In case you haven’t looked outside lately, winter is officially here, at least on our side of town! When we get chilly during the winter months we like to turn up the heat and get cozy under some nice, warm blankets but that’s not always the best strategy to use when caring for your horse. They need to maintain a balance of staying fit outside and getting out of the cold to warm up. We are providing you with tips to take into consideration to keep your horses as healthy as they can be during the frigid winter months:
- Keep exercising! When it gets too cold outdoors for us to play sports we usually get gym memberships to keep active in the winter. That’s obviously not possible for your horse. If you can, take your horse for a ride a couple times a week during the winter. Once the conditions become too much for you to bare, letting your horse roam a large pasture for a little while each day will do wonders, but don’t forget about them out there!
- Don’t drape them in blankets. Horses have a thick, natural coat but that sometimes doesn’t seem to hack it in our minds when the weather is harsh. But as long as your horse is in a barn or is in some way sheltered, you can be assured that they will be okay. Covering your horse with too many blankets can lead to overheating or dehydration, so just make sure they have a roof over their head.
- Feed them more. You may not know that horses burn more calories during the winter in order to stay warm and keep their body heat up. So increasing the amount of hay or feed you give your horse will keep their body weight right where it needs to be. Speak to a veterinarian about this, though, if your horse is on a firm diet.
- Make sure drinking water is unfrozen. Impaction Colic develops in horses when blockages in the large colon form due to feed material obstruction. To avoid it, remember to check your horse’s water to make sure it’s not frozen solid. It may be a good idea to invest in a water or trough heater during the winter months.
As long as you keep these tips in mind and continue grooming your horse as you would during the rest of the year, you’ll both have a safe and happy winter season! If you’re looking to pick up some natural, performance enhancing supplements to keep your horse healthy in anticipation of next spring and summer’s riding season, please feel free to contact us.