To Shoe or Not to Shoe? Part 2: The Horn of Plenty

An intricate and complicated host of tissues, blood vessels, tendons, ligaments and bones comprise the [horse’s] foot, and the whole package is sealed within a hard, horny shell – the hoof wall. – Lester Sellnow, 2001 Image: Anatomy of a Healthy Hoof, Animal Health Trust Structure of the Hoof The hoof has evolved to serve […]

To Shoe or Not to Shoe? Part 1

While those who strongly believe in shoeing seem to be of the opinion that it is the right and only way, many barefoot advocates believe that although barefoot is better, shoes are sometimes necessary. Prior to enrolling in the Equine Functional Anatomy course offered by Equine Guelph, I had no idea that one’s decision to […]

Tell Me What You See

Understanding how horses see the world is important for anyone who interacts with them, for both personal safety and the welfare of the horse. Beware of the blind spots Horses have a nearly 360-degree field of vision and the ability to detect movements that may not be perceived by humans. However, it is important to know that the […]

Sleeping on Their Feet

The stay apparatus first appeared in the modern horse’s ancestor dinohippus, 5 to 13 million years ago. This unique evolutionary trait enables the horse to sleep standing up. Horses actually require very little sleep, and even less REM sleep, which is probably a good thing because REM sleep can only be achieved when the horse is lying […]

Food for Thought

Over millions of years of evolution, all aspects of the digestive systems of herbivores have undergone extensive modifications to be able to convert plant cellulose to energy. The horse is no exception. Specialized teeth & muzzle Horses have evolved with specialized teeth. The premolars and molars are enlarged and have ridged surfaces that act as a grindstone, […]