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Inspired by Nature • Powered by Science - Allergies in horses can develop at any age. Allergies are simply an imbalance of the immune system where your horse’s immune system perceives a threat from something harmless that he has come into regular contact with. Instead of eliminating microorganisms, the body suddenly starts attacking its own tissues, resulting in an overreaction to normal, everyday things such as grass, tree pollens, shavings, dust, molds, hay and straw, environmental pollutants, drugs, fly spray, or a new grooming product or shampoo. Many reactions cause a release of histamines, which cause swelling and other signs of inflammation. These symptoms are usually seen on the skin, but can also come in the form of swelling around the eyes and muzzle or even internally.

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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.

overheating horse too hot summer riding heat

A hot humid day. One rider. One horse. Both are exercising at a moderate level. Who is more likely to overheat? It might surprise you to learn that your horse gets hotter much faster than you and is more susceptible to the negative effects of heat stress. Prof. Michael Lindinger, an animal and exercise physiologist at the University of Guelph, explains: “It only takes 17 minutes of moderate intensity exercise in hot, humid weather to raise a horse’s temperature to dangerous levels. That’s three to ten times faster than in humans. Horses feel the heat much worse than we do.”

horse dehydration, equine sweating, horse overheating

Remember the Electrolytes - As we hit the hottest portion of the summer, we’re witnessing our horses’ attempts to keep cool by sweating. The process of sweating causes a decrease in core temperature through evaporative cooling at the skin surface. As high energy molecules evaporate from the skin, releasing energy absorbed from the body, the skin and superficial vessels decrease in temperature. Cooled venus blood then returns to the body’s core and counteracts rising core temperatures.

toxic plants to horses, toxic weeds to horses, equine laminitus, andrea lawseth, poisonous horse plants

There are a vast number of plants located throughout Canada that are toxic to horses in some respect. Many need to be eaten in large doses to cause much of an effect, while others require only a few mouthfuls. There are a variety of resources on plants toxic to livestock, but the Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System seems to be the most comprehensive. It lists over 250 poisonous plants found in Canada, their lethal dose (if known), and symptoms of poisoning.

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When Pasture is Too Much of a Good Thing - The horse has evolved as a grazing animal, hence, pasture plays a pivotal role in equine nutrition. Reported intakes of fresh pasture by horses can range from 1.5 to 5.2 percent of body weight per day. With such a large intake of pasture possible, can horses overconsume? What components of pasture grass can cause problems if taken in at excessive levels?

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