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Winter respiratory health: Improving a horse’s airway function at work and rest *H&H Plus*

The colder months can challenge a horse’s airway function, at work and rest. Richard Hepburn FRCVS offers solutions for the season ahead

Winter is the perfect time to reassess your horse’s stable management, with the aim of improving the quality of his breathing zone.

We saw in part one of this series how creating a cleaner indoor living environment, with fewer airborne particles, will reduce the likelihood of airway inflammation and the subsequent development of equine asthma (EA).

Yet both turnout and exercise can create additional breathing challenges…

Arena exercise

The concentration of respirable particles in an indoor arena is dependent upon its setting and construction, both the type and humidity of its surface and the number of horses being trained at the same time.

Working a horse on a surface liberates particles, which are then dispersed into the school environment. An increased number of horses using the school will worsen this, with trotting and galloping producing the greatest quantity of respirable particles.

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