Worming is an important part of caring for your horse. The purpose of worming is to control the parasite population that lives in the intestines of your horse. There are a couple different practices for deworming horses, there is a more holistic or natural approach and there is the conventional approach using standard dewormers. No matter which approach you choose it is always a great idea to do the following in order to reduce your horses chance of becoming infested.
- Clean regularly – remove and dispose of manure at least twice per week.
- Harrow pastures – break up manure piles to expose eggs and larvae to the elements.
- Rotate pastures – move horses between pastures to naturally break parasite life cycles.
- Group horses – group horses by age to maximize deworming schedules.
- Reduce pasture load – fewer horses per acre means reduced fecal contamination.
- Use elevated feeders – lift grain and hay off of the ground where parasites thrive.
Determine your horse’s deworming needs
Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” deworming program. Every horse’s situation is different, even for those within the same barn or on the same pasture. An effective deworming program needs to consider a number of factors, including:
- Age – foals and young horses are more susceptible to certain parasites.
- Location – certain parasites are more common in certain areas or climates.
- Season – certain parasites, like bot flies, are only active during certain seasons.
- Travel – horses who travel to shows may be exposed to infected horses.
- Pasture Load – more horses grazing in a given area may increase parasite exposure.
- Pasture Pals – other animals can carry parasites that may infect your horse.
Natural or Holistic Approach
The natural or holistic approach does NOT use chemicals to deworm your horse instead herbs and minerals along with pasture maintenance and fecal sampling is used. There are a lot of different natural dewormers on the internet, find a natural dewormer that works for you by researching and asking your holistic vet.
Collect about a thimble full of horse’s manure, place in a plastic baggy, if more than one horse be sure to label each baggy with horse’s name, place in envelope along with name, address and available email address.
Mail all to:
The Natural Horse Vet
P. O. Box 429
Unicoi, Tn. 37692.
Conventional or Medicine Approach
Choose an effective deworming schedule
Basically, there are three ways to worm, or rid, your horse of internal parasites:
- Oral broad-spectrum
Some horse owners combine parts of the three methods to customize parasite control. Depending on your location, pasture conditions, and fecal parasite egg counts, your veterinarian can suggest the best deworming schedule for your horse. The overall goal, however, is to keep parasite loads minimal. Use the following schedule examples as guides: