Ask an Expert

Addressing Problems With Your Horse’s Bit

April 14, 2014

Examine these horse-training solutions when dealing with a horse that doesn’t want to accept the bit.

ask_expertQuestion:

I have a 6-year-old gelding that is 15.3 but stocky. Right from the beginning of his training, he has had a very hard time accepting the bit, even before any pressure was applied to it. He never got over the desire to spit out the bit and still can hardly wait to get it out of his mouth. I have always tried to handle his mouth carefully when he is bitted. Read the rest of this entry »

Quarter Horses in Polo

April 8, 2014

Learn about the involvement of American Quarter Horses in a sport traditionally dominated by Thoroughbreds.

ask_expertQuestion:

I’m looking to purchase another horse. I’ve always ridden Thoroughbreds, but I have several friends with American Quarter Horses. The thing is, I want something that can do it all. I love trail riding, hunter under saddle and I really, really want to get started in polo. Do you think a Quarter Horse will meet my needs? Can Quarter Horses even participate in the sport of polo?

For the answer to this question, we turned to the September 2013 issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal. Journal subscribers can read archives online or via our app. (www.aqha.com/journal)

Answer:

The answer is yes. Recently, a few of the world’s top polo players rode Quarter Horses at the U.S. Open in Palm Beach, Florida.

Additionally, The American Polo Horse Association and AQHA formed an educational marketing alliance to help bring awareness to Quarter Horses playing the sport of kings.

“As we began to learn that more and more American Quarter Horses were being used in polo – usually after a career in another discipline – the alliance with the American Polo Horse was a great fit. With polo’s increasing popularity, it’s great for AQHA to have a presence among polo players to show that the breed yet again demonstrates its versatility as a viable option on the polo field,” says Tom Persechino, AQHA executive director of competition and breed integrity.

To further explore the use of Quarter Horses in Polo, check out the September 2013 issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal. Read the digital edition of the Journal instantly for the rest of this exciting story.

*AQHA and the provider of this information are not liable for the inherent risks of equine activities. We always recommend consulting a qualified veterinarian and/or an AQHA Professional Horseman.

Transitioning into Over-Fences Classes

March 31, 2014

Hunter hack can be a great class for transitioning your horse from rail classes to over-fences.

ask_expertQuestion:

I’m looking for something else to do with my horse. We’ve been competing in rail classes for the past two years, but I think we’re ready to try something new. I am interested in over fences, but I’m not quite sure how to get started in that. What do you recommend?

For this answer, we sought the advice of AQHA Professional Horseman Chuck Briggs. For more detailed advice, check out the May 2013 issue of  The American Quarter Horse Journal. Journal subscribers can read it now online or via our app. (www.aqha.com/journal) Read the rest of this entry »

Conditioning an Older Horse

March 24, 2014

Determine the best plan for getting your older horse in shape this spring.

ask_expertQuestion

How should I condition my older horse so that he’s fit enough to attend trail rides and clinics this summer? He is 18 years old and has only been lightly ridden once a week during the winter. 

For the answer to this question, we sought the advice of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Treat Thrush in Horses

March 17, 2014

Learn how you can prevent and treat thrush to achieve optimal hoof health in your horse.

ask_expertQuestion:

My horse has a severe case of thrush. What is the best treatment?

For the answer to this question, we sought the advice of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

Answer:

The best treatment for thrush is actually oxygen. The organisms in the foot that lead to thrush thrive in low oxygen environments. Horses with clubbed feet or contracted heels are especially prone to thrush because these hoof conformations result in deep crevices between the heel bulbs and in the sulci of the frog. Oxygen cannot penetrate into these deep, narrow crevices, so infection frequently develops. Read the rest of this entry »

Lengthening Your Horse’s Stride

March 10, 2014

AQHA Professional Horseman Michael Colvin shares his advice for teaching a horse to lengthen his strides.

ask_expertQuestion:

I’ve worked a lot on collection with my Quarter Horse gelding. In fact, I worked on it so much that we now have trouble achieving a lengthened stride. I’ve been trying to fix it at the lope, but it doesn’t seem to be working. What should I do?

