There are a few core vaccines in Missouri that are recommended to prevent disease.
⁃ eastern and western encephalomyelitis
⁃ West Nile
There are a few optional vaccines as well.
⁃influenza – recommend for horses that travel frequently; may need to be given every 6 months
⁃herpes virus (rhinopneumonitis) – recommended for horses that travel frequently; may need to be given every 6 months; EHV-1 strain can cause abortions in pregnant mares so it is recommended that mares in foal receive a vaccine for EHV-1 at 5, 7, and 9 months of gestation
A Coggins test is needed for most shows and trail rides as well as when a horse is sold. This yearly test has almost eliminated equine infectious anemia (EIA), a serious disease spread by mosquitos.
Routine deworming is not the recommended practice for horses as in the past. Periodic fecal exams should be done to find the amount of eggs present in the feces. The amount of eggs will determine if the horse should be dewormed.
Castration of colts and stallions is an important aspect of responsible breeding. There are nearly 170,000 unwanted horses in the U.S. each year and a lot of these horses are transported to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. Geldings also make more suitable riding horses than stallions due to their calmer temperament.