Are Horses Caring

David Lawrence
• Wednesday, 23 December, 2020
• 34 min read

This pet demands much bigger responsibility upon its owner, in terms of commitment and money. It takes time to provide proper care for your equine friend.

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There should be a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual cleaning routine for the pet. Keep track of your pet’s caring schedule in a calendar to not forget a thing.

However, domesticated horses prefer to reside in a habitat created by their masters. Building the right boarding stable requires much consideration, chichis made up of: Considering a stable for horses depend on the functioning of the pet, whether for a ride or racing.

Horse-friendly Less dusty Highly absorbent Easy to set up Great availability It composts well It is sold by bag for easy transportation and storage. It has no chemical additives and much cheaper than the other options.

The tie should be attached at chest level or higher, as long as the rope does not hang down nor restricts horse’s head. Keep the tie firmly anchored on a wall or post that will not come loose when the horse pulls on it.

Avoid tying it on areas like fence rails, truck tailgates, and anything else that is not sturdy. Of course, it demands a cost to board a horse that will surely fit the budget.

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The quality of care concerning the health and safety of your horse. Check if space is adequate for the horses as well as the hay. Emergency equipment must be on-hand at all times, such as fire extinguishers and a first aid kit.

Check out for the available services being offered, but expect for an additional cost beyond your board fee. Take into consideration the size of the boarder for some might want smaller stable while doing an alone time with their horses.

Bigger barns are available for horse owners who love to interact with other equine parents. Knowing the opening and closing hours of a stable make a difference.

Ask for references and read the boarder’s contract to make things clear. Horses are not a high maintenance pet in terms of the food they consume.

The number of hay horses should eat in a day must be between 2% and 4% of their body weight in pounds. Good hay is their natural food, but it runs out in number at some times.

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You can provide pasture grass, or any other grain or pellet concentrates instead of forages. Another thing is a constantly fresh and clean water supply for the horses.

These animals are prone to chronic dehydration that leads to colic disease. You can add buckets or automatic caterers in stables to keep the horses hydrated.

Always check the water area if an algae growth or mosquito larvae are living on it. It may develop bone and joint issues or muscle disorders, especially to adult horses.

It is not true that feeding horses with extra grain during winter will keep him warm. Go to the nearest equine veterinarian to talk about regular vaccinations and deforming.

Horses need to have protection against animal sickness in the form of proper vaccines and other medical solutions. Failure to do so may put the horses in harm resulting loss, poor coat, and deadly colic disease.

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This is an excellent way to check the horse’s skin and hooves condition. I guess grooming is the most essential part of horse care routines.

Learn the following factors to groom your equine friend from head to toe: Gather All Necessary Supplies –Hoard all the needed tools organized in a full bucket, which can be bought in the market.

Hygienic sponge or soft cloth A tail comb A grooming MIT A body brush with stiff bristles A finishing brush with soft bristles A hoof pick Others such as grooming spray, hoof ointment, and clippers You can simultaneously check any signs of injury or cracks while cleaning the hooves. If so, consult an expert as to what should be done.

Currying –By this process, use the grooming MIT to remove dirt on your horse’s coat until it shines. Be careful on the bony areas like shoulders, hips, and legs to prevent hurting the pet.

You can tell when the horse is uncomfortable with the brushing by laying back his ears or swishing his tails. Get the body brush with longer bristles to get rid of what remains after the fourth method.

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Follow the direction of the hair growth in sweeping strokes while scrubbing the horse’s body. Also, scrub the legs with the body brush as it is more effective than the curry comb.

It is an excellent time to check for skin problems, such as irritations and lesions, on your horse’s body. Whisk away the dirt in the horse’s face, ears, and even throat with sweeping strokes.

It helps to smooth out the body and hair with an added glossy finish. Apply a grooming spray right after the finishing brush to provide protection against sunlight and to add shine on its coat.

Now is the time for a more detail cleansing by using a damp sponge or soft cloth. However, excessive tearing, redness, or swelling may result in eye infections that must be treated promptly.

