Seminars on the web brought to you by Geoff Tucker, DVM.
Rounds With Doc T are live Zoom webinars every other Thursday night at 8 pm Eastern Time (United States New Youk/Miami). Any change in this pattern will be announced in the “Rounds With Doc T” forum. These meetings are a benefit of membership. As of 2023, Rounds With Doc T are all about the questions members ask during the event, or I have been asked by members via email or by clients when I visit the farm. I will also present ideas I have discovered in the books and podcasts I have read, though these will also be presented in the Podcast; however, this is where we (you and me) do a deep dive into a subject and then ask questions during the presentation.
Members who cannot attend or become members after the event have access to the replay posted in the “Rounds With Doc T” forum, where they can ask questions or start a discussion.
Each event will have its own discussion there, and members can ask questions at any time as a reply to the event, which will be announced on the activity page.
Live attendance plus the perpetual ability to ask questions and add comments allow members to support the mission of Helping Horses Thrive In A Human World™ by helping others learn who may be shyer in asking the same question.
Rounds With Doc T
Become a member today to attend these live Rounds With Doc T and see the replays.
LISTED IN ORDER from future to past. Scroll down to see past Rounds
2023 – “Ask Doc T Anything.”
This year, all the Zoom meetings will be in the format of “Ask Doc T Anything.” The questions asked and discussed will be listed in the individual meeting’s forum discussion. These are held every other Thursday (with some holiday exceptions noted in the forum) at 8 PM New York/Miami time.
Because each “Rounds With Doc T” in 2023 is spontaneous, no Rounds are described here. Become a member and find out all the interesting topics discussed.
December 26, 2022 – “A Review Of The No-Grain Challenge In Horses Since 2017.”
The No-Grain Challenge Review
The basic purpose of the “no-grain challenge” is to offer horse owners a way to feed horses according to their evolutionary development. The reason is to prevent the plethora of ailments horses now have that, in my experience, were not around 50 years ago. These include: dropped fetlocks, kissing spine, white line disease, the abundance of equine metabolic syndrome, the abundance of Cushing’s disease, the abundance of insulin resistance and laminitis, fractured cheek teeth, EOTRH of the incisor and canine teeth, sleep disorders, nephro-splenic ligament entrapment colic, and the epidemic of suspensory injury and skin diseases.
I invented a new word: complexicate. This describes the creation of complexity of something to make that idea more important than any other idea without proof. In other words, marketing. I have attempted to decomplexicate the feeding of horses to remove the root causes of the above ailments plaguing our horses today. Many horse owners worldwide have joined me by accepting the no-grain challenge, and almost everyone doing so has seen the benefits.
This Rounds With Doc T explores the challenge, where it came from, and how it is doing. Included are testimonials, the most commonly asked questions, and why adding high-quality protein is so important.
November 28, 2022 – “Cushing’s Disease In Horses.”
This month’s rounds will discuss Cushing’s Disease in horses, which will clear up many misunderstandings surrounding what seems to be affecting many horses today.
No, it is not insulin resistance. No, it is not Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS). But, yes, these often occur in conjunction with Cushing’s disease.
Yes, the pituitary gland does enlarge, but is that the cause?
Yes, affected horses won’t shed their hair coat in spring, but all horses grow thick winter coats.
Yes, some affected horses will urinate and drink water a lot, but this is not Cushing’s disease.
Blood tests can confirm the disease but are often inaccurate due to the season. Why?
No one offers why this has become ubiquitous, but I have a thought. And those who have listened and have tried this solution have reported good results.
My goal is to determine the cause and end of Cushing’s Disease in horses.
October 31, 2022 – “Horse Pasture Management.”
I have worked on or visited horse farms since 1973. Over these 49 ½ years, I have seen and learned many tricks to make things better for horses and humans while also learning the pitfalls of poor thought, design and safety.
