Ask an Expert

Complementary Therapies for Horses

October 20, 2014

Some horses can benefit from alternative therapies such as equine massage therapy.

ask expertQuestion:

What benefits are there to adding professional equine massage therapy as an adjunctive therapy for horses in rehab?

We asked the experts at the American Association of Equine Practitioners to shed some light on the subject. Read the rest of this entry »

Swelling During Pregnancy

October 13, 2014

The American Association of Equine Practitioners helps a mare owner keep his horse comfortable.


Five days ago, I went to exercise my pregnant mare and noticed some swelling in her back legs. I had not been able to exercise her for several days due to snow and icy conditions. The stable owner where she is boarded said she was just stocked up from standing in her pen and needing exercise. I have been out to exercise her every day since, and the swelling has not subsided. There is no heat in the legs and the mare does not show any lameness.

Read the rest of this entry »

Foal CPR

October 6, 2014

Know how to perform emergency CPR on a foal in distress.

ask expertQuestion:

How do you perform CPR on a foal in distress?


Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is the restoration of spontaneous circulation and breathing and is used in cases of cardiopulmonary arrest, defined as sudden cessation of spontaneous and effective respiration and heartbeat.

This most often occurs in foals suffering from asphyxia or lack of oxygen before and Read the rest of this entry »

Cold Weather Horse Care

September 29, 2014

Learn how to help ease your horse into the colder weather.


What are the best ways to keep my horse healthy and warm this winter?

For the answer, we consulted Dr. Tom Lenz, past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and regular contributor to The American Quarter Horse Journal.


Horses are inherently well equipped to handle winter, as long as they have a way to get out of the wind. In fact, horses in good body condition can withstand temperatures down to -40 degrees F without difficulty.

Here are some things to help keep your horse comfortable in the cold winter months:

  1. Read the rest of this entry »

Tendon Injuries

September 22, 2014

The American Association of Equine Practitioners offers advice for a horse owner whose mare cut her tendon. AAEP is an AQHA educational marketing alliance partner.

ask expertQuestion:

My 5-year-old mare cut the tendon in the front of her hind leg. Will the tendon ever heal, and will she ever be able to be ridden again?


Extensor tendon lacerations in horses tend to have a good prognosis. It will depend, of course, on the severity of the laceration and the type of activity your horse performs.

There are a couple of reasons why extensor tendon lacerations are usually less serious than lacerations of the flexor tendon on the back of the limb. First of all, extensor tendon lacerations usually do not involve a tendon sheath. Tendon sheath involvement can result in serious infection and/or adhesion development. Read the rest of this entry »

Long-Distance Horse Purchase

September 15, 2014

What do you do when your veterinarian is too far away to check out the horse you’re thinking of buying?


I am in the market for two horses for my daughters, and have found two candidates that are outside of the travel range for my veterinarian. I was wondering if you have any advice as to what to look for since I can’t have my vet out to perform the exam.


Your veterinarian may be the best person to answer this question, as he may know other colleagues in the area where the horses are located and may refer you to them. Otherwise, you have two choices: as long as the seller agrees, you can bring the horses to your area for your vet to examine them; or you can look up an AAEP member in the area online.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Nerved Horse

September 8, 2014

What you need to know about nerving your horse.


I am in a situation where our 14-year-old show jumper has not responded to coffin and bursa injections. My trainer is suggesting nerving.

I am looking to sell or lease him, since my daughter is graduating from college and moving on with her career. I am told that nerving will not affect my ability to get a good lease price, but I am skeptical. Any advice?

For advice, we sought out Dr. Tom R. Lenz, equine health expert.


I assume you’re talking about a horse with navicular syndrome or heel pain that is not responding to conventional treatment. I also assume that you’ve tried corrective shoeing like an egg bar shoe to support the heel in conjunction with the coffin bone and bursa injections.

If none of that works, a neurectomy of the post digital nerves in the lower pastern is an acceptable therapy.

The procedure stops the pain in the horse’s heel region but still allows him to be able to feel his toe.¬† Therefore, he doesn’t stumble and is safe to ride.

Whether or not the horse will still earn a good lease price is up to you and the person wanting to lease the horse, but the procedure, if done properly, should pose no danger to the horse or rider.

It might not hurt to get a second opinion before doing the procedure.

– Tom R. Lenz, DVM, MS, a regular contributor to The American Quarter Horse Journal

AQHA offers an in-depth look at horse hoof health and some of the common hoof problems many horses face in the Equine Hoof Health report. Get your downloadable copy today. Print it off in full color immediately following the shopping cart transaction, or save it on your computer for future reading.

Rushing Jumps

September 1, 2014

A horse that rushes jumps is either in pain or frightened. But you can help him get back to basics.

ask expertQuestion:

My horse rushes jumps. How do I stop him from doing this? I have tried half halting, stopping in front of the jump and talking to him, but nothing helps. It scares me.

For the answer, we looked to our friends at the Certified Horsemanship Association. Read the rest of this entry »

Exercises for Trail Rides

August 25, 2014

The Certified Horsemanship Association shares great exercises for you and your horse while on the trail.

ask expertQuestion:

What are some good exercises to do while on the trail?

For the answer, we looked to our friends at the Certified Horsemanship Association. Read the rest of this entry »

Bone Chips in Horses

August 18, 2014

Injuries to joints are some of the most common lameness problems in sport horses.


I’ve been told my horse has a bone chip in his knee. What can we do to help him?

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


Injuries to joints are one of the most common lameness problems in sport horses. The most common injuries are bone chips (intra-articular chip fractures) in the knee (carpus) and ankle (fetlock) joint or inflammation of the Read the rest of this entry »

How and When to Bathe Your Horse

August 11, 2014

AQHA Corporate Partner Farnam provides tips for bathing your horse.

ask expertQuestion:

I’m a new horse owner, and I’m unsure how often I should bathe my horse. Do you have any tips for bathing?

We looked to our friends at Farnam for their answer in the September 2013 issue of America’s Horse. Read the rest of this entry »

The Importance of the Posting Trot

August 4, 2014

AQHA Professional Horsewoman Julie Goodnight explains the importance of the posting trot.

ask expertQuestion:

I’m having difficulty learning how to post the trot. I know it is important to post on the correct diagonal, but I don’t really know why. What are diagonals, and why are they so important for posting the trot?

For the answer, we turned to AQHA Professional Horsewoman and Certified Horsemanship Association trainer¬†Julie Goodnight’s article in the August 2013 issue of America’s Horse. Read the rest of this entry »