Sunday, 27 January 2013

Types Of Wormers

There are 6 main categories of wormers and then some of these categories can be combined to make some dual wormers. How long the wormer will remain effective in the horse’s system for depends on the type of wormer it is.
Ivermectin; This group included Eqvalan, Eraquelle, Vectin, Noromectin, Bimectin and Animectin. This group of wormers are effective for 8-10 weeks. They treat worms such as lungworm, red worm, roundworm and bots. They don’t treat the larvae that have burrowed into the gut wall however (encysted).
Moxidectin; This group includes Equest. This wormer stays in the system for 13 weeks. They treat small redworm, bots and roundworm. This shouldn’t be given to horses that may have a large worm burden as once the worms in the gut have been killed off, more may emerge from inside the gut wall and this can cause colic.
Praziquantel; This group includes Equitape. This treats tapeworm and is a one-off treatment which doesn’t have lasting effects in the horse once it has killed the worms that are present.  
Pyrantel; This group includes Strongid-P, Pyratape-P, Exodus and Embotape. This lasts in the horse’s system for 4-6 weeks. Treat nematode worms.  Some of these wormers may be given at a double dose to treat tapeworm.
Fenbendazole; This group includes Panacur and Panacur Equine Guard 5 day course. This lasts in the horse’s system for 6-8 weeks. These also treat nematodes but some will not kill them if they are encysted in the gut wall. The 5 day course kills these encysted worms.
Mebendazole; This group includes telmin. This lasts in the horse’s system for 6-8 weeks. This doesn’t treat encysted worms.
When looking at the dual wormers, this include Equest Pramox which is a Moxidectin and Praziquantel and Equimax and Eqvalan Duo which is Ivermectin and Praziquantel. These wormers treat for tapeworm along with other types of worms such as bots.
Love Laura

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Horse Racing

Today's post is going to be on horse racing! This is a topic I have not covered much on The Horse Talker but there are lots of things to talk about!

A big factor in the racing industry is the betting that takes place on the horses. This may be what gives the sport so much money and increases the following of horse racing dramatically. An example of how horse betting can work can be seen when looking at the Cheltenham Festival horse racing odds which is on quite soon. Horses will be given odds depending on how good they are, for example, currently Puffin Billy is 6/1 to win any horse. This would mean that if you put a £1 bet on the horse and it won you would get your £1 back and then £6 extra. 

When I went to the races with a group of people we just put small bets on of around £5 in pairs and then split any money we won. This was really fun and even though we were picking horses based on their names we won quite a bit!

The Horses
In the past I have written a short post on the history of Thoroughbreds. The Thoroughbred world is often seen as very different to the rest of the horse industry and can be very interesting to look into.

Jargon Busting
  • Claimer- An apprentice flat race jockey.
  • Clerk of the course- The person responsible for the overall management of a racecourse during raceday.
  • Conditional Jockey- A National Hunt jockey who is under 26 and receives a weight allowance for inexperience until he has ridden a certain number of winners.
  • Draw- The position in the starting stalls in a flat race. 
  • Drifter- A horse whose betting odds have lengthened.
  • Furlong- The unit of distance in a horse race. One-eighth of a mile or 201 metres.
  • Going Report- The condition of the racecourse ground. The turf is classed as Hard, Firm, Good To Firm, Good, Good To Soft, Soft, Heavy. 
  • Hacked Up- When a horse wins easily.
  • Handicap- A handicap race in which the the weight each horse has to carry is individually allotted according to it's past performance to make the chances of all horses in the race more equal. 
  • Juvenile- A two year old Flat horse or a three year old National Hunt horse.
  • National Hunt- Racing over fences and hurdles AKA jump racing.
  • Novice- A horse which has not won more than two races.
  • Nursery- A handicap race for two year old horses.  
  • Penalty- Additional weight carried by a horse on account of previous wins. In a handicap, penalties are added to the allotted weight of a horse if it has won since the weights for the race were published.
  • Steeplechase A horse race over fences, open ditches and water jumps.
  • Weights- Lead strips placed in a weight cloth bring the jockey up to the handicap weight of the race.
I have been to watch the races once at Haydock and I really enjoyed it. I think it can be a really enjoyable sport if the rules are correctly followed. I have also just realised I don't think I wrote a post on that trip so I will have to do that soon with the photos I took.


Have any of you been to watch the races and what did you think? I would love to go back again soon!

Love Laura

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


As some of you may know I have recently gained employment with an equine worming company. Therefore I am not living at home anymore and Troops is still at home with my Mum. I will still be going home some weekends and will update you on him then and I might get her to take some photos I can upload on here.
I will still be writing my “Science Sunday” posts and hopefully will be fitting in some other posts in between. When I am more settled in here I will probably try and get some riding down here maybe with lessons on a riding school which could be interesting!
I still have 2 Joules notebooks to giveaway but I have left them at home when I was packing. I will get hold of them soon and bring them back with me.
Also I am willing to take guest posts if any of you would like to write these and I would link back to your own blog or website. My email address is if you would like to contact me about this.
Love Laura

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Science Sunday; Resistance To Wormers

Resistance to wormers is are large potential problem. It is the worms themselves that become resistant to the wormer and not the horse.

