RAO is normally caused by a hypersensitive response within the lungs to an allergen. There are two types of RAO, one of which is associated with horses living in barn conditions, and the other with horses that live out at pasture.
Environmental management of RAO - If your horse has RAO, one of the most useful things you can do is reduce his exposure to allergen-triggering pathogens! However, this is not always as easy as it might sound.
If you have a horse that suffers from RAO, you might be wondering if you can ride it? If a horse is displaying any symptoms of heaves it should not be ridden, as any exertion will make the problem worse.
So, as we have learned, heaves is more correctly known as recurrent airway obstruction and is very similar to asthma in humans. Horses with this condition need careful management to reduce their exposure to factors that might trigger heaves.