FAT IN THE DIET?
Fix That Foot Abscess
January is abscess season. If your horse develops a pocket of pus within his hoof (extremely painful), soak the foot in warm water with Epsom salts to encourage the abscess to open and drain on its own. Special soaking boots (like the one from EasyCare, above) can be handy for this, or you can simply use a rubber bucket or other safe container. Once the abscess is opened and healing, your horse may appreciate a cushioned boot, such as those designed by Soft-Ride for use on hard stable surfaces and comfort during transport, as well as for protection for a recovering hoof. (Learn more about “Horse Health by the Season” at HorseandRider.com.)
Know the Zone
Maximum amount of dietary fat that horses (who lack gall bladders) can digest. Introduce fat gradually, allowing up to three or four weeks for your horse to adjust. (Traditional horse rations contain just 3 to 4 percent fat.) Believe it or not, your horse can reach his hind leg forward almost all the way to his front leg. He can extend it fully to the side and back as well. So, cautions Certified Horsemanship Association clinician Julie Goodnight, whenever your find yourself leaning under your horse to grab a cinch or examine his belly, be sure to face forward so your head isn’t in the “kick zone.” (See a short video illustrating the kick zone at HorseandRider.com.)
Loop zip ties around grooming products, like hoof picks or scissors, to hang on your groom cart or wall.