GFM Network News


Timely trimming can prevent many hoof problems.

Good hoof trimming practices vital to equine health

Horse Health: Hoofs should be trimmed diligently and in a timely fashion, to prevent a myriad of problems

Whilst there are many husbandry practices that horse owners can take to create positive change in the health of their horse’s hoofs, it is the action of timely and diligent hoof trimming that can bestow one of the biggest benefits towards developing and maintaining a sound and healthy hoof. Taking care to maintain the hoofs of a

Humans use all manner of tack to change the position of the horse’s head and neck — often for the worse.

Neck and head position affects horse soundness

Horse Health: Forcing the animal into an unnatural position is harmful

A visit to any local equine tack shop will showcase a striking array of tack and accessory tack available to place upon the head of a horse with the promise of improving horsemanship, fashion or a horse’s performance. Many of these devices are potent tools that have the ability to leverage and compound tensile forces


Herbicides and horses

Horse Health: A ubiquitous herbicide is beginning to come under increased scrutiny by scientists

The implications for the widespread use of glyphosate-based herbicides in our environment has been increasingly mired in controversy despite regulatory assurances of safety. After close to three decades of use there is a growing body of scientific evidence emerging which presents unintended biological consequences of this chemical and its formulation. Research is postulating adverse mechanisms

Laminitis has been found to be closely related to cresty necks in horses, and can even be predicted by the condition of the neck fat.

The ‘cresty’-necked horse

Horse Health: Neck fat is a valuable barometer of horse health

The observance of a cresty neck in a horse indicates some level of metabolic sickness and reflects more than just a fat horse. Although the fat or obese horse is burdened with a form of metabolic illness, the appearance of a cresty neck signals further metabolic complications along the continuum of diseases associated with obesity.

A healthy foal starts with a healthy mare and minerals are an important part of ensuring her health.

Minerals and the broodmare

Horse Health: For a healthy and well-nourished foal, start with a healthy and nourished mare

The physical demands placed upon the body of the broodmare are extraordinary, especially as the number of offspring she is expected to bear increases. These demands and expectations easily position the broodmare as a top performance horse in the horse industry. The broodmare relies on body reserves and nutritional resources to fund a smooth breeding cycle, gestation and lactation — a


This three-year-old filly has two upper permanent central incisors and has just recently lost the “caps” of her lower central incisors revealing the erupting adult teeth. Within the next few months her four central incisors will be in full wear against one another.

When horses are missing their front teeth

Horse Health: For young horses, it’s a predictable pattern during their growth and maturation

Whenever horse owners notice that their horse is missing one or more front teeth they will often question the significance of this loss. This question generally applies to the grouping of 12 incisor teeth that are readily visible under the horse’s lips. Implications for loss of an incisor tooth depends upon the age of the horse and

Having enough room for ‘a horse to be a horse’ is one of the best investments you can make in horse care.

Savvy ways to wisely direct dollars in horse ownership

Uncertain economic times mean taking a hard look at where to make your investments

Whenever economic times become uncertain peripheral lifestyle choices such as horse ownership often become affected. Regardless of the circumstances that initiate evaluation or re-evaluation of financial resources, pertinent to horse-keeping practices it is prudent to understand where allocation of financial resources contribute the greatest benefit to the horse’s well-being. There is no one single best

Caring for horses through the COVID-19 pandemic

A few things will change, but most of what you will need has been designated an essential service

The current worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the horse community as a balance is sought between optimizing human welfare and horse welfare. This situation is rapidly evolving as new and relevant information continues to be integrated into practical applications for both humans and horses. Many horse owners are well educated regarding the principles of bio­security


Horse boots can offer physical protection to the delicate foot structure.

Boots help horses maintain and improve footfall

Horse Health: These accessories can’t be used long term but they can help the horse deal with discomfort and weakness

Hoof boots have become one of the fastest-growing accessories in the equine marketplace since their inception nearly two decades ago. Even at that time the most primitive of hoof boots fashioned with duct tape and inner tube and/or Styrofoam cutouts were found to bring a high level of comfort and functionality to horses with sore

The right combination of horse and rider is very important to the health of the horse.

Suitable rider weights for horses

Horse Health: There aren’t clear-cut formulas but there are some good guidelines and common sense goes a long way

To date there exists no scientific studies and/or simple mathematical equations that determine what is — or isn’t — too heavy for a ridden horse to comfortably carry. Current research would seem to suggest that once the combined weight of a rider and tack falls into the range of 15 to 20 per cent of