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Sarcoids in Horses

October 6, 2015

Learn about treatment options for sarcoids, the most-common skin tumor in horses.

ask expertQuestion:

My horse has a sarcoid. How can I learn more about sarcoids and treatment options?


Our friends at the American Association of Equine Practitioners explain sarcoids in horses and ways to treat them.

A Texas veterinarian is taking a novel approach to sarcoid treatment, removing portions of the tumors, freezing the tissue in liquid nitrogen and implanting it in the same horse’s body.

“This is basically a very archaic viral vaccination attempt,” says Dr. Benjamin Espy, a private practitioner who says the technique has been successful in 12 of 15 documented cases so far. “We are trying to get the body to recognize the sarcoid as foreign and mount its own response. This is an autologous vaccine, meaning it’s made from the same animal you give it to – a very common technique in other livestock species.”

Sarcoids, the most-common skin tumor of horses, are believed to be caused by the bovine papilloma virus. They can be treated with chemotherapy drugs, such as cisplatin, or removed surgically or with lasers. However, Dr. Espy says, if any trace of a growth remains, the sarcoids will return.

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Large Horse, Small Hooves

September 21, 2015

An expert farrier explains how to handle a large horse with small hooves.

ask expertHere to weigh in on the management of large horses with small hooves is Andrew Elsbree of Greenville, New York, past president of the American Farriers Association and a certified journeyman farrier.


I have an 85-percent foundation-bred mare. She is a little less than 15 hands but is robust in her chest, neck and hips. She has very small feet. What impact might this have on her, and should I take any special considerations in training, trail riding or hoof care?

Glenda Meredith


It’s important to keep plenty of foot on the horse and to always shoe that particular horse with plenty of support. Read the rest of this entry »

Good Bugs Vs. Colic

September 14, 2015

The American Association of Equine Practitioners fields a question about the benefits of feeding live bacterial cultures to your horse.

ask expertQuestion:

Do live bacterial cultures help to decrease colic? Should I continue feeding this during the spring and summer?


Live bacterial cultures are also known as direct-fed micro-organisms or probiotics. They’re the “good bugs,” and have names like Lactobacillus, Enterococcus, Bifidobacterium and Bacillus. Aspergillus, a fungus, and Saccharomyces, a yeast, are also considered probiotics. Nutritionists define them as “live micro-organisms, which when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” Read the rest of this entry »

Horses That Kick

September 8, 2015

Expert advice to quell a kicking horse’s bad habits.

America’s Horse Daily received the following question concerning a horse that kicks her owner. AQHA Professional Horsewoman and Certified Horsemanship Association Master Instructor Julie Goodnight offers some advice that many riders will find useful.


I need some help with one of my mares. She is trained, but she is not ridden much. I always longe her before riding because she is powerful. When I take her out to longe her in the arena, she turns as she moves out into a circle on the longe line and kicks out to the side and has hit me three times now. Each time is a little higher. I know that this has to do with not handling her enough. She is smart and I am always careful with her (and all horses). She doesn’t do this to the stable hand that lets her out and longes her. I am pretty experienced, but this has me baffled as to how to handle this without getting too rough with her.


You have to expect that horses will kick out when they are on the longe line, working a circle on a lead line or even working at liberty in the round pen. The whole purpose of the kick is for defense when the horse is being attacked from behind, either from a predator or from a more dominant horse. When we work the horse on the circle, we are basically attacking the horse from behind, therefore you must expect that the horse will kick out. Read the rest of this entry »

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.


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.


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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.


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?

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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.


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?

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Tips for Safe Mounts and Dismounts

July 27, 2015

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


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.

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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.


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 »