facts about horse health

5 Things You Might Not Know About Horses

If you’re interested in getting a pony or horse, you’ll need to consider its temperament, state of health, breed, age, and how they’ll be used. It’s a good idea to work with experienced horse people such as trainers, equine veterinarians and breeders before making any decisions.  

If you don’t have horses – or know anything about them – here’s some horse health trivia:

Horses go to the chiropractor, too. Equine chiropractic care takes top spot in equine performance and maintenance. The regular use of an equine chiropractor for horses is very common. This maintains your horse’s nervous system and keeps it functioning properly. It’s very important for your horse’s health and sporting performance.

Chiropractic equine care combined with veterinary care will help restore mobility. When your horse is in pain, the chiropractor will work together with your  veterinarian and do a full examination to help identify specific problems. Just like athletes, equine chiropractic adjustments are needed all the time for a horse to perform at its best!

Dental care is a crucial part of routine horse health care. Equine teeth grow and will wear down throughout a horse’s life. Most times they wear down unevenly, leading to sharp edges, pointy teeth, and hook-like teeth that need to be trimmed down. In horse language, this is called “floated.”

Horses and ponies will need equine dental checkups twice yearly with their equine veterinarian or equine dentist. Your horse’s mouth and teeth will need a full inspection. The veterinarian will trim down those teeth that need filing. Sometimes horses even need to be sedated for this.  

Horse hooves need regular maintenance. Hoof care in ponies and horses is an important part of keeping them healthy. Horse hooves grow all the time, and require trimming. Your horse’s hooves should be “picked” or cleaned out every day to remove dirt, rocks, manure and other debris. During this time, you should also check your horse’s hooves for bruising, bad odors, discharge or any signs of discoloration.

A horse’s shoes need to be checked as well for tightness and wear. This is an important part of hoof care! An equine veterinarian or farrier will have advice about thrush or other hoof issues.

Daily applications of a hoof dressing like hoof oil are needed to maintain a horse’s hooves in top condition. However, excessive use of hoof oils can also soften the hooves.

They need close monitoring for parasites. Horses graze on grasses in fields or in paddocks at home, and will ingest parasitic eggs found in those grasses. The parasite burden on a particular horse will depend on the horse’s age, how many horses are turned out with him, as well as the pasture quality and size. Young horses and ponies tend to have more parasites than older horses. That said, it’s important to keep your paddocks clean and free of excess manure.

Roundworms, tapeworms, pinworms, and stomach bots are all intestinal parasites. All are problematic to a horse’s health. Strongyles, which are also known as red worms, cause the most damage. Work with your equine veterinarian to diagnose any parasites and come up with a treatment plan.

Horses need daily grooming. Daily grooming involves brushing your horse, as well as currying to remove dirt and excess hairs. Grooming also prevents debris from building up, which can allow bacteria to multiply. While grooming your horse or pony, you should check for any bumps, sores, infections, or welts.

Horses and ponies should be bathed daily after exercise. Equine shampoo can be used occasionally, but should not be used every day. Your equine veterinarian can recommend equine products that will work for your horse’s skin conditions, if any.

And that’s it! Five fun facts about horse health. Did you know this trivia? Or do you have any questions about horses? Share in the comments below!