GFM Network News


There’s no hard-and-fast rule, but horses have weight limits

There are, however, some good guidelines and common sense goes a long way

To date there exists no scientific studies or simple mathematical equations that determine what is — or isn’t — too heavy for a ridden horse to comfortably carry. Current research would seem to suggest that once the combined weight of a rider and tack falls into the range of 15 to 20 per cent of […] Read more

To truly sleep, a horse cannot be standing.

A good sleep is as important in horses as in people

Let sleeping horses lie

All land mammals require deep sleep for proper physical, mental and emotional functioning. Yet equine sleep is rarely considered as a significant contributor to the well-being of the horse. Perhaps this arises from the flawed presumption that horses can ‘sleep standing up.’ Unfortunately this misunderstanding can have serious implications to the well-being and welfare of […] Read more


The circle is not a horse’s friend as it can cause repeated 
strains that can become chronic conditions.

Modern-day horses face ergonomic hazards, too

Small pens, repeated movement and the training circle can all cause chronic injuries

Carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow and texting thumb are all specific types of soft tissue injury that humans experience. This type of injury to the soft tissue (tendons and ligaments) is unique to modern-day lifestyle and/or work environments. They arise in response to repetitive movements which are often carried out in an unnatural or imbalanced […] Read more



Most arenas feature a surface, base and sub-base, all of which contribute to the experience of the horse.

What’s underfoot has a big effect on horse soundness

Footing surface impacts the quality of performance and can even bring a risk of injury

Horses are well adapted to move over a variety of terrain and their entire bodies benefit tremendously from doing so. Variable ground surfaces in a horse’s environment challenge and stimulate the healthy development of hooves, supportive connective tissues and musculoskeleture — all the while weaving in resiliency and soundness for the horse. Footing is a […] Read more

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