Conditioning Young Horses


Young horse with ataxia

March 17, 2007

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Symposium Panel Addresses Question of Keeping Star Horses in Training

December 06, 2006

The loss of star racehorses in training and the negative effect it has on the sport was a hot topic during a panel discussion Dec. 5 at the 33rd Symposium on Racing & Gaming in Tucson, Ariz.

A panel that included Eclipse Award-winnin... Read More


Bulking Up, Not Adding On

December 03, 2006

Although training might make your yearling look like a bodybuilder, that physique doesn't guarantee athletic prowess. Evolutionary factors--not early speed or exercise programs--determine the amount of fast-twitch muscle horses have as adults.... Read More


An Equine Athlete's Heart

September 14, 2006

Trainers, owners, and researchers have long pondered the effects of a large heart (one that is naturally occurring and not a result of disease), and have even attempted to use heart size as a predictor of athletic ability.... Read More


Interval Training: A Better Option?

May 01, 2006

Musculoskeletal injury is the main cause of wastage in Thoroughbred racehorses worldwide, with nearly 30% of all fractures being pelvic and tibial stress fractures. California studies in the late 1990s suggested fast work increased the risk of... Read More


Ponying for Exercise

June 01, 2005

Ponying is leading one horse from another. The pony horse is the one you are riding; the ponied horse is the one being led. Ponying is a good way to exercise a horse you don't have time to ride or one that can't be ridden. If you need to keep tw... Read More


Early Jump Training Unnecessary

May 03, 2005

Training young horses for jumping at six months of age is ineffective and unnecessary, according to a Dutch study published in the American Journal of Veterinary Research. The effect of specific jump training on young horses' jumping... Read More


Joint Cartilage Adaptation in Young Horses

April 22, 2005

It is widely believed that exercise and limb-loading in foals help joint cartilage functionally adapt to the rigors of athletic activity. In 2005, Dutch researchers set out to find out if they could verify the concept of functional adaptation of... Read More


AAEP 2004: Vets Discuss Pre-Purchase Exams

December 06, 2004

The Dec. 5 open forum discussion of pre-purchase exams at sales covered several topics critical to consignors, buyers, and veterinarians at the 50th anniversary meeting of the American Association of Equine Practitioners in Denver, Colo. A task... Read More


Too Much, Too Soon? Just Right?

October 01, 2003

I think we have seen over and over again that it is beneficial to stress the bones of a horse when they are most adaptive. This optimal adaptive period would seem to be when the horse is still in an active growth stage. We have all seen man... Read More


Steroid Effects on the Knees

October 01, 2003

During intensive training, young racehorses experience a thickening in the layers of bone under the cartilage of joints. These layers, called subchondral (located nearer the surface) and cancellous, become harder and better able to handle the... Read More


Training Young Athletes

October 01, 2003

It sounds completely backwards, the idea that you might actually increase health risks by postponing training and competition until a horse is four or older. It goes against the ages-old and widely held belief that you cause damage by initiating... Read More


Juvenile Bowed Tendons and Racing Prognosis

December 17, 2002

“Juvenile bowed tendons, or ‘baby bows,’ are not uncommon in yearlings and weanlings,” said Johanna Reimer, VMD, Dipl. ACVIM, Dipl. ACVC (cardiology), of the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., at the 2002 American Association of... Read More


Exercise and Bone Development

December 01, 2002

Beneath the smooth surface of articular cartilage, subchondral bone gives structural support to joints. Normally, newborn foals have a lot of water in this layer, which is slowly replaced by calcium and collagen as the foal weights his joints.... Read More


Turnout Time for Warmblood Foals

December 01, 2001

I am being told by "professionals" that warmblood foals should be turned out a limited amount of time. The "professionals" were a farrier (who shoes Olympic-quality horses) and a respected veterinarian. Their reasoning is that warmblood babies grow... Read More


Training Young Horses

September 18, 2001

Dr. E.E. Watson was a veterinarian of some repute for many years in the Midwest during the middle decades of the 20th Century. He not only treated racehorses, but he bred them, owned them, and trained them. One year in the late 1950s, he had a... Read More


Young Foal Exercise

June 01, 2001

 When do I start my foal on an exercise program? My champion show jumper just gave birth to a foal a couple of weeks ago, and I want to give him every advantage possible since I have plans for him to be m... Read More


Sales Prepping Yearlings

May 01, 2001

As spring moves into summer, the primary focus of activity on many breeding farms is preparation of yearlings for sale. There isn't much scientific research on exercising horses at that young age, yet many farms are using forced exercise to make... Read More


Yearling Radiographic Studies

February 01, 2001

Radiographs of a yearling’s legs offer a unique glance into the horse’s athletic future, according to Albert Kane, DVM, MPVM, PhD, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Biomedical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University... Read More


Young Horses in Training and Injury Risks

January 01, 2001

Everyone involved in the racing industry knows that one of the major problems in training horses is keeping them free from injury. Bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments are placed under considerable strain during training and racing,... Read More


Foal Exercise Influences Final Muscoloskeletal System

December 22, 2000

Keeping a foal in a stall around-the-clock might keep his coat shiny and his body free of nicks and bumps from roughhousing with peers in the pasture, but in the long run, that could cause him serious problems as an active adult. P. René van... Read More


Bone Formation With Exercise

June 01, 1999

Strong bones are essential if a horse is to perform successfully and still remain sound. ... Read More


Feeding Yearlings

May 01, 1998

Yearlings are a funny bunch. Gangly and half-grown they're at that gawky stage where hips are higher than withers and where legs seem all knobby knees and hocks. Sometimes it seems that designing a correct feeding program for them is almost as... Read More


DOD: Developmental Orthopedic Disorders

September 01, 1996

Ask six veterinarians what causes developmental orthopedic disorders in foals and you might get six different answers. According to Tina Kemper, DVM, there could very well be six causes, and possibly more. Kemper specializes in equine internal... Read More