diet

What’s all the Fuss about Magnesium?

Published: Monday, 18 August 2014 | Written by: Sylvia
Image of magnesium oxide for horses  By Jayne Hunt, Equine Podatrist - find out more about Jayne on her site Healthy Hooves In recent months you will hardly fail to notice that magnesium is very much talked about in the horse world. Supplements, feeds and licks are often fortified with it and it is said to cure many things from spooking to laminitis. Some barefoot trimmers have even been heard to say “you can’t allow your horse to go barefoot if you don’t feed magnesium”. This article will, I hope,...

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Keeping your finger on the pulse

Published: Monday, 11 July 2011 | Written by: Sylvia
blog-post-img With digital pulses no news is good news - a healthy hoof will have no pulse or a barely discernible tic, a stronger pulse generally indicates inflammation. Every horse is an individual, so get to know your horses typical pulse. Some find it easier to locate the point on the fetlock as demonstrated here, others on the pastern. Whenever you can try locating the pulses of different horses, so you develop an idea of what feels weak and what feels strong. Typically...

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A moving experience

Published: Tuesday, 18 January 2011 | Written by: Sylvia
moving Freckles has moved and joined a new herd! Thankfully he’s loving it and enjoying being role model to his spotty little cousin, but travel and change of feed can stress the system and several months later its quite common to find a deep groove in the hoof wall corresponding to the move. We were concerned to do all we could to keep his gut flora stable and minimise physiological and emotional stress. It’s easy to avoid sudden changes with bucket feed but people often...

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Central Heating

Published: Tuesday, 7 December 2010 | Written by: Sylvia
heating Horses need more energy to maintain body heat when the temperature falls below approximately -1º (in dry, still conditions, with a nice thick coat and in good condition). It’s been below freezing for days now but before putting on thicker rugs be sure to turn up the central heating... Digesting feed produces heat and especially digesting fibre, the activity of the microbes in the hindgut is an important source of heat. If your horses teeth aren’t so good there are...

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Beware of mountain goats

Published: Monday, 13 September 2010 | Written by: intellig
mountain goats A brief post to say beware, the rain and mild weather have caused a surge of grass growth and an epidemic of footiness across the UK. Don't let your guard down and ruin all your good work now summer is over! As always prevention is better than cure but watch out for early warning signs such as sloppy ploppy's, mountain goat stance, raised digital pulses, hot feet, foot sensitivity, turgid crests, puffiness above eyes... Maybe we'll do some more detailed posts on these...

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Bum cheeks

Published: Wednesday, 25 August 2010 | Written by: intellig
cheeks That's how one owner described her horses frog infection! Untreated infection can cause a deep cleft right down to the sensitive corium, and if allowed to extend between the heel bulbs it can create a condition called sheared heels where the two sides can be moved independently (the photo above shows a severe case where most of the frog has been eaten away). Rife hoof infections generally stem from leakage of serum and blood products into the tissue, typically as a result...

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Open wide

Published: Thursday, 22 July 2010 | Written by: intellig
teeth Last week we got together with friends and arranged a visit from our equine dentist. The baby teeth were in order, little caps sitting on top of grown up molars, waiting to fall out. The examination was a strange but pleasant experience in Freckles life. Unfortunately all four newcomers to our little equine community needed significant amounts of work. All had sharp edges causing lacerations, and one rotten tooth had to be removed. It doesn't bear thinking about bridles...

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Hidden ryegrass, crouching Timothy

Published: Wednesday, 23 June 2010 | Written by: intellig
grass It's really hard to believe that this much has grown since the previous photo taken just 5 weeks ago. And all the while the track has remained bare -  so when you look at your paddock remember that you are looking at what's left after they've eaten, not how much they have to eat!

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Mystery of the vanishing grass

Published: Thursday, 3 June 2010 | Written by: intellig
vanishing grass At last we've had some rain and now it feels like summer, and though our track is still bare the grass in the central reservation has sprouted massively, so its clearly being consumed as fast as it grows. People are often surprised to find their horse gaining weight and showing signs of footiness on an apparently bare field, but when you look at their feeding habits you can appreciate how much they may be hoovering up. Horses spend approximately 70% of their time eating...

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Preventing laminitis

Published: Wednesday, 28 April 2010 | Written by: intellig
preventing laminitis Aside from restricting grazing, other anti-laminitis measures include: Avoiding sugar spikes, feed concentrates in small meals and make sure bellies are full of roughage before turnout - grass has a much faster rate of passage through an empty gut, and a sudden influx can upset the bacteria of the hindgut. Hungry horses also consume grass at a considerably faster rate! Providing a consistent habitat for gut flora, they don’t like surprises and if they die in large...

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