Recent research suggests a significant percentage of horses incur injuries each year in the field. H&H asks how these injuries can be avoided.
Ensure there is sufficient grazing for the number of horses turned out.
If feeding in the field, provide more piles of forage than there are horses and spread these out.
Limit group numbers and introduce new horses gradually, matching horses that get on.
Don’t bring other horses in leaving one out on its own.
Check the security of your fencing and keep horses off barbed wire by using electric tape.
If horses are used to being brought in at a certain time, try and stick to that rather than having lots of horses standing round a gateway waiting to come in.
Manage your horses’ feed and exercise routines correctly so that they do not have too much surplus energy to use up in the field.
Look after grazing – check for rabbit holes, wire and other hazards, and ensure gateways do not get too poached.
Consider overreach boots, or even protective leg wear, but be aware these can heat up horses’ legs and rub their skin, causing injuries of their own.
Turn out regularly, so your horse is less inclined to fly around in excitement at his new-found freedom.
Consider individual or pairs turnout, but ensure the horse is not isolated.
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