For the answer, we consulted AQHA Professional Horseman Michael Colvin, of Snellville, Georgia. For more detailed advice, check out the April 2013 issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal. Journal subscribers can read it now online or via our app. (www.aqha.com/journal) Read the rest of this entry »

Managing a Horse With Tender Teeth

March 3, 2014

The owner of a horse who fights the unbridling process seeks advice from a trustworthy professional.

ask_expertQuestion:

I have a 6-year-old gelding that will readily take the bit, but when you go to drop the bit (unbridle) no matter how careful, he pulls back violently. I’ve tried different bits with the same reaction. He’s a performance horse and is ridden almost daily. I’ve noticed his upper and lower canine teeth seem longer than most. Could it be they need to be ground down so he can drop the bit easier? I’ve owned him about 10 months and this problem seems to be getting worse.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners has some great advice for this horse owner: Read the rest of this entry »

Gelding Your Colt During the Winter

February 24, 2014

Take caution when choosing what time of year to castrate your colt.

Complications can arise if you breed your mare during foal heat, if she had a difficult birth.

Cold weather adds stress to the castration process and can cause infection in your colt.

Question:

When is the best time to geld a colt? I live in New York with real winters and would like to get my now 9-month-old colt gelded before spring is in full swing. I have contacted my local equine veterinarian to set up a date but was told it was too cold and needed to wait until it warms up. What temperatures would be needed for getting my colt gelded?

For the answer, we sought advice from the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse-Breeding Season Preparation

February 17, 2014

Get answers to three great questions about foaling, mare fertility and stallion fertility. Plus, learn whether or not male horses have nipples!

Complications can arise if you breed your mare during foal heat, if she had a difficult birth.

Knowing the reproductive history of your mare can help you as you prepare for her labor.

Questions:

  1. There are so many things we are supposed to do to our mares 30 days prior to foaling (i.e., vaccines, deworming, etc.). What exactly is 30 days prior, considering gestation is 320 to 365 days, since so many horse owners go by all sorts of calendars predicting foaling anywhere from 327 days to 343 days? 
  2. Is HCG a viable option to help stallion fertility?
  3. At what age do mares’ eggs start to go bad? For example, in humans, women over age 40 are more likely to have a child with birth defects.
  4. All male mammals have nipples. Where are they located on male horses?

For the answers to these four questions, we sought the advice of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Read the rest of this entry »

Breeding Your Mare During Foal Heat

February 10, 2014

Identify the best time to breed your mare after delivery this horse-breeding season.

Complications can arise if you breed your mare during foal heat, if she had a difficult birth.

A full examination of the mare’s reproductive tract is encouraged prior to re-breeding your mare.

Question:

How soon after delivery can a mare be bred back to another stallion? What are the positives and negatives for not allowing suitable time for recovery from foaling?

For the answer, we sought the advice of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

Answer:

Most mares foaling during the breeding season (long days), will come back into heat around day 7 after foaling. This is called their foal heat. Read the rest of this entry »

Blanketing Your Broodmare in Cold Weather

February 3, 2014

Considerations for blanketing your mare in foal in cold temperatures

Complications can arise if you breed your mare during foal heat, if she had a difficult birth.

If a broodmare is blanketed during foaling, the foal can become tangled in the straps.

Question:

We all know that blanketing a horse in the winter is a difficult decision sometimes, especially if it is a mare in foal. Is this a safe option? Also, a blanket flattens the winter coat. What I’ve never seen answered is how long does the coat take to “fluff” back up?

For the answer, we sought advice from the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Read the rest of this entry »

Breeding an Older Mare

January 27, 2014

Learn these tips for determining whether or not your older mare is in horse-breeding shape.

ask_expertQuestion:

I own a 22-year-old mare. She had a live birth in 1996. She is in good health. Can I successfully breed her?

For the answer, we sought the advice of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP).

Answer:

You ask a very interesting question, which does not have a straightforward “yes” or “no” answer. There are several factors to consider when breeding the older mare. Many broodmares can successfully Read the rest of this entry »