Be gentle in taking off seed heads or dirt on the ears as horses become fussy sometimes. For a finishing touch, wipe the dock and tail head with a cloth.

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Horses grow in different phases, which depend on a particular breed. Sometimes products applied on horses cause photosensitivity like grooming sprays.

Or, use a baby formula sunblock or fly sheets and masks to cover up the horse’s coat. If not cured, COP builds gradually that can leave a horse struggling to breathe.

Some horses can start at a period of 18 months on their reproduction stage, but this is rare. It happens when the owner wants to combine genes to create a specific horse breed.

The gestation period of horses can extend up to 11-months, so no worries if it lasts for 9-months for they are not humans. It is the male horses that will display emotional and behavioral changes afterward.

The breeder must always be prepared to enter the scene to ensure the reproduction process. By-products of horse’s reproduction like milk, manure, meat, and leather can be sold for sports purposes.

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Providing him with proper horse care can lift its spirit to be a better pet. The first thing you need to do is to consult an equine expert before applying the caring tips above.

Be ready to spend extra money to give the best care for horses. Fencing, dry areas for resting, and proper cleaning of stalls and stables are also important components of providing adequate shelter for your horse.

They need roughage in the form of either grass or hay, and in some instances, to be supplemented with grain. Access to a constant supply of fresh, clean drinking water is also vital for maintaining the health of your horse.

At minimum, this needs to be done before riding however a good rule of thumb is to get into the habit of doing this daily. You’ll also want to arrange regular visits with a farrier to trim your horse’s hooves.

Having an equine first aid kit on hand and learning the basics of how and when to use the items are also helpful. Spending time with your horse each day also goes a long way for both of you in building a strong connection.

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There are other factors that may impact what your horse needs including their age, current health, and purpose. A horse that is mainly a family companion and used for recreational riding will have much different needs than a workhorse or one used in competition.

If you need help, feel free to send us a message letting us know what you’re looking for or ask one of our knowledgeable staff next time you’re in store. You must also show your commitment by providing for her needs 365 days a year, in good weather and bad.

Make sure you are realistic about your ability to afford quality care before you acquire an equine companion. Plan to hire a farrier (blacksmith) every six to eight weeks for routine hoof trimming or shoeing.

Keep in mind that medical emergencies, which are always an unfortunate possibility, can cost several thousand dollars to treat. Since horses are constantly exposed to intestinal worms from the ground they graze on, they must be on an anti-parasite regimen as prescribed by your equine practitioner.

Carrying a heavy burden of worms can cause serious illness or death in equines, so regular and timely treatment is crucial to your horse's health. Horses need constant access to a dry, safe, comfortable shelter to protect them from rain, wind, and snow.

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In warm and sunny weather, the shelter you supply will provide your companion with much-needed shade and relief from biting insects. To supplement the exercise your horse will get when you ride him, he should have a paddock or pasture in which to relax and stroll.

Tanks should be heated in winter and should always contain a large rock or log for small animals to climb out on. Tanks, buckets, and caterers should be scrubbed and rinsed daily with baking soda.

Horses should be fed one-half bale of greenish-colored hay (grass, alfalfa, or a mix) each day (approximately 2 percent of their body weight). Yellow, dusty, moldy, smelly hay or hay with fine dust, flakes, or clumps of plant matter may cause colic, respiratory problems, or even starvation, should the horse refuse to eat it.

Regardless of the hay’s quality, it should be stored away from the horse’s stall to avoid respiratory problems caused by its dust. Stalls should be cleaned daily and should not smell of ammonia (its fumes can damage horses lungs).

If left untended, teeth will become sharp and chewing so painful that a horse may refuse to eat. Horses should be on a cyclical parasite-control program and should receive twice-a-year inoculations, including influenza, rhinopneumotitis, eastern and western strains of encephalomyelitis, and tetanus.

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Vaccinations may vary depending on geographical location, level of activity, and travel. The manure pile, where droppings are temporarily disposed of, should not be able to be seen or smelled from the horse’s stall or shelter and should be cleared from the property at least once every month.

