13th December 2019

Protecting your horse’s legs during Winter

Protecting your horse's legs against the elements this Winter

It's that time of the year again where in Britain all horse owners experience the same battle; the wet weather and the endless supply of mud.

Many horses will struggle over the Winter months with common issues such as mud fever, thrush, sensitive skin and even joint problems. When dealing with mud it is critical that the horse's legs are not over washed, as dampness gives bacteria the perfect environment to thrive, thus creating mud fever (skin irritation and dermatitis). We stock a range of ointments to encourage the elimination or control of mud fever, one of the most popular being Gold Label pig oil (Gold label). The properties of pig oil prevent mud and water sticking to the legs and can come in very handy for horses with feather. We stock pig oil in both spray form or general liquid.

Alongside mud fever horses may experience general skin discomfort, irritation and soreness. NAF products (NAF) supply a range of skin treatments in the form of D-Itch and Skin Salve; Salve absorbs in to the skin in order to sooth the irritation, whilst not leaving any greasy residue. Salve contains active ingredients of MSM, Aloe Vera and Tea Tree Oils which all contribute to the soothing of skin, and can be applied multiple times per day as and when the horse is in need of relief. Additionally to this, whilst ensuring the skin is not over-washed, when there is need to clean and cleanse a neutral choice of wash is advised, for example Teat Tree Oil Wash (NaturalintX) or a neutral form of medicated wash, both of which can be found in store.

Horse leg care is important, but so is hoof care. The wet weather brings many challenges for the horse's skin, however hooves may also need some extra TLC when problems arise from the damp. Thrush is a common problem year round, however can occur more often during this season where keepiong feet dry is a bigger challenge. A quick daily remedy for mild thrush can come in the form of purple spray or iodine spray (Gold Label) both of which are used to essentially dry out the sole of the hoof and frog, and act as a barrier against the wet for short periods. Treating feet can also be helped with the addition of a supplement to the diet, for example, NAF Pro Feet and a variety of others currently in stock contribute to general foot health, strength and maintenance, giving them the head start in dealing with wet weather, mud or bacteria. All products mentioned are available in store.

Lastly, we come to cover a common issue seen in older horses or those with exisiting joint issues; when the colder months set in many horses experience joint discomfort and stiffness. Equine America supply various joint supplements to be added to feed in accordance with the size of horse such as Cortaflex, and NAF's Devils Claw in the form of Devil's Relief. Both of these supplements have been reviewed as very effective with visible results, with Cortaflex containing useful Amino Acids which contribute to joint movement and elasticity. Devil's Relief contributes in a similar way for older horses in need of relief, however it should be noted this supplement is not accepted under FEI competition rules. It is of great importance to ensure high standards of joint health in both working and older horses, however it is equally important to research which supplement is most suitable for your horse. We stock a range of joint supplements, from those mentioned above to Equimins Joint Care supplements (Equimins) , NAF Senior supplements and Glucosamine.

The team of staff at Sandwich Animal Feeds are knowledgeable and qualified in equine nutrition and are always happy to discuss your horse's needs in store.