Electrolytes and the Exercising Horse

Exercising muscles generate heat via metabolic reactions. Heat produced must be dissipated to prevent overheating, thus the horse sweats and evaporative cooling dissipates the heat. The amount a horse sweats depends on environmental conditions, the type of work performed, and the horse’s fitness. Horses may lose 5 to 7 liters (1 to 2 gallons) of sweat per hour when trotting and cantering for one hour under mild temperatures. As the temperature and humidity increase, sweating rates have approached 10 to 12 liters (>2.5 gallons) per hour. Read more about Electrolytes and the Exercising Horse

Hagyard Equine Medical Institute Internship Summary

Hagyard Equine Medical Institute offers three undergraduate internships including surgery, medicine, and ambulatory care. As a surgery intern you assist in emergency surgeries, take daily care of patients in the two barns consisting of over 50 stalls, and handle horses of all breeds and disciplines including holding for standing procedures and x-rays. As a medicine intern it is your duty to care for your assigned patients and assist with their procedures. Read more about Hagyard Equine Medical Institute Internship Summary


Calcium and Phosphorus – Two Important Macro Minerals for the Horse

Calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) comprise around 70% of the mineral content of a horse’s body. The majority of Ca is found in teeth and bones. Calcium’s major role is to provide bone strength but it is also necessary for blood coagulation, temperature regulation, enzyme activity regulation, neuromuscular functions as well as energy generation. Phosphorus works with Ca to give strength to bone. It also has a role in energy metabolism, cell membranes, and buffering fluctuations in pH. Read more about Calcium and Phosphorus – Two Important Macro Minerals for the Horse

ANS 216 Equine Science Video Projects

ANS216 - Equine Science is an introductory course designed to develop an understanding of equine use and handling, health, maintenance, reproduction, selection, and management. A project is required where students could enhance their knowledge of professionals in the equine industry or research a current issue in the equine industry. Students had to interpret and apply the information by designing and recording a video. The videos that are approved by the author for viewing by the public are listed below. Read more about ANS 216 Equine Science Video Projects


ISU Equine Lunch and Learn

Horse owners and enthusiasts will have an opportunity to learn more about management of equine during a monthly webinar on equine management decisions. Beginning Feb. 11, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will provide a monthly series of short virtual meetings over four months. The monthly webinar will touch be held from 12:00 - 1:00 PM and cover nutrition, the importance of soil for pasture and hay, weed control, and environmental management. Opportunities for participants to interact with the presenters will be available. Read more about ISU Equine Lunch and Learn


Water Quality for Horses

Water, the essential nutrient for life should be freely available for horses. The amount of water consumed by a horse is the best measure of water adequacy. The average daily intake of an idle horse weighing 1,100 lbs. under thermoneutral conditions is between 6 and 9 gallons. Heavy workloads and high heat and humidity may double to triple the requirement to 12 to 18 gallons per day. Lactation also increases water intake to a minimum of 8 gallons per day. Diet will affect water consumption. Grazing of lush, green pastures in the spring tend to decrease water consumption. Read more about Water Quality for Horses

Horse Operations Contingency Farm Plans

The University of Minnesota Extension Livestock Team has released a set of customizable forms that can be used to create an operations contingency plan for their farm. The contingency forms are meant to provide livestock owners a starting point to outline essential livestock care if they and/or their managers become sick with COVID-19 or another emergency occurs. In these situations, care would likely need to be administered by a non-household member. The contingency plan is meant to cover short-term (e.g. Read more about Horse Operations Contingency Farm Plans


Department of Animal Science adds new equine reproduction specialist

Kristen RenoKristen Reno has joined the team in the horse barns at Iowa State University and will serve as the new equine operations assistant along with manager, Nikki Ferwerda. She will be assisting with all aspects of mare, stallion and foal care, as well as breeding work and preparing horses for sales. Read more about Department of Animal Science adds new equine reproduction specialist


Gypsy Vanner Breed

The colorful and extraordinary breed of the Gypsy Vanner horse dates back to the eccentric Gypsy travelers in England.  These sturdy caravan horses were not only flashy horses but were also part of the art form that the Gypsy travelers displayed.  From their stout strong stature, flowing manes and tails to the feathers on their legs, these horses were looked upon as a symbol of power and strength among the Gypsy culture. Today, they continue to hold awe and wonder amongst breeders and onlookers as a symbol of power and strength.

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Why a Clover Leaf Pattern?

Where did the famous barrel racing of the modern day today come from and why has it become so popular? For how long I’ve know about barrel racing I never really knew the history behind how it all started. I wanted to dig into the rich history of rodeo and the infamous clover pattern. It all started in the 1930’s when Faye Blackstone from Parrish, Florida as she was in her trick riding career, but it seemed to become replaced she started her horsemanship to the barrels. She began the barrel racing event with a couple other cowgirls in 1950 in Florida. Read more about Why a Clover Leaf Pattern?


Wrangling the Rockies

Caroline TreadwillDo you love horses? Do you want to sharpen your people skills? Have you ever wanted to live in Colorado? Consider shaping up that dusty cowboy hat and becoming a wrangler for the summer! It’s a fast-paced hands-on opportunity that will surely spice up your resume. This last summer I worked as a wrangler in Estes Park, Colorado, and it was an experience not to be forgotten. Read more about Wrangling the Rockies


A Severe Tummy Twist

Signs of colicColic is a term used for when a horse is having mild-severe abdominal pain. This type of situation can have many causes such as ingestion, diet types, quick change in diet, parasites, lack of water, stress, and twisted stomach. It is important to be able to spot this problem with a horse as soon as possible as it can be very severe and could possibly lead to death. Read more about A Severe Tummy Twist


Energy, Feed Ingredients and the Horse

Energy is supplied to the horse via the diet but fundamentally energy is not a nutrient. Horses need energy to carry out their body’s essential daily functions, including the digestion and absorption of food, activity, growth and reproduction. The total energy contained in a feed is called gross energy (GE). The GE of a feedstuff is not a good indicator of the energy available to a horse from a feedstuff. Thus, with horses, we use digestible energy (DE) which is GE minus the energy contained in feces. Digestible energy is expressed in Mcal which is a multiple of the unit of energy calorie. Read more about Energy, Feed Ingredients and the Horse

Fiber and the Horse

Forages as hay or pasture make up the major share of the horse's daily intake. The energy and nutritive value of forages varies considerably and to a large extent is determined by the fiber content and fiber quality. Fibrous carbohydrates, also known as structural carbohydrates, are not digested in the small intestine but rather are digested by billions of bacteria in the hindgut. Some of the end products of bacterial fermentation include substances called volatile fatty acids (VFA) which are absorbed from the hindgut and used as a valuable source of energy. Read more about Fiber and the Horse