Exercise Induced Pulmonary Haemorrhage in racehorses: EIPH

Image result for public domain racehorse pictures

What Is EIPH?

EIPH in horses is in essence bleeding in the lungs current research states that most racehorses bleed at some stage in their career. EIPH is not solely linked to racehorses however and has occurred in Eventers, dressage horses, steeple chasers and polo ponies to name but a few.

EIPH is linked to strenuous exercise and although this issue has been identified for almost 300 years little is still known about the cause. This poses a problem for treatment of this issue. In my opinion without an understanding of the cause you can not possibly cure it or manage efficiently I’m not a veterinarian but I think the issue needs re-thinking, all veterinarians can do is manage the condition and at what cost?.

How do you manage a horse with EIPH?

In the racing industry in the USA Furosemide is administered to the horse to stop the bleeding however this is an extremely worrying issue as we have no understanding of the long-term effects such a drug will take of the health of the horse in question.

Recent studies have shown that around 70-90% of thoroughbreds receive furosemide before a race. Furosemide works as a diuretic which increases urine production decreases blood volume and as a result body weight.

During the exercise furosemide reduces the blood pressure in the lungs which in theory is meant to reduce stress on the capillaries reducing bleeding. Current controversy surrounding the drug concerns the fact as to whether the drug enhances performance of the horse or reduces performance.

So what does this mean?

Regardless of the treatments you can administer more work needs to continue into identifying the real cause of this issue whether it’s a training issue, breed issue and such like. In my humble opinion horses shouldn’t be bleeding during or after exercise and I would hedge my bets on inappropriate/too strenuous  training methods.

Can you imagine after the Olympics  if almost every human athlete taking place was shown to have a degree of bleeding in their lungs I think each and every one of them would be running to the doctors screaming for their lives. The horse can’t do this so we have to do this for them.

We all know that the racing industry starts horses extremely young and to be honest pushes them to maximum capacity when they are not prepared for such a task physically and mentally due to their age. A lot is improving within racing and the welfare of the horses and there are some fabulous horse trainers out there but we need to be asking ourselves whether we should accept that horses bleed as a result of hard work, or put more time and effort into getting funding into the cause to help research.

In a nutshell….

Veterinarians in the UK are currently discussing whether horses are being pushed too hard in competition which indicates an issue they are obviously concerned about. I hope the prevalence of EIPH in the racehorse is one of them.

This issue is quite in-depth and has lots of grey areas so I don’t want you to follow my word blindly, if your interested in this condition do some reading and come to your own conclusions, but I think that this is a serious equine welfare issue and should be given the attention it deserves .

If you want to read more on the subject follow the link below I promise you it’s interesting


Thank you guys

Nikki @ Happyhooves



Hanrose: Scent from heaven

Who is Hanrose?

So if you don’t know Hanrose A: where have you been? and B: trust me you will never buy a candle from anywhere else! Hanrose is not only a fantastic creator of homemade soy wax candles but also equine themed gifts such as photoart for that special horsey person in your life or to spruce up your equestrian or country styled home.

Hanrose is certainly an individual who really cares about her products, her attention to detail and customer service is second to none and her products are phenomenal trust me on this! you will want to eat them they smell so good but that obviously is not advised.

The Range :


So another thing about Hanrose is that she has something for everyone it doesn’t matter what your taste in candles are whether sweet, energizing, relaxing or just to create a pleasant environment in your home or office and totally not limited to equestrians either!

A few of my personal favourites are Chukka, Cut grass, Tackroom leather, Unicorn fluff and Caffe Latte but there are so many to choose from and they are a steal at an amazing price of £8.95 for 100g. The candles are elegantly presented and arrive protected by fresh Hay the smell as the postman hands it to you is out of this world!


So where can you get them from I hear you scream?? Well hold your horses I’m not finished yet have you thought about Hanrose  heart-shaped wax melts? Well I can tell you they are heavenly and really make your house smell amazing! they look like heart shaped chocolates crafted by Belgian Chocolatiers they are truly beautiful.

