When bringing a horse back into work, correct feeding and management practices are essential. It is important that the right levels of energy are supplied to achieve optimum body condition, nutrient levels are met, and that the horse’s exercise program is designed to avoid injuries.
llness, dental problems, extreme fatigue, or the discomfort of gastric ulcers might keep some horses from eating. If no health issues are found, how can an owner tempt a picky equine to clean up its daily ration? Here are a few tips to try.
Horses are generally thought of as grazers (animals that eat grass) as opposed to browsers (animals that eat leaves, shrubs, and brushy plants). Is grazing a result of modern management practices rather than a reflection of the horse’s basic nature?
Options for restricting the intake of hay or pasture are somewhat complicated. Use of a grazing muzzle seems to be a reasonable choice for several reasons.
Can you help me determine if my gelding’s diet is creating excessive energy?
Is there anything I can feed my anxious Thoroughbred gelding to calm him for trailering?
Can you suggest a diet that will give my gelding more energy but won’t make him fat?
A study was conducted to determine the effects of grain feeding frequency and roughage availability on the behavior of stabled horses.
Horses that are overfed and underworked are likely to have extra energy to put into misbehavior, and those shenanigans can make time with your horse less pleasant.
A great deal of controversy about whether the type of feed you give your horse affects its behavior. Some horsemen say yes, some say no.
There is nothing more frustrating that taking the time and research effort to select an appropriate feed for your horse and have him turn up his nose with a haughty air of complete disinterest.What could be causing lack of appetite?
Feeding time often produces an array of behaviors from horses of all ages, including aggressive, bullying displays from dominant horses and submissive tendencies from the more passive ones.
I'm interested in using lecithin as a behavior modifier. Can you help me with formulating a correct dosage?
Owners should consider the dominant and passive behavior of horses when choosing to feed in a group.
By understanding the horse’s instinctive feeding behavior, today’s feeding strategies can be shaped to mimic natural tendencies.
In foals, cribbing is often related to feeding schedule and composition of meals.
Retired racehorses can present some nutritional challenges to their new owners. While no single approach will be the magic solution for every horse, some general guidelines can help your recently retired athlete flourish.
Have you ever wondered if the type of feed your horse eats affects how much he moves during the day? Little research has been done on the effects of diet on behavior, and specifically on spontaneous activity.
While traditional lore holds that horses with strange appetites are seeking to make up for a nutritional imbalance, studies have shown that’s not the case.
Does decreased intake affect saliva production and potentially gastric health?
In order to prevent horses from bingeing in one session and extend the amount of time horses spend eating hay, many companies now offer hay nets, bags, and other devices designed to ration out small quantities of hay over a longer period.
Horses are creatures of habit, especially when it comes to their feed and management.
<p> Is there any harm in giving magnesium injections occasionally to offset nervous behavior?</p>
Researchers were able to verify something horsemen have known for a long time: ponies can eat a lot of grass. But how does restricted turnout or muzzling affect intake?
Can you influence your horse's behavior by tinkering with his feed management? In general, many behavioral problems such as stall vices can be improved by giving the horse something to do instead of exhibiting the behavior.
Nutrition plays a vital part in getting the ideal performance from your equine athlete.
For some horses and many ponies, grazing muzzles can be considered necessary equipment for much of the year. In many cases, they are life-saving apparatuses, especially for those equines that are susceptible to laminitis.
Meals of hay and concentrates cause gastrin levels to rise, increasing gastric acid production.
A stalled horse's chewing instinct apparently remains strong even if the horse's nutritional needs are fully met by various feed products other than hay.
Determining why a horse has decreased appetite or inappetence can be difficult, especially if it is the only clinical sign the horse is showing.
Common horse management practices of confinement and feeding a few large meals daily have been shown to cause digestive irritation. Horses typically managed in this manner generally exhibit the highest incidence of behavioral problems.
Some simple management practices might prevent horses from developing stereotypic behaviors, or reduce their frequency once established.
Paying attention to special nutritional considerations can help a horse overcome the challenges of dealing with cold weather.
