Ray Geor, BVSc, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM

Ray Geor, BVSc, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, is professor and chairperson of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University

Articles by Ray Geor

Feeding Horses: Art, Science, or Both?

When feeding horses, two seemingly opposing aspects hold true: It's a little bit of art, and a little bit of science. On one hand, tradition reigns supreme when it comes to horse feeding. Many techniques have been passed down from generation to Read More

Feeding Yearlings: Preparing for the Sale

As the breeding season winds down and spring becomes summer, the primary focus on breeding farms is preparation of yearlings for the sales. The stakes are clearly high as vast sums of money are on the line--rightly or wrongly, the overall Read More

When to Feed Your Athlete

What is the best feeding practice for horses before competition exercise or a hard training session? There is no real consensus on this issue and, similar to the field of human performance nutrition, there are many opinions on what is best. Some Read More

Pasture Grass: The Healthy Choice

Few nutritionists will dispute that grass is the most natural feedstuff for horses. The horse's digestive tract is well designed for continuous or "trickle" delivery of pasture forage. As well, it seems intuitive that the opportunity for Read More

Gimmick or Good Groceries?

A popular ingredient to increase energy density is sugar beet pulp, a by-product of the sugar beet industry. Read More

Is Dietary Fat Really Healthy?

Marketing claims regarding the virtues of fat in equine diets are plentiful. Statements such as "Added dietary fat for improved performance," "Increased stamina," "Calm energy," or "Improved coat and hoof condition" abound. Indeed, at times it i Read More

Feed for Speed

Few dispute that nutrition is important for athletic performance in racehorses. However, I'd wager that there is much less agreement among horse owners, nutritionists, and veterinarians when asked to expound upon the "nitty gritty" of what works Read More

Diagnosing Breathing Problems

Many of you are familiar with the respiratory condition known as "heaves," also termed recurrent airway obstruction (RAO). Primarily caused by chronic exposure to dusts and molds in hay and bedding, heaves can cripple the function of a horse's Read More

Putting Weight on Hard Keepers

Is your horse a "hard keeper?" If so, you are well aware of how difficult it is to maintain adequate or desirable body condition in this type of horse. The reality is that no two horses are the same when it comes to the amount of feed (and numbe Read More

Racing Toward Injury

There seems to be little doubt that musculoskeletal injury--including injury to bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments--is a major problem for Thoroughbred racehorses. This impression has been borne out by studies of "wastage" in the racing Read More

Carbohydrates for Energy

In human nutrition, carbohydrates or "carbs" have a bit of a bad name these days. A quick trip through the local book store or over the Internet leads us to believe that dietary carbohydrates are the source of all evil. When weight loss is the Read More

Are Your Horse's Bones Tough Enough?

Skeletal injuries--those involving bones and joints--are a major concern for all athletic horses. The usual outcome of these injuries is a lameness problem that hampers a horse's training and competition program or, in some cases, is so severe Read More

Recharge Your Horse's Batteries

For horses engaged in regular conditioning and competition, an important consideration for overall health and fitness is the speed of recovery following hard workouts and competition exercise. A bout of exercise burns body fuel, results in loss Read More

Investigating Poor Performance

For a horse to perform well as an athlete, all body systems must be in good working order. When one or more systems "breaks down," the horse is no longer able to perform up to his potential, and the owner, rider, and trainer will likely notice a Read More

Is Your Horse Fit for the Task?

Regardless of whether your horse is used for high-level competition or weekend trail riding, it's important that he be fit for the task. "Fitness" is a rather vague expression, but in general terms it can be defined as the ability to complete th Read More

Priming Equine Energy Systems

 Last month, this column covered some of  the basics in developing a physical conditioning program (see "Getting Your Horse in Shape" in the February 2002 issue of The Horse, article Quick Find #3263 at www.TheHorse.com). The Read More

Getting Your Horse in Shape

As spring approaches, visions of green grass, budding trees, and active wildlife might seem just around the corner for some. But for many of us, spring is but a dream, for we must endure a few more weeks of cold, snow, and ice-covered terrain. Read More

Does Feeding Affect Behavior?

Next time you visit your local feed and tack store, peruse the horse supplement section. Chances are you will find at least one that claims to have a "calming" effect on horses. Whether or not these supplements live up to these claims is Read More

Matching Diet to Activity Level

When it comes to extracting the maximum effort out of your performance horse, there is no doubting the importance of a sound feeding program. He needs a balanced diet to replenish fuel reserves, repair tissue, and provide a foundation for Read More

How Does Your Horse Score?

Keeping a close eye on your horse's body condition and weight is perhaps the best way to gauge the effectiveness of a feeding program. We all want our horses to be in tip-top shape, well-muscled, and neither too fat nor too thin. The problem? Read More

EIPH: Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage

Perhaps the most widely recognized of all disorders affecting racehorses is "bleeding," or exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH). We now know that most racehorses bleed at some time during their careers. In fact, many horses might bleed Read More

NSAIDs: Pain Relief or Pain in the Gut?

Most of us have used these drugs in our horses at one time or another and have some appreciation of their benefits. And there is no doubt that many of the NSAIDs are invaluable in the treatment of many of the ailments that can plague the athletic hor Read More

Lower Airway Disease

Coughing, one of the most common signs of respiratory disease, can occur in response to irritation from viruses, bacteria, or inhaled environmental dusts and allergens. However, most veterinarians and researchers will agree that irritation from Read More

Spleen Problems

I heard that a horse's spleen is unique, but my friend said horses don't have a spleen. What's the truth? Read More

Feeding the Endurance Horse

The nutritional needs of the endurance horse are somewhat unique compared to horses used for other athletic disciplines. The metabolic demands of endurance racing (including competitive trail riding and ride and tie events) are high, requiring Read More