It is your legal responsibility to make sure your horse is provided with the basic requirements to keep it healthy and happy. Adequate and appropriate feed water shelter space and exercise company health care treatment of illness or injury.

A waterproof rug can protect the horse from cold weather but check it daily to ensure it is not rubbing, slipping or leaking. Stabled horses must have enough space to walk forward, turn around, lie down and roll.

Keep fences in good repair prevent threats such as loose wires be aware of attractions such as a neighboring horse remove rubbish and weeds regularly Horse's hooves need to be trimmed every 6-8 weeks by a farrier.

Shoes are needed if the horse is to be ridden on hard or rocky ground. Unchecked teeth can become sharp, causing pain and mouth injuries.

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Follow the directions on the product as dosage frequency and amounts vary. In some cases severe damage may develop that is untreatable and require the horse to be “put down”.

Common causes of laminates are obesity or too much green pasture or grain and ponies are particularly susceptible. Always consult a vet if your horse appears lame, uncomfortable or stands in water for long periods.

Colic refers to a range of digestive tract (gut) problems. If you suspect your horse has colic seek urgent veterinary attention.

Lying down or rolling frequently teeth grinding restlessness repeatedly kicking looking at their flanks or sides. Horses can suffer from a variety of diseases, some of which are notifiable in Victoria.

Keeping a horse on its own may lead to behavior problems in the paddock or when out riding. Check your horse at least daily, ensuring it is not injured or ill and has adequate feed and water.

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All colts and stallions should be deemed (gelded), by a veterinary practitioner, unless they are to be used for breeding. It is much kinder to have the horse humanely destroyed than let it suffer from neglect.

Consult your local saddlery or riding instructor for advice on appropriate equipment. Expensive time-consuming and requires special facilities and knowledge.

Can you provide all basic health and welfare requirements to keep your horse happy and healthy? Keeping a horse requires a substantial time commitment.

Is your property appropriately fenced and suitable for catching and working the horse? Arrange an examination of the horse you are considering buying with your own vet.

While expensive, this may save you from buying a horse that is unhealthy, lame or otherwise unsuitable. Written by Katherine Blockader Reviewed by Anna O'Brien, DVD Before you bring your new equine companion home, you'll want to learn about the basics of good horse care.

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Learn how to feed, house, and care for your horse or pony. Pasture free from hazards such as holes, rusty farm machinery and loose wire fences.

Grass for grazing or equivalent amount of good quality hay. Unlimited supply of fresh clean water, heated if necessary in sub-freezing temperatures.

Shelter from wet or wintry weather and shade in summer. Companionship, either with another horse, donkey, mule or pony or another animal such as a sheep or goat.

Getty Images When you bring home your first horse, there are a few essential things you'll need to know in order to care for it properly right away. I've broken down what you need to do to care for your horse by the day, week month and year.

Good horse care includes quality roughage. While grass is a horse's natural food, it's not always available, and may not be adequate in some situations.

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For good horse care and safety, barns, sheds and stalls need to be properly designed. Designing a Run-in Shelter : If you don't have a barn, or even if you do, a run-in gives your horse a place to get out of the wind and wet.

Find out the ideal size for stalls, flooring options and ceiling height. The key to good horse care is being able to identify health problems and treat them promptly.

Basic Pulse Respiration Temperature : Learn how to take your horse's vital signs. A quick grooming every day is a good way to check the condition of your horse's skin and hooves.

Here's what to look for, how much it may cost and how to be the type of boarder stable owners are glad to have in their barns. That includes providing companionship, understanding the needs of older horses, and keeping their surroundings clean and well maintained.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. Horses require both shelter from natural elements like wind and precipitation, as well as room to exercise.

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Worldwide, horses and other equips usually live outside with access to shelter for protection from the elements. In some cases, animals are kept in a barn or stable for ease of access by managers, or for protection from the weather for various reasons.

Horses that are not on full-time turnout in a field or pasture normally require some form of regular exercise, whether it is being ridden, longed or turned out for free time. However, if a horse is ill or injured it may need to be confined to a stable, usually in a box stall.