The subject of managing horse pastures covers a lot of things. These include:
– Pasture types – grass, legume
– Pasture maintenance – irrigation, rock control, fertilization, mowing
– Pasture safety – horse density, human safety
– Pasture feeding equipment – hay delivery, grain delivery, water delivery
– Pasture fence and gates – types and examples, maintenance, safety, latches.
Some overlap, but I will try to contain these into understandable groups.
September 26, 2022 – “Horsemanship Is Leadership.”
Leadership For Horses is the preferred terminology for Horsemanship for several reasons:
• It implies that horses are animate objects, like humans, with thoughts and feelings, wants, needs and desires.
• It classifies the position we want with horses as a relationship.
• It describes this classification as a leadership role.
• It defines the structure as people being the leaders.
• It implies that horses are willing participants.
• It organizes our relationship with horses into something workable.
• It places the responsibility for success on humans.
• It removes the gender issue (if that is a problem for humans).
This seminar will bring a different perspective on how we interact with horses. It will focus on the leader (humans) becoming better leaders to connect with those we want to lead (the horses). There are no gimmicks or required integral pieces of equipment.
August 29, 2022 – “Inflammation In Horses.”
Inflammation in humans has lots of studies. This Rounds With Doc T will cover what is the inflammatory process as we understand it in humans. I will describe acute versus chronic inflammation and local versus systemic inflammation. Where needed, I will add examples of diseases seen in horses.
What is so fascinating about inflammation is that EVERYTHING called a “disease” is, in reality, a form of inflammation. Once understood, the focus of disease prevention in horses (and ourselves) is on reducing and eliminating inflammatory causes. Unfortunately, this focus can be difficult because the sources of inflammation may range from wounds to air pollution to psychological stress.
While this presentation may be a bit difficult to grasp, it is at the root of all things going wrong in horses today, including ulcers, colic, skin conditions, contagious infections and soundness.
July 25, 2022 – “Antibiotic Use In Horses.”
Horse owners give their horses medicines to combat bacterial infections. These include skin cuts and infections, abscesses of the teeth and hooves, diarrhea, pneumonia, and any other disease that causes a fever and makes our horses feel unwell. These medicines perform miracles against their selective targets and magically destroy the “enemy” while preserving the horse’s life. But is this correct?
When were antibiotics discovered, and why did they become the “wonder drug?” Are they still effective, and what is their future? Can we continue to count on their ability to save life or prevent an infection?
The truth about antibiotics and their use in our horses will be explained in tonight’s Rounds With Doc T. Also discussed are other options we can use in our care of horses that may keep antibiotics working for a long time. The idea of “stewardship” will be explained, and why stewardship is every horse owner’s responsibility to use antibiotics correctly. If we don’t, not only will our horses be left with ineffective medicines, but so will our pets, our livestock and ourselves.
June 27, 2022 – “Horse Hay – What Is It, Why Feed It And How To Feed It.”
Hay is last summer’s grass. It is a relatively new supplement and could also be called the original nutritional supplement. The purpose of hay is to add calories to the diet when winter is hard on horses due to a lack of food.
Adding hay to the diet was to sustain life in the winter months when no pasture was available.
Adding hay when there is no pasture (drought, lack of pasture) is an inadequate substitute for fresh and healthy pasture.
Feeding hay throughout the year leads to several nutritional deficiencies when not including adequate supplementation.
In this Rounds, Doc T discusses what kind of nutrition is in hay and why the makeup of today’s hay may be at the root of several illnesses and soundness issues in horses. He also looks at ways to make hay work for your horses with no other available food, or fresh grass is not an option. In all scenarios, hay is better than adding grain, except when it is not.
May 30, 2022 – “Construction Of Horse Stalls.”
Horses confined within a barn are usually kept separate in individual stalls. Therefore, many aspects are required regardless of location, breed, sport or budget. The most important factor is safety.
The size and arrangement of stalls should determine the size of the barn and not the other way around, if possible. Ventilation is critical, lighting is helpful, and electricity and water are convenient. Workflow often is an afterthought, and correcting this is usually impossible. Plan ahead.
