Horse Health

Winter Hoof Care

As the days become shorter and the nights longer, winter is certainly on its way. South African winters are considered fairly mild compared to other parts of the world, but in some of our regions, it can still get very cold at night! As the weather differs vastly throughout our country, with the Cape regions usually getting winter rainfall and ...

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Snug in a rug

There are many types of horse blankets available on the market, namely day sheets, fleece sheets, medium duvets, heavy duvets, coolers, sweat sheets, fly sheets, neck rugs, exercise sheets, rain sheets and turnout rugs. Horse blankets can also be used to keep a horse’s coat short. If horses are blanketed in early autumn before it gets too cold, they will ...

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Nerve blocking

One of the biggest mysteries horse owners can face is why their horses may be lame. Lameness has a variety of causes, and it is often very difficult to pinpoint exactly what the cause of it is. With modern technology and extensive research, veterinary practices have advanced to making use of nerve and joint blocks to aid in deciphering where ...

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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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Effects of training too hard, too soon

It’s very exciting to have the opportunity to school a young horse and see the progress through many hours of training, time and effort. However, all too often riders and trainers get carried away too quickly, and we subject the young horse to injury – not intentionally, but it can happen nonetheless. We explore the main training injuries sustained by ...

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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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