Caring for our companions can be a lot of work and "need of knowledge". But, the rewards of having a happy, healthy horse are well worth it. Horses are just like us, our cars, homes, etc……we all need care, maintenance and upkeep. And when those things are done, you can see the best of the best.
We also proudly carry and USE the Animal Element Products on our horses….all of them, the pleasure riding ones to the competition ones. They all get it and we have continually seen drastic improvements in overall health and ability in all levels of performance.
These are reminders and suggestions from our years of experience. Please consult with your veterinarian before making changes and to get a good health plan together for your horse.
Choose a feed that is a mix of the right ingredients, vitamins and minerals for what your horse needs. Feeds come in hundreds of brands and contents. Choose a feed that covers your horses' lifestyle whether that be a pleasure riding horse, racing horse, competition/show horse or a horse that competes in rodeos and barrel races. The more active your horse is, the better content you will need. Also think about how much and how often to feed (this can change with the seasons). Each feed has a recommended feeding schedule and amount to feed. Start with the basics of that and adjust as needed for what your horse is telling and showing you. Always keep your feed clean and dry and rotate feed so you don't get old feed.
Horses need to be able to graze. It helps them digest their feed and also gives them added nutrients. If you can't allow for grazing due to your living situation, space, time of year or their health……consider adding hay or alfalfa flakes to their diet. Use caution with hay and alfalfa. Buy it good, clean, fresh and keep it the same way. Some horses need more or less than others. Also, alfalfa can make horses "hot or edgy" so start with small amounts and see how it goes. But our horses need grazing, hay, etc as part of their balanced diet.
Always keep a plentiful, fresh supply of water for your horse. They need water for the same reasons we all do…..replenishment, digestion and hydration. Seasons change and in summer, PLEASE check and refill water often, also keep it shaded if possible and out of direct/full sun. No one wants to drink hot water.
Supplements such as Animal Element Products include things like gut/digestive support, immune system support, detox (ridding the body of waste and harmful toxins), joint health and other items for mood/agitation as well as competition. More is not always better. Start with good quality feeds, then add supplements for what your horse needs and how they work. We do recommend the Animal Element Detox to cleanse and remove the horses system and start ridding them of all the build-up of toxins and bad things they get from the environment, grass, hay and even feed. Drastic results can be seen with our Detox in skin and coat, hoof growth and overall health. Horses, like us….need some extra stuff at times and as the horses age varies, certain things may need to be added or taken away. Colts and yearling are growing, and growing fast. Support that growth in a positive way. Mid age horses need support to continue to keep them healthy and prevent issues later in life. Older horses usually need added joint health, vitamins and minerals due to normal aging….just like us.
Medicines are inevitable. Sometimes they are needed. BUT, keeping your horse in good health is the first KEY to using less medications. Try natural herbs and supplements too. Keep your veterinarian informed and ask questions. If your horse is sick….please get them checked out. The longer you wait, the worse and more expensive the condition will become.
Don't forget about your horses feet, just like us they need care and sometimes new shoes. Our horses are asked to handle their usual walking around, playing etc…..but also we ask them to carry us around, ride and sometimes compete. Proper hoof care is essential. Getting their hoofs trimmed and shod is very important. Keep them cleaned out and consider applications of a hoof guard (usually just brush it on). Check for signs of bacteria, fungus or damage…..and unusual wear and tear. A good farrier is priceless. Ask them questions, tell them what you have seen and how your horse walks and handles during riding and also….what you are doing with your horse, general riding, what kinds of environment or competition and showing.
This is something a lot of horse owners take for granted and quite frankly, don't really think about. But, it is critical as well. Good dental care is another key to overall health. Horse's teeth grown, shift, move and can become "long or sharp". An Equine Dentist can evaluate and make suggestion and perform various things to correct issues, such as "floating their teeth". We put bits in our horse's mouth so I don't know about you, but I want my teeth in order and feeling good….especially if I am putting metal in there and pulling on the mouth. If horse's teeth are long and sharp, this will greatly affect how your horse rides and handles. Have them checked annually.
Don't forget to worm your horses. This is very important wherever in the country you live, but especially important in the south. Keep them wormed regularly and with good, quality wormers. Follow the directions closely on the package depending on which brand/style you go with. Ask your veterinarian for advice on which products will work for you and your horse.
This is another key element to your horse's health and life. Find a good local vet who you trust and is good with your horse, answers questions and talks to you, educates you. Have your horse vetted at least annually. There are many things a vet looks for and they know signs to look for. Tell them your horses overall health, what you feed and how much/often, anything you think about. Your vet will appreciate the more information you can give. It paints them a greater picture of your horse's life and health.
Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA), also known as "Coggins" or "Swamp Fever" test. Coggins is actually just the name of a test that is performed on horses. The name comes from the veterinarian who invented the test in the 1970's, Dr. Leroy Coggins. The test screens the blood of a horse to determine if the horse has the virus that causes Equine Infectious Anemia or EIA. EIA is also known as Swamp Fever because it is common in hot, muggy environments. There is no cure for EIA. It is contagious and can be fatal. The death rate is estimated to be 30% to 50% of horses who are infected with the virus. (That means about 50% to 70% survive the disease). If the horse survives, they will continue to be a carrier of the disease for the rest of their lives and therefore a danger and a threat to any other horses that they come in contact with. This is why many states require mandatory Coggins tests before a horse can be brought across state lines and why so many horse professionals, breeders, etc. require a negative Coggins test before a horse is bought, sold, moved into a new barn, allowed to enter a horse show or other event, auction, etc. Laws vary from state to state on when a horse has been exposed. Some states say a horse has been exposed to an infected horse if within 200 yards and some say within 3 miles! That should be a good indicator of how contagious the disease may be and how fearful horse owners and professionals are of the disease being spread.