Welcome to our blog page, HOOFBEATS, where we talk about
the countryside with a main emphasis on training and caring for horses and ponies. If you would like to contribute ideas and
information about your own experiences, we would be delighted to hear them. Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to our Facebook Page, Horse and Pony
Info. If you're into Twitter, you can contact us @horse_ponyinfo.
The opinions expressed here are from personal experience and we strongly advise you
to contact your vet or your riding instructor if you are seriously worried about your horse.
Happy St. Valentine's Day to everyone! We celebrated the lead up to the most romantic day of the year with a Valentine Card
competition and the results were published today. You can see the prize winners here on our competition page. Congratulations to Stephanie Pavitt who won.
What's under your horse's rug? Modern horse
rugs fit so well and the same ones can often be used in stable and field. There is a temptation to forget to take the
rugs off regularly and not look to see what's happening underneath them, especially if we have a lot of horses at
grass or not being ridden. When we take off the rug, we can sometimes get an unpleasant surprise.
infections and overheating under rugs This happened to me two years ago when a horse which wasn't being
ridden started scratching against the fence post. I got him in and took off the rug. To my horror, there was a bald patch
of skin with an oozing infection. I called the vet who gave him antibiotics and recommended leaving him without a rug as he
felt it had been caused by overheating under the rug. As we were coming into Spring, this didn't matter and he was a lot cooler
without it. I also had to wash his skin with Betadine (or Hibiscrub would be similar), dry it well with clean lint or clean
towel and apply Sudocreme (or any Zinc oxide type ointment). Last year I avoided this happening again by clipping the horse
at the end of January. I have done the same in 2011 and, in fact, when I clipped him just recently there were masses of little
itchy spots under the hair which neither the vet nor I noticed a week earlier.
Too fat or too thin under
the rug We have other problems lurking under a rug throughout the winter season. Some people remove a rug to
find their horse has lost a lot of weight or, the reverse, has put on a lot of weight. In order to feed a horse efficiently,
we need to check what weight he or she is carrying on a regular basis.
Shedding hair Coming
into Spring, horses and ponies which haven't been clipped will get more itchy and scratch more. Their winter coat is shedding
and they feel uncomfortable. Many owners recommend taking off the rug on warm days and letting the horse have a good roll
which will remove some of the shedding hair. It is still too early to do this in February but warmer days in March and April
when temperatures get into the teens would be safe enough. You still need to put the rug on again at night until the horse
is hardened off. (Has got used to being without the rug during the day for a period of about two weeks, depending on the weather).
Another excellent and pleasurable way for horses to loose shedding hair is to be groomed on a regular basis. They usually
love it at this time of year.
If you enjoy our online magazine and Facebook page,
please support us by buying your Amazon.co.uk items by using this Search Box throughout our site. It doesn't cost you any
extra and it earns us a small commission to help keep our website going. (Horse and Pony Info is a participant in the Amazon Europe S.à r.l. Associates Programme,
an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking
FURminator Equine - We recently bought one of these ourselves and have found it great. It effortlessly removed loose
hair and the horses really seem to enjoy being groomed with it. We even tried it out on our dog! Obviously you need to take
care not to use it on parts of the body where the bone is close to the surface, such as face and legs. (by Suzanne Lalor,
Horse and Pony Info)
Please click below to join us on Facebook!
TIP: Stay safe on Facebook - Horse and Pony Info recommend setting your Privacy Settings (under Accounts
tab at top of your Facebook page) to 'Friends Only'.
Answer to Horse Breed Puzzle
There are 5 breeds mentioned: Shetland, New Forest, Welsh Mountain, Thoroughbred
and Irish Draught.
Buy direct from an Irish grower
Plant hedging and trees now
We supply beech, laurel, hornbeam, box, hawthorn & yew.
Instant hedges a speciality.
Ireland's premier grower of