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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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A Horse’s Hidden Stress: Bridling

Though a horse might not show typical outward signs of stress when he learns to be bridled, the introduction of a bit can be stressful. Nicole Bradley, a student at the Bishop Burton College in East Yorkshire, England, completed a student dissertation project to assess the stress response of horses who had not been bitted […]

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Are Horses That Crib Cognitively Impaired?

Stereotypic behavior in horses, like cribbing, weaving or stall walking, has previously been believed to present in horses that experienced a combination of less-than-ideal living conditions and that had a genetic predisposition. A popular hypothesis stated that animals that took part in stereotypic behaviors are less cognitively flexible and therefore less equipped to deal with […]

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Has Endurance Racing Morphed Into ‘Win At All Cost’ Flat-Track Racing?

The American The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) executive committee, in a letter to the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), the governing body of horse sport in the United States, has requested immediate withdrawal of funding to the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) endurance events held outside U.S. borders. An international discipline, the sport of endurance […]

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Aromatherapy For Equines: Nothing To Sniff At

The University of Arizona has recently completed research that shows that lavender can help manage equine stress. Horses can experience stress from many different situations, including training, trailering, and farrier and veterinary visits as well as from bathing, clipping and being tacked up, among other situations. Recently published in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, […]

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Study Gives New Meaning To The Term ‘Heart Horse’

Horses, not rats or mice, may be good research models for cardiac deaths in human athletes, a new study shows. Dr. Kamalan Jeevaratnam, a researcher at the University of Cambridge, studied horses as a possible model for equine athletes because: Horses mimic humans in that they undergo a similar sequence of training, peak performance and […]

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Simple Actions Can Help Save Equine Lives When Time Is Of The Essence

The British Horse Society (BHS) welfare conference recently reminded horse owners that they are capable of delivering lifesaving care to their horses while the vet is en route. Nicola Jarvis, a veterinary surgeon, said that the key is knowing the horse, reports Horse & Hound. Knowing the normal resting respiration rate, heart rate, temperature and […]

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