Access to fresh, unfrozen water at all times is a staple of cold weather care for all horses.
Numerous causes can account for a horse's inability to maintain weight aside from not consuming sufficient calories.
Long-stem forage is best defined as hay or pasture. Forage products that include extremely short pieces of fiber such as cubes, pellets, or chaff are often fed in lieu of long-stem forage.
<p> Could my horses excitability be caused by his diet?</p>
<p> Can I help my gelding have steadier nerves through a diet change?</p>
<p> Why are my well-fed mares chewing on the fence?</p>
While the behavior is not uncommon in both domestic and feral horses, the cause of geophagia (eating dirt) often can't be easily explained.
Horses constantly ingest dirt when they graze. Excessive consumption of dirt, especially when pastures become short, sometimes causes potential problems such as sand accumulation in the large intestine. However, the dirt that horses normally consume while grazing supplies some essential nutrients, notably iron.
The effects of feed types and feed management have been studied to determine the effects, if any, of modern feeding practices on equine behavior.
<p> My mare becomes muscle sore and irritable at times, and during these episodes she will begin weaving in her stall, sometimes to the point of neglecting her feed. Any thoughts?</p>
Recent research suggests that horses prefer to be handled from the left side, possibly due to the way they interpret things seen with the eye on that side.
A horse that has lain down too close to a fence or wall and gotten into a position from which he can't get up is referred to as a "cast" horse. Cast horses sometimes panic and struggle, while others simply lie in the cast position until help arrives. The problem may be that the horse is unable to straighten his front legs, or get his hind legs in a position to push himself up, or both.
Many stables leave a radio playing on the theory that music and/or human voices help to reduce boredom and keep horses calm.
Stereotypies are repetitive behaviors like weaving, stall walking, head bobbing, and cribbing that are often seen in horses that spend a great deal of time confined to their stalls.
Should you keep a radio playing in the barn to keep the horses company?
Once a horse is in fit athletic condition, taking a week off now and then won't bother him. However, if he's idle for a longer period-three months, for example-how do you begin getting him back into condition, and how long will the process take if you want to avoid injuring him by asking too much?
Stereotypies are repetitive behaviors such as weaving or cribbing
Turning stallions out in pairs or groups can be moderately risk-free and allows the horses to develop social relationships.
A study of the effect of different types of exercise on behavior among stalled horses suggested that regular exercise was likely to provide positive benefits on horse welfare, training ability, and handler welfare.
Reports of horses poisoned by pasture plants tend to increase in late fall and early winter, possibly because pasture grasses are less available due to dry conditions and the beginning of dormancy.
If you've competed at lots of horse shows, the drill is pretty routine. You know what will happen at the show, whom you will probably see there, and how long you'll be gone. Assuming your horse is a show veteran also, there shouldn't be many surprises.
For a horse owner, almost nothing is more frightening to think about...and most horse enthusiasts have encountered this situation from time to time, either with their own horses or someone else's. It seems that no amount of thought or precautionary management can completely protect horses from the danger, and owners from the worry, resulting from an escape.
Every foal has to go through it; every owner admits to some worries about it; and almost everyone survives it. For something that happens every year, weaning never seems to take on the status of "just another day's work." Separating a foal from its dam is guaranteed to produce some anxiety in both animals.
A common name for the problem is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is also known as recurrent airway disease, recurrent airway obstruction, or inflammatory airway disease. The descriptions of the gelding and mare seem to discuss very different conditions because the disease can result from reactions to varying environmental stimuli.
Obstruction of the esophagus, commonly known as choke, is a life-threatening condition for horses and a panic-inducing event for their caretakers.
Vaccination with gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), a reproductive hormone, might decrease unwanted behavior in stallions and mares, researchers recently reported.
Intrauterine placement of marbles in pony mares did not change reproductive physiology or normal sexual or social behavior, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Liverpool.
