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Feeding and health
Colic: everything about colic in horses
Colic is a collective term for abdominal pain and can be very dangerous for horses, so much so that they can die from it. Read here everything about colic in horses, what the causes can be, tips to prevent it and what the feeding advice is after colic. What is colic? Colic in horses is a form of abdominal pain. In a horse, blockages, cramps, gas accumulations or shifts can occur in various places in the digestive tract, often resulting in colic. Types of Colic There are different types of colic, the tricky part is that sometimes your horse shows very clearly that something is wrong and sometimes the symptoms are minimal. The most common types of colic in horses are: Gas colic Normally, gases leave the body through the movement of wind or farts. If the gases cannot get out, for example because the gases have accumulated or the intestine is (partially) blocked, gas colic can occur. Constipation colic Your horse has constipation colic when the intestines are clogged with feed. You often see this if, for example, your horse eats too much straw, does not grind the feed properly and/or does not drink enough. Sand colic If your horse eats too much sand, for example because the grass on the pasture is very short, or is fed roughage from the ground in the paddock, the heavy sand remains in the intestines and sand colic can develop. Cramp colic Chronic stress or sudden changes in your horse's management, for example changes in feed or stabling, can cause intestinal cramps.   Cause of colic in horses If your horse has colic, it can have various causes, such as a worm infestation, poorly maintained teeth, sand accumulation or an inflammation or paralysis of the intestine. Colic can also be caused by mouldy or spoiled food. Other food-related causes of colic may include: A low fibre (= too little roughage) and/or starchy ration. Transitioning too quickly to a new ration, both concentrates and roughage. Sugar-rich spring grass can cause colic due to the high sugar content and fast flow. Eating a large amount of straw. Due to the dry mass and large amount, this can cause a blockage. When the transition is gradual, straw can easily be part of the ration. Colic Symptoms A horse with colic does not look fit and often looks listless or restless. Not all symptoms will always be visible but, if your horse shows some of the following, there is a chance that it is colic: Doesn't want to eat Rolling or your horse keeps lying down and getting up again Watching the flank or kicking the belly Sweating and feverish Increased heart rate and breathing The symptoms of constipation colic in a horse can be the same as the symptoms of sand colic or gas colic in your horse. You cannot deduce from how your horse behaves what kind of colic it is.  What to do with a horse with colic? If you suspect that your horse has colic, notify the vet immediately and describe the symptoms you have noticed. If you can count or measure your horse's heart rate, the higher the heart rate the more urgent need for the vet! What you can do best depends on how severe the colic is. If possible, let the horse walk for 15 minutes to half an hour, provided the horse does not pose a danger to itself and to you as the owner. If the horse has such severe colic that this is the case, it is sometimes wise to put the animal in a paddock/box where he can damage himself as little as possible. In general, rolling does not make the colic worse at that point. In any case, don't wait. Colic in a horse can be fatal. Tips to prevent colic in horses You cannot always control the development of colic, but there are a number of things you can take into account to prevent colic in your horse as much as possible. A few tips for you at a glance: Never change food abruptly but do so gradually. This applies not only to concentrates, but also to hay or grazing. Feed your horse the amount of food that suits the effort and performance it has to deliver that day and ensure that it has sufficient roughage and exercise, so that the intestines remain active. Make sure that the hay has not just been harvested or contains mould spots. It is in any case not wise to put mouldy feed or straw in the stable. Avoid large amounts of starchy foods, such as cornmeal and wheat. Too much and too soon is never good! So make sure that your horse eats calmly and does not drink too much cold water immediately after strenuous exercise. Never forget to soak beet pulp for horses such as Pavo SpeediBeet and Pavo FibreBeet in water before feeding. You can provide extra support for your horse's intestinal function with a special supplement, such as Pavo GutHealth . The 100% natural ingredients in Pavo GutHealth ensure that the healthy bacteria in the large and small intestines are optimally fed and that the bacterial population is brought back into balance. Finally, ensure a good deworming policy and regular dental check -ups
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Feeding and health
Omega oil for horses
Nowadays, more and more people are wondering whether it is necessary to supplement their horse's diet with supplements such as oils. Adding fats to the standard diet of a horse has several advantages, but is not always necessary and depends on other food sources. Certain essential fats may already be present in your horse's diet. Fresh grass, for example, is rich in omega 3 and concentrate often contains sufficient omega 6 (because it is the most common fatty acid in cereals). Why omega oil for your horse?  There are three different types of fatty acids: omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9. Omega 3 and omega 6 are considered essential fatty acids, which means that the body cannot produce them itself but is dependent on supply from the diet. These fatty acids have various health benefits for the horse's body. Fatty acids protect healthy tissues, cells and organs. They help with digestion, the production of red blood pigment and the absorption of proteins. Fatty acids also have an anti-inflammatory effect, help with the defence against infections, muscle building and recovery and contribute to a healthy coat and hooves. There are also studies which show that it contributes to the production of healthy sperm, making stallions more fertile on the basis of omega 3. In addition, foals are said to experience less stress after weaning by eating foods rich in fatty acids. Omega 3, 6 and 9 for your horse: what to look out for? As discussed above, there are three types of omega fatty acids, omega 3, 6 and 9. These different fatty acids each have a different effect. Omega 3 works as an antioxidant, has an anti-inflammatory effect and increases the resistance and general health of your horse. A horse with an inflammation such as summer eczema can certainly use an omega 3 supplement. Omega 6 fatty acids have a positive effect on the coat and joints of horses. A poor coat and reduced resistance are therefore signs of a deficiency in essential fatty acids. But a horse can also take in too much omega 6; a surplus can in fact have a pro-inflammatory effect, which is of course undesirable. Finally, omega 9 fatty acids contribute to a healthy hormone balance. A special fact about omega 9 is that horses can produce it themselves. To ensure that your horse is getting the right ratio of fatty acids, it is important to map out which other feed your horse is getting. In general, a ratio of omega 3, 6 and 9 equal to 2:1:1 is recommended. Horses that eat more fresh grass, for example when they are outside in summer, naturally get more omega 3. When grass is dried into hay, most of the omega 3 is lost. Grain-based feeds such as muesli and pellets, on the other hand, often contain vegetable oils such as sunflower oil. Vegetable oils naturally contain a lot of omega 6, which can lead to your horse getting an excess of omega 6 and a shortage of omega 3. Linseed oil is a perfect alternative that is high in omega 3 and can therefore be used to balance the fatty acids. Fish oil or omega oil for your horse It depends on your horse and its current diet which type of oil supplement is most suitable.  A general omega oil containing omega 3, 6 and 9 could be a good choice. However, depending on the horse's diet, an oil with a higher percentage of omega 3 may be more appropriate. Horses that get a lot of concentrated feed and hardly have any or no fresh grass available in the winter months can have an omega 3 deficiency. These are mainly sport horses. Research has shown that sport horses that are given omega 3 supplements show positive effects. For instance, they measured lower cholesterol levels and a lower heart rate during exercise. In the longer term, this results in less acidification of the muscles and a better focus. Linseed oil, rapeseed oil and fish oil are examples of oils that contain a higher percentage of omega 3. The advantage of fish oil is that it contains special forms of omega 3 acids (namely EPA and DHA) that can be used directly by the horse without first having to be converted in the body, which is much more efficient. An important disadvantage of fish oil for horses is that its tastiness is often a problem for our picky horses.
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Feeding and health
Diarrhea in horses
You can recognize diarrhoea in horses by the thin manure, frequent fattening and the dirty tail and buttocks. The most important thing is to ensure that your horse does not become dehydrated! But what causes diarrhoea? And how can you prevent it? Diarrhoea and manure water: what's the difference? Diarrhoea and manure water are often mentioned in the same breath in horses. That's not surprising when you consider that some of the symptoms match. Yet there is a distinction between the two. Manure water : During digestion, the fluid in your horse's intestines is bound and absorbed in the large intestine. But if, for whatever reason, your horse is unable to bind the moisture with the manure, manure water is created. This is pushed out through the stool and often runs down your horse's legs. Not a tasty sight! Diarrhoea is often a greater burden on your horse's body and lasts longer than manure water. With diarrhoea, the entire intestinal flora is disrupted and your horse loses a lot of fluid and important electrolytes. In addition, the immune system is quickly affected in (severe) diarrhoea. You have to be alert with both diarrhoea and manure water. Manure water can turn into diarrhoea if it lasts too long and the right treatment is not given. If the manure water does not decrease, or if your horse is becoming listless whilst passing diarrhoea, then it is wise to contact your vet.  Causes of diarrhoea in horses With diarrhoea, food passes through the gastrointestinal tract too quickly to properly absorb fluids and nutrients. This may be because the motility of the gastrointestinal tract is increased because the water-absorbing capacity of the intestine is reduced, or because there is an increased release of fluid and electrolytes in the intestine. In the large intestine, digestion is not done so much by the body itself but by the bacteria that live there. They convert incoming fibres that the horse cannot digest itself into useful nutrients, such as volatile fatty acids. For a healthy functioning of the intestines, it is very important to keep these bacteria healthy, so that they can do their job well. All these bacteria together are called the intestinal flora. Too much spring grass, mouldy food, or sudden changes in the food, can disrupt the intestinal flora which can result in diarrhoea. Bad teeth, ingesting too much sand, certain infections, worms and stress are also causes of diarrhoea. Stop diarrhoea in horses Diarrhoea can dehydrate your horse and in some cases can be fatal. The most important thing with a horse with diarrhoea is to ensure that it does not become dehydrated. The administration of fluids, and also of nutrients, is then necessary. If you want to stop the diarrhoea in your horse, you must first find out what the cause of the diarrhoea is. This is best done in consultation with your vet, after which you can then draw up a treatment plan together. Preventing horses with diarrhoea Unfortunately, a horse with diarrhoea cannot always be prevented. Nevertheless, there are a number of preventative measures that you can take to reduce the risk of diarrhoea as much as possible: When horses have not been on pasture all winter and return to pasture in the spring, this change can upset the bacteria in the gut. The young spring grass disrupts the intestinal flora which can lead to diarrhoea. Also, mouldy and spoiled food, or too sudden changes in a ration can disturb the intestinal flora. So always make sure that you build up grazing and ration changes slowly and avoid spoiled feed. A horse with bad teeth cannot chew its food sufficiently. As a result, the food cannot be digested sufficiently, so that large pieces of food end up in the gastrointestinal tract. This can lead to diarrhoea. An annual visit to the dentist is therefore recommended! Horses that walk a lot in a sand paddock, or in a poor pasture, can eat a lot of sand. When absorbing too much sand, the sand accumulates in the intestines, resulting in diarrhoea and/or colic. Regularly providing a sand-free course and giving enough hay on a sand paddock, or poor pasture, can help prevent diarrhoea. Tip: make sure that horses get hay from a hard surface, this reduces sand absorption as the horses do not have to eat the hay directly from the sand. For example, put rubber plates under the hay.  A good worm policy in the stable is very important to prevent diarrhoea. Manure testing four times a year and deworming once a year (usually in the autumn) with an extensive wormer reduces the risk of a worm infection, such as roundworms . Daily removal of horse manure from the pasture also lowers the infection pressure. Horses that experience stress often express this in diarrhoea. To prevent diarrhoea, limiting stress factors is of great importance. Think of sufficient contact with congeners, sufficient grazing, not moving the stable too often, etc.   Feeding tips for a good intestinal flora Supplement for a stable intestinal function The aim of the treatment for diarrhoea and/or manure water is to rebalance the bacterial population in the intestines. Pavo GutHealth has been developed especially for this. The 100% natural ingredients in this supplement – including barley grass, nettle, prebiotics and antioxidants – provide optimal support for healthy intestinal bacteria in the large and small intestine and thus help to prevent diarrhoea and manure water. Pre- and probiotics  To support the intestinal flora, both pre- and probiotics can be fed. Usually pre- and probiotics are mentioned in the same breath, but there is a big difference between the two. Prebiotics provide food for the hard-working bacteria in the large intestine. Probiotics are the bacteria or yeasts themselves. Prebiotics mainly consist of fibres from roughage. The bacteria feed themselves on the fibres and produce volatile fatty acids, this process is called fermentation. The volatile fatty acids are then released into the bloodstream, allowing your horse to use it as an energy source. It is therefore very important to feed your horse sufficient quality roughage. Curious about the quality of your roughage? Do the Roughage Quickscan! In addition to the most common roughage (grass, haylage and hay), there are various types of roughage alternatives . You can supplement, or even completely replace your roughage, with these alternatives if you have insufficient roughage, the quality is moderate or poor, but also if your horse can absorb little or no roughage (e.g. old horses), or your horse remains lean / lean. Pavo has four different roughage substitutes: Pavo Fibrebeet, Pavo SpeediBeet, Pavo FibreNuggets and Pavo DailyPlus. You can use probiotics when your horse's intestinal flora is disturbed. The balance between good and less desirable bacteria is gone, allowing the latter to expand. This can happen, for example, if your horse is given a course of antibiotics. When selecting a probiotic supplement or food, it is important that it contains live yeast. Dead yeast cells no longer have any effect.  
