Trivia Challenge: Are You Adequately Protecting Your Horse From Colic?

Answer the questions, then check at bottom for the key. For more great information about horses, read H&R’s ‘The Ride’ newsletter. (Not getting it? Sign up below—it’s free!)

Illustration by Navah Rae Adams

1. What percentage of equine colic cases are related to how horses are kept and managed, according to research?

A) 20%

B) 40%

C) 80%

2. Which of these three factors is most effective at reducing the risk of colic?

A) A clean, comfortable stall.

B) Deworming and dental care.

C) Daily grooming and massage.

3. True or false: Anything that changes your horse’s daily routine may bring an increased risk of colic.

T / F

4. True or false: The temperature of your horse’s water can pose a colic risk.

T / F

HOW’D YOU DO? (Answers below.)

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1. C is correct. Roughly 80% of colic cases are management-related. Maintaining your horse in a manner as close as possible to how nature intended (that is, with a lot of turnout that includes grazing) helps guard against colic.

[RELATED: Steps to take for a colic-prone horse.]

2. B is correct. Regular deworming and dental care helps promote the normal function of the digestive tract; moreover, heavy worm loads can be a direct cause of colic, especially in young horses.

[RELATED: Bot-fly larvae infestations can lead to colic.]

3. T is correct. Horses love and thrive on consistent routine. Anything that disrupts that routine can increase colic risks. Abrupt feeding changes seem to be the most problematic. Avoid such changes as much as possible, making necessary tweaks to your horse’s regimen incrementally, over a period of days or even weeks.

4. T is correct. In wintertime, frigid water can discourage adequate drinking, which in turn can up the risk of colic. If need be, warm your horse’s water to between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit—the ideal temp to encourage him to drink.

[MORE KEY TIPS for reducing your horse’s risk of colic.]

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