January 4, 2023

Cold Weather Tips

Horse Care

#tipoftheday 𝚂𝚎𝚎 𝚘𝚞𝚛 ð™ē𝚘𝚕𝚍 𝚆𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚝𝚒𝚙𝚜 𝚋𝚎𝚕𝚘𝚠!

1. 𝙁ð™Īð™Ī𝙙- 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. 𝙒𝙖𝙧ð™Ē 𝙒𝙖ð™Đ𝙚𝙧- 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. ð™€ð™Ąð™šð™˜ð™Đ𝙧ð™Īð™Ąð™Ūð™Đ𝙚ð™Ļ, 𝙋𝙧ð™Ī𝙗𝙞ð™Īð™Đ𝙞𝙘ð™Ļ & 𝙂𝙖ð™Ļð™Đ𝙧ð™Ī𝙜𝙊𝙖𝙧𝙙- 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. ð™Žð™ð™šð™Ąð™Đ𝙚𝙧- 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. 𝙏ð™Ī ð™—ð™Ąð™–ð™Ģ𝙠𝙚ð™Đ ð™Ī𝙧 𝙉ð™Īð™Đ ð™Đð™Ī ð˜―ð™Ąð™–ð™Ģ𝙠𝙚ð™Đ? 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!

𝙂ð™Īð™Ī𝙙 ð™Ąð™Šð™˜ð™  𝙛𝙧𝙞𝙚ð™Ģ𝙙ð™Ļi

Below are some interesting articles that add more information that may be helpful in preparing your horses for severe winter weather events!