Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Metabolic Response to Exercise in Arabian and Thoroughbred Horses

Equinews.com - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · May 11, 2011

Many people tend to think of Thoroughbreds as racehorses that excel at high-intensity exercise, and of Arabians as endurance horses whose strengths lie with low-intensity exercise. Are these perceptions based simply on the most common use of each breed, or on particular innate characteristics or abilities that set the breeds apart? A study conducted at Kentucky Equine Research was designed to test the hypothesis that Thoroughbreds are better suited to high-intensity exercise because they have greater aerobic and anaerobic capacities than Arabians.

Arabians have a higher proportion of oxidative muscle fibers (types I and IIa) than Thoroughbreds. For that reason, it was hypothesized that Arabians would make greater use of fat for energy. The study tested this hypothesis as well.

The study compared selected measures of exercise capacity and metabolism in a small group of Thoroughbreds and Arabians of similar age, training background, and diet. Five Thoroughbred and five Arabian geldings were placed on identical exercise programs and fed identical diets for two months. Each horse then performed three exercise trials on a high-speed treadmill set at a 3-degree incline.

Trial 1 was an incremental test in which each horse ran at a steadily increasing pace until he could no longer maintain speed. This trial determined each horse’s aerobic capacity...

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Prepurchase Exam FAQs

Myhorse.com - Full Article

Story by Jessica Jahiel, PhD

When you invest in an equine partner, a prepurchase examination is vital. Here's what you need to know.

After months of searching, you've found the perfect horse to buy. You envision long days in the saddle, going on challenging trail rides. All you need to do is hitch up your horse trailer, head over to the prospect's current barn, seal the deal, and drive him home.

Wait! Before you take the plunge, invest in a prepurchase examination by a qualified equine veterinarian. Here, we'll tell you why you shouldn't skip this all-important step and answer frequently asked questions about the exam.

Q: Do I really need to schedule a prepurchase exam for my prospect?

A: Yes, you do. You want your new horse to be healthy and sound. A prepurchase exam is your one chance to acquire important information about a horse before he becomes your horse.

Prepurchase exams can be nail-biters, but postpurchase exams can be stomach-droppers. After an unsatisfactory prepurchase exam, all you have to do is say "No, thank you" and walk away. A postpurchase exam is another matter entirely, because all the bad news is about the horse you already own.

Q: Are all prepurchase exams the same?

A: No, they differ depending on the horse's projected use. A good prepurchase exam isn't generic. It can't be. Every horse is unique; every rider is unique. Discuss your plans, goals, and ambitions with your vet when you schedule the exam, so that it'll be designed for this horse and for your purposes...

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Monday, May 09, 2011

Long Toes in Horses: A Pain in the Butt?

Thehorse.com - Full Article

by: Erica Larson, News Editor
May 03 2011, Article # 18195

Your equine athlete's performance hasn't been blue ribbon-worthy as of late. Or maybe your broodmare's gaits are looking a little off kilter. Could long toes on the hind feet be to blame? According to the results of a recent study, the answer in some cases is yes and sometimes the solution can be very simple.

"The hind limb stance in (horses with long toes) is one in which the load-bearing surface of the hoof appears to be too far forward in relation to the coronary band and to the fetlock and cannon bone," said Richard A. Mansmann, VMD, PhD, hon. Dipl. ACVIM, professor emeritus at North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, where this study was completed, and owner of the Equine Podiatry and Rehabilitation Practice in Chapel Hill. "These horses tend to 'stand under themselves' with their hind feet, meaning that at rest the foot is placed further forward than normal in relation to the vertical axis of the limb and the main mass of the hind quarter, giving the horse a sickle-hocked appearance."

Armed with that information, the research team set out to determine if long toes could be a cause of gluteal (the muscles that run along the back of a horse's hindquarters on either side of the tail) pain in horses, and if corrective trimming and/or shoeing could correct the problem and eliminate the pain...

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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

TheHorse.com Presents Ask the Vet LIVE Q&A: Conditioning Horses


by: The Horse Staff
May 04 2011, Article # 18197

Hooray for warmer weather, more riding, and more training time! But before we hit the trails and arenas, let's not forget that if our horses have been in "winter storage," their bodies (and ours!) will need some conditioning before they're ready for a heavy work schedule. How does your horse's body adapt to exercise, and how can you tailor your conditioning program to maximize his fitness and soundness? How do you know when he is (or isn't) ready for more work? Find out during our free Ask the Vet LIVE online Q&A chat about Conditioning Horses on Thursday, May 26, from 8-9 p.m. Eastern U.S. time!

Working horse in a field

When you register for this event, you'll be able to send in your questions ahead of time. You can also ask questions during the live event on May 26. This free live chat is brought to you by Farnam.

Our on-call panelists for this event will include the following:

Meg Sleeper, VMD Meg Sleeper, VMD, Associate Professor of Cardiology at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine and the school's Cardiology Section Chief since 2001. Her primary research interests include inherited heart diseases, in particular inherited cardiomyopathies and therapeutic gene transfer. She is also an avid world-class endurance competitor with more than 14,000 miles logged and placings in endurance competitions in six countries, in addition to a best condition award.

Todd Holbrook, DVM, Dipl. ACVIMTodd Holbrook, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, Associate Professor of Equine Medicine at Oklahoma State University and the Equine Section Chief. His special interests in equine medicine include infectious disease, gastrointestinal disease, and sports medicine. He has worked at numerous endurance competitions, nationally, and internationally, over the past 15 years. He raises Quarter Horses and competes in reining with his family.

We hope you can join us on May 26 for this event! Reserve your Webinar seat now!