Latest Horse Articles & News

Horses in Hot Weather -
November 12, 2019

During periods of hot weather it is important to monitor your horses for signs of heat stress.

Heat stress occurs when horses are exposed to excessively hot or humid conditions. Like humans, horses sweat to get rid of surplus body heat. When the horse is unable to shed excess body heat, the body temperature rises quickly, causing severe (and sometimes fatal) health problems.

Horses Blink Less, Twitch Eyelids More When Stressed -
November 8, 2019

How can you tell when a horse is feeling stressed? It’s all in the eyes and the way their eyelids twitch, University of Guelph researchers have discovered.

A horse will blink less and twitch its eyelids more when it’s under mild stress, the research team found – a new finding that could offer handlers a simple, easy-to-spot sign their animal is becoming agitated.

The study, published in the journal Animals, is thought to be the first to reveal the significance of eyelid twitches as an indicator of stress, says Prof. Katrina Merkies, the study’s lead author.

EVA calls for the welfare of all horses not just the blue bloods -
November 7, 2019

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is again calling upon the Australian government to implement a nationwide welfare standard and register to protect the welfare of all horses, not just the racehorses. The AVA reinforces that the footage as reported on the ABC's ‘The 7.30 Report’ was highly distressing and strongly condemns the mass slaughter of horses.

Is my horse/pony obese and should I be worried about it?
October 13, 2019

Photo: Pippa Warman

The ongoing problem of obesity in equines is not a recent one. However, the increase in the number of obese horses and ponies predominantly found in the leisure industry in some industrialised countries, has now become a globally recognised welfare concern.

Carrying excess weight places increased stress on the skeletal system of the horse, can limit reproductive performance, adversely affect athletic performance and may lead to an increased risk of laminitis, osteoarthritis, heat intolerance and certain types of colic.

Lost in Translation  -
September 17, 2019

The International Equitation Science Conference, with the theme of ‘Bringing Science to the Stable’, kicked off on Sunday 18th August with two pre-conference workshops. The first was ‘Lost in Translation’ presented by two members of the ISES Council, Cristina Wilkins of Horses and People Magazine, and Kate Fenner of Kandoo Equine. Using their media background and experience, they discussed ways to improve the communication of science in equestrian communities.

Damage found in the bit area of most Finnish trotting horses -
August 17, 2019

In a Finnish study, damage was found in the part of the mouth affected by the bit in more than 80 percent of trotters examined after a race. However, such damage is easily overlooked due to being out of sight.

New research points to ‘Motivator Gene’ in successful racehorses -
July 8, 2019

New research by scientists at Ireland’s University College Dublin and the equine science company Plusvital has established that genes associated with behavior may play a big a role in whether a Thoroughbred horse races or not.

Previous studies have shown that less than half of Thoroughbred foals born actually race, with durability or the ability of the horse to withstand the rigors of a training regime seen as a critical factor.

Horses saddled with gender bias: mares seen as 'bossy' -
June 24, 2019

New research finds human prejudice towards mares could be harmful.

Many riders have long considered stallions to be dangerous or difficult but new research now shows mares are also seen as "bossy" or "unreliable", raising concerns for their welfare.

Study shows endocrine-disrupting chemicals linked to equine metabolic syndrome -
June 7, 2019

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in a horse's environment may play a role in the development of equine metabolic syndrome (EMS). This finding, made by Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers at The University of Minnesota, could explain some of the variability in EMS severity that can't be explained by other commonly measured factors, such as diet, exercise and season. The study was published in Chemosphere.

How zebra stripes disrupt flies' flight patterns -
June 4, 2019

A 'costume change' for zebras and horses reveals how stripes thwart horsefly landings

Scientists learned in recent years why zebras have black and white stripes - to avoid biting flies. But a study published today in the journal PLOS ONE probes the question further: What is it about stripes that actually disrupts a biting fly's ability to land on a zebra and suck its blood?