Here are 10 horse health questions. Grab paper and a pen or your laptop or tablet to record your answers. (The answers are provided below question 10.)
Question 1: Can deworming your horse on a regular basis help prevent colic?
Question 2: According to recent studies, what percentage of saddles do not fit the horse they are used on?
e) 75% or more
Question 3: What is the resting heart rate for the average adult horse?
Question 4: Where is the horse’s clavicle or “collar bone” located?
Question 5: Can you name 3 of the top 10 most toxic and poisonous plants for horses?
Question 6: How many gallons of water per day should the average healthy adult horse drink?
Question 7: Can stretching your horse help decrease the aging process of the musculoskeletal system?
Question 8: Is there a difference between laminitis and founder?
Question 9: If your horse has asymmetrical shoulders (meaning shoulders that are not the same size and shape), should you use saddle pad shims in:
a) Both sides of your saddle pad
b) Only the side with the larger, more developed shoulder
c) Only the side with the small, less developed shoulder
Question 10: How tight should your horse’s noseband be if you use one?
a) One finger should fit between the noseband leather and horse's nose.
b) Two fingers should fit between the noseband leather and the horse's nose.
c) It depends on how hot the horse is.
d) It depends on how stubborn the horse is.
Here are the answers to the quiz questions.
Q1 Answer: Yes. Many cases of colic are actually associated with parasites.
Q2 Answer: The correct answer is E. 75% or more of saddles do not fit the horse they are used on.
Q3 Answer: The average adult horse resting heart rate is 30-40 beats per minute.
Q4 Answer: This is a trick question! Horses do not have a clavicle or collar bone.
Q5 Answer: The top 10 most toxic and poisonous plants for horse are:
Q6 Answer: The average, healthy adult horse that weights 1000 lbs should consume approximately 5-10 gallons of water per day if the horse lives in a temperate climate and is not working. This works out to about a half gallon to a gallon of water per hundred pounds of body weight. If the horse’s workload increases or the horse lives in a hot OR cold climate, the need for water increases. Horses with certain medical conditions may also need more water. Here is a link to great article on horses and water consumption.
Q7 Answer: Yes. According to a study conducted by Dr. Ava Frink, DVM, muscles and connective tissue respond to overuse by shrinking and tightening. Its response to underuse is much the same. Stiffness can result in injury, lead to inactivity, and eventually speed up the aging process of the musculoskeletal system.
Q8 Answer: In the equine world, laminitis and founder are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. Laminitis is a condition that can lead to founder if the case is chronic.
Laminitis occurs when the soft laminae tissue in the hoof become inflamed and swell. There can also be lack of adequate blood flow. Swelling of the laminar bond between layers of the hoof lead to the initial phases of acute laminitis. As the swelling increases, so do the problems for the horse.
Chronic inflammation of the laminar bond can result in a bone in the foot, called the coffin bone or pedal bone, separating from the hoof wall. The laminae hold the coffin bone in place and attach it to the hoof wall. Inflammation and/or death of the laminae means they can no longer do their job of holding the coffin bone in place. As the condition progresses (or if left untreated), the coffin bone can begin to rotate and slip downward toward the sole of the foot and even through the sole of the foot. When a horse’s coffin bone rotates downward or sinks, the horse has entered a stage of chronic laminitis or founder.
Q9 Answer: C is the correct answer. The purpose of shims is to bring the saddle to a level and stable position. Therefore, the shoulder that is less developed, more hallow or “smaller” is where the shim(s) should be utilized.
Q10 Answer: The correct answer is B. The “two finger” test is the general rule. This means riders should be able to stick two fingers in between the leather and the horse’s nose. A tight noseband can cause both physical and psychological damage to the horse. Studies are ongoing to determine the extent of the damage.
How did you do on the quiz? What did you learn?
Ilene Nessenson, Certified Equine Bodyworker, is the creator of Stretch Your Horse, a 25 horse stretching video tutorial collection.