Preventing Horse Lyme Disease

horse lyme disease prevention

Equine Lyme Disease Prevention

Before reading, consider checking out our previous articles on Defining Equine Lyme Disease and Testing for Equine Lyme Disease. It is not an easy thing to care for a horse that has developed problems due to this disease. Horses that have developed neurological problems and uveitis tend to have a poor recovery. Very few horses with neurological signs are treated successfully. Unfortunately, most horses with uveitis lose their vision. No horse owner should have to go through that. This is why it is so important to prevent your horse from contracting the disease.

Lyme disease prevention consists of environmental management and controlling the risk of exposure. Mow all tall grasses, clear shrubs and bushes, and remember to keep your horses out of forests and woodland. Using fences to keep out animals carrying ticks is not always enough. Deer often transport ticks to horses, even if they do not have access to your pasture. Consider using feeding stations with insecticide-laden rubbing posts to treat deer for ticks that wander near your property. Also, use mulch between the woods and your pasture to create a buffer like a moat around a castle.

The Best Prevention Method is Simple

Regular grooming and careful tick removal is the best prevention method for equine Lyme disease. This helps prevent ticks from staying attached to horses long enough to transmit the disease. Remember to be careful when removing ticks from your horse to ensure that it does not survive and latch onto you instead. Also, apply a tick preventive such as a Permethrin spray to deter ticks from latching onto horses in the first place. Also, some veterinarians do administer a canine Lyme disease vaccine. Are you looking for a horse property in Colorado? Don’t settle for a regular realtor that doesn’t have experience with horses. Contact one of our horse-person realtors today.

Testing for Horse Lyme Disease

testing for equine lyme disease

Does My Horse Have Lyme Disease?

Detecting and diagnosing equine Lyme disease can be very challenging. There is little to no scientific literature on the subject and therefore a lack of an experimental model for equine infection. Also, a positive lab test is not definitive enough to lead to a positive Lyme disease diagnosis. Because of this, equine Lyme disease is often over diagnosed. Though, you should still get your horse tested. However, lab results show the horse has been exposed to the disease at some point and has produced antibodies against it. With all these problems with diagnosis, here are a few sure-fire steps to figure out if your horse has the infection:

  1. First of all, is your horse is located in an area where Lyme disease is prevalent?
  2. Also, look for the clinical signs consistent with Lyme disease. You can find them in our article Defining Horse Lyme Disease.
  3. You might have to rule out other causes of the clinical signs your horse is showing. These signs tend to overlap with many other equine diseases.
  4. If your horse is in a Lyme Disease region and is showing common clinical signs of the disease that cannot be attributed to something else, then have your horse tested.

Testing Methods

Laboratory tests consist of blood and tissue testing from the affected area. Veterinarians test horse blood in several different ways. These include the indirect fluorescent antibody test, Western blot test, or whole cell immunology. However, blood testing alone can be inconclusive without tissue testing. The broad-spectrum tetracycline and similar antibiotics are the most commonly used drugs to treat equine Lyme disease. For more information check out our other articles on Lyme diseases in horses. Are you looking for a horse property in Colorado? Don’t settle for a regular realtor that doesn’t have experience with horses. Contact one of our horse-person realtors today.

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Defining Horse Lyme Disease

Lyme disease in horses

Lyme Disease in Horses

Horses are exposed to many things because they are large mammals that spend most of their days out in the elements. Unfortunately, one of these things is diseases. You have probably heard about Lyme disease. It is transmitted by ticks to humans, cats, and dogs. You might not know however, that this disease can also affect horses. In humans, infections can lead to a wide range of clinical signs, including rashes, arthritis, and cardiac issues. For our house pets, Lyme disease can cause problems with the kidneys. Lyme disease in horses causes neurological issues, uveitis (eye inflammation), muscle atrophy, and behavioral changes, just to name a few.

In Colorado and other western states, Lyme disease is carried by the Western black-legged tick. These ticks have a two-year life cycle and feed on the blood of mammals to survive. Adult ticks are more active in the spring and fall. They climb to the top of the grass when temperatures rise above 40°F. When horses lie down in the grass or walk through tall grass, their hair brushes up against the leaves. This is typically how a tick attaches to the horse.

