PrePare for summer Essential summer horse care
Look inside for tips and advice on feeding, worming, choosing the right saddle, tackling thrush, summer grooming, joint care, paddock maintenance plus more!
PrePare for summer
4 FoolprooF Feeding Allen & Page take the confusion out of feeding
8 The perFecT Saddle FiT Read how one rider discovered Bates Saddles
10 Worming advice Ensure your horse is protected this summer
13 eSSenTial JoinT care Look after his joints this summer
18 laminiTiS care How to keep your horse safe this summer
22 Summer rugging Advice on picking the perfect summer rug
24 Tackling ThruSh Essential preventative measures to keep thrush at bay
26 groundbreaking grooming Discover new products that will help keep your horse healthy
28 Summer paddock mainTenance Keep your fields in ideal condition
elcome to your 2012 Prepare for Summer supplement. I don’t need to tell you that for horse owners, summer is a fantastic time of year. With the longer, warmer days come plenty of opportunities to enjoy fun, sunny rides and to spend some quality time with our happy horses. w w w.you r hor se .c o.u k
To ensure that you squeeze every last inch of enjoyment out of the summer months we’ve gathered together some essential advice to help you care for your horse all summer long. Whether you’re seeking tips for top hoof care, ways to keep your fields in mint condition or would like some feeding or grooming advice – we’ve
got it all here in your exclusive Prepare for Summer supplement. We hope you enjoy reading it and that you and your horses have a great summer!
Imogen Johnson Deputy editor
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PrePare for summer
foolProof feeding Allen & Page nutritionist Rachel Parrott takes the confusion out of feeding by explaining why and how to feed your horse for workload and condition
t’s well known that the amount of energy or calories we need depends on our level of physical activity, along with many other factors such as our build, sex, age and lifestyle. The same simple balance of energy applies to our horses too. Every horse should be treated as an individual and the right diet can make a substantial difference to his behaviour, performance, weight and condition. There’s no need to undertake a long process of ‘trial and error’ before you come across the right product – just think carefully about your horse’s current workload, expected workload and behaviour and it becomes easy to narrow down the options.
light work includes hacking and recreational riding
Grass or stable kept. Not in any work.
Hacking and recreational riding between one and three times per week for up to an hour each time. Includes mainly walk and trot, but with a small amount of canter work.
Recreational riding, schooling, showing, breaking and training and low level competition work. Ridden between three and five times per week for up to an hour at a time. Walk, trot and canter work, some low level jumping and/or some lateral work
Polo ponies, horses in race training, Novice and Intermediate eventing, Advanced show jumping, Advanced dressage and hunting. Schooling up to five to six days for an hour each day. Lateral work, jump work and fast work may all be included in the schooling sessions.
Very Hard Work
Racing (including trotting), Advanced eventing, long distance endurance riding and hunting.
table 1 Workload classifications based on nrc, 2007 nutritional requirements of Horses. national academies press. 04 your horse PrePAre For suMMer 2012
Giving your horse or pony the right amount of feed will help to prevent problems such as weight gain and over-excitability. It’s important to know your horse’s bodyweight and condition and follow the recommended feeding guidelines on the feed sack, adjusting his feed according to his continued condition.
WHat’s His Workload?
It’s important your horse’s diet is based on the correct amount of calories needed for the level of work he’s doing – these calories are measured in digestible energy (DE). Over-estimating your horse’s level of work can quickly lead to over-feeding and obesity so look at the table on the left to help you to decide the level of work your horse is actually doing.
HoW mucH does your Horse WeigH?
You can work this out in several ways – take your horse to a public weighbridge, visit a yard that has a horse weighbridge, use a weightape or use the following formula as a guide using his body length and girth measurements:
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advertising feature Feeding advice a weightape takes out the hard work of calculating his weight
Measure your horse’s girth (circumference) and length (from point of shoulder to point of buttock) and use the following calculation to give an approximate figure for bodyweight. This is the same calculation used by most weightapes – they just do the hard work for you!
did you knoW?
• At least 40% of your horse’s diet should be made up of good quality forage and for most horses and ponies in light to medium work, this would be nearer to 90% • Every horse is different and the amount of feed required will vary from horse to horse. As a rough guide, a horse in ideal condition will need 2% of his bodyweight in feed per day to maintain his condition. This is made up of all his forage, hay/haylage/grass and any mixes, pellets or balancers • Overweight horses will need a minimum of 1.5% of their bodyweight in feed per day for weight loss, whereas poor doers needing to gain weight and condition will require around 2.5% of their bodyweight in feed per day
Forage forms an important part of your horse’s diet
For bodyweight in kg: girth (cm) x girth (cm) x body length (cm) 11877 *carroll cl and Huntington pJ (1988). Body condition scoring and weight estimation of horses. equine vet. J. 20 (1) 41-45.
