Spring has arrived in the Southern Hemisphere, and for most of us this means spending more time with our horses, longer and brighter days, but also more rain and warmer temperatures. As a horse owner, you’ve probably got a big to do list at this time of year. Like regular spring cleaning, there’s always a few things you’d forgotten about, out of sight, out of mind.
To give your plans a jump start, we’ve compiled a quick list of things to try to get around to as the days grow longer:
- Give your water and buckets a thorough clean out, not forgetting your outdoor water troughs.
- Check over your equipment for wear and tear and make sure to give everything a good clean.
- Check out your fencing and gates. Ensure there’s nothing protruding like old nails or bits of broken wood, and check that everything is correctly aligned. Repair or replace whatever needs it.
- Plan for feed. Too much spring grass can have detrimental effects like weight gain and too much sugar intake, leading to further complications.
Aside from physical maintenance, you'll need to have a good check over your horse!
This should include tasks like:
- Reviewing your health records and getting up to date with any vaccinations and de-worming etc.
- Check their general well-being. Evaluate their Body Condition Score (BCS) , and adjust their diet as required.
- Check teeth. Dental issues can quickly lead to bigger problems so look for uneven wear and sharp edges, and any inflammation or infection.
- Check feet. As you know, feet are vital to horse health. They may have been unshod over winter, and all of them will need a good pick and check over, particularly for any cracks or issues with the frog. Hooves will need trimming every 8 weeks. It never hurts to consult with a farrier.
At this time of year your horse’s routine will be adjusting. With spending more time outdoors and increased activity, along with wet, warm weather there is more opportunity for injury. Even the tiniest scratch, which can be hard to spot, is vulnerable to infection from pathogens that thrive in spring.
Bacteria and fungi, such as Dermatophilus congolensis, a common cause of mud fever, tend to live in soil. The frequent wet weather of spring brings mud, and your horse will be turning it over, releasing these pathogens into their environments. A small scratch in a frog, dragged through mud, is a perfect host. Coupled with feet getting less chance to dry out, infection can bloom and grow out of control very quickly.
There are many options when it comes to treating these issues. The traditional route is antibiotics and anti fungal medications. However it’s becoming more common to encounter the dangerous phenomenon of antibiotic resistance. Born from overuse of these medications, it can leave your horse vulnerable at pivotal moments.
EquineCare Probiotic is proud to provide an alternative product that can effectively treat minor skin abnormalities before they become dangerous situations, as well as working as a good preventative, all while being safe and comfortable for you and your horse.
More and more people are turning to our probiotic blend over traditional options as it is all natural, non toxic and works simply. By crowding out bad bacteria with good, it improves your horse’s overall microbiome and health. These kinds of problems are bound to crop up around this time of year, so give us a go. If you get in quick, you might even be able to stop them before they start, so you can get on with enjoying the better weather with your horse!