Tag Archives: health

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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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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Paddock Paradise

Our horses today live truly domestic lives, and often they are deprived of a natural environment that can impact the small things – like hoof care. Paddock Paradise is a management concept that was first adopted in the United States as a means of providing domestic horses with an environment that is similar to their natural habitat. In 2007, Jaime ...

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Good Grazing

Forage should always make up the majority of your horse’s diet, and winter is no exception. Understandably, grass takes a lot longer to grow back during the winter period, and some regions struggle more than others. Certain South African regions receive a lot of rainfall over winter, and so the grass recovers quicker, but those regions then face problems with ...

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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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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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The benefit of riding out

The saying, “A change is as good as a holiday,” is very relevant to the way we work our horses. Including regular outrides in the training schedule provides a mental and physical tonic for horses, and benefits them in numerous ways. Mental benefits “Two consecutive days of training in the arena is as much as most horses can mentally cope ...

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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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Is your horse overweight?

We would all like our horses to be at their ideal weight, particularly if we are competing. The fact that racehorses are handicapped by having lead weights added to their saddles is evidence of how much extra weight affects performance. Horses, like their human counterparts, come in all shapes and sizes and some are more prone to putting on weight ...

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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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