Denise Steffanus

Colic And Weather Changes: What You Can Do To Protect Your Horse

Veterinarians will tell you that when certain types of weather are forecast, they can expect a rise in colic cases. Some correlation between weather and colic is easily understandable. Frozen water supplies in winter and a combination of drought and increased sweating in summer may prevent a horse from drinking as much water as it […]

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The Weighted Pad That’s Helping Veterinarians, Exercise Riders, And Trainers

When Dr. Philip Shrimpton was a racing commission veterinarian assigned to oversee the starting gate, his most important duty was to ask the stewards to scratch a lame horse—a responsibility he did not take lightly. Frustration arose when the same horse he scratched would jog sound back at the test barn. “I’d see a horse […]

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Intranasal Vaccines: When They’re Right For Your Horse

It’s November, a time when breeders concentrate on getting their broodmares in top health for foaling and breeding season and horsemen ship yearlings to trainers for breaking and introduction to race training. An important part of their preparations is to vaccinate those horses before they leave home. Most vaccines are administered by injection into the […]

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Steeplechasers: How Do They Stay Sound And Happy?

This is Part 2 of Denise Steffanus’s two-part series on steeplechasers. Find Part 1, which details the departure of Mr. Hot Stuff from flat racing to steeplechasing, here. Gill Johnston worked her way up through the horse industry from a groom to a trainer and owner. When she arrived in the USA from England in […]

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A Second Career On The Racetrack? Why Flat Runners Sometimes Excel As Steeplechasers

In this two-part series, Denise Steffanus explores the factors that enable flat-racing Thoroughbreds to excel in second careers as steeplechasers, competing over jumps at distances up to three miles while carrying 140 to 158 pounds every few weeks. How does a trainer discover their flat racer may be good at steeplechasing? How can steeplechasers stay […]

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Cribbing And Colic: Which Comes First?

If you have a cribber, chances are that horse is going to colic sometime during the period you own him. Not every cribber colics, but the two conditions often go hand in hand. Most scientific papers on colic include cribbing as one of its risk factors. The mystery is no one knows why cribbers are […]

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Need For Speed: Cow Study Shows Short Sprints Crucial To Healthy Bone Development

An ongoing controversy in the racing industry is whether training and racing young horses is detrimental to their growing bones. Naysayers claim athletic demand on immature bones causes them to break, but scientific research supports early training, because bone is living, dynamic tissue that becomes stronger and more resilient in response to the demand placed […]

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Steel Shoes May Be Better For Racehorses Than Aluminum, Farriers Say

Traditions are hard to shake in horse racing, but one area that appears open to change is shoeing. One of those changes in years gone by was to switch from training in steel shoes to aluminum plates. Pete Butler, son of respected farrier and clinician Dr. Doug Butler, wrote in his blog that steel shoes […]

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EPM: Diagnostics Have Evolved, But Cure Remains Elusive

In the 1990s, equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) was regarded by horsemen as the greatest threat to the health of American horses. In response to their concerns, a group of researchers into the disease formed the EPM Society to consolidate their efforts to develop effective diagnostics and find a cure. Twenty years later, improved diagnostics can […]

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What Stands Up? Facts And Myths About Standing Wraps

Human athletes use a soothing balm to ease muscle aches caused by strenuous exercise. For equine athletes after training or competition, the groom rubs a soothing brace into the horse’s legs, covers them with cushion wrap, and then applies standing wraps.  Properly done, the groom will rub the topical treatment into the horse’s legs while […]

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