Confessions of A Horse Mom

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Derby Days

“A race horse is the only animal that can take a couple

thousand people for a ride at the same time”

134th Kentucky Derby

The day has finally come, ITS DERBY DAY. Some people wait all year for the Derby, whether you are a horse… or hat enthusiast, excitement is buzzing in the air. The derby provides a day full of traditions; big hats, fancy dresses, mint juleps, the official drink of the Kentucky derby, and the singing of My Old Kentucky Home. The whole crowd inside and outside of the track will join in singing as the horses head to the post. It’s the song of Kentucky and more importantly, the derby. Every year, on the first Saturday of May, the Kentucky Derby kicks off the first race in the Triple Crown series, followed by the Preakness, which falls on May 16th this year, then the Belmont Stakes, on June 6th.

The Kentucky Derby, better known as the run for roses, is an explosive race collecting thousands of dollars in bets annually. The race gets its nickname because the rose is the traditional flower of the derby. After winning the race the victor is draped with a garland of red roses. The symbolic meaning of the floral blanket is similar to that of a crown.

The Fan Favorites for the 2015 Kentucky Derby include American Pharoah, Dortmund, Frosted, Carpe Diem and Mubtaahij. One of our favorites this year is Mubtaahij. He sparked our interest when we learned that he is the only horse that trains barefoot and runs without lasix, since he is not a bleeder.

See you in two weeks as we run for the black eyed Susan’s at Pimlico for the Preakness!

So, my Confession you ask?  My money is on Carpe Diem.

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May there always be a hoof print next to your foot print,
Cait&Kimmy

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Spring Fever: Spring Risks (part 3)

Inspection before Ingestion

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The grass is growing and our horses are excitedly starting to nibble at the little green bits popping through the finally thawed ground. Through all the excitement, and in general, it can be quite easy to over indulge. Most of us think that a green pasture is the best “most natural” thing we can do for our horse. In reality, however, the high sugar levels in grass can be disastrous for your horse’s health, body, hooves and digestive tracts. If your horse spends a lot of time in a grassy turnout, or is out in a pasture make sure you let them adjust to the large quantities of grass slowly. Sugar production in grass is the highest mid-morning so turning your horses out before then could benefit your animal tremendously.

Additionally, many invasive plant species can be poisonous and sometimes fatal to your horse. With spring comes the bloom of beautiful, but potentially poisonous plants. Some of the common culprits frequently found in turnout and fields include:

Ground Ivy: an incredibly invasive and easily spread weed that can quickly take over your turnout. A member of the mint family, ground ivy has heart shaped leaves that have purple flowers in the spring. The species is toxic to horses and extremely hard to eradicate. Your best bet is calling a professional at the first sign of ivy.

Oleander:  an extremely deadly intruder. It is an increasingly used decorative plant but is poisonous to both animals and humans alike. If being used as a decorative plant, even at the entrance of your property, our advice, is remove it. Although the taste is extremely bitter and is definitely not the number one snack on our horses list due to the desirable taste, if accidentally ingested it could be fatal.

Azaleas: most commonly seen as big flowering shrubs that bloom brightly. The leaves and nectar in this plant are toxic. These toxins can cause symptoms of muscle weakness or even colic. Mistaking these symptoms for anything but azalea poisoning can result in death. Although they are quite beautiful it is beneficial to evict them.

Food For Thought!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Identify any questionable roughage before sending your horse out to graze!!

 

So, my confession you ask?
Not everything is all you can eat, no matter how badly you wish it was…

 May there always be a hoof print next to your foot print,
Christine  
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Spring Fever: Bugs and Parasites (Part 2)

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Spring BITES

Unfortunately we’re not the only ones who look forward to the spring weather. The change in weather brings bugs and parasites which thrive in warmer temperatures. With that in mind, don’t forget to deworm your horses. It’s important to get the proper dewormer and vaccinations for your horse to prevent serious illness. Different areas of the country have different bugs and parasites to worry about, educating yourself and consulting with your vet will help you provide your horse with the best possible care.

There are a few major types of bugs and parasites to look out for. Our top predators include, worms, flies, some of which, like the bot fly, lay their eggs on your horses legs/body, and ticks. When grooming, before and after you ride, make sure to check over your horse’s body for ticks and even fly bites. Utilize fly sheets and masks in addition to supplements, bug repellents and ointments (which usually contain some form of tick control).2f48ac91ee37db11c1c57f776545068a

Worms can be a little trickier to catch. Some signs that your horse may be struggling with worms are rubbing of the tail on fences, walls and other abrasive surfaces, decreased stamina and fatigue. Although these are symptoms of possible parasitism they can also be attributed to other horse related ailments which is why you cannot depend on these signs completely. If you are concerned your horse may have worms contact your vet to do a fecal exam or check out your horses poop regularly to be certain.

Instead of just treating your horse look into treating your property as well. Citronella, fly tape and other remedies are available at your local tack shop. Consider researching pet friendly pesticides and sprays to help control ticks and other bugs to reduce your horse’s chances of bites.

Bugs and parasites can be menacing as the warm weather approaches. WANT TO LEARN MORE?  Meet us at Hobby Horse Saddlery on April 22nd at 6:30 pm for our second “Hobby Health Hour”. Join us and B.W. Furlong & Associates Long Island Veterinary Service’s Dr. Emily Olson as we learn more about bugs, parasites and controlling them.

So, my confession you ask?  I fly spray my horse AND myself before I go out for a ride. Nothing is worse than swallowing a bug while riding. YUCK.

 

 
May there always be a hoof print next to your footprint,
Christine 
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