Archive for June, 2012

Super Quick Horse Grooming Techniques

June 19th, 2012

Super Quick Grooming

Super Quick Grooming

There are many reasons why grooming your horse on a regular basis is essential. As well as giving you the chance to check him for injury, you’ll be stimulating his blood flow and his endorphins as you bond with him. In essence – if you want a happy and healthy horse then you need to groom him every day. Ensure when you are looking for a horse to buy or horses to loan you ensure he has been well looked after.
Many people now find themselves with less time than ever on their hands and if you’re one of them and the thought of an hour long grooming session on a daily basis fills you with dread then you might want to consider some of the following, which are super-fast and efficient ways of giving your horse the exact same benefits but leaving you more time to exercise and ride him.

1. Ask your vet about adding vegetable oil or an essential Omega-3 fatty acid supplement to his diet for added shine and texture to his coat.
2. Sponging his face clean after his exercise will help prevent any hair loss and a different sponge for every part of his body will prevent any cross contamination.
3. Use a tail bag to keep his tail thick, long and protected. Washing, conditioning, detangling and rebraiding him once a week will also keep his tail looking glossy.
4. Clip his bridlepath and whiskers once a week. If done regularly, this should only take a few minutes but could make a huge difference.
5. A de-tangler or a wide toothed comb (or even your fingers if you forget to buy a comb) is a great way of remove any large snarls from his mane and tail.
6. The sunlight can cause fading or bleaching if you’re not careful so shade and a sheet could stop his coat greying or fading. A further good idea is to rinse him after work to remove any sweat and make the sun’s rays less likely to take effect.
7. Regular use of coat polish after bathing will prevent dust and/or dirt from clinging to his coat.
8. Regular disinfection of brushes and combs will help prevent against skin infections or diseases and will get better results than dirty or dusty brushes. Furthermore, you’ll get much better results if you rinse in between brushes. Tucking a towel into the top of your jodhpurs and wiping your brush on there every five (or so) strokes can get rid of any build up on the brush.
9. Brushing from the front to the back, and the top to the bottom is the most efficient and comfortable way for your horse.
10. Why not multi-task and have a brush in each hand – just try not to go too fast or you risk spooking your horse.
11. Grooming wipes are a great way to a fast and effective finish and your horse will love them too!
12. Check for any infections or imperfections in his skin as you groom as this will save having to perform a lengthy and time consuming exam later on.
Linda Carter enjoys blogging on horses, family farm life, horse trailers and animals.

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Horse Health – Plants Your Horse Must Avoid

June 17th, 2012

Horse Health – Plants Your Horse Must Avoid

A Healthy Horse

You can find the first part of the article here.

All of the above are, among others, the most common symptoms of ground ivy poisoning.

This creeping plant, also known as creeping charlie can be fatal, but for this to happen, large amounts must be ingested. The largest danger is from ivy that is baled into hay.


Buttercups are frequently found on horse pastures and contain a compound called protoanemonin, which is a powerful irritant, and can cause inflammation, or ulceration of the mouth, and sometimes, in extreme cases, colic.


lesions of the mouth


inflamation of the mouth

colic (rare, only in extreme cases)


Tannins, otherwise known as tannic acid, are found in oak leaves, and are poisonous, though only mildly so. They have to eat a large amount for it to be dangerous, but it is addictive, so they can actively seek it out .

It causes kidney damage in large doses. Prevention includes fencing off oak trees, especially in spring and autum when the leaves and acorns respectively, are high in tannin.


constipation and diarrhea

lack of appetite

staring/ dull coat


blood filled diarrhea and/ or urine

Deadly nightshade

The whole plant, from the roots to the berries contains toxins, that are not normally fatal unless taken in high doses.

Found in woodland, clearings and hedgerows, the symptoms for the poisoning from this plant include

innability to stand

dilated pupils


This contains an enzyme known as thiaminase, which breaks thiamine (vitamin B1 ) down, so the horse essentially suffers from a thiamine deficiency. If you are aware that your horse has been consuming bracken, but is not showing symptoms, try feeding a vitamin supplement that is high in Vitamin B1.

Bracken needs to be consumed regularly for weeks, even months, before clinical signs show. A few days after eating sufficient bracken to cause damage, the horse loses weight, but shows little other symptoms. Then gait abnormalities manifest themselves in place of the normal paces, and this then increases to staggers. Muscle tremors and weakness will follow this, until a high heart rate, and temperature, then inability to move. From the time that the proper, clinical signs start to show, to death is usually 2-10 days depending on the intensity of the poison and its effect on the horse.

If you suspect your horse has been poisoned, call your vet.

While there are many other plants I could have listed here it is not possible to list them all so I just want to say;

”And the moral of the story is if you dont know whether a plant is toxic to equines or not, dont take chances! Feed, or give acess to only those that you are certain about, and keep him away from all the others!”

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Horse Health – Plants Poisonous To Horses – Part 1

June 7th, 2012

Horse Health – Plants Poisonous To Horses


Rhubarb is pisonous to horses


It is essential that your horse has all the things necessary for a good life, especially food, water, love and attention, excercise etc., but it is just as important that he does not come in contact with poisonous plants. The toxins in these plants vary in intensity, from yew, which is so deadly that a single mouthful kills, to something more mild, like buttercups, which cause little irritating sores to form round their mouths.

Horses tend to avoid toxic plants if they have sufficient grazing, but when there is little left in the way of quality pasture, they turn to all other vegetation, which can, of course, contain deadly poisons.


One mouthful is enough to kill. This deadly plant contains taxine, to which there is no known antidote. It can kill withing minutes of being swallowed, due to heart failure. Symptoms include;


slowing heart rate

cardiac failure


Also known as mares tail, this weed thrives in marshy land. Horses tend to avoid it, but it is sometimes incorporated in hay. It has high levels of silica, and can cause poisoning.


Weakness, uncoordinated rear end

difficulty seeing

high levels of pyruvate in blood


This distinct, fast growing yellow weed thrives almost anywhere, from well tended pastures to wasteland.Even in the most meticulously cared for grassland, it can easily spread through its small, light seeds.

It causes irreversible liver damage and is extremely poisonous, both to livestock and humans. It is poisonous even to touch, the sap enters the bloodstream through the pores in the skin.

It must be dug up, gloves must be worn to do this, and a long thin spade should be used to remove roots to avoid danger of regrowth. Burn, roots and all.







This white flowering plant is extremely toxic to humans and animals, and can even cause damage simply through touch. The sap causes blistering, especially in the presence of sunlight.

Symptoms include;

dilated pupils






blue mouth

weak pulse

Ground ivy

breathing difficulties

salivation/ frothing

excess/ profuse sweating

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