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Horse Welfare

The Ultimate Guide to Worming Your Horse

November 2018

This article contains the 6 simple steps you can take to get your worming program to a great start. Spring has sprung and there’s no better time to kick-start Evidence Based Worming on your horse properties. Most horse managers are, by now, very familiar with the narrative that small Strongyles – Cyathostomins - are becoming resistant to all of our current chemical anthelmintics. But, to date, this awareness is not yet transitioning into a more judicious use of anthelmintics across the industry and we really need to get our skates on! My scary story...

Tongue Ties: Trying to See the Whole Picture

July 2018

Whenever we want to get to the bottom of a question regarding equine performance, welfare, nutrition or disease, we must consider the science. Scientists make it their lives' work to drill down on their areas of interest in an effort to answer all the questions they and their peers have in that area. The value of their work is tremendous: it guides us, shapes our understanding and, eventually, our behaviours and actions. 

Embryo Transfer: Playing God or Employing Good Science?

June 2018

The practice of embryo transfer is becoming more and more accessible to breeders as a way of obtaining offspring from mares who might be compromised through age, fertility problems or injury in their ability to produce a healthy foal, or from those who still have an active competition career and can’t afford the ‘time off’ for active pregnancy. It is also becoming an important ‘life raft’ in the preservation of rare breeds.

Why Does My Horse... Put His Tongue Over the Bit?

May 2018

Sometimes, horses get their tongues over the bit. When this happens, the tongue may loll out of the mouth in a very unsightly way, and all hope of achieving a good contact or communication line with the horse’s mouth will be lost. In horse racing, it is believed a tongue over the bit will impair the horse’s airway. 

Nosebands: How Tight is Too Tight?

May 2018

If you’ve been bridle shopping lately, you may have noticed the choices are mind boggling and also it is near impossible to buy a plain cavesson noseband without a flash/drop/chin strap attached.  Riders involved in any discipline - from pony club, to adult riding, to advanced levels of showjumping and dressage - will have noticed the trend towards increasing amounts of ‘head gear’ over recent years. Perhaps so much so that a simple cavesson, loosely fitted, seems out of place in these environments, let alone the absence of a noseband altogether.

How to make rugging decisions

March 2018

Everywhere they live, horses have an opportunity to get too cold or too warm, and owners have an opportunity to underdress or overdress their steeds. We cannot trust local custom to decide when to blanket, because local custom varies so widely from place to place, so how are we to make the best decisions for our horses? In Australia, judging from past articles in Horses and People, there are horse owners like those in the eastern United States and, because of the particular climate, they are likely to overdress their horses throughout the year.

The Pros and Cons of Protective Boots

February 2018

The most common piece of protective equipment riders use on their horses is some form of protection for the lower legs. Orthopaedic problems are one of the most common reasons for a veterinarian being called to examine or treat a horse, and this does not really differ between disciplines or level of competition. But, can boots do more harm than good?  The limbs of a horse are the most common site for injury and the lower limbs (below the knee) more common than the upper limbs. The forelimbs are also more likely to be injured than the hindlimbs. 

Under the Influence: The Impact of Your Leadership Style

February 2018

Research on leadership in human societies has mostly been concerned with human relations in workplaces, especially those between managers and workers. Early research focused on how to make workers more obedient, useful, productive and efficient. Some people were just thought to be better - or more natural - leaders than others.  More recently, leadership is seen as a property that emerges from the relations between individuals. Moreover, the health, safety and wellbeing of workers is valued more than ever, and leadership now comes with great responsibilities of care. 

Racehorse Medication Ethics in American Horse Racing

December 2017

In the midst of Australia’s Spring Racing Carnival, Americans celebrated their own Thoroughbred racing end-of-year Championships under rules that allow horses to train, as well as race, on a cocktail of pharmaceutical medications.  Veterinarian and journalist Dr Sid Gustafson reports from the 2017 Breeders’ Cup in Del Mar, California, for Horses and People Magazine on racehorse medication ethics.

Summer Heat: Help Your Horse Cope and Recover

December 2017

With another hot Summer ahead in the Southern Hemisphere and last year’s record temperatures, it’s important to make sure you’re up to date on the latest, evidence-based advice on prevention of dehydration, heat stress and heat exhaustion. Exercise physiologist and scientific consultant Dr David Marlin was involved in extensive research on equine thermoregulation, transport, air-conditioning and cooling in preparation that took place before the Olympic Games of Atlanta and Beijing. He shares his expert advice, so you can help your horse cope and recover in the heat.

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