From The Horse's Perspective - Until recently, no major studies had been conducted about the effect of travel on horses. The best advice most folks could hope for was to glean some pearls of wisdom from the ocean of opinions and tales of other road warriors. As a result, I actually found the results of the recent study by the University of California, Davis Campus, noteworthy in that their observations essentially did not differ from what responsible commercial horse transporters have known for years. In other words, they put down in writing what we already practice. The best part about their study is that it confirmed what we already know and made it knowledge public.
When you have finally found the perfect horse to take you to the winner’s circle, it’s tough to realize that he or she might be getting old. Many horses are now competing well into their late teens and early twenties, especially in certain disciplines such as dressage or show jumping where it takes many years of training to reach an elite level of competition. However, from a veterinary perspective, horses are considered geriatric as they reach the age of 15 to 20 years, which is when their physiological functions start to decline. The management of these horses becomes crucial to keep them competing at their best.
Grooming is an enjoyable way to bond with your horse, and most horses love to be fussed over, but cleaning a male horse’s sheath is an unpleasant chore that owners and riders tend to avoid. From potentially being kicked, to lack of knowledge or squeamishness, those with geldings and stallions often shirk the task altogether. However, veterinarians agree that cleaning and inspecting a horse’s sheath is a necessary and regular part of maintaining their health.
Click. Nothing. I pressed the button on top of my headlamp again. Click. Still nothing. Oh crap. My headlamp batteries had just died, and on the worst morning possible. Today was the day I would be riding Chocolate through 912-metre long Bulldog Tunnel as part of our 550 kilometre solo journey along the Trans Canada Trail (TCT).
Therapeutic horse riding may be used in the management of various anxiety disorders. But little is known about how these programs affect the stress levels in horses. A University of Missouri study has revealed that horses ridden by veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) did not have undue physiological stress responses, nor did they exhibit behavioural stress while participating in a veterans’ therapy program.