GFM Network News


Sensitivity to touch, swelling and heat in the area of the withers would clearly indicate a problem with the withers, however, more subtle changes must also be observed.

Reading the withers

Horse Health: This complex structure can reveal a lot about a horse’s soundness

The comfort and health of the horse’s withers is a central key to the horse’s performance and soundness. The withers are defined as the part of the spinal column that lies in between the animal’s shoulder blades and anatomically includes the third to 11th thoracic vertebrae. Collectively these vertebra project upwards into an arch. Their

Gut microbiome critical to horse health

Immune, neurological and hormonal systems can all be affected Although invisible to the naked eye, the horse and human cannot exist apart from the biology and ecology of their microbiome and the microbiome is being heralded as the next most important bodily system. There is emerging evidence that the gut microbiome with its complex interactions


Reg and Carol Madsen are proudly promoting the banner of the World Clydesdale Show, featuring the logo designed free gratis by their daughter Karen Cobbs.

World Clydesdale Show a first for Manitoba

Draft horse show families involved with fundraising, promotion of 2021 event

A Hamiota couple is putting heart and soul into the upcoming World Clydesdale Show, slated to touch down in Manitoba in 2021. Reg and Carol Madsen come by their interest honestly, having showed at the event in Madison, Wisconsin, and they and other show families are excited to showcase their home province with the event.

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

All aspects of riding will be taught at the 4-H club.

Kids plus horses — a winning combination

Harding Horse Club to become part of 4-H Manitoba program

With horses being social creatures just like humans, companionship is only one benefit that youth have experienced through involvement of first, a riding club, and secondly, the Harding 4-H Horse Club. For the Harding area it’s the first 4-H club of its kind, even though horses have been highlighted at Harding’s summer fair over the


Timothy is considered the gold standard among grass hays because of its high palatability, easy digestibility and low-energy yet nutritious profile.

Some points for a horse hay shopping list

Our own senses are wonderful tools for making informed choices about hay. Choose hay that is as fine stemmed, green and as leafy as possible

Hay selection is an important aspect of horse ownership. The type and quality of hay the horse eats can make a big difference in its overall nutrition, and its value in a horse’s diet is unquestionable. The extra dollars spent on sourcing good-quality hay and its proper storage is invariably cost effective on many levels

Processed feeds are especially prone to short shelf life, but there’s no requirement for formal expiry dates.

Expiry dates matter to horses too

Keep an eye on the freshness of everything from medications to feed

Modern horse keeping carries a responsibility of housekeeping that pertains to periodically reviewing the expiry dates of products routinely used in the care of the horse. Most horse owners will immediately consider the expiry dates of drugs and medications, however, there are other items that also carry expiry dates that may be even more relevant

The CFIA says the  proposed new program would adopt a risk-based approach by targeting horses when/if they commingle. 


Horse owners have mixed views on EIA policy

There are fears that tightened testing requirements for equine infectious anemia could be too expensive for smaller equine events

Horse owners are up in arms over proposed plans to tighten federal policy on equine infectious anemia (EIA). The incurable disease can cause anemia, anorexia, weakness and fever, among other symptoms and can be potentially deadly. The disease has been a recurring problem for equine owners in Western Canada, one that has been federally reportable


The heavier winter coat protects horses from the harsh weather, but when spring arrives it begins to loosen and fall out.

The shedding horse

Horse Health: This annual event arrives with spring and can be a barometer for certain health conditions

Shedding of a horse’s winter coat is a complex physiological process that can reveal information about the horse’s general health. Many — well actually all — horses look cosmetically “messy” during the shedding period with a thorough shed usually occurring over a six- to eight-week period. This transition period often accompanies the fickle weather of

Slow feeders come in all shapes and sizes but all are designed to even out a horse’s food consumption.

The numerous benefits of slow feeding to the horse

Horse Health: Horses are designed to eat low-energy forages nearly constantly


Horses are trickle or slow feeders by nature. This means that they are biologically wired to thrive when they are continuously collecting and eating small amounts of long-stem high-fibre forage. This most basic realization is instrumental in keeping the horse healthy. Forage is the foundation of every horse’s diet, and the forage needs to flow