How to Keep Your Horse Warm in Winter
Winter weather is right around the corner. While you and your family will be able to cozy up inside your warm home at the end of the day, your horses are not so lucky. Although horses are quite resilient to cold temperatures thanks to their thick coats, they still need some protection from the harsh cold and winds that winter will bring this year.
Keeping your horse warm all winter long will help prevent it from getting sick, losing weight or getting depressed. Numerous equine health problems have been linked to winter weather, including bacterial infections of the skin, colic, respiratory problems and dehydration. Stock up on equine supplies in Montana and ensure you provide your horse the following things to help it stay warm and healthy this winter:
- Adequate shelter: With their warm winter coats, horses can generally survive just fine on their own outside in cold weather. It’s good to let horses roam outside to exercise, rather than keeping them shuttered up in a stable. This way, they can warm themselves up by running. However, rain, snow and wind can make them wet and cold. During inclement weather, your horse should have a safe, warm and dry place to retreat to.
- Non-frozen water: A common occurrence in new horse owners’ stables is a frozen water trough. This happens because owners often forget to add a heating element to their horse’s water bucket. Your horse needs regular access to water to stay healthy, and licking frozen ice for extended periods of time can make it sick and cold.
- Enough food: It takes a lot of calories to heat a horse’s body in winter. This means that your horse will probably require more food than it normally would in the summer and fall. Dry hay is full of fiber and is the best way to help your horse increase its caloric intake and stay toasty warm all winter long.
- Blankets: Winter blankets are not always the best choice for your horse because it may actually get too warm and sweat underneath it, putting it at risk for bacterial infections. However, when the temperatures drop too low, adding an insulating blanket atop your horse’s back can help it stay warm. Additionally, if you’ve clipped your horse’s coat, you should blanket it more frequently since it lacks its natural insulation against the cold. Just make sure to check on your horse and remove the blanket soon after the temperature rises to tolerable levels.
In addition to the tips above, make sure to keep a close eye on and provide even greater care to very young and very old horses, as well as horses that are already sick. These horses may be more susceptible to hypothermia and other winter-weather diseases.
If you require new equine supplies in Montana to keep your horses safe and warm this winter, visit Down Home Tack & Feed LLC. We offer a wide variety of animal care products, including horse riding essentials, animal grooming supplies and feed for livestock. To learn more about winter horse care, speak to our knowledgeable experts and get the tools you need!
Categorised in: Horse Equipment