Karen Briggs

Karen Briggs is the author of six books, including the recently updated Understanding Equine Nutrition as well as Understanding The Pony, both published by Eclipse Press. She's written a few thousand articles on subjects ranging from guttural pouch infections to how to compost your manure. She is also a Canadian certified riding coach, an equine nutritionist, and works in media relations for the harness racing industry. She lives with her band of off-the-track Thoroughbreds on a farm near Guelph, Ontario, and dabbles in eventing.

Articles by Karen Briggs

Skin Deep

Your horse's skin is a huge and complex organ that serves as a barometer for his inner health.

We tend to think of a horse's skin as just the envelope that contains all the important stuff. But the skin is an organ--the Read More

Drug Protocol Turns Rescued Mares into Nurse Mares

A medication protocol that can induce lactation in "open" mares has changed the way prominent Kentucky Standardbred nursery, Walnut Hall Ltd., manages its nurse mare herd, while giving more than 20 rescued mares a new

Walnut Hall's vet, Joe Read More

USDA Ordered to Release NAIS Data

Agricultural journalist Mary-Louise Zanoni has succeeded in keeping the USDA from applying Privacy Act safeguards to information it has collected from livestock owners as part of the Read More

Vitamin Function (Book Excerpt)

Here's a primer on the function of each of the vitamins important to the horse, beginning with the fat-soluble vitamins. Read More

Industry Debates Animal Identification System's Impact on Horses

Despite considerable opposition from groups who say the program is unworkable or an invasion of privacy, the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) is making inexorable inroads into the lives of horse owners.

Jim Morehead, DVM, Read More

Animal Relief En Route to Myanmar

After weeks of resistance from the military regime which governs Myanmar (a country in southeast Asia formerly known as Burma), animal welfare workers from the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) finally have been given permission to Read More

Insurance: Not Sexy, But Essential

Insurance: It's not sexy. No one wants to think about it. Heck, I wasn't all that keen to write about it. But when something happens, aren't we glad we have it? Let's face the ugly truth. In today's litigious society, insurance is a must. While we Read More

Fats in Your Horse's Diet (Book Excerpt)

Studies have shown that as much as 20% overall fat in the diet is well tolerated by horses, with no ill effects noted. Indeed, fat might well be easier for horses to digest than carbohydrates. Read More

Vitamins for Your Horse

Horses can become vitamin-deficient, and these deficiencies can have devastating effects on their normal functions, but equally dangerous are toxicities from an overdose--a real possibility with some (but not all) of the vitamins. Read More

Therapeutic Equipment

Before you invest in a therapeutic modality, look not just for testimonials and anecdotal reports, but for hard scientific proof and comparable applications in human medicine. Before using any type of modality on your horse, be sure to discuss Read More

Product Spotlight: Equine Vacations

A full-color catalogue of exotic destinations where you can gallop a horse through the surf, trot through fields of lavender, or Paso up a mountainside to catch your first glimpse of Macchu Pichu...it's fantasy-inducing. There's virtually no horse Read More

Toronto Police Horse Killed On Duty

The city of Toronto is mourning the death of 9-year-old "Brigadier," a member of the Metro Police Mounted Unit. The horse had both front legs broken in what is being described as the deliberate impact of a minivan on Friday, Feb. 24. Read More

Citizens Push for "Brigadier's Law"

A deliberate hit-and-run incident that resulted in the death of a Metro Toronto police horse on Feb. 24 has galvanized Canadians to amend the Criminal Code to better protect law enforcement service animals.

After attending Brigadier's Read More

Memorial Service for Police Horse Touches Toronto

More than 1,500 people honored the memory of Brigadier, an equine member of the Metro Toronto Police mounted unit who was tragically killed in the line of duty, by attending a special memorial service in downtown Toronto on Monday, March Read More

Toronto Police Horse Killed On Duty

The city of Toronto is mourning the death of 9-year-old "Brigadier," a member of the Metro Police Mounted Unit. The horse had both front legs broken in what is being described as the deliberate impact of a minivan on Friday, Feb. 24.  Read More

The Ever-Present Threat

Editor's Note: This is the fourth in a 12-part series of articles on vaccinations for horses.

West Nile virus (WNV) might be the new kid on the block, the one gaining all the media attention, but unfortunately, it is not the only Read More

Hoof Boots: Protection Without Permanence

We all need protection from the elements. That goes for your horse's hooves as well. Millennia ago, when humans first vaulted aboard equine backs and guided them over terrain they probably would not otherwise have traversed, the value of Read More

West Nile Virus: Threat and Response

Editor's Note: This is the third in a 12-part series of articles on vaccinations for horses.

For a graphic demonstration of the value of vaccination, look no further than West Nile virus (WNV). When it roared onto the Eastern shore Read More

Vaccination Essentials: Rabies, Tetanus, and Botulism

Editor's Note: This is the second in a 12-part series of articles on vaccinations for horses.

Ask veterinarians anywhere in North America and they'll likely agree: If you vaccinate for nothing else, at the very least vaccinate Read More

Defending Against Disease

Editor's Note: This is the first installment in a 12-part series of articles on vaccinations of horses.

Of all the medical advances in the past couple of centuries, the one that might be the most remarkable is also the one Read More

Parasite Control Programs for Mature Horses

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the final installment in a 12-part series on internal parasites of horses.

In last month's article, we discussed certain parasites that are found almost exclusively in horses less than two years of Read More

With Every Fiber of Their Being

With the recent Athens Olympics as our inspiration, we might all be pondering what it takes to go "faster, higher, and stronger." Whether you're a human, a hamster, or a horse, the answer, at least in part, is muscle fibers--each of which holds Read More

New Equine Performance Centre

The University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, has unveiled plans to build a new multi-million-dollar Equine Performance Centre for diagnosing and treating problems in performance horses. The facility is Read More

Age-Related Parasites: Scourges of Foals and Young Horses

Editor's Note: This is part eleven of a 12-part series on internal parasites of horses.

BY KAREN BRIGGS, WITH CRAIG REINEMEYER, DVM, PHD; DENNIS FRENCH, DVM, MS, DIPL. ABVP; AND RAY KAPLAN, DVM, PHD Read More

EPO Testing Making a Difference at the Track

One of the most potentially damaging drugs to hit the racetrack in recent years is erythropoietin, or EPO. A synthetic version of a naturally-occurring hormone which stimulates the bone marrow to make more red blood cells, EPO was designed to Read More