Unless an animal can be fully maintained on pasture with a natural open water source, horses must be fed daily. An average of between one and 3 acres (12,000 m 2) of land per horse will provide adequate forage in much of the world, though hay or other feed may have to be supplemented in winter or during periods of drought.

Horses turned out to pasture full-time still need to be checked frequently for evidence of injury, parasites, sickness or weight loss. If the terrain does not provide natural shelter in the form of heavy trees or other windbreaks, an artificial shelter must be provided; a horse's insulating hair coat works less efficiently when wet or when subjected to wind, horses that cannot get away from wind and precipitation put unnecessary energy into maintaining core body warmth and may become susceptible to illness.

Therefore, even in a natural, semi-feral setting, a check every day is recommended; a stream or irrigation source can dry up, ponds may become stagnant or develop toxic blue-green algae, a fence can break and allow escape, poisonous plants can take root and grow; windstorms, precipitation, or even human vandalism can create unsafe conditions. Wood and wood-like synthetics are classic and attractive forms of fencing Horses evolved to live on prairie grasslands and to cover long distances unfettered by artificial barriers.

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Horses will put their heads and legs through fences in an attempt to reach forage on the other side. For exercise alone, a pen, run, corral or “dry lot” without forage can be much smaller than a pasture, and this is a common way that many horses are managed; kept in a barn with a turnout run, or in a dry lot with a shelter, feeding hay, allowing either no pasture access, or grazing for only a few hours per day.

If kept in a small pen, a horse needs to be worked regularly or turned out in a larger area for free exercise. Larger pens are sometimes enclosed in closely woven mesh, sometimes called “no climb” fencing.

If a horse is caught in barbed wire, it can quickly become severely hurt, often leaving lasting scars or even permanent injuries. However, even without sharp barbs, wire has the highest potential for horses to become tangled in the fence and injured.

Visibility is also an issue; a horse galloping in an unfamiliar pasture may not see a wire fence until it is too late to stop. A heavy woven mesh with closely spaced strands is relatively safe for horses, as they cannot easily break the fence nor put a foot through woven mesh wire is safer but more expensive than strands of smooth wire.

It is more difficult to install, and has some visibility issues, but horses are less likely to become tangled in it or be injured if they run into it. Adding a top rail of wood or synthetic material increases visibility of the fence and prevents it from being bent by horses reaching over it.

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Use of plastic posts allows a temporary fence to be set up and moved easily as needed. It carries only a mild charge that causes a noticeable shock, but no permanent injury to animals or people.

It is relatively inexpensive and is easy to install, but if electricity fails, it is easily broken. There is some danger that horses can become tangled in an electric fence, though because the materials are finer, it usually breaks, stopping the current, though injuries are still possible.

However, small single-horse enclosures are sometimes seen at endurance riding competition, where temporary fencing must be set up in remote areas. Wood is the “classic” form of horse fencing, either painted planks or natural round rails.

Wood or a synthetic material with similar properties is the best option for small paddocks, pens and corrals. However, wood is expensive, high maintenance and not completely without safety concerns; boards can splinter, nails can stick out and cause lacerations.

It is often less expensive than wood or pipe, has some give if a horse runs into it, and requires relatively little maintenance. Metal pipe is often used for fences instead of wood and if properly installed, can be fairly safe in the right circumstances.

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Advantages of stone fences are high visibility, durability, strength and safety. The major disadvantage is the cost: the materials are expensive, fences require skilled labor for proper construction, and take longer to build.

These buildings are usually unheated and well-ventilated; horses may develop respiratory problems when kept in damp or stuffy conditions. Ponies sometimes are kept in smaller box stalls, and warm bloods or draft horses may need larger ones.

Box stalls usually contain a layer of absorbent bedding such as straw or wood shavings and need to be cleaned daily; a horse generates approximately 15 pounds (6.8 kg) of manure and several gallons of urine each day. Tie stalls were used extensively prior to the 20th century, and barns with tie stalls are still seen in some regions, particularly in poorer countries, at older fairgrounds and agricultural exposition facilities, but are not used as often in modern barns.

