Hello Autumn: 5 Tips to Keep Your Horse Happy
Well, it’s official, Autumn is here again! Hello bright crisp mornings, beautiful hacking landscapes and cosy evenings in front of the fire.
Here are 5 seasonal tips to keep your horse happy during Autumn:
Check your paddocks for sycamore and oak trees and if you do have them nearby, section these areas off with electric fencing. The seeds and acorns from these trees are highly toxic to horses so be sure to regularly clear any that have fallen regularly.
Time to worm! Vets are warning owners about the dangers of Small Encysted Redworm – the larval stage buries itself in the lining of the gut and can lie dormant for some time. At this stage a Faecal Egg Count will not show their presence, as they are immature and don’t produce eggs (your vet can carry out a blood-test if you are in doubt). Left untreated, the encysted small redworm can develop and emerge en masse from the gut wall in early spring, causing diarrhoea and colic – with a mortality rate of up to 50%. Encysted redworm should be treated between October and March, with either a single dose of moxidectin-based wormer or a 5-day course of fenbendazole-based wormer. If in any doubt, consult your vet.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that our fields were drenched and we were wading through endless mud. Now is a great time to consider your winter paddock management and plan a rotation system if possible to reduce damage to your paddocks over the coming months.
Clipping / rugging – yes, I know, I can hardly believe it either! But as the weather is already turning its time to book in your horse’s haircut. Choose an appropriate clip for your horse’s level of work. It can be tricky rugging in autumn as the days can be quite mild still, but turn chilly at night. Consider investing in a product like the Orscana from Arioneo to monitor your horse’s temperature, stress and activity levels combined with the local weather forecast to help you choose an appropriate weight rug for your horse.
As the nights are already drawing in, consider visibility on the roads and bridleways and make sure you and your horse are well kitted out with hi-vis – be safe, be seen.