Horse Health

Headshakers

Horses shaking their heads is quite normal. Horses need to get rid of annoying flies, which they can do by a rippling effect of the panniculus muscles on their flanks, tail swishing, foot stamping or headshaking. However, chronic headshaking is a different story. It takes on a whole new meaning when this behaviour is performed frequently, if not constantly, mainly ...

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A working diet

A well-balanced diet is of utmost importance when it comes to the young horse, and ideally you need to feed something that complements his growth development and workload. Renita de Beer of Royal Feeds shares her insights about how young horses should be fed and constructing the perfect meal plan. Diet structure Horses are grazers by nature. Their bodies are ...

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Understanding positive flexion tests

Flexion tests of both the fore- and hindlimbs are common diagnostic tools, particularly used for the purposes of pre-purchase examination. Many of us have heard the words ‘failed flexion test’ or ‘positive flexion test’ when looking into buying or selling a horse, but what do these terms really mean? What is the significance of these results and how seriously should ...

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Equine underwater treadmill in SA

Towards the end of last year, at Pellmeadow Estate in Klapmuts, near Paarl, a horse named Baybar quietly made South African history. He was the first horse in South Africa to bravely enter into the depths of an underwater treadmill designed and built specifically for horses. Since the 1990s, the benefits of underwater training have been known among equestrians, and ...

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Train smarter, not harder

We all know that a horse must be in good condition if you want to perform well at competitions. But what is considered good condition? How can we define this, and what does it mean for your daily training practice? Mostly, we evaluate the intensity of a horse’s training on how we, as a rider or trainer, felt about the ...

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Top tips for mane and tail care

A glossy coat with a flowy mane and tail is one stunning sign of a healthy horse. Some horses are spoilt with a thick tail and a perfect mane, while others are on the complete other side of the spectrum. If your horse’s mane and tail looks a bit ratty, thin, dry, rubbed out or fizzy, then try our top ...

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The equine horse walker

In the wild, horses would roam over open distances, sometimes walking up to 50km per day. With domestication, horses are obviously restricted from this consistent freedom of movement. While we would all love to turn our horses out into massive paddocks where they can move around freely all day, the reality is that that luxury is not available to all ...

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Mud matters

Mud is a reality for many stable yards, particularly those in the Cape region as its winter consists of continuous rain. Other regions will experience heavy rainfall over the summer months, but will go without for the rest of the year. Some yards and studs are more inclined to become victim to muddy conditions than others. Mud is the result ...

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Equine salt spa

A respiratory treatment (using only 100% natural salt) to increase the performance of sport horses has been developed in the UK, and has taken off in a big way in America and all over Europe. Vets who have scoped before and after the treatment cannot believe the difference. It’s now available in South Africa, thanks to the remarkable results achieved ...

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Feed Your Brain

We are usually calm and relaxed when we school and train our horses in the familiar environment of home. However, our performance often falls short when we head out to compete at showgrounds. It’s disappointing to ride a bad test or have poles down when you have prepared thoroughly for your show. More often than not, it comes down to ...

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