight. Locate veterinarians along your route and load the closer ones into your phone or write them down. If you somehow run into a situation where you are unable to find a veterinarian, a stabling facility may have a few names for you. Continue reading

  • Dr. Getty’s Research Reflections - PPID

    A recent study[i] suggests suspensory ligament degeneration is associated with Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID)

    Researchers from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria and the Royal School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh, UK, examined histopathological changes in the suspensory ligaments of horses with PPID.

    Suspensory ligaments from four horses with PPID (ages 17-26 years of age) were compared to seven healthy horses, ranging in age from 4 to 31 years old.

    Result:  Horses with PPID had significantly reduced longitudinal arrangement of collagen fibers, as well as significant proteoglycan accumulations between suspensory ligament fibers.  These symptoms are similar to changes seen after long term high dose corticosteroid treatments. Continue reading

  • Conformation: form to function

    Written By: Dawn Melbye, Instructor, University of Minnesota Crookston

    Without acceptable conformation, there is limited function. Horses are commonly expected to perform in ways that are not natural for their form. A horse that is correct in form and for its intended use may be more comfortable to ride than a horse with poor conformation. Poor conformation in a horse may result in a greater risk of injury, difficulty in training, and greater lameness issues. Owners need to evaluate and utilize horses that possess acceptable conformation for the intended use of the horse. These evaluations will result in performance at optimum levels. Continue reading

  • Bowed Tendons

    Annette McCoy, DVM, University of Minnesota

    "Bowed tendon" is the common name for superficial or deep digital flexor tendonitis. The superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) runs down the back of the leg and attaches to the long and short pastern bones. The deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT) runs to the SDFT and attaches to the coffin bone. Together, these tendons aid in flexion of the lower limb.

    When either of these tendons becomes inflamed, it swells, causing it to look "bowed." The bow can appear anywhere from the carpus/tarsus (knee/hock) to the pastern region. The SDFT is much more commonly affected than the DDFT. Continue reading

  • Companion animal welfare act

    The Animal Humane Society has seen a significant increase in equine related cases (both complaints and seizures) over the past two years. It is important to draw people's attention to the legal minimum requirements for horse ownership. According to Chapter 346 in the Minnesota Pet and Companion Animal Welfare Act, equines are defined as horses, ponies, mules, and burros. The Act outlines several requirements, including: Continue reading

  • Flaxseed - Sweet Itch - Pruritus - Culicoides

    Review Written By Dr. Kate LeVasseur

    To Review Complete study and references >>>>

    One of the most common concerns among horse owners is how they can improve their horse’s hair coat to appear sleek and shiny. Many people already have a basic understanding that supplementing flaxseed in their horse’s diet improves hair coat quality and appearance by providing essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) or EFAs. But what many people don’t know are the benefits that flaxseed provides in addition to making the hair coat show quality. Continue reading

  • Storing round bales outside

    Written By: Krishona Martinson, PhD, U of M

    Storing round bales outside on the ground is a very common practice and represents the most economical method of hay storage. However, it also has the greatest potential for loss due to weather.

    Round bales typically have a higher storage loss than small square bales, especially when stored outdoors. Studies have shown outdoor storage losses range between 5 and 35 percent depending on the amount of precipitation, storage site location, and original condition of the bale. Most of the losses that occur during outside storage take place on the bottom of the bales where moisture levels remain highest and air movement is the lowest. Continue reading

  • Importance of colostrum

    mare and foal

    Written By: Jennifer Johnson, DVM, University of Minnesota


    Colostrum, or "first milk", is the first milk that a mare makes to feed her foal. Consumption of an adequate amount of colostrum is critical to the health and well-being of the newborn foal. Colostrum provides infection-fighting antibodies , vitamins, minerals, energy, protein, fat and acts as a laxative to help the foal pass the meconium (first stool). Unlike human babies, when foals are born they have no disease-fighting antibodies in their blood. Therefore, a foal must ingest colostrum in order to absorb the antibodies needed. These antibodies are made by the mare and will hopefully provide specific protection for the bacteria and viruses in the foal's environment. This is called passive transfer. Continue reading

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