Promoting Overall Digestive Health

equine_america_healthNutrition is a primary concern for horse owners and caretakers and we all know that health can never be achieved without the right meals. But the task at hand is broader than what we all think. Overall digestive health is an extensive subject says Equine America’s lead team of experts. But for the purpose of this article, let’s tackle some of the most basic ways to promote it.

Tip #1: Choose organic first. – This is not saying that processed feeds or similar other manufactured supplements are bad. Not at all. But organic options like fruits and vegetables are still the best options out there. They’re all natural and therefore close to what equines normally ingest as nature would have it.

Tip #2: Forage is a must. – Roughage in the form of hay and grass are crucial in a horse’s digestion. They need the fiber to be able to effectively process their food. Plus, it also keeps them warm during the cooler months. In fact, equines need to eat at least 2% of their body weight worth of forage.

Tip #3: Avoid sugar and starch. – They’re not bad but too much is. As always, moderation is key. A very high sugar and starch diet in horses makes them all the more prone to laminitis, a common crippling disease among equines that affect their hooves.

Tip #4: Practice consistency. – Because equines are animals that develop routines, any abrupt changes to meal schedules can throw them off. Therefore, consistency in proportions and time is necessary.

Tip #5: Keep it small. – Make sure to chop up their meals into small, chewable bite-sized pieces to avoid any choking accidents. Remember that they cannot vomit because their esophagus only works one way.

Tip #6: Go for smaller portions and more meals. – Each horse has their own daily needs and requirements. This is best divided into small portions, preferably three or more, and given out in several meals instead of just one or two. This is due to the fact that their stomach is rather small and can only contain a certain capacity or else it might rupture.

Tip #7: Keep them hydrated. – Equine America suggests the use of a free drinking station to keep water supply available round the clock. Horses need to drink up quite the amount of water to keep themselves hydrated and to avoid the occurrence of colic. During the winter, the supply has to be regularly checked to ensure that the water does not freeze over or turn icy cold.

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Guide to Hoof Picking

hoof-pickOne of the primary responsibilities of any horse owner or caretaker is the regular picking of the hooves. The task may seem daunting and at times may be seen as unnecessary but it’s crucial in making sure that the horses have healthy feet and better comfort says Equine America.

Contrary to popular belief, hoof picking isn’t as difficult nor is it only administered by professionals. However, it’s true that utmost care and caution should be practiced. To help you out, we’ve compiled the following guidelines. Read up and learn a thing or two.

  • Know the tools of the trade. – The primary goal here is to remove compacted mud, dirt, stone and similar debris. These can cause pain and discomfort when walking and in other instances make the horses prone to infection and injury. There are two primary tools to the task: a pick and a brush. Both must be cleaned before and after use.
  • Avoid taking them by surprise. – Prior to picking, horses must be readied otherwise they are likely to get a scare. You might get kicked. Make sure that they are calm and bring them to a secluded area where they are unlikely to get easily distracted. Carefully approach them and gently stroke their shoulders and neck. Give them a warning too such as running one hand down a leg and tapping the back of it.
  • Be gentle and don’t rush it. – Start with one side and slowly lift the leg. With practice and routine, the horse may get the hint and automatically lift it themselves otherwise you may gently squeeze above the fetlock.
  • Pick carefully. – The goal is to give the animal comfort not injury and to do this one has to be very careful. Use the tools properly. Start removing the compacted debris using the brush. One may also do so using the hands. Use the pick to loosen up the dirt and stones until the horn becomes visible. Never prod or puncture with the pick so as not to hurt the frog. It’s very sensitive and is attached to several nerve endings.
  • Repeat the next day. – Equine America and its experts advise owners and caretakers to practice hoof picking on a daily basis particularly before and after taking the animal for a ride. Yes, it’s a regular thing and not some task that you can do when you feel like it. Trust us, your equines will thank you for it.

Topspec’s Guide to Better Equine Meals

equine mealsMeals are very important when it comes to nutrition. It plays a crucial role in ensuring that they stay on top of their game whenever wherever. But there’s more to it than just giving horses their food for the day. Care to find out what? Check out Topspec’s list for a series of expert tips.

  • PORTION – Since horses were not blessed with digestive systems that can take a beating, meal portions have to be small. Overindulging can do more than just the usual indigestion. Oftentimes, they suffer from colic or worse a rupture. The daily requirements and intake should be broken down into several portions, usually three or more, to avoid such incidents.
  • FREQUENCY – As mentioned earlier, daily requirements are to be broken down into several portions so meals are given at a higher level of frequency per day. However keep it mind that we’re talking about smaller portions but higher frequency. The total amount should remain the same.
  • SCHEDULE – Equines are animals that thrive on routine. Abrupt changes and inconsistencies will take their toll on their health. Owners are advised by experts to maintain and develop a consistent schedule or time for when horses are fed. This ensures that appetite loss, indigestion, colic and even anxiety are kept at bay. Doing so will also help establish manners and training.
  • KIND – Be particular when it comes to choosing what to feed horses. Not all food items are good or even safe for them just because humans or other animals take them. Opt for healthier and organic choices like fruits and vegetables as much as possible. Buy quality hay that is mold and dust free. Furthermore, inform yourself about the various items that should never, by all means, be fed to them like chocolate, coffee, cruciferous vegetables (e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage and Brussels sprout), avocado, lawn and garden clippings and bran mashes among others.
  • SIZE – Everything should be bite-sized but they should also be large enough to be chewable. For instance, carrots and apples have to be chopped up. Avoid feeding them large sized items because they may suffer from a choking incident.
  • MODERATION – Last but not the least, Topspec puts a lot of emphasis when it comes to moderation. When giving meals and even treats to your horses, there has to be control. This way, obesity and colic are best avoided.

Global Herbs: What Fruits are Safe for My Horse?

horse bananaHorses love a good variety of fruits. In fact, a lot of them are even used as treats. But not every crop or produce in the face of the planet are good and safe for equines. As an owner or caretaker, it’s essential that you know which means well and which doesn’t. So today we’ve asked Global Herbs for their top list of fruits that are safe and nutritious for horses. Take a look.

  • Apple – These fruits are best served in slices so as to prevent any choking hazard. They contain little to no amount of cholesterol and are packed with vitamins and nutrients like calcium, iron an vitamins A, B and C among others.
  • BananaRich in potassium, Vitamin B6 and dietary fiber, bananas make it to our list. The fruit and the skin can be fed to horses too. Make sure to chop it in smaller bite-sized pieces too.
  • Orange – Proven to be an excellent source of Vitamin C, oranges taste good too. Like bananas and watermelons, the rind can be eaten. It is advised that a maximum of only two oranges per week should be given and that they should be cut in quarters.
  • Peaches – When giving out peaches, see to it that the seeds are completely taken out and that they are chopped into manageable chunks. Like other fruits in its family such as plums, cherries and apricots, they are rich in dietary fiber, vitamin A, niacin and potassium.
  • Pear – Ripe and sweet, a good number of horses like pears. Add to that the number of owners who like it because of its nutritious content to include vitamins B2, C, E, copper, potassium and pectin.
  • Pineapple – When feeding these to your equines, make sure to remove the skin and the core and cut them into rings or half-rings. It’s juicy and sweet which makes it a popular favorite.
  • Watermelon – What’s interesting about watermelons is that both the fruit and its rind are safe for horses. Not all will like it though because it may come off a little bitter so it still boils down on preference.

Like with anything else, Global Herbs strongly reminds everyone that moderation is still key when feeding horses with any type of fruit. Plus, the preparation prior to serving is very important. The fruits should always be cut up into small chewable chunks to avoid both overindulgence and choking.

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Horse Stable Requirements

horse stableTaking care of horses takes more than what meets the eye. Although a little challenging, it’s got its merits and when one right can lead to fruitful results. One of the aspects that owners ought to give attention to is the stables says Formula 4 Feet. After all, where else do you expect your equines to stay and take shelter?


There are two main types to choose from the box stalls and the tie stalls.

Box stalls for an average sized equine should measure at least 10×10 meters to 12×12 meters as per the Recommended Code of Practice for The Care and Handling of Farm Animals by the Canadian Agri-Food Research Council. Tie or standing stalls on the other hand are 1.5 meters wide by 2.4 meters long. In both cases, the horse should be able to lie down comfortably. Where possible, it is generally recommended to build bigger dimensions.

The walls should be at least 4.6 meters high and still allows the horses to see each other. They should be very solid and sturdy, often made of timber, with a grill or sturdy mesh that helps with good ventilation and adequate lighting.


Owners can opt between two types either sliding or swinging. Regardless, owners should always install latches that although can be easily undone by caretakers cannot be tampered with by the horses. They should be at least 1.2 meters in width.


The aisles between be stalls should measure at least 3 meters wide. It’s big enough but not too small to restrict motion. However, other factors must be taken account on whether to make the dimension wider such as the tie rope and width of themanger for the hay.


Concrete is a common choice among owners. For better traction and avoid slips, the surface may even be roughened to a degree. Pavers and stone floors are other options. Although easier to clean, they do not drain naturally and will therefore require a proper drainage system or at least have regular cleaning (hosing down) and disinfection.

Some owners opt for rubber flooring as they provide more comfort to the equines. But the presence of sandy earth soil may be left on its own says Formula 4 Feet. Like rubber, it’s easy on the horses’ legs and is quieter and warmer too. However they prove to be harder to clean for the most part.

Global Herbs: Types of Equine Colic

ColicEquine colic literally translates to ‘pain in the abdomen’ but it is generally used to refer to digestive system disorders among horses. According to Global Herbs, colic is one of the most common problems faced by the said animals then and up to today and there are many types to it as follows.

  • Displacement Colic 

Here, the intestine is suspended in the abdominal cavity by the mesentery, a fold of the peritoneum that attaches the intestine to the posterior wall of the abdomen. This makes it fall out of place causing it to be twisted thus restricting blood flow. It comes with pain too and is often brought about by a gas build up in the gut. This type needs immediate medical attention, surgical to be specific.

  • Impaction Colic

In this case, the large intestine changes direction and folds upon itself. There are cases where the size and diameter of it changes too. This allows for firm masses of feeds and other foreign material like sand to block away the intestines. Common causes of impact colic include ingestion of sand in large quantities, coarse and severely dry feeds as well as dehydration.

  • Enteritis 

This type is an inflammation of the intestines and is particularly hard to diagnose. There are instances when it even mistaken for displacement colic or impaction colic. What brings it about is a bacterial infection, contaminated water, food and roughage as well as excessive ingestion of grains.

  • Gas Colic 

As the name suggests, it refers to an excessive gas build up in the horse’s stomach and intestines causing minor to severe abdominal pain. The excess gas is produced by bacteria and is brought about by several factors such as stale feeds. To cure it, a veterinarian shall insert a tube into the stomach to relieve the pressure from the accumulation of gas and fluid.

  • Spasmodic Colic 

To humans, this is akin to indigestion and comes with painful contractions of the muscles in the small and large intestines. Of the types listed in this list, this is the most easily and quickly treated.

  • Stomach Distention 

Many would agree, including Global Herbs, that horses aren’t very blessed when it comes to their digestive system. Much care must be practiced to ensure that their feed ingestion is appropriate, timely and enough. Their stomachs have a very little capacity and when overfed may cause it to enlarge and worse rupture.

Do’s and Don’ts to Horseshoes

horseshoeA narrow band of iron in the form of an extended circular arc and secured to the hoof with nails, a horseshoe is a crucial part of equine care. Failure to attend to it correctly can cause serious injury and malady to the animal in one’s care. Today, we shall delve into the basics of horseshoes together with Topspec through the following list of do’s and don’ts.

Do find a farrier. This is a name given to individuals who have been specifically trained and educated in the art of horseshoeing. If you’re not one of them then it would be wise to call them for help during this process to avoid any mistakes that could potentially injure the animal.

Don’t clean and remove. Remove an old shoe first before cleaning the hoof. This shall make the chore easier and allow you to reach through the entire foot. Be careful when removing the nails so as not to cause pain.

Do clean the hooves. To avoid any debris from getting trapped between the sole of the foot and the new shoe, make sure to clean it first. Take a hoof pick and brush to remove compacted dirt, mud, stones, manure and other debris stuck into the foot. Be careful when cleaning around the frog as this is very sensitive.

Don’t forget to trim. Excess flaky sole and hoof walls will need to be trimmed off. This is akin to the trimming of toenails for humans. Failure to do this can cause pain when walking.

Do flatten the sole. Before the shoe is placed in, the sole is filed, smoothened and flattened using a tool called a rasp. This is done simply to even out the surface. Be careful not to overdo this as it wouldn’t be advisable to over trim the hoof and make it too short.

Don’t pick the wrong size. Always size the shoe to the hoof. Doing so otherwise will make it feel uncomfortable. Keep in mind that not all four hooves may come with the same size.

Do secure the shoe well. Using nails put them in. Make sure to align it perfectly against the edge of the hoof. In the event that the shoe isn’t a perfect fit, it would be wise to bend or alter them to fit perfectly.

Proper shoeing is crucial in equine care. It is a must regardless of age, gender and physical ability says Topspec.


Formula 4 Feet: Taking Care of Your Horse’s Hooves

formule 4 feetHoof care is one of the most important subjects in equine care. After all, horses cannot function at best with injured feet. Who does right? Now to give everyone some handy tips, the team at Formula 4 Feet has dished out their expert advice on the matter. Check out what they had to say below.

  • Choose the right shoe. This is by far one of the most important tasks of any horse owner. Picking the right shoe and attaching it is necessary as it helps protect the hooves from wear and tear. If you’re not familiar with this then it would be best to call in a farrier.
  • Have the hooves trimmed. This is done depending on the horse’s needs and the intensity of their activities. As a rule of thumb, this must be done once every 10-12 weeks at the least.
  • Remove any debris. Before going in for a ride and when bringing the animal in for the night, make sure to check the hooves for any debris such as dirt, manure, grass or stones that may have gotten stuck on their foot. Carefully remove them using a pick and be sure to focus on the frog, the V-shaped part of the hoof. Do this carefully so as to avoid poking through and causing injury. To take care of the finer debris, use a stiff bristled brush to finish the job off.
  • Clean the stall regularly. Sanitation is very important for equine health in general and this applies not only for the hooves. This is particularly crucial as dirty stalls make for great bacterial breeding grounds that can cause health hazards.
  • Inspect for signs of thrush. When horses stand in wet and dirty surfaces for prolonged periods of time, they can develop a bacterial infection that causes foul smell, cheesy frog texture and dark liquid secretion on the hooves. This is called a thrush and it must be tended to quickly. An over the counter medication and treatment is available for this.
  • Provide for proper nutrition. Adequate nutrients will help in ensuring maximum hoof care for horses. Animals that are in a bad state are a magnet for various diseases and injuries so the better fed and the more properly nourished they are then there is less likelihood for worries. Aside from feeds, adequate roughage and supplements must be given for a well balanced and sufficient diet says the Formula 4 Feet team.


Equine America: Better Bones for Your Horses

equine america powderBone health is a very important aspect to equine care. It is a major concern for horses, athletic or not. Owners have to make sure that this matter is given adequate attention or risk injury or worse death of the animal. Today we’ll be tackling more on this subject with Equine America as well as tips on how to ensure healthy bones for your horses.

To start, let’s first establish the importance of a healthy skeletal system. The bones serve as the foundation or supporting block for the rest of the body, allowing for movement. It would be impossible for horses to function as they are without it as muscles won’t have a base to cling to. Moreover, the skeleton protects several organs, acts as a mineral storage and works in the production of blood.

Now, how do owners help maintain bone care?

  • Choose feeds that provide for adequate nutrients. – When repeated stress is experienced, certain bones in the body grow denser to provide more strength and power on the particular muscle area or limb. However, this becomes impossible if there are inadequate nutrients in the body. Because of certain factors, grasslands no longer provide all the nutrients needed by horses so it would be wise to choose feeds that do.
  • Provide for relevant supplements. – Apart from adequate levels and the right type of feeds, supplements must also be provided. Horses, considering the nature of the activities that they are exposed to, can receive excessive stress. Supplements that aid in joint care are only some of the many care essentials in this category.
  • Maintain a clean and safe environment. – Stables must be constructed in such a way that they are safe. All hazards must be removed to avoid any accidents from occurring. Remember that even the slightest of injuries can harm horses. Not only can it cause temporary damage and delay in training particularly for racing and riding horses, they too might lead to permanent damage or worse, death.
  • Ensure regular checkups. – Just like any other animal, equine care requires that owners schedule and practice regular health checkups. It is crucial that all concerns should be addressed accordingly and as early as possible to avoid aggravating the situation. Make sure that you have a vet at the ready. Don’t wait until something happens before you connect with a professional. It’s always better to have one that you can immediately dial.

That’s all for now and we hope that you found our tips with Equine America quite helpful. Click here for more info

The Uses and Benefits of Topspec 10:10 Joint Supplement

TopspecWhen it comes to quality equine care brands, Topspec sits among the highest rankers. Horse owners and caretakers have come to laud the brand for its various products, one of which is the TopSpec 10:10 Joint Support supplement.Topspec sits among the highest rankers. Horse owners and caretakers have come to laud the brand for its various products, one of which is the TopSpec 10:10 Joint Support supplement.

Now, not everyone is well versed with equine care and this is particularly true for first timers and new owners so today we’ll help shed some light and idea regarding the aforementioned product. Besides, if you want to ensure maximum health for your horses then you’re bound to be on an extensive research. Seeing that you’ve found yourself in this article, we’re guessing you’re doing just that. For that, here’s a thumbs up. Let’s begin.

The product is a type of granular additive that supplies nutritional support, promoting comfort in and around the joints, the junction between bones that holds them together and helps aid mobility. It contains two very important contents namely Glucosamine and MSM.

Glucosamine is an amino derivative of glucose that occurs naturally in supportive tissues like the joints. Healthy tissues produce ample glucosamine which acts as a shock absorber when stress or force travels up and is received by the limbs, running for example. This helps supply the viscosity of joint fluid that acts as a lubricant during such circumstances. Damaged or worn out supportive tissues produce less to none of it causing shooting pain or in worse cases, impaired movement.

MSM is a healthy source of sulphur and helps promote the dispersion of fluid at injured areas due to its ability to permeate cell walls. It aids in keeping the connective tissues like muscles, ligaments and tendons functioning properly. Furthermore, it is an important ingredient in collagen production, necessary for the development of cartilage, the strong elastic tissues in the body.

Moreover, the supplement has Vitamins C and E, antioxidants, beta-carotene and natural tocopherols which all aid in the care and repair of joints in horses.

The TopSpec 10:10 Joint Support supplement is particularly directed to horses that are subject to intense athletic activities such as eventing, endurance, dressage, driving, show jumping and western riding to name a few. It can also benefit those that have been subject to extreme activities and environments, causing wear and tear as well as the elderly. The supplement may also be used to support the breeding and growing of valuable bloodstock in terms of joint health.

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