Horse Care: 6 things to keep in mind this winter
Horses and winters don’t get along well. From feed to the night’s sleep, the horse-owners have to be constantly on their toes to ensure their horse’s ease. Many horses fall prey to the chilliness and lose their shape and beauty because of malnutrition, restlessness and lack of surplus fat. While you tuck yourself in warm comforters and sip delicious hot cocoa, don’t forget about your buddy out in the stables. To protect your horse from these harsh winters and keep him comfortable till the spring makes him happy again, here’s a curated list which will help you get the job done efficiently.
1.Keep the snow out of the hooves
Once you return after a ride, make sure that you get the hooves cleaned ASAP. It’s common for the snow to get packed in the hooves but letting it stay won’t be pleasant for you and your horse. Use petroleum jelly to smear off the snow. For less hassle in the future, think about adding ice calks and snow pads to the horseshoes for smooth movement in winters.
2.Keep a check on the feed and water
While pasture grazing won’t be a possibility with the snow sheets all around you, find alternate ways to add minerals to the horse’s diet. The weather is already keeping him off his game, and if you get lazy with his feeding arrangements and schedule, then the condition will worsen in no time. Keep hay in the surplus and feed the horse more so, the extra food layer keeps him warm. As for the water, your horse could be a tough nut to crack when it comes to consuming water in the winters. Irrespective of it, make sure he drinks ample amounts of water for great hydration and better digestion.
3.Get the teeth checked
How do you think will your horse be able to keep himself well-nourished if he is not chewing his food properly? Many horses go through the tough phase of winters where they aren’t able to grind the food efficiently. To keep a close eye on that matter, make sure that you have an equine dentist come in every few days for a routine checkup.
4.Proper shelter and comforting is the right way
Like you need your home, comforters and country boots to keep you safe from the harsh winds and the cold, your horse has some requirements too. Make your barn winter ready for your horse and sleep stress-free every night. The horse shelter will ensure that the horse doesn’t get wet which is enough to keep him warm, thanks to his thick gorgeous coat. You can also opt for blankets and horse rugs, and fix a bib inside so your horse doesn’t feel any rubbing or irritation on his coat. Keep the water and feed close by for easy reach.
5.Don’t warm the barns
While many horse owners like to keep the barns insulated for all the right reasons, the risks are pretty high. Barns tend to catch fire very quickly which has led to the death of many horses in the past few years. Don’t let that risk give you nightmares all winters. Non-insulated barns are the way to go because your horse will be spending most of his time outdoors and adjusting body temperature every time will be an issue for him.
6.Don’t hold your horses
Last but not least, there’s snow all around, and the gorgeous weather calls for some snowballs and snowmen, right? Don’t hold your horses and let them have the time of their lives out in the snow. If you keep track of all the above-mentioned points, then your horse will also be able to make the most of the snow season.
See, caring for your horses in the cold isn’t even that much of a hassle. Follow the tips above and have a splendid time with your big friend this winters.