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Horse Care for Beginners: 5 Helpful Tips

DATE POSTED:November 9, 2020

A few tips on horse care for beginners and horse property owners (and others). These are primarily on the topic of Health Care.

Sweet Itch, What Is It and How Do I Treat It?

Sweet Itch is caused by small flies or midges (culicoides flies) that breed in and around water. The bite normally causes an allergic reaction which results in extreme itching, rubbing and biting. This can cause skin damage to your horse, and hair loss and anxiety.

You’ll find that the flies are active mostly in the early morning and evening hours. Some horses are tormented constantly and the bites turn into blisters and crusty scabs.

Treatment

There are many treatments and they range from inexpensive to expensive. Not all will actually help and I suggest you ask your vet for advice before buying.

However the best treatment is to protect your horse from the biting flies. A good fly sheet and effective fly repellent is your best defense.

Try to bring your horse in during times when the midge is most active. There are a lot of skin soothing formulas which will relieve the itching and aid in the healing process.

Bear in mind that not all itching is caused by ‘sweet itch’ and if your horse continues to itch and lose hair, contact your veterinarian for help in diagnosing the problem.

Static Electricity from Your Horse Blanket

If your horse’s hair coat is very dry and fluffy, he’s more likely to get a shock when you remove his blanket.

You can avoid this by not sliding the blanket across your horse’s back which may create static. Instead, lift the blanket UP and off.

Also try using only one hand and avoid contact with your horse or blanket with your free hand. By doing this you’ll not complete the electrical circuit and your horse won’t get a shock.

How to Keep Mildew from Growing on Your Tack

The best thing you can do is make sure you have good ventilation and light in your tack room. Get a fan or dehumidifier.

Keep in mind that mold likes moisture and damp conditions. Should it occur, you can kill any mold spores by using a Lysol spray. It works great and is inexpensive. Spray it on and work it in. Leave it to set for a day or so then finish with a good leather conditioner.

What Do You Do if Your Horse Has a Lice?

The louse (literally) sucks the blood of its victim and usually is found under the mane, tail and forelock. Heavy infestations can occur over your horse’s entire body.

Transmission of lice is caused by contact with infected tack, including brushes, combs, clippers and blankets.

To eradicate and break the cycle of the louse all tack must be thoroughly cleaned. You should then repeat the cleaning of all equipment in 10-12 days.

Do not use your equipment for at least 14 days to break the cycle of the louse. Lice cannot survive for more than a few days without having your horse to feed on!

You may wish to use a dusting powder and/ or insecticide to control the lice on your horse itself. If you’re unsure of what product to use consult your veterinarian for advice.

Tell Me, Do You Know What Your Horse Is Saying?

We all know our horses make sounds but have you ever wondered what they mean?

When your horse nickers with his lips closed and makes a soft “rat-ta-tat-tat” sound. He is most likely saying “Hello I’m glad to see you”.

If your horse is blowing or snorting it usually means he’s afraid of something. But some horses will snort when they are excited and hoping that something good is going to happen.

When your horse lets out a great big high-pitched NEIGH it can mean that he is either anxious or confident, depending on the tone of the neigh and the body language that goes with it.

Also when a group of horses are turned out together, one may warn the group that he sees something unusual.

A nice big sigh is a sign of relaxation. Your horse will usually put his head down and exhale a deep breath through his nostrils.

About the author: Christopher D Childs works as a review writer for live career review. It gives him an opportunity to improve his critical and creative thinking skills. Moreover, he keeps up with modern tendencies of employee engagement, motivation and management.

 

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