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Posts Tagged ‘Horses’

Spring is in the air, newborn lambs and calves can be seen dotting our countryside and we are also heading into prime breeding season for many equine Stud farms. Breeding equines is not something to enter into lightly though. Sadly often retired, lame or old mares are looked upon as ideal candidates for becoming broodmares. Their owners thinking along the lines that breeding a foal from them would give them a ‘purpose in life’ or ‘help pay for their keep’.

In past years a lapse in EU laws means that people are breeding from stallions that are not graded or haven’t reached the minimum standard for that breed. Other major concerns are that the age of mares are not being monitored resulting in very young or very old mares being put at risk. We have also seen first hand the results of irresponsible breeding, whereby mares have been bred with stallions totally unsuitable size wise resulting in permanent damage for the poor mares and sometimes loss of both the mare and foal.

At ERF we receive many calls each month regarding ‘at risk’ equines. One of the ways to reduce the amount of unwanted, neglected and abandoned equines would be the introduction of programmes to educate and inform on ways of producing equines of a higher quality and worth.

As a welfare Association, we are well aware that there are far more horses, ponies and donkeys than there are experienced and knowledgeable homes available to care for them. A problem that will only continue to escalate if we continue to add to those numbers. In the past few years the prices of horses and ponies, especially in the UK and Ireland, have dramatically fallen and there is a huge concern for the fate of such cheap animals. Equines are complex animals with specific needs and are likely to suffer if bought by inexperienced or unknowing people, especially when some are going for the same price as a pet rabbit! Purchase prices may be low but the costs of keeping a horse are still high meaning that anyone lured into horse-ownership because they now find the initial outlay affordable is likely to run into financial difficulties caring for their animal. The result being that yet more horses will suffer if we don’t start to tackle the root cause of the problem.

ERF has always adopted a no breeding policy for all equines that are rehomed by us under contract. We castrate, where safe to do so, all entire equines that come into our care. This is our committment to reducing indiscriminate breeding in the horse world, something we should all be thinking long and hard about.

A sad result of indiscriminate breeding

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It has been brought to our attention that there has been 3 cases of Piroplasmosis in the last few days around the Confolens (dept.16) area. Whilst we don’t want to scare monger people, it’s always worth checking your equines for ticks frequently and knowing the tell tale signs of Piroplasmosis.The ticks that have been the culprits recently have apparently been very small and can easily be missed.

Please refer to our earlier posts on Piroplasmosis for more details on the disease;

https://equinerescuefrance.wordpress.com/2008/02/24/the-ticks-have-landed/

https://equinerescuefrance.wordpress.com/2008/10/29/equine-piroplasmosis-learn-to-spot-the-signs/

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Some breeds of horse will be coping better with the cold weather than others. Our friend Gazza has no problems being a rotund Norwegian Fjord, and isn’t letting a bit of snow get in the way of his grazing (obviously he’s the one with his head down)!


Have a look at our older blog postings on how to deal with equines and cold weather, or if you have any concerns about equines you think are genuinely suffering in this weather, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

https://equinerescuefrance.wordpress.com/2008/12/03/winter-care-for-your-equine/

https://equinerescuefrance.wordpress.com/2009/01/07/its-freezingbut-is-my-horse-cold-too/

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With France experiencing a recent spate of very hot weather, we thought we’d offer some advice on how you can help your equine cope with the heat.

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French report

French report

There are many assumptions made about the scale of horse production in France, particularly in the UK where individuals want to ‘rescue’ horses from the abattoir. We regularly hear ‘rescue’ sites talking about the huge numbers of horses being transported in illegal conditions to Italy – indeed we once believed these tales too and it is only with considerable research that we found out the truth.

The official 2008 figures have recently been released and they make interesting reading:

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Flies and eyes

Whilst we are all looking forward to the long  summer days this year, spare a thought for our equine friends who may not have quite so much to look forward to. Summer brings with it some unpleasant nasties, one in particular is flies…and a dangerous place for them to linger is around the equines delicate eye area. It can be quite distressing for some horses, who toss their heads about and rub their faces in an attempt to rid the pests. Flies are attracted to the  secretions from the eyes and can even lay eggs within the folds of the lower lids- this is something to look out for. Apart from infections caused by the flies themselves horses can also badly damage their eyes by rubbing on objects such as fence posts, shelters etc.

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ERF would like to invite all their current members to the Annual General Meeting,which will be held on Friday April24th at Les Beaux, 16420, Saulgond.

Full details can be found on our website here. Please let us know if you intend to come along by the 17th April.

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