Just like any four-legged animal, horses should cope with anything the weather throws at them. As an owner, your task is to give them extra care and attention to help them stay in good condition.
Check out these horse care tips that will keep your riding companion healthy, cozy, and comfortable throughout the winter months.
Give Him Adequate Shelter
As long as your horse is appropriately sheltered and well-fed, he can survive through the cold season. The truth is—the cold weather doesn’t generally make him uncomfortable. What he can’t tolerate is moisture and wind, so your horse needs a structural shelter to protect him from these elements and increase his tolerance against extreme weather.
Adjust His Calorie Diet Plan
Your horse needs more calories during winter—and it’s not a joke! Horses require an adequate amount of calories to keep their bodies warm in the colder months than any other time of the year. Their winter diet should include high-quality hay to keep them active and strong.
Check His Daily Water Intake
Did you know that horses need more water in the cold months? Generally, they need 10 to 12 gallons of water per day to prevent colic and dehydration. If your horse doesn’t take enough water, he’ll eat less—making him more vulnerable to cold and sickness. Make sure to provide him with a constant source of fresh and clean water.
Blanket Him Consistently
Blanketing your horse is a great way to keep him dry and warm—no matter what the cold weather brings. But, it doesn’t end there! You need to constantly monitor your horse while lurking under the blanket because moisture may develop, which can lead to a bacterial skin disease.
Don’t Confine Your Horse—Exercise Together!
Physical exercise on horses shouldn’t stop just because it’s winter. It’s actually the time where you should take him out for some leg work as often as possible. Confining him can only stock up his lower leg. If you’re taking him out for a ride, remember to take caution in areas with deep and heavy snow to avoid tendon injuries.
Trim Those Hooves!
In the winter, horse hooves are prone to snowballs and ice, which increases the chances of falling and slipping. Too heavy ice on the hoof also causes stress to the joints and tendons of your horse. See to it that those hooves are regularly trimmed for your horse’s safety.
The winter may bring so many challenges for your horse to stay fit and active. But with your love and care, he’ll go through the chilly season comfortably and healthy. Stay tuned to us at Texas Made Cattle & Horse for more exciting tips on horse care. Contact us for more information!