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          Tips and tricks for managing your horse when spring arrives

          Monday, 28 May, 2018

          Spring is often synonymous with joy: the sun is back, the days are longer. But for riders, this season can quickly turn into a nightmare. Insects, dermatitis, laminitis... How to avoid them?
          Seaver gives you its tips and tricks to manage your horse during spring.


          Insects are a real nuisance for horses at this time of year. For some horses, all those insects that will be around them will be a source of stress. But the problem doesn't stop there. Insects can also cause post-bite itching, transmit diseases, or cause superinfections...

          To limit the inconvenience to the horse, there are products (shampoos, sprays, etc.), masks and fly repellent shirts. It is also advisable to take horses out at the end of the day when there are fewer insects.

          You should be particularly wary of caterpillars, which are dangerous for horses. Ticks are also dangerous because they transmit diseases (piroplasmosis or Lyme disease).

          Some horses can also suffer from dermatitis. In particular when they are very sensitive or even allergic to the saliva or stings of certain insects. Horses suffering from EERD (Equine Summer Recurrent Dermatitis) will then scratch (often on the neck and top of the tail), sometimes to the point of bleeding. Protecting your horse from insects is therefore important in many ways!


          Like us, horses can suffer from allergies. Pollen, for example, is often the cause of respiratory discomfort and the appearance of coughing in some horses that are a little sensitive. It is therefore necessary to be vigilant, especially for horses that go out a lot, to the presence of flowers and pollen in the meadows. Speaking of flowers, you should of course also check that the meadows do not contain any plants or trees that are toxic for horses (yew, oleander, thuja, oak acorns, etc.), and pay attention to them during your outings to avoid intoxication that would make the horse sick (some plants are even fatal for the horse if a certain quantity is ingested)

          Pink laurel

          Knowing which plants are toxic for horses and how to identify them is important to prevent the horse from eating them and to be able to react quickly and well in case of poisoning. Find the toxic species for horses on the ifce website.

          Spring grass

          Another "problem" this season is grass. All horses will obviously be happy to have grass to graze on. But despite its importance to a horse's diet, early spring grass is very rich. This can make your horse sick if certain precautions are not taken. Feeding the horse hay before going out and/or leaving it in the pasture will help to reduce the amount of grass he eats.

          Restricting grazing time is also important. For horses that have been in the stall all winter, they will have to be rehabilitated. We advise to put the horses back in the meadow little by little. First 30 minutes, then 1 hour, etc. This will help avoid the risk of colic. You can also put a basket in the pasture to prevent them from eating grass.

          In addition, since this grass is very high in potassium but low in magnesium and sodium, this can create problems for some horses and require a magnesium supplement to compensate for the imbalance. It is also low in fiber, which makes hay intake all the more important. To avoid an imbalance in the digestive flora, which can cause colic, it is also advisable to include foods rich in carbohydrates and cellulose, such as oats and barley.

          Horses can also become infected with parasites by ingesting eggs while grazing. A horse with a parasite infestation will lose weight due to worms. Regular deworming of horses and cleaning of pastures is therefore important to avoid this problem.

          Finally, rich grass consumed in excess can cause laminitis (inflammation of the hoof). A horse with laminitis can be recognized by its posture and gait. He will remain prostrate, have difficulty walking, and will put his weight on his hind legs. It is therefore once again important to watch your horse. Here especially his pony because ponies are much more affected by laminitis. It is especially important to analyze his grass consumption at this time of the year.


          See you soon for a new article!

          The Seaver Team