The best thing about the heart melters is that you can Pick and Mix your scents and each melt gives up to 8 hours of fragrance they really work hard for their size. The melts arrive in organza bags of all colours enveloped in popcorn for protection again the smell is divine especially when combined.

Each hand crafted melt is priced at amazing £1 each yes ladies and gents a mere £1 to brighten up any one’s day (I’ll have ten then she screams). The choice is extensive so make sure you take your time browsing whatever your choice I guarantee they will not dissapoint!

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Smellies not your thing? What about Hanrose Photoart?  

Well these are truly unique and personalized pieces great  gifts for a loved one, tackroom, home or office. Stylish pieces of art go anywhere and these equestrian themed designs are no different. Take a look at the range !you may need to put some time aside for this! trust me once you click onto the website you will never want to leave!

The range includes framed photoart, cards and quote posters something for any occasion guaranteed to put a smile on the face of everyone who sees it. Style and Elegance  have never been so easy!

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Give me the website NOW !!

Gosh steady Eddie I’m getting around to it! if you want to check out Hanrose for yourself I really do recommend her products I love them and people always comment. If you want a unique product at a great price to make any one smile this is your best bet. Hanrose is truly one of a kind as a company and an individual and certainly goes the “extra mile” to ensure her customers are happy. So without further ado grab a cup of tea and a biscuit and visit https://www.hanrose.co.uk/

In a Nutshell…

Enjoy your Hanrose products and make sure to give her a follow on twitter @Hanrose and on facebook too Hanrose facebook

Relax and unwind with Hanrose truly HEAVEN SCENT !

Nikki @Happyhooves





Heart to Heart: The connection between Horse and Rider

I’m really excited to share this post with you it was the inspiration behind my dissertation while studying at University and I feel for anyone who works with horses this is an invaluable piece of research.

We as riders/owners know that the horse is sensitive, sensitive to our actions and reactions the horse is used to help treat humans in many areas especially within mental health and as any owner will tell you that there is something that makes your soul happy when you are with your horse.

Well did you realise that the horse is able to share heart rhythm pattern with us Dr Ellen Gehrke does …

Heart Rate Variability : What is it?

Heart rate variability (HRV) is independent of heart rate and measures the intervals between the beat of the heart. HRV reflects heart to brain interactions which is particularly sensitive to emotional states. By measuring the regularity or irregularity of the distance between the beats it can identify positive or negative emotion.

When a negative emotion is aroused such as anger, fear, sadness or frustration the heart rhythms become more erratic where the opposite is true for positive emotions they become coherent in nature. (Remember this is not the heart rate we are measuring but the pattern and distance between beats)

Using a Heart rate monitor allows for HRV recordings to be taken non-invasively under any condition. By recording HRV and investigating it is possible to determine whether an animal or human is emotionally relaxed or stressed, even (as in the case of humans) they outwardly try to disguise it. This can not be disguised or managed under conscious control as it is managed by the autonomic nervous system which is responsible for our reaction to changes in the environment.


The study

The research team conducted five studies the first of which involved the following procedures:

  • Four horses were fitted with ECG monitors (Heart rate monitors) they were synchronized and a protocol followed for the study
  • The protocol took place over a forty minute time frame and was monitored and repeated with the same conditions four times.
  • The following sequence was then recorded: Baseline recordings of horse and handler were recorded separately, horse and human together in an arena sending heart centered appreciation and care to the horse, during grooming, companion walking and when riding.

The second study

In study two 12 horses were used from the same herd and monitored for 24 for baseline HRV.

In this study over the 24 hour period the horses were found to be in a mostly positive emotional state unless something fearful or threatening entered the yard, even then their HRV patterns returned to normal within a few minutes. This indicated that the horses in the herd lived in a healthy happy state. This study did not include the ridden or human interactions as seen in the first apart from feeding.

The Third study

This was centered around detecting whether horses when interacting with each other displayed sentience or emotion.