How does resistance develop?
Within a population of worms there will be a variety of genetic differences as there are within any population. Mutations can happen and this may lead to a worm having an advantage as it may not be killed by the wormer given to the horse. Mutations are random and many of them may have no effect on the worm or may make it not survive as well, however, some mutations may give the worm an advantage. This is effectively evolution and they are increasing their ability to survive in the environment. When a wormer is given to the horse it will kill most of the worms, if there are worms present with an advantageous mutation then they will survive to reproduce and may pass on this genetic advantage to their offspring. Therefore the next time the horse is wormed a larger percentage of these worms will not be killed.

Types of wormers
Different types of wormers work in different ways to kill the worm. Therefore if a worm becomes resistant to one type of wormer a different one can be effectively used. However, there are only 3 families of wormers used in horses and problems arise when the worms become resistant to all of these types. It also takes a very long time for new drugs to be developed for use which increases the problem.

Resistance is already developing
In some livestock species there have been reports of worms that are resistant to all types of wormers. Resistance in the horse is not as common yet in the horse but there is evidence that it is increasing. For example, resistance has been found to ivermectin on some farms in Italy from Parascaris equorum.

The test they use to test for resistance is a faecal egg count reduction. They will carry out a faecal egg count, worm the animal then carry out another test to see how much the worm burden has decreased. However, there is a lack of a definition for resistance in horses.

How can we help prevent resistance developing?
Worming horses with the correct dosage will help to prevent resistance developing. This is due to the worms not coming into contact with a small dosage of the wormer but not enough to kill them which may lead to them developing resistance.

In Denmark there are restrictions on the use of wormers and they have found little evidence that resistance is happening in horses there. Therefore restricting the use of wormers may also help to prevent resistance developing. It is best to worm horses only when they need to be wormed and not on a scheduled programme where they are wormed on a certain date whether they need it or not. However, this may be hard to put into place on large livery yards.

Love Laura

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Science Sunday; Conformation And Disciplines

When training a horse it is important to be mindful that the behavioural responses required of horses, even at the highest level of dressage, are not beyond their physical capabilities. While physical limitations due to conformation may affect the quality of the training outcome, dressage movements are essentially derived from natural movements innate to the species. Conformation often limits performance such as height and weight when jumping. 

Conformation assessments may be done and the results of these used to breed horses from. This can be done from a young age and certain conformational traits are linked to abilities to perform well in certain areas. However, although this gives an early result it is not reliable as there are a wide variety of types of horses that compete in different disciplines therefore these horses will be missed.

Koenen et al (1995) did an interesting study into genetics and conformation of horses and how this related to their dressage and show jumping performance in Dutch Warmbloods. Over 10,000 mares were used with over 3,000 in each of the two categories, dressage and show jumping. They found low genetic correlations which suggested that selecting horses to breed based purely on their conformation is of limited value. Conformation points such as the length of neck, position of shoulders and muscularity of the haunches were all looked at amongst other things. It was found that the shorter necks had higher dressage scores, however this was only a small relationship.

In a study of 500 standard bred trotters it was found that 5 to 9% of their performance traits could be due to conformation. It has been found that conformation for the different disciplines varies. Show jumpers have been found to have smaller pelvic inclinations and smaller hip and pelvic angles. Dressage horses have been found to have a shorter neck and tibia, large elbow angles and a larger angle between the femur and the horizontal plate.

Conformational faults may lead to a horse being prone to a certain type of injury. This is a problem that is seen in race horses as sometimes they are retired to stud after an injury which may pass on this fault to its offspring. Poor conformation will not be the only cause of an injury but may lead to a predisposition.

Love Laura

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Science Sunday; Vaccines

Immunological memory
The immune system needs to remember the things it has had to fight off in the past in order to be able to treat them efficiently if the horse is reinfected. Some studies have shown that the memory of some viruses and diseases can last for over 75 years in humans. This is why vaccines work well as the animal will remember the infection and kill it more quickly next time it becomes infected. Vaccines stimulate a normal protective immune response of host to successfully fight invading pathogens.

Types of vaccine
There are a number of types of vaccine. These include a killed version of the bacteria/virus. It can be a live version that has been altered. They can be a section of protein or DNA taken from the bacteria/virus. They want the disease to still be recognisable to the immune system of the animal without still being able to cause harm. 

There are a number of reasons why some vaccines work and others don't. Some are toxic to the animal. Some need to be boosted as one injection will not provide lifelong treatment (although they should in theory).  A lot of knowledge into the disease is needed before they can start designing a vaccine. They need to understand it's life cycle to work out when is best to target the bacteria/virus. 


Vaccines when the foal is very young are questionable. The antibodies in the colostrum cause the offspring’s immune system not to make its own antibodies. The length of time the maternal immunity (passed on from the mother) lasts for is questionable and antibodies for different things may last different amounts of time. The mare should be given a tetanus vaccine during pregnancy as the horse is susceptible to tetanus and foals may be at risk. These antibodies will be passed onto the foal in the colostrum. However, if you are unsure if the mare has had the vaccine the foal should be vaccinated as it may have a benefit. The foal should start having vaccines around 6 months. 

There are some problems when developing vaccines for parasites as they hide from the animals immune system and can also suppress the immune system. Success with commercial parasitic vaccines has been seen in some animals. Some have a poor shelf life so have not worked well commercially. A vaccine for ticks and another for tapeworm in sheep were produced but are not produced now due to commercial reasons. 

Love Laura
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