Body condition scoring
Having carried out research on 250 horses the team at Allen & Page discovered that more than 50% of owners estimated their horse had a body condition score lower than it really was, which could lead to over-feeding. To ensure you’re not over- or under-feeding, you should fat score your horse. To find out how see the condition scoring system (right) based on the Carroll and Huntington method of grading. Don’t forget, your horse’s energy requirements will change through the seasons and as his workload increases or decreases his diet will need to be adapted accordingly.
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iF you’re still unsure or For more inFormation or nutritional advice contact tHe Friendly allen & page nutrition team. call 01362 822 902 or go online to WWW.allenandpage.com your horse PrePAre For suMMer 2012 05
PrePAre for summer
Gail (left) and Sarah (right) worked together as a team
The PerfecT fiT
With the right training, care and saddle any horse can perform at his best
s a young rider, four star event rider Sarah Stretton quickly gained a reputation for producing young horses to their full potential. Over time a number of people sought Sarah’s help sending their problem horses to her yard for her to work with – most famously her star horse ‘Skip On’ (known as Bob at home). Aiming to work with a holistic approach to assessing each horse’s performance and potential, Sarah enlisted the support of veterinary sports physiotherapist Dr Gail Williams and together they began conditioning each of Sarah’s horses for competition. Her choice of saddle was to play a big part. Bates saddles, being the most adjustable in the world, with their EASY-CHANGE™ Gullet and Riser systems were a natural choice for Sarah to nurture her horses from youngsters as they progressed through to elite athletes. Gail, having witnessed the difference the Bates CAIR® Cushion System made for so many horses undergoing remedial
therapy, was in full support. “I’ve used these saddles for both performance development of sport horses and to restore muscle to the backs of horses who’d previously sustained significant chronic saddle
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Bates saddles are the most adjustable in the world
damage,” said Gail. “Not only have I observed improvement to movement in those sport horses, but I have been impressed by the ease of adjustment as the damaged horses regained lost muscle.” Bates saddles’ air cushions ensure even contact over an increased weight-bearing area on the horse’s back, significantly lowering the pressure per square cm/inch and dramatically improving his comfort and performance, while enabling greater muscle development. Sarah is now confident that, with the help of Dr. Gail Williams and Bates saddles, all of her horses are now completely comfortable while in work. “Many of the horses I retrain and school have wasted withers and very poor muscles across their backs caused by a saddle that doesn’t fit,” she said. “Many owners cannot afford to buy a new saddle or have adjustments made on a regular basis. With the EASY-CHANGE™ Fit Solution the saddles can be easily adjusted when a horse changes shape w w w.you r hor se .c o.u k
Advertising feature The right saddle Sarah and Bob have had some great results
or the saddle needs to be used on another horse on the yard.” But it’s not just horses owned by other people that Sarah has seen great results with. Her horse, Bob, found his way to her as a four-year-old when his previous owner couldn’t cope with his strange behaviour. Bob would buck and bolt for no apparent reason and so was thoroughly assessed by Gail to determine the underlying cause. She concluded that Bob was suffering from a sciatic nerve irritation on the right side – most likely the underlying cause of his unpredictable behaviour. He was given a Bates Saddle with CAIR® and an extensive programme of remedial exercise and sports physiotherapy. Other saddles only seemed to cause Bob discomfort and it soon became clear to Gail and Sarah in particular, that a Bates saddle with CAIR® was the only option for him. In 2011 Sarah and Bob finished 16th at Burghley Horse Trials and Sarah decided she’d never again put another saddle brand on any of her horses’ backs. She approached Bates Saddles to talk about a saddle-orientated w w w.you r hor se .c o.u k
sponsorship and the team was delighted to bring her on board. Ron Bates, of Bates Saddles, said: “It’s imperative that our sponsored riders and their horses genuinely believe in our saddles, as this is the foundation for enduring successful partnerships. Sarah’s story is by no means unique and is a powerful testament to our focus on research and development in optimising horse and rider performance. We’re thrilled to be a key part of Sarah’s team.”
