Sport Horse Podcast

Join Nicole Lakin and Tim Worden, PhD, as they chat with leading horse people and researchers to explore the fascinating science behind cutting-edge training and management techniques for sport horses.

This entertaining podcast explores recent research on topics relevant to ensuring sport horses achieve their best while staying healthy. And it asks questions about how the world’s best athletes are able to achieve such impressive feats and how horsemanship can be combined with science to improve results. This podcast is presented by the Equine High Performance Sports Group.

Episode 26: Understanding Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome Part 2

As a follow up to Episode 24, this week’s episode explores practical strategies to prevent ulcers and examines the causes of glandular and squamous ulcers with leading expert Dr. Ben Sykes as he discusses the ‘Big 3’ ulcer prevention strategies: carbohydrate intake, how much and when roughage should be fed and exercise considerations.

Episode 25: Sport Horse Nutrition—Roughage and Concentrate Recommendations

Barn schedules, infrastructure, finances and past experiences can all dictate how we manage sport horse nutrition. In this episode, we tackle some of the common nutrition practices in the stable, discuss the importance of roughage and hear about key feeding practices that are supported by scientific literature with Dr. Anneke Hallebeek.

Episode 24: Understanding and Treating Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome

Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome is a common occurrence in sport horses and is associated with a number of negative symptoms. The prognonsis is good if horses are treated in a timely manner and appropriate lifestyle changes for the horse are made. Listen in to hear Dr. Arno Werners discuss therapeutic options for equine gastric ulcers

Episode 23: Sports Psychology 101

We all know that a rider’s ‘mental game’ is critical to success. But what are the common mistakes and what strategies can we utilize to fix them? In this episode, we discuss with Dr. Inga Wolframma how a rider’s tension can negatively impact a horse’s behavior, goal setting, and tips to control the here and now.

Episode 22: Sport Horse Year 1 Wrap Up

Join Nicole and Tim as they recap highlights from the first year of the Sport Horse Podcast, discuss some of their favorite moments, as well as the future of the Sport Horse Series and Equine High-Performance Sports Group! 2023 will be bigger and better!

Episode 21: Understanding Osteoarthritis in Horses and Future Treatments

How is osteoarthritis defined and diagnosed? Why do sport horses struggle with this condition? What next-generation tools are being developed to allow horse owners to catch osteoarthritis in the early stages or to potentially reverse the disease? We discuss these topics and more with Dr. Thomas Koch from the University of Guelph.

Episode 20: Fitness Monitoring 101 with Dr. Cris Navas

Fitness wearables are becoming more common, but how should they be used and what can we learn from the data? In this episode, Dr. Cris Navas shares his expertise on how different types of information can be used to guide and inform training decisions.

Episode 19: Sustainable Equestrianism and the Horse-Rider Interaction

What does sustainability mean in equestrian sports? What changes can be made to ensure we continue to prioritize horse welfare and high-level performance? We talk with Dr. Inga Wolframm about her research on sustainable equestrianism, the horse-rider interaction implications for how we build each training session, as well as discuss key anecdotes that frame the direction that our sports need to move.

Episode 18: Enhancing Hip Mobility to Improve Performance

Excessive tension in the muscles of the back and neck is common in ridden horses. Oftentimes, a rider’s seat and subtle movements in the saddle creates excessive loads on a horse’s body which causes this enhanced muscle tonus and eventual soreness and pain. In this episode, physiotherapist Imke Schlomer discusses some of the common issues she sees and offers practical cues anyone can use to improve their seat and connection with their equine partner.

Episode 17: Understanding Shared Decision-Making in Equine Veterinary Medicine

What do owners expect from their veterinarians? How can veterinarians navigate complex situations to ensure the best possible outcome for their clients and horses? In this episode, Dr. Yteke Elte from Utrecht University shares her research on the topic and identifies opportunities to ensure veterinarians work with their clients to come up with the best possible solutions.

Episode 16: Where Have All the Equine Veterinarians Gone?

The number of equine veterinarians retiring continues to outpace the number entering the profession. So what does the future of equine veterinary medicine look like? What changes can be made to encourage an influx of new veterinarians? Hosts Nicole and Tim chat about this topic with Dr. Erica Lacher.

Episode 15: Understanding Concussions and Examining Helmet Safety

The incidence of neurotrauma is relatively high in equestrian sports. Concussions continue to be a major concern and new helmet technologies are being developed to enhance rider safety. In this episode we talk with Amy Murphy, who developed a new method for testing helmet safety at the University of Ottawa.

