GFM Network News



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

A yawning horse can be a prompt to delve deeper into that animal’s health and welfare.

Is it a good or bad thing when a horse yawns?

The horse’s yawn hasn’t been closely studied but there is a close connection to some welfare issues

Horse enthusiasts often question, “What does it mean when a horse yawns?” and, “Is it a good thing or is it bad thing?” The short answer is, it all depends, and here is why. Both humans and horses yawn, however, the triggers for yawning in horses is not the same as that for the yawn […] Read more


The inadvertent inclusion of ornamental plants or noxious weeds such as horsetail in lawn clippings poses a risk of harm for the horse.

There’s a risk when feeding lawn clippings to horses

Horses will often gulp down finely chopped grasses, 
but it can cause a host of serious problems

Although both lawns and pastures contain predominantly grasses, the feeding of lawn grass ‘clippings’ specifically to horses can create a perfect storm of harm for the horse that is easily overlooked. When a horse grazes it goes through a series of motions, selecting, ripping, and thoroughly chewing the grasses. This process creates a slow and […] Read more

The heavier winter coat protects horses from the harsh weather, but when spring arrives it begins to loosen and fall out.

Shedding offers insights into a horse’s health

This annual event arrives with spring and can be a barometer for certain problems that need investigating

Shedding of a horse’s winter coat is a complex physiological process that can reveal information about the horse’s general health. Many — well actually all — horses look cosmetically ‘messy’ during the shedding period with a thorough shed usually occurring over a six- to eight-week period. This transition period often accompanies the fickle weather of […] Read more


Slow feeders come in all shapes and sizes but all are designed to even out a horse’s food consumption.

The numerous benefits of slow feeding to the horse

Horse Health: Because of the way their digestive tract works, horses need 
to eat low-energy forages nearly constantly

Horses are trickle or slow feeders by nature. This means that they are biologically wired to thrive when they are continuously collecting and eating small amounts of long-stem high-fibre forage. This most basic realization is instrumental in keeping the horse healthy. Forage is the foundation of every horse’s diet, and the forage needs to flow […] Read more

Get the lowdown on equine health

One-day seminar at the University of Calgary on April 7

The Horse Industry Association of Alberta and the University of Calgary’s faculty of veterinary medicine is hosting a one-day equine health education seminar on April 7. The sessions, which are aimed at horse owners, include breathing and performance; equine nutrition; equine acupuncture; common internal problems; and care of performance horses. The event will be held […] Read more


The return of colder weather means horse owners may be considering blanketing their animals.

What to consider when blanketing your horse

Horse Health: The animal’s body condition, nutrition and level of activity can all affect this decision

Most horses are blanketed in the winter according to the personal principles of the owner. However, like any other management practice, blanketing horses has its rightful place and proper use. The decision to blanket the horse comes with advantages and disadvantages. First, it is good to know that nature has provided the horse with extremely […] Read more

Keira Forsyth performs physiotherapy on a client with a rotator cuff injury.

Unique physiotherapy clinic treats both horse and rider

What do horses and physiotherapy have in common? Plenty, say Sandra Oxtoby and Keira Forsyth, the owners of Equus Physio. “Keira and myself are registered human physiotherapists,” said Oxtoby. “We both grew up riding horses and we had our own injuries.” The two say many chiropractors, physiotherapists, or massage therapists, many of the health-care professionals […] Read more