- What’s Happening In Store
- New Products In Store
- What’s on the Garden calendar for April?
- Dog poisonous list - what not to feed
- Pollen season
- It’s time to think about tapeworms… Are you covered?
What’s Happening In Store
COVID-19 restrictions in store are still very much keeping the 2 metre distance and wearing facemasks. The clothing and footwear section have been opened up but the changing room remains closed. The clothing section has the new Ariat range on display and fresh stock is due in from Toggi during April.
Training: Following on from the success of the Gateway Footwear training, we are working with other suppliers to continue to keep up to date with product changes. Baileys Horse Feeds are coming into store as soon as is possible for training staff to achieve Baileys Merchant Training Awards.
New Products In Store
- This 47ltr Dry-Bin has a handy built in scoop, ideal for use inside or out.
- The perfect answer for storing pet food, chicken feed, bird seed, compost, top soil & lawn fertiliser
- Will hold up to 15kg of pet food, the specially shaped lid is designed to channel water away from the main container.
- Made from tough durable plastic and will last for years.
- Size Check: 37cm (14.5") L x 28cm (11") W x 59cm (23") H
New Dog Chews from Nestle
- Long Lasting
- RAWHIDE FREE
- With an outer layer rich in Venison
New from Felix
New From Winalot
Our Dog Bed range is having an overhaul... Here are some of the new products now available
Gorpets Premium Bed
- Colours: Wine check or Grey Check
- Sizes: 20” £24.98, 24” £34.98, 28” £44.99, 32” £54.98
- Colours: Grey or Mustard
- Sizes: S (23”) £44.99, M (29”) £59.99, L (33”) £89.99 XL (39”) £119.99
- Colours: Teal or Mint
- Sizes: S £39.98, M £49.98, L £59.99, XL £79.98
- Now available in: Brown. We are still stocking the popular Navy ones too
- Sizes: S £22.99, M £28.98, L £34.99, XL £46.99, XXL £52.99
- Sizes: 18” £18.95, 24” £27.95, 30” £38.95, 35” £49.94, 40” £66.95
New Footwear now in stock:
- Ladies Sizes 4 – 8
- Men’s Sizes 7 -12
- Colour: Available in Navy or Walnut
What’s on the Garden calendar for April?
With April’s arrival hopefully bringing in the sunshine (& April Showers of course!) it’s a perfect time to start getting out in the garden again. With the recent world affairs, for a lot of us, our gardens have been our safe havens, giving us some much needed safe outdoor time. So what’s on the to do list outdoors for April?
It’s a good time to start weeding the flower beds in preparation for planting. The rising temperatures will kick-start plant growth so it’s a good idea to get on top of the weeds before you get over run! If you find pulling them out too time consuming, we have some handy weed killers in store to help make the job easier for you!
With your flower beds now in tip top shape you can start to plan your summer garden. Most perennial plants can be planted in April and you can also start thinking about sowing seeds. In store we have a wide selection of sweet peas which always bring cheer to any outdoor space and are easy to grow, so even if you don’t have much gardening experience, you can enjoy the satisfaction of growing your sweet peas from seed. Always remember to check the packaging for advice on the best time to plant your sweet peas.
It’s also a good time to think about Spring lawn to start to tidy up your greenspace. Lawns can now be mown once a week, weather permitting of course, and once the risk of frost has gone you can reseed any bare patches. In store, we also have lawn conditioners and fertilisers to help give your lawn the best chance at recovery after the winter period!
Thinking about growing your own veggies? For the past couple of years we’ve been stocking a variety of Kings Seeds and they have proven to be a very popular addition to the store; and this year we have begun stocking seed potatoes too. There’s something quite rewarding about seeing your home grown vegetables on your dinner plate, and they can be fun to grow for the family too! We also have a variety of products in store from compost to fertilisers to make your growing experience even easier.
Our top picks for garden care this spring
Paddock maintenance for April
With the hard cold winter now starting to fade, it’s a good time to start thinking about paddock maintenance. With all the rain and snow we’ve had over the past few months, I think it’s safe to say that most paddocks are looking a little worse for wear! Here are some handy tips on how to help your pasture recover to its full potential.
