TOP 5 Horse Care Tips in Cold Weather
If you have horses and live in the northeast, you’re probably very worried about the forecast for the next few days. The temperature is going to be in the single digits with a windchill in the negative teens. So how do you take care of your horse in this arctic cold weather? Here are my TOP 5 Horse Care Tips in Cold Weather to follow:
- Make sure your barn or horses stall is well ventilated yet free from drafts. Try and bank your horses bedding up against the walls to reduce drafts that might chill him. Although horses are fairly hardy in the cold weather, cold winds can make them uncomfortable as well as spooky.
- Hay! Hay digestion increases heat production which helps your horse stay warmer in the winter. Giving your horse extra hay in the winter is recommended as eating roughage warms him quickly, releasing heat as it’s digested.
- Be sure to check that his drinking water is not frozen. Dehydration can cause numerous problems including causing your horse to colic. Horses will drink more water if it is warmed.
I make my senior horse a “hot toddy” consisting of warm water, a small handful of grain, some peppermint and whatever other goodies I can find. If he doesn’t get his concoction, I get “yelled” at as I’m trying to leave the barn!
- Even though you may feel that it’s too cold to be outdoors, horses need outdoor time during winter. Your horse will be able to breathe fresh air and can adjust to the temperature changes on a regular basis.
- Be aware of winter illness. As stated above, fresh air and adequate ventilation are key on keeping respiratory illness at bay. Also be on the lookout for any skin conditions that may be hidden under those blankets.
Get in lots of quality time with your horse. Even when the weather is not conducive to riding, be sure to groom and hang out with your horse. He’ll appreciate the company and it will keep the two of you in sync. Winter can be an enjoyable time for horses as long as they are kept healthy and happy!
Stay tuned for my next post on exercise for your horse in the winter months. If you have weather related care questions or helpful care tips for your animal let us know, we want to hear.