Your Horse & Mud

Winter horse -

Your Horse & Mud

Muddy horse

Arghh mud it’s not glorious at all! Ok, it might be if you’re a hippo but it’s definitely not when you’ve got things to do and a horse to look after.

The constant rain makes fields a slippery, mudslide which can be inconvenient at its best and hazardous at its worst.

Mud can cause your horse to slip or slide and that could result in an injured horse; not good! 

Some tactics you can use to stop any sliding around is to scatter gravel or hardcore, be careful though, make sure there is nothing or you could have a different injury to deal with. 

Some people scatter wood chip to make dry areas, this is probably just a short term solution and ideally, you should plan for something more long term. 

Muddy seasons are getting muddier because it’s getting wetter so remember to put a plan in place to get your muddy field sorted before the next muddy season. 

You might want to look at irrigation or laying don permanent dry areas, especially around gates where it can get extra muddy.

As well as mud potentially resulting in injured horses, mud can pull shoes off, pull tendons and cause mud fever in horses.

Mud fever ( pastern dermatitis ) can affect any type of horse or pony but it’s more common in feathered breeds.

It starts at the back of the heel or pastern (The pastern is the area between the hoof and the fetlock joint ), it becomes inflamed and thickened. It might start off with hair loss and some crusting but as the infection progresses the area may start to look wet and pussy. 

If your horse has mud fever then the advice is to seek medical attention immediately.

To prevent your horse from getting mud fever then get the muddy field under control and brush all mud off your horse. Research shows that it is best to let the mud dry and then brush it away; washing and left wet for any period of time will make matters worse.

Remember that hairy legs will take longer to dry which makes it easier for mud fever so it’s best to clip the legs during the muddy season.

Other things to try are waterproofing the legs with barrier creams and leg bandages over the mud to absorb the moisture. 

Mud isn’t all bad, a little bit of it can be quite healthy for hooves and skin but when it becomes uncontrollable that’s when problems arise. 

Don’t let it become uncontrollable.