It’s a good idea to start by harrowing your paddocks, this will remove dead grass, some weeds & moss whilst also helping to aerate the pasture. If done at the right time it will also help to level out any ruts and poached ground. To get the best results, consider harrowing whilst the ground is dry but still pliable. Make sure that prior to harrowing, any droppings are picked up. Previously it had been thought that harrowing in droppings will help to fertilise the ground, and whilst this is true, it can also spread equine internal parasites and can make some sections of grass unpalatable.
Once the pasture has been harrowed and the temperature rises enough for the grass to grow, this is a good time to apply fertiliser to the paddocks to aid growth. Before this, if possible it’s also a good idea to have the PH levels of the soil tested. This way you can know for certain which fertiliser you need and which will benefit your paddock the most.
When there is no longer any risk of frost, you can think about re-seeding or overseeding your pasture if necessary, to fill in any gaps and get the most out of your paddock. Overseeding is when grass seed is spread over the existing growth, adding to it and filling in any gaps. Reseeding is best for bare patches such as gateways or around the water supply or new paddocks.
Once the seed has been sown, it’s a good idea to roll the area to give the seed the best chance at setting. When seeding, it’s important to keep the horses off the seeded areas until the new grass is at least 5-6” long. This ensures that the new grass has a strong enough root structure so that (whilst grazing) the horses won’t pull the grass out at the root, resulting in having to seed again. Better still, if you can, try to give the new pasture a few months rest.
Topping your pasture throughout the summer months will also encourage a stronger root structure, whilst encouraging the grass to spread and fill in bare patches.
Now is also a good time to repair or renew any fencing as necessary to prepare your paddocks for summer. Sectioning your paddocks is also a fantastic idea, and it can be beneficial to rotate your grazing and prevent the pasture from becoming too damaged. This also allows your paddocks to have a proper rest period to re-grow and recover.
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Dog poisonous list - what not to feed
Did you know?
Our four-legged friends are definitely opportunists when it comes to getting their paws on tasty treats, but did you know that not all everyday food items are safe for our furry friends? The following items should definitely be avoided, no matter how much they look at us with those puppy dog eyes!
- Anything in the Onion family, including Onions, Garlic, Leeks & Chives
- Macadamia Nuts
- Xylitol (artificial sweetener)
- Grapes & Raisins
- Apply pips
- Coffee & Tea
If you think your dog may have ingested any of these items, it’s a good idea to speak to your vet whilst monitoring them and looking out for any signs of a reaction.
With the warmer weather on its way, pollen season is upon us! Whilst hay fever is a common thing to affect us humans, it can also affect our equine friends too! It’s ironic isn’t it, a horse getting hay fever?
So how do you know if your horse has a sensitivity to pollen? Itchy eyes and a runny nose is a common reaction and just like us, they may also seem to be a little ‘under the weather’ and a bit lethargic too. Other common signs are coughing, head shaking, poor performance and lack of concentration which may present as behavioural issues.
So how do we help them? Here are 5 handy tips on how to deal with pollen sensitivity in our horses.
1- Think about your turnout routine, if your horse is out in the paddock 24/7 in the summer months, this means they will potentially be more exposed to more pollen in the daytime. If you can, think about stabling your horse during the day, and turning them back out in the evening once the pollen levels have dropped again. This can also be beneficial in helping to manage nuisance flies too!
2- Try and pinpoint which type of pollen your horse is most reactive too. For example, if your horse reacts worse whilst being ridden through or around rapeseed fields, it may be that type of pollen that they are more sensitive to. Once you know which type affects them more, you can plan to avoid it where possible.
3- Use nose nets whilst riding or in the field. You can purchase nose nets that fit onto both headcollars and bridles. Whilst this doesn’t stop pollen exposure completely, it can often help horses with pollen related head shaking problems. Also applying Vaseline around the nostrils can help by catching some pollen before it enters the airway.
4- Think about supplements that can help! There are plenty of effective products on the market aimed at horses with pollen sensitivity. Consider introducing one to your horse’s diet to help ease the symptoms of pollen sensitivity.
5- Some weather Apps for your phone can be really useful in tracking the pollen levels day to day. Some apps have a useful section in which they tell you how high the pollen levels will be. Keeping an eye on this means you can plan your turnout and ridden work around the pollen levels. And remember, just because it’s not sunny, doesn’t mean the pollen levels will be low!
