5 Horse Winterizing
Like it or not winter is coming, and while you may be inclined to wrap up your horse in an super warm horse blanket and keep him in a heated barn for the winter season, please avoid the impulse. He is much better off if you abstain from too much helicopter parenting. However, keeping him out all winter and forgetting about him until spring is not the answer either.
Make certain that your horse stays hearty all season long by using common sense and avoiding these Top 5 winter horse boarding errors:
1. Solid Ice Lick
Your horse won’t stay properly hydrated if his water is a block of ice, plus his toungue might stick to the block, which we all know can be quite painful. Snow and ice are no substitute for clean drinking water. If you live in a region that experiences freezing temperatures, please invest in a heating device designed for horse waterers or troughs, they are relatively inexpensive.
2. Skinny Horse.
Speak with your vet about how much to feed your horse during the winter. When temperatures drop, your horse burns a lot more calories staying warm. Some horses can end up with considerable weight loss due to warmth generation. Consider increasing his hay rations as it gets colder outside. Hay provides an great source of calories and the process of digesting fiber (most hays are high in fiber) helps keep a horse warmer.
3. Couch Potato.
Just like humans, horses need activity all year long, especially when it’s cold outside. Continue riding through the winter. If severe conditions make winter riding impossible, turn your horse out daily in a large pasture to keep him fit.
4. Extra blanketing.
When it’s dumping outside and you’re inside enjoying a warm latte by the fire, it’s hard not to feel sorry for your horse. To ease the guilt, you may be tempted to go out and throw yet another horse blanket on him. Yes, a horse with a full or partial body clip does need blanketing during winter, regardless of whether he’s kept indoors or out. However, a horse with his natural winter coat probably doesn’t need blanketing as long as he has shelter from the elements. Over blanketing a horse can cause him to overheat, which can lead to dehydration and a host of health problems. We suggest you put him out in the day and give him some well ventilated shelter at night.
5. Forget about it.
“No rest for the horseman” is as true today as ever. Yes, the holidays will be upon us, and yes it’s wicked cold outside, but you still have to keep up on your daily horsekeeping. Even if your horses are in pasture, you still have lots of work to do! Watering, feeding, grooming, exercising—staying busy should keep you warm too.
This blog was provided by, Michele Kell, owner of Pet and People Sitters in Denver Colorado. For more information on Denver pet sitting please visit her web site.