The primary goal of this site is to try to educate the equestrian public on the importance of keeping the health and welfare of horses first and foremost, above anything else that is equine related. I will do my best to keep information about primary equine diseases on this site as it becomes available but my first priority is to try to stop the spread of HYPP (Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis). It is one of the few equine diseases that can be specifically tested for, prevented, and eradicated, and the only one that is purposely bred into our horses. Since the registries are not willing to step up and take responsibility for their part in this effort, it is up to the equine owners, buyers, and breeders to do so.
One thing to keep in mind, is that no single website, person, or small group can make these changes alone. It requires a concerted effort from the many horse owners around the world to accept the responsibility to ensure that the diseases listed in this site are not allowed to run rampant.
The only disease on this site that is desired by some breeders and is specifically bred into our horses is HYPP. It is also the only disease that is a dominant gene. Dominant genes only require one parent to pass the disease on to its offspring in lethal form.
The other genetic diseases, HERDA, OLWS, and GBED, are carried through recessive genes, which require both parents to be carriers and to contribute one gene each, to pass the disease on to their offspring in a lethal form. Being recessive does not make these diseases any less important than HYPP. Although these diseases are not desirable, too many breeders don't feel a 25% chance of passing these diseases to be much of a gamble and continue to breed carrier to carrier. When you are talking in terms of 1 of every 4 foals being born with a lethal disease by crossing 2 carriers, they are dead wrong! And horses are dying because of their choices. These are living, breathing beings that deserve just as much chance at a normal healthy life as any of us do. HERDA, OWLS and GBED are all genetic diseases that are very easily avoidable without damaging breeding programs. It's as simple as not breeding known carriers to each other. A recessive gene carrier horse does not have a disease to pass on, and can safely be bred to a non-carrier.
Testing is available for HYPP, HERDA, OLWS and GBED. Please use the available tests and breed wisely.
Last, but not least, help petition to have all registries require testing for all the diseases applicable to each bloodline and stamp the results clearly and conspicuously, of all carriers, on their registration papers. It is also very important to inform the public of the necessity of testing grade horses for these diseases. It is crucial for people to understand they are culled into the grade industry and not found only in registered horses. There is no paperwork available showing the pedigree or ancestors of grade horses; therefore, anyone can unknowingly purchase a horse positive for HYPP, or a carrier of the other diseases, Help to work towards and maintain a healthy life for ALL horses.