#tipoftheday 𝚂𝚎𝚎 𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝙲𝚘𝚕𝚍 𝚆𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚝𝚒𝚙𝚜 𝚋𝚎𝚕𝚘𝚠!
1. 𝙁𝙤𝙤𝙙- While a good winter coat is important, horses heat themselves internally through hind gut fermentation! When it is cold, a horse uses 25% more energy and will require more forage! A horse salivates more when eating long stem forage than concentrates (grain), so while grain can be a key component to keeping your horse warm, free choice hay is priority!
2. 𝙒𝙖𝙧𝙢 𝙒𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙧- A horse will drink much more water when it is warm (over 45 degrees F). Try to keep water free of ice and as warm as possible. We have even bucketed warm water from the house in emergencies!
3. 𝙀𝙡𝙚𝙘𝙩𝙧𝙤𝙡𝙮𝙩𝙚𝙨, 𝙋𝙧𝙤𝙗𝙞𝙤𝙩𝙞𝙘𝙨 & 𝙂𝙖𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙤𝙜𝙪𝙖𝙧𝙙- We use UltraCruz pelleted Probiotics & Electrolytes to ensure our horses are drinking and digesting properly! If you feel your horse might be stressed due to the weather or being locked in a barn, add Gastroguard for a few days!
4. 𝙎𝙝𝙚𝙡𝙩𝙚𝙧- A barn or windbreak will increase your horse's comfort. *Most horses have a great haircoat and God designed them to withstand wind, snow and rain. Most healthy horses can survive severe temps and even rain and snow, but offering them shelter from the weather is always a good idea. However, if your horse is not used to being stalled, creating stress by stalling can often be worse than letting them be outside! It is important to know your horse and make an educated choice.
5. 𝙏𝙤 𝙗𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙠𝙚𝙩 𝙤𝙧 𝙉𝙤𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝘽𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙠𝙚𝙩? 99% of our horses grow an adequate winter coat to withstand any storm, provided they have shelter, warm food and water. Older horses or horses without a sufficient hair coat may benefit from a blanket if they aren't in a warm barn. HOWEVER*** NO blanket is better than NOT ENOUGH BLANKET. Imagine going outside in a blizzard in just a hoodie! BURR. If you choose to blanket, make sure to blanket for the conditions. A weather event like this may require multiple medium-heavy blankets layered just like you would layer your clothes to go outside. We have one older mare who doesn't grow much hair. She is wearing a medium 100g fill and 2 hooded 200g fill blankets. We check her frequently under the blanket to ensure she is not too cold or too warm!
𝙂𝙤𝙤𝙙 𝙡𝙪𝙘𝙠 𝙛𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙨i
Below are some interesting articles that add more information that may be helpful in preparing your horses for severe winter weather events!