Here's a few tips on careing for our gaited (or nongaited if that's your preference!!) babies!! My Paso Fino Buckito loves all the attention ;~}



Wash mane/tail with soap and water. Rinse well and apply a hair conditioner. Allow the tail to dry and then carefully untangle the mat. You may loose some tail hair when the tangle comes loose. Using a plastic comb with large teeth instead of a metal comb will help to prevent this. For a really bad tangle, repeat the process a couple of times.

Another way to remove large tangles or burrs is to spray with WD-40 or coat with baby oil and then work through with your fingers or a plastic comb.


Body clipping your horse in the winter will make grooming and cooling out much easier. If it is warm enough, give your horse a soap bath before you clip him. Do a final rinse with a fabric softener solution. This will make the clippers glide through his coat and reduce the number of tramlines. If it is too cold to bath your horse, a thorough grooming is a good idea. Dirt dulls the blades and leaves the coat looking rough.

When you have finished clipping, dip a rag in either warm water and baby oil or warm water and alcohol, ring it out, and go over the entire horse. This will remove loose hair and scurf and leave your horse smooth and shiney. Be sure to keep a clipped horse warm and dry.

When you give your horse a soap bath, rinsing with white vinegar will help to remove the soap. White vinegar also acts as a natural hair conditioner and fly repellant.

Put half a cup of pine cleaner and half a cup of fabric softener in a small bucket of hot water. Wring out a rub rag in this mixture and use it to remove dust, dirt, and germs from the coat. This solution will also soften the coat and leave a great shine.


During the winter months we need to pay extra attention to our horses. Make sure your horse is drinking plenty of water. When the temperature plummets horses often stop drinking which can lead to colic.

Provide a mineral block for your horse and add to salt to his feed to encourage him to drink plenty of water. Also try offering luke warm water. This does not shock the stomach like ice cold water will and many horses appreciate having the chill taken off.

When spring gets here it is time for booster shots. Flu, tetanus, Eastern and Western Encephalitis, and Rhino. Depending on where you live your horse may also need rabies, Potomac fever and other regional vaccinations. Ask your Vet for the appropriate vaccinations for your area.

During wet weather, carefully check your horses heels for signs of scratches or cracked heels. Wash these wounds with iodine shampoo and dry with a towel. Using Desitin on these wounds helps them to heal and prevents new sores.

Is your horse on a regular deworming schedule? If not, now would be a great time to start one. As the weather is still cold and unpredicatable, your horse needs to be carefully monitored so that he maintains his condition. A good deworming program will help your horse get the most from his food.(more details below)

Keep a container of Gold Bond powder at the barn. Gold Bond can be used to treat rain rot and thrush. It is also useful in preventing rubs from protective boots. To treat severe thrush try using the strongest iodine solution (7%). As an initial treatment flush out the infected area with hydrogen peroxide. This will kill anaerobic bacteria but also impede healing. Each day after, pack the infected area with cotton and soak the cotton with the iodine solution. A syringe works well for this or even an empty wormer tube. Be careful not to get any iodine on the heels or pasterns as it will blister them. Once the thrush is dried up try alternating iodine with Gold Bond powder. A good prevention schedule for horses that are prone to thrush is to use iodine once a week and Gold Bond once a week.


To make a broom last longer, turn it 180 degrees frequently as you sweep. This will help keep the broom even. As the broom wears down, tidy up any ragged ends with scissors and remove the top two restraining strings from around the bristles.

Does your horse crib? To discourage this vice, hang water buckets and feed tubs very low. Just off the floor. This will make it much harder for your horse to use them as cribbing edges. Cribbers often do better outside where there is more to keep them busy. Cribbing is almost impossible to cure, however good management will reduce its frequency.

Cobwebs driving you crazy? Once you have them knocked down, wash the walls with a Lysol solution. The mixture does not need to be very strong to discourage spiders and repel flys. One washing should last you all summer.

When purchasing blankets for your horse be sure they fit properly. Measure your horse from the center of his chest going around his side to a point in the center of his tail. This will be the size in inches that he needs. Be sure that blankets do not press on the withers and cause sores. A well fitting blanket has no pressure points and will remain in place when the horse lies down or rolls. If your horse tends to loose the hair on his shoulders spray them with show sheen before putting on his clothes. Blanket liners also help prevent these unsightly bald spots.


