Monday, August 31, 2009

Misty's Monday Muse

BIG HORSE, little horse.

Does size matter?

The researchers at Cornell University think so. They are studying the genetics of equine body size to learn more about how genes make us grow and influence our breed-specific traits, as well as how genes affect disease growth. Marley and I are participating in the study because we want to help horses live healthier lives.

If you are a horse or pony that would like to help, and you are at least 4 years old or full grown, here's what you will need to provide:
  • Tail hairs containing your DNA.
  • 35 body measurements from the length of your ears to the circumference of your hind cannon bone.
  • A 3-generation pedigree, so they can be sure horses in the study are unrelated (have a different dam and sire).
  • Profile photos
Marley's measurements were taken yesterday. He was a little bored, but he did enjoy a couple of the measurements. He liked having his neck measured with his head down to the ground because there were snacks on the ground to lure his nose down and stretch his neck. He had some fun when Mr. and Mrs. OnceUpon were standing in just the right spot measuring his tail bone; he let out a slow "whooooooosh" of stinky gas. "Oh Marley!" they exclaimed as they waved their hands in front of their noses. Then they laughed and said that must be the equine version of "pull my finger."

I'm getting measured today and I will try not to "whooooooosh" in anyone's face. But I am a horse and I eat a lot of fiber, so I can't promise.

Read more about the study and how you can participate in Equine Study Needs Participants.


  1. Today's question: How come horses always "whooosh" when you pick the hind hooves? Or brush the tail?

  2. Good question HOC. All I have to do is walk behind them and I draw thw "whooosh" right out of them.

  3. lol. My ponies are whoooshy, too.

    I wish I had a pedigree for my guy, this study sounds quite interesting. It would be great to participate. But alas, I have very little info on his ancestors.