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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You’ve just returned from an invigorating winter’s ride, your horse enjoyed prancing through the powdery snow, and with the sun shining you didn’t notice the nip in the air. But now your sweaty horse is steaming and with the sun slipping behind the horizon, winter’s chill is fast returning….After a winter workout, a 10 to 15 minute walk will not only guard against muscle soreness, it is essential to allow the horse’s skin to dry. But one method does not fit all. Your winter cool-out regime will be different depending on a number of factors including whether your horse is clipped, blanketed or “au naturel”; whether he lives inside or outside; and the intensity of your workout.

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For a prey animal that instinctively depends on sight for survival, a horse’s loss of vision or even the loss of an eye is devastating. Yet, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most common cancer found in equine eyes and the second most common tumour in horses.

horse self-mutilation syndrome,  Lynne Gunville, Dr. Claire Card, horse skin, unusual horse noises, flank biting, equine self-mutilation syndrome, horse care

At first, you might notice something wrong with your horse’s skin. He may start making unusual noises or being hypersensitive to your touch in the flank area – signs that would normally point to a medical issue such as a dermatological condition.

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Therapeutic tools have been used to prevent and treat horse injuries for many years, but cutting edge therapies continue to be sought out by riders to improve their horse’s health and performance. Twenty years ago, the technology of the day for icing the legs of Olympic and World Championship level event horses was giant rubber boots filled with ice water attached to noisy pumps that burbled bubbles up through the boots

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Given the extreme weather in many parts of Canada in the summer of 2017 – hot and extremely dry in the west; rain and flooding in other areas - hay supply for the coming winter has been a top-of-mind concern for many horse owners.

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Tequila is a Thoroughbred mare that I was asked to shoe a couple of months back. She stands splay-footed, is badly over at the knees, and her hind legs were quite sickle-hocked. Her feet were smashed, flared, chipped, and cracked. She was just the kind of project that I wanted to do a “hoof makeover” on – I do love a challenge.

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