Stress Study Paints Surprising Picture of the Lives of Horses

Proper management of horses by humans may be more respectful of their well-being than life in the wilderness. Italian researchers based their findings on an analysis of cortisol levels in horse hair, which is considered an indicator of chronic stress levels. Horse hair provides a matrix where cortisol can accumulate over time, forming a stress…

The Science of Horse Racing: Hooves and Horseshoes

For humans, shoes fit the movement; running, jumping, sliding, whatever the tasks, we have footwear for it. Our equine friends, on the racetrack and off, are no different. For every pursuit is a shoe fitted to both the competitor and the competition. To understand how that works, we must understand a horse’s hoof and what…

An Equine Model for Human Anxiety

Having prey brains, horses are ruled primarily by fear. External stimulation enters their brain via one of the senses and is immediately shuttled to the motor cortex for instant reaction. There is no neural way station or prefrontal cortex for evaluation of the event. Why? Because evolution is based on survival, and it takes too much time to…

Fact Or Fiction? Horses Should Not Be Fed Before Exercise

The horse world is filled with “rules” many horse owners and caretakers follow, often without knowing why. One such myth that has been followed for years is that horses should not be fed before exercise. With updated research, that mindset has shifted: now, scientists suggest that feeding forage before a ride may be beneficial.

The Importance of Speaking Kindly to Horses (and Pigs)

Fresh research has put forward a strong case for speaking kindly to horses and pigs. The way we speak matters to animals, the scientists concluded. In the study the researchers played recordings of animal sounds and human voices from hidden speakers. To avoid having the domesticated animals react to specific words, positive and negative human…

Know How Horses Respond to Hot Summertime Temperatures

During the hot summer, it is the responsibility of equine managers and horse owners to ensure their horses are drinking enough water to maintain good health and performance, and to know when to back off an animal’s level of activity. Here’s what to look for and what steps you may need to take.