Show Horse Safety

(Chris) Hello and welcome to Horsin’ Around. I’m Dr. Chris Blevins at Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center. Today talking about what you should do with horses when you take them to shows and what you should be thinking about while you’re there to make sure they stay healthy or to try to prevent things while at a show. I think the whole gamut of that could start with biosecurity. You should always start with your veterinarian and making sure that you discuss ways to help prevent diseases based on vaccinations, what potentially your horse may be exposed to while at shows. A lot of them are respiratory, a lot of them can have vaccines to help try to deter some of that or prevent the horse from getting them. In addition, health papers. Your veterinarian doing a health exam on your horse, having that Coggins test, going to the shows. It’s also a legal matter, so going to the shows with those is also required to keep your horse healthy. You hope that others are doing the same thing while they’re at the show too with their health paper and Coggins. Now the other aspect of the horse when they’re at an unfamiliar area is rest and trying to make it so it’s as familiar for them as possible, making sure that they don’t feel too anxious. Sometimes putting curtains and things up around the stall just so they can have those times of rest. Anything that’s very familiar, similar buckets, hay, feed. You don’t want to change a lot of those things that you have with your horse. The other thing is water. I think that’s also very crucial because a lot of the times the water is a lot different than what the horse is used to back home. It could be the aspect of minerals that are in that water or softeners if it’s in a city type of realm or even the chlorine that they put in with it, can make the water taste a little different and maybe the horse wouldn’t want to drink. If that happens, then the horse could potentially get colicky if they’re not drinking enough water. Managing and making sure that your horse drinks water is very important. The other thing I always tell owners is, make sure if you can bring your own water, mix it with the other water so they have that kind of familiarity with the same water. Salt block. That’s a very easy way to just make sure again, that you stimulate drinking. Put the salt block in with their stall while you’re at the events and that’s going to again, keep them drinking. You can always wet down the hay too and that will also stimulate drinking. Any of those things, aspects of making sure your horse stays healthy. Always consult with your veterinarian with other ideas and aspects of concerns that you may have while going to shows. Keep ’em healthy and have a great season out in the show world during your Spring, Summer and even at Equifest. I’m Dr. Chris Blevins here at Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center and we’ll see you around.

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