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Feeding and training
Stress in horses: tips for more relaxation
Of course, we all want the best for our horses but, sometimes, it is impossible to avoid stress or a stressful situation. Read more about stress here, how to recognise the signs and what you can do to help your horse relax more. What is stress? Stress is a state of psychological tension and pressure and stems from a situation of unpredictability and uncontrollability. In horses, as in humans, we know two different forms of stress: acute and chronic stress. Acute stress is short-term; in particular, it is the body's rapid response to a 'dangerous' situation. Chronic stress is long-term and can even be detrimental to your horse's health in the long run. Recognising stress signals in horses There are several signals horses give off the moment they experience stress. There is a difference between acute and chronic stress. With acute stress, the moment your horse is startled or finds itself in an unknown 'dangerous' situation, your horse will naturally want to flee; after all, horses are flight animals. You will also notice that the heart rate and breathing become higher which may cause your horse to sweat and tremble. Thirdly, your horse may start defacating (sometimes even diarrhoea) or urinating more often. Horses that experience chronic stress are often lean and more likely to suffer from stomach ulcers. In addition, long-term stress can also manifest itself in barn vices, such as weaving, air sucking and cot biting. Performing these stable vices produces endorphins which have a calming and narcotic effect. Tips to reduce stress in horses   Sufficient roughage The more a horse chews, the better it is. So make sure your horse has plenty of roughage available when he is stressed, preferably unlimited. Also at night! If you fear your horse will get too fat, use a hay net with small holes or a slow feeder. Besides reducing stress, chewing on roughage is also healthy for the stomach and digestion.   Free movement In the wild, a horse moves day and night. This is different from an hour's workout with you. Quiet free movement is important for his health. Grazing is the most pleasant way for a horse to encourage this. If that is not possible, a dry paddock or a large walking stable is an alternative. To prevent your horse from standing in a corner, you can offer roughage in different places.   Social contact A horse is a herd animal. Contact with conspecifics is very important to him. If he is denied this, it can cause stress. Supplements for nervous and tense horses Besides satisfying a horse's basic needs (roughage, free exercise and contact with conspecifics), you can provide extra support for relaxation with a supplement for stressed and nervous horses. Some horses are naturally sensitive and easily stressed and benefit from structural support. For these horses, Pavo NervControl can provide a solution. But there are also horses that only find unfamiliar or unexpected situations (very) stressful. Think for instance of a visit to the farrier, dentist or vet. Also an outside ride, going to a competition, training on a strange terrain or even windy weather can cause some horses stress to a greater or lesser extent. Pavo BeChill works quickly (within half an hour to two hours) and has been specially developed to ‘take the edge off’ in occasional situations, without making your horse sleepy. Pavo BeChill vs Pavo NervControl   Pavo BeChill Pavo NervControl Application For occasional stressful situations For generally stressed or nervous horses Effect Instant effect Long-term effect, for structural support Form Liquid Small pellets Magnesium reduces stress in horses Magnesium is an important ingredient when it comes to reducing stress in horses. Magnesium makes your horse more resistant to stress. This works both ways: the moment the body is exposed to stress, it consumes extra magnesium. On the other hand, a magnesium deficiency makes the body more susceptible to stress. This increases the magnesium deficiency even more and you end up in a vicious circle. Furthermore, a horse cannot produce magnesium itself. It is therefore important that, especially for stress-sensitive horses, there is always enough magnesium in the feed. Both Pavo NervControl and Pavo BeChill contain, amongst other things, magnesium to make your horse more resistant to stress (in certain situations).  
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Feeding and health
Tips for a healthy diet during grazing
There is nothing better than grazing horses in a green pasture. But it does require the necessary adjustments from you as the caretaker to guide your horse(s) in a healthy way during the transition from the stable to pasture season.   How long is a horse allowed to graze? For your horse's health and well-being, it is important that he is outside a lot and can move freely, preferably not alone but with other horses. Depending on your pasture, an average of 7 hours of grazing per day is enough for most horses to absorb enough nutrients. Using fencing, you can make sure that your horse has a smaller/poorer area of grass available to him to avoid taking in too much energy and sugar.   Health risks of the field season In the spring when the grass is fresh, several health risks lurk. In addition to the risk of being overweight or even obese, the (sudden) intake of lots of fresh grass can cause colic and diarrhea. In addition, the sugar levels in the grass can be very high, especially on cold nights! After a night with temperatures of 5 °C or below - and especially with night frost - the sugar content in the grass is even higher. Sometimes even so high that it can lead to acute laminitis. It is better to put your horse outside a little later in the day when the fructan content has dropped a bit again. To avoid these health risks as much as possible, it is important that you adjust the (feed) management as soon as your horse goes out to pasture in the spring. Tips for a healthy spring ration when grazing 1. Build up grazing slowly Horses by nature have a very sensitive digestive system. Changes in the feed ration should therefore always be made gradually, allowing the intestinal flora to adapt to the new situation. This also applies to grazing. For example, start with half an hour or an hour and expand this gradually. For healthy horses, the advice is to build up by +20% every day. If you start with an hour of pasture, extend this by 10-15 minutes every day for the first few weeks. In horses that are known to be sensitive to sugar or have had laminitis in the past, it is best to be extra careful and keep to +10% per day. In horses with laminitis sensitivity, it is wise not to graze them for more than two hours a day. 2. Out to pasture with a full stomach All that fresh grass is of course very tempting. To prevent your horse from gorging itself completely on the grass, it may help to provide a full stomach beforehand. Give your horse an extra portion of (low-sugar) hay or choose a soaked roughage meal of desugared beet pulp, such as Pavo SpeediBeet or natural grass chunks, such as Pavo FibreNuggets. 3. Reduce calories Spring grass is not only very rich in particular energy, but also contains more protein and (unfortunately) sugar than in the autumn. In most cases, even more energy than horses consume, so the excess energy is stored as fat reserves. In other words, your horse gets fatter. Whereas in the autumn and winter months you may have had to feed your horse extra to maintain a good weight, now the opposite is true. Your horse now needs less energy and protein. Depending on your horse and its level of exercise/training, you can do several things to reduce calories: For athletes: are you currently feeding a concentrate to give your horse extra energy? You may be able to replace this with a concentrate with a lower energy level. Pavo has divided its concentrate into three energy levels: low, medium and high. Do the Energy level test to find out which products suit you and your horse best.   For recreation & light sport: does your horse need little extra energy and do you especially want to provide him with all the daily vitamins and minerals? Then switch to a balancer, such as Pavo Vital (pellets) or Pavo DailyFit (bars). The advantage of a balancer is that you only feed vitamins, minerals and trace elements, without extra energy or calories. In addition, you only need to feed very little of it: 100 grams of Pavo Vital per day, for example, is already sufficient. Tip: Do you feed a balancer, but would still like to give your horse a 'big meal'? The roughage mix Pavo DailyPlus is ideal for mixing with Pavo Vital, for example. This way you only add extra structure and fibre to your balancer, so your horse can still enjoy his meal for a nice long time.    For easy keepers and sensitive horses: a balancer is always suitable for frugal breeds or horses that are sensitive to sugar or grains. But in addition, there is such a thing as concentrated concentrate feed. This is in between a pure vitamin/mineral balancer and regular concentrate. Characteristics of this type of product are that it is low in energy, sugar and starch and, on the contrary, has an extra high concentration of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. In this way, you need to feed very little of it compared to ordinary concentrates (on average 1 kilo for a horse and 0.5 kilo for a pony). Pavo Care4Life is an example of this. This healthy, natural herb mix contains 11 different types of herbs. It is completely molasses-, oat- and grain-free (also no grain by-products) and is ideal for horses that have poor sugar tolerance or a predisposition to getting fat quickly. In addition, Pavo EasyMix is the perfect concentrated muesli especially for frugal breeds of horses and ponies, such as Icelanders and Fjords. These horses often need little concentrate feed and have a tendency to get fat quickly - especially during the grazing season! It is important to remember to always supplement your horse with at least one balancer - even during the grazing season. After all, grass and hay alone do not contain enough vitamins and minerals to keep your horse healthy. 4. Gradual transition When switching to a different type of feed, it is very important that you don't do this overnight. Take a period of 10 days to let your horse get used to the new feed. You do this by mixing both feeds, giving a little more of the new feed and less of the old feed each time. 5. Some extras to support digestion Unlike hay, fresh grass is much "wetter" and consists of as much as 85% water. As you can imagine, wet feed contains little fibre and passes through the intestines more quickly. In itself fine if your horse suffers from dry manure or constipation, but less pleasant for all other horses who may actually get diarrhea or colic from (suddenly) lots of fresh grass. To give extra support to your horse's sensitive digestion during this period, you can temporarily feed Pavo GutHealth. Pavo GutHealth is a supplement that has been specially developed for a stable intestinal function and helps to bring the disturbed intestinal bacteria back into balance during the sudden change of ration.  
