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Potential Health Hazards to Watch for on Horse Properties by Cleo Gib

Potential Health Hazards to Watch for on Horse Properties by
Article Posted: 01/24/2016
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Articles Written: 12921
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Potential Health Hazards to Watch for on Horse Properties

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If you are looking at Ocala horse properties to purchase, you are likely focused on the acreage and the buildings included on the property. While these are extremely important features, there are other things that you should watch out for as well. This article will tell you about potential hazards you should be on the lookout for when inspecting a property; these hazards could pose serious health problems for your horses if you are not aware of them and get them taken care of in advance.

Poor Water Drainage

When visiting a property that you're considering buying, see if you can visit it after a recent rain. Inspect the fields and pastures for any signs of puddling or stagnant water. Walk through the pastures and see just how soft and wet the ground is. If you notice that the pastures are excessively wet or have numerous puddles, then this means that the field is not draining properly. This can pose some serious health problems for any horses that will be kept in this field.

Hooves that are constantly exposed to high levels of moisture will gradually soften and become weak. The sole of the hoof will begin to flatten out, making it more difficult for the horse to support its weight. This softness can eventually lead to lameness in your horse. The wet hooves can also crack and chip, and they are more prone to bacteria and fungi than healthy hooves.

If not addressed quickly, soft hooves can lead to permanent lameness and severe pain in your horse. In some serious conditions, standing water in a field can lead to euthanasia, so you should absolutely take the time to inspect the pastures on the property you're considering to ensure that they drain properly.

Gopher and Rabbit Holes

Inspect the fields as you walk through them and check for signs of a gopher or rabbit infestation. The most obvious sign of this will be holes in the fields, and it is these holes that can pose a serious hazard for your horses. If you turn your horses out into a field that is spotted with rabbit or gopher holes, you may have a horse step into one of these holes and end up with a broken leg or torn ligament. This can lead to some seriously high vet bills for you, and may even lead to euthanasia.

If you spot these holes when touring a property, it doesn't necessarily mean you have to write it off. Simply keep in mind that you will have to find an exterminator to get rid of the colony, and then you will have to fill in the holes yourself to prevent injury to your horse.

Poisonous Plants

Certain plants are poisonous to horses and other livestock. Before you go out to tour horse properties, try to educate yourself on the plants commonly found in your area that could be dangerous for your animals. Here are a few of the plants that pose a threat to horses:

  • Red maple
  • Wild onions
  • Jimsonweed
  • Foxglove
  • Buckwheat
  • Jessamine
  • Ground ivy
  • Sweetclover
  • Oleander
  • Pokeweed
  • Sorghum
  • Rhubarb
  • Wild cherries
  • Buttercup

Become familiar with what these plants look like, or take a collection of photos of these plants with you when walking the property. This will allow you to identify the potentially dangerous plants right away. Again, this doesn't mean you have to write off the property entirely; you will simply need to be aware of where these plants are located so that you can remove them before turning your horses out to pasture for the first time.

If you keep an eye out for these hazards when you're looking at Ocala horse properties, you should be able to find one that is not only comfortable for your horses, but one that is safe for them as well.

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