GFM Network News


Ground-level grazing of long-stemmed forages is the key to equine dental health.

Some feeds can be too easy to digest for horses

The mechanics of nibbling, chomping and crunching are important to horse health

There is a harmonic resonance that is audibly evident when a horse chews. This chewing sound soothes, calms and contents the nervous system of the horse, and most horse owners would agree that it also soothes the nervous system of the human. There are many reasons chewing is an important part of a horse’s life […] Read more

Horse owners can make significant contributions to their horses’ lives every day towards allowing the joints to maintain their own state of health and integrity.

There isn’t a silver bullet to prevent arthritis in horses

Proper nutrition, a sensible exercise program, foot care, and good management are the best defence

There is a popular trend in the horse industry marketing the idea of ‘basic joint maintenance,’ with marketing campaigns that emotionally drive the idea that various products can bestow a protection against arthritis. It might be an intravenous or intramuscular injection or an oral supplement but the pitch is similar — these products claim to […] Read more


The fecal egg count test measures the number and type of parasite eggs a horse is passing in its manure which helps better target 
the use of deworming products.

The evolution of deworming strategies in the horse

Old recommendations of regular treatments aren’t the best course of action anymore

Many horse owners are very committed to the regular and timely deworming of their horses. Oral paste dewormers have become a major staple in stables, tack shops, feed outlets and veterinary pharmacies and readily available to the horse owner. Although this availability of paste and gel dewormers does seem ideal, traditional practices of deworming horses […] Read more

Horses with teeth problems will often pack feed around the areas of pain and discomfort in their mouth as a way of soothing themselves. These feed-packs are called quids and are a common observation in older horses with advanced dental disease. Quids can pack along the cheeks and they can also drop out of the horse’s mouth onto the ground.

How dental disease can cause weight loss in horses

Dramatic weight loss can often occur when horses 
can no longer properly chew their feed


The clinical symptoms of slowly advancing dental disease in the older horse are not always overtly obvious, can be quite subtle and may even be discounted as ‘just’ a sign of old age. And so it is that owners and caretakers of an older horse can be taken by surprise when their horse — who […] Read more


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