Are Horses Healthy

Daniel Brown
• Friday, 20 November, 2020
• 19 min read

Reading the popular press, various websites, or certain internet chatroom, one can come away with the idea that a horse’s health is balanced precariously on the edge of an abyss filled with disease and injury, being held back from plunging in only by the fact that the horse owner blankets him every night, has a wide selection of brushes readily available, and is armed with a tack trunk full of supplements. PLEASE NOTE: Horses do not read the popular press, various websites, and they do not participate in certain internet chatroom.

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Horses are constantly on the move, which means that they stay in pretty good shape, a shape unequaled by most humans who aren’t (weren’t) also the late Jack Balance (if you don’t know who Jack Balance was, ask your parents). This combination of a plant-based diet, and regular exercise has conspired to allow horses to run fast, jump high, and be the subject of endless lectures and videos extolling the virtues of their remarkable physiology.

Indeed, prior to humans coming along and building condominiums and freeways across the land, one could easily imagine that horses had it pretty good. While this change in surroundings doesn’t seem to immediately jump out as a prescription for health and happiness, especially compared to how they had it before people intervened, horses still seem to get along well in spite of these roadblocks.

He’s still a big creature, who generates a lot of body heat, so he really doesn’t need to be blanketed, especially warm climates, but pretty much anywhere. He still can obtain or manufacture all of his own nutritional needs from his relatively simple diet of any one of a number of hays, so under most circumstances, he really doesn’t need any additional vitamins, minerals, hoof growth promoters, digestive system improvers, etc., etc., added to his feed trough.

He will almost always eat like a horse, and look forward to a handful of carrots or apples, no matter how much he’s been recently fed. People seem to be constantly putting their horses into compromising situations, for example, throwing up obstacles for them to jump over, or trying to make them trot in place.

Frankly, I think that much of the anxiety surrounding horse health care is generated by some combination of good intentions, the profit motive, and heavy advertising. Naïve horse owners, anxious to take care of a good friend (and a significant investment of time and money) are understandably concerned that something might go wrong.

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Being in the barn grooming, feeding, and otherwise caring for our horses reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and improves overall health. Yet, it is the companionship with our equine partners that is the foundation of our growth in relationship to these animals.

According to PATH International, the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, there are many types of “equine-assisted activities.” In its broadest sense, any interaction between a person and a horse is an equine-assisted activity. It is a treatment which uses horses to reach rehabilitative goals that are bounded by a medical professional’s scope of practice.

Equine-Assisted Therapy is not an activity run by local horse clubs, church groups, or trainers. Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy, which is used by addiction treatment facilities, veterans’ groups, and trauma centers, is always overseen by a licensed mental health professional.

Addicts, the population I work with, often exclaim, “They’re so big!” Indeed, as all horse-people know, trying to get a thousand-pound animal to do what you want is no easy task. Because of these qualities, horses can be used to help people heal from a variety of psychological issues.

Addicts and other trauma survivors have to learn how to identify their emotions in order to work through them. Perhaps a plastic bag blows into the arena during a session, startling the horses.

healthy horses characteristics
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A client who has experienced child or domestic abuse might break down in tears upon seeing the horses frightened. Any of these kinds of reactions is rich material for talk therapy and can be worked through immediately or in future sessions.

We earn wages to buy feed and tack and maintain horse properties. Whether it is raising children or going to an office, factory, or running a business, we get up early and show up on time.

We listen to our friends, show up for our families, and provide service to our communities. Working hard and showing up in a healthy way are skills that can be learned by engaging with horses.

One common treatment technique for those who were abused as children is to put the (now adult) individual in with a large horse and allow them to interact. Very often, the person will break down in tears and say something like, “I’ve never been treated this kindly by anything so big.” This is an experience the client can then take into the human world.

Equine-Assisted Therapy, particularly Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy, can have positive results for those who are recovering from substance abuse, trauma, depression, or a number of other psychological issues. It can help individuals develop a work ethic, identify and process feelings, and learn how to trust.

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The professionalism of those engaged with equine therapies is what makes them both effective and safe. Horses have 4 times number of white blood cells as compared to human beings.

You need to understand why horses can work the whole day without taking breaks. Maybe you should read more about early days in regard to property ownership and locomotives.

The food and daily activity of this domestic animal surpass human standards by far. Horses are not so choosy with their feeds; while different breeds and environment can influence type of food, horses feed on a wide variety of grass.