Equine Lyme Disease

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (or the CDC), reports that black-legged ticks are endemic in 14 states in the Midwest and along the East Coast. These areas have a cooler climate, therefore humans and house pets are unlikely to get the disease. Also, their geographical range appears to be expanding. However, horses live primarily outdoors, and are naturally at a higher risk of contracting Lyme disease.. In fact, horses might be more widely exposed to the disease than we realize. For information on equine Lyme disease, stay tuned for more upcoming articles on our blog. Are you looking for a horse property in Colorado? Don’t settle for a regular realtor that doesn’t have experience with horses. Contact one of our horse-person realtors today.

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WZ Ranch and Colorado Horse Boarding

Horse Boarding

Colorado Horse Boarders

Looking for a home is not easy. Finding the perfect area for you and your family will depend on many factors. Add a few horses into the mix and that search just got a lot harder. Finding the property with the right stable and pasture spaces can be difficult. Your friends at Colorado Horse Property suggest the best way to see if an area is suited for your horses is to bring them into the area. When searching for a new house, don’t you like to take a look at it first? Well, the same can be said for your horses. For a lot of horse owners, this could be an impossible task. Searching for a new home is hard enough for you and your family. Having to worry about hauling your horses up and down the state of Colorado puts stress on you and your horses. This is where a specialized horse boarding facility can benefit you.

There are many options for horse boarding services in Colorado. When choosing where to board your horse, ask yourself “what is important to me when looking for horse boarding near me?” Does your horse like to graze? Do you and your horse need ample trail riding nearby? Do you need access to a round pen or arena for training? If you said yes to these questions, then WZ Ranch is the overnight and short-term boarding facility you’ve been looking for.

WZ Ranch

WZ Ranch, a unique boarding facility accommodating traveling and relocating horsemen, is run by Tom and Phyllis Ellis. If regular overnight horse boarding facilities are horse hotels, WZ Ranch is the horse Hilton! Located just off of I-25 between Colorado Springs and Denver, WZ Ranch has everything you and your horses need. The ranch boasts grand indoor stalls, paddocks with loafing sheds, indoor and outdoor runs, a round pen, a large indoor arena, and several grazing pastures as well.

The Ellis team moved to the Palmer Divide from Texas with the dream of offering spacious, clean, and safe spaces for horses traveling through Colorado. You will definitely want to pick their brains, since they have thirty years of experience with horses and the rodeo circuit. They can also connect you with the best clinicians, veterinarians, and farriers in the area. To make things more convenient for you while looking for your Colorado horse property, WZ Ranch offers LQ-RV pads with hookups so you don’t need to be away from your horses while searching for the perfect Colorado horse property. The Spruce Meadows and Greenland Open Space equestrian trailheads are only a few minutes away. For more details, visit the WZ Ranch website. If you need help looking for a horse property for sale, contact one of our horse-person realtors today. Also, check out our local resources page for more information on the horse services that Colorado has to offer.

WZ Ranch Photos

Taken by Colorado Horse Property with permission from Tom and Phyllis Ellis of WZ Ranch.

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The Secondhand Saddle

The Secondhand Saddle

Used Saddles

The horse-person realtors here at Colorado Horse Property know that buying a new saddle can be an economic stretch. Buying a secondhand saddle is less expensive than buying a band new one, but there are a few caveats you should be aware of. Before taking a deal on a secondhand saddle, take a good hard look at the condition it is in. Are there any cracks in the saddle? Identifying weak or loose snaps, could prevent a serious injury down the road to you or your horse. It is also important to ensure the tack is really well cleaned.

Worst case scenario, it is possible to spread skin disease to your horse through a secondhand saddle. This is caused by leftover deposits of dirt, sweat, and moisture which can harbor all kinds of bad bugs and bacteria. So, if you are going to bring home any secondhand tack, be sure to fully scrub and clean it before bringing it near your horse. For more tips on how to clean your tack, check out our article Caring For Your Horse Tack. Failure to clean this tack properly could even introduce ringworm to your horse, a virus that can survive for weeks under the right conditions.

