Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wish for a Pony – how much will it cost?


Cats are independent and inexpensive to keep. Dogs cost more and are harder work. Ponies and horses are considerably more expensive and will require your full dedication.

Before you buy your horse, you need to organise where it will live – you may have a suitable outbuilding within your large gardens or, more commonly, you will be able to rent a field and stable nearby. This price will vary greatly on what sort of shelter and services are provided. Who mucks out? Who provides the feed and supplements?

Your horse’s welfare is paramount. There are farrier costs and veterinary costs plus insurance to cover unexpected vet’s bills. The horse and its environment must be kept clean and disinfected to avoid viruses and common diseases such as ringworm, sweet-itch, mud fever and strangles.

To ride your horse, you will need the appropriate saddlery and tack plus suitable riding wear – especially a riding hat. If you wish to take part in competitions, you will need to attire yourself appropriately (visit Sherwood Equestrian for quality riding wear at reasonable prices). You may also need to consider transportation costs.

The initial outlay could start from £1,500 for the horse or pony. Other costs:
  • Stabling £1,250 pa approx..
  • Feed & supplements £1,500 plus bedding of around £1,000 pa.
  • Vaccinations/vet fees £100 pa plus worming of around £60 pa.
  • Insurance approx. £400 pa
  • Shoes £900 pa (needed approx. every 8 weeks)
  • Saddle, blanket, tack £1,000 plus
  • Riding hat (essential) £50-£100
  • Boots, jodhpurs, gymkhana clothing approx. £200-£300
  • Horse box/trailer hire or purchase (insurance) £2500-£5000 pa to hire. Around £10,000 upwards to purchase
If finance is required to help purchase horses, horse-boxes or to build a private or commercial stable, Sherwood First Point may be able to introduce you to specialists in this area.

An alternative service to consider would be the 'Pony Loan' School (see next post).

Friday, 16 November 2012

Types of Wormer for your Horse or Pony


Wormers are known by a variety of brand names, trade names may change, new wormers are marketed. The list of active ingredients is the main information you need to decide which wormer to administer to your horse or pony.

There are four chemical groups, some may be combined for dual- and multi-wormers. The groups are: macrocyclic lactones (ivermectin & moxidectin), benzimidazoles (fenbendazole & mebendazole), pyrantel embonates & praziquantel. Their uses for treatments are:
  • Macrocyclic lactones treat: bots, small red-worms, large red-worms and lung-worms.
  • Benzimidazoles treat: round-worms, large red-worms and small red-worms.
  • Pyrantel embonates treat: large round-worms, large red-worms, small red-worms, seat-worms, pin-worms & tape-worms.
  • Praziquantels treat all three kinds of tape-worm.
Combination wormers that contain Praziquantel are available with either Ivermectin or Moxidectin, which work together to treat tape-worm alongside general worming solutions. Sometimes, certain strains of worms are stubbornly resistant to one chemical group therefore you may need to try another one - check the ingredients, not the brand name!

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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Eliminating Dust & Breathing Easy - Horses & Humans!


Hay should always be of the best quality possible but dry hay, in particular, is a source of dust and may create breathing difficulties for some horses, ponies and their humans. How can airborne dust and mold spores which can trigger allergies and make owners, grooms and horses wheezy, be reduced?

If using hay forage, it should be steamed or soaked for at least half an hour so that spores swell and stick to it. Haylage is less dusty. For horses that are known to be sensitive to dust, mites and spores, hay forage could  be replaced with a chaff or high fibre cube.

Bedding alternatives to hay include:
  • Rubber matting
  • Dust-free shavings
  • Shredded paper and cardboard
  • Wood pellets, providing they are soaked and managed correctly.

On-line shop: www.sherwoodequestrian.co.uk