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Feeding and health
Linseed oil for horses
Many horse owners feed their horse some form of flaxseed or linseed oil, but what is linseed oil exactly? Linseed oil, and other oils too, contain essential fatty acids. These fatty acids are also known as omegas and are important for your horse's health. Omega 3 and omega 6 are the main omegas and are both found in linseed oil. The unique thing about this oil is the high omega 3 content, which can provide good support especially in winter. Why use linseed oil for your horse? Linseed is a seed from oil flax and is particularly rich in proteins and fatty acids. These proteins support muscle recovery and muscle growth. But especially the fatty acids have a positive effect on the health of the horse. Partly because horses cannot produce these fatty acids themselves, this can be a healthy addition to their diet. First of all, linseed stimulates a healthy digestion. There are also benefits that are more visible to the eye, such as the well-known shiny coat. The right ratio of omega 3 and omega 6 ensures a shiny coat for your horse. This is also the reason why many people give linseed oil during the shedding process. A healthy coat in fact has the effect of stimulating this process. In addition, linseed is known for its natural anti-inflammatory effects due to the high percentage of omega 3 (40-60%). This can help your horse to recover more quickly from, for example, an inflammation. As a result, linseed oil can also have a positive effect on skin problems such as summer eczema. In addition, linseed is a true source of energy for your horse, but in the small quantities we feed it, it will only make a tiny contribution. This is mainly due to the extra fats from which a horse can get much more energy than from carbohydrates. Linseed versus linseed oil Linseed oil is a better choice than pure, uncooked linseed. This is because hydrocyanic acid is released during the digestion of pure linseed. This is a toxic acid and interrupts the transport of oxygen through the blood. To prevent this, you can boil linseed before you feed it. By doing so, the hydrocyanic acid is released and disappears into the air. Another solution is linseed oil, because the hydrocyanic acid is already released during the pressing of the seed. How much linseed oil to feed your horse?  When you want to feed linseed oil to your horse it is useful to know how much you can feed it. As with other foodstuffs, it is wise to introduce a new supplement cautiously. It is advisable to mix the oil with the concentrated feed, for example, so that your horse can calmly get used to the taste. It is also important to build this up gradually and ensure that your horse can get used to the effects. After building it up over a few weeks, a guideline for adult horses is a maximum of 100ml a day. However, two tablespoons a day is often more than enough to see the desired benefits. A surplus of linseed oil can lead to diarrhoea. In addition to the amount of linseed oil, it is sometimes wise to consider the time of year. Fresh grass is naturally richer in omega 3 and concentrate is richer in omega 6. For this reason, it may make sense to feed this feed mainly in a winter period when horses get less fresh grass or in periods when your horse needs extra energy, such as during the shedding period.   Linseed oil or sunflower oil for your horse? In addition to linseed oil, sunflower oil is also a supplement that contains essential fatty acids. The main difference lies in the ratio of omega 3 and omega 6. As already mentioned, linseed oil contains more omega 3, in contrast to sunflower oil which contains more omega 6. Horses that eat (sufficient) concentrate often already get sufficient omega 6. A surplus of omega 6 can have adverse effects, making linseed oil often a better choice. Another disadvantage of sunflower oil is that it is often refined and the fats can be harmful.
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Feeding and health
Alfalfa for horses, what should you pay attention to?
Feeding alfalfa to your horse can be healthy because it has unique properties. Which horses is it suitable for and which less so? And how do you deal with the high protein content and the skewed calcium-phosphorus ratio? Alfalfa is a crop that is a suitable addition to the daily ration for many horses (but not all!). It is widely used as a fibre source to mix with concentrate. As a result, horses chew their food better. In principle this is fine, but alfalfa has a number of properties that you have to take into account. Notable properties of alfalfa Low sugar content Average hay contains about 10-15% sugars. Lucerne, on the other hand, contains only 3% sugars on average. Even when molasses is added to alfalfa (read below why this sometimes happens), the sugar content is still very low. High protein content The high protein content in alfalfa (about 16%) is an important detail to note. It is good for sport horses that work a lot and need to build muscle. However, for most other horses it is more than they need. That is why alfalfa is often mixed with chopped hay or straw, for example in Pavo DailyPlus . As a result, the proportion of protein drops to 10.5%. Positive effect on stomach ulcers The structure in alfalfa invites good chewing. This as such is a good measure to prevent the development of stomach ulcers. It also contains a lot of calcium which helps neutralize stomach acid. As a result, it prevents severe acidification of the stomach and thus helps to maintain a healthy stomach lining. The positive effect applies to alfalfa hay, alfalfa pellets and processed alfalfa (ground very finely as in Pavo FibreBeet ), but not for coarse chopped alfalfa. It is better to avoid the latter in horses that are prone to stomach ulcers or have stomach ulcers. It is suitable for horses from 1 year (not for foals). For which horses is alfalfa suitable? Growing young horses, sport horses, lactating mares and older and lean horses can use extra energy and nutrients. Lucerne is then a very suitable supplement. Please note that when you add larger amounts per day (more than 2 kg) you compensate for the skewed calcium-phosphorus ratio by adding a supplement, linseed or bran. You can also choose a balanced concentrate and mix it with alfalfa or Pavo DailyPlus for more structure and extra protein. In principle, alfalfa would be suitable for sugar-sensitive horses, for example with laminitis , insulin resistance and EMS, because of its low sugar content. But beware, you would then have to give it as a roughage replacement and the protein content is much too high for that. These horses benefit more from a low-sugar roughage and possibly supplementation with Pavo SpeediBeet  (which only contains 5% sugar and no starch) or Pavo Fibrebeet (5% sugar and 3% starch), which is also supplemented with a vitamin and mineral balancer, such as Pavo Vital or Pavo DailyFit  biscuits, and/or with Pavo DailyPlus . How much alfalfa do you give to your horse? Alfalfa is a valuable feed material in the ration, but how much should you feed? The amount you should give daily depends on the protein content in your roughage, what you want to achieve and what kind of horse you have. If you only give a few handfuls as a bonus through the concentrate, you only stimulate chewing. If you really want to give extra energy and protein, it is necessary to feed an adult horse of 600 kg at least 1.5 – 3 kg alfalfa. That is 1 to 2 full buckets per day. In that case, compensate for the skewed calcium-phosphorus ratio by using special supplements for horses. Lucerne is also widely used as a raw material in horse feeds, both in muesli and kibble. It contains valuable nutrients, a lot of fibre and only a little sugar. Horses like it very much. In the complete feeds, the skewed calcium-phosphorus ratio is already compensated and at the same time the vitamins and minerals are balanced in the right amounts. Feeding alfalfa to your horse: you should pay attention to this If you want to start feeding alfalfa to your horse, there are a few things to keep in mind: the drying method (artificial or sun-dried; both have advantages and disadvantages), the imbalance between calcium and phosphorus and a possible sensitivity to protein with your horse.   Artificially dried alfalfa In the Netherlands, most alfalfa is dried artificially, so you can see dust in the end product. Most people don't like that. However, this substance comes from the alfalfa leaves which contain the most nutrients (essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals). The stems mainly consist of less digestible fibres. To prevent horses from inhaling this, most producers screen the leaf dust out, after which they press it into small chunks using molasses. They add these to the end product. This preserves the nutritional value of the complete plant. Other producers screen out the leaf dust and leave only the stems in chopped form. However, although the end product is dust-free, the valuable nutrients are gone and the dry stems can sting the horse's mouth and stomach. Some horses don't like this. Sun-dried alfalfa There is also sun-dried alfalfa. The advantage is that it contains less leaf dust, the disadvantage is that the nutritional value is not constant. In complete feeds this is balanced per batch. This is not the case with pure sun-dried alfalfa. Skewed Calcium-Phosphorus Ratio  Keep in mind that alfalfa contains twice as much calcium as desired, namely 4:1 instead of 2:1. When feeding larger amounts of alfalfa, you should compensate for this with supplements specially developed for this purpose or with grains or bran. Too much calcium in the diet hinders the proper absorption of magnesium. Magnesium is very important for the smooth functioning of the muscles.  
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Feeding and health
Feeding old horses correctly
With increasing age, your horse's nutritional requirements change: although the basal metabolic rate and thus the energy requirement usually decrease, the need for essential nutrients such as high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals and trace elements increases at the same time. To keep your horse fit and full of vitality into old age, you should therefore not only ensure good husbandry and sufficient exercise, but also adjust the feed individually to the needs of your senior horse. "The optimal composition of the feed depends on the state of health, the body weight and the metabolism of the respective horse," says Dr. Ingrid Vervuert, specialist veterinarian for animal nutrition and dietetics at the University of Leipzig. A senior feed should be adapted to the special problems of old horses. "For example, it should compensate for low feed intake due to dental problems, weight loss or age-related metabolic problems," the expert says. As a rule, a senior feed makes sense for horses from about 18 years of age. However, more important than age is the state of health. When does a horse become "old"? Even though the percentage of horses that live to be well over 20 years, or even over 30 years old, is clearly increasing due to optimised and needs-based feeding with roughage and concentrated feed, a horse can still be called "old" when it reaches the 20-year mark. Calculated in human years, it is then already 60 years old. How can you tell that your horse is getting old? Above all, your horse's appearance will tell you when it is getting on in years. The outer appearance is also a sign that your horse is ageing on the inside. Lowering of the back. Degradation of the muscles, also weight loss. Flabbier, often drier skin. The eyes begin to cloud over and deepening hollows form above the eyes. Your horse's coat turns grey especially around the face. Poor or prolonged change of coat. Development of typical "old age diseases" such as dental problems, worsening digestion, PPID or laminitis. Why you should pay special attention to your senior? With age, not only do the external characteristics become visible, but your horse can also become more susceptible to diseases due to an aged immune system. Once a senior horse is sick, he recovers from his illness much more slowly. Feeding your horse a diet that meets its needs can make a significant contribution to the regeneration and health of your old horse. Pay particular attention to a sufficient supply of high-quality proteins with essential amino acids. What should you pay attention to when feeding older horses? Old horses have a higher demand for nutrients. One of the reasons for this is that seniors have a harder time digesting their feed as well as any additional feed supplements they may need. Therefore, the type and amount of food must be adapted to these circumstances. Altered hormonal balance and a slower metabolism also contribute to the fact that the nutrients in the feed are more difficult to digest and to be absorbed by the body. How do older horses' feed requirements change? The feed should have good bioavailability and be easily digestible. It is therefore important that the nutrients are of high, natural quality so they can be easily absorbed and utilised by the body. At the same time, the feed should contain a sufficient amount of dietary fibre for healthy digestion. Grass In the summer months, regular grazing is an important part of the feed. Horses with dental problems can usually eat grass more easily than hay or haylage because it is softer. In addition, free movement in the pasture stimulates the horse's general well-being. "If there is enough grass and old horses can eat in peace, 24 hours of grazing from spring to autumn is ideal," says Dr. Ingrid Vervuert. The only exceptions are severely overweight horses and horses with metabolic diseases such as laminitis or Cushing's disease (PPID). Roughage or roughage substitute How much roughage, or roughage substitute, your horse needs depends on the grass supply, the health condition and the body weight of your horse. As a rule of thumb, old horses need at least 1.5% -2% of their body weight in roughage. A 600kg horse should therefore eat 9kg -12kg of hay, haylage or an equivalent amount of roughage substitute per day. Note that the energy content of roughage can vary considerably. "The earlier in the year the hay or haylage was harvested, the higher the energy content as a rule," says Dr. Ingrid Vervuert. Even into old age, if the feed intake allows it, the main energy requirement should be covered by high-quality roughage. Tip: If your horse does not get any, or only very little concentrated feed, in addition to roughage, the addition of vitamins, minerals and trace elements is very important. Irrespective of age, the horse's needs cannot usually be covered exclusively by grass, hay or haylage. Here we recommend Pavo DailyFit or Pavo Vital as a daily feed supplement. One briquette already covers the daily requirement of vitamins and minerals without energy surplus. Concentrated feed Old horses that are too thin or tend to lose body mass often need a special senior concentrate. Dr. Ingrid Vervuert recommends thermally broken down cereal flakes, high-quality vegetable oils, soya extraction meal, potato or pea flakes. "These feeds are particularly suitable for old horses because they are easily digestible and are high-quality sources of protein and energy," says the specialist veterinarian. These requirements are taken into account in Pavo18Plus, for example. Since old horses can often only utilise the nutrients in the diet to a reduced extent, due to dental problems or possibly due to a lower secretion of digestive enzymes, energy and protein must often be fed in excess of requirements. You can soak the concentrate in water, just like the roughage substitute. If your senior horse is reluctant to eat the mash, simply add some dried carrot or apple chips, soaked sugar beet pulp or similar. This will spice up the taste and provide extra vitamins and raw fibre. Zinc, selenium and copper Senior horses have a higher need for certain vitamins and minerals such as zinc, selenium and copper. Zinc plays a major role in hair and skin metabolism and is important for the immune system. Selenium protects the body's cells and is part of muscle metabolism and growth. Just as in foals that need to grow, it is important in older horses to form new cells, e.g. to prevent weight loss. Copper plays a role in the synthesis of proteins for tendons and cartilage and in the pigmentation of hair. Vitamin C, B and K Healthy horses can produce vitamin C themselves. With age, however, this functions decreases and then the administration of vitamin C is necessary. Due to the reduced intake of roughage and dietary fibre, the intestinal bacteria are not stimulated to produce vitamins B and K. The horse needs to be fed extra dietary fibre. With additional dietary fibre in the horse feed, e.g. by means of Pavo SpeediBeet, Pavo FibreBeet or Pavo WeightLift, one can stimulate the formation of these essential vitamins. Calcium, sodium and phosphorus The feed for older horses must not contain too much calcium, phosphorus and sodium. These nutrients must be excreted through the kidneys. Kidney function may become impaired with age and, as a result, waste products may not be excreted as well. If your horse suddenly becomes more susceptible to infections, has severe problems with change of coat or seems very listless, it is best to have him examined by your vet - he may be lacking an important nutrient that you can supplement specifically through feeding. 8 Feeding tips for older horses In order to increase the well-being of your older horse, feeding according to his needs is very important. What are the best things to look for in feeding your senior horse? A higher proportion of crude protein and additional amino acids (lysine) to maintain body weight. A low proportion of sugar and starch to prevent metabolic problems (Cushing's disease, PPID/ laminitis, etc.). A higher oil content (as an energy supplier). Vitamins C and E to strengthen the immune system. Organically bound trace elements (for optimal absorption). Additional omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. An adapted calcium-phosphorus ratio. High-quality raw fibres to support digestion. In addition, the feed should also fulfil the following 3 conditions: It should be particularly tasty. It should be easy to chew and swallow. It should be dust-free.    
