Front Cover

Title: 4-H horse program : horse science
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00078697/00011
 Material Information
Title: 4-H horse program : horse science
Physical Description: Book
Creator: 4-H Youth Development Program, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida
Publisher: 4-H Youth Development Program, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida
Subject: University of Florida.   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00078697
Volume ID: VID00011
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
Full Text


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.

Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida

horse science








This educational material has been prepared for 4-H use by the Cooperative Extension Services of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture and State Land-Grant Universities in cooperation with the National 4-H Council and the
American Quarter Horse Association.

Trade or brand names used in the publications are used only for the purpose of educational information. The
information given herein is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement
of products or breeds of horses by the Federal Extension Service or State Cooperative Extension Services is
implied, nor does it imply approval of products or breeds of horses to the exclusion of others which may also be

This material was originally published by the National 4-H Council, 7100 Connecticut Avenue, Chevy Chase,
Maryland 20815.

Programs and educational materials of National 4-H Council are available to all persons regardless of race, color,
sex, age, religion, national origin or handicap. Council is an equal opportunity employer.

Horse Science: Health and Sanitation Principles Important in Horse Care

There are good reasons why you should be concerned
with maintaining the proper health of your horses or ponies.
First, you have a responsibility to all animals entrusted
to your care to protect them from injury, sickness and pain.
Secondly, any time your horse is ill it will prevent you
from using him.
Thirdly, if your horse needs treatment, it will usually
cost you time and money.
If we take the horse industry as a whole, we find that
thousands of dollars are lost each year because horse owners
did not follow the prescribed practices of good breeding,
feeding, management, and disease prevention. This is sad,
indeed, since the knowledge and materials necessary to
prevent most of these losses are readily available.
Animal scientists have discovered many practices which
horse owners find beneficial in the maintenance of healthy
horses. There are many fine drugs, vaccines, disinfectants
and other products manufactured today that can be used
successfully to help keep horses healthy. Fortunately the
people in veterinary medicine are ready and willing to help
in the wise use of these materials and in helping you to set
up a sound health program for your horses.
There are many preventive measures which are good
common sense ideas with scientific principles behind them.
Some of the more important ones are listed below.
1) Feed your horses a nutritionally balanced ration, in
sufficient quantities in the correct manner.
The scientific basis for this recommendation is:
A horse's well-being depends largely on its nutrition. If
the level of nutrition is high, the body defenses against
diseases will be stronger. This also applies to the problems
of internal parasites. Unsoundnesses of the feet and legs are
sometimes traced to deficient rations. The same is true of
other abnormalities such as infertility and abortion. It is
possible to overfeed horses and by so doing create serious
problems. A horse may founder, become temporarily
infertile or aggravate respiratory problems from being over-
fed. Some of these troubles are caused from feeding moldy
or dusty feed or from feeding or allowing access to cold
water too soon after heavy work.
2) Provide clean, healthful quarters for your horses.
The scientific basis for this recommendation is:
Disease organisms often grow and thrive in organic
waste. Flies and insects as well as vermin, which also harbor
disease, thrive under filthy conditions. Removing the source
(reservoir) of the disease organism lessens the chances of
If your horse is kept in a clean environment, his body
will not be constantly fighting to ward off disease.
Therefore, he will make better use of his feed, will feel
better and perform better because of less stress from disease.
Horses do best when allowed plenty of freedom to
exercise and plenty of clear fresh air, provided there are no

