This Week in Horse Health News, Presented by Absorbine

Some things are really hard to put a price tag on — that's when you need some extra peace of mind. Photo by Lorraine Peachey. Some things are really hard to put a price tag on — that's when you need some extra peace of mind. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Being the overly cautious person that I am, I tend to be a little risk adverse. I know, that sounds completely hilarious to hear when it comes from someone who avidly follows the sport of eventing and is chomping at the bit to get back into active competition with my young gelding. Of course there is risk in this sport and lifestyle, but then again, I could argue that there is risk in every aspect of life.

Let me rephrase — the kind of risk that I am adverse to is the far off chance of something catastrophic happening. Unlikely? Sure. But accidents and disasters can befall anyone given the right (or rather wrong) series of unfortunate events, which is why insurance exists. While it may seem expensive to insure your horse (and you may wonder if it is even necessary), I can personally vouch for the fact that the peace of mind is worth the investment.

I do have insurance policies on my young horses — and while I hope to never (ever ever) have to use the coverage, it makes me rest easy knowing that it is there if I ever need it. And when the unexpected medical issue or emergency does arise, it helps me to focus on working with my vet to make the best decisions possible for my horse without have to fret so much on the cost.

Insurance can be complicated to understand. With all of the different terminology and with all of the various types of policies that are available, let’s just say that the prospect of obtaining a policy of your own can be a little daunting.

Wondering about the difference between mortality, surgical, loss of use or major medical policies? What does the process of obtaining your own equine insurance policy involve? Start to educate yourself by visiting, and take a look at their article on Understanding Horse Insurance. You can check out the article here.

Here’s a look at some of the other hot topics this week in Horse Health News, presented by Absorbine:

Pawing Could Be Indicative of Discomfort: Do you know a horse that gets so excited at feeding time that he begins to paw? How about other times throughout the day? Pawing that is observed in horses may have nothing to do with feeding time but rather an attempt of an individual horse to relieve pain or discomfort in their limbs. [The Horse]

What Does the Color of Your Horse’s Gums Tell You? One of the first things I do when I need to place an emergency call to the vet is check vitals — but have you ever been asked by your vet to check for additional symptoms? What should you expect to find if your vet asks you to check your horse’s gums? Make sure to familiarize yourself with what’s normal for your horse and also review what certain gum colors can indicate. [Equus Magazine]

Can a Horse Cold Founder? Is it possible for cold weather conditions to actually be a direct cause of equine laminitis? Listen in on a short podcast by Dr. Nancy S. Loving, DVM over on The to learn what she has to say on the topic. [The Horse]

Introducing a New Herd Member: Seeing a group of horses grazing out in a pasture, most don’t realize the complex dynamics of a herd. No matter how invisible the hierarchy is at times, it is still in place. If you keep your horse at a boarding facility, you probably have a lot of experience watching as herd members join and also leave, and the equine drama that can ensue as a result. Head over to Horse Channel to pick up some tips on how to eliminate stress while introducing a new member to the herd. [Horse Channel]

Revisiting “Old” For a Horse: Ever hear the saying that age is only a number? This seems to be particularly true for horses. Why are some sound and active well into their 30s, while others seem to have a myriad of age-related health problems by the time they reach their mid-to-late teens? At what age should you really consider your horse to be “old”? Take a look at this interesting blog over on [The Horse]