Your Horse Healthy - Part 2
appeared in 1998 Horses magazine
2008 Cherry Hill ©
Mary keeps her two horses at the
same boarding stable where youve just moved Jones, your new gelding.
Marys gelding Blaze has heaves, requires specialized shoeing that costs
twice the normal fee, gets special feed for his dry skin, and each day has a 50/50
chance of being sound to ride. Her mare Dolly is gorgeous but shes
constantly on a diet, is a chronic wood chewer and tail rubber and frequently
colics. The problems that Mary has with her horses have you in a panic every
time Jones lies down or stumbles.
The bad news is that Blaze and Dolly might always have these problems and Mary
will always have higher than normal feed, veterinary, and farrier bills.
The good news is that all of these problems are preventable with good health management.
If you are a keen observer and follow good horse management, Jones will stay in
tiptop shape and your budget wont bust!
Our horses depend on us to take good care of them. We need to pay specific
attention to feeding, sanitation, grooming, hoof care, veterinary care, and facilities
© 1998 Cherry Hill
Keeping your horse
and his living quarters clean will minimize parasite reinfestation, cut down on
grooming time, and help him look great. This includes cleaning up manure,
keeping the area around the barn and pens dry and keeping flies and other pests
to a minimum.
A horse produces up to 50
pounds of manure every day! When manure and urine-soaked bedding decomposes
it releases ammonia that can sting eyes and burn lungs. Horses that stand
in wet manure and urine have a higher incidence of thrush and other hoof problems.
Remove wet bedding from stalls daily and allow stall floors to dry before rebedding.
Stable flies bite a horse's skin until
it bleeds and then feed on the blood. Favorite sites are lower legs, flanks,
belly, under the jaw, and at the junction of the neck and the chest. Stable
flies lay their eggs in manure, wet hay, unclipped grassy areas, and other places
where there is moist plant material. Repair leaking faucets, hoses, and
waterers. Keep stalls and pens dry. Clear away wet bedding, sprinkle lime
or a stall deodorizer on the wet spot, and let the ground dry before adding new
Mice and rats carry disease and
can destroy expensive tack and feed. All feed should be stored in mouse-proof
containers like big garbage cans or bins. Keep grass around the barn trimmed
to minimize mouse-nesting sites. Poison and bait are dangerous if you have
cats, dogs, or children. Cats, natural predators of mice, are wonderful
to have around the barn.
1 - Feeding
Part 2 - Sanitation
3 - Grooming
4 - Hoof Care
5 - Veterinary Care