Horse Health

Reporting cases of suspected equine abuse and neglect

While we dream of an animal abuse-free world, this is sadly not today’s reality. If you suspect abuse or neglect, it is important to take proper steps to report it. Highveld Horse Care Unit (HHCU) shares how to best go about reporting abuse or neglect. Identity The HHCU depends on the public to report any and all suspected forms of ...

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Inside your horse’s ears

  The equine outer ear includes the pinna (the flap of the ear) and the external auditory canal (the cuplike ear canal). The pinna collects soundwaves and channels them from the external auditory canal to the middle ear, where they meet the tympanic membrane (the eardrum) and cause it to vibrate. Here the ossicles (the auditory bones) transmit the tympanic ...

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The horse’s digestive system

Horses are trickle feeders and non-ruminant herbivores, meaning that they are designed to graze for most of the day on vegetation, and process their feed through one stomach chamber. The equine digestive system is unique in the way in which it processes feed. Feed is first processed enzymatically in the foregut (stomach and small intestine) and then ferments in the ...

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What to consider when vetting a horse for purchase

Most people buying a horse today will request at least a basic ‘prepurchase exam’ to be carried out by a veterinarian. Others will want a more advanced prepurchase exam that includes blood tests and radiographs, for example. This is of course wise to prevent serious heartache down the line, but what is this exam really about and just how seriously ...

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Penetrating wounds of the foot

Puncture wounds of the equine foot are common and can be very serious. The most common objects that penetrate horses’ feet are nails and screws, but other sharp objects such as pieces of farm implements can sometimes cause these penetrating wounds too. If a sharp object penetrates a horse’s foot, it can damage the sensitive tissues and deeper structures underneath ...

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Claiming correctly: brought to you by Equipagé

An Equine Mortality Policy is a policy where the owner of a horse insures the probability of the horse’s untimely death with an insurance company. This policy is arranged on the basis where death of the horse following illness or disease, injury or theft is covered subject to exclusions. So, in the event that your horse dies, the insurance company needs to ...

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How do I know when it’s time for my horse to retire?

Many horses retire due to an injury that dictates a poor or impossible working life post diagnosis. Leg injuries, back injuries and disease are the leading cause for working and competitive horses being retired. However, some horses tick on well into their golden years with no obvious signs of trouble – so how do we know when it’s time to ...

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How often do horses have twins?

Nature does not favour the birth of equine twins, and many mares will abort within the first 40 days of pregnancy. Of the mares who carry twins longer than six weeks, 80% will abort during the eighth month of pregnancy. Aborting so late in the pregnancy can cause all sorts of complications for the mare, such as trauma, illness, infection ...

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10 signs it’s time to move yards

Horse owners and riders settle on a yard for a variety of reasons, whether it’s for a particular coach, the yard’s facilities and care, its location, or most importantly, its price. All too often, there comes a time when riders feel it’s time to move on for any number of reasons. Horses thrive on routine, so it’s not a simple ...

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Good grass: types of roughage

There are various roughage options available for the South African horse. The main options include lucerne hay, teff, Eragrostis curvula, Rhodes grass and oat hay. Roughage should be chosen to best suit the horse’s nutrient requirements. AlphaAlfa explains the nutritional value of the different types of grasses in this month’s issue. Legumes In comparison with grasses, legumes have a higher ...

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