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Livestock & Pets : Horses and other equines

The articles below cover a number of topics about horse and donkey health, behaviour and welfare. There are more articles in The Basics section too. If you're looking for something in particular then use the search box above. If not, then browse the article titles and see what there is to help you.  If you can't find an answer here then why not ask in our discussion forums? One of the very friendly and helpful members is sure to be able to help you.

New articles are added all the time so don't forget to check back here regularly!


Cara Meyer is a lateral thinker and her ability to see outside the square is responsible for the establishment of what is now a highly successful horse riding business.

Accidents and emergencies happen to many horses sooner or later, no matter how good your paddock and stable management is.

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. 

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. 

Mud fever (greasy heel) and rain scald also known as dermatophilosis are all too common in horses in New Zealand.

Ponies think fat is sexy! Ponies think fat is fun! Ponies are the sumo wrestler champions of the equine world.

Some ponies, and some horses too seem to live on the smell of an oily rag! 

We all know of fat cresty-necked ponies and horses that are prone to laminitis (tender feet or founder).  

Like to learn how to ride a horse? Read on - you can learn the principles in a few minutes. 

Gestation in the mare tends to be around 342 - 345 days after last service by the stallion, but can vary from 315 - 370 days. 

Foaling outsisde (under lights) - the better option in a mild climate or foaling in a stable - the better option if there are complications.

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.

Here is an idea for a simple inexpensive horse pen.

When driving or moving horses give them somewhere to go. 

Horses have evolved over millions of years as grazers, with specialized digestive tracts adapted to digest and utilize diets containing high levels of plant fibre.

There are important feeding and management factors to consider to keep horses healthy and comfortable in the heat.

The most common digestive problems seen in equines are gastric ulcers which mainly occur in the stomach, and hindgut acidosis which can affect the large intestine, caecum and colon.

Management of parasites is an essential component to maintaining overall horse health, and often goes hand in hand with providing optimum nutrition.

Maintaining optimum equine health is the number one priority of horse owners and feeding plays a crucial role in achieving this. Below are descriptions of some of the most common conditions horses in New Zealand are susceptible too, and tips on how to prevent them through nutrition.

The specific nutritional needs of the broodmare and growing horse are constantly changing and it is important to alter feeding programmes according to the different stages.

In New Zealand, pasture growth can happen rapidly after only a few days of sun, following what seems like endless weeks of cold and wet weather. While this fresh green grass is highly appealing for them, there are certain components in spring pastures that can contribute to a variety of problems for grazing horses.

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