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Riding a Rough Trot

August 31, 2015

Try this expert advice to smooth out a bumpy ride on your horse.

ask expertAmerica’s Horse Daily received the following question concerning a rough-trotting horse. AQHA Professional Horsewoman and Certified Horsemanship Association Master Instructor Julie Goodnight offers some hopeful advice that many riders will find useful.

Question:

I have a 4-year-old horse with a rough trot. She has a nice headset at a walk and lope, but it comes up for the trot. Bear in mind that, while I had horses for several years growing up, I had no lessons or opportunity to learn from other horse people, so while I can stay on a horse pretty well, the more I learn about horses and riding I realize that I am really a novice and in need of lessons. My friend has been helping me some with the training of my mare, and she has used draw reins on her with some improvement. She thinks my horse just needs to learn collection. I don’t want to ignore any possible health issues or the fault being my riding. She gets seen by the vet a couple of times a year and he keeps a good check on her teeth, so if you could point me in any other directions, I would appreciate the advice so we can get to a more comfortable ride for both of us.

Answer:

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Why Do Horses Yawn?

August 24, 2015

When horses yawn, it is not necessarily for the same reason we humans do. It could be a sign of discomfort.

ask expertQuestion:

What makes a horse form his mouth like he is yawning? Is he really yawning or is it something else?

The American Association of Equine Practitioners helped us with the answer. Read the rest of this entry »

Nervous Horse

August 17, 2015

Heed this solid training advice to get a troubled horse headed toward recovery.

An America’s Horse Daily reader submitted the following question regarding a very nervous, untrusting horse. AQHA Professional Horsewoman Julie Goodnight offers her expertise toward a solution.

Question:

I have a 17-year-old Quarter Horse that has obviously been abused. On the ground he is very respectful and sweet, but he has a very tender mouth and any hand movement while in the saddle causes him to bolt. After taking a serious fall last autumn, I thought to have a local trainer who is gentle-handed ride him for a week so he could become used to being ridden again. When I went to pick him up, he really wasn’t there (in his mind). He had gone somewhere safe and it took him a couple days to get back to normal. The trainer rode him, but it was very difficult for him to get the horse to walk. He was nervous and waiting for the ball to drop. I tried riding him once, but it was so scary. He was ready to blow in any direction. He is so worried he won’t please and will be punished. Is there any hope, or is he just a beautiful Quarter Horse pasture ornament?

Read the rest of this entry »

Barefoot on the Trails

August 10, 2015

Karen Blake, DVM., offers her advice on whether or not to shoe a trail horse.

ask expertQuestion:

I trail ride my horses on mountain trails that have a lot of rock as well as gravel. Is it better to keep horses shod for rocky trail conditions, or can the foot harden to painlessly allow the horse to travel barefoot? Would being barefoot abrade the hoof too much with many miles of trail riding?

Our friends at the American Association of Equine Practitioners provided an answer: Read the rest of this entry »

Can’t Lead a Horse to Water

August 3, 2015

If you lead a horse to water and can’t make him drink, especially for an extended period of time, it might be time to call the vet.

Question:

My horse was drinking fine up until he got his vaccinations, and then he was not himself for several days. He’s still eating well, but he has stopped drinking his water. He had a stiff neck from the injections, but that went away in several days.

I have given him electrolytes several times, but I haven’t seen him start  drinking. I have tried adding apple juice to his water and I also gave him warm water with oatmeal in it, which he loves and drinks a gallon almost at one time. What exactly is wrong with him?

Read the rest of this entry »

Tips for Safe Mounts and Dismounts

July 27, 2015

When it comes to mounting and dismounting, safety should always be your No. 1 priority.

Question:

I have had several mishaps while mounting and dismounting. I always triple check the cinch, but just last week I tore the offside billet while trying to mount. Both the horse and I were jumpy after that. I have also had the saddle slip as I dismounted. I have a lower back injury that makes it difficult to mount quickly and have put on a few pounds over the years. Any suggestions on how to making mounting and dismounting safer for me and the horse would be helpful. Would a breast collar help in this situation? I use a mounting step when possible; however, there are situations where one is not available.