This may include forages such as grass or hay and concentrates such as grain or commercially prepared pelleted feeds. Best practice is to feed horses small quantities multiple times daily, unless they are on full-time pasture.

Some horse owners add vitamin or mineral supplements, some with nutraceutical ingredients that offer many benefits. A sweet feed mix with added vitamins horse that is not ridden daily or subjected to other stressors can maintain adequate nutrition on pasture or hay alone, with adequate water (10–12 US gallons (38–45 l; 8.3–10.0 imp gal) per day average) and free access to a salt block or loose salt.

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However, horses and ponies in regular work often need a ration of both forage and concentrates. Young horses who are improperly fed may develop growth disorders due to an imbalance of nutrients.

Curry, curry comb, or currycomb: Usually a round tool with short teeth made of plastic or stiff rubber, used to loosen dirt, hair, and other detritus, plus stimulate the skin to produce natural oils. Hoof pick: All four feet of the horse need to be cleaned out and inspected for signs of injury or infection.

In special weather conditions, a metal shedding blade with short, dull teeth is used to remove loose winter hair. Metal grooming tools used on sheep and show cattle may also be too harsh to use on a horse.

Sweat or Water Scraper: A metal or plastic tool to remove excess liquid from a horse's coat. The most common areas are a short “bridle path” just behind the ears, where a few inches of mane is removed to help the bridle lay more neatly; and the fetlocks, where extra hair can collect undesired amounts of mud and dirt.

Beyond the basic equipment, there are thousands of other grooming tools on the market, from multiple designs on the basic brushes, available in many colors, to specialized tools for braiding manes, polishing hooves and clipping loose hair. There are also grooming products for horses ranging from moisturizing hair dressings to glitter gel and hoof polish.

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Too-frequent shampooing can strip the hair coat of natural oils and cause it to dry out. A horse show class that considers quality of grooming for as much as 40% of the total score is called showmanship.

Details: heel periosteum (1), bulb (2), frog (3), central groove (4), collateral groove (5), heel (6), bar (7), seat of corn (8), pigmented walls (external layer) (9), water line (inner layer) (10), white line (11), apex of frog (12), sole (13), toe (14), how to measure width (15), quarter (16), how to measure length (17)The hooves of a horse or pony are cleaned by being picked out with a hoof pick to remove any stones, mud and dirt and to check that the shoes (if worn) are in good condition. Use of hoof oils, dressings, or other topical treatments varies by region, climate, and the needs of the individual horse.

Many horses have healthy feet their entire lives without need for any type of hoof dressing. Horses and ponies require routine hoof care by a professional farrier on average every six to eight weeks, depending on the animal, the work it performs and, in some areas, climate conditions.

Horses in the wild do not need to hoof trims because they travel as much as 50 miles (80 km) a day in dry or semi-arid grassland in search of forage, a process that wears their feet naturally. Domestic horses in light use are not subjected to such severe living conditions and hence their feet grow faster than they can be worn down.

Without regular trimming, their feet can get too long, eventually splitting, chipping and cracking, which can lead to lameness. Horses subjected to hard work may need horseshoes for additional protection.

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Some advocates of the barefoot horse movement maintain that proper management may reduce or eliminate the need for shoes, or propose hoof boots as an alternative. The cost of a trim is roughly half to one-third that of the cost of a set of shoes, and professional farriers are typically paid at a level commensurate with other skilled laborers in an area, such as plumbers or electricians, though farriers charge by the horse rather than by the hour.

It is not illegal in the UK for anyone to trim hooves for maintenance or cosmetic purposes, as long as it is not done preparatory to the application of a shoe. However, there are professional organizations, such as the American Farrier's Association (AFA), that maintain a voluntary certification program.

Many riders wrap the horse's legs with protective boots or bandages to prevent injury while working or exercising. After a ride, it is common for a rider or groom to hose off the legs of a horse to remove dirt and to ease any minor inflammation to the tendons and ligaments.

Liniment may also be applied as a preventative measure to minimize stiffness and ease any minor strain or swelling. A too loose bandage will fall off, potentially tangling in the horse's legs, causing panic or injury.

