2009: A Year in Equine Health News

The economy and its far-reaching effects on horse health and welfare was a major focus in 2009, along with polo pony deaths, Miami horse poaching, an amazing story of rehabilitation, and disease investigations book-ending the year.

It wasn't always fun, but it sure was interesting.

These are the most-read news articles out of the nearly 2,200 posted on TheHorse.com in 2009:


Saving a Starving Horse: Part 1

She could've just kept driving. But instead of dismissing the idea of intervention as someone else's sad responsibility, Sue Thompson last year saw a chance for helping a nearly skeletal, weak, neglected brown horse that was standing in a muddy pasture visible from the freeway.



MRSA can spread from horses to humans; Dr. Maureen Anderson tells us how.
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AAEP 2008: MRSA More Common in Horse People

 Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacterial infections have become hot news lately, especially among horse people. This topic likely won't die down soon because recent research shows that MRSA is up to 10 times more common in equine veterinarians than in the general population--and that it can spread from horses to humans.


AAEP 2008: Deworming--To Rotate or Not to Rotate?

Rotational deworming--dosing horses with different classes of dewormers in rotation--is often recommended for controlling equine internal parasites. The theory is that by using all of the available effective deworming drug classes, we combine their benefits into a maximally effective program. However, some researchers say rotation isn't a good idea because it contributes to parasite resistance and will reduce the effectiveness of available deworming drugs.


Florida Poachers Target Horses

On Feb. 27 Ivonne Rodriguez's Paint horse, Geronimo, went missing from his Miami, Fla., pasture. Rodriguez immediately filed a police report and canvassed the neighborhood for information about her horse. Six days later, Miami-Dade County police discovered Geronimo's remains in a field across the street from Rodriguez's farm.

"He was tied to a palm tree and butchered for his meat," Rodriguez said.


Researchers Examine Effects of Rider Stability

Austrian researchers have reported that the stability of a rider's seat affects the forces acting on a horse's back. Using an electronic pressure mat placed under a dressage saddle, scientists with the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna's Movement Science Group measured the forces created when an experienced rider rode 10 different sound horses at the sitting trot, rising trot, and in the two-point (jumping) position.


What About the Budweiser Clydesdales?

TheHorse.com has had numerous questions about the fate of the Budweiser Clydesdales since it was announced in July of 2008 that Belgian brewer InBev had purchased Anheuser-Busch, creating the world's largest brewer. Another spate of questions arrived this spring as the Budweiser Clydesdales began their year of touring, and that sparked us to get back in touch with Jim Poole, General Manager, Clydesdale Operations.


Horses React to Human Heart Rates, Study Finds

An increase in a human's heart rate affects the heart rate of the horse they are leading or riding, researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences recently reported.


Poisoned Horses Update; One Still Critical

Debbie Tomin, co-owner with her husband, Bill, of Rockridge Farm in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., told TheHorse.com late Sunday morning that "23 horses were fed the poisonous concoction (of apples, carrots, and oleander leaves).


Understanding Beet Pulp as an Equine Feed

Beet pulp has been a popular feed for horses for years without many people really knowing why.


Horse Fraud Trial: Winning the Selleck Case

Trial lawyer George Knopfler faced a number of unique challenges beyond simply proving the facts of his case when he represented actor Tom Selleck and his family in a lawsuit alleging fraud in the sale of a show horse. He had to educate a jury with little experience in the horse business about the ins and outs of the show horse world; he had to make a dispute about the purchase of a six-figure animal relevant to working men and women who were suffering through one of the worst economic recessions in California history; and he had to focus the jury's attention on the allegations of fraud rather than on the celebrity status of his clients.


Controversial Dressage Training Method Under FEI Investigation

Responding to public outcry following the Internet posting of a video showing an international-level dressage competitor warming up a horse using a method some call inhumane, the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has launched an investigation.


Winterizing Your Senior Equine

When it comes to preparing your senior equine for winter weather, small steps can go a long way to support your horse's health and comfort. Nathan Slovis, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, Ky., shares some tips.

Check back tomorrow for the staff's picks for their favorite stories of 2009! 

See the 2008 review.

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