As the temperatures grow colder, rain, snow, and ice accumulate in outdoor spaces and make barn work a muddy nightmare. Aside from the unappealing aesthetic of soggy, mud-encrusted horses, there are real risks associated with mud.
Horses’ backs quite literally bridge the gap between majestic necks, powerful legs, and swishing tails. Other than asking for lifts and bends throughout training, back conditioning and health can be out of sight and mind.
As the change in seasons brings a welcomed drop in temperatures, beautiful foliage, and favorite holidays, it’s time to reconsider horses’ feeding programs. Senior horses may need special attention as the colder weather makes everything a little more difficult, and a bred broodmare might need extra concentrate, such as grain, to fulfill her dietary requirements.
As riders, it’s very easy to assume everything sees the world as we do. From the dogs and cats at the barn to our own horses, the colorful and often clear world we see is not the same world animals see. Here are ten things to keep in mind when working with horses.
When we think about the saying "killing them with kindness," we do not think about our horses—One of the most common causes of laminitis is overfeeding. Unfortunately, laminitis is a somewhat common, recurring disease in not only horses, but donkeys and ponies as well. It is known to be more common in adult horses than it is in young horses.
Horses are extremely active animals. From racing and jumping to strategically controlling their movements through disciplines like dressage, they are likely to suffer from many different conditions involving swelling and inflammation in their bodies, especially in their legs. Curb is a rare condition that directly affects the hock and can result in severe lameness.
Dehydration in horses during the winter is more of an issue than most people tend to think. Horses tend to be thirstier in the winter. A horse’s thirst mechanism does not always work as effectively in the winter as it does in the summer, especially if the humidity is high.
The winter causes many horse owners to be particularly cautious of their horse’s health care. The rain, ice, wind, snow, and mud can cause all kinds of problems for your equine partner. Cold winter weather means that our horses may be spending more time inside their stall.
Your horse's neck is an amazing system with over a hundred different muscles and seven large vertebrae. Regardless of the similarities, each horse has a different structure and unique posture - just like people. This causes a difference in physical appearance, ability, and even behavior.