For more inFormATion viSiT www. BATeSAuSTrAliA.com.Au or www.SArAhSTreTTon evenTinG.co.uk
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PrePare for summer
suCCessfuL summer WormING
When it comes to selecting the right summer worming plan the key is to treat every horse as an individual. Animal health company Merial gives you expert advice get smart
Step one is to follow four simple rules, what Merial calls its ‘SMART’ approach to worming: Rule 1 – treat for worm threats as they arise Rule 2 – don’t aim to kill all worms Rule 3 – treat every horse as an individual (particularly in late summer) Rule 4 – reserve treatment for encysted small redworm for the winter With the ‘SMART’ approach to worming you Simply Monitor the parasite situation regularly and Assess the Risk to your horse using
worm egg counts and if necessary you then Treat with an appropriate wormer. Rule number three, treating every horse as an individual, is especially important because, while our horses might look similar, the susceptibility of each to worms is different. It’s estimated that 20% of horses in a group will carry about 80% of the worm burden, so treating all horses at the same time could mean some horses are treated unnecessarily. Use faecal worm egg counts to identify which horses do need worming.
Use Worm egg CoUnts
A worm egg count is a microscopic examination of a dung sample, to identify and count the number of roundworm eggs present. This method helps to identify which horses are shedding most eggs and are in need of treatment. The egg count is expressed as eggs per gram (epg) and in most cases, if the count is greater than 200 epg you should consider worming. Worm egg counts help to ensure that only horses with proven infection get treated. This is essential as unnecessary worming can encourage worm populations to develop resistance to treatment. Carrying out worm egg counts, to help prevent resistance problems, is in the interest of all horse owners, to ensure that wormers remain effective.
What is resistanCe?
Encysted small redworm treatments should be considered during the winter months.
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Resistance occurs when a greater frequency of individuals in a parasite population, usually affected by a dose or concentration of compound, is no longer affected. Once resistance is present in a worm population, the health, welfare and performance of horses infested with resistant worms becomes compromised. For this reason, it’s essential your horse is dosed accurately according to his bodyweight. Using too low a dose of wormer may speed up the development of resistance while frequent, unnecessary worming may also increase the potential for development of resistance. The key to reducing the likelihood of resistance is in choosing the right wormer, then giving it at the correct dose and time. Worm egg counts also have an important role to play in identifying when your horse actually needs to be wormed, particularly in summer. Some horse owners find that low risk w w w.you r hor se .c o.u k
advertising feature summer worming
Calculate your horse’s weight to ensure the correct dose
horses, those managed well and in good health, may only need monitoring during the summer and may not need worming at all.
Surveys have shown that where Benzimadazole resistance (now widespread in the UK) has been confirmed, continued use of this chemical group of wormers resulted in an increased level of resistance Even after a prolonged break from a certain group of wormers, worms remain resistant to that group (this cannot be reversed) Resistant strains are easily spread by horses grazing together especially in groups of six or more horses
Combining Worm egg CoUnts and Worming
Worm egg counts should be undertaken a few days before you plan to treat your horse in order to determine the roundworm burden he has. However, as worm egg counts don’t identify tapeworms or encysted small redworms, it’s a good idea to ask your vet about performing a blood test (ELISA) in the spring and autumn to verify whether your horse needs to be treated for tapeworm.
the right dose
Not all horses will need exactly one tube of wormer so it’s important to ensure you give your horse an accurate dose by calculating his weight using either a weighbridge or a weightape. Giving too large a dose gives no additional benefit and giving too small a dose could encouraging the development of resistance as the worms are exposed to treatment at a level that doesn’t kill them but instead allows them to develop resistance.
Worming groUps oF horses
Whether your yard manager is in charge of implementing a worming programme, or whether you’re in control of your own horse, an individual targeted approach is a simple way to only worm where necessary, particularly in large groups and yards. The free online SMART planner from Merial (available at www. smartworming.co.uk) allows multiple horses to be managed together, with the possibility of adding new horses and making updates quickly. Reminders will help you keep on top of what’s required for every horse on the yard, ensuring complete control without worming any horses unnecessarily.
High turnover rates of horses on livery yards cause added problems from a worming perspective. New horses, with unknown worming histories, are a potential threat to others on a yard as they might bring worms into a clean population of horses or introduce resistant strains of small redworms. Diagnostic tests, such as faecal worm egg counts and tapeworm antibody tests, can help assess the parasite status of new horses so they can be treated appropriately before mixing with others. Egg counts will not identify the presence of immature or encysted small redworm larvae within the gut wall (mucosal stages), so egg counts are best performed in the summer months when mucosal numbers are likely to be lowest.
