We are approaching autumn. This is fungi season and I see a lot of horses that become ‘girthy’ this time of year.

Spores from fungi can sometimes upset a horse’s respiratory system. Spores can also be ingested during grazing – they can also become active where they have been dormant in straw bedding around now. The ingested spores can sometimes inflame the horse’s respiratory tract. The signs are: a clear discharge from the nostrils and often a few coughs when asked to work in a deeper outline – there is also the ‘girthiness’ already mentioned.

Sometimes the solution is simple: use a respiratory tract calmer. Added to hard feed this can often work like a magic bullet and the girthiness will disappear within about 10 days or so. I recommend AH 181 by Trinity consultants; other companies do similar stuff.

If you think your horse may be affected you should also consider changing the bedding away from straw, check your grazing area for fungi and use a fluffy girth sleeve.

PS Well done Charlotte Dujardin and Team GB for winning yet another Gold Medal at Aachen on Sunday! I did think Valegro looked a little tired and made a few mistakes; but this was day 3 and it’s hard to keep that sparkle going – even for the most talented and fittest of horses.