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

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

How to Read a Feed Label

How long has it been since you really looked at the content of your horse's concentrate feed? If you're like many of us, you probably stand in line at the feed store, ask for "three bags of the 12%," heave the feed into the back of your truck, Read More

Botulism

With foaling season upon us, vaccination for botulism is one of many management considerations facing North American horse breeders. This disease can be deadly in foals, and in adult horses which are unprotected, and it can be tremendously Read More

Bioabsorbable Screws

A unique type of bone screw made of a most unlikely material is making waves in equine fracture repair at the Equine Research Centre in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. The results indicate that the screws also could have important applications in human Read More

Grains of Glory

It's five p.m., and up and down the aisle of a large boarding stable, the nickering and rumbling begin. What's the cause of the excitement? Nothing more than a metal scoop digging into a bin of grain, a sound that tips off every equine resident Read More

Combined Immunodefiency in Arabians

A newborn Arabian foal is possibly one of the most beguiling creatures on Earth. Elegant of feature and blessed with beauty, he's full of promise for the future--and often descended of royal blood and worth many thousands of dollars. Imagine how Read More

Restraint Techniques for Breeding

When a mare and a stallion meet, love might be in the air...but there's the potential for danger, too. Particularly when humans get in the middle of it all. In our efforts to orchestrate the best possible combinations of Read More

Freezing Semen

The technology that allows us to freeze a stallion's semen for future use has opened up a world of opportunities. Not only does it allow the stallion's DNA to be available to mare owners around the globe, but it enables a stallion to stand at stud wh Read More

Probiotics and Digestive Aids: Microbes to the Rescue

While the horse receives the bulk of the nutrients as his food is broken down, he's not the only one who benefits; the microbes take their share and thus maintain their populations. Their presence is essential to the horse, who could not digest fiber Read More

Housing Your Horse

In the back of your mind somewhere there lurks a Dream Barn. Go on, admit it. You've planned it down to the last luxurious detail--from the Olympic-sized riding arena (with the climate-impervious perfect footing) right down to the automatic fly Read More

Amazing Minerals

Of all the ingredients of a horse's diet, minerals are unique. They contain no carbon, which makes them inorganic molecules. In fact, essentially, they’re rocks--and it can be difficult to imagine their being digested by a horse. But minerals are a Read More

Trauma-Free Trailering

If you feel insecure about assessing your trailer's safety, it's best to take it to your local trailer repair center for a complete going-over, but there are a few simple things you can do at home to give your mechanic a head start. Read More

Breeding Facilities

Any way you look at it, building a barn is a major undertaking. Doing it right the first time, to avoid headaches later, is the smart approach. In addition to the usual considerations of location, aesthetics, cost, and Read More

Tending To A Tender Foot

Although the equine hoof is a marvel of resiliency, it's not made of rubber, or titanium, or diamond. As a living structure, it has its vulnerabilities, and when faced with unusual stresses, it shows them. Stone bruises, those Read More

Solitary Confinement

There are few things sadder than a horse not in contact with other horses. A herd animal by nature, the horse always feels safest and most content when in company of others of his kind; isolation doesn’t come naturally to him. But in certain Read More

Soil and Water Testing

As you push your shopping cart down the aisle at the supermarket, it's likely become routine for you to do a quick scan of the nutritional analysis printed on the side of every cereal box and container of yogurt you select. Instantly, you know how Read More

Hemp A Hit In Ontario

Proponents say that hemp can be used for everything  from making clothing, to rope, to paper…even automotive parts. Now, a Delaware, Ontario-based Read More

Heavy Metal: Farm Tractors

Keeping horses on your property? Then you don’t need me to tell you how much work there always is to do. In addition to all the actual horse care, there are endless weeds to whack, riding rings or tracks to be harrowed, bales of hay to be moved fro Read More

Safe And Secure Fencing

Sandra had installed her fencing in good faith, on the advice of "experts" - yet in only weeks, one of her horses had been seriously injured. Would another kind of barrier have been any safer? It seems everyone's got at least one fencing horror story Read More

Genetically Altered Feeds: Modified Munchies

Since their introduction on a commercial level in 1995, genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, have become widely incorporated in livestock feeds. It's estimated that some 80% of the genetically modified corn produced in the United States is used Read More

Dietary Needs: Striking a Balance

You can't watch TV for more than half an hour these days without viewing at least one ad preaching the virtues of a balanced diet. Public service announcements emphasize the value of getting enough servings of fruits and vegetables. Cereal Read More

Fly Protection Uncovered

These days, we have quite an arsenal at our disposal to attack and repel flies. From electric bug zappers, to pheromone traps, to parasitic wasps that feed on fly pupae, we've explored all sorts of ways and means of getting rid of flying insects. Read More

Echinacea Proven Effective In Horses

The Equine Research Centre (ERC) in Guelph, Ontario, in the past year has undertaken an exhaustive series of studies on the safety and efficacy of herbal supplements for horses. Many of these studies are the first quantifiable, species-specific Read More

Extruded Feeds

The first time you saw extruded feed, you probably thought, "Ick. Dog food!" The nondescript brown lumps do look a lot like your hound's kibble, or some sort of uninspired version of Cocoa Puffs, and in fact they're made by the same process--but Read More

Secrets Of Rubber Mats

Where would we be without rubber? Make all the jokes you want; rubber's indispensable stuff, especially in the barn. The tire on your wheelbarrow, the handle grip on your longe whip, your two-year-old's first snaffle bit, that flexible curry Read More