It is sensible to co-ordinate all horses on shared grazing – remember that 20% of horses carry 80% of the burden – so one horse with a high burden could spread worms to others grazing in the same paddock. As part of the management plan for groups, regular dung removal and good grazing management is also important.
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For more inFormation visit WWW.meriaL.Co.Uk or CaLL the meriaL CUstomer sUpport Centre on 0870 600 0123 your horse PrePAre For suMMer 2012 11
PrePare for summer
If a product looks too good to be true, it probably is, so be sure to check the claims you read about the product and try to choose a product made by a company whose name you trust.
naF For joint health
Recommended NAF Products for joint health: ● Superflex, for premium nutritional support of the joints ● For joint comfort choose Devils Relief
Discover the key to feeding for ultimate flexibility
o matter what your horse’s ‘job’, whether he’s a competition or leisure horse, at some stage his joints will be subjected to varying degrees of concussive forces causing joint stress. Read on to find out how to care for his joints to keep him happy and healthy all year long.
what is joint stress?
Put simply, joint stress is a form of trauma. This may be a sudden one-off strain, but more often, it takes the form of more continual small traumas working away at the joint over time, as the horse ages. This has a bearing on the joint’s inbuilt capacity to protect itself, especially as the synovial fluid loses its protective properties. As a result the integrity of the joint structure begins to break down causing loss of flexibility, damage to cartilage and, eventually, lameness can become an issue. Fitness, management and considering the surface on which we work our horses are therefore all factors that need to be carefully considered.
can nutritional support help?
Joint stress has received more scientific study than any other health factor of the horse and the results mean we know which key nutrients w w w.you r hor se .c o.u k
are the most important for offering joint flexibility. It’s advised that a quality joint supplement will be based on Glucosamine HCl to support cartilage integrity working synergistically with MSM for the nutritional support of tendons, ligaments and associated soft tissue. L-glutamine, chondroitin sulphate and, more recently, hyaluronic acid (HA) also show positive benefits. Experience shows that a blend of these products, supplied in the correct ratios, is preferable to any single product. We’re also clear that the inclusion of naturally sourced antioxidants is particularly helpful for flushing way excess toxins that accumulate around the working joint with detrimental effects – frequently turning every day wear and tear into more serious issues.
formula, check the pack, where manufacturers are legally obliged to list the ingredients in the weight order by which they’re present. If, for example, the first ingredient listed is ‘dextrose’ or ‘alfalfa’, question why you might want a supplement that’s largely made up of filler. Many manufacturers list the inclusion rate of the key nutrients (ie MSM 5000mg per dose). Inclusion rates not only allow you to check the levels, but also if they’re included at the correct ratio for best effect. Be careful when looking at levels declared by percentage, as these can be misleading. For clarification, look for the UFAS accreditation mark (right) as that guarantees full traceability, and therefore quality, look out for of the product. this mark Also look for membership of BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association), the industry standard for the equine professional. Finally, don’t be afraid to use manufacturers’ free helplines. Get answers to all your queries from the experts and you can then make an informed choice.
which product is best For your horse?
Once you’ve identified the ingredients you want, you’re ready to choose which product to feed your horse. First, check the formula includes all the nutrients you’re looking for. If it doesn’t, ask yourself why and consider whether it will still fulfill your horse’s needs. If it won’t look for one that will. When you’re happy with the
For more inFormation or advice please call the naF Freephone advice line on 0800 373106, e-mail inFo@naF-uk.com www.naF-equine.eu/uk
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PrePare for summer
Caring for your laminitiC
All horse owners fear laminitis striking – to help you ensure your horse’s feeding routine is on the right track, read on for advice from the experts at Dengie
recent British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) survey reports that only 7% of horses and ponies in the UK are affected by laminitis. Nevertheless, it’s a disease that’s feared by many horse owners – and with good reason. Laminitis is a painful and debilitating condition that can often be fatal. However, the exact disease process may not Alfalfa is low in be fully both starch and understood yet, sugar but clear
guidance does exist on the safest diets to use for those horses and ponies who are prone to laminitis.
choose The rIghT dIeT
It’s well known laminitis-prone horses need restricted grazing, and most owners are aware that a low-starch, low-sugar diet is also required. Alfalfa is naturally low in both sugar and starch, making it ideal for laminitis-prone individuals. To put it in perspective alfalfa provides 3% starch and 5% sugar compared to hay (1-3% starch and 10% sugar) and lower-energy mix (25% starch and 2-3% sugar).
