Posts Tagged ‘eating habits’

How To Ease the Top 3 Health Issues of Older Horses

Posted on: August 11th, 2017 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

Aging is just a fact of life, and in your horse’s case, it means the same as for the rest of us: joints may not be as supple, internal systems can break down and be less effective, and it’s important to keep an eye on daily functioning to ensure your horse isn’t showing signs of illness.

The top three to look out for are arthritis, heart murmurs, and Cushing’s disease. We’ve also got a few tips on how to look after older horses and ease their discomfort. This will keep them as healthy as possible between vet check-ups.

Arthritis in an Older Horse

While incurable, arthritis can a natural part of a horse’s aging process. With proper care, it can be managed. Swelling around the joints, lameness, stiffness, and reluctance to move forwards are all possible signs of arthritis. If you are concerned, have your vet confirm the condition with flexion tests and an x-ray. Your vet may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication or in more serious cases perform surgery to remove cartilage.

What can you do? Use Leg Saver equine therapy to help with the inflammation. You can also provide daily turnout time to keep your horse moving and joints loose. Adding a daily joint supplement can help, and regular gentle massages with a professional can also help ease the pain.

Heart Murmurs

A heart murmur is the result of a leaky valve that results in the rapid filling and expulsion of blood from the heart. For older, less active horses, it won’t mean as many complications as for a competitive horse. Signs vary from tiredness, loss of appetite, to increased temperature, respiratory and heart rates. Or there may be no signs at all, only your vet confirm a heart murmur with the use of a stethoscope, followed by an ultrasound or electrocardiograph.

What can you do? Check your horse’s heart rate on a regular basis, avoid stress by keeping him on a daily routine, and ensure his weight is kept in check to avoid excess strain on the heart.

Cushing’s Disease

Also known as Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID), Cushing’s Disease is caused by the lack of secretion control of hormones ACTH and cortisol. This happens when the hypothalamus suffers nerve degeneration. Watch for increased thirst, tiredness, weightloss, if your horse suddenly develops a curly coat, and fat deposits cropping up on their neck and above the eyes. Call your vet to take a blood sample.

What can you do? While incurable, there is medication to keep your horse comfortable. You can also work to keep his weight regulated, his coat clipped to ease sweating, and regular dental care is important. Vaccinations and de-worming should be on a regular schedule as well.

The key to these three health concerns is really knowing your horse: what’s abnormal, and what keeps him comfortable. And as always, if in doubt, call your vet! Do you have any more tips on how to look after older horses? Share them with us on our Facebook page!

How to Keep Your Grey Horse Gleaming

Posted on: July 31st, 2017 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

Keeping a horse clean is a huge task on its own. Getting into a daily routine of basic cleanliness combined with a weekly bath and grooming session can go a long way towards your horse not only looking his best, but preventing permanent staining on grey coats and fending off minor health issues. Even if you already know how to clean your grey horse, the following steps will also help you to examine your horse on a regular basis for signs of injury.

If your horse suffers from skin conditions, using medicated shampoos is also a good way of caring for the problem in a gentle way. Think of this time with your horse as more of a bonding experience than a job that needs to be done.

Step 1: The Pre-Bath Brushing

Get rid of all loose dirt and surface dandruff with a thorough pre-bath brush. A good tip is to use a new or clean headcollar during bathing to prevent grease and dirt transfer from their regular headcollar onto your horse’s face.

Step 2: Wash Your Horse From Head to Hoof

If your stable isn’t equipped with a horse shower, boil water and mix it with cold water for a nice, warm bucketful. Using a large sponge, start at the neck and work your way through the mane, across the body and down the tail last, as it may require several cleansing strokes. Don’t be stingy; a thorough soaking does the coat good.

Step 3: A Detailed Facial

Consider switching to a smaller sponge when cleansing your horse’s face to really get into the crevices. Get behind the ears, under the jaw, around the nostrils, and even under the forelock! Dandruff and browband stains like to hide out under the forelock plait, so this is especially crucial.

Step 4: Build a Lather

Lather up your horse. Massage the shampoo deep into the roots of your horse’s coat and mane. Putting the shampoo on the sponge first can increase the amount of lather you get for a deeper clean.

Step 5: It’s All in the Rinse

Use warm water to rinse ALL of the soapy residue off and comb through excess water to reduce drying time. Scraping the water off will also alert you if there’s any shampoo left to rinse out.

Finish off with a wool horse rug to prevent your horse from catching a chill after his nice, warm bath. These need to be swapped out as well to avoid moisture build-up if used regularly enough.

What are your top tricks on how to clean your grey horse ? Share with us on Facebook!

How to Deal With Your Horse’s Poor Eating Habits

Posted on: June 30th, 2017 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

A horse’s poor eating habits may not have immediate life-threatening effects, but it can affect their long-term health and equal many vet bills. Good eating habits with balanced nutrition will mean a happier horse thanks to good health. It may take a while to figure out the right measures to keep your horse happy but we’ve found the following ways to deal with your horse’s poor eating habits!

The #1 Ingredient to Ban from Your Horse’s Diet: SUGAR

The negative effects of too much sugar in a horse’s diet are many and vast. Sugar can be toxic to a horse’s brain. Over time, as with humans, if you’re not feeling well, you don’t behave well, and that can lead to poor eating habits. Molasses are a byproduct of sugar, and the high levels of sulfur in them can wreak havoc on a horse’s digestive system as well. But your horse loves sweets? Try this:

Add Organic Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Horse’s Diet For Better Eating Habits

Horse’s actually love the taste of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar! Mostly because it tastes like, well, apples! Not only healthier for their digestion, it encourages eating feed because of the added “treat” flavour; and it’s low on (processed) sugar.

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar also makes a great topical spray for rashes, scrapes, and open wounds to stimulate blood flow to the area and kill bacterial infections. Suffering from Gerd or reflux yourself? One tablespoon will usually rid you of the problem in an all-natural way. Every stable should keep a gallon of this healthy sidekick on hand in the tack room at all times.

Have you found a natural way to deal with your horse’s poor eating habits? Help us to encourage other horses out of an eating funk,  share your favourite horse nutrition tips with us on Facebook