Winterizing Your Horse!
winterizing was just for homes and cars, not necessarily, our equine
friends need a little extra care too!
There are several things you may want to consider during the winter months to ensure the comfort and safety of your horse.
First is maintaining your regular de-worming schedule. Some horse owners discontinue de-worming during winter months thinking that the cold weather kills the parasites.
This in fact is not true and some parasites actually thrive during the colder months rather than the hot months of summer.
you live in extremely cold areas you may want to consider a shelter,
such as a lean-to, for your horse. Horses are absolutely fine in the
coldest of winters with a shelter to protect them from the extreme winds
and snow fall.
You may want to consider removing your horse's shoes if you are not planning on riding him/ her during the winter months.
This keeps the snow from balling up on the bottom of the horses feet and provides better traction on wet and slippery surfaces.
If you do not work your horse during the winter months, do not blanket him/ her either.
The horse will grow a sufficient thick coat of hair to keep it warm during the cold winter months. On the other hand, if you work your horse during the winter months thoroughly dry and blanket your horse after each workout and brush the hair coat so that the hair stands on end to prevent the horses sweat from causing a chill.
A horse that is continually blanketed in the late fall should continue to be blanketed during the winter months as it has not grown a sufficient coat of hair to protect it from the cold of winter.
Water is extremely important during the winter months.
Horses do not like water that is to cold or frigid and will refrain from drinking. Water that is approximately 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit is best and will actually increase your horses water intake.
If necessary install water heaters in your troughs.
Water heaters need to be plugged into a (ground fault indicator) receptacle for best results.
Last but not least, calories!
An increase in grain during the winter months will ensure you that your horse is getting enough calories to sustain him/ her. Horses should be provided with a continual source of high-quality hay. The chewing of hay increases the digestion process which in turn generates heat and aids in the normal function of the horses digestive system.
There are many things to consider when wintering your horse.
Fences may need mending, so you will want to do this while the weather is still pleasant. Fill in all hollow spots in front of gates and stalls that may fill and become icy hazards.
Clear the pasture of debris such as fallen limbs, jumps, barrels and so on, which may cause your horse to trip and cause injury to him/ her.
A little extra care for our equine friends during winter months will ensure his/ her health and safety throughout the winter.
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