Being the jolly cat I am, it is my favorite time of year. Bright, shiny stuff called Christmas decorations to play with, the Castration Clinic at the Hospital, paper and boxes from presents delivered to the Hospital, and general good cheer among all. In keeping with the season, I have spoken with many of our patients, and our Docs and technicians and compiled Springhill Equine’s Top 5 list of things your horse wants from Santa.
1. Fly Sheets: Mosquito Mesh Flyshield Sheet
Why this one? It is super light for our hot summer but the mesh is fine enough to keep those dangs gnats away. For added airflow, trim out the lining at the shoulders and mane. Removing the lining hasn’t created any rubbing issues and has kept the horse cooler. This sheet also held up well to horseplay and fit a wide variety of horses. Beware of the similar non-Flyshield version. It fit no horse well.
2. Grazing Muzzles: Tough 1 Grazing Muzzle or Harmany Grazing Muzzle
OK, so a grazing muzzle may not be on your horse’s wish list, but it is at the top of your veterinarian’s wish list. Our poor Docs see lots of horses with a weight problem. I can sympathize. My large stature caused me to have diabetes until a diet and exercise program helped me reverse it. While horses don’t get diabetes, they do get laminitis, or founder, when overweight. Obese horses are also pretty much guaranteed to develop Cushings later in life. These two grazing muzzles provide the best combination of comfort, breathability, and portion control.
3. Socks for your horse: Equiflexsleeve or Silver Whinnys
Tired of wrapping legs? Worried about all that heat under quilts and wraps in the summer? Need to decrease swelling or cover a wound, but you still want to turn your horse out? Seriously, the greatest things since sliced tuna (humans say bread, but I really don’t like bread very much). Equiflexsleeves reduce swelling in the lower legs, your horse can wear them inside or out, they breath, and they are stupid easy to put on and take off. Oh, and they make a lot less laundry than all those quilts and wraps! Sox for horses is the name of the silver impregnated bandages Coby is wearing. These work similar to Equiflexsleeves but, go higher and lower on the leg and have the added advantage of being antibacterial. If you need to cover a wound, or if your horse is prone to scratches, dew poisoning, greasy heel, or whatever you want to call it, then you need a pair of these!
4. Fly Mask: Nag Horse Ranch fly masks. Dr. Lacher owns the Queen of Fly Mask destruction. And while these don’t last forever with her, they certainly hold up pretty darn well. In addition, when they do lose a right ear (and they do, it just takes 3 months instead of 3 minutes), back they go for repair. They block more UV light than any other mask on the market and can be custom made for your horse pretty easily.
5. Small hole hay nets: HayChix or Big Bale Buddy
Save yourself a ton of money, reduce waste, and help control your horse’s weight. Small hole hay nets for your big bales are AAHHMAZING. Added bonus: your horse won’t have their entire head stuck in the hay bale breathing in all that dust and mold.