What is the average life expectancy for a horse?
The expected life span of a horse or pony is approximately twenty to thirty years.
How can horses sleep when standing?
Horses and ponies can sleep standing up because of an unusual stay apparatus in their patella (kneecap). A hook situated on the inside and bottom end of the thighbone, on its hind leg, cups the patella and the medial patella ligament, preventing the leg from bending.
What are the terms used to describe the gender of a horse or pony?
- Filly - A female horse or pony not yet fully grown
- Colt - A male horse or pony not yet fully grown or gelded (castrated)
- Mare - A fully grown female horse or pony
- Stallion - A fully grown male horse or pony that has not been gelded
- Gelding - A male horse or pony that has been castrated
How can I tell what my horse is thinking?
- Horses indicate their feelings in a number of ways and the ears are a good indication of what is going through a horse's mind:
- Ears laid flat back against the neck shows the horse is unhappy or annoyed
- Ears pricked alert and facing forward indicate that the horse is happy and interested
- Ears lowered slightly to the sides show the horse is relaxed, bored or that it feels unwell
- Flickering ears indicate the horse is listening and attentive
How do you measure a horse?
Both horses and ponies are measured from the ground to the withers and are measures in "hands". One hand is equal to 4 inches. When measuring them it is best to ensure they are standing squarely on solid ground, this will give the most accurate measurement
What do horses eat?
Horses are grazing animals and forage feed is necessary for the proper functioning of their digestive system, as it is their most natural diet. Horses should be fed at regular times and should be given a few hours between a hard feed and carrying out strenuous exercise. Water should always be available to both the grass kept and stabled horse or pony and it is particularly important that it is available prior to feeding.
Is grooming necessary?
Grooming is an important part of looking after a horse, not only does it maintain the horse's coat but it acts as a means of massaging the horse. This help the circulation and also gives the opportunity to thoroughly check the horse for any scratches, wounds or minor skin conditions.
What is the best way to deal with worms?
Worms can affect all types of horses whether stabled or pasture grass. If they are not controlled they can cause, colic, weight loss and in severe cases, death. We recommend worming every two or three months.
What is colic and how should I treat it?
Colic is a term used to describe abdominal pain. There are many different causes some of which may be mild but others can be life threatening. In the early stages it is difficult to tell the severity of the cause, so all cases should be treated seriously. Often the cause is not known but can include, irregularities in feeding, a sudden change of diet, indigestion, gas build up, gorging on grain, eating of a substance which expands when dampened, intestinal accident, blockage, contractions and inflammation. The risk of colic occurring is higher with carbohydrate diets and inadequate access to grass or hay. Stabled horses are often more prone to colic than grass kept horse. A regular feeding schedule, access to clean water, adequate forage, an exercise routine and the avoidance of sudden changes in diet will all lower the risk of colic occurring.
What are Bots?
The botfly or Gasterophilus lays its eggs on the forelimbs, chest and head regions of horses between May and October, they can be seen as small yellow dots in the horse's coat. Horses find them particularly annoying and this causes them to lick and bite themselves. This action stimulates the eggs to hatch and the larvae then burrow into the mucous membranes of lips, gums, cheeks and tongue of the horse. Although this does not appear to cause the horse any discomfort, the larvae incubate for 3-4 weeks before migrating to the stomach where they grow and attach themselves to the stomach wall of the horse. Large quantities of eggs in the stomach can cause loss of condition, a dry coat, increased temperature, restlessness, kicking at the belly and a lack of appetite. It can also cause intermittent diarrhea or constipation. The larvae can cause gastritis, ulcers and in severe cases perforation of the stomach causing fatal peritonitis. The larvae remain in the stomach until springtime when they pass with the feces, pupating on the ground to emerge as adult flies one or two months later to repeat the cycle. To control Botfly infestation it is necessary to worm the horse regularly with a suitable wormer that will ensure that larvae in the stomach are killed. Bot eggs should be removed from the horse's coat daily either by hand or using a Bot knife.