Latest Horse Articles & News

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?

Why Asian horses don't get sick with the flu -
May 26, 2019

Avian influenza viruses infect horses in Mongolia but do not cause large outbreaks of disease because they failed to acquire key genetic changes to enable greater cross-species transmissibility, according to a study published February 7 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Pablo Murcia of the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, and colleagues.

Cancer comparison across species highlights new drug targets -
May 26, 2019

Scientists discover key genes for mucosal melanoma in humans, dogs and horses that help prioritize targets for new cancer therapies

Cancer genes in mucosal melanoma, a rare and poorly understood subtype of melanoma, have been compared in humans, dogs and horses for the first time by scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and their collaborators. Researchers sequenced the genomes of the same cancer across different species to pin-point key cancer genes.

A genomic tour-de-force reveals the last 5,000 years of horse history -
May 25, 2019

Each year on the first Saturday in May, Thoroughbred horses reach speeds of over 40 miles per hour as they compete to win the Kentucky Derby. But the domestic horse wasn’t always bred for speed. In fact, an international team now has evidence to suggest that the modern horse is genetically quite different from the horses of even just a few hundred years ago.