Proper Parasite Prevention PracticesBy Jeffrey Rolo
Horse parasites can be combated with a well-planned horse worming schedule that incorporates a variety of quality horse wormers, but whereas horse wormers are invaluable aids to help destroy parasites that do manage to infest your horse, our ultimate goal should be to follow proper parasite prevention practices in order to minimize the quantity of parasites that do make it into your horse.
Keep The Stable Clean
Maintaining a high level of cleanliness within your stable is one of the most important parasite preventative measures you can take. Horse parasites thrive in muck-covered, moist stalls, so make sure you clean each stall of manure at least once daily and keep plenty of clean, dry shavings on hand. It can be handy to thoroughly disinfect each stall once weekly too.
Keep Food Off The Floor
Since the floor is a primary source for parasites it's important to keep your horse's mouth away from it as much as possible. Attach a hay rack to the stall wall so your horse can eat the majority of his hay in a clean, upright position. Make sure any feed or grain is served inside a grain bucket, preferably one that attaches to a stall corner rather than one that sits on the floor and can easily be kicked over.
The side benefit to keeping food off the floor is a horse also ingests less dirt.
Keep The Pasture Clean
Try not to permit manure to accumulate in the grazing pastures as that provides a prime living condition for horse parasites. It's a good idea to take a muck rake and clear the pasture of manure once a week.
Rotate Your Pastures
Parasites thrive in fields that are overcrowded and overused, so if room permits try to rotate the pastures every couple of weeks. By disallowing use of a pasture from time to time the elements will better kill off any residing parasites.
Wet Pastures Are A Problem
Horse parasites thrive in wet conditions, so horses are much more exposed when they are grazing from wet fields. Consider keeping younger horses in a paddock with plenty of hay during such conditions.
Do not introduce a new horse to your herd until he has undergone a de-worming program. Since all your horses are presumably kept on a thorough horse worming schedule, newcomers who haven't been cleansed can be the largest contributor to a parasite infestation.
The above tips will not guarantee your equine partner has complete protection against horse parasites, so they should not be used in place of horse wormers. That being said, if you own just one horse and his atmosphere is kept clean and sanitary then you can probably worm him less often than the normal recommended frequency.