Ask an Expert

A Horse That Cribs

May 2, 2016

Help is on the way for the owner of a cribbing horse that might also have gastric ulcers.

ask_expert-300x300Question:

I purchased my gelding three years ago in very bad condition. I noticed after we got him home that he cribbed. I contacted my veterinarian, who examined him and decided the horse had been cribbing for a long time and thought he cribbed only after eating grain because he had gastric ulcers. After switching his grain to what the vet had recommended, he Read the rest of this entry »

Colic and Riding

April 26, 2016

Learn why you should never ride a horse in colic distress.

ask_expert-300x300Question:

One day, my young horse was colicking, and I didn’t know it. I took him out for a ride, thinking he was just misbehaving. Since then, I’ve always made sure not to ride colicking horses, but I wondered, does riding affect them at all if they are colicking? Does it worsen the colic?

Answer:

Considering that it wasn’t easy for you to tell your horse was having a bout of abdominal pain, this must have been a very mild colic, something like a gaseous or spasmodic event.

In general, it isn’t safe to get on a horse that is experiencing colic, primarily because the horse is focused on his inner pain and will not notice you on his back if he decides to drop and roll. This puts you in jeopardy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Storing Manure

April 18, 2016

You can manage your horse’s manure in an environmentally friendly way, even on a small farm.

ask_expert-300x300Question:

I want to keep my four-acre horse farm as environmentally green as possible. How do I manage my horses’ manure to leave the least impact on the environment?

Answer:

America’s Horse Daily turned to Country Living Association for the answer.

To manage stockpiled manure on small farms, abide by good practice rules to keep nuisance and environmental issues to a minimum. Here are Read the rest of this entry »

Going Forward

April 12, 2016

Tips to help a young horse find his “forward” gears.

ask_expert-300x300Question:

I would appreciate a tip on how to keep a horse moving forward. I have a young horse that wants to stop and freeze up. I don’t use spurs and am not sure if a crop is the way to go.

— Patti Jo Runyan

Answer:

We sought the wisdom of Patrick Hooks of Texhoma, Oklahoma, a clinician, horse trainer and longtime colt starter:

Don’t feel alone. I’ve been in the same boat many times. I will offer some solutions, rather than quick fixes. Keep in mind that my suggestions will take a lot of hard work and patience on your part.

Any time I help with a problem, whether I’m present or not, I evaluate a horse according to four separate categories: physical, Read the rest of this entry »

Quick Exit

April 4, 2016

Solutions for a horse who rushes violently out of the horse trailer.

ask_expert-300x300Question:

What can we do about a horse who rushes out of a straight-load horse trailer? We have gotten our 10-year-old horse to get into the trailer. But when we try to back him out slowly, he pulls out of our hands and rushes backward.

— Susan and Ronald Marcotte Sr.

Answer:

For the answer, we sought help from AQHA Professional Horsewoman and Certified Horsemanship Association Master Instructor Julie Goodnight.

Your horse is rushing backward out of the trailer out of fear. When horses are unsure of themselves, the flight response kicks in, and they get in a hurry. Read the rest of this entry »

Equine Dentists

March 28, 2016

Find out who to call when your horse needs dental care.

Question:

How do I choose a veterinarian to perform my horse’s dental procedures?

Answer:

From the American Association of Equine Practitioners

Finding the right person to provide dental care for your horse can be confusing for some owners. Proper dental care can be the key to maintaining overall health in many horses and, just as with other important areas of equine health, owners should consult with an equine veterinarian about best health-care practices.

To help you make an educated decision about who provides your horse’s dental care, it is helpful to know the Read the rest of this entry »

Proper Feeding Position for Horses

March 21, 2016

Find out whether it’s OK to let your horse eat off the ground.

ask_expert-300x300Question:

I’m new at owning horses, and I’m worried about my horses eating off the ground when their feed falls or they knock their feeders around. I was told to give a tablespoon of fiber (Metamucil), because my horse has lost weight and I can see his ribs.

