Now that we’re bringing our horses into their stables for longer periods, it’s even more important to make sure that the stable environment is as healthy for your horse as possible.
In the national Bedmax Equine Health survey we carried out in March 2017, we asked horse owners whether they had experienced any equine health problems over the six preceding winter months that had prevented them from riding their horses and/or required veterinary treatment.
We specially stressed health rather than injury because we wanted to find out what the biggest health problems were during the time of year when most horses spend the longest periods in their stables.
Over 1040 horse owners completed the survey.
Very nearly 420 of them (40%) told us that they had called out the vet and lost the use of their horses for periods of between two and 12 weeks due to health problems during the past six winter months.
This high incidence won’t surprise anyone who keeps and cares for horses. What might be surprising is how easily the most common equine health problems could be prevented simply by using better bedding.
In our survey we found that by far the most common equine health problems were:
- Respiratory problems: Over 30% (131) of the 418 horses that had been off work during the winter had been sidelined by respiratory issues ranging from very serious diseases such as COPD to mild inflammation, nasal discharges and coughs.
- Hoof problems: Hoofcare issues including disease, cracking and infection were the next worst culprit, accounting for nearly 20% (85) of health problems.
The amount of time horses spend in their stables seems to be significant
Our results showed that over 22% of all the 1040 horses covered by the survey had been sidelined by either respiratory ill health or hoof problems during the six winter months. We suggest is significant for two reasons:
- It is in the winter months that these horses spent the longest periods of time in their stables.
- These are the key equine health issues that we know good bedding can help you avoid or mitigate.
Of the 1040 owners who completed the survey:
- Over 80% kept their horses in their stables for over 12 hours in every 24
- Over 30% kept their horses in their stables for longer than 15 hours
In an ideal world we would keep our horses outside 24/7. Here in the UK that just isn’t possible. Many owners have limited access to outside space, our winter weather frequently turns paddocks into mud fever incubators, and competition horses tend to be kept in their stables to control their forage intake and to avoid the risk of injuring themselves or each other larking about in the field.
In fact, our own surveys over the years and other national equine surveys indicate that more horses are spending longer periods in their stables today, and as our survey results highlight, keeping your horse in a stable poses a wide range of equine health challenges.
Beating the stable health threats with better bedding
We have developed and purpose made Bedmax Shavings over the past 20 years specifically to help horse owners safeguard the health and wellbeing of their horses in the stable. Yet our survey shows high rates of respiratory and hoofcare problems that good bedding can help PREVENT.
We want to help promote better PREVENTATIVE equine healthcare, support owners in keeping their horses health and happy in the stable, and save more horses from suffering the pain and stress of common equine health problems that can be avoided by better stable management – including your choice of bedding. You can find out more about how Bedmax is designed to help you beat the key stable health threats here on our site.