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Science Corner

Is foaling a stressful time for mares?

July 2014

Study finds giving birth a very different experience in horses and humans.   Foaling in horses is extremely fast. Labour and the active part of foaling that results in the delivery of the foal, takes between 10 and 20 minutes, considerably shorter time than giving birth in humans or in cows. But, is this brief period stressful for the animals or are horses more relaxed than humans when giving birth?

Flair Nasal Strip Reduces Lung Damage

July 2014

Amid continuing debate on the decision to allow Thoroughbred racehorse California Chrome to wear a nasal strip in the Belmont Stakes, two researchers at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine have found nasal strips can have health benefits for horses. Professor emeritus of anatomy and physiology Howard Erickson and Professor of kinesiology, anatomy and physiology David Poole have found the Flair nasal strip, commonly used in the racing industry, can help reduce lung damage in horses.

The Back and Beyond: Part 1

June 2014

With the incessant rains and floods spreading across most of the United Kingdom, I was delighted to have the opportunity of submerging myself in the latest scientific findings relating to the horse’s back at the 7th Horses Inside Out Conference which was held at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, United Kingdom. 

Working with Horses Reduces Stress Hormone in Children

June 2014

New research from Washington State University reveals how youth who work with horses experience a substantial reduction in stress.

How are horses managed in different countries?

June 2014

Do horse owners in Sweden stable their horses more often than owners in New Zealand? What do owners in France and Holland feed their horses?  Do riders in England use the same bits and saddles as riders in Australia? Do owners in the United States or Spain use the internet the most to find out about horse care?   Are Italian horses more likely to wear shoes or go barefoot?

Horse manure a threat to national parks

April 2014

Led by Associate Professor Catherine Pickering from Griffith University, an Australian research team has investigated the threat horse riding poses to the ecology of national parks, in particular the spread of seed germination through horse manure. 

What Insect is That?

March 2014

The buzz of a single fly, mosquito or midgee around our ears is enough to have us swatting the air or running for some sort of insect repellent. However, the constant annoyance of insects around our horses can cause them to lose their appetite which, in turn, can make them lose weight, start itching on the nearest tree or railing, or have them running through a fence to get away.

Myth Busters

March 2014

Charles Sturt University students have reviewed the latest research to find evidence that supports or busts some of the common questions amongst horse owners, to help you do the best for your horse. Myth 1: Does honey promote wound healing in horses? (True) By Sinead Moran

We Owe it to Our Horses

March 2014

Which type of reward is more effective in horse training - carrots or comfort? How long does it take to condition a horse to the clicker? Why are spooky horses more curious? And, why do we own horses in the first place?    The answers to these questions and many more inspired scientists to study, measure and present evidence-based findings at the 2013 International Equitation Science Conference in Delaware, USA. Read more in this last report by Lisa Ashton, Director of EquiSci.   Good research raises more questions  

Single Gene Mutation Responsible for Pacing

March 2014

Researchers at Uppsala University, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and their international collaborators discovered a mutation in a single gene in horses that is critical for the ability to perform ambling gaits, like pacing. Experiments on this gene in mice have led to fundamental new knowledge about the neural circuits that control leg movements. This explains why some horse breeds are able to move their legs only in diagonal pairs, while others, like Standardbreds, Icelandic horses and Paso Fino horses, can also perform lateral gaits.

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