GFM Network News


To truly sleep a horse cannot be standing.

Let sleeping horses lie

Horse Health: We all need our beauty sleep, and our equine companions are no exception

All land mammals require deep sleep for proper physical, mental and emotional functioning. Yet equine sleep is rarely considered as a significant contributor to the well-being of the horse. Perhaps this arises from the flawed presumption that horses can “sleep standing up.” Unfortunately this misunderstanding can have serious implications to the well-being and welfare of

The circle is not a horse’s friend as it can cause repeated strains that can become chronic conditions.

Modern-day horses face ergonomic hazards

Horse Health: Small pens, repeated movement and the training circle can all cause chronic injuries

Carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow and texting thumb are all specific types of soft tissue injury which humans experience. In this generalization soft tissue collectively refers to tendons and ligaments. This type of injury to the soft tissue is unique to modern-day lifestyle and/or work environments. The injuries arise in response to repetitive movements which


Most arenas feature a surface, base and sub-base, all of which contribute to the experience of the horse.

What’s underfoot has a big effect on horse soundness

Horse Health: A variety of terrain can make your horse more resilient

Horses are well adapted to move over a variety of terrain and their entire bodies benefit tremendously from doing so. Variable ground surfaces in a horse’s environment challenge and stimulate the healthy development of hooves, supportive connective tissues and musculoskeleture — all the while weaving in resiliency and soundness for the horse. Footing is a

Ground-level grazing of long-stemmed forages is the key to equine dental health.

Chewing essential to health and happiness of a horse

Horse Health: The mechanics of nibbling, chomping and crunching are important to horse health

There is a harmonic resonance audibly evident when a horse chews. This chewing sound soothes, calms and contents the nervous system of the horse and most horse owners would agree that it also soothes the nervous system of the human. There are many reasons chewing is an important part of a horse’s life beyond that

Horse owners can make significant contributions to their horses’ lives every day towards allowing the joints to maintain their own state of health and integrity.

Joint maintenance for horses is systemic

Horse Health: There’s no silver bullet that will fix underlying issues affecting joint health

There is a popular trend in the horse industry marketing the idea of “basic joint maintenance.” There are limitless sales and marketing campaigns that emotionally drive the idea that various products can bestow a protection against arthritis. It might be an intravenous or intramuscular injection or an oral supplement but the pitch is similar —


The fecal egg count (FEC) test measures the number and type of parasite eggs a horse is passing in its manure and this information helps horse owners 
better target the use of deworming products.

Shwetz: The evolution of deworming strategies in the horse

Old recommendations of regular treatments aren’t the best course of action anymore

Many horse owners are very committed to the regular and timely deworming of their horses. Oral paste dewormers have become a major staple in stables, tack shops, feed outlets and veterinary pharmacies and thus are readily available to the horse owner. Although this availability of paste and gel dewormers does seem ideal, the traditional practices

Horses with teeth problems will often pack feed around the areas of pain and discomfort in their mouth as a way of soothing themselves. These feed-packs are called quids and are a common observation in older horses with advanced dental disease. Quids can pack along the cheeks and they can also drop out of the horse’s mouth onto the ground.

Keep a close eye on dental care with older horses

Horse Health: Don’t mistake chronic dental issues as just a sign of aging

The clinical symptoms of slowly advancing dental disease in the older horse are not always overtly obvious, can be quite subtle and may even be discounted as ‘just’ a sign of old age. And so it is that owners and caretakers of an older horse can be taken by surprised when their horse, whom was

A watchful eye on water intake is an essential consideration in every horse with diarrhea.

When your horse has the trots

Horse Health: A horse with diarrhea can suffer serious health consequences if it’s a serious case

Diarrhea in the horse describes a symptom with a wide variety of causes and presentations where for various reasons the intestinal tract does not complete absorption of electrolytes and water. As the water content of the feces increases the normal grouping of well-formed fecal balls lose their individual “ball” shape and the fecal matter becomes


Excessive fluid in the hock joints of a young horse such as this three-year-old filly, is an indication that the joint is experiencing developmental distress and is at a significantly higher risk to develop arthritis as the horse ages.

The physically immature horse

Horse Health: Be mindful of the young horse’s developmental stages to protect its future health

Given the increasingly common occurrence of arthritis in today’s horses, it is worthwhile to consider the choices that are made in a young horse’s life that are large contributors to the outcome of that horse’s soundness over its lifetime. Oftentimes arthritis is viewed as a condition of the aging horse, mostly because the outward clinical

The white scar on this horse’s hair coat along its withers is an indication that the horse wore an ill-fitting saddle at one time. Undoubtedly the horse experienced some type of physical discomfort from the damaging pressure while wearing the saddle and carrying a rider.

Understanding undesirable behaviour in horses

Horse Health: Is it pain? Training? Maybe both? Maybe more? You need to find out

Any time undesirable behaviour or resistance arises in the horse it demands a unique type of “listening” to identify what the horse is attempting to convey. Horses are transparent in their behaviours and often act in an attempt to simply feel better and seek relief from discomfort. Identifying the root cause of the discomfort can