Dengie has more feeds approved by The Laminitis Trust than any other company. Its six alfalfa-based feeds offer a tailor-made dietary solution for horses and ponies – whatever their needs
wATch The sTArch
The starch in cereal-based feeds can increase the acidity of the gut, which can up the risk of problems such as laminitis.
If your horse or pony is prone to laminitis, monitor his grass intake carefully
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Advertising feature laminitis care
Feed a good-quality supplement To order visit www.dengie.com
hi-Fi lite, Alfa-A molasses Free and healthy hooves
PIck A FIbre ProvIder
If your hay or haylage isn’t suitable for your laminitic, providing him with enough fibre can be a problem. Hi-Fi Lite contains less sugar than average-quality hay and is less conditioning than haylage. As a partial or complete replacement for forage it will help to reduce the amount of sugar your horse or pony consumes. If you need to feed hay, soaking it for at least half-an-hour should reduce its sugar content.
resTrIcT hIs grAzIng
Monitor your horse’s grass intake carefully. If good grazing is available consider strip grazing him, using a muzzle. Alternatively turn him out in a manège, round pen or bald paddock to restrict the amount he can eat while still encouraging him to move around, helping to control his weight.
IF your horse Isn’T The norm
Most of us think of the overweight pony as the archetypal laminitis sufferer, but this isn’t always the case. For owners of horses in work, breeding or poor doers, supplying additional energy safely can be a real challenge. This is where Alfa-A Molasses Free can help. With an energy level equivalent to a medium
dId you know?
Studies suggest that using a grazing muzzle can reduce grass intake by approximately 75%.
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energy mix, Alfa-A Molasses Free can be used to fuel work or promote weight gain safely. Including mint and fenugreek makes it a tasty treat to tempt the fussiest feeder!
Of course, feeding a balanced diet is vital to ensure your horse or pony gets all the essential vitamins and minerals he needs. So, if he’s a good-doer, consider feeding a low-calorie vitamin and mineral supplement or low calorie balancer. Restricting fibre intake can reduce B vitamins, normally produced by bacteria as they ferment fibre in the hindgut. This can result in a poor coat and hooves so, to avoid any problems, feed a good-quality supplement containing a full range of B vitamins.
Limiting fibre intake can increase the risk of gastric ulcers, in any horse or pony. Alfalfa is a natural buffer to acidity in the gut, making it the ideal feed to help avoid ulcers.
The Dengie range of Laminitis Trust-approved feeds also includes: ● Hi-Fi Molasses Free, for horses and ponies at rest or in light work ● Alfa-A Lite, a feed made from pure alfalfa and great for working horses, breeding and youngstock ● Alfa-Beet, an ideal option for fussy feeders or those with a limited appetite
Feed For heAlThy hooves
Many horse owners report reduced hoof growth rate as one of the consequences of laminitis. The key nutrients required for healthy hooves are biotin, calcium, methionine and zinc, and supplying all of these at optimum levels in the diet is important for improving hoof quality. Dengie Healthy Hooves is the only fibre feed, approved by The Laminitis Trust, to contain the level of biotin that research has shown enhances hoof horn growth rates. It’s a complete feed, so when fed at the recommended levels there’s no need to add a mix, cube or supplement.
For more InFormATIon on dengIe’s rAnge oF Feeds, vIsIT www.dengIe.com And For FrIendly FeedIng AdvIce, conTAcT The dengIe FeedlIne on 0845 345 5115 or emAIl Feeds@ dengIe.com.
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PrePare for summer
Follow WeatherBeeta’s simple tips to finding the right summer rug for your horse
hen the time comes to buy a new rug for your horse it’s important to pick the right one for comfort and safety. An ill-fitting rug can rub his shoulders and withers and even put him at risk, especially if it’s too big. WeatherBeeta’s rugs come with a variety of features and fits to accommodate a wide range of horses and the needs of their owners – with the most popular summer rugs being lightweight turnouts and mesh rugs.
The WeaTherBeeTa Genero STandard neck LiTe doesn’t
compromise on quality and comes at a
great value price. It’s both waterproof and breathable with a 600 denier Ripstop outer shell plus it’s brimming with additional features including a full nylon lining to keep your horses coat clean and shiny, twin adjustable chest straps, low cross surcingles and leg straps for a flexible fit, and a wither pad to prevent rubbing.
