Winter pasture in most parts of New Zealand is not an adequate feed for a horse - even to maintain its body weight.
In this article, we follow on from the emergency conditions considered in Part One (Cuts and other wounds) to deal with colic, tying up, blocked gullet (sometimes called ‘choke’) and the horse caught in an electric fence.
Accidents and emergencies happen to many horses sooner or later, no matter how good your paddock and stable management is. So if you have horses it’s always wise to be prepared.
When driving or moving horses give them somewhere to go. Position yourself behind the driving line. If you move left the horse will move right. More movement from you (either quicker, closer or sharper) will produce more movement from the horse. Keep your adrenaline down.
Here is an idea for a simple inexpensive horse pen. The openness of the pen and all round vision helps keep the most highly strung horses calm - as they can see their mates a few paddocks away, and everything else that is going on.
Mud fever (greasy heel) and rain scald also known as dermatophilosis are all too common in horses in New Zealand.
Foaling outsisde (under lights) - the better option in a mild climate or foaling in a stable - the better option if there are complications.
Yes, it’s a mouthful, but “neurological” just means “relating to the central nervous system”, and the central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. So neurological signs in animals are the clues the animals give us that there is something wrong with their brain and/or spinal cord.
To the observant stockman, a sick foal stands out like an Aberdeen Angus bull in a field of Charolais heifers.
To prevent problems, it is wise to have the cheek teeth of ponies and horses rasped regularly, perhaps once a year or so, by a veterinarian or a horse dentist.
Gestation in the mare tends to be around 342 - 345 days after last service by the stallion, but can vary from 315 - 370 days. Mares do tend to follow a pattern so if your mare foaled a fortnight late last year, there is a strong possibility she will do the same this year.
All horse owners will have to deal an injured horse sooner or later, and those of you who have experience of this will know that it can be quite a drama.