Denise Steffanus

I Owe You How Much? The Cost Of Shoeing Horses

Your farrier finishes shoeing your horse and hands you a bill for the work. You look at the bill, muster a smile, and grab your checkbook even though you may be thinking, ‘A set of horseshoes costs about $15 and he spent less than an hour putting them on. Why is the bill so much?’ […]

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Proper Mowing, Pasture Management Now Can Ensure Better Fields In Spring

Although farm managers probably feel they’re doing nothing but mowing pastures these days, experts say now is the time to take steps to ensure healthy pastures next year. The primary tasks to accomplish this goal are: rotational grazing, proper mowing, and preparation for fall maintenance and seeding. Most importantly in the heat of summer, the root structure of […]

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Hot And Cold: Custom Shoeing Versus ‘Plating’ For Thoroughbreds

A farrier pounding a red-hot shoe on an anvil is part of our equine heritage. Most disciplines prefer their farriers to hand-make shoes from bar stock using a forge to custom-fashion them for each particular horse. The shoes are applied to the bottom of the horse’s feet while still hot, a process called “burning,” which […]

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Not Feeling Hungry? Why Overtraining May Put A Horse Off His Feed

When a racehorse goes off its feed, something is wrong. The horse may have caught a bug, it may have a digestive problem, or it may be in pain. If an examination shows nothing significant, the problem may be overtraining. When horses do not get adequate rest between workouts, several physiological responses can activate the […]

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Can Horses Get Narcolepsy? Not Exactly

The ability to sleep standing up enables a horse in the wild to escape predators. At the crack of a twig, a standing horse can sprint away from danger, something it could not do quickly if it were lying down. Domestic horses rarely need to escape predators, but genetics preserve the physical characteristics that make […]

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If Your Farrier Suffers An Injury, Who’s Liable?

Part of the job for most farriers is the daily risk of a job-related bruise, strain, or worse. A farrier knows every time he or she crawls under a horse could mean serious injury, or even death, if things go wrong. Workers in the United States have recourse against their employers for injuries on the […]

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Study: The Right Diet Can Calm Those Weaning Woes

Weaning is a heartbreaking display of separation anxiety that seems to affect everyone on the farm. Mares fret and foals scream constantly, while horsemen watch them closely so they don’t hurt themselves in a desperate attempt to reunite. Turns out, the process doesn’t have to result in so much panicked energy for weanlings. A combination […]

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Mud Poses Particular Challenge For Emergency Personnel When Rescuing Trapped Horses

April showers bring May flowers. And lots of mud. Almost weekly, a horse makes the news when it has to be rescued from a mudhole. Although the situation appears to be one that an owner could solve himself with a strap and a tractor, it is much more complicated, said Dr. Rebecca Gimenez, who trains […]

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Pelvic Fractures: How They Happen And What To Do About Them

In February, the racing world was stunned when retired 1999 Horse of the Year Charismatic sustained a broken pelvis and died from a resulting severed artery at Old Friends. Although the circumstances of Charismatic’s accident were especially unusual (since he was both retired and at rest in a stall), pelvic fractures of varying degrees can […]

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It’s Not Just You: Antibiotic Resistance A Challenge For Equine Veterinarians

Long hailed as the greatest advance in medicine, antibiotics have become the go-to treatment for nearly every scratch, cough, or fever, whether or not they were caused by bacteria. Many doctors and veterinarians began indiscriminately prescribing antibiotics simply because their patients expected — even demanded — them. This overuse of antibiotics eventually created today’s crisis, […]

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