During winter, paddocks quickly become cut up, particularly with the wet conditions we have been experiencing. Gates and other high footfall areas become poached and get deep with mud. This means horses are not able to avoid wet conditions.

Native breeds have furry coats and thicker skin to protect them from mud-related conditions. However, many horses are bred for their athletic ability and therefore have finer coats and skin to enable them to lose heat easily during exercise. The downside of this is they have little protection against the elements, leaving them prone to skin conditions.

The best way to prevent mud fever is to keep your horse's legs clean and dry, which can be an uphill battle. Barrier sprays that stop mud sticking are useful, while some owners prefer barrier creams to protect the skin.

Another option is to use turnout boots to prevent the legs getting muddy.

If you have a horse prone to mud fever, it can be a case of trial and error, as you work out the best solution for him.

Product focus

Nettex Seven Day Mud Away prevents mud sticking to the coat, allowing quick removal of soil by simple brushing. It provides a barrier against mud-related conditions and only needs applying once a week. Priced from £5.05 for 250ml.

For more information or stockist details, visit: www.nettexequine.com