Tack n' Talk

Online Equestrian Resource

Keeping your Horse Healthy During Winter

Winter, in many respects, can be challenging but keeping your horse healthy during the cold winter months can be a daunting task if you are not prepared. 

The cold weather introduces a number of problems for your horse.  Not only do they find it difficult to stay warm, but there is also the increased risk of health problems such as colic. 

Below, are some general tips for keeping your horse health during the winter months. 

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  1.  Fresh Water:  The extreme cold weather can cause your horse’s water to turn into a large ice cube.  You need to be diligent to make sure that he has plenty of fresh drinking water available. By not drinking enough water, impaction colic can set in.  Buy heaters that fit in the water troughs and other water sources, or heated water buckets.  It’s worth the investment.
  2. Get your horse moving:  Your horses need regular exercise, even during the coldest days.  If you can’t ride, make sure you at least turn them out in a large paddock for some exercise.
  3. Don’t overheat your horse:  You may think you are doing your protecting your horse by layering him up with blankets.  By adding extra blankets, on top of his winter coat, you could cause overheating, which in turn can lead to dehydration.  If you are blanketing your horse over winter and layering, make sure to remove some layers during the warmer times.  Also, check your horse, at least weekly for signs of skin issues.  It is very important, that when we try on keeping our horses warm, we do not overdo it as it can have negative effects on their health and can do them more harm than good.
  4. Keep your stable well ventilated:  By keeping the doors closed with little ventilation, may keep your horse warm, but it can create a few problems.  Keeping your barn well ventilated will ensure that your horse will have a constant supply of fresh air.
  5. Groom:  Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you should slack off when it comes to grooming.  It is especially important that grooming is maintained during the winter.  Also it will give you a chance to check for signs of illness.

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