drafts. Most respiratory troubles develop from keeping
horses in tight barns which are too warm and humid.
3) Carry out a planned immunization and parasite
control program.
The scientific basis for this recommendation is:
Contagious diseases are caused by microorganisms,
mostly bacteria and viruses. However, your horses can
develop defenses against many microorganisms. These
defenses are the antibodies in the blood.
By vaccinating your horses against specific diseases
they will build up their antibody defenses against possible
invasion by microorganisms.
The secret of successful immunization is to have a
methodical plan, developed in consultation with your
veterinarian and then to carry it out before disease strikes.
Vaccination after your horses have been exposed to disease
will seldom give them enough time to build up their
defenses to a large enough degree. You might sustain serious
losses in such a case.
Horses are often inoculated against tetanus since this
organism is usually present in horse stables.
Internal parasites can cause stunting, illness and even
death if not controlled. They are particularly harmful to foals
and colts up to two years of age. Periodic examination of
fecal samples from your young horses by your veterinarian
will give you information on the extent of the problem.
The most scientific way to prevent disease and
parasitism in your horses is to plan a total immunization and
parasite control program with your veterinarian. You must
have your horses vaccinated at the right time, with the right
vaccine and by the best method to be sure they will build up
an immunity. You must also treat for parasites at the proper
time and with the proper material in the prescribed way to
successfully protect your horses.
4) Get an accurate diagnosis of the disease problem
from a veterinarian.
The scientific basis for this recommendation is:
Correct diagnosis of illness or abnormal conditions in
your horses is necessary before they can be treated
intelligently. Improper treatment based merely on
supposition can result in loss of time and money or even the
animals involved.
A diagnosis requires much specialized knowledge and
many procedures. Veterinarians have this knowledge and
also the equipment necessary to make the study. If they lack
in either facilities or knowledge in a special situation, they
can call on the state diagnostic laboratories and scientists for
5) Keep your horses well exercised, groomed and feeling
The scientific basis for this recommendation is:
If your horses are confined and cannot exercise by
themselves they will lose muscle tone, they may become stiff

June 1989

Page 3

Horse Science: Health and Sanitation Principles Important in Horse Care

or lame and their digestive systems will not function as
effectively. Horses in their natural state had the opportunity
for unlimited exercise in a clean, outdoor environment. This
enabled them to keep fit which meant they were better
equipped to ward off disease and unsoundnesses.
6) Consult your veterinarian. Plan a disease prevention
and parasite control program with him.
The scientific basis for this recommendation is:
Preventing disease is more effective than treating your
horses after they become sick.

Your local veterinarian is best qualified to help outline
a disease control program. He is trained in his field and he
is acquainted with the major disease problems in your
particular area.
By keeping in constant touch with your veterinarian he
knows the history of your horse or horses and will be in a
better position to make an accurate and rapid diagnosis.
Disease prevention will probably be most effective
when you and your veterinarian work together in all phases
of the disease prevention program.


June 1989

Page 4

Horse Science: Health and Sanitation Principles Important in Horse Care Page 5


June 1989

Horse Science: Health and Sanitation Principles Important in Horse Care Page 6


June 1989

Horse Science: Health and Sanitation Principles Important in Horse Care Page 7


June 1989

1. This document is section 11 of 14 of 4HHSGO1, which supersedes CO 201, one of a series of the 4-H Youth
Development Program, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University
of Florida. Date first printed August 1965. Date revised June 1989. Please visit the FAIRS Website at

2. Donald J. Balch, University of Vermont. Debbie Glauer, member of 4-H Animal Science Design Team, Department
of Family, Youth and Community Science, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611.


Cooperative Extension Service
Institute of Food and Agrcultural Sciences

Taylor Waddill, Director, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, publishes this information to further the purpose of
the May 8 and June 30, 1914 Acts of Congress; and is authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to
individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, age, sex, handicap or national origin. The information in this publication
is available in alternate formats. Single copies of extension publications (excluding 4-H and youth publications) are available free to Florida
residents from county extension offices. Information on copies for out-of-state purchase is available from Publications Distribution Center,
University of Florida, PO Box 110011, Gainesville, FL 32611-0011. Information about alternate formats is available from Educational Media and
Services, University of Florida, PO Box 110810, Gainesville, FL 32611-0810. This information was published June 1989 as CO 201, which is
superseded by 4HHSG01, Florida Cooperative Extension Service.

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs