Listen to David’s warning and advice about today’s high-pollen count!
Today’s pollen forecast was the first of the year with highs for the South and East. This isn’t a real surprise as it happens every year when we get those first warm and sunny days, especially if combined with a breeze to blow the pollen from the plants and trees and spread it around. But it does mean the start of a period of worsening respiratory, allergy or headshaking symptoms for many horses and ponies. Of course, if your horse or pony is really suffering then you should call your vet. From a practical point of view, the worst time of the day is usually around midday.
Pollen levels usually start to rise from sunrise, peak around midday and then decline, so the best times to ride are early morning or as late as possible in the evening. Severely affected horses and ponies may well be better off in the stable from 10am-4pm.
There are many treatments suggested on social media, including vaseline in the nostrils, nose nets and various herbal remedies, but there is little evidence that these reduce pollen inhalation or reaction to pollen. What you can do for your horse or pony which will have a significant impact is to ensure that all other sources of respiratory irritation are minimised. This means soaking or steaming hay or switching to haylage and using low-dust bedding (there is no such thing as dust-free and some beddings which claim to be dust-free are very dusty).
Learn more about seasonal respiratory issues:
- Webinar – Preparing For and Managing Your Horse In Allergy Season – Dr David Marlin
- Video – Air Quality in Stables – Dr David Marlin
- Article – Spring Associated Respiratory Disease is coming!
- Article – Cold weather, warm weather, influenza, air quality and Spring
- Article – Respiratory Tips