The Horse

JAN 2019

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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Keep in touch! @TheHorse @TheHorseMag VIEWPOINT STEPHANIE L. CHURCH, Editor-in-Chief @TH_StephLChurch 8 January 2019 The Horse | It might be anthropomorphizing, but Sam was content in his support- ing role in our equine cast of charac- ters. Others were more opinionated, seemingly more dramatic about life. After reading Christa Lesté- Lasserre's cover story on body language this month (see page 14), I wonder if, perhaps, I'd missed something about Sam. Maybe what I noted as stoicism was actually chronic pain. Thankfully, my mom was the primary caregiver for our family's horses when I was a kid (she still is), and she has always paid close attention to each of her charges' behavioral nuances. Mom notices small differences that could point to bigger problems and acts before things escalate. As a kid I noticed changes with my own horse or pony, but Mom was the real detector of anything awry. It's possible Sam's stoicism became more pronounced about the time his urine started turning a reddish- brown color. I remember our vet- erinarian referring Sam to Virginia Tech's veterinary teaching hospital. There practitoners performed ex- ploratory surgery, only to find he had enormous bladder stones. As an adult I've become more at- tuned to subtle variations in horses' body language. As a farm sitter and owner of a stoic Warmblood mare in my 20s, I calibrated my instinct. And in my role as editor, reading all the fascinating input from our equine behavior experts, I've become quite the connoisseur of watching quirky behaviors at the barn and wondering about their origins: ■ A few nights ago, a fellow boarder leaned a shovel against a wall in the aisle, and it fell. My friend's mare, Ada, stood at her stall door, front feet splayed, snorting loudly at the shovel where it lay as if it might reanimate at any moment. ■ Another friend's horse, Remi, when in the crossties, nods his head repetitively and wiggles his lips if anyone walks toward him. He then quivers his lips until the person lets him lick their hand. ■ My own horse, Happy, only weaves when there's a lot of activity in the barn aisle. He weaves some, stops, then rakes his teeth up and down the cinder block wall edges at his door (the sound is just as disturbing as you might imagine). He's also very "sassy," as a friend calls it, standing at his stall door. (Just imagine head—and teeth— swinging.) But in the crossties or anyplace else, he's quite sweet. I hope you'll enjoy the insights from our behavior experts as much as I did this month. Please be sure to send me a note (schurch@TheHorse. com) with any observations you make in your own horses. h Watch and Learn I 've known stoic horses, and I've known not-so-stoic ones. While I was growing up at my parents' small farm in Virginia, we had a bay draft-cross named Sam, whom I'd file into the former catego- ry. I remember him as the strong, silent type, a good citizen who was worth his (sizable) weight in gold. He was a senior who'd predictably pack around whoever was riding him and blended in nicely with our diverse herd of pleasure and show horses. Publisher: Marla Bickel Editor-in-Chief: Stephanie L. Church Managing Editor: Alexandra Beckstett News Editor: Erica Larson Digital Managing Editor: Michelle Anderson Art Director: Brian Turner Web Producer: Jennifer Whittle Marketing Manager: Victoria Bennett EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT 3101 Beaumont Centre Circle, Suite 100, Lexington, KY 40513 E-MAIL All letters must include the writer's name, address, and daytime phone number for verification. ■ Letters:, or by mail. ■ Farm Call:, or by mail. ■ Across the Fence and Behavior Columns:, or by mail. ■ New Products:, or by mail. EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Scott Anderson, DVM; Jerry Black, DVM; Anthony Blikslager, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS; Tom Brokken, DVM; Ann Dwyer, DVM; Benjamin Espy, DVM, Dipl. ACT; Jenifer R. Gold, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVECC; Kyla Ortved, DVM, Dipl. ACVS; Debra Taylor, DVM Educational Partnership Disclaimer: The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), one of The Horse's partners in equine health, has no involvement regarding editorial management or advertising content within this publication and thereby does not endorse any editorial or advertising content unless so acknowledged within the individual article or advertisement. EXPERT ADVISORS Sue McDonnell, PhD, Cert. AAB; Milt Toby, JD FEATURED CONTRIBUTORS Kristen Janicki, MS; Kara Lascola, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM-LA, CVA; Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA; Nancy Loving, DVM; Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc; Dave Preston; Heather Smith Thomas ADVERTISING SALES AND SERVICES West Coast Advertising Executive: Yvonne Long 859/276-6701 East Coast Advertising Executive: Mark White 859/276-6710 Sales Support: Nicol Hunt, 859/276-6740 PUBLISHED BY OWNED BY TOBA MEDIA PROPERTIES Board of Directors: Everett Dobson, Dan Metzger, Rosendo Parra, Dr. J. David Richardson, Peter Willmott

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