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A Heavy Matter: Weight And Horse Welfare

With the rise in equestrian waistlines, the debate on how much weight a horse can carry before it affects his welfare, health and performance has ramped up. Drs. Janne Winther Christensen, Suzie Bathellier, Marie Rhodin, Rupert Palme and Mette Uldahl created a study using 20 horse-and-rider combinations, increasing the rider-to-horse weight ratio by 15 to […]

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Study Finds Horses Very Reactive To Human Facial Expressions

It’s long been known that horse’s react to human emotions, but a new study shows just how in-tune equines are to their human counterparts. To test their emotional aptitude, Dr. Léa Lansade, of the French Horse and Riding Institute and the National Institute for Agricultural Research, and graduate student Miléna Trösch projected short video clips […]

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Keen Observation Skills Key To Keeping Horses Healthy

Horses are notoriously stoic animals, hiding pain as long as possible because of their fight-or-flight instincts. Horse owners and caretakers can help ensure their horse is pain-free by knowing what “normal” is for each animal, reports The Horse. Horse owners should take note of things like when each of their horses lies down and for […]

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Can Horses Can Smell Happiness?

It’s long been said that dogs can smell fear, but can horses? Scientists report that human body odors contain chemosignals that can convey emotional information to horses—specifically both happiness and fear. Drs. Gün Semin, Anna Scandurra, Biagio D’Aniello, Paolo Baragli and Antonio Lanatà reviewed multiple studies and concluded that the horses used in the research […]

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Study: Horse Owners More Confident In Colic Recognition Than They Should Be

A 2014 survey of 1,331 horse owners revealed crucial gaps in horse owner’s knowledge of colic and how to respond to an episode of it. This lack of knowledge was the driver behind the creation of the REACT To Beat Colic campaign in Britain, which was developed by the University of Nottingham and the British […]

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Does Rider Weight Gain Affect Horses?

Recent years have seen more concerns than ever about what rider to horse weight ratio is appropriate to prevent horses from experiencing physical stress due to heavy riders. A recent Danish study sought to learn more about that question. The study, presented at the International Society for Equitation Science, used 20 horse-and-rider combinations to evaluate […]

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Blink Twice If You’re Stressed: New Study Tracks Equine Eyelid Movement

Recent research published in the open-access journal Animals has found the number of times a horse blinks or twitches his eyelids may be indicative of his stress level. A study team out of the University of Guelph noted that eye blink rates have long been used as stress indictors in humans. They hypothesized that the same […]

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Shake It Off: Vibrating Therapy Relaxes Horses, Study Shows

While many equine riders and owners feel that whole-body vibration therapy (WBV) can improve a horse’s athletic performance, minimal research has been done to determine its benefits, reports The Horse. Seneca Sugg, a graduate student at Middle Tennessee State University, created a study using 12 healthy and sound horses to determine if WBV affected a […]

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Can Horses Suffer From Motion Sickness?

A horse that gets anxious during shipping could be reactive to many aspects of trailers: the small space, being restrained, loading, movement of the trailer or the environment. While it might not be readily apparent, some horses do become motion sick, Drs. Santurtun and Phillips reported. The duo used horses in a motion-sickness study; some […]

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