horse question

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by miss_thenorth, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Hi all horse owners...Lately we have had alot of rain, and the horses' paddock is a couple of inches of muck.
    Do I need to be concerned about them standing in wet muck all day? Is there anything I can do/should do for their feet? I'm concerned about them being wet all the time. I am sort of new to this horse thing so I'm not sure what to do if anything. Any advice?

  2. unionwirewoman

    unionwirewoman Songster

    Sep 14, 2007
    Kalispell , MT
    Hi ! You need to be careful on leaving your horses standing in water/mud for extended periods of time . Although i've never experienced it myself , your horse could end up with thrush . This is a nasty thing to deal with ! Basically thrush is when there is too much moisture in the hoof area and will cause bacteria to start to grow , breaking down th tissues in the hoof wall and frog . If it's possible , try to get them to somewhat dry ground for most of the day . Check their feet often ! Google "horse thrush" for more info . [​IMG]
  3. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    Im dealing with ICE and melting ice/snow - I threw down a bunch of hay - don't know if it will help, my concern was more for slipping.
    My horse does have access to dry ground, in the barn.

    Can you give your horse a dry spot?
    Make sure to pick out the hooves as often as you can - that will help, if there is no mud and poop building up in them.
  4. helmstead

    helmstead Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    We get mired in muck often here, and don't have a lot of dry options when that happens.

    You're main concerns are thrush, white line and frog rot. Both can be treated or prevented with diluted bleach or OTC thrush treatments. You also will have a greater chance of bacterial and fungal infections of the skin on the legs.

    What WE do in the wet times is once a week we wash the hoof and apply a water/bleach solution to the whole sole, let it rest a moment before we set it down. We also frequently hose the muck off their legs and wash them with dish soap or horse shampoo. This has kept us thrush free for 3 years now.

    Shod horses are a different story. So many catches. Soggy horn causes the shoes to easily tear out, often taking horn with the nails. Still, it's hard on the hoof to go from wet to dry suddenly (ie from muddy paddock to dry shavings filled stall) which can also cause shoes to be unstable. The nail holes themselves are a liability in soggy paddocks because they allow the bacteria a better shot inward - often leading to white line and abcesses.

    My best suggestion to you is rock dust. Have however many loads of it that you'll need for all of your horses to fit on dry ground dumped & spread into one area of your paddock. This way, your horses can get out of the muck and self regulate their hooves a bit. It's an inexpensive fix.
  5. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    Is it just the paddock or their whole pasture? One particularly mucky spring we had to block off the paddock during the day and make them hang out in the pasture. We only opened the paddock to let them into the barn at night.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2008
  6. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    right now, their whole paddock is covered in standing water. We are getting someone in to drain the land--ie tiling and catch basins. we have set them up a temporary pasture to go into on the highest part of our land, but that too is now all mucky. The rest of our land is not fenced yet. (we just moved here 4 months ago)

    So much rain, so much water with nowhere for it to go. the only dry area is the barn, but the temps are mild and they want to be outside. I am concerned about thrush. If it doesn't freeze soon they will be wet for a very long time. Can you tell me more about the bleach water treatment for their feet? They don't have shoes on. I really want to prevent any problems if we can. Our one horse lifts very easily but he is hard to catch. the other one is always ther for you but he is such a chore to lift his feet. I usually need my dh to help me with their feet and he works alot. I do all the other barn stuff, but need help with the feet. Typical--what i need help with is the one thing that we need to be on top of right now.

    How do you apply the bleach water to their hooves? what ratio of bleach to water? /do I need to pick out their hooves daily?

    Where do you get rock dust? We will be building a new paddock in the spring, as well as new fencing etc--rearranging the whole set up to be more user friendly. Perhaps we can put rock dust in the new paddock.

    Thanks so much for yourhelp!
  7. helmstead

    helmstead Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    Sounds like it's time to buckle down and teach your horses ground manners. LOL A lot of people wind up going through manners training while they have a problem.

    Yes, the only way to treat the problem is to be able to regularly go out there and pick their feet, clean them up and put medication on them. Even if you had a soaking pool, you'd have to catch them, pick out their feet and lead them through it.

    The bleach ratio is 2:1 water to bleach. I put it in a spray bottle.

    Sounds like, because of your horses' lack of training, you're going to HAVE to do something about moving them. Frozen mud can be worse physically than wet mud. They can't lie down! Heck - they can't lie down safely in either.

    T-posts and electric tape are cheap. Why don't you make a moveable paddock? Move them from place to place on your property to avoid the muck? Then you wouldn't have to worry so.

