Caring for your horses in wet conditions

July 20, 2020

Proper paddock drainage is particularly important for horse owners. Depending on the type of soil in your paddock, it may or may not drain effectively on its own. If your paddock is flat, with a compacted soil structure, it is likely that the layers of soil will be preventing the water from draining away. Which ultimately causes waterlogging.

If you’re keeping horses in a paddock which is prone to waterlogging, or would just like to care for your horses better in the wet season, our blog will explain more.

Soft, wet ground conditions

If your paddock experiences long periods of soft and wet conditions, your horse’s hooves cannot wear down as they should and therefore can become overgrown or may grow unevenly. The problem of this might seem obvious, more expense with regular maintenance of hooves, but actually the problem can be much more serious. Uneven hooves can affect a horses stability which can cause falls, ultimately leading to hip problems in the long term. Uneven hooves can also lead to joint pain, limping or lameness so it is vital to ensure the ground conditions are perfect on your paddock.

Thick, sticky ground conditions

On the flip side, if the paddock has become so waterlogged that thick, sticky mud is formed, this can cause horses to loose shoes. Unless spotted straight away, losing a shoe can mean that grit and mud build-up, causing irritation or infection in the hooves.

If horses hooves are continuously kept in wet conditions, it can lead to bacterial infections such as thrush. Wet hooves become a breeding ground for bad bacteria and if your paddock is waterlogged, it is difficult for horses to seek any respite from the conditions.

Caring for their coat and skin is important too

During wet conditions, especially in winter, many opt to rug their horses to help maintain a level of warmth. Rugs which are not checked and changed regularly can cause problems for your horse’s coat and skin. A wet rug which is leaking will eventually cause skin infections such as rain scald.

Ensure any mud which is matted into the horse’s coat is brushed out regularly, a build-up of mud can cause infections which will need antibiotics to treat.

Substantial paddock drainage can help solve a lot your problems. While it cannot control the rainfall and your horse will still experience wet conditions from time to time, proper paddock drainage can help with the build-up of mud and waterlogging. Speak to Croft Drainage Solutions today to arrange your site visit.