OTRL September 2023

fall horses

Before we know it, Fall will be here. We can feel it coming in the morning chill, early sunsets and fuzzy horses! While we still have beautiful riding weather ahead, now is the time to prepare our horses and property for the change of weather ahead. Run through this quick checklist of winter equine preparedness, then saddle up and have some fun before the wet weather hits!

  1. Water
    As the days cool, horses often decrease their water consumption. Pair this with dry forage and pastures, and impaction colics are likely. Encourage your horse to drink by providing salt as either a block, or loose salt added to his feed. Adding electrolytes can also encourage horses to drink more.
  2. Deworming
    Fall, especially after the first frosts, is the perfect time to deworm your horse. Use a broad-spectrum dewormer that removes bots, such as ivermectin.
  3. Dental Health
    We want our horses to get the most out of their feed. Ensuring that their teeth are up to the job can mean the difference between thriving or surviving. This is especially important for older horses.
  4. Nutritional Needs
    Review your horse’s nutrition and make gradual adjustments as the weather changes. If your horse will spend the winter outdoors, providing quality forage is the best way to keep your horse warm. Munching on an extra 2 to 4 pounds of hay will increase his body temperature more than adding grain or pelleted supplements, though for older horses with poor teeth a designated complete feed might be the most appropriate solution. When quality forage is hard to find, consider a hay extender such as Purina Impact Hay Stretcher, or pelleted forage-based feed such as Elk Grove Milling Stable Mix.
  5. Prepare for Bad Weather
    Check shelters, stalls and loafing areas for drafts, drainage and unsafe conditions. If your horse was standing in mud last winter, now is the time to make improvements such as adding gravel or stall mats. For your own convenience and everyone’s safety, check barn lights, paths and driveways so your winter excursions to the barn don’t overwhelm your boots!
  6. Exercise
    If your horse was on regular exercise all summer, don’t just stop now. Frequent exercise will keep your horse limber and improves digestion.

Have a fun day on Sunday, September 17th at the Redwood Riders Poker Ride, taking placing at Twining Ranch in Ukiah. Enjoy the trails and scenery at Twining Ranch, collect your poker hands and then feast on a BBQ lunch where poker winners will be announced and raffle prizes awarded. Get more information and download the entry form here, or call Pam Respini with questions – 707 489 2736. Entries must be received by September 10, so send them in now!

Redwood Riders logo

Members of Mendocino CART (Community Animal Response Team) participated in a 2-day large animal rescue training in Point Reyes over the weekend of August 19-20. Local CART members joined emergency personnel and rescue volunteers from agencies from around the north bay to learn how to safely manage large animals during a disaster.. Mendocino CART is a volunteer group who train and prepare to assist animals during disasters, including evacuations and accidents. They have two trailers loaded with tactical gear, ready to assist when emergency agencies call for help. Mendocino CART would like to thank The Halter Project for sponsoring this class, which was put on by ResQFast.

Learn More About Mendocino C.A.R.T. on their Facebook page

County CART Website

Fall can be the worst of fly season, when along with regular stable flies, we also see bot flies. Bot flies – also know as warble flies, heel flies and gadflies – are a family of flies who’s larvae are internal parasites in mammals. There are several varieties of bot flies, 3 of which affect horses, mules and donkeys. The ones that infect horses are Gasterophilus intestinalis (and yes there are species that can infect humans, pets and other mammals) and they are both annoying and dangerous to our horses. Bot flies lay their eggs on the hair of a horse’s legs or chest. While the use of “dewormers” is recommended to control Botfly infestations, Bot flies are not worms like other horse parasites such as ascarids or strongyles. They are a fly, and part of their life cycle is as larvae in the horses’ intestinal tract. This can lead to colic, chronic indigestion and inability to maintain weight. Learn more about breaking the life-cycle of these pesky parasites in this detailed article courtesy of The Horse.

Deworming your horses with a broad-spectrum dewormer after the first frosts is the recommended procedure. Timing and correct dosage are necessary elements in an effective deworming program, so consult your veterinarian. Only ivermectin and moxidectin are efficacious against bots so even if you use a daily deworming product, you still need to treat seasonally, after the frost, for bots. For more information about controlling Botflies, also see this article Deworming with Bots in Mind, from Farnam.

Trivia! Enter to win a $15.00 Rainbow Coupon, good on any purchase at any Rainbow store! All correct answers go into a random drawing.

The July question was, the “Claws For A Cause” event on September 2 benefits which local non-profit? The correct answer is the Seabiscuit Therapeutic Riding Center is the beneficiary of this fun feast! Our winner is Michele Briggs.

This month’s question is, How many trailers does Mendocino CART have loaded with technical gear?

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