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Using Horseadvice.com
by Robert N. Oglesby DVM

Introduction

Introduction » Page Structure » Structure » Plan Your Study » Articles and Discussions » Discussion Replies » Search Page » References

This document gives you the basic knowledge that you need to use this board effectively to learn and answer your questions. Whether you are a member or visitor effects what information you can access. As a visitor you may read the introductions to the articles and the current forum discussions. Having a membership on this discussion board gives the following benefits:
  • Access to the whole articles and the member only discussion areas.
  • Create new discussions and post to existing discussions.
  • Have discussions or topics emailed to you when updated.
To become a member click here.

Page Structure

Introduction » Page Structure » Structure » Plan Your Study » Articles and Discussions » Discussion Replies » Search Page » References

Let's begin by explaining the page structure of every page on Horseadvice. You can use this page you are reading as an example:

Header

In the header you see our logo on the left, a search form and a place to sign in and access your profile. If you are are already signed in it will welcome you and give you a button to sign out.

The simple search form on every page of the Advisor searches both the articles and the discussions. It is designed to bring up information in order of relevance. If there is an article on your subject, it will appear at the top of the results. Discussions with the search term in their titles will appear next, and lastly if the word is just part of the text those pages where the term is use most often next, etc...

Navigation Bar

Just under the header area is the navigation bar that tells you where in Horseadvice you are. It consists of the list of links starting at the homepage and then each step to get to the page you are on. It can be used to move backward within a topic.

Note well: the navigation bar is different than your "back button" if you jumped to your current page from a different topic. We bring this up to remind you that your back button takes you back to the last page you viewed in your browser. While the navigation bar takes you back up the subtopic menus to the homepage.

Navigation Frame

The narrow window to the left of this window is on every page of Horseadvice. By placing your cursor over a topic, it's subtopics unfold out. Some subtopics have further subtopics that can be revealed. Clicking on a title takes you to the page where you can see the list of articles. The Navigation Frame allows you to quickly peruse the topic and subtopic menus and then jump to any menu on the site without having to click through a bunch of links. Although we consist of over 100,000 pages, you are never more than 3 links from any page on the site using the Navigation Frame.

Main Frame

The large window to the right of the navigation frame and the same window you are reading this text in. What you find in the main frame depends on the type page you are on:

Topic Menu (on the homepage)

This is the homepage to Horseadvice.com and has the list of subtopic titles and links. If you are not logged in you will not be able to see all the subtopics available to you. By selecting the titles of the subtopics you reach increasingly focused subtopic menus until you get to the article level.

Subtopic Menu

Contains the list of subtopics or articles on the subject of the Subtopic Menu Page. Note that their may be two or more subtopic levels below the main topics listed on the home page before you reach an article.

Article and List of Discusssions

The heart of horseadvice.com is the article page. You will find the article and at the bottom on the article, a list of discussions on the articles subject, and at the bottom of the article page the Start New Discussion button.
That elusive "Start New Discussion" button is at the bottom of each article page under the list of already existing discussions. From a discussion you reach it by backing up one page using the navigation bar.

Discussion Posts

Discussion pages are created from the article page using the "Start New Discussion" button. Within the discussion page are the past posts and "Add a Post" form. A discussion is owned by the orignal poster and any posts in that discussion should be directed at their concerns. If you have a question about your horse you should "Start a New Discussion" by backing up one page using the navigation bar.

Site Structure: The Topics are Arranged Like A Tree

Introduction » Page Structure » Structure » Plan Your Study » Articles and Discussions » Discussion Replies » Search Page » References

Using Horseadvice.com is quite intuitive, we are structured not so much like a book as like a tree. Starting at the home page, topics branch out into subtopics which branch into more specific subtopics and at the of each subtopics is an article and discussions on the subtopic. Often the best way to find information on your interest is to start at the trunk and work your way up the tree. The advantage is that our menu system acts a bit like a ?diagnostic paradigm? that helps lead you to your best article. Also by going this route you will see related topics which might help. If this fails you our search engine is very robust that tries to list the most relevant and complete information first, like an article on your subject, followed by discussions.

Make A Plan to Find Your Answer:

Introduction » Page Structure » Structure » Plan Your Study » Articles and Discussions » Discussion Replies » Search Page » References
The search engine will rapidly display all the articles and discussions a particular term appears in Horseadvice and will arrange them in order of relevance however it tries to avoid menu pages. What if you are not sure what you are looking for? For instance you have symptoms but don't know what diseases might be related to that symptom. Or if you are looking for general information on nutrition. These are cases where perusing menus of related articles and discussions may help you answer your questions. Don't forget by using the rollout menus on the navigation frame you can instantly review all of the menus on the site.

The Topics and subtopics are arranged on menus in logical hierarchies by subject matter. Starting at the homepage and working your way down to your specific subject works best for problem-solving for a couple of reasons:
  • The menus help organize your thoughts.
  • Menus allow you to view other related information that you may not have thought of.

As you bore down the subtopic menus, examine the choices carefully. Pay close attention to overview and diagnosis topics that further help explain a topic or diagnose a condition. Study the menu itself. It often contains helpful information. Articles are grouped on the menus by their relationship to each other. If the article you selected did not apply, look at the articles around it or look for a more general article.

Article Pages and New Discussions

Introduction » Page Structure » Structure » Plan Your Study » Articles and Discussions » Discussion Replies » Search Page » References

The article page will contain the article and a forum with a list of preexisting discussions. At the bottom of the list of discussions there will be a "Create New Discussion" button. If the article on your subject did not answer your question or raised more questions you cannot find an answer to, study the article's Discussions below the article. Each article has its own forum associated with it where you can read others topics and post a question. Before posting study the preexisting discussions, frequently you will find your question answered there. If not, post a New Discussion. Do not add your question to the bottom of someone else's discussion, this is reserved for when you want to respond or ask about the orignal poster's topic.

Replies to Discussions

Introduction » Page Structure » Structure » Plan Your Study » Articles and Discussions » Discussion Replies » Search Page » References

Horseadvice has a open forum system and full service members can post a question or reply. Posts are not reviewed before they are put on the board. DrO attempts to look at every health or disease post in a timely manner. Note that these boards should not be used to take the place of emergency veterinary care. They are answered depending on how long they have been posted, have they been posted appropriately, and their succinctness and clarity. Long rambling posts or posts that have been added to someone else's discussion go to the bottom of the reply list and are replied to as time allows.

Search Page

Introduction » Page Structure » Structure » Plan Your Study » Articles and Discussions » Discussion Replies » Search Page » References

Besides the short form on every page there is a search page available from the navigation frame. Here you can do more refined boolean searches arranged by parameters other than relevance or search just the discussions by author, subject title, time posted, or even bring up the discussions that have been posted since the last time you did a search.

References

Introduction » Page Structure » Structure » Plan Your Study » Articles and Discussions » Discussion Replies » Search Page » References

We have many dictionaries and illustrtations to help explain and clarify what you are reading in the reference section available from the navigation frame.
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