Horse Feeding: Everything You Need to Know
Adequate nutrition is an essential part of maintaining a happy, healthy horse. Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” plan. While the nutritional needs of each horse depends on their individual lifestyle, the foundation of every horse's diet should consist of forage (plants). And some horses may need an additional pelleted grain/feed or supplements to help with any deficiencies.[Read More]
How To Foster Foals
After an intense labor and delivery, on top of a long 11-month gestation, a newborn foal will shortly stand up and start nursing their mare. Unfortunately, there are instances when this seemingly natural event does not occur. In a worst-case situation, the mare may have died during or shortly after birth. Most of the time when this occurs, it is due to dystocia (difficult birth) or colic related to the birthing process. Rarely, a mare succumbs to a random accident or trauma during deliver[Read More]
Do Horses Show Affection?
Horses are very social and affectionate animals. They cannot verbalize “I love you” but they can communicate those sentiments through their actions. Not all horses show affection in the same ways though. Here are some things to look for in your horse’s behavior to know he loves you.[Read More]
How to Read a Horse's Body Language
Communication is an essential part of our lives, but not all communication is verbal. We can communicate with our horses through the use of body language. By being perceptive, we can learn what they are trying to tell us. And make no mistake, they can read human body language too.Learn how to read our horses from front to back:[Read More]
Horse Vaccines: What You Need To Know
Vaccines are an essential part of maintaining a healthy, happy horse. Vaccines are meant to create immunity against specific diseases. By vaccinating your horse for these diseases, you reduce the risk of the horse getting sick, or if they happen to get sick, it will lessen the severity of the disease and likely will be less contagious. Vaccines are created with a weaker version of the specific disease and, when given to the horse, cause the body to form antibodies to help protect the h[Read More]
How Much Does a Horse Cost?
Buying a horse can be an exciting, but sometimes intimidating venture. If you’re thinking about getting into the horse business, whether for a hobby or for a career, there are always hidden costs to consider before making your investment. Keep in mind upkeep costs after the purchase price, from board and feed to healthcare, and other common costs should be worked into your allocated budget.[Read More]
Horse Body Condition Scoring
Obesity and emaciation have a large impact on a horse's overall health condition. Due to the importance of weight for their overall health, it is imperative that we maintain horses at their optimum body condition.The standardized way to measure a horse's body condition score is called the Henneke System. The Henneke system measures a horse's body fat in six specific areas based on a numbering system of 1 (poor/emaciated) through 9 (extremely fat).Some advantages of body condition scoring in[Read More]
Horse Teeth: What You Need to Know
Just like humans, dogs, and cats, routine dental care is essential to maintaining a horse’s health. Most veterinarians will recommend a dental exam once to twice yearly, depending on the age and lifestyle of the horse. Unlike dogs and cats, horse teeth continue to erupt (or grow) throughout their lifetime, which can create dental issues that need to be addressed quickly. A dental exam with your primary vet will consist of a visual exam as well as “floating” or filing of the teeth where nece[Read More]
How Long Do Horses Live?