Episode 14: Decoding Equine Movement to Identify Soundness Issues

In this episode, Dr. Sheila Schils describes her approach to identifying problem areas within the horse’s body. Sheila provides real-world examples of common issues she observes in sport horses, and speaks about how these issues can impact the horse’s movement and performance as a whole.

Episode 13: NSAIDs in Horses Part 2: When and How to Use Them

Dr. Philippe Benoit discusses his perspective on NSAID use in sport horses. He provides practical recommendations for the use of NSAIDs, as well as shares his concerns about the liberal use of these drugs in North America. 

Episode 12: Maintaining the Rider’s Body, a Physiotherapists Perspective

What are some of the common issues affecting riders’ bodies. How does poor range of motion in a rider’s body influence how a horse moves? Human physiotherapist Taylor Campbell weighs in on the important of ensuring musculoskeletal efficiency in each rider’s body and shares tips to “up” your game in the saddle.

Episode 11: NSAIDs in Horses, Part 1–How Do They Work?

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Phenylbutazone, can be used to treat inflammatory conditions in horses. Dr. Arno Werners shares how NSAIDs work, what conditions they are most effective for and some of the common side effects seen in sport horses.

Episode 10: Understanding Speed – Physiological and Biomechanical Factors

How can we use technology to gain insight into performance? In this episode, Charlotte Schrurs discusses her research examining heart rate and stride characteristics in thoroughbred race horses. The data collected can ‘profile’ a horse and give trainers actionable insights to ensure horses reach their full potential.

Episode 9: Equine High-Low Syndrome

Why do horses naturally have one front heel that is higher than the other front heel and how should this be managed? In this episode with farrier Jude Florio, Nicole and Tim tackle the ‘why’ behind high-low syndrome and get expert insight into how this phenomenon can be addressed.

Episode 8: Everyday Evaluations for Sport Horses

Dr. Philippe Benoit discusses methods to evaluate sport horses and how to detect a small issue before it becomes a major injury. Specially he describes his process for examining horses early in the day in the barn as well as during ridden work.

Episode 7: Quantifying Movement and Muscle Activity

Nicole and Tim catch up with Ineke Smit to discuss recent results from Utrecht University’s efforts to better understand horse movement and dive into using technology to detect lameness as well as opportunities to better understand how factors like fatigue and fitness can impact muscle activity.

Episode 6: Cardiorespiratory Challenges in Sport Horses

What is inflammatory airway disease and how does it impact performance? How can we monitor a horse’s heart to identify respiratory issues or pain? This fascinating interview with Dr. Emmanuelle van Erck-Westergren, sponsored by Haygain, discusses the latest research on cardiorespiratory health and provides practical solutions to ensure all horses can live and perform at their best. Listen in…

Episode 5: The Impact of Exercise on the Equine Musculoskeletal System

How does high-intensity exercise affect bone growth? What effect does circular exercise (for example: longeing and turning) have on the horse’s body and how does this impact conditioning programs? This podcast covers recent research performed by Michigan State University PhD Candidate Alyssa Logan and will provide you with important knowledge when building your own sport horse training programs.  Listen in…

Episode 4: Sport Horse Management—Where Are We Going?

What is the future of equine sports medicine? In this episode, we dive into a discussion of the past, present, and future of sports medicine with the President of the Equine High-Performance Sports Group and renowned veterinarian, Dr. Mark Revenaugh. Mark shares what he has learned from working with elite equine athletes for over 30 years and how horse management needs to change to continue to improve health and wellness.  Listen in…

Episode 3: Measuring and Monitoring Equine Athletes

If it matters, measure it! In this episode, Carl Valle shares lessons learned from human athletics about how to measure and monitor progress, and it these ideas can be applied to sport horses. We are sure you will apply Carl’s ideas to your own sport horse training programs!

Episode 2: The Art and Science of Shoeing Horses

Should a horse be barefoot or shod? What is the role of science and research in shoeing horses, both now and in the future? Join us for a discussion with farrier Pat Reilly as he shares his thoughts on the current state of managing hooves as well as what the future of his profession will look like.  Listen in…

Episode 1: Water Treadmills, from Science to Practice

When should your horse use a water treadmill or swimming pool? Water treadmills and swimming pools are growing in popularity as tools to complement training and rehabilitation. Dr. Perse McCrae breaks down the science behind these tools, when and how they can be utilized, and shares cool insights from her experiences using both methods. Listen in…

Follow the Equine High Performance Sports Group at for more great content like this.