Thursday, 1 March 2012

Springing Stable Support

With spring on the way many of our horses will soon be getting to enjoy more time out at pasture, rug-less days in the sun, and the flush of spring grass. However, for some equines warmer temperatures pose new threats. Whether on box rest due to injury, restricted grazing because of laminitis or simply seeking refuge from biting insects and pollen, your horse’s environment can be the difference between a stressful or stress-free summer season!

When a horse is on compulsory box rest it is not uncommon for them to become restless, anxious and bored, not to mention the stress and strain it puts on owners both mentally and financially. For these reasons it is vital to prioritise stable management to keep their environment as hygienic and comfortable as possible.

During the warmer months there are many perils to summer stabling. Insects can become a source of irritation which often leads to secondary health problems such as fly bites and sweet itch, and for those suffering from painful conditions such as laminitis, your stable should offer them welcome relief and “springing support” in order to keep painful feet away from a hard and uncomfortable surface.

In addition to mental stimulation and the correct nutrition, horse owners can make this confined time a more pleasant experience by choosing the correct bedding. Choosing a product that does not slip - especially when stabling on a concrete floor - and provides a deep base will ensure horses are always protected, especially important if they spend time lying down.

Absorbency is the key to hygiene and foot health, an even more imperative factor if horses are barefoot, and choosing a product that soaks up urine will help keep harmful bacteria and ammonia away from hooves, as well as causing less irritation to delicate sinuses and the respiratory system.

Timescale is also an important factor, owners with horses on box rest will be mucking out more regularly and choosing a product which is quick and easy will mean more quality time spent entertaining their equine, and less time shovelling!

A simple solution to these requirements is pelleted chopped straw bedding, Nedz Advance. The innovative product combines traditional chopped straw with modern technology to create small pellets that increase in volume to provide a soft, fluffy and virtually dust free bed. Capable of absorbing up to five times its own weight in liquid, Nedz Advance has already demonstrated benefits for horses with weak or sensitive feet by creating a super soft and sturdy base, which cushions the soles. In addition Nedz Advance contains a unique oil which helps moisturise the feet and prevent them from drying out.

Nedz Advance is priced around £6 - £8 for a 15kg bag. The recommended set-up is around 8-10 bags for a 12 x 12 stable, with one further bag added every 7 – 10 days.

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