The role of the horse in our lives has changed dramatically over the past several decades. Horses have evolved from primarily work animals to companions and teammates. During this time, our view of them as they age has changed as well.Horses are living longer because we are better able to care for them. This means many horses will still be alive and healthy long past when they are able to perform or compete. With a lifespan of up to 25 or even 30 years, this can mean a very long time and fi[Read More]
Bringing Home a New Horse
Bringing home a new horse whether it’s your first horse or adding an addition to your barn is always an exciting time. But with all the excitement, it’s also important to make sure you have everything you need to ensure a smooth and stress-free move.[Read More]
Shoes for Horses: Everything You Need to Know
The following content may contain Chewy links. PetMD is operated by Chewy. The decision to shoe your horse can be very intimidating, but don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, some horses do not need shoes at all! Keeping horses barefoot can improve your horse’s overall hoof and musculoskeletal health. However, with the domestication of horses and the requests we make of them, we have created challenges to keeping a horse barefoot. The decision to put shoes on your horse should be de[Read More]
Dewormer for Horses: What You Need To Know
Deworming is one of the most important aspects of wellness care for horses. Parasitic worms live in the digestive tract (most commonly the small intestines) of horses and ponies. Horses are always exposed to worms by living outside. However, by implementing an effective deworming protocol, worms can be kept at a minimal level and can be well-tolerated within the horse. Parasitic worms become a medical issue when the number of worms increases to the point where they become burdensome to the [Read More]
Castration in Horses
Castration is the term used for the removal of testicles in horses, similar to the word “neutering” in dogs and cats. This procedure can be done with the horse either standing, or recumbent (laying down), either on their back or on one side. Intact male horses are referred to as stallions; once they have been castrated, they become geldings.Horses can be castrated once both of their testicles have descended, which usually happens by 6-12 months of age. The “recommended” age for this procedu[Read More]
3 Types of NSAIDs for Horses
The following may contain Chewy links. PetMD is operated by Chewy. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) in horses are one category of medication your veterinarian may find necessary for you to have on hand in case of emergencies or possible incidents. These NSAIDs work by inhibiting certain enzymes that play a role in feeling pain in the presence of inflammation or infection.Reducing the action of some of these enzymes is the main goal of NSAIDs to stop or decrease the pain pathway; [Read More]
How to Pull A Horse Mane
The following content may contain Chewy links. PetMD is operated by Chewy. Mane pulling is the act of pulling small amounts of hair out at a time to maintain a manageable, uniform-length mane. This is often done in show disciplines such as hunter and jumper, whereas reining and cutting horses’ manes are typically kept long and flowing. Some sports trend or require small, uniformed braids down the neck or a thinner, tidier mane. Horse manes naturally grow long manes for protection, and man[Read More]
How to Apply Poultice to a Horse
The following content may contain Chewy links. PetMD is operated by Chewy. Horses are incredible athletes. Just like human athletes, they can get strains , sprains, and sore muscles. Poultices are a very common part of a horse owner’s bag of tricks to help with these mild exercise-related injuries. The legs and hooves are the most common places to use poultices on horses.[Read More]
How Much Does a Horse Weigh?
There are many breeds of horses and they come in all shapes and sizes. This means that there are a lot of factors that contribute to appropriate weight for your horse. Weight management is a key part of maintaining your horse’s health.If a horse weighs too much or too little it can negatively affect their quality of life in many ways. Obesity can lead to several diseases including laminitis and Equine Metabolic Syndrome. A horse that is too thin may be less able to deal with infection a[Read More]
How Much Horsepower Does a Horse Have?
When you hear the term “horsepower,” what do you think of? Perhaps a large engine powering a fast car, a boat traversing the ocean, or a plane zooming through the sky. Or maybe, like a true equestrian, you envision a horse-drawn carriage or a draft horse pulling a plow. In all these instances, horsepower is at the core, so how did this phrase come to be?[Read More]
Entropion in Horses
Entropion is a condition of the eye that is seen in neonatal foals where their eyelids fold inward and press against their cornea. Entropion may be found in one or both of the foal’s eyes. This creates a problem because the inward folding causes the eyelashes to rub against the cornea, resulting in corneal ulcerations. This needs to be corrected, otherwise scarring or permanent damage occurs to the eye.A foal with entropion will have irritated or red eye(s) and the cornea — the transparent [Read More]
Why Do Horses Have Manes?
