Equine care: Summer problems for horses

This time last year shows were being cancelled left right and centre, the biggy of course was Badminton, so it’s great to see the sun shining and the ground dry enough to park the lorries.

Of course with the sunshine come seasonal problems for some horses, the flies and midges can be a real pest and some horses react badly to bites causing lots of uncomfortable lumps and bumps. We stock a range of fly sprays and the Deet based ones are definitely extremely popular at the moment, customers are saying that it helps with the flies but it’s really effective for midges too.

When I was a kid with ponies at home there was no such thing as a fly rug and I have to say I am somewhat sceptical about new fangled ideas but can really see the benefit of fly rugs and masks. As well as with the obvious benefits of keeping the flies off the horses skin and reducing irritation there is also now the sun factor to consider and as its so much stronger these days the vets are actually recommending fly rugs for UV protection too, something to strongly consider if you have a pale skinned horse.

Sweet-itch can start to become a problem once the weather warms up and from listening to many people it seems that keeping on top of it before it really breaks out can really help with some horses. There are lotions and potions that work for some and not for others and it can be a trial and error process to get the most effective product. Your vet will certainly help advise you on prevention and treatment but there are some basic procedures that will almost certainly help, such as stabling in the evening, not turning out near water, poo picking fields and keeping the muck heap away from the turnout areas.

For un-diagnosed problems you should always consult your vet as there could be underlying issues that may not have been considered.

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