Horse Health

Ease The Anxiety

Just like people, horses come in all types of personalities. Some breeds even tend toward a certain type of personality more than others. Horses are prey animals by nature, meaning that their instincts tell them to constantly be on the lookout for potential threats, thereby making them very wary of their immediate surroundings. Some horses are naturally more skittish or ...

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Warm-up

Warming up correctly is crucial to success in the ring, but sometimes surviving the warm-up arena can be more stressful than actually competing! At many venues the warm-up arenas are small and crowded. Some riders are so absorbed in what they are doing that they don’t pay attention to those around them, and so it’s not unusual to have someone ...

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Aids Versus Cues

There is no single correct way of training a horse – for years there have been people who follow different schools of thought, like the French versus German dressage methods, Western versus English riding, and jumping versus trail riding. In each of these disciplines, the rider will probably train and ride the horse in different ways, yet the horse still ...

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Rubbing it in

The summer season often sparks skin irritation that can cause your horse to rub. Sweet itch is common during this time of year, and while most cases can be treated at home, more serious cases require veterinary attention. Excessive or untreated rubbing can result in raw patches of skin, which are then at risk of becoming infected. There are several ...

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Are you a positive coach?

Nowadays, more attention is paid to topics such as anatomy and learning theory of the horse. It is a great advantage for you as a trainer if you have a basic understanding of how the horse learns, but understanding how a rider learns is an entirely different thing. Equine Support International (ESI) brings you a series of three articles that ...

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Tricky tendons

Dr Henk Offereins (DVM, MVSc) is a Dutch vet based in Ireland, who specialises in equine sports medicine. He visits South Africa regularly where he works in conjunction with Pretoria-based Dr Ingrid Cilliers to introduce new veterinary concepts that are currently in use in Europe and America to our competitive riders. His main focus is the prevention of injuries, and ...

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Going herbal

Over the years, there has been a real boom in herbal supplements, not only for horses but for other animals and humans too. A lot of horse owners understand the value of feeding herbal supplements to their horses on a regular basis. Today, horse owners are rather spoilt for choice when it comes to herbal mixtures, all of which have ...

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Identifying and understanding sarcoids

Equine sarcoids are probably one of the most common and frustrating skin issues to deal with. The word ‘sarcoid’ stems from the word ‘sarcoma’ – a tumour originating from the connective tissue. The suffix ‘-oid’ refers to ‘like’, indicating that a sarcoid is a tumour ‘like a sarcoma’. The difference is that sarcomas are generally malignant, and sarcoids are usually ...

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Feeding the retired Thoroughbred

Brave, talented, versatile … off-the-track Thoroughbreds (OTTB) make fantastic sport and leisure horses who can easily be retrained into a second career. While they need to adjust mentally and physically to their new life, it’s equally important to transition their digestive system back to a high forage diet. If you do this correctly, you will end up being one of ...

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Colic: when surgery is needed

In previous articles, we discussed colic as an umbrella term for ‘abdominal pain in the equine’ and looked at some of the many causes of this all too common condition. Regardless of the cause of the colic, however, the fact remains that if your vet has exhausted all forms of medical management, you will be advised to get your horse ...

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