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

Parasite Primer: Examining the Evidence

How do you really know if your worm control program is working? If your horses are looking good, are they doin Read More

Lameness Diagnostics

Quite often, the diagnostic tools and techniques at the disposal of your mobile veterinary service are all that are needed to solve the mystery. Some horse owners have been through this routine a time or two: Your vet will ask to see your horse Read More

Bots and Beyond: Little-Known Parasite Enemies

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

When it comes to parasites, worms aren't your horse's only worry. Although nematodes and cestodes (or more colloquially, roundworms and Read More

Strongyles: The Worst of the Worms

Ever since the battle against internal parasites began, researchers, veterinarians, and horse owners have recognized a common enemy--strongyles, sometimes called bloodworms (or, in the United Kingdom, redworms). The largest and most significant Read More

Ascarids: A Growing Problem

Editor's Note: This is part 3 in a 12-part series on internal parasites of horses.

In the world of internal parasites, ascarids get no respect. Unlike strongyles, they aren't a high-drama threat to your horse's health, and they Read More

Tapeworms: An Underrated Threat

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is part two of a 12-part series on internal parasites of horses.

Of all the types of internal parasites that plague our horses, the one that was long considered fairly inconsequential was the tapeworm--an Read More

Bad Bug Basics (Parasite Primer Part 1)

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is part one of a 12-part series on internal parasites of horses.

It seems that every year, major equine publications take on a virtually impossible task. They publish an omnibus article on equine Read More

The Art of R&R

It has taken months of preparation for this moment. You've done the roadwork, marched your horse up and down hills, put in miles on the training track, added the speed and agility sessions, plugged in that heart rate monitor, and assessed your Read More

Ringbone and Sidebone

Ringbone and sidebone are two closely related orthopedic problems of the lower limbs common in working horses. Read More

Exercise and Ulcers: Is it the Norm?

University of Florida (UF) research has shown that any exercise above a walk could force acidic gastric juices up into sensitive areas of the equine stomach, which could be why ulcers develop or worsen in horses in training (affecting more than Read More

Horses At Risk For Ulcers

Horses moving faster than a walk could be at greater risk of developing gastric ulcers. Alfred Merritt, DVM, MS, and Mireia Lorenzo-Figueras, DVM, recently discovered that changes in gastric tension during intense exercise can push acidic stomac Read More

No Live Foal Guarantees

Subconsciously, you've been holding your breath for months. From the moment your mare was confirmed in foal, it's been a tense waiting game. And although she will be foaling soon, you know a healthy foal is still anything but a given. Between Read More

Malicious Mycotoxins

Leave your saddle sitting in a corner of your tack room after you and your horse are caught in a rainstorm, and you'll get an eye-opening look into the world of fungi and molds. Within days, your leather tack will have sprouted a patchy coat of Read More

Forever Foundered?

Is there a way to return a foundered horse to a useful, productive life, and to successfully manage his discomfort and all the associated fallout from laminitis? Read More

Can Garlic Help Your Horse Fight Disease?

Garlic has been touted to have many health-related properties, from boosting your horse's immune system to repelling bugs just by the garlic odor in his sweat. In a recent study completed at the Equine Research Centre in Guelph, Ontario, a garli Read More

The Science Behind Herbs

Science is beginning to catch up with traditional uses of "holistic" medicine, and it is important to understand the reasons and risks behind using herbal products. The third annual Nutraceutical Alliance (NA) conference was held May 10-11, 2002 Read More

MSM and Inflammation

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), a white, tasteless crystalline powder, is already a favored supplement in the horse industry. Years before any scientific evidence supported its use, it had earned a reputation for helping alleviate many of the Read More

Designing Your Horse's Home

When I was a teenager, I took a tour of the Royal Mews in London, England. I had imagined a staggeringly opulent setting for Queen Elizabeth's horses, and I wasn't disappointed--the carriage house alone was worth the price of admission, and the Read More

Collapsible Cross-Country Fences to be Tried in Britain

In the wake of several fatal injuries to international-level three-day event competitors in 1999 and 2000, cross-country course designers began working to come up with safer fence designs, including fences which "give" on impact. Over the past Read More

Can You Influence Hoof Growth?

We ask an awful lot of an animal who walks on his middle toenails. Humans have recognized for centuries that the foundation of a horse's soundness lies in his hooves--"No foot, no horse" is about as basic a principle as there is. It all comes Read More

Water Contamination

Any treatise you've ever read on caring for horses probably includes the line, "Provide access to plenty of fresh, clean water." Although we all understand that this is good advice--all living things need this simple, essential liquid--we don't Read More

Some To Grow On

The studies have been done, the jury is in, and the verdict is unanimous: if you want your foals to achieve their optimum growth, with the least risk of developmental orthopedic disorders like contracted tendons and physitis, plan to "creep feed" Read More

Nutraceutical Alliance Symposium

The second annual Nutraceutical Alliance Symposium, hosted by the Equine Research Centre (ERC) in Guelph, Ontario, on March 23-24, brought together leaders in the fields of nutraceutical research and manufacturing. Symposium organizer Wendy Read More

Non-Toxic Linseed

Horse owners wanting to take advantage of flaxseed's omega-3 content can rest easy. Flaxseed, or linseed, has a reputation as a toxic substance to horses when fed uncooked--earned because the seeds contain a small amount of cyanogenetic Read More

Ovuplant: Improving the Odds

If you're a breeder, frankly, it pays to be in the livestock business. Cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs all make life easy for those trying to produce young stock--they are all "facultative-induced ovulators," meaning that matings early in their Read More