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Feeding and training
4 Tips for rapid muscle building in horses
A muscular horse provides strength and stamina. With the right nutrition and training, you can help your horse build its muscles. How long does muscle building take in horses? As with humans, your horse will not become beautifully muscled overnight. It requires a combination of the right nutrients, such as sufficient protein, and adequate training to encourage muscle growth. If you get all this just right, you can see your horse's muscle mass build significantly over an average of 3 months. Use the tips below to support your horse's muscle growth in a healthy way.   How does my horse gain muscle? It is good to realise that a horse can never gain more muscle; the amount of muscle cells is genetically determined. However, muscles can get fatter. Training triggers muscle cells to store more energy, thus increasing muscle mass and also increasing your horse's performance and stamina. 1. Provide sufficient protein in the ration The main building blocks for muscle are proteins which consist of chains of several amino acids. There are both essential and non-essential amino acids. Non-essential amino acids can be produced by the horse's body but essential amino acids, such as lysine, methionine and tryptophan, cannot. A horse has to get these through food, so you need to help with that. Your horse gets most of its nutrients from roughage, such as hay. Using a forage analysis, you can test how much protein and energy your hay contains, amongst other things. Since sport horses have an above-average need for protein (and energy) to perform, chances are that the values from the forage are not sufficient so needs to be supplemented. It is best to do this with a protein-rich roughage product, such as Pavo FibreBeet or Pavo WeightLift. Both products are a fibre-rich, healthy support for horses with a condition deficit and/or poor muscling. The main difference is the preparation: you feed Pavo FibreBeet soaked and the advice for Pavo WeightLift is to just feed it dry. Does your roughage and concentrate feed contain enough energy, but not enough protein? Then the supplement Pavo ProteinPlus is a suitable choice. This is a concentrated protein source specially made to supplement protein shortages in the ration, without providing extra energy or other nutrients in the process. 2. Training schedule for muscle building Besides nutrition, training and fitness play a crucial role in building muscle. It is important that training is built up slowly and that there is enough variety. By keeping your horse in good condition, you increase the share of energy sources in the muscle that allows your horse to work longer without becoming sore. Always start your training with a good warm-up and finish with a cool-down. Make sure there is enough variation between tightening and relaxing in training. Think about alternating heavier exercises with easier ones and take regular breaks to let your horse stretch its neck.   3. Supplement to provide extra muscle support Horses that could use some muscle-building support, (young) horses that have just started training, or sport horses after a rest period can benefit from the extra nutrients of a supplement. Pavo MuscleBuild has been specially developed to support the building of muscle mass. It contains whey powder, known from the bodybuilding world, which contains a number of very important amino acids (proteins) for muscle building. In addition, it helps prevent muscle fatigue and thus helps your horse keep up their effort for longer. Tip: The ultimate boost for a muscular horse consists of the protein-rich roughage product Pavo FibreBeet or Pavo WeightLift in combination with the supplement Pavo MuscleBuild. 4. Give the muscles time to recover Besides all the exertion, relaxation is at least as important. Give your horse regular days off between training sessions so that the body has time to recover. How do you care for a horse's muscles? If training is built up very quickly and the muscles have to work too hard, there is a risk of them becoming sore. Waste products then accumulate in the muscle and your horse may experience some muscle soreness and will feel stiff after exercise. As your horse's muscles get stronger, the point at which they become sore will stay further away. To prevent stiff and sore muscles, you can provide extra support to the muscles by giving them a nutritional supplement. Nutrients such as vitamin E, selenium, magnesium and antioxidants support the maintenance of supple muscles. The supplement Pavo Eplus contains all these nutrients and is intended to prevent stiff and sore muscles after intensive training. In horses that exert heavy effort, are sensitive to muscle acidification or in horses that work irregularly, the muscles need some extra care. For these horses, the supplement Pavo MuscleCare can offer extra support. This supplement takes care of stiff and sore muscles after (heavy) effort. Pavo MuscleCare contains natural antioxidants and beta-alanine which support the accelerated breakdown and removal of waste products in the horse's muscles. As a result, the horse can sustain  intensive work for longer and more easily.  
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Feeding and breeding
Pregnant mare: nutrition and labor
For every breeder, spring is an exciting, but also anxious time. In the run-up to the birth, it is good to think about the feeding requirements of the mare before but also after the foal is born, when the mare is fully in lactation. And what about actually riding a pregnant mare? Fertility and the mare Typically, a mare will start her cycles in early spring and will be in heat every three weeks up till September. The fertile period of the mare lasts 3 to 7 days. If the mare is in a poor condition (too thin), fertility problems can arise. Besides ensuring regularity in daily life, a decent stable hygiene, sufficient movement and a stress-free environment, the following vitamins and minerals can also have a positive effect on the mare’s fertility:   Beta-carotene (or pro-vitamin A): Beta-carotene supports the start of the cycle early in the season, the mare will be in a better heat, it also decreases the risk of early embryonic death. Vitamin E: A deficiency of vitamin E will result in infertility. In pregnant mares, the deficiency will result in deformation of the foal (white muscle disease) or abortion. Folic acid: Folic acid is known for its positive effects on pregnant women, however little is known about the effects on pregnant mares. Selenium: Has a similar effect on fertility as vitamin E. The feed supplement Pavo Fertile contains, among other things, the abovementioned substances and can therefore support the fertility of the mare. Gestating or lactating mare and roughage Grass in springtime contains the ideal nutrients for mares, however, dried forage often contains far less proteins and minerals than people think. It also contains much less vitamin E compared to fresh grass. Forage from poor nutritional quality is sufficient for fat horses and coldbreds, but not for a pregnant/lactating mare. Many mares only have access to grass later in the season and do not always have access to sufficient grassland to meet their requirements. Feeding only dried forage is not sufficient and can cause a vitamin E deficiency, which in turn increases the risk that the placenta will Not come off. Feeding the mare in gestation During the first eight months of gestation, the mare’s regular diet will be sufficient, but during the last three months of gestation, the mare’s nutritional needs change enormously. During those last three months, the unborn foal in the experiences a major growth spurt. The nutrients needed for this growth are passed on to the foal in the uterus via the blood and after the birth through the mare’s milk. Deficiencies in certain nutrients may result in a disposition to bone disorders such as OC or OCD. Pavo Podo®Lac and Pavo Podo®Lac Muesli are developed especially for mares in foal and lactating mares and contains all the vitamins, minerals and trace elements that are necessary for an optimum development and growth of the (unborn) foal. Feeding during lactation After birth, the mare’s energy and protein requirements increase enormously. In the first days, a mare produces approximately eight liters milk per day, which gradually increases to twenty liters. A shortage in proteins is detrimental and will cause a reduced milk production and muscle mass reduction in the mare. In lactating mares, the energy and protein requirements are twice as high compared to a mare without a foal. During the first three months of lactation, you can continue to give your mare Pavo Podo®Lac or Pavo Podo®Lac Muesli. When the foal is about three weeks old, it will start to eat concentrates and therefore, the ration of the mare can gradually be decreased. As soon as the foal has been weaned, the mare can go back to her normal diet. Put fat gestating mares on a diet? A mare should not be too fat during her pregnancy. The reason is that foals of fat mares grow faster which is not beneficial for the quality of the bones. However, it is not wise to put the mare on a diet after the ninth month of gestation, as the foal is then going through the largest development. You can make sure that she does not becomes fatter and still got all the nutrients she needs, by using the breeding balancer Pavo Podo®Care instead of mare compound feed. Besides, more natural movement and some exercise (adapted to her condition) may help. Riding a gestating mare If the mare has no medical conditions that may increase the risk for complications during gestation or giving birth, you can continue exercising the mare as usual. Only in the last months of the gestation, the mare might get too heavy and/or her stamina and flexibility might decrease, which means you will have to adjust the intensity of your training schedule. Most importantly, you have to keep a close eye on your mare and use the signals that she gives to decide what she can still do. On the other hand, you should not all of a sudden stop exercising her, as it is indeed very healthy to exercise a mare until the last days. However, do not ride your mare in the last weeks, but give her some unloaded movement. After all, a good physical condition is a prerogative for an easy foaling process.
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Feeding and training
What is the difference between Pavo E'lyte and Pavo ReHydrate?
