Seasonal Care

Today we venture back in horses and down in humans, into territory that many believe to be the foundation of the skeletal system and the body itself: the pelvis. It is an area of much more complexity than many realize, an area that impacts, quite literally, every other part of the body. It contains and protects some rather important things, namely the urogenital system, and provides stability to many others. And in horses and riders, pelvic happiness is critical for success in the saddle.

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A hot humid day. One rider. One horse. Both are exercising at a moderate level. Who is more likely to overheat? It might surprise you to learn that your horse gets hotter much faster than you and is more susceptible to the negative effects of heat stress. Prof. Michael Lindinger, an animal and exercise physiologist at the University of Guelph, explains: “It only takes 17 minutes of moderate intensity exercise in hot, humid weather to raise a horse’s temperature to dangerous levels. That’s three to ten times faster than in humans. Horses feel the heat much worse than we do.”

Equine Guelph, Dr. Bri Henderson, how test horse dehydration, horse dehydration, equine mucous membranes, equine capillary refill

“Hydration is everything. The correct balance of water and body salts controls everything from the brain to the gut. As dehydration develops we risk our horse’s health and welfare by stressing their hearts, kidneys, and gut function. From the polished show horse to the race horse to the beloved pasture horse, we must ensure access to clean drinking water and CORRECT replacement of electrolytes lost through sweating.”

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For a horse owner, there are few sights more welcome than the first signs of spring. As the snow melts away and the pastures begin to turn green, horse owners are glad to see the end of short days, frozen water buckets, and woolly coats. Springtime means longer, warmer days to spend working in the arena or hitting the trails. The season is also an ideal time to catch up on your horse’s healthcare needs.

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Horses can develop equine asthma when they’re exposed to airborne organic dust that can found anywhere — in a dirt paddock, on a gravel road, or in an indoor arena. But the most common culprit is dusty, moldy hay. Round bales can be particularly problematic as horses tend to tunnel their muzzles into the bales and inhale dust and mold.

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Everyone knows the seasonal annoyance of flies. For horses they can be a real tail swatting, foot stomping, head shaking, skin twitching aggravation. But flying insects such as midges, gnats, horse flies, deer flies, black flies, face flies, house flies, mosquitos, and others are more than a nuisance – they can cause serious skin irritations and can also carry diseases.

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A worm-eating fungus brings new hope in the fight against parasitic gastrointestinal worms. Anthelmintic resistance is now a widespread and growing problem. It is becoming increasingly clear that we cannot rely on chemicals alone to control gastrointestinal parasites.

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