A too tight bandage may cause injury to tendons, ligaments and possible circulation problems. Commercial boots for riding or shipping are simpler to apply as they attach with a hook and loop fastening, or, less often, with adjustable buckles.

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The bandage is started on the outside of the leg, in the middle of the cannon bone, then wrapped down to either the fetlock or the hoof, depending on the purpose for which it is used, then back up to just under the knee, then back to the center of the cannon just above the starting point, ending on the outside of the leg. There are many disorders that affect horses, including colic, laminates, and internal parasites.

It is sensible to register a horse or pony with a local equine veterinarian, in case of emergency. In most nations, rabies and tetanus shots are commonly given, and in many places, various forms of equine encephalitis are a concern as well as West Nile virus.

In the United States, many people also vaccinate against Equine Herpes Virus strains 1 and 4. Many additional vaccines may be needed, depending on local conditions and risk, including Rhodococcus equip (strangles), Botulism, or Potomac Horse Fever.

Some type of veterinary certificate or proof of vaccination is often required for horses to travel or compete, especially when crossing state, provincial, or international boundaries. This certificate, authorized by a veterinarian, certifies that the horse has been tested recently and does not have an incurable disease called equine infectious anemia (EIA).

However, other than for minor injuries, a veterinarian should be consulted before treating a sick or injured animal. Tools & Diagnostic Equipment Rectal thermometer Petroleum jelly (to use as lubrication for thermometer) Stethoscope (for listening to heartbeat, respiration and, in the case of suspected colic, gut sounds) Pulse and respiration can be determined without a stethoscope.

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Sharp, clean scissors, reserved for first aid kit only Wire cutters (for freeing a tangled horse) or equivalent such as a fencing tool or lineman's pliers ; though these objects are often kept in a well-organized barn, an extra set in a first-aid kit is helpful for major emergencies. Flashlight and extra batteries (for nighttime emergencies or to add a light source in a shadowed area).

Bandages and other forms of protection Absorbent padding, such as roll cotton or a set of cotton leg wraps (keep a clean set sealed in a plastic bag) Gauze to be used as wound dressing underneath bandages Sterile wound dressing, such as tel fa pads; large sizes of those intended for humans work well. They should generally not be administered without prior consultation with a veterinarian, either over the telephone or by specific advance instruction.

A paper and pencil, for recording symptoms, pulse, respiration and veterinary instructions. A Veterinary Emergency Handbook, giving basic instructions, in the event that a veterinarian cannot be reached immediately.

If bot flies are active, frequent application of fly spray may repel insects. Purge reformers that kill parasites with a single strong dose, are given periodically, depending on local conditions and veterinary recommendations.

For adult horses, frequent rotation of several types of reformers is no longer recommended, as it can often lead to overtreatment and subsequent drug resistance. Reformers come in several forms, including pastes, gels, powders, and granules or pellets.

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A reformer syringe has a plastic ring on the plunger that is turned to adjust the dosage for the horse's weight. Risks of deforming Drug resistance is a growing concern for many horse owners.

Resistance has been noted with ivermectin to awards, and with fenbendazole, oxibendazole, and granted to small strangles. As a result, most veterinarians now recommend deforming for small strangles based on fecal egg counts to minimize the development of resistant parasite populations.

Fecal egg count reduction tests can also be performed to identify which reformers are effective on a particular farm. A decrease in the active population of worms, as in the case of deforming, can cause larvae to emerge from the cysts (larval cyathostomiasis).

Ringworm in horses is not actually a worm but a contagious fungal skin disease and is normally treated using an anti-fungal wash. It is sometimes necessary to use a specific former at a certain time of year, depending on the life cycle of the parasites involved.

In the past, horse owners rotated reformers during the year, using different brands or formulations with different active chemicals, to combat drug-resistant parasites. However, this approach does not appear to prevent drug resistance, and many veterinarians now recommend individualized deforming plans dependent upon the horse's age and egg shedding status.

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Active chemicals found in different workers Equine Former Drugs Chemical classSpecific chemical sample brand names Benzimidazole Fenbendazole Panacea, Safe-Guard Mebendazole Quiver, Tel min Oxibendazole Anthracite EQ Panels Granted pamoateStrongid P, Strong id T, Protection 2 Granted tart rate (daily former)Strong id C, Equipped CW, Pellet-Care P Macro cyclic Lac tones Ivermectin Era quell (UK), Equal (US), Equimectrin (US), Drexel (US), Dexter (Mexico), Median (Canada), Protection 1 (US), Stromectol (US), Zimecterin (US) Moxidectin Quest (US), Quest Plus (US, incl. The medications pipeline and thiabendazole are no longer commonly used as equine workers; they have been replaced by the above drugs.

A horse's teeth grow continuously throughout its life and can develop uneven wear patterns. Most common are sharp edges on the sides of the molars which may cause problems when eating or being ridden.

For this reason a horse or pony needs to have its teeth checked by a veterinarian or qualified equine dentist at least once a year. If there are problems, any points, unevenness or rough areas can be ground down with a rasp until they are smooth.

The horse will not bite its own tongue, and will often tolerate the floating process if held closely and kept in a confined area where it cannot move. When complex dental work is required or if a horse strenuously objects to the procedure, sedation is used.

A horse can also suffer from an equine malocclusion where there is a misalignment between the upper and lower jaws. The most common treatments are called nutraceutical, assorted supplements that support the natural systems of the horse and which may have some scientific basis for efficacy, even if not fully supported or yet to be approved as either a drug or a feed supplement.

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Examples of folk remedies that are not effective include the feeding of chewing tobacco or diatomaceous earth to horses as a former. Other natural remedies, whether useful or not, may show up in drug testing, particularly any herbs derived from the Capsicum or valerian families.

Examples include horses in certain tropical nations who have sprained tendons or ligaments are treated with machete (Nogales cochenillifera), castor bean leaves (Vicious communist), aloes (Aloe Vera) or leaves of wonder of the world (Kamnche pinnate). Natural remedies are also used to treat exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIP) with lung wort (Pulmonary officials).

(1995) Housekeeping on a Small Acreage: Designing and Managing Your Equine Facilities Story Publishing, LLC; 2nd edition. Ideally, a horse will have constant access to high-quality forage in the form of fresh grass or hay.

Foals fed “high energy” diets can develop bone and joint problems. Some adult horses with certain muscle disorders can have their symptoms exacerbated by the high carbohydrates found in grain.

A horse or pony breaking into the grain bin or being allowed to gorge on green pasture for the first time since the fall could be headed for disaster. Vaccination recommendations vary based on age, the amount the horse travels and location, so it is best to consult with your veterinarian.

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It is best to have your veterinarian perform a fecal egg count test and advise you on which reformers to use throughout the year. Proper management entails not putting too many horses on too little land, rotating pastures if possible, and removing manure regularly.

Horses can go into a light sleep with their legs “locked” so that it takes very little effort to remain standing. In order to achieve deep (REM or “dreaming”) sleep, a horse must lie flat.

Daily opportunity to exercise is a must, but if you are building up your horse’s strength and conditioning, follow a sensible plan and do it gradually. On hot and humid days, it is important to provide your horse with plenty of fresh water, minerals and access to adequate shade.

Likewise, during freezing weather, make sure your horse has access to shelter and the ability to protect himself from moisture and wind. Uneven wear can lead to sharp points and edges that cause pain and difficulty chewing.

A horse’s teeth should be checked once or twice a year and “floated” (filed to make them smoother) by a veterinarian. Dental problems, from painful points to rotting teeth, may cause difficulty chewing or “quid ding,” which occurs when food falls out of the mouth.

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Other signs of dental disease may include foul breath, undigested hay in the stools or discomfort from the bit or nose band. Dental disease can lead to choke (esophageal blockage), colic and weight loss.

Let’s look at each of these four areas of basic support a bit more in depth, to find ways to optimize them for your horse. If your horse is a poor drinker or heavy sweater, access to fresh, clean water alone may not be enough.

