We often see riders slapping their horse on the neck enthusiastically at the end of a showjumping round or dressage test. Patting is considered by many to be a way of telling the horse that they have performed well – but is this the reward we think it is, or could it cause them discomfort?
Sleep is essential for life.
The quality and quantity of a horse’s sleep directly affects their health and well-being. However, sleep is rarely considered as part of a horse’s management plan. A new study has found that poor management or physical problems can lead to horses becoming sleep deprived and at risk of serious injury.
Horses communicate primarily using body language and they display a number of facial expressions.
Their eyes, in particular, can be very expressive and are thought to reveal how a horse is feeling. Many equine behaviourists and horse owners believe the wrinkles above a horse’s eye may be associated with discomfort, fear, stress or anxiety – they are often called ‘worry lines’.
A recent Danish study has looked into the injuries caused by bits, nosebands, whips and spurs in 3,414 competition horses and the results are fascinating.
Are you considering sending your horse to a trainer to be backed or reschooled? If you are then please think long and hard about where and who you send your horse to, or even if you send them away at all. Many horses come home with worse problems than they started with, and understandably so.
Great film looking at the causes of gastric ulcers in horses. Equine vet Dr Kerry Ridgeway states "We do know that there are basically only two kinds of horses – those who have ulcers and those who will have ulcers!"
Some trainers base their methods on the idea that every horse needs a 'leader' as they believe horses would have an 'alpha' or a 'leader' naturally within the herd. Is this really the case?
It's not often that we get to see images like this - a tolerant stallion humours his son - colt Wildwych Pirate - while he climbs all over him.
It has become common practice for many horse owners to use crank, drop, grackle, Mexican or flash nosebands to strap their horse's mouth shut.
As the summer temperatures rise and we all rush outside to get some sun, it is important to remember that our horses may not feel the same as we do and often struggle in the heat.