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Healthy at Shows

June 8, 2009

Whether you travel to shows, trail rides or races, it’s important to keep your horse healthy on the road.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners offers simple tips for keeping your horse healthy away from home and guarded against diseases.

Question:

When I travel to shows with my horse, he is usually stabled for a few days on the show premises. How much should I worry about the stalls being infected with a communicable disease? What can I do to prevent him from getting sick?

Answer:

The key points to remember to keep your horse healthy while at horse shows are the same points you would perform at home:

  1. Provide a clean stall with ample bedding
  2. Provide a clean water bucket with plenty of fresh potable (fit for human consumption) water
  3. Continue your horse’s regular diet of high-quality hay and whatever portion of a complete feed your horse is on
  4. Ensure that you’ve been given a safe stall with no exposed nails, wires or boards
  5. Immunize annually for strangles (Pinnacle intranasal vaccine from Fort Dodge), influenza and equine herpes virus-4, two to four times a year depending on how often you travel

Consult with your local veterinarian to set up a program of immunity you both are comfortable with.

- Dr. John Poe, Midway, Kentucky, member of AAEP