Heather Smith Thomas

Heather Smith Thomas ranches with her husband near Salmon, Idaho, raising cattle and a few horses. She has a B.A. in English and history from University of Puget Sound (1966). She has raised and trained horses for 50 years, and has been writing freelance articles and books nearly that long, publishing 20 books and more than 9,000 articles for horse and livestock publications. Some of her books include Understanding Equine Hoof Care, The Horse Conformation Handbook, Care and Management of Horses, Storey's Guide to Raising Horses and Storey's Guide to Training Horses. Besides having her own blog, www.heathersmiththomas.blogspot.com, she writes a biweekly blog at http://insidestorey.blogspot.com that comes out on Tuesdays.

Articles by Heather Thomas

Caring for Long Ears

Donkeys and mules have a reputation for being hardier than horses, but they require the same basic care. Read More

Deworming Young Horses

Work with your veterinarian to properly time treatment and avoid perpetuating drug-resistant parasites. Read More

Neonatal Isoerythrolysis in Foals

Prevention is key to avoiding neonatal isoerythrolysis, or destruction of a newborn foal's red blood cells. Read More

Genetics: What Does it All Mean?

Advances in the field of genetics are especially beneficial to those trying to understand equine disease. Read More

Artificial Insemination: What's New?

Precise timing and specialized tools are the mainstays of successful equine insemination. Read More

The State of the Equine Genome Sequence

The first equine genome was sequence was completed in 2007, but what is the state of that sequence in 2011? Read More

Diagnosing Gait Irregularities in Horses

To get to the bottom of subtle performance-limiting gait abnormalties, vets must consider every puzzle piece. Read More

Applying Pasture Analysis

Collecting an accurate pasture sample is only half the battle; interpreting the results and putting them to go Read More

The Aging Horse

We'll explore how the horse's body systems age and what to look out for in your equine senior citizen. Read More

Feeding to Prevent Colic

Horses are more prone to digestive upset than other domestic animals because of how their GI tract functions. Read More

Bad Horse Bugs

Horse owners and vets must use antimicrobials responsibly to help reduce bacterial drug resstance. Read More

Eco-Friendly Pest Control

Today, many horse owners are trying to find less potentially harmful ways to control vermin than pesticides. Read More

Mouth Injuries in Horses

Mouth injuries can happen in any horse, whether during elite competition or in our own stables and pastures. Read More

Postpartum Problems in Mares

Post-foaling problems caused by dystocia and other factors can be serious and immediate treatment is critical. Read More

The Hardy Horse

Our horses have several unique ways to stay comfortable in severe weather. Read More

Blood Test to Detect and Monitor Pregnancy in Mares

Veterinarians and breeders can now detect pregnancy in mares using an ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) test that detects estrogen molecules in a mare's blood sample and is cheaper and easier to perform than an ultrasound. Read More

Safe Teasing

Consider the surroundings, the method, the horse, and the handler when teasing a mare for breeding. Read More

Feeding the Estrous Cycle: Tailoring the Mare's Diet

Mares must have a well-balanced diet and healthy body condition to cycle properly, conceive, and carry a foal. Read More

Safe (Equine) Teasing

Teasing is essential to detect when a broodmare is in estrus, but it's no easy feat due to the size and power of the animals involved. Safety should be top priority--to avoid injury to horses and people. Read More

Eye Trauma in Horses

Eye injuries are fairly common in horses and can be serious, especially if neglected. They run the gamut from corneal injuries (e.g., superficial scratches, punctures, or a foreign body caught under an eyelid) to full-thickness eyelid lacerations to Read More

Shedding Light on Strangles in Horses

Strangles is caused by a bacterium that gains access to the body through the nose or throat. Some affected horses suffer breathing obstruction due to enlarged lymph nodes that narrow the air passages--hence, the name strangles. Read More

Multi-Species Grazing: Horses and Cows and Goats, Oh My!

A handful of horses graze in a pasture one week; a herd of goats mow down its bushes and weeds the next. This multi-species rotational grazing system has its advantages, but whether they outweigh the disadvantages will depend on your situation Read More

Ways to Wean Young Horses

Parting is such sweet sorrow. Weaning a foal can be painful or painless, depending on how you do it. Read More

Lameness: Getting to the Bottom of It

Pinpointing lameness in horses is crucial before proper treatment can be prescribed. There are several approaches to lameness examinations and diagnostic methods, which will be partly determined by the age of the horse and what it does for living. Read More

Pasture Sugars

Grass is grass, right? Wrong! That lovely green pasture you've diligently watered and kept weed-free can be like Jekyll and Hyde. If your horse is at risk for grass founder or has a low tolerance for high levels of sugar Read More