Microchipping – Kate Southorn
Check all your horses, ponies and donkeys are microchipped, especially if they are over 10 years old. Microchipping becomes mandatory for all equines in October 2020.
Vaccinations – Sophie Woolford
Make sure your horse’s vaccinations are up to date and the passport is filled out before the competition season begins!
Remember a first and second vaccine (21-92 days apart) is required to compete, a third vaccine (150-215 days later) is required, and then six monthly or annual boosters depending on your competition venue.
Passports – Jacqui Paton
Foals six months or older must have passports, so if you have bred or are buying a foal born in 2019, make sure that they have their own passport.
Teeth – Josh Eustace
Have you had your horses teeth checked recently? Being prey animals horses are very good at hiding signs of dental pain, so its a good idea to get them checked at least once a year to make sure they’re in tip-top condition for the coming year!
Body Condition Scoring – Dulcie Smith
This time of year is a great opportunity to body condition score your horse or donkey and take appropriate action to ensure they are a healthy weight. Below is a useful link to a simple body condition scoring resource to help you to assess your horse. To obtain a body score, score the pelvis first, then adjust by half a point if it differs by one point or more to the back or neck. (Based on the Carroll and Huntington Method).
If you would like any advice on how to help your horse lose or gain weight over the winter then please don’t hesitate to contact us. Find out more.
Clipping – Rhiannah de Carteret
The coat usually grows very quickly between September and December so regular clipping during winter may be necessary in order to continue exercise. Remember to get a final clip in before February so not to interfere with the summer coat coming through.
Cushings Disease – Alex Livia Gagea
Spring is coming with lush pasture and increased risk of laminitis. Cushings disease (Equine PPiD) increases susceptibility to laminitis, so horses at risk would benefit from a blood test to check if they have the disease or check their treatment is working properly.
Saddle Checks – Wendy Furness
Make it a priority to have your saddle checked in the new year. Saddles should ideally be checked by a saddler twice a year. Horses, like humans, change shape depending on diet and exercise levels and this can affect saddle fit. The saddler will also check the condition of the saddle and its flocking. Signs of issues with saddles can include back pain, work avoidance, changes in muscling and changes to the skin and hair around the saddle. It is also worth getting yourself an MOT as back and leg pain can also affect the way you sit and ride which can in turn affect your horse and your weight distribution through the saddle.