Denise Steffanus

Can My Horse Make Me Sick? Maybe, Experts Say

Humans share a lot with their horses — even disease. A handful of infections can be passed between the two species — some are easily treatable, some can be fatal. In most of these cases, humans contract disease from horses; it is possible but less likely for an infected human to pass disease to a […]

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What Happened There? Cliffs of Moher’s Death Reveals Complex Nature Of Shoulder Fractures

On Nov. 6, Cliffs of Moher (IRE) shattered his shoulder during the running of the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse in Australia and was euthanized. The Williams family, co-owners of the 4-year-old Galileo colt, were stunned and distressed when he broke down. “That horse was sound as a bell, there’s no doubt about that,” owner […]

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That’s A Mouthful: Racing Bits, Explained

Control the horse’s head and the rest of its body will follow. This simple principle applies not only to steering and stopping but to the horse’s mental state. A horse with a comfortable mouth is less distracted from its work. The two most common bits worn by racehorses are a D-bit and a ring bit. […]

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When Laminitis Strikes, What’s Your First Line Of Defense?

The most important time to take action against laminitis is when a horse shows early signs or a high-risk event occurs that might trigger laminitis. Triggers for laminitis range from exposure to black walnuts to injury to physiological disruption from colic, high fever, retained placenta, or carbohydrate overload. In essence, anything that causes a horse […]

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Should Radiographs Of Hooves Be Part Of Requirement For Auction Repositories?

“No hoof, no horse” is an axiom all horsemen know well. If a horse has a hoof problem, it’s going to affect performance, no matter how fit and healthy the horse. Despite the importance of a horse’s feet, sales companies do not list feet X-rays in their “required views” for the repository. Required views, as […]

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Preventing Breakdowns: Why Routine Imaging Isn’t The Answer…Yet

This is Part II of our two-part series on imaging technologies in equine medicine. Find Part I, which explains what each type of imaging does, here. Horsemen and racing fans always ask the question, “Why can’t high-tech diagnostics be used before a race to detect if a horse has a condition that might cause it […]

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MRI, CT, Bone Scan: What’s The Difference And How Do They Help Horses?

Modern technology has given equine medicine a menu of diagnostic options — digital X-ray, nuclear scintigraphy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), thermography, ultrasonography, and most recently computed tomography (CT). In Part I of this two-part series, each of these modalities will be explained; in Part Two, Dr. Larry Bramlage, orthopedic surgeon at Rood & Riddle Equine […]

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Tongue Ties: Humane And Effective, But Only When Used Correctly

The tongue tie is a piece of equipment traditionally used on racehorses to keep them from getting their tongue over the bit and to give the rider better control. Tongue ties are also intended to prevent is dorsal displacement of the soft palate (DDSP), commonly called “flipping the palate,” which interferes with breathing. A tongue […]

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Cooling Out On The Track: Science Says You May Be Doing It Wrong

For longer than anyone can remember, horsemen have been warned that watering off a hot horse too quickly can be dangerous. In his classic how-to manual Training Thoroughbred Horses published in 1953, Racing Hall of Fame trainer Preston Burch wrote: “A horse is very easily foundered by too much water or feed at this time […]

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High Tech Horsemanship: Smart Boots, Halters, And Monitors Give Trainers More Data

Technology that uses sensors to monitor a horse’s health, its training sessions, and its well-being is being introduced in the equine industry. While many devices are in the research and development stage, three systems already are implemented and getting good results on the racetrack and at the farm. For the racetrack, a British company Equinity […]

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