In the wild, horses used to roam freely over thousands of acres, with continuous access to clean and fresh pasture. Worms and horses evolved together in this environment, developing a relatively healthy balance to maintain both populations.
We now generally restrict our grazing limiting the opportunity to move to cleaner pasture. This exposes the horse to worm re-infection, upsetting the balance of the horse/worm dynamic.
stop worming your horses, start worm egg counting
Download the PDF for the full article about worm resistance and the value of worm egg counts.
conclusion to the above article
We all have a responsibility to use the available drugs conscientiously to conserve their efficacy to the best of our ability for the benefit of the entire equine community both now and in the future, and in our desire to find alternatives to conventional worming regimes that we do not put the health of our equine friends at risk
A yearly plan can be designed for individual horses built around strategic treatment of the more evasive parasites using FEC and other diagnostic tests to reduce reliance on drugs. Consult your vet or local SQP now.
it is better not to eliminate worms altogether
Although we all have this great crusade against worms in our horses, it is actually beneficial for horses to live with a small worm burden as it means that the horses immune system will continue to act against the worms. For that reason it is often advised not to treat horse’s with a low worm egg count - usually less than 200 epg. But your SQP or vet should advise you of this.
worm egg counts
To find out more about Be Wise Worming and to order your online worm egg count kit, visit www.bwiseworming.co.uk or call 0845 370 1700
basic principles of pasture management
It will help if you try to achieve at least some of these listed below to maintain a better horse/worm balance.
regularly remove horse droppings from your pasture
Eggs are passed in the dung, where they develop into larvae and contaminate the pasture. Try to ‘poo pick’ and keep the land clean.
graze the pasture with cattle or sheep
Worms are ‘host’ specific - they don’t survive in other species. Cross grazing with sheep or cattle is effective at reducing horse parasite burden on pasture.
rest the pasture
Try to rest the pasture for at least 3 months, this will significantly reduce the parasite burden. Sunlight and hard frost help break the cycle by killing eggs and larvae.
combine harrowing with resting
Harrowing dirty pasture just spreads the worms eggs and larvae over the fields. However combined with resting the pasture, it can benefit the overall pasture management..
do not overstock paddocks
Overstocking fields makes it harder to manage and the quality of grazing suffers.
reduce paddock size
If you divide the paddocks into smaller sizes they can be alternately grazed and rested more easily.
4 for 3 Bwise voucher + an alternative to chemical worming
Further offers, download the PDF for full details
Our job as horse owners is to re-establish this balance by controlling the amount of worms our horses are exposed to, helping to keep our horses healthy and able to perform to the best of their ability.
There are two ways we can achieve this.