The importance of understanding horse health

William Woods Equestrian

Days before the world-famous annual Pasadena Rose Parade on New Year’s Day, the Los Angeles Equestrian Center (LAEC) traditionally highlights the horses leading up to the parade at a large event known as Equifest.

This year, however, Equifest was cancelled due to an unfortunate outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) at the host venue. It’s outbreaks like these that equestrian professionals must be prepared for — to know the signs to prevent more horses from becoming ill, or lame, or worse.

Over the years, equestrian organizations have become very good at noticing the signs of contagious conditions and possible outbreaks of disease by following established protocols and taking precautions. (See the Look into Equestrian Studies blog about William Woods alumna Bailey McCallum’s work at the Equine Disease Communication Center.)

As a barn manager, stable owner, trainer, or virtually any other horse professional, it is important to establish a game plan for sick horses, and to know the signs of the most common illnesses — to know when to call the veterinarian, and when to quarantine.

William Woods Equestrian students interested in a career in the horse industry take courses to understand horse anatomy, physiology and biomechanics, as well as courses to understand various diseases, treatment routes, and the management of horse health, including Theory of Performance Horse Health Management and Horse Management Practicum.

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