Nursing your Horse

Horsemanship Level 4: Vet & First Aid pt II

The second check box for Level 4 Vet & First Aid is:

9.  Signs of cold, laminitis. Causes of colic. Cause & treatment of thrush, abscess, minor injuries. When to call the vet and what to tell her.

Again, you have learned much of this in Level 3, and now you should be very familiar with these ailments.  Review the Level 3 topics here:


The following symptoms signal potential emergencies and require urgent veterinary care.rolling

  • Sweating, lying down and getting up a lot, rolling
  • Reluctance to move or severe stiffness
  • Lameness at the walk or very swollen leg
  • Arterial bleeding (blood spurting from a wound)
  • Difficulty breathing, green discharge or food from nostrils
  • Closed eye, severe blinking or discharge from the eye.

The symptoms can indicate colic, azoturia, choke, tetanus or life-threatening injury and are true emergencies.  Stay calm but call the vet immediately!

Less urgent ailments

The following symptoms are indications you should consult a vet within a day, but are not considered emergencies.Taz cough

  • Runny nose, cough
  • Discharge from the eye without blinking or swelling
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Change in appetite or difficulty eating
  • Weight loss
  • Increase in drinking and urination
  • Soft manure or diarrhoea
  • Patchy hair loss, or lack of shedding
  • Rubbing mane or tail
  • Lumps on the skin
  • Lameness
  • Poor performance or exercise tolerance
  • Abnormal behaviour

Usually when you call the vet you will get an answering service and need to wait for a callback.  While you wait, record your horse’s TPR (Temperature, Pulse & Respiration) and make a note of any symptoms.  Your vet will want to know when you first noticed symptoms, any changes in behaviour, stabling situations or diet, and whether the horse has been eating, drinking, and producing manure and urine normally.

If possible move your horse to a clean, well lit stall, and be sure to wait with the horse until the vet arrives.  Do not give food or water if colic or choke is suspected, and do not give any medications unless advised to do so over the phone by the vet.  Above all, stay calm!  Your disposition will help your horse stay calm and prevent further distress.

Upcoming Classes

Friday Clinic: Cross Country

Experience the exhilaration of the open fields!  Work on your galloping position and pacing, and take your horse over a variety of cross country obstacles.

Instructor: Jennifer Landels
Prerequisite: Riding Level 2 or equivalent

Friday 8 July 6:30 – 8pm
cost: $60 +gst

Upcoming clinics
Prix Fiore: July 15th

Riding & Horsemanship Classes

Riding & Horsemanship classes run in 6 week series.  There is drop-in space in the current Monday evening series, and registration is open for the upcoming Saturday series.

Mondays 13 Jun – 18 Jul
Saturdays 16 Jul – 20 Aug
Mondays/Thursdays 22 Aug – 8 Sep

Intro to Mounted Combat

Duello_Mounted-Combat_Chena_3021Back by popular demand, this 3-hour workshop will introduce you to grooming and handling horses, riding, and swordplay from the ground and horseback.  The perfect way to start the summer!

Sunday 3 July, 10am – 1pm

Horseback Archery

Robert Borsos will be back on July 17th for another fabulous day of Horseback Archery.  No experience, either with horses or bows, is needed for the beginner workshop.  For the intermediate workshop riders should have their Riding Level 1 and have taken the beginner workshop.  This is the last workshop before Carosella and they tend to fill up, so sign up soon!

Rob archery

Beginner: Sunday 17 July, 10am – 1pm
Intermediate: Sunday 17 July, 2pm – 5pm

Carosella 2016

Three fabulous days of Mounted Combat, Archery and Games!  The dates have been set for September 9th – 11th.  Registration isn’t yet open, but you can look at last year’s schedule to get an idea of what’s on offer, and start planning your training now.

Carosella 2015




Jennifer Landels Jennifer Landels heads up Academie Duello's Cavaliere Program. She has been swordfighting since 2008, and riding since before she could walk. She started the program as an excuse to combine those passions.
Read more from Jennifer Landels.