GFM Network News


A young foal is a lot like a child. They’re both a wonderful thing and an expensive long-term commitment that requires a lot of work to succeed.

Considerations before breeding a horse

Horse Health: This is not a project that should be simply taken on at an impulse — it requires planning, patience and commitment

Foals are adorable and the idea of raising a foal can be tempting – very tempting. The reasons why owners breed a horse is often a combination of emotional gratification, performance expectations and economic gain. Yet none of these outcomes are “for certain” and so the eventual outcome of the foal as it becomes an

A nursing foal relies on its own mother, Mother Nature and its human caretakers to ensure good health.

Care of the nursing foal

Horse Health: Mother Nature, their own mother and human caretakers all have a profound effect on the wellness of young horses

From the time a foal is a week old and healthy until it is weaned, its physical, mental and emotional development is influenced by many caretakers. Mother Nature and Mother Horse are the foal’s primary caretakers, however, human caretakers can also have a substantial influence on the foal’s development. Many events that occur in the


Keeping a wary eye on a young foal will ensure the animal is getting a good start to life.

A 10-point checklist for the newborn foal

Horse Health: Tick the boxes to ensure your young foal is meeting developmental milestones and has no major issues

Recognizing healthy behaviour and development of the newborn foal is critical to identifying when something is amiss. Initial stages of illness in young foals are subtle and unfortunately can be easily overlooked. Therefore a checklist of 10 relevant questions can be a valuable resource when evaluating the newborn foal. Each question represents a significant milestone

What to expect when your horse is expecting

Horse Health: The majority of mares foals between dusk and dawn

Foaling is a remarkable process that few owners witness. They usually arrive to discover a healthy foal having already nursed and easily following alongside its dam. An uneventful foaling and a vigorous newborn foal are the natural outcome of a healthy mare with an excellent nutritional program and opportunity for plenty of movement. The duration

Aging horses by their teeth

Horse Health: System is more of a guideline than an absolute determination

In 1885, Sydney Galvayne published a book in Glasgow outlining a system which claimed to accurately age horses by identifying distinct features of wear on the teeth. Galvayne’s treatise became widely accepted and uncontested amongst horsemen for over a century. The Galvayne name even became memorialized when a distinct groove which travels down the side


Miniature Horses have inherited the “thrifty” gene from their pony ancestors, so exercise and careful feeding are important to prevent obesity.

Miniature Horses: Not quite the same as a horse

Horse Health: Miniatures are attractive for their personalities and intelligence, but face some unique health problems

Whilst the exact origin of the modern Miniature Horse is unclear, selective breeding of pony stock breeds such as the Shetland pony for a smaller size is most likely. Pony breeds, typically considered an equine under 14.2 hands or 58 inches in height, have been around for hundreds of years. Most of their evolutionary selection

When a horse sustains a laceration to one of its lower limbs, the functional and cosmetic outcome is greatly improved with early veterinary intervention.

Dealing with the eight top equine emergencies

When to call the vet and what to do until he or she arrives

Most horse owners will at some time encounter an emergency. Recognizing a true veterinary emergency and knowing appropriate first aid care until the veterinarian arrives can substantially improve the equine patient’s outcome. Colic is the most common cause for emergency calls. Colic is a broad term which describes abdominal pain or “pain in the belly.”

Weaning Too Quickly Cause Aftereffects That Last A Lifetime

Weaning has a significant lifetime impact on a horse s well-being because of the nutritional, emotional, mental, physical, and social changes that occur at that time. Foals are very dependent on their mother s milk at four months of age, after which they gradually become nutritionally independent. Ideally by six months they will have made


Colostrum — Giving A “Jump-Start” To A New Foal

Colostrum is an essential ingredient to the new life of a vibrant newborn foal. So, a foal nursing shortly after birth is a very good sign. The first milk produced by the mare is energy and nutrient dense, most renowned for its ability to “jump-start” a healthy immune system. A vigorous foal stands and easily

Broodmares Are Performance Horses Too – for Mar. 17, 2011

The mental and physical health of a foal is strongly linked to the nature and nurturing of its dam. Their robustness is coupled with more than just the genetic makeup of the mare. A broodmare on a well-balanced diet in a healthy living environment is more likely to produce a well-balanced and healthy foal that