Laminitis is the break-down of the living cells that connect the inside of the hoof to the coffin bone (the bone closest to the ground). This breakdown can cause a split, leaving a gap and making your horse’s feet open to infection and highly painful.
CAUSES: Laminitis can occur through repeated foot trauma, especially sudden traumas on hard surfaces. It can also be caused by excessive hoof trimming.
Catching it early is important and will prevent lameness in your horse.
Here’s what to look out for:
- ONE – Hot hooves.
Hooves get warm with exercise and with normal body heat regulation. But if your horse’s hooves stay unusually warm for hours at a time, this may be an early indication of laminitis.
- TWO – Increased heart rate.
As with any problem of the body, your horse’s internal systems will try to fight against laminitis, resulting in a much higher heart rate.
- THREE – Strange stance.
A leaning-back stance is a very strong indication of laminitis. Horses do this to avoid putting pressure onto their sore feet.
- FOUR – Sensitivity at the top of the pedal bone.
The pedal bone ends in the very centre of the hoof. If you press gently in that position, you will be able to gauge if your horse has an unusual sensitivity or pain.
- FIVE – Heavy pulse.
Press your fingers against the vein that runs along the side of your horse’s leg just above the hoof. The pulse should be relatively feint in a healthy horse. A heavy pulse is an indication of problems.
- SIX – Distorted hoof growth.
Laminitis prevents the hoof grow properly, causing it to become misshapen. This usually only becomes evident rather late; the hoofs will begin to spread out and sometimes even turn upwards.
- SEVEN – Foot lifting (too much or too little)
Horses shuffle their feet to keep blood circulating. An early response to laminitis can be to shift often to help extra blood flow, or to avoid shifting due to pain.
- EIGHT – Visible gap.
Look for a gap between the hoof wall and the sole on the underside of the hoof. This is a very strong indication and needs to be taken care of immediately.
- NINE – Shortened stride.
A shortened stride indicates pain much as a limp does in a human. This can be particularly evident when walking on hard surfaces.
- TEN – Obesity.
Obesity is not a sign, but can be a precursor to laminitis. Extra weight can put stress on the hoof that encourages the breakdown of the laminae.
Keep an eye out for any of these signs to make sure that your horse is comfortable and healthy. With any indication of discomfort, consult a vet. The easiest way for your horse to recover is to be proactive and take protective measures as soon as you see the signs.
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Ways To Easily Improve Your Dressage Test
There are several small tricks that many people tend to miss in dressage. These can ultimately improve your dressage test and score.
In the sport of dressage a good first impression is imperative and can be the difference between being forced to fight for points from the start or being a benchmark to begin your test. You should break the halt into components to ensure a flawless performance.
- Entrance- Have a smooth entrance aimed to the center line sporting a confident canter. Concentrate on staying straight, and the quality of your pace.
- Transition to halt- Make sure you are straight and your horse is responding to your seat and hand aid to create a smooth transition.
- The halt- Make sure during your training sessions you have someone watching you practicing the halt. Try not to look over the side as this will result in an unsettled horse and increases the possibility of the horse moving. Make immobility your goal, keep your seat balanced and your eyes through the horses ears.
- Exit- Make sure you leave the halt precisely. Keep it simple with a graceful salute and a nod to acknowledge the judges. This transition requires a lot of practice.
Transitions are highlighted by judges as important and is where a lot of riders will loose the majority of their points. Practice all of your transitions in and out of movements ans gaits. This is a very simple way to improve your score.
Execute each movement with precision and aim, focusing on the letter you are aiming for and strive to maintain straightness and accuracy. When doing a diagonal line with a change at the end, remember it is not supposed to be executed on the wall but on the diagonal itself.
A corner is a good opportunity to correct yourself so make sure you are utilizing every corner to gauge your performance. Take advantage of the corner by doing a half halt, to let yourself bring everything together to come out of the corner confident and well prepared to start the next movement.
It is very important to visualize the arena you will be riding in for the competition. By doing this you will feel more at ease on the day of the test and you will be able to focus on your performance better.
See you at Lardner Park, near Warragul for Farm World 2017!
We’re going to have a stall at the 2017 Farm World expo.
If you’re in the area, drop by & say hello – tickets are $20 and there are going to be over 800 exhibitors.
Make sure you grab a free bottle of water and Central Steel Build straw hat!
WHEN:Thursday 30th March – Sunday 2nd April.
HOW MUCH: Tickets are $20 for a day pass (or $18 if you buy online), $30 for a 2 day pass, and $55 for a full pass.
WHERE: Lardner Park, 155 Burnt Rd, Lardner, VIC. (15 minute drive from Warragul).
CENTRAL STEEL BUILD: You’ll be able to find us on North-South Street. We’re near the Working Sheep Dog Trial Area.
MORE INFORMATION: For more details, including how to buy tickets online, visit the Farm World website.