Horse Health

Artificial light for breeding

Horses are seasonal breeders – this is why most foals in the Southern Hemisphere are born during spring and early summer. Their reproductive systems depend on natural sunlight to function. Mares have multiple oestrous cycles throughout the warmer seasons of the year. When the seasons turn colder, a mare’s reproductive cycle becomes irregular and therefore she will be less likely ...

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Skin and coat care

South Africa with its beautiful sunny climate, can wreak havoc with our horse’s coats though. There is nothing worse than a beautiful dark bay all bleached and ‘burnt’ looking with a coat that has lost its silky texture. There are a number of ways to protect your horse from the sun – both internal and external. First we need to ...

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Equilume

Ever wondered why foals are born during the summer? Horses are seasonal breeding animals, meaning that they prefer to breed during the light summer seasons. A horse’s gestation period is 11 months, so a mare will foal down in the next summer season. The reason for this is that animals of prey who are born during the warm and light ...

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African Horse Sickness vaccine update

As horse owners, it is our responsibility to ensure that horses are vaccinated every year and that any movement of horses into the Western Cape African Horse Sickness (AHS) controlled area complies with policy requirements. Apart from mitigating the risks of horses getting the virus and retaining the free zone, the vaccination protocol requires some pre-planning to accommodate any competition, ...

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AHS Update: Genome studies

Researchers in Pretoria have conducted a study of the complete genome sequences of plaque selected isolates of each of the 3 virus strains included in a South African commercial trivalent African horse sickness attenuated live virus vaccine.

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Facts about forage

The link between concentrates and behavioural issues – interesting recent research on equine nutrition from Shelhi Horne. Foals weaned onto concentrates have a four times higher chance of crib-biting than those weaned onto forage diets. Horses fed moderate starch levels (22% of the diet) had increased heart rates compared with those on high-forage diets, which could indicate more reactivity and ...

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Can you buy a horse who fails a vetting?

  The business of buying and selling horses can be a stressful one – aside from the heart-rending ups and downs of finding the right horse (or buyer), there is also the fear that the horse you’ve just fallen in love with may have some hidden issue that could spell disaster to your long-term competitive plans. Recently, there’s been growing concern ...

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Maintaining the older athlete

Older horses are great. They’re schoolmasters so they’re pleasant to ride, they save riders from their mistakes, they know their job, and they will carry you to victory. While older horses do need slightly more maintenance than younger prospects, it can all be worth it in the end. With good management and all the knowledge available to us today, horses ...

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Grass allergies

Along with our glorious summer weather comes the dreaded mange for those whose horses are susceptible. Seemingly overnight, sleek shiny horses can turn into dull-coated, itching shadows of their former selves. It can be every proud owner’s nightmare and it’s certainly no fun for the horse either. Imagine being covered in millions of tiny mosquito bites, and you will get ...

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Get rid of that winter fuzz

Winter is a time that most fussy horse owners and riders hate, especially on the Highveld where our once sleek and shiny horses turn into raggedy, fluffy dust monsters. It sometimes seems as though we’ll never see them sleek and shiny again. Has your horse emerged from winter looking like a woolly mammoth? Here are a few tips to get ...

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