Pavo E'lyte and Pavo ReHydrate are both supplements for horses that sweat and/or have to work hard. They also both contain electrolytes – the salts that horses lose when they sweat but each has a different function. In this article we explain the differences to you. What are electrolytes? Just like us humans, in addition to moisture, a sweating horse loses body salts such as sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and magnesium. These are also called electrolytes. These substances play an indispensable role in keeping the acidity of the blood stable and thus all organs functioning, including the muscles. For the optimal function of your horse, it is therefore important to replenish lost body salts on time. Did you know, horses that sweat normally (wet under the saddle and some foam spots at the reins and between the hind legs) already lose 12-16 teaspoons of salt? Read more about how much salt horses lose when they sweat. How do you know when to replenish salt? If you do not replenish salts in time, a deficiency can arise. You can notice this in the stamina of your horse: he becomes lethargic, listless and drags his heels. In severe deficiencies there is even a risk of dehydration and colic. Do you notice that your horse can no longer keep up with his work and is lethargic? If so, there is a good chance that you need to supplement with salt. This can be done with a salt block or lick, but it is better to give electrolytes especially for horses, such as Pavo E'lyte or Pavo ReHydrate. Pavo E'lyte: electrolytes for optimal endurance. Pavo E'lyte is a complete electrolyte supplement made from very small chunks.  It contains all the necessary body salts (electrolytes) in the correct proportions. The proportions are especially important for good supplementation and absorption! Suitable for: (sport) horses and ponies that sweat. It is suitable for every discipline. Feeding advice: you can give Pavo E'lyte before, during and after work. For light work, 100 grams per day is sufficient. With intensive effort, where there is a lot of sweating and/or very hot weather, you can increase this to 200 grams per day. For a pony feed half the amount. Tip: mix Pavo E'lyte with slobber or Pavo FibreBeet. In this way, your horse is guaranteed to eat the tasty feed and immediately gets extra moisture. It is also ideal for competitions! Pavo E'lyte is a complete electrolyte mix to replenish salts that are lost through sweating. Pavo ReHydrate: sports drink for a quick recovery Pavo ReHydrate is a sports drink (liquid) for the real top athletes! It is a concentrated sports drink with electrolytes and glucose which together ensure that your horse recovers quickly after strenuous exercise. The right combination of electrolytes and the high proportion of glucose is what makes this product so unique. It not only ensures a direct recovery of the electrolyte balance but also replenishes energy. In addition, when taking ReHydrate, natural thirst is stimulated so that your horse will drink more quickly and restore its natural moisture balance. Suitable for: sport horses after strenuous exercise and after a loss of many electrolytes due to heavy sweating. Also suitable for transport horses and for horses showing symptoms of dehydration. Pavo ReHydrate is widely used in endurance sports, such as eventing. Feeding advice: give Pavo ReHydrate after exercise, such as heavy training or competition. You can dissolve it in drinking water, mix with the food or administer directly into the mouth with a syringe. Very important: in all cases make sure that your horse has access to sufficiently cool, clean and fresh drinking water! The dosage depends on the method of feeding and the intensity of work. View Pavo ReHydrate's feeding instructions for this. Pavo ReHydrate is a sports drink for real top athletes given after hard work to support a quick recovery! Can you also combine Pavo E'lyte and Pavo ReHydrate? Absolutely! If you are passionate about sporting activities with your horse, take part in endurance sports and/or are regularly on the road with the trailer, the combination of Pavo E'lyte and Pavo ReHydrate is a very good one. This is how you offer complete sports care: give Pavo E'lyte before work for maximum endurance and afterwards mix Pavo ReHydrate with drinking water, with the food, or spray it directly into the mouth for a quick recovery of electrolytes, fluid and energy. So the difference between Pavo E'lyte and Pavo ReHydrate is: •           kibble vs. drink (liquid) •           electrolytes vs. electrolytes and glucose •           prior to work vs. after work
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Feeding and breeding
Foal coming: everything you need to know!
What could be more delightful than a mare and her foal in the pasture? The parturition is approaching, which is an exciting moment! But how do you know the foal is coming? And what is important during and right after the parturition? Pre-parturition Not all pregnant mares with foal will show identical signs that the foaling is imminent. Typically, when the udder becomes really full, the muscles on either side of the base of the tail will begin to relax, showing as hollow areas on either side of the top of the tail , and wax-like beads appear on the end of each teat, the birth of the foal may only be a few hours away. Make sure that you are optimally prepared for the parturition by having the following items ready or arranged: Towards the end of the gestation, have a birth alarm system ready for use Install a webcam, so you can also check on your mare from home Make sure to have a big box clean and ready for foaling, with a thick straw bedding, so that the mare can lay down comfortably. When you do not have a big box available, a safe paddock may be an alternative Ensure there is enough light in the stable (leave a light on also during the night) Write down useful phone numbers, such as your vet’s phone number, or from someone who can possibly transport the mare and/or foal to a clinic, if necessary Make sure you have some frozen colostrum, or a Pavo SOS-kit, just in case something goes wrong with the mare, or if the foal refuses to drink Put a bandage on your mare’s tail, so you have a clear vision of the entire process You also need to prepare: towels, a clean bucket, Povidone iodine and iodopovidone shampoo, an umbilical cord clamp and a pair of scissors. During the parturition When the mare starts to give birth and the amniotic sac is visible, check if the foal’s position is correct. Check if you can feel the two front legs and the head. If this is not the case, then the foal might be in a wrong position. Make your mare stand up and call the vet immediately. The first 24 hours after parturition The first 24 hours in the life of a foal are crucial. It is important that you check a number of issues (see table 1 below). Right after birth, the foal is completely dependent on the antibodies in the first mare’s milk, also called colostrum, for protection against diseases. Only during the first 24 hours, the antibodies from the colostrum can pass through the foal’s intestinal wall and be absorbed in the bloodstream. When the foal refuses to drink when the mare suffers from mastitis or has passed away, then frozen colostrum or the Pavo SOS-kit containing artificial colostrum can provide a solution. Table 1: What happens with a healthy foal? A healthy foal: Within Stands  < 1 – 2 hours Nurses  < 2 – 4 hours Urinates  < 8 hours Intake of moisture  < 12 hours Pass the meconium  < 12 – 24 hours An orphan foal It is the nightmare of every breeder: problems during the birth process. It is important that you know what to do and who to contact when problems occur. Check beforehand if there are any Facebook groups or pages for foster mares and orphan foals. Should the mare or the foal not survive the birthing, than check these pages. Through this page, you can try to arrange an adoption. In case you need a surrogate mare that has lost her foal, check what the cause was. If a disease is suspected, it is better not to place the foal at this mare. Make good arrangements with the other arty prior to the placement and put these on paper. There are accommodations where several orphaned foals are placed together. Another solution could be a foster mare that did not give birth to a foal, but will lactate after a special treatment. Usually, in this situation, the orphan foal is accepted more easily. During the foal season, some vet clinics, have foster mares available that can be taken home with the foal from the moment of adoption to the moment of weaning, allowing the foal to be raised in its own environment. Weaning the foal Most foals are being weaned between five and six months of age, when it eats roughage and a foal balancer/concentrates independently. To gradually reduce the milk production in the mare, it is recommended to reduce the quantity of her concentrates by half. Three days before the planned weaning, the concentrate feed can be stopped completely . Ensure the mare gets sufficient natural movement. Deworming the foal It is advisable to deworm the foal between day four and day eight. This should then be repeated after four to six weeks. After that, in consultation with your vet, a normal deworming program can be maintained. Note: the deworming paste should be appropriate for foals.  
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Feeding and training
Muscle pain? Here's what you can do!
Muscle pain, or muscle acidification in horses, is often a result of (too) intensive training. With these tips, you can quickly recognise sore muscles in your horse and know how to prevent it happening. What is the difference between muscle soreness and muscle acidification in horses? Neither is pleasant for your horse, but sore muscles are different from muscle acidification. With muscle soreness, tears occur in the muscle fibre due to (too) intensive training. The muscle cell also forms lactic acid, causing the muscles to acidify slightly. Lactic acid forms when too much is asked of the muscles. With muscle acidification, so much lactic acid is formed that the muscles acidify to such an extent that the pH in the muscles drops. Muscle acidification can be detrimental to your horse's health, so it is important to take good care and prevent it happening as much as possible.  Another painful muscle condition in horses is muscle ptosis. Muscle soreness is usually caused by metabolic disease, excess sugars and starches or very intensive training. How long does muscle soreness last? Just like in humans, horses can still have muscle soreness up to a few days after intensive training. However, if it takes longer to heal and your horse is still sore after three days, it is wise to consult your vet. How do you know that a horse has muscle pain? You can recognise muscle pain and muscle acidification in a horse by a number of symptoms. And while muscle pain is, therefore, slightly different from muscle acidification, you won't see any real clear differences in symptoms. A horse suffering from muscle soreness:  Takes shorter strides than normal when you take him out of the pasture or stall  Reacts more violently to the touch of a brush while brushing  Feels stiff when riding and holds on more/ struggles to relax  May resist more during training, as certain movements or exercises may be painful    How does muscle pain occur in horses? Movement of your horse is made possible by a cooperation between tendons, ligaments and muscles. Muscles are the most flexible of this group. If a horse's training is built up very quickly, there is a chance that the muscles will pull on the ligaments and tendons, so to speak, because they are less flexible. This hurts the muscles or creates muscle pain. If a muscle has to work very hard, there is also a chance of acidification. During heavy exercise a muscle needs extra energy and, to get that energy, fuel is consumed. The consumption of fuel produces waste products that accumulate in the muscle causing acidification.  Which supplement helps with muscle pain in your horse? If your horse generally suffers from stiffness and muscle soreness after (heavy) exercise, a nutritional supplement can help provide extra support to the muscles. Nutrients such as vitamin E, selenium, magnesium and antioxidants help keep muscles supple. The supplement Pavo Eplus contains all these ingredients and works preventively for muscle stiffness and helps prevent sore muscles after intensive training.  If you want to preventively give the muscles a little extra to stay supple, this is a perfect supplement during intensive training and the competition season.  Horses that exert heavy effort are prone to muscle acidification, or horses that perform irregular work may benefit from some more intensive muscle care. For these horses, the supplement Pavo MuscleCare can offer extra support. This supplement takes care of sore and stiff muscles after (heavy) effort by breaking down and removing the built-up waste in the muscles more quickly. Tips for preventing muscle soreness in your horse Always start your training with a good warm-up and finish with a cooling down;  During cooling down, it is important that your horse does not cool down too quickly. When the muscles stay warm, blood flow stays good and the muscle recovers better. So, if it is very cold, stepping out with a fleece blanket is recommended;  Train your horse regularly so that he is in good condition and build this up slowly. As a horse gains endurance through training, he will suffer less from muscle soreness;   Adapt the feed to your horse's efforts and provide extra support to your horse's muscles with a muscle supplement, such as Pavo Eplus (preventive effect) or Pavo MuscleCare (nurturing effect). 
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Feeding and health
Tips for horses with dry hooves
Especially in summer, our horses' hooves suffer. The dryness drains the hooves of moisture, causing them to crumble or tear faster. With the right hoof care, you can help make your horse's dry, crumbly hooves strong and healthy again! How do you recognise crumbly hooves? Hooves are literally at the base of the horse and are made to create multiple gaits and move on different surfaces. Therefore, when the hoof is diseased or damaged, it affects the horse's entire locomotor system. Crumbling hooves are hooves where the horn wall is crumbling and becoming detached. The cause of crumbling hooves can be drought, heredity, insufficient exercise or care, or nutritional deficiencies. The condition of the hooves even affects the position of the legs. With poor or uneven hoof growth, the leg can make a wrong position. Good hoof care is therefore very important for your horse's health.   What helps against dry hooves in horses? 1. Wetting in a footbath or pond  During dry periods, wet your horse's feet daily. You can hose your horse down after riding but a hoof takes at least 15 minutes to absorb the water properly. Also, consider a foot bath with buckets of water or a wet nappy you can tie around the hoof. In the pasture, you can create a wet area around the water trough. When your horse comes to drink, he will stand in the damp/wet ground for a while.  2. Be careful with hoof grease on dry hooves  There is still a misconception that dry hooves regain their elasticity by greasing them, but brittle hooves do not lack fat, they lack moisture (i.e. water). A thick layer of hoof fat or oil on a dry hoof actually creates a water-repellent effect and prevents moisture from being absorbed. Therefore,the hoof dries out even more quickly.   However, it can help to water the feet well first and then apply a thin layer of oil or grease to the hoof while it is still wet (no more than once or twice a week). This allows the moisture to be stored in the horn for longer and does not evaporate as quickly. Don't forget to include the underside of the hoof as well.  3. Ensure adequate exercise  Exercise stimulates the hoof mechanism and thus the horse's heart and circulation. This stimulation of blood circulation is necessary for the transport of nutrients to also keep the hoof healthy, elastic and in optimal condition.  4. Pick the hooves daily  Even healthy hooves need to be picked regularly, but with fragile hooves it is especially important to pay daily attention to this. It not only cleans the hoof but also allows you to check for irregularities or small stones.  5. Regular visits from a farrier  Regular visits from a skilled farrier help maintain healthy hooves and can also help you prevent and treat problems. If a hoof is not trimmed on time, the toes can become so long that they crack. An ill-fitting or worn shoe hinders hoof mechanics, limiting blood flow to the hoof.  Biotin for strong hooves Biotin is used for horses with hoof problems such as dry, brittle or friable hooves. It also has a positive effect on the skin and coat. Biotin, vitamin B8, is a water-soluble vitamin. This means that this vitamin cannot be stored by the body. However, what is important in a biotin supplement for horses is not only the content of biotin, so don't be fooled by this! To support optimal horn quality, research has shown that a proper combination of biotin, copper, zinc and essential amino acids (such as methionine) is more effective than a high dose of biotin alone. In the supplement Pavo BiotinForte, these proportions are exactly matched with each other, so that with one product you support the hooves to the maximum!  How fast does biotin work in horses? On average, a horse's hoof grows about 1 centimetre per month. So it takes almost a year for a completely new hoof to form. Therefore, depending on how fast your horses' hooves grow, you need to feed biotin for at least 3 months to see an initial effect. It will take 6 to 9 months before you can say whether the hoof quality has really improved. 
