First Time Owning A Horse? 4 Steps To Prevent Colic

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If you've just purchased your child's first horse, you might not be familiar with equine colic. Unfortunately, that could pose a threat to your horse. Colic is a serious health issue that can affect any horse, regardless of age, sex, or breed. Colic can cause severe pain and if left untreated, it can lead to death. There are several different types of colic, including:

  • Gas colic – gas collects in the bowels and can cause bowel distention
  • Obstructive colic – caused by impaction in the bowels or through the digestion of sand
  • Twisted gut – caused by the physical twisting of the intestines

With care, you can reduce the chances of your horse developing colic. Here are four steps you can take to prevent equine colic.

Feed Quality Hay and Grass

A healthy diet is one of the most effective ways of preventing colic. When feeding your horse, it's important that you choose quality hay and grass—such as alfalfa. Alfalfa provides your horse with the roughage and nutrients your horse needs to keep its bowels moving and to prevent the formation of gas. If you're interested in learning more about alfalfa, click the link to read more.

Provide Plenty of Fresh Water

In addition to quality food, your horse also needs plenty of fresh water. The water bucket should be hung above the ground so that your horse doesn't have to struggle to drink. Hanging the water bucket above the ground will also prevent parasites found in manure from blowing into your horse's water supply. To make sure that your horse always has a fresh supply of water, you should install a drip system that will refill the bucket whenever the water level dips below a certain level.

Offer Frequent Pasture Time

Exercise helps keep your horse's digestive tract working properly. It also helps your horse expel gas before it has a chance to build up in the bowels. To prevent colic, your horse should be given plenty of pasture time, preferably at least once a day. Provide a space where your horse can run and play.

Use Elevated Feed Bins

If you live in an area that experiences frequent wind storms or is particularly sandy, you need to make sure that the feed bins are elevated. When feed bins are on the ground, dirt and sand can get blown into the food, which means your horse may ingest sand when it eats. Unfortunately, sand ingestion can lead to obstructive colic. To keep sand out of your horse's food, keep the feed bin off the ground. For maximum protection, try to place the feed bin behind a wind enclosure.

Now that you have your first horse, you need to make sure you provide it with the proper care. The information provided here will help you prevent your horse from developing colic.

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