Supporting Your Horse's Immune System at Competitions
With the 2019 competition year ahead of us, it’s time to start thinking about how to get the best results out of your horse. Whether you’re working with barrel racers, eventers, racehorses or any other type of performance horse, one thing is true: Competitions can stress your horse’s immune system. Partner that stress with exposure to many other horses, and it’s clear how important it is to support your horse’s immune system.
While competitions can increase the chance of your horse contracting a contagious disease, there are a number of different ways you can help to keep your horse healthy away from home.
Follow Biosecurity Procedures
Practicing good biosecurity procedures is one of the best ways to keep your horse healthy at horse shows and competitions. Make sure that you, your grooms and anyone who handles your staff are all familiar with biosecurity procedures, including:
- Clean and disinfect stalls prior to unloading horses
- Allow horses to drink only out of their own water buckets; avoid communal water troughs
- When filling buckets, hold the end of the hose up out of the bucket, rather than dropping it down into the bucket
- Don’t allow horses to touch noses with other horses
- Wash your hands frequently, and ideally have disinfectant gel or wipes present in your stabling area
Monitor Your Horse’s Temperature
An increase in body temperature is often one of the first signs that your horse is getting sick, so the earlier on that you’re aware of a temperature, the faster you can get proper treatment. Take your horse’s temperature twice daily both during and after competitions to monitor for any increases.
Remember that different horses tend to have different “normal” body temperatures, so you’ll need to establish your horse’s average temperature before the competition. You can do this by taking his temperature twice a day for a week, then averaging the readings to determine what is normal for your horse.
Watch For Disease Outbreaks
In some cases, it may be best to avoid a particular competition or race when a disease outbreak is prevalent. The Equine Disease Communication Center maintains a map highlighting recent disease outbreaks and their locations.
Your veterinarian can also be an important source of information when it comes to local outbreaks. Depending on disease prevalence, your vet may recommend vaccine boosters partway through the year.
BRL Equine has a number of products that can further support your performance horse’s health. EQ-Royal is all-natural and won’t test, yet helps to boost your horse’s muscle performance, strength, speed and stamina. This supplement helps to increase the efficiency of the red blood cells as they carry oxygen to your horse’s muscles, resulting in more muscle energy and better athletic performance.
Learn more about EQ-Royal and add it to your horse’s health-management program today!
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Use these tips to help your horse arrive at shows or races happy, healthy and ready to compete.