In order to find a saddle that will fit your horse, it is helpful to make a wire template. To make a template of your horse's withers use flexible wire, such as floral decorating wire. Bend the wire across the horse's withers at the point at which the pommel would normally rest. (To find this point place a saddle on your horse and make a note of where the pommel sits.)

Bend the wire downward on both sides, molding it against the horse's shoulders, it should be in contact with the horse on both sides and on the withers. You need to have at least eight inches of wire on each side extending downward from the withers to the shoulders.

Once you have made your outline of the withers with wire, trace it onto a piece of 8 1/2 by 11-inch paper. Cut away the excess paper so that only the shape of the withers and shoulders remains. Take this template with you when you are looking for a new saddle. By holding the template underneath the pommel of a saddle it is possible to see how the saddle will fit your horse. A well fitting saddle does not press on the withers nor does it pinch the shoulders. To test this you should be able to slide two fingers between the saddle and the withers.

A wet chamois will help prevent your saddle from slipping. Wring out the chamois and place it under the saddle pads, directly on the horses back.

In winter smear Vaseline in water buckets before filling them with water. This will make the ice much easier to remove. It should just slide out when the bucket is tipped up!

Before riding in snow, smear a layer of Vaseline on the inside of your horse's hoof. This will prevent ice and snow from balling up inside the hoof. No Vasoline handy? Then spray a thin layer of cooking spray on the bottom of the hoof.

Do you use Duck Tape when your horse pulls a shoe? Applying strips of tape to a barefoot will help to prevent the hoof wall from cracking and breaking away. To make a more substantial pad, wrap a rag around the hoof before applying the duck tape.

Diapers are also great for temporary hoof protection. Again, secure the diaper with duck tape.

This tip is for horse lovers who may be intimidated by horses or even afraid of the animals they love. Spend a lot of time with horses. Talking to your horse will help build friendship and trust. Give commands with a strong tone of voice. Spend time with your horse observing his natural moves and reactions from the ground. Take a walk with your horse and see the world as he sees it, begin to learn how he reacts to the world. Gaining your horse's trust and confidence and letting him know that you are in control will help with your confidence level.

If your horse rubs the hair off a spot on there body and it's winter/cold weather put Petruleum Jelly on the area for protection. (This also works if your horse has a cut that is draining) In summer put sunscreen on the area.


The fact is: All horses have internal parasites.  If left uncared for, bots and worms can rob a horse of precious blood, nutrients, and energy. A horse that is not dewormed regularly and effectively often has a dull coat, dull attitude, pot belly, persistent winter coat, more frequent episodes of colic, and is repeatedly depressed or "off" in performance.  When a parasite-infested horse is fed, the resident parasite population grabs its share first.  The wormy horse soon becomes debilitated.


For the best results most horses should be dewormed every eight weeks, year round.  There are four exceptions to this rule:    

1~  Horses in crowded turn-out areas with continually changing population.  In this case, deworming every 6 weeks or possibly a daily wormer, like Strongid C would be beneficial.    

2~  Foals under one year of age and very old horses. Recommend deworming at one month of age, and then every month until weaning. After weaning, deworm every six weeks until 12 months of age, then every eight weeks thereafter.    

3~  Older horses, in their late teens, often have a weaker immune state than adult horses in their prime and are more susceptible to parasites. Older horses may require deworming every six weeks.    

4~  Horses that share a large pasture with a relatively unchanging population.


Paste in a syringe-type tube is the most common form available to horse owners.    

Pellets are designed to be fed mixed with grain.

Powder is usually available only to veterinarians and is designed to be reconstituted and used as a liquid.    

Liquid suspensions can be given as an oral drench or via stomach tube. This is traditionally administered by a vet.


The decision on which chemical class to use involves knowing what parasites you want to destroy, what chemical is effective against those parasites, and what brand name product is best. You should be concerned with strongyles, roundworms, and pinworms with each deworming. In the early spring and late fall, you should target bots.  

If you have a persistent problem with roundworms or small strongyles use a piperazine product. This is less useful than ivermectin, benzimidazoles and pyrimidines but will help with the afore mentioned problem.      

Benzimidazoles have many sub chemical classifications. Fenbendazole is a more effective, broad spectrum drug with a high safety factor. Oxibendazole is a good choice for foals.

It is effective against threadworms at a 1.5 dosage. These areon the AHSA list of forbidden masking substances. It can cover the evidence of other drug use. This must be administered at least 24 hours before competition and go to the show office and file a form with the show secretary is you have used this within 7 days of a show.        