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Feeding and health
10 tips to make a skinny horse fatter
Is your horse too skinny? If your horse is drawn up (sunken) behind the ribs, near the flanks, this indicates a forage deficiency. If you can see your horse's ribs and the hindquarters are sunken (hipbone protrusions are clearly visible), then your horse is indeed too skinny. It could also be that your horse may not be too skinny but needs to build more muscle. Causes of a skinny horse If your horse is underweight, it can have several causes: The diet is not rich enough in energy and protein Your horse may have a worm infection The teeth may not be in a healthy condition so the food is not digested properly In an older horse the digestive system can become less efficient, making the animal skinny Your horse may have lost weight due to a disease How to make a skinny horse fatter If your horse is too skinny, it is wise to look firstly at the cause. If he is simply does not have enough energy, then it is a matter of feeding more fibres, fats and proteins. But he may also have something in the membranes that makes him too thin. We give you 10 tips that can help you get your skinny horse back on weight. 1. Have a blood and manure test If your horse is simply getting too little feed you can have a blood test done. With a blood test, you look for pathological causes of being underweight. For example, it will check whether your horse's liver, kidneys and intestines are working properly, or whether inflammation or a virus might play a role. During the manure examination, any worms and sand in the manure are examined . Both tests can be performed by a veterinarian. 2. Check the teeth If a horse has a problem with its teeth, it may just be that he is eating less and losing weight. Therefore, always have your horse’s teeth checked by the dentist. If the teeth, blood and droppings are good, you can set up a special feeding schedule to encourage weight gain. Your vet could help you with this or ask the nutritionists at Pavo for advice. 3. Provide good quality roughage Horses cannot put on weight by eating poor hay and straw. Give a horse that needs to gain weight good nutritious hay, or haylage, and avoid coarse and difficult-to-digest roughage. The quality and nutritional value of roughage can vary per batch. If you want to be sure that the quality of your hay is good you should have it tested. This can be done by having a roughage sample tested with the Pavo Roughage Quickscan : a quick and simple way to find out how much sugar, protein and energy there is in your roughage.  •    Dry matter content On average we see a dry matter content of 650 – 700 in haylage for horses. This means that the roughage consists of 65 - 70% dry matter and 30-35% of water. Relatively speaking, you have to feed a lot of kilos of pre-dried silage because a large part is only moisture. •    Energy value  You can also look at the energy value and the VREp content (Digestible Raw Protein). These should both be fairly high for a lean horse to gain weight. The average energy value in the dry matter is 0.65 EWpa (Energy Value). The average VREp value is 78 grams per kg of dry matter. •    Vitamins, minerals and trace elements If the roughage comes from fertilized soil, the levels of minerals and trace elements are usually balanced. This is different for unfertilized soil. Then a supplement via concentrate, or a supplement, is often necessary. 4. Give unlimited roughage Give a lean horse unlimited roughage. Horses naturally look for food all day long. If unlimited roughage is available, your horse will also be able to eat all day and, therefore, gain weight more quickly. If there is not enough roughage available, Pavo FibreNuggets can offer a solution. These grass chunks are rich in fibre and have a consistent quality. Suitable for every horse and ration and also easy for older horses to eat. 5. Give your horse (more) grazing Horses often gain weight more quickly from grazing. Fresh grass contains more energy and protein than hay and silage. Therefore, make sure that your horse, if possible, can eat a lot of grass. Many horses spend less time in the meadow in the winter than in the summer. In winter the grass does not grow and the levels are lower. That is why you often see horses lose some weight in the autumn and winter. Keep in mind the fructan content in the grass during the grazing season, especially if your horse is sensitive to sugars.  6. Opt for expanded chunks and/or puffed muesli Try to feed a horse or pony that needs to gain weight with energy-rich and easily digestible food. Therefore, opt for concentrates in which the grains have been digested by heating (into pelleted chunks and puffed muesli), such as Pavo EnergyControl and Pavo SportsFit . The raw materials are heated under pressure making the starch almost completely digestible in the small intestine. Much less lactic acid is then formed in the appendix and large intestine. The acidity does not decrease as a result and no toxins are created due to the death of micro-organisms. 7. Feed an oil or fat-rich ration Oil is a source of renewable energy. Your horse gets more energy from oil and does not get hot. Add vegetable oil to the ration or choose a concentrate with a slightly higher fat or oil content. For example, feed your sport horse Pavo SportsFit (muesli),  Pavo Performance  (kibble) or the topping  Pavo TopSport. Pavo 18Plus is tailored to the needs of older horses. Also consider a slobber like Pavo SlobberMash as a bonus! 8. Adjust the ration to the amount of labour Always adjust your ration to the work that your horse does. When you train hard and your horse becomes a bit lean, this means that you are feeding too little energy and protein in relation to the work your horse is doing. It is recommended to switch to a more energy-rich chunk or muesli, or an extra topping such as Pavo TopSport. 9. Give your horse enough protein Feed, especially for pregnant and lactating mares and young horses, always contains an increased protein content because these horses have to grow. A mare pellet, such as Pavo PodoLac, is therefore definitely an idea for a lean horse because you also support muscle development. An old horse has a less efficient digestive system and is less able to digest proteins than a younger horse. An old horse, therefore, needs relatively more protein in the ration to maintain weight and muscle. Pavo has developed 18plus for this purpose: the feed specially designed for older horses and with an increased protein content . Pavo WeightLift is also a good option for thin horses. This food is grain free but very high in fibre and protein.  10. Help Gut Health With Desugared Beet Pulp Beet pulp is a very good supplement for horses that are lean. An example of desugared beet pulp is Pavo SpeediBeet . This product contains pectin, a soluble fibre that is even more digestible than the fibre in other roughage. This makes this beet pulp a fantastic source of plentiful slow-release energy and perfect for all types of horses and ponies. Pectin has a prebiotic effect. This means that the fibre supports the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. If your horse is really skinny or, for example, has difficulty with the intake of 'normal' roughage, Pavo FibreBeet  is a better choice. This is a mix of Pavo SpeediBeet enriched with alfalfa for extra protein. This combination makes it a safe and healthy 'fat maker' and ideal for lean (old) horses and (sport) horses with poor muscles. As you have to soak both products with water before feeding, it is very suitable for (old) horses with dental problems.  Making a horse fatter: you should NOT do this If you want to make a horse fatter there are a few 'tips' that you hear about on the grapevine but should NEVER do. Do not give large amounts of crushed corn, corn silage, or cornmeal in order to increase weight. Corn can cause the horse to gain weight quickly but corn is very difficult for a horse to digest. When undigested corn ends up in the large intestine and appendix, gas colic or diarrhea can occur. So be careful with this!    
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Feeding and health
Laminitis
Laminitis is a very painful condition for a horse in which inflammation in the hoof, due to a serious metabolic disorder, causes problems. But how do you recognize a horse with laminitis? What are the causes of this disease and more importantly, how can you treat it? What is laminitis? Laminitis is an inflammation inside the hoof that causes the lamellae to become inflamed, which ensures that the hoof wall and the coffin bone remain strongly connected to each other. As a result, the connection between them can break and the coffin bone comes loose from the hoof wall, causing it to sag or rotate. The inflammation is accompanied by fever and swelling causing a lot of pain for the horse. Laminitis usually occurs (firstly) on the front hooves. A horse that has had laminitis once will always remain susceptible to this condition. How can you recognize laminitis? A trapped horse will try to relieve the affected hooves by placing the hind legs well under the body and moving the affected leg (or legs) forward. You will notice that your horse wants to move as little as possible because this is painful. Sometimes they even lie down for a long time to relieve the feet. Depending on the severity of the laminitis, the coffin bone can detach from the coffin, causing the coffin bone to lose support and tilt. The tip of the coffin bone then protrudes into the sole. In severe cases, you can even see the coffin bone coming through the sole. Causes of laminitis Laminitis can have various causes. We have listed the five most common ones for you: 1. Overweight Horses and ponies that are overweight are more likely to have a disturbed sugar metabolism, or insulin dysregulation (formerly known as insulin resistance). Insulin dysregulation in horses causes many problems but one of the worst conditions that can arise is laminitis. To find out if your horse has insulin dysregulation, you can get a blood test from your vet. It is difficult to see from the outside. 2. Bowel Disorders A common cause of intestinal disorders is when a horse ingests an excessive amount of energy-rich food. For example, by eating sugar-rich (spring) grass or a large amount of concentrate that is given in one go, such as eating the feed barrel, for example. This disrupts the intestinal flora in such a way that toxins are formed. If these get into the blood, laminitis can develop. 3. Uterine Inflammation If a mare does not have the afterbirth within 6 hours after the birth of the foal, uterine inflammation can occur. If these toxins end up in the blood, the mare can become laminitic. So always keep an eye on this when the foal is born. 4. Sole Bruises Poor care of the hooves can lead to, amongst other things, sole bruising and inflammation. Regular maintenance of the hooves and trimming and/or shoeing every 6-8 weeks, by a recognized farrier, is therefore recommended. Prolonged trotting on paved roads and/or long trailer transport can also cause acute laminitis. 5. Medicines By administering certain medicines, toxic substances can enter the bloodstream, which can also cause laminitis. If your horse or pony is sensitive to laminitis, it is therefore smart to always read the package leaflet carefully before you give the medication or consult your vet. 6. Diseases Horses and ponies with Cushing's disease/PPID are particularly susceptible to laminitis. My horse has laminitis. What now? When your horse is caught, it is best to do the following: Consult your vet immediately. Do not give concentrates and grazing anymore but only feed poor and stalky hay. Instead of concentrates, you can opt for a vitamin-mineral supplement, such as Pavo Vital or Pavo DailyFit biscuits. Mix the Pavo Vital with Pavo DailyPlus to stimulate chewing and prevent stomach ulcers.  Put your horse on wet sand, or in mud, to continuously cool the hoof and distribute/relieve the pressure on the hoof. To reduce pain and pressure, it is advisable to consult with your vet and farrier to see what other measures can be taken. Preventing laminitis With these tips you can prevent your horse or pony from getting laminitis as much as possible: Ensure a gradual transition from stable to pasture. Start with a few minutes a day and make it a little longer each day. Put your horse outside in the morning, when the fructan is still low, and keep an eye on the fructan index if necessary. Please note: it is dangerous for sensitive horses to be put out in the morning after night frost. Avoid grazing on a bare meadow: short, stressed grass contains relatively much sugar. In the morning, first give roughage in the stable or make a nice wet mix of Pavo SpeediBeet  or Pavo Fibrebeet. This ensures that your horse has a feeling of fullness so that he eats less grass in the first hours. Adjust the amount of concentrate when your horse goes out into the pasture. Strip meadows are a good solution for sensitive horses and ponies. You put a fence in the meadow that you keep moving up so that they can't eat unlimited grass. In mares, pay attention to the timely delivery of the afterbirth (within 6 hours). For horses prone to laminitis, it is wise to consider whether grain-free feeding is a better option. This way you limit the intake of sugar and starch.
