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California Agricultural Technology Institute

Have horse will travel

Former Fresno State animal science professor co-authors horse transportation study

Numerous research studies over the years have reported on post-transit respiratory diseases in horses. Yet, few studies on the effects of long-distance horse transportation have been done, according to the authors of a recent equine study.

To gain more insight into the physical responses of horses during transport, Anne Rodiek, Ph.D., professor emeritus of animal science at California State University, Fresno, and Carolyn Stull, Ph.D., of the University of California, Davis, teamed up to study the physiology of horses both during transport and recovery. The study was conducted using a commercial equine van that traveled the interstate highways of central California under typical hot and dry summer conditions.

“We hired a commercial horse transportation company to haul the horses for 24 hours, with stops in Fresno for taking physiologic measurements of the animals,” Rodiek said. “The recovery period of the study was done at our campus Student Horse Center, and we had several Fresno State students involved in the study.”

Findings from the study provide horse owners with additional tools and strategies they can use to mitigate some of the ill effects caused by long-distance transport of horses.

The complete article is printed in The Horse, an online journal.