  • ECG monitors were fitted to four pairs of horses to monitor the activity over time.
  • Two of the pairs of horses knew each other and considered to be close friends
  • One pair included horses in the same herd but never interacted with each other
  • A mare and four-month old filly

The protocol for this study was as follows for a 30 minute period

  • Horses monitored when together
  • One horse being taken away from the other by handler
  • When they were reunited
  • The second horse being taken out of sight by handler

The results of this study indicated horses were indeed in tune with each other as indicated by the changes in HRV,  the pair who were friends seemed to synchronize, the non friendly horses had no relationship between their HRV measurements and the mare and foal showed extreme stress reactions so much so that they could not be parted.

The Fourth and Fifth Study

The last two studies concentrated on the interaction between the horse and handler similar to the first test but then later introduced to an unknown human.

The results of this study indicated the following:

  • No difference was recorded between the familiar handler Vs unfamiliar handler
  • It was indicated that the rhythm of the person’s HRV was considered more important to the horse whether they had a relationship or not.
  • The horses stress level was highly dependant upon the humans i.e if the human was stressed the horse was and if calm the horse also remained calm.
  • The study indicated that if the individual interacting with them had a calm HRV then the horse was more inclined to spend time with that individual,regardless of whether it was a familiar or unfamiliar handler.

So what does this all mean?

Well firstly it means that there is a relationship which can be recorded physically between the horse and human to identify the emotional state of both horse and handler during interaction and horses truly do have emotions. Horses have the ability to calm a stressed human as humans respond to the HRV of the horse but this does not seem to be the case the other way around.

It also means that because of this it is the responsibility of the human to promote bonding meaning that if a person is loving and cares for the horse appreciating him then the horse will detect those feelings and share them with the human.

In a Nutshell…

There is a measurable connection between the heart of the horse and the human using methods such as HRV and as such can potentially demonstrate the psychological and physiological advantages of the horse and human interaction.

It is of importance now to acknowledge the science behind what many of us owners/handlers and riders already knew deep down and take it as current proof that horses should be treated with care, kindness and empathy, Science has shown they are no different to the dogs and cats we hold so dear in our lives and really saddens me when they are treated cruelly or with force.

We know horses are amazing and now science backs us up I feel more in tune with the horse with ever before and I would love to see attitudes change for all horses and animals in the future.

I really hope you enjoyed this as much as I did and can see the potential change it can bring to the industry now science has proof of the pudding. If you want to read more please check out the link below.



HRV in horses


The use of Water Treadmills in Equine Rehabilitation:New Research

Treadmills are used widely in many professional yards and rehabilitation centres around the world, however there is not a huge amount of research to identify its use when rehabilitating the injured horse. We understand from human sports science that the use of hydrotherapy is useful as is the use of the treadmill so can it be a successful tool for the horse?

First let’s take a look at the advantages :The use of an under water treadmill claims to:

  • Reduce loading on painful/healing structures
  • Reduce pain in joints as a result of Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD)
  • Reduce muscle stiffness and spasm
  • Reduces the development of muscle atrophy
  • Reduces lay up time when land exercise is restricted.
  • Edema
  • Increases muscle resistance in exercise
  • Tones
  • Increases muscle mass and strength
  • Increases range of motion in the joints
  • Increases cardiovascular fitness and improves endurance
  • Improves circulation
  • Supports limbs
  • Encourages relaxation of the muscles

Sounds pretty good right? right? however there is no one session fits all, currently there are no guidelines on the benefits and/or contraindications for exercise in any given scenario (Nankervis et al, 2007). Meaning that the advice of a veterinarian or equestrian professional is required in order to develop a training schedule to suit the needs of the individual horse. Therefore care must be taken in large yards used privately for the training of their horses.

There is currently evidence to suggest the use of land treadmills in equine rehabilitation following various lower limb injuries and back problems due to the kinematics of these areas being greatly altered during water treadmill exercise. Nankervis (2007) in her study states that successful rehabilitation depends on as much avoidance of unsuitable exercises as it does in selecting beneficial exercise.

In a nutshell…

More and more research will gather on the use of the aqua treadmill in the effective rehabilitation of the horse but will by no means be a one size fits all method. It is recommended that an equine veterinary professional works with you and your horse and creates a case by case schedule training and rehabilitation.

In this instance care must be taken when considering using this type of equipment with your horse as always seek veterinary advice and remember all horses are different.



If you want to read more check out the links below:




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