Steamed Hay Stars in USEF Learning Center Video on Respiratory Health

Thursday, June 18, 2020
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The latest addition to the United States Equestrian Federation's Learning Center video library covers a topic close to Haygain's heart: respiratory health in competition horses.

In the video, veterinarian, dressage rider and USEF member Wren Burnley, DVM, shares actionable information about the importance of respiratory health, the prevalence of respiratory challenges and the small changes in barn management that can make big changes in a horse's health.

As an athlete with asthma herself, Dr. Burnley is keenly aware the uncomfortable and performance limiting effects of a compromised respiratory system. In horses, the most common of these is Inflammatory Airway Disease. IAD affects over 80% of active sport horses, even though it is "amazingly asymptomatic," Dr. Burnley explains.

"Whenever we scope a horse, we often have owners think their horse doesn't have IAD at all," she shares in the 14-minute video. "Yet, we often find signs of it."

Additional Key Points:
• Horses have a 1-1 ratio of stride to breath at the canter or gallop. "Whenever we affect their breathing, we affect their stride." 
• Subtle signs of IAD include: 

  •  Cough -- especially when warming up. "It's often thought the horse is coughing to clear its airway, but that's not normal for a horse."
  • Slower respiratory recovery rate after exertion.
  • Clear or colored nasal discharge
  • "Your horse is not exactly right, and you just can't pinpoint why."

• "Simple changes in how we keep our barn can make a big effect on our horses and can prevent many cases of IAD."

How Steamed Hay Helps:
Haygain Steamed Hay is a top preventative measure taken at Dr. Burnley and her husband JT Burnley's training facility, Wrenwood Dressage, in Fulton, Kentucky. Inhalable irritants are everywhere in the equestrian environment and are one of the biggest causes of non-infectious respiratory disease. Haygain high-temperature steaming rids up to 99% of the breathable bits of dust, mold, bacteria and other allergens found even in hay of good nutrient quality.

Dr. Burley recommends it for her clients' horses in all stages of life, and not just for respiratory health. Skin allergies, lack of appetite and a tendency toward colic are additional conditions for which she's seen steamed hay work wonders. "Since I started to use a Haygain hay steamer, I have seen many changes in horses for the better."

Existing USEF members can find this informative video under the "Learning Center" tab on And, free fan memberships are available using this promo code: "freefan20!" on the USEF website.

As the Federation's Official Hay Steamer and Official Supporter of Equine Respiratory Health, Haygain offers USEF members another benefit: a 5% Member Perk discount on any of its three hay steaming models. The Haygain check-out code for this can be found on the "Member Perks" page at For more information about Haygain, visit