Category Archives: Help For Horses

KNOW YOUR HORSE – INTRODUCTION

This will be a series of educational posts you can use to get to know your horse a little better. I am not talking about your horse’s mind or personality, I mean you should know things like his weight, what the normal gastrointestinal tract sounds like, what the normal range is for temperature, heart rate and respiration. This information will help you to recognize when there may be a problem. The first thing your doctor does when you visit is to take your weight and vital signs. Your results are compared to a “normal” range (looking for anything that might be above or below what is considered normal or healthy). A record is created, this becomes a historical record of what is normal for you and comparisons are made each time you visit so your doctor can watch for trends and changes that might indicate a potential health issue or concern. I believe that a horse owner can avoid some serious health issues and recognize a problem early by being proactie by keeping records and checking vital signs, comparing them to the prior normal’s for their horse. These posts will cover the list of items below and will explain how to check them, and we will give you the values which are considered the normal range (note that there will be some variation in the normal vaues depending on age, breed, condition, etc.)

Here are some of the things you want to know about hour horse

  • Body Weight
  • Body Condition
  • Respiratory Rate
  • Heart Rate
  • Temperature
  • Color and feel of the gums plus the capillary refill time
  • Digital Pulse on all 4 feet and hoof temperature
  • Gut Sounds

Knowing how to obtain this information from your horse can also be a great help to you when consulting with your veterinarian if you think there may be a health problem. Providing this information during your call to set up an appointment may help him/her determine if the situation is an emergency or not.

These posts will cover one item at a time so watch for the post next week.

Written by Susan Boyd, edited by Zachary Franklin, DVM

The Barefoot Horse – A Lifestyle Part 3

 

As mentioned in posts 1 and 2, “The Barefoot Horse” is not just a description of a horse without shoes, nor is it just a description of the hoof condition of a horse. Rather, it is a description of a lifestyle of a horse. The lifestyle of a barefoot horse includes:

  • A free choice, forage based diet which is low in sugar, low in starch, and balanced to have the correct amount and ratios of vitamins and minerals for type of hay being fed.
  • Living conditions and environment which allow for and encourage movement over several different types of terrain including grass, gravel, and rock.
  • Daily exercise that includes waling, trotting and galloping. Horses in open range situations will travel 15 miles or more a day.
  • A proper barefoot trim every 4 to 6 weeks. Some horses can go longer if the environment promotes some self trimming.

This is the third in a series of articles that will define ideal conditions listed above that are important for the development and maintenance of a healthy barefoot horse and give you some reasonable and practical options. Continue reading

The Barefoot Horse – a Lifestyle part 2

DIGITAL CAMERAThe Barefoot Horse – a Lifestyle

Written by Susan Boyd and edited by Zachary Franklin, DVM

This is the second post in a series of four about the lifestyle of the barefoot horse. “The barefoot horse” is not merely a description of a horse without shoes nor is it a description of the hoof condition of a horse. Rather, it is the description of a lifestyle of a horse that includes:
A free choice, forage based diet which is low in sugar, low in starch, and balanced to contain the proper amounts and ratios of vitamins and minerals for type of forage being fed.
Living conditions and an environment which allow for and encourage movement over several different types of terrain including grass, gravel, and rock.
Daily exercise that includes walking, trotting and galloping. Horses living on the open range will travel 15 or more miles a day.
A proper barefoot trim every 4 to 6 weeks. Some horses can go longer if the environment promotes some self-trimming Continue reading

Pete Ramey – equine hoof care and nutrition

 Pete Ramey discusses equine hoof care and nutrition

Equine hoof care and nutrition were important subjects in the hoof rehabilitation workshop conducted by Pete Ramey  at Woodrose Ranch and Equestrian Center last Saturday. He started the workshop with an hour plus discussion on equine hoof care and nutrition – emphasis on nutrition. There are many things that go into building, maintaining, or rehabilitating a horses foot. The primary ingredient is nutrition. Without good nutrition, the rest of it does not matter. You cannot trim your way back to a healthy foot he told us. Continue reading

Dimensional Resin Horse Head Plaque on Canvas

resin horse head plaque

Horse Head Plaque on Canvas

Thank you to Deb and Randy Buckler for the beautiful resin horse head plaque I used on this canvas. Casting was done by Resins by Randy and the plaque was sculpted by Myla Pearce for the The International Blessed Broodmare Project (TIBBP, a group I am proud to be part of that works to save PMU mares from slaughter). I put the horse head plaque on an 8 x 10 canvas and added lots of flowers, acrylic paint and sprays to create this rainbow of colors.  Continue reading

The Barefoot Horse – a Lifestyle

Bo and ShadowThe Barefoot Horse – a Lifestyle

Written by Susan Boyd and edited by Zachary Franklin, DVM

“The barefoot horse” is not merely a description of a horse without shoes nor is it a description of the hoof condition of a horse. Rather, it is the description of a lifestyle of a horse that includes:
A diet based upon forage which is fed free choice and which is low in sugar, low in starch, and balanced to contain the proper amounts and ratios of vitamins and minerals for type of forage being fed.
Living conditions and an environment which allow for and encourage movement over several different types of terrain including grass, gravel, and rock.
Daily exercise that includes walking, trotting and galloping. Horses living on the open range will travel 15 or more miles a day.
A proper hoof trimming every 4 to 6 weeks or as needed. Some horses can go longer if the environment promotes some self-trimming. Continue reading

Horse Care Sweet Itch – Problem Solved

I have three horses that have sweet itch (culicoides dermatitis), also called Queensland itch, summer eczema, summer itch, and summer seasonal recurrent dermatitis (SSRD). It is a seasonal skin disorder caused by the bite of the Culicoides (biting midges also called sandflies, or no-see-um). In South Florida it pretty much occurs all year long. This is the most common insect bite allergy in horses. The midges bite primarily at dusk and dawn and prefer the abdomen and thigh areas. The allergic reaction, however, occurs most often around the mane, poll, and tail and is characterized by severe itching resulting in hair loss and crusty and scabby skin.

Continue reading