Author's Articles

Subtle signs of eye trouble

by Christine Barakat with Melinda Freckleton, DVM
A weepy, grossly swollen eye is a sure sign that something is amiss, but ocular problems in horses are not always so obvious. In fact, some of the more serious eye conditions, such as uveitis0,... READ MORE


Finding the cause of tail rubbing

by Christine Barakat with Melinda Freckleton, DVM
The clump of long chestnut hairs on the stall wall was a mystery, until you saw the top of your horse’s tail. He’s been rubbing it raw against the wall, but why? The simple answer is... READ MORE


How to figure out forging

by Christine Barakat with Melinda Freckleton, DVM
A rhythmic clunking noise underfoot as your horse trots is the sound of forging, which occurs when his hind hoof reaches forward and strikes the toe of the forefoot... READ MORE


Winter diet check for older horses

by Christine Barakat with Melinda Freckleton, DVM
Winter may still be weeks away, but now is the time to adjust your older horse’s diet to help prepare him for the cold weather ahead. There are two simple ways determine if changes are... READ MORE


The dangers acorn pose to horses

by Christine Barakat with Melinda Freckleton, DVM
Any paddock graced with an oak tree will likely be littered with acorns during the autumn months. Horses may accidentally eat them, and some may even develop a taste for them—how much... READ MORE


Safely deck the halls

by Christine Barakat with Melinda Freckleton, DVM
Decorating the barn for the holidays is fun, for sure. But be careful to avoid introducing hazards in the process. Make sure, for example, that live wreaths and garlands contain no toxic... READ MORE


Beware of botulism

by Christine Barakat with Melinda Freckleton, DVM
Mention of botulism strikes fear in people’s hearts, and rightly so. The illness requires intensive supportive care and the outcome is uncertain. Botulism causes progressive paralysis,... READ MORE


Stop summer stomping

by Christine Barakat with Melinda Freckleton, DVM
Cracks that appear on your horse’s hooves in late summer may not be just a result of dry, hard ground. Annoying insects probably also play a role. During bug season, flies crawling on... READ MORE


After a skirmish

by Christine Barakat with Melinda Freckleton, DVM
A fight in the pasture between herdmates is usually a loud and dramatic affair. The good news is that most skirmishes don’t result in serious injury. However, if you know there’s... READ MORE


Beware the hazards of hard ground

by Christine Barakat with Melinda Freckleton, DVM
A long summer dry spell may make you want to leave the riding ring and head for the trails, but keep in mind that drought conditions can make for dangerously hard ground. The lack of moisture in... READ MORE


Quick tack safety check

by Christine Barakat with Melinda Freckleton, DVM
A full-scale safety check of your tack before each ride is ideal, but it’s not always possible. At a minimum, take a good look at the following locations as you tack up. If you find any... READ MORE


Don't forget to do a fall laminitis check

by Christine Barakat with Melinda Freckleton, DVM
Laminitis is typically associated with lush spring pasture, but the risk of this devastating hoof condition rises again in the fall when pastures rebound from heat and drought. This means that any... READ MORE


What noisy joints mean

by Christine Barakat with Melinda Freckleton, DVM
They may sound alarming, but periodic pops or clicks coming from the joints of a comfortable, sound horse are nothing to fret about. Noisy joints in horses are caused by the same physiological... READ MORE


Get your horse to drink up

by Christine Barakat with Melinda Freckleton, DVM
When you’re worried about keeping your horse hydrated in the summer, the saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” isn’t just a tired... READ MORE


A surprising clue to saddle fit

by Christine Barakat with Melinda Freckleton, DVM
Sweat patterns can indicate poor saddle fit long before rubs or soreness occurs. READ MORE


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