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Horse Health - 5 Low Hanging Fruits

Updated: Jun 7

When it comes to your horse's health, avoiding problems is much less painful, frustrating, distressing and cheaper than treating them. Here are 4 free and 1 cheap things you can do to prevent small problems from becoming big ones.

Grooming your horses.

Grooming is not only an opportunity to bond with your horse, but it gives you a chance to thoroughly inspect every part of your horse and address tiny problems before they become big problems. You will notice any skin problems, small cuts or lumps, or areas where your horse has excess heat or cold.

Regular grooming helps with coat and mane/tail health - you are removing dirt and a build up of dead skin that can be itchy. We have Tuff Rock and/or nappy rash creams on hand with our grooming gear to quickly apply to any small marks or scratches.

This is especially important in winter when long coats can hide skin problems or injuries. Many horses in winter have their rug put on and not removed for days or weeks at a time (or even months). If you set a routine of grooming you can stay on top of your horse's condition.

Routinely take photos of your horse - ideally standing in the same place.

You can do this at the end of your grooming. It will take 30 seconds. This way you can observe changes that may not be obvious because they are incremental. Things like weight, coat quality, tendency to weight or rest a particular leg will become apparent if you observe and record your horse's condition over time.

Adequate turnout with company. Stress over a long period of time can create a whole cascade of predictable behavioural problems like cribbing, weaving, pacing and windsucking which can be very hard to resolve once they are set in. Horse rarely develop these bad habits when they have adequate turnout in company with other horses with whom they have a bond. It's natural for horses to belong in a herd, and physical access to their companions.

Collect Manures Daily

Yes, horse owners are obsessed with poos. Collecting manures not only helps you manage parasites but you can help assess your horses gut health, and adjust your diet accordingly. It's also an opportunity to inspect your pastures for adequate forage and problem weeds.


Supply your horse with the nutrients they need for optimal health every day. Excesses and deficiencies accumulate over time. Sometimes a diet problem that has been developing over a long time suddenly manifests.

An example is Itch. Itch generally manifests in the summer months, but, unless you are adequately supplementing, the zinc deficiency is occurring year-round. If you wait until January to start supplying adequate zinc, or delivering zinc via a topical cream you are forever paying catch-up. To keep it simple, Sound Advice Trace Mix supplies minerals typically deficient in a horse's diet and is only $20 for one month's supply.

I know you're thinking 'thank you Captain Obvious' but are you doing it?


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