Controversial Techniques: Rollkur

I would be hard-pressed to say which of the controversial equitation techniques I find most appalling, there are many. However, I decided to look at rollkur for an assignment for one of the Equine Behaviour courses I’ve taken. It’s a topic that came up again recently in Global Perspectives in Equine Welfare because of the inherent contradictions of […]

Understanding Wobbler Syndrome

Wobbler syndrome is associated with cervical stenotic myelopathy (CSM), a malformation of the vertebrae or a narrowing of the spinal canal that compresses the spinal cord, damaging nerves and affecting proprioception.  Clinical signs include gait abnormalities signified by a loss of balance, loss of coordination (ataxia), weakness, and in some cases, paresis or paralysis. Other […]

Xenophon Continued: Notes on conformation

Xenophon describes what to look for when purchasing a horse in fairly simplistic terms when compared to the level of detail presented in Horse Conformation: Structure, Soundness, and Performance (Equine Research, 2004). However, it is evident that he had a reasonably sound understanding of the importance of form relative to function and equine health. One […]

To Shoe or Not to Shoe? Part 4: Benefits of Being Barefoot

Photo: Alexandra Beckstett, The Horse Managing Editor A Healthier Foot Allowing a horse to go barefoot for even just part of the year can be beneficial and promote soundness. In the article “Barefoot Benefits” Gabrielle Pullen (2001) summarizes Robert Bowker’s examination of 125 barefoot horses (never shod) and 10 show horses (previously always shod) that […]

To Shoe or Not to Shoe? Part 3: The Shod Horse

Photo credit: David Goldman, Associated Press Performance and Therapy Despite the hoof being a very resilient and adaptive structure, horses engaging in strenuous performance sports often require shoes for extra support, protection to preserve the hoof capsule and structures contained within it, and traction for the safety of both horse and rider (Bryant, 1999). Horseshoes […]