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Feeding and health
Poisonous plants, trees and flowers for horses
Some pastures not only grow plants and flowers that are healthy for your horse, but also plants that can pose great dangers. In general, horses know very well which plants are poisonous because of their bitter taste but, in some cases, they eat it anyway. Currently there are about 80 (!) European plant species that are poisonous to horses. These poisonous plants can cause various symptoms. In addition to plants, there are also trees and flowers that are poisonous to horses. How can you protect your horse from poisonous plants, trees and flowers? Firstly, the best safety measure is not to let your horse graze in a pasture that you have not carefully inspected beforehand. Most poisonous plants taste very bitter, so horses usually do not eat these plants quickly. When there is too little grass in the meadow and/or the horse has too little roughage at its disposal, it may still happen that it will eat other plants that it does not like and which may be poisonous. In addition, some plants only develop a poisonous taste when the plant is fully grown. Also, poisonous plants lose their bitter taste when dried. This means that your horse does not always recognize the poisonous plants as such, while the effect of the poison is not lost. That is why pruning waste is always so dangerous to give your horse, but also hay where the pasture has not been checked for poisonous plants. Never give pruning waste to your horse and make any local residents aware of this. Never buy hay from an unreliable source or from roadside grass! Also, take a good look at the surroundings of the meadow. Which trees are next to the meadow and are they poisonous? And can your horse sense this? Have you discovered a poisonous plant or flower in the horse pasture? Then remove it as soon as possible. Make sure you pull it out of the ground, root and all. Also, do not forget that poisonous plants have different flowering periods and do not always stay in one place but, sometimes, also "roam" in the meadow. A one-off pasture check is, therefore, not sufficient. It is important to do this regularly. When there are poisonous trees or shrubs near the pasture, it is wise to ensure that the horses cannot reach them and the pasture is (partially) closed off during the period when they release their leaves or fruit. Tip: Make sure that your horse does not pick up unfamiliar plants while riding. In a working state, horses are distracted and therefore choose their food less selectively or instinctively. This increases the risk of poisoning! Horses and ragwort Ragwort is one of the best known poisonous plants for horses. This plant grows very well, mainly from June to October on a clay soil enriched with nitrogen. Ragwort does not lose its toxicity after drying! It is, therefore, important to also check your hay for this herb. Once a horse has ingested ragwort, liver damage is one of the main symptoms. The damage to the liver is caused by the alkaloids from the plant. Apathy, depression, loss of appetite and weight loss are also recognizable symptoms of ragwort poisoning. Is Jacob's Wort Deadly to Horses? If a horse ingests ragwort over a longer period of time, small amounts can already have major consequences. Ragwort is deadly when an adult horse eats 14 kg of fresh, or 2 kg of dry ragwort. For a small pony 4 kg fresh or 0.5 kg dry plant applies. So be careful! Ragwort can be recognized in the meadow by its yellow flowers. Horses and horsetail Horsetail is a very poisonous weed for horses. It lives in damp places and blooms in the months of April and May. The important symptoms of horsetail poisoning are: increased irritability, staggering, paralysis of the hindquarters, jumpy and falling over. These symptoms are caused by the poisonous substance, thiaminase, in horsetail. This substance breaks down vitamin B1 in the horse's body. Horsetail is less toxic in dried form than in pasture but can still cause serious damage. Checking your hay is also important here! Which plants, trees and flowers are more toxic to horses? In addition to ragwort and horsetail, many more plant and tree species are poisonous to horses and new plants are constantly being added to this list. In general, trees and shrubs that remain green in winter can be classified as poisonous, but there are of course many more. If you are talking about highly poisonous plants in small amounts, the boxwood , yew and maple are certainly important ones to keep an eye on. Poisonous to a lesser extent, but certainly not suitable for consumption by horses, include the following plants, trees and flowers: Acaciaboom Bracken Azalea Bastard clover Belladonna Hogweed Beech   Bittersweet Blue monkshood Buttercup Brake Datura Oak Spotted and water hemlock Golden Rain Fall-timeless Dog run Poppy Ivy Tree of life Privets Nightshade Narcissus Rhodondendron Robinia Oleander Pieris Comfrey Thimbleweed Wolf's Milk Black henbane Note: this is not a complete list. As a precaution, our advice is, when in doubt about the toxicity of a plant or tree, do not let your horse eat it. What to do if your horse has eaten a poisonous plant? Unfortunately, plant poisoning in horses is not uncommon and not always 100% preventable. After poisoning, different symptoms can occur, depending on the amount and type of poison. Important symptoms by which you can recognize a poisoning are: digestive problems, swelling, skin irritation, shortness of breath, tremors, colic, excessive salivation, balance disorders, paralysis or death. In the case of acute poisoning, a horse usually reacts immediately after consuming the poison. In chronic poisoning the poison accumulates in the horse's body and signs of the disease gradually become visible. If you see or suspect that your horse has eaten a poisonous plant, call the vet immediately. It is important for diagnosis and treatment that you know which plant, and how much of it, your horse has eaten. The vet can quickly start with the right treatment. Non-toxic plants, trees and flowers There are also many plants that many people think are poisonous, but actually fall under the non-toxic plants. For example, think of the plane tree, butterfly bush, purple dead nettle and lavender.  There are also healthy edible plants, flowers, trees and herbs for horses. Herbs in the horse pasture can have a beneficial effect on the body processes. A few examples of edible plants and herbs in the horse pasture are: Dandelion, Cow parsley, White and Red Clover, Chamomile, Daisy, Thistle.  Tip: It is important that you are familiar with the names and appearance of poisonous plants and trees so that you can identify them and protect your horse. You can possibly make a poster with the pictures of the poisonous plant and the correct name. Below are some images of the common plant and tree species that are highly toxic to horses.  
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Feeding and health
Feeding tips for horses with bad teeth
Dental problems often occur as horses get older. Falling teeth are of course easy to recognise, but what are other symptoms of bad teeth? And how can you take this into account in the diet, so they do get all the nutrients they need? Dental problems in old horses Dental problems often occur when horses get a bit older. As early as 15 years of age, horses can develop dental problems. If you compare an older horse's mouth to that of its younger counterparts, it is a world of difference. This is because teeth continue to grow throughout life. Teeth and molars wear down as they grind over each other while chewing. Unfortunately, this wear does not always happen evenly. As a result, edges called "hooks" can develop. The molars no longer slide over each other, so the horse can no longer chew properly and will eventually lose weight. Large gaps can develop between the teeth (diastases) in which food gets stuck. This can cause inflammation. Sometimes teeth fall out, causing the opposite one to grow too far. Symptoms of bad teeth There are several symptoms that indicate poor teeth in a horse. Fallen teeth are easy to see. But when you look into a horse's mouth, you can mainly see the teeth, and not the molars. The degree of trouble a horse's teeth can cause can be very different. It is therefore very important to have your older horse's teeth checked at least twice a year by a specialised vet or a recognised dental professional.   Symptoms of dental problems: Loss of condition (if the teeth are not in order and your horse cannot chew properly, processing food becomes problematic) Propping up Taking a long time to eat roughage Eating concentrate quickly Drooling Playing with food Oesophageal obstruction Symptoms dental problems in an advanced stage: Nasal discharge Foul smell coming from the mouth Swelling on jaw or bridge of nose What if my horse has poor chewing ability? Horses with poor chewing ability have a lot of trouble eating long-stemmed roughage. To still offer your horse sufficient fibre, it is advisable to feed your horse short-chopped roughage: the length of fibre that the horse can still chew is determined by the degree of dental wear, bearing in mind that for grinding fibre, some relief must still be present on the teeth. Pavo SeniorFibre has been specially developed for horses with reduced dental function. All fibres in Pavo SeniorFibre have a maximum length of three centimetres and are therefore considered short fibres. Moreover, the stems of the fibres are soft and will therefore not easily damage the digestive tract. So in the choice of concentrate, keep in mind that some concentrate feeds aim to encourage chewing by mixing in long-stemmed fibres. These are less suitable for horses with poor teeth. It is also advisable to choose a concentrate with easily digestible ingredients, such as Pavo 18Plus. Pavo 18Plus is a fully vitaminised muesli packed with easily digestible fibres to compensate for the reduced digestion of older horses. It are small chunks that fall apart quickly and can be fed both wet and dry. This also makes it easy to absorb by (older) horses with bad teeth. My horse can no longer chew at all If your horse cannot chew at all, it is best to use wilted or soaked products. This will prevent your horse from lacking certain nutrients or even starving. Then choose, for instance, Pavo SpeediBeet, roughage fibres in the form of fast digesting, low-sugar beet pulp. In addition, you can also feed Pavo FibreNuggets: this is an all-round roughage product with healthy fibres from grass and herbs. As our FibreNuggets are very palatable and you can feed this soaked, it is ideal for horses with (severe) dental problems. Furthermore, we have developed Pavo Fibrebeet for horses with condition deficiency or weight problems. This fibre-rich product has the same basis as Speedibeet but in combination with Lucerne. Feeding tips for horses with teeth problems It may seem as if horses are nibbling all day, while in reality they hardly eat anything. If you, as a horse owner, do not intervene, you run the risk of your horse not getting enough nutrients. A special diet with roughage substitutes can help in such a situation. Give horses that have difficulty chewing short chopped roughage such as Pavo SeniorFibre. Horses that cannot chew at all will benefit from roughage products that you can dilute with water, such as Pavo SpeediBeet, Pavo FibreBeet, Pavo FibreNuggets, Pavo WeightLift or Pavo DailyPlus. If you feed 300 grams / 100 kg body weight per day (or more) of beet pulp, we recommend supplementing this with bran, 40 grams / 100 kg body weight. This is to provide an optimal Ca/P (calcium/phosphorus) balance in the ration. Pavo SlobberMash has a high bran content and is easy to prepare.  When a concentrated feed is necessary, give Pavo 18Plus (divided into several small portions per day) diluted with water to make slobber in the ratio 1 : 1 (as much water as feed). It may be supplemented with either cold or lukewarm water. Let it soak for at least 15 minutes. If your horse is not fed concentrate, it is wise to supplement vitamins and minerals, as he cannot get this sufficiently from roughage. You can do this by feeding a so-called balancer, such as Pavo Vital.  
