For those Equine Clients and lovers of all things Horsey.
NEW USEF VACCINATION PROTOCOLS!!!
For those that show at USEF Sanctioned Shows in the States, be aware that new vaccination rules have changed. They now state that all horses entering the grounds must have documentation to support that they have received vaccinations for both Equine Influenza and Equine Herpes Virus (Rhinopneumonitis) within 6 months prior to entering the stables and show grounds.
This will be an area where we will post “horse stuff”.
- Information and educational tid-bits from time to time.
- Any news bulletins about events or alerts concerning equine health issues.
- Information of new equipment or training staff has undergone.
- Things you should know about your horse or the industry.
Winter for Horses
Usually around this time of year, our equine activities lessen and we give our horse buddies a break over the winter months. Although we may not be using them much this time of year, there are a certain things we must keep in mind.
Quite often we will see winter time coughs. Far too often, especially in newer barns, we insulate them and seal them up so they are cozy and warm. We do this sometimes for our own comfort rather than our horses. We have to remember that despite the cold, we need good air flow through our barns, especially when our horses are inside. Our horses give off body heat, and at times the moisture levels in these barns (especially on the ceilings) may increase, leading to damp and moist environments. This, coupled with dust, moulds, and fungi that are normally found in barns, hay, or bedding, can lead to respiratory conditions. Often we will see persistent cough, bronchitis, asthma, and the worst of all, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or “Heaves”. It is important that we provide proper air circulation and a dry environment with plenty of turn out time. Aside from those exceptionally sub-0 days, horses that have a way of getting out of the wind and that have a good coat do well outside.
Despite popular belief, horses don’t eat snow for their water requirement. If you think about it, your average horse can drink up to 10 gallons of water a day. This means they would have to eat a lot of snow to meet this requirement! The majority of their ration at this time is also dry matter (which usually has been stored since the summertime) hence the fresh water requirement is much higher than when we have green pastures. Be sure to provide a good source of water for their outdoor turnout. This will definitely help with preventing any tummy upsets.
During most winters we receive plenty of snow cover, which packs down and provides good, even ground cover. However in some winters, such as this year, there hasn’t been much snow, and we have gone through a few freeze/thaw cycles. In this type of weather the paddocks, especially around water and feed areas can not only become very icy, but are riddled with uneven footing from our horses movements. When this freezes it can cause treacherous and rough, hard footing. This type of footing can lead to slips, sprains, and bruising of the soles or cracked hooves all of which can cause lameness and pain. Check your horses’ legs and feet often if your footing is torn up with an uneven, icy terrain. If you notice any hoof damage, attending to it quickly will help to keep your animals comfortable and sound through the winter months.
We hope this information provides you with the knowledge you need to keep your horses safe this winter!