–Tracie

Answer:

We generally recommend that horses not be fed on the ground because it allows them access to internal parasite eggs and, if the soil is very sandy, it could allow them to eat sand and perhaps develop sand colic. I personally prefer that horses eat with their heads in a normal down position, so I like to see them fed in tubs at ground level rather than elevated Read the rest of this entry »

Help for a Navicular Horse

March 7, 2016

Learn tips from a trusted veterinarian for diagnosing a navicular horse.

ask_expert-300x300Question:

I believe my horse is becoming navicular. What is the best thing I can do to make sure he is comfortable and healthy? He is my only rope horse, and I don’t want anything to happen to him.

Answer:

Navicular disease refers to a group of symptoms associated with foot pain in horses. With the advances of equine imaging abilities — especially contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) — the veterinary community has come to learn that there are many different causes for foot pain in Read the rest of this entry »

Grumble Grumble

February 29, 2016

What do your horse’s stomach sounds mean?

ask_expert-300x300Question:

Is it good for a horse’s belly to rumble and make noises while eating?

–Tracie

Answer:

It is completely normal for a horse’s intestinal tract to make rumbling noises while he eats and digests his feed. In fact, a complete absence of “gut” sounds is bad and one of the things we check for when examining a horse suffering from colic.

As food passes through the horse’s intestinal tract, it is mixed with fluids and churned around by the intestines to aid in digestion. Read the rest of this entry »

Cryptorchidism

February 16, 2016

A Daily reader seeks advice about breeding her cryptorchid stallion.

ask_expert-300x300Question:

I have a stallion that I would like to breed, but he only has the left testicle down. Is cryptorchidism a genetic trait that can be passed on to the next generation?

Thank you.

— Candice Wright

Answer:

Although not a common condition in the horse, cryptorchidism can be a serious dilemma if it occurs in a stallion. It is considered an undesirable trait and is defined as a stallion having less than two visible testicles descended into the scrotum. Stallions so affected are commonly referred to as “cryptorchids,” “rigs,” “ridglings,” “originals” or “high flankers.” Retention of one testicle is most common and occurs nine times more frequently than retention of both testicles. If the left testicle is retained, 75 percent of the time it will be retained in the abdomen. Whereas, if the right testicle is retained, it will be in the inguinal canal or just under the skin 60 Read the rest of this entry »

Tips and Tricks for Bone-Chips

February 8, 2016

Find out what causes osteochondral fragments and how to go about treating them effectively.

ask_expert-300x300Question:

I have a 7-year-old off-the-track stallion that came to me with bone chips in his left front fetlock. Prior to his arrival, the horse was still racing and was purchased off the track by a dressage trainer as sound. Apparently, the race owners had been injecting the joint. The dressage trainer did not inject the joint as he did not know about the injury and the horse came up lame within a month of purchase after light riding. The current vet said surgery was the best option at that time. The horse has been on pasture rest for 8 months. At the 9-month mark, I started him on light exercise in the round pen and short, light hacks in the field. No sign of lameness, pain or swelling afterwards. We will be going back for further radiographs, but what are the chances the bone chips encapsulated during rest? Would putting sports medicine boots on him help or potentially cause more irritation? I want to keep him as comfortable as possible until I can afford the surgery, if needed. Any advice would be appreciated.

Read the rest of this entry »

Joint Diseases in Horses

February 1, 2016

Incurable Joint Diseases: Know the research, and know your options.

Question:ask_expert-300x300

My 19-year-old gelding was recently diagnosed with moderate osteoarthritis in his right hind and, upon ultrasound, with mild degenerative suspensory ligament desmitis in both hinds. The No. 1 treatment recommendation is for articular injections. Will these injections resolve the DSLD in any way? Sadly enough, he was also diagnosed with atrial fibrillation six years ago. I can’t help but wonder, are the two diagnoses related? Read the rest of this entry »