Aug 26, 2017

Keys to Effectively Deworming Your Horse

This educational article is brought to you by Merck Animal Health, the Official Animal Heath Care Provider of the USEA.

Gone are the days when you just grabbed a tube of whichever dewormer was on sale. We know now that the most effective deworming program involves treating the right horse at the right time for the right parasites.

The key is to work with your veterinarian to conduct fecal tests to determine your horse’s shedding status (how much and of which parasites he is shedding), then customize the deworming protocol. Low egg shedders typically require only two dewormings a year, whereas high shedders may require up to six treatments.

Horses that spend most of their time in stalls generally are at reduced risk of exposure to most parasites, particularly strongyle-type parasites and potentially tapeworms. If stalls are cleaned daily, then the risk of re-exposure to infective parasite eggs and larvae is greatly reduced (also, horse urine is toxic to developing strongyle larvae).

Because tapeworm transmission requires ingestion of infected mites on pasture, this parasite also presents less of a risk to horses that spend little time on pasture. Stall-confined horses, or those turned out in their own paddocks, are also less likely to encounter parasite eggs in the manure of other horses. Pinworms and ascarids, on the other hand, are parasites that can be transmitted in stalls as well as on pasture.

Now, more than ever, it is critical to partner with your veterinarian and take an active role in the parasite control process. Considerations beyond which dewormer to use are at play. Your farm is unique, which means your horses and their parasite burdens are unique and may benefit from management solutions that go beyond chemical parasite control strategies.

Top 10 non-chemical parasite control tips

  • Don’t overstock pastures or allow pastures to become overgrazed
  • Remove manure from stalls, paddocks and pastures every 24 to 72 hours before strongyle eggs have a chance to hatch and develop into infective larvae (about five to seven days during optimal conditions)
  • Keep pasture roughs (areas where horses defecate) mowed 3-8 inches
  • During hot, dry weather, harrow or rake pastures to disperse manure piles and expose larvae to sun. Rest the pasture at least four weeks after harrowing
  • Cross-graze pastures with other species. Cattle, sheep and goats serve as biological vacuums for equine parasites
  • Make at least one cutting of hay off some pastures to help reduce the parasite burden
  • Plant an annual crop such as winter wheat
  • Feed hay and grain in raised containers and not directly on the ground
  • Clean water sources regularly to prevent fecal contamination
  • Compost manure. Properly composted manure will kill strongyle larvae and many ascarid eggs

For more information, visit Consult your veterinarian for assistance in the diagnosis, treatment and control of parasitism.

Jun 04, 2020 Eventing News

The Fair Hill Organizing Committee Postpones Inaugural Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill Due to COVID-19

The Fair Hill Organizing Committee (FHOC), an affiliate of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.), today announced the inaugural Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill will take place October 14-17, 2021. Health and safety factors, in addition to other challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, led to a final decision to postpone the international three-day eventing competition originally scheduled for this October at the newly constructed Special Event Zone at Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in Cecil County, Maryland.

Jun 04, 2020 Competitions

USEA Events A-Z: Apple Knoll Farm Horse Trials

Apple Knoll Farm in Millis, Massachusetts (Area I) was scheduled to host two one-day events in 2020 offering Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice divisions. Their May event was forced to cancel due to COVID-19, but their September event is planning to run as scheduled.

Jun 04, 2020 Eventing News

Event Cancellations and Responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Jun 03, 2020 Sponsor

Humanizing Horse Insurance

For many equestrians today, horse insurance is often viewed as a big, daunting, and scary topic. There are potential pitfalls and there is a lot of fine print to be addressed. The questions are many and the fine print is very fine. What type of coverage is needed? What are the right questions that should be asked before deciding on the right policy for you and your horse?

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