1. What’s the main trigger for your pony to start moulting?
A The temperature
B Daylight hours
C How much you groom him
2. What’s the main purpose of your pony’s skin?
A To keep him warm
B To grow his coat
3. What’s rainscald?
A A bacterial infection of your pony’s skin
B When your pony gets wet and cold after being turned out in the rain
C When your pony’s skin becomes dry from being washed too often
4. What causes ringworm?
A A type of worm
B A fungal infection
C Tack that rubs your pony’s skin and makes it sore
5. Which of these isn’t a sign of mud fever?
A Dried mud on your pony
B Scabs on your pony’s legs
C Hair loss
6. Why do only some ponies get sweet itch, while others don’t?
A Sweet itch is an allergic reaction to sweet treats, like mints and sugar cubes. Some ponies are less tolerant than others
B Whether your pony has sweet itch depends on where he lives – in some locations all ponies have sweet itch, while in other places no ponies have it
C Sweet itch is an allergic reaction to the saliva of midges – some ponies are allergic and have a reaction, while others don’t
7. What’s the best way to keep your pony’s skin healthy?
A Washing him every week
B Regular grooming
C Riding him daily
1. B It’s the number of daylight hours that trigger your pony’s coat to start moulting! As the days get shorter, his winter coat starts to grow and he loses his summer one. When the days get longer again, he sheds his winter coat and grows his summer one.
2. C Skin is the first line of defence against injury and illness. It’s waterproof and prevents unwanted things from entering his bloodstream. It also regulates his body temperature – the only way your pony can cool himself down is by sweating through his skin.
3. A Rainscald is a bacterial infection of your pony’s skin. The bacteria can live on his skin without causing a problem, but it can grow and spread quickly in a damp environment. If his skin’s always damp the bacteria can infect it more easily.
Rainscald looks like scabs that cause tufts of his hair to stick up. It can be sore, so it’s important to treat as soon as you spot it.
4. B Despite its name, ringworm is actually caused by a fungal infection. It’s super-contagious and spreads between ponies (and people!) really quickly, so it’s important to isolate any infected ponies for treatment.
5. A Dried mud isn’t a sign of mud fever, as it’s not the mud itself that’s the problem. Mud fever is an infection in your pony’s skin. It can be caused by standing in deep, wet mud, a soiled bed, or from over-washing his legs without drying them.
6. C Lots of ponies feel grumpy and irritated from midge bites, but ponies with sweet itch have an allergic reaction to the midges’ saliva. This makes them super-itchy and sore, so it’s really important to treat it to make them more comfortable.
7. B Grooming your pony really well at least a few times a week is the best way to keep his skin and coat healthy. It encourages good blood flow to his skin and gives you a chance to thoroughly check him over, so you can spot anything unusual.