The following content may contain Chewy links. PetMD is operated by Chewy. One of the most alluring and distinctive features of horses is their luxurious mane and tail. Just like people have different hairstyles, horses may have different mane “styles.” Not only are horse manes visually appealing, but they provide multiple functions, including pest control, protection, and a clutch for riders to hold onto in the early days of domestication.[Read More]
Senior Horse Care
The age that classifies a horse as “senior” has drastically changed in the last century.At one time, a horse living to be 25-30 was considered very old. Today it is not uncommon to find healthy horses between 25-30 years of age. A 2015 survey by the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) found that the overall horse population in the United States is older than 20 years of age. Advancements and improvements in equine healthcare and nutrition have increased their lifespan and the n[Read More]
Horse First Aid Kit
While horses are beautiful creatures that give us immense joy, their natural curiosity mixed with their fight-or-flight response tends to land them needing medical care quite often.Anyone that has owned a horse knows that at some point your horse is going to find a way to get hurt or injured. Having a properly supplied and easily accessible first aid kit can not only be crucial but also help ensure your horse’s safety until your veterinarian can be reached.Common emergencies in horses may i[Read More]
How to Keep Moldy Horse Hay from Endangering Your Horse
For horse owners who don’t have their own hay fields, the process of growing, cutting, drying and baling hay can be a bit mysterious. It can go wrong in a number of ways.If hay is harvested at the wrong time, nutrient loss and mold become more likely. Poisonous plants and pests can also end up in the hay, increasing the chance of having a sick horse on your hands.Considering how sensitive horses are, it’s wise to source your hay from a responsible and reliable vendor. In addition, you need [Read More]
How to Keep Your Horse Tack Clean
Image via By Cheryl LockAs many equestrians already know, keeping horse tack in top shape is an essential part of horseback riding. Taking good care of bridles, saddles, girths and other pieces of equipment by keeping them clean and conditioned will keep them in working order for as long as possible.Stephenie Hoke, DVM, MF, of Dark Horse Veterinary Service, explains, “I think different disciplines and different practices are all different from the next in terms of[Read More]
Reduce Stall Boredom With a Few Best Practices and Key Horse Supplies
Image via By Cheryl LockIn a perfect world, your horse would spend his days roaming the open fields, grazing at his leisure and snoozing as he sees fit. In the real world, though, many horses tend to spend most of their day in their stalls with only the horse supplies their owners provide them to entertain themselves.[Read More]
What to Expect Before Getting Your First Horse
Have you been obsessed with horses ever since you saw Elizabeth Taylor try to win the Grand National race with her trusted steed “The Pie” in the 1940s film National Velvet ? Perhaps you are more intrigued with the mysterious Arabian horse in the classic 1970s film Black Stallion . Whatever the case might be, loving horses and owning horses are two very different things. For one, owning a horse is a lot more time consuming and expensive than you may think.Apart from vet bills, feed, equ[Read More]
Guide to Keeping Healthy Pet Seahorses
Image via By Kenneth WingerterSeahorses are creatures with unique needs that require specialized systems. While coral tanks are popular nowadays due to their compatibility with a whole lot of different critters, for example, seahorses truly belong in “species tanks.”Though unique in their care needs, seahorses are surprisingly easy to keep (and even breed) if they are maintained in the proper type of fish aquarium  system, kept with appropriate tankmates, and off[Read More]
A Horse of a Different Color
Today I’d like to delve a wee bit into one of the more animal science-y topics I encounter in my line of work: the color of horses. So many of the horses I see are plain chestnut (a reddish brown), or bay, which is a horse with a brown body and a black mane and tail. These are extremely common colors, especially for popular breeds such as Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds, and Quarter Horses, which make up a bulk of my practice. And don’t get me wrong: A glossy chestnut coat can gleam in the [Read More]
Horse Supplement Overview
The following content may contain Chewy links. PetMD is operated by Chewy. [Read More]
Winter Care for Horses
Harsh winter months can pose numerous health concerns for horses. However, we can help to prepare our horses for winter and provide the best outdoor winter experience for them, no matter their age or lifestyle.Considerations that are important for horses during the winter months include: Shelter Blanketing Water access Adequate drinking  Hoof care Weather Exercise  Body Condition Score Feeding require[Read More]