“Thumps” in Horses

DSC08632

Rhythmic movement of the flanks is an indicator of Thumps.


Synchronous Diaphramatic Flutter is a condition in which the horse’s flanks move in rhythm to the heart beat.  This is not a dangerous condition, and resting the horse will help it subside.  Thumps occurs after the horse undergoes stress.  Some situations include after an event where the horse is worked hard–such a showjumping–or colic.  Too much calcium in a horse’s diet can predispose it to Thumps.  Prevent Thumps by keeping the horse hydrated and giving electrolytes as needed.

DSC04836

Keep you horse hydrated!



Advertisements

Feeding Horses: What Is a Forage?

DSC07646

Pasture, or grass, is a forage.

Forages contain a high crude-fiber content.  In general, a forage would be grass or hay.  Horses should be fed to horses because they provide nutrients.  But they don’t do just that.  Forage keeps up the muscle tone in the GI tract and provides horses with something to do.  Without forage, horses can develop bad habits such as stall weaving and wood-chewing.

According to Feeding and Care of the Horse, forages have the following characteristics:

They are bulky.

They high in fiber and low in digestible energy.

Forages are high in calcium and potassium and low in phosphorous. 

Sun-cured hays are higher in vitamins E, A, and K.

Vary in protein content.

Horses should have access to pasture in moderation.  But hay can be fed in larger amounts.  It is recommended that horses be fed many small meals throughout the day or else get their hay in a slow feeder to make it last longer.  This simulates natural grazing activity.

DSC06685

Hay should be fed in little bits to mimic natural grazing.

“Big Red” the Racehorse

Big Red01

I was called “Big Red” and I did not race in the Kentucky Derby; in fact, I never raced in Kentucky although it I was born there.  I had a nearly perfect race record, winning 20 out of 21 races, finishing second only once.  I am the Blood Horse‘s top racehorse of the 1900s, racing in the early 20th century.  I was a Thoroughbred stallion.  What was my name? 

Alfalfa and Blister Beetles

DSC03744

_________________________________________________________________

Horse facts as told by a Shetland pony.

 Gypsy, the Equine Encyclopedia, tells about blister beetles and alfalfa hay.

_________________________________________________________________

If you have ever taken a flake of alfalfa and shaken it out, only to find crushed striped or spotted bugs with large, spiny antennae hidden inside, you have probably encountered Blister Beetles.  These toxic pests are large, approximately 1 inch long.  The reason why they are harmful to horses upon ingestion is the presence of the  toxin Cantharidin, which remains inside the beetles for as many as three years.   Belonging to the family Meloidae,  Blister Beetles come in over 200 different species and may be black with yellow or orange stripes or grayish tan paired sometimes with black spots and sometimes without.

If your horse appears to be “off his feed”, Blister Beetles can be a prime suspect. These insects are sometimes eaten by horses, usually concealed in baled  alfalfa (a legume hay that is very high in protein); colic can occur.  The minimum lethal quantity of blister beetles for a 1,100 lb horse is thought to be as few, or even less than, 125 beetles.

Treatment of Blister Beetle poisoning can be difficult.  It has no specific treatment; in severe cases, mineral oil can be administered.  Horses have either recovered or succumbed within 1-3 days.  After treatment, laminitis can result.

Prevention is always the easiest and surest way.  One way to do this is not to feed  alfalfa or to obtain alfalfa from a field that is cut before it blooms for this reduces the possibility of hidden beetles.

Not all places are home to Blister Beetles, as they are usually found in warm, dry locations.  So, if the beetles have not been found in fields nearby or you do not feed alfalfa or other flowering hays, your horses are probably safe.

 

 

Plants to Watch out for in Pastures

DSC06465

_________________________________________________________________

Horse facts as told by a Shetland pony.

 Gypsy, the Equine Encyclopedia, tells about plants that ARE TOXIC TO HORSES.

_________________________________________________________________

Here is a list of many plants that can be toxic to horses. Keep in mind that no list is complete; there are more still.

Elderberry Sambuccus spp.

Goose Grass Triglochin spp.

Milkweed Asclepias Speciosa

Wild Blue Flax Linum spp.

Serviceberry Amelanchier Alnifolia

Larkspur Delphinium spp.

Spotted Hemlock Conium Maculatum

Yellow Oleander Thevetia Peruviana 

Water Hemlock Cicuta spp.

Death Camas Zigadenus spp.

Yellow Sweet Clover Melilotus Officinalis

Wooly Locoweed Astragalus Mollisimus

White Prairie Aster Aster Falcatus

Broomweed Guterrezia Sarothrae

Gumweed Grindelia spp.

Snake Grass Equisetum Arvense

Fringed Sage Artemisia Frigida

Sand Sage Artemisia Filifolia

Creeping Indigo Indigofera Spicata

Pokeweed Phytolacca Americana

Black Locust Robinia Pseudoacacia

Field Bindweed Convolvulus Arvinsis

Mountain Laurel Kalmia Latifolia

Azalea Rhododendron Catawbiense

Fetterbush Leucothoe spp.

Mountain Pieris Pieris spp.

Buttercup Ranunculus spp.

Saltbush Atriplex spp.

Click here for even more plants that are  poisonous to horses…

Classification of the Horse

The Kingdom is Animalia

to all animals, it’s a home

The Phylum is Chordata

all things with a backbone

the class is Mammalia

all animals warm-blooded

Order is Perissodactyla

where odd numbers of toes are needed

The equine’s Family is Equidae

All horses past, present and future

The horse’s Genus is Equus

(Donkeys and Zebras included)

The Species is Equus Caballus

-All other equines excluded.