    Rock dust comes from the same people that bring you gravel. Just call around. I'd recommend a load NOW if you can't move the horses. Especially with your training issues.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2008
  8. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    Quote:Oooh! Naughty beasties![​IMG]
    I agree with Helmstead. This is a potentially serious issue, because if they do ever develop hoof problems, you will need to be able to have access to their feet a LOT during treatment.
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:ugh, that's a real problem.

    honestly the best solution would be to find somewhere else to keep them til the ground dries out (you may be able to limp along thru this thaw, but if it is that bad now, I've got terrible news for you about what March, April and the first half of May are going to be like. If you could board them somewhere w/ a good barn ,manager you could also get help with the picking-up-feet issue. If that's unaffordable you might well be able to find someone w/ a pasture and barn or shed to rent and do self care.

    I really STRONGLY recommend the temporary move. I cannot stress enough what 3 months of spring will otherwise be like.

    If not, your best hope is to find a gravel or landscape company that has several truckloads of wood chips (NOT shavings) or chipped branches that could be dumped as footing. A complication would be finding somewhere the truck could get to without getting stuck, but if you could manage it, it'd be a decent 'band-aid solution'. Spring will still be awful though.

    Helmstead's suggestion of moveable tape paddocks would be good in other locations but I would advise against it up here. Frozen ground conducts very poorly, wind is really hard on tape and step-in posts, and you are fairly likely to have escapes and/or injuries before springtime.

    So much rain, so much water with nowhere for it to go.

    Do not underestimate the power of the weilded shovel!!! You can usually make a significant improvement with good old manual labor. Ask me about our first winter spring in this house 5 years ago :> Seriously. Look for where the shortest or shallowest trench could be dug to drain at least some of the water to lower ground, and start there. The ground is NOT frozen rught now (I am in Ontario too, in Uxbridge, fwiw)

    I am concerned about thrush.

    I am not sure why people are worrying so much about thrush. It is not such a big deal unless the feet are really neglected. If the horse is disposed towards white line disease (seedy toe) standing in mud could cause serious possibly permanent problems.

    But in my experience the biggest issue is the likelihood of scratches, which is not what it sounds like [​IMG] it is a fungal and/or bacterial infection usually on the backs of the pasterns that can become a serious systemic infection. Watch closely for it, and call an actual vet if you notice crusting, oozing or swollen areas.

    If it doesn't freeze soon they will be wet for a very long time.

    When it does freeze though you will have serious problems with 'pointy ground', where the mud has gotten deeply punched and frozen that way. I strongly recommend that if your horses are still on mud when that happens (here, it should be next monday or so) you keep them stalled, with lotsa hay but zero grain, for as long as it takes the ground to freeze reasonably hard, and after you put them inside, go right out ewith a rake and rake that paddock fairly smooth. It will freeze that way. I know it sucks to have to keep horses in for a day or more, but otherwise they will be miserable a long while *and* quite likely get sole bruises and abcesses. If your horse is not good about feet cleaning, you *really* do not want to have to soak and poultice an abcessm believe me!

    Our one horse lifts very easily but he is hard to catch. the other one is always ther for you but he is such a chore to lift his feet.

    Honest, boarding them somewhere you can get help with these things would be an awfully good idea. If not, at least get a good trainer or horseman friend to come over and help you and the horses learn these things. Otherwise you're likely headed for much bigger trouble in future.

    Where do you get rock dust?

    From a quarry, in phone book under "aggregates". But DO NOT dump stone dust or gravel onto mud or wet ground, it will disappear almost immediately. If you can get a truck in to dump anything, make it as many loads of wood chips as you can afford.

    We will be building a new paddock in the spring, as well as new fencing etc--rearranging the whole set up to be more user friendly. Perhaps we can put rock dust in the new paddock.

    Especially if you are in a low spot, as apparently you are (our place is too!), you need an all-weather paddock or pen for weather like this. Not just a bit of stone dust, it needs to be constructed like a good riding ring (but smaller). Improve drainage around it, then put down at least 6" *after compacting* of 3/4-minus gravel, topped with 2-3" of your footing of choice, probably screeniings. This will cost some, but is really necessary to avoid sad unhealthy horses in a mud swamp that deepens each year, as it otherwise will.

    Good luck,

    Pat, having significant but manageable flooding too​
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2008
  10. verthandi

    verthandi Songster

    May 18, 2007
    Have any of you tried Desitin (spelling may be diaper rash ointment) as a preventive for scratches in this kind of situation? I have used it on rescues after the fact, but wonder in this situation if it might be helpful until the ground freezes or dries up.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: