5 Steps to Help Horses Stay Happy and Healthy Through the Winter
Winter can be beautiful despite its frigid temperatures! It's enchanting to watch the snow fall and see the sun reflect off frosted trees. Horses also look stunning in the winter season, however, it's important to take care of them when the temperatures plummet! Warm water and the addition of crucial horse supplements to their feed can go a long way to keeping them healthy and happy.
Get Them Moving!
Horses need to stay active during colder months to maintain their well-being. Encouraging them to walk or trot around the pasture or engage in training is important. Inactivity can affect their mood, behavior, and overall wellness. Additionally, keeping an eye on their hooves and clearing away any ice build-up is essential to prevent discomfort, pain, and injury.
Protect Them From Freezing Temperatures
If you live in a region where temperatures can dip below the freezing point, it can be beneficial to keep horse blankets on hand throughout the cold-weather seasons. When the cold weather comes, horses require protection. Access to covered shelters can be helpful, as well as waterproof blankets if you live in an area prone to freezing rain and snow. Even horses with thick coats can use additional help to stay warm once things freeze!
Feed Them a Little Extra
In warmer months, horses may graze and require less feed. In winter, they need extra hay for insulation and to maintain weight. More hay provides the calories they need to stay warm and comfortable outdoors.
Supplement Their Feed
To maintain your horse's winter weight, extra feed may not be enough. A weight management supplement may be beneficial since digestive support during this season is crucial. Probiotics, for example, can aid horses' digestion and overall health, providing long-lasting benefits throughout the year!
Give Them Warm Water
Staying hydrated is crucial for horses all year round, including during winter. However, horses may be less likely to drink very cold water when the temperatures drop. You can encourage your horse to drink more by offering them slightly warmer water, typically around 50°F. This will make the water more appealing for your horse to drink and will prevent it from freezing if the temperature drops below 32°F.