Here at Horse Sense Wirral, we usually receive a handful of calls each month, for the concern of welfare of horses, however, this has increased to a call or 2 most days. 99% of what we are attending, is due to people not knowing to adjust their management according to the unusual weather we have been experiencing. Waters are running dry quicker than normal and paddocks are bare, due to lack of rain not helping the grass grow.
We are seeing dehydration, malnutrition and even colic, colic due to lack of food, lack of water causing the food they are eating to become impacted, as their water intake is too low, it can’t move thru the gut, even the best fed and watered horses are colicking due to no shade, causing dehydration and having the same affect on digestion.
This IS NOT just affecting older or finer horses, we have even seen skinny Shetlands!!!!!
As horse and pony owners/loaners, we have a responsibility to make sure they have constant access to water, forage and shade.
Please use shaded paddocks, even a big tree will help, or bring your horses in during the day if your stable is cooler (some aren’t), put an extra bucket or 2 out for water, put out hay or haylage for them to eat. I know some yards don’t allow this, however, in this extreme weather yard owners/managers are going to have to suck it up for this short term. They are legally as responsible for the care of their residents. If you scrape up your waste each day, your yard owners/managers won’t have anything to worry about and will be much more amenable to helping.
Remember if your land is sandy, that with bare paddocks your horse/pony will be ingesting more sand than usual, to avoid surgical/fatal colic we recommend using a sand shifter such as Pysillium husks, for at least one week per month, we buy ours on EBay.
Also remember to avoiding hosing them down during the day, as the shine from the water will attract the Sun more and also cause dehydration, try and leave hosing/bathing till the evening, if you must do it during the day, scrape the excess water off and leave them in the shade to dry.
We have also had a lot of people asking about cracked/chipped feet, it’s unavoidable in this weather, you don’t need to call your farrier out to every chip, or your horse will end up with no feet left, follow your farriers recommendations for how often your horse needs trimming and we highly recommend the use of EFFOL HUFF SALVE, it’s inexpensive, will last you all summer and works better than even the most expensive stuff on the market.
As always, we are here to help and advise you, if you need us, you will find our contact details on the Home page
**** Don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated too