Category: horse care

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.

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.