The aim of the study was to show the variability of exterior type in Arabian horses bred in three leading stud farms in Poland. A total of 334 adult animals from the basic herd of stud farms in Bialka, Janow Podlaski, and Michalow were studied. Each horse underwent 26 exterior measurements. In the first stage, the method of exploration of multidimensional data - principal component analysis, was used, and subsequently, a stepwise canonical discriminant analysis. It was found that each stud farm breeds horses with a different metrical pattern. Horses bred in Bialka represent clearly different morphotype comparing to horses from the other stud farms. Individuals from Janow Podlaski are more similar to horses originating from Michalow but morphological variation also occurs between them. From among the 26 metric traits, 10 parameters have a meaningful discriminative power. These include in particular such parameters as the length of the metatarsus, pelvis, arm, and neck, and depth of the chest.
The aim of the review is to present mechanisms of digestion in horses through a functional description of the digestive system’s structure with emphasis on nutrient digestibility. In the era of an increasingly intensive and specialised sport usage of horses, also the significance of balancing their dietary nutrient value in accordance with individual requirements of these animals is gaining in importance. At the same time, it is not possible to meet nutritional requirements of a sport horse without knowledge about feed utilisation. In many farm animal species, digestibility is measured postmortem or via complicated and expensive cannulation of the digestive system. In horses, these methods are not applied due to ethical approaches or other limitations (e.g. sport horses); therefore, the importance of marker-based techniques is growing, although not much data is published in the available literature (Sales, 2012). Moreover, in contrast to other non-ruminants, horses are naturally adapted to a constant intake of large quantities of roughages. However, during intensive sport training, they are primarily fed concentrated diets with high amounts of easily digestible, non-structural carbohydrates and reduced amounts of dietary fibre fractions. Therefore, the risk of metabolic diseases and behavioural disorders in the horse increases.
The study aimed at evaluation of pathological lesions on flexor surface of navicular bone and deep digital flexor tendon in horses graded in standard X-ray examination as 2 (fair). The evaluation was performed on fifteen horses (6-9 years of age). Analysis procedure involved examining navicular bones on X-ray pictures, post-slaughter preparation of navicular bones from the hoof capsule, macroscopic evaluation of fibrocartilage on flexor surface, and analysis of histologic preparations. In horses with navicular bones graded as 2, early pathological changes have already developed, even if such horses were not lame. The pathological changes included fibrillation and disruption of deep digital flexor tendon surface, loss of fibrocartillage in sagittal ridge area of navicular bone, thinning of subchondral bone on its flexor surface, and fibromyxoid changes in chondroid matrix. In terms of clinical relevance, more studies are needed to understand the sequence of changes in a better way.