For the answer to this question, we spoke to Peggy Adams from the Certified Horsemanship Association.

Read the rest of this entry »

Embryo and Oocyte Transfers

July 20, 2015

For older mares and mares still showing, an embryo or oocyte transfer is a viable option to have a foal.

ask expertQuestion:

I have a 21-year-old American Quarter Horse mare that has never been bred. Is it possible to harvest her eggs and do an embryo transfer?

We consulted the experts at the American Association of Equine Practitioners for the answer.

Answer:

Maybe. This is really two questions. Embryo transfer involves breeding the mare, flushing the fertilized ovum seven days after ovulation and transferring it to a recipient mare. Harvesting eggs involves removing unfertilized ova (eggs) from the ovary, and supplying the sperm cells via one of several different techniques. Read the rest of this entry »

Keeping Summer Itches at Bay

July 13, 2015

Biting insects can cause your horse to scratch the summer away. Here’s how to keep your horse itch free.

ask expertQuestion:

I recently purchased a 13-year-old horse that was on 24-hour turnout. He now has a stall and is turned out 7-10 hours per day. He has managed to scratch out part of his long mane (on trees, walls, etc.) When I look between the hair roots of his missing mane, his skin is red and slightly scabby. Along the opposite side of his neck, where his mane originates, there are faintly bumpy areas where there are dead skin flakes (gray in color) that are rising from his skin’s surface. I am using a very, very fine tooth comb to remove these flakes and separate them from his coat. There is no loss of hair, just these flakes rising from his skin’s surface. I am at a loss as what to do for him.

We consulted the experts at the American Association of Equine Practitioners for the answer. Read the rest of this entry »

Treating Tapeworms

July 6, 2015

Deworming based on fecal egg counts is an effective parasite control strategy. But what about tapeworms, whose eggs don’t show up in fecal floats?

ask expertQuestion:

My horse has had a couple fecal egg counts, all being negative and no need to treat. I haven’t treated for a year and have another test coming up. If it’s still negative, I’m not sure if I should treat for tapeworms, since those don’t show up in the egg counts. Would this be a correct treatment?

We consulted the experts at the American Association of Equine Practitioners for the answer. Read the rest of this entry »

Feeding the Pregnant Mare

June 22, 2015

Mares have different nutrient requirements when pregnant. Do you know how to feed her and her growing foal?

ask expertQuestion:

I have just bred my mare, and she is in foal. How should I manage her forage intake to be sure she gets appropriate nutrients and roughage? She is a very, very easy keeper that can easily get fat on hay alone.

We consulted the experts at the American Association of Equine Practitioners for the answer.

Answer:

This is an excellent question. I am glad that you have given this aspect of your management some consideration. The good news is that if she is already at a reasonable weight and body condition score (BCS), you don’t need to make changes to your feeding program until she finishes her eighth month of gestation. The time of highest digestible energy requirement for a broodmare is during months nine, 10 and 11 of gestation and then through lactation. Energy requirements are even higher during lactation than they are during gestation. Read the rest of this entry »

Pasture Pals: Mares and Geldings

June 15, 2015

Keeping mares and geldings in a pasture together won’t necessarily cause mares to go into heat.

ask expertQuestion:

Can pasturing one gelding with a group of mares stimulate them to come into heat?

We consulted the experts at the American Association of Equine Practitioners for the answer.

Answer:

When addressing heat (AKA estrus) in mares, there are two broad categories:

  1. Estrus induction (AKA manipulation)
  2. Estrus detection Read the rest of this entry »

Treating a Horse with Founder

June 8, 2015

The treatment and prognosis of founder in horses depends on the degree of rotation of the coffin bone.

ask expertQuestion:

My 12-year-old mare was diagnosed with founder. Her coffin bone has rotated, and she is quite sore. We had our farrier take off some of the toe, and she is walking better. What should I expect for her prognosis, and how best can I treat her?

We consulted the experts at the American Association of Equine Practitioners for the answer. Read the rest of this entry »