Posts Tagged ‘water flow management’

What You Need To Know About First Aid for Horse Owners

Posted on: August 8th, 2017 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

The first things to consider when it comes to first aid for horse owners are temperature, pulse and breathing, particularly when your horse isn’t acting himself. Check them regularly so you have a record of his normal temperature, pulse, and respiratory rates on hand for comparison in the event of an accident or illness.

How to Check Your Horse’s Temperature

If possible, get someone to help you hold your horse while you take his temperature. Stand to one side of his hindquarters–never behind–and gently lift his tail. Insert the thermometer a few inches into the rectum and hold for one minute. Keep in mind that normal horse temperatures run 37.5 degrees to 38.5 degrees centigrade.

How to Check For Your Horse’s Pulse

Feel for the artery that runs over your horse’s jaw bone. This is the easiest to get an accurate reading from with practice. A normal heart rate is approximately 20 to 40 beats per minute.

Measuring Your Horse’s Respiratory Rate

A normal horse’s respiratory rate is 8 to 12 breaths per minute. You can either count how many times his nostrils flare in a minute, or how many times his ribs move up and down. This method can be trickier than the others and requires patient practice.

How to Treat a Wound

The first two things to remember if your horse suffers an injury is to keep calm, and secure him immediately. Then, gently wash the wound with water in a slow trickle from a hose or plastic syringe. Once clean, you’re free to assess the depth and severity of the wound. Try to steer clear of antiseptics; simply cleaning it and a light bandage should do the trick until the vet arrives.

Call your vet even if a wound near a joint or tendon looks minor, it can cause unseen long-term damage. If a wound won’t stop bleeding and requires stitches, keep pressure on it until the vet arrives. Be aware that the bleeding may be a result of puncture wounds or a hidden, embedded object.

Signs of Eye Injury

The signs of an eye injury include excessive tearing and blinking, it’s swollen or half shut, can be painful to the touch, or any other visible signs of injury.

In the event of a possible eye injury, always call your vet immediately. If left untreated, eye injuries can lead to infection and loss of sight. Try to keep your horse as calm as possible until your vet arrives, and if anything is protruding from the eye, leave it in until the professional arrives no matter how painful it may look.

Possible Fracture

Fractures can actually cause your horse to go into shock, so cover him with a blanket and keep him–and you–calm until professional help arrives. Never move your horse if you suspect a fracture, and call the vet immediately. Be prepared your horse may act distressed, have swelling, and sweat profusely due to the pain. Keep in mind not all fractures will be immediately visible, such as a bone sticking out unnaturally, so watch for sudden lameness.

How To Make an Essential First Aid Kit

Make sure to have the following essential items in a handy kit:

  • Blunt-ended scissors
  • Thermometer
  • Self-sticking crepe bandages
  • Cotton wool
  • Swabs
  • Gloves
  • Torch and wire cutters
  • Paper towel or kitchen roll
  • Gamgee
  • Poultice
  • Salt
  • Small plastic bowl

Consider making a duplicate kit and keep them in different places so you’ll never be looking for one last minute.

No matter what, it’s always best to call your Vet first and follow directions in an emergency. But having these basic tips in the back of your mind while you wait for help to arrive can make all the difference in your horse’s health. If you have any other first aid for horse owners tips, share them on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear from you! 

Five Simple Ways to Keep Your Horse Hydrated

Posted on: July 10th, 2017 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

Ensuring your horse has clean water to drink goes beyond quenching their thirst, it’s a way to keep them healthy on a long-term basis. H20 contains vital nutrients that aid in your horse’s digestion, moderates their temperature, and lubricates their joints for optimal performance.

Here are a five simple ways to keep your horse hydrated and happy.

Location, Location, Location!

Providing your horse with unobstructed access to clean water includes ensuring your horse isn’t competing with its neighbours for a fresh drink. Several trough stations strategically placed at various locations in the barn and turn-out pastures will encourage your horse to sip more frequently.

Not All Water Is Created Equal

Your horse knows the difference between what they drink at home, and when they’re away. Think of it this way: we all gravitate towards a certain “brand” of bottled water when we don’t have access to our usual source at home. Usually, this is due to the taste that comes from the level of minerals in the water. If you’re stabling your horse elsewhere for a period of time or away at a competition, bring along a supply of H20 from home so your horse continues to get their fill as they may shy away from “strange” water.

The Power of Salt to Hydrate a Horse

We’re not suggesting you dose your horse’s food with extra salt as that can actually increase fluid loss as a diuretic. However, if your horse isn’t consuming enough liquids, a little added salt in the diet can stimulate thirst. A salt lick or a little table salt in your horse’s feed might be all it takes.

Keep an eye on your horse’s electrolyte levels as well which are lost through sweating in the summer, or alternatively the urine if they’re drinking too much. These can be easily incorporated into feed or mixed with water.

Encourage Hydration Through Hay

By soaking your horse’s hay in water, you’ll increase his fluid intake naturally. Dry hay can absorb water from the gut, and thereby out of the circulatory system where it’s needed. This is especially important for stabled horses who don’t have regular access to moist grass.

Cool Down Time

Just like walking after an intense workout for humans, cooling down your horse after exercise is important. Sponge him down with cool water to return his temperature to normal at a faster rate, and you’ll reduce the amount of water your horse loses through sweating. Then, rehydrate!

Share you summer hydration tips with us on our Facebook page!

Your Guide To Eco-Friendly Horse Keeping

Posted on: June 27th, 2017 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

Caring for a horse means also caring for the environment you provide him with. We share nature, specifically watersheds that are crucial to our survival, with our family, neighbours, and the animals we’re lucky enough to co-exist with. As a horse owner, it’s our responsibility to protect that environment through choices that leave a low impact footprint.

The following are a few steps to eco-friendly horse keeping that will positively impact your environment as well as make for good, neighbourly practices.

Manure Management System

The quality of water in your local water bodies–and subsequently your drinking water–is affected by everyone living in the vicinity. This includes your horse! Minimize contamination by regularly picking up manure in high traffic areas and stables, and stockpiling it away from ditches and other water bodies. Next, consider composting the manure to reuse in your pastures. Not only will it enrich your soil, but you will minimize waste; literally.

Sacrifice Paddocks for Land Management

Fencing off a “spare” paddock or sacrifice area not only prevents overgrazed pastures, but also helps manage manure. Create the sacrifice area on higher ground (in other words, away from ditches and water bodies) to avoid water contamination and filter any potential runoff by planting a grassy border. By covering the sacrifice area with coarse-washed sand or crushed rock, mud won’t be as much of an issue during winter months and manure removal will be easier.

Pasture Management For Vitality

Rotating your horse in cross fence pastures prevents overgrazing of your fields and soil compaction that inhibits water infiltration for root growth. By leaving your horse in one field all the time, the quality and quantity of available grass will be significantly reduced in favour of weeds, and the nitrogen runoff from manure and urine can lead to contaminated water. Low pasture productivity also increases your feed costs!

Managing Water Flow

Divert clean rainwater away from high traffic areas by ensuring the roofs on your barn, sheds, and outbuildings are properly outfitted with rain gutters and runoff systems. Not only does this reduce mud, but the amount of nutrients and sediments that could potentially be washed into surface waters.

Protect your watershed, and ultimately your community through eco-friendly horse keeping! Are there any methods you’ve devised to keep your stables eye-catching and watershed-friendly? Share with us on Facebook!