You may download and print Gotcha Equine articles in accordance with our disclaimer. 


Aspects of PastureHow pasture and feeds can affect your Horse.


High production grasses are low in fibre and high in sugars and carbohydrates and are very prone to serious mineral imbalances. They can be very high in potassium and nitrates and low in sodium. This in turn causes the horses system to be 'stripped' of calcium and magnesium. Add to this that some grasses have oxalates which bind up both calcium and magnesium.


Some departments of primary industries in Australia recommend not to graze horses on 100% oxalate pastures any more than four to six weeks at any one period of time. The lifestyle of the typical horse means they spend most of the time out grazing the pasture. Consequently, they are inevitably ingesting and inhaling vast numbers of fungal spores and myco-toxins 24/7. Not just at certain times of the year, but any time the conditions favour fungi!


Read More



Behind the Scenes: Tips for Ensuring Proper Calcium Absorption in Growing Horses.Tips for Ensuring Proper Calcium Absorption in Growing Horses.


Everyone wants strong, healthy foals and for them to grow to their full potential. This depends on correct feeding of the mare from conception with particular attention paid to the last trimester of pregnancy when the foetus is in rapid growth mode. Have a think about the nutritional demands of the mare while she is lactating, as during this time she is feeding herself plus the growing foal. If there is insufficient calcium in her diet, it will be borrowed from the calcium reserves in her own bones. This can easily result in the mare suffering from calcium depletion and not being able to supply enough to build a strong skeleton in the new foal.


Read More



Choose One and Stick to It!Choose One and Stick to It!


There are two choices when it comes to feeding your horse vitamins and minerals; feed plain feeds and add your vitamins and minerals separately or feed pre-mixed feeds that include vitamins and minerals. Actually there is a third option and that is 'don't bother at all' in the hope that the grass and any other feed will provide sufficient nutrition to keep the horse healthy. Spare horses or those not being ridden are often left to their own devices in this way but if you want the quiet ride at the weekend, the best performance at the event or a strong, healthy foal, then best not to take any chances.


Read More



Ten Steps to Reverse Head Flicking/Head ShakingReverse Head Flicking/Head Shaking


Head flicking/head shaking is one of the most heartbreaking, exasperating, baffling conditions to affect horses anywhere. It has been established that it involves the trigeminal nerve in the horses head. The trigeminal nerve originates behind the horse's eye and has branches down to the mouth, nostrils and up to the ears. When this nerve is surgically cut or blocked the symptoms immediately cease but unfortunately, in the case of cutting, to some extent the nerve eventually heals up again after which symptoms are worse and in the meantime the horse has a droopy lip.


Read More


How the Seasons can affect some Horses.How the Seasons can affect some Horses.


Have you ever noticed at certain times of the year your horse's behaviour can vary or they have been ill? For horses grazing on grass, the changes in the seasons mean quite big changes in the grass and living conditions. Here are a few explanations and tips that can help you overcome some of these issues.


Read More



LucerneLucerne, the least known, most important fact you need to know!


It is a widely known fact that Lucerne is high in calcium and low in phosphorous. This is why the old timers always fed oats when they fed Lucerne because oats, being comparatively high in phosphorous, would tend to correct this imbalance. It is also a widely known fact that Lucerne is a good source of protein and can therefore be useful for feeding broodmares, growing horses and horses in intense work. However, grass in growth mode can also be high in protein so a person has to be careful not to cumulatively feed too much.


Read More



More Mysteries SolvedMore Mysteries Solved.


Hyperkalemia means too much potassium! This is another major mineral imbalance we are inadvertently imposing on our poor horses. It is very closely tied in with calcium/magnesium imbalances we have learned about already. The more reading a person does on the subject, the more a person becomes convinced that this is the root cause of many of the conditions afflicting our pasture fed horses. Think about the fact that many horses are completely okay any time grass isn't growing (winter and drought) but once there is a flush of growth all of the following start to happen...


Read More



Spring. It's a Great Time of the Year... Or is it?Spring. It's a Great Time of the Year... Or is it?


Most of us look forward to the drier weather, milder temperatures and longer days so that we can spend more time with our equine friends. However, many of us also experience the heartbreak of sore feet, laminitis and other issues that our horses may present in the spring (and can also occur in autumn too), that detract from our riding time. A little understanding of how we can manage our horses leading up to this time period will go a long way to ensure the health and continued use of our horses.


Read More



Yeast Infections and the Male HorseYeast Infections in the Male Horse.


Well about a year ago I brought Mr. P from over the other side of Melbourne. Me being me I just love my animals and I was playing with Mr. P on the ground as he was such a very nervous horse when I first got him. While I was standing there with him I smelt this awful smell and I mean awful. I looked down and there was Mr. P's penis hanging out and the stench was just incredible. It was not dirty but had a thick, creamy substance that stuck onto his penis. Hummm... not good, so what could I do to help him?


Read More





Return to Top