Spring is right around the corner, and in between dreaming about riding outside in beautiful weather most riders are also thinking about taking care of their horse’s spring vaccines. There are a range of common horse vaccines available that owners can select from to help protect their horses. Here is a list of the most common horse vaccines that you may be considering for your horse this spring. As always, be sure to consult with your veterinarian on what is appropriate for your specific horse, especially in cases where a mare may be pregnant and with young horses.
- Tetanus – Horses can be somewhat accident prone. The tetanus vaccine will help protect your horse from bacteria that can cause lockjaw and muscle spasms if he suffers a puncture wound or other deep wound that could become contaminated. Usually given annually in a two-dose series with a booster at time of injury.
- Eastern and Western Encephalomyelitis – Also known as “sleeping sickness,” encephalomyelitis causes brain and spinal cord inflammation and is passed through mosquitoes. The vaccine is usually given once a year with a two-dose series in the spring before the insects emerge.
- West Nile Virus – Also spread through mosquitoes, this disease can be deadly to horses and is fairly widespread. Typically the horse vaccine for West Nile is given twice a year, although is sometimes just given annually with a two-dose series.
- Rhino (EHV) – Caused by the herpes virus, this disease is contagious and affects the horse’s respiratory tract, as well as inducing abortion in pregnant mares. The horse vaccine series is generally given twice a year, but should be done more often for horses that travel to shows frequently.
- Influenza – Both intranasal and injectable horse vaccines are available for this, and your veterinarian can recommend what will be best for your horse. Influenza causes a contagious, viral respiratory-tract inflammation, and should be vaccinated against twice a year in most cases.
- Strangles- One of the most common respiratory infections in horses, it causes fever, nasal discharge, lethargy, and abscesses in the head and neck regions. If your horse travels often to compete, it is important to vaccinate against this disease as it is contagious. Typically Strangles is vaccinated against twice a year in a multi-dose series.
When selecting horse vaccines this year, keep in mind that we also offer needles and syringes for your equine medical supplies kit. Always discuss horse vaccinations and other medical treatments with your veterinarian or a knowledgeable professional before treating your horse.
Parasites, including varying types of worms and bots, are present in your horse’s paddocks and living areas and can make their way inside your horse, affecting him throughout their life cycles. Left untreated, internal parasites can cause weight loss, itching, lethargy, digestive and gastro-intestinal problems, malnourishment and even colic. Fortunately, controlling internal parasites in your horse is fairly easy with an appropriate horse deworming schedule developed with the help of your veterinarian. Continue reading
As the evenings are dropping in temperature, your horse’s coat is likely changing and growing in thick for the winter. If your horse is in regular work and tends to run hot enough to work up a sweat, you may be considering body clipping. Body clipping allows the horse to dry off quickly after becoming damp or sweaty, reducing the chance of it catching a chill and becoming ill. Not all horses need to be body clipped, and if you only ride your horse leisurely or not at all, he should be fine keeping his coat. There are a variety of types of horse clips to choose from, and depending on the amount of work you will be doing with your horse and how hot he runs, some may be more appropriate than others. Take a look at these popular types of horse clips to see what might work best for you: Continue reading
As we head into fall, many horse owners are starting to think about blanketing and which layers they will need to keep their horses warm and dry this season. A turnout sheet or light blanket can be important elements to add to your horse’s wardrobe to protect from mud and rain as the weather starts to cool, and is equally useful in the spring when weather is warming but still retains a chill. A turnout sheet is a lightweight, waterproof sheet with no fill, which is great for turnout to protect from mud, rain or wind. A light turnout blanket will protect from mud, rain and wind as well, with the additional benefit of having a light fill to provide additional warmth. Each of these horse clothing options are not necessarily required, but are great options in certain conditions.
Flies around the barn are unavoidable. All day, while your horse is turned out, he is likely being pestered by biting and nuisance flies. A liberal coating of fly spray and a fly mask are pretty standard, but the less frequently used fly boots and fly sheet can really complete the fly barrier package for those roughest months.
When your horse injures its leg in one way or another, cold hosing is one of the most common go-tos for treatment assistance. It can be one of the most useful and beneficial ways of reducing inflammation and controlling swelling and pain. If you dread standing in the wash stall cold hosing for what seems like eternity, ice boots offer a time-efficient, alternative solution, and can help you get some of that valuable barn time back. Ice boots can be wrapped around the horse’s legs and left on for about 15 minutes while you do other things, like clean stalls, organize your tack, or groom your horse.
The peak of summer has arrived, and with it comes high temperatures and often humidity. It can be hard to stay motivated to work with your equine partner on a sweltering day, and often in extreme heat a day off is a good idea. If it’s just too hot, and health is a concern, trade ring work for a leisurely trail ride or a horse “spa day” and give your horse a thorough bath. If you do decide to ride though, there is a multitude of ways to help keep both you and your horse cool during the process.
With spring leaving us and summer weather settling in, barnyard insect pests are out in full force. The armies of horse flies, black flies, house flies and all other flies invading your horse’s personal space can seem overwhelming and are irritating for both you and your mount. Help keep the summer invasion under control with these fly control tactics.
Regular bathing and grooming sessions are essential components of horse care, ensuring your horse’s hooves, skin, and coat are in healthy condition, while providing important bonding time for the two of you. Additionally, because grooming allows you to go over every inch of your horse, you’ll often be able to tell if something is amiss during these sessions. Horse shampoo isn’t the only thing you need to get your equine friend clean- get the most out of the time you spend bathing and grooming by having these essentials on hand.
There are many good reasons for using horseshoe studs: They provide extra traction and gripping on slippery surfaces like grass or mud, and, because of these benefits, they can make all the difference when a rider is accelerating through sharp turns or high jumps. Horseshoe studs must be used properly, however — and that requires a thorough understanding of what to do and what not to do. So with that in mind, here’s a look at some of the top do’s and don’ts of using horseshoe studs: