horse food for thought

Food For Thought

Food For Thought

horse food for thought Christmas Day is over for another year! Who else thinks that they ate far too much of the wrong foods?! <raises hand> There’s a chance you may have given your pets the leftovers of your Christmas feasts, which in some cases may not be the best thing. We know that there are foods that dogs are unable to digest, such as chocolate, grapes, and onions. But did you know there are some fruits and vegetables that you shouldn’t give your horse to munch on?

Fruit & Veg No-no’s

Of the fruits and vegetables listed below, a few can be fed in small quantities which have been noted below. The rest of the list can cause a wide range of illnesses including anaemia, colic, toxicosis, seizures,  choking and gas issues. If in doubt, always check with your vet if you aren’t sure or your horse already has digestive issues.

  • Garlic, onions, cabbage, cauliflower & broccoli in large quantities
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Chocolate
  • Stone fruits without the seed removed
  • Avocado
  • Bread products
  • Dairy products (all horses are lactose intolerant! Fun fact!)

Now that we’ve listed the things you can’t feed a horse, here is the list of things that you can feed them! Just keep in mind that these should only be fed occasionally and not be their main source of food. Any of these “safe” foods fed in frequent, excess quantities can have side effects for your horse.

Safe Foods (not primary source)

  • Berries (most varieties including strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries etc)
  • Apples (without the core…the seeds can be toxic)
  • Bananas
  • Licorice
  • Carrots
  • Grapes
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pineapples
  • Watermelon
  • Apricots & nectarines without the seeds

We hope this has given you some insights on fresh, fun treats you can give your horse occasionally, and which ones to avoid completely. Another way to treat your horse this Christmas season is to get them one of our flash new horse rugs to help keep them clean and cool. We have a massive sale currently on a range f horse rugs in store, so why not check it out and nab yourself a bargain? By saving money now, you can buy more treats for them later!

 

2018 Summer sale horse gear, 2019 horse rugs

Summer Horse Rug Sale Still On!!!

Summer Horse Rug Sale Still On!!!

 Summer is in full swing and it isn’t even the end of December yet! Bang For Your Buck Horsegear has a wide range of horse rugs currently on sale to make way for new stock coming in next year! So why not grab a bargain and keep your best equine friend cool and calm during this hot spell. While it sounds weird that covering up your horse actually keeps them cool, keep in mind that rug material reflects heat from being absorbed by your horse’s skin. As well, they stop nasty insects biting and annoying them. Horses are a gift that everyone should be able to afford. Which makes our goal simple, the best possible quality at the lowest possible price and real Bang For Your Buck!

We maintain strong and very close relationships with our suppliers and visit regularly to inspect the quality and check in on production to ensure we uphold a consistently high-quality standard.

So why not head over to Bang For Your Buck’s horse rugs shop and pick out a few pieces for your horse’s wellbeing and comfort? If you ever have any questions about our range of horse rugs, feel free to contact us via our Facebook or by our contact form.

preventable horse diseases

Preventable Horse Diseases

Preventable Horse Diseases (and how to avoid them)

 We all love our horses dearly. Like most pets, vet bills can be very costly when your horse gets injured or ill from a preventable horse disease. The best ways to minimise this is to make sure they are vaccinated regularly. We have listed the 4 most common preventable horse diseases below. It lists what they do and why you need to prevent them!

4 of The Most Common Horse Diseases/Conditions

  • Tetanus – the first preventable horse disease on the list is Tetanus. “Clostridium tetani” is the technical name for the organism that causes this disease. Unfortunately, it can be anywhere but is not contagious. It lives in soil and manure and most commonly enters the horse’s body through wounds on the skin and hooves. If your horse shows any of the signs, it is vital to get veterinary help. Because of the horse’s inability to eat, drink and even breathe as the disease progresses, delaying treatment is almost guaranteed to be fatal. Signs of tetanus include severe muscle stiffness, difficulty chewing, the third eyelid covering the eye in spasms, tail held straight out and a stretched out, stiff posture.
  • Strangles –  A bacterial respiratory disease caused by “Streptococcus equi”. It is highly contagious, because of this affected horses must be isolated for 6-8 weeks. Symptoms include green, yellow or white nasal discharge, high temperature and difficulty swallowing. Coughing and enlarged lymph nodes around the throat can affect their breathing. Due to this, it is vital to call your vet for treatment. Symptoms can last for weeks.
  • Hendra – Hendra is a viral disease spread by fruit bats. Horses get it by eating food contaminated by these fruit bats who are carriers. The main difference with this disease is that it can spread to humans. There is no treatment and is fatal for horses. Symptoms include fever, fast breathing with difficulty, mobility issues, increased heart rate, and discomfort while resting. There can also be nasal discharge and involuntary muscle twitching. Humans can show similar flu-like symptoms. If they have been in contact with a horse with similar symptoms, they must be taken for medical treatment immediately.
  • Internal Parasites – The 2 main types of internal parasites are worms, and bots (fly eggs). Symptoms for affected horses can vary. Some show no signs at all, others will lose condition rapidly. The most common ones are the loss of, or increased appetite, poor growth in young horses, weight loss, anaemia, and tail rubbing. The best way to prevent a heavy worm load is to use a broad spectrum worming paste and have your vet test the manure for an egg count.

In Summary

We want to do the right thing by our horses and keep them healthy. By keeping their vaccinations and worming up-to-date, as a result, you are helping stop the spread of these diseases. It is important to be informed because it is not just your horse who could be affected. Thank you for reading this post, and that it helps you in the future.

 

travel with horse

Travel With Your Horse

Travel With Your Horse – What To Bring?

travel with horse When you go on a long car trip, usually the first thing you think about is what to take with you to make the trip more comfortable. Food, a book, maybe a blanket. The same applies to your horse, especially since they will be standing for fairly long periods of time. We have come up with a small list of things to consider when transporting your horse. Some of these will be included when you transport your horse with a horse transport company, but we have added them for when you might be doing a trip that is not as long a distance.

Light, breathable rug – gives protection from draughts. A heavier rug should be used if weather is colder. At Bang For Your Buck, we have a wide range of horse rugs that will keep wind chill off your horse, while being breathable and providing protection. You can find the range here.
Protective front and back travel boots – horse’s legs are very delicate and prone to knocks, cuts and bruising.
Padded halter – Behind the ears and around the bridge of the nose is prone to rubbing, a padded halter will help cushion the skin from the horse moving their head around to take in their surroundings
First Aid Kit – you should always have a stocked first aid kit wherever your horse may go. It is better to have it and not need it, than the other way around! Horses can be very clumsy at times.
Hay Net – keeps the horse occupied and his digestive tract working while travelling. Feeding grain is not the best idea due to the possible risk of choking and even travel sickness.
Water storage and buckets – you may not always be able to stop where fresh water is. Take clean buckets and a storage container of fresh water, just in case. Never keep full buckets of water on the float while travelling, as it can spill and make the floor surface slippery for your horse. Always offer water while stopped for a break or once you have reached your destination.
Torch & batteries – things always seem to go askew after dark, so a torch and fresh batteries are essential
Hopefully, this has given you some good ideas on what to include when you next go on a trip with your horse. We will have a follow up next week or preparing your vehicle for towing a horse float, so stay tuned!

Keep Your Horse Safe In Thunderstorms

Keep Your Horse Safe In Thunderstorms

This time of year is renowned for producing storms, cyclones, and flash flooding. In Queensland especially, there can be multiple storms for days in a row. In this area especially, paddocks flooding, trees falling and other property damage aren’t unheard of. This is why every attempt should be made to keep your horse safe in thunderstorms and other weather events. Things like checking trees for loose branches, supplying undercover shelter from wind and rain, and making sure fences are in good order are essential and part of basic horse management.

If you have horses or livestock in general, it is very important to have a plan if the weather gets extreme. The Australian Veterinary Association has a handy PDF on what to do in storms, floods or cyclones. You can find the link here. It covers important topics such as:

  • Why you need a disaster plan
  • What you should have in a fully-stocked first aid kit
  • Essential other items in a kit that you can grab and go including feed, halters, lead ropes, identification etc
  • Important phone numbers for your vet, the SES etc
  • plus information on what to do during and in the aftermath of an emergency weather event

The team at Bang For Your Buck Horsegear hopes you all stay safe this storm season. If you have any questions or queries about protective rugs to keep your horse dry during the heavy rain spells, don’t hesitate to contact us or find out more about what horse rugs we have available.

horse

Keeping Your Horse Sound

Keeping Your Horse Sound

Healthy hooves are essential for your horse’s well-being. If they are neglected in any way, the chances of your horse going lame increase dramatically and will end up costing you time away from riding, and money.  There is an old saying –  “No Hoof, No Horse”. Translated, it means if a horse’s feet aren’t comfortable and healthy, it affects every facet of that horses life.

In order to keep your horse sound and happy, here is a short checklist of things you can do.

  • Clean their feet out regularly. Dirt and stones can get wedged under their feet and cause discomfort and bruising.
  • Have them trimmed/shod regularly. Hooves should be trimmed every 4-6 weeks on average. It is similar for shoes. When a horse’s toe grows too long, it can affect the way they move and cause lameness, uneven gait or even change the alignment of the internal structure of their feet.
  • Some horses naturally have more brittle walls on their hooves. In cases like this, supplements and oils can help assist in strengthening, along with consultation with your farrier or vet.
  • Check the soles of their feet for bruises, puncture wounds or cracks.
  • Be mindful of the surfaces you ride your horses on, particularly if they aren’t shod.
  • Minimise exposure to wet muddy ground in their paddock if possible. Standing in these conditions for too long can result in your horse developing thrush, seedy toe or greasy heel.

When you think about how much weight these four relatively small structures have to handle, it makes sense that their care should be a priority.  With these few tips, your horse should be sound and happy for the adventures ahead!

horses

Can You Recognise Heat Stress In Your Horse?

Can You Recognise Heat Stress In Your Horse?

Recently, the east coast of Australia had a week-long spell of unusually hot weather for October/November. While it is relatively easy for us humans to cool ourselves down, horses aren’t quite so lucky. It is very important to recognise the signs of heat stress in your horse and steps you can take to prevent this.

Signs of Heat Stress:

  • If riding your horse, try and do it first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon. Not only is it less likely to send your horse into distress, but it reduces the risk of your harm as well, from sunburn and dehydration.
  • Make sure your horse has ample access to cool water. If there is no choice but to have water in an area that receives full-sun, why not try adding some large ice blocks made out of soft drink bottles into the trough or bucket to assist in keeping the water cooler?
  • Adequate shade in their paddock is vital, or a well-ventilated stable or structure. Some people don’t know it, but it is actually considered neglect if a horse doesn’t have some form of shade in their paddock to get out of the sun. Having one of these, especially during our summers, is a no-brainer and should be a priority.
  • When hosing your horse to cool them down, always scrape excess water off them. If the water is left on their coats, it can heat up itself once the horse is outside and actually make them hotter! Some horses will roll after being hosed. To us, it makes them dirty again; to them, it’s adding a protective coating to repel heat getting to their skin.
  • For horses with medical conditions such as Cushings Disease, you need to be extra careful. One of the symptoms of this disease is a horse not being able to self-regulate their body temperature through coat shedding, among other things. If you suspect a horse heat stress is not from direct exercise or other outside conditions, get them checked by a vet.

How do I recognise the signs of heat stress?

  • Horse is sweating profusely, or alternately not sweating at all, along with:
  • High breathing rate, even panting to try and get more oxygen circling their body
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Skin to touch is dry and hot
  • Higher than normal temperature

If your horse is showing some of these signs, you need to act quickly. Move them into the shade and hose them off with cool water and scraping after. Always seek veterinary attention, particularly if your horse is severely distressed. Untreated, it can cause organ failure and the inevitable death of your horse.

Horse needs horse rugs

Protect Your Horse From Flies

Protect Your Horse From Flies

How CAN you protect your horse from flies? It’s that time of year again. The warm weather and wet season bring an influx of the bane of a horse’s existence! For whatever reason, flies and mosquitos seem particularly attracted to a horse’s legs and face. They can cause anxiety and fidgeting in horses on the ground and while being ridden, and in some cases cause illness and injury through blood loss and itching.

Today we will outline some steps you can take to minimize flies, mosquitoes and other biting insects around your paddock and stable, and causing misery to your horse.

Fly Prevention Tips

  1. Clear Away Manure – flies LOVE horse poo! One of the best ways you can help discourage flies is to regularly clear out paddocks and stables of manure. It is also a great idea to have your manure pile as far away as practically possible from where your horse spends most of its time.
  2. Put On A Mesh Horse Rug – putting a light mesh horse rug on your horse is a great way to protect them just about everywhere except their legs! While some might think that horses would get too hot with a rug on, the fabrics created today can actually reflect heat, keeping them cooler. The added protection from biting insects is also a plus! You can find a wide range of summer rugs on our site HERE.
  3. Repellents – applying fly repellant regularly to your horses’ legs will provide temporary relief. There are many varieties to choose from, with varying prices. Rotating different types of repellents will help you find the one most effective for your situation.
  4.  Keep Water Fresh & Aerated – ensuring your horse has plenty of clean, fresh water is a given. It should be cleaned out and/or topped up each day. Make sure any empty containers that get filled with water don’t sit for too long and go stagnant. This is the ideal breeding ground for insects. By removing these, you’re giving the insects less opportunity to breed.
  5. Use A Flyveil – if flies are bad while you’re out riding, consider putting a fly hood or veil on your horse’s head to give them relief. If your horse has never had one on before, then proceed with caution and acclimatise them to one. It could make training and trail riding a much nicer experience for both of you!

In Summary

Flies and mosquitoes can make our lives a misery, but at the same time, they can provide a valuable service to nature. We hope these tips have helped give you ideas on how to protect your horse from flies this summer. If you ever have any questions about our range of horse rugs, don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

white horse

Spring Is Here

Spring Is Here

With the majority of the cold season behind us, it’s time to pack away the heavy doona rugs and bring out the lighter ones! Why not check out our range of horse rugs to find one that will suit the upcoming warmer temperatures. The right rug will not only keep your horse cooler, but it’ll protect their coat from being bleached by the sun. Other benefits are keeping midges and other biting insects from causing itching and rubbing on your horse. Stay tuned for some upcoming info on how to help keep your horse comfortable throughout the incoming hot season. If you ever have any questions about our products, you are always welcome to contact us using the form, or messaging us on our Facebook page.

horse, horse riding

Ever Ridden The Brisbane Valley Rail Trail?

Have You Ever Ridden The Brisbane Valley Rail Trail?

If you live anywhere around Wulkuraka in Ipswich up to Yarraman, you have definitely heard of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. Why not check out the trails on horseback? It’s 161kms of beautiful trails that are accessible to all, and steeped in history! You can find out more by going to the official website HERE.

Even if you don’t own a horse, you are able to cycle or even walk. There are multiple options to stop for refreshments or even camping overnight. Why not check it out as something to do one weekend with your best horsey pals?! Do remember though, that being

In the meantime, if you’re looking to start putting away the doona horse rugs for the upcoming spring and summer, why not check out our range of summer horse rugs that we have available and on sale now? You can always contact us if you’re not sure on something and we’ll get back to you ASAP.