WeaTherBeeTa Landa FreeSTyLe STandard neck LiTe has a diamond weave outer
fabric for extra strength and durability, it’s waterproof and breathable. It also features the Freestyle system – developed to ensure ultimate freedom
Weatherbeeta Genero standard Neck Lite colours Black/silver, bluebell/grey, violet /stone Price £49.99
of movement it includes forward position gussets and darts to allow more room at the shoulder and freedom of leg movement, a wither relief pad to prevent rubbing and a Full Wrap Tail Flap to protect the hind quarters from the wind and rain.
These help protect your horse from biting midges and flies while keeping him cool and comfortable in the summer sun. WeatherBeeta’s fly rug range are usually made from a close knitted polyester weave which creates a mesh protective barrier around your horse. For best results look for one
The PerFecT FiT
Consider the cut and design of a new rug as this can vary greatly from one to the next, affecting the fit. To get it right, always measure your horse with the rug you’re fitting in mind - see the BETA ‘Guide to Purchasing your Outdoor Rug’ for some handy hints and tips, visit www. beta-uk.org for more information.
WhaT To Look For in a TurnouT ruG
● High strength denier – the higher the denier the tougher the rug will be ● Waterproof and breathable – any outdoor rug should have this covered and most rugs are made from polyester because it is strong and lightweight ● Ripstop – a ripstop weave adds reinforcement at intervals in a cross hatch pattern helping to control and limit tears. Some rugs are designed with a diamond weave running diagonally across the fabric for a more durable hardwearing finish ● All WeatherBeeta turnout rugs meet the above criteria plus the WeatherBeeta Freestyle system which offers unrivalled freedom of movement to your horse while he is rugged.
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advertising feature Summer rugs
Weatherbeeta airflow combo with free-style Tail flap colours Blue bubbles, denim, silver/navy Price from £59.99
Weatherbeeta Landa freestyle standard Neck Lite
Weatherbeeta sweet Itch combo Neck with free-style Tail flap
colours Blue bubbles, navy/silver Price from £84.99
colour Grey/blue Price £79.99
Weatherbeeta supa fly Detach a Neck with freestyle Tail flap colour White/ blue/grey Price £89.99
that provides full body protection ensuring your horse’s neck, belly and tail are all covered. And, for added protection and comfort, pick a rug with a fabric that’s been treated with a long-lasting insect repellent.
The WeaTherBeeTa airFLoW comBo WiTh FreeSTyLe TaiL FLaP is made of a soft and durable
lightweight polyester mesh, covering your horse’s neck, body and tail. It includes a removable belly flap for full protection from flies and features the exclusive Freestyle Full Wrap Tail Flap and traditional side gusset for freedom of movement in the legs.
The WeaTherBeeTa SuPa FLy deTach a neck WiTh FreeSTyLe TaiL FLaP is the
ultimate in fly rug protection. It has a mesh fabric treated with Insect Shield Technology® – a special feature that helps to provide long-lasting, and effective insect protection for your horse by creating a shield against w w w.you r hor se .c o.u k
mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and flies. This rug also includes Freestyle features, quick clip front chest closures, a Full Wrap Tail Flap, a traditional side gusset for more leg movement and a removable belly flap.
rug features the Freestyle Tail Flap a traditional side gusset for increased leg movement and a removable belly flap for total body cover.
SWeeT iTch ruGS
Follow the above advice to make sure you pick the right rug for your horse keeping him cool, protected and comfortable all summer long.
If you’re looking for a little more protection for a horse who suffers from sweet itch WeatherBeeta has plenty of options to help make your horse as comfortable as possible and, most importantly, decrease his exposure to the Culicoides fly (a species of midge with a potent saliva).
ToTaL Peace oF mind ThiS Summer
The WeaTheBeeTa ShieLd SWeeT iTch comBo neck WiTh FreeSTyLe TaiL FLaP is the
newest addition to the summer range. Covering the full body, tail, neck, belly and complete with an ear hood this rug is woven with a soft but dense mesh to prevent rubbing and keep flies at bay. For additional comfort, and to further prevent rubbing, this
For more inFormaTion, or To Find your LocaL STockiST, viSiT WWW. WeaTherBeeTa.com
your horse PrePAre For suMMer 2012 23
Summer hoof care
PREPaRE foR summER
Before using nt-Dry...
...After using nt-Dry
PREVENtioN is bEttER thaN cuRE A dusting a day keeps thrush at bay – stop outbreaks with NT-DRY
hile thrush isn’t curable, putting the best preventative measures in place means you can ensure that your horse’s heels stay in tip-top condition all year round.
whAt iS thruSh?
