Health

Pinpointing Lameness in Horses

Pinpointing Lameness in Horses

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A careful observation of the horse will give clues, as we try to determine how his gait is affected and then try to figure out where the pain is coming from – which part of that leg is sore. Every horseman should become familiar with the way a sound horse moves, especially at the walk and trot, in order to more readily detect when a horse is “off.” Lameness is merely an alteration of gait as the horse tries to reduce the pain of weight-bearing on a certain part of his leg structure.

Prevent Heat Stress in Hard-Working Horses

Prevent Heat Stress in Hard-Working Horses

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High summer temperatures can present special problems for horses, especially if they are exerting. Temperatures above 80 degrees F can greatly increase the chance for trouble if relative humidity gets above 50%, with no breeze, making horses more susceptible to heat stroke. Under these conditions, a horse has difficulty cooling himself, since sweat does not evaporate when air is humid. Extremely hot weather can cause problems, even in a horse that is not exerting. One advantage in a dry climate is that humidity is generally low. Horses can usually cool themselves adequately by sweating, unless they become dehydrated by having to sweat too much, too long.

Water Requirements of Horses

Water Requirements of Horses

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Water is an important ingredient of the horse’s diet, since it is crucial for proper function of the body. This “nutrient” makes up 65 to 85 percent of a foal’s body weight, and about 68 to 72 percent of an adult horse’s body weight. A 1000 pound horse’s body contains about 80 gallons of water. Even small changes in total body water can have a negative impact on a horse’s health and well being. Water is contained within all body cells, between cells, and is an important component of blood, joint fluid and lymph.