GFM Network News


The return of colder weather means horse owners may be considering blanketing their animals.

What to consider when blanketing your horse

Horse Health: The animal’s body condition, nutrition and level of activity can all affect this decision

Most horses are blanketed in the winter according to the personal principles of the owner. However, like any other management practice, blanketing horses has its rightful place and proper use. The decision to blanket the horse comes with advantages and disadvantages. First, it is good to know that nature has provided the horse with extremely

The joints of the lower legs of horses don’t move much, but they perform an important function and are a frequent source of lameness.

Ringbone in horses

Horse Health: Abnormal and repetitive stresses are frequent causes of this source of lameness

Ringbone is one of the most common forms of arthritis diagnosed in the horse and is a “catch-all” term used to describe an osteoarthritis that afflicts the coffin joint (low ringbone) or the pastern joint (high ringbone). Degeneration of the joint interferes with function, mobility and flexibility of the lower limb and ultimately leads to


horse and saddle

A horse’s posture can tell you a lot about its health

Horse Health: Teaching a horse how to properly carry a rider can protect its long-term health

If a horse is not educated to carry a rider properly, the horse will not be able to perform to its full potential and over time various lameness and behavioural problems will likely result. It may not happen immediately, but as the duration of being ridden poorly increases, so does the likelihood of problems for

Horse's legs running in water

Hoof care isn’t all about the hoof

Horse Health: A horse’s lifestyle and diet can make a major difference in hoof health


The hoof responds to everything it experiences in its environment as well as everything going on within the body. Inseparably tied to the body, a sound foot depends on more than a correct trim. This in no way dismisses or diminishes the importance of a proper hoof trim, rather places the trim in its rightful

Injuries to coronary band need extra TLC

Horse Health: Coronary band injuries commonly occur when trailering horses

Through their lifetime horses can accumulate a number of injuries — cuts, scrapes, scratches and bruises. Most locations on the horse’s body are fairly forgiving of such injuries, however, there are a few sites on the body where added vigilance is necessary to ensure a favourable outcome. An injury to an eye or a joint


Vet students at the University of Calgary assess a horse for lameness.

Demystifying equine lameness

Horse Health: Overtraining young horses can set the stage for lameness issues later in life

Lameness has become somewhat of a catch-all term for a broad spectrum of abnormalities in a horse’s movement caused by pain or reduced motion. Though often thought of as a problem of the feet or legs, the roots of many lamenesses are now being discovered to originate elsewhere. These discoveries are important since horse owners

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.”

People aren’t the only ones to get late-winter blues

Late winter and early spring mark an interesting conundrum on the equine calendar. Prolonged winter weather conditions, declining nutritional values in feed, and lack of movement within confining snow boundaries and winter paddocks challenge the health of even the hardiest of horses. So it is not uncommon that particular illnesses occur and are aggravated as


Causes and treatment of hoof abscesses

An abscess within the hoof is a common cause of sudden, severe, non-weight-bearing lameness in horses. Pain is the one unmistakable symptom of a hoof abscess. Horses will completely refuse to bear weight on the afflicted foot. Owners unfamiliar with this cause of lameness often feel that their horse must have a broken bone. Pain

The deep relationship between horse and rider

Riders are aware of the numerous aids, equipment and body positions employed to influence a horse’s movement. However, few are aware of the much deeper exchange — what is not so readily obvious is that a rider’s own health and balance is intimately intertwined with the well-being of their horse. Few riders look towards themselves