Seasonal Care

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Winter can make the most mundane tasks challenging. This reality is clearly illustrated when it comes to watering animals. For as long as man has worked alongside horses and livestock, there have been different watering methods and their seasonal variations.

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“The stable environment invariably presents challenges of dust, mould and proper ventilation,” says Susan Raymond, instructor of Equine Guelph’s Management of the Equine Environment online course. “Most horses are well equipped for living outdoors and thrive, provided certain provisions are met.” Dr. Raymond completed her PhD in investigating the effects of exposure of horses to mycotoxins. She has also been involved in air quality research, which provided practical recommendations to the horse industry on stable design and management.

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By Mark Andrews - It's not just horseback riders that cough and wheeze at this time of year. Respiratory problems are common in horses as well. Loss of performance may be the first sign that something is wrong. Mildly affected animals may cough occasionally when eating or when starting work. As the condition gets worse they may cough almost continuously.

Your Horse's Winter Energy Needs, forages is the perfect energy source for Your horse, optimize your winter feeding regime, sources of equine energy, Shelagh Niblock, BSc.Ag., PAS

When the days start getting shorter, horse owners know that winter is just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about winter feeding regimes. Feeding horses in virtually all parts of Canada during the winter months involves a need for increased energy intake because of cold temperatures and inclement weather. The amount of additional energy required by your horse will be even greater in extremely cold climates.

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Horses are more likely to suffer from laminitis in the fall than at any other time of year. Two reasons are the high NSC (non-structural carbohydrates) from cooler nighttime temperatures and increased blood ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) secretion from the pituitary gland. Both of these lead to elevated insulin.

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Just as humans can be burned by the sun’s ultraviolet rays, light coloured horses may suffer from sunburn. Even horses with dark coats can be vulnerable to sunburn if they have white markings on their faces or legs.

Making Electrolytes Smart - Does your horse have a drinking problem? Good hydration is not just about how much a horse drinks, it’s also about how the water is used internally. A properly hydrated horse with balanced electrolytes will be healthier and perform better. A dehydrated horse is at increased risk of impaction colic and reduced athletic potential.

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