The winter can bring with it all kind of complications, here the team at Equestrian.com offer some top tips on how to manage the colder months.
Tips on How to Manage the Winter
Most winters and with very few exceptions, the horses’ fields can end up looking like a war zone. Huge puddles and churned up ground can be an owner’s nightmare when trying to keep horses clean and mud fever free. Plaiting your horses or ponies tail into a hunting knot prevents it becoming all knotted and is easier to brush through and it is also worth spraying on product to help keep it tangle and knot free.
Plaiting your horses or ponies tail into a hunting knot prevents it becoming all knotted and is easier to brush through
Without doubt the muddy fields will mean your horse will be dirtier especially after a good roll. Even if you are short on time it is important to make sure the areas where your tack will sit on the horse are clean and a dirt free zone before you ride. Investing in some products that provide your horses coat with a shine might help aid in the mud coming off easier and will prove a great time-saver.
Be vigilant for mud fever because it thrives in wet and muddy conditions. Seek good advice before it gets out of hand – one day mud fever can look insignificant and the next it takes hold and can cause major infection.
A full turnout rug that goes all the way up the horse’s neck not only provides more warmth for your horse but also keeps them much cleaner. Only having to brush the legs and head is a much better option than muddy, tangled manes which can prove difficult to untangle.
Missing shoes become more of a problem in winter due to the boggy conditions therefore it is important to check your horses’ feet every day. A quick run around the field can easily result in the loss of a shoe not only costing money but also time and effort booking and waiting for the farrier. While picking out your horses feet check for any signs of a loose shoe and also any infection or thrush.
Remember to clip your horse appropriately to the work load he will be doing over the winter. It makes grooming easier and avoids the issues of a sweaty horse after being ridden but also the more hair you take off will determine how much you have to rug up which in itself can be a labour of love.
When you are riding consider hacking and schooling with an exercise blanket to keep your horse or pony warm. This can help in escaping injuries caused by tight or cold muscles. Because of the cold weather, when exercising your horse or pony it is best to take longer in warming up and cooling down to allow the horses muscles to be in the best condition.
A good cooler rug will help cool down and dry off a sweaty horse after work and there is a wide choice available with specialist materials to choose from.