Survey confirms that respiratory and hoof diseases are the most common health issues experienced by horse owners during the winter months.
Autumn’s approaching and now is the time owners all over the UK are preparing for the winter ahead. It’s that time of the year when you need to consider bedding material, but the big question is which do you choose and why?
Earlier this year, Bedmax carried out a national equine health survey that indicated that more than 80% of the 1,040 owners who responded stabled their horses at least 12 hours out of every 24 throughout the winter months. During the same six-month period, more than 40% of owners had experienced health problems that required veterinary treatment and box rest.
The survey confirmed that respiratory (13%) and hoof diseases (9%) were by far the most common health issues experienced during the winter months, together accounting for almost half of all the reported health problems. Other problems included bacterial infections (5%), skin allergies (8%), lack of sleep (2.5%) and mental health problems (2%).
Respiratory disease is widely recognised as one of the most widespread equine health problem affecting horses in the UK, and many other places throughout the world. However, in many cases respiratory disease can be prevented by good stable management, including the choice of bedding material.
Tim Smalley, Managing Director of Bedmax Limited, commented: “Without a doubt, respiratory health is the cornerstone of a horse’s overall health and performance, and this survey confirms that it continues to be the major health risk for stabled horses.
“Ensuring clean air in the stable, free from airborne dust and spores, is absolutely vital and that’s why our over-riding priority for Bedmax ever since we began researching and developing our purpose-made shavings 20 years ago has been eliminating dust.”
In the survey, hoof disease, including cracking and infection, accounted for 20% of the health problems reported. Hoofcare is an issue that many horse owners face and Bedmax is specifically designed so that every bag contains a combination of large, medium and small flakes to create a deep, aerated bed. This structure drains moisture down away from the surface and also avoids the build-up of ammonia on the surface of the bed which can be damaging to hooves.
Bedmax shavings are dried at sterilising temperatures to a very specific moisture content that helps prevent hooves from drying out and cracking. The shavinvs firmly support the horse’s hooves, particularly under the frog, to help prevent musculoskeletal problems.
Bedmax shavings are made in three dedicated production plants where the airborne dust is screened out and vacuum-extracted throughout the process. They are made primarily from Scots pine timber, which has unique, natural antibacterial properties that help in the vital battle to keep the stable hygienic.
Tim explains: “As a company we’ve always recognised that the vast majority of owners want the best for their horses and would do anything to safeguard them from ill-health and injury. This is precisely why we developed Bedmax shavings in the first place, and why we continue our research to constantly improve this best-selling British bedding as the essential foundation for the health and wellbeing of your horse when stabled.”
Bedmax shavings has held a Royal Warrant to HM The Queen since 2008 and has also regularly topped equine industry trade body polls as the UK’s most popular horse bedding.