Breeding

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Grooming is an enjoyable way to bond with your horse, and most horses love to be fussed over, but cleaning a male horse’s sheath is an unpleasant chore that owners and riders tend to avoid. From potentially being kicked, to lack of knowledge or squeamishness, those with geldings and stallions often shirk the task altogether. However, veterinarians agree that cleaning and inspecting a horse’s sheath is a necessary and regular part of maintaining their health.

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Separating a foal from its mother can be a stressful time for the mare and especially for her baby. But there are many ways to make the transition easier and reduce the risks for both.

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Recent research shows that increasing parental age at conception has a detrimental effect on race speed. When a split-second can separate the horses at the end of the race, the slightest advantage can give the winner the edge. Research from the University of Exeter found that the speed of Thoroughbred horses declines as the age of their parents when they were conceived increases.

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A rare Przewalski’s horse named Kurt, produced by cloning in 2020, is thriving at his home at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and learning the language of being a wild horse from Holly, a young female of his own species.

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Managing Nutrition for Safe Growth in Young Horses - For any horse owner, the birth of a foal is always an eagerly awaited event. That baby, the product of the carefully planned mating of two superior parents, can elicit a range of emotions for the owner, including excitement and awe, but often anxiety and worry as well. One of the concerns the owner of a newborn foal may have involves the risk of the foal developing developmental orthopedic disease (DOD), which is a name applied to a group of conditions that can affect the growing foal, including physitis, acquired angular limb deformities, flexural deformities, cervical vertebral malformations, acquired vertebral deformities, and finally, osteochondrosis (OC).

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Recent advances in genetic research have paved the way for more effective identification and screening of genetic diseases in the horse. With these developments come new ethical considerations with respect to breeding practices, testing, and disclosure.

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The morning grass is glittering with light. Moisture drops in crystals from bushes and trembles in the trees. The air is still and cool. After an early lesson, I invite my dressage coach in for coffee and pull my riding boots. He removes his shoes and stands looking out the window. “Are those both stallions?” he asks.

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Satisfying the horse-specific needs of stallions is imperative for their mental and physical health. However, it can be challenging to provide living arrangements where stallions aren’t just surviving — but thriving. Kelly Brook Allen is one stallion owner who is adamant about her horse’s welfare. “He gets to live a normal life,” she says. Allen owns Canoa Farms in Merritt, British Columbia with her husband, Ron Stolp.

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Close Call - I staggered up to the house at 5:30 in the morning, kicking myself for being stupid. How could I have been so cocky as to breed horses for 20 years and not learn how to milk a mare properly? If the newborn colt didn’t get colostrum soon, I’d be rushing for the first ferry to get him and his mother to a vet clinic in the valley. But how was I going to load him into a trailer with Lucky, when she was terrified of him? My eyelids kept closing as I set the alarm for 7am and fell onto the bed, nursing the slim hope that when I woke I could find some local help. Ninety-five percent of foals are born safely, standing

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If you have a pregnant mare in your barn, plan ahead to collect and freeze some of her colostrum — that all-important first milk — so you have it on hand if a foal is born without access to this essential liquid.

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