As we move into spring and sunnier, longer days, we have put together some advice to give you and your horse a head start. Also, don’t miss our exclusive discount code at the bottom of this blog to get 10% off all See Change products throughout March.
“No Hoof No Horse”
A saying as old as the hills and one most horse owners will agree with. Those unlucky enough to have a horse suffering from lameness will know the truth in the saying only too well. We all know the importance of maintaining the condition of our horse’s hooves and it’s something we take seriously. Here are a few things you can do to support your horses’ hoof health:
- Regular visits from an experienced farrier
- Targeted nutritional supplements to promote growth
- Special shoes to improve gait and performance
- Use of topical oils.
- We consider carefully the ground conditions.
- Manage dietary intake to support hoof health
We are tuned into noticing the first and early signs of lameness; how a horse stands in the field, the sound of footfalls, the length of stride. These are all indicators that, as horse owners, we are taught to pick up on.
The largest organ in the horses’ body
So what about the condition of the horses skin? It is ‘the largest organ in the horses’ body” and we overlook its importance despite being fundamental to wellbeing and health. Luckily there are some easy to introduce practices horse owners can use to improve and maintain their horses skin condition; top tips to help with problems and how best to avoid them.
Condition from within
Condition starts from within and a good, high quality feed source will provide a strong foundation for health. Another old saying “ A dose of Dr Green” holds much truth and certainly there is nothing better than good grass on clean pasture. However, today many horses have limited turn out on over grazed land, so diets need to be supported with feeds that are manufactured with this in mind. Careful selection and feeding standards have never been better or more targeted.
Supplements also have a useful place in the management of horses skin and coat. Consider choosing a supplement high in Omega 3, which will aid skin health. Good sources include Flaxseed and Fish Oils.
And don’t forget digestive health and worming that can show in the condition of the horses skin and coat. A well managed worming programme and the use of gastric aid supplements all help maintain the skin.
See the Light
With more horses stabled for much of the day, especially during winter months, or even for clipped horses turned out in rugs covering the tip of the ears to the end of the tail, consideration should be made for the lack of sunlight on the horses skin. Just like us, Vitamin D ‘the sunshine vitamin’ levels can drop.
The arrival of summer coats, the growth patterns and even mares’ seasons are heavily influenced by daylight. Circadian rhythms are only recently being recognised as important for horse’s performance, for producing top show condition coats and it is proven that using artificial daylight can impact performance measures.
So, get those rugs off when you can to allow the skin to breathe and to allow horses to enjoy the real health benefits of exposure to daylight. And, if you really can’t get your horses daylight hours increased and you are stabling indoor barns, consider researching the type of light supply used in the stable. It might be a worthy investment. To learn more check out Equilume’s website.
Banging, Strapping, Thatching!
Banging, Strapping, Thatching are all grooming terms of old. While the length and time people spend grooming has lessened, taking time to groom when you can, will aid the condition of your horses’ skin. Cleaning, removing mud and dirt, helping with circulation and creating time spent together establishes close bonds and allows you to get to know your horse, its skin and body in a way that will almost guarantee that you recognise problems almost before they begin.
Washing and bathing
Washing and bathing horses has become a huge part of equine management. Most yards now have horse wash boxes, hot water supply and solariums to aid drying, which is a huge improvement on buckets! Bathing and washing off has becoming a regular part of the management routine of horses. So, choosing the right topical treatments to support a regular wash routine is important too.
Know what you are putting on your horses skin; make a point of understanding just as you do with feeding, bedding and supplements. Carefully checking labels and understanding the ingredients should be key to making a purchase. Don’t always buy into the marketing promise on the bottle – sadly they are often misleading. Avoid products that contain sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS’s) which strips the skin, leaving it dry and sore and a commonly known allergen. Be savvy too. Unless products clearly state they are SLS free, they are most likely to contain them. Even if your horse is not particularly sensitive, over time and regularly using products that contain harsh ingredients, can negatively impact in ways you might not realise.
Ingredients likely to dry the skin include fragrance and perfumes so avoid shampoo products containing anything other than 100% essential oils. Similarly, brightly coloured shampoos, even those that claim to make whites whiter, are likely to have drying properties and artificial ingredients.
Horse owners can look out for and avoid PEG’s identified with a number in the ingredients listing. Many been proven to be carcinogenic and endocrine disrupters which are believed to trigger other autoimmune responses in the body and can affect mares so best avoided, particularly if using other hormone regulating products.
So, whatever management style you adopt for your horses, it makes sense to avoid additional stresses to your daily routines and use products that you can feel confident in. See Change Now believe increasing toxic stresses of life are shared with the horses we care for and so, doing what we can to avoid them, are of benefit to us all.
Strip lighting in stables, less turn out, more schooling on manmade surfaces, less hacking, topical treatments, manmade fabrics, better rugs, boots and gadgets, improved standards of riding, higher performance standards in competition, more miles travelled to shows and events have meant that Equestrians have advanced, as have horses and so too the choices to look after them, but at what cost?
So is Less more?
Choosing See Change shampoo, less really is more! We have less packaging, less ingredients and less harsh irritants to aggravate the skin.
So many common skin conditions start as a result of everyday stresses and external factors that can be avoided. Sadly, triggering agents and environmental allergens are often the primary causes of the problem.
A cycle of cause and effect begins. If the condition of the skin is compromised, health problems can occur. These health problems include but are not limited to, Mud fever, Sweet itch, Rain Scald, Mallanders and even the possibility of fungal infections like Ringworm increase if the integrity of the skin is compromised. (haven’t we had a huge outbreak?)
So, If you know about the products you are using on your horses skin for mundane tasks like shampooing muddy horses and rinsing off sweat after exercise, your knowledge will bring positives results and be more important to the well being and health of your horse than you may realise.
See Change will improve the existing condition of your horses skin and, by using the horse shampoo products, you will be helping avoid the likelihood of problems developing.
Use out discount code MAR22, at the check out on our website, to get 10% off any purchase this month. And so confident in our products offer a 100% money back guarantee.
Formulated using naturally derived ingredients including coconut oils, argan oils and selected essential oils. Our products are not so much about what’s in them but more about what’s not! We hope by educating and raising awareness of how much harm can be caused using products that contain harsh chemicals many skin conditions can be avoided before they start.
Why not take a look at Horse and Hound’s very helpful spring survival guide for more advice. And we hope you enjoy the picture of Kate Honey http://katehoneyeventing.co.uk
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