Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Cowboy Answers.

Sara asked me a very good question in my comments section so I thought I would reply in a post, so everyone (or anyone who is reading my humble piece of blog space) could see.

Sara said...
Okay, I know nothing about horses, so I have some questions. (Maybe you could do an FAQ one day!)

1. Why do you have to check for a tattoo?
2. What is rain rot?
3. What is whickering?

Tattoos - Thoroughbred, Appaloosa, Quarter Horses, Arabians & Standardbreds any of these racing breeds can have a lip tattoo if they were raced. Standardbreds may have a freeze brand instead. This is a way to be certain you have the correct horse, as papers and other things are very easy to fake, and race horses of any breed are worth a great deal of money especially if they are good.

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 high temperature and high humidity are present. This condition is not life-threatenin. However, while the horse has rain rot, any equipment that may rub and irritate the infected skin (such as saddles and leg wraps) should be eliminated.

While it is not a life threatening thing healthy well cared for horses usually do not get it. Or if they do get it, they don’t keep it long because their owners take the proper measures to get rid of it. When you have a horse coming from a mistreatment or abuse situation they haven’t been cared for, their immune systems are usually compromised and this is one of the things you see most commonly. I have seen it occasionally among wild horse round ups as well, but not nearly as much as in abuse horses.

A whicker or whickering is like a nicker or nickering. It is a sound a horse makes. It’s usually a soft sound lower than a whinny or a neigh, and is an affectionate sound. Mothers often do it to their foals, and often if a horse likes you or is used to seeing you often they will do it to you. One of my boys Genrul is found of putting his head on my shoulder and whickering into my ear.


Sara said...

I know so much more now, thank you!

Now that I know what rain rot is, I just want to give Grape a hug. And maybe feed him a grape. Because that would be funny.

Be prepared for 892734983 more questions as you blog ;)