Foal Exercise Influences Final Muscoloskeletal System

Keeping a foal in a stall around-the-clock might keep his coat shiny and his body free of nicks and bumps from roughhousing with peers in the pasture, but in the long run, that could cause him serious problems as an active adult. P. René van

Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

Keeping a foal in a stall around-the-clock might keep his coat shiny and his body free of nicks and bumps from roughhousing with peers in the pasture, but in the long run, that could cause him serious problems as an active adult. P. René van Weeren, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ECVS, of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and his colleagues have determined that pasture turnout for a foal in its first year has the most beneficial effect on the four major parts of the musculoskeletal system–cartilage, tendons and ligaments, muscle, and bone. He also determined that even tissues deemed difficult to repair, such as tendons and articular cartilage, are sensitive to remodeling in this age group.


“Rest is very bad for foals. Watch this, because if not, you may end up with a healthy (looking) foal, but one of inferior quality,” warned van Weeren.


He looked at Dutch Warmblood foals in groups that were kept on complete stall rest, given stall rest but excercised daily, and kept completely on pasture exercise. Some were analyzed at five months, and the remaining continued on to 11 months of study.


He and his colleagues found that there is dynamic and rapid development and remodeling of the musculoskeletal system during the period from birth to five months. These changes still occur during the period from five to 11 months, but much more slowly, and some parts such as articular cartilage collagen already have completed forming

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Stephanie L. Church, Editorial Director, grew up riding and caring for her family’s horses in Central Virginia and received a B.A. in journalism and equestrian studies from Averett University. She joined The Horse in 1999 and has led the editorial team since 2010. A 4-H and Pony Club graduate, she enjoys dressage, eventing, and trail riding with her former graded-stakes-winning Thoroughbred gelding, It Happened Again (“Happy”). Stephanie and Happy are based in Lexington, Kentucky.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

Where do you go to find information on pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID)? Select all that apply.
17 votes · 27 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!