Christa Lesté-Lasserre

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.

Effects of Exercise on Young Thoroughbreds' Knees

According to an ongoing international study led by a New Zealand-based researcher, exercising Thoroughbreds younger than 18 months of age doesn't seem create make more--or fewer--cartilage defects in the intercarpal (knee) joints. It also doesn't make them more or less severe, and it doesn't change the sites on the joint where they show up. In...

Genomic Research for Equine Performance Indicators

There's been a lot of excitement about equine genomic research over the past couple years, but horse buyers and breeders are still waiting for practical performance applications. The good news is that a team of French researchers might be hot on the trail to genomic evaluation of performance--even if that trail seems slow and winding--one researcher s...

Can Horses 'Watch and Learn'?

Watch and learn. It sure seems that horses can do it. One of them figures out how to open the gate to get to your not-so-well-hidden stock of carrots, and then before you know it, they're all getting orange in the muzzle. So can they really learn from each other? Maybe, according to a group of Danish equestrian scientists, but there's nothing cert...

Behavioral Differences Between Colts and Fillies Examined

Many riders have a distinct preference when it comes to working with mares--they either love the girls or would rather avoid them. In some cases this choice is related to hormonal behavioral changes in mares during their heat cycles. But perhaps these behavioral differences are not just related to reproduction hormones. What if there was a fundamental dif...

Cooled Shipped Semen Quality Impacted by Collection Centers

When it comes to the quality of cooled shipped semen for artificial insemination (AI), all semen collection centers are not equal. They're far from it, in fact, according to a new study by Austrian researchers. The huge variation in the quality of the sperm processed by the collection center has an impact on the probability of the broodmare becoming p...

Researchers: Selenium's Value is in the Sperm, Not the Blood

The trace element selenium appears to reinforce sperm quality and thus maintain a stallion's fertility. When selenium is lacking, motility drops, sperm membranes break down, and the sperm's acrosome (which covers the head) can deform. But according to a new study by German scientists, feeding your stallion more selenium won’t necessarily imp...

Saddle Tree Types and Pressure Distribution

Modern saddles provide new options for tree type, with the goal of sparing a horse pain from localized saddle pressure. But new Swiss research suggests that, at least when a horse trots, tree type makes little difference in pressure distribution along the horse's back.

Racehorse Training Injuries Vary by Stable in New Study

Which kind of injury is most common to a racehorse? That all depends on who trains it and at which track, according to a group of British researchers. Their recent survey of three major Thoroughbred stables in the United Kingdom showed that the patterns of training-related injuries vary significantly between training centers and trainers.

Pregnant Mare Exercise: No Negative Effect on Fetuses in Study

It's human nature to do everything to protect an unborn baby--even an equine baby. And humans that we are, some of us tend to think that means we should keep a broodmare's physical efforts down to a minimum. But new research is showing that even nine months into pregnancy, mares can handle moderate-level exercise with no detrimental effects to the...

Study: Horse Whinnies Packed with Information

Through their whinnies, horses convey specific information about their identities, including sex, height, and weight, according to French researchers. Acoustic analyses of whinnies and the reactions of horses to various recorded whinnies also suggest that the vocal calls play an important social role and appear to be unique to each horse.

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West Nile Virus Returns to Italy

West Nile virus (WNV) has re-emerged in Italy, resulting in 28 equine clinical cases, including seven deaths as of last week, according to an epidemiological bulletin produced by the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise "Giuseppe Caporale" (IZSA&M), an Italian public health institute.

The epidemic began in central ea...

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