Twitching: Is it Pain, Pressure or Acupuncture?

Twitching: Is it Pain, Pressure or Acupuncture? Twitching is a practice commonly used by owners and equine specialists as a form of restraint. However, not many people know how twitching works. Does it cause the horse pain? Or does it have some sort of mesmerizing effect? This article will discuss recent research so that we […]

To Bit or not to Bit: That is the Question

To Bit or not to Bit: That is the Question The bit is a device used by many riders to communicate with the horse. However, there is some debate over the importance of the bit and its effect on a horse’s welfare.   The bit is a device used for communication between rider and horse that […]

The Ins and Outs of Rugging

The Ins and Outs of Rugging Wandering around at a competition and admiring all the horses on display, it’s always fascinated me how different horse owners can be when it comes to rugging. Some have their horses clipped and wearing several layers of rugs, some just have a canvas or a basic synthetic, others don’t […]

Ouch? How to Tell if Your Horse is in Pain

Ouch? How to Tell if Your Horse is in Pain Pain can be difficult to determine in horses, mainly due to their inability to communicate with us in a way we easily understand, which means that sometimes, minor pain can go undiscovered until it becomes worse. This article investigates evidence that is helping us understand […]

Saddles vs. Bareback: Which is Better?

Saddles vs. Bareback: Which is Better? I was recently asked; what is better for the horse’s back, riding with a saddle, or bareback. I immediately went to answer that of course the saddle is better, but then I paused. Are saddles better for the horse’s back, or are they primarily for the comfort of the […]

Laminitis: The Illness all Horse Owners Fear

Laminitis: The Illness all Horse Owners Fear Spring has sprung and that means that ponies from all over the southern hemisphere are being shoved into minimally grassed paddocks for fear of the dreaded laminitis. But what is laminitis and is keeping horses lean the best way to prevent it from occurring?   What is Laminitis? […]

Horses and Humans: Better Together?

Horses and Humans: Better Together? It is commonly assumed by riders that horses have therapeutic benefits for their wellbeing. This article discusses the evidence surrounding the mental and physical benefits of the horse/human relationship.    The Horse’s Effects on Mental Health Horses have a positive effect on the mental wellbeing of humans. An anthropological study […]

Nosebands: Yes or Nose?

Nosebands: Yes or Nose? The use of a noseband, particularly the use of the so-called crank nosebands has long been debated on the effect it has on the horse’s welfare. The noseband is not a necessary piece to the function of the bridle, so should it be there? In dressage, the horse must always be […]

Rein Tension: How much is too much?

Rein Tension: How much is too much? Reins are an important feature of the bridle as they allow for communication between the horse and rider [1] and the tension the rider creates through pressure on the reins is an important factor to remember when considering the horse’s wellbeing. Piccolo and Keinapfel [2] conducted a study […]

‘Allo Allogrooming: The Benefits of a good ‘ol Scratch

‘Allo Allogrooming: The Benefits of a good ‘ol Scratch Have you ever seen a pair of horses scratch each other and wondered why they do that? In this article, I’ll go through the reason behind the wither scratch and how it can influence your relationship with your horse. Horses are social animals. Since horses are […]