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muddy fields.

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#1 wibs



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Posted 10 January 2008 - 08:51 PM


As a reasonably new owner of horses ( and now a donkey foal) I am unsure exactly how much damage muddy fields can do. The recent weather means that our fields are very wet and consequently muddy, in the gate way particularly. We have heard horror stories about mud fever and problems with their hooves and frogs, but we have no concerns that our horses have any signs of anything. All of them are brought in every night...but I am not sure whether it is best to wash the mud off their legs or to leave it to dry overnight and brush it off in the morning. How much of a issue is it? Should the horses be kept in until the field drys out...that could be months and exercising them would be differcult due to work commitments. I have also heard that horses with white legs are more at risk...is this true as all of ours do! Also I have heard donkeys are also at risk...ours isn't out yet but I am wanting to put him out as he is going mad keeping him in.Are certain breeds more at risk then others...we have a sheltland, a shire,a welsh cob and a welsh mountain pony! None of which have had any problems in the past so am I worrying for no reason. Thanks for any advice.

#2 Sian


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Posted 10 January 2008 - 10:15 PM

My field is like a bog too and my horse lives out in it all year. Last winter he had a tiny bit of mud fever and I think I fiddled with it too much cos this winter I have tried to leave his legs be as much as poss, I dont brush them unless they are totally dry and I never hose them off. I peek through the hair at the heels etc every weekend to see how the skin underneath is and so far he seems totally fine this winter.
He has black skin on his legs though and no white socks or anything. My old horse was cremello and so he was pink skinned all over and where I kept him was even muddier, again, he wintered out and by some miracle NEVER got mud fever at all in 11 years of ownership!!
I think it depends on your horse and on the type of mud you have. At the yard I was on before it was very heavy clay and everything there had mud fever, some of them had it dreadful, I'd never seen it so bad before. There are 4 horses in the field next to mine and they all have white socks and only one of them gets mud fever. They guy who owns her cleans her legs when they are dry by brushing the mud off and them plasters paraffin jelly, like vasaline type stuff all over them and it seems to keep it at bay. Its one of those things though where one thing works for one person and another thing for someone else. We also have another horse on the yard who only gets mud fever in the summer when there is no mud!!! Very odd!
I can't advise re creams and potions I'm afriad as I've never used any as George's was never bad enough to need anything other than a bit of vaseline on it. Loraine will have a brilliant cheap cure I'm sure!!
I hope you manage to avoid it with yours.
Welcome to HT by the way!

#3 Cathy


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Posted 11 January 2008 - 12:18 PM

Hello and welcome! I think Sian has covered everything, but to add I only ever got mud fever once when I started hosing the legs off. I don't even brush it off now, they come in at night, and out again in the morning. (But that is the lazy way :D )

#4 Ruth


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Posted 11 January 2008 - 05:18 PM

Wow, I love your selection, all my favoutites there. I think that animals with feathers tend to be more prone to mud fever, although non of ours has ever had it (to date X). Mine (currently 4 donks, welsh A, shire X) all live out 24/7 with access to a shelter. If we were to bring them in we wouldn't dry the legs off. Hosing is fine but if you start rubbing the legs, you may inadvertently push grains through the soft skin, which would set off an infection.
Many horses and donkeys are currently suffering from gravels - abscess in the hoof - which becomes common when the feet are waterlogged and soft and somehow a minute spec of gravel works into the white line. There is little you can do to prevent this, and it mostly affetcs unshod animals anyhow. Donkeys are also prone to seedy toe, but just cleaning the hooves and trying to keep the donks feet slightly drier will help to avoid this. I would still encourage you to let your young donk out for a few hours every day right now, that amount of wetness should do no harm.

On the whole though, there is really little you can do, other than not let them stand for hours in mud.

My God, I'm waffling. Sorry :angry:

#5 ybhorsey



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Posted 12 January 2008 - 09:05 PM

field recover and horses are the better for a trudge out in the slop.. i do as Cathy does :angry: just keep a check and if you do find any little scabs starting dose with something like Keratex mud shield or tea-tree and barrier cream of the sudo cream variety!!

#6 LauraH


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Posted 13 January 2008 - 06:17 PM

Hi Wibs
Pippa used to get mud fever at our previous yard but has never had it at any other, think it may well be to do with what's in the mud. I do tend to brush off the mud when it's dried before I put her out in a morning. She used to always get it on her hind legs, which are white.
Pig oil tends to work quite well as a barrier if you have horses with not much feather as the mud just slides off.
We do try to clip Cassie's feathers off as much as possible in winter as she got cracked heels last year and we think it was because the hair closest to the skin never dried, it was too thick. clipping her feathers off seems to have done the trick though.

#7 Suzi


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Posted 14 January 2008 - 05:06 PM

Hi, my Pony Sam got mud fever in the summer from long wet grass .. so muddy or not it is the wet legs .. Sam's mud fever was a tiny patch but boy it was stubborn and I had to get quite a few tubes of flamazine to get rid of it and washed it in Aloe soap every night and dried the legs.

Sam's legs are hosed off every night (very white and very very pink) and if they have not been washed well enough then I will give them a going over with a bit of aloe soap which give me the excuse for a pick and a feel to make sure all is well! I also keep Sam's heels well trimmed, and every night he has his leg warmers on.

Sam has been on the same field since June or July when he went down with Laminitis and it is now brown grass and has a layer of muddy water sitting on the top of it, and you can only see the hoof marks and his gate and everything is just a mud bath as he has been running up and down.

Summer is on its way! Hurray ... oh by the way Sam won't be moved now until the fileds start to show recovery and by then it is laminitis time and he'l no doubt be put on a field with grass!

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