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Health

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ImageAs the first performance clones become adults, the equine industry will soon see if the genetic twins can truly live up to their originals. And while the cloning procedure has raised some eyebrows among industry veterans, owners are lining up for the chance to preserve their horses’ genetic influence.

The black foal nursing at the Paint mare’s side doesn’t look like a four-legged outlaw, the equine equivalent of Billy the Kid. He doesn’t look like he has the potential to transform into an explosion of horseflesh that can slam the most experienced rodeo cowboy into the dirt.

But his genes say he does.

Now that horses can no longer be slaughtered for human consumption in the U.S., the horse industry is feeling the effects: experts point to a drop in the market, welfare groups are finding homes for more unwanted horses, but thousands more are heading for slaughter plants across the border.

"Hock Havoc" in our April 2007 print issue addressed the use of hock injections and other treatments for managing an equine athlete's lower hock-joint health, including osteoarthritic conditions. In addition to shoeing, turnout and training-routine changes, surgical fusion and supplementation can be factors in maintaining hock health and minimizing potential performance problems, as can injections of hyaluronic acid and polysulfated glycosaminoglycans.

 

In the July 2005 issue of Western Horseman, Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association tie-down roper Mike Hadley of Canon City, Colorado, shared his equine fitness regimen. In addition to ensuring his horses are physically fit for competition, Hadley also takes care to ensure they eat well and have a comfortable environment in which to live.

As everyone knows, horses sometimes can be difficult to deworm. Here’s how Rex Blackwell, horseshoer and Equine Muscle Conditioning instructor, Wickenburg, Arizona, gets the job done.