This time of year it is a challenge to deal with the muddy conditions. Horse magazine has 5 tips to make life easier this winter.
1. Look after his legs
To help legs stay cleaner you could turn your horse out in boots, or even better leg wraps, which are designed to keep out wet and can help prevent mud fever. If you do put leg protection on your horse when he is out make sure you remove them daily to check for injuries. For horses that are stabled at night, wash the boots thoroughly and leave to dry ready for use the next morning.
2. Groom your horse daily
Grooming helps keep your horse clean and is a nice way to spend time with your horse and improve your relationship.
3. Tackle gateways
Placing old or left-over rubber matting in gateways can make it easier to turn out and bring horses in. There are also other products available such as ground reinforcement systems from http://www.gridforce.co.uk/
4. Avoid mud fever
Preventing mud fever is the best policy and there are barrier creams available to do just that. Ideally, horses prone to mud fever shouldn't be turned out in muddy conditions at all. If mud fever does take hold, gently remove scabs using an antibacterial product and then dry the legs carefully and thoroughly before applying towelling wraps and bandages. If mud fever persists, call your vet, who might prescribe a course of cortisteroids and antibiotics.
5. Cover up
A great tip for riders wishing to return home from a hack or day's hunting with a clean horse is to apply pig oil to the legs and belly before riding as this product helps to prevent mud sticking to the hair.
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