Horses and their owners may struggle throughout the winter. It might be difficult to feed, and the cold and snow can cause some horses to lose condition. Depending on the amount of snow and the temperature, maintaining a stable might become increasingly challenging and riding nearly impossible. Here are some advices on how to live more comfortably with your horse throughout the harsh winter months.
Keep the horse warm
The most important thing that horse owners must remember during winter is to keep their horse warm. Horses reared outside require more grain to consume. During digesting, horses release a lot of heat. In cold weather, a plentiful supply of hay helps keep the horse’s internal furnace stoked and keeps them warm. Dressing them up in warm caribu horse rugs also help.
When it’s rainy, windy, or chilly outside, think about covering up. Like a damp down jacket, a wet coat loses loft and is ineffective at retaining body heat. The warmth is sucked away by the wind. Some horses can tolerate extremely cold temperatures, and some will feel cosier under a thick winter blanket.
Adapt feeding schedules
Even in locations that are not covered in snow, grass frequently stops growing and its nutritional value may decline. Consider increasing the amount of hay and concentrates as pasture accessibility or quality deteriorates. In this manner, your horse won’t get hungry or lose weight over the winter.
If you don’t already have a mineral supplement in your feeding routine, think about adding one. Test your hay to determine precisely which concentrates and minerals you should add to your horse’s diet.
Although you shouldn’t give your horse warm water, studies have shown that providing them with warm water will encourage them to drink. Horses don’t drink enough during the winter, and hay contains less moisture than grass, which makes impaction colic more common. If they aren’t properly hydrated, even in the cold, they won’t be able to digest hay and absorb the majority of its nutrients.
Care for their dental health
Make sure an equine dentist takes care of the teeth on your horse or pony. A horse won’t obtain all the nutrients and energy it needs if its meal isn’t ground adequately, especially if its demands for energy rise in the winter.
Maintain hooves’ health
Maintain a trim on your horse’s hooves. Hooves that have been properly cut will chip less, hold less snow, and offer a little bit more traction on the slick surface. Your horse’s grip on slick surfaces won’t be good if the hooves are excessively long, and hard ground and ice can seriously break enlarged hooves.
If you frequently ride even during winter, it’s challenging to dry a horse off after a workout. Think about trimming a thick layer of hair. Lacking natural insulation, a trimmed horse needs stalling and blanketing to stay warm. Avoid leaving a horse in the cold after it has been sweating. After a ride, give a horse extra time to dry down before turning it out.