Education Blog

Welcome to the Foal Patrol Education Blog! Please check back regularly as we will be constantly posting new content. Thank you to veterinarians Dr. Ted Hill and Dr. Stuart Brown for help with this project. Questions or comments? Contact us at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame:

Nutrition for mares, foals and beyond

March 14th, 2019

Chris Baker from Three Chimneys Farm shares some comprehensive information on equine nutrition for foals, weanlings, mares and stallions. For the first several months, foals receive their basic nutrients from milk. This means that the mare or nursing mare needs to be consuming high quality feed to maintain their milk production and health. The nutritional needs of a lactating mare are greater than any other horse type. Watch below to learn more....

snow and cold exploration

Horse Behavior
March 7th, 2019

From Season 1, Memento d'Oro explores Old Tavern Farm during a snow storm. Horses are still turned out in the cold as they tolerate it well due to their ability to grow a winter coat and maintain heat after digestion. 

Climate, temperature and horses

Horse Behavior
March 5th, 2019

With recent cold weather, some might wonder how horses handle the temperatures being outside. Chris Baker, Chief Operating Officer at Three Chimneys Farm provided this explaination: 

Horses deal with cold temperatures much better than they deal with heat. Provided with adequate supplies of fresh water, hay and feed, horses tolerate sub-freezing, zero or minus temperatures remarkably well. The process of digesting long stem roughage (grass or hay) generates a lot of body heat that keeps horses warm with these cold temps. Snow does not really negatively impact this scenario unless it is particularly wet snow. Rain and wind take away the insulating properties of the horses' hair coat and sap a lot of heat away from them. 33-35 degrees fahrenheit and blowing rain is the hardest weather on livestock – I’d much prefer 3 degrees with snow on the ground on a cold winter day for horses. Start with a horse in good body condition and keep plenty of good quality feed, hay and water available and these short term blasts of extreme cold are well tolerated.


Anatomy / Pedigree
February 26th, 2019

A rich brown, soft silver or warm chestnut are all beautiful colors of Thoroughbred horses. These colors are part of their markings that help to identify the animal. Markings are defined as certain colors and characteristics that appear on a horse including the overall color of the horse such as black, brown (bay) and chestnut in the dark color category and gray, roan or sometimes white in the lighter color category.  

Markings also include those on the legs and head that are white with some rare exceptions. These are generally more unique and distinctive. Head markings include a star, stripe or combination of both as well as a blaze. A star is a small to large block of color on the forehead. A strip is a long line of color down below the forehead. A blaze is a wider band of color from the forehead down to the nostrils and muzzle. Leg markings consist of a stocking, sock or pastern. The markings cover the leg or legs at different heights. 

Lastly, there are a few other specific markings used for identification. Cowlicks or “whirls” in the haircoat can be used as a unique identifying feature. These are seen most often on the horse’s face and/or neck. "Night-eyes" or "chestnuts" are small horny growths on the inside of each leg with a distinct pattern for each horse. These are also used as an identification aid and they can be quite valuable in reviewing a horse’s photos submitted to the Jockey Club registry. Both markings have been compared to a fingerprint in humans.

Markings - Cavalcade museum collection.jpg

Cavalcade Martin Stainforth, oil on canvas 1960.12.1 Museum Collection

Markings - Gino museum collection.jpg

Gino Martin Stainforth, oil on canvas 2015.22.4 Museum Collection

Markings - Gallant Fox museum collection.jpg

Gallant Fox Franklin Brooke Voss, oil on canvas 1934 1996.21.2 Museum Collection