Can Exercise Help an EPM Horse?

Find out what kind of physical exercise might help improve a horse with equine protozoal myeloencephalitis.

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Can Exercise Help an EPM Horse?
Riding a horse with EPM may not be an option and in some cases may be dangerous. | Photo: The Horse Staff
Q: What type activity or exercise can I be doing to help my horse deal with equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM)?

Cliff S., via e-mail

A: Physical therapy is very helpful in horses with EPM.

Remember, riding your horse while it has EPM may not be an option and in some cases may be dangerous. So, we recommend ground training with your horse, such as longeing (in both directions for 10 or 15 minutes to start and building-up from there), putting weights on the saddle (a bag of feed works well) while the horse is lunging to build strength, ground jumping over poles, and pasture exercise are all helpful

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Written by:

Frank M. Andrews, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, is LVMA Equine Committee professor and director of the Equine Health Studies Program at Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine. As an internal medicine specialist, Andrews research interests include equine gastric ulcer disease.

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