GFM Network News


The general appearance of a horse’s topline is a trustworthy indicator of the horse’s overall health and comfort, extending from foot and dental health, to tack, training regimen, and everything in between.

The topline tells the tale of a horse’s overall health

It’s one of the clearest and widest indicators of well-being — or problematic issues

Multiple aspects of a horse’s health, lifestyle and environment dovetail together and contribute to the appearance of its topline. An esthetically pleasing topline in a horse at any age is a testament to the alignment of a good many conditions and circumstances which are supportive of the horse’s health and well-being. The opposite is equally […] Read more

A watchful eye on water intake is an essential consideration in every horse with diarrhea.

Factors to consider when your horse has the trots

A horse with diarrhea can suffer serious health consequences if it’s a serious case

Diarrhea in the horse describes a symptom with a wide variety of causes and presentations where for various reasons the intestinal tract does not complete absorption of electrolytes and water. As the water content of the feces increases the normal grouping of well-formed fecal balls lose their individual ‘ball’ shape and the fecal matter becomes […] Read more


Excessive fluid in the hock joints of a young horse such as this three-year-old filly, is an indication that the joint is experiencing developmental distress and is at a significantly higher risk to develop arthritis as the horse ages.

What to watch for with a physically immature horse

Be mindful of the young horse’s developmental stages to protect its future health

Given the increasingly common occurrence of arthritis in today’s horses, it is worthwhile to consider the choices that are made in a young horse’s life that are large contributors to the outcome of that horse’s soundness over its lifetime. Oftentimes arthritis is viewed as a condition of the aging horse, mostly because the outward clinical […] Read more

Unsound behaviour is often how a horse ‘copes’ with stress and an uncomfortable situation.

What to consider when horses display undesirable behaviour

Is the horse in pain? Training? Maybe both? Maybe more? You need to find out

Any time undesirable behaviour or resistance arises in the horse it demands a unique type of ‘listening’ to identify what the horse is attempting to convey. Horses are transparent in their behaviours and often act in an attempt to simply feel better and seek relief from discomfort. Identifying the root cause of the discomfort can […] Read more


Internal metabolic distress of horses is recorded in their hoof growth as abnormal ‘rings.’ These rings are testimony to the ongoing episodes of laminitis or founder. The signature rings are evident in both the pre- and post-trim pictures of this hoof.

IR/EMS/PPID in horses = OMG

Without proper management, horses can develop one of a number of diseases

The alphabet soup grouping of acronyms IR (insulin resistance), EMS (equine metabolic syndrome), and PPID (pituitary pars intermediare dysfunction also known as Cushing’s syndrome) represent an increasingly common and growing incidence of illnesses in horses between the ages of five and 15 years. Despite their separate labels these illnesses share many similarities in metabolic hormone […] Read more

A young foal is a lot like a child. They’re both a wonderful thing and an expensive long-term commitment that requires a lot of work to succeed.

Considerations before breeding a horse

This is not a project that should be simply taken on at an impulse. It requires planning, patience and commitment

Foals are adorable and the idea of raising a foal can be tempting — very tempting. The reasons why owners breed a horse is often a combination of emotional gratification, performance expectations, and economic gain. Yet none of these outcomes are ‘for certain’ and so the eventual outcome of the foal as it becomes an […] Read more


An established relationship with a veterinarian is key to future use of antimicrobial products.

Horse owners need to be aware of new drug rules

You now need a prescription for all antimicrobials and a relationship with a veterinarian

First of all, the idea of veterinary oversight regarding the use of antibiotics in animals is nothing new. However, as of Dec. 1, animal owners now need the involvement of a veterinarian for purchase of all antimicrobials for animal health to ensure their prudent use. New federal regulations will require all antimicrobials used in animals […] Read more

One type of mosquito, the Culex tarsal, spreads the West Nile virus to horses and humans and this species usually appears later in the summer season.

West Nile virus numbers spiked again this summer

The number of cases of this disease in horses rises and falls depending on a complex interplay of factors

Since the first horse was detected with West Nile virus in Canada in 2002, the prevalence of the disease has cycled annually through peaks and troughs. The number of cases in horses initially peaked in 2003 following its introduction, with many fewer cases reported until 2007 when the incidence of the disease spiked once again. […] Read more


Timothy is considered the gold standard among grass hays because of its high palatability, easy digestibility and low-energy yet nutritious profile.

Some points to consider when shopping for horse hay

Our own senses are wonderful tools — choose hay that is as fine stemmed, green, and as leafy as possible

Hay selection is an important aspect of horse ownership. The type and quality of hay the horse eats can make a big difference in its overall nutrition, and its value in a horse’s diet is unquestionable. The extra dollars spent on sourcing good-quality hay and its proper storage is invariably cost effective on many levels […] Read more

Processed feeds are especially prone to short shelf life, but there’s no requirement for formal expiry dates.

Past their best dates need to be adhered to, but they aren’t always obvious

How medications are stored matters a great deal, and manufactured feed doesn’t last forever

Modern horse keeping carries a responsibility of housekeeping that pertains to periodically reviewing the expiry dates of products routinely used in the care of the horse. Most horse owners will immediately consider the expiry dates of drugs and medications, however, there are other items that also carry expiry dates that may be even more relevant […] Read more