October is National Animal Safety and Protection Month - a time to recognize safety measures you should take to protect your equine operation. Whether your horse is kept in a stable or turned out in pasture, follow these practices and keep your horses’ safety front of mind.
Providing safe pasture fencing for your horses is critical for their well-being. Over time, fencing materials such as wood posts, wire, or woven mesh can break down, allowing horses to escape, wander, or become injured. Doing a routine check of your perimeter fencing, as well as any temporary pasture areas, can help you spot problem areas and make repairs as necessary.
Ideally, your fencing should be highly visible to horses and secure enough to resist damage if a horse runs into it, but have enough give to reduce the potential damage to the horse upon impact.
If your horse spends much of its time in your pasture, be sure to remove halters before turning out. Halters can get stuck on fences, trees, or other objects causing horses to panic or become injured. If removing the halter entirely is not an option, consider a breakaway halter with a quick-release mechanism.
Barns and stalls that are not cleaned regularly can be a problem for your horses’ health. Unkept stalls can attract unwanted pests such as rodents or insects that can carry disease and make your horses sick. If your horses spend more time in their stalls rather than in pasture during the winter months, you may need to increase the frequency of your cleaning routine.
Investing in the right tools for the job can make your mucking out easier and less time consuming. Your local Southern States expert can help you choose the best stall supplies for your equine operation from pitch forks to wheelbarrows and everything in between.
Even if you are diligent in protecting your horses from harm, accidents can occur. During an emergency, time is of the essence! Plan ahead and save valuable time by stocking a Barn Medicine Chest with essential items such as antiseptics, gauze, thermometer, duct tape, and even diapers for hoof injuries. It is also essential to educate yourself on administering basic first aid to your horse. Learn how to gently clean and disinfect wounds, give medications, or apply an ice wrap so that you can stabilize your horse while you wait for your vet to arrive.
When it comes to caring for your horse, Southern States is your source for equine essentials. Visit our horse hub page to find everything you need to keep your stable safe.