Seasonal Care

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It’s been a gruelling season but the end is in sight. Looking back, training camp seems so long ago, so many months of hard work, of getting in shape. Last season certainly took its toll on the team. Coaches, trainers, and even the owner commented on the past year’s success and the hard work that went into it. The off-season months were a time of some well-deserved rest. This year it seemed as if we were destined to repeat our performance. Some early successes had things looking optimistic, but then the setback… A leg injury, a sore back during rehab, and the emotional and psychological toll felt by everyone involved. The doctors, trainers, and coaches worked tirelessly to make sure we made a full recovery and finished the season strong. The many doctor exams, rechecks, and rehabilitation sessions were worth it. We’re going to have a successful and exciting ending to the season after all.

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When you have finally found the perfect horse to take you to the winner’s circle, it’s tough to realize that he or she might be getting old. Many horses are now competing well into their late teens and early twenties, especially in certain disciplines such as dressage or show jumping where it takes many years of training to reach an elite level of competition. However, from a veterinary perspective, horses are considered geriatric as they reach the age of 15 to 20 years, which is when their physiological functions start to decline. The management of these horses becomes crucial to keep them competing at their best.

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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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When winter finally releases its icy grip, horse owners are eager to begin another riding season. While Canadians take national pride in fully embracing our cold snow-filled months, it’s hard to deny that springtime is a welcome sight, and horse owners are especially excited. Winter horse care can mean different things depending on your geographic location. Fluctuating temperatures in Eastern Canada create challenges for indoor housing. The Prairies cope with their incredibly frigid minus 40-degree C days (how you just “dress for it” I don’t know!). While in Western British Columbia there is constant rain from November to March. Dealing with any of those conditions makes both horse and human welcome the arrival of spring sunshine and open barn doors!

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Where you keep your horse can influence the risk of tapeworm infections, according to research from Poland. Recommendations for deworming horses have changed over the years to take account of widespread anthelmintic resistance and changing patterns of infection.

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Horses are naturally designed to live outside. With shelter from the wind and elements and access to fresh water and good quality hay, most horses can live quite comfortably surrounded by their companions without a stable. This is not always a convenient option for their human counterparts.

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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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