GFM Network News


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

Cora and Karl Hohenberg pose with “April,” a Gypsy cob yearling at their La Broquerie farm.

Gypsy winds

Faces of Ag: Cora and Karl Hohenberg’s lives are dedicated to horses — Traditional Gypsy cob horses in particular

William the Gypsy cob stallion was an eating machine, so when he lost his appetite Cora and Karl Hohenberg knew something was wrong. A vet looked William over, and the couple continued about their day, puttering around their wooded property near La Broquerie until the phone rang. It was the local vet telling them to


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

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

Amanda Flintoft (left), and daughter April Webber, are welcoming all ages to summer horseback riding adventures.

Mother-daughter duo hit the trail at Gypsy Ridge

Birtle-area women offer breathtaking views of Asessippi Valley from a saddle

At Gypsy Ridge Horseback Adventures, the trails are all maintained and the sights breathtaking. As the sun gleams on the rippling water flowing within the Asessippi River, trees sway from a warm summer breeze, riding high or valley low, a great western retreat awaits all thanks to the mother-daughter team of Amanda Flintoft and April