Les Sellnow

Les Sellnow is a free-lance writer based near Riverton, Wyo. He specializes in articles on equine research, and operates a ranch where he raises horses and livestock. He has authored several fiction and non-fiction books, including Understanding Equine Lameness and Understanding The Young Horse, published by Eclipse Press and available at www.exclusivelyequine.com or by calling 800/582-5604.

Articles by Les Sellnow

Anatomy and Physiology Part 5: The Equine Foot

The equine lexicon is filled with clichés about the equine foot. Most horse owners have heard them all. "No foot, no horse...The foot is the horse's foundation...For want of a shoe..." The list goes on. Without sound feet, a horse can't move Read More

The Perfect Engine

Much has already been stated in this series about the special concerns involving front limb soundness in the horse since 60-65% of the animal's weight is carried in the front end. This does not mean that there are no concerns involving the Read More

More Than Skin Deep?

It was two years ago--in April of 2004--that this magazine published the announcement that the Poco Bueno Quarter Horse sire line had been identified as carrying the recessive gene that causes hyperelastosis cutis (HC, also known as hereditary Read More

Tying and Hobbling Horses (Book Excerpt)

Whether on a pack trip into the mountains or on a weekend trail ride during which you return to your trailer at night, it is important that your trail horse has been taught to stand quietly when tied, hobbled, or tethered by one foot to a picket pin. Read More

On the Forehand

The foreleg of the horse is, for the most part, a model of good engineering. It is structured in such a fashion that the horse can move slowly or at speed with the concussion of each footfall minimized by a sophisticated shock absorbing system. Read More

Acclimating Competition Horses

It becomes obvious that acclimating to a new environment is a challenge for the competing horse, involving everything from wellness and altitude to circadian rhythms involving time zones. It also becomes obvious, based on research, that there is no Read More

Hollywood Horses

Horses have been an integral part of movies since The Great Train Robbery debuted in 1903 as a silent film. That pioneer production opened the floodgates for the western movie, and horses began galloping across the screen in waves until the late Read More

Feel the Beat

It's a thrilling moment for spectator and exhibitor alike on a steamy August night in Freedom Hall, Louisville, Ky. The place is filled wall-to-wall with spectators. Some are in elevated private suites surrounding the arena floor. Many are Read More

Horses and Wild Animals

Throughout their existence, horses have been prey animals. Predators have been pursuing and feasting on them for eons, and they continue doing so today, despite the fact that domestication of the horse and the spread of civilization in general Read More

Synovial Joints and How They Work

First we'll look at how the horse's synovial joints are constructed, then we'll outline where they are located, the functions they serve, and some of the problems that can develop. Read More

Bedding Shopping

There was a time when bedding for horse stalls received little attention or discussion, especially in the agricultural Midwest. When horses provided the power for planting and harvesting crops, almost every farm had a field of oats. The oat Read More

Book Excerpt: Planning and Preparing for the Big Adventure

Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from Happy Trails by Les Sellnow. This book is available from Read More

The Cost of Putting a Foal on the Ground

If you are new to the breeding business, you will soon realize that putting a foal on the ground can be an expensive proposition. Breeding can be as simple as turning a stallion in with a group of mares, or it can be as sophisticated as importin Read More

Veterinary Equipment

As research involving veterinary equipment results in more and more sophistication, both veterinarians and horse owners face something of a dilemma. For the veterinarian, the question involves how much a practice can afford to invest in the latest Read More

AAEP For Education

This year's annual meeting of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) in Seattle, Wash., offers a myriad of educational opportunities for veterinarians and horse owners, and has a trade show that features new products and service Read More

Tweaking Tails

There is bucolic tranquility in the sight of two horses dozing in the sun, side by side, nose to tail, with their tails rhythmically swishing as they leisurely work at keeping flies off their bodies. That is the basic purpose of the equine tail Read More

Improving Travel Conditions

While there have been many changes in the equine world in the past several decades, no change has been more dramatic than that experienced by horse transportation. The change, literally, has been from hooves and rails to wheels and wings. While Read More

At What Age to Shoe?

Questions involving the ifs and whens to shoe horses have been debated for years. There are those who will argue that a horse's foot should not have metal attached via nails under any circumstances, while others will opt for shoeing certain horses Read More

Conditioning the Competitive Trail Horse

Those of us who have trail ridden and packed into the mountains are very apt to proffer this advice to the beginner or novice who wants to do likewise: Don't take the mountains lightly, because they can be unforgiving. Know what you are doing an Read More

Therapeutic Options

Not long ago, veterinarians generally considered most forms of alternative medicine to be a "smoke and mirrors" approach to treating horses. Today, many veterinarians are embracing at least two forms of alternative medicine--acupuncture and Read More

Spiders: Insect Invaders

Spider venom's prime function is to paralyze insect prey so the spider can dine on them. Read More

Stone Bruises

Though a seemingly innocuous injury, a stone bruise can result in a horse's demise if left untreated. Read More

Treadmills for Diagnosing Lameness

Through the years, the treadmill has been a valuable asset in diagnosing various respiratory problems and complications in athletic horses, especially those involving the larynx and upper airways. Now another dimension has been added--the evaluation Read More

Trail Riding: Teaching Water Crossing

Remember that abuse is never the answer. The proper approach is firm, unrelenting but gentle pressure until the horse decides he at least has to try crossing the troublesome obstacle to regain a comfort zone. Read More

Horses and Fire

Fire can be both friend and foe in nature. While fire can do extensive damage to the environment, the damage is often short-lived and the long-term benefits outweigh short-term problems as new vegetation springs forth to populate the landscape. Read More