Latest Horse Articles & News

Stripes may be cool – but they don’t cool zebras down -
July 20, 2018

Susanne Åkesson, a biologist at Lund University in Sweden, refutes the theory that zebras have striped fur to stay cool in the hot sun. That hypothesis is wrong, she and her colleagues show in a study recently published in Scientific Reports.

There has been an ongoing discussion among researchers, dating back to Darwin, on why zebras have their signature black and white stripes.

The team behind winning Thoroughbreds -
July 19, 2018

From ‘Saintly’ to ‘So You Think’ and ‘Winx’– for every champion Thoroughbred racehorse, there is a team working hard behind the scenes to keep these racing athletes in the best of health.

According to specialist equine surgeon, Dr Chris O’Sullivan, lameness is the major cause of lost training days in racing Thoroughbreds. Dr Chris O’Sullivan will discuss strategies for investigating lameness and other problems in Thoroughbred horses at the Australian Veterinary Association’s Bain Fallon Memorial Lectures tomorrow in Sydney.

Twins take toll on horses -
July 18, 2018

In the past, twin births have been known to account for up to 30% of abortion rates in horses. Although the incidence of twin births is low at just 1-2%, when it does occur, it can cause serious health and welfare consequences and result in economic loss to owners.

US-based equine reproductive specialist, Dr Karen Wolfsdorf, will discuss techniques that horse owners can implement to avoid twin losses during the Australian Veterinary Association’s (AVA) Bain Fallon Memorial Lectures today.

Oldest evidence of horse veterinary care discovered in Mongolia -
July 3, 2018

New research reveals that the practice of veterinary dentistry was innovated on the open steppes of Mongolia and eastern Eurasia — and dates back more than 3,000 years.

How do horses read human emotional cues? -
July 2, 2018

Scientists demonstrated for the first time that horses integrate human facial expressions and voice tones to perceive human emotion, regardless of whether the person is familiar or not.

Recent studies showed the herd-forming animal possesses high communication capabilities, and can read the emotions of their peers through facial expressions and contact calls, or whinnies. Horses have long been used as a working animal and also as a companion animal in sports and leisure, establishing close relationships with humans just like dogs do with people.

Funding boost for biosecurity welcomed by veterinarians -
July 2, 2018

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) has welcomed the government’s announcement of increased funding for disease surveillance as part of a $137.8 million investment in biosecurity.

President of the AVA, Dr Paula Parker, said that general disease surveillance is important to maintain Australia’s favourable animal health status and for the early detection of animal disease outbreaks.

Academic to evaluate impacts of horse assisted therapy -
June 5, 2018

A Loughborough University academic is to assess how equine assisted activities and therapy (EAAT) impacts people living with and beyond cancer.

For three years, Dr Carly Butler, of the School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences, will be evaluating a new Macmillan Cancer Support service launched in Derbyshire that aims to use horses to improve the emotional health of people affected by cancer.

Early evidence of use of a bit on domestic donkeys found in the Near East -
May 17, 2018

Donkeys may have worn bits as early as the third millennium BCE, long before the introduction of horses in the ancient Near East, according to a study published May 16, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Haskel Greenfield from University of Manitoba, Canada, Aren Maeir from Bar-Ilan University, and colleagues.

Can foundation training in Thoroughbred foals make a difference to welfare and performance? -
April 27, 2018

Thoroughbred racehorses have something of a reputation. The perception is that they are generally trained for one job, to run fast. The expectations for other desired behaviours, e.g. to lead correctly, stop lightly, accept hoof handling, and other maintenance procedures and to keep their heads in stressful situations might fall by the wayside; as long as they can run!

Study finds horses remember facial expressions of people they’ve seen before -
April 27, 2018

A study by the Universities of Portsmouth and Sussex reveals that horses can read and then remember people’s emotional expressions, enabling them to use this information to identify people who could pose a potential threat.

Published on 26 April 2018 in the journal Current Biology the paper ‘Animals remember previous facial expressions that specific humans have exhibited’ is authored by a team of psychologists, co-led by Dr Leanne Proops, from the University of Portsmouth, and Professor Karen McComb, from the University of Sussex – both specialists in animal behaviour.