Dry itchy skin

This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by pheets pheets 2 years, 3 months ago.

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  • BuckarooBleu Original Poster BuckarooBleu
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 3

    My mare has very dry and itchy skin. She’s constantly rubbing on everything and is actually destroying stuff around our pasture. Her tail is incredibly shirt, but it’s growing, its not too far from her hocks, but she has very little forelock and a bit of mane. I think the lack of forelock may be a genetic thing as I’ve met a few horses that are related to her in a way and they have no forelock.

    How can I help her dry itchy skin without giving her a bath? How can I help her mane and tail grow without washing it?

    Thanks guys!
    -BuckarooBleu

    “Horses are incredibly forgiving. They fill in places we’re not capable of filling ourselves.”

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 475

    Since I have also read your other post in re easy keeper/overweight, I am wondering if a total diet evaluation night be prudent.

    “Easy keeper”… I hate that term : D They are maybe CHEAP to keep but when we cannot seem to feed anything more than air yet the horses is heavy, how do we achieve the right nutrient load and how do we know when we have? Easy keeper, indeed… not..

    Where your mare seems to ‘survive’ well on pasture perhaps there is still something missing in her diet/ her graze components. The overweight can definitely be a low key metabolism and can also be a mineral or vitamin deficiency, ‘specially where she is currently sporting dry itchy skin and thin hair(mane /tail). What do her feet look like? Might consider an absorption issue if her pasture is healthy and she is getting what she needs..is her manure “normal”?

    I know this concept can be easily overdone but diet: ratios of vitamins, minerals and all the good stuff in proper amounts along with regular and diverse exercise are the basics of any healthy weight. Just from curiosity, look into what grasses are in her pasture. Possibly there could be one inocuous weed/plant that she has munched and is maybe experiencing a mild allergic reaction. OR there could just be too much of one plant, not enough or another. The soil itself can also yield (or not: in New England, necessary Selenium is much lower in the dirt than required amounts so it is commonly added to many of our grain products as well as available in supplements) certain nutrients to what grows in it.

    Due to the possibility that her nutrient base is out of whack (volume is NOT the answer: components/ingredients ARE), a chat with a nutritionist or veterinarian could shed some light for you.

    Easy keepers vs the hard ones…. At least with the hard keepers, we KNOW they are getting enough of everything…. and then some.

    Chat with your vet.
    Ride more (if you can) : )

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    MTG might help with her mane and tail, once you get her nutritional needs sorted. Washing will only make it all worse, and that dries out the natural oils needed to promote a healthy coat and skin. Generally, my horses get only one or two baths a year (I do sponge off sweat), but they are groomed daily and their food is carefully monitored. Most pasture is simply not adequate to meet the nutritional needs of any horse without some sort of supplement, be it grain, minerals or whatever.

    Pheets is always right, listen to her!

    It is never the horse's fault

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 475

    You are sweet, Joe-Joe but nah, not always right, we just agree. A lot : )

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    BuckarooBleu Original Poster BuckarooBleu
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 3

    She had access to a salt block. When we feed hay we feed a grass/alfalfa mix. As for her pasture, I have no idea! I do feel like it is a vitamin issue, as her feet crack fast, within a week of the vet trimming them, and I’ve never gotten her to be at a good weight, she’s always been overweight no matter how much I ride her.

    Is there some kind of multivitamin for horses?
    What kind of questions should I be asking my vet?

    “Horses are incredibly forgiving. They fill in places we’re not capable of filling ourselves.”

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Even access to a salt block may not be enough. Ask your vet the same questions you asked here, and also have your pasture checked by the local agent. Smartpak has many different sorts of supplements and experienced personnel to help you decide if your horse needs one or more. TC also sells a mineral supplement you could check at your local feed store. As for the hay: what sort of “grass”? There are probably millions of different grasses, some more nutritious than others. Alfalfa is awfully rich, and not all horses can handle it. Generally, I prefer a good timothy/clover mix, but if I cannot get it, I feed timothy hay cubes once daily, amount determined on the individual horse (mare is fat as a tick, gelding looks like a toothpick, etc.). There are a lot of hoof care products that may help, and elsewhere on this forum are several discussions about the merits of these – you might find them interesting and helpful.

    If you did not plant your pasture, and aren’t quite sure what is growing in it, there is no way to guess whether or not it is adequate for her needs without testing.

    Keep us posted on your progress!

    It is never the horse's fault

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 475

    The mare sounds as though she is a big-bodied lass to begin with. I like the bold-bodied ones, more confidence in that they won’t break when I ride : ) Any pics? I love pics : )

    Questions for your vet might be just as you have presented here. Ask about ration balancers for diet supplementation. We have learned much about diet over the decades, and most grain/feed companies will have some sort of ration balancer available. Mostly, these are a vit/min based mix and fed out in small doses, instead of grain, along with graze/hay. Many horses today are overfed with grains and we are slowly recognizing and acting on the need to feed better, more efficient products.

    Best of luck to you with this, it will be interesting to learn how your vet chooses to handle this, please keep us posted!

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

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