Category Archives: Other Horse Health Issues


For the past 10 years I have traveled Australia teaching Hoof Care clinics to cattle stations and to groups of horse owners. Starting in late August 2007 I had scheduled a series of eight clinics around Queensland and New South Wales - planning for a series like this takes around four months to organize suitable venues, promote the courses and take bookings.

I had just driven 3,000 km to North Queensland to run the first course when my wife Anne rang to say that Equine Influenza (EI) had hit in Sydney and that I should head back home immediately as all hell was breaking loose.

In the Outback with no TV, and a car radio that was rarely in range, it was impossible to make any judgment myself, so I rather dubiously accepted Anne’s judgment and turned the car homewards, while she unraveled the courses, the bookings and the deposits. As I passed through areas with more radio contact, I could hear … Continue Reading ››


Stringhalt is one problem that I rarely come across. This is a nervous reaction of the hind legs – the horse involuntarily snaps them up, almost to the belly, when the leg is lifted. Stringhalt is triggered by a neurological disorder in the brain which acts on the nervous system, seeming to act only on the back legs. It is suggested that Stringhalt is the result of toxicity from eating certain weeds, possibly Capeweed. To all appearances, when picking up the back leg you get kicked. Unfortunately farriers often admonish the horse and belt the heck out of it because it has kicked them. As it is involuntary, the horse has absolutely no control over Stringhalt. However, once realising that the horse has Stringhalt, it is still a major problem to shoe these horses, as they pull the leg up so high it can’t be worked on. To get the horse to stretch its leg backwards is very difficult as the minute you ease on it, the leg snaps forward and kicks you again. It can be a very dangerous situation but there is absolutely no point getting upset with the horse. The … Continue Reading ››