Heather Smith Thomas

Heather Smith Thomas ranches with her husband near Salmon, Idaho, raising cattle and a few horses. She has a B.A. in English and history from University of Puget Sound (1966). She has raised and trained horses for 50 years, and has been writing freelance articles and books nearly that long, publishing 20 books and more than 9,000 articles for horse and livestock publications. Some of her books include Understanding Equine Hoof Care, The Horse Conformation Handbook, Care and Management of Horses, Storey's Guide to Raising Horses and Storey's Guide to Training Horses. Besides having her own blog, www.heathersmiththomas.blogspot.com, she writes a biweekly blog at https://insidestorey.blogspot.com that comes out on Tuesdays.

Articles by: Heather Smith Thomas

Corrective Hoof Trimming

The term “corrective shoeing” is often overused and misunderstood. It sometimes implies that the farrier can correct conformational faults of feet and legs. In reality, often very little can be done to change the way a horse is built. Trying to fix

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Shoeing for the Job (Book Excerpt)

There are many kinds of horseshoes; try to select shoes well suited to your horse’s work. While a horse with a problem may need a farrier to create a special shoe, many horses get along fine with factory-made shoes.

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Internal Parasites of Horses

There are several major internal parasites (worms) of horses, and control is aimed at reducing their numbers at certain stages in their life cycles. These stages will vary with the seasons, which, in turn, can vary with the geography and climate where you live. A seasonal approach to deworming is always more effective than routine intervals.

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Internal Parasites

The days of just rotating and deworming every six to eight weeks are gone; today there must be a strategy.

There are several major internal parasites of horses, and control is aimed at reducing their numbers at certain

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As the Sperm Turns

Conception in the horse seems simple–a uniting of one healthy egg and one healthy sperm–but there is much more going on in this virtual soap opera of creating a new horse.

Fertilization is the beginning of a new

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Impending Arrival

Determining when a mare will foal is art and science, but there are tests to help you pinpoint the due date.

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A Need for Compounding

Veterinary compounding is an alternative source of medications when there are no commercially available products that meet the needs of a particular patient.

Compounding, by definition, is tailor-made preparation of a dru

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Cribbing: Can You Stop It?

Many horses kept in unnatural environments and subjected to the stress of performance careers resort to repetitive behaviors (called stereotypies) such as cribbing, weaving, or stall walking.

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Barn Upkeep/Equipment

High-quality products and maintenance can save time, money and providing a safer environment for your horse.

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Hope for Navicular Horses

Know the injury to your horse’s foot before calling it “navicular.”

In earlier years, a diagnosis of navicular disease was often considered career-ending for a horse. Chronic lameness was typical, in spite of therapeutic

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Cases that Mimic Navicular Disease

“With MRI we’ve found horses with coffin bone fractures that weren’t visible on X rays, but were treated like navicular horses because they blocked to the heel,” says Sarah Sampson, DVM, of Washington State University. “If these are managed like

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Making Hay

Learn what goes into growing and harvesting quality hay so you can recognize and select it for your horses.

The difference between good hay and poor hay is often in the harvesting. Poor timing of harvest processes or bad

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Grooming Products

Good management is as important as good products when caring for your horse’s coat, mane, and tail.

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