EQUUS - - Eq Handson -

Cracks that ap­pear on your horse’s hooves in late sum­mer may not be just a re­sult of dry, hard ground. An­noy­ing in­sects prob­a­bly also play a role.

Dur­ing bug sea­son, flies crawl­ing on your horse’s legs and belly can cause him to stomp for hours at a time. This re­peated con­cus­sion can lead to foot­sore­ness and cracks in his hooves. So, in ad­di­tion to tak­ing mea­sures to re­duce the over­all fly pop­u­la­tion on your prop­erty, it’s wise to pro­vide some in­di­vid­ual re­lief from in­sects.

Fly spray can re­duce in­sect-re­lated stomp­ing but needs to be reap­plied pe­ri­od­i­cally. For a long-term solution con­sider fly wraps---mesh leg cov­er­ings de­signed to keeps bugs off a horse’s lower limbs. For fly wraps to be ef­fec­tive, they must stay on, so keep the clo­sures clean and the wraps them­selves in good re­pair. You’ll also want to en­sure that the wraps aren’t ir­ri­tat­ing your horse’s legs, so re­move them daily and look for ar­eas of abra­sion. The strate­gic ad­di­tion of mole­skin or fleece can re­duce rub­bing; wraps that con­tinue to chafe may be the wrong size or cut for your horse.

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