The blistering cold can affect the stealthiest and strongest of animals, including horses. Horse care is imperative in ensuring the optimum health for your horses. Locking them up in a barn during the winter months is not an option.
Horses are creatures that require regular activity, in order to maintain body regulation and overall well-being. Most horses are able to tolerate the cold, but older or younger horses need extra care during the winter time as they are more prone to various diseases and chills. I have listed a few ways you can keep your horse safe during the winter season:
Up the Water Intake
Make sure to increase the water intake of your horse during the winter. This season in particular can cause heavy dryness and dehydration in horses. Majority of adult horses tend to weigh around a thousand pounds and require a minimum of 12 gallons of water on an everyday basis. If your horse is not hydrated sufficiently it could lead to colic as the horse will possibly begin consuming less food.
Make Food Adjustments
Due to the drastic drop in temperature, the feed given to horses need to increase. This is required as more feed will cause the horse to produce more energy in order to tolerate the harsh cold. For example, a horse requires 1% of additional energy for every degree under eighteen Fahrenheit One of the most effective ways to ensure horses have enough food is to provide more forage.
There are many rugs for horses that are suitable during the winter months. Excellent quality products, such as caribu horse rugs are suitable for keeping horses warm and regulating body temperature. In addition, the rugs help horses maintain the fat content they need for energy purposes.
Keep Horses Active
Horses are anyway known to be highly energetic and active animals. The winter season should not change that, it is vital that horses have a regular exercise regime. Instead of confining the horse into one space, ensure to take the horse out for activities to prevent swelling in the legs and avoid deep snow in order to prevent any harm to the tendon.
Clear Up Paddocks
Make sure to do daily check-ups on the paddock. This is to get rid of any ice formations in order to curtail the chances of an injury. The best way to avoid injuring the horse during the winter is by removing them from the paddocks, but many owners are unable to do this. Instead, the owner could add salt and sand. For instance, sand can put more pressure on the ice and salt increase the melting rate of the ice in the paddock.
Hoof Care & Grooming
It is essential that the horses’ hoofs are well looked after, despite the lower growth rate during this season. The best way to do this is by trimming every 6-12 weeks as usual. Take special care of the hooves after the horse as walked in the snow. In addition, regularly groom the horse to ensure that it remains healthy during this time.
Keep your horse protected during this cold winter and every other winter after this one!