The Horse

OCT 2017

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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26 TheHorse.com THE HORSE October 2017 issues, the foal might need supplemental feed to meet his nutritional needs. Williams adds that owners of horses requiring rehabilitation need to be com- mitted financially, especially initially, to make sure the horse recovers. "Rehab- bing them is really expensive … hundreds of dollars a month, sometimes $300-$400 a month for what they need to put the weight back on," she says. "Then as they get healthier, you tend to back them off the feed, and they don't need as much." Riding and Training You might need to delay riding your new horse if he's not at a healthy weight or has health or behavior issues that need to be dealt with first. "Get a little bit of education, probably from a veterinar- ian or trainer, if they think the animal is ready to be ridden," says Wilson. She also suggests owners consider saddle fit. As a horse gains weight and muscle, his back will change, so owners should ensure the saddle continues to fit. As horses get healthier, they might exhibit personality changes, Williams adds. "They can undergo some pretty amazing and severe behavioral changes as they start to feel better," she says. In addition, horses that have been abused or poorly handled might need training or restarting, says Williams. She suggests owners take the horse back to ground lessons and teach him to give to pressure and stay out of people's space. Any horse with fear issues might lash out, she says, and these horses are best left to professional trainers for safety reasons. "It can be a slow process if you just got a free horse that you want to ride," says Williams. "You want to fix those holes be- fore you get on. It pays off by keeping you safer and giving you a better partner." Take-Home Message With a little TLC and proper veterinary and farrier care, a dental exam, a wellness plan, and some thoughtful training, that free or almost-free equine partner could end up being the horse of a lifetime. h Ask your vet about WeightGainWise TM Struggling with a hard keeper? Available only through your veterinarian. Developed by: KPPvet.com, 859-873-2974 Provides calories to support performance and maintain weight in IR horses. High in fat, low in starch and sugar. WeightGainWise Provides calories to support performance and maintain weight in IR horses. High in fat, low in starch and sugar. TH2017-10b KEVIN THOMPSON/THE HORSE Your new horse should receive the five core vaccinations plus risk-based vaccines, such as botulism, depending on where you live and what you plan to do with your horse. What Does a 'Free' Horse Cost? PART 2

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