Horses are naturally healthy ; feeding on different kinds of pasture enhances the nutritional content. A small percentage of people can get to 8 water glass mark every day, horses are far beyond this.

While the owner is on a hunting trip, the horse is exercising its muscles. They are able to sustain long hours of rigorous activity because of the proper diet and lots of water.

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Exercising is crucial for health; while it may not have anything to do with white blood cells, it is an important aspect for the body. Of course, owners know the limits but horses never really get tired after working all day on a farm.

Horse owners are passionate and in love with their big pets. If there is anything going wrong with the animal, it will be managed earlier and easily.

Just like human beings, horses have their anxious times but the difference is how they quickly manage to alleviate the stress. Evidently, horses outweigh human beings by far in terms of health.

In fact, the basics to healthy human bodies can be derived from a horse’s lifestyle. The capability to pull heavy objects consistently without strain is for sure good health.

It is the same in the human world; individuals that exhibit more power are said to be healthy. From the engineer’s observations, a horse was able to lift 33,000 pounds of coal in a minute, which was one foot higher.

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Yes, this was based on estimations and it is obviously not accurate, but it is a universal unit of measurement to date. Some wild plants cause irritation to horses both physically and physiologically.

Horses are very beautiful and big animals that are very athletic at the same time. That is why it is amazing to see them in action galloping fast or jumping as high as they do even though most of...

You need to check their appetite, attitude, weight, and physical appearance to understand if they are healthy. The primary sign of a disease in a horse is a loss of appetite.

If your horse refuses to eat, it can be the sign of an infectious disease such as influenza. The normal temperature of an adult horse should be between 99 and 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Some common signs of pain are rolling, rapid respiration, and repeated kicking. It includes frequent grooming and taking care of the nutritional requirements of the horse.

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A dull hair coat means that the horse is deprived of proper nutrition and grooming. One of the most important signs of a healthy horse is clear and open eyes.

Normally, horses have a trickle of clear liquid from their nostrils. The nostrils of your horse must be clean and devoid of excessive mucus.

Salmon pink gums are one of the most important signs of a healthy horse. You must check the gums of your horse to understand if he is perfectly healthy.

If the gums of your horse are salmon pink and moist, it means he is in good health. Pressing the gums of your horse will change the color from salmon pink to white.

However, within a few seconds, the color of the gums will return to salmon pink. If the gums of your horse are pale or deep red, it implies that he is not healthy.

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If you see deep red or purple colored gums, you need to call the veterinarian. Your horse should be able to stand in such a way that his weight gets distributed evenly on all four feet.

The legs of your horse must be free of cuts, bumps, and swelling. If the feet of your horse look dry and cracked, it can be a sign of poor health.

Your horse will have a difficult time eating and chewing if he has unhealthy teeth. If you do not check and rasp the teeth of your horse at least once in a year, development of sharp points can occur.

If you see your horse drops feed out of his mouth while eating, understand that he has unhealthy teeth. If your horse is healthy, he will pass manure 8-12 times in a day.

It depends on various factors such as weather conditions and exercise level. Too much stress can result in ulcers, diarrhea, and a weak immune system.

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To check body condition, do a visual and tactile appraisal of the fat cover over six anatomical points on the horse: along the neck, behind the shoulder, over the ribs, over the withers, across the back and around the tail head. Horses at a BCS of 4 or less are receiving inadequate nutrition and are subsequently more susceptible to fatigue and disease, says Roller.

Horses at a BCS of 8 or 9 could potentially develop metabolic disease, and are susceptible to debilitating lameness. She says horses with a rough hair coat could be suffering from internal parasites or their diets could be deficient in energy balance or protein quality.

Vital Signs It’s good to check your horse’s temperature, pulse and respiration regularly. Roller also recommends checking for frequent gut sounds, which indicate that material is moving appropriately through the digestive tract.

“Loose manure can indicate digestive upset caused by a change in feed source, or parasites or disease.” Demeanor “It would be great if horses could tell us when they’re not feeling up to snuff, and really, if we pay attention to their body language, they can communicate exactly that,” Roller says.

If your horse is lethargic, hangs his head low and has “airplane ears” he could be feeling unwell. If he’s agitated, kicking at his belly, and constantly lying down and rising, these are signs he’s uncomfortable and could be suffering from colic.

