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NEWSLETTER Articles

Light at the end of this dark and cold tunnel

I can see a light at the end of this dark and cold tunnel.

Daffodils are starting to sprout, lambs are running around and the cows are back in the shed, that’s right, it’s spring! And that means it’s time to get your horses back into work for the competition season. You may already have started light work but if not the days are getting longer so jump back on that horse.  Now is the time to get on top of any issues you noticed at the end of last season.

Did your horse get a bit light at the end of the season?
Well start him on the right track with a balanced diet to keep that condition on him through the long competition season. Horses are designed to get the most out of grass but they are also designed to graze 16-18 hours per day. The pressure that we place on our horses and the way we manage our horses means that we need to supplementary feed them with added energy, fibre, vitamins and minerals. There are many well balanced feeds on the market so ensure that you get the most out of your horse by putting the best food into them.

Did your pony stiffen up after the cross country?
Look into a joint supplement such as pentosan polysulfate. Or is it to do with selenium deficiency. Selenium is very important for muscle repair and recovery. We can very easily check your horse’s selenium levels and make sure you are on the right track with supplementing in our selenium deficient area. Or your horse may have ‘tied up’. This is a common problem, especially in mares. We can blood test for this condition but it is also apparent clinically. Diet and management goes a long way in preventing this painful and frustrating ailment.

Was your horse pointing one foot sporadically?
This could indicate a subtle lameness that is affecting his performance.

Did your horse resent having the saddle put on or the girth tightened?
Is he ‘cold backed’? These signs may point towards a sore back or a poor fitting saddle. Or they could mean your horse was suffering from gastric ulcers. Signs of ulcers are very non-specific and a lot of horses have them without the classic signs. A treatment trial on ulcershield may be necessary to work out if your horse has ulcers.

Was your horse dropping food when eating?
Or leaning on one rein? This may mean he has dental issues and needs these addressed.

These are few of many subtle issues that your horse may be suffering from and that could be detrimentally affecting his performance. Give one of our equine vets a call to discuss these (or any other issues) and get on top of them before the season starts and kick it off the way you want to finish….on the podium!

 

A centre of veterinary excellence for North Canterbury.
 

24hr/7day emergency care available by phoning 03 313 7438