With everyone winding down for a relaxing holiday season, we decided to catch up with showjumper and commentator, Aidan Lithgow, for inside tips on products, training and setting resolutions for the new season. Although this year has not been the best for Lithgow due to injury, 2019 is looking much more promising due to a very promising line of horses, and the optimistic excitement of a new season.
In order to compete at registered events, competition horses need to have their annual vaccinations, which need to be administered and documented on your horse’s passport by a veterinarian. In South Africa, these vaccinations include the African Horse Sickness (AHS) vaccination, and the Equine Influenza vaccine. Some of us may still be uncertain as to when it is safe to vaccinate, what vaccinations should be used for AHS, as well as what precautions can be taken during the anticipated AHS outbreak season.
In addition to taking your horse’s weight and training into consideration when forming a dietary plan, you should also take athletic discipline into account. Endurance horses have somewhat unique nutritional needs due to the athletic demands of the sport which is why there are specific energy management techniques that can be taken to ensure optimal performance. The depletion of energy reserves, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances can all hinder your horse’s performance, therefore, peak performance is heavily dependent on sound energy management.
A horse’s liver is similar to our own in function, it is a vital organ that processes the blood, by filtering out the toxins, before it is recycled back into the body. The liver is therefore the main filter of all things toxic which the body contracts through bacteria or other toxins. The liver also produces bile which aids digestion, and because horses do not have a gall bladder, their liver needs to perform at optimal levels to continue the production of bile.