Horse owners providing sound horse health advice on conformation, your horses hoof, your horses feet, parasites and worms. Your horses breathing and digestive system.
A basic guide to horse health, because your horse is a large powerful animal that has evolved over millions of years for flight rather than to fight.
Remember, a healthy horse will always try to run from danger unless it is trapped and cannot get away.
Which is why it is vitally important that all aspects of your horse, concerned with the ability to run from danger, are fully functioning and healthy.The acquisition of sound good horse health advice should be a prime part of your ongoing equine education and training, for as long as you own or ride a horse.
Good Horse Health Advice is Invaluable …Good horse care should include the care of your horses’ breathing and respiratory systems; as well as the more obvious items such as joints, feet, hooves, legs, etc. Use the sections outlined below to find out more about your horses’ health; how your horse is put together; how your horse moves and what you can do to make sure your horse stays fit and healthy.
Horse Health Care & Advice Sections;
Horse Conformation : The Essence of a Great Horse
Conformation has a strong impact on movement, performance, and soundness. Although movement is most obvious as the motion of the lower limbs, it is an integration of the action of the upper limbs, back, neck, and in fact, the whole horse.
Conformation refers to the physical appearance of a horse as dictated primarily by his bone and muscle structures and his outline. There is no definitive single standard of perfection or specific ideal for normal conformation …
Your Horses’ Body … Skin, Muscle & Blood
The skin is the only visible organ on your horses body, but it is much more than just a sheath, its efficient functioning is essential to the health of your horse.
It provides, sun protection; prevents trauma; prevents dehydration and importantly the horses skin produces the hoof, which is just modified skin on a skeletal frame.
The horse’s skin can be affected by environmental factors; liver disease; lack of food; lack of water and even a heavy parasitic worm burden …
Horse Teeth …
Teeth & the equine dentist. By the time your horse is five years old all the permanent teeth should be through and the gums should be a healthy pink colour with no bruising.
Horse teeth grow and erupt throughout their lives and regular attention from an equine dentist is a must …
Your Horse’s Skeleton … 210 Bones In a Sound Structure.
Your horse’s skeleton is composed of approximately 210 individual bones (excluding those in the tail).
The equine skeleton gives support for the muscles, protection for the internal organs, and possesses the necessary mobility for the horse to move at various speeds, sleep standing, lie down or graze …
Your Horses Respiratory System … Breathing
The respiratory system of your horse is well adapted to athletic exercise, with un-restricted upper airway diameters, and a large lung capacity afforded by 18 ribs.
These combine to enable air intakes of up to 1800 litres per minute in a galloping horse. Volumes of up to 300 litres of blood are pumped at high pressure through small lung capillaries surrounding 10 million air sacs to take up and deliver over 70 litres of oxygen per minute to the working muscles at the gallop …
Your Horses Digestive System … Eating
Your horse evolved as a continuous grazer and will happily graze for 14 to 20 hours a day if given the opportunity; and your horse has a digestive tract amazingly well adapted to ingesting and digesting forages.
Because the basis of any equine diet should be forage, special attention should be given to the type and quality of feed fed to the horse
Parasitic Disease … Worms & De-worming
Horse worms & de-worming. Essential horse health advice on the use of good horse wormers in a worming programme. Help to minimise the worm problem that your horse has to cope with, and help optimise your horses health and performance. Use a combination of horse wormers to make the pasture safer for your horse to graze on. Parasitic worms can cause fatal colic, weight loss, poor performance, rough coat, pot belly and stunted growth …
Your Horses Foot & Hoof … “No Hoof; No Horse”
Shoeing and Care of Horses Feet. Every horse owner should have some understanding of the care of a horses feet and of shoeing. ‘NO HOOF – NO HORSE’ is an old and very true saying.
Any horse being ridden regularly on a hard surface, such as a road should be shod, or the wall of the hoof will be worn down quicker than it can grow. This will cause friction, soreness and lameness. Hardy ponies, working lightly and solely on grass, can do without shoes, but their hooves should still be looked at regularly by a farrier.
There is a modern trend for the barefoot horse and keeping horses unshod, but you should investigate all aspects of this before deciding whether it is suitable for your horse …
Laminitis … The Laminitic Horse
Laminitis is a painful condition of the feet. The actual word laminitis means ‘inflammation (itis) of the sensitive laminae (lamin)’. The laminae are the membranes that hold the bone of the foot (the pedal bone) in place inside the foot. When they get inflamed your horse feels as if its standing on a very badly bruised fingernail …
Navicular … and Caudal Heel Syndrome
Navicular in Horses is a common source of performance limiting lameness in the front legs of horses. How does navicular disease affect your horse and what are the causes, diagnosis and treatment.
If you’ve been around horses for any length of time, you probably know of a horse who has been diagnosed with navicular disease (or navicular syndrome) …
Use our horse health advice sections to make sure you are as knowledgeable as possible about the needs of your horse
We’ll help ensure your horse’s continuing good health and wellbeing. Remember though, the information contained in the horse health advice section is no substitute for a professional fully qualified vet.