In cases where a thorough veterinary exam does not turn up a medical explanation for the horse's actions, changes in feed management may be important in modifying the way a horse behaves. Advice from a professional horse trainer or riding coach is also an option, especially if the horse presents a danger, rather than just an aggravation, to it owner or handler.
If the horse is fed in a group where he must eat quickly to avoid competition, isolating him at feeding time may help. Making sure the horse is not quite so hungry at mealtime, either by feeding some hay before grain or by feeding smaller meals more frequently, may slow the greedy eater.
Flehmen is the term used to describe the behavior in which a horse extends its neck, raises its head, and inhales as it rolls its upper lip back, displaying its front teeth.
Weaning is synonymous with stress. The process produces anxiety among foals and mares, not to mention their caretakers. To ease the transition all foals must face-from maternal coddling to self-sufficiency among peers-owners can do a little homework before the day of parting arrives.
<p> Why do horses become aggressive while eating?</p>
What makes a police horse's job unique is the variety of experiences and challenges that each day brings. While all horses are expected to respond to their riders' signals, it's of paramount importance that the mounted police officer can trust his horse to remain calm and obedient, no matter what happens.
Why do horses behave the way they do?
In addition to the type and amount of concentrate being fed, owners of hyperactive horses should look at other areas of management. Horses that are kept in a stall or small corral much of the day will likely be more difficult to handle than horses that have more liberal access to free exercise. Full-time turnout and regular work are sometimes all that is necessary to curtail the expression of excess energy.
When the realization hit that his dam was nowhere to be found, Shout became uneasy and lapped the field at a full tilt gallop. Higgins did little to ease Shout's anxiety, merely watching the seemingly half-crazed Shout careen around the field. Skean seemed less fazed by the separation; she may have even been relieved to bid farewell to her youngster.
Thousands of horses change hands annually at public auctions. While the most conscientious of buyers may flood the seller with innumerable questions regarding their most recent equine acquisition, many horses are shipped without feeding instructions. When they arrive at their destination, the horses are often placed immediately on the new owner's feeding schedule, which may be considerably different than the familiar one.
Wood chewing is simply the nibbling and splintering of wooden surfaces with the teeth; sometimes the wood is swallowed and sometimes not. This behavior is thought to spring from the horse's natural appetite for a varied diet.
Equine colic is loosely defined as abdominal pain. The causes are numerous, and the signs of discomfort (rolling, kicking at the abdomen, pawing, sweating) are familiar to most experienced horse handlers. Colic is one of the most common health emergencies, with an incidence of just over 9 cases per 100 horses in an average year. It is a leading reason for surgery and a frequent cause of death in horses.
Temperament is certainly a factor in deciding which stallions make good candidates for shuttling, but it is only one small piece of the decision-making process. Bloodlines are a larger factor.
Horses recovering from colic, surgery, high fever, or colitis can present many challenges for their owners, but one that is frequently overlooked is how to feed horses through the illnesses. While countless researchers have devoted years of study to determine the proper nutritional balance for horses of different ages and workloads, little has been done to outline proper nutrition for the sick adult horse.
Some veterinarians provide dental treatment in addition to their other services. Others prefer to supervise a professional equine dentist who has the specialized training, equipment, and experience to complete the work quickly and competently.
Have an equine dentist do a thorough oral exam to make sure the teeth do not have sharp points or edges that are irritated by the pressure or position of the bit. In young horses, the shallow-rooted wolf teeth sometimes interfere with the bit and can easily be removed by a dentist or veterinarian.
Stocking rate is defined as the number of horses allowed to graze a unit of land for a specific amount of time. Making the most of pastures by optimizing stocking rate may reduce other forage expenditures. Stocking rate is contingent upon numerous factors including grazing behavior, level of pasture management, forage species, seasons, and weather patterns.
Pica is the desire to eat unusual substances that possess little or no nutritional value, such as dirt, wood, hair, and feces. This phenomenon has been observed in horses of all ages, breeds, and sexes.
<p> How do you slow down a horse who bolts his feed?</p>
<p> What causes a horse to eat dry manure?</p>
<p> How can you keep your horse fit with little riding time?</p>