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Feeding and health
Strangles in horses
A large number of horses get strangles at a young age. Foals and yearlings especially are extra susceptible to this disease. Young animals are also more likely to develop complications, such as defeated strangles (where lymph nodes in other parts of the body, such as the abdominal cavity, can become inflamed). After a strangulation infection, about three quarters of the horses build up immunity for a longer period of time. It is, therefore, not the case that older horses cannot get strangles, but they often show a less severe clinical picture with symptoms such as fever and a runny nose. Sometimes, however, the infection can continue for much longer such as at a riding school or boarding stable with adult horses: it is less likely to be recognized as strangles. Is strangles contagious to humans? Fortunately, strangles is not a disease that is transmitted to humans and we do not get sick from it. However, we can transfer the infection from one horse to another if the bacteria remains on our hands or clothing. It is, therefore, not wise to take care of both healthy horses and horses with strangles at the same time. This is how you can limit strangles in horses Isolation: when strangles are detected in a stabled horse, it is wise to isolate this horse to prevent the contamination of other horses. Circumstances: a poorly ventilated barn, stress, lack of certain nutrients and other diseases can also make it easier for the STD bacteria to cause problems. Stay away: don't let people who have taken care of horses with strangles come near healthy horses. Disposable clothing : on a horse with strangles, use clothing that you immediately put in the washing machine, or use disposable clothing and gloves. Temperatures: it is also smart to take the temperature of the rest of the horses twice a day to prevent a new infection at the earliest possible stage, and to keep the horse(s) in question separately. Horse grafting for strangles Vaccination for strangles can reduce the number of infections in a group of horses and the severity of symptoms in infected horses. However, the vaccine's protection is not 100 percent, so some horses may still show milder symptoms. To build up the best possible protection, a horse must be vaccinated twice, with 4 weeks in between. The vaccination should then be repeated every six months. Treatment of strangles When the strangles are still in an early stage and no abscesses have formed in the lymph nodes yet, antibiotics can possibly counteract the infection. However, the horse then also builds up less or no defences and can still get strangles at a later date. Once abscesses have formed, it is not wise to continue treatment with antibiotics. This only suppresses the maturation of the abscesses and, when the treatment is stopped, the course of the disease continues as usual. The treatment of a horse with strangles is mainly aimed at relieving the pain and fever. In addition, it is important that the purulent abscesses in the lymph nodes break open, so that the pus can flow out. When the abscesses do not open on their own, the vet sometimes has to help. The abscesses can then be rinsed daily with a disinfectant solution. Note that the pus that comes out is very contagious! During treatment it is useful to regularly measure the temperature of the sick horse. This is the best way to determine if the horse is recovering or when it is wise to contact the vet (again). Feeding advice for strangles Horses with inflamed anterior airways and/or swollen glands usually have difficulty swallowing. That is why you often see, horses with strangles eating badly. Always make sure to offer roughage, although it may be painful for the horse to eat. To ensure that your horse continues to eat, you can offer food in soaked form. This is easier for your horse to chew. Pavo SpeediBeet: this is fast-soaking, desugared beet pulp and a source of super fibres, with which to support your horse's gastrointestinal flora.  Pavo FibreBeet: you can also feed this roughage product soaked and it is a combination of Pavo SpeediBeet (desugared beet pulp) and alfalfa (proteins). This 'healthy fattener' offers optimal support for condition recovery.   Pavo FibreNuggets: these structured grass chunks are made from alpine meadow grass and can be used as a high-quality roughage replacement. It is best to feed them soaked, which makes it very suitable for (old) horses with dental problems.  Pavo SlobberMash: our slobber is a complete concentrate and rich in vitamins and minerals. It supports good intestinal function and healthy digestion and is easy and quick to prepare with warm water.  Grass is also fairly easy for the horse to chew, so you could put it on pasture. Please note: this must be a quarantine meadow to prevent contamination.    To ensure that your horse does not weaken further and the immune system is additionally supported, you can temporarily give your sick horse a 'booster' such as: Pavo HealthBoost: supports the immune system and intestinal health and gives the horse a powerful boost during or after a less well period. Pavo MultiVit15: is a complete vitamin supplement with the fifteen most important vitamins for the horse. It also supports the immune system and ensures a shiny coat.
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Feeding and health
Cushing’s in Older horses
Cushing's disease, or PPID, mainly occurs in older horses. Due to the disease, the horse's pituitary gland is disrupted causing it to release too many hormones. This causes, amongst other things, the typical curly coat. Curious about how to recognize Cushing's in your horse and how to deal with it? Cushing's disease Cushing's, ie PPID in short, is an ageing disease that causes a disturbance in the pituitary gland of the horse. Due to this disturbance, the pituitary gland of the brain releases too many hormones causing the horse to become hormonally out of balance. This causes, amongst other things, the typical curly coat. More and more horse owners know that horses, especially as they get older, can get Cushing's disease. Recognizing Cushing's in your horse Cushing's in horses is most easily recognized by the long, curly coat and poor shedding in the advanced stage of the disease. However, symptoms are not always obvious. Is your horse sluggish and does he struggle to work as well anymore? Impaired performance can be one of the first symptoms of the disease. Other commonly seen symptoms include excessive drinking and urination, increased susceptibility to infections, decreased fertility, muscle loss, a tummy shape and abnormal sweating. Cushing's Disease Complications In particular, laminitis is a dreaded complication of PPID in this regard. The disturbance of the hormonal balance also disrupts the sugar metabolism, making the horse extra sensitive to a sugar-rich ration. In the autumn, PPID is even the cause of laminitis in about 70% of the cases. In addition, the defence against infections is negatively influenced by the disruption. Life expectancy at PPID If a horse or pony is diagnosed with PPID in time, it can often last for many years when the right measures are taken. Especially if laminitis, as a result of Cushing’s disease, can be prevented because this can ultimately threaten the quality of life the most. Do I have a Cushing horse? Although the risk of the disease is lower in a young horse, the disease can develop from the age of seven. In recent years, it has become much easier to conduct proper research into the disease. A single blood sample is already sufficient to determine the hormone ACTH, with which the diagnosis can be made reliably. Autumn is the best time to have this examination carried out by the vet, since horses with PPID have a relatively much higher blood level of ACTH than horses without the disease. But it can also be tested outside this period. Treatment PPID Although Cushing's disease is not yet curable, the negative consequences can be prevented long-term and effectively with medication. This medication ensures that the hormone production in the pituitary gland is inhibited, thus preventing laminitis, lethargy and coat changes. In addition, adjusting the management is an important link in the contribution to a long lifespan of a horse with PPID. You should especially think of adjusting the diet and grazing. For example, a horse with PPID can benefit from a grain-free diet. For example, Pavo WeightLift is a good option for older horses that also have trouble maintaining their weight. It is grain free and very low in sugar.  A side effect of the medication can be a loss of appetite. Then it is possible that your horse or pony no longer wants to eat a certain food from one day to the next. It then takes a while to find something that is enjoyed again and that is as low in sugar as possible. Cushing's and Nutrition When your horse has Cushing's, he or she is extra sensitive to sugars due to the disturbed sugar metabolism. The advice is, therefore, to have your roughage analysed for at least sugar content. This is very easy with the Pavo Roughage Quickscan. If it turns out that the roughage, which is by far the largest share of the total ration, contains a high sugar value, this may be a reason to switch to another (low-sugar) batch of roughage. If additional supplementation is required, you can also opt for a low-sugar concentrate here, such as Pavo 18Plus combined with low-sugar Pavo SpeediBeet. As far as grazing is concerned, you also have to take sugars and therefore the fructan in the grass into account .  
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Feeding and training
Horses and hot weather: 10 tips
Horses can handle heat reasonably well but extremely high temperatures can be dangerous. So, for your horse's health, it is important to take some precautionary measures on hot days.  Can horses cope with hot weather? The optimal temperature for horses is between -7 degrees Celsius and +25 degrees Celsius. Horses feel most comfortable at these temperatures. Anything above 25 degrees Celsius can be considered warm and from 30 degrees the heat alarm should go off. Horses can adapt reasonably well but several factors, such as bright sun, exertion, low wind and high humidity, can cause body temperatures to rise. At its worst, this can cause heat stress, manifesting as diarrhea, colic, dehydration or even heat stroke. Horse breeds from northern regions, such as Icelandic horses and Fjords, generally suffer a bit more from the heat. This also applies to horses with black coats as they absorb the sun's rays more and thus heat up more.   How to help your horse when it is hot These 10 tips will help your horse keep its cool in hot weather!  1. Adjust your grazing schedule  If your horse is outside for several hours each day, adjust the times. Preferably go outside at night and inside during the day. If that is not possible, try to organize grazing as early in the morning as possible.  2. Provide shade  A shelter is preferable but a row of trees can also provide shade. If that is not available, consider placing a party gazebo in the horse pasture so that your horse has the opportunity to seek shade.  3. Air circulation   A fan is a great tool to circulate air in the barn but must be used with caution. A horse should definitely not be able to get near the fan itself and beware of any cords!  4. Provide plenty of cool water  Unlimited access to fresh, clean and cool water is a necessity. Ice cold water is not necessary, horses prefer to drink water around 15-20 degrees. Remember to provide a water bowl of sufficient size as the water will get hot too quickly in a small bowl.   5. Encourage your horse to drink more  If your horse drinks very little, consider spraying the hay with slightly salty water. This is because the salty taste makes your horse thirsty so he will drink more.  6. Work more quietly than usual  Although horses can handle heat reasonably well, it's not comfortable for a horse to do very heavy work in extreme temperatures - you wouldn't like that either. Unless you are riding at the absolute top level, take the work back or divide it into two short sessions in the morning and evening when temperatures have dropped a bit. Tip: after riding, take everything off your horse (saddle, possibly tendon protectors, etc.) as soon as possible to allow the heat to dissipate.  7. Cool off with water  Just as we like to cool off in the water during hot weather, horses like to do the same. A quick rinse after riding or between grazing will cool your horse down. However, always start with a hose down at the legs and work upwards from there to avoid scaring your horse, giving him a chance to get used to the water.  8. Prevent your horse from getting sunburned  A fly rug is very practical for horses when it is hot. It creates a kind of "shadow effect" which reflects the sun, making it a little cooler. So it works not only against flies but also sunburn. Horses with light skin or body parts with little hair (nostrils and around the eyes) are very sensitive to the sun and you can protect them with sunblock.  9. Shave horses with extremely thick coats  To give horses with thick coats, or horses with Cushing's disease relief in the heat, you can shave them. This way they won't sweat too much and are less likely to have circulatory problems.  10. Replenish body salts after sweating  When sweating, your horse loses fluid and important body salts such as sodium, potassium and chloride. With electrolyte deficiency, your horse's ability to retain fluid in the body is impaired, skin elasticity is reduced and stamina decreases. With the help of a complete electrolyte mix, such as Pavo E'lyte, the lost body salts are replenished. This is suitable for all horses and ponies after sweating. For sport horses that have just finished working hard, the sports drink Pavo ReHydrate is more suitable. This provides an immediate replenishment of electrolytes and energy.   Tip: add the electrolytes to a tasty slobber meal with Pavo SlobberMash or Pavo GrainFreeMash which you prepare with cold water. That way your horse also gets some extra moisture straight away.   What is the difference between a salt lick and electrolytes? A salt lick - the word says it all - provides your horse with salt: sodium and chloride. That is, if he licks it. To make sure that your horse gets enough and especially the right salt, the use of special electrolyte supplements such as Pavo E'lyte is recommended. This not only compensates for the loss of sodium and chloride but also potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus - a mix of all the body salts your horse loses through sweating.    
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Feeding and health
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FeedingAdvice: preparing mash with cold water
Pavo FeedingAdvice: for all your feeding questions. Can mash be prepared with cold water?
Feeding and health
00:02:48
The importance of roughage
By nature, horses graze almost all day and night. They mainly eat roughage: hay, silage and grass. Roughage keeps horses healthy, but why is roughage so important for horses? And how long can a horse go without hay or grass? Find out in this animation video! 
Feeding and health
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The power of Ahiflower®
Discover the natural and versatile power of Ahiflower®. Pavo Ahiflower®Oil is your all-in-one solution when it comes to your horse's health. This unique oil supports: a strong immune system the mobility of your horse healthy skin and a shiny coat regeneration after work a good hormone balance efficient respiratory system