Horses have evolved over millions of years, and their bodies are adapted to a particular way of eating. Due to the scarcity of land with quality pasture, few domesticated horses have that luxury.

If your horse doesn’t have adequate access to fresh pasture, or has dietary restrictions that require you to limit his pasture intake, providing high quality hay is a great way to make sure he is meeting his forage requirements. If your horse is able to maintain healthy body condition and energy level on forage alone, you should consider adding a multi-vitamin supplement.

However, not all pasture is certain to be complete and balance to begin with, and once it’s cut, dried, and stored as hay, the vitamins within degrade over time. If your horse requires additional calories to power his performance and/or maintain a healthy weight and body condition, you may want to consider providing a fortified grain.

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Horses are herd animals, and they find great comfort being a part of a group. They cope well with both heat and cold by regulating their own body temperature.

Do your best to maximize the amount of time your horse is able to spend in his turnout, and he’ll be much happier. Maintaining a regular maintenance and wellness schedule with your horse’s veterinarian and farrier is essential.

By having a good working relationship with these two professionals, you’ll be able to better support your horse and help avoid future problems. Supplements can provide support in a variety of areas, from healthy hooves to resilient joints, and proper digestion to a shiny coat.

We hope these basic guidelines help you have good conversations with your veterinarian, farrier, and other horse care professionals. Martial strongly encourages you to consult your veterinarian regarding specific questions about your horse's health.

In the fall of 2016, I was gobsmacked by research out of Norway indicating horses could be trained to use symbols to communicate to their handlers, “put blanket on” and “take blanket off.” This seemed to indicate horses may have cognitive processes considerably beyond what we normally ascribe to them. Intrigued, I began keeping track of other recent research into equine intelligence, and what I learned about how smart horses may be been astonishing.

Whereas just 15 years ago scientists were still questioning whether horses (and other mammals) even experience emotions, research now seems to indicate equines may in fact have some same cognitive abilities as we do, only at a different level. Here, I’m going to share the latest research into equine cognition, including details of that compelling blanket-on/-off study.

René Descartes, the 17th-century French philosopher, believed animals were mindless machines that could neither reason nor feel pain. The work of the Russian Ivan Pavlov in the 19th century and American B. F. Skinner in the early 20th portrayed animals as merely reacting reflexively to their environment, or behaving only in response to positive or negative reinforcement.

Rodman says secondary emotions “require greater cognitive ability and acceptance that animals have ‘theory of mind,’” a concept that “implies self-awareness and the ability to understand that other individuals may possess information and agendas that are different from one’s own.” Current research seems to point in that direction, and toward a surprising range of cognitive abilities in general.

• Touch-screen use: “A horse’s-eye view: size and shape discrimination compared with other mammals,” November 2015, Biology Letters. In this 2016 study, Norwegian researchers trained 22 horses representing various breeds to understand symbols painted on white wooden boards.

In reality, he couldn’t, but he was marvelously perceptive in picking up subconscious body-language cues from his owner, which tipped him off to the correct answer. Use of the computer-monitor system will enable further looks into the mind of the horse that are free from potential human “interference,” offering results with the greatest possible validity.

A 2016 study at the University of Sussex in England showed that horses can distinguish between smiling and frowning human faces. Twenty-eight horses were shown large photographs of a man’s face expressing either a positive or negative emotion.

The researchers also noted that horses themselves have many facial expressions that are similar to those of humans, which may’ve aided them in deciphering the emotions. Working with 30 horses, researchers found that the horses were more likely to approach a person in a submissive posture (slouched, arms and legs close to the body, relaxed knees) than in a dominant one (erect, arms and legs apart, chest expanded).

Evelyn Hang, MS, PhD, of the Equine Research Foundation in Autos, California (equine research.org), sums it up well. Research to date has just grazed this subject and it will take many more studies to figure out what occurs within the thought processes of our equine partners,” she says.

Before Helen Keller’s teacher found the key to unlocking two-way communication, the deaf and blind girl seemed barely more than a wild animal.

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