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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Page 45 of 51

46 THE HORSE October 2017 FARM & BARN ALAYNE BLICKLE I f there's a hole, nail, or sharp edge, your horse will find it. And I've found that almost every owner has a story to tell that proves that sentence true. Many accidents, however, can be avoided. I work in the equine and land management field and have seen and heard much in the way of accidents— or accidents waiting to happen. With some help from other horse owners and professionals, I've put together this list of potential horse hazards to avoid. I hope they'll help you come up with ways to prevent mishaps from happening on your property. Exposed Edges Janie Byam, a lifelong horse owner from Meridian, Idaho, knows the danger of exposed bottom edges of barns. "I had a young colt nearly lose his leg when the soil eroded away and exposed the bottom metal edge of a wall," she says. "He had small enough hooves that he stepped into the exposed area, and when he pulled his foot out, the metal siding dug into his skin, slicing it off the bone." While "Toby" survived, at age 12 he still doesn't like people touching that leg. Solution If your barn or another build- ing your horses have access to is metal, consider ways to keep horses off building walls—such as an installing an interior or exterior "fence" as a barrier. Inspect walls, edges, and corners periodically to be sure there are no exposed sharp areas. Unsafe Fencing Field fencing (sometimes called live- stock fencing) has 6-by-6-inch squares that can snag hooves. Barbed wire fenc- ing is never recommended for horses because they can get hung up in it easily, sustaining cuts and deep wounds. These materials are especially dangerous in con- finement areas where horses inevitably test and lean on fencing. Solution Just about any fence can be- come a hazard if damaged, but choosing a material that's safe, secure, and visible can decrease the likelihood of that hap- pening. Always place fence rails or wire mesh on the sides of the posts facing the pasture's interior—these will be less likely to come unattached or break if a horse leans on them. Plus, the horse won't be as likely to come in contact with nails or fasteners. Faulty Fence Chargers Electric fencing won't do you much good if the fence chargers aren't function- ing. Horses can escape from or injure Hidden Hazards ISTOCK.COM Are your fencing, stalls, and equipment accidents waiting to happen? Walk around your property looking for safety hazards.

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