Determining stall doors, latches, windows, and flooring can be simple, but designers must consider many choices. Weather will add certain features, and keeping the barn dry through drainage is vital.
This month’s Rounds With Doc T will expose you to possibilities by going through many of the website’s barn and stall interiors topics. Grab your beverage of choice and see what might be possible on your farm.
April 25, 2022 – “Breakdown Of Connective Tissue In Horses.“
The journey of how to feed horses correctly started with the epidemic of suspensory ligament disease. The suspensory ligaments are part of a group of tissues called the connective tissues. The dictionary describes this as tissue that connects, supports, binds, or separates other tissues or organs, typically having relatively few cells embedded in an amorphous matrix, often with collagen or other fibers, including cartilaginous, fatty, and elastic tissues (Apple’s dictionary). The dictionary describes collagen as the main structural protein in skin and other connective tissues.
Let’s dig deeper into the description of collagen from Wikipedia. Collagen is the main structural protein in the extracellular matrix in the body’s various connective tissues. As the main component of connective tissue, it is the most abundant protein in mammals, from 25% to 35% of the whole-body protein content. Collagen consists of amino acids bound together to form a triple helix of elongated fibril known as a collagen helix. This helix is in connective tissue such as cartilage, bones, tendons, ligaments, and skin. Depending upon the degree of mineralization, collagen tissues may be rigid or compliant or have a gradient from stiff to compliant. Collagen is also abundant in corneas, blood vessels, the gut, intervertebral discs, and the dentin of teeth. In muscle tissue, it serves as a major component of the endomysium. Collagen constitutes one to two percent of muscle tissue and accounts for 6% of the weight of strong, tendinous muscles. The fibroblast is the most common cell that creates collagen.
March 28, 2022 – “Colic In Horses.”
Colic is the word that describes any pain coming from the horse’s abdomen. The organs causing this pain are usually the intestines, including the small intestines, cecum and colon. It may also include the stomach, kidneys, spleen, ovaries, uterus, or any combination. When any of these are not working correctly or are placed in an abnormal position, the result is often pain.
Colic pain can vary depending on the cause and the individual horse. Like a dimmer switch on a light, the pain ranges from barely perceptible to dull, chronic to acute “just kill me now!” While the last one seems to be the most important, the others are equally important and may also be life-threatening. Therefore, one of the most important expressions to know is this: The degree of pain does not equal the severity of the colic.
This Rounds With Doc T discusses colic, how to recognize it, and what to do about it. Remember, the best colic is the one that doesn’t happen, so prevention is key.
February 28, 2022 – “How Does The Horse Brain Work?“
The horse’s brain has been dissected and analyzed, but how does it work? Behaviorists have looked at how horses use their brains, and trainers have applied their theories for decades. We can read the materials available, from veterinary textbooks to recent comments on social media videos.
Have we found the secret to how horses’ brains think about us, other horses and everything else? Have we overanalyzed things? I’m not sure. However, after seeing tens of thousands of horses of every breed, sport, and environment, I have recognized a few patterns I want to discuss.
I will not offer training advice or compete with the various styles of training promoted by the many entrepreneurs who have done this already. This webinar is not a “how-to” seminar. Rather, it is a thought-provoking exercise in understanding a few basic principles that work for every horse you come into contact with. It may be more about your brain and how it works because you can’t understand the horse’s brain without understanding it.
January 31, 2022 – “Can Horse Owners Believe The Horse Science?“
From 2020 to 2022, we were asked to believe the science. The first question is this – What is science? Can it be fair? Can it be absolute? How is it measured? How do you distinguish between “good” and “bad” science?
Over 1 million scientific papers are published yearly, and all are done with the best intentions. However, they are all written by humans, and we all have flaws. Is a measurement accurate? Did we measure the right thing? Was the math applied to the data correctly, and does it accurately present it in significant ways?
One of my veterinary education tenets at Cornell was to thoroughly examine published research papers and determine if something could be learned from them or if more questions were raised than answered. In the horse research world, the adage holds – follow the money. Most horse research is underfunded, biased, underpowered and simply wrong. This month’s Rounds delves into whether we can trust horse science.
