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Not much can gross out a horse person. We happily pick out hoofs, observe the quality of manure, scrape bot eggs off our horses’ legs, and get a weird sense of satisfaction from an expressed abscess. But ticks… ticks are just nasty.

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Respiratory disease is one of the most important health concerns facing the horse industry, and accounts for one of the biggest reasons why horses miss training days (Rossdale et al., 1985). Equine asthma, also known as “heaves,” is one of the more troublesome small airway diseases which causes an elevated respiratory rate, chronic coughing and runny nose, and affected horses often find it difficult to exhale.

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How to reduce the risk, recognize the symptoms, and take steps to manage an outbreak. Strangles is a highly contagious infection caused by the bacterium, Streptococcus equi (S. equi). It is not an airborne virus. Rather, the bacteria spreads through contact, which could be direct nose-to-nose between horses, or via contaminated surfaces or equipment such as shared halters, lead shanks, cross-ties, feed tubs, stall walls, fencing, clothing, hands, the hair coat from other barn pets, grooming tools, water buckets, and communal troughs.

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Equestrians in every province of Canada are supported and represented by horse-specific provincial organizations. A perk of membership in those organizations is access to highly specialized third-party liability insurance. Other perks include education, funding, community, and representation. Here’s a summary:

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Groundwork = Secret Conditioning - While it is widely used for gentling young horses and teaching basic skills, groundwork also offers the possibility for a notable amount of conditioning. When consistently and strategically practiced, it can improve muscle tone, basic metabolic function, and neuromuscular patterns.