General Horse Care Part II Worming – Shoes – Vet

Caring for your horse properly is the key to a long happy partnership. In addition to the daily care of the horse including a good feed and watering regimen, there are several other necessities that a horse needs on a regular, scheduled basis to maintain good health and condition.

Regular vet and farrier visits along with a good worming schedule will help provide you with a healthy, happy horse that you can enjoy well into his old age.

Regular vet and farrier visits along with a good worming schedule will help provide you with a healthy, happy horse that you can enjoy well into his old age.

Worming:

Horses should be de-wormed every 6-8 weeks with rotating active ingredients like ivermectin and fenbendazole. This is to get a broader spectrum of coverage for your horse since each type of dewormer has efficacy against varying parasites and at different stages of the parasite’s life cycle. Another reason for rotating the products is to prevent parasites from developing resistance to the chemicals used in de-worming.

Shoeing/Trimming:

The care of your horses hooves is extremely important. The saying goes “no hoof, no horse!” so be diligent and make sure your horse gets his feet done every 6-8 weeks by an experienced farrier. Whether your horse needs shoes or not will depend on the condition of his feet and the work he is expected to do. If your horse is a pasture pet and does not get ridden very often and only on grassy fields, then he is probably just fine with a barefoot pasture trim. If you are into riding on rocky trails or rough terrain then horse would probably benefit from a set of four shoes.

Teeth:

Your horse should have his teeth “floated” by a vet or equine dentist once a year. What this means is that the tops of the teeth are filed smooth by a large rasp type device. This is to prevent the teeth from wearing unevenly and developing sharp hook like edges that can make eating painful and cause problems with the bit in the mouth. Signs of needing the teeth done are weight loss, not eating or difficulty eating, difficulty with the contact under saddle, and general misbehavior under saddle.

Vaccines:

Vaccinating your horse is a good idea if you are planning to take him to shows regularly or if he is at a large boarding barn where he is exposed to lots of horses coming and going. Flu, rhino, and encephalitis should be done 2 x per year, while tetanus, west nile and strangles need only be done once a year. West nile and strangles do require a booster at about 4 weeks if it is the first time being given.

With de-worming your horse regularly, and making sure he gets regular farrier and vet attention, you are setting your horse up for the best chance of success with his health. Taking preventative measures with your horse is a lot easier and cheaper then having to deal with something much more serious that could have been prevented with proper regular care.

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