GFM Network News


Prairie hay shortage on horizon

MarketsFarm — While rain across the Prairies has eased concerns of an all-out drought, worries of a hay shortage going into winter haven’t ceased. Darren Chapman, a Virden, Man. producer and chair of the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA), explained that regrowth following the first cut of hay has been strong. First-cut hay crops […] 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


The number of horses infected with West Nile jumps in Alberta

The number of cases nationally more than doubled last year, with more than half in Alberta

West Nile virus is becoming a more serious issue in horses — rates are rising in Alberta and a third of the horses which become infected will die. But there is a way to protect your horses, said veterinarian Melissa Smith of West Wind Veterinary Hospital in Sherwood Park. “There are vaccines available for West […] 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