Influenza Vaccination dates in Ireland
It's a good idea to vaccinate your horses and ponies against tetanus and
equine influenza. Most governing bodies of horse sports will insist on vaccinations and hold spot checks. The vaccinations and dates should be written into the horse's passport by the veterinary surgeon. The timing for
Influenza Vaccinations in Ireland is as follows:
- 1st Vaccination (1st
Primary) - Any date if horse or pony has not already been vaccinated or vaccinations have lapsed.
- 2nd Vaccination (2nd Primary) - Four weeks after 1st Primary Vaccination
- 3rd Vaccination (3rd Primary) - Five to seven months after date of 2nd Primary Vaccination.
- Booster Vaccination - One year after date of 3rd Primary Vaccination.
Work and feed: Vets recommend that we don't work our horses hard after vaccinations.
Give them an easy day or two. Walking out is fine but don't let them sweat. I feed the horses and ponies as normal.
Every horse or pony must have a passport in Ireland
is now law for all horses and ponies to have passports in Ireland
- If your horse hasn't a passport,
call the vet to take markings
- The vet will check if the horse has a microchip
- All horses and ponies have to be microchipped
- Send markings certificate with relevant
fee and a selection of names for your horse to registration authority, such as the Irish Horse Board
- Vaccinations should be written into passports by your vet
Passports for horses and ponies
It is now
the law in Ireland for all horses and ponies to have passports. These are issued by different associations, including the
Irish Horse Board. Vaccinations are written into the passport by a vet and it is useful for keeping a record of when
the horse needs his booster. Horse sports associations, such as Dressage Ireland, Eventing Ireland and Show Jumping Ireland,
insist that your animal has a passport before you are registered for competing.
If you have bought or acquired a horse
or pony without a passport, this is what you need to do:
Ask your vet to check whether the animal has a microchip.
Horses and ponies are only allowed to have one microchip. The vet holds a microchip reader over the neck and a number will
appear on the reader if there is a microchip present. If there is no microchip, ask the vet to insert one and to take markings.
Markings are a way of identifying horses and ponies and are unique to each one as socks, stars, blazes and whorls etc.
are all taken down. (A whorl is a small, round area on the body where the hair grows in a circle). The markings chart will
be typed up by the vet's office and you can then send it in to the relevant registering authority, such as the Irish Horse
Board, with a fee and a choice of four different names. The names will be checked to make sure they are available and you
will be sent back a passport with the name they select. Be sure to keep the passport in a safe place as you will need it when
taking the animal to competitions and also when the vet is writing up vaccinations. When you sell your horse, the passport
will have to be sent back to the relevant licensing authority with details of the sale.
|Do I look like I need an equine dentist?
|Horses and ponies need a dental check up at least once a year
Reasons to call the Equine Dentist
1. All horses and ponies from the age of 3 up need their teeth checked once a year,
or every six months if they have problem teeth.
2. It's a good
idea to get the dentist to check a young horse before he has a bit in his mouth. This can prevent unnecessary pain
and problems when backing and riding. The dentist will also check for wolf teeth.
3. If a horse is losing condition, especially in the winter when eating more hay, or if he is dropping food from
his mouth (called quidding), his teeth are probably uneven and sharp.
4. Older horses and ponies need regular check ups as they will lose weight very quickly if they can't chew
properly or digest their food.
5. Uneven teeth with sharp points
cause pain by lacerating the cheeks and tongue. A horse will eat less than normal if he's in pain.
6. Behaviour problems can also be caused by sharp teeth, such as hanging on the bit, leaning down on the bit, pulling
the reins out of the rider's hands and head tossing.
or decaying teeth may also stop a horse eating properly.
See also Parrot Mouth in horses
Tips for feeding stabled horses
- Ponies and horses come in many different breeds so it is important to feed according
to size, temperament and workload. If off work for a few days, cut back the hard feed (concentrates) to reduce the chance
of filled legs. Always read the feeding instructions on the back of feed bags. Feed more roughage (fibre) type feed such as
hay, haylage or grass than concentrates like nuts, coarse mixes or oats. It's a good idea to weigh feed in your scoop at first
so that you know how much it holds.
- A horse's stomach is
about the size of a rugby ball. Feed small amounts of hard feed spread over two to four meals per day instead
of one big feed. Leave at least four hours between. Hard feeds such as nuts and coarse mixes can be mixed with high fibre
chaffs to help digestion and to slow down the eating process to avoid choking.
- Any change in a horse's diet should be gradually introduced over a few days. Horses love routine so feed them at
the same times each day if possible.
- Feed plenty of roughage
in bulk such as hay. However don't give small ponies too much hay at once as it can cause colic. Some ponies seem to keep
eating long after they are full. It's important to feed less haylage than hay as it has more protein and too much can also
cause problems with any horse.
- Make sure there is a constant
supply of fresh water available. Water should be changed regularly to keep it clean.
- Keep feed buckets and mangers very clean. Wash immediately after use before food sticks to them.
- Don't work horses on top of a feed. Allow at least an hour, or an hour and a half,
before exercise. Nor should you feed horses hard feed (concentrates) immediately after excercise. Hay or grass
- Avoid feeding too many titbits as this can cause
biting, especially in youngsters. The odd carrot or apple is fine but a horse or pony must have respect for its handler and
not view her just as a source of food.
- It's a good idea to dampen hard feed and
you can also add grated apple or carrot to this. Carrots and apples should be fed whole or grated and not sliced as this may
- If a horse tries to dive at his food when
you enter the stable with it, be firm and make him stand back and wait politely. Leave horses in peace to eat their feed as
some can get irritated if interrupted.