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(Source: equinenutritionnerd.com)

Following are some products curated to help you keep your horse healthy and happy, from feeds to bedding fresheners, shampoo to fly spray, and everything in between. About the Book Author Audrey Pa via is the former editor of Horse Illustrated magazine and an award winning freelance writer specializing in equine subjects.

She has authored more than 100 articles on the subject of animals and has written several books on various kinds of pets. She has owned and cared for horses throughout her life, and has trained in both Western and English disciplines.

Kate Gentry-Running, DVD, CVA, is a practicing veterinarian with 27 years of experience and an emphasis in equine integrative medicine. She was certified by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society in 2001 and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine at the Chi Institute in Gainesville, Florida.

Dr. Running breeds and trains cutting horses at her ranch in Solar, Texas. As a person involved in the equine industry, you are probably aware of the common diseases that could affect your animals.

Implementation of sound bio security procedures will reduce the chance of the spread of a disease among the different groups of animals within the farm, and it will also reduce the chance of a disease being brought to your farm. Finite transmission, by inanimate objects (such as footwear, gloves, and tires) capable of carrying a pathogen (disease agent) from one animal to another.

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Vector transmission, in which a living thing (such as a mosquito) carries a pathogen. The goal of bio security procedures is to reduce the risk of pathogens from reaching your animals.

An overriding concept is that there's no way to tell if a pathogen is being carried by a visitor, animal, or vehicle, so bio security rules must apply to all of them, all the time. For instance, a new animal introduced to your farm may be covertly incubating a disease.

Without an appropriate quarantine you will place your animals at an increased risk of becoming infected with this disease. It is also important to appreciate that clinically affected animals may represent only the “tip of the iceberg,” with a much larger number oi animals in a subclinical disease state that are not exhibiting clinical signs of the disease.

Developing a bio security plan is an important part of maintaining the health of the animals on your farm and in the equine industry. On the next page there is a list of bio security measures that are categorized under general headings.

However, we hope to convey the importance of the basic principles of bio security to you and you become more aware of the risks to you and your animals. General Recommendations Remember that bringing in new horses is the most likely way for infectious diseases to come to your established herd.

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The best option for horses is a 134.5 MHz microchip which provides a unique 15-digit ID number that belongs to your animal (it will begin with 840). Have a valid veterinary/client/patient relationship when treating your animals and include your veterinarian in all herd health decisions (vaccinating, deforming, quarantine procedures, etc.).

Create Standard Operating Procedures for different animal health tasks on the farm. For instance, have a written protocol for introducing a new horse to your farm and note where the farrier or veterinarian should park their vehicles and wash their equipment.

With help from your veterinarian develop a vaccination protocol to produce and improve the herd level immunity. Make sure the appropriate booster vaccinations are given to provide optimum immunity and protection to the diseases.

Resident Animals Foals are born without a fully developed immune system. Adverse environmental and management conditions will further compromise the immune system of the foal increasing the risk of disease.

Normal foals should be active early in life (hours old) and very reactive to external stimuli. Know how to identify immature features of foals (premature and mature): low body weight, domed forehead, drooped ears, poor strength (increased joint laxity).

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Ensure that foals actively drink colostrum from the mare: carefully observe for good nursing behavior (1-5 minutes of suckling separated by short periods of sleeping). Call your veterinarian if you are concerned that the foal did not ingest an adequate amount of colostrum (failure of passive transfer).

Do not move your animals interstate to be bred or to foal as this will significantly increase their chances of becoming infected with contagious diseases. Try to identify animals that abort and keep the fetus and placenta for your veterinarian or submit to a diagnostic laboratory.

Transportation is stressful for animals and will reduce the immune system’s ability to deal with potential pathogens. Transportation may also expose animals to harsh environmental conditions; cold, dry and poor quality air, extremes of temperature, infectious agents.

Try not to purchase from sale yards as this practice can represent a high risk of bringing disease onto your farm and complete histories of animals may not exist. Test new animals and observe for clinical signs while in quarantine facility.

Good horsemanship adds to a positive environment that assists in maintaining animal immunity against disease. Train all employees to recognize signs of disease, alert supervisor of suspicious activities, and understand and follow procedures within the bio security plan.

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Train employees to understand that the movement of manure (on clothing, boots, equipment, animals, etc.) Create protocols for cleaning clothes daily and for washing boots and hands regularly.

