It’s a well-established fact that horses are living longer than they have at any point in history. While once only a few horses could expect to live to much older than twenty, now most horses are active and running around until well beyond that age.
While this is undoubtedly good news for horses, it does present them (and their owners) with a few problems. As a horse ages, their metabolism begins to decline, and they become less capable of digesting certain key nutrients. These might include protein and fibre, as well as essential vitamins and minerals. What this means is that older horses have slightly different dietary requirements to younger ones; the food that they eat should ideally be easy to digest, low in starch and packed with high-quality protein. Read more →
The management of your foal’s health begins while the mare is still pregnant. Hopefully she will have received a tetanus vaccination booster around 4-6 weeks before foaling. The newborn foal will have received essential antibodies in the mare’s colostrum during the first suckling but the benefit of these decreases over time. It is vital therefore that you embark on the correct vaccination and worming programs and with the correct timing in order to keep the foal healthy and safe from illness. Read more →
You may think that the time spent caring for your mare while you wait for her to give birth is filled with tension but once the foal arrives then the hard and careful work really begins in order to ensure that you and the mare between you raise a strong and healthy foal. Read more →
It is hard to believe that the 2017 breeding season is almost upon us! Broodmares throughout the country are steadily getting bigger, and owners are preparing for the new arrivals. The build-up to foaling can be a stressful time, but careful planning and preparation can help to give the mare owner the confidence to foal their mare at home and identify when assistance is necessary. Read more →
Most equestrians are familiar with worms – a term which describes a wide variety of parasites, all of which reproduce inside a horse’s gut, but understanding and managing worming for your horse is a big subject. In sufficiently large numbers, they can pose a severe risk to their host; an infested horse will likely suffer from a variety of digestive problems – which unfortunately in some cases, can even prove fatal.
Guarding against worms however, is a tricky business – while treatments are available, they should be used only sparingly for reasons which will become clear. Read more →
If you’re looking to improve the physical performance of a horse, then it’s worth considering what lessons we might learn from training in humans. Human athletes, whatever their chosen discipline, achieve their physical prowess with a wide variety of different exercises. Though Mo Farah might spend a lot of his time running from place to place, he’ll also occasionally alternate with resistance exercises. A professional footballer that’s in the midst of a match will move in such a way that’s optimal for moving efficiently around the pitch – but during training, they’ll raise their knees up to their chests while running, stand on one leg while holding the other behind them, and run back and forth repeatedly between sets of cones. Read more →
If you’re the owner of a horse, then you’ll need to be sure that your animal is kept safe from harm. This means stabling and feeding them, naturally; but many horses are at risk from a substance that’s contained in their food – a threat which many owners are entirely ignorant of. This threat is called mycotoxin – it’s a substance produced by a fungus which we know as mould.
You’ll find mycotoxins in soil and plants. They form in the field, and sometimes after harvest, if the storage conditions are poor. They’re traditionally thought of as a substantial threat to poultry and pigs – but they can affect horses, too. Read more →
As we have already had the first hints of winter with several areas of the UK already seeing their first flurry of snow we thought we would take the time to write this informational list of 12 tips for keeping your horse happy this winter. Read more →
Throughout spring and summer we frequently take phone calls from owners who find that their mare’s behaviour has changed. The mare may suddenly become difficult to handle. Ridden work, especially at competitions. may be impossible! These behavioural changes may be associated with the mare’s oestrus cycle, or ‘seasons’. This article describes how we diagnose these problems and outlines the latest treatments available. Read more →
Nutritional supplements can play an important role in maintaining the health of a horse’s skin. In the first part of our two-part series on the topic, we looked at the role that the skin plays in fighting off harmful pathogens, and examined some general rules that one should follow in order to keep the horse in good health before resorting to supplements.
In this, the second part of the series, we’ll examine how different nutrients aid the skin in different ways – and why some strategic use of supplements might help to keep your horse’s skin looking great – and functioning well. Read more →