Are summer critters playing havoc with your horse’s skin? Do you dread your horse’s skin reactions due to heat, humidity, and the bugs that come with it?
A horse’s skin is its largest organ, representing 12-14% of their total weight. Skin is a protection barrier and the subject of viral, fungal and bacterial attacks hence the importance of keeping your horse’s skin and tack clean and in good condition. The skin also helps to regulate body temperature, it is an eliminatory organ and a sensor for the nervous system.
Flies are especially troublesome this time of year – deerflies, botflies, no see-ums, blackflies. Horses can develop a hypersensitivity to these insects because of antigens in the secretion of their salivary glands. These antigens set up allergic reaction to the skin in the form of bumps or welts that are very itchy. This can be a problem as your horse rubs and scratches to relieve the itching, potentially creating a dermatitis.
Knowing how delicate horses can be, it is easy to understand how important keeping their skin in pristine condition is. Keeping skin free of bites, cuts, bold patches, rub marks is one way of preventing dangerous bacteria and viruses from invading the horse’s systems.
Is your horse comfortable in their skin, essentially in their clothes? It is the unseen underside of the skin where a large portion of the lymphatic system is found. Keeping your horses skin healthy and freely moving across their muscles and boney protuberances, even their hocks and legs, is the key to a happy summer for horse and rider.
The next time you give your horse a pat on the neck, take a moment
to appreciate what an amazing organ the skin is, and how most of the time, it does a great job of protection your horse. The skin is an amazing organ in your horse’s overall health and well being, both inside and out.
The secret to your horse’s skin: it starts and ends with a good grooming routine.
Think about: What products do you love? What grooming routine do you have? Are these things keeping your horse comfortable in their skin?