SADDLING UP FOR COLDER WEATHER

Five Autumn Horse Care Tips

Few hobbies are better for getting you out and enjoying adventures in the great outdoors than horse riding. There you are, sat peacefully atop your majestic steed as you leisurely trot through the countryside – bliss! However, while horse riding itself may be better in certain conditions, owning a horse is a year-round commitment and autumn can be particularly important. You might not be taking your horse out as much as usual, but there’s still plenty to consider, especially with winter just around the corner. Making sure your horse is in tip-top shape is a must, so we’ve put together a list highlighting some of the most effective ways to do so.

Worming

In order to keep your horse fit and healthy, worming is essential. Every horse owner has to do it, as horses can suffer from serious gastrointestinal issues otherwise. Many vets suggest that such tests and treatments should be carried out in November and December, so you might want to consider starting to get yourself properly prepared with the correct supplies during the autumn months. It never hurts to be ahead of the game!

Laminitis

A potentially serious and relatively common equine problem, laminitis is an inflammation of the soft tissue which links the pedal bone to the inner hoof wall. Although it’s a condition which is exhibited in the feet, it’s often the result of a number of issues. The main cause often linked to it is excessive grass eating, particularly in the autumn months when the combination of warm soil and increased rain can result in an extra sugar build-up in grass. It’s these sugars which are said to be the main problem. Laminitis risk can be decreased by closely monitoring your horse’s grazing, or by using a grazing muzzle.

Prepare the yard

British winters are pretty miserable in terms of the weather – that’s to be expected. Therefore, no one wants to be out in the inevitable unrelenting downpours doing yard maintenance. So, by that logic, you’ll want to get a head start with that when the weather is less of a nuisance. Inspect your yard for anything which might potentially hurt your horse, and make changes before the storm clouds gather. You won’t want to be trying to put new fence posts in when the ground is frozen solid in December!

Weight adjustment

If there was one particular time of year in which horses might be more susceptible to overeating, it’s summer. Gaining a little weight is a pretty normal phenomenon when they’re spending more time outside and it actually benefits them for the winter, when they might be more likely to lose weight. That fluctuation should be managed so a balance can be found and your steed is kept at a healthy weight. After all, it’s not healthy for us humans to be either over or under weight, so why wouldn’t the same apply to equines?

Mud fever

During the winter months, it can be difficult for horses to keep themselves dry. Even if they’re in their stable, there’s always a chance for water to leak in and it can stick around for a while if the temperature doesn’t get warm enough. That’s when mud fever can become a problem. It’s caused by a constant wetting of the skin which results in the protective barrier disintegrating. Bacteria can then find its way in and cause an infection. If left untreated, mud fever can eventually lead to lameness in the most serious cases. The key to prevention is keeping stables clean and dry, rotating paddocks and washing the at-risk areas before also drying thoroughly.

Horses are stunning creatures and their gentle nature often makes bonding with them a truly unforgettable experience. But it’s important to remember that animals can suffer from afflictions too, and treating those issues can be costly. That’s where The Insurance Emporium’s Horse Insurance could help, as our Pick ‘N’ Mix policies can help cover up to £5,000 worth of Vet’s Fees when that Elective Benefit is chosen. Sound useful to you? Then saddle up and trot by the Emporium today to find out more!

 

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