And non-routine persons (tours, salespeople, other equine owners, and regulatory personnel) who visit your farm. Include information, such as date, name, organization, phone number, reason for visit, and the last time they had contact with horses.

Do not allow anyone who has been on a farm in a foreign country to enter equine units for a minimum of five days after returning to the US. Disinfectant will not work unless surfaces are clean and an adequate contact time is allowed.

Make sure isolation facility is well away (> 100 yards) from the nearest resident animals with no possibility for nose-nose contact. Locate all animal facilities as far away as possible from any public roads and neighboring farms.

Properly maintain equipment, buildings, fences, watering, feeding and waste management systems on a regular schedule. Locate bio security high-risk areas away from other animals, such as sick pens and isolation facilities.

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Maintain strict entry/exit sanitation and traffic control for personnel working in these areas. Limit access to your farm through gated entry sites that are clearly posted with signs.

Post signs advising visitors that this is a bio secure area, and who to contact for entry permission. Park vehicles away from animal facilities, feed storage areas, and manure handling routes.

Park all vehicles in designated areas, preferably on hard surfaces such as concrete or asphalt. Protect feed from weather and moisture to prevent spoilage and mold growth.

Protect feed from vehicle and foot traffic, as well as from manure or urine run-off. Feed and equipment delivery points preferably should be located close to the farm’s perimeter.

Test well water for chemicals, mineral levels, heavy metals and microorganisms periodically. Be aware of current Confined Animal Facility Operation (Cafe) laws and regulations.

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Develop a written pest control program, including a regular service schedule. Follow directions on baiting chemicals and place where resident animals and farm pets do not have access.

Submit your animal for postmortem examination or have your veterinarian do an exam on the farm to determine cause of death. Provide a secure pick-up site away from public observation where dead stock vehicles do not have to enter or come near animal units.

This management plan must provide both a normal and a catastrophic mortality disposal / treatment method. Try to minimize the risk that an infected animal will spread a disease before, during and after an event.

Make sure that you have an up to date Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) negative test (Noggins form), Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, and other paperwork you may need to participate in the event. In these extreme conditions, you have to take extra care to ensure your horses are comfortable, happy, and healthy.

Try not to feed them with food like alfalfa, oats, and corn that produce more heat, as that will make them feel hotter. You have to make sure that you are feeding your horses with quality food, and roughage (hay or pasture) is perfect for them to stay healthy.

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It is also recommended adding full-spectrum CBD oil in your horses diet as it may help them lead a healthier life. So, on average, they require almost 10 to 15 gallons of water during extreme hot Arizona summer days.

If you have to work your horse in the extreme heat, reduce the workload, or divide it into a couple of short sessions. If your horse is exposed to the extreme heat that his body cannot handle, then the chances of happening a heatstroke to him increased.

If your horse is exercising in hot conditions or is standing in a heated stall or trailer, know that he is always at risk of getting heatstroke. Moreover, the most common signs for heatstroke include an elevated heart rate, excessive or lack of sweating, and a temperature that persists above 103 °F.

Even horses with white socks and blazes, hairless patches from scarring, or pink noses can be more susceptible to the sun rays. Lastly, the best thing you can do to prevent sunburn is to provide plenty of shade and to encourage your horse to stay under that during the hot sunny day.

Necessary nutrients include omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy hoof wall, amino acids that provide the building blocks essential for hoof growth, vitamins, and macro minerals and trace minerals that are key to maintaining healthy hooves. Methionine is a sulfur-containing amino acid that is a primary constituent of keratin, the hard protein that makes up the hoof horn.

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Methionine stimulates strong, healthy hoof growth and is essential for preventing cracked, brittle hooves. Is critical for a variety of functions, including the normal cell division involved in the growth and repair of the hoof wall.

Is a precursor for vitamin B12, which is involved in blood cell formation to nourish hoof tissue. Platinum Performance Equine Delivers amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins and trace minerals that are important for hoof health.

This veterinarian-developed formula supports every aspect of horse health and performance including hooves, joints, muscles, skin & coat, digestion, and much more. Ingredients include highly bio-available Biotin, Zinc, Manganese, Copper, Cobalt, Methionine, and L-Lysine.

Expanding my consciousness & awareness leads to freedom to play in connected & creative ways beyond the mind's universe. “Alchemy is the altering of the frequencies of thought, changing of the harmonics of matter, and the use of the element of love to create a desired result.” Jim Self.

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