7 Tips for Horse Care During The Winter Months
With the winter months coming how you take care of your horses change. These changes include shelter and nutrition. So, here are seven important winter horse care tips.
1. Keep exercising your horse regularly.
During the winter, your horses need to get exercise, so they need to be outside on a regular basis. You may not feel like riding and do not want to just let your horse graze, but exercise is important for their health.
2. Make sure your horse stays warm.
One of the most important parts of winter horse care is making sure the animal keeps warm in cold weather. Part of this can be having the barn is heated. While energy requirements will vary depending on where you live, the goal is still to help the animal maintain body heat. You want to make sure that it is warm enough for your horse to be comfortable.
3. Let your horse’s hair coat grow.
Letting a horse’s hair grow in the winter provides them with a natural winter coat. This is an important part of keeping them warm in the cold. It may increase the need for other forms of grooming but letting their hair grow will keep them warm.
4. Make sure you use the right winter blankets.
If you’re going to use a horse blanket, you need to make sure that it is the right kind. Do not use a blanket design for inside use if your horse is going to be outside. Blankets for outside use, need to be waterproof to keep out moisture. The reason for this is that in cold weather it wet blanket is worse than no blanket at all.
5. Make sure your horse has plenty of warm water.
In cold weather not only is it important to maintain and horse’s water intake but that water needs to be warm. When it is cold outside, the water gets cold and can even freeze. A horse drinking water, at or near the freezing point is bad for its health. Ensuring a horse’s water is warm prevents this problem.
6. Make sure your horse is a proper diet.
Ensuring your horse has proper nutrition is always important but more so in cold weather. Ensuring your horse has proper nutrition is a necessary part of making sure they can fend off any potential illnesses cold weather can bring. In fact, during the winter, you should actually increase how much you are feeding your horse every day.
7. Pay close attention to your horse’s health.
A critical sign of checking your horse’s condition is bodyweight because if a well-fed horse loses weight it is a sign of health problems. Body condition scoring is one way of checking your horse. This system has several good indicators of the condition of a horse.
Impaction colic, which is caused by a bowel obstruction, is it particularly dangerous ailment that the horse can get in cold weather. Putting snow pads on your horses’ hooves when they go outside to keeps them dry helping to protect their health. These problems can be more critical for senior horses because health can fail with age.
These are just seven of many winter horse care tips that could be given to horse owners. If you have horses or other livestock make sure they are properly shielded this winter.