Christa Lesté-Lasserre

Researchers Developing Equine Sweet Itch Test

Your horse is itchy. You find patches of missing hair on his sides and shoulders. There are gaps in his mane, holes in his tail. Sweet itch? It could be. But then again, maybe not. Belgian researchers say the only way to be sure that your horse is affected by sweet itch is to evaluate him using a confirmed diagnostic test for the disease.

Genetics Behind Horses' Face and Leg Markings Studied

Depending on the breed and breeder, white markings on horses might be something to strive for or against. Swiss and Australian researchers have recently tuned into the genetics of white leg and face markings, and they've learned that these features are the result of complex genetic processes—but not too complex for modern science.

Researchers Study Racehorses' Bone Fatigue Life

When you buy a new horse trailer, chances are you'll also get lots technical information about the “fatigue life” of mechanical parts like the shocks or the clamp to close the hitch. That fatigue life refers to how long these parts can be used—opening and closing, absorbing shock, clamping, or whatever they do—before they break.

Researchers Review Equine Multinodular Pulmonary Fibrosis

Since it was first identified in 2007, deadly equine multinodular pulmonary fibrosis (EMPF) has been reported in numerous horses across North America and Europe. While still considered a rare disease, EMPF appears to be related to a very common one—equine herpesvirus (EHV)—and early treatment appears to be the main hope for survival.

What are Third Trochanter Fractures in Horses?

Ever heard of the horse's third trochanter? It's a part of a bone, and guess what: It can break. While not common, third trochanter fractures can cause almost instant, severe hind limb lameness that can be difficult to diagnose. But the news isn't all bad: French researchers say these fractures probably won’t end a horse's athletic c...

Researchers Evaluate Equine Hematology Parameters

Italian researchers believe that a wide number of “healthy” variables—such as breed and geographic location—might impact horses' blood test results. And with the current textbook reference hematology values being based on the Thoroughbred horse in the United Kingdom, the team believes it might be time to develop new reference v...

Does Feeding Hay Before Grain Reduce Cribbing?

Which comes first, the grain or the hay? You might love rewarding that excited nickering with a bucket full of sweet feed, followed by hay for hours of chewing pleasure. But according to recent research, if you’ve got a cribber, you’re probably better off doing the opposite.

Study: Young Horses Can't Read Subtle Human Body Cues

Four years ago, The Horse reported on research showing that horses are capable of reading subtle human body cues. Today, those researchers are back to tell us that although adult horses have this capacity, young horses do not. And this, they say, fails to support the theory that such a skill is innate in this species.

Honey for Treating Horse Wounds

Scottish researchers have some sweet news in the field of equine wound healing: Honey’s all the buzz in natural wound remedies, and according to recent research, it works with horses, too. Better yet, it’s not just the tried-and-true manuka honey that works, but a wide variety of honeys from different parts of the world.

Equine Osteochondrosis Terminology Revamped

If you’ve ever been confused by the differences between osteochondrosis and osteochondritis dissecans, or wondered whether these are the same as developmental orthopedic disease (DOD) or just examples of it, you’re not alone. For decades, diseases of the bones, joints, and cartilage in young horses have sparked many word-slinging debates among...

Study Confirms Horses Respond to Negative Reinforcement

If we train our horses correctly, we should sense that they get “lighter” as training progresses. In other words, we should be able to execute cues with less force and get the same result. But until now, measuring that “lightness” has always just been a matter of “feeling,” so to speak: Danish researchers have put the s...

Osteochondrosis Field Evaluation Protocol Developed

It's common knowledge that osteochondrosis—a developmental orthopedic disease that results from a disruption in the growth of articular cartilage located in specific joints—can cause problems for young horses, but how common is it? How are different breeds affected? Where are the most common lesion sites? And, of course, what’s the m...

Study: Broodmares on Pasture Don't Always Need Grain

Horse owners are continually looking for ways to reduce feed costs without disturbing their horses' health, and a group of French equine nutritionists have some good news in this department: According to recent study results, lactating saddle horse mares on good quality pasture didn’t need to be fed grain to maintain their weight or their foals&...

Management's Impact on Osteochondral Lesion Development

Do you bed your young horses down in stalls in the winter? How smooth and flat are your pastures? When you’re trying to raise good bones and joints, these questions are worth considering. Because, according to French researchers, how you manage your young stock can have a direct effect on how osteochondral lesions evolve—for better or for worse.

Researchers Develop Subjective Equine Personality Test

It's common knowledge that horses' individual personalities play a role in how they behave. Scientists have even developed various equine personality tests—most of which use objective criteria in a scoring system—to determine personality type. But researchers have recently developed a new subjective personality test designed to help us...

Consider Trotting Speed when Diagnosing Subtle Lameness

Most horse owners are familiar with a typical lameness exam: The veterinarian observes the horse trotting briskly in a straight line, watching for signs of uneven movement. But if the patient is harboring a mild lameness, that brisk trot could be masking clinical signs, according to British researchers, whose recent study results indicate that evaluating ...

Researchers Review Equine Sarcoidosis Cases

While still rare, equine sarcoidosis—not to be confused with sarcoid tumors, an unrelated skin condition—can appear in even the healthiest of horses. But don’t be too quick to treat sarcoidosis-associated hair loss, scaly and flaking skin, and crusting with creams, ointments, and lotions. According to Dutch researchers, it’s better...

Researchers Developing Equine Welfare Assessment Protocol

Do you know how to recognize equine welfare issues? While some signs of poor welfare are obvious, others are more subtle and possibly evident right in your own stable. According to Swedish researchers, there's a great need for research-based welfare assessments that take the guesswork out of judging equine well-being. And they've been busy develop...

Study Evaluates Cribbers' Sleeping Habits

Is worrying about your horse's cribbing habit keeping you up at night? It turns out that cribbing might keep your horse up at night, too. New research has revealed that the stereotypy could be related to a lack of certain kinds of sleep. Specifically, British researchers say, horses that crib spend less time in "standing sleep" mode than hor...

Advances and Challenges in Equitation Science Technology

Twenty-first century technology brings us into the once-science fiction world described by fantasy writers in the 1950s. We've got retina screens, hybrid vehicles, and a million different apps (not short for "Appaloosas," in this case). We can video chat with people on the other side of the planet in real time, and we can carry 50,000 photog...

Researcher: Work Objectively to Understand Equine Behavior

Think we're getting close to finally figuring horses out completely? Well, we're not. But the good news is that by working entirely objectively, equitation scientists are beginning to enter into a new dimension of understanding equine behavior. And that, according to a leading equitation scientist, will lead us into a "Golden Age" of hor...

Equine Performance and Psychological Factors Linked

Ever feel like your horse is in a bad mood? Well, according to a British equine behavior research team, you could be right. In fact, team members said, paying attention to all of horses' main psychological factors--temperament, moods, and emotional reactions--is key to ensuring their mental well-being and their success.

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