In the world of equine health, distinguishing between the hemlock poison plant and the benign hemlock tree is crucial. Despite their shared name, one poses a hazard to horses, while the other may very well be an asset to your equestrian property.
Hemlock Poison (Conium maculatum)
Hemlock poison, scientifically known as Conium maculatum, stands as a threat to horses and various livestock. This toxic plant harbors potent alkaloids, including coniine and gamma-coniceine, capable of inducing paralysis and, in the most serious cases, death if consumed in large quantities. With its tall stem, delicate fern-like leaves, and […]
As architects, we are frequently asked what makes a great barn design. And while aesthetics are important, there are several crucial factors that must be considered to prioritize the well-being of horses, providing them with a secure, comfortable, and healthy environment, while also ensuring functional and practical spaces for their handlers. These considerations apply whether you are planning a grand, state-of-the-art facility or a cozy personal barn!
Here are 7 key features we carefully consider when building or renovating stables in collaboration with our clients:
Adequate Space: This applies for both indoors and outdoors […]
The equine industry has seen a significant shift in recent years with the rise of genetic technology, with DNA testing slowly becoming a commonplace in several countries. Currently, a lot of the interest around performance testing focuses on a few specific genes responsible for producing big muscles and sprinting speed. However, the introduction of whole genome sequencing tests by companies such as Victory Genomics (VG) is set to revolutionize the industry.
Improving Horse Welfare Through Genetic Testing
We caught up Jessica Morton, a lifelong equestrian and horse welfare advocate who conducts research for VG. Jess believes that the […]
Positive reinforcement is an ethical training methodology that can help horses that lack self-confidence or willingness to benefit from an exciting learning experience, while building a stronger relationship with their human!
Horses are intelligent and emotional animals that can learn new tricks easily. For each trick, make sure to use repetition, consistency, and reward (positive reinforcement). At the beginning, reward each small step before asking for more, and keep sessions short (between 5-15min) to prevent your horse from losing patience and disengaging. Don’t forget to have fun and take it one step at a time!
Maintaining a clean pasture and keeping the area clear of droppings is an important step in ensuring the wellbeing of your horse. With an average of 15-20 bowel movements per day, generating up to 50lb of manure, cleaning up after your horse can quickly become a labor-intensive activity, making manure management feel like a never-ending clearance chore!
To recognize horses’ poop habits, it is useful to understand their behavior in their natural habitat. In the same way that dogs urinate to mark their territory, stallions in the wild use ‘stud piles’ as ‘elimination marking behavior’. By leaving […]
The turnout debate:
After several months of lockdowns and social isolation, people around the world have become increasingly aware of the effects of prolonged confinement on mental health. So, when a renowned Grand Prix rider announced that she was not giving her horses any turnout in order to avoid potential field injuries, it sent the internet into an uproar. Social media users were quick to point the finger at her disregard for her horses’ well-being and mental health. She defended that, while her horses do not get field turnout per say, they leave their stalls several times […]
Are you still working on your New Year’s resolutions? If so, we have some ideas to help you out. These resolutions can make you a better barn manager, helping to maximize your horses’ health and safety, too.
Update Your Deworming Plan
If you haven’t done so yet, now is the time to start deworming your horses according to fecal egg count results. Talk with your vet about the most appropriate time to do these tests and the dewormers that are right for your horses.
While you’re at it, make sure that your manure management plan […]
Your vet is an essential partner in keeping your horse healthy, and choosing the right vet can be a challenging decision, especially when you have lots of options. This is a choice you need to make carefully. If you’re looking for a new vet, consider these factors when making your decision.
Weigh the Benefits of Independent Vets Against Big Practices
One of the first decisions you’ll face is whether to go with a vet who practices independently, or whether a larger multi-vet practice might be right for you. Both options have their advantages.
Vets who […]