Only double-dose strongid will kill tapeworms. While ivermectin effectively eliminates other worms, it leaves the door wide open for tapeworms.    


Means twice the amount your horse requires. It is safe. However, read the label for weight and dosage. An annual double-dose is recommended as a precaution. (If you are feeding the daily dewormer Strongid C, stop feeding it about five days before you double-dose with paste and return to daily Strongid C about five days later.)

Once the chemical class has been selected, the cheapest brand is often the best brand. An ivermectin is an ivermectin.

Administer as the manufacturer suggests. YOu should know the approximate weight of you horse before administering it.

Rotation refers to using dewormers from different drug classifications. A fast rotation plan uses a different class of dewormer each time. A slow rotation plan uses one dewormer for a year before rotating to another dewormer. No rotation uses one dewormer all of the time.    

The two main reasons given for rotating dewormers is cost and parasite "resistance."    


  If you can effectively use a cheaper dewormer at certain times during the year, it makes economic sense to rotate to that less expensive dewormer when you can.    

  The other reason is that parasites can develop strains resistant to dewormers.

Ivermectin has not been shown to have resistance problems so would be the only dewormer appropriate for a no-rotation program.  However, for economic reasons, use other dewormers for your horse's deworming regimen.    

If you use the daily dewormer Strongid C, realize that it does not kill bots.  Therefore, you should also administer an ivermectin paste in the spring and fall to control bot infestations.

Deworm six times per year (every eight weeks). Twice a year use an ivermectin product (Zimecterin, Rotectin 1, Equimectrin, or Eqvalan, whichever is cheapest):      

1~ During early spring (approximately April or May) just before bot larvae leave the stomach    

2~ In late fall after a killing frost and after all bot eggs have been removed from the horse's coat (approximately October or November).

In the spring, double-dose with pyrantel pamoate (Strongid P or Rotectin 2).

The other three times, alternate pyrantel pamoate (Strongid P or Rotectin 2) and fenbendazole (Panacur or Safe-Guard).  

January/February   Safe-Guard

March/April    Equimectrin

May/June    double-dose Strongid P

July/August    Safe-Guard

September/October  Equimectrin

November/December  Strongid P    
Zimectrin, Eqvalan or Rotectin 1 can be substituted for Zimecterin, if you find them cheaper.    

Rotectin 2 is the same as Strongid P, so again let cost be your deciding factor.

Panacur may be substituted for Safe-Guard.      

Deworming your horse is usually routine and does not require veterinary help. However, if you have questions, are concerned about particular worms, or question whether a deworming drug, consult your veterinarian. And, of course, fecal checks are a good check and do require veterinary assistance.

~Dental Care~

Benefits Of Dental Checkup For Your Horse

First, imagine this in your thoughts: A horse in it's teens that regardless of type, amount of, and frequency of feed she keeps fluctuating in weight. She fattens up for maybe 2 weeks after worming, and then goes down hill again. You try everything to get weight back on her so she doesnt' waste away to nothing. This is a horse who was fat as a pig the year before, but is now skin and bones despite your attempts to put weight on her. Finally you give up and call a vet out. She tells you your mare needs her teeth floated. "What?" you ask. Then tell her to go ahead, because in 1 month alone you wont believe the difference!! My mare is now on the mend, feeling better, getting fatter by the day, and more alert than ever.


As horse owners we should remember the importance of dental care for our horses--at least once a year. This is often overlooked. A horse with more problems should be checked more than that a year. A horse with a healthy mouth can chew feed better, reduce feed expense, help maintain weight and condition, and improve responsiveness to the bit.

A horse with teeth problems will develop some problems grinding its feed properly. The feed needs to be grinded into small particals to aid in digestion. Over time unused edges will become sharp and in some cases long. This can result in cuts in the cheeks and gums,and sometimes will produce sores and ulcers with infection possible.

~Some symptoms to look for~

~The horse can be seen dropping grain from it's mouth.

~Holding it's head sideways while eating.

~In severe cases, reluctance to eat.

~Some reluctance to carrying a bit, or less responsive to a bridle.

~Most of these problems can be treated by floating the horses teeth. This should be performed by a vet, and is relativly simple and inexpensive.

As with us, proper dental care for our horses can be well worth the effort. Take it from one who knows!!