Illness & Injury

horse rug causes overheating, overheating horses, equine thermoneutral zone, sweet itch rug covers, equine thermoregulation

Horse owners are routinely putting rugs (blankets) on their horses all year round. However new research suggests that certain types of rug could be causing them to overheat. It has become routine (and even fashionable) for many domestic horses to be rugged all year round – in fly-sheets, all-weather turnouts, stable rugs, fleeces or perhaps even a onesie. Rugs can be useful in protecting horses from biting insects and in adverse weather conditions; however, until now there have been very few studies on rugging at all and none on the effect of different types of rugs on a horse’s body temperature.

This issue’s focus on equine back problems is an opportune time to examine the relationship between equine back disorders and saddle fit. The issue of “kissing spines,” or overriding dorsal spinous processes, is of concern to many riders.

Equine Cushing’s Disease, more correctly called Pars Pituitary Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID), is a non-cancerous but progressive enlargement of the pituitary gland in the horse. It is estimated that 20 percent of horses over the age of 15 will develop PPID. Note that Cushing’s Syndrome in humans and dogs (when not due to giving too much steroidal medication) involves an actual tumour of either the pituitary or the adrenal glands, (either benign or malignant), whereas Cushing’s Disease in horses has a different cause.

Purina Canada, purina, equine feed, horse feed, premium horse feed, equine body condition

We all want healthy horses with beautiful muscle tone, that are neither too fat nor too thin. In short, we want our horse to have the ideal body condition. But what is an ideal body condition and, especially, how does one evaluate it effectively?

Purina Canada, purina, equine feed, horse feed, premium horse feed, Preventing equine Joint Injuries

Though powerful, horses are also fragile. Since we are consistently pushing their limits, performance horses are the most vulnerable of all. The saying, “Illness comes on horseback but departs on foot,” could easily be referring to the joint injuries that afflict far too many of our horses. Unfortunately, these injuries are quite difficult to treat. Our best option is to use nutrition as a simple and effective prevention strategy.

If you’re lucky, you and your horse see your farrier once every six weeks or so, and these visits involve a simple trim or standard shoeing. If your horse has always been sound and performed well, it is likely that regular, routine care by a qualified farrier is more than sufficient to keep his feet in tip-top shape.

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Grooming is an enjoyable way to bond with your horse, and most horses love to be fussed over, but cleaning a male horse’s sheath is an unpleasant chore that owners and riders tend to avoid. From potentially being kicked, to lack of knowledge or squeamishness, those with geldings and stallions often shirk the task altogether. However, veterinarians agree that cleaning and inspecting a horse’s sheath is a necessary and regular part of maintaining their health.

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Riding Vactions in California with Jec Ballou