Remember to speak to your vet about something stronger if the previous methods haven’t worked for you. In this case, as is the case with most humans with hay fever, they may then prescribe antihistamines to help alleviate your horse’s symptoms.
Here are some of our top picks for dealing with pollen sensitivity:
- Encourages maximum airflow. Horses and ponies can be adversely affected by pollen, resulting in anxiety, nervousness and discomfort.
- Pollen EzeTM contains a unique blend of natural ingredients and herbs designed to mop up harmful free radicals and to soothe and comfort horses and ponies affected by pollen.
- PolleneX offers soothing comfort from irritating airborne particles.
- Specifically designed to support the respiratory system, this highly effective herbal blend can be used all year round - for high pollen count in summer and dusty stables in winter.
- PolleneX offers a natural approach for respiratory worries and helps to soothe the nose, eyes and head.
- Suitable for all horses and ponies.
- Valuable nutritional support for horses who show signs of seasonal anxiety.
- Horses may be affected by a number of different seasonal triggers; commonly bright sunlight, pollen or flies, resulting in seasonally associated discomfort and anxiety in the head.
- By improving the diet with targeted nutrition, the horse’s natural defences are optimised.
- Shake Relief contains a unique complex of scientifically verified, naturally sourced antioxidants to flush the free radicals out from the system. Soothing herbs are included with bio-available magnesium to support a calm, confident outlook.
- Shake Relief also contains an immune support complex which targets the immune system, vital to the horse’s defences and wellbeing, and MSM to support soft tissue and nerve tissue.
- Shake Relief should be fed throughout the peak season for each individual, and may be increased as and when needed.
Nose Net Relief by Equilibrium
- One of the most effective products in controlling the symptoms of headshaking.
- Unlike traditional nose nets that cover the whole muzzle, it’s contoured, shaped design covers only the top half of the muzzle.
- Attaches easily to a noseband and once in place, the nose net is unobtrusive, allows saliva to escape from the mouth freely and does not interfere with the horse's breathing.
- Protects pink noses from sunburn.
- Screens out 80% of UV rays.
- Recommended for use with a safety halter.
- Soft padding at noseband prevents rubbing
- Comes in Small, Medium & Large Available in Black & White
It’s time to think about tapeworms… Are you covered?
Tapeworms differ from other internal parasites as part of their lifecycle is actually spent outside of the horse. Its intermediate host, oribatid mites, are commonly found in large numbers in the pasture or even in hay and straw. An infected mite will contain a tape worm egg which has been ingested from the environment, this then develops into larva within around 12-15 weeks. The tiny mites on the ground are then ingested by the horses whilst grazing the pasture, where they will then attach themselves onto the gut wall to mature. Tapeworms will then release segments or ‘egg sacks’ which will then be passed out of the horse via the droppings. Once back in the environment, the segment will rupture, releasing the eggs, which are then ingested by the mites, starting the cycle again.
Tapeworms are not large beasts living inside our horses, unlike their human cousins, but are actually around the size of a 50 pence piece once fully matured. This is very different from the human tapeworm which can grow up to 25 meters!
This doesn’t mean they aren’t damaging to the horse though. Tapeworms steal nutrients from the horse’s digestive system by attaching themselves and absorbing them from the gut wall. This can in turn result in weight loss, and in severe cases some horses may also develop anaemia or colic as a result of a heavy burden.
So how do we know if our horses have tapeworms? Here’s the thing, tapeworm eggs don’t show up on worm count kits. Because they are concealed inside the segments, they don’t show up under the microscope. Instead, to detect if our horses are infected, you can use a saliva test kit or alternatively, have a blood test done with the vet. Because they are hard to detect, it’s a good idea to make sure you are covering for tapeworm in your annual worming programme.
As we are coming into spring, this means that tapeworms will be active again, so it’s important to make sure you are covered! To check you are using the correct wormers, or if you are unsure, please speak to one of our trained Animal Medicine Advisors for some friendly advice and tips on worming your animals.
Please remember that weight loss and colic may be caused by a number of things, if you are worried about your horse please make sure you speak to your vet.