GFM Network News


A healthy gut microbiome critical to horse health

A healthy gut microbiome critical to horse health

Immune, neurological, and hormonal systems can all be affected by this microbial community

Reading Time: 3 minutes Although invisible to the naked eye, the horse and human cannot exist apart from the biology and ecology of their microbiome and the microbiome is being heralded as the next most important bodily system. There is emerging evidence the gut microbiome — with its complex interactions of microbial communities including bacteria, archaea, parasites, protozoa, viruses […] Read more

Though often thought of as a problem of the feet or legs, lameness can and often does involve virtually any part of the horse’s body.

There are many kinds of ‘lame’

It’s a blanket term that can cover a lot of conditions

Reading Time: 4 minutes Despite their remarkable strength and resiliency, horses are highly susceptible to lameness. In fact, lameness is the most common symptom presented to the equine veterinarian. Almost every horse will experience some kind of lameness during its lifetime. Its diagnosis, treatment and collateral losses represent one of the most costly health problems for the equine industry. […] Read more


A horse’s immune system can’t be taken for granted

A horse’s immune system can’t be taken for granted

Our understanding of the immune system has evolved past the war-on-germs analogy

Reading Time: 3 minutes In horses, as in humans, the immune system is a powerful biological force. Most of the time, it works so effectively that its true value is often overlooked, even minimized. The traditional view of an immune system is as an army poised for the simple eradication of pathogens. While accurate, this description vastly oversimplifies immunity. […] Read more

Horses with sensitive feet use their bodies in novel ways to avoid discomfort.

Just because the horse has no limp doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem

Horse Health: Horses are far too good at disguising foot pain but sore hoofs can lead to a host of problems

Reading Time: 3 minutes As animals of prey, horses are adept at masking pain, especially foot pain. Foot pain matters deeply to the physical health and psychic well-being of the horse that, at a primal level, relies on flight for a sense of safety. Unfortunately, for many horses with generalized foot pain, their discomfort goes unrecognized, is poorly understood […] Read more


There are several keys to getting a yearling on the proper path

There are several keys to getting a yearling on the proper path

Horse Health: Sound nutrition, plenty of exercise and social interactions are the foundation for the horse’s future

Reading Time: 4 minutes As the equine version of an early teenager, the yearling is a bit of a peculiarity within the modern-day horse world. Yearlings generally appear and act physically ungainly, have a naive mindset and are often emotionally raw. So pressure and haste are often placed upon the yearling to be more than it is and to […] Read more

Transitioning the shod horse to barefoot can be challenging

Transitioning the shod horse to barefoot can be challenging

Start with a hoof assessment and look for problems that may have gone unnoticed

Reading Time: 4 minutes Horse owners decide to transition their horses from shod to barefoot for a number of reasons — curiosity, cost, research, friends, frustrating lamenesses, and unfortunately at times a death sentence due to a diagnosis of intractable navicular disease or laminitis. But the journey towards barefooting is often not without its challenges — yet this is […] Read more


The decision to end a horse’s life is often an agonizing process

The decision to end a horse’s life is often an agonizing process

Horse Health: One of the hardest decisions for a horse owner can also be the best for the welfare of the animal

Reading Time: 4 minutes The term ‘euthanasia’ comes from the Greek words meaning a ‘good death’ and is the practice of intentionally ending a life to relieve pain and suffering. At times the decision to euthanize a horse is clearly obvious. This can occur when a horse has a severe injury or an unrelenting and non-responsive illness such as […] Read more

Trimming needs can depend upon age, level of movement, terrain and a multiple of other influences.

Good hoof trimming practices are vital to equine health

Hoofs should be trimmed diligently to prevent a myriad of problems

Reading Time: 3 minutes Whilst there are many husbandry practices that horse owners can take to create positive change in the health of their horse’s hoofs, timely and diligent hoof trimming can bestow one of the biggest benefits in developing and maintaining a sound and healthy hoof. Taking care to maintain the hoofs of a 1,000-pound animal that are […] Read more


Not allowing a horse to carry itself properly can cause pain, injuries and other problems.

Forcing a horse’s head and neck into an unnatural position is harmful

Not allowing a horse to carry itself properly can cause pain, injuries and other problems

Reading Time: 3 minutes A visit to any local equine tack shop will showcase a striking array of tack and accessory tack available to place upon the head of a horse with the promise of improving horsemanship, fashion or a horse’s performance. Many of these devices are potent tools that have the ability to leverage and compound tensile forces […] Read more

Glyphosate exposure has been linked to chronic inflammation by injuring structural proteins called ‘tight junctions.’

Health concerns surrounding glyphosate use are increasing

The herbicide is being linked to chronic inflammation and disease in humans, and that has implications for horses

Reading Time: 3 minutes The implications for the widespread use of glyphosate-based herbicides in our environment has been increasingly mired in controversy despite regulatory assurances of safety. After close to three decades of use, there is a growing body of scientific evidence of unintended biological consequences, including implicating glyphosate use as a contributing factor to the rising incidence of […] Read more