During the June 7th Animal Care Wednesday Webinar, basic equine nutrition on a budget was the topic. Dr. Bob Coleman, Equine Extension Specialist with University of Kentucky, discussed the various considerations horse owners should evaluate when making feed decisions since feed costs are the major portion of the annual cost of a horse.
An equine facility that is energy efficient, safe, labor efficient, and economically possible is desirable. To achieve each of these qualities one must consider the facility in terms of each of its smaller segments, such as flooring, stall design, arena footing, fencing and building materials. After researching the possibilities, the builder has the ability to select the best possible combination for the facility.
Like many other livestock species, horses are seasonal breeders. Their greatest reproductive activity occurs in the late spring and summer. However, some producers aim to breed for foals early in January or February. The advantage to this is being able to compete horses at an older age within their age group, a practice commonly used within the racing industry.
Many people often picture winter as a fun time, when they are able to enjoy the glistening snowflakes and winter sports. However, when most horse owners think of winter, they think of added work: scooping snow, chopping ice, and other winter chores. Cold temperatures require many horse owners in the Midwest to trade in their horses’ flysheets for winter blankets. However, some horse owners believe it is better not to blanket horses, letting their natural hair coat provide protection from the cold.
During the November Animal Care Wednesday Webinar, Liv Sandberg, University of Wisconsin Equine Extension Specialist, discussed the basic definitions of abuse, cruelty, neglect, and hoarding while sharing how to be objective (unbiased) when evaluating horses within their home environments.
Horses not only affect their environment though grazing behavior, they play a unique role in developing an ecological niche. They fertilize pastures via defecation and can modify soil structure by trampling. In doing so, they alter the ecology of the area. As such, management of manure and grazing can provide significant challenges for many horse owners.
Humans and horses have a long and storied history together. In each human and horse interaction a positive, established relationship must be formed between the horse and their human partner (rider, owner, caregiver, etc.). It is equally important that the horse and their partner are mindful participants in the relationship.
This article discusses congenital deformities in horses. “Congenital” refers to a condition that is present from birth. “Deformity” refers to the state of being malformed or misshapen. This discussion will focus on conformation, health, and well-being aspects affected by congenital deformities in horses. There are many congenital deformities, but we will focus on contracted flexor tendons and angular limb deformities.
Equine viral arteritis (EVA) is a viral infection of horses caused by the equine arteritis virus. EVA leads to respiratory illness, inflammation, bleeding, and abortion in pregnant mares, creating significant economic losses to the equine industry. The disease is caused by an enveloped RNA virus, which infects equine species. The virus is environmentally sensitive, meaning that it is generally not able to persist outside of the horse, though it can persist longer in a cold environment.
Recommendations for intestinal parasite control in adult horses are changing. These changes are based on new evidence for the types of parasites commonly affecting horses as well as the development of parasite populations that are becoming resistant to treatment with an anthelmintic (de-wormer). Evidence now exists to suggest that adult horses tend to vary greatly in both their susceptibility to parasites as well as in their tendency to shed, or release parasite eggs into the environment.