This is not only true for saddles, but for any horse tack that you buy used. Saddle pads, blankets, coolers, girths, and other equipment should be cleaned thoroughly. For sheepskin products, follow the directions on the label. Any tack composed on fabric that cannot be washed, should still be put in the dryer on hot. This will effectively kill germs as well as mites and lice. Even clean nylon and rope halters, lead ropes, lunge lines, and long lines. If you are looking for Colorado horse property for sale, contact one of our horse-person realtors today at Colorado Horse Property.

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Caring For Your Horse Tack

Caring For Your Horse Tack

Tack Care and You

In our previous article Colorado Horse Tack, we explained how important it is to take good care of your horse tack and equipment. Taking care of your horse tack is a big commitment that will need your focus all year round. When looking for horse tack for sale, consider how it will need to be cared for. Wipe and clean your saddle and bridle once a week if you ride regularly. You will want to use a good saddle soap from your local horse supplies store. Just like washing your hands, make sure to rinse off the soap with water after application. Saddle soaps can be harsh on your saddle and remove too much moisture, so make sure to apply a leather moisturizer when you’re done.

Not all soaps are created equal. Soap that has a basic pH level and sweat are the two greatest enemies when it comes to leather. Test out a small bottle of soap to see how well it works before invested in a large quantity. Read product reviews if your ordering online. These two factors affect the longevity and appearance of your tack if they are not washed off properly. Soaps that contain glycerin or include moisturizers are generally better for your horse tack than the more basic products.

Another thing you can do to care for your horse tack is to use leather oil. However, leather oil should be used sparingly and should not be allowed to soak into the seat. This could cause irreparable damage. Leather oil is notorious for leaving stains on clothing, so you’ll want to be wary for getting in on you. During the winter, consider keeping your leather tack in your home, especially if your tack room does not have any form of heating. Looking for a Colorado horse property for sale? Contact one of our horse-person realtors at Colorado Horse Property.

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Improving Your Dressage Riding Skills

Dressage Riding Skills

Your Dressage Riding Skills

Dressage is an equestrian sport; it is a highly skilled form of riding performed in exhibition and competition. A big part of riding (and riding well) is keeping the right frame of mind when in the saddle. You should always be thinking about the rider position and function. This is especially true when trying to improve your riding skills relating to swiftness. If you are always thinking about what you should be doing to ride your horse the fastest, then you will already be ahead of the competition. For example, if I have really tight arms or wrists, or holding tension anywhere in your body, you will not be able to push the horse as fast as it can go.

There are exercises that can be used out of the saddle to help you. Wrap a long flexible cord around a helper’s upper chest and shoulders, and pretend the other end is the reins of your horse. Have your helper walk forward, turning left and right, while you try to maintain a steady contact with these makeshift reins. Then switch places and have your helper steer you. This will provide you with insight into what your horse experiences.

Following those steps, grasp one end of your test rope and have your helper grasp the other end. Have your helper move their hand. Follow their movements to keep a soft, even contact. Pay close attention to your wrists, forearms, and shoulders. Are your wrists locked? Forearms tight? Shoulders stiff? This is indicative of how you will be in the saddle and gives you a chance to correct them before straddling your horse. For more information on English horse training in Colorado, check out our Colorado Horse Training page. Looking for horse properties for sale in Colorado? Contact a horse-person realtor today.

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Colorado Horse Stall Doors

horse stall doors

The last piece of the puzzle when it comes to Colorado horse stalls is the type of door you should use in construction. For more information on Colorado horse stalls, check out our articles “Constructing A Colorado Horse Stall” and “How To Design A Colorado Horse Stall.” There are a plethora of door materials and configurations. The most common stall door types are swinging and sliding doors. Some doors cover the full length of the doorway while others are divided into two panels. Other doors partially cover half to three-quarters of the doorway, and other go all the way up. The type of door depends on your style. Work with your contractor in the kind of door that fits your style best.

