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10 Resources on Maintaining Performance Horse Health

And while veterinarians are well-versed in how to help keep these performance horses going, there are management techniques and training protocols owners can employ to give their animals that extra edge.

Photo: Erica Larson, News Editor

At the top of every equine-athlete owner's wish list is a sound, healthy, and happy horse. And while veterinarians are well-versed in how to help keep these performance horses going, there are management techniques and training protocols owners can employ to give their animals that extra edge. Here are 10 resources on maintaining and optimizing performance-horse health available for free on TheHorse.com.

Editor’s note: For more information, search "sport horse," "performance horse," or "equine athlete," or visit the sports medicine topic page on TheHorse.com.

ARTICLE: Veterinary Care for the Sport Horse From the start of his career to the end, an equine athlete is constantly exposed to stressors that could negatively impact his health, including strenuous exercise and long-distance travel. But starting even before you purchase your next sport horse, you can start taking steps to ensure he has a long and healthy career. Read More

FACT SHEET: Feeding Performance Horses Optimal nutrition is essential for working horses to perform to their potential. All horses need a balanced daily ration consisting of six things: water, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. For performance horses, “energy” is widely considered the most important part of the diet. Learn about some key factors important to performance horse nutrition. Download Now

ARTICLE: Dental Health and the Performance Horse When searching for answers as to why an equine athlete's performance has suddenly declined, many owners and trainers will look for problems from head to toe. But one place they sometimes neglect to check is the horse's mouth, where many dental issues can cause a performance horse to work at a less than optimum level. Read More

FACT SHEET: Joint Structure and Function Musculoskeletal dysfunction is the leading cause of lameness and loss of function in athletic horses. Joints can become damaged in one of two main ways: abnormal forces acting on normal cartilage or normal forces acting on abnormal cartilage. Learn about the structure of horses' joints and how they work. Download Now

INFOGRAPHIC: Equine Joint Health Supplements Owners face a sometimes overwhelming number of options when it comes to supplementing horses for joint health. Learn about equine joint supplement ingredients, research, and what might help your horse in this easy-to-follow visual guide. View Now

ARTICLE: Creating a Sustainable Equine Athlete In a world where "sustainable" has become a million-dollar buzzword, some horse owners might be on the lookout for ways to create sustainable equine athletes. According to a British equitation scientist, if we pay attention to certain details--like good conformation, good footing, progressive training programs, well-rounded exercise programs, body condition, and subtle signs of lameness--we can help our horses enjoy longer sports careers. Read Now

ASK THE VET LIVE: Conditioning Horses How does your horse's body adapt to exercise, and how can you tailor your conditioning program to maximize his fitness and soundness? How do you know if he is (or isn't) ready for more work? Meg Sleeper, VMD, Dipl. ACVIM, and Todd Holbrook, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, answer listener questions in this hour-long archived event. Listen Now

ARTICLE: Nutritional Support for Injured Equine Athletes When a performance horse is injured, his show schedule or exercise regimen shouldn't be the only facets of his life that change. As one equine nutritionist explained at a recent symposium, an injured horse's diet can either help or hinder the healing process, and might need to be adjusted from his performance diet. Read Now

WEBCAST: Managing Joint Disease in the Sport Horse Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, PhD, DSc, FRCVS, Dipl. ACVS, describes how to manage joint disease in equine athletes in this archived webcast. Also, download the transcript of the live chat that took place during the event, when McIlwraith answered audience members' questions. Watch Now

ARTICLE: Optimizing the Care and Management of Your Equine Athlete

Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease. It reflects an environment of optimal conditions for normal function, one that encourages natural healing and minimizes the need for invasive treatment. Learn how to best manage some areas of your horse's health that will contribute to maintaining him in his best condition. Read Now

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