Is this really Rain Rot? Rain Rot treatment for Horses

Rain Rot in Horses So what is rain rot?

Rain rot is one of the most common skin infections seen in horses. It is also referred to as “rain scald” or “streptothricosis”. The organism that causes rain rot appears and multiplies in warm, damp conditions where prolonged wetness, high humidity, high temperature, or attacks by biting insects are present.

This condition is not life-threatening, so don’t worry.  Make sure you avoid equipment, such as saddles, or leg wraps, that will irritate skin infected by rain rot.


What does rain rot look like?

Rain rot can appear as large crust-like scabs, or small 1/4 inch matted tufts of hair. Underneath the scabs, the skin is usually (but not always) pink with puss when the scabs are first removed, then it becomes gray and dry as it heals. It is usually hard to differentiate rain rot from other similar skin conditions, so if you are unsure, call your veterinarian.


So what causes rain rot?

“Rain rot or rain scald (also known as dermatophilosis) is caused by bacterial infection, and it often is mistaken for aRain Rot in Horses fungal disease,” says Ann Swinker, PhD, an extension horse specialist at Penn State. “The bacteria live in the outer layer of skin and cause from pinpoint to large, crusty scabs.” Rain Rot in Horses

Rain rot occurs when the infective zoospores (created by D. congolensis bacteria to propagate themselves) reach a compromised skin site. Swinker says, “The zoospores germinate and produce hyphae (threadlike tentacles), which penetrate into the living epidermis and spread in all directions, resulting in an acute inflammatory skin condition.”


How to treat rain rot?

Remove the environmental factors that cause rain rot and your horses will heal on their own.  Make sure your horse has access to shelter, like a lean-to, during rainy conditions.

A light, breathable sheet may help to protect your horse from rain.  Avoid heavier blankets that trap moisture against his skin. Clean and wash all of his tack and equipment thoroughly and take a break from riding if he develops lesions in the saddle area (the saddle will trap sweat against his skin and may cause discomfort while the lesions are active).

When you bathe him, scrape excess water off his body and keep him inside until his coat dries thoroughly. During the buggy season, apply insect repellent regularly.Rain Rot in HorsesRain Rot in Horses

These measures will solve the vast majority of rain-rot cases. If your horse’s symptoms persist, ask your veterinarian to recommend a shampoo containing a keratolytic agent, such as benzoyl peroxide. Such products strip away dead layers of skin, along with crusty scabs and bacteria, and help to treat secondary conditions.

I would not recommend treating a topical disease like rain rot with systemic antibiotics. This would disrupt the natural micro-ecology of your horse’s gastrointestinal tract.  Treating with systemic antibiotics will also contribute to the broader problem of antibacterial resistance created by the overuse of antibiotics.

18 Jun 2016

What is a snaffle a bit?


Snaffle Bit

There are two types of bits: snaffle and curb. Snaffle bit is usually a straight bar hinged in the center with two rings on each outer end. There is no extra leverage to a snaffle bit. If you pull with 1 pound of force on the rain then 1 pound the force will be felt by the horse’s mouth from the bit.


Curb Bit

Curb bits, on the other hand, have an extra length of metal from where the snaffle bit rings would normally be. This extra length of metal gives leverage. A common way to visualize this leverage is to think of a carpentry hammer. If you’re trying to pull a nail from a board with the claw end of a carpentry hammer, and the hammer handle is short, you have to exert more force. If you have a longer handled hammer then the amount of force that you have to exert on the handle would be less in order to pull out the nail.

Curb its work much the same way. Longer bar exerts more force on the mouth of the horse. This allows the rider to exert less pressure on the rains in order to get the horse to turn.

Snaffle bits do not have this extra length of iron. Snaffle bits are commonly used to train young horses to respond to pressure from a rider.  Because there is less pressure on the bit, snaffle bits are considered gentler to horse.

Snaffle bits are usually hinged in the center and applies a nutcracker type action to the horse’s mouth. Both types of bits apply pressure to the bars of a horse’s mouth. The bars of the horse’s mouth is the section where there are no teeth that sits in front of the back grinding molars.

There are a variety of snaffle bits all with a different purpose. The basic types are as follows:



The O-ring: the O-ring is a simple ring that is attached to the outer ends of the bit. The ring itself is usually not fixed, but is allowed to rotate on the ends of the bit.  This type of bit is considered more forgiving but has the possibility of pinching the lips of the horse. This type of bit is usually used in Dressage training.


Dee Ring

The Dee Ring: the D ring describes the shape of the ring. The outer ends of the bit usually have a hinge that looks very similar to door hinges. The D ring itself is attached to the hinges that are on the end of the outer bit. This hinge is wider than a typical O-ring and gives a little more pressure to the mouth of the horse. Since the hinge of the D ring is usually wider than the lips of the horse pinching usually does not occur.


Full Cheek

Full Cheek: the full cheek bit is a little different than the above two. At the very outer ends of the bit, the ring in which the reigns attach, have bars that sit perpendicular to the horse’s mouth and nose. These bars keep the bit centered in the mouth and does not allow the bit to slide out to one side of the mouth or the other.



EggButt: the eggbutt bit gets its name from the oval-shaped of the ring at the outer ends of the bit.  The eggbutt bit is a cross between of the O-ring and Dee ring bits.  The eggbutt bit usually is usually made thicker than the other bits. This type of bit is gentler to horse and does not pinch the horse’s lips. Some horses won’t take an eggbutt bit, as the extra thickness of the bit weighs heavy in the horse’s mouth.

13 May 2016

Horseback riding – few things you should know


[quote] If you want to practice this type of sport, then you probably have loved horses through your whole life. On one hand, this can be a really demanding and troublesome experience, but you will probably love every moment of it. There are few things you need to know in order to prepare yourself because the road is long. [/quote]

You will be beginner for a long time

If you think that as soon as you sit on the saddle, you will become a professional, then you are  mistaking. Be prepared for the long road ahead of you, because you will be doing this for a long time. You will need to learn new curves and coordination, but remember, it’s all about the joy of riding and being on the path.

Every horse will have a valuable lesson for you

std_137995_horseback-ridingIf you attend a riding school and you have a chance to ride many horses through years, then you know what this means. Every ride you have had with a different horse is an experience you would want to remember. On the other hand, if you had one horse for a long time, then you may have developed some sort of a relationship – some may say that you speak the same language and that you can read each other’s minds. Use every opportunity to ride a different horse because it will probably teach you things that you hardly ever knew.

Hire a good mentor

images_horseback_riding_2This person will be crucial for your first riding years and responsible for your success if you decide to become a professional rider. Your mentor will be there to guide you through your questions and problems and provide you with the best possible answers and solutions. It is really important to find a person you can trust and confide because that person will provide you with important pieces of advice that is necessary for your development and each time will bring you one step closer toward success.

May professionals and horse lovers become your company

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It is a known fact that person is a sum of the influences that surrounds him. In this sport, you should search for people you can learn something from, they can provide you with valuable information, from nutrition and training to health care. Use their advice to learn as much as you can. It is really important for you to be in a company of people who are compassionate, caring and who put horse’s need in the first place.


You will have to maintain good physical shape

Riding can’t be compared to any other sport because the horse is there and participating with you in this activity. Therefore, you will have to be physically fit and prepared for a lot of exercises because riding and managing the horse are not small things.

Hear your horse

By evaluating his condition and his mood, you will be able to determine if your horse is calm and responsive towards your demands,. Opposite to this, if your horse is restless, less responsive and gives you a hard time in riding, then you should check its condition and find what troubles him.


01 Apr 2016

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