Latest Horse Articles & News

Fact vs fiction: A new tool to detect gene editing in thoroughbred horses -
January 8, 2021

Critical to protecting the welfare of thoroughbred horses and the integrity of the industry is efficiently detecting the illegal practice of gene editing. Gene editing, a method of gene doping used to artificially and illegally enhance performance in human and animal athletes, is now on the agenda for the thoroughbred horse industry.

Gene editing: The new gene doping?

Work For National Horse Traceability System Underway -
October 6, 2020

The Victorian Government is co-leading the development of a national horse traceability register, which will improve biosecurity and tracking measures for all horses across Australia.

A National Horse Traceability Working Group has been established to inform the design of the register, following agreement at the Australasian Racing Ministers Conference and Australian Agriculture Ministers’ meeting that Victoria and Queensland would lead its development.

The ultimate equine behaviour assessment tool -
October 5, 2020

Since ancient times, horse behaviour and the bond between horses and humans, have been a source of intrigue and fascination.

The horse-lore that has accumulated over the centuries is a rich mix of both useful practice (approaching horses from their left side, making them slightly less reactive) and unsubstantiated myth, such as the one that chestnut horses are especially difficult to deal with.

New therapy could combat persistent joint infections in horses -
April 30, 2020

A new therapy could combat persistent joint infections in horses, potentially saving them from years of pain. Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) lysate that, when teamed with antibiotics, can eradicate bacterial biofilms common in joint infections. The therapy could also be applied to other species, including humans and dogs. The team presented their findings in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.

Evidence suggests previously unrecognized latex allergies may play role in equine asthma -
April 30, 2020

Latex exposure could be detrimental to a horse's respiratory health. That's the surprising discovery from Morris Animal Foundation-funded research at the Royal Agricultural University and University of Nottingham. While further investigation is needed, researchers say latex could be among the allergens responsible for causing severe equine asthma (sEA), a serious horse ailment with limited treatment options. The team published their findings in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.

Study reveals domestic horse breed has third-lowest genetic diversity - - Carriage drawn by Cleveland Bay horses
March 17, 2020

A new study by Dr. Gus Cothran, professor emeritus at the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM), has found that the Cleveland Bay (CB) horse breed has the third-lowest genetic variation level of domestic horses, ranking above only the notoriously inbred Friesian and Clydesdale breeds. This lack of genetic diversity puts the breed at risk for a variety of health conditions.

Behaviour differences between geldings and mares challenge sex stereotypes in equine behaviour -
March 9, 2020

It has been shown that people within the horse industry have preconceived ideas about horse behaviour, temperament and rideability, based solely on the sex of the horse. Such ideas can have welfare implications, if personnel allow bias to affect their interactions with particular horses. 

Such welfare implications include employment of harsher training methods, and increased horse wastage. The current study explored data on riders’ and trainers’ reports of ridden horse behaviour. 

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.