A program for your horse's overall health

Horse health
Horse health

I am often asked by my client's what is a good program to put their horse's on for their entire health.  For the most part this can be a tricky question to answer but I will put my thoughts out there for you all.  You do not always have to agree with me and I would love to hear your individual thoughts on the matter:

Most horse owner's know that they must have a worming program, feet program and teeth program but it will vary for each individual horse and their own needs, the same as it does for humans.

As people we are reminded by our dentist to visit every 6 or 12 months, but if you wear braces that might be more like a 6 - 8 week cycle!  We are told to brush our teeth each day morning and night and again this is a variable factor for each individual!  As a human we know when we have a toothache and have the good sense to feel guilty for not looking after our health the best we can if we haven't seen the dentist for 2 years or more in some cases!  Maybe this could've been prevented?

If our feet grow or our shoes are wearing thin we visit the shoe shop and get the best advice available to get a new pair of shoes that won't hurt our feet - if our feet still hurt or there is something more sinister going on then we visit the podiatrist to rectify the issue.

But Kim - what has this got to do with my horse??

We all know that horse's speak their own language but does that mean that they can tell us outright if their feet or teeth need attention?  NO!

So here is exactly what I suggest to my client's:

Get a good team of knowledgeable horse people around you.

You need a good farrier who is willing to work with you and your horse's individual needs.

A normal horse's hoof, depending on the season needs to be manicured every 6 - 8 weeks. 

Find a good horse dentist, again, as for a farrier, that is willing to work with you and your horse's individual needs.

A normal horse with a full head of teeth in wear needs to be floated and checked every 6 - 12 months.  

Have a good worming program for your horse making sure you rotate drenches as appropriate so the worms don't become resistant.

Change of each season for a paddocked horse in a non-intensive environment should be sufficient.  Again, this can vary dependent on the environment they are kept in.  Don't wait until your horse has an itchy butt - Tails are far too hard to grow - but be fair on your horse and look after him!

Make sure that your horse's are vaccinated for their needs in your area.

Your vet is the person best trusted to put your horse on a good vaccination program.

Your horse's muscles and skeleton similarly need to be maintained depending on the work that is required of them.  Obviously, since I am a massage therapist this is one of my area's of expertise so here is what I advise:

Your Equine Massage Therapist will:  Advise you based on your particular workload, injuries and disciplines you undertake with your horse's.

Horse's vary in their massage needs.  

A horse in high level training or competition, just like an elite athlete may benefit from maintenance before, during and after any competition.  Their workload may mean they receive a massage treatment as often as weekly, however, fortnightly or monthly is usually sufficient if the horse has no issues.

Similarly, a beginner's horse may need regular treatments to fully maintain their muscular health, I suggest monthly if the horse is being used more than once a week.  

As you can see the massage needs of a horse are not so easy to answer in a hard and fast manner.  

The best thing to do is to contact someone who can assess your horse and advise you on what they need.  If your horse needs his skeleton realigned a good massage therapist will be able to advise you of this and it should be done by a horse chiropractor.

If you would like to contact me to discuss your horse's individual needs just