Preventing Paddock Accidents and keeping your Horses happy is really important to us all.
We all know that falling off a horse can really hurt us….. But what do we understand about injuries sustained to a horse when we are not riding them, or not even close to them?
For Paddock horses, there are a range of injuries which occur.
However, one might be surprised to learn that Nearly 40% of the fractures, and injuries, occur to horses in the paddock.
In fact, 43% resulted from a kick by another horse, with the most common fracture site being the second metacarpal bone (the medial—inner—splint bone).
Interestingly though, the study found the head (primarily the jaw bone) incurred almost as many fractures.
It’s easy to see then, how many Injuries can occur to your ponies when they are out in the paddock when we aren’t around!
Now that we understand the extent of this, firstly why should we try to prevent such injuries and then we need to understand how we can try and minimise these injuries.
Well the first part is easy! Why?
- Horse welfare is of the utmost importance.
- We want them to be healthy and happy, and uninjured because we care about them……
- We want to spend our time riding our ponies and training our ponies rather than tending to their wounds.
- Vet services are expensive! And we would rather spend our money on cool things like Horse Treats and Saddles and Event administration fees etc….. Not the vet!
The second part this is probably the most important.
Prevention is better than the alternative.
So how do we do this?
Well, here are some ideas to think about with regards to minimising the risks in the paddocks.
DO NOT overcrowd a paddock.
Make sure the paddock is safe.
a. Avoid using unsuitable fencing
b. Check for holes in the fence regularly
c. remove poisonous plants
d. Remove pointy objects sticking out of the ground randomly such as dead shrubs or trees.
e. NO star Pickets.
Make sure you have adequate feed.
a. Multiple feeding stations
b. Drop hey out of kicking distance
c. More than one watering point, OR, if this isn’t possible ensure the one trough is not boxed into a paddock corner.
d. Enough feed available
e. Have different types of feed.
f. Feed away from fences.
Ensure you have enough shelter for the amount of horses in the paddock.
a. Ensure there is more than one entry and exit.
Separate the boys from the girls.
Safe introductions for a new horse
a. Take off the hind shoes to minimise damage if a kick occurs
b.Allow the horses to meet each other with a barrier between them first
c.Allow some scent swapping prior to introduction.
I hope these give you some ideas to think about in order to keep your horse safe whilst in the paddock.
One thing to keep in mind, which is vitally important to a horse’s well-being, is that they are herd animals and as such, they absolutely need to be around other horses.
So don’t for a second think that the risks are too high…… Just manage the risks appropriately and although you can-not prevent everything, you will minimise the occurrence of a visit from your vet whilst at the same time keeping your pony happy and healthy.
All the best from the team @ Huds and Toke.
PS: Please feel free to post a review on one of these review sites…….we appreciate the thought and it all helps. Thanks.