Though the door style will differ from horse-owner to horse-owner, some things will be the same. First of all, the doors and doorjambs need to be durable. The average horse weighs upwards of a thousand pounds—not just any door will do to keep these animals inside their horse stall. You’ll need secure latches, and the door must be free of sharp edges or protrusions. Door guides on sliding doors should be rounded. Door latches should be operated with one hand. Keep door latches out of reach your horses, especially the escape artists.

Stall dividers should be at least two inches thick. Dividers are commonly composed of rough-cut oak or tongue-and-groove pine. Using anything softer than these wood types and you will be susceptible to kicking and chewing damage. Use pressure-treated lumber or plywood for the bottom boards. While boards may warp, plywood dissipates kicks and has a better strength-to-weight ratio. For information on horse properties for sale in Colorado, contact one of our horse-person realtors at Colorado Horse Property today.

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Constructing A Colorado Horse Stall

horse stall

When it comes to constructing a horse stall in Colorado, lighting and air flow two of the most important things to get right. For more information on Colorado horse stalls, check out our articles on “Planning Your Colorado Horse Stall” and “How To Design A Colorado Horse Stall.” Proper lighting in your horse stall is essential for observing your horses any time of the day or night. Also, cleaning your horse stall because exponentially more difficult with poor lighting. Though natural lighting is a good option, you should keep any glass out of your horse’s reach for their safety. Glass windows should be either out of reach, above seven feet, or protected by sturdy bars or mesh. Plexiglas is a good option for window glazing.

Besides using the standard glass window, another lighting option for horse stalls is using a light fixture. If you place your lighting fixtures along the front or side walls, you are more likely to decrease shadows. One fixture above the center will always create shadows. This occurs as the horse comes to the front of the stall for observation. Similar to the placement of windows, you should place your fixtures at least seven feet high to minimize contact with the horse. You can also consider putting a shatterproof cage around the light bulb. Shatterproof cages are generally available at most lighting supply stores. Now that you have decided on the lighting for your stall, now it is time to think about air flow.

Fresh air promotes good respiratory health for every horse that you have constructed a stall for. A window, which opens for each booth, eave and ridge vents, and no ceiling (or at least a high ceiling), will enhance fresh air exchange. Many older stalls, typically found in restored barns, have hay storage above the stalls. Storing hay and bedding over the top of the stalls is not a good idea in respect to air flow. These items can also carry allergens that could harm your horse’s respiratory system. For more information on horse stalls or finding horse stalls for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today.

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How To Design A Colorado Horse Stall

horse lyme disease prevention

The Colorado horse stall is the most basic unit of a horse stable. When designing your Colorado horse stall, safety for you and your horses should be your primary concern. After safety, comfort for your horse and convenience for you are the next priorities. If you keep these things in mind when planning and constructing your horse stall, then you’ll have nothing to lose. If you are using a contractor, then make sure to speak with them every step of the process. For more information, contact Colorado Horse Property today. The first two things you’ll need to consider when constructing your horse stall is the size and the walls.

The size of your horse and the amount of time your horse spends in the stall will determine the size of your stall. Larger horses require more square footage than smaller horses. Your horse will need space to turn around, lie down, and get up comfortably. A 12-foot by 12-foot stall is the standard recommendation for a 1,000-pound horse. Though you can go smaller than this, walls less than 10-feet in length are not recommended. The stall’s wall length is one-and-a-half times the horse’s length. Consider a larger stall size if the horse spends more time in the stall. You’ll also need to account for more space if your hose is more active than others.

Though this is used often, stall walls do not have to be completely enclosed. An open panel design at the top allows for better ventilation. You will also be able to observe your horse better this way. An open panel partition has solid materials along the bottom 48 to 60 inches, with an open panel on top. Bars of three-quarters to one-inch diameter pipe, or equivalent, are standard. Place bars no more than three inches apart or uses a heavy-gauge wire mesh with approximately two-inch openings. Follow this link for more on Planning Your Colorado Horse Stall.

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