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

Living on the Edge

Keeping equids in a "backyard horse" situation, subdivision, or small acreage presents a different set of challenges than keeping horses on a large farm or ranch. In urban/suburban settings, some of the important considerations include zoning, Read More

Hereditary Disease Research Into HERDA

If we have any doubt about a horse with lesions that look like HERDA (also called HC), we can test to see if that animal does have this disease. Usually it's easy to diagnose, once you've seen a few. Read More

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Healing Under Pressure

HBOT is one of the most powerful tools available as an adjunctive form of therapy, and in some cases it works well as the primary therapy in horses, says Casner. Colic and laminitis are the number one and two killers, respectively, of horses Read More

The Role of Antioxidants

Oxidation is a process the body uses for normal energy production and immune function. This is part of the process that enables the body to transform nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy. During oxidation (the "burning Read More

Suspensory Ligament Injuries: Mending With Marrow

"Our hypotheses were that horses with suspensory ligament desmitis, treated with bone marrow components from their own body, would hopefully return to soundness more rapidly than horses with conventional treatments, and have a lower rate of recurrenc Read More

Insuring Good Health

In today's world, there are many types of insurance that can protect us and our horses in the event of the ravages of disease, the pocket-emptying crisis of colic, and the finality of catastrophic injury and euthanasia. Equine insurance today Read More

Feeding Horses in Group Settings: Managing the Mob

When feeding horses at pasture or in large paddocks, it can often be a challenge to make sure each horse gets his share of the feed, while reducing waste and feed contamination. Management is the key to successfully feeding horses in a group setting, Read More

Equipping the Barn

Whether you have a large barn or a small one, an inexpensive pre-fab building or an elaborate construction, you can equip it to make it more "user-friendly" for you and your horses. At the very least, your barn should provide safe shelter during Read More

New Treatment for Endotoxemia

Michelle Henry Barton, DVM, PhD, of the University of Georgia, recently completed a project on treating endotoxemia with polymyxin B (PMB), an alternative to endotoxin antibody products. The drug PMB kills many Gram-negative bacteria and also Read More

Marbles Keep Mares Out of Heat

Mares in performance careers are sometimes a frustration to their trainers and riders because during estrus, they can have difficulty concentrating on their work or have "behavioral problems." Many horse owners resort to hormone therapy to keep Read More

Tis the Season for Giving

There are many charitable organizations and foundations that help horses or are involved in horse-related programs. These range from rescue groups (relocating neglected or abused animals or saving them from slaughter) to foundations that fund Read More

New Surgical Treatment for Suspensory Injury

Suspensory injuries are common in athletic horses. The suspensory ligament extends down the back of the lower leg from the knee or the hock and lies between the flexor tendons and the cannon bone. There are a number of treatments for injured Read More

The Body's Building Blocks

Like a structure made of tinker toys, protein is composed of smaller pieces--the amino acids. These can be rearranged to form the different types of protein-based tissues in the body. Protein is one of the basic nutrient elements of the equine Read More

IV Complications

Any horse with an indwelling IV catheter should be monitored closely for the swelling and/or thick, rope-like consistency of a vein with thrombosis or thrombophlebitis. Catching any vein problem early and treating it minimizes the risk of serious pro Read More

Mysterious Eye Inflammation Traced to Plant Burrs

Fall and winter sometimes bring unexplained eye problems in horses and cattle, with irritation and inflammation, or corneal ulcers. Some of the horses examined at these college clinics over the past several years had microscopic barbed "slivers" Read More

Electrolytes and Endurance Horses

Not all horses are alike in their needs for electrolyte replacement after strenuous exertion. Some deplete the Read More