Thrush is a bacterial infection that strikes warm and moist areas of the horse’s foot – the soft area between your horse’s heel bulbs provides the perfect breeding ground if cracked or wounded. Once at work, thrush creates painful heel cracks by eating its way into the tissue. Just imagine walking barefoot with an open wound on your own foot – you’d forever be infected and in pain! So if your horse has a heel crack, you need to act fast to stop bacteria invading.
whAt’S the treAtment?
NT- DRY, an all-natural, dry powder attacks, absorbs and dries active
thrush and goo in just a few days. The lightweight powder finds damp quickly and immediately gets to work soothing and healing the infected area. So with regular use, NT-DRY will aid heel re-growth without damaging new tissue and with weekly maintenance dustings, you can prevent any further outbreaks of thrush.
ApplicAtion oF nt-Dry iS eASy AnD tAkeS only SeconDS
● Thoroughly clean the foot with your hoof pick and a brush ● Dust the product around the frog, shoe and inside the heel crack to absorb the bacteria ● Use your brush to gently work the powder into any nooks and crannies to ensure all areas have been coated ● Leave it to work!
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Fight muD Fever AnD rAin ScAlD too!
NT-DRY is also great for mud fever and rain scald. Simply dust it on once a day, rub into the coat and you’re done. The powder will aid rapid healing and there’s no need to bathe or pick off the scabs – in fact, leave the scabs alone, let them dry, harden and fall off by themselves. Healing will already have occurred underneath.
For more inFormAtion viSit www.ntDry.co.uk
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PrePare for summer
Protect your horse with kbF99
kbF99 dandy brush
the kbF99 body brush
GroundbreakinG GroominG And tips for top summer care for your horse
s well as providing valuable bonding time with your horse grooming plays an important part in your daily horse care routine. Read on to find out about new revolutionary products and our five top tips for your summer grooming routine.
Get the riGht kit
Summer’s the time for competitions and we want our horses looking the part. The place to start is to check your grooming kit – you need to use products that are suitable for his shorter, summer coat and are easy to clean – it’s pointless using dirty or dusty brushes! There are many products available but basic grooming kits should contain a body brush, dandy brush, mane comb, tail brush, face brush, curry comb, sweat scraper, hoof pick, clean sponges and towels, along with shampoo, fly spray, sun cream and a hoof treatment to keep hooves in good condition. Now there’s a new grooming range which is proven to help protect your horse from potentially harmful bacteria, fungus and mycotoxins. The new KBF99 products have been tested at Coventry University, and were shown to effectively kill 99% of bacteria test cultures including strangles, ringworm and E. coli. On top of this, they can dramatically
3 improve skin And CoAt heAlth Thorough grooming removes dirt and mud where bacteria, parasites, insects and pathogens may lurk. Vigorous grooming helps increase circulation, distribute natural skin oils, remove dead skin cells and encourage hair to shed while regular brushing will keep his coat healthy.
4 Clip for Comfort kbF99 brushes in red
reduce harmful bacteria and fungus in your horse’s environment when combined with hygienic management. Prices for KBF99 grooming products from Vale Brothers start from just £2.99 and the KBF99 additive is effective for a minimum of three years – all products feature a best before date. A KBF99 feed and stable equipment range is also available.
toP summer GroominG tiPs 1 CArry out heAlth CheCks
In hot weather it’s important your horse can keep cool. Longer hair will cause him to heat up faster during exercise and make it trickier to cool down and dry quickly, which may promote bacteria growth and skin infections in wet weather. So consider clipping.
5 stAy sAfe
Always remember safety first even if you’re in a hurry, and groom in a spacious, well-ventilated stable or outdoor area with your horse tied up using a quick release knot.
Check for cuts, lumps and bumps and look out for signs of heat rash, fly bites and sunburn – introduce fly and sun protection if needed.
2 A sensible bAthing routine
In summer we wash our horses regularly ready for competitions and to remove sweat and dirt, which if left can irritate the skin and attract flies. Select bathing products carefully, especially if your horse has sensitive skin, and only wash down when necessary to avoid stripping natural oils from his coat and drying his skin.