December 2021 – “The Skin Of Horses”
We all see the skin, yet we all see the same thing and wonder what to do about it. The first thing to do is correctly identify what we are seeing and then discover the treatment that works. However, I look at this a bit differently. Rather than just look at the lesion, why not look at the underlying cause and treat that? (Jan 3, 2022)
November 29, 2021 – “Equine Dentistry Seen Through 75,000 Floats”
I have floated the teeth of horses since 1983, worked on over 75,000 horse mouths and still am floating teeth every day. I have some thoughts, many of which are similar to what others say….. and many do not. This seminar aims to help owners understand why teeth are important to care for in horses, and I will NOT discuss which technique is better.
October 2021 – “Preparing Your Horses And Your Farm For Winter Cold Or Summer Heat”
Preparing for cold weather concerns many horse owners in areas with temperatures dipping to sub-freezing temperatures. Conversely, humidity and heat can also affect horses in serious ways. I have lived in cold and hot environments, and share what I learned in this seminar. (Nov 1, 2021)
September 2021 – “Feeding The Suckling, Weanling, Growing and Senior Horse”
Autumn here in the northern hemisphere is when foals are weaned from their mothers. Is there a right way to do this? I discuss several of the usual approaches, but none are perfect other than the mare kicking out the foal on her own. Feeding these growing horses also has some problems when done incorrectly, including life-ending developments. (Oct 4, 2021)
August 30, 2021 – “Horse Fencing, Gates, Maintenance And Safety”
There are so many types of fences and fence gates and latches used that I have come across. This will discuss the basics that can be applied to make these safe for horses while keeping maintenance and other costs down.
July 26, 2021 – “Trailering Horses – On the Road Again”
I trailered horses for a living during my undergraduate and veterinary school days. These were not just the 2-horse bumper hitch trailers but 18-wheel semi-trailers and trucks with 13 or more transmission speeds. I have driven in all of it by maneuvering in tight spaces between tents at show grounds, snow, heat and ice. And I still drive about 60,000 miles a year now. I want to help you learn the basics and safety of trailering horses.
June 28, 2021 – “50 Shades Of Red And Black – Just How Do Horses Get Their Chestnut, Paint or Bay Coat?”
Understanding how horses look the way they do is based on genetics. I attempt to simplify the view of coat color and patterns in an organized manner. While all is not fully known about the complex variations, there is a layering of effects from the base color, then base color modification, base color dilution and finally, patterns applied to the overall result.
May 31, 2021 – “Fat And Physics – The Two Causes Of Soft Tissue Injury In Horses”
There are increased soft tissue injuries in horses (ligaments and tendons). This seminar discusses the role of fat in two ways. The first is fat’s role in inflammation and the resorption of proteins needed to maintain structural integrity. The second is the increased weight of the horse from excess body fat. I also discuss several laws of physics directly responsible for the damage in these tissues.
April 26, 2021 – “The Ins And Outs Of Fat”
The movement of fat in the form of Free Fatty Acids (FFAs) and triglycerides (TAGs) throughout the body passes freely in and out of the body fat cells in a normal and healthy horse. I describe this arrangement and how a continuous supply of glucose in the food triggers insulin and the effect this hormone has in blocking the free flow of fat. This leads to obesity and metabolic syndrome.
March 28, 2021 – “EOTRH – The Disease Affecting The Incisor Teeth Of Horses”
Equine Odontoclastic Tooth Resorption and Hypercementosis (EOTRH) is a new disease of horses affecting the health of all horses’ incisors and canine teeth. I describe this disease and a unique perspective on its cause (autoimmune). I also give observational evidence for a treatment to stop further inflammation and damage.
February 28, 2021 – “Aerobic Exercise And Its Role In Insulin Resistance”
The cause of insulin resistance (IR) is discussed from the cellular level, and the effect aerobic exercise has in circumventing the blockade of glucose entering the muscle cell.