Any hunter or frequent horse rider will probably be familiar with some of the many injuries that can occur to an animal while traveling across the countryside. It’s vital for riders to identify the dangers in their environment and do what they can to avoid them in order to preserve the horse’s health. Sometimes, injuries are simply impossible to avoid so today we’ll be looking at some of the best ways to deal with the most common problems. One important tip to keep in mind is to get in touch with a good vet and develop an open line of communication with them. This will help you to learn more about horse health and deal with problems as they arise.
The first injury you’ll need to know how to cope with is wire cuts. Wires can be hard to spot and are commonly found around fences and fields. It’s very easy for horses to unintentionally catch their legs on stray pieces of wire. These cuts can vary in severity, but the first step is to clean the wound as well as you can. Any open wound is prone to infection and could also require stitches, so it’s important to see a vet as soon as possible if you encounter any wire cuts.
Another common problem for many active horses is known as an “over-reach injury”. As one might surmise from the name, these are injuries caused by the horse stretching a little bit too far and actually clipping its own legs together. This usually occurs when the horse is galloping strongly which can be quite damaging since sometimes, the rear legs smash into the delicate tendons of the front legs. In this case, the attention of a vet will be required. In the short-term, the wound should be cleaned and bandaged up.
Next, we should talk about bruised soles. These occur when the horse travels over rough ground with lots of stones or rocks along the path. One great way to prevent this sort of problem is to put plenty of care and time into properly shoeing the horse. It’s also smart to avoid areas that could be riddled with stones or other sharp objects. If your horse does have bruised soles, apply a soft poultice to ease any pain and allow the horse to rest. If the animal appears to be limping at all, call the vet immediately.
Next, we have stone walls. When horses fail to properly jump over these walls, they can receive some nasty puncture wounds. Bandages should be applied and the area needs to be properly cleaned to prevent infection. The horse may begin to limp in a bad case and will need veterinary assistance.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning blackthorn. These thorns are found in many areas and can get lodged into the animal’s legs. Sometimes, these thorns can get stuck in joints or tendons which can be very problematic. Try to pull any thorns out if you can using tweezers and, once again, call the vet in severe circumstances.
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