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For more inFormation visit www.kbF99.co.uk or contact vale brothers on 01239 614648. w w w.you r hor se .c o.u k
PrePare for summer
Get your horse’s paddocks ready for winter
PreParation for Perfect Paddocks The right maintenance will ensure that your horse’s grazing is always at its best – read on for advice you can trust from the experts at Mole Valley Farmers
ummer is a good time to think about getting your paddocks in tip-top condition to ensure long-term quality grazing for the rest of the year and, in turn, the best performance from your horse. By keeping your grass quality at its highest you can be confident your horse has only the best to eat, create good quality haylage (should you wish to) and be well prepared for winter. The first step is to look at the soil your grass is growing in. The better the soil, the better the grass – it’s that simple. Start by having your soil tested to give you an idea of the nutrients present in it and what can be done to improve it.
The most effective way to improve your soil, and therefore the quality of your grass, is through the use of fertilisers and once you know what your soil needs you’ll be in the perfect position to select the fertiliser that’s right for your paddock.
Choose seaCtiv fertilisers
The main ingredients found in Seactiv fertilisers are calcified seaweed, nitrogen, phosphate, potassium, sodium and magnesium, each having its own effect: ● Calcified seaweed is a source of calcium and trace elements, which will help combat soil acidity ● Nitrogen promotes growth and creates green leaf
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● Phosphate promotes the growth of grass roots ● Potassium is important for sugar production and therefore making the grass more nutritious ● Magnesium is used for the development of green leaves and can also balance potassium levels ● Sodium improves the taste of the grass and can make it more appealing to grazing animals
Maintain Grass quality
If your grass quality is as high as it can be you’ll need to keep it well maintained. To do this keep weeds, such as ragwort, to a minimum – this can be especially tricky in the autumn when a late flourish w w w.you r hor se .c o.u k
advertising feature Paddock maintenance of growth is common. Dig out any weeds and undesirable grasses regularly, ensuring you extract the full root using a rag fork, then dispose of them safely (dying ragwort is the most dangerous to your horse so careful disposal is very important). Where weeds are particularly bad you may need to have your paddock sprayed with a professional grassland herbicide – this is especially effective in September when weather conditions usually provide good results. However, make sure you enlist a suitably qualified person or contractor to do this for you.
your horse will thrive on good quality grass and hay
Buy with Care
Pick your fertiliser carefully as some can be harmful to horses and ponies due to rapid nitrogen release. Make sure you look for a fertiliser specially intended for equine use, which will release nitrogen more slowly, such as Seactiv Horse and Pony, available from Mole Valley Farmers.
if weeds are particularly bad, you may need to have your paddocks sprayed
rotate your PaddoCks
Paddock rotation is a great way to maintain grass quality and will also help to avoid poaching (allow approximately six weeks between grazings). By rotating your paddocks, and topping them where necessary, you can also ensure that your grass is kept to a maximum of 5cm in length, helping to encourage new leaf growth. You may need to temporarily divide your field to be able to do this effectively. Use electric fencing for a flexible way to achieve the division. If your paddock has been badly damaged from poaching or simply has bare patches you may find re-seeding to be very productive. You can target areas of poor grass coverage by overseeding with a pony paddock mixture at half the normal rate. It’s important to select a horse friendly seed mix especially formulated for use in horse paddocks due to their sensitive equine digestive system. Try the Horse/Pony Paddock Seed or Horse/Pony Traditional Meadow Mix available from Mole Valley Farmers for great results.
It might be the job that everyone hates but dung control is essential. If left, droppings will sour your grass and encourage unproductive grasses w w w.you r hor se .c o.u k
and weeds to grow, not to mention the issue of worms (a particular problem in autumn when warm and damp conditions promote the spread of worms). By regularly poo picking your paddock you’ll ensure worm eggs aren’t ingested by your horse and therefore won’t be able to hatch and develop. Patrick Traill BSc, DVSc, MRCVS, Veterinary Services Manager at Mole Valley Farmers, says: “A critical part of paddock maintenance is daily dung picking as this ensures that in a limited grazing scenario worm egg burdens are managed and kept to a minimum, especially when horses are sharing a paddock.” Along with fertilising, poo picking and paddock rotation, general paddock maintenance such as harrowing and rolling in the autumn
can really help over the winter months. Be sure to check fencing and stabling while the weather still allows easy access to your paddock as good preparation now will help to avoid poaching and deterioration of your paddock –and save a lot of work in the spring when you want to get back out and enjoy the warmer weather. Finally, remember that everything you need to keep your horses and your paddocks well maintained from fencing to feed to fertiliser is available now from Mole Valley Farmers.
for More inforMation visit www. MolevalleyfarMers.CoM
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Published on Oct 8, 2012
Look inside for tips and advice on feeding, worming, choosing the right saddle, tackling thrush, summer grooming, joint care, paddock mainte...